(Pheew. Long wait. But I had to since the choice I left last chapter is still left as a tie. So here's a chapter to bypass it for now. And it gives big hints as to what is going to happen next. >:D)
The Spirit-Speaker felt the ghosts squeeze her skull, their frantic energy tearing her apart. She just kept on seeing chaos. Endless chaos and pain.
A Ferris wheel. The same one her beloved would take her when she felt sad. A place she knew and remembered for joy and temperance.
She say it engulfed in flame, the steel spokes holding it in place bending as the heat began to tear away at the fragile wooden stilts below. People where running, some engulfed in the blaze as they tried to run for help. Women screamed, children cried.
It was the Armageddon that Father Zachary had foretold of. Or at least one of them. In the thickened smog from the burning carnival, a massive black figure seemingly appeared out of thin air.
But it didn’t just appear.
It was the size of a house, and yet, despite its bulk, it seemed to bend the space in front of it.
It looked like it simply melted through a barrier, like water through a wall or door.
Its features where obscured by the rippling it caused in its wake, but she could see glowing eyes, red as the blood it danced to. Giant wings stretched across the sky like those of a mythological bird. A wailing noise like a million screaming infants erupted as the beast flew ominously, its vocals horrific, but underlined in hideous amusement.
The Spirit-Speaker could only watch as her vision showed the monster dive to the Ferris wheel, and with claws like demonic blades, it slashed the crumbling ride. With a final screech, the wheel fell, swallowing everything in its path in a sea of red and orange.
She could feel her skin singe and buckle, tears running down her face, as she saw people writhe in the pain of the attack.
But the thing that made her heart nearly stop was when she saw him. She didn’t recognize him, but she knew who he was. The ghosts caressed her déjà vu, and she realized in horror it was the father from the wintry night.
She remembered his laugh, his happiness. But now she saw him crushed, debris from the wheel pinning his legs to the ground. Metal shards almost severing him in half as his life source leaked out onto the rubble below him.
His body was shaking, spasming.
And she knew that he was dying.
She could see his eyes, large green eyes like spring lily pads, where fading. Darkening.
She saw him desperately try to reach for something…someone…she could feel his shock and grief. The massive beast screamed in triumph as it watched the lesser creatures below it die, then, its wings outstretched, it vanished into the skies above.
Its massive form distorted the area around it, and it dissolved. As if it was never there to begin with.
The screams began to meld together in a jumble as she saw the crumpled father start to collapse.
He was losing his strength, and she couldn’t do anything to stop it.
The wails of the ghosts began to pummel her again, harder this time. She could feel herself being yanked from the scene and into the present. But before she could fully leave, she could see a shadowy image overlap onto the dying man.
Like an inorganic canvas.
The shadow bore a huge frame, yellow lights emanating from a hidden core.
But those eyes. Those hideous eyes.
A sickening roar seemed to erupt from the shadow as she saw it lift up from the ground and throw back what she could only guess was its head.
Glinting fangs, sharp as daggers tore through the air as it bellowed. A sound that made her blood freeze and crack. It was a sound no human could make, let alone wish to hear.
But it was also grieving. The sound wasn’t of an evil beast.
Rather one who suffered too much and just wanted to die. She had experienced this in the land of the living, far too many times for her sake. She had heard this sound time and time again.
In particular from the great benevolent giants that lived in the city. How much pain she had felt from them was incalculable. But she grieved with them, and she knew she had to grieve for this…thing.
Her vision began to fade, but even then she could see the emotion conveyed by the shadowy creature.
As darkness enveloped her, she could see the beast grab his head in a headlock, bringing his head down to his knees in a rocking fetal-like motion. As the beast glanced upwards from his pose, she saw something that made her wonder about this monster. She somehow knew he saw her, even though she herself was not real in this vision of dread.
The beast blinked, and that’s when she saw something that shocked her.
She could see tears.
Not simple tears of allergy or stress. But like a spring had been unleashed, flooding the beast in liquid. The angered white eyes shifted into a pained beg as the beast finally lowered himself to the ground, lying on his side.
Hugging himself in grief.
And with that, she was dragged away from the vision, the noise of the creature’s tortured sobs still ringing in her ears.
With a bang, she found herself back in the present. She turned around, suddenly feeling free as the wailing ghosts calmed down and caressed her. Calmed her.
She was in the middle of what was once a medical office. But it had since been left to decay, a reminder of the eminent fate of rot that was creeping into the deceptively vibrant city. Desks and chairs where covered in dust, but otherwise where in relatively good condition.
But she knew deep down why it had been left in a rush. As if the people inside had disappeared. She slowly walked into an operating room adjacent to the main office. In it was once a medical studio, a miniature arena with seats rimming the theater.
And in the center was the thing that had lured her to this area.
It was the body of a young man…or what was once a young man. Almost mummified, the corpse seemed almost porcelain and plastic-like, with the bones nearly rupturing the stretched skin.
But what made it important was what had been operated on him before everything went crazy. His face had been wrapped in a mask, specifically an iron restraint mask similar to ones found in 1700’s France. The eyes had been sealed shut, blinding the wearer and leaving them without any sense of location. The remains of dark hair, cropped close to the skull in an effort to control it, where spiky and thick, resembling hedgehog spines.
The body however was horrific. Instead of flesh, everything below the chest had been severed. Dismembered. The chest had been split open, the heart and major organs halfway pulled out of the cracked and shattered rib cage.
A metal shell had been halfway placed on the torso; the back half surgically stapled and welded to the spine, while the front had been placed next to the table to add in last. Shoulder sockets where ragged and peeled, with rivets forcibly jammed into the bones.
The whole body looked like a disgusting child’s torture experiment. Only instead of harassing insects, this was done to a human while they were alive. And judging by how the upper body was twisted, he was definitely awake when this happened.
The Spirit-Speaker felt tears drip down her face. The fate of this young man was the fate of all victimized by the true monsters of this city.
Suddenly her heart began to beat, her skin freezing despite the dust riddled stuffy atmosphere. She saw flashes of color, reds, greens, yellows and purples. She heard an evil laugh. A truly evil laugh.
And she saw a face. It was a bird face, crow-like, with huge glowing eyes bulging from hideously tiny sockets. Its beak began to stretch and split, revealing massive string-like teeth.
It was as if a bird had shoved the bristles of a whale’s mouth in the mockery of the teeth God had torn out of them. It horrifically gnashed its Frankenstein teeth, a serpent’s head spooling out of its mouth in a strange semblance of a tongue. A silken voice, unsuited to the disgusting image, began to speak though the vision.
“Try and try as you might, my spiritualwhore, but you’ll never surpass me. My bird will kill all those you see as friends and important, and I will sit amongst the prophets. When Zachary Hale falls to the might of his own idiocy, I will be there to take over. But first, I’ll make it clear to you…all those like you love. I will have their heads torn off and hung as wreaths around my throne. Not a single one will live, and they will be forgotten like the first wife of Adam.
And you will be powerless to stop it.
Go and try to save your so called savior. My pet will see to it that every single one of his spawn will die screaming. And I’ll just sit back…and watch.”
A scream shattered her vision as the hideous crow threw back its head and laughed. Then, as fog dissipates under the sun, it disappeared as well. All that remained where glowing green eyes. Taunting her. Laughing at her.
Egging her on.
She felt rage bubble up inside her. But she knew herself alone couldn’t stop the events from unfolding. Despite her abilities, she was young. She wasn’t powerful enough to stop and activate events.
But she could change outcomes.
Sighing heavily, she placed her index finger to her forehead. She had to call in the last of her friends for help. He hadn’t wanted anything to do with her following the fall of her great love, as he had loved him just as much as she did.
But she had no choice. She knew he had encountered the father earlier on. He wasn’t particularly happy over the events that had transpired, but she knew with time he could loosen up.
Could, not necessarily meaning will.
So she focused, calling in the remains of her otherworldly energy into a single mental beacon. Gathering force, she launched it as a wave, hopefully strong enough to impact her target.
Rishy. Please Rishy, you have to listen. Phoros is sending the beast after the Ferris wheel tonight. He’s trying to wipe out everything to gain power. I can’t stop it, but you have to go down there. Go there and save Him. You’ll understand why later on.
(Sorry, no decision making this time around. I want to continue on until past the major events happening next before you can pick and choose events again. =3).