Chapter 12: Time Is Running Out
It's been another long year, and though it's past Halloween, I thought I'd give this story more life. Also a quick shout out to all my wonderful reviewers!
Solaria daughter of Apollo
Asery Aseerrmio Ecvoll Asernil
And a special, special thank you to 1bluesapphire, who emailed me and asked me to continue this story. So this chapter is dedicated to them, and I do hope it's well received. There are only a few more chapters, and I will do my best to complete them and this story this year!
Last Time On Never Leave
Both Dewy and I walked over to Anna and Q, Dewy looking like he wanted to hug Q.
"So… are you two?" he began, looking at our clasped hands. I smiled, looking up at the man who was older and younger then the two of us at the same time.
"Yeah. We're kinda together," I said, trying so hard not to make it be weird. I guess Q had heard the story of his Grandparents divorce and didn't seem too baffled by it.
"Right….well you look good for 68," he said to me, and I burst out laughing, as I had never gotten that kind of compliment before.
"Well thank you kindly. That is the one of the few pros of being a ghost," I said, surprised when Dewy kissed my cheek.
"Even old and grey you'd still be beautiful," he said, and I rolled my eyes.
"Though the same holds true for you Dewy, lets not scar Q or Anna when we have more important things to do. By the way, where's Buzzy?" I asked, wondering why he hadn't walked in with the other two. Unless…
"He didn't come. His story was more important to him," said Anna quietly. Great. He left us, just like he promised he wouldn't! I knew he was a fake!
"That lying, dirty rat," I said out loud, before realizing that I was talking to his niece of all people.
"Sorry" I said, not surprised when she shook her head.
"It's ok, I'm feeling the same way right now. But it doesn't matter. We're here and we won't give up!" she said, the fierce determination in her eyes covering my anger towards Buzzy.
"And I wouldn't trade that for anything. Thank you, Anna and Q. Now lets get that elevator working, cause we have a party to get to!"
Now onto the chapter!
Jenny looked up at the sky, dark storm clouds rolling forward. A storm, just like the ones that had taken her best friend from her. 50 years of guilt and sadness, and she had been too scared to go back. But, that Anna girl, had seemed so sure about the ghosts, how Kiera might be one of them. Jenny looked at the sky and closed her eyes, taking a few deep breaths. Even thinking about Kiera broke something in her. She touched a finger to the pendent of her necklace, one she had worn since her 17th birthday. It was a beautiful pendent, a flower made of gold and amethyst, her birthstone and favorite color. She remembered when Kiera had given it to her, how the sun had felt one her skin as they sat in the park.
"I know it's small but I saw it and knew I had to get it for you," Kiera had laughed, struggling to tie back her long black hair as Jenny opened the box.
"Oh Kiera it's beautiful!" exclaimed Jenny, the pendent shinning in the sunlight, swinging on it's gold chain ever so slightly in the breeze. She immediately put in it on, and proceeded to hug her friend tightly.
"I'm glad you like it," said Kiera, before looking at Jenny seriously. "Jenny, you're my best friend, and I want you to promise me something," she said.
"Anything," said Jenny, a bit concerned with her friend's sudden change in emotion.
"I want you to promise me that we'll always be there for one another, as long as we can. I know it's a lot to ask but, well as of now your all I've got, and I can't imagine what I'd do without you in my life," she said, and Jenny felt her heart swell with love for her friend.
"Of course I promise. Your like a sister to me, Kiera. I'll do my best to always be there when you need me, even when we're both old and grey old ladies complaining about the rain," Jenny said and Kiera rolled her eyes playfully.
"Could you imagine us as old ladies? Though I do have to say we'd look awesome with grey hair," she said, and both of the girls laughed, the idea both humorous and strange.
Two tears ran down Jenny's checks, and her shoulders shook as she clutched the necklace. Lydia was passing by her room, just having said goodbye to her parents, who were going to a party, when she saw her grandmother sobbing.
"Grandma, what's wrong? What happened?" asked the teen, and Jenny looked up, Lydia surprised to see a look of fierce determination in her eyes.
"Get your keys, Lydia dear. I need to get to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, before it's too late!" said Jenny, getting up and wrapping herself in a thick blue shawl.
"Too late for what Grandma?" asked Lydia, finding herself having to run after her Grandma, who was heading out the door.
"Something I should have done 50 years ago. Now lets get moving!"
Smoke seeped from the elevator's control panel, a shower of sparks exploding from the wires. The three of us, Dewy, Anna and myself, peered out from behind Q, who looked at the elevator with befuddlement.
"That can't be good" Anna said and I sighed.
"Though technology has no doubt gotten better since my day, all those sparks are not going to help," I said, Q shaking his head in frustration.
"It's these old circuits. I gotta jury-rig new ones," he said, and I just nodded, Dewy mimicking me.
"Then do it," he said, wrapping a comforting arm around my waist. I leaned into him, full aware that if I had been alive, I would have been hyperventilating.
"Can't you take the service elevator? "asked Q and I tried to keep my voice un-judgmental at the question, least I sound like Gilbert.
"Q it's the only way. The stairs don't work, floating through walls won't work, and though I hate to put more pressure on you, you fixing this elevator is our only chance!" I said, Q visibly paling. That's when I suddenly felt an unsettling chill creep over me, which was weird because ghosts don't feel temperature.
"Kiera, you all right?" asked Dewy, who was holding my hand and must have felt me tense up.
"Yeah, I just have this strange feeling. Something cold and dark," I murmured, as another electrical buzz caught my attention, and I saw a small flash of flames come from the control box, accompanied by the sound of Q coughing.
"Man, this is hopeless!" he said, fanning away the smoke. Dewy tried to smile.
"You're doing fine. Try again."
Dewy was being supportive, but I felt his arm around my waist tense. Time was running out, and though I know you can't rush miracles or electrical work, Q needed to get this thing up and running.
"All right. Anna, I need more tape"
I felt the feeling of cold again, like someone had opened a window and a ice cold wind had hit my skin. I looked around, but saw nothing.
"I'm going to go check on the others," I told Dewy, kissing him on the cheek before heading out to the lobby. I couldn't watch Q work, not that I doubted him, but I could just feel the time slipping away. I heard a strain of music begin as I entered, and looked up, to find it was coming from one of the speakers.
"It's the party," said Sally, and I put a hand on her shoulder. I may have been worried, and a little unsettled by that cold feeling, but I wasn't about to let on to Sally.
"We're never going to make it by 8:05" said Gilbert. I didn't like the note of worry in Gilbert's voice. Call me crazy, but I actually missed his arrogant tone at that moment
"Where's Buzzy?" asked Carolyn, and I tried to smile.
"We don't need him. Q and Anna have everything under control," I said, trying to clam the waves of anxiousness that went crashing through my spectral body.
"I hope you're right," said Gilbert, a slight smile with a bit of a snide undertone. I grinned, a real one this time, and gave him a light shove.
"Well it's a good thing I'm always right when it comes to our arguments then," I said, my small attempt at a joke making the others smile, even Gilbert. They all went to sit down on the lobby's couches, while I turned back to the elevator, praying with all my might that my response to Gilbert would come true. "Please Q, please hurry."
"You're blowing it, you're blowing it! I can't believe this, I get back in the game and you just—you just have to, uhhh, what are you looking for?" cried Jill, trailing Buzzy into his dark apartment. It didn't seem like Buzzy was listening to her until the last bit, searching his desk like a madman.
"The book, it's gotta be about the book. Why does she want it so bad?"
Jill shook her head, Buzzy wasn't making any sense. "Who knows, who cares? The women is completely nuts, I mean she probably thinks that she's a witch!"
Buzzy was quiet for a moment before he turned to face her, a look of real fear on his face. "We gotta get back to the hotel," he said, before racing past a bewildered Jill, grabbing her hand at the last moment!"
I leaned against one of the couch cushions, looking up when Gilbert offered his hand to Carolyn, pulling her to her feet and then into a dance, the soft sounds of a slow song coming from the speaker on the wall. Ms. Partridge, Sally and I watched them, and I found myself smiling. Gilbert may have been a jerk, and though he was arrogant to us he did seem to truly care for Carolyn. I poked my head around the corning to see Q, still fiddling with the elevator, and could tell by the way Dewy's shoulders clenched that he was getting anxious. I was too.
For the third time that night, I felt that cold feeling seep over my skin, and found myself walking toward one of the dark hallways that led towards the kitchen. A roll of thunder reached my ears, and I could hear Ms. Partridge say how the storm, like the one that cursed them and the one that doomed me, was back. That alone scared me. Thunderstorms had been such a prevalent force through my short life. It had cursed Sally, Gilbert, Carolyn, Ms. Partridge and Dewy. It had taken the lives of my parents, and it was the last thing I saw before I died. It was force that scared me, and it was happening again.
"It's getting late Grandson" I heard Dewy say as I reached them, all three showing the signs of early panic.
"Anna, I need a voltmeter," he said, both Anna and I looking at him strangely. A what?
"It's a little black box with red and black wires sticking out of it"
Anna ran over towards Q's tool box, and was about to pick up the object Q needed, when we both heard a sound. An old, malicious sounding chant. And it sounded like it was coming from the kitchen. I didn't speak, just hurried down the hall, Anna coming after me. The cold seemed to increase as we ran, but I ignored it. I had to know what was making me feel like this.
Fire from the north.
And wind from the west.
Come back to this place.
Come back, come back!
We left the light of the lobby behind, an eerie glow directing us towards one of the kitchen prep rooms.
It's the midnight hour of ancient power.
Dark light of the underworld be my guide!
What was then will now be again.
We turned a corner and stopped dead. A little old women with snow white hair and a long black cape was leaning over a table, candles and jars of what looked like spices spread out before her. A thick leather tome lay open, and if I didn't know better, I'd say it was a spell book.
I summon the black forces to turn back the clock
And complete our revenge!
A loud wind swirled through the room, and I actually felt the full force of it's chill, making me feel like ice was being injected into my long empty veins. This women, though old, was no good, and if we didn't stop her, we'd all suffer.
I heard the grinding of gears, and I saw the hands of the clock go backwards, stopping at 7: 40. No, she was recreating the events of the curse!
Third Person P.O.V.
The 4 other ghosts had assembled in front of the approaching elevator, all of them looking hopeful for the first time in 60 years.
"The idiot's grandson isn't an idiot," said Gilbert, Carolyn raising as eyebrow.
"Don't let Kiera hear you say that," she said, before looking around.
"Where is Kiera anyway?" asked Dewy, a little worried that she hadn't come back yet.
Strike them down, one and all
And cats their souls into the underworld of eternal misery
I wanted to stop her, silence her evil spell, but the cold held me back. This lady knew what she was doing, and the dark magic she used kept me at bay.
"Stop it!" yelled Anna, moving toward her. "It was you, you cast the spell!"
"This is none of your business, child!' cried the old lady, a mean and hateful glare in her eyes. Now I don't know how this happened, but that look, that glare of spite and jealously triggered something, and I suddenly remembered the little girl in the green and brown dress from the lobby of the hotel, all those years ago. The girl who looked at Sally the same way this women was looking at me and Anna. Could it be.. Was it her?
"Don't do it Abigail, please," begged Anna, and that's when it hit me. Sally had told me numerous times about her sister, Abigail, but she called her Abby. Her own sister had cursed her. Cursed us. And now she was about to curse us again! The evil witch!
"It's already done. The spell is cast! And the elevator will crash, the way it was supposed to 60 years ago!" she said, holding up a lock of hair. Sally's. I looked past her and saw a hat, Dewy's, filled with trinkets that belonged to the others. Including a necklace of mine, the pink pearl one. How she got that and why were only the tip of the anger I now felt.
"How could you! She was your sister! She loved you, and you betrayed her!" I yelled, my anger somehow making the chill go away, and I moved toward her, the old women's eyes wide with fright. But she looked back at the lock of hair and laughed.
"I'm not going to let you do it!" said Anna angrily, and with a final glare for both of us, we took of running. We had to stop that elevator! I wasn't going to loose Dewy, Sally or the others again. This times things would be different. Anna and I would both see to that!
Dewy sauntered up to the group of ghosts, a smug smile on his face. "What do you say now, smart guy?" he smiled, Gilbert scowling but turning his attention back to the elevator. The doors were opening after 60 long years. Dewy walked proudly into the elevator, and turned around with his arms wide, ready to complete the job he never got to.
"Going up!' he announced, while looking for Kiera, wondering what was keeping her.
"Do get on with it," demanded Gilbert, when a loud scream caught their attention.
"DEWY! DON'T DO IT!"
If I had been alive, my heart would have been pounding out of my chest. Anna was right behind me, the two of us sprinting towards the elevator. We rounded the corner just as the doors were closing.
"Stop, stop! Don't close the door!" Anna yelled, and Sally jumped out a bewildered look on her face. Anna and I leaped in, trying to hold the doors open.
"Kiera!" said Dewy, looking fearful at my frantic expression. Anna and I tried to keep the doors open but it was no use. I was pulled into the elevator by an unseen force, and Anna couldn't hold it by herself.
"Stop the elevator!" Anna yelled, before she fell inside too. That's when I heard someone yell Anna's name, and mine, and I looked up, seeing Buzzy, a young dark haired women a didn't know, as well as a teenage girl and an older lady who looked about 65 or 70. The teenager I didn't recognize. But a flash of lightning lit up the room, the old lady's necklace catching the light. A gold and amethyst flower pendent, the same pendent that I had given my best friend on her 17th birthday.
"Jenny!" She heard my voice and she saw me, the same look of terror I had seen that night in the pouring rain 50 years ago thick in her eyes. And then the doors slid shut. I heard Sally yell my name, but it didn't matter now. We were trapped. History was about to repeat itself, and poor Anna was going along for the ride.
Tell me what you think, and I will update soon, and thanks to everyone who still loves this story as much as I do!