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Author's note: I love Bizenghast and decided to pay tribute to it!
"I am quiet and quick, a sneaky snake of white and red. Thy pyre waits for thy gypsy love? And forth we pray for forgiveness. Yeah I've got no clue, any ideas Edaniel?" Quizzed Dinah at the plaque acknowledging the entrance to yet another creepy mausoleum ghost world.
"The first part is a riddle of fire I know that." In put Edrear, "And a pyre is where witches and gypsies used to be burned in ancient times."
"The girl's name is Ainia, she was a lovely lady with a perfect life yadda yadda," started Edaniel, in his most pompous I-know-more-than-you voice. "Her husband betrayed her (in a way not to be divulged to you, I don't know why but Edrear told me so) she went totally nutsso and killed her three small children then herself. In that process she also burned down the whole town and there were no survivors." His toothy grin grew in self celebration.
"That makes no sense to the riddle at all." Laughed Dinah, striding up to a small headstone engraved with a burning cross. "Do you think this is it?" she said tapping it lightly with her foot. Edaniel poked around it and nodded. "So how do we get in?"
"I'm guessing it has something to do with that key hole," pointed Edrear.
"Yeah, I kind of figured that… so where's the key?" Asked Dinah, sifting through the overgrown grass surrounding them.
"Here it is!" Exclaimed Edaniel, pulling a kitchen cleaver from a small rose bush. Both Dinah and Edrear raised an eyebrow. Why always the rose bush? She thought dolefully. She grasped the old fashioned wood handle and slid the blade into the key hole. With a quarter turn to the right they all heard a small click. The headstone sank to reveal a small stairway.
"Allow me to enter first Miss Dinah," Said Edrear drawing his twisted sword. He clasped her hand and started down. Edaniel followed close behind. Together they slowly made their way down. They emerged into what appeared to be a late 1800's style town square. People milled about in the mid-day sun, laughing, talking, and going about their daily business. The church bells rang signifying it was about noon (well more like mid-night to Dinah).
Dinah couldn't help but smile at the simple pleasant lives of these people. "Are you sure this is the right place?" she giggled as a group of small boys ran by waving sticks at one another.
A scream broke the back ground babble of the town. "YOU SICK BASTARD!!!!!!!!" Cried out a woman's voice, "HOW COULD YOU!?!?!?! DID OUR VOWES MEAN NOTHING TO YOU!?!?!?!" A slightly drunk man flew from a small window of a nearby house.
"My love I apologize, I made a mistake! Please forgive me!!!" He begged shifting to his knees.
"A MISTAKE?!?!?!! YOU WERE HAVING AN AFFAIR!!!! WHAT ARE OUR CHILDREN GOING TO SAY!?!?! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO THEM?!?! TO ME!?!?!?!" Wailed the woman poking her head out the window, tears streaming down her face. The man winced as he was struck in the face by a shoe flying from the same window.
"Found our girl!!!" Cried Edaniel.
"You don't say," said Dinah in complete sarcasm.
"Miss Dinah!" Edrear yelled as he tackled Dinah out of the way of more random objects flying from the window. He covered her trembling body with his until the onslaught was over. "Are you alright, Miss Dinah?" He asked extending a hand to help her to her feet. She nodded, blushing.
Smoke began to rise into sky. "You guys can flirt later; I think we've got a problem." Edaniel stated pointing to the growing column of flames rapidly eating away the house. People ran screaming and the trio jumped into action. Edaniel conjured up a fire extinguisher. "Somehow I doubt this will be enough to put that fire out." He muttered, shooting white foam at the middle of the towering flames.
"Not Helping!" called Edrear as he ran here and there moving as many innocent bystanders as he could.
How do we pass this ghost on? Dinah wondered, wrinkling up her forehead. Screams erupted from inside the burning house. "Help Us Mommy!!!" Children cried. Dinah's eyes widened in understanding. She bolted toward the house.
"Miss Dinah, STOP!!" Called Edrear, running after her.
"No can do, we have to get those kids. This ghost is held back by guilt, the guilt of killing her kids and her town. I'll get the kids, you guys put out that fire!" She smashed through the door and into the uproar of burning memories.
Now where are you? She glanced every which way till her eyes fell on a staircase. She ran up it as fast as she could without tripping and falling to the burning abyss below. At the top of the stairs was a small sitting area surrounded by doors. She kicked down each door as she came up to it, all the rooms were empty. One last door. She kicked it, yelps of fear and surprise rang form the three small children huddled in the room's center.
She ran up to them. "You're going to be okay now," she smiled, hefting one onto her back and another into her arms. She took them and ran blindly toward the exit. Just a little farther. She stumbled and fell, "Run!" she gasped to the children, they wriggled away and ran tears steaming in the heat. Smoke filled up her lungs, and her vision started to get blurry, she could feel her dress catch on fire. Her whole being burned, practically screaming for relief.
"Miss DINAH?!?!?!" came Edrear's alarmed cries. Wait for me guys… I'm coming…just let me rest…. Just for a moment... I just need a little break. She blacked out. "Miss Dinah?! MISS DINAH!?!?! MISS DINAH!!!!!!" Edrear picked her up, cradling her gently. "Hang on Miss Dinah; come on you'll be OK. EDANIEL!! We have to leave!! NOW!!!!!!!" Light exploded around the three hunters as Edaniel waved his magic wand and Edrear held Dinah close.
"Is she breathing?" Asked Edaniel, rushing to his brother's side.
"Yes…. But barely." He sighed. "Go get something to treat her burns and some water." Edaniel nodded and conjured the items. Edrear gently washed and bandaged her burnt arms and legs, whilst Edaniel (in his human form) rested her head in his lap and tried to get her to drink some water. Her breathing slowly became normal again.
Her eyes fluttered open just as the sun began to rise. Edrear's relieved face smiled down at her. Her cheeks felt warm.
"Feeling OK?" asked Edaniel, lifting her up to a sitting position. She slowly shook her head. Her whole body felt of fire.
"Fire! The town… the children… what?" she stuttered.
"It's all been fixed. But at quite a price," Edrear motioned to her bandaged form, "Those are pretty severe burns. I think you should stay put for awhile." Dinah shook her head.
"I can't my aunt is probably already wondering where I am. Don't worry I can hide these pretty easily under my school uniform." She tried to stand but collapsed as pain seared through every limb. Edrear carefully lifted her into his arms.
"Edaniel?" He nodded. Edaniel lead the way down a new passageway, lighted by blue torches and lined with glittering tiles of a deep green. At the end was a big gate, Edrear kicked the mausoleum's insignia in the center, the gates flew open and the room beyond lit instantly. In the center of the room was a big four poster bed engraved in swords and shields. The walls were lined with paintings of every size and color. A mirror was against one wall, a small chest against the other.
"Where are we and why do strange doors and passages keep appearing in this place?" Dinah quizzed.
"For one thing sweet cheeks," Edaniel began, "S*** keeps appearing 'cause we feel like making it appear. And secondly we are now in Edrear's room. This is where he stays when not doing random ghost business." He shifted into his cat form once again and hopped upon the bed.
She raised an eyebrow as Edrear set her next to his brother. He blushed slightly, and murmured a quick apology. "So… how am I supposed to pull off the fact that its morning and I'm not home and my aunt is probably freaking out?" She repeated.
"I sent a note saying you went to school early to catch up on random smart person stuff." Edaniel nodded.
"Yeah… If she believes that then I'm the luckiest person known to man." She sighed.
"Worry not Miss Dinah," Edrear intervened, "You shall be well soon enough to pull it off." She threw a glare his way. He backed away with his hands up. "Um… Brother, can you call her?" Edaniel laughed and waved his wand.
The lights flickered. "Whatever is the matter?!" spoke a flash of purple light. "I was in the middle of something important." A woman stepped from the light. She was garbed in a long renaissance gown of deep crimson and gold. Her hair was a rich yellow and fell to her knees. Her face was small and her eyes were a shocking mix of blue and purple. She smiled at the brothers.
"My most humble apologies, sister." Edrear bowed, "But we are in dire need of your assistance." She jerked her hand and Edrear rose.
The woman glanced at Dinah's injured form. "Edrear? Why is the human agent girl in your bed?" she gave Edrear a skeptical look. Her face turned to an expression of sheer horror. "On second thought I don't want to know." She turned away laughing. Edrear turned a bright scarlet.
"No, no, no I swear it's not like that." His hands waved frantically.
"Uh huh sure," Edaniel smiled. Dinah's cheeks burned.
"Um…. Who are you? If I may ask..." Dinah asked, slightly embarrassed.
"Oh pardon me," Edrear started, "I forgot to introduce everyone. Dinah this is the fourth tower guard, my older sister Elala. Sister this is our newest human agent Dinah. Which you probably already knew that." He bowed again.
"It's very nice to make your acquaintance Miss Dinah." Elala smiled.
"Uh… likewise." Dinah returned, extending a hand. Which she pulled back when she realized Elala wasn't going to shake it.
"So why did you call me here?!" Elala glared in Edaniel's general direction.
"We need your help," he said, glancing sideways back at her. She raised an eyebrow again. "See Dinah there has gotten badly burned. We were wondering if you might… you know… like heal her. At least enough so she can go home today."
"Well you could have said so earlier. How rude to keep that poor girl in such pain. I knew it, you both need more training, and you can't keep killing off agents like flies." She sat and ran her hands down Dinah's arms. Instantly the burning sensation cooled. "Better?" Dinah nodded. She finished her spell and unwound Dinah's bandages. Dinah's arms and legs were slightly red and a little scarred but otherwise fine. "Those scars should fade by the end of the week." Elala gave Dinah a small smile.
"I'm gonna go now, I don't want to be late to school." Dinah said and made her departure.
"Well that was uneventful." Elala said raising her hand to open the passageway to her room but suddenly dropped it. "Well, while I’m out and about I better make sure you didn't mess up anywhere else in the mausoleum. Shall we check the unbearable vaults first? How many do we have now? Two or three?"
"Two” The boys nodded and led the way. They opened the door and she descended the steps. A moment passed.
"YOU GET YOUR SORRY ASSES DOWN HERE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!" came her angered cries. The boys did as told, both shell shocked at her sudden outburst.
"What's the matter?" Edaniel asked hanging back slightly.
She pointed in fired rage. "There is only one here." She whispered dangerously, "And there is ONE BROKEN AND EMPTY VAULT!!!!!!!!!" she cried shoving the two surprised guardians at the shattered cell door. Neither moved, "You better fix this and fast. If I find that that thing has done anything to harm anyone, both of you are screwed for the rest of your immortal guardian lives."
"Meaning…?" Edaniel ventured, receiving a quick bow jab from Edrear.
"Don't push it." Edrear whispered.
"Meaning…" Elala smiled, "That you two will be training from dusk to dusk every day for a hundred years, you will have no contact with any human agent we may have in that time, and I will personally make certain you feel the fiery wrath of hell. Am I understood?!" She whispered, eyes blazing with rage. The boys nodded quickly. "Good! Now clean up this mess, I'll let Eniri know her meeting with Dinah has been postponed till you two catch that unbearable." With that she left.
"Well…" Edrear sighed, "that went… not so good."
"No kidding," Edaniel gasped; letting out the breath he had been holding the majority of the lecture.
"If that thing harms anything, our heads are skipping the chopping block…" Edrear started.
"And going straight to Elala's vengeful hands," Edaniel finished. Both shivered.
"You don't think?" The guardians said simultaneously. They bolted out the door.
Edrear and Edaniel ran, hoping to catch Dinah before anything bad happened. They stopped at a crossroads and looked around.
“Which way?” Edrear asked, hopping from one foot to the other nervously.
“I don’t know. How should I know where she lives? It’s not like I stalk her or anything.” Edaniel huffed, shifting into his human self.
Edrear glared at his brother. “Didn’t you plant a note for Dinah’s Aunt this morning?” Edaniel nodded and promptly smacked his forehead with the palm of his left hand. He pointed left and the two took off once more.
The scenery flashed by them in a woodsy, green blur. When the old St. Lyman’s School for Boys came into view, the two guardians skidded to a stop at the front door. Edrear straightened up and was about to knock. “Wait!” Edaniel whispered, tugging his brother’s arm down.
“What?” Edrear asked, snatching his arm back.
“Don’t you think Dinah’s Aunt might be freaked out to find a couple of weird dudes, one of which wearing medieval armor, knocking on her door and asking for her niece?” Edaniel said, shifting Edrear’s armor to look like modern day jeans and a t-shirt. Edrear nodded affirmatively and knocked.
“One sec!” Jane yelled, rushing to the door. “Hello?” she smiled as the door swung inward. Her face fell slightly when she looked at her visitors.
“Is Miss Dinah home?” Edrear asked, trying to avoid the inevitable flirting that would issue from Edaniel were he allowed to speak.
“No, she’s not. She was having trouble with her math homework last night so she went to school early this morning. School probably started already, come to think of it. Why? She didn’t get into trouble did she?” Jane said, her mood swinging quickly from boredom to worry.
“No, no trouble. Thank you for your assistance.” Edrear smiled, bowed, and dragged his brother off the front porch before he could open his mouth and make the visit more suspicious.
“What the heck bro?” Edaniel said once they were a considerable distance away.
“Our first priority is making sure Miss Dinah is safe.” Edrear scolded.
“Uh, Chick-whipped!” Edaniel coughed.
“Very mature brother,” Edrear rolled his eyes.
They continued on toward Dinah’s school, getting lost sooner than expected.
Dinah’s head rested in her hands. She slumped forward in her chair as the teacher droned on and on about molecular structure. Chills ran up and down her spine. She glanced around for the cause. A shape fled from view of the nearby window.
“Dinah is everything alright?” her teacher’s voice rang through her troubled thoughts. Laughter emanated from her class mates. Dinah shook her head.
“It is cold in here.” Said Sarah Parker, head cheerleader, “Hey Dinah there isn’t a ghost in here is there?” She batted her overly mascara-ed eyelashes. Dinah flushed and looked down.
“Jerk off!” Shouted Kathryn, Dinah’s (now) closest friend.
“Kathryn will you step out to the hall for a moment.” As she passed Kathryn gave Dinah a thumbs up. Dinah smiled slightly and went back to day dreaming. Soon she felt her skin crawl with the feeling of being watched. Her heart beat sped up, she looked around once more. This time she saw for an instant a frightening face half way through the class room door. The bell rang. She gathered her things quickly and practically ran from the class room.
“Are you all right?” Asked Kathryn catching her by her locker. Dinah nodded. “You seem... I don’t know… sort of… scared.”
“No, I’m fine. Let’s go get lunch.” Dinah forced a smile.
They walked toward the cafeteria in silence. Dinah saw the creature at the end of the hall. It smiled a wicked grin and started walking slowly toward her. She had seen it somewhere before but couldn’t place where (besides the classroom just before). It leapt for her; she ducked and screamed, covering her eyes.
“Dinah what’s wrong!?” cried Kathryn kneeling beside her. Dinah shook her head as tears of fear spilled forth. She pushed Kathryn back and made a run for the exit. She didn’t stop running and she didn’t look back. She kept running till she reached her house and was safely in side. Or so she thought.
“Dinah, what is it?” her aunt worried. Dinah couldn’t explain, not to her aunt. She might call Dr. Dorkface again. Jane sent Dinah to bed, momentarily forgetting the mysterious visitors she had earlier. She quickly dialed the school.
“She screamed and collapsed in the hall, then made a run for it. We’re not sure what happened really.” The principal informed her. She thanked him and hung up.
“I thought she was getting better,” she whispered to herself. “She’s been acting up more now that that boy is gone… Maybe he should come back,” she sighed and dialed the mobile number of Vincent’s father. “Hello there,” she said cheerfully, “No nothing’s wrong; I was just wondering if I might talk to your son. Oh I see, when he comes back can you have him call me? What do you mean what do I mean? He’s been with you for a few weeks now hasn’t he? Well he told Dinah he was joining you and we haven’t seen him since. What? He wrote you a letter? What did it say? Wait… It said he was coming to stay with us for a while? So you wouldn’t be shocked to find an empty house? Huh? Odd? By who? Who’s Edaniel? Um…. Let me call you back.” Jane hung up the phone and ran upstairs. He must have been kidnapped!! She thought while banging on Dinah’s door frantically.
“Come in.” Dinah shouted to be heard over the pounding of her aunt. Jane rushed into the room, a crazed gleam in her eye.
“How did he tell you?” She asked, grabbing Dinah by the shoulders.
“How did who tell me what?” Dinah asked confused at her aunt’s sudden nonsense.
“How did Vincent tell you he was leaving?” Came Jane’s psychotic reply. “How?!?!”
“He… he… he… he left me a note.” Dinah stammered, coming up with the most random lie she could think of. Jane let go of her niece and began pacing.
“That settles it. I’m calling the police.” She said hitting a convicted fist against the palm of her hand.
“What? Why?” Dinah said utterly shocked.
“I just talked to Vincent’s father.” Jane explained, “Vincent isn’t with them, and they received a letter saying he was staying with us for a while. He must have been kidnapped!” She ran from the room, only to turn around. Dinah should come with me, they were best friends after all. She knocked on Dinah’s now closed door. There was no answer. She pushed the door open, but the room was empty. Dinah had left. Where could she have gone?
Dinah ran through the woods, searching, searching. Finally she came upon the familiar quiet of the Mausoleum. She slowed and walked among the gravestones. Finally she came upon a tall tree near the center of the yard. I don’t remember this being here. Imbedded in the tree was a small plaque:
For those who know
What lies beyond?
Swing and snow
Till the day is gone.
For love’s light is lost
And can’t be found,
To open the gate
You must spin round.
For before the church bells ring,
Loves last song will finally sing.
How sad. She noticed a small swing hanging from a thick branch. She shrugged and hopped on. Only the wind blew her slightly forward and back. She hummed and had only her thoughts to keep her company. I’ve got to calm down, she told herself, I wonder what they all will say tomorrow.
“DINAH?!?” rang Jane’s voice, echoing off the trees. Dinah’s head snapped up. No she mustn’t find this place! She tried to hop off the swing but goo oozed from the aged wood and tied her to the spot. Malicious laughter breathed past.
“Fell for it,” the creature growled. He circled her slowly. “So sad isn’t it. All girls fall for a love story.” He laughed again, “Too bad no one’s coming to save you eh? Guardians went bye bye.” He smiled, the site sent chills racing up her spine. Her stomach dropped. I’m in trouble now. She thought frightened.
“There you are Dinah!” gasped Jane exasperated, “I’ve looked everywhere for you! You know how scared I was? Come on we’ve got to…” Jane stopped in her tracks, “What the hell is that thing?!” she whimpered pointing at the unbearable.
“You can see it?” Dinah was shocked. Jane nodded, “Aunt Jane… Listen to me. You have to leave! Now! RUN!” Dinah screamed as the unbearable lunged for her aunt.
“MISS DINAH!!” shouted Edrear knocking the beast off course and into a nearby headstone. “GO!!!”
“I can’t,” she cried, “I’m stuck!”
“Coming kid!” called Edaniel, rushing to her rescue.
“Forget about me for a minute and get my aunt out of here,” Dinah exclaimed.
“The pretty lady in shell shock?” Edaniel whispered in her ear.
“Yes, now get going!” Yelled Dinah elbowing him in the chest. Edaniel grinned and ran to Jane.
“Please forgive my forwardness.” He snickered, scooping the terrified aunt into his arms and running her into the Mausoleum. Dinah sighed in relief. The unbearable threw Edrear across the graveyard and ran at Dinah. She shrieked and kicked as hard as she could. Her foot collided with the things face and he fell back a few paces.
“Evil witch!” It ran for her again. This time Edrear pushed the swing so Dinah flew high. The unbearable missed and collided with Edrear’s fearsome animal form. Teeth and claws grabbed at each other. Blood splattered the ground. Dinah cried out as she crashed into the tangle of guardian and ghost, knocking them apart. The Unbearable ran off as fast as it could.
“Damn!” whispered Edrear, returning to his human form and dusting his armor. “Got away. Are you alright Miss Dinah?” she nodded. He stopped the swing and began to cut at the gooey ropes with his sword. He lifted and carried her away once free.
“You can set me down now,” she murmured. He did as instructed, but still kept a firm hand on her back. He was tense, alert, waiting for the thing to return. He led her to where Edaniel was attempting to calm Jane down, not with much success. “Aunt Jane?” Dinah worried, placing a hand on her aunts back. Jane was shaking, crying, and slowly rocking back and forth. She opened her mouth as if to speak but no sound came out. She tried to stand but stumbled. Edaniel caught her and set her back on her chair.
“What was that?” she managed to whisper after a moment of suspended silence.
“That was a very dangerous kind of ghost called an unbearable.” Dinah said, “This is the sunken Mausoleum where restless spirits, such as that one are kept. I’ve been coming here every night for a few months now to try to empty this place of the spirits it keeps.” Dinah paused, gauging her aunt’s reaction. Her aunt looked tired and very upset.
“Who are these people?” she muttered, waving a hand at the guardians.
“Edaniel and Edrear, spiritual guardian brothers at your service.” Smiled Edaniel, sweeping a curtsy. Jan’s eyes widened.
“Edaniel?!?! Then you’re the one who sent that letter to Vincent’s parents!!” She shouted. “You kidnapped Vincent!!”
“Actually…” Edaniel started, Dinah shot him a death glare.
“Aunt Jane Vincent hasn’t been kidnapped.” She whispered.
“Of course he has, by what his father and you told me there is no other explanation.” Jane protested.
“Aunt Jane… Vincent… he’s… Vincent is dead.” Dinah whimpered. Jane’s eyes expanded to the size of dinner plates.
“He was in a ghost world with me and got stabbed by a boat pin. He didn’t make it. He’s buried just out back.” Dinah’s eyes were down cast, it was still painful for her to speak of her former best friend.
Jane pinched herself. “Okay, that hurt. So I’m not dreaming? Am I going crazy?” Dinah shook her head. “Then, why are they here?” Jane gestured to the brothers.
“They help… err… protect me when I enter a ghost’s world and try to make them pass on.” Dinah sighed, slightly embarrassed. Jane nodded.
“I guess that makes sense?” She said straightening up slightly, “So ghosts are real. Dinah’s not making stuff up and she’s not crazy.” Dinah flushed, “That thing is trying to kill us. And Vincent has been kidnapped.” She nodded assuring herself.
“Correction,” interjected Edaniel, “that ‘thing’ is only trying to kill Dinah… as far as we know.”
Jane stood abruptly, swayed, and fainted.
“That was… awkward.” Edaniel shrugged.
“That’s the understatement of the year.” Dinah growled, “Poor Aunt Jane. This must be such a shock to her.”
“What did she mean by ‘she’s not crazy’ as if she wasn’t sure?” Edrear wondered aloud. Dinah flushed again.
“After my parents died… That’s when I started seeing ghosts. People thought I went insane. Traumatized or something from the whole car crash experience. They didn’t believe that my… ‘Fits’ were caused by ghosts.” Said Dinah, Edrear could almost hear her heart breaking. He wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulders. She began to cry. Edrear pulled her close and she cried into his armored chest. Edaniel rubbed her back soothingly. “I must*hick* sound so*hick* pathetic.” She hiccuped, wiping away her tears.
“Not at all Miss Dinah,” Edrear whispered into her hair, “Your life has been hard, and this place hasn’t really helped. You are very strong. I will always believe that.” He smiled, attempting to reassure her.
“Um… shouldn’t we like move the lady from the floor, that can’t be comfortable.” Edaniel laughed, hefting Jane over his shoulder. Dinah forced a laugh. They deposited Jane in Edrear’s room.
Jane woke with a start in an unfamiliar place; she cried out and sat up as events from yesterday filled her mind. At least she thought it was yesterday, there was no way to tell in this windowless room. For all she knew it had only been five minutes since she fainted. She Rose from the bed and exited the room. A grotesque man (if you could call it that) scuttled by on eight legs, his ribs stuck out and he looked half decomposed. She screamed, bloody murder rising from her throat.
“Aunt Jane!” Cried Dinah rushing to her aunt’s side.
“What the hell is that thing?!” Jane screamed, backing away as quickly as she could.
“It’s just a cleaner, shoo now, go on.” She ushered the spider man from the passage. “Things are weird around here, but there’s no reason to be afraid.” Jane nodded, attempting to understand.
“So this place… these things… are good?” Jane whispered, confused.
“Well, the cleaners and the guardians are… but the spirits in the vaults and that unbearable that tried to kill us aren’t. But don’t worry; you don’t have to deal with them. That’s my job. Calm down Aunt Jane, everything will be back to normal before you know it.” Dinah said, grabbing her aunt’s hand and pulling her down the passage. It came up in a brightly lit room. A mix between an entry way and a ball room the room had several plaques on one wall and a few doors on another, a staircase lead down from the right and the left faded into darkness. A small green cat with its pointed teeth either grinning or bared, no on could really tell, was curled up under the plaque wall. “Aunt Jane I believe you remember Edaniel.” Dinah gestured toward the cat.
“But… that Edaniel I met earlier was… a man.” Jane tilted her head slightly and squinted. “A man with a green tai-”
“Edaniel is a guardian, which means he has both a human and animal form, he’s usually in his animal form. Don’t worry the teeth are all show.” Dinah smiled, cradling the cat in her arms. Jane kept her distance and shook her head. The cat opened its eyes and yawned.
“Well hi ya!” Exclaimed the small guardian, “Glad to see you’re awake.” He winked at Jane and hopped from Dinah’s arms. His figure grew blurry; suddenly he was that attractive young man Jane had met before.
“I’m officially either crazy… dreaming… or just confused at this messed up reality.” Jane sighed, rubbing her eyebrows.
“Reality,” said Edaniel and Dinah simultaneously.
“What’s reality?” Edrear asked popping up behind Dinah. She jumped slightly causing a fit of giggles from Edaniel.
“The world,” said Dinah, elbowing Edaniel in the side to shut him up. He coughed slightly.
“So what’s the word Dreary?” Edaniel asked, resting his elbow on Edrear’s shoulder, “Can we go now or what?”
“Go? Go where? Where are we going?” Jane inquired, her features plastered in confusion.
“WE!” said Edaniel draping his arms around Dinah and his brother, “are going to go empty a vault. YOU! Are going to stay here like a good girl and play nice with the cleaners.” He smiled devilishly as Jane shuddered.
“We’ll be back before you now it.” Dinah shrugged.
“Sun has set, if we are going we should go soon,” Edrear whispered, his breath on Dinah’s ear sending shivers down her arms. She nodded, giving her aunt a pleading don’t-worry-I-probably-won’t-die look.
“Da-da-da-da-da-da! Charge!” cried Edaniel spinning to view the plaque behind him.
Not me or thee
What shall we do?
Our spell is through
We don’t wish to die
It is not yet our time
But as we see
Triplets are free
Give us air
Give us blood
We so wish it
“Rushing flood? That could be a river. Are there any rivers around here?” Dinah scratched her head.
“There’s one that runs out along the northern border. ‘Give us air, give us blood’ sounds pretty hostile, you think this one’s a little too… extravagant for us tonight?” Edrear stated, glancing back at Jane who was hovering slightly behind her niece.
“Nonsense! Poppycock! Sheer blasphemy! No vault is too extravagant for us! We are UN-dying-able!” shouted Edaniel, posing as if for a statue. He suddenly slung Dinah over one shoulder and began to skip off toward the exit. Edrear ran after him with Jane following close behind.
“Edaniel put me down!!” exclaimed Dinah, beating her fists against his back. He jostled her but didn’t set her down. “I can walk on my own you know.”
“Lies, big fat chocolaty lies! You can barely sit still without help. Don’t make me get the purple rope again.” He waggled his eyebrows.
“What purple rope?!” shouted Jane surprising the hell out of the vault emptying trio.
“He’s kidding Aunt Jane, there is no purple rope.” She glared at the back of Edaniel’s head.
“Please Pardon my younger brother, he is very… dirty minded.” Edrear nodded, “Will you put Miss Dinah down already, my god brother you act as if she is…” He trailed off.
“Please continue” Dinah dared.
“I most certainly will!” smiled Edaniel.
“Shut Up Edaniel!” Edrear punched his brother’s back, causing him to curl in and drop Dinah. Edrear caught her and set her on her feet. She made a point brushing off her 20’s style blue cocktail dress. She turned rapidly and tripped over the small cauldron shaped stone right behind her.
“Ouch!” Edaniel burst into hysterical laughter. Dinah glared at the stone, her face drawn to a pout. “I think I found it.” She grumbled.
“And I think you already fulfilled one of the opening requirements.” Edrear worried, taking a handkerchief from his armor. He wrapped it around Dinah’s bleeding ankle. The cauldron began to glow, a bright rose colored light. “What was the rhyme? ‘ Give us air, give us blood, we so wish it, rushing flood…’ we gave them blood… how do we give them air?” Edrear began pacing. Jane dropped to her knees and peered into the cauldron. Her face was screwed up as if her nose itched. She sneezed. The cauldron flared, sending blue sparks into the air.
“I guess that’s how.” Edaniel said clapping his paws in mock delight. Every one stopped, waiting for something to happen. “But, I think we’re missing something…” Edaniel fidgeted when nothing did. Dinah smiled and stood, dipping her hand into the small river behind her. She let her fingers dangle over the cauldron, water dripped into the opening. The cauldron began to expand, larger and larger it became, until it was roughly the size of a merry-go-round. “Geronimo!!!!!” Edaniel shoved Edrear and Dinah into the gaping crater that was the entrance to the ghost world. He jumped in after them, leaving Jane completely alone, which she immediately hated. She took a deep breath to steady herself and jumped.
They all fell through darkness, for what seemed like an eternity. Each landed with a bump on their asses.
“Ow!” groaned Jane, rubbing her sore caboose.
“Aunt Jane!” Dinah sighed exasperated, “I told you to stay behind.” Dinah put her face in her hands and shook her head. It was a moot point now, she couldn’t just send her aunt back home, and she had to keep her close.
“I don’t mind,” Edaniel smiled, waggling his eyebrows in a suggestive manner.
“I doubt Miss Jane will fall to the sweet talk of a cat, brother,” Edrear said, fixing his cape, as it had gotten tangled in the fall.
“Okay… stopping this conversation,” Dinah said, grabbing her aunt’s hand and leading her through the forest materializing in front of her eyes. Jane shivered slightly in the cold, her thin blouse could hardly be considered warm. Edaniel waved his magic wand, a thick, blue cloak instantly covered Jane’s shoulders. She stared at it in surprise as Edaniel gave her a flirtatious wink.
“Blasphemy!!” A man cried, his fist colliding with a tall oak tree.
“Brother,” the woman with him pleaded, “We must.”
“She left us,” he growled, “she’s probably dead by now anyway.”
The woman gasped, tears welling up in her dark chocolate eyes. “She’s still our sister, besides… you know if she’s not with us the rights cannot be preformed. And without those rights…” the woman shivered with an image of fear flashing through her mind.
“If we perform them without her, we still have a chance,” the man grimaced, finding the fault in his words.
“No we don’t. He’ll… you know what he’ll do!” the woman’s voice rose in panic.
Edaniel cleared his throat, loudly and rudely. The fighting duo looked the way of the company, fear of discovery plastered across their faces.
“Who are you?” the man asked, taking a defensive stance, his hands held out in front of him as if to catch a football.
“Um… I’m Dinah and this is my aunt Jane, my… uh… cat Edaniel, and… Edrear,” Dinah stammered.
“Do you mean us harm?” the woman asked innocently, though her hand was clasped tightly around the handle of a dagger.
“No, we just want to help.” Dinah breathed, hoping neither person would attack. The woman nodded and lowered her weapon.
“What are you doing?” the man hissed, his eyes glowing slightly around his dark green irises.
“There is truth in her words,” the woman said calmly. She slowly pushed the man’s hands down to his sides.
“You are too trusting Marcia,” he glowered, but shifted to a less intimidating stance. Jane let out a sigh of relief, and the man glowered at her. She stiffened once again.
“Pardon my brother,” Marcia sighed, giving a low curtsy. “Why do you seek us?”
“How do you know we seek you?” Edaniel retorted.
“Do not deny my sister’s power over people’s hearts.” The man glared at Edaniel but did not question as to why the little green cat was speaking.
“We just want to help you.” Dinah repeated, “The rhyme said something about their being three of you…” she trailed off seeing the man’s glare deepen and Marcia’s features fall into sadness.
“Our little sister,” Marcia whispered, “She left us about a week ago and we have not been able to find her. I worry for her safety, surly she’ll be found out and harmed without us.”
“Found out?” Jane questioned, finally finding the courage to speak.
“We, that is, me and my two sisters, are what some may call demon spawn.” The man eyed Jane warily, silently praying she was not like the puritans of his town.
“Witches,” Marcia clarified, her fear of the group completely dissipated.
“So if we find your sister…?” Dinah started.
“They pass on,” Edrear finished.
“OK, so you’re Marcia,” Edaniel pointed to her, “And you’re Paul,” he pointed to the gruff man.
“No, I’m Tobias,” He corrected rather rudely.
“OK whatever Chuck.” Edaniel shrugged, “Now who’s your sister?”
“Marisa,” Marcia interjected, before her brother could open his mouth again.
“To find Marisa!” Edaniel exclaimed, a small cape appearing on his back.
“I see you are a little witch yourself,” Marcia laughed; it was a rather un-lady-like sound.
“Sure…” Dinah sighed, pushing past Tobias and Marcia to get to the path. Knowing how these worlds were usually set up, the answer was never far from where they landed. They all made their way to the town; the square was bustling with midday activities. Why always the town square? And why always in this freaking time period? Dinah thought dolefully. When Marcia and Tobias entered the square behind the group a hush fell over the square.
“I’m guessing they already know…” Edrear said, his hand grasping the sword, ready to draw at a moment’s notice.
“Come to get revenge?” A man stepped forward. He had a definite air of authority. Marci and Tobias shrunk back, cowering slightly.
“We’ve only come to find Marisa.” Dinah said her voice stronger than she felt. The man took another step forward.
“Leave, Now!” He growled, his hand reaching back into his coat.
“Who are you to tell us to leave?” Edrear defended, stepping in front of Dinah, his sword glinting menacingly in the sunlight.
“The Mayor.” The man replied. Edrear glared at him, but made no move to strike. The mayor’s hand never left its place in his coat. Dinah took a tentative step around Edrear. The mayor pulled his hand from his coat, pointing his pistol straight at her chest. Edrear held up his own weapon defensively.
“We mean no harm to anyone.” Dinah said her hands held above her head. No one backed down.
“Why do you associate yourselves with evil witches such as these?” the mayor asked, cocking the gun. Marcia hissed slightly and grasped her brother’s hand.
“We only want to pass them on.” Dinah said, thankful she didn’t trip over her words.
“So tell us where you’re hiding the third and we’ll leave. Good with you, bub?” Edaniel growled. The town’s folk gasped at the speaking cat. The mayor was visibly shaking with fear.
“You dare bring such evil beings here?!” he cried. He pulled the trigger, sending a bullet towards Dinah, Edrear was faster though. The bullet bounced innocently off his armor. A grunt of discomfort fell from his lips.
An all out brawl broke out. Guns were firing; spells were rushing here and there from the siblings and Edaniel. Jane cried out and cowered behind a large stack of beer barrels. Dinah dodged this way and that, barley evading the fists of angry villagers.
“STOP!” cried a female voice. A young woman, identical to Marcia, stood a top of the town hall.
“Marisa!” Marcia and Tobias gasped simultaneously. While the mayor was in a distracted furry about the arrival of the third witch, Edrear plucked the gun from his hands. With a growl he smashed it to smithereens. The ghost world flashed white, the riddle fulfilled.
“So all we had to do was break the guy’s gun?” Edaniel groaned, flopping face down on the floor. Dinah nodded tiredly.
“No!” Jane suddenly shouted, “There is no way you’re going back in one of those… ghost worlds!”
“Not a choice Aunt Jane,” Dinah sighed.
“It’s too dangerous! I forbid it!” Jane was livid; the life of her niece was on the line for god sake’s. Plus they said that Vincent already died in one of these worlds! More likely than not Dinah would meet the same fate.
“If she doesn’t come here and release a spirit every night… Miss Dinah will surely be killed.” Edrear said, placing a sympathetic hand on Jane’s shoulder to calm her down. She slapped him across the face. He stood in stunned silence.
“Aunt Jane!” Dinah cried, rushing over to her shell shocked guardian.
“I won’t let you stay here! And I won’t let these… Things near you ever again!” Jane huffed.
“You do that, Dinah here is officially toasted.” Edaniel said his voice sounding actually worried for once in his spirit life. “That unbearable is surely going to rip her pretty little head off if she leaves without our protection. And if she doesn’t come to the Mausoleum each night, unless really sick or something, Bali Lali is going to hip her pretty little head off. So unless you allow us to handle this, Dinah’s pretty little head is getting ripped off.”
“Brother, the goal is not to scare Miss Jane more than she already is.” Edrear sighed, finally over getting slapped in the face for the first time in three-hundred years. Getting slapped was usually Edaniel’s forte.
“The only way to have this lady get over how dangerous the vaults are is to open her eyes to how dangerous everyplace but the vaults are.” Edaniel said.
“True,” Edrear moved aside, allowing Edaniel to continue his rampage on Dinah’s ‘pretty little head.’
“SHUT UP!” Dinah finally yelled, “My life is my life and you don’t control it, any of you!” With that she stormed off. This may not be super smart, but if I stay inside the Mausoleum I should be fine. Dinah was beyond pissed, everybody is always trying to control her life, and it was her freaking life! As the interior of the Mausoleum was constantly changing, she quickly found herself lost. She sat against a wall with a huff. Tears slowly ran down her face, she couldn’t stop them, no matter how hard she tried. “Why does this have to happen this way? If Vincent were here… he would know.” She sobbed into her knees, feeling so alone. Not a sound came through the halls, no cleaners came by, no guardians, no ghosts, no Aunt Jane. Dinah was utterly alone, and she didn’t know whether she preferred it this way or not.
Around the others she was controlled to no end, she was a pawn. But alone, she only felt self pity for how lonely she really felt. Either way, she hated everything this Mausoleum has done to her.
Edrear made no sound as he came up to her. “Miss Dinah?” she started at his voice. Quickly she tried to wipe the tears from her face, but they still wouldn’t stop. Edrear sat silently beside her. “I apologize for making you cry…” he said after a moment.
“It wasn’t you…” Dinah sniffed, “It’s all of this,” she waved her arms, gesturing to the whole of the Mausoleum. “Because of this place… Vincent’s dead… people think I’m crazy… my Aunt almost got killed… and now that the unbearable got out, I can’t leave.”
“You wish to leave that much?” Edrear was concerned and confused. What’s so great about the outside world? He wondered.
“I was just getting caught up in school,” Dinah sighed, finally stifling her tears a little.
“You can still go to school…” Edrear started, Shut Up You Idiot! “Edaniel and I could accompany you to your school.” Dinah stared at him in disbelief… Would they really go that far?
“Really?” her face lit up. No turning back now, Edrear thought bitterly.
“Of course Miss Dinah.” Edrear smiled, “It is our job to protect you, not hold your prisoner.”
Dinah threw her arms around his neck causing his face to flush brilliant red.
“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!” she squealed.
“M-Miss Dinah?” Edrear was very flustered, never had a human agent acted this openly with him before.
“So tomorrow is Monday… Wait how are we going to pull off you guys following me all day?” Dinah, let go of Edrear’s neck. He was very disappointed.
“Leave that to me chicky-pie!” Edaniel said, randomly appearing n Edrear’s shoulder. With a puff of smoke he vanished. Dinah blinked a few times.
“That was weird.” She stated.
“That was Edaniel,” Edrear pointed out.
“Good point.” Dinah laughed. It was silent between Edrear and Dinah till Edaniel returned, carrying a bundle of clothes with him.
“As of today,” he cried proudly, tossing half the pile in Edrear’s face, “We are no longer Edrear and Edaniel, spirit guardians extraordinaire! But Edward and Daniel, super hot and cool, well me at least, High School students who happen to know Dinah because she’s an old friend of the family’s.” He put his fists on his human hips. Edrear raised a questioning eyebrow.
“Edward?” Dinah looked over at the confused Edrear, “Not seeing it.” She stated bluntly.
“It’s all I could come up with on such short notice.” Edaniel shrugged.
“What’s your guys’ new last name?” Dinah inquired, tilting her head to the side.
“Menos.” Edaniel nodded affirmatively. Edrear smacked his palm to his forehead.
“Latin for spirit?” he asked, incredulously. “Why not just tell these people we aren’t human?”
“Because we’re not that stupid.” Edaniel shot back, “At least I’m not.”
“So you guys are now Daniel and Edward Menos. Got it.” Dinah nodded her approval. They sat together in silent contemplation of the next day’s happenings. Edrear’s eyes widened.
“Miss Dinah, I do believe there is a problem…” He trailed off. She waited silently for him to continue. When no answer came she responded.
“Old Dreary here can’t read.” Edaniel smiled, “Too much painting not enough learning.”
Edrear turned a deeper shade of scarlet.
“And you signed him up to go to my high school knowing that? Are you insane?” Dinah groaned. This was going to be an utter failure, she just knew it.
The sun rose over the Mausoleum, casting a long shadow of a doubt over the melancholy group within. Dinah groaned as she shoved on her school uniform in the mysteriously materialized bathroom, Edrear was fighting Edaniel about his hair, and Jane just stood there, watching the whole scene play out with a very disapproving air about her.
Finally Dinah emerged, fully dressed, distracting Edrear just long enough for Edaniel to slice off Edrear’s ponytail. With an angered yell Edrear punched his little brother in the gut. Edaniel laughed, despite being doubled over with pain.
“It’s too early for you two idiots to be doing this to me.” Dinah groaned; she had not slept well. This was to be expected, she had slept in Edrear’s room, it was an all together uncomfortable night for both. “Why can’t I have my own room again?” she sighed, taking the cup of coffee a cleaner held out to her. Aunt Jane refused hers’; she still couldn’t stand the sight of the gruesome cleaners let alone deal with them directly.
“Because… it’s too much work.” Edaniel gasped, attempting to stand, only to be felled once again by his brother.
“Edrear, behave yourself.” Dinah said, placing a hand on his shoulder to stop him from continuing his assault on his brother. “It’ll grow back.” Edrear nodded once and straightened up. Edaniel hopped up quickly and hid behind Dinah.
“Save me before he breaks my perfect face!” He wailed. Dinah rolled her eyes; this whole constantly-with-these-idiot-guardians thing really wasn’t working. In fact it was starting to really annoy her.
“Be safe.” Jane said seriously, utterly hating the idea of being left behind in this creepy mausoleum with little to no protection from its inhabitants. Not that she really needed it but… she just really hated the thought of being alone.
“Yeah, no problem.” Dinah smiled reassuringly, she hoped.
“Super Daniel awaaaaaaaaay!” Edaniel shouted, running off his arms held out as if he was an airplane. Edrear shook his head.
“My most sincere apologies.” Edrear groaned, offering his arm to Dinah, who took it with a slight blush.
“Edrear, we really need to work on the way you talk.” Edaniel laughed, “No one gonna know what the hell you’re saying. You need to cut loose, go with the flow, improvise… something other than talking the way you do. In fact why don’t you not say anything, that’s a sure fire way to make sure you’re not considered a complete moron. Even though that’s kinda hard to do” He snickered.
“Edaniel be nice, geez,” Dinah sighed, giving Edrear a sideways glance. He looked away hurriedly.
“I’m just stating the obvious.” Edaniel pouted.
“Behave please!” Dinah begged.
“Nope too late, we’re here!” Edaniel sped off, running up the school’s front steps. All eyes turned to stare at him as he burst through the doors. Dinah dropped her hand from Edrear’s arm, much to his dismay.
“Hey there…” Sarah Parker said seductively, giving Edaniel the most cliche wink ever.
“Hey…” Edaniel replied in an equally seductive tone.
“Rule number one Daniel,” Dinah sighed, yanking Edaniel down the halls by the collar of his shirt, “No making out in the hallways with anyone; especially Sarah Parker.”
“But she seems so willing!” Edaniel whined.
“No duh! She’s the school slut. She’s conniving and a total…. I can’t think of a nicer word than b****.” Dinah growled.
“Is this really a suitable environment for you Miss Dinah?” Edrear worried.
“Yeah, she’s the only really bad influence and I usually ignore her anyway.” Dinah shrugged.
“You realize you can’t call chicky-pie here ‘Miss’ anymore.” Edaniel said matter-of-factly.
“But –” Edrear protested.
“I hate to say this but he’s right. People don’t talk like that anymore.” Dinah cut him off. He looked rather crest fallen.
“As you wish… uh… Dinah.” He blushed furiously. The bell rang through the halls. Dinah forcefully dragged the boys to class.
“So as most of you have seen,” the teacher droned, “We’ve got a couple of new students. I’m sure you’ll all give a warm welcome to Daniel and Edward Menos.” (Only he pronounced it Mainous. Teachers always screw names up.)
Edrear stood at the front of the class uncomfortably while Edaniel was busy winking at every girl in the class-room. The teacher seated them in the middle of the room on either side of Dinah.
“Please open your books to page 323 and do problems ten through fourteen on your own.” Dinah groaned inwardly as her guardians scooted closer to her desk to see her math book.
“What don’t you like math?” Edaniel grinned. Dinah shook her head. Math was her least favorite subject. She had always thought someone up there must really hate her to give her math first period every day.
“I have to agree with M- I mean Dinah on this one.” Edrear sighed scratching his head and looking blankly at the problems
“Having trouble?” Kathryn turned around to face the three struggling students. Dinah nodded sadly. “Subtract the 7 from both sides of the equation.” She instructed. They did so.
“Then divide?” Dinah fished. Kathryn nodded. “I got it!” she said happily. Edaniel was quick to copy her answer and Edrear just ran a hand through his curly black hair. An audible sigh came from the seat to Edrear’s left. Edaniel snickered.
They finished their equations quickly with Kathryn’s help. The bell rang signaling the end of class. Then the end of the next class and the next. Luckily the day was going by with little incident. That was until…
“Hey Crazy, how’s life at the Happy Hotel? Meet any ghosts lately?” Sarah said snidely, sitting herself on Dinah’s desk just before literacy class started.
“You could say that.” Dinah gave the fakest smile she could muster.
“Freak.” Sarah sniffed. She turned suddenly to Edaniel. “Hey handsome, how ‘bout you and me ditch the loser and go have some fun?” she flirted winking.
“Sorry darling,” Edaniel said coldly, “I don’t date girls who’ve got no clue.” Sarah looked as if she’d been shot in the face with an arrow.
“What are you talking about?” she sneered.
“You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. For one thing Dinah is not crazy or a freak or a loser and I happen to find her good company, unlike you.” He stood up abruptly, knocking his chair over. Edrear stood beside his brother. You could practically feel the fire in their eyes.
“What, you guys actually believe her stories about ghosts and whatnot?” Sarah eyed them suspiciously.
“In fact, we most certainly do.” Edrear said stiffly.
“Guys…” Dinah placed a calming hand on Edrear’s shoulder as the bell rang to signal the start of class. Everyone sat in their seats without another word.
The rest of the day passed. Everyone, besides those who were Dinah’s friends, ignored Edrear and Edaniel. Neither seemed to mind. On the way home Dinah grasped a hand of each guardian.
“Thank you.” She whispered, tears forming in the corners of her eyes.
“We’re here to protect you Dinah,” Edrear sighed, wiping Dinah’s eyes with his thumb.
“You can count on us kid.” Edaniel gave Dinah’s hand a reassuring squeeze. They continued on their way home to the Mausoleum.
“T-two…hoose holed…” Edrear stammered. He and Dinah were poring over that night’s reading assignment, Romeo and Juliet.
“Households.” Dinah corrected.
“We’re reading this why?” Edaniel whined, holding the book in front of him like it was covered in unidentified green slimy stuff.
“Because we were told to.” Dinah sighed for the umpteenth time.
“What is this story about anyway?” Edrear inquired, unable to read the summary to find out.
“It’s basically the story of James and Rebecca down in vault 14.” Edaniel shrugged.
“Who?” Dinah raised an eyebrow.
“AH yes, James and Rebecca were born to warring families, and fell in love. Eventually they killed themselves to eternally be together. Slightly alike to Ironbound’s story as well come to think of it.” Edrear mused.
“Yeah I know the story or Romeo and Juliet! What I was asking about was the fact you called them James and Rebecca and said you had them here in the vault.” She fumed.
“Yeah, world’s most mushy and tragic couple.” Edaniel shook his blonde head. “I told him not to settle down so quickly.”
“You told him?”
“Well his cousin or whatever, Ronan, was a contractor for us way, way, way, way, waaaaaaaaay, back, when we worked for a Mausoleum in Italy.”
“How I miss the Vatican sometimes.” Edrear mused.
“The Vatican’s a Mausoleum?”
“Anyway, James Cupezza helped Ronan empty the Mausoleum like Vincent did for you. Only they completely emptied it. After that we were diagnosed as obsolete and sent to Neptune’s Gold for storage.”
“I believe you mean we completed our job and were thus useless to the Vatican, not diagnosed obsolete, brother.” Edrear cut in.
“Coming from the guy who can’t even read the words diagnosed obsolete.” Edaniel retorted.
“I find that it is best to just shut up and listen because maybe you guys will eventually make sense. It’s not a realistic expectation but a girl can hope.” Dinah sighed.
“Why did we get those ghosts anyway?” Edaniel kept talking, totally ignoring Dinah’s comment.
“Because it seemed like a waste to create new guardians to reopen the Vatican as a Mausoleum when there would only be one vault occupied.” Edrear stated simply.
“Sure makes sense. Ha, do you remember when I was created?”
“Brother, that day was probably the worst day of my life, how could I forget?”
“Hey when I first started out how was I supposed to know Elala and Eniri were my sisters? They look nothing like me. You look nothing like me!”
“I believe that’s beside the point” Edrear sighed.
“You can’t blame me. I mean really, who wears a dress that low cut and expects not to be hit on? Yeah only Elala, and Eniri, well the way she reacted was just uncalled for.” Edaniel huffed.
“You guys really can’t stick to one topic of conversation can you?” Dinah tried to ask.
“I believe you got what you deserved.”
“Whatever, you always were a sissy. Not like I knew you before you were a guardian ‘cause you’re older than me and whatnot. But I’ll bet a million bazillion bucks you were a weenie.”
“Sure, the village idiot who happen to stumble on a mausoleum and almost empty its contents only to be killed on the last vault and turned into a guardian for who really knows what reason. Or me, the proud son of a family of warriors, who fought in the wars of Rome and came back victorious. Which one of us is truly the ‘weenie’?” Edrear crossed his arms.
“Yeah sure you fought in wars blahdy blah, you forget that you only became a guardian because you, of all the idiots, fell in love with a ghost you were supposed to free from your last vault and ended up getting dragged out by your ear by your guardians after your ‘true love’ stabbed you repeatedly. You didn’t even fight back! So dude, you are definitely the weenie. I at least went out swinging.”
“I believe you are mistaken brother, as I remember it the woman I was meant to free as my last vault had depicted herself as a siren and I was merely possessed.”
“Proves you’re a weenie.”
Edrear forced a smile but anyone could see he was about to rip Edaniel’s ‘pretty little head’ clean off. “I beg your pardon…” he replied tersely.
“You. Are. A. Total. Weenie. Brother.” Edaniel said slowly, as if he were talking to someone who was mentally disabled.
“Are you calling me weak?” Edrear growled, shifting from his sitting position to a crouch.”
“Took you long enough to figure it out. Not only are you weak, you’re stupid too.” Edaniel teased, also shifting to a crouch. With a battle cry Edrear leaped at his younger brother. For about ten minutes they rolled around, hollering, growling, breaking things, basically what usually happens when boys go at it.
“HEY IDIOTS! KNOCK IT OFF!” Dinah yelled. Her voice echoed through the almost empty Mausoleum. The boys broke apart, panting.
“Sorry toots.” Edaniel gasped now sporting a black eye and a bloody lip.
“My sincerest apologies Dinah.” Edrear puffed unharmed but a little sweaty.
“Okay so now back to our homework…” Dinah smiled as if nothing had happened.
Dinah finished her homework shortly after Edaniel. Edrear struggled with his. Dinah attempted to help him. At least till about midnight, by that time she had fallen asleep on Edrear’s shoulder.
“Should we wake her or just move her?” Edaniel whispered.
“She looks so comfortable. I’d hate to do either.” Edrear breathed.
“You only hate to do either ‘cause you’re in love with her.” Edaniel gave his brother a sad smile. “You know it can never work out.”
“I know, but…”
“But nothing. If you keep this up you’ll end up hurting her. You can’t break her heart again, she’d die.”
“I know brother,” Edrear huffed, furious. “I can’t help how I feel.”
“We don’t feel.” Edaniel said dryly.
Edrear sighed, “Just let her sleep. She’s exhausted.”
“You sure we can protect her from this thing?”
“We have to…” Edrear sucked in a breath through his teeth as Dinah shifted slightly but didn’t wake up.
Art class was just before lunch. The day before was just a demo on oil painting, but today our hero’s actually got to paint.
“Yay…” Edaniel called sarcastically twirling his finger like a party pooper.
“Oh just do it,” Dinah hissed. Edaniel looked closely at his canvas, and then his face lit up in sudden inspiration. With a smirk he dipped his brush into the green paint and flung it at the pure white canvas. “Argh! Edaniel!! You got paint all over me!” Dinah yelled, wiping green paint from her face.
“Sorry toots.” Edaniel shrugged as he continued painting.
“Hahaha, calm down Dinah, its’ just a little paint,” Laughed the school’s quarterback, and Sarah’s boyfriend, Nick. He handed her a rag before going back to his own painting. Dinah noticed that he was using quite a bit of blue. Dinah wiped her face quickly and scowled at Edaniel’s happily painting form. She chanced a glance over at Edrear. He was painting with long sure strokes, his face set in mindful concentration.
Dinah shrugged and went back to her own painting.
About an hour later the teacher, Mrs. Roper, came around to view and grade everyone’s work.
“Excellent use of color Daniel, but May I ask exactly what it is you painted.” She smiled sweetly.
“This is my cat, E-Daniel. He’s sexy just like me.” Edaniel grinned. Dinah peeked over at his painting. Sure enough, there was a grinning green cat thing with a top hat and a magic wand sitting on the canvas. It all together wasn’t very good, Dinah groaned inwardly.
“Creative,” Mrs. Roper scratched something on her sheet and continued on to the next one, which happened to be Dinah’s.
With a flourish Mrs. Roper uncovered the simple picture. Twig like trees in a forest scene played behind a purple and black cross.
“Excellent depth Dinah!” Mrs. Roper exclaimed, stirring a fit of giggles from the cheerleaders. Mrs. Roper moved on to Nick’s painting. She unveiled it as Nick smirked. It was truly a beautiful painting. Mostly sky but on the side there was a single tree. The tree held a swing that sent the girl in the painting flying through the air. The girl was laughing as her black curls streamed out behind her. “You’ve delivered another masterpiece Nick!!” Mrs. Roper gasped, “The continuation of your ‘Only’ series?” He nodded once and cast a slightly nervous glance to Dinah, who stood in awe of the simplistic but well painted scene. For some reason that tree and that girl looked familiar to her.
“Your brush strokes look a little choppy,” Edrear examined the painting closely.
“Like you could do better?” Nick challenged.
Edrear gave the room a sly smile before ripping the cover from his own painting. A collective gasp brushed through the room and Mrs. Roper fell over in astonishment. There on the canvas was Vincent, Dinah, Edaniel (in his human form), Eniri, Elala, and Edrear. All stood in front of the hooded angel of the Mausoleum and all were smiling brightly. Dinah wore a simple cocktail dress straight out of the 20’s, Vincent was in his old t-shirt and jeans, Edaniel looked exceedingly sexy in his cropped shirt and low slung jeans, Eniri was clad in a dress that seemed to be made of vines and feathers, Elala looked simply stunning in her crimson renaissance gown, and Edrear had depicted himself in his characteristic armor.
“It’s beautiful,” Mrs. Roper finally breathed, “What do you call this piece?”
“Err… Supposed To Be.” He blushed and scratched the back of his neck uncomfortably. He didn’t like all the attention he was getting. Nick fumed silently as he was pushed to the back of the room by a class room of girls trying to get a better look. Tears sprang to the corners of Dinah’s eyes.
“You knew Vincent?” Kathryn piped up.
“Yeah we did, George was a good guy!” Edaniel cut in for crowd control.
“Who are these two girls?” Sarah pointed.
“My sisters,” Edrear mumbled.
“Why aren’t they going to school here?” Kathryn asked, shoving Sarah behind her.
“They graduated High School already,” Edaniel smiled, “Me and my bro here are the babies of the family.” Edaniel draped a slightly jealous arm around his blushing brother’s shoulders. The bell sounded through the class.
“Edward! Before you go I’d like to speak to you about your painting.” Mrs. Roper called.
“Catch up to us later by the big tree out front,” Edaniel ordered giving his brother a push. “Artsy show off,” he grumbled leaning against Kathryn’s locker as Dinah pulled out her lunch money.
“Your brothers a really good artist,” Kathryn commented pushing Edaniel aside to get to her own locker.
“Don’t tell me girls here like that sort of thing,” Edaniel whined turning to Kathryn.
“More than we like arrogant pretty-boys like you. By the way, do you really have a cross tattoo on your chest?”
“Want to find out?” Edaniel waggled his eyebrows at her suggestively.
“Maybe later” Kathryn poked Edaniel on the nose as she looped her arm through Dinah’s and headed off to the cafeteria. They paid for their lunches, and one for Edrear, before heading out to the big tree. Just as they sat down Edrear came through the doors. His expression was a mix of embarrassment and accomplishment.
“So, how’d it go?” Dinah asked around a mouth full of cafeteria pizza.
“Madame Roper wishes to enter my painting in some sort of Art Show.” He grinned despite his embarrassment.
“Way to go Eddy!” Kathryn exclaimed thwacking Edrear on the back. He made a funny oof sound as Edaniel tried to hide his jealousy behind a pear. He gave his brother a thumbs-up and shoved the fruit, core and all, into his mouth.
“You deserve it, that painting was beautiful.” Dinah smiled forcing the blush that was finally fading to return to Edrear’s cheeks.
“Yeah, you made Dinah look like a freaking goddess! But what was with all the period costuming?” Kathryn raised a suspicious eyebrow.
“The outfits match our personalities.” Edaniel pulled of casually, “Dinah here is all dainty and old fashioned, Charles was kind of ordinary, Edrear here is all hero-y, Lana, the one in red, thinks she’s queen, and Nyasa, the other on you don’t know, loves nature and stuff. I of course am just sexy like that. It’s symbolic or something.”
“I totally get it.” Kathryn said while shaking her head side to side.
“Sure you do,” Dinah laughed. Edrear tore into his lunch without another word. He didn’t feel like he could speak without stuttering terribly.
“Hey Kat!” called Nick’s lackey, Derek as he and Nick ran up to the munching crew.
“Don’t call me that,” Kathryn hissed.
“Sure, wanna go to Sarah’s party with me this Saturday?” It was no secret that Derek had the hots for Kathryn.
“Not particularly,” she smiled but her voice dripped distaste.
“Told ya’,” Nick smirked dragging away the shot down Derek, but not before giving Dinah a wink. Anger flared in Edrear’s stomach.
“What don’t like parties?” Edaniel asked casually.
“Oh I’m going, just not with him.” Kathryn shrugged then turned suddenly to Dinah, “Oh my god what are we going to wear?!”
Dinah leaned backwards, “We?”
“Don’t be such a Recluse!” Kathryn pleaded, “You have to come; otherwise I may be converted.” She shoved a thumb toward the school steps, where the jocks and cheerleaders sat in giggling company, with a disgusted snarl.
“I wasn’t invited,” Dinah shifted uncomfortably.
“I was and so was Edwardo here,” Edaniel said simply, pulling a slip of paper from his pocket. “It says we can bring a date.”
“Yeah, you and Edward can totally become public! Two birds with one stone.” Kathryn clapped her hands together as if everything was solved.
“Become what?” Edrear cocked his head to the side.
“Public, you know since you’re already dating all secretly and what not why not bring your relationship out in the open?”Kathryn grinned.
“We’re what?” Edrear looked very confused.
Edaniel leaned over to his brother and whispered, “Courting, she thinks you’re courting Dinah.” It was inhumanly possible for Edrear to turn redder than at that moment.
“Th-that’s not... no… I… we… argh!” he stuttered pointing at Kathryn accusingly.
“You think we’re what? Where’d you come to that conclusion?” Dinah faltered also turning a shocking shade of purple-y crimson.
“Well you guys are always together and I’ve seen the way he looks at you. What else explains it?” Kathryn crossed her arms, very put out at being made out to be wrong.
Dinah groaned, nothing logical did explain it. Edrear took a deep breath before speaking calmly. “Such liberations of a lady are not to be taken by a gentleman such as myself, such activities are inappropriate and-” Edaniel silenced his brother’s rambling by smacking his hand over Edrear’s mouth. Edrear continued as if nothing had happened though no one could hear him.
“He’s being stupid,” Edaniel smiled and sweat-dropped. “Of course they’re dating. They’re just embarrassed.” He chuckled awkwardly.
“Then it’s settled, tonight we’re going to the mall and getting new outfits and then Saturday you’re coming to my house to get ready before the party. Then we’ll party till dawn!” Kathryn jumped up happily.
Dinah sat with a what-just-happened expression on her face. The bell signaling the end of lunch sounded like a death toll to her.
After school Kathryn dragged a very emotionally drained Dinah and company to the mall.
“Okay so Eddy, what do you think we should force Dinah to wear this Saturday?” Kathryn gave Edrear a very serious look. He just looked very surprised.
“If we don’t force her to wear something modern she’s gonna show up in some puffy pink thing that may be awesome and whatever but totally not party appropriate. As her boyfriend, you get a say in how sexy we make her look.” Kathryn popped one hip out and crossed her arms in a very teenager-ish pose.
Edaniel snickered as Edrear still didn’t understand. “At least give the girl a color you think Dinah looks nice in.” He laughed.
“White…” Edrear said automatically when he realized what these people were asking him. Dinah flushed.
“White… okay then we’ll put her in white and… I need another color because she can’t be in all white.” Kathryn turned to Dinah and appraised her quickly.
“Red?” Edaniel suggested.
“Perfect!” Kathryn pulled them into the nearest teen clothing store and began rummaging through the various items. Dinah browsed through the jewelry racks. Edaniel and Edrear stood just outside the door and waited. “Found it!” Kathryn squealed shoving Dinah into a nearby dressing room.
“What? You can’t be serious? No! Ahhh!” Dinah yelled from inside the stall. Edaniel and Edrear inched closer.
“Ready boys?” Kathryn winked as she exited the stall. She ushered Dinah from the small room out into the open. Clad in a vibrant red halter top and a white mini skirt, along with tall white heels, a fire truck colored Dinah was pushed from the room. “I like it! It’s trendy, modern, and with a little makeup and hair magic on my part she’ll put Sarah the B**** Parker to shame.”
“Since when can Dinah pull that off so well?” Edaniel smiled. Dinah’s blush deepened and she hugged her shoulders.
“I’m really uncomfortable right now.” She mumbled.
“You look fantastic Di!” Kathryn prodded, “Tell her how she looks,” She ordered rounding on Edrear.
“Wow…” he breathed.
“See,” Kathryn smiled. She shoved Dinah back into the dressing room and had her change back to her school uniform. Once Kathryn had picked out an outfit for herself, without showing anybody what it was, she flashed her dad’s credit card and paid for both Dinah’s and her party attire.
“That was surprisingly fast and painless.” Edaniel commented as the group meandered through the food court.
“For you,” Dinah grumbled.
“Oh we’re not done yet. These boys need-” Edaniel cut her off with a wave of his hand.
“I think I’ve got something for us at home,” he said simply. He really didn’t want to continue shopping. Kathryn shrugged and everyone said their goodbyes.
“You guys really don’t have to do all this,” Dinah gestured to the mall as they walked away.
“You need protection,” Edrear smiled.
Dinah shivered for an unexplained reason. A low growl came from behind a nearby car.
“And it’s a good thing we are doing all this,” Edaniel’s voice rose in slight panic as the growling got louder.
With a vicious bark a large dog bounded around the parked vehicle. Edrear laughed and Edaniel glared at the burly beast.
“What don’t like dogs?” Dinah asked sweetly. Edrear laughed harder.
“Oh admit you thought it was the unbearable too.” Edaniel huffed.
“Sure brother, we all thought that the dog was an unbearable.” Edrear could barely contain his peals of laughter.
“Let’s go,” Edaniel grabbed Dinah’s hand and she grabbed Edrear’s. Edaniel practically dragged the two giggling teens back to the Mausoleum.
“Gym class, ugh!” Dinah groaned as she strode out of the girls’ dressing room the next day.
“Cheer up, we’re playing basket ball today.” Kathryn tugged her reluctant friend along. When the girls entered the gym Edrear and Edaniel were already there, both looking rather confused as they stood around in basketball shorts and gray t-shirts with the school’s logo on the front.
“This is exceedingly odd.” Edrear commented as he observed identically clad teens do random warm-ups and stretches.
“Exceedingly pointless more like.” Dinah grumbled as she touched her toes. A whistle blew and the whole class jogged over to the gym teacher, Coach Inman.
“Alright! Who wants to be captain?” he called waving a basketball in front of the class. Edaniel jumped up and down excitedly. Edrear just stuck his hand in the air. “OK then, you two new boys pick your teams, boy, girl, boy, girl got it?” Edrear nodded in a rather military fashion as Edaniel just surveyed the class.
“Um….Nick.” Edaniel said after a moments consideration. Nick trotted over and gave Edaniel a high five.
“I suppose I’ll pick Derek.” Edrear shrugged, uninterested. Derek slumped over.
“Kathryn’s my girl.” Edaniel put on a suave smile as Kathryn rolled her eyes.
“Since when?” she whispered as she passed.
“Since ever.” Edaniel stuck his tongue out at Derek.
“Dinah.” Edrear said automatically. A few of Kathryn’s other friends made “oooh” sounds as Dinah jogged over.
Seeing as Edaniel and Edrear didn’t remember any of the other students names, besides Sarah, (plus I don’t want to make up random new ones that will only be referenced to in this one little bit of dialogue) the rest of the teams were chosen by pointing. Once the teams were assembled Coach Inman blew his whistle and tossed the ball into the air. Edrear jumped higher than Edaniel and smacked the ball over to his team. Dinah caught the ball for some odd unexplainable reason and Edaniel snatched it from her surprised grip. He chuckled to himself and made a beeline for the basket. He tried for a lay-up but Edrear jumped in at the last minute and swiped the ball from over the basket. A series of “ooh”s and “ah”s sounded through the gymnasium. Edaniel burned with jealousy; he was used to getting all the attention. Edrear passed the ball to Derek who was instantly tackled by Nick.
Coach Inman just laughed as the two scuffled about on the floor. The ball rolled away to be scooped up by Kathryn. She fired from mid line and the ball swished through the basket. Cheers erupted from her teammates. Dinah gave her a high five despite being on the opposing team. Kathryn handed Edrear the ball to throw in. He tossed it to Dinah who automatically tossed it back. Edrear pushed past his brother and slammed the ball through the net.
“Woo! Nice Shot Edr- I mean Edward!” Dinah yelled from across the court.
Nick took the ball and chucked it to Edaniel who spun out of his brother’s reach. Edrear chased him down the court and tried to block the shot but Edaniel took the jump, using Edrear’s head as a springboard. He dropped the b all through the basket with almost feline grace before running face first into the backboard.
“Ouch,” the class murmured together.
Just then the game ceased to be a class activity but a personal competition between Edaniel and Edrear. Everyone looked on in wonder as the brothers preformed inhuman feats with the basketball. From jumps over the basket to impossible slides and ways of avoiding one another, the boys continued on. Coach Inman thought this was the best class ever and didn’t care that everyone else was just sitting around. (A/N I want to be in this gym class so bad now)
By the time Coach Inman blew his whistle to signal that the students could go dress out the two spirit guardians had nearly popped the baskets from both backboards and were probably going to have quite a few bruises. But neither was even breathing hard.
“You guys are like… Superman on steroids!” gushed Sarah, sidling up to Edaniel.
“Yeah, are you guys even human?” Kathryn’s question caught the boys off guard. Seeing their stunned faces Dinah interjected.
“Of course they are! Their dad’s a Martial Arts instructor so they’ve been doing hard core training and things since before they could walk.” She lied smoothly.
Edrear nodded quickly. Edaniel shook himself from his stunned state.
“So you guys are like ninjas?” Nick asked, glaring at Edrear.
“You bet. We’re the most awesome ninjas ever! We’ve got like 14 black belts” Edaniel smiled.
“Wow,” Kathryn looked a little shocked. Sarah practically melted and you could feel the jealousy radiate off of Nick.
“You guys would be the coolest guys in school if you weren’t such freaks.” Nick commented snidely.
“They’re not freaks,” Dinah said rather snappishly.
“Yeah, they kind of are but I don’t care. What’s a little superstition compared to ninja skills.” Sarah gushed. “You guys are coming to my party right?” They nodded dumbly. Dinah rolled her eyes.
“Hope to see you there,” Nick whispered in Dinah’s ear as he left. She felt her cheeks get hot.
The rest of the school day passed in a blur to Dinah.
“That was one fun day.” Commented Edaniel as the troop was walking back to the mausoleum.
“You guys over did it.” Dinah felt suddenly angry.
“What do you mean, Dinah?” Edrear asked.
“Today, with the whole basketball thing. Why not just yell the fact that you guys aren’t human over the schools intercom?” Edrear and Edaniel looked taken a back.
“We were just playing like everybody else.” Edaniel defended.
“No you weren’t. No one else would even think about jumping over the basket or using someone else’s face to slam dunks the ball.” Dinah felt like ripping her hair out but knew it would be pointless so she refrained.
“I’m sorry Di.” Edaniel frowned looking like a five year old being scolded by his grandmother.
“My most sincere apologies, Miss Dinah. I was overly competitive.” Edrear bowed.
“Whatever,” Dinah let out a sigh, “Ugh, the party’s tomorrow. Promise you’ll be on your best behavior!”
“Sure thing Sugar,” Edaniel grinned.
“I wouldn’t dream of less,” Edrear said.
After explaining to Bali-Lali that they would not be emptying a vault Friday night Dinah headed off to Kathryn’s, the boys following through the trees like squirrels.
“You’re late!” Kathryn growled pulling Dinah through the door.
“Sorry, my aunt was being all protective again.” Dinah was finding it increasingly easier to lie since the boys had enrolled in school.
“Okay fine just hurry up and get dressed.” Kathryn ordered shoving the shopping bag of party garments into Dinah’s arms. Dinah reluctantly got dressed. When she emerged from the closet Kathryn had gotten dressed also; a tight corset like top in a shade of dark blue that reminded Dinah of midnight, and a black mini skirt, paired with black heels. “Sit sit sit, your hair needs fixing and so does your makeup all before the guys come get us in 10 minutes.”
“You just have your hair in a ponytail.” Dinah shot as Kathryn began piling Dinah’s lengthy curls on top of her head with a million bobby pins.
“Get over it,” Kathryn said, finishing. Dinah applied her own makeup in about ten seconds. Both girls were ready and waiting.
“Can I ask you a question?” Kathryn ventured.
“Yeah sure.” Dinah shrugged.
“Has he told you he loves you yet?” Kathryn looked very serious. Dinah nearly choked on air.
“Edward of course! Come on Di it’s not a secret that you guys are dating! Plus you live together! It’s totally love! Is he a good kisser?”
“WHAT?!” Dinah was blushing furiously, “I-it’s not like that!” she denied.
“Oh please! He’s so in love He’d take a bullet for you.”
“Well he did kill that one guy with the whip,” Dinah mumbled under her breath. Kathryn heard.
“He did what?!”
“He’s a little protective sure but it’s not just of me…” Dinah tried to recover.
“Di, you’re in denial, he loves you! And it’s blatantly obvious you love him!”
“If you think I love Edr- Edward then you’re in love with Daniel!” Dinah shot back, getting angry.
“This is not about me here,” Kathryn smiled, “but nice try. Dinah, come on, this thing between you and him can go places.”
“Even if I did you know… I don’t but if I did, it couldn’t go anywhere.”
“Why not?” Kathryn pleaded.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“Dinah! You’re hiding something and either you’re going to tell me or I’ll figure it out on my own.” Kathryn would be true to her threat.
“Fine, you won’t believe me but I’ll tell you…” she took a deep breath, “Okay so the Doctor was at my house and Vincent came and snuck me out then we went for a bike ride through the woods where we found that mausoleum everyone’s been looking for well we went inside and I ended up signing a contract that forces me to empty the vaults in the mausoleum of the ghosts it holds Vincent was helping for a while but ended up getting killed of course this was after we met Edward and Daniel who’s real names are Edaniel and Edrear then a couple weeks ago we learned an unbearable, a really hostile ghost, got out and wants me dead so they’re stalking me to keep me safe now I’m here and they’re in the tree just outside your window.” Dinah said only taking one breath in the middle.
“Okay so now tell me the real reason.” Kathryn said calmly.
“Told you, you wouldn’t believe me,” Dinah sighed, taking off down the stairs. She ran out the door and to Kathryn’s tree. “Watch, HEY GUYS GET YOUR BUTTS DOWN HERE!” Edrear dropped in front of Dinah in one graceful leap, Edaniel swung down by his knees so he was upside down to Kathryn’s right.
“Is there a problem Dinah?” Edrear inquired as Kathryn gave a startled scream.
“Tell her I'm not lying about all the mausoleum stuff!” Dinah huffed.
“And why would we admit that Dinah? This is the second time you've spilled the beans in the last week and a half and it really ain't good publicity.” Edaniel sighed singing back and forth on his branch.
“Wait... you mean she's telling the truth... so... are you guys like... human?”
“Good going brother,” Edrear sighed, “No Miss Kathryn, neither my brother nor I are human. We are spirit guardians of the human agents who empty the mausoleum.”
“Wow! Can you guys walk through walls and stuff?” Kathryn asked excitedly.
“Not really, I can teleport around the walls or over them but not through them... You know you're taking this surprisingly well.” Edaniel said. He swung down from his branch and landed nimbly on his feet.
“Well, I didn't think Dinah was crazy, so I believed what she talked about, at least a little bit. So its really not a big jump for me...” She gave Edaniel a scrutinizing stare. “So Edaniel is your real name huh? Then what was with that painting of that weird cat thing you did in art class?”
“That's my not-as-sexy-but-usually-occupied form.” He said. “Now enough chit chat. Don't we have a party to go to?”
Kathryn laughed and practically dragged Dinah to the party, Edaniel and Edrear in tow.
“Hey Losers” Sarah smirked as our heroes entered the party.
“Hi ho” winked Edaniel as he brushed by. Kathryn couldn't help but let loose a giggle.
The music was too loud, blasting some cliche rap number through everyone's pulsating bodies. Dinah shook her head in distaste and stood against a wall. Edrear stood with her. Kathryn and Edaniel had gotten caught up in the music and were dancing like idiots. Edrear rolled his eyes as he watched his brother attempt a pass at Kathryn, who slapped his wandering hands away.
“Wanna dance?” Nick asked, holding his hand out to Dinah. Dinah shook her head, blushing furiously. “Oh come on, it'll be fun.” Nick put his arm above her head in a clear sign of ownership. Edrear pushed him back.
“She said no,” he scoffed, standing protectively in front of Dinah with his arms crossed.
“Look foreign kid,” Nick growled, “back off my girl.”
“Since when is she your girl?” Edrear growled, although his was much more animalistic than Nick's.
“Yeah!” Sarah intercepted, “since when?” she stood behind Nick, her hip popped and her expression angry.
“Sarah, just go” Nick dismissed her with a nonchalant wave of his hand.
“Ass,” she sneered sidling past her now ex-boyfriend.
“Now, where were we?” Nick tried to weave around Edrear, catching only Edrear's arm. Both boys looked ready to fight.
“Um... Edward... It's no problem... just one dance though.” Dinah piped in, not wanting Nick to become a bloody corpse.
Edrear glared but let Nick lead Dinah onto the dance floor.
The music shifted into some cheesy love ballad as Nick pulled Dinah into his chest. They swayed awkwardly to the music, Edrear steaming in his corner.
Meanwhile: Derek decided to make a move of his own on Kathryn, who was contentedly waltzing with the youngest guardian.
“Why dance with him?” Derek smirked, “When there are so many more manly guys out there...”
“Like your mom?” Edaniel snapped, sticking out his tongue.
“Don't you dare talk about my mother!” Derek yelled, throwing a wild punch. His fist missed Edaniel's and landed a hard blow to Kathryn's left cheek.
“Bastard!” Edaniel cried, tackling the lesser jock to the ground and beating him lamely. Derek fought back. They rolled around for a while, Dinah fighting her way out of Nick's arms to try and break up the brawling boys.
“Don't worry baby,” Nick cooed in her ear, entrapping her once more, “Derek'll win.” Dinah turned red faced and angry to her captor. Before she could utter a word of disdain his lips crashed onto hers.
“Back off my girl, mortal.” Edrear pulled Nick away from Dinah and threw him against a wall. Dinah was useless once again as she proceeded to flit about the two sets of fighting boys.
“STOP!” she finally shrieked. Tears welled up in her eyes and she ran from the house as everyone stopped to stare at her. Edrear tossed the now beaten to a pulp Nick to the floor and ran after her. Followed by a pretty bruised up Edaniel.
“Miss Dinah! Wait!” Edrear called, catching up to her easily.
“You guys suck!” she wailed, “You weren't supposed to draw that much attention.”
“I can't believe I lost...” Edaniel mumbled to himself.
“I apologize Miss Dinah... I had no intention of-” Dinah silenced him with a wave of her hand. She sniffed a few times and finally regained control of herself.
“Your girl?” she forced a small, curious smile. Edrear blushed.
“Hey bro,” Edaniel whispered very loudly, “this is the part where you smooch the chick.” Edrear punched him in the gut and left him to roll in pain on the ground. Both he and Dinah gave a nervous laugh and looked at the suddenly interesting ground.
A growl sounded in Dinah's ear. She spun around, running head long into the grotesque figure of the escaped unbearable. She yelped in surprise as it slashed out at her, catching her arm and drawing a line of blood.
“Hello little girl,” the creature hissed. Edaniel shifted Edrear back into his armor and Edrear drew his twisted sword. He stood in front of Dinah, Edaniel knelled beside her, and attempted to heal the gash on her arm. “Uh oh, big bad guardian is here this time... Doesn't matter. All will be over soon.” Edrear crouched as the creature spoke, launching himself at the beast. The monster side stepped easily and laughed. It wasn't a normal laugh, this one sounded more like breaking glass than a squeal of glee.
Edrear whipped around, slicing past the creature's back. It hissed and spun, introducing Edrear to his savage claws. Blood dripped down Edrear's neck from a long gash in his cheek. The monster struck again, before he could regain his feet, sending him into a nearby tree. The unbearable placed his gnarled hands on the trunk of the tree and morphed it around Edrear's struggling form.
“MISS DINAH! RUN!” Edrear yelled. Edaniel grabbed Dinah's bloody hand and ran. The beast leaped over them and blocked their path.
“No, no, no, no, no,” it snickered, “there will be no escaping from our fun. You act as though you never want to see your blond boy again.” the thing pouted. “He misses you so so so so so so much. In fact, I can't get him to shut up. 'Dinah, Dinah!' he cries.”
Dinah's eyes began to water, “Vincent?” she squeaked. The thing nodded. “What have you done with him?!” Dinah cried.
“Nothing really,” it shrugged, “Only shoved a boat pin through his bleeding heart and gathered him to keep me company.” Dinah charged forward, only to be jerked back by Edaniel's firm grip.
“Don't listen Dinah” he hissed in her ear.
“MISS DINAH!” Edrear roared, finally breaking free from his wooden prison. The noise of cracking wood distracted Edaniel just enough for Dinah to break his grip on her. She snatched up Edrear's fallen sword and swung blindly at the ghost. It ducked and weaved, mocking her assaults. With a sickening smile it thrust its claws forward, digging into Dinah's chest, just barely missing her heart. Dinah went down, gasping as her punctured lung tried to fill itself with air. Edrear roared in anger and leaped, shifting forms in mid air. The being was too distracted with glee at Dinah's blood covering his hand. With a savage growl, Edrear sunk his bared teeth into the thing's neck. Black blood s
squelched past his fangs, making him gag slightly, but he did not let go. The creature shrieked and slashed wildly, cutting Edrear repeatedly. Edaniel finally did something useful, summoned up a sword of his own, and sent a call to Bali Lali for assistance. He stabbed straight past his brother, paralyzing the beast as ice spread from the tip of his sword. Edrear finished the job by tearing the creature's head from his shoulders with a violent shake of his head. Instantly dropping the unmoving unbearable Edrear returned to his bleeding Human for and knelt beside Dinah.
Dinah's breath came in thin rasps. Edrear gathered her up in his arms. Tears leaked from the corners of his eyes as he silently prayed for her.
“Hello? Yes I need an ambulance just behind Destiny Drive. My friend fell and she's bleeding and can't breathe. Yes, she's conscious. No, she can't speak, she can barely breathe!” Kathryn yelled into her cell phone a few feet off.
“Where did you come from?” Edaniel asked loudly.
“I followed you guys, you know worried and all that. What the f*** just happened?!” she shouted, pushing the mute button on her cell phone.
“Bad guy,” Edaniel tried to be vague. Kathryn glared at him.
“No s***,” she hissed. She placed a worried hand on his shoulder before going over to Dinah.
“No, please no...” Edrear choked.
“Its going to be alright,” Kathryn said, more hopeful than anything. “The ambulance is on the way.” Edrear nodded mutely and rocked gently. The sound of sirens rose up from the road as the ambulance rushed in.
Kathryn did all of the talking as Dinah was loaded into the back of the white vehicle. Edrear and Edaniel both refused to be treated until Dinah was out of danger. The ambulance roared away, leaving Kathryn and Edaniel alone in the back field.
Dinah woke to an ache in her chest and a annoying beeping noise. She tried to rub the sleep from her eyes but found her hands were occupied. One held by her Aunt Jane, who slept peacefully, her head resting on her arms. The other held by Edrear, who woke at her movement.
“Miss Dinah,” he sighed in relief, “You're awake.” Dinah nodded.
“How long have I been out?” she whispered, unable to find her voice past that. Edrear handed her a cup of water.
“About a day and a half,” he groaned, stretching his arms above his head.
“What happened to Edaniel and Kathryn?” she pressed.
“My idiot brother took Miss Kathryn to the mausoleum with the Unbearable. It wasn't dead, you can't really kill a ghost, but it was immobilized to the point where Neptune's Gold could pick it up with out any further mishaps. Then I believe they proceeded to make out in a back closet...” He grinned as Dinah giggled slightly. Only to stop as the action pulled tightly on her chest.
“Sounds like something they would do,” she said after the pain subsided. Edrear looked at her, worry creasing his brow. “Are you alright?” she asked, wishing he'd stop staring at her like that.
“Yes,” he said simply, “Guardians heal quickly.” He ran his thumb over the back of her hand. “Are you going to be alright?” he looked away.
“If I haven't died yet, I probably won't.” Dinah coughed.
“Thank God,” Edrear muttered. “Of all the human agents the Mausoleum has employed, you, Miss Dinah, are the only one I've always wanted to remain in our employment.” Dinah flushed as Edrear's voice wavered.
“That thing is gone now? Forever?” Dinah breathed. Edrear nodded. “Good, it deserves to never see the light of day again.”
“Aye, Unbearables usually do.” Edrear's face darkened.
“But this one... this one killed Vincent! And it threatened my family! And my Friends!” Dinah sobbed.
Edrear nodded solemnly. “And because of you, it won't hurt anyone ever again.” Dinah smiled sadly.
“It still won't bring him back,”
It was almost a month before Dinah was released from the hospital. To make sure Dinah didn't get killed off by the contract, Kathryn took over her duties cleaning the vaults until Dinah was well enough to fight. Aunt Jane signed Dinah up for a knife fighting class as a condition to her further work with Edaniel and Edrear. Edaniel and Kathryn's relationship never progressed past making out in the back closet, much to Edaniel's disgruntlement. Dinah and Edrear still have yet to understand the constant blushing and such. Vincent had been put in a vault, and Dinah was eventually re-united with him. Yay everyone wins except the bad guy who was destroyed or passed over or whatever happens to Unbearables at Neptune's Gold.