Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chapter Seven - Three Months Gone

They burned. 
Children's stories, novels that were half-read, fully-read, or never read. 
Atlases, dictionaries, works of fiction and printed works of art. 
They all burned.

"Annabelle? Annabelle?"

 "Annabelle!?"

June 17th, 2018

 Annabelle opened her eyes and saw John standing next to her. She almost didn't recognize him considering how much he had changed since she went into the hospital three months before.

 Or maybe, she had changed, and John had stayed the same. Annabelle had been out of the hospital, recovering from her wounds for less than a week and already she was ready to go back. Every day she had crippling headaches and her broken arm hadn't fully healed yet. Even with the modern medicine of late 2018, they still hadn't found the cure for broken limbs.

With all that was wrong with her, Annabelle still realized that she was lucky. She and Tom had fallen three stories after being blown out a building by an explosion. Tom had shielded her from the main hit of the blast but she broke his fall, and her own arm, when they landed hard on the concrete. 

The doctors told her she was lucky to even be able to talk, move, and speak, much less move on her own within a few months of such a massive impact. She believed it too, but chalked up her ability to heal slightly faster and take more damage than a normal person due to her unique heritage. 

Still, she had no idea how Tom had survived as much as he did, and even he was able to walk much faster than she was. 
 "I'm sorry John, I was just dreaming a bit, I think." Annabelle said. "I'm not sure what's a dream and what's a memory these days." 

"Well you were screaming in your sleep, whatever you were doing," John said, "I had to wake you before someone called the doctor again. I... I hate seeing my sister in the hospital."

Annabelle stood up out of her massage chair and started walking towards the stairs. "Well I hate being in the hospital, being treated like a-like a human rather than what I really am." Suddenly, Annabelle had a sudden urge to go somewhere. "I'm going for a walk."
"Wait what?" John said. "Walk? You-you-you just got out of the hospital and you're going for a walk?!" 

"Yes."
John ran over to Annabelle as she started down the stairs. "You realize that Mom's at work, and when she comes home and finds out you've been gone she's gonna flip more than a dolphin at a showcase."

"Then let her flip." Annabelle said with a snarky tone. "I'll be back later."



 Annabelle walked across the town until the sun rose, finally settling upon her destination around 8:00 AM. 

 Meanwhile, John, Scarlett, and Kelly went out searching for Annabelle. They went all over the city, checking every building as far as the eye could see. 

 "Everyone, my mom will be home from work at 4:00 PM. If we do not find Annabelle before then, she will hunt me down, kill me, and mount my head on the wall."
 "Don't worry Johnny, I'm an investigator remember, so I will lead this investigation. Now, all we have to do is find Annabelle, anyone know where she went? Scarlett, do you have any advice? Words of wisdom? Your two cents?"

Scarlett looked at Kelly with an angered look on her face. Common for her hot-headed temper. "Are you freaking kidding me?"

=================
3 HOURS LATER
==================
 "Great." Scarlett said. "Not only have we lost Annabelle, but Miss Holmes here got us lost in the middle of Bridgeport!" 

"I'm gonna get us out of here!" Kelly said. "Just a matter of-" 

 "So somebody's lost it seems? Please tell me you lost Tom and you're NOT trying to find him." 

 "Deacon." John said, scowling. "What do you want?"
 "Is that any way to treat the richest teen in Bridgeport? With an angered look? Everyone seems to give me that look when they see me, is there something wrong with my face?" 

   "Yes, it's attached to your skull which houses your brain, and your brain controls your personality which is, lack of a better word, 'flawed'."

 "Smart comeback. It took you foolishly dropping out of the best private school in the country to figure that gem out?"

"I don't think taking a sabbatical to help my injured sister get back on her feet after being in an explosion can classify itself as 'dropping out'."
"Oh well, it's hard to argue with that logic. I mean, after all, you are the 'smartest teen in Bridgeport.'. Heh heh heh."

Deacon turned to leave, but stopped before he hit the crosswalk. 

 "By the way, your girl Annie's at the old Library zoning area. I saw her going there earlier. From her attitude, however, I wouldn't expect a warm welcome."


"What a snobby piece of sh-"

"So you think he's telling the truth about Annabelle?" Scarlett said, interrupting him.
 
 "I guess so. I didn't think he had any reason to lie about that." Kelly said. "Nor do we have any reason to think he would lie about how she's acting. I've seen her, she's more cynical these days since returning from the hospital."

John then said "So what do you expect? All three of us to go there and talk her back to a good mood?"
 "No" Scarlett said, "But there is one person I know who can get to Annabelle like no other." 
 "Try to get her back to our side Tom." John said. "Smooth talk her, make her feel good." 

 "I'm not gonna manipulate her." Tom said, "I'll talk to her, and if she wants to come back home, she will. If not, then I can't do a damn thing about it." Tom walked forward across the street, making sure there were no cars coming.

 "Well, I guess we can tell mom that Tom and Annabelle are okay together, who's up for a long, arduous walk to the film studio across town-"

"TAXI!"

"Or we could do that... which is what we could have done THIS WHOLE TIME but I needed the exercise anyway."

 "Annabelle?"

"This is where it happened, Tom. You remember it as much as I do?" 

"...yes."

"Then you remember that I was the one that the Benefactor wanted. If I had gone here alone, maybe I the library wouldn't have been destroyed... maybe you wouldn't have been injure-" 

 "No!" Tom said. "NOT AGAIN!" 

"What?"

"You blamed yourself for the meteors, Annabelle, and you blamed yourself for us having to leave Sunset Valley. I will NOT hear you blame yourself for anything again!"
"But this IS my fault. I wanted us to go to the library!" 
The Benefactor would have found us anywhere, Annie. We weren't even safe in our own home. Please, understand this. Now dry those tears, Annie-Belle." 

Somehow, Annabelle realized that Tom was her morality chain. No matter how much she messed up or thought she messed up, Tom was there to tell her otherwise. She realized that she needed him as much as he needed her. 

Then, for the first time in a long time, Annabelle knew that she was going to be alright. 

=========================
 "A perfect couple." Deacon said, watching the two. "A perfect, happy couple. That damn Benefactor, he told me that I would be together with Annabelle, and look at me now. He lied. 

 "So you worked with the Benefactor. I should have known." Jack said, overhearing his son and walking up beside him as he did so. "That's how you got that Mansion in Hidden Springs." 

 "Yeah, I still do. Contrary to popular belief, he is still alive."

"I figured as much. As thorough as they searched that place, they never found the body. But that is beside the point. Deacon, do not work for the Benefactor. He is a cruel, cold-blooded monster who will kill you when he gets done with whatever you are doing for him. I don't want to see you in an obituary just because you have the hots for some girl."

"Well the Benefactor knows me, he knows what I am capable of. If you can't understand that then I pity you, old man."

"Tell me where he is." Jack said. "Tell me where he wants to meet you now. I want to meet him myself."

 "You really do? Then go to Waylon's haunt at midnight. He told me that he will be without his helmet so I could finally see his face. He also mentioned that before the explosion, Tom and Annabelle saw him, but the blast knocked that memory away. If you want to ID him take those two." 

"Why are you telling me this?" Jack said. "Five seconds ago, you were defending him."

"I... I don't know. Just go to Waylon's Haunt."

What Deacon failed to tell Jack was that the Benefactor told him that if anyone questioned his loyalty, to lead them to a place that they could be taken care of, but a part of Deacon wanted the Benefactor gone, so that was why he told Jack to take Tom and Annabelle so they could identify him. 

Then Deacon heard something he had never heard before from Jack Toomes:

 
 "Son? Remember something. I may not be your biological father, but... but I'll love you all the same." 

Suddenly a flood of emotions hit Deacon. "Father...? No..."

----------------------
 "So apparently the Benefactor's still alive and he's going to be at Waylon's Haunt tonight. I figured if you two were there with me, you could ID him so we can take him out quickly and quietly."
 "What do you say?"
Tom nodded. "Let's do it."

 =============================
 "They just got back from the hospital and you want to bring them to a situation similar to the one that put them in there?! You're insane!"
 "I don't even want to put them in real danger!" Jack said. "I will go inside the bar, take a few pictures with a hidden camera, and take the camera back outside and ask them who the Benefactor is from the pictures I take? Then I will call the police. It's a simple, easy task."

"Please, Kelly? I need their help. I haven't told Maria about this because I KNOW she won't let me but I know that while you and I have had our differences, you are one of the people I can trust."
 "I won't tell Maria, but if I suspect that Tom and Annabelle are in an ounce of danger I will find you and kill you, understand?" 

======================
 "Well this is it. The Benefactor is inside that building, and since you've seen him before, you can probably ID him. I will go inside, and when I come out, I will bring pictures so you can tell who it is, okay?"

"No problem, Jack." Annabelle said.
"Okay." Jack replied. "I'll see you in a moment."
 Jack walked off into the bar, but when he opened the door he made an eerie discovery. 

 "Wait a second... it's empty..."
 "Annabelle?"

 "JACK!!!"

 "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" 



Sirens were heard off in the distance as Tom and Annabelle ran off.

6 comments:

  1. :O!!!!! Love the chapter!!! And I completely love how you always put cliffhangers :O

    ReplyDelete
  2. OH NO! DX love this chapter too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loved it, and I usually post on wordpress so...that was random XD but I've read all your posts and they're truly amazing. You have a great skill for writing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. MOOOORE! THAT WAS UTTERLY AWESOME AND AMAZING! :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. SO MANY EXPLOSIONS! I just love Tom's relationship with Annabelle. I swear I get all giddy whenever he calls her "Annie-Belle" haha, what a great blossoming love story, I will go down with this ship! I also love his feminist moment in this chapter when he refused to manipulate Annie's feelings, Tom the Feminist YAS.

    On to the next chapter!

    ReplyDelete