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Higher Beings

By: TWO

Page 1, Wayne is a less than average Joe going to high school in a city called Filger. He lived a normal life until he became haunted by seemingly paranormal entities. He begins to hear voices and experience strong hallucinations. All of his hallucinations seem to be connected to a girl he met named Jezzabel. Jezzabel seems to be a normal hot red head, however, certain things seem to be different about her. When Wayne doesn\'t think that things could get much stranger, he is contacted by an angel who tells him an evil process is happening in Filger and he has been burdened with stopping it. There is a lot of pressure on Wayne, and Jezzabel becomes more and more like an enemy the further he decends into the city\'s covert world. Ultimately, Wayne must face the truth that links him to the demons that haunt him.

"Higher Beings"

(prologue)

I had grown up in a large city called Filger. Filger always seemed to have an enormous, gray cloud hanging over it, there were a lot of dull painted houses, the architecture was very unique, there were a lot of arches, steeples and such but nothing seemed to change. I lived just down the street from the school, nothing extraordinary ever happened, life was very monotonous. The same thing every day, I just got up, went through the day and then waited for the next one. It got very old very fast, but I managed to do it for fifteen years. All of that changed two years after the Red Leaf was founded, the Red Leaf Foundation was supposedly an organization devoted to stopping criminal activity in Filger. I didn't have a lot of friends, I was just too shy, I just wasn’t a very outgoing person. I never felt like I was the same kind of person as everyone else and I had the right to feel that way. I went through life being very lonely and isolated, something in my life was amiss, I was just looking, I looked for something, I was searching. At the time I didn't know what I was looking for. There was a hole inside me, and I had lost the piece that went in it, I was searching for that piece, but didn't know what it was shaped like, I wanted something more in life, I wanted something but didn't know what it was. Then, not even in the middle of my life, I found that one missing piece, but I lost the ones I already had. 

(chapter one) {Wednesday}

It was just another day, I THOUGHT it was just another day. I was in high school, tenth grade, the tenth time I'd lived the same exact year, the only difference was that I was a little bit bigger than in the last one, Today was a special day in school, number one reason was because the principal was retiring, and number two was that today we went on a field trip. Since the principal was retiring, the administration was going to let school out on Friday, which was in two days. Every school year we went to the ‘Filger Museum of Aviation’. We looked at the same replica of the Wright Flyer, were led by the same guide, and did everything exactly the same as the year before, but this year, I saw something I thought I had never seen before. I was sitting in class minding my own business while the people around me threw paper airplanes, told jokes to each other, and spewed insults for no apparent reason. Randy, an arrogant jerk who liked to insult me, made a very heavy and loud laugh, I looked at him from across the room.

"He needs to learn how to shut up."

I thought to myself. He had insulted me earlier in front of everyone and I guess I was still a bit bitter about it. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to meet my friend, Dakota.

"Have you ever wondered why we only go to the airplane museum?"

He asked.

"No, not really."

I replied.

"Why can't we ever go to the car show?"

"I don't know."

Dakota was one of the few friends I had, we met the year before, he was more of a cars kind of guy, I wasn't very interested cars, but we were buddies because we both liked big machines, I actually liked aviation and wanted to be a pilot for the Air Force. However Dakota was a more down to earth person and didn't want any part in the military. He was pretty much the only friend I had left, the rest had moved away some time ago. Mr. Harrison walked into the class room to get everyone to go to the bus.

"Okay everyone, we will now begin our trip to the museum of aviation, please form a single file line and-"

Before he could finish his sentence a platoon of students pushed him out of the way, headed down the hall, and outside to the bus. I always lingered behind the group, as not to get trampled by everyone else, Dakota on the other hand had a couple of other friends and would sometimes be in the group with them, but occasionally he would stay behind with me to talk about some good music groups and such, both of us liked heavy metal, that was something else that made us buddies. We would hunt down small music groups that nobody has ever heard of on the internet and share what we found. This time, he decided to stay behind with me.

"What's up?"

I asked him.

"Nothin', what’cha listenin' to?"

I was listening to my MP3 player

"Black cobra."

I replied.

“They’re pretty good.”

“Yeah.”

I continued listening to the songs on my MP3 player and heard my name called,

"Hey, Wayne."

It was loud but sounded like a whisper. I took off my headphones and looked around to see who called for me, but I couldn't find who said my name. I tapped Dakota on the shoulder, he took off his head phones.

"Did you hear something?"

"No, just music."

I looked around once more just to be sure. We got on the bus and were on our way. When we arrived, Mr. Harrison stood up to get everyone out of the bus.

"Okay, everyone please exit the bus in a-"

Once again, his sentence was cut off by a stampede of teenagers followed by Dakota and I. They quickly ran into the museum and began talking and horsing around. The museum was an enormous building with dome shaped roofing, lots of skylights, pillars that held up the roof, and all the walls and floors were made of marble, it was a beautiful piece of architecture. Mr. Harrison went to pay for admittance and a guide. The guide that was there every year came to start the 'trip back in time'.

"Okay, now we are-"

His voice was swallowed up by the rambling of all the students.

"Alright, we're going to-"

The babbling got louder.

"SHUT UP!"

He screamed. Upon doing so everyone shut their mouths and turned their attention to him.

"That guy's got quite a pair of lungs."

Dakota whispered to me.

"Sounds like his vocal cords are at war with each other and both sides are losing."

I whispered back. The guide began to speak again.

"Okay, everyone, we're going on a trip back in time. Back before there were planes.-"

He began.

"These tours get stupider and stupider with every passing year."

I told Dakota.

"Yeah."

We began walking down the hall.

"I think your right, a car show would be more fun."

I said. He looked at me with an awkward look.

"I though you liked planes."

"I do, but there's more girls at a car show."

"Of course."

He said with an ‘I should've known’ tone. We walked around and listened to the guides incessant babbling for about an hour when we came to a replica of the Junkers F1, hung up by a bunch of wires.

"Everyone, this is the Junkers F1, it was the first aluminum plane ever built, it was-"

I stopped listening and plugged my earphones into my ears to listen to music. I heard it again.

"Hey, Wayne! Come here!"

It was much clearer this time and I could tell it was a female voice, it was very high pitched and very soft, it sounded like a girl approximately my age. I looked around again but saw no one. I looked down at my MP3 player thinking maybe I was imagining it from sounds in my music. I changed the song thinking I would stop hearing it. We walked around for three hours more before we stopped to have lunch at a small food bar next to the museum’s gift shop. My MP3 player was out of battery now, so I put it back in my pocket knowing I would be bored out of my wits for the rest of the day. I went to the food bar, got a cheeseburger, and then sat down on one of the benches nearby to eat. Everyone else formed a group in the middle of the enormous room we were in. I unwrapped the burger and began to eat. A few minutes later the other guys all turned their attention to something on the other side of the crowd. They all began talking at once, some of them shouting flirtatious things. When I noticed, I stood up to see but still couldn't catch a glimpse of whatever it was. I decided it wasn't worth the trouble and sat back down. A couple of seconds later a girl came out from behind the platoon of worked up young men, she caught my eye almost immediately, she was gorgeous. She had a perfectly shaped body, nicely formed, wide hips, very tall, with fiery red, wavy hair, the color you’d see at the very edge of a flame, and very shiny, sky blue eyes. Every male in the entire class was trying to get to her. They tried to suck up to her by offering to buy her something to eat or other things like that. She seemed anxious to get away from everyone. I looked at her for a couple seconds more, in awe of her beauty, and then lost interest.

"You have no chance, Wayne."

I said in my head. I really thought I didn't, I'm not an ugly person, I'm just not particularly handsome, I'm somewhere in between. I had short black hair that I always wore combed back, and dark brown eyes. My front teeth were a little too big for my mouth. I had lots of blemishes on my face. The red haired girl shook hands with some of the guys just so that they would not be trying to get her attention so badly afterward. The thing about girls with red hair is their either absolutely hot, or absolutely not, and she was absolutely HOT.

"Um... Can I buy you something to eat?"

I heard Randy ask.

"No thanks, I'm not hungry."

She said in a hurried tone. Her voice was high pitched and very soft, I was just sitting back and watching them fight over her. I saw her look at me, then away and back again. She looked at me with a strange look, she looked confused about me. Perhaps she wondered why I wasn’t flipping out over her. I thought nothing of it and looked away, I didn't want her to think I was like the other men. One of the other guys stood up between me and her in order to get her attention. He was practically right in front of her.

"Can I-"

"No thanks!"

She quickly cut him off in the middle of his sentence and ran into the girl’s bathroom to be rid of the mob of hopeful teenage boys. They all walked away disappointed in themselves. Dakota came and sat down beside me.

"Dude, did you see that chick!? She was HOT!"

It took quite a bit to get him interested in a girl, but she wasn't quite a bit, she was too much.

"Yes, I saw."

I replied.

"Why weren't you over there? I figured you'd be going insane about her."

"Dakota, I'm not the kind of guy that hits on girls way out of his range. People like that just end up making themselves look like assholes."

"It doesn't matter, she's way out of everybody’s range."

"I guess I just got discouraged by all the competition."

There were plenty of young men in Filger that I was sure were much better than me.

"Whatever, man."

He stared anxiously at the women’s bathroom door. I went back to eating my burger.

"What's the point? She'll be just like everyone else and ignore my existence."

I thought. I didn't see the point in trying something when you know the outcome will be complete failure, but the others, apparently didn't feel that way, I assume they thought that there was always a chance of success. I had always felt like a failure for some reason, maybe it was because the only people who told me I wasn't a failure were Mr. and Mrs. Oberlin, but they were my legal guardians, they'll always tell you stuff like that. I finished my burger and threw away the paper it was wrapped in.

"Okay, everyone, lunch is over, let's head down to the theater."

Mr. Harrison announced. The museum had a small projector that they used to project a short film about the different kinds of planes built in World War Two and what roles they played in the conflict on a screen. Just like everything else, it was the same one every year. I liked it the first couple times, but it got really old after the third year in a row. Everyone began walking down the hall and complaining about how it's the same one over and over again, as we were going down the hall I noticed Randy was looking over his shoulder at something down the hall, he wasn't watching where he was going and, inevitably, ran into a pillar that supported the roof. He fell flat on his back, me and multiple other people laughed at him.

"Hahaha!"

Everyone was laughing, but he couldn't stand being laughed at by me because he thought very little of me. He pulled himself to his feet.

"What the hell are you laughing at!?"

He yelled at me.

"You! What else would I be laughing at?"

I replied. That probably pushed him over the edge.

"That's it, I'm kickin' your ass!"

"That's too high of a kick for you!"

He was a very short person, while I was one of the taller guys in the school. Although, I was not particularly strong and was not the kind of person that got into a lot of fights. He walked across the hall toward me until he got face to face with me and stopped.

"Well, are you gonna punch me or just whine about it?"

I taunted him. His face turned bright red right before he punched me in the mouth and busted my lip. I didn't do anything about it, I just glared at him. He went on his way down the hall towards the theater. It wasn't that I didn't defend myself because I didn't want to, it was because I was a big softie, I didn't have the guts to defend myself. I wondered what he was looking at and glanced up the hall, I saw that red head walking towards me, she still had that weird look on her face. As she walked a million things ran through my mind,

"What do I say? Did I put deodorant on? Don't stutter! Don't sound like a dork!"

But right as she got to me I reminded myself that I didn't have a chance with her anyways so I decided I would just act normal. She was quite a bit taller than I first thought, she was actually taller than me. The top of my head only reached her shoulders.

"Are you okay?"

She said in her soft, high pitched voice.

"Yeah."

I told her, not showing any interest in her concern.

"You’re bleeding. Do you want me to get you a napkin?"

"No, it's just a little blood."

"Why didn't you hit him back?"

Those words put a knot in my throat. I hated the fact that I was too soft to hurt anyone, even if they tried to hurt me.

"Because I have the spine of a slug."

I criticized myself. I managed to tell her

"I don't know."

without my voice being too shaky.

"You're a lot bigger than him, you look like you could easily crush him. You know?"

"Well, I'm kinda outa shape."

"Okay, I was just wondering if you were alright."

She was being very kind, but at the time I didn't know why.

"My name's Jezzabel."

She said and stuck out her hand. I shook it and bluntly said,

"I'm Wayne."

"Nice to meet you, Wayne."

"Likewise."

She turned around and walked away, I headed on down the hall toward the museum’s theater. Dakota came out of nowhere and began walking beside me.

"Wow, getting your ass kicked attract good attention, I should try that sometime."

He was in awe over the fact that I was just talking to a girl that turned down ALL of the other men including himself.

"I didn't get my ass kicked."

I told him.

"Did you get her name?"

He was really worked up.

"Yeah, it's Jezzabel."

"Jezzabel? Isn't that the name of that chick that got eaten by a bunch of dingoes?"

In case you don't know, that is a passage taken from the Bible. Dakota and I also happened to be fairly religious.

"Yeah, what about it?"

"It's just weird."

We walked into the theater and sat down. The theater was really just a bunch of chairs arranged in rows in front of a big white cloth hung on a wall. The film had already started, it was at the part about the Germans invading Finland with JU-87s. I took a pencil out of my pocket and started drawing stuff on the back of the chair in front of me, I liked to draw things like Jesus crosses, skulls, band logos, and things around that sort. Dakota saw me trying to imitate the ‘Black Cobra’ logo.

"Black Cobra's okay, but not really my band of choice."

He said.

"They have their good ones and bad ones."

I replied. The person sitting next to me turned to me.

"Shhh."

I just ignored him.

"Ya know who's got a lot of really good ones? Crowbar."

I continued

"Never heard of 'em."

"You gotta hear 'em."

I insisted.

"I'll look ‘em up later."

He said.

"Shhh!"

The person next to me was getting kind of annoyed, but I still ignored him.

"Look up a song called ‘Cemetery Angels’."

"Okay."

"Be quiet!"

The other person said.

"Shut up!"

I turned to him and realized he was Mr. Harrison.

"Aww crap."

I thought.

"You two, are going back to the school building."

He grabbed me by the arm and escorted me to the end of the isle, then he pointed at Dakota.

"You too."

"Crap."

He said. Mr. Harrison took us back to the bus and told the driver

"Take these two back to the school."

"Okay."

The driver said with very little interest as to why. We sat down, one on one side of the bus and one on the other. The bus driver shifted gears and rolled us down the road, it took about fifteen minutes to get back to the school building, when we got there we just sat on a bench in the hall and waited for the day to end. Nothing notable happened between then and the end of the school day. As I was walking home I remembered the voice I heard. I remembered that it sounded like a whisper, and Dakota didn't hear it. The more I thought about it the more it seemed like I had imagined it. I arrived home, went through the rusty, gate, and walked in the door, everything was dark. My eyes weren't adjusted to the lack of light in the house. I had lived in the same house all my life it was a two story house with a big, circular window in the middle of the second story, it made it look like it had one eye, the paint was a greyish-green hue, and the trim was black, my room was upstairs where the window was.

"Hello, my son!"

I heard Mrs. Oberlin say. I could hear her but could not see her because of the lack of light.

"Hi, mom."

"How was school?"

She always asked that every day I came home from school. It was just another piece of the monotony, and so was me telling her,

"It was okay."

every time she asked. Mrs. Oberlin was a very perky kind of person and so was Mr. Oberlin, however I was never happy enough to exclaim average, everyday phrases.

"Oh! What happened to your lip?"

She said. She was also kind of overprotective.

"Nothing."

I told her.

"Don't tell me nothing!"

She yelled, it annoyed her when I refused to let her know EVERYTHING about my day.

"What happened?"

Mr. Oberlin asked from in his recliner.

"Wayne's lip is bleeding, I'll go get some medicine and a cloth."

"Aww. He'll be okay. Don't worry about it."

Mr. Oberlin wasn't so clingy, and let me get hurt sometimes as long as it was nothing serious, while both of them had upsides and downsides, I loved them both and they loved me back immensely.

"But he's bleeding, Ben."

"So? It'll heal back up."

"But-"

They continued to argue, my eyes adjusted to the light and I went upstairs to my room and laid down on my bed. I looked around my room seeing the posters of metal bands and pictures of planes midflight. I grabbed the remote control to the TV I had in my room and watched a documentary about dinosaurs for the rest of the day. Suddenly a news flash popped up on the TV.

“Eleven Red Leaf officers and seven police officers were found dead in an abandoned apartment building in the old downtown area.”

The news woman said. This got my attention. She went on to say that there were multiple gunshot wounds in each of the bodies, and that the crime was suspected to have been committed by a fairly new gang that had established itself recently in Filger. After the news flash, I went to sleep.

(chapter two) {Thursday}

That night I had a dream, it was very strange, I was on the ground in an alley, bleeding out gallons of blood, there was someone kneeling down behind me, keeping my upper torso off the ground and holding my head to their chest.

"Shh. Don't worry, I'm right here."

It was the female voice I kept hearing but now it sounded so familiar, I knew who it was deep inside but I just couldn't remember her no matter how hard I tried. She had her left arm around me and her right hand on the side of my face holding my head to her chest, I looked at myself to see where I was bleeding from, I had an enormous hole in my stomach, I could see the ground through it, but the wound isn't what caught my eye, inside the wound there was a gray, tumorous object with veins branching from it to my body, It was cracked and barely holding itself together, the girl holding me pulled my head back against her chest.

"I'm right here."

I looked up at her and saw a tear roll down her cheek. I sat up in bed, I didn't get to see the rest of her face, but I felt like I already knew who she was. I got out of bed and looked out the window of my room, It was still very early in the morning, I thought about that dream.

"That was a weird dream.-"

I thought.

“-Kind of scary. I don’t like the thought of dying.”

I glanced at my clock, it was only four twenty. I laid back down in my bed and tried to go back to sleep, but that dream captured my mind, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Then I thought about that girl I met at the museum, she was beautiful. She was being very kind to me. I managed to fall asleep again but it was already seven by then. Mrs. Oberlin opened the door.

"Good morning! Did you sleep good?"

This was one of the things I didn't like, she talked too loud when she woke me up. I nearly fell out of bed.

"It… Could've been better."

"Do you want waffles for breakfast?"

"Sure."

I got up, got dressed, and went downstairs to the dining room, my waffles were on the table. I sat down, said a prayer and began eating. After I ate, I went on my way to school. On the way I was still thinking about that dream I had. I was half way there, where the houses of the suburbs ended and the large buildings of the middle of the city began. A young girl, about my age, rode passed on a bicycle in the opposite direction and winked at me. Every day, usually when I walked to school, she rode passed me but this was the first time she ever acknowledged me. She looked part Jewish her nose was just a little big for her face, she had pretty blond hair and chestnut brown eyes that didn’t shine. I turned and looked at her after she had passed, she looked over her shoulder at me. I ignored what just happened and walked on.

“Hey! Wayne!”

I heard that weird voice again. I stopped and glanced around the empty street to see who was calling my name.

"Hey! Way-errance!"

I heard the voice again, but my name was severely distorted.

"Hey! Terrance, come here!"

The third time it wasn't my name, I could tell where it was coming from. It was coming from an alley I had just walked past, it was between two really big apartment buildings, I walked towards the voice, when I got to the mouth of the alley I remembered the dream I just had.

"Wayne, Come here!"

I recollected the fact that I was dying in my dream and was very timid. I felt like something in the alley wanted to hurt me, but I went in anyway. I only took a couple of steps in before stopping.

"Hello?"

I said.

"Hello?..... Hello?!"

No response, I went in a little bit further and stopped. I heard it again.

"Come closer."

The voice said. I took a few more steps and looked around, then it hit me, this was the same alley as the one in my dream, a chill ran up my spine. I looked around for a few seconds trying to take it in. Someone came up behind me and grabbed me, their arms wrapped around mine, forcefully holding them down to my sides.

"Shh. Don't worry. I'm right here."

She whispered in my ear. I turned around and bolted, whoever it was didn't seem to be solid because when I ran away, no resistance met me. The alley was as empty as before I went in it, but I was positive that someone or something held me, I kept running down the street, I didn't know what I was running from, but I just kept going. I finally stopped about fifty meters away, and looked back at the alley way, I was huffing and puffing both from being scared and from making a scared dash out of there.

"What the hell was that?"

I asked nobody.

"What was what?"

I jumped, I wasn't expecting any feedback from anyone else. I turned around and found Jezzabel right behind me.

"Something just attacked me in that alley, over there."

I liked to over exaggerate sometimes.

"Are you okay?"

"Well, I say 'attacked' but it just grabbed onto me."

"What was it?"

"I don't know but it was big."

I started walking down the street again, she walked beside me.

"Something grabbed you in the alley?"

"Yes."

"You're not hurt?"

"No, it just scared the shit out'a' me."

"Alright, everything's okay?"

"Well, I think I might be going insane, but other than that everything's perfect."

She giggled.

"Do you go to school around here?"

I asked, I had never seen her anywhere before the other day. I walked on and she followed me.

"No actually… Um… I'm just… Here for a visit."

"Okay, so where do you live?"

"Um… I live in a mobile home."

"Oh, you don't look like someone who lives in a mobile home."

She was being a little hesitant about telling me about herself.

"So what about you?"

I could tell she wanted to change the subject.

"What about me?"

I didn't think there was a whole lot to know about me.

"Where do you live?"

"I live just down this street."

I pointed in the direction of my house.

"Which house do you live in?"

"It's a two story, painted greyish-green, black trim and one big round window in the middle of the second story. It looks like it has an eye."

"Maybe I'll come see you sometime."

"If you say so."

We arrived at the school building.

"Well I guess I'll see you later. I was just out for a walk."

She said.

"Alright, bye."

I saw Randy walking toward us, she took one look at him then turned to me, put her hands on my cheeks, and gave me a long kiss. I didn't quite know what just happened but I cooperated by putting my arms around her. Randy's mouth hung open, then she let go of me and jogged away down the road in a hurry. Randy looked at me with immense hatred then stomped away. Dakota walked up beside me as I was headed inside.

"Score, dude."

He said.

"I have no idea why she did that."

I replied, that was all we said to each other for the entire day. I completely forgot about what happened in the alley, and went through the rest of the school day with my mind ajar. She had paralyzed me from the neck up. I just didn't know what to think about it.

when school finally came to a close, I was filling up my sports bag with all of my supplies and text books, when I was finished I picked it up and walked outside, I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned around to see Randy as he shoved his fist in my mouth. I tasted blood, once again I didn't do anything about it.

"Smash his face in!"

The little voice in my head screamed. I clinched my fists and thought I had finally worked up the guts to hurt him, but nothing happened. My arms hung, inactively at my sides. I just glared at him and called him and asshole as he walked away.

"You spineless ass."

The little devil on my shoulder insulted me. I continued walking home.

"What was that for?"

I asked myself, then I remembered what happened in the morning, Jezzabel had 'shown affection' toward me. He was probably jealous. I had gotten half way home when I heard it again.

"Hey, Wayne-"

I heard the voice again, I froze mid-step.

"-How's it going?"

The voice continued. I looked to my right and saw Jezzabel sitting on a sidewalk bench.

"… Sorry, what?"

"How's it going?"

"… YOU called my name?"

"… Yes… Is there a problem?"

I couldn't believe I didn't notice it before, her voice was the disembodied voice that kept harassing me, she was the voice in the alley and the person in my dream.

"The alley!"

I thought.

"Hello? Is anyone home?"

She said and waved her hand as if to get my attention.

"Sorry, I kind of.. Spaced out there for a second."

"It's okay, I have days like that too."

"Um.. Yeah… Hey, what was that you did in the morning?"

"Well that guy is really annoying and I wanted him to stop hitting on me."

"He was stalking you?"

She nodded her head.

“Yeah, I figured seeing me with somebody else would get him to stop.”

"Okay, I get it now."

She stood up.

"Come for a walk with me."

She insisted.

"What for?"

"Just because."

"… Well, I don't see why not."

We began walking down the street

"I don't want to be rude, but we just met yesterday, so why are you treating me like I'm your best friend or something?"

I asked. It was true we had only met yesterday and she was already asking where I live and stuff like that.

"I guess I'm just an outgoing person."

A bus with a Red Leaf emblem painted on the side drove passed, one of the passengers waved at me, it was Pete. Pete was one of my other buddies, he was twenty one years old and had decided, some time ago, that he wanted to join the military, but then the Red Leaf Foundation was founded in Filger, he said he would rather join them instead so he could keep in touch with his family. The Red Leaf was an organization made to prevent criminal activity in Filger, it had been founded about two years ago and had spread to other close by cities, like Caw City and Gutherin.

"Who was that?"

Jezzabel asked.

"A friend of mine."

I replied, she waved at him too even though he was already two blocks away. I didn't know why the Red Leaf had been founded in Filger, there was never anything out of the normal happening, but in time I would figure it all out. We kept walking.

"Does your friend work for the Red Leaf?”

Jezzabel asked and pointed at a building across the street with the Red Leaf emblem on the front of it. The Red Leaf emblem was, of course, a red leaf pointing straight up with two cutlasses making an X over the top of it, with the tips pointing up.

"Yeah, he works there."

"That's interesting."

"He was going to join the military but joined them instead so he could stay here with his friends and family."

"He sounds like a good person."

"He is."

She seemed very interested in the two guards that stood next to the doors, they just stared straight forward, like the royal guards in England. Jezzabel stopped and sat down on a conveniently placed bench, I sat down beside her.

"Okay, so what do you want to do now?"

She asked.

"I don't know."

"What do you normally like to do?"

"Um.. I like listening to music, hiking, and just enjoying nature."

I also loved animals and life science.

"Do you ever listen to Cannibal Corpse?"

This shocked me, Cannibal Corpse was one of my favorites, she didn't look like the kind of person that listened to that sort of music.

"… Yeah, why?"

"They're one of my favorites."

"Hey, mine too."

"How about Ophis?"

"Yeah, they're awesome."

"Who else do you listen to?"

"Hmm, let’s see. Behemoth, Black Cobra, Zoroaster, Blacktusk, Ludicra, Crowbar, Leviathan and a lot of other groups like that."

"Cool, how about Vision of Disorder?"

"Yeah they're alright."

We rambled on and on for a very long time about heavy metal bands we liked and disliked, but then my cellphone rang. I answered it.

"Hello?"

"Wayne? Where are you?"

It was Mrs. Oberlin.

"I'm just out with a friend."

"Who?"

"… Just someone I met yesterday."

"Okay, well, I think you should come home. Supper’s ready."

"Alright."

"I love you."

I hung up after that.

"Who was that?"

Jezzabel asked.

"Parents wondering where I am."

"Am I using up your time?"

"No but, I need to get going now."

I got up and went off in the direction of my house.

“Okay, I’ll see you later.”

She said as I walked away.

“Bye.”

I went back home and met Mr. and Mrs. Oberlin. Mrs. Oberlin asked me where I was and I told her that I was hanging out with a friend. Nothing really happened between the time I got home and the time I went to sleep. To sum it up, I just played a flight simulator for the rest of the day. For some reason, I never had any homework to do at home. The things we did at school were always really short, five questions a piece, worksheets, that left me with a lot of time after school. When I was finished flying my digital Cessna 182RG Skylane, I went to bed.

(chapter three) {Friday}

Beams of light peeked into the window of my room.

"Finally!-"

I both yelled and yawned.

"-A day off!"

I stood up to stretch but instead laid back down, my eyes were very heavy from being awake all night. Besides, what else was there to do? I managed to take a short nap, I had another weird dream, but this time, I was walking down the alley, my arm was around someone walking beside me, I didn't look to see who it was, I knew who it was, she walked very close to me. A light appeared at the end of the alley, I looked at it closely, trying to figure out what it was but it was so bright, I could not see it. Then I felt a sudden piercing pain in my stomach. I woke up after that. I didn't think anything of it, I guessed it was just like one of those dreams like the ones that you're running as fast as you can but you're not getting anywhere, those are freaky but not unearthly. That brought back all the weird things that had been happening lately, I sat and thought about them for five minutes or so then my guts growled so I went downstairs to get something to eat. I fixed some toast. Mrs. Oberlin was still asleep, she slept until nine o'clock on Saturdays. Mr. Oberlin was on the computer looking at boats and cars and things of that sort on the internet. The phone rang, he picked it up.

"Hello?..... Okay here he is. Wayne, someone's on the phone for you."

I walked over to him and took the phone.

"Hello?"

"Yo!"

It was Pete.

"Hey! What's up Pete!"

"Nut'in', ya think ya got time to get a pizza later?"

"Sure, when and where?"

"Uhhh, Fat Toni's at...Eleven thirty?"

"Sure, that works."

"A’right meet'cha there"

Pete and I didn't get to talk much so I took any chance to see him I could. My cell phone rang immediately after I hung up the house phone. It was laying on the computer desk, Mr. Oberlin handed it to me, I answered it and walked to the toaster because my toast had just popped.

"Hello?"

"Hi Wayne."

It was Jezzabel.

"… Jezzabel?"

"Yeah."

"How'd you get my cell phone number?"

I had never given my cell phone number to anyone before.

"That kid who's always following you around gave it to me."

"Where'd he get it?"

I opened the refrigerator door with my free hand to get some butter.

"He didn't say."

"Okay… Is there something you need?"

"I just wanted to know what you were going to do today, maybe I could come along."

"Oh, well I'm gonna meet an old friend at Fat Toni's, would you like to come along?"

"At who's?"

I began spreading butter on my toast.

"It's a pizza restaurant."

"Okay, when should I be there?"

"He said eleven thirty."

"Alright, see you there."

"See ya."

I thought it was weird that she had my cell phone number. I sat down at the table to eat my freshly buttered toast. When I finished my toast I went upstairs, got a shirt on and, went outside to enjoy the morning. I looked at the clock on my phone, it was eight, it was going to be a while before our little get together. I waited for something to do until nine, then I went to my room to work out, I didn't have a bench press or anything like that I just had some ten pound dumbbells, they weren't much but they were acceptable. I just did a short thirty minute workout every day, I wasn't a very athletic person, but I liked to try to stay in good shape. Or at least keep from getting into worse shape. When I was finished I looked at the alarm clock by my bed, nine thirty one, I sighed.

"What a long, lazy day.-"

I thought.

"-I'll go hiking."

I went down to the fridge, and grabbed a bottle of water, and headed out, Mrs. Oberlin was sitting on the couch watching TV.

"Where are you going?"

She asked.

"Hiking."

"Okay… Be careful."

"Oh, he'll be fine!"

Mr. Oberlin said.

"Well I'm just-"

I went out the door where I couldn't hear them. I had a favorite spot to hike to just outside of town, it was a big hill with a view of a valley covered in perfectly green grass, there was a stream running through the valley. It was a beautiful place. I walked down the street, I saw the alley where something ‘attacked me’. I tried to simply walk passed, but the urge to look in it was uncontrollable. I stood at the mouth of the alley and looked in. I looked for anything peculiar and waited for the disembodied voice to call my name again.

"..."

Nothing. It was completely silent. I walked into the alley, I still felt like something in there wanted to hurt me. I wanted to know what grabbed me. I wanted an explanation of what happened the day before. I got to the spot that I was standing in when whatever it was held me. I waited.

"..."

Nothing happened. I looked around, I looked in the trashcans, but I didn't find anything except for a paper bag filled with barf, trash, and a kitten that was stuck and couldn't get out. I picked up the kitten and set it on the ground so it could go on about its life. I took one last look around the alleyway and left. I went on my way. I opened my cellphone to see what time it was, nine thirty five. It was still going to be a while but that was okay, it usually took a while to get to my spot anyways, I lived close to middle of town only a few blocks from the school. Along the way I decided to take a detour down a different path I'd never been down. I walked down the road and saw Randy on the other side of the street, he glared at me, I could see his hatred, he crossed the street and approached me. He stopped in front of me.

“Hey, Wayne, what’s up. You headed to an orgy?”

Randy said.

“Shut your mouth, short shit.”

“Hey, I’m just askin’. Maybe, you, me, and your boyfriend could go grab a mojito somewhere.”

“Do, your parents a favor and go kill yourself.”

My last comment pushed him over the edge, he drove his fist into my belly but I flexed my stomach muscles so it lightened the blow. It still hurt pretty bad, just not as bad. He landed another hit on my eye while I was clutching my stomach. I was boiling with anger, I tightened up my fists and thought I had worked up the guts to fight back. I stared down at him. He had hold of my collar. I drew back one fist and thrust it at his face. I opened my fist mid blow and hit his chest. I pushed him off of me, but I didn’t hurt him. The very next thing I did was turn around and run. I felt so ashamed of myself after I ducked into an alley to hide.

“Damn it! I’m such a pitiful sack of shit. God damn it, Wayne! When are you gonna grow a pair of balls?!”

I was very ashamed that I still didn’t have the guts to defend myself. I felt that I was weak and insufficient. I stayed in the alley giving myself a lecture about how cowardly I was. I got out of the phase I was in and pulled my self esteem back together. I went on my way. As I was going my way I got into the center of town, there were tons of people walking around the streets, I slinked and squeezed through the multitude for a very long time, mostly because I kept getting turned around and disoriented before I could get out of the center of town. I finally got out of the crowd when I felt a tap on my left shoulder, I looked to my left but didn't see anyone.

"You're the only person I've ever seen that fell for that lame little trick."

I looked to the right to find Jezzabel giggling at me, then she saw the black eye Randy had given me and winced in disgust.

"I tried not to bring it up yesterday, but why is it that every time I see you you're hurt in some way?"

She asked.

"That dumbass won't leave me alone."

"Sorry, I think I might have made him mad at you for… You know."

"Yeah, I think so."

"Yeah… That time I…"

"Yes I remember."

She giggled a little more.

"What's so funny?"

"Nothing."

She said coquettishly. I thought nothing of it.

"Who's your little friend?"

She pointed at the ground by my feet, I looked down and saw that the kitten I pulled from the garbage had followed me all this way.

"I don't know, I pulled him out of a garbage can and let him go, I didn't even know he was following me."

I explained. She picked it up and looked at it.

"I think it's a girl."

She said, and then held it close to her chest.

"Are you gonna keep it?"

She asked.

"Probably not."

"Why?"

"I don't think my parents would let me."

She looked at it with a crooked frown.

"But then…-"

I continued.

"-When do I ever listen to my parents?"

She laughed and asked

"What are you gonna name her?"

I thought of a thousand names for the next couple seconds.

"Um... How about Ally?"

"Ally?"

"Yeah, I found her in a trashcan in an alley. Wouldn't Ally be an appropriate name?"

She looked at the little orange kitten covered in dirt.

"I like it."

She set it back down on the ground. I went on my way, she and the cat followed.

"Where are you going?"

She asked.

"Well... There's a place, just on the other side of the city that I like to visit every now and then."

"What kind of place?"

"It’s out in the woods, it's a beautiful place."

"Can I come along?"

"Sure, I don't see why not."

The cat was still following us, she picked it up and carried it the rest of the way. We walked and talked until we got to the edge of town where the asphalt ended and the dirt began, the trees were all dead and there was no grass on the ground.

"It's in there?"

She said.

"Yup."

I replied.

"Looks can be deceiving."

I thought. We walked parallel the tree line for a while before I found the path that I always took to get to the place. I never thought of a name for the place, I've always just called it 'The Place' since I was the only person in town that knew about it. We walked down the path, it wasn't so much a path than it was a crack in the formation of trees. There were a lot of branches that stuck out in the way and would scratch you as you walked by.

"Wayne, are you sure you know where we are?"

She asked. She didn't sound scared, she sounded like she knew where we were and I screwed up trying to get there. I don't know why I notice things like that.

"Yes, of course I do."

I said. We went on, Ally screeched from being jabbed by a branch, Jezzabel put her hand on Ally's back to comfort her, I led us further into the woods until we got to an enormous shrub, this was it, just on the other side of this shrub was the place.

"Here we are."

I said. I looked back at Jezzabel, and noticed me and the kitten had been ripped up by all the sharp branches, but she didn't have a scratch on her, there was no way she could have evaded ALL of them. Ally and I were bleeding in some places, and it didn't seem that Jezzabel was even touched.

"This is it?"

She asked.

"No, it's on the other side of this bush."

I pushed the branches of the bush out of the way and plowed through the foliage until I was on the other side, there it was in front of me. I was on the edge of a valley with a creek running through it, lots of moss on the sides of the water, I could see shadows of fish darting around the water in the creek. Jezzabel emerged out of the shrub still without a scratch, she curled herself around Ally in order to shield her from all the thorns and such.

"Whoa!"

She said in awe. I wasn't looking at the landscape anymore I was looking at her. How was that possible? Her clothes had tiny rips in them but there still wasn't a single mark on her skin.

"What's wrong?"

She asked.

"… Nothing."

I woke up from my daze and looked back at the landscape.

"It's amazing what god has done."

She said.

"Yeah."

I replied.

"I don't get atheists, how could the earth have come out of a subatomic particle?"

I have always had a thing for biology and the origin of the universe, I loved to read about dinosaurs when I was little but now I don't believe in the theories known as the big bang and evolution. Those theories are obsolete, they don't make any sense, they have been disproven in my mind.

"And what would have caused it to explode?"

I said.

"It's a dumb theory."

She bluntly said.

"Yeah."

“You like science?”

Her question struck me.

“Actually yes.”

“Me too. I find the world fascinating.”

“You’d have to be crazy not to.”

She bent down to look at a flower growing out of the weeds.

“I think we take the beauty of the earth for granted.”

She said.

“A lot of us do.”

“I bet you’re a real naturalist. Right?”

“Not really. But I do like animals.”

“Animals. I’ve always been more interested in plant life.”

“I’ve never paid too much attention to plants.”

“Well… they don’t do much… And you look like a person who likes to have something happening.”

“I do?”

I never thought of myself that way.

“Yeah, you do this a lot don’t you?”

“Yeah, and?”

“Well you just seem like an exciting person.”

I never thought much of myself, I definitely never thought of myself like that. We began a long conversation about what kinds of animals and plants we thought were interesting and didn’t care so much for. We looked around for a very long time trying to take in all the amazing beauty of nature. I looked at my phone for the time, it was ten thirty.

"I think we should get going."

I told her and headed toward the shrub. Through the bushes was the only way to get here. The trees around it were so close together that you couldn't get through them even if you had a two inch waist line, the tree line went on that way for miles.

"To where?"

"The pizza parlor. Remember?"

"Oh, yeah, I almost forgot about that!"

"We'll have to move pretty fast."

"Then let's go."

I plowed back through the bushes and waited for her on the other side, she emerged still without a single mark.

"How is she doing that?!"

I wondered. We walked hastily through the woods, Ally and I were being mutilated by the branches, but they didn't seem to bother Jezzabel.

"OW!"

She finally yelled. I looked behind me and saw she had been poked in the eye by one of the branches, she was bleeding.

"Are you okay!?"

I was a little worried, but just a little, after all she had walked through the woods this whole way without getting a single scratch.

"Yeah I'm okay."

She said calmly. She took her hand off of the wound and looked at me. Her eyeball was literally torn open. Any normal person would have never looked through that eye again, but her eyeball began pulling itself together and over a span of seven seconds, her eye was back to normal and she looked like she had never even been touched. My heart skipped a beat.

"Wayne."

She said. I realized that I was staring at her with wide eyes. I tried to lose the shocked expression and look normal.

“What?”

“You’re staring at me.”

"Sorry, I'm just a little bit worried… About you're… Eye."

She folded her arms and looked at me as if she was expecting me to realize something obvious.

"As you can see, I’m fine.-"

She said with a serious, yet calm tone, I just looked at her in confusion, then her expression turned to disappointment.

"-Let's keep going.-"

She demanded, she seemed kind of angry at me.

"-You carry her for a little while."

She handed Ally to me as she walked by. We walked back, Jezzabel wouldn't look at

me the whole way. When we got back to town I got a taxi to take us to the pizza parlor, it cost me every last penny I had in my wallet, which was only twenty bucks, but it was worth it, it got Jezzabel to forgive me for whatever I did wrong. We rode to Fat Toni's and I put Ally down beside the door before we walked in. I scanned the room looking for an oversized blue ICP hat with a bunch of weird looking clowns on it. Pete was a 'jugalo', I don't exactly know what that means but he liked to listen to ‘horror core rap’, especially a small group called ICP so I guess a 'jugalo' is someone who listens to that stuff and wears a little symbol that looks like a cartoon person carrying a hatchet. He really liked the small rap group called ICP which stood for ‘Insane Clown Posse’. The art on their CD covers usually had some scary looking clowns on it like the ones on his hat. I guess no one ever told him how weird he looked with that goofy hat of his. It was funny because he looked like a dope in it. I never told him to his face, though.

"There he is."

I said and pointed to a booth on the right side of the room.

"That's him?"

"Yeah."

"He dresses much different in public than when he's at work."

We were just standing in the middle of the doorway talking.

"Doesn't everyone?"

"I guess."

"I mean, would you ever wear a Children of Bodom T-shirt to work?"

"Well, if I worked at a music store I would."

"Ya got me there, but what if you worked at the police station?"

"I thought he worked for the Red Leaf Foundation."

"Yeah but it's-"

"Sir, ma'am."

A man said from behind us. We both looked behind us to see a lot of people waiting for us to get out of the doorway.

"Sorry."

We both told him in unison. We sat down in the booth where Pete was, his eyes grew wide when he saw Jezzabel.

"Make a new friend?"

He asked.

"Yeah, I hope you don't mind me bringing her along."

"No, not at all!"

He said, I think he liked the eye candy she provided. As mentioned many times before she was HOT.

"Nice to meet you."

Jezzabel said and stretched her hand out for him to shake. He shook her hand and said

"Yeah, you too."

looking her a bit lower than in her eyes, she tried to ignore his awkward gaze.

"I already ordered a pizza."

He continued.

"What kind?"

I asked.

"Meat lovers."

"Yum."

Jezzabel said. The waiter came to the table and asked Jezzabel and I what we wanted to drink. He was directing his attention toward her.

"What would you two like to drink?"

"Root beer."

"Orange soda."

It was silent for a moment.

"That's a neat hat you have."

Jezzabel started.

"Uh, huh, you like ICP?"

"Who?"

"ICP, they're an under-ground rap band."

"Never heard of 'em. I’m not a big fan of rap."

The waiter came back to the table with a large meat-lovers pizza and our drinks, we started to eat, and drone on about everyday life, we chattered for a little while before we had finished our pieces of the pie. Both me and Pete had finished our slices of pizza at the same time, we looked at each other and smiled, this was something we did a lot, we would go to a restaurant and get into an eating contest with each other just to see the looks on peoples’ faces, I always lost, but it was still fun. We both grabbed a slice of pizza as fast as we could and chowed down as fast as we could. Jezzabel looked at the two of us confused at first, but soon got the idea. After we both finished ours, at the same time again, Jezzabel grabbed two of them and stacked them on top of each other to eat.

"Why didn't I think of that?"

I thought. She was caught up with us in an instant.

“Hey! ‘at’s cheatin’!”

Pete said through a mouthful of food. Jezzabel swallowed and said

“That was just to get caught up with you two.”

“No more a that.”

Pete replied.

“Fine.”

Pete and I finished our third slices, I already felt full, I've never needed to eat that much to be full, that was probably why I was so skinny. Jezzabel took another slice and had the thing finished in three bites, she took another, she finished this one in only two bites and probably the loudest gulp anyone in the restaurant ever heard, people were starting to watch. I tried to finish a fourth piece but gave up, Jezzabel snatched it off my plate and inhaled it, it must have been her fifth slice, Pete was struggling to keep up, by now we had eaten the entire thing, only a few crumbs remained. Jezzabel waved at the waiter and asked for some more.

"Hey! Can we get some more?"

I didn't know how she could possibly be able to stomach as much as she did that night, the waiter smiled the kind of smile a teenager makes when a pretty girl winks at him and brought another pie to the table, it was covered in mushrooms and vegetables, neither of them hesitated and began eating as fast as they could, now a lot of people were watching in both suspense and disgust. Jezzabel was probably eating twice as fast as Pete, she had eaten ten pieces by the time he had finished six. She even took the time to lick her fingers after every slice and she was STILL beating him. They went through two more whole pies. Pete started to look a little bit nauseous after his tenth slice, Jezzabel, on the other hand had eaten around the number of twenty four and looked like she was just getting started. Pete was breathing heavily, he stopped eating and watched Jezzabel eat four more, then he got up and ran toward a trashcan in the corner of the restaurant to hurl.

"HA, HA, HA!"

Jezzabel and I laughed. Everyone stared at her, then her smile disappeared and turned into a pair of puckered up lips, she pushed me out of the booth, sprinted to another trashcan right beside Pete and hurled even louder than he did. I pointed and laughed. I know I shouldn’t have, but I did anyways. I waited for them to get finished. When they got time between spewing fits they both ran to the restrooms. It was quite a while before they came back out.

“Finished?”

I asked when they sat down.

“Shut up!”

Pete said with a grin.

“I’m not gonna have pizza again for a long time.”

Jezzabel said rubbing her stomach.

“Wayne, ya got any money on ya?”

Pete asked.

“Nope.”

“We’re in trouble.”

He held his wallet upside down over the table, nothing came out.

“Watch this.”

Jezzabel said, she stood up and walked toward the counter, our waiter was at the cash register, she talked to him for a few seconds, his face turned red, then she came back and said,

“He says it’s on him.”

We got up and walked out, outside Ally was waiting right beside the door where I’d left her, she followed us as we walked. Pete asked if we needed a ride home.

“You two need a ride home?”

“No, thanks I prefer to walk.”

Jezzabel replied. Pete looked at me and gave me a thumb up.

“Okay.”

He said and drove away, me and Jezzabel walked home, we passed my house but I still followed her. Mr. Oberlin always told me that when you take a girl somewhere you’re supposed to walk her home.

“What are you following me for?”

She asked with concern.

“No reason. I just thought you’d like some company on your way home.”

I said.

“Well… I have some things to do before I go home… It’s private.”

“Hmm, okay… if you don’t want me following you home, all you have to do is say so.”

“I’m not making it up.”

“Okay then, see you later.”

I went back to house, to the front porch and sat down on the lawn chair that always took up the extra space on my porch. I looked down at Ally, she’d followed me all the way back here. I picked her up and sat her in my lap to pet her, she chewed on my fingers, it’s strange that a cat would follow me home, I’ve never heard of a cat following someone home before. Usually it’s a dog, but not this time, maybe it thought I was its parent because I pulled it out of the trash, if I had left it there it probably would have starved to death. I wasn’t a cat person but I couldn’t just leave it there. Then I remembered that I found her in an alley, and that she was probably hungry. I put her on the ground and went inside to get her something to eat.

“Hi.”

I said to Mr. and Mrs. Oberlin.

“Hi, son.”

They both said at the same time. I went to the refrigerator and got a piece of ham out of a plastic bag. I took it outside and put it on the floor for Ally to eat, she smelled it before biting into it and ripping off a smaller piece to eat. While the cat did that, I reclined in my lawn chair and thought about Jezzabel’s eye, how it was cut so bad but healed up in an instant. And her skin, it was like aluminum, she didn’t get a single scratch on her while walking through all those sharp branches, but me and Ally were being shredded.

“Could her skin really just be that thick?”

I thought. It was impossible. After she got poked in the eye she seemed to be kind of mad at me, but I had no idea why. Did I say something offensive? Maybe she was just messing with me. To add to the weirdness, her eye healed back up in a matter of seconds. The more I thought about it the stranger it got. Suddenly, the front door swung open and Mrs. Oberlin walked onto the porch with me.

“What are you doing? Where’d that cat come from?”

She asked.

“Sitting on the porch and I pulled the cat out of a trashcan it was stuck in and it followed me home.”

“Does it have fleas?”

“I don’t know.”

“And you took it out of a trashcan!?”

There she went with her worrying again.

“Fine, I’ll give her a bath.”

“And wash your hands afterwards!”

I hated it when she acted like that, like everything in the world will kill you. I grabbed Ally by the back of her neck and took her to the upstairs bathroom, Mr. Oberlin didn’t have anything to add. I scrubbed Ally down with regular hand soap, it might not repel parasites but it got all the dirt off of her, all this time I thought she was orange all over but after I washed her, I found that she had some patches of white on her as well. She didn’t really like taking a bath, she even bit me a few times, futilely trying to get me to let go of her. It was only a five minute bath but she fought me all the way. Ally was much happier after I dried her off.

“Now what do I do?”

I asked myself. I let Ally out of the bathroom, and went to my room, Ally followed me. I still had my mind set on Jezzabel. Her eye and her skin. Something wasn’t right, I also remembered that her voice was the same one that had been harassing me lately, I thought about it, and the more I tho

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