Rated: E · Novel · Young Adult · #1971121
Original written piece.
How could it be so difficult to breathe?
How could your chest burn so much with every intake of crisp, clean, unpolluted air? A weird, new sensation of feeling drugged pulled at his body. The heat from the rising sun burned his bald thin-skinned head. The sky was a mix of orange and reds melting into blue. The beauty in the casting rays from the sun did nothing to improve his growing irritation.
“Figures,” he grumbled as not even a cloud had bothered to grace an entrance onto his pain and suffering.
The field was lush and green, with long grass and single trees scattering themselves over the hills. Convinced he could hear the sound of a rippling stream, he strained his sensitive eyes but could not see it. Where was he? Who was he?
Images flashed far in the depths of his mind, the story line blurred. Rasping at the ever-present pain in his chest he looked down. His skin was almost translucent, veins spreading out over his naked body resembling a spider web, woven by a drunken spider.
He felt like he was being brought back from the dead. Yes. That was it. He died in battle, he remembered now. A battle that not a single person unless from his world, would understand.
Asgard. A place he had once called home. Where was he? Feeling the squelch of mud between his toes as he dragged himself to his feet, he recognised this place. Earth?
He was on earth. Looking up to the sky he yelled, “Seriously!”
He had died so many times before and now he had to live again, now had to endure the relentless pain of a human form. He felt repulsed. The scratchiness of the mesh cloth suddenly against skin was enough to turn blatant irritation into outright anger. He didn’t like clothes, especially cheap dirty human clothes.
He didn’t know why, but it was done. He was alive, alive and in pain. Why did they save him? Or did they save him? He wanted to die; he so badly wanted to end his miserable life to find eternal peace that continuously evaded him. Why won’t they just leave him to rest? Leave him to his own demons, his own enemies. A pointless question really since the real question was what would they demand of him this time?
Casting a blistering glare around him he knew he was alone. Everyone had run, they had performed the wretched ceremony and then escaped, hidden. “Cowards. Bloody cowards!” he cursed.
As though to test him, a butterfly flitted past. Willing his limp arms to move at pace to catch the creature. He missed.
“Dammit! Move man.” Sucking in a breath he deliberately forced the anger down to a barely controlled simmer. It was time to call her. Kaida. She was his and only his, she would come. She had no choice, forever bound to him. Opening his mouth in a silent scream, everything stilled. It was eerie, no movement, no sound. There was a sudden rush of air above him as down draft from the magnificently large wings nearly pinned him back into the mud, he had just freed himself from.
Sunlight reflected silver rays off the almost invisible scales. Using the downward energy of the air, he pushed this magnificent giant creature to the side, as angry as he was; he was not in the mood to be crushed. Heavy droplet’s splashed to the ground, changing it from brown to rivulets of red. He watched as she landed.
“Kaida. My beautiful monstrosity of a beast.”
She was his beautiful comrade. She had fought endlessly alongside him in Asgard. She became subdued breathing flashes of fire while she waited for him to fix the gaping wound on her shoulder. She needed him this time; he had to fix what he had caused. That vivid memory of his death and her suffering claimed his attention. The energy bolt like no other, and hit is target perfectly, yet he was here as was Kaida.
Drawing from an invisible source of energy, and using the skills that only someone of many decades in age would know where or how to find, he pulled at the trusty elements. Lifting his hands in an ancient tai chi type arc, he concentrated.
Water – Arlyn – first. He watched as the beauty of a cascading waterfall flowed from his palm to the open wound to cleanse it. Fire - Azar – next. Again the energy centred in his palm, this time flames imitating a quiet log fire gently licked the wound, sterilising it. A miniature whirlwind next, Air – Avira – tenderly blew out any loose debris. Finally Earth – Avani- to fill and seal it. He focused as the energy ball in his palms transformed into the shape of a mud covered root – devil’s claw which slowly reached into each section of the previously torn and damaged flesh.
Finally a flash of fire baked the root into place and transformed the brown mud covered area back into crystal clear scales completely healing his injured beauty.
Shuddering in acknowledgment of her penetrating black eyed gaze he knew she trusted him. She also knew that this was the only way for her kind to be healed.
Suddenly pain of what felt like a thousand needles simultaneously was piercing his scalp. “God, I hate how that hurts,” He grumbled as tiny follicles of hair started to grow. Undeniably painful, but a relief it meant all his powers were returning. A fleeting thought of how the physical form was going to cope, was answered by sudden heart palpitations and dizziness. Curling his toes into the mud he collapsed and clung to the ground, unkempt shoulder length hair falling around his down cast face. Using the earth’s power to calm the rampaging energy inside him from an out of control stormy river to a quite trickle.
Itching, he looked at the mesh these people had called clothes. Using the flick of his finger, his clothes changed to collarless white shirt with a white waist coat, a black short-waisted cut away coat with tails and a white neck scarf, simple beige wool trousers that exposed the simple black leather shoes with a large silver buckle. To finish off the look of the era was a fedora hat. It actually wasn’t bad, he supposed compared to the refined silks he was used to.
Smelling the disgusting odour of burnt flesh, he realised Kaida was breathing over him. Waiting for him. The huge creature had moved so quietly and with such grace, that even in a simple human form the power of his dragon still amazed him.
Catching a glimpse at the wound, it was all but gone. It would leave a small scar, but he could not help that, it was skill he could not seem to refine. Climbing up onto her back he took one last brief look around. He would be back here soon enough, it was nearly time for the whole relentless cycle to end he hoped.
IN THE BEGINNING
PORTLAND OREGON, 20TH JANUARY
“Goodness me, Tierra. What in the hell is the rush?” Becky said as she ran to keep up with Tierra.
“Nothing,” she said through gritted teeth. The piercing in her tongue giving her a slight lisp.
“It isn’t nothing, you don’t ever walk this fast unless you were trying to avoid someone or something,” Becky pressed.
“It’s ok Becky, I will catch up with you later,” Tierra said, glancing at her only friend.
They were typical teenage rejects. They didn’t dress like everyone else, they didn’t talk like anyone else and they certainly were not excluded of people bullying them.
“Oh ok, I guess you not coming to the game then?” Becky asked, pushing her petite plump frame in front of Tierra to slow her down and demand some attention.
“Uh, no, not this one. Thanks,” Tierra said dismissively desperate to get rid of Becky today. Too much was going on that she couldn’t hold her concentration.
Becky pushed her sleek pink glasses further up on her nose, and then looked closely at Tierra. “What are you not telling me?” She questioned, still refusing to move out the way.
Dancing on her toes made Tierra more than her usual head taller than Becky. She was scared today, Anita was on her usual warpath, but she had caught whispers that the wrath was heading in her direction, and she wanted to be long gone before it got to her.
“Nothing, just…” Almost too scared to say the words, in case she in some form or manner encouraged the decent of turmoil on herself. Shaking her head as an end to the conversation, she squeezed her heavily made up brown eyes shut and she forced herself to breathe.
The kids pushing in the corridor did not make for easy conversation. Her bag was being pulled and pushed, Tierra not normally claustrophobic felt the urgent almost desperate need to escape. There were too many people here, too many kids looking at her like she was a freak, an outcast from normal society. In her own personal opinion she did not think she stood out that much more than anyone else, except weekly she made an exhaustive effort to deliberately dye her brilliant white hair black and navy blue, she supposed belatedly, that was an attraction on its own.
“Tierra, you are acting weird, ok more weird than normal,” Becky said smiling at her, whilst performing a slow pirouette, “Besides you haven’t even commented on my outfit.”
Giving her friend a quick once over, taking in the shocking silver leggings with a deep purple tutu on top, thankfully her plain black top although cluttered with silver jewellery was fairly normal and at least covered the essential bits. Big hair, pointy glasses and bright green eye shadow finished off the dramatic look.
“Wow! Is this you latest fashion? Tutus?”
“Yep, you should try them. They are so much fun. Much more fun than your boring black jeans, black tops and your tiresome skull hoodie,” Becky said, whilst smiling sweetly to ease the jibe of their one too many heated discussions about fashion.
“Thanks Becky, but I think I will stick with what I have got here,” Tierra said with a slight smile on her deep red lips.
Suddenly Tierra felt the urge to run again, she enjoyed Becky’s company, she was fun and did not care what anyone thought of her. Something Tierra admired and was inspired to achieve, but this urge was not something she had often and just like the ever present beating of her heart, the forcefulness to escape was pulsing just as hard. “Becky, I will call you later. I need to go,” Tierra said slightly breathless, as if anticipating something to go wrong.
Green eyes down cast, clear with disappointment. “Ok. If you really must go,” Becky said.
Tierra stepped past Becky, brushing her arm briefly. There was a spark of something, she flicked her shocked glance at Becky to see if she had felt it too, but Becky was already partway down the hall oblivious not only to Tierra but also to the stares as she passed people in the crowded hall way.
Shaking it off with a half-smile at her friend’s extravagance she turned to head towards the door of the school hall way, but found her distant path blocked. Three shadows consumed the double door space and Tierra felt her throat go dry and knees go weak, “Anita,” she whispered.
Hide, was all she kept thinking as she pulled the hood up over her head to conceal her face, she then tried to crouch down as if she was picking up something dropped on the floor. Flicking a quick glance in their general direction, Anita’s eyes forcefully held hers, enjoying the fear she had created. A smirk lit up her face as they sauntered towards her, taking their own sweet time, allowing the anticipation and fear build. Tierra pushed herself back up against the wall, wishing for it to open up and swallow her.
There was an abrupt parting in the crowds as the whisper that she was the target became louder. It became almost like a show down in a western movie, except Tierra knew she was completely outgunned and there would be no one willing to step in and help her out either. Cowards, she thought as she pushed herself off the wall to face her biggest enemy. Her overly active imagination started seeing colours coming off Anita, mostly blues and greys. Shaking her head at the distraction. Focus Tierra, she scolded herself scouring her advanced brain for a way to get out of there without the big fight Anita so clearly wanted.
“Tierra, Tierra, Tierra. It has been a little too long, don’t you think?” Anita drawled, showing perhaps just a little too much of her almond skin, in her choice of hand hacked bright blue shorts, and luminous yellow strap top.
“A….Anita” Tierra managed through the stuttering of her heart beat. She was nervous, scared and was battling to breathe. Painfully forcing air into her lungs, she had to concentrate; just maybe she could talk her way out of this one. Think!
“Who are you hiding from Tierra?” Christine, one of the three questioned. She was short, skinny and had a slightly offish pallor to her. Her straight black hair always made the bags under her eyes huge, making her look ill or overly tired. No match for Tierra on an intellectual level, or physical one, but three against one was not good odds.
Ignoring the question, Tierra glanced around planning her escape route, but no one in the crowd was giving an inch, they were all just as scared of Anita and extremely glad she had picked on someone else not them. Cowards! Tierra screamed at them in her head.
“Oh no, no, no, honey. You are not going to be able to run away this time,” Anita said, in a sickly sweet voice.
“What do you want Anita?” Tierra blurted out.
“Oh, there is plenty I want. But let me see……how about you fix my broken fingernail?” Anita asked with a smirk on her face, whilst looking down at her nails.
Tierra flicked a gaze at her, but avoided eye contact. “You know I can’t do that.”
Feeling Anita’s unnatural blue eyes land on her, she was sure she felt a chill go down her spine. “Well then, we will have to come up with something better,” Anita said.
“Come on Anita, I am not looking for trouble,” Tierra said slightly pleadingly.
“Well, I am. I have been watching you. What are you? A witch?” She taunted.
“I don’t know what you are talking about! Why can’t you just leave me alone?” Tierra said, shocked.
Damn, Damn, Damn. She had hoped Anita would not remember. It was a long shot, but she had been hopeful since it had not been mentioned since. Damn. She thought again, recalling how she had ‘accidently’ fallen down the stairs at the football game that Becky had insisted she go to. She had not wanted to be there and she because of the fall she broke her ankle badly enough that her foot had been facing the opposite direction to her leg.
Frantic with the pain and embarrassment she had quickly pulled it straight all the while trying to hide what was really happening to her ankle. The stinging white heat that engulfed her leg had fixed the break quick enough for no one to really see it had been broken. Standing up quickly she had manage to convince everyone it was only a sprain and limped away with the excuse of finding the school’s first aid room. She had guessed however, that Anita not only caused the accident but witnessed her body fix itself. Damn again.
“I want to know what your special powers are. Tell me, actually tell everyone here!” Anita said starting to get angry. “I saw you, I saw what happened. I knew you were a freak! Should I do you the honour and tell them?” Anita continued, her voice dripping with venom.
“Tell them what? I honestly don’t know what you are talking about,” Tierra said, desperately trying to create confusion.
Circling Tierra like a vulture would their dying prey, Anita waited. “Tierra, Tierra, Tierra…You disappoint us,” came the third person’s voice. It was high pitched, whiney and grated so badly on her already stretched nerves, that she flinched. Talk, but her brain held onto to her tongue with an iron grip refusing to let go.
“Now, now Lucy let’s not be completely mean,” Anita said, surprisingly coming to Tierra’s aid. “Give her a chance to explain the little mishap last week.”
Tierra could feel something pushing and pulling at her and it was making her feel winded, making her difficult breathing worse. This wasn’t normal, couldn’t be normal and she was absolutely convinced these girls were not normal sixteen year olds either.
Shaking her head, she forced the lie out again “I really don’t know what you are talking about.”
Anita’s eyes flashed with anger, as she lost her sense of calm yanking Tierra’s bag from her shoulder she threw it at the waiting Lucy and Christine then with lightning speed managed some manoeuvre and had Tierra face down on the dirty, slimy, olive green tiles of the school hallway before Tierra even had a chance to respond to her backpack being taken.
“Let’s get something straight here Tierra,” She spat into Tierra’s ear. “You may think you are special and cut above the rest of us, but there is so much you should be scared of. You are alone and that makes it all so easy, you know you are not special, you know you are a weak, pathetic excuse of a human being, don’t you?” Anita asked, not really expecting an answer. “Well now take this as a final warning, this is my school, I own it and it is time for you to just disappear. Understand.”
Feeling Anita’s body pushing hers into the horrible tiles, Tierra nodded her head as best as she could and forced back the tears threatening to escape.
“We have got something here,” Christine sang sweetly evil, interrupting the attention on the floor display.
Releasing Tierra, Anita pounced on the book Christine was holding out. Tierra caught a quick glimpse of the book. Her heart shattered, she now began to hyperventilate. Her Diary. God, she thought she had left it at home. Desperate to get to her feet, Tierra pushed up off the ground, only to find her face back in the disgusting tiles.
“Ah, no Tierra, don’t get up on our account. I will just read a few verses for everyone to hear,” Anita said coldly, with a booted foot on Tierra’s back. No, no, no, no; Tierra thought with a sob. There was too much of herself bared naked in that book. No one had ever even known about it, let alone been allowed to read it.
“No…” Tierra whispered with anguish.
Finding strength she didn’t know she had, she pushed Anita’s boot off her and scrambled to her feet. Still breathing hard at the effort, she forced herself upright. “Give it here Anita.”
“The latest entry into this remarkable diary of Tierra Sarah Bingolf, says: Got home from school today, I saw him…. He is so cute…..”
“Anita! Please…” Tierra begged, lunging for the book, trying to save herself some embarrassment.
“Uh uh, no, no. Didn’t your parents ever teach you it was bad manners to snatch?” Anita said neatly side stepping Tierra’s clumsy attempt.
Generously proportioned Lucy appeared behind Tierra, knocking her to her knees tightly wrapping her chubby hands around Tierra’s long dyed hair forcing her to keep silent. .
“As I was saying; got home from school today, I saw him. He is so cute; he even looked straight at me today. His eyes are so blue they look like calm waters of a crystal clear lagoon. Maybe, just maybe I will see him tomorrow again.” Sighing dramatically, Anita looked at Tierra. Blue eyes to brown eyes.
“He sounds dreamy, I am sure we all want to know who he is.”
Tierra refused to answer, cheeks red with embarrassment that pretty much her whole year had heard that sappy piece she had written yesterday.
“Come now honey, there are only a few guys here like that, is it not Kyle?” Anita asked.
Tierra flinched slightly at his name, and that was all the reaction Anita needed.
Pure evil flashed across her face as she smiled. Her crooked teeth showing for the first time that day. “Oh, it is Kyle, you sly devil you.” Then she laughed. “Sorry sweetheart, but he wouldn’t even give you a second glance.” The rest of the kids started to laugh and chatter a bit.
“Please just give me back my book,” Tierra pleaded desperately. “Come on that’s enough. Please!”
The crowd were talking but were still were riveted to the spot, waiting to see the outcome of this confrontation, which meant she still didn’t have an escape route. Crap, now what?
“Give it back to her Anita,” said a male voice stepping out the crowd, causing a sudden hush.
“Aww, Kyle, why do you have to spoil my fun. I was just getting started,” Anita said fluttering her eyelashes at him.
“I don’t like your idea of fun, now let her up and give her back her book,” Kyle said again.
Tierra looked at Kyle, he had a half smirk on his face but there was something dark and dangerous about him emitting off him. Again Tierra had flickering of colour, mostly a grey blue equal to that of turbulent waters. Anita must have felt it, because she took a step back and flicked a nervous glance to Christine and Lucy, who were both now agitating.
“Anita.” One word, but the depth of the threat was clearly audient. The whole hallway froze.
Anita hesitated a second longer before briskly nodding her head at Christine and Lucy, who left Tierra’s side.
“The book, please,” Tierra whispered.
One last glance at the book in her hands, Anita tossed it Kyle’s feet and turned and sauntered away from the whole scene laughing.
The crowd remained silent for a few seconds before quickly scattering and proceeding with the rest of their day.
Gathering the contents of her bag that were strewn on the floor, she tried hard not to cry. That had been intense, the worst Anita had ever been she normally didn’t like the crowds, one on one was more her style. What was going on?
“Tierra,” Kyle called her gently.
Keeping her eyes downward, she turned to Kyle. “Thank you, uh, um, thank you for helping me,” she said quietly.
Feeling his hand on her chin, he lifted her gaze to his. His eyes really were beautifully blue she thought as her heart slammed against her ribs. He was so close and starring into her eyes, she really thought he was going to kiss her here, in front of anyone who cared to watch. A skitter of excitement flew up her spine, she wanted him to kiss her, but at the same time, she knew it would be for the wrong reason, but she didn’t care she wanted his kiss badly. Half closing her eyes in anticipation of him closing the final two centimetres to her lips, she waited, almost too scared to breathe.
“No, not here and not now,” Kyle whispered to her.
It took a few milliseconds for the words to penetrate her excited haze of emotion and as he moved away from her, she felt the loss of his body heat. “You should go.”
Her heart squeezed in pain. She was more embarrassed now than when Anita had told everyone about her liking Kyle, now Kyle had just proven to everyone including her that it was exactly the way Anita had said it was. Not interested. Sucking in a sob at the cruel way he had just lead her on only to make her look more like a fool, she grabbed the book out of his hands and bolted for the door.
“Tierra!” Kyle called. She heard him, but could not face any more emotional turmoil right now, so kept running out the door and down the road.
Keeping her head down so no one would see her tears, Tierra ran straight into a stranger, who appeared out of no-where. “Oompff,” she muttered, as she literally bounced off the man onto her derriere. Starring up at him, he smiled at her with a slightly faraway look.
“Are you alright, love?” he asked bending over, kindness in his brown eyes, whilst he tipped his hat.
“Ah, ah yes, I am not hurt or anything. You?”
“Nah, I am as fit as a fiddle,” he said, absently looking around, rubbing his unshaven face.
Tierra ran a quick glance over him, he was fairly tall, wild shoulder length brown and silver hair, he was lean but she could see he was solid even through his big brown overcoat. She would put his age somewhere around thirty five.
As if suddenly noticing her again he asked, “Are you intending to sit there all day?”
Ignoring the offered hand, she scrabbled to her feet all the while dusting herself off and muttering under her breath at how silly she was.
“Are you looking for somewhere? I know this area pretty well, maybe I can help?” Tierra quickly regretted her offer, she didn’t know this man and he was new in the area she definitely would have recognised him before. He could be anyone. A murderer, rapist, thief or even someone from a notorious gang. Sucking in a sigh, she calmed herself, her day had been terrible so far, and could it really get any worse?
“I don’t know. I can’t remember what I was looking for, or for whom actually,” he said with a frown. “This happens you see, when I travel I just seem to forget why I am in a place. It sometimes takes a little while for my memory to return.”
Tierra stood there in silence not sure what to make of the strange comments, he seemed nice, friendly but there was something strange about him and he smelled funny. .
Laughing at the frown on her face, he said, “don’t worry love, this is normal for me. Thank you for the offer, but I think I am just going to go and find a nice park bench to sit on for a while.”
Unwillingly to let this intriguing man walk away from her just yet, she quickly answered. “Sir, let me walk with you. I know a park that is close by.”
“Love, please don’t sir me, you make me feel older than I am. My name is Damenco.”
Slightly confused at his propriety, she nodded and held out her hand. “Nice to meet you Damenco, my name is Tierra.”
Damenco gamely took her hand. The energy exchange was instant, so was the sudden almost overpowering pulse on his right hand side by his rib cage. It immediately reminded him of his time and place and why exactly he had come here. He had found her. One of the five.
CALNE, ENGLAND, 26TH APRIL
“It will never work!” she said, dropping her slightly large round derriere on the edge of the precariously balanced couch.
“It has to. I can’t live like this anymore. This bloody letter has destroyed my life and yours!” Ground Spencer, his grey eyes wild with hysteria and excitement.
Gabbi just looked at him, he was still waving the letter high in his one hand, but in the other hand he held an intricately carved fake ivory hunting knife.
“Spencer, honey you know what will happen if you try to destroy that letter, the whole house is going to burn down,” moaned Gabbi. “It nearly did the last time you tried to do this!”
“Ah ha!” hysteria laced his voice. “But the last time I was not as prepared as I am now, I now have that advice from the people, at that church we found on Sunday. You heard them yourself; this is how we do it!” Turning to the blazing fire in the middle of the room he began to pace and chant.
Gabbi did not understand the desperation Spencer was going through trying to get rid of the letter. Her logic was they just needed to find this wretched girl and then they could get on with their lives, but even as she watched Spencer behaving like a twit, chanting and pacing, she admired the extremes he was going to try and get rid of it even as far as a different church off the normal route home.
She had tried to help, and really in the beginning he had let her help, now it was as if it was the intensity of the letter had increased and he was a hostage to its ever demanding wants. She couldn’t feel anything or hear anything but she had watched a loud large robust man, who loved his job as a lawyer wither away into the shadow of the man he used to be.
The difference of eight years between them was now noticeable. His youthful appearance had been sadly replaced by greying hair, sunken eyes and loads of wrinkles especially on his forehead. His excitement at loosing large amounts of weight had been quickly replaced by lack of sleep and grumpiness. It seemed that with the weight that had been lost, his smile and laughter was lost too. I miss the old Spencer, Gabbi thought with a heavy heart.
Flicking her chestnut hair out of her face, her turquoise gaze took in the dilapidated house with a pile of second hand furniture to the one side of the room and bare floors and walls the other side surrounding the barrel of flames.. She still felt a flicker of anger towards both the letter and Spencer for the forceful moving, if he hadn’t been trying so bloody hard to get rid of the frikken thing and again spent more time trying to find this person they would still be living comfortably in his three bedroom house in London. Heaving a sigh of chagrin, that beautiful modern house was no longer standing though, completely burnt to the ground thanks to the eccentric duo.
Why am I still here? She asked herself repeatedly, and her only answer she ever came to was that she loved him. It had taken thirty two years and plenty of failed relationships to find the one man who made her feel sexy and loved.
I want him to myself! The selfish voice in her head kept demanding, but watching him she knew this was something bigger and if she didn’t help him, it would never be over and she would never get him to herself. The good thing right now though, was he didn’t know about the enquiries she was making with a couple of friends around the world, especially if this crazy ceremony actually worked today.
Spencer continued to pace, sing and chant around the fire oblivious to Gabi’s perplexing thoughts. He hoped above all else this method would work, especially when so many others hadn’t. Clamping his fist shut on the letter, he yelled. “When did you own me? When did you take over my life?” Rasping slightly he dropped his head. “This has to work; I can’t keep going on like this.”
When had this started? He could barely remember the details, but knew it was a long time ago. A train, two strange men and suddenly he had this blasted letter. He had met his beautiful, voluptuous, red headed Gabbi that day too, sadly they had gone separate ways after that train ride, but thankfully fate intervened again and he met her properly two years ago.
Burrowing his fingers in his thick hair, he suddenly remembered the knife in his hand but he couldn’t help it, he had formed this habit when first introduced to the letter. The more stressed he was, the worse it became and because recently he felt like the letter was trying to communicate with him, it was a little more stressful than usual. Hell! Maybe it was trying to communicate but he sure had no bloody idea how to listen to it, never mind answer it back.
Watching the dancing flames he forcefully remembered the first day he had tried to open the letter. Initially secured in another envelope which bore a primitive wax seal and unidentifiable emblem, the retrieval of the letter from inside had been easy the easy part. That was the ONLY easy part, he recalled with a grimace.
Inside the plain-Jane envelope was a second envelope addressed to: Miss Tierra Sarah Bingolf.
Should have stopped there! But no, curiosity had got the better of him, he did something he had never done before, tried to open someone else’s mail. Granted it had taken him a good two years before his first attempt, but he was still appalled at himself for trying it. The horror at himself rapidly changed into horror of the situation that arose, the explosion was deafening and the office was engulfed in smoke and flames, he initially thought it was a terrorist attack, but when he hastily resealed the now soot damaged envelope the fire went out, leaving the burned items smouldering. He had walked out his office that day and never gone back.
Shuddering at the stench that still lingered in his nose he knew it should have been the first and last time he tried to open that letter, but like a moth drawn to a flame he kept trying to open the blasted thing and while the explosions did soften they were still down right damaging. The letter had suffered damage as well, the continuous explosions forming a perpetual smudge on the top left corner of the envelope. He had caused so many problems with his neighbours that in the last couple of months he packed up everything that was left, amazingly including Gabbi, and moved just outside of the little town of Calne.
Feeling his face contort, he tried to slow down the rapid beating of his heart. It had not been easy these last couple of months, facing the fear of never being alone, of always having this thing calling to you, trying to communicate with you. It wouldn’t be ignored, try as he might, it just wouldn’t give in, it constantly reminded him of its presence and damn, it just wouldn’t go away!
Gabbi had been in disbelief when she had met Spencer again... They had smiled in their first acknowledgment of each other, five years ago, but this time with no distractions Spencer had built up the courage to talk to her. He had remembered her, as she had remembered him, she had to be honest she remembered two other men as well as Spencer.
“Spencer, I really don’t think we should do this! There is obviously something a whole lot bigger going on here. I mean we have tried this so many times, we even burnt the last house to the ground,” she said now facing him, “You have been burnt every time you bring fire to that bloody thing.”
The dishevelled Spencer swung around to look at her, his eyes wild. “This is going to work, we cannot find this person and I am not going without sleep any longer. I can’t. This letter is all I am dreaming about, it is all I can see! I can’t even bloody work anymore. Don’t you understand I have to get rid of it…?”
“I know, I know, I understand, I have lived this for the last two years too, but I just don’t know…” Gabbi said, her heart pounding in anticipation.
“No. We do it now,” Spencer said suddenly determined.
Making his final circle around the fire uttering the last couple words repeatedly, he lifted the knife and in swift almost practised movements he sliced the letter into pieces watching as each bit fell into the flames.
Hisssssss! The sound reverberated through the house rattling windows, as it quietened down an ear piercing screech ripped through the air.
Panicking Spencer grabbed for Gabbi on his half flight through the air as he launched himself over the pile of furniture narrowly missing a bucket of water. They landed on a bunch of blankets and shimmied their way up against the couch and braced themselves for the explosion.
They waited, fearing the worst was about to happen, but were rewarded with a sudden unnatural silence. Warily looking at each other they slowly peeked over the top of the furniture. Nothing.