There was something wrong. Even when he thought of her, she didn’t answer. Not of the ignoring kind but the kind that meant she was really not there. Or perhaps, that someone was blocking their connection on purpose. He suspected Feral Eyes wanted to toy with them for revenge's sake. But why so soon? He thought, hoped, that he would be sulking around for a little longer than this. The only place he could think of that they would be was the inn: he had no way of getting there physically –he didn’t want to involve his parents in that way. So he would perhaps have to try to project himself there… But… could he possibly be worrying over nothing? What if he really was being bothersome with his constant thinking about her? He really couldn’t blame her if she blocked him for a little while to give herself some space. But… he still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. He didn’t know what to do, so he went to speak to his parents.
Oh, right. They left to buy some things at the grocery store –nothing that required cooking! His mom adamantly stated –and they had left just ten minutes ago so he would have to wait for their return. The most difficult wait of his life. As soon as the door opened, he took the purchases from them and spoke frantically while putting things away.
"Whoa, whoa~! You're coming at us from left field. A little context, please!" His mom commanded.
"I can't speak to her! I think something's wrong. It's like she's disappeared."
"… How?" His father was bewildered.
"I don't know… but I think I know where she's trapped. Most likely it was Feral Eyes, and most likely she's, and quite possibly her friends with her –I'm not sure –at the inn."
"But why would they be there?" his mom wondered.
"I was trapped there when we were at the restaurant. I think it's the only location Feral Eyes has at his disposal –legal[ly] or not, physically or not."
"How are we going to…" His dad began.
"We're not. I am. I need your car."
"No." his mother flat out refused.
His father chose his words carefully, "Think about it son, if you were there, what could you do to help? What if you became trapped as well? Now, don't give me that expression –what if the answer was there once you get there –sure, but keep trying to get into contact with her first. Let her tell you what she needs and by then, we'll have decided whether or not you should take the car…"
His wife seemed impressed and pleased with the proposal enough that she may reconsider her strong negative stance to one of… a slightly lesser negative one…
Amarian paused. Considering the circumstance he had to admit that that was wise advice and so he agreed. He said as much –pardoned himself to his room so he could better concentrate on contacting her.
Meanwhile, his parents gave each other troubled looks and hoped with all their might that he was able to contact her so that they wouldn't have to think about allowing him to leave. There was really nothing else for them to do so they sat together holding hands and contributed prayers to Amarian's success.
Amarian felt peaceful and calm –he was certain that was his parents' will aiding him. So, with that he focused on her again. Images began to appear. It seemed as though he was moving through the inn with… Dark Brown Hair and her friend… but where was she? Unless… he was seeing through her eyes?! But how! He didn’t want that so he tried frantically to let her know he was there. But she didn’t respond. Maybe if he knew her name, she would know he was there… Could he somehow use her mouth to talk to the others? He didn’t know but he tried, "Hey! How did you get to the inn?" He asked the first thing that popped into his head.
Startled, Dark Brown Hair responded, "We don't really know, do we? But here we are…"
"I know. I was there when it happened. I don’t know why I asked that though…"
"You looked a bit spacey… Are you picking up on someone?" Her friend noted.
"! True! Wait!"
Great! He was so glad that they were so on point –he didn’t know what he'd do if she didn’t realize he was there. "Hey! I'm sorry but I'm in your head, somehow. I'm seeing what you're seeing and hearing what you're hearing. I don't know how I'm doing this –please don't be angry…"
His apology was greeted with a warm chuckle. "No worries! Maybe you can help us!"
"Yes! I'll try!"
"… I'm really tired, maybe I should stop shouting in my own head…"
"Oh… Sorry… I was excited that I finally got through to you."
She laughs heartily. It was rather strange considering the situation they were in. Apparently Dark Brown Hair and her friend agreed as well by the looks on their faces. She laughs harder.
"I don't want to end your merriment –but… is everything okay?"
"…We are going to return to that room… but are there other places we should know about?"
"… [Sighs] I don't think so… it's just that whenever we went, it was always pretty dark so I'm not certain how 'important' those other rooms could be… I've always been too scared to explore by myself although I've wanted to."
"Search for us."
"Huh? You want me to go there to the inn?"
No response. "Hey! Are you there? Hellooo~!" Anxiety overwhelmed him that he startled himself awake.
"Oh no… was I asleep? Was I meditating so heavily that I fell asleep?" He glances at the room clock and sees that it's 2 AM.
He rushes out of his room. The hotel is quiet –he walks quickly and quietly to his parents' room and peeks his head in –they were sleeping, as they should be. It was 2 AM after all. Trying to calm himself, he takes deep breaths and begins to think about his … out of body experience…? What was out of place enough to give him a clue –what were they talking about that he could gain insight from? He struggled to focus on the conversation he just had.
"Yes! Can you hear me?"
"… Body less voice…"
His blood ran cold. Was he body less voice after all?
"Interference… you… us in The room?"
"No ~ I was in your mind."
"… so tired…"
"Wait! I'll come for you!"
Trap or not, he had to help them. Being as stealthy as possible, he entered his parents' room to search for the car keys.
"You should just ask, you know."
He saw light at the end of a tunnel… "Uh… sorry mom." He managed to squeak out.
Sighs, "So they asked for your help?"
"No. He's actively blocking me from connecting with her."
Deep sighing. She embraces him, "Be careful."
"I will, mom." He manages to choke out.
And then he rushes out of the room.
"… Help me out." Miwa breaks the silent productivity in The room. "We were all speaking to that voice out loud, right?"
Anahita nods while Dr. Muzro voiced, "Yes. Why?"
"Oh… because… I'm making sure that the body less voice wasn't only heard by myself… er, rather, I wasn't sure which information was shared with everyone from body less voice or Teeny Bop."
"… What?" Anahita narrows her eyes. "Another name?"
"[Ignores the derision] I was wondering why I was hearing two different conversations… Apparently who spoke to us in the room apart from me was Body Less Voice … and… what did I call him –Teeny Bop? –might try coming for us. I can't contact him now though –something is blocking my connection with him. He'll be stuck here too –this is no good…"
"Wait… what was different?"
"Well, for one, in my head, he claimed that he could see and hear what I see and hear and two he didn't know what else was 'important' about the inn we're inside now because it was always too dark for him to see anything."
"So… the images of the inn you shared with us from 'him' were really not from him?" Dr. Muzro couldn't believe his nerves could handle any more.
"Yeah… so… spirits may be the least of our problems…"
"This is… confusing… and I'm done with being bothered by it at all anymore." Anahita shrugs.
"Snap out of it and panic! Well… actually, no –I just couldn't believe I would ever get a chance to say something like that to you." Anahita throws her a punch and Miwa just smiles innocently at her.
"Let us make a decision now, then, if we wish to further investigate the inn or wait for him to arrive?"
"But if he's here, we'll have an extra person in our party and…?" Dr. Muzro trails off.
"Yeah… He'll know where he parked at least and we would have a physical way of escaping although… it's really bothering me that we 'teleported' here. Dr. Dark Brown Hair! Can you try to awaken yourself again? You were the only one of us who had any rest."
"… This is someone else's … nightmare. I refuse to call it a dream or memory." He scowls.
"I hope my car is alright." Anahita mopes again. She's certainly had the worst of luck with it lately… Miwa hopes it's alright too seeing as how she needs Anahita's car as much as she needed it.
"There really wasn't as many other things to be fascinated about. But at least I had the time to thoroughly search and make certain that that was the case." Dr. Muzro mused aloud.
"My pics are as dark as my mood." Anahita announced.
"Okay, so we're essentially done here…"
"But staying put so he can just come directly to us." Dr. Muzro added.
"… I wonder why we were all able to hear Body Less Voice this time… and did it actually sound like him? I can't remember… I will have to ask him, but while we were mmm talking… it didn’t seem like he was aware of that voice even though he claimed that he could hear and see what I heard and saw. That was why I wondered if the voice was out loud or you were all responding to the conversation that I [thought I] shared. OR that if you were speaking out loud because you didn’t want him to be aware that we are all able to connect to each other at the same time."
"Yeah –we didn't want him to know we could connect. But… we… well at times it did seem like the voice was 'physically' in the room [?!], I responded to him out loud yet the voice simultaneously sounded like it was in my head... that's why I looked at you strangely when you both said something at the same time… I think that may have been the real him? But the other times it sounded like he [it] was in the room…" Anahita confusingly answers, trying to think about the situation herself.
"I'd have to agree that while the Body Less Voice was in the room it actually felt like it had a 'physical' presence… er, well perhaps an ethereal one? So it was able to come into the room after all… what changed? Are you certain he's not really Body Less Voice, just doesn’t realize it?"
"You act as though I'm an expert in this field. I'm only learning as I go along…"
"Don't remind me of that –it makes me more nervous than I care to be."
"I'm glad we're still all good naturedly getting on each others' nerves but can we just deal with straightforward answers for a bit?" Anahita requests.
"It can be done." Miwa says. If you didn’t know her well or were paying attention, would have thought she was being sarcastic –but Anahita knew better; and Dr. Muzro who was still more alert than either of the other two gathered that she was indeed simply concurring.
"If it wasn't …Teeny Bop… it really sounded like something he would say and tell us about… It's really terrifying he impersonated him so well that he fooled us… well fooled me, anyway –I can't speak for either of you."
"No… If I weren't able to do what I do, he would've deceived me as well." Miwa admits quietly.
Dr. Muzro sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. This was the most unnerved [to say the least] he'd ever been in his life. Excitement was one thing, but his poor old heart couldn’t sustain this amount of fear for long strands of time. He sighs again really hating feeling his age. He never really thought about it until he was with these two. But being young was not a fault that he could truly 'blame' on anyone –it is what it is. A rough bark of laughter erupted from him. They looked at him, startled.
"Irony is pun-ny metaphorically speaking." Miwa passively tries eliciting a confirmation or denial of her statement. Then turns to Anahita apologetically, "Sorry, girlie, I already made a promise to be more direct."
"Ah… nah, it's ok –I was just letting my exasperation slip."
"I can neither confirm nor deny the sentiment of my outburst."
They all laugh. And then retreat into their own corners of their minds, variously thinking about food, escape and what to do with life.