Equinox

Equinox

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Houses:

Summary

On her 18th birthday, the ring Carissa's father gave her as a child mysteriously binds itself with the bone in her finger after she loses consciousness. She finds herself on the grounds of a church that appears centuries old, learning that there is a lot she hadn't known about the world from four kind strangers she's forced to cross paths with. Together they must find answers to their newfound conditions, or abilities.
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Summary

On her 18th birthday, the ring Carissa's father gave her as a child mysteriously binds itself with the bone in her finger after she loses consciousness. She finds herself on the grounds of a church that appears centuries old, learning that there is a lot she hadn't known about the world from four kind strangers she's forced to cross paths with. Together they must find answers to their newfound conditions, or abilities.

Chapter1 (v.2) - Phantasmagoria

Chapter Content - ver.2

Submitted: February 12, 2017

Reads: 81

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.2

Submitted: February 12, 2017

A A A

A A A

Chapter one

 

I could faintly hear the birds outside my window as I awoke, the light beginning to dance over my eyelids. I had slept very well that night, which was unusual. For the past year I’d been having night terrors. It wasn’t uncommon that I’d wake suddenly in the night and not be able to fall back asleep. I’d chalked it up to stress, really. Graduating high school a year early would do that to you. It was well worth it though.

I listened more, expecting to hear my little brother and the television. My mother in the kitchen, perhaps. It was my birthday, my 18th at that. Surely they had something planned. I opened my eyes fully and glanced around the room, anticipating more than the silence I was still faced with.

"I wonder, are they even here..." I sat up and stretched, pushed the covers and my stuffed animals to the side and slid out of bed. I tip-toed down the hallway and out into the dining room of our small condo. Nobody was home. I shuffled over to the dining room table and saw a note written in my mother's handwriting.

Carissa, I took Chris to the grocery store with me. I should be back around noon. Please have the kitchen cleaned when I get home

It seemed to me she may have forgotten what today was, but I knew she probably wanted to surprise me. My kid brother would never let her forget either. I made my way over to the kitchen, trying to come up with something I could make myself for breakfast. I sort of wished I could have had something somewhat special, some nice coffee maybe. I was sure my mother was going to bring home something to cook, she always made sure I at least had that on my birthday.

I believe that's right about when the burning in my hand started. At first, the skin beneath the ring I always wore on my right hand began to itch. I readjusted it slightly as I opened up the refrigerator. I glanced around at the bare shelves as my stomach growled. "I wish they would have woken me up to go, I am starving..." I sighed, closing the door. I slid across the kitchen floor using my socks and stopped at the sink and began to clean to pass the time.

I began thinking of the dream I'd had the night before. Besides the night terrors, I had been having strange recurring dreams. The one I had was of a spiral staircase that never seemed to end. And a voice coming from beside me, but it never told me where we were going. I could never remember exactly what it said. It was definitely strange to say the least. If it wasn’t the spiral staircase, it was of being trapped outside the lives of everyone I knew, unable to interact with them. I mentioned all of them, including the nightmares to my mother, but she came to the same conclusion as I had, stress.

My hand began to burn, I kept it under the water thinking it would help. It still itched, still hurt. I couldn't bring myself to remove it, I never took that ring off unless it was absolutely necessary. My father gave it to me when I was about 10, it was very important to me. I remember when it finally stayed on my finger when my hands were big enough to wear it. I wasn’t taking it off unless I absolutely had to, it seemed silly that all of a sudden I would be having some sort of reaction it after eight years.

I walked into the living room and turned the TV on, only to see the last station watched was the news. I never bothered watching it unless there was something going on that I needed to be informed of, they never had anything but negative things to report. The story that was airing only confirmed this concept. It was one of many reports on the strange occurrences regarding the weather. Massive tornados in places where there they normally never touched down. Tsunami’s along the east coast of the country that would engulf the beaches and the towns nearby. Earthquakes that left permanent damage to the earth’s surface, making it impossible for people to rebuild anything that once stood. It all started about a year ago, and it was unnerving to say the least.

I began chewing my fingernails as I watched the story, it was hard to imagine being in the middle of a natural disaster of that magnitude. It was another tsunami, this time it struck the coast of South Carolina. The coverage of the aftermath was enough to send chills down my spine. I began to think of the colossal water spout that passed through my own state of Mississippi. Luckily for us it was the only peculiar weather event that passed through, and it was nowhere near us.

I was brought out of my own thought by another sharp sting from my finger. I looked at it, twisting the ring a little around the spot it normally rested. I wasn’t going to remove it, there wasn’t a chance in hell. Then I remembered a chain from a necklace my brother gave me. The charm that came attached to it had been long gone. I shut the TV off and became set on finding it.

I was glad I’d already done a decent job with my room the night before, so when my mother got home I could just sit down and enjoy the rest of my birthday. I began searching through drawers and eventually made my way to my dresser. I stopped for a moment to glance at my hair. I ran my fingers through it and fixed my part. I was getting tired of the blonde, and I wanted to cut it desperately. It was almost to my waist it was so long now. I moved aside the many perfume bottles that were scattered over the top of my dresser and still found nothing. I knew it had to be around somewhere, so I started all over again. I slowed down and began removing things one by one. While sifting through the drawer with all sorts of miscellaneous clutter, I found a small tan folder, the smell of charcoal coming from it. Charcoal was my favorite medium when it came to art. It was so malleable, yet still slightly difficult to work with. It was just enough of a challenge. I flipped through the small portraits in the folder. First, my father. Second, my old dog, an old German Shepard with the kindest eyes you’d see. Third, my mother and my brother. Behind it, there was one I’d done of myself but never finished. The eyes and the mouth were missing; these were the features I always saved for last when I drew. The eyes were the focal point of my art. You could learn so much about people from looking into their eyes enough, almost like watching their body language.

I set the older down and continued to rummage through my junk drawer. I finally found it, tangled up with an old pair of headphones I swore I lost a long time ago. I sighed, relieved, as I opened the clasp. I removed my ring and slipped the chain inside of it. The gold color sort of clashed with the worn metal chain, but it'd have to do for now. I looked in the mirror and fastened the necklace around my neck. "God, this is tacky...oh well..." I looked myself over for a moment and then made my way back into the kitchen.

Now, I still have no recollection of anything after that. I try so hard to remember, but the memory never comes. It was like someone turned off the lights, like I fell asleep.

Just like that, I was conscious. The lights came right back on. I gasped and took my surroundings in. I was standing directly in front of the largest gate I'd ever seen in person. It was covered totally by plants. The fence, or walls, I couldn't tell, was also covered totally. It was haunting in a way but somehow pretty.

I didn't want to find out what was inside of it though, I was more interested in finding my way home. I turned my head around and looked behind me, and all there was an empty old road. It looked like it hadn't driven on in quite some time. No other buildings, just old street lights. I was more than confused to say the least. I saw what looked like a street sign and I went to turn and take a step, when I heard an old voice.

"I do believe you'll get lost if you go anywhere missy. I wouldn't go wanderin' off now" The voice was impatient, old. Somewhat irritated.

"Who's there? What is this place?" I asked nervously.

"I know. Yer’ confused. Let me get this dang ole' rusty pile o' junk open" He had a thick southern accent, he sounded like my own grandfather, almost. I stayed silent a moment while I heard clicks and the old mans frustrated grunts and sighs. I looked down and noticed my ring wasn't around my neck anymore. I looked to my hand first out of instinct, and what I saw horrified me. It was underneath my skin. I gasped. I almost screamed. I pulled my hand closer to my face to inspect it. The only part that was visible was the tarnished purple rock, or what was left of it after all these years.

"Sir, I need to go to a doctor...Something's very wrong with my hand!" My voice was shaking; I was feeling panicked now.

"No, no, no. Don't start bitchin n' moanin now, just let me get this thing open and we'll have a look at that." I was almost horrified at his tone and his response. "How is he going to talk to me like that and he hasn't even seen my hand?! I have a ring embedded in my skin!" I heard a loud clanking noise and the gate squeaked open slowly. The man standing before me had angry lines in his face, a permanent frown set over his white beard. His back slightly hunched over. "Alright, now let's have a look here." He hobbled over to me and took my right hand and looked over my finger.

"That ain't that bad, I've seen worse than this. Come on this way now, I'll explain what's wrong with ya on the way." He turned his back and started walking. I was almost horrified. Why should I follow some strange cranky old man into a place I knew nothing about and I couldn't even remember how I got there? I began to wonder if I'd been drugged. Just as I opened my mouth to protest and demand an explanation I felt a strange shift of balance within me. I suddenly was aware of not only myself, but something else. I couldn't quite put a word to it at the time, I focused on it, trying to understand it.

I was almost as if I was completely aware of gravity, the motion of the trees and plants, the forces that allow everything to exist and move freely. I couldn't see it, but it was all there. It was almost as if I could use it. It frightened me, so I pushed the thought out of my mind.

"What is happening? Something isn't right here. In fact, none of this is right at all! I can't even remember getting here!" My voice was still panicky.

"Well, come on then. You wanna know don't you? Now you don't need to be yellin' and hollerin' out there. Nobody needs to hear these types a' things." He gestured for me to follow him in an annoyed fashion. I reluctantly walked towards him. I had to know what this was. I didn't have a bad feeling about the place, in fact it felt almost familiar. Like a home kind of familiar.

I looked around once inside, it was so lovely. We were in a giant courtyard, leading up to what appeared to be an old church. Statues of angels lined the road leading up to the large building, plants covering all of the immense walls surrounding the property. It was so quiet; it was almost frightening.

"I'll have to let my niece explain most of this to you, but that ain't no accident, that ring there. You probably had that a long time now haven't ye?"

"Well, yes. My father gave it to me when I was little. I don't understand how it got under my skin. I don't remember putting it back on my finger." I said while looking at it.

"You took it off then, eh? That's why it went under your skin. That happens eventually, can't get around it." He said calmly. "So a ring ending up under my skin just happens? What on earth. Either I'm dreaming, this man is crazy, or I'm crazy for ending up here and listening to this nonsense."

"I don't think jewelry just ends up under someone's skin with no explanation..." I said sarcastically.

"Well, ye' don't say? Too bad you're not just some regular ole' woman with no reason for that to happen, eh?" His voice was cranky again.

"I have no clue who you are, and you're telling me about who I am?" I asked in a condescending tone.

"I can tell ye' that you already know the change inside your body right now and you're so confused you don't know what to do about it.” I gasped.

"Are you going to tell me anything and not make smart remarks? I am terrified over here and you're just cracking jokes at me." The fear in my voice was easy to pick up on.

"Yes, if you'll shut yer trap and let me continue." We came up on the old building. He pushed the large iron doors open and we stepped inside. I'd never been inside of a church like this before. It seemed like an old catholic church. It was so grand, the ceiling was so high, and I couldn't imagine how the stained glass windows at the top were ever cleaned. There were paintings of angels and demons lining the walls, the stone floor covered with intricately designed rugs. This wasn't even the sanctuary, and I was already blown away.

"Where we need to get to is the room underneath the sanctuary, if you'll follow me." He gestured for me to walk beside him.

"Charles that better be you." A woman's angry voice echoed from the room behind the large wooden door in front of us.

"What are ye' gonna get outta acting like such a little shit head?! If it wasn't me I bet you'd get yer lil ass kicked!" He yelled as he walked slightly fast towards the door. He threw it open, huffing and puffing all the way. The door creaked open, revealing an even more grand sanctuary. A woman with short, jet black hair dressed like a punk straight out of the 80's was sitting at one of the benches with one combat boot pressed against the back of the bench in front of her. She was wearing black jeans and had a spiked denim vest with old punk band logos poorly sewn to it.

"You're in a church old man, watch your fucking mouth." She almost spat in her words. She took her foot down and stood up, facing us. She was a good few inches taller than me, myself being only 5' 2''. But she was pretty intimidating. Her face was fierce, pretty but frightening.

"I'm Alex, who the hell are you?" She said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice. I tried to mask my intimidation.

"My name's Carissa. Now can someone please explain to me why I'm here? Because my hand hurts and I don't like being in strange empty places like this." She laughed at the slightly malicious tone in my voice. She snapped her fingers and in an instant I could see nothing. Pitch black, like I was literally blind.

"You better watch how you talk to me before I make this permanent." I heard another snap and I could see again. I stood there with a terrified expression on my face and I didn't know what to do from there. Run, or figure out this mess. "If I'm not mistaken, you're the one that has the strongest power out of all of us. I want you to tell me what you've been feeling since you realized your little ring bonded with the bone in your finger." I noted that she said us.

Yet, there no other people in the room. I opened my mouth to ask who else there was, and suddenly I felt a strong draft brush by my head, disheveling my hair and startling me slightly. Then a figure of a man materialized before me. His face was also striking, but warm and inviting. His eyes were a brilliant blue, even more brilliant than my own. He was dressed in a grey suit, he looked very classy. I gasped, covering my mouth. I wasn't sure how I should react, I thought screaming might be insulting.

"Nice to meet you, ma'am. My names Chase. You said your name is Carissa? How lovely." He bowed and reached for my hand, and he kissed it gently and looked at the ring embedded in my skin. "I hope that didn't hurt too badly, now." He gingerly let go of my hand and stepped back. I felt it hard not to blush, I couldn't hide the slight smile on my face. Even though, I had just watched the figure of a man appear out of thin air. "Why don't you take a seat, dear?" He gestured towards the benches we were standing near. "I'm sure you need a few moments to process all of this."

I stood there for a moment, I looked the room over once more. I decided to sit where I saw Alex sitting when we first walked in. I sat down carefully, Alex and Chase sat on the bench in front of me, and Charles remained where he was.

"Ya'll two can deal now on yer’ own, I got work to do. I'll see ye' later Alex" He said, tipping his head down to Alex before turning around walking through the door. The door creaked shut once more and I began to feel anxiety build in my chest. I looked around some more, taking everything in.

What really caught my attention was the altar. It was the strangest altar I'd ever seen in a church, but it was so grand I couldn't help but to be impressed. Behind the steps leading to the podium were 5 large pillars that formed a separate covered structure and in the center was a large statue of what appeared to be an angel over-powering and battling a demon. Awfully strange, it sort of scared me even more. I figured I'd get a closer look at it before leaving to see what if it was what I thought it was.

"Why...why did I end up here? I just want to know how I came here and I don't remember..." I said sheepishly, looking down at my feet. Alex was squatting down on her bench, facing me completely and holding onto the back for support. She rolled her eyes and opened her mouth to speak before Chase beat her to it. He took a classier approach to seating and simply turned his body to face me somewhat.

"Well, everything that comes from this place, will find its way back here one day. That's what we've been told, now. We all have objects like your own that bind themselves to us, attach to a bone in our body, and then we can suddenly do these strange things. We're still trying to learn the whole story ourselves, now." He paused, watching my reaction intently, probably wanting to make sure I didn't think he was completely crazy. "A few of them have come from this place, one way or another. It's definitely a strange coincidence, since we all end up right in front of that gate by no choice of our own, isn't that right Alex?" He turned to her, probably encouraging her to speak a little more and ease my mind about what I was taking in. She glanced over at him with daggers in her eyes.

"If you'd have let me finish talking earlier, pretty boy, that would have been nice." She said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Anyhow, what exactly is it that you feel inside of you? Whenever I meet a new person here, I am in the dark so to speak, there is no way for me to guess what kind of power you might have. I myself control shadows, darkness, and light. Pretty boy here controls the wind." He nodded in smiled.

"Now then, what is it you felt when you walked through the gate?" He asked politely, resting an arm on the bench. He turned slightly more towards me and rested his head in his palm, appearing to be listening intently. Alex just stared in anticipation.

"Well...I don't really know how to describe it. None of this makes any sense and I can't really find the right words." I said, puzzled at my lack of communication skills at the moment. I was almost shaking now. All the information was making me queasy, anxiety continuing to build in my chest.

"Well think harder, then. I don't have all day to be hanging around here waiting for you to open your mouth." Alex's voice was almost scathing and it made me angry, but I kept it to myself. I took a deep breath and rested my head in my hands. I sat there for a moment and collected my thoughts. I was pretty sure I could feel gravity, right? I could even feel it now. I could almost see what held everything in its place. I could feel the forces exerted when we took steps forward, when we stopped. Before I spoke, I lifted my head slightly so my lips weren't pressed to my hands.

"I don't know what else to say other than the fact that I'm pretty sure that I can see the laws of motion working, and possibly gravity? I don't know what it is." I managed to force the sentence from my mouth, my voice shaking. I looked up to see their reactions, I wasn't sure if I'd said the right things, or the wrong things. What could I say that was right? Or even wrong...none of this made any kind of sense.

I could see that Alex and Chase weren't as confused as I was, and that didn't make much sense to me either.

"Alex, do you think she can do what you thought? Do you think she can really bend the laws of physics? Maybe even science?" Chase asked, looking over in Alex's direction. She appeared to be deep in thought, staring at me with an intrigues expression on her face.

She flashed an evil grin at me. "And here I am with blinding light and darkness. You know, blondie...you can probably fly." A chill ran up my spine at the thought. "How terrifying would that be if I could somehow pull that off? What else would I be able to do then?" It was too much to think about it, the idea of flying or anything all was just too much to take it. I began to feel overwhelmed.

"I need time to process all of this...I just can't right now. It's too much." My voice shook, I couldn't hide how nervous I was and didn't even bother trying. Chase smiled with an understanding look in his eyes.

"I apologize, ma'am. We can talk about this later if you'd like." His politeness never seemed to fade, the kind look in his eyes might as well have been permanent.

"That would be great, actually. But I do want to know one thing..." I tried to think of the right way to ask. I didn't want to sound upset.

"What is it, dear?" Chase asked.

I held my head high and tried my best to sound stronger than I felt. "I'm not going to be able to go home, am I?" Alex stifled a laugh, almost choking.

"Yeah, go right on ahead and explain what's wrong with your hand and why you want to refuse medical treatment for it. Which, by the way, is a terrible idea. Don't try to take it out." Her condescending tone was starting to really get on my nerves. "A couple of us have tried. It gets ugly." Her crooked smile was unsettling.

She was right though, I couldn't really explain this to anyone. I didn't want my mother to see it either. She'd be so sad for me and I didn't want to burden her with an explanation.

"Well, not only that dear…You might not have experienced it yet, but you're going to have trouble controlling your powers. You especially need to be where we can help you learn to do so, you could end up causing quite a bit of trouble by accident." He spoke gingerly, probably not to upset me.

The thought of that was scary, of course. He was absolutely right though, I'd miss my mom and my little brother...but it was for the greater good I stay here for now so I didn't hurt anyone. The cruel reality of that caused a tug in my heart and my stomach to flip, a single tear escaped my eyes and rolled down my cheek. I wiped it away quickly and took a deep breath.

Alex scoffed at my display of sadness and smirked. "Suck it up, sheesh. You don't see anyone else crying like a little baby." She hopped off the bench and started walking away. "I'll be seeing you sooner than I hope, Chase. Make sure she doesn't accidently kill any of you before I get back." She didn't reach the door before her form seemed to turn to black sand, turning to a shadow that slipped away when it reached the ground.

I took another deep breath and sighed, stretching my arms above my head. I had to focus, I had to make sense of all of this, well, complete nonsense.

"If you'd like, I can show you where we all live? It's underneath this sanctuary." Chase said, standing up. He started making his way around the bench he'd been sitting on to the side I was standing on. "There's a path that leads under the building from the outside. It's quite interesting, actually. Whatever this church was used for, there's at least 2 separate living spaces down there with room for four people each."

I began to wonder if us all ending up here was all part of something bigger, if that was the case. I shook the thought though, I was overthinking and panicky and needed to clear my head and start over.

"Now, if you'll follow me" He extended his arm out and offered in his hand in an elegant manner. I smiled and nodded in acceptance and placed my hand in his.

Chase had led me outside the church, and around to the back of the building. The size of it suggested there was much more that I hadn't seen inside. I began to wonder what else older churches had in them, considering the possibility of a library and maybe room for nuns. I couldn't recall much more a church would have. I admired the growth of vegetation over the outer walls, also the age of the stone. I began to wonder if this place was in the history books somewhere, It was something I was going to remember to research when and if I returned home anytime in the near future.

The sky was beginning to grow darker and it looked like it was going to rain soon. The fresh air was starting to help me calm down just a little, and Chase's company couldn't have been more pleasant.

"What else is inside the church? It's massive." I asked.

"Well, there's a library and what we think may have classroom. There's an old kitchen too. It's quite fascinating really. The library is amazing." His tone of voice conveyed his sincerity when he spoke of how wonderful he thought the place was. I wondered what kind of books were in the library since this place was so old.

"What kinds of books are in the library? This place has to have some interesing books in it, it seems so old." I asked, intrigued.

"How about this, I promise i'll show you once you get comfortable." He winked at me and flashed the most charming crooked smile. He was so polite and easy to talk to, I could tell we'd be great friends. I always wished for a person this pleasant to be my friend.

I smiled and nodded. "Of course, I'd love that." I said happily. I could tell that he was just a gentleman, at first I thought he had hidden motives. I could clearly see by his body language that he was just polite, whenever he agreed he nodded, but it was more of a bow. He was probably the most polite person i'd ever met.

We were reaching the end of the outer walls of the church, the growth of plants and such seemed to only increase the further back we got. I could start to see more of what was behind the church the further we walked.

I began to feel the earth shake just a little bit beneath my feet. Enough to startle me but not enough to worry me.

"Ah, Is that you Dahlia?" He looked around with a hopeful look in his eyes. "What a pleasant surprise, come and meet Carissa, won't you?" The ground continued to rumble slightly, and before Chase, a pile of dirt and chunks of tree roots and other plants piled out of the ground and took the figure of a tall woman. She had a slender but curvy figure and had long, beautiful dark brown hair and bright hazel eyes. Her face was more than pleasing to eyes, along with the picture perfect smile she wore. Her simple yellow dress and matching heels flattered her completly and only made her seem more inviting.

"Hello." She said with a smile, giving me a quick little wave before speaking. "My names Dahlia, it's wonderful to finally meet you. " Her eyes were kind, and had certain softness to them that was somewhat comforting. "Your name is so pretty, did you just arrive today?" She asked sweetly.

I nodded sheepishly, still quite astonished at her entrance. "Yes, I did." She gave me an understanding look, sympathy in her eyes.

"You must be a little shooken up, I remember when I felt that way too. Everything you've learned about life is proven wrong almost. It's very unsettling." Her voice was sweet, and her continued expression of sympathy and compassion led me to believe she was just as nice as Chase appeared to be.

"Care to join us?" Chase asked her and bowed his head just a tad, in the usual polite fashion.

Her smile increased slightly, and she nodded as she spoke. "Of course." She looked over to me. "Where are we headed, underneath the church I suppose?" She glanced to Chase and then back to me while waiting for a response.

"Yes ma'am, that'd be it." He said happily. his voice seemed to pick up a happier tone when speaking directly to her, but perhaps it was just me. She walked by Chase's side as we continued walking. They engaged in some small talk while I zoned out and took a few minutes to take in the surroundings. The forest was almost breathtaking. The trees were so dense, in and outside of the walls. Of course there was also the growth of all of the plants over the walls and the building. I looked around me in awe.

"You enjoying my hard work? It's pretty neat, huh?" Dahlia said, bringing me out of my thoughts. It made sense that she made all of this, I'd never seen anything like it.

'Yes, actually. I had a feeling a place like this wouldn’t exist anymore. It almost seems like it hasn’t ever been touched by people." I said without trying to hide how impressed I was.

"Maybe I’ll tell you more about it when we get inside." She said kindly with a sincere smile. She turned her head to face in front of us, almost in a gesture that suggested I look before me. I looked in front of me and we were coming up on another smaller building with a large iron door. The growth of plants wasn't as present on the walls of this building, it looked a little more recent than the main church building. Of course, not by much.

"Don't be fooled now, that isn't the real door." Chase said. "The entrance is on the other side. It's hidden." He said informatively. I wasn't too surprised; given everything I’d just heard. We walked around to the other side of this small building and there was what seemed to be a natural occurrence of earth and vegetation build up against it. "Dahlia, dear?" Chase said, turning in her direction, opening his arm up to her in a gesture that seemed to say 'go ahead'. she smiled and nodded, closing her eyes. The earth pressed to the building fell level with the ground we were standing on top of in an instant. The ground beneath our feet shook enough to give any normal person the understanding that there was an earthquake. I stumbled and tried to catch my balance, that is until Chase stabilized me by grabbing my shoulders and holding me in place. A door became visible that looked run down and in terrible condition.

I stood and stared, not completely dumbfounded, just surprised. Chase let go of my shoulders and I turned to look at Dahlia, then him. Dahlia just smiled.

"Not totally hidden, but we make it work." She said, still smiling. She looked to Chase and stretched her arm out towards the door. "After you."

The tunnels underneath the church were impressive. Less like tunnels, more like a totally new building beneath the one on the surface. The hallway we were walking down had very dim lighting, there being nothing but a few torches hanging every 6 or 7 feet, probably longer. There came a point in which we came across two other paths to the left and to the right, including the one in front of us. I looked to Chase to see which way he would say to go.

"This way, ladies." He said, gesturing towards the left pathway. Dahlia giggled under her breath before motioning for me to follow her. As we turned and began to walk down this hallway, I saw a door not too far ahead. It almost looked like something that should belong in a dungeon, it was almost floor to ceiling. It was wooden with iron hinges and iron accents, along with a big iron handle. I began wondering what the inside looked like and if it was any less creepy than my current surroundings.

"Is that it up there? Or is that another disguise?" I asked.

Chase let out a single laugh, before nodding as he spoke. "Yes ma'am, that would be it." As we came closer I noticed more details in the iron, they were odd to say the least. This building had to be very old, the markings weren't something you'd see in anything made in the past 100 years or so, probably older than that even. It also appeared to be very heavy. When we approached it, I looked up to Chase in a manner that suggested that I wanted him to lead the way.

He reached out and grabbed the handle and looked down to me. "Ladies first." He said as we stepped back, allowing the door room to open. I was not at all expecting what I saw inside. I walked in to get a better look to see if it was the same throughout. It was definitely a little small, but it was so adorable. It was decorated like a log cabin, just no windows. The walls were lined with logs and the furniture matched the walls. Everything looked like they'd been made from trees, it was so cozy. I saw that to my left was a living area. There was another door across from the entrance that matched the interior, rather than the old dungeon door.

"It isn't much, but there's enough room. There's an extra room in here that's been empty since we came here." Dahlia said, seemingly excited to have someone else living there. I thought it was a little strange that we all happened to end up here and there was just enough room us to stay, but I didn't want to think about it too much so I pushed the thought from my mind for now. "Please, sit down and make yourself comfortable. You need to sit down and take a deep breath and clear your head." Dahlia said in a concerned tone. I looked towards the living area and observed there was plenty of space for more than 3 of us to sit.

"That sounds great actually...I could use a few minutes to process everything." I said, relieved that I could finally have a few moments to myself before we talked about all of this even more. I walked over to one of the three couches and sat down on the one facing the rest of the house.

"I'll go ahead and set some things up in the spare room for you so we don't have to worry about that in a little while, alright?" Dahlia said, she was so kind she was almost motherly.

I smiled and nodded. "Thank you so much, that'd be great." She smiled and then turned to the other door and left the room without another word. Chase watched her as she left and then turned to me.

"Would you like me to answer any questions for you? Or do you need some time alone to think?" He asked politely. I wasn't sure what I should say, but I knew what I needed to say.

"I really would like a few minutes to myself, if that's alright." He smiled and nodded once with a look of empathy on his face.

"Alright, Dahlia and I will be back to talk to you in a little while. Don't worry though, we will do our best to answer any questions you have."

"Thank you so much, you two are very kind." I said sincerely.

"It's no trouble at all." He said before following in Dahlia's steps and left the room. I took the silence in, sighing and placing my head in my hands and was immediately lost in thought. I began to wonder how all of this came to be and why I, of all people, had to go through this. I was too weak to be in control of such a thing, the earth's gravity and laws of motion themselves. I was just some average girl; it didn’t make any sense.

I began to wonder what exactly I could do with gravity or anything else for that matter. I began to think that I could probably make myself fly. I wondered how it would all work. I thought of how it would be in movies, if it would just be as simple as saying a silly phrase or something or if I would have to do something else. I began to wonder how it would feel to lift something from the ground, anything off the ground. The more I thought of these things, the scarier they seemed. They said I had to stay here so nothing bad happened, so I began to wonder about what exactly could happen. My mind raced with all of the possibilities and I couldn't stop. I must have been sitting there for a long time, because when Chase came out to check on me, he seemed concerned.

"You know, dear, it's getting late. Why don't we show you to your room?" His expression and voice conveyed genuine concern. I had no idea what time it was or how to tell at this point, being underground and not seeing a clock anywhere.

"Yes, that would be nice." I spoke quickly before I could yawn. Perhaps it was a little late, since I was actually quite tired.

The room the brought me to was rather charming. The same style furniture and decor as in the living area, only simpler. There was a what I would say was a full size bed and a simple dresser, along with a coffee table in the center of the room. It was enough to cheer me up for time being.

"Wow, this is so adorable...this whole place is." I turned to the doorway to face Chase and Dahlia. "You two are great thank you for being so understanding and being so kind to me." I said with a smile. Dahlia nodded and smiled in return.

"No problem. Now try to get some sleep and we'll talk tomorrow, alright?" Chase said. I nodded and waved. He smiled in return. "Goodnight, if you can't sleep don’t worry about waking us up. Especially if you need to talk, alright?"

"Yes, of course. I should be fine though. Thank you" I said. Dahlia waved to me before Chase shut the door and left me to myself. I stood there for a moment and took in my new surroundings, accepting that this would be my new home. This was all of a sudden my new place of solitude, my place to reflect on myself.

This was never going to be the same as the house I grew up in and I suddenly had an unsettling feeling about not being able to return home. I ended up crawling into the bed and hiding under the thick blanket they left for me and crying myself to sleep, hiding almost entirely under the covers.

I just wanted to wake up from this and go home.

 


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