Special Note: Reviews would be much appreciated as I'm not sure if I should continue the story. I want to know if it sucks so I can stop now. Also, I'm looking for a beta reader that is really good with punctuation as I know that isn't my strong suit. Please let me know if you're interested. Thanks.
Proof of Life
Chapter 1: Wake Up
Chase's eyes flickered open to the bright afternoon sunlight that pierced the window treatments in the bedroom. He turned over onto his side and focused his eyes to the doorway which led to the living room beyond.
She was there, hunched over her desk. A bed of papers spread around her like petals of artificial flowers.
Red markings leaped out from the pages revealing viciously scribbled, mean spirited edits. The breeze from the French doors leading out to the courtyard slipped across the floor; disrupting the awkward quite and lifting the papers gently around her like invisible fingers.
She haphazardly looked up from her work. The sense of recognition that she was in reality once again spread across her face and she blinked. She looked over her shoulder into the bedroom and studied her captive, lingering on him.
Chase quickly closed his eyes and feigned sleep, letting out a deep mournful sigh. He tossed over onto his stomach as if in the throws of a nightmare, then settled down silently.
She seemed satisfied enough and turned back to her desk. Hunching over more intensely than ever; a pen twisted in her ink stained right hand; she rested her fingers on her throbbing temples.
Chase's eyes flickered open once more and stared at her. An invisible shroud of impending defeat hung over her like dust on an ill used book.
"My God," he thought, "She looks destroyed."
Chase didn't know the date or the time, or how long he had been in the bedroom of the ranch style house possessed by the dark haired woman.
He knew that he wasn't in Massachusetts anymore; far from it in fact. The hot smells of desert life greeted him every day and reminded him of this vehemently. He was somewhere far west; Arizona or Nevada perhaps; maybe the edge of California? He couldn't tell because he hadn't been outside, and even if he was allowed to move about as he wished, he couldn't do it.
The ass kicking he got from Caleb Danvers was still very fresh to his body. He could feel the fire and malevolent energies radiating through his bones. All the hatred Caleb had for him, swirled with his own dark intent, had been infused into that last manifestation of energy and it fucking hurt.
Now he was trapped, banged up, and if his hunch was right, unable to use his powers. However, he was still alive and that was a triumph in it's self.
He turned over onto his back and gazed at the ceiling. The sweet smell of incense and desert air washed over him and he was consumed once again with visions of the past.
They say that hindsight is 20/20 and if he had known that coaxing his father out of his share of the power; that shaking his old man loose the mortal coil could and would plunge him into incoherent memories and feelings of things he didn't understand; he would have said fuck the revenge shit and taken his scholarship to Yale. But it was too late for that now and in all honesty, these visions weren't completely incoherent.
From what he could surmise, the farther back the memories went, the less you could "see" them. The bits and pieces he could pull from what he assumed was Salem were like looking through a filthy window at a slow moving film reel from the silent movie era. There were bits of dialogue and flashes of imagery; John Putnam loosing his mind… the tension between the families, the torture of Putnam, his death, and their guilt; all wrapped up in a whirlwind of intense emotion. Then there were the memories farther back; to Europe he thought; England and France maybe? He wasn't sure. Those memories were dark and smutty with age and breakdown. They were painful when they came to him and the sheer hatred and despair that consumed him when they would come…it was like a boulder weighing on his chest… he couldn't breathe.
He shook himself out of the reverie and tried to push himself into an upright position in the bed, "Son of a bitch," he hissed quietly and slid back down onto the mattress. It was still too painful.
How long had he been in this place, a few weeks, a month? He remembered Putnam barn and thinking, after Caleb got that extra boost of power from somewhere (probably his shriveled up father) that he was going to die… and what a great relief that would be, but he didn't. He woke up here, in this house.
He felt like a prisoner. He probably was a prisoner. It wasn't like the girl at the desk had ever talked to him. Granted, he had been in and out of consciousness most of the time; drifting between this world and the next; experiencing memories that were not his own. The smell of burning flesh, the reds and yellows of fires meant strictly for burning witches and heretics…
"You're awake," She said from the doorway, "That's good."
Chase swung his head around to see his captor standing in the doorway of the bedroom. Her hands stuffed into the pockets of her jeans, a Coheed and Cambria t-shirt tracing the silhouette of a young woman in her early twenties. This wasn't what he was expecting… at all.
She looked him over with learned dark eyes and then spoke, tossing her hair over her shoulder causally, "You're probably hungry. Do you think you can keep anything down?"
"I think so," he heard himself whimper in a voice that was not his own.
He was startled by the sound that escaped him. It was the sound of someone who was wounded and vulnerable; someone who had been beaten within an inch of his life. All this time he'd been thinking, talking to himself in his head with the same voice he'd had since puberty—deep, defiant and full of privilege.
She cocked her head to the side as if she heard the weakness in his voice as well. A veil of concern shadowed her face and then she smiled. "I've got some soup on the stove. We'll start with that for now. I doubt you could take anything else, besides you need to get your strength up. You've been sleeping for a week and a half just healing," her voice was soft and surprisingly sweet. She shrugged, pulling her hands out of her pockets and turning away towards the kitchen.
"How did I get here? Where am I…? I should be dead."
She turned around taking a few steps closer, leaning back her head as if in deep thought. Her raven hair fell back to reveal a long neck and strong shoulders. She took a breath then focused her eyes on his intently, "Yeah, you're right. You should be dead. That Danvers kid really did a number on you, but what did you expect? You were being wicked after all. If he'd been a little more committed, he probably would have ended you. The boost from his daddy helped too. But you guys are equal now. I would get any thoughts about confronting him again out of your head until you get your shit straight."
Chase said nothing. How could he, she knew everything! What the hell was going on? The confusion consumed him and all color that might have returned to his cheeks drained away immediately.
Seeing his complete shock, she smirked, "I will give you this though. You were on to something when you got the idea to start collecting power. It is slowing the aging and breaking down the curse."
It was run of the mill chicken noodle soup out of the can. Nothing to write home about, but having something on his stomach; the sheer feeling of substance inside him was a bliss he could not put into words.
He hadn't realized how hungry he was until she put the first spoonful to his lips and he swallowed. It hit his stomach and a week's worth of hunger pains hit him all at once. He wanted to grab the bowl and gulp down the salty sustenance; to satisfy the ravishing, but she wouldn't let him. She calmly fed him spoonful after slow spoonful; making sure he didn't eat to fast and end up throwing up everything before he could get any benefit from it.
It was irritating how helpless he was. He was completely at this girl's mercy. She made every decision concerning him without hesitation and although he knew he should be grateful to her (despite the fact of not knowing who she was, where she came from and how the hell she came to possess him) he felt a contempt taking hold that he knew would grow to dark and vicious proportions if unchecked. All the way down to the makeshift bib she tied around his neck to keep him from spilling all over himself. What was he, a child? Even if he did spill, he'd be spilling because he wanted to, which is a man's right, right?
"You're so angry," she whispered. She held another spoonful of soup to his lips and he took it into his mouth, swallowing hard.
"I have my reasons. I've been through shit."
"Yeah, I know," she whispered again, putting the empty bowl down on the night table.
She removed the bib from his neck and dabbed the sides of his mouth. He turned away shrugging her off.
She released a deep sigh and collected the dishes, taking them away to the kitchen, "I'll bring some more water for you. You need to drink."
"Why are you helping me?" he whispered.
"You need to rest so chill out."
"No!" He pushed himself into a sitting position. The pain from his wound radiated form his chest all the way back to his spine and he let out an agonizing grunt from deep in his gut.
She stepped toward him, her face twisted in pity.
"No! I can take care of myself! I don't even know who you are! How did I get here, what the hell happened after Caleb nailed me? Why the hell do you know so fucking much about me… about them? Who the fuck are you!?"
She turned on her heel abruptly stalking off toward the kitchen, leaving him there to wallow in the vastness of his own question. It hung there in the air unanswered and unimportant, as if his right to know what was happening to him was devoid of meaning.
Why was she being so stingy with the information? Didn't she understand what was happening to him; how important it was that HE knew what was happening to him? Was she trying to drive him insane? If she was, her success was unprecedented. The fact the he was trapped in that place; barely able to move; stripped of his powers, his only protection… Was this Karma?
Chase's throat closed and he realized he couldn't breathe. It was happening again. It was the fear of the unknown that paralyzed him and made him as helpless as a new born baby.
It was his 13th birthday all over again; huddled up in the corner of his bedroom; sobbing quietly; his knees pulled tightly against his chest; his face buried in his arms. Why wouldn't the pencils stop spinning!? Why wouldn't they stop writing on their own? They scribbled across the hardwood floor. Over and over again they wrote the words… IMPERIUM DEUS PER VENEFICUS.