Beyond DarknessMature

            Time

            …Passes by like sands trickling down in an hourglass.

            It arrives and goes, and with it comes the key to change one’s life.

            A calling that no one could hesitate…

            Whatever that is, only Time can tell.

            And Time, for the knowledge of many generations, had always been right for that matter.

 

 

“Hey, Dylan do you believe in ghosts?”

Attempting to peacefully walk out of the classroom after their teacher had announced the time for lunch break, Dylan Ashton immediately stopped on his tracks. A puzzled look crossed his usual impassive face as he turned to face his companion and classmate, Carlos Giles.

            “Um, why are you suddenly asking?” he asked, a bit surprised at the sudden question. Slowly, they progressed on their walk, reaching the hallway where a plenty of their classmates had already gone out towards the cafeteria, the hubbub had filled in the previous silence that reigned the pristine white walls of the vicinity during class hours.

            “Just tell me. Do you?” asked his companion, his eyes had the unusual zest at the discussion imposed upon him. Passing along the crowded hall and the bright scenery of the elm trees dressed in the summer season that surrounded the academy which showed through the glass windows, Dylan slowly turned to his front, his eyes had the usual dull look on them whilst his mind drifted into the discussion.

            “No, I don’t believe in them,” he said in a plain voice with compressed lips whilst his hand traveled into his pants’ pocket, gripping a silver necklace kept within.

            “Hmm…” sighed Carlos, his eyes turned to his walk way, a look of dismay was painted upon his countenance. “As I thought, it seems everyone here doesn’t believe them,” he said in a low-spirited voice however, his eyes seemed to show otherwise as he quickly turned to him.

            “But of course, this place won’t disappoint me as a lot of spectral sightings had been reported to have occurred here!” Carlos exclaimed, his seemingly extinguished spirit had recovered and hope glimmered in his eyes.

Sensing that he would be forced to divulge in such a strange and troublesome activity of his companion, Dylan immediately walked ahead of him, not bothering to stop until Carlos was out of his monologue.

            “Hey! Dylan! Wait up! You gotta listen to what I have to say for this is such an important matter!” Carlos urged on, noticing that Dylan was no longer beside him. Walking after him with exertion however, the dark haired boy was already away from his reach as the crowd of students made it hard for him to call out for Dylan.

           

***

             The light compared to earlier grew into a mellow shade, the warmth ceased to cold and the previous noise that echoed through the walls of the St. Andrew Academy subsided, a hollow silence of the peaceful afternoon altered the atmosphere. People would have thought it sound to conclude that no one should be out and about the aisle as the class hours progressed however, soft and cautious whispers echoed through the vicinity, followed by footsteps which could be heard reverberating along the hall.

            Outside through the tall, narrow glass window, the sky was drawn with a faint honey hue combined with the gentle stroke of blue, undaunted as it traversed to unknown realms. It cast its wispy light upon the earth and unto the dark wooden floor boards, throwing long shadows that moved about. These shadows formed into three distinct silhouettes which seemed to gait however, in such a calm and wary manner, careful not to stir unwonted attention to whatever activity they were engaged to.

            “Mike, shouldn’t we be in our rooms? Class is almost starting!” hissed a shorter boy whose hair seemed to sparkle in the shade of scarlet; an anxious look crossed on his mousy-colored eyes.

            “Don’t be such a chicken, Dave! This is the perfect time for us to go to the boy’s apartments and seek some information regarding the mysterious incident that transpired there. Remember the goals of our Mystery Club. We can’t go back with tails between our legs! We need context! Information!” answered the taller boy with a burgundy hair, sharper nose and astute deep blue eyes, quite the complete opposite of the former.

            “But Mike, we will miss our class. If Sir Clark finds out that we’ve been snooping around gleaning information instead of opening our books and listening to the boring History lecture, he’ll give us God-knows-what-penalties. And that we’ll be our downfall,” told the jet-black haired boy who walked with a carefree gait, unlike the other two who seemed adamant to their current activity.

            At his words, Mike produced a knowing smile as he stood faced to faced with their third member, and clicking his tongue, slowly put his hand over his shoulder.

            “Now, Edmund, you worry too much. I already had Oliver carried out a task regarding about our absences. Sir Clark won’t worry about us anymore, trust me,” he had said before turning around, slowly making his way around to a corner, walking on tiptoes towards the West Wing and followed suit by his two companions, who only turned to each other, quite puzzled as to what he had said.

            It had not been long before they had finally reached their destination.

             Three shadows stretched towards the dim-lit hall, a place they had arrived to whence they came around the curve. Sounds of movement halted and the shadows had stood still as if time froze them. The three held their breath, their eyes fixed to the darker scenery that laid before them, their minds became uncertain to the next procedure that they were about to do.

              “Um…” gulped Dave, his eyes flickered with anxiety at the thought of going to such a shady place. “I think we should go back to class now.”

            Mike quickly turned to him and the previous anxiety had vanished, overtaken by the fiery look that indicated he had not relinquished to his goals.

            “I have high hopes for this day,” he said in a deep voice and smiled at him. “Now, go forth, Dave since you have been such a brave fellow of the Mystery Club,” he suddenly said, pushing the shorter boy towards the darkened West Wing.

            “What – hey! Why me!?” Dave asked, round-eyed and terror-stricken after hearing his words.

            “Well, because you’re the adventurous one compared to us,” Mike said, wearing a serious look upon his visage of which only made Dave trembled with fear.

            “How come then it’s me and not Edmund? Isn’t he adventurous as I am?!” cried he, turning towards the taller boy who did not even turn to meet his gaze.

            “No more questions, Dave. Now, don’t protest anymore and just do what is told of you to do,” answered Mike, crossing his arms over his chest.

            “But Mike – “ his words were cut short when the leader of the group pushed him forward. Panic crossed his face as his feet stepped into the shadows of the West Wing, quickly turning to his companions. “I am not going in there! I-I’m scared!”

            “Dave, don’t worry, we’ll walk right behind you, okay?” assured Mike, who elbowed Edmund’s rib cage, clearly asking for support. Seeing the askance look and gesture showed by the other, Edmund turned to Dave.

            “Yes,” Edmund only said and then yawned, not a bit affected by the fear drawn upon Dave’s face.

            “See? Now, move along Dave before our time runs out!” he hissed, pushing the shorter boy forward who seemed to shrink as he moved further into the darkness.

            Dragging his feet as he moved forward, Dave could only turn back to his companions who only encouraged him to delve deeper into the notorious West Wing, not a bit anxious as to what might transpire to him. Reluctantly, he walked whilst his whole body shivered, his skin prickled at the strange cold sensation that crawled onto him.

            “I can’t do this!” he cried, quickly turning back to them and saw that they had not moved an inch from their position.

            “What are you saying?! We’re just behind you so move along!” cried Mike with indignation in his voice, waving his hands as he urged him to continue on his steps, attempting to follow suit whilst he grabbed Edmund’s arm, pulling him to come after him.

            Seeing how his companions had obviously put the heavy burden upon his stiffening shoulders, he turned around, his lips quivering as he took a step forward, his skin crawled against the biting cold which the place offered to him.

 

***

            “Well, this is it! We’ll now find out the truth of the West Wing!” cried Carlos, eyes sparkling with great interest at the prospect of his investigation.

            The dark haired Dylan inwardly groaned, seeing no escape at the current dilemma he was engaged to. Quietly he walked behind Carlos, the latter seemed engrossed to his own thoughts whilst moving along the dark hall of the West Wing that was devoid of any life as a deathly silence hung around the atmosphere, thick with the veil of darkness despite the golden rays of sun illuminating through the tall, narrow glass windows.

            Without any thoughts of the present matter, he only followed Carlos, not showing any signs of reluctance as he knew that it would be quite hard for him to persuade the other to desert his aspirations.

All he knew at the time being was that, he had been trapped and fooled to believe that he would walked with him to his room, only to find out that they were headed to a different direction.

            “Carlos, we’ll be late for our History class,” he said, hoping to alter Carlos’ mind.

            “Just hang on. I promise that we shall be back after ten minutes – no, fifteen minutes!” he said, not turning around to see him sighed out of hopelessness at their foolish errand.

            In silence Carlos walked on tiptoes, ever cautious as to not disturb anyone who might be present in the infamous place though he knew that it would be impossible as a lot of people always avoided coming here. On the other hand, Dylan seemed to trudge through mud as he walked with heavy footsteps, causing the floorboards to loudly creak beneath his rubber shoes which made Carlos cringed and jumped in surprised, immediately stopping on his tracks and quietly scolding him.

            “Sorry,” Dylan only said, walking now with lighter steps. Carlos then resumed on his walk, immediately he seemed to twitch and then stopped once more, almost colliding with Dylan however, the latter was quick to his feet, avoiding the sudden coalition.

            “What is it?” wondered Dylan, looking at his companion with a frown upon his usual impassive face.

            “It’s the room!” hissed Carlos between gritted teeth, not even turning to face him as his eyes were glued to the dark, wooden door. With that said, Dylan pulled his brows together, not fully comprehending the meaning of his words. Sensing the silence of his companion, Carlos quickly turned to him and with rounded eyes, whispered to him though with fervor.

            “The room of the student who died without any traces of evidence!” cried his friend.

“And it is clearly the work of the supernatural. Now, come Dylan! Let us see and investigate the mystery hidden behind the student’s death!” and without waiting for Dylan’s response quickly made his way towards the door.

            The dark haired boy stood transfixed on his place, his mind had gone astray upon Carlos’ words. It seemed he had not anticipated the gravity of his words, unaware of the degree the story contained. For a while he did not move, quietly pondering as questions slowly filled him with curiosity.

            “Dylan!”

            Pulled out of his pensive mood, Dylan immediately turned towards his companion whose face was drawn with excitement.

            “Let’s go! Let’s get inside the room!” he said, waving his hand for him to come to him.

            “What? Are you serious?” Dylan asked, clearly taken a back upon his words.

            “Of course I am! Come now! Aren’t you curious to see what’s inside?” convinced Carlos, still waving his hand.

            “But Carlos, we’ll trespass somebody’s room. It’s violating the school’s policy – “

            “What are you saying?!” hissed Carlos, his face now looked hard. “Nobody we’ll know about it and it’s not like there are people who would come and monitor this place!” urged his companion who by then had advanced towards him and without prior noticed, grabbed his arm and pulled him to follow after him.

            “We’ll come inside together. We shall know the depths of the mystery after we get inside and see what it holds,” said Carlos with zest, briskly walking towards the door.

            A prickling cold suddenly invaded Dylan’s body as they neared the door and a strange feeling came into him. The loud sound of his heart seemed to reverberate within his head as he walked with Carlos whilst his muscles tensed for unknown reasons.

            “This is it,” said Carlos, his hand slowly reaching the door knob of the notorious room.

            Hearing the excitement in Carlos’ voice, Dylan quietly watched him, unsure of what might happen. An unexplainable sensation was creeping on his skin and as he regarded Carlos’ wisdom of invading such a place, his judgment however thought otherwise.

            “Let’s open this now,” Carlos said, his hand now touched the knob, attempting to twist it open.

            Seeing Carlos gripped and turned the knob, Dylan could not deny the fear clutching his heart, his mind, in response to such a strong emotion seemed to shout for him to leave the place.

           

“At last, we can finally – “ attempting to push the door, Carlos was suddenly seized with cold and was about to shout when a hand suddenly grasped his grip at the door knob, causing his companion to gasped in surprise.

“What the –!“ however, Carlos’ words were cut short.

              Quickly, they turned towards the person, round-eyed and tongue-tied.

 

            “Shhh…” a girl with long, straight black hair wearing a knee-length peach dress stood beside Carlos, a finger upon her lips.

            “Be quiet,” she softly spoke in a sweet, whispery voice. A pair of gentle golden eyes turned towards them that seemed to softly throb against the mellow afternoon light; the rays heightened her long and prominent nose, thin peach-colored lips and her oval-shaped visage.

            “You two shouldn’t have wandered here,” she said, seeing how their faces softened however, their eyes glimmered with curiosity at the sight of her. Slowly, she released her grip and stepped backward, her hair seemed to dance as she moved.

            “W-Who are you? A-And why are you here?” asked Carlos, not able to contain his curiosity despite the shock he acquired from the sudden interruption.

            The girl only stood before them, returning a glassy look to his puzzled gaze.

            “I am nobody and I just wandered here,” she said and then slowly turned to his other companion.

“You shouldn’t have come to this place. This is not for people who are simply curious,” she said.

            “What? Nobody? And why is a girl like you doing here in an all-boys school?” inquired Carlos, narrowing his eyes to slits and to her, and whose thirst for discovery had not quenched a bit.

            However, the girl with the honey-colored eyes produced a shadowy smile upon her lips and then answered in a sweet though cold voice.

 

            “Who knows?”

            She said and seeing her ghostly smile made Dylan shuddered whilst Carlos, for an unknown reason, felt suddenly cold.

 

***

 

            Patiently waiting for almost thirty minutes, Mike who’s grown weary of standing on the hallway quickly turned to Edmund. It had been so long since they’ve seen Dave gone towards the West Wing, trembling and shaking his head with intense fear as he walked into the darkness then was out of their sight. Notwithstanding the impatience gnawing Mike’s usual cool façade, he stomped his foot then clicked his tongue.

            “That chicken! What’s taking him so long?” irritatingly asked Mike whose countenance had constantly twitched at the trickling minutes.

            Edmund, who seemed not to mind the situation he’s into, sighed and crossing his arms had turned to him.

            “Maybe he already went back to the classroom?” wondered Edmund in a tired voice.

            Upon hearing his words, Mike quickly turned to him, round-eyed and mouth gaping, his eyes slowly narrowed, and then biting on his thumb turned back to him.

            “How is that possible? Isn’t this the only way back to our room?” he asked, looking at him with an askance expression upon his face.

            “Nope, remember that the hallways of this building are looped? It is not possible for him to walk towards the South Wing then head back to our classroom,” explained Edmund in a matter-of-fact voice.

            “Damn it!” exclaimed Mike, biting his bottom lip as he turned towards the unusual dark West Wing. “And how come it’s so dark there when it’s just the afternoon?” wondered Mike whose brows furrowed deeper, cheeks twitching whilst his eyes squinted through the darkness, trying to see into the dark.

            Edmund only turned around, a dull look upon his face as he allowed his companion to make up his mind.  

            “Oh! Look someone’s coming! Perhaps that’s Dave!” called out Mike, whose eyes turned round, a bright smile now plastered upon his face but then slowly vanished as the moving silhouette took a clear form. Hearing his friend, Edmund turned around to confirm Dave’s return and only to be surprised by the presence of their classmates, Carlos and Dylan. Seeing them standing on the hall, Carlos’ face lit up.

            “Mike! Edmund! What are you two doing out here? Aren’t you supposed to be in the class listening to Sir Clark’s monotonous lecture?” asked Carlos.

            “We should be the one asking that!” defended Mike, raising his voice which surprised the other three. “Since I am the class representative and Edmund is the secretary of the student council, we are allowed to monitor the halls especially during class hours,” covered up Mike, turning towards Carlos with a raised brow. “Don’t tell me you’re snooping around again trying to uncover some crappy mysteries?”

            Hearing Mike’s words, Carlos couldn’t help but frown, unable to answer right away whilst Dylan could only sigh while still keeping an impassive face. Edmund, on the other hand, couldn’t help but to snicker, a playful smile lingered upon his lips at the irony of his companion’s words.

            “Hmph. What a sneaky bastard, you shouldn’t be doing that during class hours,” added Mike in a sharp tongue and Carlos quietly turned his head down, not meeting his accusing gaze. “Now go back to class before I changed my mind and report you to Sir Clark!”

            With that said, Carlos walked with down cast eyes towards the classroom followed by Dylan who still remained quiet.

 

            “By the way, Dylan,” Edmund suddenly called out on which the former stopped and then turned to him with an askance look.

            “Lawrence wants to talk to you after classes. Please go to the council room and meet him there,” he said. Dylan only nodded then turned around and continued on his walk.

           

            “Isn’t he Lawrence’s cousin?” asked Mike, following the aforementioned person’s back who was walking away from them.

            “He is,” answered Edmund.

            “Lucky for him. He’s related to the most influential person in this school,” sighed Mike and then turned back towards the West Wing.

“The hell is wrong with Dave,” he added, still clearly waiting for their other companion.

              “Perhaps he had already returned to class. We must go as well, Mike. We can’t wait for him here forever,” Edmund said, twirling his eyes.

            “You’re right. Let’s just go,” finally agreed Mike and then turned his back towards the West Wing. With shoulders sagged down, Mike walked back to their classroom followed suit by Edmund who finally heaved a sigh of relief.

           

             “Help!”

           

            Just as they were leaving, Mike suddenly stopped and with a frown upon his face, turned around one more time.

            Seeing his companion stopped, Edmund also halted and then turned to face him.

            “What’s wrong?” wondered Edmund whose expression had not changed a bit.

            “Did you hear that?” asked Mike who turned to him with a puzzled expression.

            Edmund furrowed his brows upon his question. “Heard what?”

            Seeing his face, Mike could only shrug his shoulders and then continued walking.

            “Nah, it might be my imagination. I thought I heard Dave’s voice just now,” he said with a carefree look on his face.

            Hearing his words, Edmund turned to him with a raised brow.

            “It’s just the wind, Mike,” he said with a smirk.

            “Yeah. It could be,” he said.

            With relief drawn upon their faces, they walked back towards their classroom.

To be continued…

 

The End

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