Dr. Muzro had no notion of where to even begin, but his feet took him through the lobby. He marveled how impressive this mansion inn whatever would have been were it not abandoned ~ it was still pretty amazing… just sheltering some new inhabitants. He didn’t suppose he would see deer gallivanting around but he'd keep his eyes peeled and camera ready [he didn’t really have a camera].
'This is ridiculous. I need a working phone, not an adventure. I'm too old (well… not really) for this shit.' He mumbled aloud to calm his nerves.
He walked about aimlessly for a bit but if there were supposed to be answers for him here he needed to be more purposeful. He stood still –he just realized he heard something but had no idea what it was. There wasn’t anyone or anything in his immediate surroundings. He concentrated harder but… nothing. It felt colder to him but that feeling passed. …Was something [someone] else present in the room with him? Anxiously he surveys the area but sees nothing. So he continues… but… he paused again because he hears it. Clearly now. Despite the protestations of his rational mind his feet begins carrying him towards the direction of the sound. He drifted down a hallway and was heading towards a staircase when he heard what could have been a familiar voice. He hadn't decided how familiar it was though, just in case he was mistaken.
"What are you doing here?"
Turns around to look, "Zoiyah…?!"
Was taken aback, "How'd you know my name?!"
"It was on your name tag…"
"I was at the gas station."
"What gas station? I don't work at a gas station."
"…But I saw you there, that's the only reason I know your name."
"I work here…"
"Here?! What's here?!"
"This illustrious inn. I'll admit, it hasn't had guests recently because of the stagnant economy ~ but one can easily put their mind at ease here ~ forget about the troubles of the outside world and just relax for as long as they desire."
"Why are you trying to promote the inn to me?! I'm not staying here."
"…But you must! No one who has ever vacationed here has left… unsatisfied…"
"I'll be the first."
"Why else would you have come here?" her face remains expressionless rather [unreadable]
"Because I'm lost [he almost said stranded but he felt that would only strengthen her case]. All I need is a phone."
"A phone…? Currently all our power is out, please wait until we resolve the issue."
He wanted to yell at her –they wouldn’t be fixing the problem, this building is abandoned! Instead he sighs and turns away from her. He gets the feeling in order to move on he'd have to ditch her.
Why doesn’t the gas station exist? Come to think of it, what era was she from? Maybe the gas station wasn't supposed to exist. But if not how did she work there in the first place? Does time converge here? How was he also able to see the gas station in its three forms [in business, not existing, disrepair]? And does this hold true for the restaurant as well? But why isn't he seeing the restaurant owners now? He must admit he only thought of the last part because he was hungry [again]. Refocusing on the woman, how would he get past her though, he wondered.
He looked around to see if anything could occupy her attention. Disappointed he didn’t see anything, he tried thinking of what he could say or do to rid himself of her but she began making grand sweeps with her arms.
"There are intruders here. I must eradicate them." He was startled –how did she know that? Intruders other than himself? He decided to follow her even though only seconds ago he was attempting to lose her. ...But she was gone as suddenly as she appeared.
"What the hell? I didn’t see her leave ~ I was looking RIGHT AT HER!!" He shakes his head and settles on taking that as a good sign ~and heads up the stairs.
This hallway was… different… he realized that he could see because the hallway was dimly lit… no electricity… generator? …were they ahead of their time with solar powered panels? …no… it, well… he didn’t know and as much as he wanted to marvel and solve that mystery, he also wanted to leave. He felt chills again ~it grew stronger as he approached a room that could have once been an office… study… personal mini library… room that most likely housed key secrets. The chill dissipated. It was the only way he could think to describe it. But he didn’t wonder about it for very long since it was no longer there, [so] it wasn’t really a threat. He set to work exploring the room.
Everything in twos ~ two to save, two threats to stave…off right, stave off more so than stave… since she was the only one who could hear the voice and since she felt that she needed to lure the woman away from Dark Brown Hair, she used herself as bait and left the teen in the room. She wasn’t sure she could trust him… but at the same time… she couldn’t risk him wittingly or unwittingly leading her to them. He was in no condition to do what she needed to do… neither was she, but her only advantage at that point was knowledge. In her dream Feral Eyes never made it to them… except… the third dream she couldn’t recall, left her feeling uneasy [understatement] about the outcome… What really troubled her was the key difference: the teenager. He was nowhere in her premonition so she was taking a huge risk entrusting him to Dark Brown Hair. The teenager will know what his enemies look like because what he knows Feral Eyes knows also… She hoped she wouldn’t regret her decision but whatever the outcome she also knew she'd have to pay for it… in a big way. She had questioned him about the exact moment he could remember [preferably both] one: when he realized an idea may have been his but not the desire to see it to fruition [or when that desire became an obsession] and/or two: when he had blackouts or any out of body experiences. What was his state of mind then? She needed to figure out if Feral Eyes was a 'mind reader'. When ideas aligned or if he chose certain people to plant ideas in. Then she had to determine if he indeed controlled a person or only those who are 'suggestible' if he can use a 'suggestible' then he could quite possibly know their conscious and unconscious minds but what about the subconscious? How much could Feral Eyes do? If the teenager could somehow push this experience to his subconscious mind…? What if Feral Eyes had access to the subconscious but you having forgotten would actually have handicapped yourself… …She firmly decided Feral Eyes was NOT that powerful. She took a huge enough risk with leaving that teenager behind! [*Fix this block of nonsense later].
On her way in search of the woman, she heard a scream. 'Oh no! Anahita!
She ran as quickly as she could. ~Some unimportant detail here~ She arrived at the room and witnessed Anahita trying to find things to throw at the woman.
"Anahita! What are you doing here?"
"I was trying to find you! You were bleeding and I thought you were going to die!"
"[Oh…] Let's leave together!"
"This is not real. What is reality? Hold onto 'that' and WAKE UP."
The harpy screeched at them, "I will kill you both! Trespassing is not allowed. Violators WILL be prosecuted!"
"Wait ~ seriously? That's not something I want to hear before dying. (Ha ~ she sounds like a sign…or maybe… some programmed…thing...)." Miwa [amusingly] shakes her head as she disappears."
They wake up in Anahita's car.
"That guy! We have to save him from that… That! …Miwa?!"
"…I'm… ok… You can drive us there, right?"
She nods. "Are you sure…? You're not in any condition to do anything."
"I just… need to rest a little…" She didn’t realize how much of a toil it took on her… but she was doing three things at once. She was afraid if she slept she wouldn’t wake up… but… sleeping. Her body needed it.
"Wait… how did you…?"
"I don't know. Honestly, at first I was envious how easily and quickly you fell asleep… but as I watched you, I realized you were in pain… And you bled Oh. my. gawd. So much blood. I forced myself to meditate so I could find you… because I couldn’t sleep. Something prevented me from falling asleep."
"Ah… I'm sorry. I didn’t want you to follow me, but I didn’t realize I…"
"No, something with sinister intentions prevented me. But, I meditated; I concentrated on finding you."
Miwa was very proud of her friend! Hmmm… Feral Eyes –what manner of demon is he? [If he was indeed the one… but she somehow doubted it. If it was someone (thing) else then that's an extra threat she'd have to add to her list…]. She shuddered. She'd rather deal with his minions. All she could do now was concentrate on building her strength while Anahita drove. Before being able to focus, Miwa had two final worries: 'Anahita must be exhausted [and]; I wonder how much has changed because of this variable…'
'This variable' dutifully watched the door for Dark Brown Hair. He promised her as soon as Dark Brown Hair stepped in, he would return to his parents. She didn’t want him to see Dark Brown Hair. She already knew it was too late for herself yet still refused to know his name or give her own. She seemed very knowledgeable in these matters so he trusted her judgment. But maybe, if he were being honest with himself, he might have maybe could have a crush on her… he still couldn’t admit that, but he wasn't going to deny it… more importantly she told him how to escape.
He was curious about the room –he knew he could find the blueprint to the inn as well as all other important documents. But… he also knew that wasn’t an innocent curiosity he held but also the will of something else. He was scared –he didn’t realize, didn’t know the lengths he would go through to obtain said documents ~ he did think no matter what ~ but he wondered was that really himself who thought that? He felt sick to his stomach [on top of already being ill] that he'd follow through. But armed with that knowledge now, he felt his willpower strengthening ~ he would make the conscious decision and effort to NOT reclaim the inn.
Soon enough Dark Brown Hair's foot set its presence into the room ~ he thought, "I'm not here. My parents miss me back at that tacky named cozy restaurant."
Feral Eyes felt Amarian returning. So he furiously took his leave. He'd deal with those nuisances later. Now, he had to return to the inn. Amarian was no longer sick –he opened his eyes and started sobbing. He was stressed. He was relieved. He was afraid. He was jubilant. His mom fiercely embraced him. He was glad they were nowhere important and NO ONE saw this embarrassing moment. He laughed in his mind, he thought, but apparently it escaped his lips into real life.
"We were so scared, son. Welcome back." Dad hugged him too. He cried harder, but finally managed to say,
"It's not fair –I didn’t get to enjoy my food. I'm pretty starved."
They all laugh. Dad orders more food and Amarian relates the details leading up to his return.
Mom, "You seem to have made an ally though, that's good."
"She told me that we're not strong ~ we need to build a more conscientious society."
Dad, "But if It's here, aren't we already too late?"
"We were disadvantaged from the beginning of time. This is an old war."
"… Hmmm…" Dad muses.
"But… why is it prolonged? Because paradoxically hope keeps it alive. Hope is a life stream." He [Amarian] philosophizes.
"Huh… on the surface, that's pretty depressing." Mom observes.
They laughed and agree. Becoming serious again Amarian admits, "I'm going to college. Specifically this one, and I'm going to try to decrease Feral Eyes' [he's adopted that name now] army. The scary thing about being his willing unthinking… minion is that it's so easy and desirable. It only becomes terrifying when you realize it and have to take your step away from that alluring comfortableness [*Different from comfort!]".
"We're here for you, honey. We'll support you."
"You should've seen how your mother spoke to him. Even I almost pitied him."
She raised her eyebrows at him and he hides behind the menu.
"I missed someone else get a tongue lashing?! Dad! You didn’t catch it on your phone?!"
"Nope. Sorry son."
"Arrgh~! (Don't tell me about it then!!)
"I was so terrified!" She sighs.
"But you wouldn't have been able to tell that by what she was able to make him say. We figured he's a deceiver [*not knowing intentions, holding son hostage so not really trustworthy -not that Feral Eyes has anything to do with any Deceiver (aka Satan)] and while he knows much he doesn’t know all. He's also not that powerful." [Dad]
"He's only as strong as the vessel he occupies… but… he was trapped. So maybe he also doesn’t know everything that went on where you were…." [Mom]
"But he could eventually find out through me. I mean he'd most likely want to. I'd have to defend my thoughts very aggressively from now on… but my sub consciousness… I worry I have no way of guarding that."
"…He makes suggestions… through the sub consciousness…? So perhaps that's how he travels…?" Mom wonders aloud, then, "Right, he'll know eventually, we just have to be as prepared as we can be at all times." Mom reassures him.
"Although being on high alert at all times sounds exhausting." [Dad]
"It is but when I was exhausted that's when the suggestions became more insistent… mom I think you're on to something…"
"What about those women? Can they help?"
"Dad, they were the ones that led some guerilla tactics against him. Were I not dying I would've actively participated… I felt so alive… in my… deathly ill state…"
Dad chuckles, "Death… that's not funny [he quickly says as mom was throwing him dagger eyes] Do you know Feral Eyes' real name?"
"[Shakes his head, disappointed in himself] Only what she calls it: Feral Eyes which, I suppose is correct –I've never seen him myself. And… Actually there's Body-less Voice which I'm not so sure it's the same as Feral Eyes and the woman. …She could hear Body-less Voice but I could not ~ and we were in the same room at the same moment –she was visibly, physically affected so I know she wasn't just hearing things…. It didn't speak the whole time ~ only when we arrived at certain places…"
"You're not thinking you had something to do with that…?" His mother caught the worried expression on his face.
"Well… she did tell me that she heard that voice upon entering the inn… but I was already in the dungeon at that time. I didn't know how long I was unconscious. By the time she found me, the Voice stopped…"
Everyone was quiet. Amarian had a pained expression on his face. He couldn't let it stop him from helping… but… he wondered if… the less he knew about what she was doing, the better chance they had of slowing down Feral Eyes. Arriving at that decision, his expression changed from pained to calm acceptance. It was difficult to see him hurting, but his parents had both wisely waited for him. Once they saw his quiet determination, they were quite relieved and encouraged.
"The less I know about their effort, the better. But I can help. I just don't know how or how much I will be able to. But it's ok. It's so liberating to have my own mind."
His mother smiled. They left and went to the college so he could apply there.