Chapter Nine- Clearing Out
I lie in the soft fur blankets feeling slightly awkward. Should I even be here? Well that's a stupid question, why shouldn't I be here? I think it's more so the fact that I should be here with clothes...
No, don't think about that.
I wonder what happened to...to...
My heart feels like it's shrinking and my body has turned to ice.
The only words that made me feel a bit better about what happened have been contradicted.
Rest in peace...
I always saw that as a guarantee. Apparently not. No, all of those who fought in Faith, who died in the war, all burnt away with the Tribe. Treated with no respect in death...
It sickens me. My body is raked with heavy sobs as I think about it.
His body cast away meaninglessly. My Grey....
Then I fall back into it. That dark, deluded land in my mind where I'm trapped with no way out.
It's dark and cold here. No one else is here. I'm alone.... Forever alone.
My body is just a misused toy here. A broken thing sent to this place to die. Just that I won't die. It's not that simple.
I feel my shoulder being shaken but I can't respond. The darkness is closing in on me...
"Come on, come back. I know you're there. Yeah, life sucks, but you have to face it!" Shaynes voice rings out to me through the darkness.
I close my eyes and surrender to the darkness engulfing me, but it stops advancing over my body and I'm being pulled out...
Shayne is holding my head up off the ground and looking at me patiently.
Huh, it's almost like he gets what I'm going through.
"Stop doing that," Shayne says, his voice filled with relief. He looks different. All dressed in black, which makes him look more imposing. He cleaned himself up as well, but now the deep cuts and bruises on his face show, making him look battered and broken and worn away. Like a perfectly sculptured statue left to the elements.
"You can, um, go have a wash. Put the normal clothes on under the Armour. If the sun heats them up the metal will burn you raw," Shayne tells me helpfully.
I just nod as I wrap the blanket around myself and head out, clothes in hand. I feel stupid! I tuck the blanket into itself so it's like a weird dress and run to the stream.
I can't believe Shayne actually got me clothes. Doesn't matter though.
The stream is just a bit behind the barn, which is hidden from view by clouds of black smoke.
How long has it been since I had a wash?
To long. Long enough that thinking about it makes me shudder. Bad enough when I go even a day without washing.
I throw the blanket off me, practically rip off the tattered shreds of clothes, and get into the water.
At first, the water stings my skin, which is slightly red, but then it cools and relieves me.
My head's thumping as my thoughts are in their acting like a raging tyrant. And the thoughts hurt more then being stabbed in the heart.
Grey. Grey. Grey.
No, I can't think about that, I can't.
He's gone with no way of return.
But my head won't let go.
I miss him. I want to touch him, feel his lips against mine, hear him tell me he loves me, see him in all his perfect glory.
I taste blood and realize I'm biting my lip hard and tears are rolling down my cheeks.
Stop. Block it out. Block it all out.
And this is so easily done, as if the mental wall I know I put up between myself and the world was some unknown ligament.
My body moves as if robotic as I wash myself, get out, put on the clothes and the light Armour, which looks like normal clothes but when I grab some between my fingers, I realize it's strong and reinforced. Slightly odd.
Now what to do? Do I want to go back to Shayne?
No, that's the last thing I want, but what else is there to do, where else is there to go?
I go back to the hut, but he's not there. Strewn across the floor are books and a strange, golden sword. I pick up the sword. It reminds me of Shaynes black one.
It's light as air and radiates a golden glow. My arm tickles as it sends refreshing energy into me.
I put it down and grab one of the books.
They appear to be diaries, guessing by the word diary scrawled across them in huge, swooping letters.
Whoever's diary that is hasn't ever heard of being secretive.
Curiously, I open the book and as soon as it lands on the first page I feel sick. No that's not right. But it is there written in the same neat, looping writing across the page:
Diary of Gilia Guardian
Immediately after I read that I snapped the book shut and pushed it across the room. I hear the book hit the wall and notice my breathing is heavy and ragged.
I'm a Guardian? I'm a Guardian...
Grey was right. I'm a Guardian.
This is Guardian. Everyone's dead. I've got no family left. I'm all alone...
Right on cue Shayne reappears, looking tired and irritable.
I flee to the opposite end of the room and huddle up in the corner.
Shayne just looks at me as if I've lost my mind then he throws a bag on the floor and kicks it towards me. The bag is empty, but I'm grateful for it and quickly stuff all those diaries into it.
Are they all mine? There's six of the things!
"I don't want you to face it before you're ready," Shayne says, nodding at a diary in my hand that I'm clumsily trying to stuff into the bag. Once my hands stop shaking, I look at Shayne as if to say something, but then I just nod.
"You tried the sword?" Shayne asks me after a minute. I shake my head.
Shayne walks back out the door again, stopping in the doorway to beckon for me to follow him.
I scowl at him. I'm not going to fawn around his feet!
I sigh as I get up and head to the door. Then, as an afterthought, I bend down and pick up the sword. I can swear Shayne smirks before he heads out the door.
He leads me through the midday sun to outside of the Tribes walls.
"Are me and you leaving?" I ask hopefully.
Shayne looks back at me sadly and shakes his head. My face falls. How long do we have to stay amongst a Tribe of dead people?
Even though it's smaller, it's somehow worse then Faith after the war.
"We need to figure out what we're doing. How we're going to avoid Salvation. If there's anyone we can go to for help. I don't want to leave just to run around like a headless chicken," Shayne explains.
I make a noise. As long as it makes sense to him...
Shayne sticks close to the outside of the Tribes walls as he walks along for a bit before stopping, his back to me. He stays where he is for a minute before turning to me, sword unsheathed and pointing in my face.
"Show me what you've got. I know you've been waiting for it," Shayne tells me quietly, "Do your worst," he finishes to lighten the mood.
I unsheathe my sword with a trembling hand and try to copy what Shaynes doing to me.
My voice is heavy as I speak, even though I'm also attempting to lighten the mood, "Bring it."