Order and ChaosWillow Rose
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Two Months Before the Halloween Block-Party
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I. Beyond, Afterlife Book 1
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Copyright Willow Rose 2018
Published by BUOY MEDIA LLC
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
Cover design by Juan Villar Padron,
Special thanks to my editor Janell Parque
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Two Months Before the Halloween Block-Party
"They are already here. They are everywhere. They are living among us, pretending to be like us."
The man wearing the tinfoil hat grabbed a woman's arm as she rushed past him on the street. The woman gave him a strange look. Tinfoil-Tim, as his other homeless friends liked to call him, was spitting as he spoke.
"They look just like you and me," he said, staring into her eyes with a manic look. "You might not even know if you are speaking to one. Don't you let them fool you, lady. They are everywhere. New World Order, Illuminati, Freemasonry, Chemtrails, all the wars we've known. It's all them. They are your bosses; they are your neighbors; they might even be your husband."
"Let go of me," the woman groaned, annoyed, then pulled her arm out of his grip before she continued on her way.
The man twirled around and found another victim to address his concerns to. This time it was a young boy who looked at him with big scared eyes, while his dad tugged at his arm to get him to move along.
"The stock market crashed with a BOOOM," Tinfoil Tim yelled, and people walked in a circle around him, hurrying past him, hoping he wouldn't speak to them directly. Tinfoil Tim pointed at them, his crazy eye squinting, a tic causing his upper lip to jiggle.
"They lied to you and told you it was the housing market or a cyber-bubble, but those were just more lies. They are in control. They are everywhere. The government, the financial market, the media. It's all fake news, and we are just prisoners on our own Earth. I am here to warn you people. Don't just walk past me and not listen to my words. They are hiding here and killing people. Committing crimes against humanity. Enslaving us. They even tried to suck my blood. I have the marks to prove it," he said and felt his neck where the two bumps were. "Freedom will not stop; you will not stop freedom. Humanity is awakening."
A young man with a skateboard under his arm laughed while passing him, then yelled:
"Yeah, well, do you also believe the Earth is flat, old man?"
The man wearing the tinfoil hat shook his head while staring at the young man running away from him, laughing. It was all just a joke to them, wasn't it?
"Why won't they listen?" he said with a mumble. "Why won't anyone listen to what I’m saying?"
He then felt a forceful push on his back and fell forward as the crowds of people rushed by him, hurrying to work, not caring what they trampled on their way. The man fell face-first into the pavement, then looked up at the many feet rushing by, wondering how it was that no one wanted to know the truth, that no one cared what he said.
But then, something happened. In the middle of the massive crowds, the man saw a hand reach out to him, and he took it. He was pulled up, and soon he stood in front of a strange looking man with very skinny legs and a protruding stomach underneath his long black coat. The man smiled with his lipless mouth, then removed his sunglasses to look at Tinfoil Tim with a pair of close-set eyes.
"I am very interested to hear more about this in detail," he said and patted Tinfoil Tim on the shoulder.
"Very interested indeed."
"So, what else is new? Well, Jayden is still missing. Has been for more than a week now. We are all really worried about him. His parents are completely out of it. You can't really blame them, can you? First losing Logan and then Jayden goes missing? The search is massive. Jayden's dad has gathered all his deputies, and people are volunteering from all over town to be a part of it. No one is sleeping much. Except for my grandma; oh, did I mention that she's back? Well, she is. She's joined some band, and they're playing in town. I can't begin to tell you just how relieved I am to have her at my house. My parents are going nuts over Jayden's disappearance and will hardly let me go anywhere. The street is crawling with spider-like men, acting suspicious of everything we do, constantly snooping around. My mom is certain they're behin
d everything, that they’ve somehow kidnapped Jayden, but I’m not buying into that. It was Ruelle. I just know it was. I mean we know what she did to you, right?"
I stared at Jazmine's lifeless body on the bed in front of me. A tear escaped the corner of my eye, and I let it roll down my cheek. It wasn't like Jazmine could see it anyway. I sure wished she could. I so badly wished she would just open her eyes and look at me. But, so far, she hadn't even twitched in her sleep, and the doctors were worried, her aunt had told me. They weren't sure she would wake up at all. Ever.
I couldn't bear the thought.
"I just wish they could find her…and hopefully Jayden along with her. And hopefully alive," I said. "It's like they completely vanished. Just like that. I don't know how that's even possible in the world we live in today."
I sighed and wiped another tear away. It was no use sitting there crying. That wasn't going to bring Jayden back or wake up Jazmine.
"Here you go."
I looked up, and my eyes met Duncan's, holding out a cup of coffee toward me. He was the one who had taken me to the hospital. He had found me at home in my room, sulking, then told me it might make me feel better to visit her. It was good to talk to her about familiar things, the doctor had said. To hear familiar voices from people that she cared about, so that was what I was trying to do. But it wasn't easy talking about all these things.
Duncan had been so good to me through it all and not been jealous about me sobbing over the loss of Jayden. He knew I cared for him, he said, and he'd just have to live with that. Besides, his jealousy was centered more on Caleb these days after the run-in they had in my front yard during my date with him. Caleb hadn't asked for more dates, much to my relief, but I had a feeling he wasn't quite finished with me yet. He had managed to keep my mom out of prison for the disappearance of Mr. Aran, who Jazmine had trapped in a Yeti-cup in her room using a spell no one knew how to break.
"We need you," I whispered to her before sipping from my cup.
Duncan didn't know about Mr. Aran, and I didn't want to tell him since he might want to try and liberate him to prevent the war from coming between the supernaturals—aka my family and my friends—and the spiders. But I could hardly tell him that Ruelle's parents had killed two more of them when we were saving Amy and Jazmine. He would learn soon enough, I thought. Hopefully, he wouldn't know I played a part in it. He believed vampires should first protect themselves before taking care of other creatures, but how could I think that way? They were all my friends.
I was never going to make an even decent vampire.
I felt Duncan's hand touch my shoulder lightly. "We should be getting going. Your mom made us dinner."
I nodded, then rose to my feet and kissed Jazmine on the forehead. I caressed her cheek, then whispered:
"Why did you go to her house in the first place? What were you looking for?"
Duncan stood in the doorway.
I stared at my lifeless friend with a deep sigh, listening to the monitors beeping and the machine breathing for her, chugging away as it did.
And that was when I saw it. A small twitch around her nose. Like she was wiggling it.
"Did you see that?" I asked, agitated, pointing at Jazmine.
Duncan gave me a puzzled look. "See what?"
"She wiggled her nose. I’m telling you; she wiggled it."
A nurse entered with a bag of fluids in her hand.
"She wiggled her nose," I said as the nurse looked at the monitor and began to change the IV drip.
The nurse nodded, then shrugged. "It's just spinal cord reflexes. A twitch, if you will. You know, muscle spasms. It's very common. It doesn’t have to mean anything."
"But…she hasn't done it before?"
She tilted her head. "It's probably nothing."
I stared down at my friend, then at her fingers. Her nails had been completely white since she was put in the hospital. They still were. No color to them whatsoever.
I sighed and approached Duncan, who put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me into a hug. His body felt so cold against mine, and it caused me to shiver, but I needed it right now. For some reason, I suddenly missed Jayden's warm hugs, and I almost began to cry.
He's dead, isn't he? How else can he have been missing this long? She killed him. That witch killed him!
"Let's go home," he said and escorted me out of the hospital room and into the elevator where he pushed the button to go down. He leaned against the wall with a deep sigh, sounding satisfied.
"I heard your mom is making pureed cauliflower and Tempeh. I can hardly wait."
I forced a smile. Tempeh was my mom's newest obsession. She served it constantly. Apparently, it was healthier than tofu since it was less processed, but to me, it was all just soybeans, and extremely bland.
"Yay," I said, unexcited as the doors to the elevator slid open and we walked into the cold, dark parking area where his big black limousine waited for us.
"Well, I am sorry, Mom; it wasn't like it was on purpose."
Amy sighed deeply. It was pouring outside, and she could hardly see out the windshield of her truck. She and her mom had grabbed dinner at Sophie's since Amy's dad was out of town and they needed a little mother-daughter bonding time. Melanie had stayed home to watch TV while the two of them went out.
It hadn't been a success.
"I’m not saying that it was," Amy's mother said, trying to smooth the waters.
"Then what are you saying exactly?" Amy snorted and blew out a cloud of smoke.
"I’m just saying that because of what happened at Ruelle's house, we are in deep and I am a little worried about our future."
"So, you're saying it's all my fault. For almost getting killed by those two spiders, is that it?"
"No. Not at all, sweetie."
"It sure sounds like that's what you're saying. We were there to save Jazmine. I told you already."
"And I am merely suggesting that maybe there could have been another way of entering the house other than using your powers, that's all. If you hadn't, then…well, the spider-men would have had no right to even come near you. When you use your powers, when you change in places where humans might see you, you give them an opening to take you down. I’m just worried about you, sweetie, and about how it is all going to end. The spider-men are crawling all over the street now, creeping into our houses whenever they feel like it, and listening in on all our conversations. It's getting a little spooky if you ask me. That's all I am saying, sweetie."
"Oh, that's all, then," Amy said sarcastically. "You're basically blaming this entire war on me, but I guess that's all you're saying."
Her mother sighed, tired. "Amy…I…I don't want to fight."
"Then why do you keep pushing all this blame on me?" Amy asked, her voice shrill and high-pitched.
"I’m not…I’m just…"
"Oh, I think we've established what you're just sayin'."
Amy stopped at the stop sign before turning onto their street. Her mother sighed again. Amy hated the sound of her mother's sighs. She didn't quite understand why she was overreacting like this right now, making such a big deal out of what her mother was saying, but she felt so frustrated that she just needed to take it out on anyone, she guessed. It was all just so incredibly aggravating right now, with Jazmine in the hospital and Jayden's disappearance on top of all this with the spiders. Her mother wasn't exactly making her feel any better. Amy knew they had screwed up. She knew it was her fault the spider-men had now declared war on all the supers and not just the vampires. She knew all that very well, and she had felt her share of guilt over it, but what could she do now? What could she possibly do to stop it?
Release Mr. Aran? That probably isn't going to help anything. He'll come after me. Besides, we don't even know how. Not even Jazmine knows how to do it, and that was before she went into a coma.
Amy snorted, and more fumes spurted out, covering the entire cabi
n of the truck as she took the turn onto their street. The fog inside the car made it impossible for her to see out the windshield as it enveloped her completely and she didn't realize she had hit someone till she heard—and felt—the bump.
We almost ran into Amy's truck as we turned onto our street. Luckily, the driver of Duncan's limousine saw them in time and managed to step on the brakes. The limo came to a sudden halt, and I spotted Amy on the street with her mother, then I jumped out to see what was going on. Duncan followed me.
"Amy?" I yelled through the thick rain. Duncan came up behind me and held an umbrella over my head.
"Robyn," she said and turned to face me. Her eyes were deep-set in fear, her mouth quivering.
"What's going on?"
"I…I…I couldn't see anything. There was smoke in the cabin and…well, I ran into someone. "