When I awoke, (at least, I thought I was awake) I was surrounded by darkness. I was sure my eyes were open but I couldn’t see my own nose on the front of my face. So much darkness. I needed light. It wasn’t the darkness that scared me; it was what could be lurking in it that frightened me. And after what I had experienced, I figured I had even more to fear than most other humans.
Suddenly, I was bathed in a sickly orange light. It was a street light. Not a very bright one, but it enough for me to see the figures just a head of me.
I called out, and waited for my eyes to adjust to the dim light. Then the blurred figures became clearer. There were bodies on the floor, two, no three bodies. Just lying there motionless.
Then, out of the darkness, a Lost Soul seemed materialise out of the darkness. Oh god, oh god, please, no. It was that Lost Soul from when I was 5. But that was impossible. Lucifer had killed it. But, as crawled as close as I dared to go, to the bodies lying on the floor, were the lifeless bodies of my parents. There was a young boy’s body lying motionless but breathing, dripping wet from the rain. Leon, but there was a young girl crouching next to him. I realised with horror it was me.
“Get away from here!” I screamed. The younger version of me didn’t move. She just stayed there, crying her eyes out. Leon didn’t stir either. I called out again. Still, no reaction. I realised then that they couldn’t hear me. I looked down at my self and a strangled cry escaped my lips. I stared at the pavement below me through my hands. I stared in horror. I turned my hands over, to look at my palms, but it made no difference, I could see through myself. I looked like a ghost. I was unable to anything to stop the scene in front of me. All I could do was watch.
The people I loved couldn’t see me, couldn’t hear me. I couldn’t do anything to help them. I felt useless. I felt like I did when a Lost Soul first attacked Lucifer after my parent’s death. It was exactly one year after my parents had died, on the anniversary of their death. I was 7. This was while Zen sat in the crook of my arm, just a little stuffed animal. Still and lifeless.
But now Zen was nowhere to be seen. I’d never felt so alone, so useless in all my life.
I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t do anything. I collapsed onto my knees. They couldn’t take my weight anymore. They weren’t strong enough. I wasn’t strong enough. I clasped my hands over my ears and shut my eyes as tight as I could. Trying to shut out what was happening around me. Trying to shut out the sound of the Lost Soul ’s crunching noises as he devoured the carcass of his previous master.
Those teeth. Even with my eyes shut all I could see were those sharp, gleaming dagger like teeth dripping with blood. It was if the images had been burned to the inside of eyelids. And no matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I shut my eyes, I could still see it. Still see those dreadful teeth.
But why? Why me? Why was everything happening to me? What had I done that was so terrible that I had to be trapped inside this nightmare?
No. No. I told myself. Its not you. It’s that damned Lost Soul. Whatever it had done to me, it had sent me into this nightmare world.
I had to get out. Even if I didn’t survive long, I had to at least get out of here. See Leon, Zen and Lucifer one last time. No. I wasn’t going to leave them behind like this. Not without telling them I love them and goodbye, one last time. When I became a Guardian, I made a pledge to myself, promising that I would fight for as long as I could. Or die trying. Big job for a fifteen year old huh? Most teens pledge to eat less chocolate or… get a boyfriend before their best friend or whatever. Well, that’s not the case if you’re a Guardian.
But what was I doing now? Cowering on my knees. No, there was no way that I was going down that easily. I staggered to my feet. Reaching my hands out for the support that wasn’t there. Trying to keep my balance.
I charged forward screaming. My transparent feet making no noise as they made contact with the wet road. I tripped over an uneven slab and tripped. But I didn’t stop, I continued to run forward.
I passed my younger self and younger Leon. It was then that I felt their eyes boring into my back. I didn’t know how, but they seemed suddenly aware that I had been watching the whole time. Did she know who I was? I didn’t know. I didn’t care. I didn’t stop to find out. I passed the bodies of my parents. I still didn’t slow down. I kept charging, like a lion, straight towards to Lost Soul.
But suddenly, a vice like grip got hold of my ankle. I steadied myself and spun round. I was burning with fury. But my eyes widened with terror as I realised what had got a hold of my ankle. I felt the blind fury disappear as quickly as it had sprouted. I felt the blood drain out of my face. I felt as if I had been paralysed, frozen with fear.
The hand had its jaw like grip around my ankle, was the blood stained hand of my mother.
“You,” She said gritting her teeth. “You did this to us! You killed us. You’re a murderer. How could you do this to your own mother?” she screamed, tightening her grip on my ankle. I cried out in pain.
“No, it wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. It was that thing!” I cried in anguish pointing at the Lost Soul that was now staring at us with empty eyes. Yet it made no move towards us. As if the scene in front of him was actually entertaining it. It seemed to fascinate it.
I kicked free of the things grip that was posing as my dead mother. No matter how much she looked or sounded like my mom, it wasn’t her. For all I cared, she was just another Lost Soul in human form.
It hit me then with a shocking force that I couldn’t see their aura. It had been years since I’d seen other people the way other people do. I felt more like a normal human than I’d ever felt before.
“Look, I don’t know who you are but I’m getting out of here. Right now.” I ran from it. Left it lying, screaming and crying on the floor. I continued to run straight at the Lost Soul s body. I just kept running, screaming. My screams drowning out the imposters shrill, high pitched voice.
I hit him with an impossibly hard force. It felt as if I had just run into a brick wall. But strangely, it wasn’t my entire body that ached, or even my skull, it was my left cheek.