DC: I don't own it
Thank you to my reviewers!
"BELLA!" I called.
She didn't respond. She didn't look up. The eyes behind her had disappeared. I wondered if I was going crazy. Then I wondered how I could somehow pin it on her. I shook my head and looked at the clock. It was already midnight, no wonder I was seeing things. I crawled into bed and turned off the lights.
That night I had the strangest dream.
Bella wasn't at school again the next day. I found myself actually worrying about her. I tapped my pencil against my notebook and barely listened to the lectures given. What was up with the ruins? Why was Bella acting so strange? Why did I care?!
I found myself still asking those questions as I left school and drove home through the rain. I knocked on her door and when I didn't get an answer I let myself in. I went up to her room automatically. When I got there I saw that she was sitting at the window again just staring out. There was something creepy about the feel of the room.
"Bella," I said quietly.
She looked at me. She looked paler than usual and so tired.
"You look like hell," I said.
"I haven't slept," she mumbled standing, "what are you doing here?"
"Well I think I'm going crazy because I was actually worried about you."
"You? Worried about me?"
She stood up and stretched. Why was that interesting?
"You never care about me," she accused. She had a point though.
"I want to know how you're planning on proving those absurd theories you have."
"We're going back to the ruins."
"It's raining!" I pointed out.
"It's not a drizzle. Look!"
She didn't so I made her. I held her head and turned it. I was blown away by how her skin felt. It was like ice!
I glared at her. "Can you stop being so difficult?"
"Let's go," she sighed. "I'm too tired to drive so I'm going to risk it in your car."
She was such a brat. But we did need to find evidence for her stupid claims. I wanted to ask her about the picture anyway. I unlocked my car and we got inside. I put the heat on just in case.
"Look at this," I said handing her the picture.
"Congratulations you're on your way to being a creep," she said.
"No, I mean look at the shadows!"
"Looks like eyes."
"Good so I'm not crazy," I sighed.
"I didn't say that. I said the shadows look like eyes. I still think you're a whole mess of crazy."
I glared at her. She was still looking at the picture. Her hand was trembling slightly. She looked like she had cuts on her arms. They were faint though, like scars. I shook my head slightly. I was going crazy.
We got to the ruins. We climbed up the hill with some difficulty. My feet kept slipping on the grass. Thankfully there were a lot of stones hidden beneath. I looked over at Bella. She was panting and having about as much trouble as I was. Haha!
We made it up to the castle and went inside. The floors had about a half inch of water covering them. I wondered how often this place flooded. I looked up. There wasn't any water dripping from the ceiling but it was certainly dribbling down the walls. It was dark too. I turned on my flashlight.
"Where do you want to start?" I asked.
"Upstairs," she answered. I nodded and we went upstairs. There was the same amount of water on this floor too. Again, no dripping from the ceiling. I looked ahead and saw the window. I could see the rain pouring down outside. Bella jumped when my phone rang.
"Sweetheart are you at home?"
"No." It was my mom. She was worried.
"Where are you?"
"I'm at...the mall."
Bella looked at me strangely. Mom didn't like me being here.
"The roads going into the city are completely washed out."
"All of them?!"
"It's weird! So sudden! Anyway I won't be home for a while. I'm sorry sweetie."
"I'll be fine. Be safe mom."
"I love you pumpkin."
"I love you too mom. Bye."
I hung up and glared at Bella.
"I hope you're happy! We're stuck here until the roads clear!"
Bella rolled her eyes. "Don't be so dramatic. They'll clear them up pretty quick."
"You had better be right."
"Or what? You'll whine at me?"
I glared at her. I splashed off angrily. She followed and we went into Carlisle's room again. It had changed. It looked...lived in. The furniture was back. Did I just not notice the last time I was here? I couldn't remember. I went to the corner where took the picture with the eyes and examined it.
"Edward, look at this."
I went over to her and she was holding a scrap of paper that had two words on it.
"Our tree? What does that mean?"
"The pink one," Bella said. "It's where the key is."
I looked outside. It looked more alive than ever, the blossoms were alive and well. I sighed. I couldn't believe I was going to do this.
"Alright, let's go."
We walked together. I was shocked when I saw that down the hall there wasn't a large hole where Bella had fallen. I went over and looked around.
"What is it?"
"You fell around here right?"
"Yeah," she said slowly, "yeah I did."
She joined me and we both looked down as if that would do anything. "This isn't normal."
She looked at me. Her eyes flashed to green then back to brown. I jumped back and the floor gave. We both fell to the floor below. This was how I was going to die! I landed on something soft and looked up. I was completely unharmed.
"Bella! You alive?"
We looked at each other. We were sitting in the water. We were sitting on the hard stone of the floor. There wasn't anything soft around. The water wasn't deep enough to cushion our fall.
"Bella...did something catch us?"
She wasn't listening. She was looking around. She seemed to glow in the dark she was so pale. I touched her skin and she was still freezing. She looked at me. Her eyes were definitely green.
"Bella your eyes..."
"We have to find where we are," she said. She stood up and tried to see a window or something through the hole. It was a good idea. I had no idea which way we were facing. I flashed a light down and nodded. She followed me. Our footsteps in the water echoed off of the empty halls. I pushed open a door and we found the massive staircase.
"Let's get out of here."
"Yeah. It's too wet."
"And creepy! Bella I think this place is actually haunted."
She nodded and we went to the door. I pushed it open and stopped dead.
"Was there always a moat?"
There certainly was one now. A muddy one. There was no way that could just form! This was insane! I looked at Bella and saw that she was completely silent from shock. I wanted to be angry with her but I couldn't be. It wasn't like she had done this as an elaborate prank. She looked scared too. We were trapped in a haunted castle!
"What do we do?" she asked me. I knelt by the water and put my hand in it. It was moving. I went to the tree and snapped off a large branch. I put it in the water and felt for the bottom.
"It's deep and moves faster than we'd like to swim. We'll just wait it out. When the rain stops the water will calm down."
"Explore the haunted castle I guess," I shrugged.
We went back inside and sat on the stairs. I had no idea what we were going to do. We had stopped by a gas station for some snacks on the way out of town. Thankfully I had brought them with me. I wasn't hungry and neither was Bella. After sitting in shock for a while we went back to exploring. We went upstairs again. This time we went the other way. I looked up as we walked and noticed that I was standing under a hole in the ceiling. The weirdest part was that there was no rain falling on my head. I could hear the rain outside.
"Bella what do you make of this?" I asked.
"God I don't know," she sighed.
I sighed. Haunted castles messed with everything I believed in. We looked in the empty rooms seeing nothing. I collected this and that as we went. We reached a door that opened to stairs.
"Shall we?" I asked.
She nodded. We went up the narrow twisting staircase. There was no water here. It was stuffy and hot.
"Edward...let's go back."
"Oh come on we're almost there," I said. Chicken.
We reached the top of the stairs and there was a wooden door. I took hold of the iron handle and it was stuck.
"There, see it's locked let's go," Bella whined. She grabbed my hand. They were still freezing. She looked at me with pleading green eyes.
She let go of my hand. I tugged on the door again. I heard a high pitched scream and turned quickly. Bella was looking around too. Her eyes were brown again.
"I don't want to die here," she whispered.
"We aren't going to die here. Stop being so dramatic!"
Bella turned and hurried down the stairs. I looked at the door once before going back down. I wanted to know what was behind it
"I will kill you again."
I didn't even look around for the voice. Something wanted to kill me or something else and I wasn't going to stick around. It was a man's voice, gravely and dark. I reached the hallway and Bella was gone. I wanted to blame it on her being flakey. But she had been scared. Very scared. Perfect! There was a voice threatening me and she was gone!
"BELLA! BELLA WHERE ARE YOU?!"
My throat was dry. I had to find her. Her mom was going to kill me if she died. I shook my head of any thoughts of Bella dying. She was a pest but I didn't want her dead! Mute or maybe in a vegetative state, but definitely not dead. I ran back down the hall hoping she went back to Carlisle's room. I ran to the window and saw Bella outside by the cherry tree.
I ran from the room and bolted down the hall. I slid a few times on the wet stones but that didn't stop me. I ran outside and around the castle ruins to the trees. When I got there things were drastically different. All of the trees were dead. Bella was gone. Her footprints weren't even left in the mud like mine were. I looked at the tree. What was I supposed to find here?!
"Do you believe in magic?"
"Bella?!" I cried whirling around. It wasn't her. Was it just my memory teasing me? The rain showed no signs of stopping. I couldn't find Bella anywhere. To top it off I was going crazy! I was so out of my element! I was scientific and historical! Bella was the fantastical one! She was the one that read fantasy mysteries and loved them.
I fell back into the mud and did something I hadn't done in years. I just started crying. I leaned back on one hand and put the other to my head. I felt my hand sinking back and before I could react they touched something hard and wooden. I pulled out a box and opened it. Inside was a tiny bronze key.
Huh. Well how about that.
I was inspired to come back to this story while I was watching life after humans on the history channel. I kept watching it thinking haha, take that us! I actually think that once we are wiped off the planet we'll re-evolve into an even more intelligent being that will look back and us and laugh at our primitive ways. I also thought about how we are going to eventually kill ourselves off. I think about weird things way too much.