Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.
The trees zoomed past my window in a blur. It was probably around 1 pm, as we left later than expected. Aileen took forever to finish packing, and eventually, I had to tell her to leave things behind. She was probably the one with the most stuff out of the six of us and packed the heaviest. I looked behind me, noticing her sleeping in the back of the SUV.
Next to her, Xander was holding Indie in his arms. Indie was watching the world blur past her, much like I had been. I feel like Indiana has always had a love/hate relationship with our job. Considering she was named after Indiana Jones, it was clear the freedom she sought. She had always seemed to love going to new places and exploring. It showed through her spontaneous personality as well, always asking to go out and do new things, although everyone else seemed to be more introverted.
And her brother, Archie, was always getting in trouble. He was very rebellious, mostly to spite his sister's need to act like a mother to him. I found this almost humorous, considering the danger Indie puts herself in on her "adventures", but that's just how it works, I guess.
Sebastian was currently driving, and the silence between us was killer. We didn't speak about what had happened last night, and I assumed both of us felt better forgetting it ever did.
Everyone drove me crazy with questions earlier this morning, asking what had happened. I kept it vague, telling them I just had a really weird dream and that I must've been stressed and dehydrated. I didn't want them to know what I think that "weird" dream was. I was honestly confused myself.
My first thought is that it's a memory. That's what it had honestly felt like, and Xander had remembered his family in a dream during the first year we were here. I couldn't control anything I was doing because it had already happened. But what happened after that? I left him right? Moved on with my life?
It's scary to think of my age. I was definitely 18 in that memory, and I died when I was 19. How did I die? Did Cam's violence escalate after I left him? If I left him...
I just remember how much love I held in my heart for him. Even when he...hit me. I remember being confused but in love. Was I so blinded by that feeling that I wouldn't have left? I was so oblivious and naive if I did.
Pulling into a gas station, Bash says, "Gas stop. If you need something, get it now. I don't want to hear any of you complaining about needing to go to the bathroom or being hungry the rest of the night."
He put the SUV in park, opening the door and stepping out. "Is it just me or is he more tense than usual today?" Indie said from the back.
"His aura is dark green. My guess is resentment," I answered, rolling my eyes.
Aileen yawned as she opened the door, and everyone except Xander followed suit. "Is he still angry that Gaderel came to you instead of him? That is quite over-dramatic, in my opinion."
“When is Sebastian not over-dramatic?” Indie cut in, rolling her eyes.
Aileen, Archie, and I giggled in return. The gas station was small and a bit rundown. There wasn't anyone else there except for an old man that looked to be in his sixties behind the counter. The small store itself had a drink dispenser and rows of various snacks, and we spread out throughout the store.
I went to to the chips aisle, hoping to find something spicy. unconsciously I looked around, making sure everyone was still in my line of vision. After mentally checking off everyone in my head, I went back to looking at my options. Nothing looked very appetizing and I decided I could survive a car ride without a snack. It couldn't be worse than the time we were in North Dakota, freezing, and homeless. Of course, that was on one of our first assignments and we didn't really know what we were doing.
"It's not what it looks like!" I heard Archie say loudly from a couple aisles behind me. I turned around and noticed that the man behind the desk had gotten up and was now staring at him, not saying anything. I quickly walked over to Archie finding him with candy in pockets and hands.
I sighed, "I'm sorry sir, he will put everything back and I'll give some money for the trouble."
Archie started putting the candy away, and I looked away from him to the man who was still silently standing there, not saying anything. I reach in my pocket and take out a five dollar bill, unfolding it and looking up to hand it to the man. He stared at it for an uncomfortable amount of time, standing perfectly still and staring at the same spot as before.
"Uh, sir?" He didn't flinch, almost as if he was a machine that turned off and was no longer functioning. Suddenly, I got a bad feeling in my gut, telling me something was off. I grabbed Archie with my unoccupied hand, backing up slowly and lowering the five-dollar bill.
"Guys, time to go!" I shouted, loud enough for everyone to hear. As soon as the words left my mouth the man's skin started to move. It looked as if bugs were crawling beneath his skin, distorting it in inhuman ways. I watched in horror as the man's skin began to peel off, revealing a being with razor sharp teeth and black holes as eyes.
I quickly snapped back to reality, "Archie, blind him!" I yell, pulling him behind me. Everyone dropped what was in their hands and got ready to fight. Where was Bash when you needed him? He was the only one with a truly active power.
The demon started looking around in confusion, and I took my opportunity to strike. I kicked in his chest, hard, sending him into a shelf of donuts. The demon snarled, regaining his vision and standing up.
The demon started towards me and I felt Indie and Aileen tense into fighting stances behind me. Suddenly, Bash and Xander crashed into the store, distracting the demon. With his moment of hesitation, I decided to roundhouse kick him, sending him sideways towards Indie, who sent an uppercut to his chin.
He stumbled backward, losing his balance. Xander came up behind him, throwing him to the ground, "Sebastian, now!"
Sebastian threw his hand towards the demon, sending him into flames. We all watched for a few seconds as the flames engulfed the demon and sent him into a series of screams reflecting excruciating pain.
We quickly left once we knew he would not survive, hopping into the SUV, and zooming out of the gas station, leaving the gas station to burn to the ground.
“That was close. What were you guys thinking? How did you not notice a freaking demon standing right before you?” Sebastian yelled. I looked over at his hands, noticing his knuckles were turning white from gripping the steering wheel so hard.
“He looked like a human, Bash. demons don’t usually look like humans,” Indie answered, annoyed.
“Are we talking about the same demon here? Whatever that was, it definitely wasn’t human.” He grit his teeth, speeding up to 70 miles-per-hour.
“Well, obviously. He shed his skin or something. They seem to be evolving in some way, or maybe we’ve just never come across one with this kind of power.”
“Evolving or not, how could you be so stupid? Someone could’ve been killed, and that was only one demon! If it wasn’t for me and Xander walking in, one of you could’ve been demon food.” The speedometer read 85 now.
“We had it under control, Bash, you’re not the hero of everything, you know.”
“Sure looked like it!” 95.
“For Christ’s sakes, slow down!” I yelled, clenching my fists. Sebastian immediately let off of the gas.
Everyone was quiet due to my sudden outburst, and the car slowly got to a comfortable speed of 50. No one said anything for quite some time, and I used this silence to calm myself down. I took three deep breaths, counting to 3 for each inhale and exhale.
“We need to be smarter. Instead of constantly fighting,” I spit, emphasizing my words in Sebastian’s direction, “We need to come up with a plan to be ready for whatever we might be facing in New York. Okay?”
Everyone was quiet, and I felt the tensions were still high-strung. We all stayed like that for about an hour, calming our minds.
“Bash, let’s pull over. I’ll start driving.” He nodded, pulling into a random parking lot. He got out without a word, and we switched seats. When I settled into my new seat, I looked at everyone, twisting my lips. I looked at Sebastian, pleading with my eyes for him to do something.
He sighed, “Guys, we need to come up with a plan until we get to New York and can talk to Gaderel.”
Aileen perked up, “What would you suggest?”
He hesitated, glancing back at me. “Well, maybe we should only go places where there are crowds. Demons prefer to stay out of the limelight, so they’re more likely not to attack in crowded places. We also only have about 4 to 5 hours away from New York at this point, so we might not even need to stop again until we get there. We just need to be more observant of our surroundings if more demons can look human.” Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Okay, with that in mind, Let’s continue,” I said, putting the car in drive and getting back on the road.
I had been driving for what seemed like forever, and my eyes were getting tired. Why hadn't I napped? I looked over at the digital clock on the dash, 5:57 am. I sighed, quickly rubbing my hand over my eyes.
I glanced over at Sebastian, who was peacefully asleep. I never really saw him like that, it seemed like his face was made to be set in a scowl. However, now he looked younger and untroubled. I let myself wonder what he was dreaming about. Did he remember anything from his past? And would he tell us if he did?
I also looked in my mirror to see everyone but Xander asleep. He caught my eye, and I turned back to the road.
Need a break? I heard in my head, in Xander's voice. I nodded, pulling onto the side of the road. There weren't many cars going through at this time so I wasn't worried about getting hit.
We both quietly got out of the SUV, trying not to wake the other. We stood outside of the care, taking in the peace and quiet.
"Have you gotten any sleep yet?" I asked him in a soft voice.
"Some, I will be alright. We only have a little over an hour till we are there, and you kind of look like shit, honestly, Kaydence." He chuckled as I rolled my eyes, getting into the back seat next to Indie, pulling her into my lap as she had been with Xander.
Xander had always been quieter than the rest of us, choosing to mostly use his powers with the mind to speak unless talking one on one or to everyone at once. He had always been somewhat of a brother to me, considering we were the same age and didn't have many personality clashes at all, really.
He kind of balanced me out and taught me the lesson of choosing my words wisely and watching what I think. He hasn't completely mastered reading minds, in fact, he could only really do it when he was really concentrating, but he was getting better at it as time went on.
It was honestly a good thing, in my opinion, that our powers were growing over time. It meant we could take on bigger and badder demons. Although, I don't know how my power could progress over time, consider all I can do is read stupid auras. What good does that do? Why couldn't I have gotten an active power like Bash's?
I watched out my window as more and more buildings zoomed past us, unaware of what power we held in that SUV. The people in that car was my family. Through thick and thin, through fighting demons and dealing with angels, my family. I would do anything to protect them, and I know they would do the same for me.
chapter word count: 2,115
total word count: 8,041