Chapter X: Turning Back (2/12)Mature

He sat on the bench, picking off the curling pieces of leather on his suitcase for what felt like an eternity. His brother and sister came to mind in this time, he didn't want to abandon Carmen and Karn'el, but as he thought about it, would he really miss them? He remembered nothing about them, they were lost family, practically strangers, he was sure he meant nothing to them, blood or not.

Now, he would return to his old life. He remembered the times he'd sat on the crumbling wall near Sicarius Gate, gazing past Villain's Run to the boundless Target Plains, leading to unknown places. He hadn't known what had lain ahead, just that it must have been better than where he was, and he'd prayed that there was something better waiting for him. He'd hoped, his wish had been granted, but now he was going back, the fact stung like venom in his veins.

The longer he waited, the more apprehensive he became for the carriage to arrive. His body twinged with the desire to stay, and he swore that he was hearing voices. They came to him, emerging from the darkness of the White Forest, overlapping, merging into a zephyr of sounds.

'Turn back...don't go...please, we need you...go back...' Will clamped his hands over his ears, yet it was no good, the voices penetrated his core and sent shivers down his spine.You don't need me, nobody needs me, I can't go back. I. Don't. Belong. Still, the voices built, unceasing, they were everywhere around him, and yet nowhere, he doubled over, resting his elbows on his thighs and closing his eyes.

'Stop it...' he whispered with a tone of desperation. It built to frustration, his head shot up. 'Stop it!' They did, he was left in sudden silence, breathless from the state he'd put himself in. I'm going even more insane...I'm hearing even more voices...

Suddenly, a rumbling came from far down the path, he soon discerned it to be the heavy clopping of hooves. Will squinted to see into the darkness, and saw a floating light approaching, like a lost will o' the wisp. It became clear that it was in fact a circular lantern swaying on a carriage. It was black, the windows trimmed with black lace curtains, the body wobbling on its large, thin wheels. It was driven by a man whose age was incomprehensible, his dry, white skin stretched over knobbly bones. His face was sullen, his dark eyes smudged with tired circles, and his mouth was continually agape in a soft 'O' shape.

Will remained seated as the carriage pulled up in front of him. The driver's head turned slowly to him, looking dead, he said,

'Where to, kid?' His voice was raspy, sounding irritated.

'Err, I don't exactly know,' Will said truthfully, standing nervously.

The driver rolled his eyes. 'Such a help.' He cleared his throat with a thick 'ehem'. 'Thank you for choosing Charon Carriage Service as your mode of transport. We cater for your needs with paranormal speed, from Death's door to Life's window.' His mouth straightened with distaste at his own tagline. 'We are available for handfastings, funerals and promenades - look, in summary, I can take you anywhere you want to go, little sir. Make up your mind quickly, 'cause I'm on a schedule.'

Will glanced at the animal pulling the carriage, he saw two swaying heads and assumed it to be two horses, Noxian by the looks of them, but noticed just one body and realised that the horse had two heads. Both were jet black, one's mane was black, the other snow white, its light eyelashes framing red irises flecked with black.

'You can take me anywhere?' Will asked,

'That's what I just said, yes,' said the driver. 'Where will it be?'

'Can you take me to...' Will tensed with nervousness, 'to Vincula?'

The driver narrowed his eyes curiously, contemplating what Will expected him to. 'Strange choice, but I certainly can, at least up to the Gate. I can take you all the way in, but only if you want to be hijacked.'

'The Gate would be fine,' Will murmured, gripping the flimsy suitcase handle tightly.

'Then climb in.' The driver flicked his riding crop, the air swishing, and at that, the carriage door swung open and three springing steps unfolded. Will clambered in, the inside was both luxurious and haunting. The seats made of red leather, the carpet and cushioning on the doors also red, the shape of the carriage only adding to the image that Will was inside an organ. He sat down, but when the carriage jerked, he was propelled forward onto the opposite seat. He reclaimed his seat as the carriage made a U-turn and set off, he tried to relax, exhaling deeply - the sooner I'm back, the better. 

The End

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