For You I Call – Episode 1: Arachnids Part 1(4)

“Lady Vert.”

Vert sighs at the interruption. “What is it, Rosalys?”

“There are patrols on the hall. They are checking each room.”

“Tch. How sharp,” Vert grumbles. “Do as we discussed before. Oh, and clean up this room, please.”

“Understood.”

“Come on, brother. We need to make ourselves scarce,” Vert says, pulling my hand, but stops right away. “Can you walk or do I need to carry you?”

I take inventory of my own condition. My body feels weird, but, “I can walk. Are we running away?”

“Not now, but eventually we will need to. For now hiding is sufficient,” Vert says as she guides me to the opposite direction of the door, where Rosalys enters to clean up the room. There’s a sound of another door opening and a breeze comes through. Vert grabs my hand and pulls me towards the breeze.

Oh shoot. We are going out.

“Wait, wait!” I hiss, planting my feet firmly on the floor to stop Vert. But she’s surprisingly stronger and she successfully drags me through the door. I grow panicked upon realizing I’m outside. My heart starts to beat fast and there’s a pressure in my chest—like stage fright, but worse. “Won’t they expect people to escape from the back door?” I quickly ask, hoping to stall some time so I can prepare myself. It seems like being blind doesn’t automatically make me courageous to go outdoors.

To my relief, Vert finally stops and speaks the words I didn’t expect to hear.

“What back door? We are on the third floor.”

“Huh? Then how do we—mmrrrpphh!”

Without any warning, Vert grabs my waist, holds me like I’m a battering ram with one hand, and jumps. The only thing that keeps me moderately silent over the fall is her hand over my mouth.

Vert lands soundlessly on the ground and puts me down. I stand dazed in shock and disbelief. Three stories high fall and she manages to land without any sound while carrying me; what strong legs.

“Come on,” Vert says with a low voice and tugs me forward. She pulls me close to the wall and wait there. Ten beats later, the veranda door is once again opened.

The air stills around us while we hear people search above. I know they can’t see us because of the veranda getting in the way, but I try to be as still and silent as possible—so silent that I can hear my own heartbeat.

“Third floor clear,” a man says finally.

“Roof is also clear,” says another voice higher above.

Footsteps retreat from the veranda and the door is closed once again.

Vert sighs beside me.

“Are we safe now?” I ask in a low voice.

“Not yet. They have people watching the perimeter. We need to go back inside.”

Vert works to open the window behind us. I quickly stop her.

“Wait, there might be other people there!”

“No, there aren’t,” she says, and the door is opened. I don’t have another chance to protest, as we hear footsteps approaching. “Come inside, quick!”

I do as told. Vert closes the window as silently as she can and push me into hiding beside the window. Not a moment too soon, as we can hear the patrol’s footsteps very close to the spot we had been.

The footsteps stop. I sense slight movement outside the window. The patrol is looking into the room.

Vert’s hand, still on my forearm, tightens. Her message is clear:

Don’t you dare make a noise.

No worries, Vert. I don’t even dare to breathe.

The footsteps resume. Then disappears.

I let out the breath I didn’t know I held. Vert too.

“Phew. Good thing I reserved the room below beforehand.”

“Won’t anyone come and check here?”

“Most likely not. Their number is small, so they’d have to do systematic search from the first floor. They don’t have time to check twice too.”

True to her words, no one comes even close to the door for what seems like a long time.

“They’re leaving,” Vert informs me. “They’re searching the next door. Not on our side, but we should stay out of the window just in case.”

I slump in relief. It has been a while since I experience that kind of fear and they’re not nice to my heart. “Why do we need to hide? Did we do something bad?” I ask.

“Something like that. Don’t worry. You’re the guiltless one here,” Vert assures. Not effective, but now that the situation has calmed down, a more important question surfaces.

For You I Call – Episode 1: Arachnids Part 1(3)

“Uuuuh…”

I groan as I regain my consciousness. My body feels heavy and sore, like that time I was training for the inter-school sprint match. How did I get so tired? I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything strenuous this past few months. I don’t even remember going to sleep.

Then more recent memories trickle out. Ah yes, I was in the kitchen with mom and Vert, and then…what? I know something important happened, but I can’t remember.

I open my eyes and see darkness. Either it’s night or it’s night and the lamp is turned off.

Grumbling, I get up from the soft bed I’m laying on to search for the light switch. But since it’s so dark I didn’t see the obstacles before me until I trip myself over it and fall face first. Again.

“Oowww…” I groan and shut my mouth immediately. That doesn’t sound like me.

Let’s try again.

“A-aaah.”

Yep, not my old voice. It’s thicker and heavier, just like dad’s. My body doesn’t feel right too. Did I get a cold or flu? But I feel healthy. Fresh even.

A door opens in front of me. I look up, hoping for some light to come through the darkness, and find none. There’s a sound of glass breaking and a woman’s scream instead.

“A-a-a-AAAAAAAAAH!”

The scream jolts my heart so much that I’m convinced it’ll change its position permanently once it settles down. Then she’s gone—the footsteps rapidly fading away tells me.

“…”

How rude. When you see someone on the floor, shouldn’t you help him?

I pick myself up from the ground and the footsteps come back with another set. Did she call for help?

“Brother!”

Brother? Who is your bro— “Ack!”

I gasp as I get pulled into a chocking hug. Man, what is this strength? The arms are small, but they’re like metal clamps!

“L-lady Vert. You’re strangling master Argent,” the first voice comes to my rescue. I can breath easy again. Thank you, miss!

Wait.

Did you just say, Vert?

A series of images flashes through my mind. The stairs. Vert. Hospital. Mom and dad crying. Cemetery.

Funeral.

The hugger—Vert—loosens her arms, but not letting me go completely.

“Ah, so sorry about that, brother. But I’m so happy to see you awake!”

Vert’s voice brings me back to reality. She sounds a bit different, more adult-like, but still recognizable. What’s going on here? Am I dreaming? How did I fall asleep anyway? I was looking at Vert, in her casket, saying my last words to her—

“Sleep well.”

—and then what?

“Brother? Are you alright? Are you hurt somewhere?”

Damn it, this is just too much. I never imagined it, but I’m sure that’s how Vert is going to sound like if she lived long enough to grow up. If this is a dream, then it’s a cruel one.

“Are you… really Ver?” I ask, sounding calmer than I actually am.

Vert huffed. “Of course I am! Did you forget your sister’s face already? Well, my looks did change a lot, but I should look familiar at least!”

“How should I know that? It’s dark in here!”

“Dark?” The jovial mood turns into confusion in a flash. “But it’s quite bright here. Unless—“ Vert grabs my face and tilts it down so she can look at it. “Your eyes… something is wrong with it. Let me call—”

“Wait! Rather than that, why and how are you still alive?”

Vert’s hands freeze in place.

“Pardon me?” she asks, either not understanding the question or thinks that she hears it wrong.

“Master Argent, I think you remember it wrong. Nothing happened to lady Vert. It’s you who—“

“Stop it, Rosalys. It’s a good thing that brother doesn’t remember.”

“But I remember!”

“What do you remember?”

“You fell from the stairs—” the memory replays in vivid images, as if they’re happening right now “—snapped your neck. We held a funeral for you—” I put one white flower and thought of what to say, just like now “—so how are you still alive?”

The whole room grows quiet. There’s an uncomfortable atmosphere around us, like everyone waiting for someone to say the bad news for them, until Vert breaks the silence.

“Rosalys, can you leave us?”

“Certainly, my lady,” Rosalys responds and promptly leaves the room. Vert waits until her footsteps disappear before addressing me.

“Brother, can you tell me the last thing you remembered? Slowly, please.”

“Like I said, I was in your funeral—“ I cringe at the memory rather than my own bluntness. ”—saying my last words to you—“ more memories come back “—then deliver the eulogy—” which I don’t remember what I said, “—and then—”

I stop right there, waiting for more memories to come back. But it doesn’t. My mind draws a blank. Something big happened right after that. I know it, but I can’t remember it!

“And then what?” Vert prompts patiently.

“I can’t remember,” I answer. But right after I say that another memory resurfaces, “Hold on, there’s something else. I think I heard your voice.”

“My voice?”

“Yes, you were talking to someone else. A male. You didn’t want him to come closer for some reason.”

“…”

I sense Vert’s discomfort. Funny how you can still tell things like this even when you can’t see.

“What’s wrong? Did I remember it wrong?”

“Not exactly,” Vert answers vaguely. “Anything else?”

I try to remember again, but the result is negative. “No. That is all. What about you?”

“Me?”

“Yes. Your neck was snapped. How did you recover?” It feels weird to ask this, but I need to know.

“Hold on. I never broke my neck. I have suffered some injuries in the past, but never on the neck or anything equally life threatening,” Vert answers.

“Really? Then my memory is mistaken?” I ask. Maybe that lady called Rosalys is right. I am remembering it wrong. It’s just a bad dream I haven’t completely awakened from.

There’s an awkward pause before Vert replies.

“No.”

“What do you mean by no?” I find myself asking despite the dread creeping into my heart like cold water seeping through the fabric.

“I mean I’m not sure if your memory is wrong. It could be, because you looked like you’ve been unconscious for a long time when I found you, but it could also mean that you’re—”

For You I Call: Prologue

NOTE: I’m changing the premise, so here is the new Prologue.

Summary (temporary): Argent Cross wakes up to find himself ten years older and without any memory of what led him to his coma. But the world he has woken up to is not the world he knows—and he is its enemy. Continue reading →