A/N: The rest of the original chapter, chapter 39 since it was too long to put in one. Which is pretty sad.
In a way, I didn't care, but as soon as I ripped her neck out, we both started to morph back to our humans forms. There was still blood all across my neck and chest, matting my hair, even. I felt my fur retract along with my snout, and I grew taller back to my normal form.
I was shaky on my knees as I lifted myself up, my eyes trained on Azrael. I thought I had killed her, but she was shallowly breathing, almost wheezing to a point. Her eyes were frightened and full of tears as I looked down upon her, my face an unemotional slate.
Her fingers were trembling as she lifted them to the gash in her neck, and her eyes turned even wider, and she started to silently cry.
But, I still felt nothing, to no avail. She deserved it, for destroying me and my family. Even though technically she was a part of mine— I didn’t care. She was just merely lucky that she was still barely alive in her human form.
She let out another wheezing gasp, and then a shimmering, almost glittery black shadow surrounded her, and in a poof, she was gone.
I didn’t waste any time, I spent a quick glance to the right to see if Ivan was okay, and he was simply soundly asleep, some of his acid/burn wounds healing, already— a benefit to having unnatural powers.
I turned around, and saw that Dre and Evan were still fighting. They both had somewhat deep wounds: there was a small gash in Dre’s shoulder, while Evan had a long cut down the center of his chest. He wasn’t wearing that cocky grin of his anymore, and he looked worn down.
And then, out of nowhere, the sword collapsed from Evan’s hold, and clattered to the ground. He, himself, looked astonished at what had happened, and so did Dre, to a point where the three of us just stood there, unsure of what to do.
Evan collapsed to his feet, and Dre and I gasped. He slowly reverted back to his normal self, losing the neon orange veins and dark purple skin, along with his horns. He lie crumped on the rocky ground, gasping for air, just like how Azrael sounded after our fight.
What the hell…I thought in my mind. What was going on? They were just suddenly dropping off like flies.
The same, dark curtain surrounded Evan, and he vanished once the curtain itself disappeared.
All that was left was a sleeping Ivan, and me and Dre. As soon as Evan was gone, I ran over to Dre at a crazy speed, and launched myself into his arms, acclaiming a long awaited hug.
Tears were forming in my eyes, but I ignored them and simply wiped them away with the back of my hand. I touched Dre’s cheekbone, having to step up on my little tippy toes to examine it, and put my other hand on his shoulder, where his other wound was.
They were still both angry and red looking, oozing a little bit of blood.
“That was scary,” I whispered, entirely transfixed on Dre. “Are you okay?”
He gave me a tired smile and nodded. “I just really want to go home.” He admitted, giving me a sheepish look.
“Okay.” I said softly, my face still stuck in an unemotional slate like after I had defeated Azrael. “I’ll…I’ll go wake up Ivan.” I said, and ran off to shake him awake. But then I felt a clang against the side of my head.
Down, down, down, to the ground, I went, banging my head once again after the blunt object – whatever it was – hit me.
And then, like always, everything faded to black.
When my eyes finally opened back up, to my dismay, we were still in the cave. I took a glance down, and saw two things:
1, my heart tattoo had about a ¼ left, so I wasn’t dead. Yet.
And 2, sure, we were still in the vertical cave – because I really couldn’t get over saying the word ‘hole’ over and over again – but I was high above the ground.
Was I falling from the entrance once again? Was time…rewinding itself?
But then, I took another weary look at my tattooed wrist, and saw they were roped with the same black substance that Dre had used when he was fighting Evan. What, was this black material their super glue or something? They used it like crazy for everything!Sheesh.
And it was the same with my ankles, tied up with the black stuff. I finally turned to the right, and on the wall next to me, were both Ivan and Dre, about the width of the average human being away from me.
They were both sleep – or knocked out, the more plausible action – and their heads were tilted to the side. Just like me, they were tied by their ankles and wrists too, and that’s when I realized that when I had felt that blunt object hit me in the head?
Someone was trying to knock me out, and tie the three of us up against the wall. But who could it be? No one else had been in the vertical cave besides Azrael and Evan—
“It’s been a while, Melita,” I heard a strangely silky voice say.
I snapped my head back to face in front of me instantly, and braced myself to see who it was:
Aerial. Of course it was.
“Hello,mother,” I sneered mockingly, narrowing my eyes at her. “How nice of you to visit me.” I was so used to her appearing out of nowhere, that it didn’t even faze me anymore to make sarcastic conversation.
“No time for chit-chat,” She snapped at me, her cat-like dark blue eyes staring right at me. “I want to get this done and over with.”
Her tone scared me. Every time I had met her, she always liked to play games. But now, she was getting right to the point.
I decided to play along, anyway.
“And what are trying to get done and over with, hmm?” I said, my voice still stuck in its sarcastic tone. “I don’t get all day, you know.” I said, flexing my arm a little and twisting my arm inside so that the heart tattoo fully faced her.
Almost immediately, her eyes widened, seriously, they looked big enough that they were going to bust out of her eye sockets.
“Th-that’s a hex,” She gasped, looking from the tattoo my eyes, while hers were still wide and frightened.
For a second, I thought that maybe for once in her life, she felt bad for being a total attention whore instead of actually caring for her kids.
And then I realized that it was impossible for someone as heartless as her.
“Yeah, see that little hand ticking like a clock?” I said, staring right at her, “It’s counting to mydeath.And I only have a quarter or so left until I become fully dark, and then die. Happy about that?”
And then, just for a straight millisecond, she actually looked genuinely sad. And for that millisecond, I tried to feel empathy for her, but I couldn’t. She was too much of a bitch for me to do that. But I did, for that one millisecond, notcompletelyhate her. I still hated her, of course, just not as much.
“Well, all the more reason to hurry and get started,” She said, pursing her equally dark purple lips that matched her nails.
She raised her hands high above her head, then, thunderbolts started to strike around the vertical cave.
The hit the walls, struck up gravel, and even in one corner, made it catch on fire. All the while, she had her head tilted back with her eyes closed, her lips moving so quietly that I couldn’t hear what she was saying.
I started to get really scared then, because I had no fucking idea or clue as to what she was doing. From the looks of it, it seemed like she was doing some sort of ritual, but for what?
A small thunderbolt struck in his hips, and his eyes flew up from his peaceful sleep and he let out a small yelp. The shock had sent him jerking off the wall, and his wrists and ankles broke through the black substance.
He fell off the wall, and fell the several yards from the place he had been held up, right to the ground.
And instantly died, just like that.
“Ivan!” I shrieked at the top of my lungs. Had he really just died? Who could survive a fall like that?
“No!” I screamed again, a hysterical feeling creeping over my mind. “Oh my—, Ivan!” I screamed his name, over and over, and he never responded. He was dead. Aerial had killed him.
“Oops!” Aerial said, like a five year old getting caught with their hand in a cookie jar or something. “Guess I should make those bindings a little bit tighter.” She said, stopping her weird chanting and flinging of lightning bolts.
“I hate you so much,” I growled, staring right at her, and I meant it. Tears were still tracking down my face, because I still couldn’t stomach what had just happened to one of my best friends. Shekilledhim. Because of me.
Just in a sheer month, I had caused so many people pain, and so many deaths, too! Which mostly consisted of near-death experiences, but still, it was all my fault. For being “manufactured” by Aerial. When was I finally going to die and stop causing people all this hurt?
“I hate you,” I repeated, a tangled ball of emotions churning in my chest. “I hate you so fucking much. I hope you burn in hell.” I said, meaning every single word of it.
“Stilly Melita, beings like us don’t go to hell,” She said, as if it were an everyday conversation and she was scolding me adoringly, like a real parent would. “Our souls just roam purgatory for eternity.”
She said in such a calm, matter-of-factly way, it just made me want to go ballistic and kill. I wanted to rip her jugular out just like I had done to Azrael, just so she could feel the pain that she’d inflicted on so many people, and let her soul roam purgatory, as she put it.
“Now, let’s get started,” She mumbled to herself. I expected her to start to do some more chanting, and I opened my mouth to say something sarcastic – so I wouldn’t have to think about watching Ivan’s crumpled, dead body lying on the ground – but then, she lifted her arm.
She extended her fingers, elongated her already astonishing long nails, and without warning, sliced open my neck with a horizontal slice.
The first thing I did was gasp for air, and I broke my wrist free and put it to my neck, mostly because it was a sudden reflex, and also because I needed to stop the bleeding.
My eyesight almost immediately filled with black spots, and I was struggling to breathe. I looked up to her with frightened eyes, will she just floated there, in mid-air, watching me with an evil smile.
“Shh,” She whispered, creepily. She took two fingers and wiped the blood spilling liberally from my neck wound. On one finger, she licked it off – which full on disgusted me – and then with the other, she mixed with her own blood after making a small incision with her neck.
She took her other hand, almost absent-mindedly and wiped it across my neck, sealing the wound and stopping the flowing blood.
I took in deep gasps of air, sounding like a fish flopping on land. I had just almost died. But I was so freakin’ used to it that it almost didn’t matter. I turned to Dre, and somehow, he was still knocked it. With so much going on, how had he not waken up yet?
“Hold still, dear,” Aerial hissed, and I turned my attention back to her. Her tongue was forked like a snakes, and her fangs had grown back in, making her look like a menacing, female beast.
I let out a whimper, because I knew that I couldn’t stop what was happening, just like I couldn’t stop Ivan from dying. I was giving up hope; there was nothing I could do. The sadness and despair that I had acquired while watching Ivan fall to his demise had made me feel weak and numb.
She opened her jaw wide, and I flinched when I heard her bones crack and break, so that she could open it even wider. The scene of it looked familiar to me, and I realized that I’d watchedmyselfdo it before. In my dream, where I was a siren and I had lured those pirates over so I could suck out their souls.
…Was she going to suck out my soul?
I didn’t even have to wait for my answer, because literally, about a second as I thought it, a blue-green wisp of air began to drift out of my mouth into Aerial’s.
It felt strange, like I was slowly getting more and more tired, like I needed to simply take a nap or something, but I knew it was more sinister than that. I could feel my bones go brittle; all of my muscles started to hurt like they were being terribly strained.
I let out a groan as I felt myself start to age. That’s what she was doing, after all— taking away my life source. Taking away mysoul. I just wasn’t prepared for what she was doing, or what was about to happen next.
She started to cackle with triumph, the teal air still flowing from me freely into her mouth. My eyes started to close and I started to drift off, even though the inside of me was freaking out and the other side was yelling at me not to go to sleep, like when you have a concussion and you’re not supposed to.
One minute, she was draining out my soul, the next minute, a skinny black blade flew through the air like a boomerang, right towards Aerial, and cut off her neck. Her eyes went wide as the blade sliced her, and I screamed when her blood hit my face.
She focused onto me, her mouth wide with her forked tongue sticking out, until it finally fell from atop her shoulders, to the ground, a few yards away from Ivan.
I let out another hysterical scream, and started shaking. It was a feeble attempt, but I took my free hand, the one with the tattoo, and wiped the blood away, trying to stop myself from shaking, but I couldn’t. I’d watched two people die…
No, no, no. Something in my brain tried to protest. I didn’t need this, I didn’t want this. I just wanted it to stop. Stop. I just wanted this nightmare to be over.
I started to whimper, and then out of nowhere, the chains that held me and Dre suddenly vanished, and we started to free-fall, me screaming and Dre still knocked out, unconscious.
I screamed, fear taking a desperate grip on my heart, as my arms and legs flailed wildly, trying to brace myself before I hit the ground. Dre, all the meanwhile, still had his eyes closed, and had his arms spread out like he was some sort of angel, flying peacefully through the air.
This is it. I thought in my head, my face about a few centimeters away from the rocky ground. Just at the last second, my body suddenly stopped mid-air with my arms spread out wide as they floated in place.
I then finally fell down to the ground, my elbows spread out horizontally away from my body.
I breathed out a sigh of shocked relief. I didn’t die. I looked over to Dre, and his eyes were slowly opening groggily, looking as if he had almost been drugged.
I whimpered and tried my best to crawl over to him, dragging my elbows and hands against the sharp rocks on the ground, not caring about all the scars they were giving me along my arms.
He was awake and sitting up when I crossed the few feet over to him, and when he saw me coming, he let me collapse into his arms, not even saying anything.
I clutched at his back, digging my nails into the fabric of his shirt and burying my mouth into the crook of his neck so that the sobs ripping me apart inside wouldn’t escape.
“Ivan…” I whispered, not wanting to say the rest.
I felt Dre slightly lift up his head, and I could tell that he saw Ivan, a few feet away, from the way his body suddenly jolted against my face. It was then that he started rubbing my back hurriedly, like it was a usually natural motion for him, but he had to force himself to do it because of the shock of seeing Ivan, dead, a yard away.
“Lovely,” I heard a voice say, and I jerked my head up away from Dre.
Standing against the wall, was a blonde woman, who looked around the age of 30 or so, wearing a long sleeved dress with a slit up in it up her right thigh. Her hair was pulled into a bun, and she had on vibrant red lipstick.
She was pretty, gorgeous actually, for a woman, but the evil grin she wore on her face didn’t fool me.
But it was her voice…it sounded so familiar, yet I’d never seen this woman in my life. Who was she?
Wait. Her voice. But I’ve never seen her before…I said, slowly putting the pieces together in my mind.
I let out a gasp and scrambled away from Dre’s arms, pushing him off of me so I could back up away from the blonde woman, who was now gravitating towards us.
“You!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. “Youdid this?” I yelled.
It was her, the woman who had tattooed the hex on my wrist— Iknewit was her.
Dre jumped up to his feet while I was still sitting down, splaying his arms out as to protect me.
“Who is this woman?” Dre asked, halfway turning his head to me.
“Sh-she’s the woman who put the tattoo on me, the one that tells me when I die,” I stuttered. I took a glance at it— about a 1/6 left. My time was depleting fast.
“Yes, it was me! Bravo,” She grinned, smiling from ear to ear. “How has your life been since those events where we met, young Ruler Melita? You’ve been well, I hope.”
I was too scared to say anything, but Dre yelled at her to shut up. She narrowed her dark brown, almost red eyes at him and flung her hand in the air, causing Dre to fly through the air and slam painfully into a wall.
I wanted to scream out his name, but I didn’t. I just focused my frightened, wide eyes onto the woman in front of me.
I didn’t want to die, not now. I’d contemplated it a lot, thought of killing myself, but now that it was actually time for me to do it? I was scared out of my mind. Would I just be drifting in the realm of the Muses with Melody, or what?
What about my family? Would Mom and Dad freak out and send the police on a wild goose chase, trying to find me? Would they just declare me missing after searching for me for a few months? Because I was in the one place they couldn’t find— the Twilight Realm. No human could get in here, and you don’t just chance upon a black hole every day.
That’s what I was thinking as she walked over to me instead of floating just a few centimeters above the ground like she had done a few minutes earlier. Her eyes fixated on mine, she bent down on one knee, her dress sweeping gracefully across her knee and grazing the ground.
She put her index finger underneath my jaw, and I didn’t say anything then, just whimpered and let the few silent tears work their way out of the crooks of my eyes.
“Such a beautiful prospect…,” She mumbled, tilting my head to the side and back and forth, like I was some sort of science experiment that she was observing.
“It’s a shame, you know? That you didn’t know who you were beforethisall happened,” She took her free hand and swooped it around her head when she said the word “this”.
“What’s worst of all is the potential you have, Melita. It’s ridiculous. You have tons, and now, it’s all to waste. What have you to say for yourself, Melita? What can you say after going through this experience of your life?” She asked, almost sounding thoughtful while she asked.
There was a lump in my throat that I was sure was visible as I swallowed. My voice was small and weak, unlike my regular voice, when I usually yelling about something either because I was excited or angry. It frightened me.
“All I know is…,” I started off, trying to keep the tears from running in my mouth, “That I’ve hurt a lot of people.
“I’ve endangered others, messed up relationships and friendships, put my family in the worst possible place that I could, I’ve inflicted pain on myself, I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve transformed into things I didn’t know possible, and met people that have been there with me every step of the way.
“And if it weren’t for those people, my friends and family, I know for afactthat I wouldn’t be here today. I would have long ago given up and maybe started even cutting to a point where I would end up six feet under the ground.
“And even though sometimes I acted like a total asshole to them,” I said, now unable to control the erratic tears sprinkling out of my eyes, “They were still there, they were still there for me. And even though I blamed every little thing on myself, they lifted the burden.
“They showed me that I’m more than I ever thought I was, and I really do thank them for that, because without them, like I said, I wouldn’t be alive.” I said, and my voice cracked, but I wasn’t finished.
“So I sit here now, tears running down my face— something that I despise to do, and I see you standing here, thinking that you’re the victor in this battle, and I know you’re wrong,” I growl.
“Because even though I may be dying in a…few minutes,” I said, taking a glance at my ticking tattoo, “They’ll still be here, helping me fight my battles like they’ve done for so long. And I thank them for that; I love all of them. I just hope they know that.” I said, finally finishing my speech.
I didn’t know where that sudden speech came from, but it was right from my heart, I knew that. Every single thing that I said was the truth, I just didn’t know as we going through this whole ordeal, dealing with trying to find out who I was.
And during that entire speech, I had come to terms with dying. I wasn’t afraid anymore. It was sudden, just as sudden as the speech, but like I said before, it was the truth. I was tired of facing away from the truth and believing the lies. I’d embraced by then.
Her jaw seemed to twitch after I had finished talking, and she narrowed her eyes at me, like she was mad at what I had said, like it was some part of her plan that she wanted me to be all sad and defeated.
Actually, the more I thought about it, that’s probably what she wanted. She wanted to see me cry, so she could get some sort of satisfaction out of killing the leader of a realm that knew nothing about it. It was all some sort of sick joke to her.
“Well then,” She said softly, but somehow still menacing. “I see how it is now.” She stood up to her feet, facing away from me and tilting her head to the side, like she was listening for something.
“I’ll leave you alone, then,” She said. “For now.”
Relief flushed through my entire body then departed as I realized most of our lives were still damaged. Ivan hadn’t moved since he had fallen, but something in my mind was telling me that he was alive, whether I wanted to believe it or not.
“Oh, I almost forgot!” She suddenly said. She had been walking away back to the wall she had been leaning on when Dre and I had fallen after being tied up against the wall.
She quickly walked back in her cherry red pumps, almost running towards me, and I flinched a little.
She bent back down, and to my amazement, flashed me a smile, like there was some sort of truce between us. She lifted up my wrist, the one with the tattoo, and then I saw a dark shadow cross over her face.
The smile was replaced with a hungry grin, fangs started to protrude out of her top gums forebodingly.
“Time’s up, doll.” She whispered, about an inch away from my face. And then, she swiftly moved her thumb over where the hand of the heart tattoo was on my wrist, inching it forward so that it was like my time was up.
I let out a shocked gasp when I realized what she had done. I looked up to her with frightened eyes, and she just laughed at my terrified expression.
It was if a ticking time exploded in my chest as she walked away, saying, “Ta-ta!” as if we were old friends.
Once again, those familiar black dots began to cloud my vision, and I could feel a sort of weight being lifted from all of my body, like you sucked the air out of one of those Ziploc bags.
My hearing was fading too, and that’s why I barely heard Dre’s shoes scuffling against the ground as he kneeled down to me and cradled me by supporting the back of my neck.
By then, a total cloud of gray was filmed over my vision, so everything was in black and white almost. I could see Dre shaking me, like he was trying to wake me out of a trance or something, screaming my name, but I could only hear him faintly.
I felt a smile pass over my face while a feeling of peace settled over me, the weight of my body entirely gone, now.
“I love you, Dre.” I said softly, knowing that it would sound slurred to his ears, but it sounded perfectly fine to me.
I clutched his shoulder the last bit of life lifting away from me. I repeated it again, softer this time: “I love you…”
And then, I took my last breath, and my gray vision turned completely bright white.
I took in my last breath, and let death come unto to me.
A/N: Sorry, first of all, for making the chapter so long, and also because this book has sucked since like, the first chapter, so yeah. And thanks to all the people that kept reading anyway, and dealt with my shit, you guys are the best, love you guys, etc. and all that gooey lovey-doevy shit. (: