Author: Fabricated-Sky PM
If you remember it, is it true? If you see it, is it real? Ellen and Keats better figure out fast, as they race through the Netherworld once more to contend with Suzette, Oblivion, and their own memories...Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Mystery - Ellen & Keats - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,373 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 07-18-11 - Published: 06-25-11 - id: 7117256
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello everybody! This is Fabricated-Sky, and here is my first fanfic on this account! Written solely because the world needs more Ellen and Keats...think of this as my sequel to Folklore. I sincerely hope you enjoy~!
Oh, right. A disclaimer. Well, for the rest of this fanfic (unless otherwise noted), I do not own Ellen, Keats, Suzette, or anyone/thing else that appears in Folklore. The original characters here, however, belong to me.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Inspiration was slow today in the Unknown Realm office, and the article was even slower. Keats absently typed as he stared at the window, glasses slipping and eyes unfocused.
It had been two years since his excursion into Doolin, into the real world. Two years since he had briefly forgotten his nature as a Halflife, and believed himself to be human. Nothing more than a reporter for a dying magazine, a skeptic who didn't believe in the very thing he was. A spirit. A being of the Netherworld.
He shook off the thoughts. It was good that he remembered what he was. It kept him on track, writing new articles for the magazine. Making deadlines for a boss that didn't exist, writing stories interesting enough for an audience that would never read them…
"I want to be a writer when I grow up. Just like my dad."
"You're not Herve," Keats muttered to himself, as he began to drum his fingers on the table. "You're a Halflife modeled after vague assumptions of Herve's future…or something. That's all."
"And would Herve have grown up to be this?"
Keats glanced at the typewriter. The current page was covered in rows of x's, the result of his mindless typing. Keats pulled the paper out and began to tear it into long, thin strips. He briefly considered asking his boss about investing in a paper shredder, when he reminded himself he didn't have a boss. Just stories.
He ripped the paper faster. A flash of violet energy ran along his skin.
He was Keats. Sir Keats, the Messenger's Guardian, if one was to use the full title Belgae had "honored" him with.
Not a magazine reporter.
Not a human.
The remaining strips of paper were torn into further shreds, until the bottom of the trashcan resembled a patch of snow.
But focused as he was with his thoughts, Keats failed to notice what was now at the window. Oozing tendrils, pulsating red, violet, black. Pressing against the window, droplets sliding down the glass like thick rain.
Deciding to take his mind off his thoughts, Keats pulled out a dart to toss at the board across the room. He aimed.
There was a crash.
Keats turned around, grip on the dart tightening ever so slightly.
The window shattered, and something crept into the room. Something Keats had seen before, only two years ago. And he felt something he hadn't felt since he mistook himself for human.
Ellen bit her lip, willing her fingers not to tremble as she added the final brush strokes to her painting. While she'd been painting ever since she was a child –which she remembered now- only recently had it become a career. About two years, actually. The critics were impressed by the surreal landscapes and fantastic creatures she painted, unaware of her inspiration. And if she ever fell short on inspiration…well, there were always new realms of the Netherworld, opening for her as she helped others with their problems.
This one, in particular, was of the Faery Realm. She had to be honest; it was her favorite to paint. The colors, the creatures, the memories…
She sighed, grabbing her thinnest brush and dipping it in the violet paint. With it, she added the final touch; the crystal in the scepter of the Faery Lord.
She paused as she removed the brush. After all this time, she still felt sorry about his fate. Sure, he wanted to ruin humanity, had lied to her and all his faery subjects…but without him, would she really have traveled so far into the Netherworld? Would she still be here, painting the Faery Lord and his followers marching through the forest as Brownies and Bug-a-Boo watched them go?
There was no time to wonder about that, because the phone began to ring. Ellen had no time to wipe the paint off her hands before grabbing the phone and answering. "This is Ellen."
"About time. You know how hard it was to track you down?"
The paintbrush in Ellen's other hand fell to the floor.
"…Suzette? Is that you?"
"No, it's the mailman. What do you think?" There was a clatter on the other end of the phone. "Look. You still dealing with…you know…the Netherworld?"
Ellen glanced at her painting. "I am. I thought you didn't believe me."
"Let's just say I've found some…compelling evidence." There was a pause, and Ellen imagined she heard heavy footfalls and a creaking door. "Something's following me. It's not human, it's not normal, and…"
"…And?" Static was beginning to crackle through the line. "Suzette! What is it?"
There was a muffled shout, and Ellen thought she heard, "What're you doing? You can't hide him there! They're going to find you!" Then her voice came clearly through the phone again. "I can't explain now. Meet me in Oakland, California."
The line disconnected with a crack. Ellen stood there, her mind still racing.
"Suzette…California…in America?" Ellen placed the phone back on the hook, and began to pace. "What could be following Suzette? I suppose a Halflife could be at fault, but…why her…isn't Oakland a city? Wouldn't a Halflife be obvious?"
Ellen felt something crunch under her shoe. She glanced down, realizing she just broke her brush. She picked it up with a sigh, deciding she'd have to buy a new one.
But first, it was time to book a plane ticket and a hotel reservation.
To be honest, Ellen was happy she was in the back of the plane. Aside from a couple of college students and one mother dealing with her fussy children, it was mostly empty. Ellen even had a row to herself, complete with a window seat.
Despite all the wonders of the Netherworlds she'd visited, she'd never been above the clouds. Well, not unless one counted Hellrealm –which she didn't, because the clouds were more like brimstone. These were real clouds, fluffy white clouds with bright blue skies.
She couldn't help but imagine creatures flitting in and out of the clouds. Folk with wings like knives, folk spinning through the air with maddening but beautiful screams, folk hiding inside the clouds who would only come forth when the lightning struck…
"That's the Netherworld, Ellen. Not this world. Don't get them mixed up now."
She sighed and leaned back in her seat. Yes, to her, the worlds had been blurring quite a bit. Each time she visited the Netherworld, its wonder became more believable. More real. Especially now that her paintings were out in the world, and others could see what she saw, unaware of the truth behind it all.
"But," Ellen told herself, "I know. I know what's real now. And I won't lose sight of it."
With this, Ellen turned her attention back toward the window…
…Only to be distracted when she heard a crash in the seat behind her. Odd, because hers was the second-to-last seat, and she didn't remember anyone sitting behind her. Curious, and hoping no one was harmed, Ellen glanced over.
A man with disheveled brown hair and a long blue coat was lying on the floor. His normally white shirt was soaked with red, and his spectacles were cracked.
He was barely grumbling and stirring before Ellen rushed out of her seat and over to him. She couldn't see any bleeding wounds, though his shirt and vest were fairly shredded. There were long red welts along what she could see of his chest, however, as if he'd been relentlessly whipped.
"Keats?" Ellen repeated. "Are you alright?"
"Ugh…bloody…" Keats managed to sit up, one hand pressed against his head. "Depends on where I am, I guess."
"We're on an airplane. How did you…" Ellen paused, helping Keats up onto a seat. "How did you get here?"
"I'm not entirely sure myself." He managed a chuckle as he leaned back. "Another mystery, I'm sorry to say. Don't suppose this is in the Netherworld?"
Ellen shook her head. "We're heading to America, actually."
"Then unless 'Land of the Free' really means 'Land of the Dead,' I should be…" Keats began coughing, and Ellen noticed flecks of red peppering his sleeve. "…Fine."
"What happened?" She couldn't stop her words from speeding out of her mouth; it had been two years since their last meeting, after all. How could two years seem both like no time at all and forever at once?
"I was attacked by…by…" Keat was slowly wavering where he sat, his eyes beginning to glaze over. "It was…Oblivion…?"
"Oblivion? Why-" He slumped over in his seat. "-Keats! Keats, wake up!"
In front of her, passengers were staring at the back of the plane, and flight attendants were rushing back and forth. And Ellen just sat there, holding an unconscious Halflife in her arms, as his last word echoed in her mind.