Temporum - The Open One: Chapter 1
You know when you see someone that stops you in your tracks and your jaw drops? Someone so gorgeous that the world seems to slow down around you? Emanating from you is this tingling energy but you can’t quite describe it. It’s like static attraction, pulling you across the room, making you wanna follow that person to the ends of the earth. That happened to me today.
I always wander around, have nothing to do except do such… It had not been long since I delivered myself from my torments but after reaching my milestone, there was bliss. Painful, aggravating bliss! It was too much peace for a wandering spirit like me to wish for. Then I saw him… He was probably a freshman in college, he just had this bright youthfulness about him that let me know. His hair was jet black, very curly and I longed to know what hair felt like again. His skin was milky, with the lightest of freckles that ran to the bridge of his chiselled nose. He had faint cheekbones and thin lips, not my favorites but I still was drawn to him.
He stood in line at Dunkin Donuts, placing his order. I took note of what he was wearing. He wore a heavy black trench coat in this Windy City winter. Everything thing else was black, from his skinny legs, to his cardigan to his polo underneath down to his polo boots, all except the fiery scarf wrapped around his neck. I wanted to look at his eyes. From this far away, it was hard to tell the color, but they looked dark!
He grabbed his order, heading straight towards me. As he did, I got a good look at his eyes. They were warm, very easy casting a honey glow. He took no note of my existence, passing straight through me like most people tended to do when I stood still. I could see the chill run through his body as my energetic presence took a bit of his warmth.
It was like I could taste him. Us spirits could do that when a mortal walks through us. We could taste their soul and see what they were. It became evident why I was pulled towards this man. He was a clairvoyant! He could help me pass on to the Celeste. At this point it is all I could wish for! Being stuck in this Limbo was no fun.
Limbo was a horrible place! For years, I relived my death day after day after day! I started off not accepting my death… It was a gruesome death too! I died getting gang raped by some Christian extremofiles… It’s a part of my past that I’m afraid to even think about. Reliving your death day after day after day, is a horrible experience! But every spirit that dies a wrongful death endures it. After some years, I came to terms with my death! However I hated being dead and longed for mortal life! It was all I knew and being a spirit was not at all fun. In my thirst to want to be alive again, I relived the very moments before my death, the worst pain I was ever in. I was not quite a residual spirit, a spirit that lacks awareness, commonly reliving memories such as something fond or their death, anymore. But I wasn’t completely free. I was still reliving my death, my death being the only thing I could remember for a long time.
Eventually, I realized that what I was experiencing was entirely my fault! I had to realize I was never going to be alive again! I had to realize that in this realm, there was a delicate balance that could not be tampered with by the inexperienced. This balance was truly something fragile. A lot of spirits roam around, looking like they did moments before their death. At one point, I did too but as my memory came back, I realized I could change my apparel. It’s sad really. Many spirits are stuck in a rut, overcoming their trials is so stressful, so damaging they don’t bother to help each other out.
But the trials of Limbo will do that to you! They make spirits who were once social, happy people, foreign to each other and miserable. It takes years to heal these energy wounds Limbo lays into a spirit. It makes you cautious for forward progress because Limbo will send you a trial that will psychologically fuck you sideways! You don’t really want to try and escape Limbo. That was precisely my issue...I was afraid of these trials… I got complacent for a while, a little too comfortable. However, Limbo reminds you that it is not a final destination for settling. It is simply a gateway between eternal suffering and Paradise. It was precisely why Limbo allowed you to see people, but not let them see you.
After a while, you get used to the lack of interaction, used to the fact that you’re no longer human. However, when you began to adapt to this, Limbo will send you a rude wake-up call. Limbo doesn’t want anyone here for too long. When a spirit gets complacent, gets used to the bliss, the silence sets in. It’s like when you’re in a room of complete and utter silence that you just can’t escape. People never take into consideration that there tends to be about twenty to thirty decibels of background noise we mistake for silence. The human brain processes this perceived silence as something as real silence but it is not; it is not at all! Take that away and your mind will begin making noise to compensate for the lack of noise. Your balance suffers, and your vision is doubled and you begin to see what’s not there.
It’s the same way in Limbo but a great magnitude worse! It’s Limbo’s way of letting you know you overstayed your welcome! However, this place has made me scared to activate my last trial. The trials are simply not easy! You don’t even know they are trials and more than likely can’t cope with them until a friendly spirit or Clairvoyant helps you along. Truthfully, I don’t know how I figured this much out by myself but hey, I did it!
But now I was scared to do anything myself. The Clairvoyant could help though, help me pass into Paradise without facing my final trial. However, I doubt he knew he was sensitive to spiritual energy. But these days, it was hard to find a true psychic. People just aren’t as intune with their bodies as they used to be and this Clairvoyant boy was no different. It just is so odd, literally able to see the potential within someone as a visual manifestation. That is something I could never get used to, but as a spirit, something I cherish.
I followed the boy. He got on the tram, viewing his cellphone the entire duration of the ride. It was strange. He took no note of my presence. I wondered if my senses mislead me or was there something off about him. I had to find out though. In all honesty, I just hoped he was ignoring me.
Sitting next to him, I could feel the trickle of his psychic energy investigating my ghastly one. Indeed something was off about him. His body knew I was here but his mind didn’t. Something happened to him that blocked his mind from acknowledging I was there and I’m pretty sure I knew what… A Christian Priest.
This boy, when he was younger, obviously attracted a ton of spirits. Not all of these spirits were kind and some were malevolent. His parents, scared for his and their safety did what they could. They called the clergy who delivered him from his psychic torment but closed the door for spirituality for him, or partially closed it. And like all other cases of such, the boy grew up without memory of what happened.
It was then I realized searching for help from him was futile. He knew nothing of the spirits and could be of no assistance. It may be hard to introduce him to this world when he more than likely had been brainwashed to believe catholic beliefs. Plus, the only way I could make contact with him in this state is when his energy barriers were down; when he was sleeping… It utterly was a waste of time, time that as a person who’s aware of Limbo’s draw, did not have.
Disappointed, frustrated and a little less hopeful, I sighed as the tramway pulled up to the next junction. The young man got up, this being his stop. As he did, a dark presence brewed from the depths of this terminal. My first instinct was to run, but it was overshadowed by the need to protect. I darted off the subway, next to youngman who blissfully walked up the stairs through the dense crowd.
This dark energy was steadily brewing. It brewed in a way that seemed to manifest a huge amount of power. It was not like a human soul that was stuck here, going out to wreak havoc on those who it saw fit. No this was something much, much more powerful. This was a demon!
Demons were not what many people perceived them as. Like many Christians, I thought of demons as winged humanoid creatures, much like angels but dark. My first time encountering a demon, it came as a raging bull made of ashes held together by magma. It skewered many souls on its horns and dragged them to eternal torment below. I could stand no chance against a demon. However, something deep inside was telling me to follow this boy.
We spirits often succumbed to such urges. These urges were seldom wrong but I couldn’t help but be terrified! I just knew this demon was close, rendering somewhere and ready to destroy a wandering soul. The thing is though...I was the only wandering soul in this side of Chicago. I looked around, trying to find out where this demon was.
I just couldn’t see it, but it felt close. I darted back over to the young man, touching and tapping him desperate to get his attention.
“Hey!” I said to him. He looked through me then turned around unsure what he was hearing. It was then clear to me that my efforts were not completely lost! He could detect these things but spiritually, he was blind.
“You can’t see me! I’m a spirit… You’re in danger!” I said. The young man continued walking, looking around as to where my voice was coming from. It didn’t take him long to realize he was the only one who was hearing these voices. He put his cellphone up to his ear.
“Hello?” He said.
It then hit me! The high frequency waves from his cell phone was the channel I was using. This is how he heard me. I didn’t know if his abilities had anything to do with it but nonetheless it seemed the be the only way I could communicate with him.
“You’re in danger! You need to find a place of spiritual security such as a temple or place of holy ritual! It’s the only way you’ll be safe.” I said.
“Is this some kind of joke?” He asked, very unsure.
“No! I’m serious! I know when you were a kid, you were spiritually open! I know you got a lot of attention you couldn’t explain growing up, some good, some bad. A priest freed you from this torment but that consequently blinded you! I’m literally standing right in front of you.” I said.
He looked down the sidewalk, looking for another person on a cell phone.
“I don’t see anyone…” He responded.
“I’m directly in front of you… Yeah, you can’t see me. I’m a spirit.” I confirmed, quite discouraged.
“Look, I don’t got time for pranks,” He sighed, “It’s the middle of November and I have finals… Pull this gag on someone else…” He locked the phone, placing it back in his pocket.
It did sound ridiculous... However, it was the only way I could warn him. Still though, something was pulling me after him. This energy was neither cleric or demonic, something more primal. The demonic energy my senses picked up on were growing stronger. The energy was emanating above my head. Looking up, there it was, a massive demon scaling the building. It was vaguely humanoid with long spindly arms, short but powerful hind legs and this purplish skin. It’s jaws salivated at the sight of the young man, or whatever it used to detect him. The demon had no eyes.
At this point, I was quite adept at slipping away from demons. I’ve been in Limbo for six years. But this time, the demon took no interest in a spirit. It only had one interest, the boy! But why? It’s one thing for a meandering spirit to attach to a psychic but not a demon. This was very, very strange. I didn’t know exactly what was at play here but it was not good.
The Clairvoyant repeatedly looked back, up to the side of the building. All he could see were pigeons flying erratically, as fast as their wings could carry. He took nothing of it, Pigeons often flew this way especially when trying to escape a hungry goshawk or falcon. However, he kept looking back, time and time again. His pace too had increased.
It made me wonder could he feel the demonic presence ravenously stalking him. He definitely could detect something, something that made him nervous. The demon could sense the boy’s concern. It continued scaling the building, reaching the support cables for a window washing platform, some forty meters high. The demon swiftly, scurried up the height of the building, the sound now clearly audible to more than just the Clairvoyant. However, none of the humans could see what was going on, only the falling debris from the side of the building. This was the demon tapping into the tangible world, getting ready to do something dreadful.
It was now do or die! I tried hard to contact the boy, waving, screaming doing all I could. His phone vibrated hard in his pocket. He picked up his cellphone, seeing it stated an incoming call but with no number or any other signs that someone was legitimately calling him.
“Hello?” He asked.
“Do you hear that strange scraping going up the side of the building?” I asked.
“Yeah?” He responded, very unsure.
“Those are footsteps of something very, very bad… something than can hurt us both. You’re not listening to me…” I said.
“Look whoever you are! I’ll file a police complaint if you keep this up… Stop calling MY DAMN…”
“I know you can feel it! I know you feel this thing! I’m not joking with you! You are in serious danger! I’m in danger!” I interrupted.
“This is fucking stupid…” He sighed, ending the call. He placed his phone in his pocket, desperate to carry on like normal.
It was too late. The demon had reached the cable spool for the washing platform. With his power, he made the platform descend at an incredible rate. The window washers screamed, holding on for dear life. All eyes looked up as the thirty foot wide platform fell. Suddenly, the right cable snapped, sending the platform swinging to the left. The window washers were flung to the sidewalk below.
The platform, now swinging like a pendulum careened into dozens of people on the sidewalk, sending them on various paths. The swinging platform continued plowing through person after person, pursuing the Clairvoyant as if it was a ravenous predator. Just as it was about to impale him with the shards of railing, I concentrated hard, manifesting my leg into something solid. I tripped him, causing him to face plant into the concrete.
It was just in time as the platform was fractions of a second away from skewering him. The platform swung back and forth several times before coming to a halt over the open one. It loomed over him like it had suceeded in destroying him. The demon looked down at the carnage seeing the Clairvoyant laying on the sidewalk in a pool of blood. To it, the boy looked dead, but he wasn’t.
He was only unconscious but the type of demon that this one was not very inteligent. I knew if I could make it look as though he died from the swinging platform, the demon would be convinced that the boy was killed. I was not the most knowledgeable when it came to demons but based off of my experience, it was very easy to outsmart the very large demons. However, having to injure the open one in order to outsmart the demon was something I hated. However, what else could I have done?
I stood by him, waiting for the sirens in the background to arrive. The police, ambulances and fire officials arrived within a handful of minutes. It didn’t take them long to realize that the majority of the people hit by the platform were dead, all except for the open one.They loaded him and the remaining into gurneys, transporting them all to the hospital.
There, the boy was placed in ICU. He hit his head really hard. It was the perfect chance for me to show him exactly what he escaped from. I jumped into his mind, merged my memories with his and made a powerful dream to recount his events. I didn’t quite know what I was trying to prove but I atleast wanted to show him the truth. He deserved to know what was coming for him. This was by no means over!
After planting the dream in his mind, I didn’t know what else to do while he rested. I wondered the hospital, reminded of my chilling second trial of Limbo. I had to come to terms with my death in this very hospital and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do, either dead or alive. I continued wandering around, eventually finding another strong energy that enticed me.
It lead me up a long corridor to a pre-nursing program for the local university. Entering the room, one of the nursing students was a very advanced medium. So many students were crammed into the room, I simply couldn’t tell. One’s eyes fell upon me, raw heat filling my being. I knew she was the advanced one.
“I need you help!” I said. The young woman, probably a junior in college, looked at her professor.
“Excuse me Dr. Wyatt, I have to go to the restroom.” She smiled.
“Hurry back.” The professor smiled.
The young woman gave off a powerful, powerful energy! She was a very well versed psychic, one that demons wouldn’t even attempt to toy with… She was covered in the blood.
She was a black lady, with long kinky coils, pulled back into a protective bun. Her skin glowed, maybe because of the shea butter she put on. She wore scrubs, nothing too stunning but damn she was gorgeous. She met me in the hall, looking at me with those scalding brown eyes.
“Yes?” She said, leaning against the wall with her arms folded.
“There’s another open one in the ICU downstairs! A demon tried to take him out but I saved him! He’s spiritually blind and I want to let him be able to see again!” I said. Her hardened demeanor softened, becoming one full of concern. She looked back making sure none of her colleagues were watching.
“Lead me to him…” She said.
I lead her down the corridor to the ICU level. The hall was filled with staff, but the powerful psychic didn’t care. We could see the countless bodies being wheeled into the the hospital morgue. The psychic winced from the stench, the spiritual stench.
“This just reeks of demon…” She said.
We entered the room, the boy still in a coma. The doctors stitched his forehead back together. There was a deep gash left from where his face hit the ground. That was my doing. I felt bed but there was shit else I could do to save his life.
“What happened?” The lady asked.
“A demon dropped a platform on him and I pushed him out of the way just in time.” I responded. She looked at me in shock.
“You saved him from a demon… You know what you’ve done, right? This boy could be marked! If he’s marked, you don’t interfere!” She asked.
“No, he was not marked! It was one of the heavy duty demons, not the sentient ones.” I said in my defense. She sighed, a bit relieved to hear this.
“Not many people are in tune spiritually anymore. Demons, who feast on souls, know this much. When they come across someone with a spiritual gift, they may try to take the human out. Fortunately, it wasn’t a more sentient demon. You got lucky, spirit…” She said. I smiled, extending my hand out.
“My name’s Vincent.” I said. She looked at my hand, and gave a swift eyeroll.
“Why are you so interested in this boy?” She asked.
“I was looking to be delivered from limbo without having to face my last trial.” I answered.
“I can do that for you.” She responded.
“No,” I said back, “Not now! That boy is completely helpless and a blatant target to any demon or ill spirit...I’ll..I’ll put it off until he can fend for himself.”
“You say that like you can fend for yourself! You’re nothing but a meanderer, one of the weakest of all spirits. Don’t be more trouble than you’re worth.” She said plainly.
“Hey, I’ve been in limbo for four years. I’ve learned how to escape demons and deal with them… I may be weak but I know my limits...I know what I can do.” I said back. She smiled at me, extending her hand towards me.
“I’m Traci...Traci Malbert.” She said. Our hands were able to touch, her hand not phasing through mine. It shocked me for a bit, as I remembered I was dead.
“Nice to meet you.” I responded.
“Have you done anything to try to show him he’s spiritually open?” She asked.
“I just made him relive his near death experience through my eyes. I don’t know what else I can do.” I said, unsure how she’d take this.
“Eh, I don’t want to get in trouble… I’ll um… think of something! I’ve seen him on campus once or twice before. Maybe one of my friends is a mutual of his and we can get connected some way… We got to do something for him though. He is very unarmed in a dangerous world.” Traci said, stroking her chin, “I gotta go…”
“Ok, there’s a big gap between now and when he’s well enough to get back on campus. What am I to do until then?” I asked.
“Well it looks like he may have a concussion at worst with a few scars to show. I’ll be in touch...trust me…” She said, leaving the room.
The boy was in a medically induced coma for now. The drugs were set for him to come out if it within the next few hours but I thought the injuries were more severe. Maybe he could walk out of here sooner rather than later.
Within these hours, his parents had come all the way from Kentucky to see him. At the same time, he came to his senses waking up from surgery just as they came into the room. His mother, teary eyed and relieved to see her son doing well, came over to him.
“My baby…” She said.
“What happened?” The boy asked.
“You almost got hit by a platform but you fell before it hit you. You narrowly escaped with your life.” A doctor said, writing on a clipboard.
“Wait, that wasn’t a dream?” The boy asked, growing deeply upset and deeply confused.
“No, it was real… I say a miracle happened. You were the only one to survive…” The doctor said.
“My god…” His mother said, placing her hand over her heart, remembering her faith.
“You had a really close call, Lyre.” His father laughed.
So his name was Lyre! It was a weird name but I liked it. His eyes slumped to the floor as he sat deep in thought.
“So this wasn’t a dream?” Lyre asked.
“No, but you do have a very, very bad concussion and will need to stay under medical watch for a week. A nursing student from your school volunteered to aid you during this week. You should be back to normal in the coming months. I’m prescribing you some pain meds. The nursing student will be sure you take them while you’re here and when you’re gone, the responsibility will roll over to you. Be light on your feet for the next few months. No working out, no extensive physical activity.” The Doctor said.
“So um… what happened exactly?” Lyre asked, very much confused.
“I’m not sure. Eyewitnesses say the thing just snapped and swung down and cut through a bunch of people.” The doctor responded, rather perplexed.
Lyre’s eyes then locked onto me. At first I thought it was a fluke until I could see he was eyeing me from head to toe. If the boy was confused before, he downright was facing a conundrum now. He extended out his hand pointing a finger at me.
“Who’s he?” He asked. His parents and the doctor looked where I was standing but saw nothing.
“No one’s there.” His father responded.
The boy’s eyes wandered to the ceiling, feeling he was going crazy.
“You need to take it easy Lyre.” The doctor said.
“Is he gonna be okay?” His mother asked, growing concerned. It was obvious she recalled when her son was younger and asked questions like this all the time. Lyre’s father kept glimpsing back to where I was standing, also haunted by Lyre’s youth.
“He just needs some rest and his head should be okay.” The Doctor responded. He led the parents out of the hospital room.
Lyre looked at me again, unsure if his eyes were deceiving him.
“Hi.” I said, hailing no response. The boy simply looked at me, trying to decipher whether or not I was a figment of his imagination.
“Are you…” He began.
“I’m real, but not real in the sense that you can reach out and touch me. I died in this hospital four years ago...I um… I could sense what you were so I followed you for a while, then that thing attacked you…” I said.
“I um...how...it…” The boy said struggling to find words.
“It might be a lot to digest but you’re an Open One, Lyre. You always have been and always will be.” I said.
“How come I couldn’t see you before?” Lyre asked.
“Because your sight had been taken away from you by priests. It may have been for your own good since children are very spiritually receptive. There are some fucked up and evil things out there.” I said.
“So...those weren’t dreams either…” Lyre said reflecting back on his childhood, “Why’d you help me?”
“Because I thought you could help me! Your energy was strong, I thought you were an advanced medium, your energy radiated so much. But, I was misled. Something drew me to you though and I’m glad it did. If I wouldn’t have found you, you would have died.” I said.
“Help you?” He asked.
“I’ve been stuck here for years and I can’t pass on because Limbo has a tight hold on me. I have one more trial before I can pass on to the Celestial Plain and face judgement.” I said back.
“And I was supposed to help you pass on?” He asked, surprised.
“Humans have the power of the tongue. It is their greatest tool and their greatest weapon… You’ll be surprised how simple it would be for you to allow me to pass on…” I smiled.
“So ghosts and stuff are real? How’d you get here?” He asked, definitely intrigued.
“I...died.” I said back.
“Oh.. How?” He asked.
“I um,” I began, this still a very touchy topic to discuss, “I was a freshman in college, like you. I was dating this guy, a preacher’s kid. He and I were so in love but when his dad found out about us, he beat his son and ordered for me the be beaten and tortured. It was terrible, man... I remember my ears throbbing so loud and everything happening in slow motion then everything turned white. When I woke up, I was in a hospital looking at my own body…dead.”
“Damn…” Lyre said, sorry he asked.
“It’s fine. That was my first trail of Limbo. When you die a wrongful death, you have to come to terms with the fact that you’re dead. It took me two years…” I continued.
“You didn’t know you were dead?” He asked.
“Spirits seldom do. There was a spirit named Von that helped me...his act of helping me was his final trial and he was able to go to the Celeste and face judgment. I hope he made it to paradise...he was a great guy.” I smiled.
“How’d he die?” Lyre asked.
“He never told me.” I laughed, “But you’d be surprised… A lot of spirits make you thankful for the way you died. Some of the residual spirits, spirits that constantly relive their death, die in the most gruesome ways! One lady had an earth boring drill shoved up her… I… she had to relive it, day after day after day because she couldn’t come to terms with the fact that she was dead… And I watched it happen for a long time.”
“Wow…” Lyre said, completely shocked.
“I was like that too, when I first came to terms with my death. Other spirit’s deaths made me grateful for mine… I mean it was sad that I died, but the way I died was not quite as bad as a few others.” I added.
“Well that’s an attitude to have.” Lyre said, impressed by my positivity, “So if I died, I would have been a ghost too?”
“Eh...ghost is such a misleading term. You would have been a spirit, not really a ghost, but that demon wanted you dead. I’m pretty sure it was waiting for your soul to be ready for harvest. I bet it’s gonna be a slap in the face when it learn’s you’re not dead…” I giggled.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa...demon?” He asked.
“Yeah… you were attacked by a demon. I was trying to tell you!” I said, “But, I’m not surprised you found it hard to believe. If I were you, I wouldn’t have believed it either. Before all of this, I was a faithless skeptic… The idea of a demon was laughable, really.”
“So...you saved me from a demon?” Lyre asked, struggling to wrap his head around it.
“Eh, I wouldn’t say saved...more so kept it from killing you…”
“Why was it trying to kill me?”
“Because, just like how I could sense you were an Open One, it could too. Open people are very, very powerful. You can kill a demon with your tongue! To see an unprotected, unaware Open One… it’s the perfect opportunity to take one out.” I enlightened.
“Wow…” He said, “And you?”
“Yeah, you, what kind of spirit are you?” He asked.
“I’m a meanderer, one step above a residual spirit, but one step below an interactive. An interactive is what you consider a ghost.” I said.
“And how does that compare, to like demons.”
“It doesn’t… Like, we’re low level in every way. I don’t know much about demons but I know even the lowest level demon is beyond the power of even the most powerful interactive. But, an interactive can defend itself against any demon though to what avail, I do not know.” I said.
“So, can you still die, even as a spirit?” He asked.
“Yes! I’ve seen spirits ripped apart, set ablaze, struck by lightning...all kinds of horrific deaths.” I said, “You just stop existing… your energy, gets neutralized and returned to the maker…”
“Maker?” Her asked, “As in God? And...really? You saved me from that Demon when it could have easily destroyed you? That is some real bravery!”
“I don’t want say God… I won’t know until I pass on. Everything I thought before I died has just about been proven wrong by this place. There’s something out there… It has to be because if Demons report to someone then the Righteous Ones have to as well?” I noted.
“Righteous ones?” Lyre continued, “As in angelic beings?”
“Yes and no… They come from the Celestial Plain but they don’t act very Angelic...or look like what I’d picture angels to look like. In fact, them and demons are damn near identical… just that one is well fed and clean with good hygene… The other festers in death and rotting because it’s the only way it can feed.”
“I still can’t get over the fact that you saved me from a demon…” Lyre said, stuck on the matter.
“Eh, that demon wasn’t too bright. It had to use a considerable amount of it’s power to manifest in your world for the split second it did. It took even more power to cut the cable. Then to stabilize itself, it had to redistribute the energy it channeled into it’s feet and claws to the rest of it’s body. During that time, I could have vanished…” I smiled, teasing the boy.
“But you didn’t.” Lyre smiled.
“Eh, I wouldn’t try to think so much into it. What I did was sheer spiritual impulse… Sometimes spirits are drawn to doing things they can’t help but do. Demons are a prime example. It probably wanted to kill you becuase it was hungry.” I said.
“Oh,” He said sounding rather disenchanted.
“But,” I began, “One thing you need to do, and I won’t leave you until you do is learn how to be less of a prime target. You can see spirits, now but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You got to know how to defend yourself against spirits and demons! You can’t just vanish like I can...in the future, you many not have a choice but to fight.”
As I said, that the door opened. It was Traci. She was followed by another nurse, a senior nurse. Traci laid eyes on me, then to the Lyre. She pointed at me with her thumb, nodding. Fortunately for the sake of looking sane, there was a TV behind her so the senior wasn’t too confused. I put my finger over my lip, gesturing for Lyre to keep quiet about it.
“How are you feeling.” The lead nurse asked.
“I feel fine…” Lyre responded.
“Are you light headed, are any areas of your head hurting?” She asked.
“My eyes are a little tender under this lighting.” He said.
“Well, we’re going to keep you on meds for a good bit. You’ll be out of here soon.” The nurse smiled. She walked over to the IV sack hanging on the catheter stand. She put gloves on her hands, before reaching inside her lab coat for a fresh syringe.
Traci brought over a tiny glass bottle of pain medicine. The lead nurse took it, piercing the cap with the needle. She slowly filled the syringe with the medicine then injected it into Lyre’s IV.
“You lost a lot of blood.” The nurse said. Lyre looked at me, his eyes bearing heavy upon me.
“Really?” He said, not surprised, tossing the blame onto me.
A thin smile came across Traci’s face.
“Yeah, you’re pretty lucky to have survived this…” Traci added, it being a double edged blade.
“You don’t say…” Lyre smiled.
“You’re pretty enthusiastic, kid… I like your spunk.” The lead nurse said, getting ready to leave.
“Thanks…” Lyre laughed, finding humor in how oblivious the nurse was to what was really going on.
“I’m gonna stay and make sure he’s extra comfortable.” Traci said.
“Alright…” The lead smiled. She left the room, the latch clicking ever so gently. Lyre looked on, beyond enthused.
“So you’re an Open One too?” He asked.
“In a way. I’m a Parabonish… AKA, a witch...one in training, at least.” Traci said.
“Wait, witch?” Lyre asked, unsettled by the fact.
“Don’t let your prejudices close you to the world of witchcraft. It, like religion, is only as good as the practitioner.” Traci said to him.
“Wait, so...this is all going over my head… So old wivestales of witches and shit…”
“Are exactly that, old wivestales…” Traci said back defensively. I could see Traci was a bit on edge.
“Um, a lot of spooky stories from your youth are not really true. They are stretched and warped out of proportion since they go by earsay to earsay. This right here, is a whole new world.” I said.
“So….” Lyre asked looking on lost.
“I’m here to help… You’re weak...defenseless… A target, but as Vincent told me, there’s something different about you compared to other Open Ones… You radiate! It’s too great a gift to simply let you perish at the hands of a demon or a powerful interactive…” Traci said.
“Gift?” Lyre asked, lapping all of this up with child-like curiosity.
“We don’t know what your gift means yet… For one, you need to bathe because you reek of years of crusted energy build up. Secondly, in this week I’ll be visiting you, you need to learn as much as you can about spirituality because I can assure you, this will not be the last time a demon comes for you. Then after than, we shall meet up and your training shall commence.” Traci said.
“Bathe, um, training...slow down, slow down!” Lyre begged.
It was clear Traci had no intentions on making this easy for Lyre. His enthusiasm on the subject not only bothered her, but also bothered me! I wasn’t sure if he knew how serious this was. If this wasn’t a wake up call for him, I wasn’t sure what could be. Traci simply left him there. Lyre was left looking at me in confusion.
“What’s with her?” Lyre asked.
“See, this may be new to you, you may be enthusiastic and all smiles and giggles but to her, this is serious. I don’t knew her well, sorted her out through a crowd… But that girl has been through a lot...her story is written on her, plainly, kinda like yours was when I first saw you. The life of being a Parabonish was forced on her due to her dwellings… So for her, from a young age, she learned to cope to survive or face death. For her sake, take this seriously because she doesn’t have to help you… This isn’t childhood ghouls and ghosts...this is life or death!” I explained.
“I mean,” Lyre began, “I’m doped up and half way thinking I’m going to wake up from this! I try to keep an open mind but you must admit this is rather… atypical… Don’t shoot me for this.”
“It’s not about that. Just understand that spirituality is something extremely serious and don’t take any of what you see for granted. I’ve been stuck in Limbo for four years, have seen it at it’s worst. If you don’t want to end up like me, I’d suggest you get a little stern blood in your system because this is VERY real…” I responded.“Thanks for the tips…” Lyre said, looking rather overwhelmed. He didn’t know in what ways to apply them and quite frankly, if I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t either. He’d have a long road ahead of him though, so much ground to cover in so little time.