Between Kansas City, Kansas and Denver Colorado
March 22, 2017
Two weeks later, Brooklyn was sitting in the backseat of her own car. Atifa was driving, Laz was in the passenger seat, and Lyvlen was seated beside Brooklyn in the back. She could tell Lyvlen was studying her from the way the Guardian’s daughter was staring at the young human.
Up front, Atifa was more focused on worrying about Brooklyn than she was on the crowded highway. She had been spacey since they met Laz and Lyvlen in the diner almost two weeks ago. It was like Brooklyn didn’t know what was going on half the time. Atifa wasn’t sure if Brooklyn had another vision when no one was around or what, she had been acting so strange since meeting Laz and Lyvlen. For all Atifa could tell, Lyvlen could’ve done something to Brooklyn. Atifa glanced at the two girls in the back and saw that Lyvlen was staring, more like glaring, at Brooklyn who was quietly gazing out the window. Atifa couldn’t see the expression on Brooklyn’s face, but she could ask.
“What’s wrong, Brooklyn?” The Empathy Guardian asked.
“Nothing,” the young human replied almost immediately.
“She’s scared and confused,” Lyvlen said. Atifa rolled her eyes, annoyed at Laz’s daughter for speaking for someone who was perfectly capable of speaking for themselves.
“I’m just thinking,” Brooklyn said. In truth, she was freaking herself out with thoughts of what the dog could’ve meant. So far, Brooklyn had only come up with things that would happen in a movie, not real life.
‘But isn’t this real life?’ Brooklyn heard Lyvlen say. The human looked at the Guardian spawn. ‘You’re the only one that can hear me right now. I’m using telepathy if you haven’t figured it out yet. I’m just letting you know that I remember everything that happened in the Cavern of Despair. The Hellhound thought I was unconscious so it didn’t use the memory wipe on me.’
Brooklyn remembered what happened in the cave. She remembered the voices. What they said, what she did when the sounds of those voices overwhelmed Brooklyn. She remembered hearing Atifa’s voice telling her to join the voices. No one would miss her Atifa had said, but there had been another voice among the ones that were telling her to take the fall. The voice had told her not to do it, it had told her to stay alive, that the world needed her. The voice sounded so familiar, but at the same time, it seemed so unfamiliar.
‘That voice,’ Lyvlen gasped, still inside Brooklyn’s head. ‘It’s Zora’s voice. I would know him anywhere. He’s a master of hiding in plain sight, but his voice is always recognizable.’
Lyvlen’s eyes widened, in real life. ‘Why would Zora want you alive? What could he want with some human? Is it because of your connection to him that will help us get to the stones first? Atifa says that your connection could be the difference between us winning and losing this war. Whatever that means, and I will figure that out eventually, just know that the moment you or Zora makes a mistake, I will kill you very painfully.’
Brooklyn huffed and turned back to the window. The past two weeks had made Brooklyn realize how much she hated and feared Lyvlen Drailey. The Guardian’s daughter seemed like she hadn’t had enough human contact to know that people didn’t like having other people inside their heads, but at the same time, Lyvlen seemed like she spent most of her time with other people.
According to Atifa, Lyvlen spent most of her time either passed out drunk or at a party getting drunk. Rather than being useful and helping the Guardians protect the stones that controlled peoples emotions, Lyvlen preferred to waste her potential on useless things like parties, for example.
While Lyvlen may have been an untamable Guardian spawn that could’ve stopped the possibility of the end of the world as we know it.
Brooklyn was shocked out of her thoughts when the car come to a sudden stop. They were stuck in traffic. Brooklyn sighed, the excruciatingly long car ride to Denver, Colorado was just made longer.
An hour later, they were still stuck in traffic. They had moved about six feet, and Brooklyn was beginning to moan and groan like a bored child. Her feet were cramped, and she was incredibly bored.
No one had spoken more than ten words since they got stuck. Brooklyn wasn’t the type of person to whine all the time, every chance she got unless the whining was absolutely necessary to get what she wanted, she just hated sitting in traffic with nothing but silence. There was always some music playing for Brooklyn to sing along to or someone to talk to.
They had tried playing music, but Atifa and Laz began arguing over the music. Laz wanted jazz while Atifa wanted to play some One Direction, Lyvlen just sat quietly through the entire argument, Brooklyn was sure the older girl was asleep but after the Hellhound incident Brooklyn wasn’t going to trust Lyvlen, she wasn’t going to question her either.
Brooklyn had tried starting a conversation, but that ended up in an awkward silence. The discussion began with Brooklyn asking if Atifa or Laz news knew what was causing the traffic jam and how long it would take, and somehow, it ended up somewhat morbid when Lyvlen said something that just ended it.
Now, Brooklyn was bored out of her mind. She couldn’t read because she got car sick. Brooklyn couldn’t watch something on her phone because she didn’t have WiFi or data. None of the games on her phone could keep her occupied for long, and Pinterest could only do so much to keep her attention before she felt sick from reading so much, that is if Brooklyn was lucky enough for Pinterest to load.
Brooklyn was scrolling through the music on her phone. Maybe if Lyvlen hadn’t stolen her earbuds, Brooklyn could listen to something without dealing with Laz and Atifa’s bickering.
Brooklyn was about to tell Lyvlen to give back her earbuds when the cars in front of them began to move, and this time they didn’t stop moving.
Brooklyn sighed in relief, she still wanted her earbuds back because she couldn’t stand the silence for much longer, but at least Brooklyn knew they were going somewhere. When they passed the scene of the accident, Brooklyn put a hand over her mouth to keep from screaming. Her eyes went wide and nearly popped out of her head.
The scene in front of her was gruesome and too horrible to describe. There weren’t words for what Brooklyn saw except horrible and downright terrifying. A school bus was overturned, and there were ambulances and police cars all around the scene. Brooklyn caught sight of a body bag on the ground and thought of how many people, kids, were on the bus.
Brooklyn leaned her head back against the seat and stared into space, thinking about those poor people and what could have caused something so horrible.