37.A Crying Girl.37
Thanks to Charles' power that I had somehow used, Kai was able to get us back to the farm in no time. Our things were already gone when I arrived, a sign out front saying the land would be up for sale. According to my dragon friend, almost everyone had left for the castle long before sunset began, and were probably expecting me. I, however, could sense the pain of someone who hadn't left yet.
"Let me just check it out," I snapped as Kai reminded me that I was supposed to be heading back. He grumbled, sitting outside the old house as I ascended the porch stairs and reached for the doorknob. Instead of being locked, the front door was open, and I stepped into the dark house as quietly as possible. The feeling of pain, something that was radiating from someone's chest, led me to the kitchen where I found a woman sitting at the table, her head on her arms as she cried. I saw no blood or signs of attack, and realize I was feeling her emotional pain.
Awkward, I thought, but also realized it was probably going to cause trouble in she camped out in the house we just moved out of. I cleared my throat, trying to alert her to my presence without scaring her.
Nothing. No reaction.
I gently tapped my foot against the floorboards.
She began to wail, pounding her fists on the table.
Eventually I had enough of the back and forth and began to growl, balling my hands into fists. She continued to cry, the sobs ringing in my ears and causing a headache.
"Oh my god -- hello?!" I finally screamed. The girl's head whipped up and around at a speed I nearly couldn't see, her face clear of tears. Her eyes weren't red or puffy, and she was now sitting up straight.
I also recognized her.
The spirit in the hall. The one Kai risked himself to try and contact. Her eyes searched mine, and whatever she saw in them caused her to smile.
"Hello," she answered softly. She didn't move an inch, but the chair beside hers began to slide out from the table. I began to notice that the air was too still, and that it was dead silent now that her sobs had stopped. Her hands were pale and delicate, the light almost passing through them as she waved for me to sit. Without even realizing what I was doing, I strolled over to the table, moving with grace that was alien to me.
"I thought it would take much longer for us to meet," the woman began, laying her hands on the table, "but here we are. It's nice to see you again, dear. We have much to talk about."
Once I found my voice, I noticed my senses had returned to me and that I could think clearly. My first reaction was to run, but I kept myself rooted to the spot. If anyone was going to give me answers, it was the phantom.
"Who are you?" I asked, my voice soft as to not break the tranquility of my home. It didn't even feel like we were really there, and I had a feeling we weren't.
"Is that really what you want to know? You want to know about me, and not about yourself?" She asked, her eyes narrowing. She was gauging my reaction, trying to see how I'd retaliate to her words.
I straightened, slipping on a poker face. We stared at each other for a moment, both of us trying to figure out the other.
"You know the answers," I pointed out, "and I will want to be able to find you again. So I need to know who you are."
A grin broke out on her face. "My name is meaningless. But I am the girl of the war. Gavin and Joseph were my friends."
I looked away, remember Rebecca's story. "So it's true then?" I asked, my eyes finding the windows in the kitchen. Instead of seeing dark farm land in the middle of the night, it was a blur of darkness. The room was suspended in time, detached from reality, and I could feel my palms sweat in fear.
"It all is," she replied, her voice still warm despite the topic. "You seem afraid, Cloud. Even though you're the Gray One."
"Is it obvious?" I laughed dryly, clenching my hands into fists. "You sound surprised that I'm afraid."
The girl, a spirit who'd left this world long ago, sighed. I studied her face, watching her movements. Two clans had gone to war for her, and all she'd represented. They died for her, but even after their sacrifice, she didn't survive it.
"People act in funny ways," she told me, as if it answered my question. "Even you, the Gray One, with all your power and glory, are afraid of the woman who failed where you succeeded. I wonder how you did it.
"I wonder how you lived."
I looked away, staring at the smooth table. It's like we were in a doll house.
"I was supposedly born like this. With both blood types. It was going to kill me as a child, but then I was conveniently yet unpleasantly kidnapped and given more Darkblood that set a reaction off and awoke my Lightblood ability of immunity, basically. Years later, suddenly the Darkblood is awake as well," I explained, piecing together the parts of what I knew and what I had been told. Telling the spirit the entire thing put it into a bit more perspective, despite it still seeming impossible to me.
Her eyes slowly trailed to mine, wide in admiration. They seemed to take on the colours of a starry sky, with flecks of white in irises of blue and purple. She reminded me of Kai, causing my heart to skip a beat in concern. Where did he think I was?
"Her wishes were fulfilled," the spirit murmured. She rose from her chair, walking toward the window. Her eyes landed on nothing, but she still stared at the blur of colour.
"What do you know about the creation of Lightbloods and Darkbloods?"
That was an easy answer. "Light belongs to the half of the species with divine blessings and blood. Dark is the opposite, with the blood and gifts of demons."
Her head tilted, seemingly of its own will, as she leaned forward and gently tapped her nose against the window, trying to see something outside. I could feel my worry increase, since I was at a loss for what she was doing, but forced myself to remain calm.
"Do you know any gods?"
"No," I admitted, "we rarely talk about that in school anymore. It's mostly history of the war and trying to brainstorm ways to revive Lightblood abilities."
The woman turned, frowning as she crossed her arms and leaned against the windowsill. "They teach you nothing of the gods?"
I shook my head, causing her to sigh. She came back to the table, this time sitting across from me.
"I can't tell you the rest until you know who began this all," she said softly, reaching out until she clasped my hand within hers. I expected her palms to be soft, or not even solid, but they were rough and callused.
I squeezed her hand, unable to let go. She knew the answers, but she was trying to refuse to tell me.
"If you know what is happening, tell me," I pleaded, "let me know what I should do. I don't know what I'm doing!"
As fast as she moved previously, the girl had gone from her side of the table to kneeling next to me. Her hands held my face as she spoke slowly, an unconditional look of love in her eyes.
"Just find the gods. When you can tell me who She is, your answers will be given to you. I'll wait here," the spirit told me, her form slowly vanishing. The feeling of rough skin on my cheeks gradually disappeared, and the blur of the world outside the windows refocused to become to real world. Defeated, I rose from my seat and dragged my feet to the door.
And as I passed through, the crying began again.