Amarian felt so drained… so exhausted. His mother just held him firmly –didn't ask anything, just waited for him. He was barely aware that the two women left and his father was outside as well at that point.
"You want me to take you to the hospital, son? You think you'll be alright?"
He nodded feebly, "Let's… just eat… see how I feel afterwards. I'm just… tired…"
His parents gave each other a look but took him back inside. They order their meal and assured the waitress not to worry about their son. While they were waiting, his eyelids crept towards each other. His mom wiped his face with a wet napkin. He didn’t protest. His eyes would jerk wide open again ~ he wondered why because he wanted to rest within the impending darkness. Yet something, rather some one implored him to stay awake –some more intriguing angle he's never thought of, never tried to really, [wanted him to consider something...] about his future. He faintly wondered who and why he even listened to that voice. Where was it coming from? It didn’t matter –he soon heard another voice and realized it was his father.
"… … … hospital?" concerned threatening tone.
"?! No! No. Just…I'll be fine… food… Oh. Yeah… there it is." He fumbled for a bit but managed to take a few bites of his rice pilaf. Hmm. Was this how the earth tasted? He giggles to himself. Alertness struck him like a bolt of lightning ~color began seeping back onto his epidermis [ha!] and he ate with his usual gusto. It was like nothing happened. His parents gazed at each other, confused,
"Not that I'm not glad you're better, but what just happened?" mom questioned.
He laughs exuberantly, "You're hilarious! What do you mean?"
"You were quite sick. What happened?" his father repeated.
Without guile, "Everything's fine dad. Nothing happened.
They were perplexed ~ he spoke as though he believed what he was saying. It didn’t seem like a cruel joke ~ only that he simply forgot what transpired a short while ago.
Mom pressed, "How are you feeling?"
He stops eating, finally understanding how concerned they were. He puts down his silverware, looks them in the eyes –he hopes in a reassuring way –and says, "I'm fine, really. Stop worrying ~ your food is getting cold." He starts eating again.
Mom narrows eyes suspiciously. Only somewhat jokingly, "Who are you and what have you done with my son?"
The father thought that was a bit odd to ask, so in defense, "Whoa ~if he says he's fine, he's fine." He glances at his son but Amarian was eating again, disregarding them both.
"You can ignore these signs all you want, but I won't. That wasn't… normal."
The father opens his mouth but thought better of it. First of all, she spends more time with him so she would know. Second, he knew, rather should know, better than to question a mother's judgment [especially] if the first condition was true, leading up to the third point: a woman's intuition is rarely wrong. Maybe his son was right that all he needed was sustenance… but he didn’t know what was ailing his son to begin with... he could possibly feel better after eating something but to be instantly 'cured' like that on top of 'forgetting' how sick he was seemed a bit dubious to him now as well. But he wasn’t sure what he could ask that wouldn’t upset his wife or his son.
"What?! Of course I'm your son, mom! Or have you forgotten?" His hazel eyes flashed.
"?! [Where's that light source coming from? Wait, what color are his eyes, again?] Even I know you don't speak like that. Who the hell are you?" His father asked with unhidden alarm.
Expressionless face, monotonous tone, "You know who I am. Your food is getting cold."
Dad looks helplessly at his wife who gazed back at him in distress. What could they do to help him? They had no idea what was wrong with him or how long that went on. His eyes started closing again but they would open suddenly. He seemed very frustrated every time this occurred… like something was keeping him here… so their son must be trapped… 'there'? Where's there?
Soon he finished eating and looked expectantly at his parents who still haven't even touched their meals.
"…Thanks." Dad mumbles an auto response. Slowly their son's face drains of color and he starts breaking out in sweat. His mother goes back to wiping his face with another wet napkin again. The father begins eating because that's all he could do. … He motions for his wife to do the same. His son-not-his-son was just sitting there –still and well mannered. Granted, becoming ill right before their very eyes was most likely a part of that reasoning but still that was uncharacteristic for him. While mom and dad ate, he did indeed wait but was visibly becoming sicker with each passing moment. He was angry he was trapped in this world, this vessel. Both minds were closed to him –the waking mind and the dreaming mind. He could traverse through the subconscious mind but he wouldn’t have a way of leaving. He needed the unconscious mind but Amarian was staying awake ~ wouldn’t keep his eyes closed no matter how ill he was becoming. He was WEAK but something prevented, PREVENTED him from taking over. He never wanted to speak as himself in the physical world but he had no choice since the teen's subconscious mind was the only venue that was available to him. He would have to locate a new vessel soon since this one was questioning him as well –questions so many questions ALWAYS questions!! He was enraged. He vowed revenge on those who dared hindered his progression. Since keeping Amarian ill proved futile, he removed his toxins again.
Amarian's parents were relieved at the return of health but were still concerned [understatement] about his mental state… especially since they did not know what in the world possessed him.
"You haven't answered our question!" The father demanded.
"You had many."
Dad conceded, "Ok, well the most important one: Who are you? What are you doing with our son?"
"Two questions in one are still two questions. Who are you that I should tell my name?"
"[The mother carefully speaks] You're right. You're not important enough for me to know your name. What did he know that you needed?"
"… … …Nothing. He is merely a vessel."
"Then you should leave."
"Your insolence is noted."
"You've done nothing to earn my respect."
"I'm not one to trifle with." The voice was strong, threatening and not Amarian's. She was terrified but kept her face impassive. What kept her going was his anger –he could possibly make a mistake and she would have to take advantage of that. … But there would be no room for error on her part.
"Yet you're not omnipotent."
"…Heh, heh… No, because this physical shell is not powerful either. I cannot do what my minions cannot do."
She nearly reacts, instead responds quietly, "Whatever the case, He's of no use to you now…"
"I do what I desire whenever and however I please."
It was a standoff. The atmosphere at the restaurant was thick and charged. The dad had no inkling what just occurred but he was elated that she handled everything. He would remain silent and ask her later. The only thing he was certain of during that brief exchange was that this dangerous creature was somehow trapped in his son's body and that they would just have to wait ~ it seemed that she had that method of gathering information ~making him answer implied questions not direct questions… it doesn't answer directly because it's a deceiver… Something else became clear to him as well… He remembered that his son reacted strongly at the time he saw the two women. He hadn't made that connection at the time –he hadn't needed to, of course. The one told him with such confidence that the college she attends was perfect for him. What wasn’t evident was whether she cursed him or not…'Don't be silly!' he admonishes himself silently. 'He was unwell before they arrived at the restaurant. She could have simply known about the monster within his son. After all, the other woman looked frightened when she looked in their direction. Terrified. They must have seen the monster. He did faint after that so maybe one of them [the fearless one] did keep the monster trapped in his son.'
Continues thinking, 'That monster did say that Amarian is a vessel so he could most likely use others as vessels…' If so, he was both relieved and upset he'd be trapped in his son for an indefinite amount of time. But for the time being all they could do was deal with the deceiver… staying silent would be the best way to not reveal any weakness. They don’t have to interact with it –only keep watch on it…although they might not even have to do that. It seemed preoccupied and angry [read helpless] enough to stay put on its own. He hoped that whatever or whomever trapped it would release it soon. He just wanted his son back.
Miwa was at what appeared to be the outside of the mansion. She imagined she could physically feel time slipping from her and silently cursed her imagination for being quite keen. She had no clue where she could begin searching for Dark Brown Hair. Well… she had a hunch about the room but not its precise location ~ at any rate she charged ahead and headed towards a staircase.
"Bottom's up!" she thought cheerfully. And why not? If she built her own mansion she'd store all her valuables underground as well...
The voice startled her. It filled her very core with terror. She could feel its pure malice cutting physically through her. But she pushed on. She had to. She hurried down the stairs and down a dark hallway. She was hyper aware of her surroundings ~she had to be ~ she had no flashlight yet the hallway was dimly illumined… by what? Fairies? No electrical wirings down here. Up there somewhat kept with the times but down here was all the trappings of imprisonment… or torture… or both –doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. She thought she heard something. She paused and focused her attention on it. Sounded like crying and feeble pleas for help. She rushed towards the sound and came upon a locked room. The door had a grated bar window –it seemed rusty. Movement. That teenager appeared at the door. He looked like death. She tried kicking the edges of the door [where the 'knob' would be if there was one] it gave a little. Hmmm…
"Stand back! No time for keys, I'll break you free!" She rhymed at him for no other reason than it just seemed appropriate. She visualized its pressure points and kicked at those with all her might. It loosened and finally burst inwards.
"How long were you there?"
"I don't know…"
"That's ok. We have to find someone and leave together."
"Well…if that person is looking for secrets, I know which room to go to… but I don't know that she or he will already be there or not."
"You don't look like you're fit enough to go exploring. Dark Brown Hair will make it there, we'll have to… avoid the woman…"
"?! What woman?"
"I don't know. I just saw her in my dream-nightmare so I assumed she was an underling of Feral Eyes."
"Underling? Feral Eyes…?" He's only heard voices ~ well… maybe he's heard one at least… but the more he tried thinking about it, the more confused he became. He's never before seen anyone or thing but he felt that she wasn't entirely off base.
"LEAVE!" She recoiled but pushed on.
"Tis only a flesh wound ~we have to go!"
"Why is it affecting only you?"
"Am I one too?"
"… …Oh crap! I hope it's just us three I have to worry about!"
He looks at her confused but doesn't press. Instead, he continues to lead her to the room. She kept searching her surroundings, for what, [Amarian] he didn't know. But they make it to the room. He leans against the wall, exhausted.
"Y-yeah… just drained. I don't hear anything –is it still talking to you?"
"Thankfully no, but… I don't know anything about this… body less voice…"
She inspects the room. He tries to think again about when, if he's ever, heard a voice but couldn't remember… he thought it was weird when he became obsessed with wanting to [re]obtain the mansion and… there must have been a 'voice' then, right? But he hadn't heard anything other than his own thoughts… his own, but it wasn't really his…
He was startled by a crashing noise –she was collapsed on the floor. He panicked and tried gently shaking her awake. She grimaced.
"I'm… ok… keep an eye on the door… please…"
He nods and helps her to a chair and then takes sentry position by the door.