Inform me of any grammatical errors- I write too quickly, with lengthy breaks. Enjoy!
Catrina stepped in and out of a cold bath quickly, she wanted to stay clean but not freeze to death. Her skin had paled considerably over the past few hours, she was starving, energy levels depleting. When she had achieved cleaning her hair, she rubbed till it was damp so she could at least lie down without soaking the bed. She pinned the covers over and under her to trap in her warm breath- it helped, but made her drowsy. She succumbed to sleep rapidly.
She landed in something wet and dense, and thought for some crazy reason she had fallen overboard. But no, she was in a swimming pool- I suppose that is less crazy. Oh and it was warm, that was nice. She got showered when someone dive bombed behind her. "Aaaah."
"Boo!" A girl made herself know next to her, Emma?
"What on earth are you doing here?"
Emma backstroked to the edge. "Oh really? Is that the way to greet a friend? You invited me remember?"
"I did?" She retorted, going blank, before it clicked. "Right…my 14th birthday party." Emma smiled, she could only assume that she was right. Something dark caught her eye, and she clutched at her bangs- they were black. "Right, definitely my 14th birthday party…now looking back- this didn't work." Her friend frowned at her.
"You did it to yourself, to see what the big deal was about girls dying their hair…making a statement."
"Well, I wasn't making a statement." She quoted with her fingers. "I was just looking at my hair in a different colour, I wasn't showing off or trying to join a cult…or band of people that refer to themselves as emos." She couldn't find the edge of the pool.
Emma sniggered. "Weren't you trying to disguise yourself…to hide from somebody?"
It hadn't come to her mind, then and now – and it was a complete wake up call. The water went tepid. "Emma, you are my conscience, aren't you?"
Emma reclined on the edge of the pool, basking in the artificial sunlight. "You've been watching too many movies."
"Have I? If you had known what I had seen…you'd think you were in one, and this one I feel doesn't have a happy ending."
Her rant ended with her friend laughing mirthlessly. "Boy…you do go on and on and on!"
Catrina swivelled in the pool, finally seeing the other edge of the pool and made for it. "I prefer the lounger to water; movies with water are always sad flicks." She dragged her drenched form out and found the reclining loungers where she remembered them. Soon as she was on it- the one next to her suddenly became occupied, as if by magic. "Emma! You're not a shape-shifter…don't start imitating one."
The girl simply laughed. "It's your brain!"
Catrina felt embarrassed by the entity, her own friend was naturally scatty, but telling off an imitation she had created was silly. "Yes well…I'm under a lot of stress."
"No reason why you should, you have had a happy carefree life- no abuse, no angst, happy home, no identity crisis…not that I know of."
True. Very true- the only thing that concerned her was the bogeyman, who turned out to be real- Jack. And he had her- but not in that sense of the word, he had come into possession of her because of some screwed up deal made before she was born. Catrina needed counselling with her family on the matter, though Jack would probably see it as a legal battle…for custody. Jesus Christ.
"Perhaps Robert will emerge from the smoke to rescue me?"
Emma laughed heartily. "Now who's living in a fairytale, Robert won't jump to his feet for this mission, he hasn't even bothered looking for you when you were a mere bus away. And he's boring."
Catrina huffed. "He does have the habit of… not trying to be funny." The environment had closed in around them, fading away into the surrounding bright light. "It's like heaven."
"You wouldn't know."
"Well of course." Catrina retorted, beginning to lose her cool. She was up on her feet before the light could swallow her and the chairs, Emma was up too- the ever persistent follower. "What do you have to pass on?"
"Hopefully not you, I think Jack may be getting closer to finding a loophole."
This snagged Catrina's interest immediately. "What…so you are something aren't you? From the other realm, popping into my head for a quick chat?"
Emma didn't look amused. "That's right- I'm not Emma, but I am on a tight schedule, good guys are more organised- see I'm on the side of the angels." She pointed out accordingly.
"I think the bad would be more organised, they like to cover their tracks."
"'They like to cover their tracks?'- So you think you know them more than I do?" She snapped, giving her companion a contemptible leer.
"You have no patience to be on the side of the angels."Catrina folded her arms sceptically. "Who are you really?"
Emma had raised her hands in an aggressive gesture, Catrina assumed she was about to be strangled, but the girl merely clapped away their environment to end up in a bleached white warehouse. "You have no faith."
Catrina was stunned, had she been too busy to think on another level- to have been aware of other worlds watching over her? "Okay, that doesn't mean I have none, I'm reserved and cautious- this means nothing, my dreams could pull something off like this."
Her companion scoffed. "Human's have their fantasies, some people accidently view our world in comas or trances, damn careless gatekeepers."
This surprised Catrina a lot, who would have believed the good guys could be so strict? Who would want to go to a place like that? "You don't work for the angels." She finally outed dejectedly. "I would hope not, you seem grumpy, and long suffering…who would want to spend eternity with somebody like that?"
The woman turned on her heel sharply, catching Cat off guard. "Look I don't have the easy job…I have the paperwork, the angels, the guardians have the good stuff, the glory, the mighty power!"
"-Too angry, definitely not heavenly….don't guys like you get a break, shouldn't there be a heaven for you?" She began, keeping to a safe distance, what good it would do?- She had no idea- 'Emma' was in charge of the space.
The woman formally known as 'Emma' shook her head. "I get holidays, people like me have shifts, this is mine."
Catrina ambled closer. "So you have a job, some valuable information? Please get to the point- Do I have a search party coming?"
And there it was, the most understated words of her dilemma. Emma gave her a silly smile. "I like screwing with people, I could see you were uncomfortable with the sly- holier-than-thou attitude." She nodded to assert herself, Catrina had more reasons to be confused. "So Jack has disappeared off our radar-well…we never catch their sort on radar- but we know he paid a visit to management, we're guessing he's inquiring about the mutiny-"
"-Wait…What?" She felt she had walked in on a meeting that didn't concern her. "I don't know these things."
"Well of course you don't- you're not supposed to." The woman smugly slunk away to the furthest depth of the warehouse, where Catrina obligingly followed.
"You came here to tell me right? Not to prolong my agony in things that don't concern me."
She needed to learn not to push it, her exposure to these traumatic events had hardened her- and made her ignorant to the dangers when prying.
Emma though looked more than game to part with her knowledge. "Right you are, we have no power over demons that seek asylum on earth…disasters caused by them are incidents, if anything goes overboard we summon an apocalypse to wipe the slate clean...Thank heavens we haven't had to recently."
Catrina didn't see how this concerned her. "What's the good news?" Emma chortled again, probably an irritating flaw. Emma sobered as if she had heard.
"You can't kill a demon, only send them back to hell, and properly…straight into the pit, that's what happens when demons are demoted, it's best to make them fail."
It sounded like the fail part was directed at her. "So you really aren't going to do anything?" She bit the inside of her mouth in irritation. "Well you suck."
Emma furrowed her brows. "If we plucked you from the ship and dropped you off somewhere…you would be fed to the dogs, who knows who could find you and get themselves promoted- we don't need any more of those demons."
"You see, that's what I don't understand- I thought demons were after sinners…what good could come to them from my spotless soul?"
"So you know their motives?- Well you probably have seen it firsthand, demons like to condemn as many souls as possible to hell, it builds up on their quota and they get a better quality of life- good souls can't be sent to hell, but they can be trapped in purgatory- which is basically earth to them."
"-As I figured." Catrina added bitterly. "You think you could just save innocent souls…like Katie." The woman went quiet, perhaps it was guilt. "Or is she just an 'incident ' that you can't intervene in?"
It hit a nerve."Katie and all those people are a tragic loss, if we could welcome them home we would, but they are bonded to Jack and the ship- if it was as easy as that we could have saved everyone- but there needs to be a balance. Soon as Jack's reign of terror is over- then they can be free." Their environment became very sombre and dark, Catrina didn't want to ask if she could turn up the light and the heat, she didn't want to push it- or ' tempt the lord'.
"You want me to kill Jack, why didn't you get to that sooner?" She had the sneaky suspicion she was going to have to get herself out of this mess.
"Ha, yes… feisty- but indeed good, we can't ask that of you…that's what slayers are for." Catrina gapped, 'so slayers were real'- like Katie said. "Alas, many have met their end to Jack." She felt a muscle in her cheek twitch, it almost sounded like good news that Jack couldn't die. "We were hoping that he will fail his current position and be demoted- or better; be yanked back down into the pit. They're harmless when they are in the pit."
She zoned in on her opponent. "So you have a plan?- Let's hear it then." Catrina chirped earnestly, after all that was the whole point to the invasion of her mind. It better be good.
Emma sucked in her lips apprehensively, gathering herself."He just has to fail, change his mind about everything- you have more power than you know." Her fixed stare penetrated her, as if to implant that thought in her head to provoke her- she needed little effort.
"That's a problem, I have no faith in him. Most girls get a kick out of the thought of changing a man, that's why most girls go for bad guys- they think they have the power to change them. I know for certain Jack is a cold case."
Emma wasn't giving up. "He is protective, a trait he never had in life or ever." Catrina was rapidly losing interest, she didn't want to spend her life trying the unachievable. "A man that can show loyalty to the slightest thing can be capable of compassion."
"I don't care." Catrina breezed, it was the cold callous hand that seized her and yanked her to face her opponent that made her freak, a yelp escaped her.
"Well then you must try to care!" Emma seethed. "It may not have been your destiny to end up doing this, but a higher and good power is asking this of you." The hand was cruel, it was crushing her arm, cutting off the circulation. "All you must do is gain Jack's trust, prevent him taking more souls…"
"What do you think I've been trying to do?- I can't stop the actions of a demon's feeding habits! If angels aren't capable of stopping evil, what chance do I have?" Catrina snatched her arm away, it would take some good hard effort to actually walk away and out of this place.
Emma's hard mask fell, exposing a gentler and serene face. "Sorry- we have let you down in the past."
Catrina thought she had misheard, she turned on her friend incredulously. "You are?"
There was a severe straight line between her lips. "Yes, we were warned about this so called deal that your mother made…we were displeased." Catrina flicked hair out of her eyes, so it was true? "It was Maureen's destiny to destroy the ship and free the souls."
Catrina shook her head fretfully, her mother wouldn't turn her back on a destiny like that.
"I'm afraid so Catrina…Maureen did not know her destiny but she quite nearly followed it, instead something very different happened."
Catrina clamped her mouth together, tears threatening to fall. "Am I to blow up the ship? Will that help?"
Emma winced, and shrugged her shoulders- it didn't look too good. "I suppose, the souls would be free, the quota undone and Jack…in hell, but who's saying he will remain there?"
Thought provoking. Now it was her time to speak. "The bad souls will go to hell, the good to heaven- I will die also." It came out hush and whispy, lost in the big room they were in. "My mum and dad…"
"-Will have paid a heavy price for a mistake they made before your existence."
Catrina snarled. "That isn't very fair!" Angel or no angel, they had a shit system that needed fixing. "All because you have no control."
"Now that hardly seems fair." Emma tutted. "Did you want to hear my other option?"
"No." She responded distastefully, turning away from her to bite her thumbnail. "You must have given Jack an awful life to make him like this."
"It isn't our fault, he chose to be a miscreant." She said unenthusiastically. "So…" She crept her way to Catrina's side, who wanted nothing more than to avoid her like the plague. "My other option was for you to simply let him fail, if you killed him that would be it- it wouldn't be his fault, on the other hand if he failed because of his actions he would be demoted or sent to the pit…." Catrina wanted to slap her.
"How is that better? Will the souls be free?"
Emma became shifty. "Unfortunately we don't know, someone could probably claim the quota and the innocents may be freed, or trapped in purgatory until the quota is full and then accepted."
Catrina shook her head. "No one deserves to go to hell, no one." Something hit her like a tonne of bricks. "And if Jack is just demoted, he will be a normal demon- I would be….extremely vulnerable."
"Huh…like you are already?" Emma input, making the situation even more unnerving.
"No pity coming from you I see…What I mean is; he holds back a lot because of his current status." Catrina managed, realizing Jack does quite a lot for her, when he owes her nothing.
"How sweet, you can see how easy this is becoming, convert or death."
Catrina disagreed. "I have a feeling death- and not him; me…" She has been plagued with nightmares of when that day comes. She spied her companion check her watch. "Am I keeping you?" She added sarcastically.
Emma looked up brazenly. "Yes, our time is up."