tagNonHumanGolden Keeper Ch. 11

Golden Keeper Ch. 11

byMarione©

Chapter 11: Light

There were whispers around her, closing in and pressing down. She felt smothered in absolute darkness, and she fought tooth and nail to scrape her way to the blessed surface of consciousness. The voices were soft and evil, tempting and damning; they mocked her as she struggled to wake. The closer she got, the more adversarial they became. She was almost there; she could feel her own vitality at her fingertips, begging to be used. But the whispers were harsh and cruel, they were warning her now. Telling her not to keep going, to just surrender, because what if everything was worse when she woke up? What if the oozing, oppressive blackness was her only way out?

What if the grass wasn't greener on the other side?

___

When May's eyes finally fluttered open, they shut just as quickly. She was nervous, afraid — terrified, of what she might see. As she regained control of her body, she learned what she could about her surroundings without opening her eyes.

She was on some type of soft material, but she could tell it was just draped over something harder. Concrete, perhaps? She didn't stretch out to make sure. Instead, she drew in a deep breath, letting all of the smells around her register. At first, it just smelled damp, like rotting earth. She inhaled again and picked up on the distinct, earthy smell. She was definitely underground. But where?

May stifled a panicked exhale, letting out a slow breath instead. Then she breathed in deeply for a third time and fought to keep her gag reflex under control. Whatever it was, she'd missed it before. It was a revolting combination of blood, decomposing flesh, and probably urine. She held her breath for as long as possible, and then breathed shallowly through her mouth. May wondered why she hadn't smelled it before. It positively reeked.

And then she heard a door close.

That meant that the reason she smelled the stench was because it came from outside, and that someone had opened her door.

She listened closely, but didn't hear a lock click into place. She didn't hear footsteps, either.

"Up, up, up!" a voice exclaimed jovially next to her ear.

Charamaine cringed and rolled so she was facing away from the voice, her eyes still sealed shut.

The voice 'tsked' at her. "Come now, dear. Is that any way to greet family?" it scolded, in front of her again.

She didn't hear feet on the ground, but she felt its presence. Then she realized that the voice was male — her uncle, Petiro, had come for her again.

She let out a shaky breath and opened her eyes, slowly. She jerked back once she absorbed what she was seeing. Sitting, Indian-style, on the floor next to her was her uncle. He smiled at her so warmly that she could almost forget how horrible he was. Almost.

"That's better," he sighed happily, and patted her cheek.

When she recoiled away from the contact, he seemed genuinely saddened. That only lasted a moment and then he was smiling again. It was unsettling.

"What did you do to them?" May asked suddenly, sitting up.

Her voice was not as strong as she'd hoped. She scooted back and ended up off the blanket she'd been on. She hissed when her backside touched down on the freezing concrete.

His grin never faltered. "They're just… held back… for the moment, dear. No worries, they should be fine."

May shivered, her eyes darting away from the man that looked just like her father. As her eyes swept over the room she was in, she felt a terrible sense of déjà-vu wash over her. Concrete floors, concrete walls, tool shelves, aged blood splatter… Her mind went back to Collin's basement and she whimpered subconsciously.

"Now, now, chère, there is no need to be afraid… I am only taking what is rightfully mine." Petiro loomed over her, like a cat ready to pounce.

Quickly, before she even knew what was happening, May found herself flattened against the wall, her uncle still sitting on the floor where she had been less than a second before.

He looked at her with something akin to wonder in his silver eyes. "So strong…" he muttered to himself. "It's only a matter of time." Petiro's eyes narrowed as he stood up and walked towards her.

May pressed herself against the hard wall, as if it would move. She watched, fear dripping from her pores, as he walked closer and closer. Her uncle reached a hand out and stroked her cheek.

May flinched at the contact. She saw his eyes widen, but before she could consider the reason, she felt a strange sensation. It was like all the cells in her body were separating, and she was left with a cool rush as her body fell backwards.

After realizing her eyes were closed, she opened them to find herself in another room. She'd traveled right through the wall! May blinked spastically as she rethought what she'd just done. She heard a growl and jerked her head to find the source.

There, in the far left corner of the room, was a little girl… or boy… maybe a thing? May couldn't be sure. It was so pale that its skin matched the bright, white gown it was wearing. Does that make it girl, then?

May was startled again to hear the low grumbling noise come from it. The...thing had its fragile-looking arms wrapped around thin, ashen-white legs. She noticed it was rocking slowly, back and forth, the growl never stopping, it was just one continuous vibration. Its head was down, resting on its knees, with short, dirty, brown hair tufted up in some places. May felt bad, it looked so forlorn and lonely. She took a silent step forward, only to freeze when the growl became louder.

She took another step, and another, the sound continually reverberating off the wall. The closer she got to it, the more it seemed that all other sounds were blocked out entirely. All she heard, and felt, was the rasping growl that came from the tiny form huddled in the corner. She came and stopped in front of it, unsure of what to do next. She toyed with the idea of touching its shoulder, or knee, when the head snapped up.

Two insanely blue, incredibly gorgeous, wide eyes stared at her out of an even more beautiful face. It was definitely a girl, May could tell now. Appearance-wise, she was human. Inside, though, May doubted she was. The girl looked to be about ten years old, maybe younger. It was hard to tell.

They studied each other, the growl still emanating from the frail child's slightly-open mouth. Her face was so lovely… May found that she couldn't help herself, as she bent down to touch the girl, just to make sure she was real…

She touched one pale, knobby knee and instantly regretted it. The girl whimpered and her wide eyes filled with tears, like she was in pain. May's face scrunched up, cautiously studying the girl, and then her eyes widened in surprise. The girl's tears rose in her eyes, never spilling over, but turning her eyes a blinding white. May had to turn away — the light reminded her of when her father arrived. Light reflected off the walls and then faded. May felt it was safe to look, so she turned her head back towards the girl.

The girl's eyes were essentially illuminated, white, empty-sockets. It looked like she was glowing. May peered down at her, eyebrows raised in concern when she saw that a few tears had managed to escape. They were falling miserably down the sides of the poor girl's face.

Neither person moved for a moment, and then May finally found her voice. "Are… are you alright? Did I hurt you?" May reached out for her again.

The next sensation was one that was unexpected. May was suddenly encased in some sort of bubble. She felt it with her fingertips, and found that it was much stronger than a bubble. It was rippling around her, like tiny ocean waves. There was a muffled sound, reminiscent of a high-pitched wail. May figured that she would've gone deaf if it weren't for the bubble-like thing…

May looked down at the girl and saw, to her amazement, that the deafening noise was coming from her. Her mouth was wide open, the tips of her perfect, white teeth just visible. As she scanned the room, glass and furniture that May had never noticed all suddenly cracked and then broke. She couldn't hear anything really, but she felt tiny vibrations through the floor and knew that something had shattered. A wooden table against the concrete wall splintered, then caved in the middle.

May whipped back around to the girl. She was holding herself and shaking, like she was trying to get it to stop. May felt agonizing empathy for her, and, somehow, she managed to conceal the girl in her own little bubble.

May's clear encasing slowly vanished as she watched the sound vibrate the girl's dome. She didn't know how long she stood there for, but eventually the girl's eyes dimmed and her mouth closed. The moment the shriek stopped, the bubble around the girl disappeared.

The girl slumped, her body apparently overcome with fatigue. May swooped down and snatched her up — careful to touch her only where the gown covered her skin — before her head could crack against the concrete. The moment she stood upright, the girl fast asleep in her arms, the door at the other end of the room opened.

Her uncle walked in, clapping. "I am so proud of you, Charamaine. My, my… you are progressing so quickly." Petiro started talking to himself again. "It must almost be time…"

But May was listening. "Time for what?" her voice wavered uncertainly.

He focused on her and smiled widely. "For your powers to bloom, of course."

Oh… "On my birthday…" she said, quietly.

May, abruptly horror-struck, tightened her grip on the girl as her mind sped through various thoughts. Surely my birthday can't be soon… What's today's date? Is it morning or noon or night…

As if he knew what she was thinking, Petiro nodded, still smiling. "Now, chère, when it happens, you'll fell a tad… sleepy. But let's see if you can get yourself to a bed before this happens. Don't want anyone to get injured, now would we?" He smiled and looked at the unconscious girl in her arms.

May looked around for something that would help her, she needed to find….

She pivoted and experienced another cool rush. Before even looking around to see where she was now, May looked down to make sure the girl was still there. And she was — still completely unaware.

May looked up and sighed with relief when she saw she was in a normal room. No concrete in sight. She walked towards the bed and placed the girl down on the far side. The hair on the back of her neck prickled and she turned to see her uncle sitting in the chair across the room, watching thoughtfully. This place is a mad-house…

He tapped his chin, and smiled creepily once more. "Can I get anything for you, dear? Something to make you more comfortable, perhaps?"

May stood in front of the bed, guarding the defenseless creature. "No," she replied stiffly.

She was still wracking her head for a date. Although, she had no idea how long she'd been there…

"You've not been here too long."

May didn't want to think about the fact that he'd just been inside her head. However, she was curious about the way he said it… too innocently…

In a flash, he'd taken her place by the bed, and she found herself lying down. "Happy Birthday, Charamaine," Petiro whispered.

May shivered, but her eyes closed. The overwhelming tiredness that assailed her body and mind was impenetrable and she found herself drifting to sleep. Happy Birthday… no… she thought slowly. Impossible…

___

May's body was so hot, it felt cool. She could tell that, again — somehow — she'd managed to put a protective shield around herself and girl before she fell asleep. She didn't want anyone to reach them…

Her mind was cloudy, she was floating. Indistinct memories kept rising, but she couldn't string them together. Birthdays…

Birthdays…

It's my Birthday? she wondered sleepily. May struggled to keep thinking. It was strange because she was absolutely sure she was asleep.

Powers… Birthday… Birthday powers… power-Birthday?

Oh! I get my powers… on my… Birthday? And then it clicked.

But… I'm supposed to get them on the anniversary of the grandmother's Turning… does that mean I was born on the same day? How… cliché.

The heat in her body rose to a steady plateau and she could feel her body literally humming with burning power. May drifted in and out of conscious thought whilst she slept somewhat peacefully. However, there were moments that made her feel like she was being struck by lightning — repeatedly. Or like she was drowning in ice-water. That one was the worst. The cold energy flowed up from her toes, rippling under her skin like a cool pond, up to her head where it surged and chilled her down to her bones.

___

When May woke up, she stretched, feeling every bit like a feline. She had no idea whose bed she was on, but…"These sheets are so comfortable…" she mumbled into a pillow. She was about to fall asleep again…

There was an insistent poking on her shoulder. She grumbled and turned over, but the assault continued.

"Mph. Go away." She'd never been a morning person.

The tapping stopped and May sighed gratefully. Then someone shook her — violently.

"Jesus! I'm up. What do you want?" May flipped onto her back and cracked her eyes open a little.

A young, startlingly beautiful, angelic face stared down at her. Huge, almost luminous blue eyes bored into hers, and May remembered. She hissed and sat up quickly, almost grabbing the girl's arm until she realized what would happen. Obviously the girl could touch her — she was tapping May again — but no one could touch the girl…

May hurriedly rubbed the sleep out her eyes and quickly scanned her surroundings. She could tell the bubble that surrounded her before was starting to fade and it made her anxious… scared…

But even more frightening were the creatures that leered at her from the outside of it. The room was packed. There must've been at least fifty of them. They were all scary… ugly faces and handsome faces, all with stark red eyes, appraised her. Their bloodlust was obvious. Their mouths were hanging open, their long incisors slick with saliva. There were familiar faces, also… Two she recognized faintly: a tall, dark-haired one, and a small, blonde one. It took her a moment to figure out who the blond was. Her eyes were no longer green.

And then she saw him. Collin. He grinned, his fangs showing. May was so scared at that moment, she almost threw up. She willed herself to take her eyes off of him. Most of them were slightly deformed also…

They were all…

Demons, a voice whispered into her head. It was light and airy… and not May's.

She looked at the girl, who'd kept a hand on her shoulder, barely touching it. They're Demons, she said to her again.

How… can you — can you hear me? May questioned.

Yes. No time. What do we do? The girl looked scared and lost.

May looked around, then back at the girl. The shield kept fading. She didn't want to be a snack…

I'm going to touch you, okay?

The girl's eyes widened in fear. No, please. It hurts so much

I know. May winced. But I want you to do what you did before… May explained, an idea taking root.

The girl nodded sadly, in acceptance.

I want you to do that, May continued, and then I'll find a way to get us out of here… understand?

The girl nodded again.

Okay… I'm so, so sorry.

May worried her bottom lip as she raised her hands. She almost put them down again when the girl cringed backward slightly. May inhaled deeply.

"Okay," she said out loud. And then she grabbed the girl's face with both of her hands.

The girl growled loudly and her mouth snapped shut. She writhed in May's grasp. Let it go, May urged her, already molding a shield around herself. The girl's skin felt hot in her hands, but she held on.

Finally, the girl's mouth opened, her eyes went white, and she screamed and screamed. The sound was blocked by May's shield, but she could see it pierce the one that surrounded them before.

May watched as the sound waves traveled through the demons, but they didn't crack like the glass or splinter like the wood. They were so close, their bodies basically disintegrated right before her eyes. She could hear the muffled wail and felt the sound bouncing aggressively off of her shield. She let go of the girl's face, guilt wracking her when she saw the endless stream of tears that leaked from the girl's eyes.

She heard something move and she saw her uncle, Petiro, streak towards them. The furious expression on his face was terrifying. May flung her hand out toward him and he went flying back. He hit the wall with a thud, but charged for her again.

She didn't have time to be amazed at what she could do. She opened her mouth to say, well, she didn't know, but instead something like a hiss escaped. She watched as her uncle shook where he stood, then writhed on the floor in pain.

She heard a whimper from behind her and turned. The girl laid there, miserably, on the bed. She whimpered again, obviously under the effects of whatever May had just done. May threw up a shield around the girl, before turning back to her uncle.

Petiro was standing right in front of her, his hand at her neck. "You think you could just leave? Your powers… all that power… is mine," he snarled at her.

May couldn't focus. He was choking off her air supply. She was scrambling for a way to get his hand off her throat. She felt her skin heat up and she wondered if that was what it felt like when you died.

Petiro hissed and jerked his hand off of her throat. The hand that had encircled her neck was completely burned — scorched. And it wasn't healing like it normally would. In fact, it wasn't healing at all.

While Petiro blew on his hand for a second, May regained her focus and rubbed her sore neck. Son of a… She lashed out with her right arm and a blast of energy flew from it. She watched as her uncle's skin glowed briefly, his back arched from the pain.

May rose and hovered in front of the bed protectively. How do we get out…?

Petiro chuckled. "My dear, who said you could leave? You and my little sacrifice are staying here, with me."

Sacrifice…?

May turned her head quickly and saw arms swirl out of a cloud of darkness to grab the girl, who was still immobile on the bed. May shrieked in fury, and pure, white energy burst from her body. It flew across the bed in the shape of her body, absorbing the blackness. The cloud let out what sounded like an agonized groan and imploded in on itself.

She swiveled toward her uncle, who was still glowing. Only now he was grinning. He raised his hand and shot something at her. It was a powerful burst of vile blackness, which May easily dodged.

Her eyes flickered to the girl on the bed, seemingly safe for the moment. Suddenly, May felt something acidic searing into the flesh of her shoulder, and she realized he'd hit her. With what? She had no idea. But it drained her, almost completely. Then, while she was distracted, something else came her way. Fire. It was hot…burning. She didn't know how he was doing it. Fire…

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