Born To Be – Chapter Seven

“You think I’m crazy don’t you?”

“I never said that.”

“But you do, you think I’m completely psycho.”

“Nick, I-”

“I’m NOT crazy. I know I sound it. I know no one else will believe me. But Brian, you have to believe me. YOU need to. You’re supposed to believe me. You have to.” He was babbling, Brian could see that. He knew Nick was telling the truth, even if his voice didn’t hold such passion and conviction with what he was saying. But he had to find out why he was so convinced, why he was so sure Brian would believe him.

“Why do I have to believe you?” Guilt trickled down his consciousness at the fact he was letting Nick think he thought he was crazy, but no one could help him without knowledge of what sparked his seclusion from the world. They knew part of it was the return to Fylgiar, but part of it stemmed from another source. Brian wanted to know what it was.

“Because you’re my best friend. Because we’re like brothers. Because you’re one of the only people who’s real!” He shouted in desperation at Brian, his blue eyes were wild and frantic.

“Real?”

“Yes! Almost no one is real. Everything has gotten fake. People are just lies! But you Brian, you, the fellas, you guys stayed real and I don’t know how but everything…everything…” He paused. “Everything has gotten fake, a lie. But you’re not…”

Because you’re one of the only people who’s real!

That was it. Nick was now able to see the truth they saw daily within this reality. He was able to see what they had done too many years before. Less time in their home, but time moved differently, slower in Fylgiar. He glanced up at Nick, who stared at him pleadingly, silently begged Brian to believe him, to confirm he still had a tight grip upon his sanity.

He embraced the younger one tightly, ruffling the already tousled blond locks. “I believe you; I know you’re telling the truth.”

“You do?”

“Yep.”

“How…” Nick was stunned. He had known he could only tell the guys, but at the same time, he hadn’t actually expected them to believe him. He really had begun to believe he had lost his mind.

“Not important, just trust me okay?”

“But what-”

“Not now. Hey, when was the last time you slept?”

“I…I don’t sleep much anymore.” With sleep, came dreams. Dreams like before, but more intense, seemingly more real than the place he was, dreams that hurt his soul with knowledge he knew he had but couldn’t seem to find. So he stopped letting sleep come to him. But perhaps, if now that he felt he wasn’t crazy, the dreams would stop? Or they wouldn’t hurt?

“You goob, go get some sleep.” He read the fear flittering across Nick’s tired, drained, and pale face that looked like it had seen too much within such a short time. “Hey, I’ll still be here, alright?”

“Dude, you don’t have-”

“Yeah, I do. We’re brothers.” A smile came easy to Brian’s face. “Now go, the guys will be by later and Kevin will give you the dirty brow if he learns you’re not getting any sleep.”

Nick nodded as he stood to head down the hallway. He walked slowly, deliberately. Brian knew he was still, even after a month, trying to make his eyes adjust to the new sense of perception they now held. Nick paused for a moment, turning to gaze back towards the southern man who was always there for him.

“Hey Bri?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks.”

*******

A rose colored, hazy, soft, ghost resembling figure floated before them. They sat there, staring at it, all gathered within Howie’s living room. The reason was the simple chance that his home happened to be the closest to Nick’s. AJ looked anxious, having wished he had left rashly like Brian had earlier. It was a move typically his style. But when Brian had done it, AJ stayed so Kevin wouldn’t explode. Howie was pensive, things weren’t making sense anymore and it felt like it was slowly tearing them apart. Kevin, Kevin’s head was in his hands. His eyes were tired and worn. He was trying to hold everything stable; it was his duty as the first of the guardians. Yet he didn’t have the answers anymore, and that knowledge was slowly killing him. He slowly shifted his line of vision to meet the figure’s.

“About time you contacted us. You know how time flows in this damn place. Fuck Tawny, how long did you plan on making us wait?”

“Yes AJ, I know. This wasn’t exactly my plan. Something kept me, something was blocking me fiercely as I tried to link to you in that dimension.”

Kevin’s attention was newly gained as his thick brows furrowed at this new information. “Something blocked you?”

“Yes, and it held a dark aura, similar to the one that…that consumed and extinguished Nick…” She stopped there, unable to say more. Thoughts of the horrific event flooding her brain as she created this projected self image over to them.

“Extinguished? No…” Understanding filled Howie when he caught the melancholy tone in her voice. He knew what she believed to have happened now. Poor girl. How could she know anything different when they had assumed she knew? “No, Nick made it here, he’s awake. He returned and awoke from the coma. This isn’t like last time.” Howie reassured, because she had assumed him to be dead, like the last occurrence similar to this.

The relief was evident even in her hazy projection‘s eyes. A tine smile appeared. “Oh.” No words were uttered from her lips other than that as she took it in. This wasn’t last time. Had it been her influence that saved him? Or had it been Nick’s own inner strength, greater than she had known? It didn’t matter, he was alive, and so there was still hope. However, this new knowledge also clued her into new complications they hadn’t planned upon. “Good.”

AJ knew she was happier than she was willing to let show, but let it be. “There’s bad news ain’t there?”

The saw her visibly sigh. “Yes, and you know it’s not exactly easy here anymore. You should cut me some slack. Fylgiar, its life, its light, is fading each day; it’s getting harder and harder to protect the lands alone. And the Cyhyraeth, not to mention the Night Walker, know it. What blocked me from you, it had that same dark light, and the same tainted aura that I now know forced Nick back there. If He only sent him back, it means He couldn’t kill him. That means He is bound to the same rules we are. He couldn’t kill Nick before without special intervention, and it seems He still can’t. And the rules keep him from what he did before.”

“That’s good news though. So what the fuck is the catch to this? Cause right now, it looks like we’re ahead of His game.”

“The catch…Alex, is that I think he might have been able to bind Nick to that false reality when he was forced back to you. It should have been impossible for Nick to return once he crossed over to here, and he did beyond his own will. Nick’s link to that reality may have been cemented.”

“Shit…” was all Kevin was able to utter in what could only be described as the purest form of frustration.

“What!” Cried AJ, just annoyed. “What am I not seeing?!”

“What is it Kev?” asked the far calmer Latin man as Tawny’s form just nodded solemnly.

“What she means is, that the only way Nick…and of course by him the rest of us, can return…is if Nick dies here. And even that may not be guaranteed to work; we only may succeed in sending him beyond the sea into the life of the next. But a real death is the only way to send him back to Fylgiar.”

Everyone remained silent for a few minutes as the words sunk in, the truth. This was becoming more complicated by the second, and Kevin did not like it one bit. AJ just rolled his eyes in attempt to brush it off as he pulled out a cigarette. He snapped his fingers for a spark to jump upon the end and light it. He took a long puff. There were some things he had become fond of in this dimension. “We, are so fucked.”

No one said anything more, not because they agreed, more because they weren’t sure how to respond. A small beeping pierced the room. Kevin checked his phone, sighed, and tucked it away before looking to the others.

“That was a text from Brian; we’re needed at Nick’s. Tawny, can you contact us there.”

A dark look crossed her face as she seemed to glance at something behind here beyond what the others could see. “I would, but it seems I’m about to have my own problems in a moment. And some unwanted visitors.” The image immediately faded away without even a hint of a farewell into a mist of lavender that dissipated quickly as well. Her now chanting voice slowly diminished away soon after.

AJ nodded at the situation. “Yep, we’re definitely fucked. So lets go.”

********

She took in a deep breath as she stepped outside the doors of her home as the familiar sickening howls beckoned to her. Following them was a sound that almost startled her, for she hadn’t heard them in a long time. So long she once thought she dreamed of them before Brian had told her differently. This noise was far more disturbing than the one of the Cyhyraeth that she had become sadly accustomed to. The noise closest resembled that of the womanly screech of what she knew Nick would call a mountain lion, but even that was a weak description. The screech was at a higher pitch that could make someone go deaf if close enough, the noise stabbed at your heart, could slow or hasten the beat with a weaker being.

They were known as soul gatherers, soul stealers, aura carnivores, or their true name, the Chaointe. The creatures had been banished long before from this realm, a barrier had been guarding all who lived in the realm of Fylgiar for generations. Had it finally weakened? Was this a move from Him? Had the Night Walker been able to control them and bring the protection down? These creatures were more dangerous than the Cyhyraeth, and their looks far more disturbing. They were giant wasps about the size of a small dog, their wings were crimson. Yet these beings had no skin. Black blood coursed through pale yellow veins, and powerful red muscles were exposed. They had piercing yellow eyes that captured you within its flame. Rather than stinging the victims in their path, their legs were blood red poisonous fangs that numbed you as they suck away your aura, consumed your soul to leave you a lifeless zombie. There was no reversing such a horror unlike the tainting the Cyhyraeth brought, and they were a deadly breed indeed. Those beings breaking into Fylgiar after so long a banishment was a bad omen.

Tawny hadn’t been lying before. She couldn’t keep up the protection forever. Many of the ancient spells that had been held, helping their side, had to be kept by five, not one. She was spreading herself thin and prayed they could survive the risk. No other choice remained.

She stared out into the night. “No, you cannot touch here.” Her energy swelled within her as she gathered as much as she could, cursing the timing for she had used much on linking to the other realm. She concentrated at the task at hand, seeking all the spiritual energy her soul could find and touch. “You cannot come.” She said again, knowing they could hear her.

The light of the brightest moon, the crescent moon, faded as light vanished from the skies in the form of a murky fog. Tawny was stunned at the confident attack, a boldness not shown before. The shrieks, the howling, both grew closer in range as her amulet grew warm without her tapping into it. The tainted night only got darker as the danger came closer to her. Screams of fear from the residents of Tylwyth Teg sensed the incoming enemy.

Her ancient prayers grew louder within her mind as her soul continued to repeat them as a spell of protection, aloud she said nothing as her hands clasped together to harness all the energy she gathered, though she knew it wasn’t enough. Her amulet warmed even more, and part of her wished to know why, but now wasn‘t the time.

“You…Cannot…COME HERE!”

A burst of the purest light erupted from her, an explosion of energy she hadn’t felt shot from the amulet soon after to chase the light she had shot out. Both danced around the town, to the outskirts, the graveyards, out within the forests nearby. The light was to scare off anything impure, for the Cyhyraeth couldn’t take light. However, the Chaointe could, but that energy was what kept them at bay. That energy, that energy that shouldn’t have been so strong, that energy that stunned her, that stemmed from the amulet she wore was what was consuming anything tainted.

The mist faded, and shrieks of pain could be heard from any creatures that were on the border of her home village. The lunar glow from above became visible once more. She shouldn’t have been able to do that. She couldn’t purify. Never could. Still didn’t, though that burst of energy came close, consuming tainted forms rather than purifying. Only one being could purify, and it wasn’t her, never her. Was that… her gaze focused upon her necklace. She shook her head at herself, she wasn’t about to let her thoughts go there now. Tawny felt drained. That was pure luck and chance. They needed to act if they wanted to survive, to keep the light alive in the center point in Fylgiar, she couldn’t hold out forever, or even much longer.

It wasn’t meant to be done by her. Her gaze skipped to the amulet again. Tonight only proved that she might have perished by now, if one once so dear to her hadn’t foreseen his doom and decided to intervene. The effects of that were showing even now, and confirmed a thought she had believed far fetched and crazy. The revelation of that truth hit smacked her strongly, the evidence having been in front of her face so long, the pain had made her live in denial. His intervention, that had been what gave her such strength…

She stared above at the moon, wondered what could have been. Gwyllion flittered upon her shoulder, for she sensed the peace had been regained once more. She smiled, chirped softly in her ear in the language of the faeries that Tawny had learned to understand some time ago.

“I know you miss him Gwyn, I do too. But he’ll be back.”

She meant every word she just said. That, was what scared her.

 

Next Chapter

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