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Welcome to the deep, dark & crazy world that is my imagination
The Gathering - Chapter Fifteen 
28th-Feb-2009 12:33 am
Grave Lying
Title: The Gathering
Fandom (is so, include details) or Non Fandom?: Non Fandom (ie. Original)
Chapter Number: Fifteen
Word Count: 2,207 Words
Rating: M (due to language & adult content... not entirely sure where this thing is going)
Summary: In 1692 a group of witches sacrificed their powers to prevent death. Almost 3.5 centuries later, these powers have befallen new generations. Those that would be heroes are lost. It is up to those who are left behind to save themselves & the world they're in.
Author's Notes: I used to know you so well


Chapter Fifteen


Justin opened one eye, squinting into the darkness. He had not long just got into bed and pulled the sheet up over his shoulders when he heard the haunting echo of his name. Disturbing as it was, he wondered if the grey specter had followed him home. Until he realized there was a certain familiarity to the phrasing. It was a voice he knew, he was certain of that, and as he reluctantly lifted himself from the mattress he identified it as Penny’s.

“Penny?” he called in a harsh whisper.

She wasn’t in the bedroom. The voice was faint, like she was trying to wake him from a distance. Bare feet padding over hardwood floors, Justin made his way out through the door, looking up and down the hall. He couldn’t see her at all. He could still hear her calling though.

Circling around the bench as he headed into the kitchen, his eyes quickly scanning the living room in the darkness as he passed, Justin peered into the laundry. Chase was still curled up asleep on a pillow on the ground. Surely if someone were within the house the dog would have woken up and made some acknowledgement to their presence. He stirred at Justin’s presence but did not wake up, only snorting softly before returning to his slumber.

Retracing his path, Justin picked his phone up from the countertop. He didn’t want to annoy her at such an early hour, but if she really were here he might be able to track her down by her ringtone. Finding her name in his call register, Justin pressed the phone button and made his way back up the hall, opening each door and glancing inside as the phone rang. And rang. And rang. And then suddenly stopped. Justin peered down to the lit up screen.

“Unable to connect? What?” he said. He shook the phone, lifting it above his head. The signal wasn’t always so great in his house, he knew, and he hoped that by doing so it would give him enough range to reach her again. He pressed the number once more.

“We’re sorry, but the phone you are trying to reach is unavailable. Please try again later.”

Snapping the phone closed, Justin walked back into his room and placed it down beside his alarm clock. Grabbing his jeans from the floor, he pulled them back on and fastened the belt buckle. His shirt still sat discarded on the edge of his bed and he picked it up, pulling it over his shoulders. He reached for his phone to put into his pocket when he realized he didn’t have to travel all the way back to the Colliver’s house to check on her. He could stay right where he was and ease his mind with a little astral projection.

He closed his eyes and lowered his head as he envisioned her room in his mind - a doorway, a dresser to the right, a desk behind that. Straight ahead would be a window, half-open, curtains fluttering with the gentle night breeze. And on the left would be her double bed covered in white sheets with blue flowers trailing down the soft quilt, a small beside table with a bowl of stones and two rose-scented candles by the head. He opened his eyes and instead saw David, his hand outstretched, his boots positioned at the edge of what looked to be the shattered remains of Penny’s china doll. Just past the tall man, at the edge of the bed by the wall, was what remained of Penny’s cell phone. And to the left, against the wall, was Penny, her head drooping slowly. Acting more on impulse at what he saw than actually thinking about it, Justin pitched his arm forward towards David. The older man’s hand fell away from his task, his body slamming into the wall across the room. And then the colour changed to darkness.

“Woah,” Justin said, trying to steady his balance. He was back in his room. And though he felt a little off-colour, he quickly realized that he had never tried using his other powers while astral projecting before. The thought had never occurred to him to do so. He’d only ever used it to observe or simply muck around. Refocusing, he hastily willed his powers to throw him back into the middle of the situation.

Penny’s feet slipped again as she was released from David’s power, her toe catching against the ornamentation of the frame and twisting her foot as she fell first knee and then head first onto the mattress. David shook his head, running a hand across where it had impacted with the wall as he pushed himself back up.

“Where is he?” he growled, scouring the room for Justin’s presence.

Reappearing by the bedside, Justin stared in frozen terror as David rose from the other side, his hand still pressed against the back of his head.

“Nice trick,” David commented with a wry smile. “Didn’t know you could do that.”

“Neither did I,” Justin said.

Drawing back the hand that was already raised to his head, David generated a ball of light. It crackled both in sound and sight as he propelled it towards the younger man. Despite being only an apparition of himself, Justin ducked. His line of sight now meeting Penny’s unconscious form, he reached out to her head to lay a hand on her and rouse her. It passed straight through.

“C’mon Penny, wake up!” he said. Surprised at how incorporeal he’d become, he tried to focus a little harder and make a grab for her with his other hand. It did the same thing. “Penny, get up!”

“Seems you are just as hopeless as your powers promise,” David remarked. He walked around the end of the bed, picking up one of the largest bisque shards as he passed. Justin backed out of his path as he grabbed Penny’s limp arm with the other. “You can’t stop me harming her.”

Justin ran through his assortment of powers in his mind. David was right; he had nothing to stop him with. He couldn’t freeze him – the paralysis his temporal stasis supplied did not extend to anybody who had witch in their blood. Everything else he could do was defensive or uncontrollable, and the only thing he could rely on was his telekinesis – even if it did throw him back into his own body. He raised his hand again, concentrating on a smaller object this time in the hopes it would have less of an impact. But he did not get to the shard in time. David cocooned himself in with his cousin, raising a protective barrier between them. It pulsed as Justin’s telekinesis rebounded against the energy field with no impact to its inhabitants. Taking glory in his victory, David slowly sliced from the edge of Penny’s palm down her wrist, allowing the trail of blood that followed to pool into the curve of the broken piece.

“Don’t worry, she’ll survive,” David said to Justin. “For an hour or two if she’s lucky.”

Helplessly watching the action before him, Justin knew he could do nothing unless he returned to his own body. He woozily sat down on his bed as he came back to his bedroom once again, steadying his hand against the mattress as he grabbed for his phone. The number for Woodcroft police station was on his fridge and he made a valiant effort to get up and make his way back through the house, leaning on the counter and pulling the magnet with emergency contact numbers on it around until he could see it. Dialing in the numbers with both his elbows pressing heavily into the bench he requested to speak to Detective Sergeant Stephen Colliver – the only man close enough and capable enough to stop this horror within time.

“Sorry, I’m afraid he’s not in the office tonight,” the receptionist explained to Justin.

“Please, can you radio him? Tell him it’s an emergency. He needs to get to one-one-seven Jubilee Street right away,” Justin pleaded. “It’s a family emergency.”

“I’ll do that, sir,” she said.

“Tell him to hurry. Someone’s life is in danger,” Justin reinforced.

“I’ll do that now, sir. Hold tight,” she said. “Any dispatch vehicles needed?”

“No. Only he can deal with it,” Justin said, knowing mortal police would never stand a chance against David.

“Okay, sir. Goodbye.”

Staggering his way back to the couch he next dialed in the emergency number. Not knowing who else to contact to save Penny, he intended to head over in pursuit just after he alerted the ambulance. Dizziness and fatigue took over as he reached the soft blue futon, however, and he collapsed onto it. The phone dropped from his hand as it hit the floor, a soft voice at the other end requesting what his emergency was before hanging up in the belief it was a missed call.

* * *


Stephen pushed the front door open and stared into the darkness. It was quiet. He hadn’t expected much else at three in the morning. Pistol out and torch poised, he snapped the device on the bottom of his wrist. The white glow changed to a pale blue as it swept the foyer. A little extra magic can’t hurt.

Searching first in the living room, Stephen proceeded up the hallway and peeked into the kitchen. There was no trouble on the ground floor. Ducking back into the hallway he shone the torch up the stairs. A red outline appeared in the midst of the blue lighting. A hand rose to shield the woman’s eyes as she paused at the top of the staircase. He pushed his gun back into his holster and replaced the mortal weapon with one of a magical kind. An energy ball crackled within his palm, the same shade of blue as the torch light generated.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“A visitor,” she answered.

He lowered and raised the torch, allowing the light to trace up and down her form. She was lean, and dressed in a short cocktail dress and heels. She wasn’t exactly the typical threat you would expect.

“What are you doing here?” he questioned further.

“She’s with me,” David said, caressing a hand back through her long dark hair as he lowered himself onto the step behind her. “And she has an early start. So if you care to stop blinding us, I’ll show her the way out.”

His hand drifted across her bare back and from her shoulder down to her arm as he passed, taking her hand in his and thereby taking the lead. Extinguishing the ball in his hand, Stephen lowered the torch and flicked it off as David flipped the light switch at the bottom of the stairs. The front hall flooded with light and Stephen now had a chance to look at the woman’s face. She was quite beautiful, he found, though her almond shaped eyes averted his gaze when he looked at her. David let go of her hand, moving again to the back of her to escort her out. He opened the door, whispering something into her ear and kissing her cheek as she left. Whatever he had said to her had brought a smile to her face.

“What is going on here?” Stephen asked.

“Am I not allowed to have female company?” David returned, closing the door.

“I don’t think that’s the best way to handle your father’s death,” Stephen said.

“I don’t think I should be taking criticism from a man who can’t handle his own mortality,” David remarked. “And please stop mentioning my father. I’d like to be able to sleep now that I’ve been sufficiently distracted.”

“I’d like to be able to sleep too, not show up here at three in the morning because my office says there’s been some trouble.”

“Trouble?” David repeated. He appeared to think for a moment before realization dawned on him. “Oh, with all the thumping and screaming upstairs? I must say it was a wild ride.”

“Right,” Stephen said. He waved his torch around. “And what’s happened to Penny while you were… fornicating?”

“How should I know if I was otherwise occupied?” David replied.

“Stay,” Stephen said, pointing a finger at the floor where David’s feet were.

Climbing the stairs to the first floor, he crossed to Penny’s room. The door was open. Switching the torch on so as not to wake her in case she were sleeping, he shone the light upon her bed. And found her to be face down, the quilt beneath her stained. Hastily flicking the light switch, he witnessed even more blood as the room lit up. Rushing over to her he crouched by the bed, patting her cheek and feeling for a pulse. He could feel her breath on the back of his hand, could barely feel the throb in her neck. He lifted her hand and saw the bloodied cut beneath her palm. Slipping his other hand beneath the quilt, he pressed the material fast against her wrist. Grabbing the phone from his belt, he punched in the numbers for emergency.

“We need an ambulance. Now!” he ordered.
Comments 
2nd-Mar-2009 05:06 am (UTC)
Go Justin! Good for Stephen, he got there in time hopefully!
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