Here’s Chapter 2 of my non-WIP aka abandoned project from a while back. Reading the story over, I kind of missed the characters. You probably already know, but this isn’t professionally edited—it’s pretty much the first draft—so excuse any grammar issues.
Chapter 2: I’m a what?
I managed to drag a stunned Michael out of the alleyway as I held him by the forearm. No more complaints came from his mouth as he stumbled wordlessly on his feet, his clothes and brown hair now dirtied from the earlier explosion. Looking down at myself I smiled slightly at the fact that my clothes seemed as clean and crisp as the day I first wore them.
I ignored the sound of sirens as a fire truck—and a few police cruisers following suit—passed us on the street. The speed of the vehicles ruffled my hair in the process as I shook the fly away strands away from my face. The vehicles came to a stop only a breath away from us, uniformed men ignoring our presence as they rushed towards the now destroyed building that used to sell such sweet chocolates.
I sighed at the loss.
Michael was still in a daze as we stopped in front of a motel that happened to be a few blocks down. It was dingy but the vacancy sign was flashing brightly in neon red so it would have to do.
I patted my right pant pocket to make sure the money I was given was still there. Then I swung open the door and walked into the front entrance, glancing back at Michael who followed slowly from behind. The lights were harsh inside the motel and I was glad that I was wearing my sunglasses. As I stood in front of the reception, I looked at the young red-head that was sitting lazily in her chair. She chewed loudly on a piece of gum as her dirt-coloured eyes stared at a small television screen that displayed some sort of cartoon. She didn’t look up as I approached.
I cleared my voice but her eyes did not avert from the screen. Raising an eyebrow up at her, I spoke politely. “May I have a room with two beds, please?”
The girl slowly stopped chewing and she finally looked up, eyeing my dark shades. Her eyes then flickered over my shoulder where she could clearly see Michael hovering a few feet away, arms wrapped around himself. He was clearly still in a state of shock. I could faintly hear him mumbling to himself about glowing tattoos and giant freaky men under his breath.
The girl looked back to me with both eyebrows raised then looked away as she tapped her long, red manicured fingers on the computer in front of her. She spoke in a no nonsense tone. “That’s $90 a night for one bed. Two beds are unavailable.”
I rolled my eyes inwardly but answered nonetheless. I gave a small smile. “That’s fine,” I replied as I took out a crisp hundred dollar bill and placed it on the counter.
The girl took the money as she placed it in the register then took out a grimey ten dollar bill as well and a key as she held it out to me. “You’re on the third floor. The elevator’s to your left. Enjoy your stay,” she muttered lowly under her breath, her eyes slowly drawing back to the television screen.
I ignored her attitude and gave another small smile, taking the items from her hand. I was careful not to touch the nasty bits on the bill. One side looked like fresh … saliva. “Thank you,” I gagged, internally shuddering.
Turning around, I carefully placed the bill into my pocket then took Michael by the arm, dragging him towards the elevator that was off to the left. He still didn’t speak a word as we rode on the elevator and made it to the front of our motel room. I quickly slipped the key in and opened the door as he followed me from behind. I saw his blue eyes look around at the small room which only had a double-size bed, two stands and a small refrigerator.
At the site of the bathroom, Michael quickly rushed towards it. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
I ignored his comment and sat down on the edge of the bed, bouncing up and down a few times. I took off my shoes and placed them on the floor as I waited for Michael to stop retching. At the sound of the toilet flushing and the pipes turning on and then off, I waited as he slowly shuffled back into the room, a resigned look on his face; his eyes were dimmer than before. He immediately caught my gaze and spoke to me directly for the first time since we were in the alley.
“So what now?”
I didn’t say anything at first as I placed my fingers in my lap and crossed my legs in the process. “I’m assuming you had an internal dialogue going on in your head for quite some time, am I right?” Not to mention you mumbling only moments before.
Michael gave his head a scratch and sat down on a chair that was across from the bed and near the door. “I actually still don’t believe what just happened.”
“Well you better,” I pursed my lips then continued. “That thing that we just escaped—his sole purpose is to kill you. I’m here to protect you.”
He glanced over at me. “Who are you exactly?”
“I’m a Guardian.”
He frowned at my words. “A Guardian?”
“Yes,” I nodded. “We as Guardians have to protect those that inhabit the Light.”
Michael looked confused at my statement. “Honestly every word that comes out of your mouth is really not making any sense to me right now. Translation please?”
I sighed and raised an eyebrow up at him. We Guardians have been drilled into our heads constantly on our mission but perhaps it seemed incomprehensible to the human population. This was the first time I had to explain this to someone so I was probably getting ahead of myself.
I tried again. “I’m an angel of sort—although I have no wings unlike the others. None of the Guardians do. As Guardians, we have to protect those that need protecting. The world was created from both a balance of Light and Dark. But haven’t you noticed a shift in the balance, seen the chaos that surrounds us? There’s destruction and fighting happening everywhere. Plants are dying, the sea is drying up, the world is becoming bare. There’s a reason for all of this. The Evil is slowly corrupting our world, slowing saturating into the minds of the weak. It’s especially bad if they possess the Light. The Light is the only thing that can fight against the Evil that’s trying to take over. My mission is to keep you safe and make sure you are able to fight against all that.”
He still looked skeptical at the entire conversation. “So … you’re saying that I’m one of the Light?”
I nodded sternly. “Yes, that’s correct. If the Dark manages to extinguish all of the Light, the world we know will cease to exist since the world needs both to survive. We have to maintain the balance.”
“What exactly is the Light?”
“It’s a source of energy that few humans were born with. The ability to protect the world that you live in and give yourselves a fighting chance. You are one of the few with this gift. But with carrying such a gift there is also great danger that goes along with it.”
Michael roughly ran a hand through his hair and muttered. “What the hell is all this?”
I looked over at him seriously. “This actually involves both heaven and hell, Michael. It’s basically a battle between the two places here on earth.”
“So that thing is trying to kill me?”
I knew that he was referring to our last encounter with Big, Burly One. “Yes.”
“And are there others?”
I glanced away, glancing up at the ceiling. “There are … a few.”
He heard the hesitation in my voice and frowned in return. “How much is a few?” he asked warily.
“A few hundred or so,” I mumbled quietly under my breath.
He still must have heard me because his eyes widened and he looked at me in shock. “A few hundred?” he echoed loudly, his voice ending on a crack.
I shook my head sternly at him. “That’s not our concern. Jinx only lets them out one at a time. They’re called the Dark and they will always be here as long as the world keeps spinning. They lay dormant until their time comes to be released and basically act as a bounty hunter for the Light. To release more than one at a time would mess up the balance.”
“What the hell is a jinx?”
“Who. Who is Jinx.” I corrected.
Michael shook off my statement with the wave of a hand. “Okay, fine. Who is Jinx?”
I uncrossed my leg as I settled my hands on my thighs, squeezing them tightly in fright. I tried to reject the feeling that washed over me, refusing to let that emotion weaken me as I slowly breathed in and out. I swallowed thickly as I whispered, “She’s evil personified. If you thought the Dark was scary … well, she’s a hundred times worse since she created them.”
I looked over at Michael as I saw him shiver at my words, licking his dry lips as he roughly ran a hand through his hair, eyeing me in disbelief. “So you’re telling me the devil is real and is a girl?”
I bit the corner of my lip. “Yes, that would be correct.”
“That’s great,” he whispered, nodding to himself as he looked down. “That’s just great. The she-devil wants to kill me.”
“I’m here to prevent that, Michael,” I said, interrupting his self-pity speech. “I will teach you how to protect yourself so you’re able to use your powers safely and save this world in the process. You’re not alone in this.”
At my words, he looked up again. “Are there others out there like me?”
“Why aren’t you protecting them?”
I knew he was silently asking why I was protecting him instead of someone else. “Each of the Guardians are entrusted with a Light that they have to protect. You are my Light. So for now, you’re stuck with me.”
Or I’m stuck with you, depending on how you saw it.
I saw him chew on the inside of his lip, his eyes set deep in concentration as he stared at me. He looked as if he were gauging my trustworthiness so I sat there quietly and let him continue to analyze me.
I inwardly sighed to myself, silently wishing I had gotten some ditz as my Light instead so it wouldn’t be so difficult with such an analytical person, and they’d just blindly believe. As my first time out in the field, and being a full-fledged Guardian, I wanted to succeed in my mission.
I felt like Michael would make this process difficult.
“You know what you said earlier?”
I was startled at first by the sound of his voice then frowned, not knowing what he was referring to.
He must have realized my confusion because he explained. “About her being okay. Is she really?”
I didn’t say anything as I steadily looked into his eyes. I thought back to the first time I had seen him as I saw the sadness almost radiating from his pores. I thought of the raven haired, doe-eyed girl that took up the most of his thoughts. The girl who was no longer in this world but currently up in the stars.
“She is happy,” I simply said.
Michael nodded and gave a small grunt in acknowledgement. He was still sad, I knew. But I could feel a small shift in the air as I realized he was slowly letting go of all of his sadness.
I sighed, relieved that everything was finally going according to plan. Taking off my sunglasses, I tossed them on the bed as I ran a hand through my hair. Many thoughts were running through my head at the next steps that needed to be followed.
I got up and began to pace back and forth, internally dialoguing with myself. I ignored Michael’s apprehensive look my way, especially at seeing my startling non-coloured eyes again.
Now that Michael knew about his existence and seemed focused, there were things that needed to be done. First, I had to teach him on the Evil that he would soon have to face. Then train him so he was fully able to fight.
I didn’t notice Michael stand up and walk over to me, a timid smile on his face.
I stopped pacing and looked him straight at him, eyes wide.
He jumped back slightly at my direct gaze then gave his head a slight shake as he swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down in his neck nervously. “You know, you’re muttering to yourself. You’re kinda freaking me out here.”
I gnawed at the inside of my cheek, suddenly narrowing my eyes as I ignored his words. Michael must not have noticed my change in demeanor because he starting talking again.
“Shh,” I quickly said before he could continue, holding up a hand in his direction to silence him. He looked at me in surprise at my command, his mouth slightly open. I calmly answered the question that was apparent on his face.
Yes, I wanted to be different and make the devil a girl. A girl! That should be fun, especially with a name like Jinx. 🙂 Looking back at my stories, I find I had this fasciation with the fantasy genre. That’s interesting because now I see myself moving more towards more contemporary themes. But it’s nice to switch it up once in a while.
Until next time!