Part 9: Fate Spoiler Danny met us in the hall as we walked from the courtyard to the library. The Mistress was sort with him, telling him what happened with Scarlet before motioning for him to take Ronald from Naomi, “Naomi needs to focus on current events here, not on the child who can wait for now, take care of him.” Naomi doesn’t agree at first, but is persuaded otherwise, and with Ronald asleep again—from what they discussed—he will be fine awaking in front of Danny who’s feminine enough that he wouldn’t cause Ronald to feel uneasy, or so he says. We depart from Danny and enter the Library a short time later, home to our local book worm...Brain, or Erin. Planting myself in the lazyboy in front of Erin’s desk within the library where he spends his time doing research. It’s honestly been awhile since I’ve been in here. Over the past few years many changes have come to this grand room, it’s a circular tower of sorts standing at the back of the funeral home and containing more books than the library at our own school—with three floors. Around me, multiple bookshelf’s encircling his desk. He watches me as my dad comes forward from a back room with a flashlight in hand. Turning the top, I cover my eyes as he shines the LED at the center of my forehead. Moments pass and he backs up. Uncovering my eyes, he shuts off the light “Same as always, your taint is completely gone...” “Is that the corruption you told us about last week?” Naomi asks sitting in the seat next to me while he makes eye contact and answers her. “Yes, and what we were going to do was purify her Third Eye. You saw Paul’s eye, you’re able to see everyone’s eye. You remember what we told you about Paul turning into a Husk, that is because of the taint, because of that guilt someone has. We can purify a small amount here and there, but unless the persons thinking changes, the taint comes right back, and any guilt will cause it.” So Naomi is here to further understand this, clear things the rest of us already do. “I do have questions about earlier though, Mistress.” I interrupt finding the current topic unimportant. She knits her brow at my request. “That is not something you need to know.” “Withholding information again, that’s new.” Erin says sarcastically, pulling a cigar box off the desk. “Now is not the time for that,” My father replies, grabbing the old cigar box from Erin’s hands. Opening it, he reveals several crystals, quartz, most are black, while some in a separate compartment are clear. Pulling one from the clear compartment he holds it still for us all to see, “We use these to store the taint. It’s that simple.” He places the crystal back, closing the box and handing it back to Erin who in turns places it in his desk, “not that hard to understand at all. We were going to show you how but my daughter is young, her thoughts constantly changing and her personality in constant flux. I’m not surprised by her not needing to be purified.” “Uneventful as it may be, that is information Naomi needs to know about.” The Mistress adds, “keeping your thoughts consistent is key to keep the Third Eye pure.” She soaking all of this in, her eyes keen on the Mistress, her mouth slightly ajar I laugh, but now to press the Mistress about earlier, about Rebecca and that accent of hers. “Who is Rebecca?” I ask plainly and my Father perks up. “You told them her name?” “More like told her, her name.” I answer, “Scarlet was too clingy with Ronald and the Mistress yelled at her, calling her Rebecca instead of Scarlet which I can only assume is her actual name. And you knew to, Dad?” He only shakes his head, “yes, but we chose not to tell her. I had this same conversation with your cousin earlier,” he glaces at her as she gives a wary smile, my glare to her for learning this before me causes a sigh. “Telling a ghost details about their death creates false memories and could lead to a husk, she needs to remember herself...that being said this is all we know about her. Her name is Rebecca, not Scarlet and we’re not sure why she likes to be called Scarlet.” Remaining still the Mistress watches me, “Mike is right, so if she shows up do continue to call her Scarlet, it was my mistake to let her name slip.” “And that accent.” I bark back, “where is that from, I can’t say I recognize it at all. “Her accent only shines when she is generally pissed.” It’s from her grandparents who immigrated over here and still spoke the language of where she came from. Now I’m not defending Mary for hiding her accent but she wanted to speak clearly to all of you...what a kind gesture that we never got.” “Thank you Mike, but I prefer answering questions when they are directed towards me.” “You aren’t good at articulating yourself to the students, part of why my sister hated you.” “Do not start with that again, we have already discussed those issues in private. The children need not know of them.” “You withheld information from her…” Going mute, my dad lets out an irritated growl. “You are stupid to continue this, to think that you don’t need to tell us because it’s not concerning at the time.” Lifting myself out of my seat, I have some sense of leverage at this moment. Information we have they they don’t, being mature as I am, I’m not going to hold onto it. Clearing my throat, all eyes fall on me. “Keeping secrets is never good, and we—your students,” I glace at the Mistress now, “have a small secrets of our own.” “Fate...” Naomi hesitates, in stopping me, or is she, I’m not entirely sure from her blank expression. “If you think we’d be that harshly punished by her, then you took what my Sister said literally.” My dad, pinching the bridge of his nose looks down on me, his eyes are light with furry, “Mary, I don’t want my kids following this asinine logic of keeping things hidden, didn’t my sister teach you anything?” “She was teaching me a lesson?” Mistress Mary answers in return, her tone sounding like a comment from Erin. With all her flaws being here, Naomi has stir Mistress Mary in a peculiar way that she’s being less formal, and more direct. “Mary!” My father says no more, leaving on that last word. Hot headed as he maybe, I’m the same. Though once the doors are closes to the library, and my dad gone, I bring my face upon the Mistress. “Tom, my sister, Erin and Naomi all know this, we discussed it earlier.” “What is ‘this’,” The Mistress asks. “A woman appeared,” Erin answers, taking the rains, “a woman in a torn white trench coat like something out of movies. Tom and Hope witnessed her.” The Mistress hands fidgets, something I’ve never see her do before, but her expression is flat, “when was this?” “When grandma died,” Naomi tells her, “they said they were suppose to prevent Husks from getting to Grandma Kala because of her Harmony releasing...or something along those lines.” her eyes drift down to her hands, but I give her a pleasing look and she smiles lightly. “The woman was able to disperse all the Husk herself, we know nothing else...” “But you know something, Erin tells the Mistress, “well, more secretes or will you tell us?” She closes her eyes, shaking her head, more new motions I’ve never see her do before. “Someone who can deal with a large amount of Husks like that, it can only be Sophia.” Erin leans forward as if wanting to add more but sits back, waiting as we all now are for the Mistress to continue, to reveal the secrete. “I keep information from my students,” She starts pacing, her cane tapping the wood floor creating a dull thud. “Now is as good as time as any to explain Full Harmony, and why you must not experiences that.” Her eyes glue to me, “your hair turning that color is the precursor to Full Harmonization.” “Who is Sophia first, is she who they saw at Devil’s Reservoir?” Erin’s question is on point, can’t say I would want to hear something new when she’s passing over a different topic. “That is not certain, as I was not there and her looks is different...let me finish before you interrupt again, I assure you what I tell you all will tie with Sophia.” Even though Erin was the only one talking we all agree. “Yes, Mistress.” “Right,” The Mistress begins, “When reaching Full Harmony the body will naturally emit your harmony. Useful as that might be, it comes with a cost, that being constant strain on your mentality. Your thoughts will become more infrequent, you lose all logic and slowly devolve into what Sophia became. I once knew her well.” She starts. “Sophia was an orphan living in town and she was fascinated by moths. She loved watching them at night flocking around the candle flame which she watched over during those unbearable winters.” Where is she going with this, just get to the point... “Tending to her as best I could, one night I found that she was nothing but skin and bones, yet her Third Eye stayed clear, she had no taint at all, through all of her hardships that led her to that point. Sophia Autumn. Her last name I gave her for two reasons, it was autumn when I met her, and her hair, was beautiful, the colors of the falling leaves around us. We became quick friends while I nursed her back to health. At the time I knew nothing of anything that was going on, I could see the third eye and instinctively I knew all about that, but overall I was as inexperienced as you all are now. “Listening to some boring history lesson isn’t what I want out of this, what is your point, Mistress.” I erupt, “we gave you information, give us the same, that’s how you operate, information for information. Is that the only way to get answers from you...I sure won’t have the same weakness when I take over.” “I swear you children have halved my life.” Sighing she does get to the point now, “A forth kind of Husk...a Soul Husk. Sophia became this after sometime being Fully Harmonized, only now do I recognize that mistake. Fate, you hair becoming pink tells me you can reach this state, and I am telling you to not allow it, you can withhold it, and so to, preventing yourself from becoming a Soul Husk. “I wonder if that’s the color of the soul…” Naomi asks, as I laugh at her comment even though I have to agree with her even if the question came out of the blue, it does make sense. I can’t deny what I saw in my sister either, her eyes flared a pink hue. Erin remains motionless, but asks about the Soul Husk, “what makes it different that what we’ve already seen?” Not breaking her current stride, she turns, pacing the opposite way in front of Erin’s desk. “Ironic that she liked fire even though it killed her parents. She went missing sometime after the Harmonization. It was not till years later that in December of ‘67 I met up with her and saw the aftermath of that regret, of her continuing regret which I was unaware of.” I see Erin perk up while the Mistress smiles, liking that she got Erin’s attention. “What is on your mind?” Erin answers with his almost infinite knowledge of the mundane. “I can think of only one major thing happening that year with a mythical being, rather a monster. Are you referring to the Silver Bridge collapse?” She nods, holding out a steady palm, willing Erin to continue. “The Silver Bridge once connected Point Pleasant, West Virginia with Gallipolis, Ohio over the Ohio River and was built in 1928. On December 15, 1967 during the rush hour and heavy traffic on the bridge it collapsed killing forty-six people. Now going off of what the Mistress is saying, some have speculated that a creature known as the Mothman caused the collapse. Rather was the harbinger of that incident.” “Your text book knowledge is like no other,” the Mistress comments, “that is precisely what happened, and is why I fear that Fate will turn out like that. Only difference is she keeps gaining and loosening taint.” She now approach me. Grabbing my chin to hold my face in position so she can get a good look at my Third Eye. “The only reason for the eye to become untainted is for you to change your thoughts, so is everything in this world so foreign to you that you have come to the conclusion that nothing matters? It’s rare for anyone to have such a pure eye, yet yours is as clean as Sophia’s was back then.” Gazing into her old eyes, I can’t understand what she is getting at, but me turning into a creature that would hurt others. I’d never do that. I don’t know what I changed about me to cause my taint to come and go even… “Mistress you even said at our young age our minds are constantly changing, that is why my taint is vanishing.” “That is true to an extent, but taint always remains, for someone to be completely pure is rather unheard of.” the Mistress pulls her hand from my chain. Taint is different, it’s sanity and yours is pure. It is as if you are ignoring your sanity.” “I’m not someone who follows, if I know it can be prevented than I won’t allow it.” I reply, getting slightly annoyed that the Mistress believes my mind is constantly clear and contains no taint. “Mistress,” Naomi speaks up, “if what you say about Mothman is true, what about other creatures like Big Foot, or…” Her interrupting the conversation is welcomed. Soul Husks are classified as mythical creatures, good to know, but some, like Big Foot are tame, not all Soul Husks are bad then?” “Correct, but I do not want Fate and Hope, even you Naomi, taking that chance...Hope can know about your hair, there is no point hiding it any longer, Tom too.” She responses. “Now is that enough for tonight, is there anything more?” Her sight moves from Erin, to Naomi, than I before back on Erin who I can tell is pondering a few more questions. The Mistress notices as I have and quietly says, “one last question, out with it.” “What is concerning me about what my brother and Hope saw is that I saw it too, well the flames, purple, and you disregarded that it was a human form, a female...” “I did not disregard it, I only see that as an unlikely coincidences.” “You say that like you think it’s something different and purposely told us an unrelated story to get us off your back.” “How astute of you.” She answers me with a hiss, “how ever unlikely it will be for you to meet her, I can not help but think a woman named Marie Mayflower is behind that. Her abilities are visible to the naked eye, that is why you saw it, but why she has shown up is beyond me. I knew her way back when, before Sophia but that is all.” We’re all silent as the Mistress proudly taps her cane on the wood flooring again, “with that silliness out of the way, I expect you all to act as you have been...and sorry Naomi, my students are never this rude.” “No need to apologies, I am happy to learn more, and their behavior is not hindering me, I’m glad to learn and hear about my mother every now and again. I’ll be visiting Danny.” “I’ll be going to than, thank you Mistress for being straight with us.” “I wouldn’t call that straight...lets talk again though, truthfully. I have research to do with this knowledge so give me sometime, we’ll get back to this...don’t forget Mistress Mary.” She smiles, in acceptances, more gestures I find awkward coming for her, something feels off. But given me permission to talk to my sister about my hair is joyful, I can stop cutting my hair—I think. “I don’t want to see you turn into a monster,” Pausing as I’m exiting the library, Naomi stands tall over me, gazing down her nose, “you’re scary but don’t become a true monster.” “Are you scared of them?” I ask and she breaks eye contact. “It’s not my place to say, but you have some odd behaviors and I’m worried about you.” “Don’t be Sleeping Beauty, I have enough people looking down on me, both figuratively and literally,” I glare up at her, not needing that pep talk, “worry about yourself, as will I, myself.” 2,878 Words And thus I am done rewriting the cluster f*ck it once was, with way too many characters at once. It looks much better and I shaved about 1,000 words from it.