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Freedom

by Cole Huerter 4 years ago in fiction
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Book Two of the Hidden Demon Series

Jail bars broke open, allowing a tentacle to flow through and open the door. Alarms went off in the jail as the Guardians went to the broken cell door. They ran in to find it empty. As a door slammed behind them, a dark figure smiled at his success as he turned the lock. He vanished out of the jail and out onto the road.

***

Alice walked down the sidewalk, heading for school. It had been about a month since Jess died and she still felt upset about it.

“Alice,” a voice said. She turned around and saw Kayla running up to her.

“Hey, Kayla, I figured you were at school by now,” Alice said.

“No, I was waiting to walk with you. How are you feeling?”

Alice shrugged her shoulders and looked at the sidewalk. “I’m not sure. I can’t seem to get that night out of my head.”

“Alice, relax a little. It’s been a month since her death. You have to move on. I’m sure she would want you to do that.”

“I guess you’re right. Come on, let’s hurry.” The girls walked faster as they reached the front doors. As Alice reached for the handle, the doors swung open and knocked her down. Three girls walked out from the doors and laughed at Alice. They looked up at Kayla and scoffed at her.

“Traitor,” one girl said.

“Yeah. You should’ve stuck with us,” another girl replied.

Kayla helped Alice up and shoved the girls out of the way as they walked down the hall. “Alice, are you okay?”

Alice stood up a little and shook her head. She looked back at the girls that glared at them. Alice fell to her knees as she felt a pain in her chest. She moaned in pain and fell onto her back.

“Alice? Someone call 911,” Kayla yelled.

***

The figure walked down the road more towards a mountain. A sharp pain flowed through his veins as he felt his strength increase. He chuckled as he continued to walk down the road. He closed in on the entrance when he noticed a girl exiting the mountain. A smile grew on his face.

***

Alice stood in a dark, foggy cavern. She looked around and could barely see anything. As she kept looking, she noticed a very small light beaming through a tunnel. She stepped forward towards the light and exited the cavern. Alice looked up at the sky as dark clouds circled around the tip of the mountain.

She looked down the road and saw a figure standing there in a black robe covering his face. Alice squinted her eyes, trying to figure out who he was. A smile grew on his face as he walked towards her. She closed her eyes and put her hands on her head.

***

Alice woke up in horror. She sat up in the bed and looked around and noticed an IV in her arm and a gown covering her. There were computers and wires everywhere. Alice looked over and saw Kayla standing outside the door.

Kayla looked through the window and burst through the door. “Alice, thank god you’re alright.” Kayla wrapped her arms around her and hugged her.

“What happened?”

“The doctors aren’t sure yet. They think you may have had a seizure or something. I’m just glad that you’re okay.”

Alice looked down at her IV as a chill flowed through her. What did I see while I was out? “Can you help me get out of this bed? I wanna go home now.”

“Are you sure you can leave?”

“Yes, she may,” a voice said. The girls turned to the door to see a doctor at the entryway. “Everything seems to be fine with her so she is free to go home.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Alice said. She climbed out of bed as Kayla helped her get dressed.

***

“Thanks for walking home with me, Kayla.”

“Well, I want to make sure that you make it home,” Kayla said. As they walked down the sidewalk, a rock flew through the air and hit Alice in her back, making her fall. Kayla turned around and saw the girls that bullied her come walking down the street.

“Hey, bitch, learn how to walk,” the middle girl yelled. “Apparently, the doctor didn’t drug her enough.”

Kayla helped Alice up as tears flowed down her face. Kayla ran toward the girl and punched her in the face, knocking her off her feet. The other girls gasped at what had happened and ran off. Kayla stepped on her chest and looked down at her. “I told you before, and I will say it again. Don’t ever mess with Alice again.”

She stepped off her and walked back over to Alice. Alice wiped away her tears as they walked home.

“Kayla,” Alice said. She reached over to her and hugged her. “Thank you.”

Kayla hugged her back. “I won’t let you get hurt again. I will see you tomorrow.”

***

The figure’s smile vanished as the girl had vanished in front of him. He walked down the road and into the mountain. His tentacles grew out farther from his back and lifted him up to the top.

He reached his hand over the ledge and hopped to his feet. He stared up into the sky as dark clouds swirled. A grimacing smile reached from ear to ear as the tentacles grew out farther. The clouds circled down and picked him up into the sky as he vanished, laughing.

***

Alice opened the door to her house and threw her bag onto the ground. She walked into the kitchen and grabbed an apple. As she entered the living room, she saw her breath and shivered.

But nothing was there.

Alice woke up the next day with a cold feeling down her spine. She looked around her room and then stepped out of bed.

But nothing was there.

She walked out of her room and into the bathroom. Alice took a shower and felt the steam fill and calm her. She stepped out of the shower and towel-dried her hair. Turning, she read the words drawn on the mirror: "I’m back."

***

Alice walked down the hallway to her class, feeling as if eyes were piercing through her. Whispers were going around in the halls, teens staring at her. Something felt off today.

“Alice.” Alice jumped and turned around to see Kayla next to her. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a lot on my mind right now. I don’t know why but I feel like something is off today.”

“You’re probably just feeling that way because of everything that happened yesterday.”

“No, Kayla. That’s not it.” Alice pulled her over next to a locker. “Someone wrote on my mirror while I took a shower this morning.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It said ‘I’m back.’”

“Are you sure you didn’t write that yourself?”

Alice looked behind Kayla and saw a boy. He wore a black shirt with dark jeans with holes in them. His hair was covering his eyes and a smile was on his face. Alice felt fear cover her. She blinked and the figure vanished. Alice looked back at Kayla.

“Kayla, I have to talk to you about something important after school today. You can’t tell anyone.”

Kayla looked at Alice confused.

“Okay? What is it?”

“It has to do with what happened to Jess,” Alice said as she walked away to her class.

Alice sat in her class listening to her teacher. A chill ran up her spine as she looked out the window. A figure stood across the street from the school staring in her direction. Alice felt her hands shake.

“Alice.” She turned back to see the teacher looking at her. “The lesson is up here. Not out there.”

“Sorry, Mr. Shawn,” Alice said. She looked back out the window where the figure stood. But nothing was there.

***

Ding! The bell went off and Alice was already at the front doors of the school. Kayla ran up to her with worry on her face. “Alice, what did you want to tell me?”

“Walk home with me. I will explain it all.”

Alice and Kayla walked down the sidewalk. They were quiet for some time before Alice looked back at Kayla. “Kayla, I am responsible for what happened to Jess.”

Kayla stopped walking. “What are you talking about? There is no way that you could’ve done that.”

Alice felt tears fall down her face. “There was someone named… Daniel. Jess tried to warn me about him because she wanted to protect me, but I didn’t listen to her. Daniel ended up killing her then tried to kill me.”

“What happened to Daniel?”

Alice looked down at the ground. “He’s locked up now.”

Kayla hugged Alice tightly. “That was not your fault. He won’t be able to hurt you anymore.”

Alice pushed back and looked at her. “Kayla, I’ve been seeing him everywhere. At the school, across the street. I think he is the one that wrote on my mirror.”

“So you’re saying that he escaped?”

“I’m hoping that it’s not true. Please don’t tell anyone.”

Kayla grabbed Alice’s hands. “Alice, I promise I won’t tell anyone. If he did break out, we will find a way to put him back in. But for now, we need to stick together more.”

Alice smiled and hugged Kayla. “Thank you.” The girls walked down more to Alice’s house. Alice opened the door as the girls stepped into the dark house. The door slammed behind them. Kayla tried to open it but it wouldn’t budge.

“Hello, Alice,” a voice said. The girls looked around trying to find the voice. “It’s so good to see you again. It looks like you found a new friend since our last encounter.”

“No. It can’t be,” Alice said.

A figure stepped out from the kitchen. He wore a dark robe with tentacles coming from the back of it. His face was burned and a scar was visible across his chest.

“Who is that, Alice?” Kayla asked.

Alice stood frozen with fear. “Daniel.”

Daniel smiled. “Did you miss me?”

Alice froze with fear as the nightmares and pain all flooded back to her. The last time she saw him was when she trapped him back inside her. How could he have escaped? Kayla watched as fear filled Alice.

“Alice, who is that?” Kayla asked. “And how does he know you?”

“You mean she hasn’t told you about me? I would assume she would tell her new 'best friend' about me.” Daniel smirked. “Let’s just say, I am very close to your friend here. Closer than Jess was.”

“Daniel, what are you doing back?” Alice asked angrily. “You were supposed to be locked up.”

“Whoa, wait. Locked up? What the hell did he do?” Kayla said.

Daniel laughed sending chills up Alice’s back. “I let myself out for good behavior.”

“What good behavior? You're nothing but trouble, you always were,” Alice said. “You need to leave. Now.”

Daniel looked at Kayla, then back at Alice. “As you wish.”

He walked towards them and stopped in front of Alice. He placed his hand on her face and ran it along her cheek. Alice pulled back quickly as tears filled her eyes. He put his hand back down and walked past Kayla. Kayla looked at him angrily as he winked at her before leaving the house. Kayla slammed the door behind him and ran up to Alice.

“Alice, who was that? How does he know you? What was he talking about when he said he was close to you?”

Alice stared forward with tears falling down her cheeks as he hands trembled. “He’s back. How can he be back?”

“Alice, talk to me. What is going on?”

“I-I need to be alone for a moment.” Alice stepped forward then felt a tug back. Kayla grabbed her wrist.

“No, Alice. I saw the same thing you did. You have to tell me everything now. Who is he and how did he know about Jess?”

Alice turned back to Kayla and saw the worry on her face. “Remember when I said I had something to tell you after class today?”

“Yeah?”

“This was it. He...” Alice paused building up the strength to speak. “He is the one who killed her.”

Kayla’s eyes widened at what she just heard. “He killed Jess? Why?”

Alice reached out and grabbed Kayla’s hands. “Kayla, there is more to me than you and I both know. Do you promise that you won’t tell anyone what I am about to tell you?”

Kayla looked down at their hands then back to Alice. “Yes. I promise.”

***

“Wow. So, Daniel is a negative emotion of yours named Denial?”

Alice nodded. “Jess told me there was something off about him and I didn’t listen to her. It’s my fault that she is dead. If I would’ve listened to her...”

“It is not your fault, Alice. Don’t ever think that it was your fault. Jess’ death rests on his shoulders, not yours.”

Alice looked up at Kayla. “Thank you for listening and helping me.” Alice hugged Kayla tightly.

“You’re welcome,” Kayla said, hugging back. “So what do we do about Denial?”

“We have to kill him once and for all.”

***

Denial walked down the alleyway and looked up at the bright moon. “Ah, freedom never felt so good. If only I could become fully free.”

“You know you can become free completely, Denial,” a voice said. Denial turned around to see a mysterious figure in a hood.

“Who the hell are you and how do you know who I am?” Denial asked as tentacles grew from his back, ready to attack.

“There is no need for violence, dear.” The figure removed her hood. Denial looked at her, confused.

“Jess? I thought I killed you.”

“Oh you did kill her, no doubt about that. However, I am not her.” The figure’s body shifted and morphed around to reveal a woman. Her skin was pale but showed dark veins running across it. Her hair was as white as snow and was straightened down her back and her eyes glowed a blood red.

“And who are you supposed to be?” Denial asked, lowering his guard.

“I am just like you. A negative emotion yearning to be free completely. I have you to thank for getting me here to the real world.”

“So you broke out when I escaped as well?”

“Yes. I followed you here through the portal. I want to help.”

Denial’s tentacles moved back into his back. “I suppose some assistance won’t be too bad.” He walked up to the woman and held his hand out. “Since you know my name, I suppose I need to know yours as well.”

The figure reached her hand out and intertwined it with his. “My name is Gwen. Guilt is my name back in our world.”

Denial smiled from ear to ear.

***

Alice walked down the sidewalk as visions of last night flashed though her mind. Denial was back and Alice had no idea how. She had to stop him using the cross again, but by now, he’s grown smart enough to not allow her to use it against him. She needs to do something. Alice continued to walk, her head hanging low, trying to think hard.

“Alice,” a distraught voice said. “Alice.”

Alice looked up quickly and saw Kayla. “Hey, sorry.”

“You okay?” Kayla asked.

Alice nods.

“Alice, don’t lie to me. What’s wrong?”

“I’m just thinking about what happened last night. It’s been over a month now. How could he have escaped from where he was? I would’ve known about it. At least, I think I would’ve known.”

“Well, maybe he found a way to get out without you knowing.”

“Yeah, maybe. Unless he..."

“Alice,” a voice called out. Alice recognized the voice causing her to freeze in place. She turned around slowly. Someone was at the end of the sidewalk, standing there.

“Alice,” it called out again as it ran towards her.

“Jess,” Alice asked. The figure became clearer as Alice’s view adjusted. It was Jess. Alice’s tears streamed down her face. She dropped her bag and ran towards her, leaving Kayla behind. Alice and Jess met in the middle and hugged each other tight. Alice’s tears continued to run down her face as she hugged her. “How are you here? I thought you were dead?”

“Is that what Daniel told you? I knew something was wrong with him. I didn’t trust him,” she replied.

“How did you survive?”

“I ran into a cat when he attacked me. The cat jumped on him before he could do anything to me, so I ran. He must have killed the cat.”

“Poor cat. To me, he died a hero,” Alice said as she hugged Jess again. “I missed you so much.”

“Alice,” Kayla called out. She caught up to the girls breathing heavily. She looked up and saw Jess.

“Alice, who is this?” Jess asked.

“This is Kayla. After you disappeared, she was there for me and became my friend. She saw Daniel in my house last night. He’s back.”

“What? How could that be?”

“That doesn’t matter,” Kayla chimed in. “Why are you here?”

“Kayla,” Alice said. “What do you mean?”

“Well, if she didn’t die that night, then why did she wait so long to come back,” Kayla responded.

“I didn’t know how Alice would react. When I heard that she thought I was dead, I was afraid to scare her after everything that had happened. I waited for the time to be right,” Jess replied.

“Well, you picked one hell of a time to come back,” Kayla said.

“Hey.” Alice jumped in. “I don’t understand why she chose to wait so long or why all this is happening, but the point is she is back. You shouldn’t be so mean to her, Kayla.”

Kayla rolled her eyes. “Sorry. I’m gonna go to class. Welcome back.” Kayla turned and walked down the sidewalk away from the girls. She looked back to see the girls watch her walk away. A tear fell from her cheek as she quickly turned back around and continued her walk.

“Kayla,” Alice said.

“Don’t worry about her. If she was your friend, she would be just as happy as you are,” Jess said.

“I suppose,” Alice replied.

“So what’s new in the town since I’ve been gone? Besides you being friends with your old bully,” Jess asked.

“She isn’t that bad, Jess. She just needed someone to be a real friend to her.”

“Well, still. That’s a bit sketchy. I want you to be safe.”

“I know you do.”

“Speaking of safe, why didn’t you come look for me? I thought we were friends.”

“Don’t say that, Jess. We are friends. When he told me that he killed you, I thought he was telling me the truth. I was so depressed.”

“Well, you still should’ve came looking for me. It really upset me that you didn’t do that.”

“I’m sorry, Jess. I feel like such a jerk now. You’re right. I should’ve came looking for you.”

“Well, I suppose it doesn’t matter now. We are back together, and if Daniel is still out there. We will be ready.”

“I’m just so glad you’re back.” Alice hugged Jess again.

“It feels good to be back,” Jess said.

***

That night, a thick fog covered the town. The street lights flickered around. A dark, hooded figure walked through the fog. The tentacles in its back retracted as they pulled the hood down. Denial walked through the night.

“Ah, it feels so good to be back up here. I look forward to taking it as mine,” Denial said.

“Don’t you mean ‘ours’?" a voice said. Denial turned around quickly to see Jess standing there.

“Of course I mean 'ours.' My apologies, my dear. It’s been so long since I have worked with someone,” Denial replied. “How is our patient?”

“Alice definitely doesn’t learn from her mistakes. She doesn’t expect a thing. Besides,” Jess’ body shifted and moved as her true form appeared. “It’s fun making her feel guilty for what had happened.”

“Oh? How so?”

“My name is Guilt, remember? It’s my specialty.”

“Fair enough. From what I heard, you did an excellent job pulling her in.”

“Thank you.”

Denial smiled and looked up at the moon. A small eclipse formed on the very edge of it. Guilt looked up at the moon then back at Denial.

“So, what next?” she asked.

“Soon, we move on to phase two.”

“What’s phase two?”

Denial turned as his skin changed and he look morphed back to his disguised form. “It’s time for Kayla to officially meet Daniel.”

fiction

About the author

Cole Huerter

Writer

Critic and creator of Pop Culture Critics

Graduate of Full Sail University

Big nerd

Fun and outgoing

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