*The third story of the Poppy McLain series. (I used Google translate for one sentence. Tell me how accurate it was). Gacha Club character designs are on my wall. In the meantime, enjoy!
"Well?" I ask. Derek is silent as a statute.
"Poppy, we can talk about this later. The important thing is to get you out of here." He looks exasperated and hurt at the same time.
"No Derek, you can tell me now." I cross my arms over my chest, determined to hear Derek say that Chloe was right or wrong. I want to know if he really loves me or if he just wants to play around with me.
"Poppy, you're trapped in an unknown building, with an evil witch nearby, who might come and attack us in seconds, and you want to know if I consider you my plaything?" Derek asks.
"I need to know. Do you love me, really love me, or am I, as you call it, your plaything?" I insist. I'm not leaving till I know the truth.
That's when Ashley grabs the both of us and literally throws us out the door.
She flys next to us. (She can do that. She has some spooky witch powers).
"Really, if I hadn't thrown you guys out, we would have been trapped in there forever." Ashley scolds, like our impaitent mother.
Then she drags us to the Jeep that helped us escape this mess for a brief moment.
Once we're inside, she starts the car.
Derek still hasn't answered my question.
The entire car ride has been silent. The first time we rode in this thing, everyone was yelling and shouting with the excitement of being chased away.
Now it's as silent as the cemetery we all met in.
I won't look at Derek. I have to know if he really loves me or if he just wants to hurt me.
I have no idea why I care so much. We just met. Why should he love me?
Yet, I feel betrayed that he would lie to me. I feel as though I deserve to know the truth, that I must be loved by him.
Finally, finally, Derek turns to face me.
He licks his lips in a frantic, nervous matter, as if he's trying to keep words locked up inside.
He sighs heavily.
"It's true, all of it. I did lie and hurt Chloe. But I was a different person then. I didn't experience the things I experienced, and I didn't know the things I know now. I had some..horrible things happen to me. Terrible things. I guess I ended up lying to and hurting Chloe as well. It has taken many centuries to fully recover from my experiences, but when I met you, I...could feel myself recovering. It's stupid, but it's true. Chloe has every right to never forgive me, and you do too, if you choose to."
He still didn't give me a full answer, but the way he spoke...so sad...so lonely...that's how I've been feeling all my life.
I've always had a fascination with vampires from the moment I could talk. There was something about them that I wanted to discover, that I wanted to find.
Of course people didn't like a little girl who loved vampires. Of course people didn't like a little girl who was friends with the loneliest, strangest child.
Of course I was lonely.
I put a hand on his chest, and I can feel his heart beating rapidly, like it would explode any moment now. His body is cold. Dead cold.
I can see the whole truth hidden within. Fleeting moments of the past with Chloe, tucked away. I can see it all.
Derek looks uncomfortable, like he knows that I'm seeing his hidden memories.
I keep my hand on his chest. I can't stopmyself from finding out the wicked truth.
He seems to have told me the truth. That he really loves me, and that he just hurt Chloe because of the hate he experienced.
But, he still hurt her. He couldn't undo that action.
He still made her a bloodthirsty, crazy witch. Together, they killed innocent people, and lied to their families. Even if he experienced something bad, that didn't make him "nice."
I saw it all. The deaths. The cries for help. The blood. Everything.
I slowly remove my hand from his chest. I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have peeked into the unreachable, dark memories. They weren't for me to look at.
I can't judge him too harshly. He may have turned Chloe into the evil villain she is now, and he may have done terrible crimes to her and to others.
But he was older, and wiser.He knew the difference between right and wrong, and he was willing to actually love someone. He came all this way to rescue me! And by the looks of it, he probably convinced Ashley to proceed with his plan. He through to the ends of the Earth to save me!
Besides, I'm escaping my perfectly stable family because an evil villain is chasing us. I could have stayed behind. Ashley would have joined me. She only protected Derek because I-I have a liking to him. She couldn't care less about him. But I do. I care about him. I don't love him, I merely care for his health.
Or do I? Maybe I do. Maybe I don't.
I'm not sure of anything anymore.
The Jeep stops at an abanonded looking boarding school for kids around my age. Sixteen and seventeen. I'm sixteen years old.
We unlock the car doors. It'd make a good hideo-
It's not a school.
It's a prison.
The school isn't abandoned at all. I can see kids going to and fro from the windows. I can noises from within. The gates are too high and pointed for anyone to freely run around. The very students look pained and drained.
There is a motto above the imposing, black-iron gate. It says:
"être humaine ou mourir."
"What does that mean?" Ashley asks, breathless. Ashley is never breathless for anything.
I'm too stunned to reply. I'm never too stunned to utter a word.
Yet here we were. This strange school has a spell on us, a damaging, awful spell. A spell that chills our bones and crumbles our souls.
Maybe the building is the reason the students are the way they are. It's such a terrible, dreary place.
Derek gives another haggard sigh, this one even worse that it was in the Jeep. Like his years are finally catching up to him.
"I used to speak French back in 1873, and...you don't want to know the translation of that sentence." Derek says grimly. He doesn't sound like a sixteen year old. He sounds like he's centuries old.
I forgot for a moment that he lived for such a long time, that he lived to see horrors I've only read about in school.
"Just tell me!" Ashley demands. She wants to know at least one secret of this place, just like me. One secret to uncover from behind the jagged gates.
"It means....be human...or die." He replies gravely.
"What are you saying, Derek?" Ashley asks. I still don't feel like speaking.
"These students, like us...are not human...So, they make them human by conducting experiments on them. The thing is, the kids can't escape. Ever. I read this plaque over here." With a pale, clawed finger, he points to the plaque on the gate. It says:
"Our mission is to make demonic monsters pure. They will turn into things worth existing, like humans. THEY WILL BECOME WHAT THEY ARE MEANT TO BE. Human. So join today, before it's too late."
I feel sick to my stomach after reading that. Pure? Turn them into things worth existing?
This place isn't just messed up. It's evil. Pure evil.
"We have to leave, NOW!" Derek cries out. It's so sudden. It's such a change of his attitue.
He pushes us towards the Jeep, our home, our means towards freedom, our way out.
Out of nowhere, vines grab our legs, like the arms of the devil. The drag us to the...the...the school.
We scream and writhe underneath them. It just drowns us in darkness and dirt.
Finally, bleeding and covered in scratches, we feel a claw (or was it a hand?) grab us.
We open our eyes. We're lying in a golden ballroom ,complete with glass chandeliers and sophisticated humans drinking champagne. The vines slither outside, into the garden.
"How did the vines take us in here?" I ask no one in particular.
"Magic." Ashley whispers.
"WELCOME! MY NAME IS VAN DEATH, AND I BROUGHT YOU HERE TO CLEANSE YOU!"
We shudder at how loud the voice was. As if the scratches from the vines weren't enough pain, hearing that loud voice is.
We slowly get up from the ground. We face "Van Death", as he calls himself.
He has long, clawed hands (I think he's the one that grabbed us), scraggly blond hair, brown muddy eyes, cold blue eyes and is dressed horribly bright, like a demented, deranged, clown.
"YOU WILL BE TURNED INTO YOUR TRUE SELVES! THEN, YOU'LL HELP OTHER SUPERNATURALS BECOME HUMAN!"
I notice that all of the humans had milky white eyes, like they are being mind controlled.
"And if we don't become human?" I ask nervously. I'm trying to create an escape plan in my head, but his voice is too loud for me to concentrate.
"THEN YOU DIE!" He beams happily at the statement.
"What..I..." I trail off.
The clown man snatches our arms and drags us (Not as gently as Ashley did to me and Derek) to a dark, smelly cellar filled with kids me and Ashley's age. (Derek isa vampire so although he looks young,he is actually centuries old.}
The kids all have humans pointing razors at them, sucking their energy away, and then storing it carefully in vials.
It makes me sick. That's the only word I can think of that suits the situation. Kids are being hurt, possibly killed because they are supernatural.
We are locked in separate tourture chambers, locked inside like we are test subjects in a science experiment.
Maybe we are, who knew?
I'm tied to a chair, the ropes are so tight they are making me bleed. A smiling man with silver hair and pointy teeth says:
Of course I don't listen. Why should I?
He forces it open. He aims a razor at my mouth.
I try to scream, but I can't. I guess when he put that thing in my mouth, it stopped my voice from working. I can feel my mouth burning...
Then I understand.
He knows that I'm a siren. Sirens use their powers to sing their victims into doom. The vial stopped me from talking, screaming, and singing.
But I don't even know how to use my powers! I'm the one on the run, not him! Why did he hurt me anyway?
"Just to make sure." He says, like he's reading my thoughts.
Just to make sure of what? That I'm not secretly plotting to destroy them and the world? That I'm not going to kill him? That I couldn’t hurt anyone by being locked up?
I will never do either of those things, but then again, he doesn't seem to care.
I'm trapped in here.
Me, Ashley, and Derek.
We're all trapped here.
I'm still trapped in this infernal chair, with no hope of ever getting out. A beautiful ,pale hand reaches out of the next cell door.
I look at Derek, the owner of the hand. I can see from the black prison bars that his mouth is bleeding. He looks like he's going to die any minute now. Him! A vampire!
I point to my mouth. I show him I that I can't talk. I can hear him tell me that he can read my mind. He doesn't move his lips. He also tells me that he can communicate with me by using just his mind. (What can't he do?)
I "say" his name, just to see if I can do it too:
He nods in understanding. He heard me.
"I forgive you. You were different back then. I love you."
He doesn't respond to me. He doesn't reply to me. Not with his mind or his words.
Have I said something wrong? Was I too impulsive? Should I have thought before I spoke?
Derek grasps the bars. His white, blank eyes are so full of emotion, full of emotion that the mind-controlled, white-eyed humans couldn't have.
"I love you too..I'm glad you love me...but I want to save us..We have to get out of here..me..you..Ashley..we have to run.."
Are...are those tears in his eyes?
"I know, but I have no idea on how we'll get out! Besides, even if we find a way, we can't leave all these kids here. We have to save them too. There's also the humans to think about. I think that they are being mind controlled by Van Death."
We can't just leave the humans behind. Everyone deserves a chance to escape. Everyone.
"Don't you understand,Poppy?! We're being held captive just because of who we are! We don't have time to save everyone else!" Derek yells. Is he about to cry? I've never seen him cry.
"Everyone deserves to be saved. No matter what. Now,we should stay where we are until we figure out how to escape." Ashley says from the other cell next to me.
"Now, how can you read minds?" Derek asks. If my voice weren't taken, I would have laughed.
"I'm a witch,you dummy, of course I can read minds! That's the only power they seemed to have left us with. It's as if they deem it unimportant. It's weird, but good. We need to use this advantage to read the minds of our captors." Ashley points to our kidnappers.
"But what if it doesn't work? Those people are stronger than we think! What if they can somehow block us from their minds?" Derek asks.
"We have to try. It's our only hope." Ashley says.
I don't know how much time has passed.
Days,months, or maybe even years.
We have tried to read their minds. They're human, but we can't see a single thing in their minds. No clues on how to escape. Nothing.
We tried to escape ourselves.
So far, no luck.
Day by day, we are getting weaker and weaker. Duller and duller. Sadder and sadder. Pretty soon, we will die.
As this horrible man is about to poke a laser in me, the same man from before, the one who was just making sure, by some miracle, the phone rings. The very phone that's attached to the dust filled, cowwebbed wall, the phone that never rang, rings.
"Yes, who is this?"
"No, I won't give them to you, they're monsters, they deserve to die!"
"Oh, so you'll come and get them, huh? Well, good luck finding this place!"
That's all I hear from the man. He puts the phone down. He walks back in my cell. He's going to put the needle back in my mouth, but just then, he's called upstairs to attend to something.
I can't believe my ears. From what I heard at the phone conversation, someone wants to save us! We can get out of here!
"Did you hear that? Someone can help us!" Ashley yells excitedly.
"We could finally escape!" She adds.
"Don't hope too much, you didn't hear or see the person on the other line." Derek says. I shot him an annoyed glare.
"Well, we tried everything. Reading minds, talking to others, and we have gotten nowhere. This rescue could be our only hope!" Ashley says. I can tell that she's glad at the prospect of leaving this place.
"Even if this person did want to save us, we can't sit and think that we'll be rescued. We would have to escape, and that's not happening anytime soon because they drained so much energy out of us, I can barely hold a water bottle-"
Derek picks up stray a water bottle, only holding it was causing him to sweat and bleed like he was carrying the weight of the universe.
Finally, he drops it.
"-Also,this place has maximum security. There are mind-controlled human zombies everywhere! I don't see how anyone could get out of this place, much less rescue us. Face it, guys. We're trapped." Derek says sadly.
I can see him fighting back tears. I want to reach out a hand to him, for comfort, but I can't, because of this stupid chair. Ashley,for the very first time in her life, is quiet.
We turn our heads toward the noise.
"What the-" Some other prisoner was cut off.
"AHHHHHHHH! WATCH THE LEGS!" A voice shouts. The walls burst open. A half-spider, half- woman creature emerges from the cracks. She looks about ten feet tall (I think that’s her height. I’m not really good at Math). She has long, black hair that curls at the ends. She's got a female human torso, but the many legs of a spider. Her skin is gray with faint spider hairs, her eyes are big and are as dark as her hair, and her face has black markings. She’s wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt that’s a slightly darker shade than her skin. Her spider legs are big, hairy, and black.
"Worry no more, my good friends! For I am Arachne, your savior!" The crazy spider woman beams.
"Ummmmm.." Ashley trails off, possibly weirded out by the spider woman. I am too, but I'll take any way out at this point.
"What? Were-" Derek starts to ask, but Arachne is a fast talker.
"Yes, I'm the person on the other line. I lived inside of these walls for many years, but no has ever found me and I intend to keep it that way. That's why the man didn't know who I was until I explained. But why wait this long to save you? Well, in case you haven't noticed, these walls are prit-tay sturdy, and it took me a while to get out of them. But now you're thinking:Why save us? Because what they're doing is wrong and unfair, and I'm here to stop this madness! Oh, and if you're wondering, they can't hear us. I put cobwebs in their ears.." She snickers.
Then, as if it's the easiest thing in the world, she busts open all of the cell doors. Everyone crawls out. Arachne turns to me and unties the ropes that held me in the chair for so long with her legs.
She grabs us all and jumps outside, dropping us on the cool, crisp grass.
I sit up from the grass and stare at the scene before me.
The mind- controlled humans have stopped being mind-controlled. They ran towards Van Death, angry that he had controlled them all their lives, and kill him. I saw it all unfold from within the school.
We lie on the grass, panting and confused.
Arachne crawls next to me. She pours a liquid in my panting mouth. It burns the inside od it.
"What wasthat for?!" I yell.
I can talk!
"You wouldn't have drinken willingly, with everything going on." Arachne says. She does have a point.
I turn to Derek and Ashley.
"I don't want to run anymore. I want to be with my family. I'm sure you do, too. So let's stop running and all go home."
"I have no family. They're all dead." Derek says.
"Oh, right. You're a vampire.." I trail off.
Where would he go? Derek couldn't be all alone.
"You can come with me." I say.
"Really?" Derek asks.
"Yes." I say.
Then I lean forward and kiss him.
He gives in to the kiss.
We were meant to kiss.
We were made for each other.
Me and Derek.