Almost decided to forego putting up a post this week, but here I am! And for once, it won’t be for A Vampire’s Bride! Secondhand Soul is quickly approaching its end (maybe that’s why I’m dragging my feet on it), so here’s to keeping it moving forward. Still not sure if Provisional Freedom is going to continue past its end, either.
Today’s post comes from another Our Write Side prompt series, Two Word Tuesday.
It’s hard to concentrate on what Max is saying. I’m not bored, not really, I just care less about what they’re saying than I do about why Marcus seems so uncomfortable. Does he think Videl and I don’t notice his fidgeting? That his eyes – those terrifyingly deep pools of molten, green-tinted tar – continue to dart my way? He seemed fine when he first walked in, and I have a feeling this goes deeper than the fact I stared at him. Why have I made him so uncomfortable?
Max mentions purgatory, and my awareness returns to him. “Wait, what?”
“Were you not listening?” They’re annoyed, the first hint of emotion I’ve seen from them since they pulled me from limbo.
“Sorry.” I look away from Marcus and Videl. “I zoned out.”
“I said – we intend to trap the witch in purgatory. She’ll be stripped of her magic there.” Right – some kind of witch was giving both the angels and demons trouble. Something about a deal with the devil. To be honest, I don’t want to know more than I need to, so I didn’t ask questions.
“How are you going to do that?” Now I’m interested.
“That’s where you come in. We pulled you out to help us. Your mother is a placeholder. She’ll take her place.”
“I thought you said I’d be going back? And why couldn’t you just pull me out and drop the witch in? Instead of my mother?”
“Subduing the witch isn’t easy, and no one here is immune to her magic. Except for you.” Max crosses their arms. “Purgatory has that effect on people – its energy lingers on souls that have been pulled out. A nice side-effect is that your being near her will dull her magic. Not to mention you can’t be killed.”
“What?” This would have been nice to know.
“Did I not mention that?”
“No, you didn’t.” A new tension enters the room. A part of me wants to say ‘screw it’ and refuse. It’s only the look on Videl’s face that stops me. There’s a desperation behind her carefully controlled demeanor. Besides, I don’t think angels pull souls out of limbo for fun – especially if we can’t die after. That witch must be really bad if it’s worth the risk. With a sigh, I continue, “Whatever – as long as my mother gets out of purgatory.”
I’ll figure out what to do about my immortality later.
“She will.” Max directs their attention back to Videl. “Lucifer will take care of the specifics – leading your grandmother into another deal, trapping her in the summoning circle. She can still use her magic even when she’s trapped, so that’s where Paola will come in.” They turn to me. “You’ll be protecting Videl’s mother. We don’t want the witch doing anything that might hurt her when she realizes she’s trapped.”
“And us?” Marcus finally speaks.
“We’ve received word that the witch won’t be working alone. Seems she’s managed to get some angels to turn coat.” Max says this like it’s no big deal, but Marcus’ face makes it clear that it is. “So you’ll be standing guard, making sure no one interferes. Lucifer might be strong, but he’s just an angel, like me. He’ll need the protection from our siblings.”
“And Eva and Mikey?” Videl’s eyes glance to the ceiling.
“I’ll take care of them, keep them away from the danger.” Max’s voice is actually comforting, and I wonder who Eva and Mikey are that they’re so important. “I’ll go let Lucifer know I’ve told you the plan. Your grandmother is preparing for the summoning ceremony as we speak. She’ll probably do it in the next few days.”
At that Max disappears, and I’m left with Videl and Marcus, the room as uncomfortable as ever.
“I’ll take you home, Paola.” Videl stands from her place beside Marcus, shooting him a look I can’t decipher. Now that the angel is gone, Videl and Marcus’ marks have disappeared. Videl’s arms are clean of any blood, and Marcus’ eyes look normal – a vibrant green not unlike mine.
I don’t argue and simply follow her out the door.
And we’re one step closer! At least there’s a plan in place. Probably a plethora of plotholes, too, but oh well. Someday I’ll get around to cleaning it up.
As always, think happy thoughts!