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All the Lost Souls: Damnation

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Chapter Two

he music blared in an otherwise silent room. Light from a street lamp outside shone through the thin curtains. In the eerie glow of night the big room looked mysterious, seeming to bring life to the characters clinging to the walls.

 With school seeming a million miles away, Kaelem was at last completely happy. The project, due for the first day back, lay crumpled in a pile, and slowly slid down the back of the cherry wood desk, forgotten, ready for the twelve year old to run madly round the house, looking for it with anxiety flooding his mind at the thought that he had done nothing for the whole holiday. But this was a long time from now, and for all that Kaelem cared it would never come.
 He spread out onto his bed, blissfully thinking over all that he would do in the holidays, everything he and his best friend Jeb were going to explore. With the album continuously spinning round music that faded into the background, the boy silently drifted into a peaceful sleep, with nothing to wake him from his dreams.

 A cold breeze swept over Kaelem. He breathed it in with closed eyes, finding the air salty. He stepped forwards, drawn toward something in front of him, like a magnet that was urging him on. A few steps later his toes touched clear water. But Kaelem quickly drew them back out as a sudden freezing sensation crawled over his foot. Breathless, he snapped his eyes open. A bright purple light shone into his blue eyes, nearly blinding him. Slowly a figure materialized out from it, equipped with phenomenally expansive wings spreading out of its back. Feathers glittering white like snow and highlighted with different hues of blue rustled softly in the silent night as the cool wind caressed them. Their owner wore a magnificent dark purple dress, so long that the bottom was gradually becoming stained with the salt water, so astounding that the colour emitted light with every motion made. As the figure glided towards him it was almost uncomfortable to watch. But Kaelem carefully walked towards the figure, entranced by its beauty and grace, not wanting it to go away. As he approached a face became clearer, a woman’s face, smiling gently at him. Nine slim blue earrings dangled delicately down from her left ear, a black pendant hung on a thick leather strap that was tied tightly round her neck. It was a symbol that the boy had never seen before. The black wood twisted and intertwined, creating the illusion that it was choking itself. He looked back up into her face, and saw she had deep sorrow in her blue eyes. She reached out a delicate hand whilst her mouth formed whispering words that made no sense from dark blue lips. Her chest heaved with sadness, regret and love as Kaelem took her hand; he noticed a burn scar on her arm. The figure’s presence seemed to seep inside him. He suddenly felt light and good, as if fear no longer existed, nor hate or anger. Everything was for once peaceful and perfect. He looked back up at the woman’s face and smiled happily, almost laughing, floating above the world. But then it all went wrong. He was suddenly standing on a cliff, with a harsh wind screaming terribly in his ears, making him cold and frightened. The woman looked back at him, sneering, her face horribly distorted. It scared him. Her pierced ears were ripped and her once wonderful wings had shrivelled, and torn. As he watched they turned from a beautiful white and blue to a horrific black, as if they were slowly rotting. He tried to let go of her, but she held his hand tightly, her bony fingers curling painfully around his wrist, while sharp claws dug into his hand. A red rash slowly crept along it, and continued crawling up his arm like an infection. He screamed, wanting to scratch the irritation, but the terrifying woman wouldn’t let him, wouldn’t let go. Then she jumped, pulling him down to his death.

 Kaelem woke up wringing his wrists. He looked down at the back of his hands to see a rash quickly fading before his eyes, until there was nothing left except for three drops of blood where the fingernails had dug into his skin most tightly. It took him a while to shake off the nightmare. He found it was hard for him to breathe, as if his throat was slowly closing up. Beads of sweat trickled down his hot forehead as he tried to recollect what the dream was about. He could remember a women grabbing his arm, and then falling towards a fathomless sheet of water. He lay back down on his bed, wanting to get back to sleep, wanting to know the end of the dream, wanting to forget about it altogether, and still a women’s face kept reappearing in his mind. It was as if she were standing right in front of him, smiling. He knew he recognised her, as if she was an important part of his life, but he couldn’t remember why; couldn’t understand who she could be. He turned over and clutched his head, trying to take away the image of her, but it wouldn’t leave. She appeared again, elegant and pretty. Blue eyes sparkling as tiny fragments of light reflected into them, her eyes full of relentless sorrow, her hand outstretched to him. But this time Kaelem didn’t take it, thinking the dream was a warning, maybe even a premonition. A distant voice in his head told him that she was evil, and he should stay away from her, but it wasn’t his. He shut his eyes, and put his hands over his ears to block out every last essence of her.

 He must have eventually got to sleep, because the next thing he was aware of was the morning light shining happily through his curtains, turning the mysterious room into his calm and familiar bedroom. He crawled carefully out of bed, and stopped abruptly on the landing; a curly haired tarantula was greeting him.

 “Tika, you need to stop doing that to me.” Kaelem sighed and picked her up. He then proceeded to put her carefully back in her house in Ali’s bedroom. Afterwards he sneaked downstairs.

 The house was deadly silent; the only noise was the whisper of the second hand moving on the clock. It told him it was eight-thirty. He went into the lounge, and switched on the television. A random programme was on, with singing animals, and a meaning behind everything they did. He laughed silently to himself at how silly they all looked, hardly believing he actually used to like it, then found himself quite enjoying it, and laughing at their weird jokes. When it ended he began to sing along to the theme tune that played during the end credits, until the doorbell let out its shrill shriek.

 Kaelem groaned, and crept to the window, opening the curtain slightly so that he could see through a small gap. No one was visible at the door, but the bell continued to ring endlessly in his ears. His dad yelled to Kaelem from upstairs to see who it was, but there wasn’t anyone there. The doorbell was obviously broken or something. Grabbing the door keys he unlocked the front door, and peered round to look at the doorbell. The button was pressed down, but there was nothing to keep it there. As he turned back to go upstairs and tell his dad a frighteningly cold hand touched Kaelem’s shoulder. He shivered as a sudden wave of fatigue overcame him before he fell into a soundless sleep.

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