Well, from the response I got, I am carrying on :D - I am a bit wary about this one, in the next chapter it will all be explained, don't worry.
I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed and followed and stuff :)
This will go up on Tumblr as well - yes i got one - I gave in to the curiosity.
"Look Sybil," he ordered me now, for the third time. I had my hands placed over my eyes, my back to the horrid scene which was laid before me and I glued myself to his shoulder, hoping that he would move us in the strange way he did before.
"No!" I cried again. I wouldn't. I couldn't. I felt him grab my upper arms and try to force me to look. I started to cry as I struggled to defy him, my arms ripping from my face and trying to hit him. Every blow I aimed at his eye was swiftly blocked and caught with the stealth of a cat. He wasn't easily beaten; I knew he wouldn't give in to my comparatively feeble fight.
"You have to!" he grunted between his teeth.
He managed to grab my wrists somehow, keeping me turned around and facing away from him. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to erase the small glimpse from the backs of my lids. I didn't struggle anymore and pretended to look ahead.
"Open your eyes, Sybil. I'm not an idiot," he snapped. He shook me slightly. He wasn't joking around anymore.
I groaned, wanting to scream at him for showing me this. He wasn't being very sensitive, maybe this wasn't a thing that you could be sensitive about. You just had to get it over and done with, look once and you never have to again. I felt the firm manacle grip around my wrists squeeze slightly. He was starting to get annoyed. He huffed and I gave in, turning to look at him.
"Okay, okay fine…but, I'm going to do it slowly, so please, stop scolding me,"
I heard his hum of approval and I opened my eyes. I didn't look straight at him, not for a sustained amount of time anyway. He kissed my forehead before nodding slowly.
"It's alright," he reassured me. I took in a shuddery breath before turning back to the bed. I just watched and listened to him plead. He was holding onto my hand, my startlingly blue hand and pressing the top of it against his cheek. I tried to feel, I wanted to feel; feel the warmth of his cheek against my hands once again. I had read stories, they told us of a pressure on the ghosts hand whenever a…living person touched their Earthly body. I couldn't stomach it – the word 'living'. Because I am alive, Tom just can't see me. That swelling feeling you only experience on ships rocked and twisted through my body, making me stumble slightly.
"Oh God," I whispered. Mr Branson held his arms out for precaution; his hand clasping gently under my elbow.
"Yes," he whispered. He understood; his tone was mournful, regretful and full of, at this moment, completely unwanted sympathy.
The reality hit when Tom began to speak. His soft tone was defined, in ways that I never quite heard when I was…well, when I was with him. In fact, everything was sharper. I tried blinking, getting my vision back to the way it was. I shook my head, trying to take in his new, yet familiar face. His hair was much like his fathers, the blonde streaks, which were almost unnoticeable as his hair owned the colour of his mother's; a mixture of brown and blonde – 'bronde' as his sister called it. As I stepped closer, not wanting to look at myself, his words got louder.
"What happened, love?" he asked, looking at the hand he held so dearly. I froze. He wasn't talking directly to me – how could he? But I really wished that he was. His eyes closed, sort of like a prayer. "You're…you're a nurse. Surely…Surely…?" he sighed. "Didn't you know, darling? I'm not blaming you, sorry, I just-." He wept, sniffling and wiping away his tears. "Please just wake up my love!" he huffed. "What's the point? I know you won't. It's been over three hours since…well, I know you won't now. You're gone…you're gone, you're never coming back."
I watched his eyes, they were so different. Their depths had become deeper, the different levels of colour mixing together and creating a new shade. They were just…so bright. More tears fell from his eyes; the water made them glow. Stained around them was the vicious omen of crying; they were bright red. I wanted to stroke his cheek, kiss his head and make him stop.
"Careful Sybil," Mr Branson warned. What was he warning me about? I didn't look up to him, just mumbled something, even I wasn't sure what it was. I reached my hand out, ready to brush back the stray clump of wild hair that had fallen in front of his face.
"Don't!" I heard someone roar. He grabbed my hand and yanked it back hard, almost hurtling me across the room. Kenneth stood in front of me, his breathing had increased and he was pallid with fear. "You can't! Not yet! Jesus, you- you almost involved yourself in something disastrous. I know, dear, I know you want to touch him but you can't."
I felt my shoulder shake. Peering over his shoulder, I noticed Tom just staring, his eyes completely blank. He was oblivious to what had transpired just a moment ago.
"Why?" I whispered.
"It would have caused you to be trapped; me as well because I'm here with you and, ha, I don't fancy being stuck in that bloody wilderness." He explained. "You can touch him when your body is in the ground but, that's it." I felt his grip on my shoulder strengthen, his teeth beginning to bear and a slight agitated hiss passed through them as he spoke. "You might get some kind of satisfaction with it at first but he won't know. He won't reply or send you any kind of sign that he knows you're there. Blank. Blank as a sheet. It gets harder to bear as the years go by."
He lets go of me abruptly, turning away from me seething. He shakes his head, not in pity but in exasperation. I don't understand. He brought me here! He has been reluctant to explain anything and now he blames me!
"I can't help you, I thought I could but I can't-"
"You can't leave me!"
"Who says I am!? I'm here with you, only by obligation. I had to, by the laws of the Above, pick you up as I am your closest kin and take you to the Fields,"
I laughed, it was completely incredulous but I just had to laugh. How could I not? This man talked in code. One that I was expected to understand but didn't.
"What if you don't?" I challenged. Something was making me brave, goodness knows what it was.
"You don't want to know," he murmured.
"See now, what does all that mean?!" I screamed.
I stopped my impending rant as my mother poked her head around the door. It was easy to forget that people were still in the room and that you couldn't be heard. She too mirrored Tom's pained expression. She had this painfully plastered smile upon her face; Tom didn't look up to meet her gaze. I watched her approach him, placing a hand upon his shoulder. Jealousy surged. I heard someone breathing heavily, threateningly. I realised that it was me, my shoulders heaving up and down in rage.
"Don't you dare," Kenneth warned. His hand was reaching out toward me, ready to catch and restrain me in case my anger got the better of me. It did, but instead of charging like a bull, the imposing colour red laced among the fateful picture before me, taunting me, I let my anger slice through the air with my words. I will take it out on him, whether he likes it or not.
"Stop telling me what I should or should not do! I have only known you for a stupidly short amount of time so I honestly do not know why I listen to you! You say you have an obligation but it seems like that's all I am! You don't care; how could you? You barely know me! If that's true then I'd prefer you leave. Just go!" I seethed. My voice began to rise as my speech wore on. I just exploded. My arms began to flail and, to my utter disbelief afterwards, stamped my foot upon the floor like a child, a spoilt child.
He charged toward me; I honestly feared for myself and he grabbed my wrist. We'd moved. We were back at that… place. The strange one with the road and the fields. He just let me go as we arrived, letting me fall to the floor and he storming off into the distance. I landed quite heavily; it actually hurt me to fall.
"Hey! Where are you going?" I called my voice incredibly high. He didn't turn back; he just carried on walking, well he was almost jogging. He ran his hand through his hair, throwing them by his sides; I could see his lips moving, teeth clenched along with his fists. He was angry. He was leaving. Just as I told him to. Good. I'm glad he's going; I might actually be able to find someone who will give me answers. I turned my back on him, resting my chin upon my knees, my hands clasped upon my lower legs tightly. Too tight.
"Ow," I hissed in pain. I lift up my skirt and my eyes went wide. There upon my shin, were small red indent marks where my nails had almost pierced my skin. I rubbed them, trying to soothe the pain; instead it made it worse. The pain intensified and I felt something wet run down my leg, slowly twisting round my ankle before stopping at the floor. I twisted my leg to find the unknown substance and upon spying it, I felt my stomach flip. Dark blood, flowing in a neat trail around my leg from the small indents in my skin, glistened in the sun. I felt the trail tighten as the blood began to stick to me.
I tried to wipe it away, but instead it just spread evenly around me. I panicked. I felt sick. I screamed. I couldn't get away from it. Nothing seemed to take away the offending liquid and as I scrambled to my feet to run, run anywhere to anyone, the pain brought me back to the ground. It had me completely crippled. I felt nothing but pain. It seared through me at such a rate that I just let myself curl into a ball. I covered my face, trying to escape the burning from the sun. The blood on my skin and coursing through my veins heated up to an unbearable heat; I could feel my skin and body charring. My voice became hoarse as my throat dried up.
"Please stop. Please make it stop!" I whimpered.
My body trembled and I felt my back cool upon a hard surface. I opened my eyes slowly, noticing that I had moved. I didn't know where I was or who was in the room. I was upon a table, a large wooden one, men sat all around it. They were all staring, many of them deep in thought. The pain, its stopped…for now. I sat up quickly, my gaze darting around the room for any kind of face that I recognised. I squeaked as they all cheered. Well, some did anyway. Some shook hands, others patted each other on their respective friends backs and smiled.
"What? What is it?!" I shout over the noise. But they could hear me. In fact, I don't think they can see me. I stood up, towering over them all and none of them following my movements. Where was I? What was happening? Oh God, I am so confused. I grunted as my head pounded, banging my forehead lightly upon the underside of my clenched fists. The pain was returning.
I snapped away from my vulnerable state, trying to concentrate. I noticed large papers upon the table. They contained allsorts. Plans, blueprints, statement, personal records, all for one house and one plan. I collapsed on my knees, scrambling through all the papers trying to find answers.
"Let's burn the fuckers down!" I heard someone shout. The man in question was carried away by a crowd of passionate believers. It parted the way for a distant figure to be seen. I ran toward him, tears running down my face. He started cheering too; he stopped when he noticed me.
"Tom?" I squeaked. He came toward me, taking my hand in his. But I recoiled. I screamed. His hand was covered in blood. I transferred onto mine. He smiled and the pain came back. I crumpled to the floor and when I reopened my eyes, I saw fire. Fire everywhere.
The house was grand and looked much like Downton. But it wasn't. I didn't know where I was. I coughed and spluttered as I tried to escape the heat. My head burned the most. My vision started to blur as I reached a window that was nearby. I couldn't focus, the heat and the smoke and the unstoppable pain.
"Help!" I tried to cry, but my voice just came out as a cracked whisper.
There were people stood in the street, lots of them. I could see them all and their faces defined. Some were laughing, jeering and teasing. Some held guns and batons. Others stood by a family. Some began to run. He was there again. Stood by the edge of the road. I tried to call him, tried to get his attention.
The heat grew, it all grew. The picture before me became clear and it terrified me. The family crying, the men all around with guns and Tom stood aside, watching, waiting. I was trapped inside their home; the home of the aristocratic family. I started to pound the glass, screaming his name as best I could.
I watched him emerge from the shadows, not a hint of regret or remorse in his eyes. I cried. I let the flames engulf me and take me and burn me until I felt no more. And it did.
I found her writhing upon the floor. Her blood surrounded her, she was almost soaked in it. I saw it drying upon her, then peeling off like a second skin. Her eyes were shut and she couldn't scream much more, even though she tried. They were silent now; her voice had completely given up. I shouldn't have left, this is my bloody fault. Stupid old man.
A/N: Yeah,, I said I was wary, now you know why.
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