Author's Note: This took FOREVER to write! Anyway, this is a sequel to my other Yu-Gi-Oh GX story, 'Horrific Nightmare'. If you haven't read that, I strongly suggest you do so before you read this or you will not know what is going on. The only reason I wrote this sequel is because the author, weewuns, asked me to. This is for weewuns! Enjoy! :)
Allowing her eyes to open, she breathed out a long and weak sigh. She tried sitting up, but her body felt like heavy bricks. All she could see was whiteness. The female thought she was becoming delusional, but then came to the realization that she was, in fact, staring up at a white painted ceiling.
Turning her head to her right, she glimpsed a window that was covered with baby blue curtains. She couldn't tell if it was nighttime or daytime. It was then that she became much more aware of her surroundings, noticing that she was in a hospital room and laying on a soft hospital bed. Her body felt numb and she was unable to move. The lights in the room were asymmetrically dim, forcing her to squint.
Suddenly, a huge amount of pain assaulted her head and she whimpered, bringing her hands up to her head and clawing at it helplessly. She was in complete agony and she could do absolutely nothing about it. The pain in her head was so bad that it felt like someone was repeatedly bashing her head in with a metal baseball bat. The teenager could feel bandages on her head and guessed that she had suffered some sort of head wound and was now feeling the pain again.
However, she couldn't remember anything.
The last thing she remembered was hanging out at Syrus' house with all her friends, excluding Jaden. Syrus had been telling her, as well as everyone else, that Jaden had been acting strange lately. After that, everything was blank. All memories after that were completely erased from her mind, it seemed. But she had an uneasy feeling that those memories were best left forgotten. Still, she wanted to recall those things. She wanted to know what happened to her and what she was doing in a hospital bed!
The sound of a door opening shattered her ruminations and she feebly moved her head to peer ahead of her, seeing someone entering the room she was in. Her head was still throbbing with pain, but she was curious to see who this person was. To her surprise, it was Zane Truesdale. He was with Jim Crocodile Cook, Mindy, Jasmine, and Blair Flannigan.
"You're awake…" Zane trailed off, looking genuinely surprised as he walked over to stand at her bedside. Concern was coloring his features, mixing in with the surprise.
"Alexis, we were so worried!" Mindy yawped, hurrying over and standing on the other side of the bed, opposite of Zane. Tears were filling her eyes, tears of relief.
Jasmine joined her. "We thought…we thought you weren't ever going to wake up!"
"How…how long was…was I sleeping?" Alexis questioned from the bed, shocked at how her voice sounded. It sounded dry and croaky as if she hadn't used it in a long while. The pain was still present in her head and she tried hard to remember how she got there in the first place.
"You were in a coma for a whole month, Alexis," Jim answered her query, taking a seat on a chair and watching her closely. He wore a look of worry and question. "Fortunately, Zane woke up from his coma the day before you were sent into one."
Alexis was now extremely flummoxed. "W-Wait…" She whispered, wincing in pain and trying not to whimper. "Zane was in a coma?"
"Yeah. Don't you remember?" Blair asked, trekking over to stand between Mindy and Jasmine.
"No!" Alexis blurted out, becoming frustrated.
Everyone looked at each other worriedly.
Zane sat down next to Alexis on the bed and breathed out a heavy sigh, shaking his head. "It looks like you have amnesia. Do you remember anything at all? What was the last thing you remember?"
"I-I was at Syrus' house. We were all there," Alexis recalled, frowning deeply. "Syrus was telling us about how Jaden was acting strange or something. That's all I remember. Everything after that is completely blank."
Everyone now wore solemn expressions.
"It looks like we'll have to refresh your memory," Zane commented grimly. "The things I'm about to tell you aren't good. Nothing about what you can't remember is positive. All of it is bad and should best be forgotten, but you need to know what happened to you, what you forgot, and what has been happening during the month you were sleeping."
Ignoring her agony, Alexis started to feel scared. What was it that she forgot? What exactly happened to her? Was it that bad? She was starting to regret her decision on even wanting to remember. The whole room was in silence and there was remorse and darkness in the room.
"Ready?" Zane asked.
Alexis hesitantly nodded.
Then, for the next hour, Zane explained what transpired that night and the horrible events that took place after the night when Jaden was declared 'insane'. He conveyed that Jesse had told him everything of what happened after he woke up from his coma. Afterwards, Zane explained what happened to Alexis when she had gone to the asylum.
After hearing all of those horrible things, Alexis started to remember everything. Now crying and sobbing, Alexis attempted to get up, but Mindy and Jasmine kept her down. The girl wanted to go see her brother, to make sure he was okay. She also wanted to make sure Chazz was still alive. She wanted to know what happened to Jaden!
"Calm down, Alexis!" Zane exclaimed harshly.
Listening to him, Alexis managed to calm herself down, gasping heavily with tears streaming down her cheeks. She shakily allowed herself to relax despite the enormous amount of pain she was currently in.
"Jesse and Atticus are fine," Zane revealed. "They're both…unstable, but fine. They claim that they saw something in Jaden's house. Something happened to them, but they don't want to tell. Jaden is currently in the asylum. Bastian was found dead in his home…his body fully decapitated…"
Alexis began to tremble after hearing that.
"Chazz is alive, fortunately, but in a very bad condition," Zane went on in an emotionless tone. "Hassleberry and Syrus are both missing…"
"They're missing?!" Alexis caterwauled.
"Yeah," Blair replied to her. "They went missing the same night you were sent into a coma."
"A tragedy, really." Jim added, solemnly shaking his head.
"The police have investigated Jaden's home and are trying to figure out what really happened to him to make him go insane," Zane continued, swallowing hard. "The deaths of Aster and Bastian and the disappearance of my brother and Hassleberry all link back to Jaden, Alexis."
Alexis contemplated on his words, not wanting to believe Jaden had something to do with any of what happened. She refused to actually consider the possibility of Jaden killing someone! It was absurd and it didn't make any sense whatsoever, but her mind flashed back to the time when she blacked out. Jaden had been ripping Chazz apart like a feral and untamed beast. Could it actually be possible that Jaden was capable of ending someone's life?
"No…" Alexis whispered in denial, shaking her head. "Jaden wouldn't do something like that. He wouldn't!"
"Well, Jaden is a primary suspect." Mindy pointed out gently, still concerned.
"Yeah." Jasmine put in.
Alexis went silent.
"We know this is all hard for you…it is for me," Zane told her gravely. "The police are searching for my brother and Hassleberry," He got up from the bed and headed to the door of the room. "I'm going to get to the bottom of this."
"I want to see Atticus…" Alexis murmured gently, emotionless and shaky.
"You can see him once you're feeling better." Blair informed her, nodding.
"I want to see him now."
"The doctors won't let you leave until you're better, Alexis." Jasmine and Mindy simultaneously said.
"Well…tell him to come here so I can see him," Alexis demanded, flinching in pain at the battering her brain was receiving. "Where is he anyway?"
"He's at home." Jim responded.
"Tell him to come see me." Alexis commanded weakly.
"He won't do that," Zane confessed, stopping at the door and peering at her with cold eyes. "Like I've stated before, Atticus and Jesse are both unsteady and shaken up. They're not the same people from before. They saw something that made them like that."
Alexis felt her stomach drop uncomfortably. What could they have possibly seen that was so horrendous to make them like that? She thought back to the time when they were in Jaden's house investigating. The female remembered her and her brother watching those disturbing videos of Jaden on his computer. There was a book and the room just felt evil. Once she was out of the hospital, she would go see them both and get answers as to what happened to them. After that, she would visit Jaden at the asylum. Just thinking about that horrid place, Alexis recalled that there had been nobody there. It was eerily empty.
The only person that was there was…Jaden.
It was all so perplexing and unexplainable.
"I'm going," Zane announced dully. "Will you be okay, Alexis?" He questioned.
Alexis only nodded silently.
"Make sure she doesn't try anything reckless." Zane told the other individuals in the room in a very serious manner.
"You can count on us." Blair stated.
"Of course." Jim input.
"Yeah. We'll keep her company." Jasmine declared with a nod of her head.
"Sure." Mindy added.
Zane gave them a nod of gratefulness before exiting the room, gently shutting the door behind him. Then, with a solemn sigh, Zane sauntered down the dimly lit corridor, passing by other hospital rooms, doctors, and nurses. There was only one thing on his mind, and that was finding out what happened to Jaden and finding his brother.
Breathing out a broken sigh, Atticus shakily reached over and wrapped his hands around a mug of coffee. He brought the mug to his lips and took an unsteady sip. His eyes were dark with fear and unexplainable madness. The male's body continuously shook and trembled with trepidation. Tears threatened to fill his eyes, but he forced them away while chewing on his lower lip, anxious and highly aware of his surroundings.
He was in his home, in his dark kitchen. It was evening outside and it was a beautiful day, but he was spending it indoors. Seriously, Atticus didn't want to set a foot outside and remained in his house for safety. Moving his gaze elsewhere, his eyes landed on a book with a black cover resting on the kitchen floor. Once he saw that it was there, his heart almost leapt up into his throat and he almost fell off of his chair.
Ever since that day, the book had been randomly appearing around his home. It didn't matter where he went, the book would always follow him. He had tried burning it, shredding it, and burying it, but it somehow always ended up back in the house or somewhere near him, wherever he was. There was absolutely something dark and evil about the book and it was what caused Jaden to become the way he is. How so, Atticus would never know.
All he knew was that he regretted ever touching that horrendous thing. If he could, he'd take back ever laying a finger on the abomination. The more he saw the book, the more he began to lose himself. Still, the book wasn't the only thing he was seeing in his house from time to time. There was something following him. Something watching him sleep at night. He could feel something watching him now and he tried not to look around too much, petrified.
Whatever it was, it was tormenting him, making him insane until it got ready to strike. Scared and feeble, Atticus had no idea of what to do. He wouldn't speak to anyone anymore and he barely went out. Heck, he didn't even go out to see his own sister at the hospital because he was so scared, but he hoped with all his heart that she was alive and well. Zane had come by a few days ago, telling him that a coma was still plaguing Alexis and that he should go and see her. Atticus refused. All he hoped for Alexis was that she woke up soon.
Suddenly, the sound of the doorbell ringing made him jump in fear. Scrambling out of his chair, Atticus released his mug of coffee and shakily left the kitchen, kicking the book underneath the table as he went. Cautiously approaching the front door of his house, he peeped through the hole to see who was visiting him on such short notice. Seeing Zane standing there, Atticus let out a sigh of relief and opened the door without hesitation.
He always appreciated the company Zane gave him. Atticus didn't favor being alone with that thing and the book. Taking a step back, Atticus tried to smile, but it never came. He couldn't smile anymore due to what he was experiencing. He just couldn't.
"Atticus." Zane greeted him steely, stepping into the abode and watching Atticus shut the door.
"What are you doing here?" Atticus asked, going into the living room and taking a seat on the sofa in there, clasping his hands together on his lap and leaning forward, bobbing one of his knees up and down as if he were anxious about something.
Zane was well aware of Atticus' behavior and took a seat across from him on another sofa. He leaned back in a relaxed fashion and folded his arms over his chest, sending a frown Atticus' way.
"Your sister is awake." Zane revealed.
Atticus looked up hopefully. "She is?"
"That's…that's great," Atticus muttered, bobbing his knee a little faster as he thought about her. "Is she okay? How is she?" He queried.
"She had temporary amnesia," Zane answered through a deep sigh. "But she remembers everything now. She isn't okay, I assume."
Atticus' face darkened. "It would've been better if her memories were left forgotten…"
"It was crucial for her to remember, Atticus." Zane pointed out, narrowing his eyes.
Atticus stopped bobbing his knee for a few seconds before starting it back up again, chewing on his lower lip. "I-I guess so." He stuttered lowly.
"Atticus?" Zane prompted.
"What?" Atticus looked at the other duelist, catching a glimpse of someone standing in the doorway to the hallway from the corner of his eye. His heart skipped a beat and his knee bobbed even faster.
"Alexis wants to see you." Zane informed him.
Atticus lowered his gaze. "Okay."
"Are you going to see her or not?" Zane wanted to know, his frown deepening.
"I can't." Atticus whispered forlornly, guilty.
"Why the hell not?" Zane demanded to know. "I know you aren't feeling 'well', but that's no excuse for not seeing your own sister in the hospital!"
"You don't understand…" Atticus muttered, seeing the person disappear from the corner of his eye. He calmed down a bit when he knew he wasn't being watched anymore.
"Then help me understand!"
Atticus went silent, breathing shakily.
"Atticus, you have to tell me what you and Jesse saw that day in Jaden's house. You have to tell me what happened," Zane told him while leaning forward. "You have to. I need to know. The information you are withholding could very well be some answers as to what happened to Jaden. It could also help me find my brother…and Hassleberry."
Atticus remained quiet.
"If you're not going to tell me then I guess I just have to force it out of Jesse." Zane commented, preparing to leave.
"Don't go…" Atticus murmured, not wanting to be left alone.
Zane stayed where he was. "Are you going to talk?
"I'll talk." Atticus softly said.
"Proceed." Zane said, waiting.
Looking down at his lap, Atticus began to recall what happened after Alexis had left to go see Jaden at that horrible asylum, relaying it all to Zane who listened to his every word…
Alexis jumped and fell out of the chair. Atticus rapidly helped her up, swallowing hard. "Atticus, I need to go see him. You get rid of that book somehow." Alexis told him, pointing at the book on the ground that Atticus had dropped.
"I'm coming with you!" Atticus exclaimed. "I'm not letting you go see him alone!"
"I'll be fine," Alexis persisted, pulling her brother into an embrace. "You and Jesse find a way to destroy that book forever. I have a feeling everything started with that book. Do something about it and do it quick, okay?"
Atticus hesitated before reluctantly nodding. He picked up the book and sighed heavily. "Be careful. If something happens, don't hesitate to call me, alright? I love you." He told her.
"I love you too, Atticus." Alexis said before leaving the room. She hurried down the stairs and left the house, taking Atticus' car and driving off.
After she was gone, Atticus got on his phone and dialed Chazz's number, prepared to ask him for a favor. He needed someone to look out for Alexis while he took care of things there with Jesse. Once he was through dialing the number, he put the phone to his ear and waited while picking up the book and leaving the room, heading downstairs.
"Hello?" Chazz's voice came out of the phone. By the sound of his tone, he sounded reluctant and dreadful as if he were expecting some horrendous news.
"Chazz, I need you to do something for me." Atticus said in a rushed voice, finally making it to the bottom of the staircase and now looking around for Jesse.
"What is it?"
"Alexis went to go see Jaden at the asylum," Atticus began responding to his question, noticing a door creaking open from the corner of his eye. He turned in that direction, frowning in perplexity. "I need you to go there and make sure she's safe. I don't want anything to happen to her."
Going over to the now slightly ajar door while he waited for Chazz's reply, Atticus peered into the darkness and wondered if Jesse was in there. If he was, why wasn't he saying anything? What was going on?
"Fine." Was Chazz's delayed response.
"Thanks, Chazz." Atticus remarked, getting closer to the door and trying to see through the darkness. He started to hear something. It sounded as if something was scuffling or breathing quickly. It was like something was dragging itself on the ground.
"What are you guys doing anyway?" Chazz questioned from the other end. "Are you investigating or something?"
Hearing the dragging sounds and loud breathing get closer, Atticus took a step back from the ajar door, now becoming extremely uneasy. "Something like that." He replied to Chazz.
Chazz's voice came again. He sounded concerned and hesitant, uncertain. "I don't think you guys should…some things should be left unexplained."
"I know, but this is something Alexis wanted to do. She really cares for Jaden, you know." Atticus reminded him, now standing completely still as the door started to open even more. He could still see darkness though.
Then, suddenly, right before his eyes, Jesse came crawling out of the darkness like a gorilla while dragging one of his legs that was twisted in a disturbing angle. His face was completely unrecognizable and distorted. It was like someone pounded his face in and rearranged it, but not doing such a good job of it. His mouth was abnormally long and it was hanging open as if he couldn't close it, revealing rows and rows of needle-like sharp teeth. Black liquid streamed out of his open mouth and splashed onto the ground as he gasped and croaked.
Atticus was completely appalled and paralyzed with fear. "Jesse?" He said breathlessly, unaware that he was still holding the phone to his ear and speaking into it.
"Huh? Jesse isn't here." Chazz sounded confused.
Backing up against a wall, Atticus watched in horror as 'Jesse' crawled towards him rapidly, still dragging his broken leg behind him and dripping with black liquid. "J-Jesse…!"
"Atticus, what's going on?"
Releasing a panicked yelp, Atticus attempted to run away, but Jesse was surprisingly faster. He/it grabbed Atticus with amazing strength and threw him against another wall, causing Atticus to shout in pain and drop his phone in the process. He fell down onto his side and struggled to get up, feeling dizzy and nauseated with fright. Before he could do anything more, Jesse was on him again, biting into his arm viciously while growling hideously.
Atticus hollered in agony when this happened and accidentally used his foot to smash his phone against the wall as he tried to escape Jesse's terrible clutches. Releasing another yowl of pain as Jesse bit into his arm multiple times, Atticus used his free arm to slam his elbow into the thing's face. Jesse's head snapped back from the force and he tumbled back, hissing like a venomous snake.
Scrambling away, Atticus looked down at his now torn arm. There was black liquid covering his arm and his blood was mixing in with the putrid stuff. It was burning his skin like acid and he resisted the urge to cry and whimper. Instead, he jumped to his feet and fled the house before Jesse could catch him again.
Realizing that his car wasn't there and that Alexis had taken it, Atticus just ran for his life. He ran and ran and ran, forgetting about everything. He even forgot about the book and that he was supposed to do something about it. When he got home, he locked the door behind him and tended to his wounds, shaking uncontrollably and trying not to sob…
"After that I…I started to see things around the house and that…that book started to appear everywhere." Atticus whispered, finishing his horrible tale. He shook his head and began bobbing his knee again, biting his lower lip once more.
"I saw Jesse a few times…he's fine." Zane said quietly, thinking about Atticus' story thoroughly. He wasn't quite sure if he believed any of it, but Atticus sounded very truthful and the fear that he showed while conveying his tale was utterly genuine.
Atticus shook his head slowly, bobbing his knee faster. "N-No," He stuttered out shakily. "That's not Jesse. You b-better watch out…that's not him. I know what I saw. I know what I saw."
"I believe you." The blue haired teenager told him, getting to his feet, reluctant to believe any of it. However, he had no other choice. Why would Atticus be lying about something like this? He would have to go speak with Jesse about this later for confirmation.
Atticus didn't say anything more.
"So…you mentioned something about a book," Zane started seriously, pacing the room with a contemplative look adorning his facial features. "Where is this book now? Is it here?"
"Should be in the kitchen…" Atticus whispered softly, eyes dark. "That's where I saw it last."
Without wasting another second, Zane rapidly made his way into the kitchen. Atticus jumped to his feet and quickly followed the other male. Once inside the kitchen, Zane turned on the lights and looked around for the book. When he didn't see it anywhere, he turned to give Atticus a questioning expression.
"It vanishes sometimes," Atticus babbled, shaking his head rapidly. "I don't know where it goes. It just pops up all around the house randomly. I don't know where…where it's going to show up next." He hugged himself.
"I'm having a hard time believing all of this…" Zane murmured honestly.
Atticus seemed extremely frustrated after hearing his words. "What more proof do you want? Why would I be making any of this up?!" Angry, he pulled up the sleeve of his shirt, revealing the horrendous, purplish bite marks on his skin. Also, the ugly burn marks were visible. It was a horrible sight to behold and Zane had to look away.
"I believe you." Zane muttered uncomfortably.
"That's what you said before." Atticus snapped venomously, frowning in contempt.
Zane sighed. "I really believe you now."
"Alright…" Atticus sat down at the kitchen table, taking his mug of cold coffee with trembling hands.
"If you happen to see that book again, take it and keep a hold on it until I return, okay?" Zane ordered him, heading towards the exit of the kitchen.
Atticus looked appalled. "That thing is pure evil."
"I know it is, but…you have to, Atticus. I promise I'll get to the bottom of this." The other male responded sincerely. "Everything will be alright in the end."
"You don't know that," Atticus sighed deeply, downcast. "Fine. I-If I see that book I'll make sure to grab it and keep it until you come back."
"Thanks." Zane said gratefully.
Atticus shrugged, drinking his cold coffee.
Feeling really bad for the other boy, he walked on over and placed a hand upon his shoulder in a comforting manner. "Don't worry, Atticus."
"Hard not to." Atticus retorted choppily.
Narrowing his eyes, Zane let go of his shoulder and backed away, leaving the kitchen afterwards. When he was out of the house, he got into his vehicle and strapped himself in, ruminating on everything Atticus had just told him. It was now time to see Jesse.
He couldn't feel his right leg.
It was gone.
It wasn't there.
When he realized that his right leg had been decapitated, he had been extremely freaked out and unable to comprehend it. He didn't remember what had happened at first, but then remembered how…
Jaden had done it.
Chazz was surprised that he was even still alive. Jaden had ripped him apart with his teeth. Chazz just knew that he looked like a monster right now, all torn and broken.
It was his brother, Jagger Princeton.
"Why aren't you talking to us?"
Then that was his other brother, Slade Princeton.
So far, Chazz hadn't said a word. Ever since he woke up he refused to speak. Everyone assumed that he was in shock. The guy didn't even display any kind of emotion. His expression just remained blank as he swam in his thoughts that were pounding through his head.
"Chazz?" Jagger was actually beginning to be very concerned for his younger brother.
And so was Slade. "Why won't you speak?"
Chazz ignored them.
Slade and Jagger exchanged glances before simultaneously sighing. Usually they wouldn't be that concerned with their younger brother, but now…they were extremely worried. Despite how they treated their brother and always seemed like they didn't care about him, they loved their little brother. They didn't want him hurt and they certainly didn't want this to happen to him.
When Jagger and Slade received the call that day from the police, they thought their brother had died or something. Instantly dropping what they had been doing, the siblings rushed to the hospital to see what condition their brother was in and was relieved that he lived through what happened to him. Now, however, they felt really sad for him.
"I don't think he's planning on speaking to us any time soon." Jagger remarked, dropping down into a chair with a sigh of frustration.
Slade agreed mentally while watching Chazz. He noticed that Chazz was just sitting there on the bed and staring straight ahead at nothing. He wasn't even blinking. The guy guessed that the events Chazz had gone through had been so traumatizing that he was now left in complete shock. Why in the world would Jaden Yuki attempt to kill Chazz? That was so unexpected and uncalled for that Slade had a very hard time believing it!
I'm glad that beast is locked up. Slade ruminated, scowling. Who knew that brat would go psycho?
"Well, if you aren't going to talk to us, we'll just talk to you," Jagger informed Chazz, breaking Slade out of his thoughts. "You can just listen, okay?"
Chazz said nothing.
"Your friend, Alexis, woke up earlier today from her coma," Jagger confessed, hoping he would get a reaction out of Chazz. "She's alive and well."
There was no reaction from his younger sibling.
After a moment, Jagger and Slade began to talk about various things. They made promises that their life would be better and that they would help Chazz recover and get used to having only one leg now. They also promised to spend more time together and said that they would take care of Chazz.
Chazz felt like snorting in disgust and anger at what they were talking about. Did they really mean all of that? Last he recalled, his brothers weren't very fond of him, but now they were? Chazz wanted to yell at them that they really didn't care about him. They never did before.
Turning over onto his side so he wouldn't have to face his siblings, Chazz shut his eyes and released a forlorn sigh. He really didn't feel like listening to their lies and fibs. The male didn't feel like thinking about anything anymore. His life was completely ruined now. He would never be able to walk again, and his body was mangled and unkempt.
He started to wish that Jaden had just killed him…
Stopping in front of Jesse's house, Zane exited his car and slammed the door shut behind him. He was feeling extremely cautious right now, especially after what Atticus had told him. Zane had to be very wary of Jesse now. He could possibly attack him! Remaining calm, Zane approached the front door of the small house, passing by grass and other various flowers. As he did, he started to wonder if Jesse lived with anyone else.
Zane knocked on the door when he reached it, patiently waiting for it to be answered. When it did, Jesse was standing there while looking normal, but his eyes were dark and it was similar to Atticus'.
"Good evening, Jesse. Can I come in?" Zane wondered out loud, eyeing him closely.
"What are you doin' here?" Jesse wanted to know.
"I need to ask you some questions." Zane replied.
A frown jumped onto Jesse's features. "What for?"
"It's crucial that I know everything that happened to you that day when you were…'attacked'. I need to know this because I think this information could help me find out what happened to Jaden and to find my missing brother as well as Hassleberry." Zane explained as best he could, his expression remaining stoic.
Jesse pondered for a moment before moving aside to allow Zane entrance. Still cautious and very aware, Zane thanked the boy and ventured inside the abode. Immediately he was standing in a dark corridor. The floor had white carpet decorating it, photos hung from the walls on either side of him, and there were a few doors here and there. At the end of the corridor, there was a window that displayed the backyard. The duelist could hear Jesse shutting the door behind him.
"We can sit in my room." Jesse announced, casually strolling into a room. Zane did not hesitate to follow the younger boy. Once in, Jesse flopped down onto his bed with a loud sigh and Zane preferred to stand.
"I know you don't want to talk about it, but it has to be done…" Zane began lowly.
Jesse nodded dully. "Sure."
"Start from the beginning. Tell me what you remember, okay?" Zane told him.
"What in the heck is this?" Jesse demanded to know, coughing with his eyes watering.
"It…it looks like Jaden had been eating these things…" Atticus mumbled out, looking sick.
Alexis pulled away from Jesse and stumbled out of the kitchen. Atticus hurriedly went over to her, deeply concerned for his younger sibling. When he reached her, he found her leaning against a wall, hand over her mouth. Her eyes were wide with fear and disbelief.
"Sis…are you alright?" Atticus questioned, rubbing her back gently.
"N-No…!" Alexis responded harshly, sitting up straight. "I need to find out what happened to him!" Then she took off up the stairs to Jaden's room. Atticus immediately went after her, but Jesse stayed downstairs.
Jesse had heard something from a dark room in the house and had gone inside, the door shutting behind him. The abnormal noise he heard sounded as if something was constantly scratching their nails against the wooden floorboards of the house. Realizing he was now at the top of the basement staircase, Jesse turned around to get out, but found that the door was locked.
"Atticus? Alexis?" He exclaimed, almost panicking.
The horrific sound could be heard at the bottom of the staircase. Now it sounded like it was getting closer and closer. The closer it got, the louder it became.
"Open the door!" Jesse yowled, banging his fists on the door. However, he strangely went unheard.
Suddenly, something grabbed his ankle. Jesse immediately jerked away, pulling his ankle out of the unknown grasp. Looking down, he could see a black, oily hand with long, sharp white claws coming out of the darkness. Jesse couldn't see anything more than that because it was so dark.
"ATTICUS! ALEXIS!" Jesse hollered desperately, slamming his fists against the door even harder. He hoped with all his heart that whatever was trying to get him wouldn't kill him.
How come Atticus and Alexis could not hear him?
All of a sudden, that same ugly hand grasped his ankle again. Jesse panicked even more and jerked his ankle free, falling down onto his rear and almost tumbling down the stairs. The hand rose up and slithered onto his belly, now revealing a long, black and oily arm.
Jesse fought to get the hand off of him, but it seemed to have some sort of horrendous strength. Yelling out in complete trepidation, Jesse could only cry helplessly as the hand shoved itself into his mouth and down his throat.
Jesse's eyes rolled back as he choked.
Everything went black then…
"That's all I remember," Jesse responded quietly, fear painting his facial features. "I woke up in my own house and on my bed. I didn't know what happened to Atticus and Alexis until you told me."
Zane was staring at him now. He came to the conclusion that Jesse had been possessed or something. It was the only thing he could come up with at the moment, even if it didn't sound logical whatsoever.
"Are you sure that's all you remember?" Zane demanded to know.
"Yes." Jesse replied.
Zane was quiet for a long moment before talking again, "I talked to Atticus a little earlier today. He told me that…you attacked him. He described you as some kind of monster. Is that true?"
Jesse seemed genuinely surprised. "W-What the heck are you talkin' about?"
"So you don't remember?" Zane questioned.
Jesse wasted no time in denying it. "I don't remember any of that! Why in the world would I do somethin' like that? Don't you think I'd remember if I turned into some…some monster?!" He wailed, bringing his hands to his head and tugging at his hair. The boy started breathing heavily, eyes wild with fear.
"Alright, alright," Zane commented, wending over and placing a hand onto his shoulder. "I believe you." Then he removed his hand from the other male's shoulder, taking a cautious step back. Jesse didn't seem to notice his caution towards him.
"I-I…don't know what I saw down there," Jesse retorted softly, relieved that Zane believed him. "Whatever it was…it did something to me. I know it."
The other duelist nodded his head, concern coloring his features. He didn't know what to think anymore. All of this was so strange and extremely bizarre. He would have to go back to the hospital where Syrus and Hassleberry disappeared if he wanted to find more answers.
When Zane had woken up from his coma, he found himself in a dark hospital room while lying on a bed. He immediately remembered what had happened to him, but he expected his friends to be there watching over him and waiting for him to wake up, especially his little brother.
No one was there.
It appeared as if the hospital was completely empty. Zane searched around for people, but didn't find anybody at first. Then he found the dead doctor in the corridor. Luckily, nobody accused him of doing it since he had just woken up and was too weak. They assumed that it was either Syrus or Hassleberry and that they had both fled, but it was unclear. Of course, Zane refused to believe such rubbish.
Syrus would never harm anyone, neither would Hassleberry. It was too absurd to even think about!
"I'm leaving." Zane declared, dreading what happened to his brother and Hassleberry.
"Already?" Jesse seemed frightened.
Zane nodded forlornly. "Yeah. I'm still doing an investigation of my own. I'm going to get to the bottom of this."
"Maybe you shouldn't…" Jesse murmured lowly, lowering his gaze to the floor uneasily. "Some things should be left unexplained."
Zane froze, recognizing that phrase from somewhere. He wasn't sure who he had heard it from, but he recalled hearing it before. Not wanting to dwell on it any further, Zane shook his head and headed out the door while saying, "Some things should be explained, Jesse. And I'm going to make sure all of this craziness is explained."
Then he was gone.
Alexis Rhodes woke up the next day feeling a whole lot better. She no longer felt as weak and the throbbing, agonizing pain in her head had dispersed completely. She ate all of her breakfast and oddly felt ready to leave the hospital instantly. Mindy and Jasmine had refused and said she needed to stay in the hospital a little bit longer, but Alexis disobeyed and persisted.
Now she was at that usual asylum. Jim had agreed to come with her since Mindy, Jasmine, and Blair were all busy with their lives. Jim had been kind enough to drive her to the dreary place. Staring up at the towering building made Alexis all queasy inside, and it brought back unwanted memories.
"Are you sure you want to go in there and see him?" Jim questioned Alexis while peering at her closely. There was worry in his eyes, but it didn't show on his face.
Alexis nodded. "Yes."
"Don't you want to go see your brother first?" Jim wanted to know.
"I can see him after this…" Alexis responded quietly, marching towards the asylum with confidence. Her fear was masked with a blank expression.
Jim shrugged and followed the female into the building. To Alexis' surprise, there were people in the asylum, lots of them. There was a woman behind the front desk who was talking on the phone too.
It was odd.
When she first arrived at the asylum it had been completely empty! Alexis guessed that something supernatural had something to do with that because the asylum had been deserted. It made her very uncomfortable.
Noticing her discomfort, Jim questioned her, "Are you alright?"
"Fine." Alexis breathed.
"If you're sure…"
"I'm sure." Alexis confirmed sternly, not wanting to hear anything more from him.
"Okay." Jim said.
The duo asked to see Jaden Yuki and the person behind the front desk was surprised by their request for some reason, but allowed them to visit Jaden since they were friends of his. However, she warned them that he was incredibly dangerous and that they should be careful.
Once they stepped into the room that Jaden was contained in, Alexis was shocked to see Jaden sitting on a white bed, staring down at the floor. He did not release any type of foul odor and he looked a little sane now. His hair wasn't extremely long and his hair was back to its normal style. However, his eyes were dulled and seemed dark with fatigue.
"Jaden…" Alexis breathed out, hurrying over to the other teenager. Jim stayed where he was, not used to seeing Jaden like this. He appeared lifeless for some reason and that made Jim very uncomfortable.
Jaden lifted his head slowly as he felt a pair of arms wrap around him. He recognized the person immediately and returned her hug without hesitation. Tears filled his eyes and he whispered, "Alexis?"
"It's me, Jaden! It's me!" Alexis told him, tightening her hold on the boy.
"I thought…" Jaden squeezed her tighter. "I thought you were gone…"
Alexis shook her head. "I'm right here!"
Jaden released a sigh of relief, closing his eyes and shaking a little. "Alexis, there's something terrible happening to me," He confessed. "I don't remember about the things I've done, but…I know that I haven't been myself seeing as how I'm in this mental institute."
Alexis pulled away from the male, peering at his face. "Jaden, you don't remember anything? You…you were some kind of monstrous creature and you…you hurt Chazz badly," She explained to him while shaking her head. "Something happened and you have to tell me what that is."
Jaden was silent for a moment, grief flickering across his face. "It all started with a book…" He murmured forlornly. "I found this book in a strange bookstore that really didn't exist. So, I asked the storekeeper what the book was capable of and he told me that it was used for summoning ancient duel monsters. Obviously I was lied to because it did nothing like that…"
"What did it do?" Jim piped up from his location by the door, getting interested in what Jaden had to say.
"It did horrible things…" Jaden muttered out quietly, his voice broken. "You see, once you…once you touch it, you've given him entrance into your soul. You've…you've sold your soul to him and he can do whatever he pleases with it."
Listening to Jaden speak about this, Alexis' mind flashed back to the book that she and he brother had found back in Jaden's house. Could Jaden possibly be talking about that book? If so, could her brother be in serious danger? Atticus did touch the book! Recognizing that heinous realization, Alexis could feel her heart hammering against her chest. She had to do something!
"When he takes control of you, you have no say in it whatsoever. You cannot fight it. Put up resistance and…and…" Jaden seemed to be struggling to get it out. He looked so frightened and completely out of it. "…and he does things to your mind." he shook his head forlornly, drained and weak. It was then that Alexis noticed how skinny and worn out the poor boy looked.
"Wait, what happens first?" Jim queried, feeling very creeped out by all of this information Jaden was giving.
Jaden didn't look at him when he answered. "When you touch the book, that's when he starts to torment you. You'll see him around your house from the corner of your eye, you'll see him watching you while you sleep…" He explained slowly, quietly. "…you'll be seeing the book around too, popping up in random places without any explanation. He attacks the ones that are close to you…"
Alexis' heart skipped a beat after hearing this and she felt lightheaded.
"After a few days, your soul will be his," Jaden revealed in a very negative manner. It sounded as if he had already given up, like he was no longer going to fight for his life. "I've tried with all my might to get it back, but it's just no use. I'm done for. I'm sorry, Alexis."
"Jaden…" Alexis reached over and grabbed his hands, squeezing them tightly as tears appeared in her eyes.
"I know I've probably done some very horrible things," Jaden started talking again, lifelessly. "And I know I might repeat these horrible things, but I want you to know that…that I have no control over what happens with me anymore. I want you to know that I'm sorry…"
Alexis pulled him into a tight embrace, but didn't feel Jaden hug her back. He felt so cold and lifeless in her arms and she could feel tears soaking her shirt, coming from the male. She tightened her hold on him and shook her head. "Don't apologize, Jaden! None of this was your fault! None of this…!"
"I shouldn't have bought that book…" Jaden whispered remorsefully.
"I know, I know…" Alexis muttered. "But this whole thing still isn't your fault, Jaden."
Jaden didn't use any more words after that and just wept in Alexis' arms. Jim watched in uncomfortable silence, shifting a bit where he stood. Was all of this real or was this some kind of nightmare? The guy really disliked what was going on with his friends, but he was going to help them figure it all out.
"We should go tell Zane…" Jim trailed.
"Right, right." Alexis pulled away from Jaden, breaking the hug and shakily removing some of her tears.
Jaden just stared back at her lifelessly.
"We're going now, Jaden," Alexis informed him with a nod of her head, gently rubbing his shoulder in a comforting manner. "I'll come back to visit you, okay? Don't worry. I'll make sure all of this mess is figured out."
"Don't search too deep, Alexis," Jaden said in a cold, robotic voice all of a sudden, staring straight ahead at nothing. Now he appeared like a lifeless corpse! "Some things should be left unexplained."
Alexis hesitated before moving away from Jaden and hurrying out of the room with Jim behind her. The two of them quickly exited the asylum and got back into the car. "Jim, I need you to call Zane and tell him what Jaden told us," Alexis ordered. "Meanwhile, drive us to my brother's place."
Reluctantly entering the house, Zane found that it was open and free to those who wished to roam its emptiness. Once he got into the abode, an extremely repulsive odor filled his nostrils and almost caused him to gag. The house itself had the horrible scent of a decaying body. Right when Zane was about to go back outside to get some fresh air before exploring the house and investigating, the duelist heard his phone vibrating in his pocket. Stopping his movements, the teenager pulled out his phone and put it to his ear.
"Hello?" He choked out.
"Hey, Zane. It's Jim." Jim's voice came out of the mobile device.
Zane was a little surprised to hear from him. "Jim, what are you calling me for?"
"Well, Alexis and I have gathered some crucial information from Jaden. We had gone to see him at the asylum…"
Zane made his way back outside and to his car, leaning against his vehicle and sighing. "Tell me. I need to know everything I can if I want to get to the bottom of all of this."
And so, Jim did. Jim told him everything that Jaden had told him and Alexis. Zane listened to every word that came out of Jim's mouth and remembered everything, gluing it to his memory to refer back to it later. Everything was slowly coming together. Obviously, something very demonic was involved in all of this. Jaden and Jesse had been possessed by something.
"No wonder Jesse couldn't remember anything…" Zane muttered to himself as Jim rambled on to him. He then realized that Atticus was in danger as well. Atticus had actually touched the book. That meant he was possibly going to be possessed soon! Unfortunately, Jim and Alexis were both heading to his house at this very moment!
"Anyway, that's all we found out," Jim finished his long explanation. "What do you think we should do? Does this information help you out in any way?"
Zane pushed off of his vehicle and stared up at the towering house before him that once belonged to Jaden. "I need you to call up all of our friends and family and warn them of what's going on. Don't tell them everything, they probably won't believe you. Just tell them to lock up tight and be wary," He told Jim quickly. "Also, when you go to see Atticus, be very careful and cautious. He could be possessed right now. Atticus actually touched the book. I'm at Jaden's place right now, so I'll meet up with you guys at Atticus' house later, alright? We have to do something about that book and fix everything once and for all."
"Okay, okay…I just have a really bad feeling about all of this…" Jim remarked on the other end, sounding incredibly uneasy and nervous.
Zane sighed. "I know, but we have to figure this out."
"Take care of Alexis." Zane said before ending the call. He shoved his phone into his pocket and then walked back into Jaden's house, covering his nose and mouth with his hand so he wouldn't accidentally vomit from the horrid smell.
Eyes darting all over the place, Zane recognized the dark room that Jesse had been dragged into, which led down to the basement. He recalled the story Jesse had given him and almost shuddered. Zane didn't get scared easily, but there was something about this house that made him want to just go back outside, get in his car, and drive off somewhere very far away.
Pushing the door open that led into the basement, it creaked out loudly and eerily. Zane flicked the light switch that was in there and watched the light come on. Now he could see a little bit better. The whole place was illuminated except for the bottom of the staircase that led to the actual basement.
Not wanting to waste any more time, Zane started making his way down there while being wary of anything that decided to suddenly jump out at him. Once he reached the bottom, he turned on another light and the bottom of the basement was revealed. There were large crates around, some old furniture, a dryer, and a couple of other things that weren't entirely identifiable.
However, the disgusting odor was much stronger down there. Zane's eyes watered and he was coughing violently, bile rising up into his throat. The duelist swallowed it back down and then took another look around, gagging. When his coughing fit subsided, his eyes caught sight of something off to the side. As he made his way over to it, the smell got even more stronger than ever before.
Before he could run back up the stairs and get outside into some fresh air, Zane's eyes made contact with a large pile of dead animals. The bodies of the animals were rotting away and decaying, maggots crawling around on the bodies. On the wall behind them, there was something written in blood and it looked fresh.
That's what the words written in fresh blood portrayed. Zane just knew someone had been waiting for him to arrive at the house to see this. Someone was toying with him and this someone knew that he was investigating. Glancing downwards back at the pile of dead animals, to his complete terror, he saw a decapitated leg of a human in there.
Stumbling back with a wordless cry, Zane almost fell onto the ground. He scrambled back up the stairs and got out, making his way out of the house as quickly as he could.
[Mindy and Jasmine…]
Jasmine let out a shaky breath as she ended the call, putting the phone down and looking over at her friend, Mindy, who was currently in the living room and watching a movie on the television.
"Mindy…?" Jasmine spoke.
"That was Jim on the phone just now…" Jasmine trailed.
"He said that Zane wants us to lock up tight and make sure nobody gets into the house…"
Mindy removed her attention from the TV and put it on her friend, gazing at her with a frown crawling around her facial features. "He said that? Why would he say that?"
Jasmine shrugged, walking over and taking a seat next to her. "He didn't give any details."
Mindy seemed concerned now. "Do you think someone's after us or something?"
"Who knows?" Jasmine muttered uneasily.
Suddenly, as if on cue, the sound of footsteps could be heard up from the attic. Jasmine and Mindy both froze, hearts pounding painfully against their chests. They had no idea what that had been, but assumed that someone had gotten into the house because nobody else was in the house with them!
"Looks like it's too late to start locking up…" Mindy remarked nervously.
Jasmine got up from the couch and started making her way towards the staircase that was right in the living room. Mindy quickly got up and stopped the other girl, grabbing her by the wrist and giving her a very worried look.
"Are you crazy? Are you going to go up there?!" Mindy exclaimed in a whisper.
"We have to see who's up there." Jasmine retorted, jerking her wrist out of Mindy's grasp.
"And you're going up there without a weapon?" Mindy countered stubbornly.
Jasmine hesitated before searching around the room for something. She found an umbrella and grabbed it while giving Mindy a look. Mindy sighed and then followed her friend up the stairs and to the second floor. Together, they headed to the stairs that led up to the dark attic.
"Jasmine, I'm really scared," Mindy commented through chattering teeth. "M-Maybe we should just leave the house and call the cops or something…"
"And let this guy roam my house? I don't think so!" Jasmine shot back sternly, going up the stairs with the umbrella clutched in her hand. Mindy reluctantly followed the female up there, wondering what was going to happen to them.
Once inside the dark attic, Jasmine took a quick look around. When her eyes finished skimming the empty attic, she was about to tell Mindy that there was nobody up there, but someone suddenly jumped into her view. She could see the person standing there in the evening light that came out of the room window.
It was Jesse.
"J-Jesse…?!" Jasmine yelped, stumbling back and bumping into Mindy.
"What are you doing here? How did you get in?!" Mindy questioned, wanting to know.
Jesse stayed silent as he stared at the girls. There was clearly something wrong with him. He was hunched over like he had a bad back or something. Plus, bangs were covering is eyes and his fingernails seemed strangely longer…whiter. He was rasping heavily with each breath and he seemed to be struggling to breathe. There was a putrid odor coming from him, which almost caused the two females to puke.
"Jesse? Are you okay?" Jasmine was about to walk over to him, but Mindy grabbed her shoulder and violently pulled her back.
"Are you insane? There's something wrong with him!" she shrieked.
Jasmine didn't say anything to that and put her attention back on Jesse.
Suddenly, with a horrible howl of pure demonic evilness, Jesse lunged forward and latched onto a startled and petrified Jasmine. Without any sort of warning, Jesse screeched crazily and then bit into Jasmine's neck, tearing a huge chunk of her flesh off. Jasmine screamed and gurgled out blood, a lot of it gushing out of her now torn throat.
"JASMINE!" Mindy cried, backing away and covering her mouth with her hand as Jesse got down on all fours and started sinking his sharp teeth into Jasmine's stomach.
Poor Jasmine was now on the ground, dying immediately from Jesse's harsh and unexpected assault on her.
Turning away, Mindy exited the attic in a hurry while tears streamed down her face. Her mind was going haywire as she tried to fathom what was occurring. The girl's heart pounded loudly in her chest and she felt like she was going to faint with fear.
Letting out a startled gasp, Mindy tripped over her own feet at the stairs that led back to the first floor and suddenly went tumbling downwards. On the way down, she broke multiple bones and then landed on her arm in an abnormal way at the bottom, her head slamming into the floor vigorously and putting her out like a light.
[Alexis and Jim…]
Stopping the vehicle in front of Atticus' house, Alexis and Jim both got out of the car, gazing at the house for a moment before hurrying on in.
"Atticus? Atticus?!" Alexis shouted, frantically looking around for her brother.
"Doesn't look like he's around…" Jim muttered, frowning at a book with a black cover that was resting on a glass table in the middle of the living room. "Alexis, look."
Alexis sauntered over to where the male was, eyes widening at the sight of the demonic book. "It's…it's the book, Jim. That's the book!"
Jim was about to touch it, but Alexis slapped his hand away. "What are you doing? Are you insane or something?!" Alexis hissed at him. "Don't touch it or you'll be affected just like Jaden and Atticus!"
"We don't know that for sure," Jim pointed out. "Jaden is delusional. He lost it. Plus, it doesn't make sense at all. It just doesn't. And even if it did, I wouldn't want to comprehend any of this! This is crazy!"
Alexis noticed how scared Jim was now. "Jim, we're going to get through this. We just have to get rid of this book somehow, okay? We have to get rid of it…"
"How?" Jim demanded to know.
"I don't know how yet, but it's going to happen…" Alexis blubbered, shaking a little.
Jim was skeptical. "You don't know yet, so-"
Jim was horridly interrupted by a body slamming into his and knocking him down to the floor hard. The person that had done it was none other than Atticus and there was something terribly wrong with him.
"Atticus!" Alexis gasped.
Atticus glanced at her with completely black eyes, lifeless and empty. Then, with a terrible yowl, he raised his fresh and sharp knife-like claws and scratched the skin right off of Jim's face. Jim screamed in agony and clawed at his bloody face.
"Atticus, stop!" Alexis exclaimed in a panicked manner, running over and trying to pull her brother off of Jim, but she was elbowed in the face hard by him. Alexis stumbled back, now grabbing at her bloody and broken nose. "A-Atticus…!"
When Atticus was through making sure Jim was dead, he slowly got up to his feet, his sharp claws touching the floor and scrapping it as he slowly approached his sister. His head was bowed and he was growling like a choleric lion.
This was no longer her brother.
"Dear sister…" Atticus drawled out slowly in a sickening tone as he continued to approach the female. His voice wasn't the same. It was much deeper and completely demonic. "Dear, dear sister…"
Alexis backed away from the monster, tears rolling down her cheeks. "Y-You're not my brother…you're not my brother…!" Alexis sobbed while shaking her head. "S-Stay away from me, you monster!"
Atticus stopped moving and stared at her for a very long moment before tilting his head back and releasing an evil, bitter laugh that was filled entirely of darkness. There was no emotion in it whatsoever and it chilled Alexis to the bone. It also angered her that that demon was possessing her brother's body!
"You will not leave from here, mortal," Atticus snarled, getting down into a crouching position as if he were about to pounce. "I shall paint these walls with your blood. I shall clean these floors with your organs. Then I shall feast upon your heart…!"
Alexis let out a scream as Atticus jumped at her, tackling her to the floor hard with him on top of her. She was completely surprised that his ridiculously long nails didn't impale her during the sudden actions. Still, Alexis fought to get him off of her with all her might. She wasn't going to die! She wasn't going to let this demon get away with destroying everyone's lives!
"I find your attempts at escape to be futile," Atticus hissed out deviously as he tried to bite into her throat. "You die here."
"NO!" Alexis screamed, crying.
Suddenly, something hard slammed into Atticus' head, knocking him out quickly. Atticus' body collapsed onto Alexis' and she continued to cry while pushing him off of her. Scooting away as fast as she could, she looked up and saw Zane standing there staring down at her while holding that black book, but he was holding it while wearing gloves.
"Z-Zane…?" Alexis was so relieved to see the male. Zane shoved the book into a bag he was wearing and then removed his gloves, also putting them in the bag. After that, he helped the girl up to her feet.
"Zane…" Alexis sobbed, crashing into him with a hug. Zane returned her hug immediately, rubbing her back.
"It's over…for now," Zane told her quietly, staring down at Atticus' unconscious form. "We need to get out of here right now."
Alexis pulled away to look at his face. "B-But we need to get an ambulance for the both of them…"
"Alexis, Jim is dead…"
Alexis felt more tears come to her eyes and she tried not to break down. She almost collapsed to her knees, but Zane held her upright.
"Come on. I need you to calm down. I'll call the police, but we really need to leave from here and do something about this book." Zane gestured towards the bag that was over his shoulder.
Alexis nodded solemnly.
Soon the two of them were in Zane's car and was driving away from the house. Zane had already called the police and told them what happened and mentioned that he and Alexis wouldn't be there. It was getting really dark out, but they continued to head to their unknown destination.
Alexis was quiet for the whole first hour, but then spoke up as she wearily gazed out of the car window at all of the lights and buildings and whatnot, "That thing corrupted my brother…it…it took my brother from me, Zane."
"We'll get him back. We'll get Jaden back too…and Jesse." Zane informed her in a determined voice.
Alexis put her eyes on him. "J-Jesse?"
"Jesse has been possessed once," Zane confessed. "But he never came in contact with this book." He nodded his head towards the backseat of the car where the bag lay.
"I know it is."
"Where are we going?" Alexis wanted to know, trembling a little while hugging herself.
Zane frowned as he continued to drive the car. "We're going to Hockwell's Cemetery."
"There was a message left for me in the basement of Jaden's house," Zane explained quickly. "That was what the message said. I know it was for me. I'm assuming that that's where my brother and Hassleberry are at. I just have a feeling."
Alexis appeared to be uncomfortable now. For some reason, she had a really bad feeling about what was going to happen once they found Syrus and Hassleberry. Then, she recalled Jaden's last words before she had left the asylum with Jim.
"Some things should be left unexplained…" she whispered.
Zane glanced at her without taking his eyes off of the road ahead of them. "What?"
"That's what Jaden told me before…before Jim and I left the asylum." Alexis replied in a remorseful mutter.
It was getting too dark out and Zane was starting to get tired. So, he found a hotel and pulled off over there. He got a room for him and Alexis to share and now that's where they were. Alexis was lying down on her own bed while Zane just sat on his own, looking through the devious book he had taken with them.
"Can you put that away?" Alexis drowsily questioned him as she watched him.
Zane was flipping through the pages with a pen as the book rested on the bed beside him. He looked up at her, seeing her sad face. Zane wasn't used to seeing the girl like this and he sighed heavily, closing the book with the pen and pushing it off of the bed with it.
"I'm sorry." He apologized.
Alexis felt more comfortable now that he wasn't reading through that horrible book. "Why don't you go to sleep?" she asked him.
"I can't." Zane retorted, turning out the lights. "I'm just going to lay here in the dark."
Alexis was quiet.
After several minutes, Zane could hear movement from Alexis' bed. He didn't have to look to see that Alexis was joining him on his own bed. The female moved close to him and put her arms around him, holding him tight. Zane returned her embrace and relaxed, sighing through his nose.
"I'll make sure this is all figured out, Alexis…" Zane promised while gently running his fingers through the girl's hair. "I'll destroy this thing once and for all."
"I hope so…" Alexis whispered before drifting off to sleep.
[The next day…]
When morning came, Alexis and Zane had devoured breakfast, which was biscuits and orange juice. Next, they left the hotel and got into their vehicle, continuing on their way to Hockwell's Cemetery. It took almost all day to get there. So, by the time that they arrived, it was dark out.
Parking the car right in front of the gate that led into the massive cemetery, Zane got out along with Alexis. He grabbed the bag out of the backseat and shouldered it, shutting the door afterwards.
"Zane, are you sure about this?" Alexis questioned the other duelist.
"I'm sure." Zane confirmed.
Then, as one, the two entered the dark and dreary cemetery. Everything was quiet and gravestones could be seen everywhere. It was really dark and it looked very eerie. Alexis knew that something bad was going to happen. She knew that once they found Syrus and Hassleberry then something terrible was going to occur. That was just how she felt.
After a few minutes of walking endlessly through the cemetery that was decorated with gravestones, Alexis came to a halt because Zane had stopped up ahead next to a very tall gravestone with a tree towering above it. The tree was dead and held no leaves whatsoever. It was lifeless just like all of the gravestones in the cemetery.
Alexis caught the expression on Zane's face and saw that he wore a look of complete horror and disbelief. He fell to his knees and was trembling uncontrollably, dropping the bag he had shouldered.
"Zane, what's wrong?!" Alexis asked, frantic.
"No…no…no…" Zane kept repeating over and over again like in a mantra of despair.
Alexis moved her attention to what the male was peering at and gasped, stumbling back a little and almost falling to the ground.
Syrus and Hassleberry were there right in front of the gravestone.
They were both…dead.
Their bodies were decaying and rotting away and there was nothing that they could do to bring them back. It looked as if they both had been beaten to death.
"What…why is this happening…?" Alexis gasped out, sinking down to her knees beside Zane.
Zane responded with a noise of pain and struggle. Turning her head, she could see a large dagger protruding from his chest. Moving her gaze upwards, she could see an abnormally tall person standing there and holding the hilt of the blade that had impaled Zane just seconds ago. The person was dark and unrecognizable. No matter how Alexis tried to look at the person, she would never get a face or description.
Blood gushed out of Zane's new wound and the person jerked the weapon out of his body. Zane collapsed forward, dying instantly. Alexis screamed Zane's name and scrambled away from the unknown being. The thing swung the blade at her and tried to slice her head off.
Eyeing the bag and ignoring her despair over Zane's death, the female dove for the bag, pulling out the book. She didn't care whether she touched it or not, she knew she was going to die either way.
Releasing a demonic shriek of horribleness, the tall monster took a swing at her again, which Alexis avoided by rolling out of the way while clutching the book with both hands. The teenager jumped to her feet and then started running towards the gate of the cemetery, wanting to get to the car. She could hear the thing behind her, growling and hissing like a snake. However, she didn't look back.
Upon reaching Zane's car, Alexis quickly got in and threw the book onto the passenger's seat. She found a match underneath one of the seats and quickly lit it, setting the car's passenger's seat on fire! Alexis locked the doors to the car and started breathing heavily, smoke filling the car. Looking out of the windshield, she could see that tall creature rushing towards the car as the fire inside the car continued to spread.
The thing transfigured into a horrific large spider and jumped onto the car, desperately trying to claw its way inside. Alexis leaned back in her seat and shut her eyes, letting the flames engulf her and the car.
She opened her mouth and screamed in agony as the car was completely consumed by fire, the book turning to ashes beside her on the seat.
…all was darkness.
[A year later…]
Chazz Princeton solemnly gazed upon a gravestone with Blair Flannigan standing next to him. Jaden, Jesse, and Atticus were all with him as well. Also, Slade and Jagger were present, but were standing off somewhere else, away from the small group of friends.
The gravestone portrayed Alexis Rhodes' name. The other gravestones beside it held the names of their other friends. Aster, Bastian, Syrus, Hassleberry, Jim, Mindy, Jasmine, and Zane…all of the individuals that did not make it during the nightmare.
The whole nightmare had ended a year ago. Alexis had successfully destroyed the book and the bodies of all of their friends had been discovered. Not having any pure evidence of anything, Jaden wasn't sent to prison and neither was Jesse and Atticus. However, the police still kept a close on the three of them.
Jaden, Atticus, and Jesse had all turned back to normal. They no longer displayed any type of inhuman behavior and were perfectly fine, excluding their everlasting depression.
"If it wasn't for me getting that book, none of this would have happened." Jaden spoke softly from beside Jesse, staring intently at the gravestone that stood above Alexis' resting spot.
"I thought we agreed not to speak of this anymore?" Jesse questioned him sharply, eyes narrowed into dangerous slits. "I don't want to remember any of that…"
Jaden gave him an apologetic look, wiping some tears out of his eyes. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry…"
Jesse turned away from him.
Atticus just walked away without saying anything. He hadn't said a word ever since he found out about his sister's death. Everyone assumed that he was too traumatized to even talk again.
"Well, I'm out of here." Jesse piped up, turning away and quickly leaving.
Jaden stood there for a very long moment before saying goodbye to Chazz and Blair and sauntering off solemnly. Jaden Yuki still lived in the asylum, not trusting himself to be out more than an hour. He was also using this to punish himself for the horrible things he had committed.
Chazz and Blair were the only ones left while Slade and Jagger got back into their car and waited for their younger brother to join them so they could go back home. Chazz was in a wheelchair and was just staring at Alexis' gravestone.
"Chazz?" Blair whispered suddenly.
"Huh?" Chazz answered her without looking at her.
"Do you think…they're in a better place now?" Blair asked, blinking back tears.
Chazz didn't answer for a long moment. When he was about to answer, he caught a glimpse of something tall and unidentifiable moving through the trees from afar. Just as soon as he saw it, it vanished. He guessed his eyes were just playing tricks on him.
"Yeah," Chazz finally breathed, looking up at the female. "Yeah."
Without another word, Blair grabbed Chazz's wheelchair and started rolling him back towards the car.
They didn't see the black book that rested upon the soil below Alexis' grave…
Some things should just be left unexplained…