She awoke the next morning, the smell of pancakes and eggs drifting into her nose, the sweet aroma of chocolate chips mixed in there too, garlic and peanut butter as well. A weird mixture, but Dante’s favorite...
Corrin opened her eyes and stared at the wall two meters away. The wonderful aroma of chocolate chip pancakes and peanut butter garlic eggs had disappeared and she felt an arm wrapped around her and suddenly remembered—painfully—of what had happened.
She sobbed and Marc’s arm squeezed tighter around her and she turned around in his arms to face him. She left trails of kisses along his chest and strained to his chin. He leaned down and they kissed passionately for a few moments before the door opening downstairs made Corrin and Marc jump away from each other and fall on opposite sides of the bed—though that was a little hard for Marc for his side was pressed against the wall, but he fell through the crack and pushed the bed towards Corrin.
The mattress came off and fell on top of Corrin. She groaned and struggled from under it, Marc scrambling up from his purgatory between the bed and wall and helping her insert the mattress back into place. When they had finished, Corrin and Marc started downstairs.
Dante was sitting on the couch, his head in his hands and dark flecks on the white carpet underneath him.
“Dante!” Corrin shouted and ran to him, throwing her arms around his neck. He hugged her back but it seemed tense and a little angry.
“What the hell were you thinking, Corrin? Marc?” Dante growled, turning his fierce glance on Marc also. “I come back to an empty room, the window smashed open, blood everywhere, the beds dirty, glass everywhere... Shaylese is missing... You guys are back here for some strange reason—”
“Wait, Shaylese is what?!” Corrin shouted, making Dante flinch. “M-missing?”
“Yeah.” Dante sounded a thousand years older and like a very concerned parent or a detective who had just lost his case. “The officials think she’s jumped out the window, but they have no proof. The blood that had been in the room wasn’t seen going down the corridors nor on the ground below. I know you three were in there together and then you two left for some reason, and quite quick if you ask me, and then Shaylese was gone when I got there.”
“You aren’t blaming Shaylese’s disappearance on us are you, Dante?” Corrin yelled at him, coming out more of a growl than anything else.
“No, but you are witnesses to whatever happened in that dorm room.” Dante hissed, narrowing his eyes at Corrin threateningly. “Nobody knows what could’ve happened. An accident, a murder, or a kidnapping?”
Corrin rolled her eyes. “I can’t tell you what happened in there mostly because you wouldn’t believe it because Shaylese is your girlfriend and...and my best friend...”
Dante raised his chin defiantly and narrowed his eyes even more. “Try me.”
So Corrin told him and Dante’s eyes were disbelieving and wide after she had finished.
“No way!” Dante shouted. “There was no way Shaylese did that to you!”
“Well, she did, Dante!” Corrin’s voice broke and tears streamed down her face. “But I don’t think she was doing it willingly. Her eyes had turned red and she had cried out in pain when she smashed the window. I think she was...was being possessed.”
Dante rolled his eyes and snorted. “Right, Corrin.” Dante growled. “‘Possessed’.” He rolled his eyes again. “You think I’m actually supposed to believe that?”
“Yes, Dante, I do!” Corrin screamed now. “How could you not take this seriously—?”
“Shaylese is missing and you think I’m not taking this seriously?!” he yelled at Corrin, his eyes blazing with anger. “While you and your stupid boyfriend are sitting here fantasizing what probably happened in the stupid dorm room. Marc probably did something himself—”
But Dante was sprawled on the ground in front of Corrin before he could utter another word, Marc standing beside Corrin, holding his reddening fist from the punch he'd delivered to Dante's jaw. Corrin cried out and turned into Marc’s shoulder, hiding her tears.
“Don’t you dare blame us, Dante,” he growled. “You may think it’s natural that you can hear from a mile away, sensing every living thing from here to my house, but it’s not natural, okay?! Shaylese couldn’t hear, nor could Corrin, me or anybody else! You have the ability of ‘emphasized hearing’. And I have the ability of ‘entering others’ minds’. You and I are different from the rest of the world—and maybe Corrin is too.”
“Marc, stop it!” Corrin sobbed, clutching his arm tightly and looking up at him helplessly. “No, you can’t read minds, I can’t tella...whatever, and Dante doesn’t have ‘enhanced hearing’ or whatever. You’ve created a fantasy land of what you would rather have than the real world—”
“Corrin, Doomsday occurred three years before your birth!” Marc rounded on her. “Do you actually think the people that survived remained the same? My father died before I was born. My mother was shot several times by some random dude on the street. But I knew they had ‘abilities’. My mother had the ability of ‘telepath’. My father had the ability of ‘entering others’ minds’ also. My mother told me of him. Corrin, how do you explain this: Right now you are thinking exactly this, ‘He’s wrong, he’s wrong, he’s just got to be wrong. I don’t have powers, nobody has powers’ and yada, yada, yada!”
Corrin stared, awestruck, at Marc, thinking, He can... He really can read minds?
“Yes, Corrin, I can.” Marc murmured, his eyes trailing to his feet. “And—”
But Dante pushed in between Corrin and Marc, continuing towards the door. “Dante!” Corrin yelled, running after her brother. “Dante, don’t go!”
“This is nonsense.” He growled, throwing open the door. Corrin followed, crying out his name and tears streaming down her face. “This is utter nonsense. It all is. I can’t take this anymore. I’ve got to go find Shaylese...”
“Dante!” Corrin screamed, grabbing onto the sleeve of his jacket. He spun around to face her, his eyes wild and angry. “Please...please don’t go! You promised...” she sobbed heavily. “You promised you wouldn’t leave again... Please... I’ll only have Marc if you go... Mommy’s gone... Our goddad’s...” Corrin crumpled at Dante’s feet, where he stood at the driver’s side of the car. She sobbed for what could have been years, ignoring the wound she had just inflicted on herself, blood flowing from her forehead to her nose and to the cemented driveway.
“Corrin...” Dante murmured, but he trailed off and moved away from her, causing her to scream his name again. He opened the driver’s side door and climbed in, rolling down the window and saying to his little sister, “Get up and get inside. It’s gonna rain. Please, Corrin, just...just stay safe and I’ll...I’ll come back. I promise.”
Corrin scrambled out of the car tires’ way and sobbed as her brother disappeared along the road.
She crawled back towards the house, Marc coming out to help her up and onto the couch.
She wiped away her tears angrily as she leaned against Marc. He ran his fingers through her hair, combing out the knots and rubbing her back soothingly as she cried. Corrin thought she’d probably be destined to cry for the rest of her life—it sure did seem like it, with the death of her mother, Shaylese’s family, her godfather, Shaylese now, and...and Dante leaving her...
Suddenly, she was gripping onto Marc’s idea of “abilities” as if it was the last hope, the last thing that’d keep her sane. She gripped it as if it was a cliff side, her fingernails holding her up, and a dark, deep void of nothingness below her.
Corrin jumped to her feet and walked towards the fireplace, turned back to look at Marc, and announced, “I’m going after him.”
“No,” Marc said immediately, probably guessing at what she was planning to do. “No, Corrin, you may not be able to control it.”
“I don’t care,” Corrin half-yelled, but she was tired of fighting with Marc, and sighed heavily. “I-I just want my brother back here—safe and at home where he belongs.”
Marc winced and then sighed. “But you don’t know where he may be...”
“I’ll just wish to be with Dante.” Corrin interrupted. “That’s the least I could do. If you want to come, you may, but... Marc, I don’t want to yell, to fight, to...to have made the kiss in my room the last... I just want this all to be laid out so I can...figure out what’s happening...”
“It’s okay, Corrin.” Marc stood up and walked to Corrin in two strides, taking her face in his hands and saying, “I’ll love you no matter what. Nothing will change that—I promise.”
Corrin just nodded and stretched up to meet his lips. They kissed for what could have been two seconds, two weeks, or even years, but it was too soon when they let each other go. Corrin sobbed, hugged Marc and said, “So are you coming?”
“Work this out with your brother.” Marc murmured, pulling away from Corrin and looking into her hazel eyes. “When you come back with him, I’ll work our problems out too.”
Corrin nodded, sniffed and pictured Dante, but Marc said, “But, please, tell him I’m sorry for slugging him in the jaw.”
Corrin nodded, a little flustered, and concentrated on her brother, yearning to see him, to feel him by her side...
A cold wind sliced through her body and she shivered violently. Corrin opened her eyes and looked around, seeing that she was standing on an abandoned sidewalk, closed stores and shops all around her. It felt weird to be in a different place, to have felt an odd sensation of falling and then being on her feet in a whole other town.
She walked around, wondering if she’d messed something up, but then heard a grunt that sounded familiar, coming from an alleyway ahead. Corrin narrowed her eyes and walked forward, letting her footsteps glide over the ground as to not warn the person of her arrival. Corrin peered around the corner and nearly screamed at what she saw.
A man, about seven feet tall and wearing a long, black trench coat, faced the wall, holding someone against it, a blade pressed to the other being’s throat. Corrin instinctively yelled out, “Dante!” and the figure turned around and stared into Corrin’s eyes. She got a clear view of Dante now, though her eyes were still trained on the large man.
Blood covered all of Dante and his eyes were closed as his head hung. Corrin’s eyes widened with fear and shock. She took a step backwards and then ran, wishing to be elsewhere—anywhere—but she still ran along the abandoned roads. She heard heavy footsteps following her and the horrible scene of the man’s eyes and Dante’s dead body playing over and over again in her head... Those frightening scarlet eyes that Shaylese had shown in the dorm room. The blood...oh, so much blood.
Corrin screamed when a hand slipped around her waist and pulled her backwards towards another alleyway. She fought and screamed, but a large, gloved hand covered her mouth and all she could do was squirm.
“Don’t worry, precious...” the man whispered in her ear, and she shuddered, realizing that his voice did not match his attire nor body. It was a little high, but seemed highly threatening also. Corrin sobbed. “...you won’t die...yet.”