Counting Down To Life Chapter 16

Four Brownish yellow chairs in a waiting room

Chapter 16

Denver, Colorado

March 31, 2017

Karter stared at his best friend with fear in his eyes. Atifa dropped down next to the young girl and attempted to heal her. Her healing was less than adequate, but she tried anyway. The Guardian would do anything to save Brooklyn’s life.

She was too important to lose now.

“Move,” Lyvlen demanded. The Guardian spawn’s hands hovered slightly above Brooklyn’s chest, a soft glow was emitted from her hands. While Atifa had nearly no talent when it came to healing, Lyvlen was best at healing. She had other abilities, but healing was the thing she was best at.

Lyvlen let out a scream. She didn’t know why, but her gift wasn’t working.

“It’s not working!” she screamed.

“What if I freeze her? It could keep her from dying completely,” Atifa suggested.

“You mean like Captain America?” Karter asked, confused.

“How would that work?” Lyvlen asked. “Do you even have that ability?”

“I mean, I can freeze anything, including humans, but I’ve never done it before, so I’m guessing it would be just like coating anything else in ice,” Atifa said.

“Don’t do it!” Laz yelled. Karter hadn’t realized the Anger Guardian had woken up. “She’ll freeze to death. This isn’t a movie.” Laz shoved his daughter out of the way and put his hands on Brooklyn’s chest. He pressed down repeatedly and then put his mouth on hers.

Karter didn’t think he would ever actually see someone doing CPR on a real person, especially someone he knew.  

Karter knew Laz was trying to save Brooklyn’s life, but he couldn’t help but feel a surge of jealousy. Karter had had feelings for Brooklyn for a while, but she never had returned his feelings.

He looked up at Atifa who had been smart enough to realize that they needed to call an ambulance.

Karter wondered what happened. One minute he was talking to Brooklyn and everything was normal, then suddenly Brooklyn was on the ground dying, literally.

He watched as the Guardian continued to press down on Brooklyn’s chest until finally he stopped and fell back on his heels, sighing in relief.

“Her heart is beating,” Laz said. “It’s barely there, but it’s beating. Karter, you carry her to the park that’s not too far from here, that’s where the ambulance should show up.”

The newest Guardian lifted the girl into his arms and began fast-walking to the park Laz had said was close.

When they reached the park, the ambulance was there. The EMTs loaded Brooklyn onto a stretcher and got her into the ambulance.

At the hospital, Karter, Lyvlen, Laz, and Atifa were sitting in the waiting room waiting for someone to come out and tell them what was going on with their friend.

Karter was worried out of his mind. He hadn’t gone in the ambulance with Brooklyn, none of them had, but he couldn’t help but feel like something had happened on the way to the hospital.

Atifa stared into space blankly. She thought about what could have caused this to happen. As far as she knew, Brooklyn wasn’t injured while fighting the monster less than two hours ago. Atifa had seen Brooklyn fall and just stop fighting, but the Empathy Guardian hadn’t thought anything of it. She should’ve checked with Brooklyn and made sure the younger girl was alright, but it wasn’t like Brooklyn would tell her anything. The Guardian remembered all the nightmares she knew Brooklyn was having and the random blackouts.

Brooklyn hadn’t talked to Atifa about them at all, and Atifa was worried about the human. If Brooklyn didn’t want to confide in Atifa about anything, then she could at least let the older girl know she was alright. If Atifa was always worried about Brooklyn, then they wouldn’t be able to do as much.

Atifa leaned back in the uncomfortable chair as a silent tear dripped down her face.

Lyvlen didn’t care for Brooklyn, in fact, she hated the girl. Well, she didn’t hate Brooklyn, Lyvlen just didn’t trust her at all. That didn’t mean Brooklyn deserved to die, and if her father and Atifa thought they needed her help then Lyvlen wouldn’t stop them, she would just argue and be a brat about it. Brooklyn being with them compromised their safety. Zora may have given the stone to them for some reason, maybe he wanted them to find the stones so he could just take them from them.

Lyvlen’s hard gaze stared straight ahead as she thought of more reasons not to trust Brooklyn, not really caring that said girl was possibly on her deathbed.

Laz stared up at the ceiling, sinking deep into his thoughts. Brooklyn had told him about her visions and nightmares, she had said not to tell anyone else about them, especially not Lyvlen, but Laz was confused. Lyvlen was an expert in this kind of thing, she specialized in everything that involved the mind, but Laz didn’t want to betray Brooklyn’s trust.

She told him about every single vision she’d had in detail, so much detail that Laz felt like he had seen the image. Laz didn’t understand the events that had occurred in the scenes though. Brooklyn had practically shown him the one scene where she was being tortured by Tamarisk, it was the same one where Zora snapped his neck.

The way she described it… It sounded like she was there the night of the previous Guilt Guardian’s death. Laz would be able to decipher the dreams when Brooklyn was with him, she would be able to see them more clearly, and Laz could look into her mind while she was picturing the same scenes.

Laz sat up and noticed someone who looked like they worked at the hospital walking towards them. When the woman was right in front of the four all-powerful beings, Laz and Karter stood immediately.

The woman, a doctor, explained to them that Brooklyn was in a coma and they didn’t know when she would wake up. It didn’t look like she needed surgery, but they would be keeping a close eye on her.

The doctor led the four of them to Brooklyn’s room and before leaving she said, “She can’t move or talk, but she can hear you. I’ll be back to take you back to the waiting room shortly.”

Karter was the first to go to Brooklyn’s bedside and grab her hand. He began talking to her softly, his sobs quiet, but there. Laz and Atifa went to the other side of the bed while Lyvlen stood at the foot of her bed. Atifa was crying and holding Brooklyn’s other hand while Laz placed his hand on Brooklyn’s forehead. They stayed there and talked to her until they were told they had to leave.

Brooklyn wasn’t going to die, and Laz was going to make sure of it.

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One Last Time

Two people walking in the distance down a snowy road through the woods

This is it. The end is near

No laughs. No cries

Nor any happily ever after

 

My story will be buried in the forest of Neverland

So no living soul will know

So here I am almost at the end

Asking you to look into my eyes

For one last time

 

To find the answer before I leave

For one last time I want to hear that imperfect voice

For one last time I want to see that imperfect face

Because that imperfect self, is perfect to me

 

We drift apart farther everyday

Though we still end up crossing

No matter the distance between heaven and hell

We always pass by

 

You pretend not to see it, so do I

Yet, we can’t deny in our hearts

The cold truth of life

 

One last time,

I want to remember you

One last time ,

I want to see my self with you, just talking

All I ask is for one last time

 

Because, I have created a spell, strongest of all

That’ll take my memory of you,

Through wicked lightning and thunderstorms,

and no longer will I know you

As the storms wash you away from me

 

Everything will go the same…

Except, I won’t remember you, even in haze

Yet, there is a way to stop it…

Every spell can be stopped….

Counting Down To Life Chapter 15

clear crystal sphere

 

 

 

 

Chapter 15

Denver, Colorado

March 31, 2017

“What the Hell was that?” Karter asked loudly.

“That was the Empathy Crystal,” Brooklyn replied. “You’re going to have one of those too. We’ll find it eventually, but after seeing what happened to Atifa, I’m kind of scared.”

“I don’t want one of those,” Karter whined.

“I can’t believe we found it on something Zora sent, though. That means something, and right now with Atifa the way she is, I don’t know when we’ll be able to figure it out,” Brooklyn groaned. Brooklyn thought about Zora for a minute, how he could’ve gotten his hands on the stone. She thought about the monster and its attack, but Brooklyn didn’t understand how Zora was able to put the crystal in the thing’s eye.

“How did the alien guy get the stone, and why would he give it back?” Karter questioned. Brooklyn looked at him and felt a pounding in her head. She began to fall, and her world went black.

Brooklyn was standing in front of a table next to someone who couldn’t be more than twenty. The person turned to look at her and Brooklyn saw someone who was familiar, but at the same time, wasn’t.

He was tall, tan and had spiky, brown hair. His eyes were green, and he was handsome, someone Brooklyn would definitely go after if she wasn’t still with Finn.

The man was studying a map and chanting. Brooklyn wasn’t sure what he was saying, but she did know that the scene was familiar. She felt like she had gone through this scenario before.

“I found it!” The man exclaimed.

“Finally,” Brooklyn sighed.

“I want you to go get it,” he commanded. “Go, now.” He pressed a kiss to Brooklyn’s forehead. She realized she was wearing a hood and a scarf was covering her nose and mouth.

“Yes, my lord,” Brooklyn bowed. It was as if Brooklyn’s mouth had a mind of its own. Somehow, it knew exactly what to say and when to say it while she, herself, was perplexed.

She left the room and let her feet carry her to a room filled with weapons. Her hands automatically flew to a gold longsword.

Brooklyn walked into another room, a garage, where there were three cars. She fished in her pockets for keys and pulled out a keychain that was filled with keys. Finally, she was able to find a button to unlock one of the cars, though she wasn’t sure which one it was until she pressed the button and the lights on the farthest car lit up.

Brooklyn jumped into the car and drove off, she didn’t know where she was going, but it seemed that her hands knew which way to steer the car.

The young girl found herself in front of a hole, large enough for a person to fall down. Her feet pulled her into the hole, and she jumped and fell for what felt like hours.

When she landed, she rolled and managed to land on her feet. In front of her was a line of giants that looked like they were made of ice. Brooklyn tried stopping her feet from pulling her forward, but she couldn’t do it. Nothing could prevent her from charging at the ice giants, her sword poised to kill.

Brooklyn sliced and jabbed until there wasn’t a single giant left. There was only one person left standing in front of Brooklyn. She mentally gasped when she realized the person in front of her was Atifa.

Brooklyn tried to stop herself from running at Atifa, but her body was her cage. The Guardian put her hands in front of her and created a twenty-foot tall giant. Brooklyn ran at it just like she did with the others, but this giant was ten times stronger than all the others, and she was already tired from fighting the other giants.

Brooklyn wasn’t able to hold her own for long. As soon as her arm began to become tired and fall from the heavy weight of her blade, the ice beast ran her through with one of its enormous frozen talons.

The human looked down at her bloody abdomen and dropped to the ground. She began coughing up spurts of hot blood. Her vision was filled with yellow spots, and everything around her was fading. Brooklyn’s heart stopped, and she went still, death filling the air around her.

Karter stared at his friend’s unconscious form. He yelled for Atifa and Lyvlen, scared for his friend. He had never seen her faint. As far as he knew, Brooklyn wasn’t injured or anything. They had been talking and then she just fell. He looked up at Lyvlen, uncertainty in his eyes.

“What do I do?” Karter panicked.

“Nothing,” Lyvlen said, bending down and placing her palm on Brooklyn’s forehead as if she was checking for a fever, but in reality, she was trying to get in Brooklyn’s head to figure out what was happening to the young girl. “I can’t sense anything. It’s like she has a wall stopping me from coming in. It’s normal for Guardians and other creatures to have a mental block that’s always there, but Brooklyn shouldn’t have one. Last time I was in her head, she didn’t have any kind of shield. Her mind was completely open to intruders.”

“When did you go through her head?” Atifa yelled.

“Calm down, she knew it was happening, we had a whole conversation in her head,” Lyvlen shrugged.

“Hold on,” Karter interrupted. “You can go through people’s head?”

“Of course. You can’t?” Lyvlen said. “Most Guardians can, as far as I know, Atifa here, is the only one wh doesn’t have that ability.”

“I don’t know, I’ve been here for, like, an hour. Almost nothing about Guardians has been explained to me,” Karter reminded, throwing his hands in the air. “Anyways, can you please just figure out what’s wrong with Brooklyn?”

Lyvlen rolled her eyes and nodded. She continued trying to find a breach in Brooklyn’s mental shield, but there was nothing until Brooklyn began seizing.

Lyvlen let out a shriek and scrambled back in surprise. Lyvlen realized what was happening and waited for the seizure to be over. When Brooklyn wasn’t shaking anymore, the Guardian spawn checked the girl’s pulse. She looked at Atifa and uttered one word.

“Crap.”

Brooklyn’s heart wasn’t beating.

Counting Down To Life Chapter 14

large stones

Chapter 14

Denver, Colorado

March 31, 2017

Atifa knelt next to the beast’s body, wondering what it was. She had never seen anything like it, neither had Lyvlen. The Empathy Guardian pulled out her phone and took several pictures of the body.

Laz was the expert when it came to monsters, but he was currently unconscious ten feet away, and Lyvlen was working on healing him so he wouldn’t wake up with a concussion and a migraine. Atifa didn’t enjoy taking pictures of the disgusting creature’s body, but she had to do it if she wanted to know what Zora sent to kill them.

Brooklyn took a sidelong glance at Karter, who she now found out was a powerful Guardian. He was staring at the monster Atifa was taking pictures of.

“So, do you want to tell me what’s going on. You still haven’t explained. I mean, Atifa and Lyvlen explained some stuff to me, but it didn’t really help,” Karter said. So she explained.

There wasn’t much to tell, they had only been on this ‘quest’ for just a few weeks, but she recounted what little they had accomplished in the weeks since Brooklyn and Atifa left Miami for him. From the first attack after lacrosse practice to the attack they had just survived.

“Everything else about Guardians I can’t really explain, I don’t completely understand it myself,” Brooklyn shrugged after she finished her story. “And, trust me, there is a lot about the whole history of Guardians and the stones and Zora, the evil alien dude that’s trying to kill us and get to the stones first.”

Karter stared at her to the point where Brooklyn was beginning to get uncomfortable, then Karter punched himself in the face.

“Karter!” Brooklyn yelled in surprise.

“Sorry, just trying to figure out if this is a dream, but apparently, it’s not. This just seems so unreal, it honestly shouldn’t be real. This makes absolutely no sense, I mean, this morning I couldn’t kill something with an army of rocks,” Karter shook his head. His eyes suddenly looked as if they were going to pop out of his head. “Oh my God. I killed someone.”

Brooklyn didn’t know how that felt, so she just stared at him dumbly. “I can’t really help you with that. All I can say is that first of all, it was self-defense, second of all, you killed a monster, it’s a thing, and it tried to kill you first. Atifa said that she’s killed hordes of supernatural beings before, but she’s never harmed a human. Whether that human is considered evil or not.” Brooklyn tried to help, putting a hand on her friend’s arm.

“Brooklyn, I’ve known you since we were two and I have never thought you were genuinely insane until now,” Karter laughed. “I understood why you didn’t tell me before, but now I really understand. I’m glad you didn’t tell me, now I wish I never knew about any of this.”

“Don’t worry, that’s almost exactly how I felt, except for me it was about a week after we left. For some reason, I jumped at the chance to help Atifa, but then I tried to go back to Miami after I talked to Kayla for the first time since I went with Atifa,” Brooklyn said. “I ended up staying after some convincing, but in the past two weeks, I’ve considered leaving a bunch of times. Sorry, if I sound like I’m complaining, I mean I am complaining, I just feel like I shouldn’t be. I’m not entirely willing to be at risk of losing my life when I’m so young, but if I’m going to go, I would want to go out saving the people I love.”

Karter wrapped his arm around Brooklyn and leaned his head on her shoulder. “Brook, I’ve always thought of you as the one who would sacrifice yourself to save someone else’s life if you loved them. I remember when your mom died, you kept trying to figure out ways for them to take whatever the doctors needed to fix her from you, so I know where you’re coming from. Honestly, right now I wish I was at home on my couch watching TV with a bag of chips, not here finding out that I might die soon.”

Brooklyn dropped her head onto his and sunk deep into her thoughts. She was glad she had someone she trusted at her side, someone who would go through all of this with her.

Brooklyn didn’t remember how they got to this point. Their conversation had gotten so emotional. She had just been explaining things to one of her closest friends, and somehow they ended up talking about how neither of them wanted to be here.

Atifa was in shock. When she was studying the face of the beast, she started to think it was made to be a more lethal version of the beast from Beauty and the Beast. That is until she saw the eyes. The left eye was a human looking blue eye, but the right eye was what surprised her.

It was a crystal, and as it sparkled in the bright March sun, something pulled her to it. It felt like there was something familiar about the jewel. Atifa moved her face closer to the thing’s eye and realized what the gem was.

Atifa scrambled back and grabbed her blade from where she had tossed it in the dirt. She clutched the knife and shoved it into the creatures right eye socket, right next to the precious gem. She dug until she was able to force the crystal out of the beast’s eye.

The Guardian cradled the bloody jewel in her hands as if it were a baby, and yelled, “Brooklyn, come here.”

Brooklyn jumped up and ran to Atifa’s side, Karter right behind her. Lyvlen was still tending to her father, but she turned her head to where the trio was sitting.

“I found it,” Atifa gasped. “We finally have it.”

“But that doesn’t make sense,” Brooklyn said, connecting the dots and realizing that the gem was on the monster the entire time. “If you found it on that thing and Zora sent it, doesn’t that mean he had it the entire time?”

Atifa’s eyes gleamed. “I don’t care, we can deal with that later. Right now, just restore it. Put it right here,” she growled, hungrily as she gestured to the middle of her chest.

Brooklyn did as she was told and placed the Empathy Crystal on Atifa’s chest. A luminous glow emerged from Atifa’s lean body, then it was gone as soon as it started and the stone was gone.

Atifa sighed as if she was satisfied after ages of not having enough. Her eyes seemed to glow brighter then they did before, and the aura of power around the Guardian became stronger.

Brooklyn slowly backed away from her powerful friend, afraid of the strength and the amount of power Atifa was emitting.

How powerful were these stones?

A Pirate’s Journey: Part Nine (Epilogue)

a 3 masted sailing ship at sunset

 

 

 

 

The island prison was utterly deserted, with no humans present other than Timberwolf’s crew and, hopefully, their captain. The island itself was not large, but the prison compound covered the entire land, so it took time before they found Timberwolf.

Theo found the grizzled man, and he called for the rest of the crew immediately. “Silas, Maldir, Red – you guys, I found him!”

There were no keys to open the padlocked cell, but Silas broke the locks using a chunk of rock he found on the ground. As soon as the door was opened, the entire crew rushed in to hug their captain, shouting, “Timberwolf, we missed you!

The captain was practically crushed under the weight of all eight boys, and pushed them off so he could wheeze gruffly, “I’m fine, I’m fine. I was only kidnapped for a few days, there’s no reason to get emotional about it.” He pushed himself into a sitting position against the wall. “I have to ask though, how did you boys manage to find me?”

“It was all Silas,” Red said, pulling the first mate forward. “He led us through thick and thin, even risked his life to save all of us.”

Silas blushed. “You did a lot too. It was your idea to go to Kincade . . .”

“Ah, he’s being modest,” Maldir smiled at him. “Silas was the best. None of us could have done any better.”

Timberwolf looked at Silas appraisingly. “Well, that’s quite impressive. I’m very thankful you took charge, Silas, and I’m proud to call you my first mate.”

“Thank you,” Silas said. Timberwolf’s approval meant the world to him. “Thank you so much.”

“No, thank you,” the captain said. He tried to stand up but groaned in pain; Algreve caught him before he fell. Timberwolf shook his head, grimacing. “Well, boy, since you’ve proven yourself capable of handling a rescue mission, I’d say you should be able to run our fair vessel while I recover from this ordeal, eh?”

Silas’ eyes widened. Timberwolf was asking him to stand in as captain? That was all he had wanted from the beginning, for Timberwolf to give him more responsibility. “Aye, captain, of course.”

“Then let’s get back on the ship, shall we?” Timberwolf, with Algreve’s help, began to limp toward the door. “I’m sure your crew is more than ready to return home, Captain Silas.”

A Pirate’s Journey: Part Eight

three pirate ships on a dark, cloudy ocean

 

 

 

 

“Silas,” Red said desperately. “You don’t have to do this. We’d rather you be alive than take those chances.”

Maldir shushed Red and cheered, “Come on, Silas, you can do it! Show this rum-guzzling, captain-stealing fool why he shouldn’t mess with Timberwolf’s crew!” The rest of the crew followed suit, chanting Silas’ name and booing at Halloway.

Silas drew his sword and faced Halloway. “Do you accept my offer?”

As an answer, the short captain drew his own weapon. “Prepare to suffer.”

Their swords met with a resounding crash, and the duel began. Silas quickly lost ground as he was backed up against the railing, but he darted to the side as Halloway slashed at him. The fight took them all over the ship, Halloway using his strength and experience to his advantage, while Silas used his surroundings and knowledge of the ship to his own advantage. To avoid getting his legs sliced, Silas tried to jump onto a barrel, but lost his balance and fell to the ground.

Halloway stood over him, grinning evilly, cutlass raised high. “I suppose you had a bit too much confidence in yourself, boy.”

Silas returned the grin with a beam of his own. “I think not.” He slid between Captain Halloway’s legs and out the other side, jumping up to give him a hard kick in the back. The man turned around, stumbling, and Silas shoved him to the ground, planting a foot firmly on his chest. “I believe I have won this duel. Would you care to surrender, captain?”

Halloway glared at him. “I surrender.”

Graciously, Silas stepped off the captain and offered to help him up, but Halloway refused. He called to his own crew, “It’s over, boys.” Without a word, the older pirates retreated to their own ship.

Timberwolf’s crew cheered, crowding around Silas to hug him and ruffle his hair. After all, he had saved them.

Once Halloway was behind his own wheel, he yelled back to Silas, “This isn’t over yet, boy. We’ll be back, mark my words.”

“Yeah?” Silas called. “Maybe next time we’ll bring some friends so it might actually be an even fight.” His crew erupted in another bout of joyful yelling.

Halloway didn’t respond, only spun the wheel to turn his ship about and head back to his stronghold, defeated.

Once all the dark-sailed ships had nearly disappeared over the horizon, Silas turned to his crew. He felt extremely giddy – he had just fought a pirate with much more experience than him and lived to tell the tale. Not only that, he had won, and saved his crew in the process.

“Now, who’s ready to go save our captain?”

The Tale of the Dead King pt.3

“Iris, what?! How?! When?!”

Iris sat down on the floor, tears still streaming down her face and told him of the mysterious carriage arrival, the sudden darkness, and the frightening figure in the window.

 Basil slowly slid to the floor out of pure shock and tried his best to comfort her.

“Okay… what should we do?”

“I… I… I don’t know what to do.”

“We will figure it out like we aways do,” Basil said reassuringly.

He got up after a few minutes, grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around Iris.

“I’ll be right back. Just stay here, okay?”

She slowly nodded her head, “Just come back.”

“I will. I promise.” After that he walked out the door and closed it behind him.

Iris’ head was spinning as soon as the door closed.

The same question kept flashing in her mind. Who? Who was the mysterious figure in the window? Who would take her mom? And why did they leave her?

She was so deep in her thoughts that she didn’t notice that Basil was back with his older brother, Aaron (who was visiting from the Palace) and also Robin, a boy she had crush on that broke her heart (and moved away).

[Remember that I said Basil is the only boy who lives in the village].

“Iris? I’m back and I brought some help.”

“I see. Did we need help?”

“Well… I thought we might need some.”

“Okay, so you thought a knight in training, and a blacksmith’s son that broke my heart so bad that I can’t even look at him, would be a good idea?”            

“Hey! I’m just trying to help!”

“Stop yelling! She’s just mad at me and upset about her mom. I’m sorry. And I’m not saying you have to forgive me, but I am sorry and I hope you know I mean it,” Robin (the boy who broke her heart) intervened.

Then he turned around and walked right out the door.

Not really surprised at this, but feeling a little guilty, Iris turned around to wipe her tears away.

The reasons for this was: one, because she wanted to feel a little braver, and two, because she noticed that she cried a little when she saw Robin and didn’t want anyone to know.

“Sorry Basil. Sorry Aaron. I’m just not myself…”

“It’s okay. I wouldn’t be myself either,” said Aaron.

“It’s okay. I’m sorry, I just thought you would want the people you knew…… I forgot.”

“It’s okay.”

After that it was silent for a long, long, long time. It was dusk when somebody finally spoke.      

“We should probably get some sleep. We’ll need to start packing early if we want to get a head start on the trail. It might be a long journey so we’ll need a lot of supplies,” Aaron suggested.

“I just was wondering,” Basil asked.”Where is the trail?”

Now my dear readers I’m leaving you here so be puzzled, be scared, and I’ll speak to you soon.

To be continued…

 

inspired by Lemony Snicknet (also known as Daniel Handler)

Anna,age 14