Chapter eleven – Revival, part one
The cold, midnight breeze caressed my skin and made chills run down my spine with every step I took. The graveyard was absolutely silent, other than the sound of rustling leaves and our footsteps on the pavement. Ethan was walking right behind me. He looked behind him every few seconds, as if he was afraid of someone following us.
‘Micah, we shouldn’t be here this late!’ he finally said. ‘ Let’s go back and wait until morning, midnight is the worst possible time to be at a cemetery!’
‘You can leave if you want to,’ I replied.
‘And leave you all on your own? You know I won’t do that.’
I shook my head and walked further, Ethan following closely. Soon we were right in front of the mausoleum. I checked the lock on the doors; it was unlocked.
‘Come on. We need to go downstairs.’
You and I walk a fragile line
I relied purely on instinct, going down into the mausoleum. My senses steered me into the right direction, just as they’d done when I first found the book back in the facility. Only this time, I forcefully shut off all other feelings and thoughts going through my head, allowing myself to think of only one thing.
Soon, we were past the long stairway underground and stood in a cold, grey entrance room. There were doors leading in multiple directions, all looking exactly the same. A few torches were lit, casting eerie shadows across the walls .
‘This way,’ I said, walking to the leftmost door.
‘How do you know where to go?’
‘I’m not sure. I just… know.’
That wasn’t entirely correct. I did have an idea of where to go, but it was too disturbing to share with my friend. In order to bring mum back, I needed to be as close as possible to her, so she could connect with her former body. Or more accurately, I needed to be as close as possible to whatever still remained.
‘How much further?’ Ethan asked.
‘Just a bit… I think…’
I walked through another door and then stopped dead in my tracks. This had to be the place. Instinct had been right every time now, and probably this time, as well. My mother had to be buried right above this room.
And this was where I was going to bring her back.
‘Wait here,’ I told Ethan, and walked further into the room. The atmosphere felt thick and unnatural and made my skin crawl all over. I took another step…
I have known it all this time
My feet instantly froze up when the scenery around me began to change and I lost control of my body, passing into a different place.
but I never thought I’d live to see it break
‘MICAH!’ I yelled, dashing forward as I saw her lose her balance. She fell on the ground before I could catch her, hitting her head against the hard stone. Within a few seconds, her tanned skin lost its color and turned as cold as the surface it was lying upon. I panicked and sunk down next to her. What happened?! Did she hit her head? No, there was no wound. Then what was going on?!
‘Hey, wake up! Can you hear me?’
It’s getting dark and it’s all to quiet
I groaned and slowly turned my head. The mausoleum room had vanished and was replaced by an all too familiar view.
I was back here.
And I can’t trust anything now
I picked myself up from the floor and looked around properly for the first time. The gate and pedestal were surrounded by big rocks and eerie looking trees. Beyond that point everything was dark, with little moving white lights floating around in the blackness. Were those supposed to be stars?
A soft voice sounded inside my head. It seemed familiar, and I realized I’d heard it before multiple times. In my dreams, but also when I saw Gerry Custard and when I rescued Conifer. This voice… could it be..?
‘Make the offer…’
I walked over to the pedestal and the strange bowl that was resting on top of it. There were a few dark stains on the bowl, as if someone had poured something in before. Was I supposed to do something with this?
‘They are connected. The offering of energy will make it possible to open the gate. Hurry…’
Of course. That is what Conifer had said. I wouldn’t be able to pull her out if I didn’t show the Gate the same energy – the same blood.
With that thought in mind, I swiftly brought down my arm without thinking and grazed my wrist against the stone bowl. It worked; a wound appeared on my wrist and I quickly held my hand above the bowl, allowing a few drops of blood to fall in. The wound actually burned, much to my surprise. My body wasn’t really here, was it? How come I still felt the pain?
‘Well done. Now…’
‘Mom? Where are you?’ I said again, looking back over my shoulder to see where the sound could be coming from.
‘Open the gate.’
‘Micah? Hey, wake up! This can’t be part of the plan! Can you hear me?’
There were footsteps right outside of the door we used to enter this room. The police? Blood-sucking vampires? Hungry werewolves? Or worse? I stopped talking and looked at it, hoping that whoever it was would just leave again.
The door swung open with a creepy sounding creak and four FBI-agents came in, equipped with communication devices and glimpses of guns underneath their jackets.
Of, fudge. Worse. Much, much worse.
‘Target discovered,’ the man in the front said. ‘Commence capturing operations.’
‘Wha… what are you doing?!’ I squeaked, standing up quickly as the agents made their way into the room. They surrounded me and Micah and didn’t look friendly at all. Who were these guys? Were they the ones from the facility?
And it’s coming over you like it’s all a big mistake
‘What do you want? Leave us alone!’ I said. The agents didn’t even as much as blink.
‘Ethan Almond, I presume? This is an official FBI-operation. We’re here to take Micah Adams with us. Step away from the fugitive this instant, mister Almond.’
‘What? No! She volunteered to be at your facility! You promised she could leave whenever she wanted! I’m not moving!’
‘Scoresby, take him away.’
The agent to my left stepped towards me and grabbed my arm. I struggled, but he was so strong I couldn’t break myself free.
‘Let me go! What are you going to do with her?!’
They remained silent and agent Scoresby dragged me to the door with force, kicking me out of the room. The door slammed shut and I heard a metallic click. They’d locked it.
‘Hey! Let me in! What do you think you’re doing?! Let me back in!’
Ohh, I’m holding my breath
Won’t lose you again
’No, Micah! Don’t!’
something’s made your eyes go cold…
The door opened the second my outstretched fingers came in contact with the wood. At the same time, something cold grabbed me by the shoulder and tried to pull me around. I screamed and resisted, hitting and clawing against the thing until I realized who it was.
I couldn’t believe it. She was here, just as she’d been that day on the bridge. Even transparent, I recognized her from the pictures at home. She looked like she hadn’t aged a day.
‘Micah… why did you come?’
‘To rescue you, mom!’ I said. ‘To pull you out of the… out… of the…’
She… wasn’t inside the gate?
A terrible screech came from inside the gate. I froze in fear when I felt someone… something else come near. Mum jumped at me and put her arms around my back, effectively pulling me back. She could actually touch me?
‘You… you haven’t crossed the gate?’ I asked, confused beyond belief. ‘But I heard a voice! I heard you telling me to revive you, to bring you back-‘
‘That wasn’t me.’
‘What?! Then who-’
‘Listen, Micah, you must not try to bring back the dead,’ mom said, clutching her hands around my shoulders firmly. ‘You can’t.’
‘But I can! I learned how – mom, don’t you want to be with us again?’
She pulled me away further and then turned me around, guarding me from the gate. I could see things- oh my plumbob, there were things trying to crawl out!
‘The price for breaking the taboo is not something humans are able to pay,’ she said. ‘Do you understand? We have nothing to offer in exchange for bringing back a life. Once they’ve crossed… it’s too late.’
‘Are you absolutely positive?’
‘Yes, sir. This is exactly the reaction we’re looking for. Shall we carry her to the lab?’
‘No. Restrain her and get them to examine her brain here. Who knows what’ll happen if we take her outside.’
Ethan was still trying to bang the door in when he heard footsteps behind him.
‘Nile? What are you doing here?! Never mind that, Micah is in trouble! There’s FBI agents in there with her, they locked me out! We have to help her!’
Nile looked at her classmate and the shut door for a few seconds, and them mumbled softly:
‘She’s started, hasn’t she?’
‘Started? What are you talking about?’
At that moment, a loud scream was heard from the other side of the door. Ethan turned around faster than lightning and flung himself at the door, trying to bang it down.
‘LET ME IN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HER?!’
Small traces of mist were trailing out under the door. Ethan stepped back and prepared to bang against the thing again, but all of a sudden he got pulled back by two brown arms. Nile held him in an iron grasp, and started pulling him away from the door.
‘Stop that! You need to get out right now, Almond!’
‘No! Micah is still in there! I can’t abandon her!’
Ethan struggled to break free, but the girl holding him had an almost inhuman strength and kept him pinned down.
‘Nhh- LET ME GO! LET ME GO, I SAID!’
‘Almond, let me apologize for what I’m about to do.’
‘What do you mean “to offer in exchange”? I’ve figured it out, I’ve got everything I need! Everything I need to bring you back!’
I saw something at the bottom of the gate, clawing at mom’s foot. She grabbed my arm and forced me to look at her.
‘What comes back through the gate… is not… human…’
I screamed. The hand from the gate had grabbed her leg and started pulling us in. Slowly, the beautiful white light she radiated was overcome by a sickening red, spreading throughout her body and turning her into a bright crimson.
‘I gave… my life… to save yours. So treasure it. Don’t let him use you to enter this world…’
‘Him? Let who use me? What do you mean?’
The crimson glow had almost completely covered her arms and spread over to my body. She abruptly let go and I could feel her pulling away from me, in the direction of the things behind her.
‘No, stop it! Don’t go over there! They’re going to get you- mom, come back!’
‘I’ve been one of them… for seventeen years now,’ she whispered. ‘You’ve grown so much since that day…’
‘No! Mom, come back! DON’T LEAVE ME HERE!’
Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this
She turned around and flung herself against the spirits, violently pushing them back as all of them got swallowed up by the vortex. Purple and blue light came swirling out and covered me, grabbing me and pushing me away. I reached out and screamed, my eyes on the thing that had been my mother.
‘NOOOOOOOO! COME BACK!’
I thought I had you figured out
Another wave of light hit me and then I lost conciousness, swallowed by the raging of countless flames.
‘Retreat! RETREAT! ALL UNITS, GET OUT OF THE BUILDING!!’
Something’s gone terribly wrong
You’re all I wanted
Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this
I thought I had you figured out
Can’t breathe whenever you’re gone
Can’t turn back now, I’m haunted
Taylor Swift – Haunted