Chapter 1: Pain
I FINALLY CAUGHT YOU! "Grh... ha... ha... ha..."
Now, give me back my body! "Grh... zrh..."
"Boy, you're stubborn." Just when I think I've won, when I grab onto her shin and take a firm hold, a sharp, stabbing pain courses through my nerves and attacks my brain, telling it my right eye is now on fire. She continues. "How long are you going to chase me? You know that body wont last long."
I blink. Shut up! Just give it back! "Gra... uuh... uuf..."
"Hm? Give it back? No way. This body hurts much less. You gave it to me in the first place. Why should I have to give it back?" She kneels down, taking my head sideways into her lap. "Right..." She grasps the knife in my face and slowly, methodically, pulls it from it from it's sheath. She articulates my name along with this action.
"Vi~o~la~?" I feel every excruciating millimeter of it leave my body, right down to the tip. Ellen gets up, letting my head drop to the dirt. "You felt so sorry for me. I couldn't even move from my bed. That's why I used my magic to trade bodies with you." She's gloating! This isn't for me! This is all for her! You said one day you little bitch!
"Just for a day? Heehee. I guess I did say that... I was surprised you could trap me with my own power..." I would have killed you if you didn't have my body! "... but, to no avail. After all, it's my house, yes? It wouldn't be killing me anytime soon." Only because I wouldn't let it! "I was guided by that house all the way, so I was ensured to escape."
She kneels again, but this time only pets my blood and dirt caked hair from a distance. "Still not dead? I have to applaud your tenacity... Ah, could it be... are you that worried about your father?" My head snaps in the direction of her voice. "Oh, I know. You and your father, Viola, a close family of two. Those memories stayed in your body. He's a kind man. A hunter, isn't he? And he even sent you that letter. What a good father." Yeah? Well guess what memories I got? You murdering your parents! In my increased fury and rage, I find the strength to pull myself onto her legs.
"So then, I suppose you're worried about what'll happen when you're gone?" I finally claw my way up her dress. "It'll be just fine. I'll give him-" My plan to make my way up her body backfires, when she whispers, "-Viola's share of love." Right in my ear. Tremors run down my body. "And I'll take her share of love, too."
My body freezes up, and I start to slide back down. There's just nothing I can do. It's hopeless. I reach back up at her in one last desperate attempt to do something, anything to her. The only thing I end up doing is undoing her left braid. "Nuuhhh..." I grasp her hair and arm, and try to get out the three words I've been trying to get out this whole time. If only it didn't sound like a dying cat.
"I... HATE... YOU..."
"..." She had nothing to say, and I wish I could have seen her reaction. But at that moment, Ellen gets up and runs to the sound of my father's voice.
Help me father! She's not who she seems! She's Ellen! She's a witch! Please dad! Please!
That's what I wanted to scream at him, but the words just don't come out. Every time I try to say something, it sounds more like grunts and moaning that make me seem like more of a pitiful mess than I already am. My leg are gone, and giving the warm sensation of blood slowly trickling down to the ground. My body IS falling apart. My throat hurts, burning from that damned medicine that was supposed to make me feel better. I don't know what I should do now that I caught her. In this pitiable state, there isn't all that much I CAN do. The empty sockets that used to be my eyes are searing with the pain of multiple stab wounds, and no doubt are pouring blood. Either that, or it's the tears streaming down my face. All in all, I really hate this. What should I do?!
I hear a click, the tale-tell sound of dad's shotgun. I back away a little, because I know my dad, and whenever I hear that sound, death soon follows. "S-STAY AWAY, MONSTER!" He cries at me, and I can practically FEEL the double barrels pointed in my direction. Bracing myself, I prepare for what comes next...
"Wait." It's Ellen. Or, more, it's me with her in my body. I hear another click, which means she grabbed it, or pushed it away. "She can't hurt us, dad. Let's just leave her here. Look, it's not a monster, it's a girl. She'll die, anyways." Was she... Pleading?
Dad grunts in agreement and I thank God that he does. If Ellen had waited just a few more moments... My head hits the ground after my arms collapse. I hear them slowly walk away, but Ellen's footsteps stop out of nowhere. I'm not sure, but I think she lets out a small giggle. Just to spite me, I'm sure.
I assess the situation, muddled as my thoughts may be. I've been left here, in the pouring rain, slowly bleeding to death and writhing in agony and self-loathing. How could I have given her my body? Who knows how long I have to live. I shut my eyes, and more pain sears them when tears stream down my face. At that moment, I do something I've never done before. I pray. I pray in hopes that there is a god, and that he will have mercy on me and let me die, so I can go to heaven.
More footsteps. This time, coming towards me, and from a direction I don't expect, to the left of me. Heavy breathing, a choked scream for a dad, and muffled talking all assault my ears that might all be me.
The intense wave of nausea is about to consume my consciousness when I feel pressure on my half legs. What is going on? A small whimper escapes my lips.
"You're still conscious? How did this happen? DAD! OVER HERE!" I hear the person clearly now, and they are definitely male.
Is he... helping me? Earlier, I was deemed a monster by my own father. Now, I'm being helped by complete strangers. Someone comes out from the brush.
"Oh my... quick! Get the first aid kit! Oh dear God, there's so much blood." I wish I could see right now, so I could at least know what my saviors look like. I wish I could stay awake, too. But the pain consumes me to the point that I drop into the blackness of my unconscious.
My eyes strain and painfully open, but all I see is black. An empty void that is most assuredly due to the fact that I have no eyes. My right arm slowly drifts up to my eyes, and just to make sure I'm not in a dark room, I wave my hand in front of my face. When that fails, I move my hand closer to my eyes and touch the fabric covering them. It's the familiar feel of elastic bandages. My suspicions were correct. None of it was a dream.
"Are you awake?" A male voice asks me gingerly. I try and answer yes, but it comes out as a squeak, then heavy coughing. Once my fit is done, the person guides my fingers to a smooth, cold surface that I recognize as a glass cup of a cold liquid. "Drink. It should clear your throat." I bring the glass to my lips and tip it back, tasting nothing but relishing it for the feeling none the less. Water. I haven't had this in a couple of days now. It feels refreshing going down my burning throat. "Can you speak?"
"Ahh-" I test my voice. "Y-yes." My voice is still a little raspy, but there.
"How are you feeling?" His voice sounds more curious than concerned.
"M-my legs... " I rub my legs, feeling the bandages on them. "They're sore."
"Mmm, well that's to be expected. You did get them cut off. Anything else?" I shake my head no, to which he sighs in relief. "Well that's good. May I ask your name?"
What IS my name? Ellen most likely goes by Viola, but I don't want to use her name. I don't think I ever want to be reminded of her. "I-I don't know anymore." My answer probably confuses him, because he pauses.
I hear him get up out of his seat. "Well, my name is Christopher... Um... Can you tell me what happened?"
I don't want to. It's too painful. There's no way I'm going to go over that hell, and certainly not with a complete stranger. "I was... betrayed. By my best friend." He coughs and sputters out of sheer surprise.
"Are you serious? Your friend did this to you?!"
I nod, which he must find difficult to believe, because he is silent for a moment. "Well, it's lucky we found you. We were actually on our way to another patient when we stumbled across you laying there, all bloodied up. I don't even know how you're still alive... Um..." He sounds like a older teenager, his voice is deep, but not yet a man's.
I take another sip of my water. "Christopher, what do you look like?" I ask out of general curiosity.
"Oh, uh, I'm 16, I have brown hair, blue eyes, and uhhhh..."
"Uhhhhh..." He chuckles a bit. "Heh. Sorry, I haven't really looked in a mirror reciently."
A door opens with an audible 'kachunk'. "He's very handsome. Glad to see you're awake." It's a woman this time, it must be Christopher's mother. I sip my water, taking the last of it into my mouth and gulping it down. I request for more, and Christopher jumps into action, taking the glass to what I assume is the kitchen, because I hear a faucet running.
"How... how long was I asleep?"
Christopher answers. "Three and a half days." Three whole days? Has it really been that long?
"Chris here has been watching you like a hawk for all that time. He's been really vigilant. I think you've got loyal pup on your hands." She jokes, snickering at us.
"Hey!" Said pup whines. "I told you, I only stayed up all night because I wanted to be sure she wouldn't flatline again. She was in critical condition!"
She snickers again, this time more lighthearted than mischievous "You sound just like your dad."
"Excuse me?" I break up the family teasing so that I can put my last glimmer of hope to rest. Chris hums questioningly. "Could you tell me what... I look like?" My request sounds strange going out, and I swear Chris raises an eyebrow.
"Well, you have purple hair, with a ribbon in it, and a matching red dress that's all tattered. Right now, your face is all bandaged up, but-"
"O-okay. You can stop. I... I know enough now." I knew it, but I just wanted to be sure. I was no longer in my own body. I slowly accepted the fact, fighting back my emotions.
Tears well up in my sockets but I steel myself. I will NOT start to cry. Swallowing down the tears, I stiffen my back up strait in the bed and take in a huge sigh, and another gulp of water. "May I go outside? I want to get some fresh air."
"Well, we used to have a wheelchair, but it's currently in use." Chris's mother says.
"I got it, mom." Chris's arms wrap under my back and my half-legs, and he picks me up. He takes me outside and I immediatley feel the sun warming my skin, and hear the birds chirping happily in the distance. I hold tighter to Chris's body to try to find some security in this situation. Should I tell him what happened to me? And even if I do, will he even believe me? I feel like after that whole ordeal, I just don't want to trust anybody.
"Don't drop me." I mutter to him. Well, baby steps, first.
Chris slowly sets me down, making sure I have my bearings before placing me on the ground. After a long pause, he says. "You know, you're my first real patient. Dad had to go on to the another person, so I told him to just leave it to me." That means... it was Chris who saved my life... I'm going to tell him. I don't care if he thinks I'm making it up, I just think... He deserves to know that at least. And... No. I have to protect him. Drive him away!
After another long pause, I say what I need to. "Christopher... Please, do me a favor, and don't ever trust me."
"W... Why? You seem like a pretty trustworthy person to me." Chris finally takes a seat next to me in the grass.
"Oh really? You're saying this to a girl you found laying in the middle of a random road, legs cut off, and eyes gouged out." I reply, folding my arms and becoming increasingly bitter.
He chuckles lightly. "Well, it is true we met under some pretty strange curcumstances, but that doesn't make you untrustworthy."
I turn away from his voice scowling. "I said not to trust me and I mean it!" Jeez, what is up with him!
"But... You can't just tell someone not to trust you." He places a hand gently on my shoulder. "You gain other's trust by the things you do." Why won't he just quit already?! Can't he take a hint? I don't want him to get close to me so I won't hurt him! Why can't he see that?! My hands clench into fists in irritation. "So, why don't you start by-"
"You wouldn't be so cool about this if you knew what I was!" I shout at him. "Just shut up! You don't know what I've been through! The kind of things I've had to endure! It was hell!"
"NO! I don't want to hear your sympathy! Just leave me alone! Why do you even care, anyways?!" My voice was fierce and I was snarling at him, but my body told a different story. I was shaking all over and my lip was quivering, letting him know that I was on the verge of a breakdown. "How can you just go around trusting so easily like that? How can you-" And what he does next stops me from my rant, and most likely from never trusting again. He leans into me and takes me into his arms. I slowly sink down and do something I didn't want to do in front of him.
I let go. In his arms, I just break down and sob. My arms reach around his waist and I dig my fingers into his back to desperately hold on and not let go of him. The tears are stopped pitifully by the bandadges covering my eyes as I continue to weep into Chris's lap.
"Sorry. It just seems like... you need this." My hands are shaking uncontrollably as I muster up some sort of a thank you for telling me exactly what I needed to hear.
"S-shut up." I spit at him stubbornly, still clawing at his back. "You think I'm a monster, don't you!"
Chris gently strokes my hair. "How could you be a monster? You're just a girl..." I can't believe he doesn't see it... Well, I guess it's best to scare him off.
I tear the bandages from my face, revealing my empty, unnatural eye sockets to the world, the wrappings falling from my face to my neck. "How am I NOT a monster?!" The sobs start to hedge up in my throat again, but Chris brushes a stay tear from my face.
"You are not a monster. Promise. You can trust me."
"I wanna go home..." I cry softly into his legs.
"Can you... like... do magic?" Chris asks. I nod. Yes, I told him everything. About the house, about me being a witch, and about Ellen's betrayal. He seemed to take it pretty lightly.
"Only a little bit. I can move things. Make things grow. Break things. That's about it." I hold tight to the hot cocoa in my hands and cherish the warmth of the blanket draped over my shoulders. My eyes are closed, even though Chris says he doesn't mind seeing them. I know he's just being kind.
"If it's not too much to ask, can you... move that chair over there?" I will the chair too move, and it scoots from the kitchen area to my bed. "Whoa, cool." I smile a tiny bit. But it disappears when I feel an intense pain in my lower abdomen, which spreads to my entire body.
Imagine your lower abdomen being reached into, all the organs squeezed together, then twisted until one of the tubes snaps off. That is fractional to what I feel at this moment.
"Fff-ahhhh!" I scream. My arms tremble with the intense, all consuming pain, making Chris take the cup from me.
"What is it? Where's the pain?" I fall over onto the bed.
"S-Stomach-ahhh!" I curl up, clutching the afflicted area. I completely forgot about this body's illness. Chris puts a hand to my stomach.
"On a scale of one to ten, how bad's the pain?" He keeps a cool head the whole time he speaks to me.
"Ten! Ahhh! It hurts!" He runs over to the kitchen and runs back.
"I am so, so sorry about this." Wait, Why? He reaches up my dress and places a freezing cold object to my stomach. "It a stethoscope! Again, I'm so sorry! I swear, I'm not looking!"
I scream in spite of the situation. Did he really have to say that? UH. BOYS. He places the instrument in many different places on my stomach, and the pain subsides very slowly. Sweat drips from my face and onto the sheets, and Chris slips his arm out from under my bloody, torn dress.
"Well, some of it's just 'cause your stomach's empty. But there is something wrong with your internal organs. Very wrong." He sighs, removing the stethoscope from his ears. "But for now, you need to rest."
He places a hand on my forehead to make sure I don't have a fever. "I'll get you a change of clothes in the morning. Good night... Um... " I hear the click of the light. Not like I could see anything but black anyways.
"Just call me Ella for now."
"Oh, okay. Good night Ella."
A/N:So, as you can see, LOTS more detail.