They were falling.
The sound of air rushing past them as pressure made their clothing fly and press against their skin. Spencer looked at Ryan's face, noticing it was contorting with pain. He decided that Ryan was just in pain from the pressure of the air pressing against his broken bones. He squeezed the younger boys hand, holding onto it tightly. He wouldn't let go, he refused to. With Ryan's closed eyes, him holding the other boys hand was the only way to tell him that he was still there. That he hadn't left him yet and would continue to stand by his side.
Spencer glanced down, looking to see where they were falling. His eyes widened as he saw the river that they were falling towards coming closer and closer. It would only be a matter of seconds until they hit the water. With that in mind he pulled Ryan close, hugging him close to his chest. Ryan didn't seem to really notice, his eyes too screwed shut for him to notice anything. Spencer tried his best to turn so his back was facing the water, making it to where Ryan wouldn't be able to feel all, if any, of the impact.
All too soon they were crashing in the water, Spencer's back burning and stinging as it crashed against the surface. It encased them, pulling the two into the strong current and down the stream. Spencer held onto Ryan with one arm tightly, knowing that he was in a lot of pain. He struggled to get to the surface, using his other arm to try and pull them out of their watery tomb. He coughed when he reached the surface, spitting out the water that had made it's way into his now burning lungs. Everything was sore, but he knew that he had to keep moving, to get out of the water. And to get Ryan somewhere safe.
It took all of his energy to pull himself and Ryan over to the edge, helping the other boy onto the land. Ryan seemed knocked out, the shock of hitting the water making him black out. He manged to pull himself out of the strong tide, collapsing onto the soft grass that surrounded the strong river. He latched his hand onto Ryan's once more, staring at the sleeping boy as he tried to catch his breath. There was a steady rise and fall of his chest, making Spencer smile.
They had both made it out alive and mostly unharmed.
He turned his head when there was the sound of a bell. He looked over to see a small black cat, a red ribbon with a bell tied around it's small neck. It tilted it's head sideways, it's big green eyes staring at him with a wonderment. His tired eyes stared at the cat, his brows furrowing. He was so tired. He was amazed he hadn't passed out yet. But as he stared at the cat, it turned out to not be that surprising.
He knew that cat.
There was something inside him that clicked when he stared in it's big green eyes. Like he could feel the familiarity of it. And then it came together. It was Ryan's old cat. Vincent. The only cat that's eyes changed colors. Spencer's eyes widened as it started to slowly pace over to them. He was to tired to reach out for it, his arms being limp and sprawled in the grass. Everything was to heavy, and it was a struggle not only to breathe but to keep his eyes open.
The cat had been Ryan's only pet. Ever. He was a feral pet, the only reason he got to call it his own was because his father didn't know about it. He said his mother gave it to him a week before her passing. Ryan had always said that she could tell that she was close to going, that the cat was supposed to keep watch over him. At least, he said that until the cat ran away after Ryan had become good friends with Spencer. It was almost as if Spencer made him jealous.
He closed his eyes, hearing Vincent's bell as he walked over to sniff Ryan. He wanted to tell it something. To open his eyes and look into the green orbs. But he couldn't do it. Not with the state he was in. There was a pressure on his chest and Spencer lifted his heavy head. He was met with two jade eyes, the iris seeming to move like liquid. Spencer let his head drop back to the ground. There was a soft mew, and the pressure left his chest.
And the darkness consumed him.
"Now remember Ryan, one day you'll figure out what this all means." Ryan stared at his mother, his eyes wide and confused as he stared at her. "But right now you don't have to worry about it. You'll find them when they need you most." She kissed the top of his head, the sound of his fathers car pulling into the drive. "Just be careful. It's dangerous there. I love you my little ball of fire." She gave him a hug, his eyes filling with tears.
And then she walked away.
There were so many things he wanted to say. So many questions he had. Different things he wanted to ask. But she had already told him that the mirror had all of the answers. He was just a kid, and little metaphors like that didn't sit well with him. He didn't know how to solve it; how to find the answer.
The sound of a gun. Crying. Blood leaked from under the door.
Spencer opened his eyes slowly, his head pounding as he awakened from his dreamless sleep. At first it seemed that nothing was amiss, and then a single thought ran through his head. Ryan. He bolted upright, his back screaming at him from the sudden movement. He looked in every direction, trying to gather his bearings.
White canvas walls, like he was in a tent. He was on a bed, the kind they would have at a makeshift hospital on a military base. His shirt was missing, showing the scar he had from his heart surgery when he was younger to the world. There was another bed right next to him, though no one was present in it. Just a tidy white sheet folded into the cot perfectly. A small table between the two beds. Or maybe, it was more of a metal tray. There were different bottles and pieces of cloth on the metal surface of it, one shiny needle in a package to keep it sterile. His brows furrowing he got out of bed.
His bare feet met soft and lush green grass. He looked down at it, biting his lip. This wasn't normal. He walked slowly, each step making his back burn. Before he could make it to the exit of the tent, a man walked in. Their eyes met, both of them freezing. Blond hair, green eyes, dirty and tattered clothing that had a white apron over it. And piercings. Something that didn't really match the rest of his odd attire.
"Oh, good. You're up." He had an odd accent, something that sounded like it was almost Irish, only not. Spencer shook of the unusual fear he felt when he stared at the man, pushing it down so he could take care of another one of his fears.
"Where's Ryan?" He wanted his voice to sound demanding, but it didn't. It sounded weak and pathetic. The other boy sighed.
"Right. Of course. Because that's always what you say when you meet new people." He shook his head, taking the apron off and tossing it to the ground. He was wearing a dark green vest, a hole in one side where he had a jagged stitched up wound. Spencer felt bad, to say the least. "He's in the dining tent. It's dinner time, ya know? He just wants to meet some of the others. Something that you should also want to do." Spencer gave a sigh.
"I'm just worried about him." He stood for a second, shifting from one foot to the other awkwardly. "What is your name?"
"Kev. I fixed up you and your boy. Little Vincent found you two out by the stream. What court are you two from anyway? You don't at all look familiar." Spencer's brows furrowed.
"America?" It ended up sounding more like a question then he intended. Kev had a look of shock cross his face, and he rushed over to Spencer, grabbing his wrist.
"You don't have the oysters marker. You couldn't possibly be." Spencer shook his head. He had questions he wanted to ask, but only after he knew that Ryan was completely safe.
"I'm going to go find Ryan. I'll uh...See you around." He walked around Kev, trying to ignore look the blond boy was giving him. He walked out of the tent, finding that there were even more tents in two lines, going right across from each other. He looked at all of them, trying to find the one that his friend was hiding in. He eventually decided on one of the biggest tents, peering into it. Sure enough it had makeshift tables on the inside, people scattered amongst them.
He spotted a Ryan's chestnut hair, giving a sigh of relief as he walked over to him. Ryan turned a large grin on his face.
"Spencer! I've missed you." Spencer sat down next to him on the bench, looking at the two people that sat across from him. A girl with long white hair in large curls with grey eyes, the boy sitting next to her looking like a brother. He had the same white hair, short and curly. With grey-blue eyes. They were both stunningly beautiful. Ryan picked up something from the tray in front of him, handing it out to Spencer. "You have to try this. It is sooo good." He sounded ridiculously happy, high almost.
He took it, turning the purple spiky fruit over in his hand. The spikes were pink and blue, the fruit looking like nothing he had ever seen before. "What is it?" Ryan smiled, taking one of the spikes. He broke it off, juice pouring out.
"Drink it." Spencer did as Ryan told him to, drinking the juice from the purple fruit. It was delectable. A cross between a plume and an apple, only sweeter. "Oh! Able, Butterfly, this is my mate Spencer." Ryan tossed his arm around Spencer's neck, watching the older boy drink the liquid like it was the only thing that could quench a thirst he had for hundreds of years.
Spencer put the fruit down. "Where are we?" He asked the two siblings that were sitting across from them, deciding that now as as good of a time as ever to try and get some answers.
"You're in the Checkered Forest, between the Hearts and Diamond court." Able said with a shrug, saying it was the most insignificant thing in the world.
"Thank god we're not in the actual court. That would be chaos." Butterfly said with a grin.
"You did fail to mention where you two were from. It doesn't look like anywhere nearby." Able said.
"Vincent says we're from the surface." Ryan said with his perfect smile still on his face. The hum of people talking around them went silent, the smiles on Able and Butterfly's face falling quickly. Everyone was looking at them, Ryan's smile starting to fade as Spencer started to panic.
"The surface?" Able whispered.
"You need to get them out of here!" One of the other people shouted, everyone looking at the two foreign boys with anger and disgust.
"They don't belong here!" Someone else screamed from the other side of the room.
"Their going to get us all killed!" Two twins yelled at the same time.
"Able, go get Ed and Frank." Butterfly spoke quickly, her voice whispering like it was only meant for her brother to hear. Able stood and rushed out of the tent.
"What's going on?" Ryan asked as he took Spencer's hand in his. He sounded terrified. Spencer squeezed his hand, trying to give him a reassuring smile.
"Oysters aren't allowed in our camp. We're all rebels and refugees. They always search for oysters, and when they find them, they kill any and everyone that's been harboring them. We can't be found. No matter what." By the time she was finished explaining the way things worked Able was back with two other boys.
Ryan and Spencer looked at the two with wide eyes. One had long bunny ears and whiskers, the other having what looked like bear ears. Other than that they looked like completely normal humans. The one with bunny ears had snow white hair to match the fur on them, long and choppy. His eyes were a bright blue, looking like the sky on a perfect sunny day. The other boy had light brown hair, the same color as the fur on his bear like ears. Their outfits, like many of the other people in the camp, was strange and tattered. They had belts that made them look almost like they were engineers of some kind.
"You're coming with us." The one with bare ears said as he grabbed onto Spencer's arm. Ryan almost screamed when the other grabbed his arm, and Spencer snapped.
"Don't you DARE touch him! I don't fucking care where you take us, but if you touch him I will NOT hesitate to kick your ass." He let go of Ryan's arm, and the two boys stood, Ryan holding Spencer's hand in a death grip. They were lead out of the tent and out of the camp.
The four walked silently through the forest, Spencer and Ryan in between the two others. Ryan looked almost like he was going to cry at any moment, making Spencer worry about him. He didn't know if the younger boy had taken his pills yet or not, and it was driving him mad. He could get seriously hurt. Eventually they made it to the edge of the forest, facing a large rundown city.
"We don't go past here, you two are on your own." One of them muttered.
"Just find M, he'll help you get home." The other said as the two pushed them towards a building that's bricks were practically crumbling before their eyes.
"What happens if we don't find him?" Ryan asked nervously. The two males exchanged glances before one of the spoke again.
"Then you'll get taken by the court. Just find M, he'll be in a cave where the sun shines."
"The Cat and the Bird will lead you to M." And with that, the two walked back into the woods. Spencer squeezed Ryan's hand in an attempt to make him feel better. They walked to the edge of the building, looking down at a cliff that seemed to go down farther than the Grand Canyon. It was impossible to see the bottom of it, a thick fog covering the gaps between the towering buildings that were overrun with green vines and weeds.
"I'm sorry Spence, I didn't know." Ryan mumbled as he looked over at Spencer, who gave him a soft smile.
"Don't worry, we'll fix this." Spencer picked Ryan up, carrying him on his sore back as he started to look for the person named M.
Is it just me, or have my updates become not only shorter, but more spaced apart?
AnotherKnifeInMyHand: I hope it's up to the expectations you had for it. This story's going to have a lot of layers, enough plot to be put into two or more stories.
We all hope it'll all work out.
LePanicFan:He's always so damaged in my stories. Maybe I should be a little less hard on him?
It does, doesn't it?
Anyway, glad you're liking it.
patdfan01:It should make semi-sense soon enough. I think the next chapter will explain some of it, but the whole explanation will take more than one chapter to explain.
I'm happy to hear that you like it so far.