The wind ripped across my face as I rode. Anger overwhelmed me along with something else that I couldn't describe. The motorcycle's wheels spun infinitely as I gave it more gas. I was pushing 80 now but it still wasn't enough. The town's short roads made turning corners loud as I whipped my bike, tires protesting, around each one. Finally clearing the town, I headed for my hideout. The anger was still there, but so was the other feeling. I feel conflicted. Why? What is this? Pulling up to the old clock tower, I let my bike drop and climbed to the top. I perched on the clock's ledge as always, trying to calm myself down. I tried to convince myself that I couldn't feel anything, but the anger was always there. Always.
"Why is this bothering me so much? Get a grip, Ashe," I muttered to myself.
The full moon shone down on me. I felt the glow of the clock's reflective surface behind me as the moon shone upon it. The peaceful night sky with stars twinkling in every direction calmed me somewhat. Even if the whole world goes to hell, I can always count on nights like these to comfort me. But, why? Why do only nights like this one fill me with a peace I've never known before. Do humans feel this way too? I know I used to be human but, I can't remember how I felt--or perhaps, I never noticed this beauty before. It's just one more thing I hate about humans...they never appreciate what they have until it's no longer there.
"Maybe we should just leave him alone for now. He was pretty angry," I suggested as Aaron drove us down a dirt path in the woods.
"I know it seems strange but, just trust me. Ashe wants you around. More than that, he needs you," Aaron responded, his voice tainted with sadness.
"But he has you."
"...Yeah, I guess but it's not enough. It never will be. There's too much dark history between us. Anyway, I'm no good at educating people on anything so, Ashe is the only person who can help you figure out what abilities you have now that you're a Reckoner."
"Really?...What exactly is a Reckoner?"
"That's a question Ashe can answer better as well."
"What makes you think he's actually going to help me?"
"He may seem distant and cold, but he will do the right thing."
"And the right thing is to help me?"
"Whatever you say."
I wasn't convinced, but I was dying to know what was so special about Reckoners that would require that they die and be brought back to life. What do they do? Why me? What is the life of a Reckoner like? Do we have an enemies? What abilities do we get? My mind filled itself with excited questions I was trying to keep from throwing at Aaron. The long drive was excruciating but we finally arrived at a broken-down building. A tall tower stretched out from the building and at the top sat a large clock face. It must have been a few hundred years old. The clock itself was no longer working, the hands were broken and rusted, and the glass was layered in dust. Other than that, there was a certain antique beauty about it that made me curious of how it looked before it fell into disrepair.
"Ashe is in there?" I asked in awe, still admiring the tower.
"Hah, more like up there," Aaron answered, pointing up at the clock face.
"Of course he is."
"Go on up. I'll wait here."
"Wait, what?! I'm not going up there! Remember how he reacted at the house? Besides, this building looks like it's going to collapse."
"If you want answers, Ashe is your solution. He most likely won't come down until the sun rises so it's now or later. Let me tell you though, this is his favorite place in the world to be. If he's going to talk, it'll be here. On another note, you're not even the least bit curious how it looks on the inside?"
"Maybe a little." I sighed. "Alright, I'm going."
Treading carefully, I climbed up to the top of the clock tower. I peered around the machinery looking for Ashe. I found him sitting on the ledge of the clock face. He doesn't seem to know I'm here yet. The way the moon shone onto the clock from the inside illuminated it's rusty features, surrounding them in a solid white glow that mesmerized me. Staring at Ashe, his figure was even more beautiful than the clock. From behind, his shoulder-length black hair hung like wavy silk around his head. His broad, semi-muscular features outlined by the moon were stirred by the breeze that blew through his long sleeve shirt. Ashe stared at the moon, not acknowledging my presence at all. I gathered a sense of longing, of sadness, and of pain as he sat there. The moments ticked by and, if the clock hands worked, that phantom ticking sound it would've made played in my ears.
Ashe sighed. "I guess I should apologize."
I was startled by his voice. So he did know I was here.
"F-For what?" I asked faintly, still taken aback by his sad beauty.
Ashe turned around from his place on the ledge to look at me.
"For getting so worked up. I should've figured Aaron would bring you home. Also, for brushing off your situation. It's not your fault for what happened to you."
"I accept your apology. You make it sound like what happened to me was so bad."
Ashe's wide eyes and gaping mouth gave me something else to admire. What I said probably seems insane to him.
"Just wait. Let me explain....Before my death, I was bored and trapped in a town I wanted to escape. As I was dying, I realized all of this and I also realized that there was something else out there in the world that I never knew about. I guess it was you and your brother, the Reckoner thing, and the guy who killed me. For the first time, I was excited and terrified all at the same time. I've always dreamed about going on an adventure and being a part of something that isn't normal. I've lived a boringly normal life until last night and I guess now you can say that I have a second chance. The town will think I'm dead. I can leave. I can live the life I want. I can--"
"Just shut up! You have no idea what it means to be a Reckoner! You don't know anything! Don't talk about this as if it's some field trip! This is real and it's dangerous! If you think you can walk around carefree for the rest of your immortal life, you're full of shit!"
Ashe's interruption truly scared me. Goosebumps rose on my skin as the sharpness of his voice hung in the air between us. I've never seen anyone this angry before. He might have a point though. I don't even know what a Reckoner is, let alone what his life is like. Still, why is he so hostile towards me? Since he saw me at the house, he's been cold and harsh towards me. Ashe's brown eyes, furious and sharp, bore into me as he waited for me to say something.
The hostility in Ashe vanished and he grinned slyly.
"I know." His face changed again as he grew more serious. "I guess I've got no choice. Fine, I'll help you. I know that's why Aaron brought you all the way out here. Once you can take care of yourself you're on your own. Got it?"
He didn't wait for my reply before he brushed past me. I followed quickly and the three of us headed back to the house.