It must have been early evening when I was allowed to see him. The sun was setting and there was the silence of relief about the apartment. Jack came and walked with me to the bedroom where he was and closed the door behind me. It was small like mine, but much unlike my domain it was absolutely splattered with blood. Inside was sat Mr Ward watching Argent asleep.
“Jack said I could come in”
“Yes, you can pull up a seat if you like” he said, not looking away; it seemed he was talking to himself.
I nodded even though I knew he wouldn’t have seen me and took a chair from the other side of the room, bringing it next to him. I sat myself and watched my cousin struggling to breathe as he lay on his back. The front part of his torso had been decimated when he was on the sofa, but now a blanket stopped me from seeing any handiwork that was done.
“What happened to him?” I asked. I recalled that Jack had earlier mentioned ‘beasts’, but alas she had gone off-topic.
“The beasts she mentioned” he began before pausing, sighing as he looked away from Argent to thin air.
“They are terrible, pitiful things-”
“How can you say that?” I whispered, making my voice quiet lest I shout.
“The beasts nearly tore my cousin in half, how does that make them the pitiful ones?”
“Because they are the damned!” he shouted.
He was staring at me now, with that same look in his eyes as when I first saw him. It was the look that made me feel like a child, a powerless child. I repeated that last word.
“Damned?” I asked, my throat parched in fear.
“You Terra refer to it as hell, the complete separation from God. The beasts are those souls who have committed crimes so foul; that in doing so they cut themselves off from the divine. The beasts are those, and they are escaping from ‘hell’, that dark abyss, and they are coming to our realm.”
“Can’t you do anything about it?” I questioned again. He looked back to Argent again, shaking his head.
“Then why do you need us? If there is nothing to be done-”
“We are following orders from above. Once Argent is conscious we will go to the otherworld, but now you must leave; Sapphire wishes to see him now”
I left the room at once, not looking at Sapphire waiting outside the door and ran into my room and flung myself onto my bed. I lay there for a good ten minutes before Jack came in and stood over me. She talked to me about the otherworld but I didn’t really listen. I was too pre-occupied watching my still reflection in the mirror. Then there was a loud crash against the door leading into the penthouse. Jack ran through my bedroom door and I followed. In the main area there were monsters, they looked like people but their faces were . . . and the way they stumbled across the floor, the burn wounds oozed pus and sinew from them.
“Lexine, Sapphire, get in the room with Argent!” Jack screamed as she took a switchblade that appeared from nowhere and threw it at the head of one, the throw itself so powerful that the knife split the head in two and embedded itself in the chest of the one behind. After that the others screamed with what was left of their throats. I’ll never forget that scream, and neither will humanity; but that is for later. I don’t think their eyes worked; funnily enough the eyes seemed like the only organs that hadn’t suffered any damage. Nonetheless, they screamed and launched themselves at Jack. I and Sapphire (who had come out to see what was going on) had run into the room with Argent. I remember seeing Mr Ward run out with two rapiers and slice one of the monsters into thirds, slime splattering everywhere, before closing the door.
I don’t know how long we were in that room. I sat with my arms around Argent, who was now partially awake whilst Sapphire stood near the door with an automatic pistol; looking up at the ceiling and praying. There weren’t any windows in the room to tell what time of day it was, and the continual screaming outside only crazed us further. This was but a prologue of what was yet to come.
“Open the door! Now!” Mr Ward shouted, and with that the screaming grew louder and more desperate.
Sapphire stood there still like a fool, praying. I ran to the door and threw it open. Mr Ward and Jack fell in; the latter kicked the door shut, stood and slapped Sapphire across the face.
“Get Argent off the bed!”
He listened then and scooped up Argent in his arms, running to the corner of the room furthest away from the door. Mr Ward lifted the bed and stood it against the door to reinforce only thing keeping them from us.
“This will take us somewhere safe” said Mr Ward as he threw something to Jack. She grabbed it and jammed it into the ground. It looked like a metal rod, but it appeared that the metal had grown on a pillar of onyx which itself had been inscribed ages past.
“How exactly? It’s a bloody stick!” I screamed above the roaring howling outside.
“Like this” she grinned. The Rod shook and there was an explosion from it of sheer force, a thin lining of glittering black dust coated the room and air around us. Jack told Sapphire to hold onto Argent well and to come away from the wall, causing Mr Ward to go away from the bed and come to kneel with us around this instrument.
“Ready?” she bellowed.
We all nodded hastily; the howling outside was now unbearable, if I stayed any longer I would surely go insane.
Soon the dust began to tremor and it seemed the whole of reality quaked around us. The room shook and did so in a way that meant I lost my sense of time and space every time it quivered. The screaming stopped and continued and before me flashed between the room and a void. The switching as I call it simply flashed and flashed until the room was finally gone. We were in the void. That place where time ceases to be. That place of chaos and darkness. Where one never knows why, how or when. Where one is next to nothing in the vast yet small swarming emptiness. I can’t recall how long I was there, but I knew I was moving then pure white. All around me, like when I entered the sun’s light; this light was warm and nourishing and fading. We were in a paradise. I could see it as my eyes adjusted to the light. The sky was white though, and the grass. Shining white grass, I could have lay there forever without a care in the world, against that soft fragrant grass. Mr Ward had other ideas however.
“Is everyone present?” he said, standing.
I sat myself up, only to be yanked up by the arm by Jack, who gave me a look that a parent might when their child is about to throw a tantrum. We all murmured in confirmation and stood to see the world ahead of us.