Categories > Original > Romance > Breathe0 Reviews
Death is a strange concept...
What comes after it? Heaven? Hell? Eternal sleep?
Will friends and family meet again in the after-life?
Those who are sure about death are very lucky
They need not fear or worry, they just live
Death is a strange concept...
(Penny Miller, 1922)
Christiana ran into the room with Elijah James following close behind. "Who's this?!" Elijah James demanded.
"My friend, Robert," I said defensively.
"Why is he here?!" he still continued.
"Don't yell at her like that!" Rob shouted, stepping in front of me.
"What's she to you?!" James yelled at him now.
"She deserves better than being shouted at!!!"
"For bringing you in here and dooming us all she deserves to be yelled at!!!" James retorted.
"What are they going to do? Kill us?" Rob asked.
"Yes that is exactly what they might do!!!!" James still shouted, "You have no idea what you are dealing with!"
"I didn't know I was dealing with anyone!!" Robert shouted again. This is not good! I stepped in between them and put both of my arms on their chests. "Stop it! We can work this out diplomatically!" I said calmly but forcefully. They didn't speak but they didn't relax. "Now, if it is too dangerous for Rob to be here then thats fine, he can leave...but there's no reason to fight over it!" I continued.
"Guys.." Christiana said quietly.
"YES! There is a reason to fight over it! If they find out he's here, they'll kill him, they'll kill you, they'll kill me, and most importantly...they'll kill...Chris," he got very quiet and sad at the end. "Who are they?!" Rob continued shouting.
"Guys," Christiana said a little louder. A girl, one of my roommates, sat upright in bed. Her eyes were blank. She got up and stood.
"Must do his bidding...must answer the call..." the girl said in a strangled voice. She walked closer to us. She held one hand behind her back. She came closer to us. She pulled a knife out from behind her back and turned toward me. This can't be happening!
"What's going on?!" Rob asked, barely louder than a whisper.
"James!!" Chris shouted, "Take her down now!!!" Elijah James lunged at the girl. She moved out of his way with amazing speed. That can't be a good sign… He crashed to the floor. She continued towards me. "Must do his bidding...must answer the call..." she chanted over and over again. I was frozen in place. She lifted the knife and threw it. When it was just inches from my face Rob grabbed me and pulled me out of the way. The girl's blank expression swiftly changed to murderously angry. She started to move toward Rob now but Elijah James was on his feet again and he grabbed her long braid. He pulled her backwards violently and threw her to the floor. She cried out in pain. He tapped the floor above her head with his foot and she dropped through the floor into a black abyss. I gasped. The wood panels closed back. I was still frozen in place.
"Are you alright?" Elijah James said and put his hand on my shoulder. I was shocked. How very uncharacteristic of him...
"Yeah, I'm fine...you?" I said once I was able to speak again.
"Amazing," he said sarcastically. We both laughed. He patted my shoulder. Chris and Rob coughed loudly at the same time. James and I both backed away from each other. I cleared my throat.
"Sorry..." I muttered, looking at my feet.
"Me too..." James added, also looking at his feet.
"Now this isn't over yet so there is no time to celebrate! We need to prepare, they now know Rob's here so they're going to be looking for him, and we have to be ready when they find him. We've got a fight ahead of us," Christiana said gravely.
"What do we need to do?" Rob asked. Apparently he's accepted the evidence of danger. I thought.
"James, go to the weapons cache...we're going to need all the help we can get," Chris instructed. James rushed out the door. Christiana turned to Rob. "Do you know how to work a pistol?" she asked him. He nodded. James burst through the door with a bundle in his arms. How'd he do that so fast? He spread the bundle out on the bed and revealed several hand guns and two sheathed daggers. He took a dagger and wrapped the belt attached to it around his waist. He took a gun out and handed it to Chris. He took another gun out and threw it unkindly to Rob. He picked the last gun up and walked to me.
"Now, the question is," he held the gun up, "Can you handle it?" His eyes narrowed and his eyebrows rose.
"You bet I can," I retorted playfully and took the gun. He smiled and grabbed the other knife and strapped it to the other side of his belt. I didn't miss the glare that Christiana gave me. She turned quickly away from me. We barricaded the door. We turned toward the only exit, other than the window, and positioned ourselves around it. I stood at the middle right. On my left side was Rob and on my right was James. Christiana was on the far left.
"And now we wait," Christiana said. We never sat and we didn't talk. This is driving me insane!
"I'm so sorry," I whispered to Rob. He looked at me. He was surprised.
"For what?" he asked in astonishment.
"For bringing you into this, I should've made you stay away," I said, tears coming to my eyes, "It's all my fault." I put my head down. He put his hand under my chin and pulled me up to face him.
"It's not your fault at all. Don't blame yourself for what happens at this school," he replied. He still had his hand under my chin. He stared into my eyes. I started to shake. He leaned a little closer to me. My eyes widened. Is he really about to kiss me? Surely not! But... He moved just a tiny bit closer. Just before his lips touched mine a loud boom against the door made us aware of the fact that someone was trying to break in. We both jerked our heads toward the door.
"Get ready!" James whispered. We braced ourselves for what was coming. Another loud boom sounded again from the other side of the door. My heart rate picked up rapidly. "I have a strong feeling about what might come through that door...don't hesitate when it opens, just attack." James said.
"3...2...1!" Christiana counted. Right at 1 the door was knocked down. Dust swirled and I couldn't see what came in. "Now!" Chris shouted. Three shots went off but I did not see who the people that did the shooting were. Knifes sharpened against each other. I raised my gun up and was hesitant to shoot. I had lied about being able to handle it. I didn't know one thing about shooting a gun. I raised it toward the door and was about to shoot when my feet were knocked out from under me. My head hit the wood planks with a crunch. I saw who had done it. Mr. Inkwell stood over me, smiling. He had a long hunting knife in his left hand. In that moment I knew I was going to die. There was no way I would stand a chance against the strong, agile Inkwell. He raised the knife and was about to plunge it into my chest when he dropped the knife. It clattered to the floor beside me. Why did he just spare me? The answer became clear when James' face popped up behind Inkwell's shoulder. The point of a knife broke through the skin in Mr. Inkwell's chest. I looked at it with horror. His face was turned up in a grimace. Elijah James turned the knife swiftly sideways making a bigger whole in Mr. Inkwell's midsection.
James glowered fiercely as he dug the knife into Inkwell's back. "Don't you dare touch her!" he whispered so low in Inkwell's ear that I was not sure I heard it. [/Why would he save me? He hates me! But I guess I should be grateful... He jerked the knife out of Inkwell's back brutally. No blood was on the blade, just the same foreboding black liquid that Mr. Inkwell had tried to force me to drink. Mr. Inkwell fell on top of me. Rob appeared out of the dust. "Get off her!" Rob shouted. He pulled him off of me. Inkwell was clearly dead. "Are you alright?" Rob asked and helped me up. "Yes, now get your head in the fight. Don't worry about-" I said but watched in horror as a knife flew into his back. He fell towards me. I barely held him up. I set him down on the floor. "Rob?! Robert, please speak to me!!!" I shouted at him, tears welling up. His breathing was labored and his eyelids were fluttering constantly. He looked at me. His eyes came open and stayed like that. I held his hand. "Let...go for a second...please," he said. He was having difficulty speaking. I let go of his hand. He was lying on his side, the knife sticking out of his back. He reached back and grabbed a hold of the knife and braced himself. My eyes widened. He jerked the knife out. But of course not without crying out in pain while he pulled it out. He lay on the floor. He was grimacing with the pain. He placed his hand back in mine. His hand was shaking. He was having much difficulty moving and breathing.
I pushed his sandy hair out of his eyes. His tan skin was pale and his hazel eyes wide. He was staring at the ceiling. I stroked his face but he didn't seem to notice. "It's going to be fine, you're going to be okay, I promise.." I said. Tears were spilling down my cheeks. He looked at me then. His brows pulled together. He reached a shaking hand up to my face and wiped the tears away slowly.
"Don't cry...I'm going to be fine...in two days I'll be up and around and kissing you and marrying you...spending the rest of my life with you," he said to my astonishment. Even in this dark hour I somehow believed him. He was so convincing. It made me smile through my tears. I leaned down and kissed his cheek. He sighed and dropped his hand and laid his head down and closed his eyes. His breathing was somewhat quieter. In this moment I was completely unaware that the battle was still going on around me. I wasn't paying any attention to the gunshots. I didn't even know who had injured Rob. I looked up at the chaos going on around me. Miss Hardwicke had Christiana cornered. Hardwicke had a gun pointed between Chris' eyes.
"I'll be right back, Rob!" I said and pulled the blanket off of my bed and put it on him. I grabbed the gun off the floor beside me. I ran toward Hardwicke. I put the gun to her temple. "Drop. Your. Weapon." I said with more courage than I felt. Her twisted expression of joy quickly turned to outrage. She dropped the pistol. It clattered to the floor. James came up behind her and forced her to the ground.
"Chris!" he demanded. Christiana ran across the room and pushed the centerpiece of an end table down like a button. The floor opened up beside Hardwicke. Elijah James lifted Miss Hardwicke off of the floor and dangled her over the chasm. He smiled at her.
"Bye, bye!" he said pleasantly. He dropped her and her scream echoed down the deep hole. There was a faint sound of her landing at the bottom. That was it. There was only two of them! YES! The floor closed back up.
I was panting and so was Elijah James. He was standing only a little ways away from me. We smiled at each other. I was so happy! I went to him and threw my arms around his neck. He wrapped his arms around me and twirled me around. "Thank you!! So much, for saving me!" I said joyfully. My joy made me completely oblivious that Rob was still on the ground fighting for his life.
"I'm just glad we're still alive! I'm so happy, I could kiss you! And that's saying something!" he laughed.
"Not all of us are quite alive....well he's alive for the moment, but only just," Christiana said.
I let go of him abruptly and raced to Rob's side. Chris was kneeling beside him. His condition had not improved. His breathing was still labored but now he was unconscious. "We need to clean the wound!" Chris said, "Help me turn him over." We turned him onto his stomach. Christiana gingerly pulled up his bloodied shirt and revealed a gruesome and festering wound. It was inflamed and gushing dark, thick blood.
"It doesn't look good," Chris said and looked at me. My eyes had begun to fill. "We're going to have to do something but please don't let it upset you...we're trying to help him," she continued.
"Well then do it! What are you waiting for?!" I nearly shouted at her. She just nodded and walked to Elijah James. She whispered in his ear and he silently ghosted out the door. He came back a whole 10 seconds later. Rob opened his eyes. The white around the hazel was severely blood-shot. I'd been staring at his emotionless face. The corners of his slightly purple lips turned up into a weak smile. I grabbed his limp hand gently.
I glanced at Elijah James who had crouched down next to Rob. He had a canteen. He pulled the cap off and poured that same foreboding black liquid on the knife wound. "What are you doing?!?!?!? Won't that hurt him?!" I demanded. He ignored me. I looked back at Rob. He cried out in pain. His pupils dilated. And while I watched, his eyes turned completely black like the pupil had taken over his whole eye.
"Stop it!!!!! James do you hear me?!?!" I shouted. He didn't listen. He turned Rob over. He was writhing on the floor in agony. Steam was coming up from the wound. Elijah James pried Rob's mouth open and poured the liquid down his throat. Rob coughed and choked against it. His skin turned an ashen grey. I gasped. He was in agony. I have to stop this!
"Stop it!!! Now!!!!" I yelled and pushed on Elijah James' arm to try and get him to listen. He turned to me. His expression was murderous.
"We’re trying to help him!!! Didn't we already tell you that?!?!?!?!" he demanded, "I'm trying to save your precious boyfriend!!!! Now hand me that knife..." He gestured towards the knife beside Rob...the one that had been thrown into his back.
"What?! Why?!" I asked
. "I need to get the acerbus straight into his heart! Don't worry, he already has enough in him to keep him from dying." I grabbed the knife. If this is going to help Rob then let it be done. I took a deep breath and handed the knife to James.
He plunged the knife into his chest and I turned away quickly. I couldn't see but I could still hear. When I thought James was done I looked back at Rob. Black liquid, or acerbus as James had called it, was gushing out of the wound that James had made and Christiana was sowing it up. Robert was trying to push her away violently which made it harder for her to close the wound. "Now we have to let it spread," Chris said when she was finished, "But there is only a 15% chance that he will live, and he can't be near us while he's being overtaken or afterwards when he wakes up. She turned to me and said, "Say goodbye."
"What?" I asked, "I thought he could stay with us!"
"Say goodbye now!! You can ask questions later!!!" James shouted at me.
I grabbed hold of Rob's hand. He pulled away. He was still writhing. I threw my arms around him but he pushed me away. His eyes were blank as he stared at the ceiling. "I don't know when I'll see you again and....I think I’m beginning to love you..." I said, tears were streaming down my cheeks.
He didn't say anything. I started to sob. "Please say something!" I sobbed. He just stared at the ceiling. His black eyes suddenly focused on me. I waited for him to talk to me. Instead his face turned into a glare. He lunged at me. James restrained him in an iron grasp.
"Agh!" Rob shouted out in defiance and struggled against him. His burning eyes were focused on me. Then the floor opened up beneath them. James let go of Rob and grabbed onto the edge of the remaining wood panels before he fell into the abyss. Robert wasn't as lucky. He fell and his echoing scream made chills run up and down my spine.
"Help me!" Elijah James shouted.
"Give me your hand!" I said and held out my hand. Chris came and kneeled down and held out her hand too. He grabbed mine first and then grabbed hers with his other hand. We pulled him up before the floor closed back. We all three lay on our backs, panting. I was the only one crying though.
"That's why you don't fall in love with anyone, they just end up dying," James said bitterly and got up and left.
This statement made me cry even harder. I couldn't get the images out of my head. He's gone! I don't care what they say, he's gone and never coming back! They know it!!!!! Even if he does come back he won't be the same!!!! He won't be the warm, sunny boy I knew!!!!! He'll be violent, cold, and pale like the moon...not the sun...
I saw him there, lying on the floor...dying. But it all changed when he had the black liquid poured on him and in him. He cried out and writhed in pain but then changed and tried to kill me. I saw the hatred, the anger in his eyes. Tears continued to roll down my face. I rolled over onto my side. I realised Chris had left. Now, I am completely and entirely....alone.