by Neil Clair
My eyes filled up with tears as I witnessed what was happening.
|(Warning: This chapter contains description that may be disturbing for some)
The Truth- Chapter Eleven
There I was, standing on the side of the road outside an airport waiting for a random person in a moving yellow machine with wheels to be kind enough to pull over. The thought of getting into a vehicle with a stranger seems uncanny and mildly dangerous not only to me, but for the driver as well. After reading Page 333, I had a new vision of the world, much like how I did when I read Volume 1 of The Ancient Book back in Portugal. This time was different, though. It was fascinating to me at how a group of words has the power and capacity to make one's understanding of the world completely turn around.
I thought I had read the entire page, but I was wrong. There was a spell written in ink at the very bottom of the page. It looked like it was written a very long time ago because the ink was fading. It was written in a rare language called Gasimu. It was spoken mostly by the Gasimees. The Gasimees were creatures belonging to the family of werewolves and shapeshifters. They had the ears and tails of a dog but the body and intelligence of a human. They had the power to shift between canines and humans which made it difficult to track them. Luckily, my father knew a Gasimee and who thought me the language. I read softly to myself,"Dök arxir lechī oterûv racclawev toquev huço, yumrårńy jundi quvant kracæs," which translates to "The words that follow may seem enchanting but only Hope with destined power will access everlasting."
Almost immediately after I read it, I felt a striking pain on the both sides of my head. I moaned in pain as I closed my eyes. Suddenly, I heard the loud barking of a dog, the shrill hissing of a serpent and the mighty roar of a lion overlapping upon each other. It was strange because none of the creatures I heard were in the area. I dropped the book and covered my ears with agony. They were ringing so badly that the sounds of the animals seemed to fade away until eventually, it stopped. When I opened my eyes, Jamie was gone and I was no longer at the airport. Instead, I was at a more familiar place. It was my house in Portugal. "But how?" I thought.
I was able to smell an overpowering scent of lavender and the sun from a nearby window gave the house an orange-tint which made me feel at peace. I was outside my father's room door when I heard the soft cries of a baby. I looked at the door handle before taking a huge breath and opening the door.
My eyes filled up with tears as I witnessed what was happening. I saw my mother in bed, with her legs covered with a blanket. She looked sweaty and overwhelmed. My father was next to her, holding her hands. A nurse approached the bed holding something wrapped up in her arms. She placed it in my mother's hands and left the room, walking right pass me. She didn't see me, though. It was as if I was invisible. My mother was smiling uncontrollably and my father was crying for joy. I couldn't recall the last time I saw him cry so this occurrence made me cry as well.
"Harley," my mother said with a smile. It was then I realized that I had just witnessed my own birth. I made a step closer before the ringing started again. I squeezed my eyes shut and screamed in discomfort. This time the pain was less drastic and soon I was able to recover. When I opened my eyes, my parents were no longer in front of me. All I saw were three crossroads. It was night and the moon was in its crescent phase. There was nothing but silence and the sound of my heart thumping with a rhythmic feeling. At the beginning of each road, I saw paired torches. I soon realized the hazy, white mist that surrounded my feet as I moved. I walked up to the the middle road and looked at the fire from the torch. After a few seconds of admiring the flame, I felt a burning urge to touch it. I slowly placed my hand up and grabbed it. Opening my hand, I saw the flame dancing in palm. There was no pain, but just a tingling sensation.
All of a sudden, I heard the whimpering of a dog being me. I turned around and saw that it was once day again. I was back at the airport and Jamie was still waving for a taxi. I was so confused. There was no dog, no crossroads, and no torches. It was as if it all was in my mind. Soon, a yellow cab pulled up in front of us and Jamie said," Finally! Thought I'd be here forever. C'mon, Har." I picked up the book and hopped in the car, still bewildered at what had just happened. I shoved the chronicle in a leather sling bag around my neck. I looked out the window as we drove pass multiple buildings. The driver slowed down when he approached a red stoplight and asked," So, where y'all going?"
"Could you please take us to.." replied Jamie
"Anywhere. Just drive," I interrupted," Thank you." I looked at the driver and then back through the window. Soon after looking out, the ringing in my ear started again. I squeezed my eyes tightly, hoping that the pain would stop. I opened my eyes and I was out on the sidewalk of the street. The honking of cars were beeping loudly due to the traffic and people were arguing with each other. I looked around and saw the yellow cab that I was previously in. Jamie and driver were inside and I saw myself as well. I soon realized that I was having a vision. Just then, I saw a huge truck not too far up the street speeding on the wrong side of the road. Drivers began to hop out of their vehicles and people were running away. The truck was not stopping and it ran over everything in its way. I wanted to help the people nearby but no one could see me. Jamie, the driver and my vision-self soon realized what was happening and ran out of the car to a safe place .
I wasn't at ease as yet though. I observed as a mother and her daughter tried to cross the road in time before the truck got any closer. The blonde-haired little girl seemed around the age of three or four and she was holding a pink teddy bear. The woman grabbed the girl's hand and sped down the street. Due to all the panic, the mother was already on the sidewalk when she realized her little girl had dropped her stuffed animal and went back to retrieve it. Everyone around was screaming at the child to come quickly. The mother ran out to help her child but she didn't have time to run back. I looked away as the truck approached. Scraps of debris tumbled everywhere and the pink teddy bear fell to my feet. I looked at it before closing my eyes in sorrow. All I heard were cries and the truck tires screeching on the road. I opened my eyes and noticed that I was back in the taxi. We were still waiting for the stoplight to turn green. Soon, I heard familiar shouting and horns were beeping. I immediately knew what was happening. "Get out of the car," I ordered to Jamie and the driver.
"What?" asked the man, confusedly.
"I said get out!" I shouted in frustration. All of us jumped out of the vehicle and stood on the sidewalk along with others. Everything happened in perfect order. The truck was soon in sight and the mother with her child rushed across the street. Just like in my vision, the woman arrived to safety but her daughter was, unfortunately, not. People were yelling and screaming. The mother headed for the street in order to save her daughter but I knew that none of them would survive. I grabbed the woman's hand and told her to stay. With a deep breath, I quickly ran into the road to get the child. When I got there, I instantly knew I couldn't make it back with her alive. As quick as lightning, I picked the girl up in my arms, hugged her tight and with all my strength, I teleport us to safety. Right before we were gone, a mist surrounded us, giving the illusion of invisibility. It was just in time before the truck collided with another vehicle and exploded into flames. I knew that I had just compromised my secret and I broke my oath to never expose my powers to mortals, but I was relieved to know that another person lived to see the next day.
The girl and I landed on the far end of the sidewalk so no saw us when we appeared. She was still hugging her stuffed bear when she ran up to her desperate mom. It made me so happy to see the smile on that woman's face. She thanked me and soon after, a crowd of people were clapping for me. After a while of enduring such greatness, I remembered that I had a mission to do so the applause was cut short as Jamie and I headed for our quest. Before he died, my father had told me the last volume of The Book of Ancient could be found in Egypt. According to him, some time between the 15th and 19th century, an unknown source attacked a group of mortal men who were traveling with the book. One of the men claimed he saw a blonde woman dressed in a blue-and-gold robe. He said the woman's eyes were glowing and after she had robbed them, her body faded away into the sunlight.
As we walked along the sidewalks of the city, I took the time to re-read Page 333 so I could remember all the spells and important information. The sun was beginning to set and I could've felt the power in me getting stronger. We caught a bus and rode it to Canal Street where we made our way to the nearest alley, Cortlandt Alley. We checked to make sure no one was around and I said, "Now, I know."
"What are you talking about?" Jamie asked as she checked the corners of the alley for no eavesdroppers.
"Well, not completely, but I know what I'm capable of and I want to use it," I explained. Jamie walked closer and looked me in the eyes. She was silent for a while as she listened to the footsteps that were approaching us. We both slowly backed up into the darker side of the alley until we became almost invisible. Being as silent as possible, we waited patiently until the owner of the footsteps revealed themselves. Eventually, they emerged and entered the alley. I saw a female figure but I could not make out who she was because the darkness had settled upon her face. "Harley," the girl said in a villainous tone before she continued," I can see you, you know? Thought you'd know this by now. Clotho and Lachesis are worried about you, Jamie. Or should I say, Atropos?"
"What is she talking about?" I mouthed to Jamie. She looked at me worriedly but remained quiet.
"Oh. She didn't tell you the full story, did she? Oh my. This is awkward," the girl chuckled and folded her arms,"Are you gonna tell her the truth or should I?" Jamie was still silent. The girl sighed and said,"Ugh. This woman is apart of a group called The Moirai along with her three sisters, Clotho and Lachesis. I'm sure you already knew that. But what you didn't know, is that her real name isn't Jamie. It's Atropos."
"Who are you?" I asked as Jamie and I slowly stepped out into the light. The girl was blonde and wore a gold-and-blue robe, much like the description of the woman who stole the book.
"I'm the one who you've been looking for," the woman said with a deep tone before she changed her mood and laughed,"Hemera Quinn. Nice to meet ya!" I looked at confused as she stretched out her arm for a handshake, "JK! It's just Hemera. Sorry, I've just come to a liking of that movie. You know there'll be another one..what's it called? Oh! Birds of Prey. It's coming out next year in January. I can't wait for 2020-"
"Why are you here?" Jamie interrupted.
"Uh, rude. Whatever. I have something that may be of assistance for you, Harley. Love that name, by the way," Hemera explained.
"What is it?" I asked, concerned.
"I hear you're looking for a specific...item and I know where you can get it," Hemera mentioned.
"Oh right. Because you stole it?" I sarcastically asked.
"Whaaaaaaaat! No way. I would never," she lied then laughed,"Ok, maybe I did steal it but I only did it for you."
"Why are you helping me anyway?" I questioned. Hemera went on to tell me that she was born five hundred years ago. During her early adult years, she was approached by a large man with a staff who gave her the divine power to control sunlight and immortality. She was told to use her power to steal the book and keep it for hundreds of years until the year 2019 when she would deliver it to me.
"Wait, a man with a staff? Did he have like, skulls and stuff with him?" I questioned
"Ummm. I think so, yeah. Why?" Hemera asked.
I looked at Jamie then asked,"Did he ever tell you his name?"
"Hmm. It think it was...Crius? Chrysus? No! It was Chronos. Yes, Chronos," she answered. I smiled because now I finally knew the name of the man who murdered my father.
I thanked Hemera for the information she had given us and asked,"Ok. I do have one more question. Why is he helping me?"
Hemera looked around as the sun got closer to the horizon. She leaned in, walked closer to me and whispered,"Chronos can see the future. I think he knows what's going to happen and let's just say, the outcome doesn't end well. I'm telling you this to save you. I wouldn't want anything to happen to you." Afterwards, Hemera gave Jamie and I a hug. I could've felt her putting something in my pocket but I ignored it. She squeezed me then secretly whispered again into my ear,"I want you to put sword through his chest, just like how he did Abby." I was puzzled on how she knew Abigaro. This was my first time meeting Hemera and I didn't recall Abby mentioning her. I looked at her as she took a flashlight out of her pocket. By this time, it was already past seven and the moon was at its fullest. She gave the flashlight to Jamie and backed a certain distance away from us. I was confused at what was going on so I continued to watch. Jamie turned on the light and pointed it towards Hemera. She smiled at us both before completely disintegrating away into the light. "That was hella cool!" I thought to myself.
Now that I had all five books, there was only one thing to do: give Chronos a piece of my mind. I was eager yet so scared to find him. Just then, I remembered what I wanted to do before Hemera showed up. I decided to try and use my powers to teleport Jamie and myself through time in order to get back to 1946. I looked at Jamie and told her what I had planned. Of course, I was unsure if it was going to work or not but we had no other option. I held Jamie's hand and concentrated. I squeezed my eyes together so tightly that I gave myself a slight headache. Soon, I could feel my feet slowly rising from the ground. I smiled and Jamie grasped my hands tighter as we rose.
Eventually, a howling wind emerged and twirled around us. The rattling sound of the dumpsters that were in the corner growled at night. I could feel the tiny specks of dirt repelling onto my cheeks like needles as the wind threw them around. It was loud but it seemed like it wasn't enough because I was able to hear footsteps running towards us. I opened my eyes only to see Oliver William standing below me. At first, he wasn't recognizable, but when I heard his voice, I immediately knew that he was the Aussie who had saved my butt from getting a good beating in public. Because of all the rattling and howling of the wind, I was only able to make out a few words of what he was saying, despite him shouting. It was barely understandable, but last thing I was able to hear him say before Jamie and I were sucked away by the wormhole was:
"What the f....is ...on?"