Chapter SixMature

I was suddenly awake. I could hear voices. Shouting voices. They were too loud. There was so much noise.

I sat up, too swiftly. My head started spinning. I shuffled backwards hastily. I didn’t know where I was. Where was that imposter? The Lost Soul s? Calm down, you must have made it out. You’re with the people you know now, don’t worry. I sighed with reliefand relaxed. I felt as if my body was a coil wound up incredibly tightly, and I was finally uncoiling.

“How else was I going to wake her up?” I didn’t recognise the voice at first, but then I realised it was Kane. Ugh. Why was he here? Oh, right. We needed him. No matter how much I hated him. We needed him as a guide to stop the Lord of the Dead.

“I don’t know, but when I asked for help I didn’t mean for you to slap her. But, at least not that hard.” Lucifer shouted. I couldn’t see him, or Kane, or Leon. They were just distorted coloured blurs. And squinting just made it worse.

“Well I’m sorry for trying.” Kane Retorted angrily. “She shouldn’t have been so weak as to have succumbed to the Lost Soul s venom.”

“Shut up.” I mumbled under my breath as I placed my hand gently on my stinging cheek.

“Skylah!” Lucifer cried. “Leon, bring some water with you, and a doctor! How are you feeling?”  Asked Lucifer.

“Like crud” I replied. My vision started to clear then, Lucifer was sitting on the side of the bed I was lying on. His face full of fear.

There was a beeping noise to my right. The bright lights hurt my eyes. I squinted and turned my head towards the noise, shielding my eyes.

Then I realised where I was when I saw the screen monitoring my heart rate. The hospital. I hated these places. They always crept me out. They were too clean and sterile. And they stank of drugs and disinfectants.

Kane slumped back into his stool in the corner with his head down. He looked like he was brooding over something. Probably his next insult towards me. There was still no sign of Leon. Or Zen, for that matter. I looked down at my arms. I’d gotten so used to seeing to seeing Zen nestled down in them while I was in bed. They seemed empty now. I had a drip going into my right arm. I looked away immediately. Lost Soul s I could handle. Spiders, I could handle too. To a certain extent. Needles going into the skin, even somebody else’s, I couldn’t watch. Or look at.

“We were so worried Skylah! Leon found you collapsed on the floor out back at the hotel so I panicked and got you straight to the hospital.” Lucifer explained “Whatever that Lost Soul  had done to you it was really serious. You’ve been out for two days.”

“Two days?” I cried just as Leon came rushing in with a young male doctor trailing behind him. 

He went straight to the monitor and started taking notes. Then he turned his attention to me. I shifted my weight to try and make myself comfortable and winced. My cheek stung and I had one hell of a head ache starting to nest in my skull.

It struck me then that my hair had been swept out of my face, revealing the scar. I went to shift my fringe back into place to cover the side of my face that bore the ugly scar, but Lucifer held my hand in place on the bed. I shot him a questioning look. But he returned a stern glare; you didn’t mess with Lucifer when he had that look. Not even Kane.

“Hello, I’m Doctor John Hess. How are you feeling?” asked the doctor, his pen hovering over his clipboard. He was short, but slim. With short combed brown hair and sharp defined features. .

“Sore.” I replied.

“Anywhere in particular?” Dr. Hess pursued.

“Not really,” I relied “except for my head.” I gestured towards my skull.

“Ok, then, let me have a look.” He placed his clipboard down gently on the set of draws next to my bed.

He spent the next ten minutes looking at my head, taking blood samples and checking the rest of my body over making sure there was nothing too serious wrong with me. The nurse walked in after about fifteen minutes while the doctor was taking notes on my condition. She handed him an X-ray of somebody’s brain. It just looked like a load of gray blobs to me. I hoped he could make more sense of it than I could. 

She whispered something to Dr. Hess and his expression turned dark. “I’m sorry, but another patient needs me.” he exchanged his dark expression for a warm smile. “I shouldn’t worry too much, you should be fine. I’ll come back later to check on you’re condition.” He left the room briskly with the nurse tailing behind him like a little lost puppy.

I looked down the bed to where my feet were. I wriggled the foot where the imposter had gotten a hold on my ankle. It was fine. No pain. Well, duh. I told you…me…whatever, it was just a dream didn’t i? I argued to myself. I smiled to myself absent minded.

Happy to be back in the real world.

“Are you alright?” asked Leon with a smirk. “What you thinking ‘bout with that smile?”

“None of your business!” I replied crossing my arms and pouting at him. I looked around to see if anyone was listening in “I’ll tell you when I get out of here.” I reached over to the table that was mounted on my bed and sipped at my water.

“Where’s Zen?” I asked, moving the cup in circular motions and watching the ripples in the water they made when I did.  

“He ran away.” Replied Kane with a smug grin.

“Ha, ha, you’re so funny.” I replied with only a hint of sarcasm in my voice.

“No, really, he’s gone. He just up and left after you went to sleep,” He said chuckling to himself. “Took his little suitcase and everything.”

“Then who’s that I can hear growling. Is that your stomach?”

Kane grumbled and slouched back in his chair. “Can’t get past you, can I Sherlock?”

It was then that I noticed the Lucifer had an extra suitcase placed in between my own and Leon’s. I heard scraping coming from inside it.

I frowned and closed my eyes. “Please don’t tell me he’s in there.”

“Where else were we going to put him? I doubt the doctors would let a…” I frowned at Leon not understanding why. He gestured behind me. I swivelled my head round to look at what had silenced Leon (it took a lot to stop him midsentence).

“I’m sorry about that. There was a problem with another patient.” Replied doctor Hess with a forced smile. But his eyes kept the same grave look.

“Oh?” pushed Lucifer.

“Sorry, but I am under the Hippocratic Oath, I am afraid…”

“Yeah,” I cut in “sorry to interrupt but I’ve studied history. I know about Hippocrates, and doctor patient confidentiality.” I replied. It was thanks to Lucifer that I have my education. Sure I don’t have any proper GCSE’s but, hey, who needs them when the only job I have, the only job I can ever have is as a Guardian. I doubt I’ll be going to any job interviews in my lifetime. Any way, Lucifer was a great teacher.

Lucifer put a hand on mine. “C’mon Lucifer, you of all people should know that.” I said looking at him, grinning playfully. 

Crying could be heard from outside. It seemed amplified because Dr. Hess had left the door open, so the sounds could slip in easily.

“No!” cried the agonized voice. “No, it’s still out there, my brother morphed into a monster. No, don’t, we’ll die, we’ll all die! You must listen to me!”

“I’m sorry I have to take care of this.” called the doctor over his shoulder as he ran out of the door. Several nurses followed him down the hall.

I looked at Lucifer in alarm. It must be a Lost Soul . He frowned back at me.

“This is getting out of hand. There are more and more Lost Soul s appearing. And that means that the veil between the world of the living and the realm of the dead is getting weaker day by day.” Leon explained frantically.

“But, I can’t leave here until I’m discharged.” I cried anxiously. “What’d you tell them anyway? About the you know what bite.” I said jabbing towards my neck.

“I told them you were in the forest when a snake that must have escaped from the zoo took a bite out of your neck.” Replied Lucifer

“And the snake?” I pushed.

“Is back in the zoo, where he belongs.” Leon cut in.

“You actually got a snake from the zoo? You’ve got to be kidding me- but – the venom from the Lost Soul … don’t tell me there’s a snake with similar venom. And your snake-napped it from the zoo.”

“Remember my friend the biologist?”

“Steve?”

“Yes, that’s the one. Well, he had a particular…interest…I guess you could say in snakes. And, well, he let me see few of his samples. And one in particular produced similar symptoms to what you were suffering with. So they’ve taken some blood samples.”

“So, when can I get out of here? You know I love these places.” I asked sarcastically.

“As soon as possible, but they might want to keep you here over night.”

I groaned in response and fell back against the oversized pillow.

The End

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