The evanescence, p.7
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       The Evanescence, p.7

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 7


  Helena and Annabella’s voices grow quiet and, as the spark of life inside my body accelerates, I start to feel alive again.

  “You see that,” Annabella says. “It is just as I said. You can’t have me and you can’t have Alex or Gemma. You cannot cheat your way to get what you want, Helena, or things eventually fall apart. ”

  “It’s not true!” cries Helena. “I won’t let you win again, Annabella. ”

  “You have no choice. ” Annabella replies sternly. “It’s the way things are. Why do you have to be so greedy? You’ve always been like this, ever since we were kids, and it’s always gotten you into trouble, yet you continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. ”

  “It’s not about winning,” Helena complains in a shrill voice. “It’s about power and revenge. The power to rule the world and to get my revenge on the humans and their useless love that I don’t see fit to exist. ”

  “You act as if love is powerless, yet without it I’d still be trapped inside,” Annabella replies. “But here I am free and ready to send you back to where you belong. ”

  “You really think you are capable of sending me back, my dear sister?” Helena sneers. “Even if you do manage to send me back to the Afterlife my Lost Souls will still be able to roam the earth. ”

  “Oh, I’m perfectly capable Helena,” Annabella says. “The loophole has been found and I’m free. Love has conquered over your hate and self-loathing. As for the Lost Souls, I just hope they realize what you really are and find a way to resist your control over them because, if they don’t, then they really are lost. Goodbye and good riddance, my sister. ”

  “I can come back you know,” she calls out in desperation. “I will change my vision—I will make things how I want them. ”

  There’s a loud snap, followed by a scream, and I feel Helena leave my body while Annabella stays behind. It feels like my limbs have been ripped off and then attached back to my body crookedly. I feel wrong, yet right. The spark from Gemma’s kiss still burns inside me and it gives me comfort in the darkness I’m still imprisoned in.

  “Alex,” Annabella whispers. “Helena can’t take possession of you or Gemma again. She has been banished to the Afterlife… and you won’t die. ” She pauses. “The bond that you and Gemma share is unbreakable. It’s because of this bond that I was set free. ”

  “But I don’t get how our bond sent Helena away,” I confess to her. “I know love can be powerful and everything—that Gemma and I are proof of that—but how can our love destroy Helena’s ability to possess us? It doesn’t make any sense. ”

  “Because of the loophole,” Annabella answers and her voice sounds like it’s fading. “The loophole made it so that in order for Helena to be able to keep me prisoner, she could not possess a person filled with undying love. You felt the electricity of Gemma’s kiss, right?”

  “Yeah. . . ” I tell her, unsure if what she’s saying is true. Love is what ended this. Our love. Gemma’s and mine.

  “You sacrificed yourself for Gemma because you love her and she was too helpless to stop you because of Helena. She wanted to, though. She tried to keep Helena inside of her, instead of letting her possess you. ”

  “I knew she would,” I reply. “It’s what she always does. ”

  “When you completed the sacrifice, everything that Helena planned began to fall apart and Gemma’s kiss made it crumble until it didn’t exist. That was the loophole. You love one another endlessly and it’s very powerful.

  “Forever,” I say underneath my breath.

  Annabella continues, “You’re both free from Helena and the possession of her Lost Souls and I’m free to return to my Essences. ”

  “So that’s it?” I wonder with doubt. “Helena’s gone for good? Just like that? Because it seems too easy. ”

  “I didn’t say that she was gone,” she clarifies. “I said she can’t possess you anymore. She’ll still have reign over the Lost Souls that are roaming free and possessing people. She’ll seek her vision and try to change her past so she can have more power in the future. ” There is sadness in her voice. “I want to thank you, Alex, both you and Gemma. The power of your love continues to amaze me every single time I’m graced with it. It proves to me that there is hope for the world and that true love still exists, even though it’s rare and seems to be becoming extinct more and more each day. ” I feel her drifting away, leaving my body.

  “Wait… Annabella, what about Laylen?” I ask. “What happens to him? Gemma… Gemma loves him, too. ”

  “It’ll be fixed,” she says softly.

  “Do you mean it will be—” I start to ask, but I’m cut off as I feel her separate from my body and I’m left feeling empty.

  I’m alone in my body. There are no extra voices, no whispers of evil. Everything is just as it should be. My body gradually recovers; my arms and legs returning to my control. My eyes open and I can hear Gemma crying from the opposite end of the castle, where Laylen lies dead. I try to get up so I can go to her—tell her everything will be okay—but I’m frozen. I can’t move my mouth, my arms or my legs. I’m paralyzed.

  I hear her footsteps as she walks passed the open door and then she trots down the stairs. I try to yell to her, to tell her I am okay, but I can’t get the damn words out of my mouth. When I hear the front door to the castle slam shut, fear seeps into my veins because, for some strange reason, I can feel her pain, sadness, and hate coursing through me, like it’s my own. She’s not herself and I’m afraid of what she might do, not just to someone else, but also to herself.

  Chapter 7


  I use my Foreseer power to transport me to the neighborhood where Nalina’s house resides. It’s a simple trick of concentration and blinking my eyes. Simple. That’s what I need at the moment.

  I plant myself down into the road in front of her ancient looking Victorian home with crooked shutters and a concaved front deck. It blends in well with the rest of the tattered neighborhood; full of barking dogs, collapsing fences, peeling siding, and a lot of shouting. Clouds are covering the sky and there’s a chilly breeze to the air, blowing brown leaves across the dry grass and the murky gutter lining the street.

  I’m glad to have my Foreseer power back, but I feel like the world’s most horrible person when I think about how I manipulated Nicholas and his affection to get it back, even if I was possessed. Because of me, he’s a prisoner, chained to the giant flaming Crystal Ball that feeds off his life force to provide energy in the City of Crystal and for all the Foreseers. I remember how I stuck the needles into Nicholas’s arms and then attached him to the ball. I feel responsible and need to find a way to set him free, even if he is a perverted jerk. I’m just unsure of how to go about it without Dyvinius stripping me of my power. Right now, I need to have it, so as terrible as it is, I decide to leave Nicholas in the chains, but I’ll get to him. Eventually.

  A tall man comes walking down the sidewalk, whistling a tune as he kicks at the loose rocks. His hands are tucked into his pocket and he bends his legs in a strange way, like he’s trying hard to walk. When he glances at me, a smile rises across his face and he whispers something that sounds a lot like, “Helena. ” I wonder if he’s a Lost Soul or just a very strange man, and I don’t dare move until he rounds the corner and disappears down the side street.

  I tread up the path that leads to Nalina’s front door, my worn sneakers scuffing against the gravel, noting that the next door neighbor has their curtains pulled back and is watching me. Their hair looks bright purple and their lips match. From over their shoulder, two clear shaped structures sparrow out from their shoulder blades. I look away when they smile, not wanting to believe it could be a Faerie, but knowing I’m probably in denial.

  I hear every shout and every bark. It’s terrifying, yet it’s not because part of me has shut down. I’m only feeling half the things I normally do and it’s strangely kind of liberating. The curtain to Nalina’s fr
ont window of her home is pulled back and I can see that she is watching me through it, her dark eyes full of suspicion, probably wondering why I’m here.

  She’ll most likely be apprehensive towards me because the last time I was here I became violent with her and smacked her in the side of the head, but it wasn’t entirely my fault, seeing as how I was possessed. She might not trust me because of the incident. Well, that and the fact that I stole the Cornu Lepore from her. I just hope she doesn’t try to sneak out the back door before I can talk to her. It doesn’t mean this will end. I’ll chase her down if I have to. I just don’t want to.

  Lucky, Nalina opens the front door and steps out onto the front porch, making it easy. She’s dressed in a simple, floor-length, black dress, which seems to be her color of choice. Her eyes are unwelcoming as she looks me up and down, sizing me up.

  “What do you want?” she asks coldly when her gaze arrives on my eyes. “Did you come back to finish me off?” Her grey hair blows in a breeze as I step onto the bottom stair.

  “We need to talk. ” I climb up the steps and onto the old wooden porch that sways unsteadily beneath my feet. I cautiously step over a broken board in my path, making sure my foot doesn’t fall through the hole, and then come to a stop in front of her.

  She measures me up with her frail arms folded. “Who are you?”

  “Gemma,” I answer. “Don’t you remember me?”

  Her eyes squint as she examines my eyes closely. “What I remember is that the last time you were here, you hit me over the head and that I’m pretty sure you were possessed. ”

  “How did you know?”

  “I know a lot of things. I’ve told you this. ”

  I sigh. “Well, I’m sorry, but I’m me now, and I’d like to chat with you about something… something important. ”

  She hesitates, then, I guess, decides that I’m me because she nods and steps back to let me walk in. “Come in then. We do have a lot to talk about. ”

  I follow her into the house and the floorboards creak below my feet as she shuts the door behind us. The living room looks the same as the last time I was here; a worn sofa is in the corner and there’s still dust covering most of the tables and shelves. Nalina walks through the living room towards the kitchen and takes a seat at the table stationed between the oven and the sink.

  “Have a seat. ” She motions for me to come in, then points to the empty chair across from her.

  I pull out the chair and sit down, feeling uneasy. I usually don’t do things solo and I feel a little defenseless in the house, especially because there are lavender marbles scattered around the floor. Praesidium, which makes it so I can’t use my Foreseer power.

  Nalina collects a yellow cup from the middle of the table and grips it in-between her hands. Steam rises over the brim as she blows on the liquid.