“Just More Chaos”; Chapter Five, Part Two

We reappeared in the glaring white room that miss FoxFace seemed to have dedicated as ‘the landing pad’ or something of the sort. Instantly we were surrounded by soldiers with big guns and, while the world was still spinning, Charr chucked me at them. “Take him!” I heard her shout. “And get a medic! Fast!”

Hands seized me, but they let me turn around to see Conan kneeling, blood making a mess of things. He was pale, but didn’t seem to be panicking. Always a good thing.

One soldier rushed to Conan. Bandages were produced and Conan’s shirt was ripped open to show the wound. Gah! Did I really do that?

Then, as if trying to blot out my guilt, I thought of something. “Wait!” I yelled, throwing myself at Conan. “You’ve got to take his collar off! Before she calls him back!”

In a fumble, Charr and I wrestled the thing – but it was padlocked. Shit! Cursing, I drew my sword- but another soldier drew a far more sensible looking knife. Within seconds the collar hit the floor.

“Oh good,” I said as Charr picked it up. “That’s good-”

And then she punched me.

Whack!

Again, a tribute must be sung by a choir of angels about how fast Charr was. I never saw that punch coming. It just – smack!

The next thing, I was laying on my back and the lights were blinking above me. “-been wanting to do that for so long,” I heard Charr say.

Well, I guess I deserved it. I did almost kill her sweetheart, I guess.

I was hefted to my feet by soldiers. Conan was carried out by several while I swerved on my footing. Charr marched out, ignoring me like I was a bug or something. Then, hands clamped on me like they could actually restrain me, I was marched out of the ‘landing pad’.

Of course, I was taken straight to a cushy waiting room. I wished. Instead, I found myself dumped unceremoniously in an interrogation room, the door locked.

I didn’t try and fight my way out or sweat it. I just collapsed in the chair and sat back.

Okay, now was the token ‘time to reflect on your life’. Pretty sure, soon FoxFace was going to come in and try and bust a new deal with me. But what should I do?

My life was a mess. I had helped an egotistical maniac take over the two realms. So going home was out of the question. Maybe I should – just bum around the mortal kingdom? Would FoxFace agree to just leave me alone for a little while?

Wondering about the odds of that happening, I drew my dice from my pocket – and saw that it was not the one I used to have, but rather the one Amitabha had given me. Crap.

Grumpily, I tossed it onto the table. It gave me a miserable seventeen. Like hell that thing was useful. I must have hit a critical fail when dealing with Bella, for sure. But what had I been thinking? I was Chaos, not ‘mister healy-happy-vibes’. And I had been played for an idiot.

With a groan I dropped my head onto the table beside the dice. What was I going to do?

The question was one that, it seemed, I could think about for hours with my brain running in circles. Which is exactly what I did. Mental laps upon laps about why Bella treated me the way she did, why she shared her power with me, and what I was left to do now.

It was ages later that I realized that, huh, it had been a while. FoxFace was letting me stew? Odd. Smiling grimly, I wondered at whether FoxFace would be successful in whatever it was she was planning right now. Nudging the dice with a finger, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask this dumb dice something.

Well, it rolled a critical 20. I huffed. FoxFace was going to be successful. Dammit. Deciding in no small terms to just give up, I pulled my jacket closer around myself and kicked back in the chair, feet up on the table. Might as well sleep.

I swear, I had just fucking closed my eyes when Bam! The door shut and FoxyFace herself was grinning at me.

“Look what the cat dragged in, literally!”

I scowled at her. “Now what?” I sighed, kicking my feet down to the floor. FoxFace was all grins as she pulled up the chair opposite me.

“How are you doing?” she asked in that too-sweet tone of hers.

I rolled my eyes and just looked at her. There was no wiping out that grin, was there? “Bella and I broke up. You happy?”

“Poor you,” she said completely unconvincingly, what with the shark grin and all. “Do you want my sympathies?”

“Yeah,” I said snarkily. “All of them.”

She laughed. Tapping the table between us, she said “So how about this? Are you done side-hopping then?”

“I’m not on anyone’s side,” I said, drawing on my family’s neutral tradition – only to get laughed at.

“Bullshit!” said FoxFace happily, in a suspiciously good mood. “Now, you make up your mind, alright?”

I glared at her. “I’m not going to help you-”

“Why not?” she interrupted. “We’re the good guys!”

I glared harder. She held up her hands. “What do you want? We’re not going to pay you, you’re a spirit. We’re not sacrificing children to you, so doesn’t that tell you something?”

“You’re using me like a pawn!” I shrieked, something snapping in the back of my head. Must have been a nerve or something. “I am not-”

Her patient expression silenced me. I sat back into my chair and crossed my arms. “I’m sick of this. I want to be left alone.”

“Chaos, chaos, chaos,” tutted Foxface, drumming her fingers on the table. “You do know -” and she cocked her head to the side. “You can’t just walk away from a mess of your own making. You know that, right?”

I tightened my arms across my chest. “I did not,” and that’s where I left it.

FoxFace pointed a finger at me, aiming between my eyes. “You were sent to, essentially, quell Bella’s uprising. Now?” She looked pointedly up, then down. “She rules the two realms. It’s only because she’s pretty damn slow and disorganized that she hasn’t unleashed full hell on earth yet.”

An unhappy feeling settled in my gut. “How do you know that?” Who was her source?

She grinned. “Now listen up, kid. I’ve got a treat for you. You liked your home, didn’t you? You don’t want it destroyed?”

“I also don’t want the Pure Lands destroyed,” I sighed, seeing where she was going with this. “Which, Bella is probably going to try and destroy.”

FoxFace mimed firing a finger gun at me. “Bingo. See, you’re thinking. You can do this.”

I sent her my version of a murder note via the eyes.

“Now, you see,” FoxFace completely ignored my threatening look and seemed even more pleased. “She is going to either battle the Pure Lands or earth. We’re not sure which.”

“Pure Lands,” I muttered softly. “She just needs another portal.” Which, now that she ruled the two realms, she could bully people into making one for her.

“Ah, but!” FoxFace placed her fingers like a spider on the table between us. “She needs more worshipers here on earth to raise her power to allow her to defeat the Pure Lands. You understand that, don’t you? It’s all dandy and all to bully people into doing things for you, but if she wants to kill the Buddha essence herself, with her own hands, then she’s got to get a whole lot more powerful.”

I cringed. “Why would she want to kill the Buddha essence?” The source of all Buddha-natures, the essence that was all Buddhas in one!

FoxFace gave me a disappointed look. “Because she’s a demon? Daughter of Mara?”

“How do you know that?” I asked. “Besides, she has a blue eye. Demons don’t have blue eyes.”

FoxFace winked at me. “My source says its a tattoo.”

“A – tattoo?” An eyeball tattoo?! How come I’d never thought of that?

“So this means she’s about to unleash hell on earth, by the way, quite literally,” FoxFace summarized terribly. “Which was why she found Kuryo. He’s excellent at sending spirits here and there, even across dimensions.”

I shrunk down in my chair with a huff. That guy. Could people stop complimenting him?

FoxFace was talking on. “So we’ve stalled her by rescuing him. And you not being on her side anymore is probably throwing her for a loop – but not too big of a one.”

I scowled.

“So? Chaos? Want to help humanity?” FoxFace grinned. “Tell me you don’t want to be the goodguy in this story.”

I rolled my eyes. “Fine. I’ll do it.”

“Spoken like a true teenager,” she chuckled.

Ranger’s Story – Chapter Two Part One

Now in this part, we get to meet Ryo (I think it’s actually supposed to be pronounced with an ‘l’ instead of an ‘r’). No picture today because I’m tired and it’s late. But I will hopefully post a picture of him sooner or later! He’s an old character too. If we were to put everyone in sequence of age, Ranger and Mars would be oldest, followed by Ursula and Allegra then Ryo. Lenda is by far the youngest, being only a few years old, compared to Ranger being a character from my childhood (really! Parts of this story are that old!). As much as Ryo is important, I’m not sure what to say about him. He’s funky, in so many ways Allegra’s opposite, all while sharing the same core elements as her. He’s definitely nowhere on the ‘normal person’ spectrum, being way off on the horizon of weirdos that I love to write about. That being said, no spoilers! One day I would love to write the backstory of Allegra and Ryo, so I don’t want to say too much and give it all away. But ahhhh, I want to say it all!

I really hope you all enjoy this chapter! 🙂

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It was the middle of the night when Allegra and her team of cronies rolled down a dusty country road that, seemingly, led straight off a cliff. Not even a warning sign!

Now, really, the lack of a sign was a sign in itself. It showed that this road was not exactly touched by the government’s meddling hyper-organizing touch. It showed that that old picket there? Well if you slowed next to it like Allegra was doing and held your wrist out, a light flashed and it beeped. Then, with a rustle and groan, a slab slid out from the cliff’s edge. It functioned like a very risky elevator, what with there being no walls and all. It always gave Lenda the creeps, being perched above the gaping maw of this cliff with no walls to hold her in.

Without a ding the platform had reached its destination. It was a hole, a cavern in the rock wall that looked like little more than a nook. Ah but it was a hologram!

Very expensive, all this. One might wonder how it came to be? Well here’s the thing. It was a pre-Ursula secret training base for special forces soldiers. Ursula had taken it over for her special force (the ‘Bats) and they, well, gave it a makeover.

It did not appear like much in the hangar where they parked their motorcycles. There, it was merely a hangar. But when they slipped through a door on the side and entered the base de facto, ah, all that grease and iron tang was left behind.

Imagine, if you will, that your esoteric aunt had joined the militia. That was sort of the ‘vibe’ of the place.

For crystals were set in nooks in the wall as energy sources. Military vows lined the walls right next to them. There was an aura of energy and magic to the air that one could sense like a crackle in the veins, amplified by the steel structures.

And yet Allegra was not pleased. The energy was not what it could be, was not at its peak performance. There was dust on the crystals, garbage in the pails.

No one noticed her slight frown of displeasure. For the ‘Bats were largely out of shape intuitively and really, they thought Allegra would be happy at how they survived without her. When Allegra reached the mess hall where the rest of the other fifty some odd ‘Bats were waiting for her, there was nothing but open joy in the air. They didn’t notice that her smile seemed strained, that she seemed largely annoyed at the fuss they were throwing about her return. She kept casting her eyes around, searching for someone who she knew wasn’t there. She, with her heightened senses (more on this later) could smell that he wasn’t in the room.

After an obligatory hour and a half of presence, Allegra excused herself. She was tired and, clapping Alex on the shoulder, announced that tomorrow was going to be a big day! Those near her cheered, thinking that she would be so pleased to know all that they had done!

And so Allegra slipped away, heading in the direction of the rooms for officers. And yet when she was sure no one was following her, she took the elevator and pressed the button for the lowest level.

The lowest level was the safest in case of an invasion, being quietly tucked away. It also had the swiftest evacuation maneouvers to do, what with a flight of stairs leading straight out into a hidden network of caves. Because here, in the lowest and most secret level, was the laboratory. It was sealed off from the rest of the base by a set of protective doors. Again, Allegra showed her wrist, and she was allowed through.

Cubicles and computers were shunted to one side. Technology and motorcycle pieces to the other. Laboratory this and that in the middle with air chutes. And, tucked as far away as could be, with a small partition to shelter him from the day-to-day bustle of the laboratory, was Ryo.

He was slim, frail and lithe. His cheekbones jutted and his brown eyes glimmered with sickness. If he were to stand, he would be Allegra’s height. But he was sitting, loosely wrapped in deep green harem pants and a brown-orange prayer shawl. Prayer beads were on his wrist.

Allegra didn’t knock, merely leaning against the partition and crossing her arms. Ryo didn’t look up. He was sitting, a needle in his arm while medication dripped in through a saline solution. A scent of incense surrounded him but to Allegra, it wasn’t enough to cover the stench of medication and sickness.

“That’s more than you used to take,” she said in a low tone.

Ryo nodded, pressing his lips together. He looked up from the corner of his eye. “Anxiety,” was all he said.

Allegra shifted. One step closer, and she reached to stroke his hair. Her fingers caressed down the scar on his cheek, then turned his chin to face her. “I’m back,” she said firmly.

A smile ghosted over his lips. “Yeah,” he said softly. He leaned into her touch, relaxing visibly. She stepped closer, sliding her arms around his shoulders in an embrace.

They stayed like that, embracing for a moment. Allegra rubbed his shoulders and Ryo closed his eyes. “I wanted to ask you something,” he said softly, so quietly others might not have heard it.

A smile curved Allegra’s lips. “Hmm?” she hummed, still holding him close.

He drew back. Took her hands in his. His smile sparkled up at her, but there was fear in his eyes. “Will you marry me?” he asked in that same, quiet, tone.

Allegra’s eyebrows jumped off her forehead. Her dangerous eyes widened. She didn’t say anything.

Ryo flustered. “Please?” he offered.

Allegra was in no mood for ‘please’. “You wanted to become a monk,” she said dryly. “That was the plan.” That some day he would leave her for solitude, peace, and inner growth.

He bowed his head over their hands. She hadn’t let go yet. “I’ve been a monk for three years,” he murmured, caressing her hands in his. “And I’ve missed you so much.”

Allegra’s face softened. Ryo took a deep breath. “I want to marry you,” he insisted. “I’ve thought about it, I’ve meditated on it,”

Allegra’s eyebrows were now amused. When Ryo said he meditated on something, that meant it was serious.

“And I-I,” he faltered, looking up at her again. “Won’t you say something?”

Allegra turned wry. She was sorely tempted to give Ryo back one of his speeches on the virtues of monastic life and its importance in one’s life cycles. But she was better than that. “Yes,” she said pointedly. “I’ll marry you, my monk.”

Ryo’s face lit up. “Really?”

“Yes,” Allegra nodded sternly. “But no more talk about leaving me again.”

Ryo grinned, ducking his head. “Yes,” he said.

“Good,” Allegra tugged on his hands. “Get up. Someone’s going to be coming along.” She nodded at his arm. The medication had run its path. “Needle out first,” she ordered.

The needle came out. She helped him to his feet, looping one of his arms around her shoulder as if to half carry him.

But first, a kiss. A happy, passionate, kiss.

Then, Ryo wobbling and Allegra smiling, they made their way to her bedroom. There, they locked the world out. And we shall leave them there.

Aaaand – Allegra! (Ranger, Chapter One, Yurelocked!)

Hey everyone! As I’ve mentioned on my Instagram, Allegra is a character that I lo~ove. She fights with other characters for second place in my ‘most favorited characters of all’, and is fighting with Mars for second place, third at worst, in Ranger’s story.I change my mind upon who I like more depending on my mood.

When I feel powerful and Badass, I feel in tune with my inner Allegra, if you know what I mean. As you may have noticed with my Chaos novel, I tend to enjoy torturing my characters (heh heh heh). I love buggering with their lives and screwing with their plans. Not so with Allegra. For some reason, I just like boosting her up and giving her what she wants. Not that I actually give her all that she wants, but I wish I could.

Anyways, here is part of the first chapter of Ranger’s story! And yes, Ranger does not feature. She comes in later.

 

In the realm of the incarnates, on this grimy little planet, things were dingy. Ah! Let me situate you. First of all, there is this little country-turned-conquered territory called Bellerable. It was once a quiet little country. Then, you see, there was all this political drama about another country wanting to take over. An adjourning was called, and taken over it was.

But then! Gods need to prove themselves, don’t they? Hakuzo, thinking this a brilliant time to prove what her favourite daughter was made of, sent Ursula down there to stir things up.

Ah! Ursula was no mere incarnate. Born with the power of, well, her own powers really, she quickly assumed her godhood.

It was a rebellion like no other. Imagine cities set afire, tanks bursting from the sheer power she unleashed into the air. Imagine one who could control a drone with her mind – and you’re still missing a little bit.

Ursula was magnetic. She had the power, and all could sense it. Confidence, charisma, cleverness- she had the three c’s.

Countries flocked to her for protection. She began building an empire like no other. A god’s empire on earth where ceremonies were held in her honor. Temples were consecrated in her name.

And then – there was a teensie problem.

Bam! She was shot dead!

What can kill a god but a silver bullet with a sacred inscription upon it, ordering their body back to their realm? Well now, that’s mighty specific, but someone just so happened to do it.

Enter, ladies and gentlemen – Mars Bacorago, youngest son of Kosara, also incarnated at the same time.

Now wait a minute! Aren’t those two supposed to be getting married and yet he shot her?

Well that proves they’re not a match, is what the snivelling spirit said to Kosara. If they loved each other, no harm would have come to either of them, no matter their incarnation.

Because, ah, Kosara’s son was younger than Ursula and far less experienced. He was not as fully aware of his powers. Seeing as an incarnation could not be ended so easily, the son’s opinion could not be sought out. And so, no one quite knows why he murdered Ursula.

Oh, but I am boring you? Wait a minute! What happened to Mars after the death of Ursula? Why, power.

Mars, in the ensuing chaos, affiliated with a seemingly luckless country. Crafting from the inside, he maneouvered the conquering not only of Bellerable, but of most of everything Ursula had conquered for herself. Bellerable became a mere province and he, the premier of it.

Above him, a regime ruled – or did it? For Mars’ web of informants ran deep and his grip seemed to spread every year, invisible like a spider’s web.

And oh- will you look at the time? Look, look, something’s about to happen. Here, come with me.

Look down here, you see this desert? Look closer – that dot? It’s a little cube of granite. A prison, a holding place in the province of Wistonia for the nation’s worst oogie-boogie criminals. Naturally, many of Ursula’s most devoted and passionate followers ended up there. But ah- let’s focus shall we? For today, I know something that you do not. Can’t you feel it in the air? It is the summer solstice. And the followers of Ursula know her power grows with the sun. With it at it’s highest on this day, they are surely planning something.

You think I know what they are planning? Well I wouldn’t say I don’t. But let’s take a look.

Ah, look in this cell. A young damsel – not in distress. Her name is Allegra. She is young, maybe twenty something now? See those scars about her eyes? No one knows how she got them. Notice how her hair is short to her collarbone and shorter in the back? Well it is actually shaved at the back of her head under all that, for that’s where the ‘Bats hide their tattoo.

The ‘Bats. Oh, of course, you haven’t heard of them. Different dimension and all. Well, let me tell you that they were Ursula’s finest, most loyal, and fiercest. They were her secret right hand, eyes and ears. It is said to be a whole organization, with different section called the Blood, others called the Bones, other the Skin. The idea is that all together they formed a living organism that supports Ursula. Of course, most people called them BloodBats as that sounded fiercer. But the historically accurate term is ‘Bats, and they tattoo their heads with their ranks.

Allegra was the leader of the ‘Bats. A teen when the war broke out, she was trained by Ursula herself and helped train other ‘Bats. She was strong of character, impeccable in her morals, and a deadly sniper. It is said that her blood is mixed with that of a wolf, giving her supernatural powers.

Of course, if she is in prison (solitary confinement!) it is because she was caught. She surrendered three years ago, cornered in a flower shop. Some say it was staged, for it brought a great deal of publicity to Mars, who publicly defended her and insisted she have a fair trial. Because of this, he was reelected. Allegra was sentenced to a lifetime in prison.

With Allegra in prison, the ‘Bats slipped under the radar. The federal government turned its eye to internal affairs and the people seemed to have forgotten about Ursula’s impending return.

Her what? Oh yes, well she was supposed to return! To complete her reign! What else was she supposed to do, after being taken away so swiftly?

Anywho, today was a special day, and Allegra knew it. Her eyes fairly glow with anticipation. She kept smirking at the camera in her cell as if she knew something that they did not. She was altogether happy – and that doesn’t bode good!

The door opens. Creeee-ak! A lady marches in – and what a lady! Red high heels, red lipstick, black pencil skirt, and oooh la la, that dark reddish brown hair, tumbling down her shoulders. Now don’t be deceived. It was fashion, but to an extreme that no one usually wears. It was ‘too much’ as anyone would put it. Too bright, too shiny, too, ‘too’.

But Glory, as her nametag advertised, didn’t seem to realize that her makeup was too much, or her heels too tall. She radiated confidence.

That confidence, and the paper reading ‘permission for privacy’ was why the guards let her in alone. They shut the door behind her with a clang.

Allegra rose to her feet off her cot, inclining her head to the left side in respect. Glory merely smiled. “Hey gurl,” she said in a falsetto.

“Glory,” Allegra said, amused.

Glory drew a camera from her purse and took a snap of Allegra. All the while she spoke, but in a language that wasn’t the common speech. It was an old native tongue, nearly lost due to successive invasions and the dwindlings of time.

In fact, besides a small village up in the remote North where a certain someone had learned it, no one but the ‘Bats spoke this language. So much so that they used it to be sure not to be understood by others, even in writing. The federal government, having very limited knowledge of Native affairs in the newly conquered territories, thought it was a made-up language and had spent nearly a billion in efforts to decipher it. Now you know a secret.

But what was Glory saying? Ah, well, she was passing along directions, for she could not go where Allegra was going, courtesy of time. For Glory needed to have a strict alibi.

Once the instructions were passed along, Allegra nodded. She said the equivalent of ‘understood’. Glory smiled genuinely back. She drew a pinch of salt from her purse. “Fly, eagle,” she said in the language “Let the sky be your dominion.” and she tossed the salt in the air between them.

By the time that last grain of salt touched the hard concrete floor – they had both vanished! My oh my! How could that have happened?

Well, there is one simple explanation. Glory was a magician. And this brings us to the most sensitive topic of magic in this world. Ursula was the Queen of magic, beloved of believers all across the globe. So much so that now, the federal government had banished magic! They insisted it did not work, that it was all smoke and mirrors, and made it very illegal to do! Why, just owning a shrine to Ursula and burning a candle could have one arrested!

And so, yes, the moment they vanished, not only did the guards watching crap themselves, they also wondered how they were going to explain this to their boss, and how their boss was going to explain it to their boss, and so on and so forth.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Nineteen, Part One

I woke, groggy but determined. As I had slept in bursts and hiccups, I had time to think, and think, and think. My mind kept feeling grogged, but I was determined now to- something. Be better. It was a hazy idea, but I wanted to improve things. I wanted to make Bella happy. I was going to do that – somehow.

My mind just couldn’t compute a solid answer!

When I finally woke for good, the first thing I did was splash water on my face in the washroom. That turned my skin cold, but did very little to actually rouse me. I felt trapped in a mist.

Grumbling but still determined to… something?… I dressed and stomped from the room.

“AH!” I yelped as a vampire was just – standing there.

She looekd down at me, peeling her lip back from her teeth in a grimace. “You, awake.”

“No,” I snarked, hand on my thumping heart. “I’m dead.”

The vampire paused. The sarcasm seemed to have conufsed her.

“Where is Bella?” I asked.

“She has orders for you to stay inside the house until her return,” said the vampire. “Rest or, something,” she finished with a shrug.

I scowled at her before brushing past her to the stairs.

A hand slammed down on my shoulder. I whirled around to face miss fang-face. “Where do you think you’re going?” she hissed, stooping so her breath was straight in my face.

“Breakfast,” I hissed back, rising up to snarl in her face. “Or something.”

Rolling her eyes, she let me go. I turned around and stomped down the stairs, fully convinced that I was going to do the ‘something’ part of my statement. I just wasn’t sure what it would be. But sitting around and just waiting for Bella? That didn’t feel right.

But first, really, I had to eat. And if there was coffee to be found- it was to be mine.

There was three beefy werewolves in the kitchen, pouring blood into baggies. They looked at me, then the middle one, Munch as it so happened, straightened.

“Hey, if it isn’t the little kitten!” he sneered. Dusting his hands off on his apron, he strolled over to me. “What’ll it be? Want some milk?”

Oh gawwwwd. I smirked, trying to not listen to him. Whatever. “With cereal,” I said sweetly, trying to somehow turn the joke on him. “Can you manage that?”

“Oh, for you? Sure, kitten,” and he reached to ruffle my hair.

I punched him in the gut. My reasoning? If I was Bella’s precious kitten he couldn’t really punch back, could he?

Well, as it turned out, I was right. Munch straightened, lifted a fist, then double checked himself. I smirked. Victory. Alea jacta whatever.

I bumped past him into the kitchen. “So where is this food? Theoretically?” And I propped myself against the counter right before this big window.

I picked it because, really, cool window? Nice view while eating my cereal and being smug? It turned out to be the worst decision, like, EVER.

The sniper must have been like ‘Dude, my lucky day’ and shat themself in excitement.

Oh wait, they’re Canadian, so it must have been ‘Eh, dude, my lucky day eh?’. Then, presumably, they apologized to me.

Because, really, after two point oh seconds before this window, it shattered inwards and something whacked into my neck. Glass showered over me in little slicing bits and I yelled wordlessly in surprise as I ducked forward.

“What the fuck?” I asked, crouched down beside the counter – not under a window this time. Munch and the others were also crouched down, eyes wide and ogling me.

Munch pointed at me, more specifically my neck. “Your neck!”

I touched, and felt the feathers. Damn. Sweet Jesus on a stick and fuckity fuck fuck. I pulled it out, then glared at it. It was a black metal vial with white and blue feathering. I threw it angrily on the floor.

“What the fuck?” I hissed angrily as if it was Munch’s fault. Scrambling, I poked my head up to look back out the window. There was the town, or more precisely the rooftops.

Munch was on a walkie talkie. “There’s a sniper firing shots into the house. Repeat, a sniper-”

The world lurched around me. The floor crashed up to me. I jolted, spasming once. Twice. The cold tiles were hard against me as I thrashed in a seizure.

“Shi-i-it,” I heard Munch hiss.

But, of fucking course, he didn’t even come to help. They just stood in their corner of the kitchen, talking on the walkie talkie. Their words faded into a jumble, and as I railed angrily against htem, the scene faded.

“FUCK YEAH!” someone fairly roared, jolting me awake.

My eyes flew open, my nostrils flared, and I was struck by the sudden newness of this scenario. The smell of champagne, the moving masses around me.

“We did it!” someone was cheering. “We did it, we did it, we did it!”

I looked around, but could barely see. There was juts these white blobs massing around me, and I couldn’t move.

Then – “Alright officers, take that party outside,” said a voice that was unmistakeable. FoxFace.

I blinked and shook my head. I twisted my arms and felt bonds. I blinked again and the world slid a little more into focus. Someone patted me on the shoulder. “Hello Chaos,”

I spat at the shape that was generally before me.

“Oh, gross!” said FoxFace. She wiped her face, and slid finally into focus. She was grinning as she wiped her face on her sleeve. “Good to see it’s still you and we didn’t bodyswap you with a chipmunk or something.”

I looked around, heart pounding in my throat. Back in the lab. It shouldn’t be scary, but for some reason it was terrifying. Something in me was runnign a mile a minute, indeed like a chipmunk, and –

“Whoah,” Foxface frowned, looking at a panel beside me. “What, are you happy to see me? Your stats are running high. Calm down, soldier.”

My snark was lost. My mind was reeling. An overwhelming sense of panic was drowning me and something was flashing through my mind like a warning signal, telling me that I was in dire danger.

But of what?

“Hey,” FoxFace leaned again into my field of vision. “You seem to be having a panic attack.”

I couldn’t breathe, the fear was choking me. Bella! I needed Bella- and it clicked in my mind. I was away from Bella. I was away from the ‘hive’, and her touch.

So this was withdrawal? Wow.

I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to rationalize this panic. Trying to remind myself that I was fine, that I could breathe just fine without Bella there.

FoxFace was talking coolly. “You know if we were friends I could give you something to help, but we’re not, so I’m not going to bother.”

I tried to glare at her, but instead the vision swam fuzzily. I tried to breathe but the air wouldn’t come. The sight of FoxFace was reminding me of Bella. So I tipped my head back and stared at the ceiling, only to realize that Bella was going to be furious.

Emotions crashed over me like a tsunami. Powerful, ripping at my mind and dragging sense away.

Bella was going to be so angry! So angry! I’d Disobeyed her order to stay home! She was going to be furious!

I tried to rationalize, but that thought drifted away, torn out of my mind and replaced with a sheer panic. I’d disobeyed! I was going to be punished!

Something stung my arm but I barely noticed. Then, like a cool bath over a fever, plastic and fake calm rushed through me. It wasn’t complete, but just like having my head lifted out of the water, but the waves were still up and clogging my nose.

Indeed, I was gasping as I came to my senses, seeing FoxFace frowning at me with a needle in hand. The needle was only half empty.

“You’re having strange side effects,” she said with a frown. Then, tipping her head to the side she added playfully “Or are you really that scared of me?”

I gasped, struggling to keep the internal screaming just that – internal. “Give me the rest of that.” I needed it. Anything, something. I just wanted to breathe again. I had to get this panic to stop. It was just getting stronger and it was rising up again, drowning out my thoughts. Tears were stinging my eyes and my breathing was turning into hiccups again.

“Yeah, maybe,” she said. But she didn’t. Instead she just stood there, needle in hand, and observed.

I hiccupped, twisted on myself, and crushed my eyes closed. It just made everything worse. The screaming couldn’t be stopped now. My skin was itching all over and I heard my breath gasping, felt my face tingle, and knew I was about to faint.

Blind panic was filling me and it felt like I was falling into a tunnel when there was another prick in my arm. The world swerved and careened drunkenly back to me. I opened my eyes to see FoxFace, to feel her latex gloved fingers holding my chin to face her. She was frowning.

I gritted my teeth, wiling myself to be ‘together’. To be strong. It’s just a hive withdrawal, I told myself. You’ll be back to Bella soon. Pull it together!

But I couldn’t. Tears were running down my cheeks, I was shaking, and I was furious with myself for being so weak. Then, as if in answer, the world turned black.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Eighteen, Part Two

Hmm, I’m really not sure what to think of this scene. I hate writing abusive scenes (this definitely takes a trigger warning for abuse!), so maybe that’s why it bothers me? The real question is: does it seem consistent with Bella’s growing power over Chaos? Does the magic in it make sense? I’d love to hear comments on this!

////

“Lucifer is up to something,” I said to Bella the moment we were alone. That meant that we had just stepped out of the portal and slipped inside the house. Now, we were in Bella’s private room, pulling off our boots.

She raised her eyebrows at me as if amused. Like I was a cute puppy that was excitably licking her hand. I gritted my teeth.

“I know Lucifer,” at least a bit. “He never does something for nothing. He’s lazy, you know.”

“He does do things for no reason sometimes, though,” said Bella, quoting the liar of liars. “And besides,” she thunked down into her large chair, fingering the leash between us. “What point is there in saying no to him?”

“The point,” I said testily, “Is not to let him into the hive.” It felt weird calling Bella’s group, or goop of minds, a hive. Were we really all connected to her after ‘ascension’? Or was Lucifer wrong? It wasn’t beyond him, or any gods besides, to be wrong. But Bella wasn’t correcting me.

“A hive is a collection of minds, sometimes led by a singular mind,” she said, having probably just read mine. She shrugged. “I see no harm in having him added to it. It could even be a plus.” And she pulled a pillow from her side and plunked it down to the floor. She nodded at it, and I knew she wanted me to sit. At her feet.

I did, pressing my lips together and swallowing down more of my pride. I secretly hoped it would endear her to me, would make her listen to my point more. “Bella,” I folded my hands on her knee and propped my chin over them so my chin wouldn’t dig into her leg. “Lucifer isn’t someone to play games with. He’s a trickster god.” Not mean, but not easy to understand. “And he’s definitely up to something.”

Bella tutted. “Chaos, listen to yourself. Do you think I can’t keep Lucifer in line?”

I hesitated, not knowing how to say that yes, she couldn’t. Definitely not.

Maybe I thought too loud. A flash of anger made her eye flare with anger – and I didn’t see it coming.

Crack! The slap struck me hard across the face.

“How dare you!” Bella shrieked, hand still raised. With a jump she was now on her feet and towering over me. “I can so keep him in line! Who do you think I am?”

Clutching my cheek I shrunk back, propped on my other hand. Fear flashed through me. Fear of what I wasn’t sure – what could I logically be afraid of? – but for an instant I was terrified.

But then Bella lowered her hand. She breathed deeply and I thought it was over. “I will keep Lucifer in line,” she said coldly. “I can do that, and easily.” She smiled darkly at me, wickedly. When she spoke, the words were silent.

A gaping dread filled me. This wasn’t the ecstasy of union or the joy of being around Bella. It was seperation, a yawning gap between us that was cold like the wind. It hurt in that unspeakable way that depression or anxiety gnaws at the mind.

I was suddenly feeling near tears. My arms were wrapped protectively over my stomach. “Bella,” I protested, pleading. This felt awful. I had lost something precious and now every cell in my body was mourning.

She reached down and I pawed at her pathetically, trying to unify through touch, to drag her closer. But all she did was unclip the leash. “Stay here and rot a bit,” she snapped as she wrapped the leash back around her wrist. “Think on what you’ve said.”

“B-” I wanted to protest and cry out her name all at once, but she was walking away, her back already turned to me. The door slammed shut behind her.

I wrapped my arms around my knees, heart feeling like it was ripping open in my chest.

It took me about an hour to get off the floor and to stop sobbing like a baby. I couldn’t control it. No matter how much I told myself that it was just seperation from Bella and that I was physically fine, I couldn’t stop the pain.

The worst part was that I knew what she had done. I knew it was a spell of some sort, or whatever it was her word-power was. It was merely those words! But it hurt like a knife through me. My thoughts kept slipping away into blinding pain, and I kept forgetting that this wasn’t ‘real’. That this was just a spell. I found myself sobbing like I’d just lost a limb, and wishing that I hadn’t been so foolish.

Then I remembered that I hadn’t even said anything against Bella. I’d merely thought it. That fact flew me into a rage. How dared she do this to me! It was me who defeated the Sky God for HER! I was her best, her favourite, and she had no right!

I struggled to my feet, wiping my tears on the back of my hands. There! No more crying! Bella, you ungrateful bitch-

Just as I thought that, I remembered (or was I told through the hive in some way?) that Bella could hear me. That, and there was footsteps running towards the door.

I braced myself for whatever was to come. Was someone come to beat me for thinking so much? Well, bring it!

The door swung open, and it was Bella.

“Really?” she hissed, shutting the door behind herself.

I staggered. Every part of me was screaming out for her. I wanted her in the worst way. The idea of being on my knees for her flashed through my mind as such a beautiful idea, so soothing, so wholesome and completing.

No, no! I was angry and it was her fault – but that idea was slippery, gliding out of my mind the moment I didn’t focus just on it.

I blinked, and Bella was before me. My mind was skipping through black windows. I hadn’t seen her walk over, didn’t see her move, but now her hand was in my hair. Another black window, and my mind was blank. What was I angry about anymore? It felt stupid, and I knew that whatever it was, it was my fault.

That knowledge sure in my mind, I felt myself collapse, exhausted and wanting nothing more than comfort. My knees slammed into the floor and I hugged at her legs, but was dragged back by my hair.

“Shhh, there now,” Bella said soothingly, combing my hair from my face with one hand while holding me in a death-grip with the other. “Are you sorry now?”

I choked on a sob, nodding as I blinked through tears.

“You won’t do it again, will you?” Bella asked, just her voice being not enough. It soothed, but it was like a trickle in a desert and I needed more. I was burning for her, to be reunited with her. It felt like I couldn’t exist without her. Desperate, I nodded.

Her hands caressed my shoulders. She had crouched down and was hugging me to her chest. “You’re so disobedient, you’ve been so bad,” she crooned, holding me tight. “You’re a bad slave, Chaos.”

I whimpered, clutching at her.

“I love you anyways,” she whispered into my ear. “You know that, don’t you? I love you like no one else ever will.”

A sob tore through me – and then she spoke the words. It was sheer relief. Like a light through the mind. Like a cold compress on burning heat. There really is no words to express it. It made me gasp, and my entire body relaxed, sagging against her.

Bella shushed me, cuddling me against her. But, for a flicker, I wanted to draw away. I felt like I had a head again, like I could think. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts to digest what had happened.

But then, like a bite, there was sharp ecstasy. The pleasure of being with Bella. The euphoria. It was not too strong, more like the scent of a spring breeze. But it was enough to send me into a fit of giggles against her.

My head was pulled back and I was looking into Bella’s eyes. “Well?” she said softly. “Better now?” To which I nodded, gulping back tears that seemed pointless now. “Good,” she murmured, wiping my tears away with her gloved fingers. “Don’t ever do that again.” and she kissed me passionately, claiming me. I gave way eagerly, wanting nothing more than to be hers, to receive more of the ecstasy. But she didn’t give me any more. I was lifted up to my feet a moment later and instructed to rest in bed for the remainder of the day. I protested at first, wanting to spend it with her, but the moment I lay down I realized that, indeed, I was exhausted. Too much emotions, I thought before I drifted off to sleep.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Fourteen, Part One

I needed to have a moment. Not just a breath of air to myself in this crowded spirit world, but I needed Bella. For a being that was right within me, I couldn’t sense her. Yeah, sure, I was getting weird impulses as if she was me, but other than that? I felt incredibly lonely. It felt as if I was missing a limb, but inside my heart.

At first I bottled myself up within my room, hoping she would, I don’t know, pop out for a chat? No such luck. I sat on my bed, at my desk, on the floor with my feet up on the wall, even tried meditating. No such fuckin’ luck. Bella was silent.

Well fuck you, I thought one minute. I don’t need her anyways.

The next minute I’d forgotten that thought and was pining away again. Where was my Bella?

A day passed. I found myself sitting in the kitchen, bored and staring at the wall. Both my parents were gone, busily off to their works/hobbies (they rather enjoyed their jobs). The moment was dull. I knew I should do something, get a haircut, file my nails, whatever but do something you know? Instead I just sat there and moped. My head ended up on the table, wrapped in my arms.

“Hey,” said a voice right as something brushed my shoulder.

“AH!” I yelled, jumping so much the chair nearly toppled over (with me in it).

“Whoah,” Al said, right beside me. Of course. Who else?

“Knock!” I snapped adjusting myself on the seat, humiliated.

“Oh, yeah,” she looked away. My anger vanished. She looked defeated. There was no bright gleam to her eyes. No pazazz to her punch, if you know what I mean. She was even slouching. Dead already uh?

I cleared my throat. Nodded to the chair beside me. “How are you?”

“I’ve heard you’re doing all good now,” she said before dropping into the chair. Then, much like me, she propped herself on an elbow. I slouched.

“Guess so,” I mumbled.

“So uh,” she looked at me. I looked away, but her words chased me. “What happened?”

I knew what she meant, really. Al was no idiot. We’d known each other for years and years and years. She must know that for me to cry over Bella was no… nothing?

But I fibbed. “I liked her.” No, I loved her. Big difference, but I wasn’t going to tell anyone that.

Al nodded. “Yeah, I could see that.”

But she wasn’t even there? She must have heard about it enough to picture it though.

“That’s all, really,” I fibbed.

“Were you dating?” Al asked dryly.

I dropped my head down. Ran a hand through my hair. The silence spoke for itself.

“Huh,” said Al. “So what, we’re seeing people now?”

“I’m sorry,” I said quietly. But Al and me had never felt like a ‘we’. We’d never really been anything more than friends that people had a lot of expectations for. It had been nothing like with Bella. There just wasn’t that intimacy.

Al grunted. I stared down at the table, unable to speak from the guilt choking me. Well, was I guilty? What for? I was happy with Bella – and that should not be a crime.

I perked up. “I was happy,” I blurted, trying to put myself into words. “And I want you to be happy.”

Al just looked tired. Tired of my crap? “Really?” she asked.

I nodded. “Date people, just- we don’t have eternity, you and me. So why be miserable? Go and fall in love.”

She smiled wryly. “Excuse me if I don’t take dating advice from the guy whose girlfriend tried to shoot him.”

Ouch. “She didn’t try,” I muttered.

“She had a gun to your head,” Al snapped. “That kind of disqualifies your relationship as happy and fulfilling.”

I scowled and crossed my arms. Al gaped. “Seriously? You’re going to defend her?”

Self righteousness stiffened me. “She would never hurt me.” But I stopped my defense, because Al was laughing.

“You’re so screwed!” She said while laughing a sad, sad, laugh at me. Like she really pitied me. “You’re lucky Chaos. You’re lucky she’s gone. She could have done so much worse to you.”

Pressing my lips together, I looked down at the table, then at my lap. I wasn’t really seeing anything though, my thoughts roaring in my head that Bella was here, right here, and she could probably hear everything and –

“What happened between you two?” asked Al. “Why her?”

Because she wanted me? Because she put a part of herself into me and now there’s no going back? But I just shrugged. There was no explaining it. How could you explain the strange feelings she made rise within me, the way I knew she loved me? And then there was the time in the snowy field, where it wasn’t so extreme but I just knew we were happy together.

“Hey,” Al’s voice was softer. “If we’re friends, you can talk to me you know.”

“But I don’t want to,” I blurted. Then, seeing the hurt on Al’s face, I tried to catch myself. “I don’t want to talk to anyone, really. I just- it hurts okay?”

Al nodded. She must know what hurt means.

“So,” I tried to change conversation topic, but she again took the wheel.

“So I’ll be dating people then,” she said staunchly, as if daring me to argue. I nodded. She glared at me. “You get the fun part of telling our parents that it’s over.”

I flinched. “Why don’t we each tell our own?” I wasn’t ‘scared’ of the Thunderbird. More like, embarrassed? I didn’t want to show my face before him, nevermind tell him that after I screwed everything up royally, I was dumping his daughter → after we’ve been engaged since babyhood.

Al laughed dryly. “Nice try. But you’re the one who broke it, so you tell everyone, and you tell them why.”

I felt a surge of anger. “I told you because you’re my friend! I’m not going to tell everyone!” About me and Bella. That was private. Special. Secret.

“They’re not idiots Chaos!” she snapped back. “You tell them, or I will, and you don’t want me doing that!”

True. I thumped back against my chair, letting out a breath. I tried to relax, but I was just angry. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to run.

“Tomorrow,” Al declared, rising to her feet. “You come and tell them.” She shoved her chair in. “And you don’t leave anything out.”

I glared at her, but she marched away. Bang, the door was shut behind her. I cursed and kicked my feet at the floor, but it was useless. I was angry, screwed, and Bella wasn’t here to comfort me or give me advice. I missed her, I missed …

I blanched as I realized what exactly I missed from her. I missed feeling like she was in control of me.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Twelve Part Two

After washing up, eating, and taking a look at myself in the mirror, I had the sudden urge to ‘find out’. Find out what? Why? I paused, staring at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. I had obviously lost weight in my … how many day starvation binge? The orange in my hair had grown out, leaving my ‘do looking a bit funny. I’d have to do something. Something different, I decided.

In a wave, the urge to ‘find out’ returned. I brushed it aside. There was time for that later. Or maybe never. Life could return to normal now. Now about my hair-

A wave of panic rose in me, so acute that I felt nauseous. I gripped the edge of the bathroom sink. The world span. Clear as day, I knew that I had to ‘find out’.

Message sent, the sensation subsided. I breathed deeply, willing the nausea away.

Okay, maybe my hair could wait. Just maybe.

After grabbing another snack from our kitchen that we shared with another dead-ish family, I shrugged on a black jacket and donned my bracelets and necklaces, just in case. Then, wholly convinced that there was nothing to ‘find out’, I left the house.

I told myself that I was just on a little stroll. I was just following my instincts, I told myself.

But the truth was that my instincts had never manifested with anxiety disorders. I’d never felt all too anxious about anything in life, even when I should have. But I brushed it all aside. I was just out for a walk in the earth realm, otherwise known as ‘hell’.

In the earth realm, like the sky realm, there was quite a many different planes to enter. There was happy places, dark places, and so-so- pockets of minor doom. I told myself that I should just go for a grassy stroll, but found myself knowing that I should turn away from there.

By accident, I supposed, I found myself near the prison for uncooperative demons. It was where souls wen when they caused too much trouble, or acted unconsiderate towards the established structure of right and wrong, and how much of each there ought to be in the realms.

Doesn’t matter, I told myself. Because I’m going to keep on walking. I had no business in that realm, and was going my merry way on the starlight path when – barf.

Out of nowhere! I just had this wave of panic and nausea, so acute that I half sobbed and hiccuped in nausea all at the same time. Doubling over, I clapped a hand over my mouth, sure that I was about to heave something up. Panic filled me, my thoughts racing in horror, my stomach churning with dread at the idea that I might not ‘find out’.

Find out what? I thought irately just before the answer came to me in the shape of a vision. A vision of Bella, smiling down at me, her hand fisted in my hair.

I walked towards the doors of the realm of nasty things. Alright, I began to admit that things were going down a little strangely. But this could be just my imagination, right? I’d investigate a little, then be gone. That would satisfy my gut, right?

“Oh hey Chaos!” said a pot-bellied gnome that could have easily been mistaken for a demon. “You here for those buggers?”

“Uh,” I said, strolling up to the reception desk. There, several weird looking secretaries all nodded at me.

“We can look away as you land a punch or two,” added another in jovial terms.

“That’s against the regulations,” said one with badly applied lipstick and fake eyelashes. “but then again,” and they waved me on.

My mind reeled. I had business here? With whom? And then, as the pot-bellied one guided me forward, I realized with whom. The vampires, of course.

There was dozens in cells. Cells, cells, cells upon cells lined this part of this realm like holes in a honeycomb, stacked up and up until they seemed to drift away into darkness. As I stared, the pot-bellied gnome thumped me on the hip with a sort of good-bye pat.

“Give ya’ fifteen minutes, kid! Then you gotta scram!” and he pressed a something in my hands. I looked down, shocked to see the set of keys in my hand.

“Hey-” but he was walking away.

I gulped, the moment suddenly crushing me. I had never been despised in the underworld. Certainly, they had all heard a version of what happened to me, and they all now probably thought me a hapless victim.

And now I had the keys in my hands.

For a moment, I just stood there, fear overwhelming me. What would I do? Should I really have been left alone with these keys? What if I did something stupid?

But there was no ‘free them and break loose all the demons of the udnerworld!’ urge. Instead, I found myself calming down. Anxiety really wasn’t my thing.

With no strange urges overcoming me, I felt in control. So I strolled to the cells. I passed vampire after vampire, runnign my fingers over the iron bars. Some were curled on cots, others hunched over and clawing at their hair. Few looked up and saw me, their eyes hollow and empty. Just like I had been.

I was about to turn around and leave when I saw what I was looking for. Mister McBeefcake, who wasn’t all beef and no cake anymore.

He was wasting away like the rest of them. Curled on himself, there was a plate of uneaten food in the middle of his tiny cell.

“Hey,” I said, wondering who was the dummy who’d tried ot give vampires real food. Could they even digest it? “Hey?” I rapped my knuckles on the cage.

He didn’t look up. Just a groan came out, then a sigh. He shifted, and I saw how sunken in his cheeks were. How he was starving.

Somehow it struck me. My beloveds, I thought, and a sense of misery rushed up through me. I had the urge to do something, anything, to help them. They were suffering!

Pressing my palms against the cell’s bars, I knew there was nothing to do but I wanted to help them so badly. So much that I felt ready to cry, anxiety rising up through me in a fit that made me want to shred my own skin.

I pressed my forehead against the bars, closing my eyes. If only I could help!

Something gusted over my face. Warm air? I opened my eyes to see another pair of eyes right before mine, to feel hands closing over mine.

I startled, too late. McBurgerFace was crushing my fingers under his own, snarling so close he could almost bite me through the bars. I jerked back, but it was from the repulsive smell of his breath. Because in my mind, I was calm. This was my second in command, he would not hurt me.

“Release me,” I ordered, my voice now not my own. It was so strikingly Bella’s that it snapped across my mind – but I was now no longer in control of my limbs. Bella had come over me, and I hadn’t even noticed it.

“My- my Queen!” crowed the vampire.

“Shh,” I heard her say, saw my hand reach through the bars and caress his cheek. “You poor thing,” Bella murmured through me.

Sobbing, the vampire rested his forehead against the bars. Bella drew him as close as she could, pressing my forehead against his, just like she had once done to me.

Words flowed from her and I recognized them. It was those words she had always spoken to me, and now I knew some of them, could silently follow along the first few as the feeling of love and happiness rose up within me like a pool of warm water, drownign out my thoughts.

Dimly, I heard sighs from around. Creaking of bones as limbs straightened. Rustling of cloth. I felt hundreds of eyes upon my body, watching the source of the words.

As I succumbed to the waters, so to speak, I felt more than just an ecstasy. I felt myself connected with Bella, with these creatures, could feel their thoughts and wishes and anger.

I knew right then that they all saw Bella, felt her within me.

Footsteps rung out. The creaking of the door.

My body was jerked back from the cells and suddenly I was in control of it again. I nearly fell over is what happened.

“Whoah, kid!” and the gnome was by my side as I reeled, clutching at my head and body. “What’s the matter?”

No more Bella was the matter. The sense of union, the feeling of ecstasy, it was all gone and I was empty, reeling from the absence of so much. Struggling, I pulled myself together.

“Nothing,” I said weakly, shaking my head and brushing the hair from my eyes.

“Hey,” and the gnome looked to the cells. “They recognize you?”

Because no more were the vampires asleep and laying down. Now they were all standing at the doors, watching silently, still as statues. Their eyes gleamed like cats, throwing back the dim lights at us.

“They’re awake,” I mumbled, knowing with certainty that I had accomplished whatever it was that I had been sent out for.

“My Name is Chaos” Chapter Nine, Part One

I woke up in a fog. The world felt coated in an invisible mist. I didn’t place the room I was in, couldn’t recognize that weird photograph on the wall, or the wallpaper-covered walls.

Dizzily, I sat up. My chest was bandaged, but my jeans were still on. There was no pain, but I guessed that was courtesy of my massive brain fog. Too much painkillers? I shifted to the edge of the bed and looked around. There was Mark’s jacket and a pile of clothes.

I dressed like a robot. Recent events tumbled back at me, but I felt numb. There were no emotions in me to react to them. I felt aimless, empty. I wandered to the bedroom door and found myself wondering if it was a good idea. Maybe I should lie down. But I wasn’t sleepy, just limp emotionally.

After a moment of standing before the door and staring at it while debating with myself, it opened. The burly vampire was there, with two other female vamps. They seemed surprised at seeing me. I just blinked, brain not registering anything.

We stood like that for a minute, them staring at me and me staring at them. Then, the burly vampire cleared his throat. He held up a greasy paper bag. “Your food,” he said.

I didn’t understand. My brain was just so slow. I pressed palms to the side of my head. One of the female vampires stepped forward and I recognized her from being one of Bella’s troupe.

“Come on, you’re supposed to still be in bed,” she said, taking me by the elbows and steering me back into the room, then to the bed where she sat me down.

The room spun. I was guided down into the pillow, where I landed face-first. My arms didn’t want to move. I drifted away.

“Hey!”

I jumped, yet my body barely moved. I blinked, but could barely lift my head now. I felt like I was getting worse. I dug my hands into the mattress to prop myself up. The vampires were watching me – with pity?

“You need to eat. It’s going to absorb the poison,” she said. The burly vampire was at her side now, offering what looked like greasy potatoes and a sandwich. The sight made me want to retch.

I shook my head, sliding back down into the pillows. My eyes drifted shut.

“Bella’s going to be furious if you don’t eat,” she moaned. “Come on, please eat.”

I felt something. It pierced my fog like a knife. Love. Bella. I was suddenly awake, mind sharp and cut open.

I struggled up onto my arms, then sat up. “Bella?” I asked. Within me, there was happiness, but it didn’t make sense. Something in me was squealing like a fangirl just at the mention of her. I felt happy, light and giddy. Also nauseous.

The vampires nodded. The food was offered. “She wants you to eat,” the burly dude said, and the woman nodded enthusiastically. I felt like a toddler being coerced to eat their vegetables.

Bella. My mind was full of her. Recent events, the bow, our happy time yesterday, it all clashed together in me with this intense coating of happiness. Of desire to please her. To just be beside her. This fascination.

I looked dizzily at them. Did they feel feel this way about her too? Was that why everyone followed her and why she wasn’t their juicebox?

“W-why-” I tried to ask, but the food was put in my face.

“Eat!” they chorused together, but it wasn’t mean. They just seemed frightened.

I took a bite of the sandwich and chewed. My mouth was dry. It was such a chore, but I got through it. Then, I dropped it into my lap. There, I’d done my part. Now for them.

“Why do you follow Bella?” I asked, thinking that yeah, I should havce been asking this days ago. Don’t ask Bella the questions. Ask the minions.

They looked uneasily at each other. “You need to eat,” the woman said. “Come on, eat some more.”

“No!” I snapped. “Tell me!” I wasn’t taking orders from them!

Again, they looked at each other. The woman crouched down before me, clearing her throat.

“Bella is our leader,” she said, and again I felt like the toddler. “And we follow her.”

“Why?” I croaked, feeling that I already knew the answer. I did, didn’t I?

Again, they exchanged a look. The woman cleared her throat again and stood up. She dusted off her hands.

“You’ll know once you’re awakened,” she said quietly. “Eat your sandwich now.”

I wanted to throw the sandwich on the floor. But what would Bella do if I didn’t eat it? I took a mouthful grimly.

“We’re going to be around if you need anything. For now just stay in bed and rest. Let us know if you need anything,” she said, drawing away.

The big hulking dude was about to say something. But he didn’t. With a nod in my direction, he walked away. They closed the door behind themselves, and I was alone.

I really could have used some water, but got that sandwich down anyways. The potatoes could rot in hell. I flopped back down on the bed and let the mist cover me. It was as I was drifting away that I realized that I missed home.

“My Name is Chaos”: Chapter Six, Part Two

I wanted to just leave the room, but hey. Instead I was… announced out? There’s just no way to describe how I was marched to the door with a hand on my shoulder, and the door was dramatically flung open so it slammed upon the opposite wall and all. The vampires who were standing around the door jumped and spun.

Bella lifted her chin at them like she was the most important thing in the world. No, she radiated it. Then, she crooned. “Namastay,” while designating me with the tips of her fingers as if I was a crystal ball that shouldn’t be touched. “Put our guest up for the night. Find her some clothes and -” she seemed to lose track of her own thoughts. “All that,” she finished, eyes drifting off to the ceiling.

The vampires bowed, echoing ‘namastay’. I took a breath and looked over my shoulder at Bella. She had a smile on (did she ever not smile?) and was obviously in dreamland.

The vampires remained in their bow. They were waiting for something. I wondered what the hell was going on.

“I have had a vision,” whispered Bella, entranced.

“Yes,” said the beefcake, looking up but remaining in his bow.

“I-,” Bella brought her fingertips to her forehead dramatically. “I-,” and she froze in that position.

“Need help?” I asked dryly, hoping she would end with the dramatics. But she didn’t answer. Everyone else glared at me.

Bella began breathing deeply. “I see,” she crooned, swaying back and forth on her feet. “I see-” and she opened her eyes. Her strange smile returned. “Have a good night, everyone.” She patted me on the shoulder. “Don’t get into mischief.”

And with a clap, she shut her door. The vampires rose from their bows. I looked from the shut door to them. Gingerly, I pointed a thumb over my shoulder at the door. “Is she always like that?”

“Our Queen has been gifted with visionary powers unlike any other,” intoned my beefcake. “Don’t make light of them.” Or we’ll beat you to a pulp.

I nodded, stuffing my hands in my pockets. “Oh,” as if I hadn’t already understood that.

Beefcake clapped a heavy hand on my shoulder, then another. “This way,” he grunted, physically maneouvering me towards the stairs. I let him, grinding my teeth at the treatment.

Downstairs, Mark and Leo were waiting nervously. I could see why. The other vampires were surrounding them, sharpening their knives, hungry eyes fairly devouring my friends.

“They’re to be put up for the night,” grunted the beefcake in charge. I was shoved to the center of the waiting room beside Leo. “Find them rooms.”

Groaning, various vampires pulled out cellphones and began texting. Those that had accompanied me upstairs just stood there and glared imposingly at me. I put my hands in my pockets and looked around at the décor.

After a moment of doing that, I cleared my throat. “So,” I turned to Mr beefymcbeef. “Bella-”

“Our Queen,” he intoned. “Is not to be called by her name alone. Show some respect.”

“Oh, yes, no disrespect intended,” wouldn’t want to insult the nutbag. “Uhm,” I tried to formulate my words into a proper question, but all that came to mind was ‘Twilight? Really?’. So I blurted out whatever came next to mind. “Where’s she from?”

There was a universal snort, even from the ones on the cellphones. Mr Beefcake glared at me.

I waited a moment before admitting that they weren’t going to answer. “Why?” I asked loudly. “Is she some sort of secret?”

“We don’t discuss our Queen with strangers,” one on a cellphone said loudly, only to be shushed by others.

“They’re not worth it,” muttered another.

I flopped down onto an armrest beside a vampire. She hissed at me, baring her fangs. I hissed back. That baffled her.

“Found one for the kid,” said a scrawny vampire, handing the cellphone to my beef-in-charge.

“Good,” the beef took the cellphone, then handed it back. Nodding at me he said “This way.”

We paused for him to put his coat on, and then we trooped out into the snow. It was a full-on snowstorm now, snow flurries whacking me in the face and making me blink uncontrollably. I could barely see a thing, and felt stupid as I trudged along behind the hulking vampire.

I was taken to a neighboring building where a quaint-looking family greeted us with very toothy smiles, all vampires, even the little toddler in their arms.

“So pleased to be of service to our Queen,” they cooed as we were let in.

Mumble mumble, went the beefcake, taking the mother aside and muttering something to her. I was led by the father to a guest’s room.

It was all very quaint. Nicely painted, with ruffles and ribbons on things. Barf.

Then, as I was looking at the ruffles and ribbons all around this room, the door was drawn shut behind me.

I stayed in that room all night, sleeping lightly and generally being frustrated. There was no window to escape from, and I didn’t want to just bust out and get caught sneaking around. What was I going to find in this house anyways?

The next morning, at no particular time that I could decipher, I was woken up by the mother.

“Darling,” she cooed as she pushed the door open. “It’s time to wake up.”

I sat up grudgingly. I was no one’s darling! I was about to give her a mouthful of my opinion when I saw that she was carrying clothes for me. Fresh clothes!

Mercifully, they weren’t pink and purple or something hideous like that. No, they were black with … ‘visitor’ spray painted on it in white. Really? Really?

I put the t-shirt on, thinking that, really, it couldn’t have gotten any cornier. The cargo pants fit as well with a belt and mercifully they didn’t have ‘visitor’ spray painted on the ass or something dumb like that.

Trudging out of the room, I was greeted with – Bella herself standing there with a troupe of vampires. The family that had ‘hosted’ me looked ecstatic out of their minds, starry eyes staring adoringly at Bella. Bella who turned her smile to me.

“Namastay,” she crooned. “You’re awake.”

I glanced to a window and saw that it was still dark out. “Morning?” I guessed?

“We need to get a start on your day if you’re to see everything,” Bella crooned as she waved me over. “Hurry, hurry, we haven’t got all day.”

Frowning, I let myself be ushered out the door into the cold and dark – with Mark’s coat on. Fuck, no one was ushering me out without a coat on. Not in this cold.

“My Name Is Chaos”: Chapter Three Part Two

I honestly don’t have much to say here except -> Thanks to everyone who reads and leaves comments! They totally make my day! Look forward to (possibly) some sketches of the (not so) fabulous trio coming soon!

///

Beyond the fire and flames, things calmed down ridiculously fast. No, there was no helicopters chasing after us. Not even cars. We were just zooming away through the hellish pine trees, skidding over the snow. The worst we encountered was a small snowdrift across the road.

“Are they not coming after us?” asked Thor, checking the rear view mirrors obsessively.

“Actually, I don’t think so,” said the scientist oh so calmly from the back seat. “We are in vampire territory, after all.”

I turned around in the seat and looked at him. “What do you mean by that?”

“It means that they can’t just send helicopters and armored vehicles into vampire land without it appearing as an invasion. So we’re technically safe,” he said with a cold smirk.

Thor gave me an ugly look. “You’re really dumb?”

I jabbed a finger at him. “Now lookit! I’m just not well versed in social affairs! I’m really good at – at -,” and there I floundered for a moment. I was far from the best fighter out there. I wasn’t the best magician. “I’m really good at art,” I mumbled dejectedly. The splattery kind.

Thor snorted. “That’s the kind of thing that won’t get you far in life.”

“So you wouldn’t classify yourself as a good fighter?” asked the scientist, drawing out a notepad from his pocket and scribbling at it.

“What are you doing, taking notes?” I gawked back at him. He nodded.

“Helps me remember. Now who would you classify as a good fighter?”

I snorted. “Ever gotten into a scrap with an archangel? Michael’s a good fighter.”

“Hmm, I see,” more scribbling ensued. “And should we be expecting to see those anytime soon?”

“Of course not!” I snapped before thinking. The Archangels stayed all stuffily in their holy world. The rest of us – well we just needed to fix this little problem. I folded my arms and sat back into my seat, refocusing. I had to get this done. And if we were heading into vampire territory, then things were going surprisingly well. “Hey, you two are going to help me out, right? I’ve got something I need to do.”

Scientist McNerdynerd took off his safety glasses and pocketed them. “And what would that be?”

I looked at Mark pleadingly. “You wanna help?” I fairly whined.

“What is it?” grumbled Mark.

I grinned and propped my feet up on te dashboard, feeling super proud and important. Becau-use… “I have been chosen to close the portal that the vampires are trying to open.”

“They’re trying to open a portal?” asked the scientist.

“To where?”

“To Hell, of course,” I said with a drawl. “They’re going to bring all their friends out here on earth. And maybe start Ragnarok by cracking open a seal that brings forth jesus’s ugly lamb-side.”

“Ragnarok?” asked Thor, eyeballing me. The scientist scribbled hastily away.

“Of course,” I drawled. “But we’re going to stop it. So no biggie.”

“Wait a minute, you’re just mixing hell, Ragnarok, and Archangel Michael together,” growled Thor. “You can’t just-”

“Oh yes I can,” I sniggered, lifting my pentacle pendant to nibble on it.

“Am I to assume all mythology to be accurate in some form?” asked the scientist as he scribbled away.

I shrugged, holding up my pentacle before myself. It glinted in the moonlight. There was no rule against divulging to humans what they already knew, was there? “Sure,” I said nonchalantly. Then, after a pause I said “Ancient mythology. There isn’t any great flying spaghetti monster.”

“And why,” the scientist started, but Thor cut him off.

“And who are you? Huh? Vampire spawn?”

Oh right, he didn’t know. Lazily I brushed my hair from my face. “I’m the grim reaper’s child.”

Another angry glare. “And so?”

That – was not the response I’d been looking for. Grovelling? Anyone?

“I’m the grim reaper’s child!” I fairly yelled. “A little respect here?”

“You’ll find that lineage bears little weight in contemporary Canadian culture,” said mister nerd in the back seat.

“Lineage is important!” I snapped, glaring from one scowling Thor to the nerd. “It gives you your powers!”

“And Lucifer went from angel to bad guy,” snapped Thor. “So go shove it!”

“Lucifer’s pretty cool,” I grumbled. “Or do you mean Satan? Both pretty cool.”

“Should we be worried about meeting them-”

“No!” I yelled, turning on him. What, didhe want the whole cavalry to show up? This was not some experiment! “Look, this is a relatively discreet thing – we don’t want everyone to show up. It’s just me, and now you two as well. Okay?”

“Closing a portal?” asked the scientist. “That sounds fairly simple.”

“Where is this portal?” growled Mark.
I gave him a cheesy grin. “Where else? In the middle of vamp-land.”

“The latitude and longitude middle, or the theoretical middle? Or the middle of their largest city?”

I turned around in the seat and glared at him. “Which do you think?” I asked saucily while my mind raced. Now that he mentioned it… I’d always just assumed ‘the middle’ meant the middle of their largest city.

“I’d assume theoretical middle,” he said.

“But which is it?” Thor asked, thumping a hand on the steering wheel. “And what’s the plan?”

“Well I think it’s in the middle of their city,” I huffed, crossing my arms across my chest and throwing myself back against my chair. “And do we need a plan?”

There was a dead silence in the car.

“You don’t have a plan?” the scientist whispered so quietly it was almost drowned out by the sound of snow crunching under the tires.

“You don’t have a plan,” cursed Thor.

I bit my lower lip. Was it really a problem?

“No wonder you got caught,” murmured the scientist in awe.

I slunk lower down in my seat, biting my pentacle pendant. These people just didn’t understand me. I would show them. This mission was easy. I was going to succeed, and easily at that. The beginning was just a hiccup. All I had to do was –

Thor cursed loudly. “Vamps,” he said, pointing ahead.

Indeed, vamps. As in, a full blockade of the things, complete with machine guns and baseball bats.

“Were they expecting us?” I asked, shocked.

“Now would be a good time for a plan,” said the scientist, chuckling nervously.