Fear’s anger at me hurt. I understood why
she would blame me; I had been their enemy after all. “How could you kidnap
her?” Fear demanded. “I thought I loved you Dallas! I trusted you. I forgave
you. I never should have given you a second chance! I wish you were dead.”
The words hurt deep inside me. She didn’t
trust me and I knew she wouldn’t until Halo was safe. I could only hope that
nobody had killed her. “It wasn’t me Fear,” I told her, trying desperately to
stay calm. “I love you and I swear to you I will find her and save her if I
can. I think I can find her.”
The more I thought about it, the clearer it
became. Who would kidnap Halo but Death? The one person I still had left to
fear. My former mentor must have been furious when I left to be with Fear. I
hoped Rock and the rest of my friends were okay. Fear was still glaring at me
but she looked a little happier. “I wouldn’t trust him if I were you Fear. I
knew you made a bad choice but Halo and I decided we could protect you best by
letting you go through with it,” Willow’s voice made me turn.
She stood in the doorway and didn’t pay any
attention to me. Obviously she blamed me as well, no surprises there. I walked
past her and said, “I’m going to save Halo.”
I heard Willow laughing behind me. “Sonic
will be here soon, you might as well just wait for him. I know he can save my
sister and, honestly, I don’t trust you. People always hold onto their past,”
she told me.
I fought the urge to shove her into a wall
and tell her she was wrong. I knew it would only prove her point. I looked over
my shoulder and settled on one word. “Wrong.”
I left the house and drove to an abandoned
house in the woods. I didn’t bother to hide my car but parked in plain sight.
Death knew I’d show up. I got out and chose one of many paths. I knew that each
one was traveled dozens of times to throw off anyone who tried to find Death’s
hideout. I also knew Death’s security system was reliable but breakable. It
consisted of people. People could always be persuaded to change sides.
As I travelled the path, I kept my eye out
for anyone who might want to jeopardize my task. To my relief, Rock appeared on
my path and blocked the way. “Go home, Dallas. Let her die. Save yourself,” he
I frowned and shook my head. “I can’t Rock.
I have to save Halo. Without her, Fear doesn’t trust me. Without Fear, I’m nothing. I love her Rock,”
Rock sighed and turned me around. “Go home
you fool. You take one step in his base and everything shatters. You die. Halo
dies. Feather probably dies. I die. Fear dies of heartbreak. Willow dies.
overreacting… I thought. His words held something
over me though and I frowned. I couldn’t abandon Halo but I couldn’t just waltz
in and get her killed. “How do you know?” I demanded. “How do I know you’re not
just lying to keep me away until he’s ready to kill me! This is all one big
game to him and I know it.”
The look on Rock’s face told me he truly
cared. “Dallas shut up. This is so much bigger than just you. He has Feather.
Just let me handle this Dallas. I know his weakness. I can defeat him. Stay out
of this Dallas or I’ll make you. This is my sister I need to save. I love you
Dallas. I could have killed you and saved her but I didn’t. So be glad.”
I sighed. How could I abandon the man who
had followed me his whole life and been willing to sacrifice his sister for me?
“Fine, I will be back in two days. Hurry it up Rock or I’ll save her myself.”
I walked away and back to my car. The drive
home was hard because I knew I’d have to face Willow and Fear. Facing Fear was
my biggest worry. I didn’t want to see her disappointment. I didn’t want to see
her sad and angry at me. I wanted her to be happy. I almost turned back.
I stopped at my house and quickly made a
coffee. Sipping it slowly, I headed for Fear’s house to tell her about her
When I walked in the door I was met by the
two sisters. Willow had a smug look on her face and Fear’s held disappointment.
“Where’s Halo? I thought you were going to rescue her,” Fear said.
I sighed and walked into the living room.
The girls trailed behind me and took a seat on the couch. I sat in the chair,
which I had always hated but Fear insisted on keeping. “My suspicions were confirmed.
If Halo isn’t free in two days, I’ll go rescue her. A friend of mine found her
captors weakness. His sister is currently being held hostage and he told me to
back off until he could save her. I owed it to Rock. He followed me for so
long… Halo is being kept by a man. He is known by two names, Death and Cliff.
Some call him Death Cliff, or Mr. Cliff. It varies. He was my mentor.”
Fear came and hugged me. “I’m sorry I
didn’t trust you. You found her! Now we can save her… If Rock fails. Who’s
Willow rolled her eyes and glared at me.
“Rock is one of Dallas’s old friends. From the life he used to have. Rock was
the right hand man. He didn’t do anything. He knew where she was before he left
this house. Why don’t you explain the pieces you left out?”
I looked at Fear and knew she deserved the
truth. Willow’s accusing glare pushed me into an explanation. “Death kidnapped
her because of me. He wanted Rock to kill me but Rock refused. Instead Rock
kidnapped her. Death was angry because I left him for a girl. I left for love.”
I could tell Willow was going to say
something but the door opened. I jumped to my feet and shoved Fear into the
chair. My knife came out just as I saw it was only Sonic. “Oh… Hi Sonic,” I
I was met by a glare. Sonic stormed over to
me. “What are you doing here? What did you do to Halo? I’ll kill you if she’s
hurt! Oh and what in the world do you intend to do with that knife? Because I
think I’ll take that and put it in a safer spot,” he yelled at me.
I handed him my knife, hoping he wouldn’t
decide to just use it to kill me. Sonic wasn’t one of the people I wanted angry
at me. In fact he was one of the people I was scared of. After all it had been
him who had defeated me in battle and put an end to my orphanage days.
Although Sonic and I were close to the same
height, he seemed to tower over me at this moment. Fear scurried out from
behind me and I dropped onto the chair. “Oh leave Dummy alone Sonic. He’s not
worth your time. The kidnapping was his fault not his doing. You can beat up on
him later, at this moment he holds the knowledge of Halo’s location. That info
could come in handy for, well, everything,” Willow said.
I was surprised that she would come to my
defense. I looked at her but she still appeared angry at me. Perhaps my
knowledge of Halo’s location was all she cared about. Sonic backed off and sat
beside Willow on the couch. “Then tell us Dallas. Where is she? Why haven’t you
saved her yet?” he demanded.
“I can’t tell you where she is. My friend
is going to exploit Death’s weakness and save his sister as well as Halo. If I
went to save her I would be killed, Halo would be killed, and my friend and his
sister would be killed. I couldn’t cause so much death. I couldn’t let Fear
lose two people instead of one,” I told him.
Sonic glared at me and I knew he still
wanted to hurt me. I watched his knuckles grow white as he gripped my knife
tighter. “Let’s be men about this, how about it Sonic? We calmly wait two days
to see if my friend really can use um, Cliff’s weakness, against him. If he
fails, we charge in there and save Halo,” I suggested.
“No!” Sonic yelled at me. “We don’t have
time to wait! Halo could be dead in two days! It takes three days to die of
dehydration and we don’t know how much water she’s getting. We’ve wasted way
too much time already Dallas. I don’t care what you want to do. I don’t need,
let alone want, your help. To be honest, I hate you. I think Fear is making a
mistake marrying you. Just tell me where she is, shut up, and stay out of my
I shook my head and Sonic shrugged and got
up. I stood up fast and stepped between him and the door. He started to go
around me, but I stepped into his path. “Dallas, I’m only going to say this
once. Get out of my way, or I will make you.”
“I’m not letting you go and get yourself
killed. She’ll have water. I’m almost sure of it. Now think before you act.
It’ll take you two days to find her anyway,” I told him, trying desperately to
buy Rock time.
Sonic shoved me to the side but I caught
his arm. I think he forgot just how much I knew about fighting. I had devoted a
large portion of my life to revenge and fighting. I dragged him back into the
room. I wrenched the knife from his hands and, after a quick glance at the
girls, I threw the knife aside.
The fight was short but we both backed away
with bruises and blood. Sonic’s nose was bleeding and my wrist was throbbing.
I’d received a cut on my arm though I wasn’t sure how. I was surprised to find
that Sonic and I were fairly evenly matched. When I looked around, Fear was
Willow was still there though. She didn’t
look too impressed. Her hands were on her hips and a glare was in her eyes. No,
she was definitely mad. “Why can boys
never solve anything without resorting to violence?” she demanded. “My sister
is dying and you two are having a fist fight! So I want you to put your issues
behind you.” She pointed a finger at me. “YOU are going to tell us where Halo
is first thing tomorrow morning. That is all the time Rock is getting.” She
directed her attention to Sonic. “You are going to be calm and play nice. I
know Halo could be dying but we don’t want to destroy this place and you
already got blood on the carpet. Now, both of you get yourselves cleaned up.”
It was clear that she expected no opposing
comments so I decided to just roll with it. I glanced at Sonic and guessed he
intended to do the same. We both knew better than to mess with an angry Willow.
I headed for the kitchen and Sonic went to the bathroom. I quickly washed my
cut and then turned around to grab some bandages. Fear was there though and she
silently gave me some. I set the bandages on the counter and looked into Fear’s
eyes. I knew she wanted to hear something. The problem was finding out what.
“Look, Fear,” I began, “I didn’t mean to
get in a fight with Sonic… I know I should be trying to save Fear but I owe
this to Rock. If it wasn’t for me, Rock’s sister wouldn’t be in there. I
dragged Rock into this and now his sister could die. I have to at least give
him a chance to save her too. Besides, he thinks he knows the easy way. Anybody
who knows Death’s weakness is good in my books.”
My speech did a little to change her
attitude but not much. I could tell she was still mad at me. “I told Willow I’d
tell them where she is in the morning. We have to give Rock a chance. Beside,
in the meantime Sonic will be planning. We both know it.”
She sighed and shook her head. “I know… I
just find it so hard to handle this. My sister is missing and I’m supposed to
just sit here? Yeah right. Besides, Willow isn’t just sitting around. I heard
her car drive away. Where do you suppose she went?” Fear asks.
I knew why she was telling me so I didn’t
bother to say good-bye. I just grabbed my coat and ran out to the car. A moment
later, I ran back in and fear handed me the keys. Out I ran again and got into
the car. I drove to the woods; I had to make sure she didn’t find Death. To my
dismay, her car was parked in front of the abandoned house. I leapt out of the
car and ran down the path. She needed to be stopped. I couldn’t get her
My mad run was slowed when I heard voices.
I was too late. Death had found her. I crept forward though the undergrowth and
hid in the shadows to look out at the two people. To my relief, it was Rock and
Willow, not Death.
“Who’re you?” Willow demanded angrily when
she noticed Rock.
I could tell Rock was hurt. Deep down I
knew he liked her, though I never really understood why,. “I can’t believe you
don’t remember me Willow. It’s Rock,” he answered her.
“Why should I remember your face? You were
a former kidnapper of mine… Well, sort of. I erased most of those memories,
long ago,” she told him. “Now, where is Halo?”
“Look Willow, I can’t tell you that. You
have to trust me. Lives are going to be
saved and yours is one of them. So just go home,” Rock said.
Willow was undeterred though and stomped
angrily towards him. We noticed at the same time, the man, who appeared behind
Rock. Only I knew who he really was, Death. Willow took a few steps back and
stared in shock at him. He was cloaked in shadows and he still managed to place
terror in her heart. “Hello, Willow. I’ve been expecting you,” Death said.
His low, quiet
voice was menacing in its own subtle way. I saw Willow shrink away from him.
“Wh-Who are you?” she asked timidly.
Very rarely had I
seen Willow looked so dismayed. He smiled and stepped out of the shadows. “I’m
Death, but surely you’ve heard all about me from Dallas… He may have used my
other name, Cliff. It really is nice to meet you but I’m afraid I have
something to tell you. Only Dallas can get your sister back. Only he can find
and save her. But, he’s going to be dead as soon as he tries.”
I’d never seen
Willow look like that before. Normally she had an air of confidence, a stubborn
look, or even a firm stance. But she was visibly cringing. Even when I had
faced her so many years ago she’d been stronger. “So, your name is Death
Cliff?” she asked.
I couldn’t help
but wonder why this mattered to her. After all, wasn’t her sister more
important? Death nodded and she looked at the ground. “Never thought anybody
would know about that… I don’t get how you knew, don’t even know if you knew,”
she says, so quiet I can barely hear. Looking up at him, she goes on, “But it
doesn’t matter. It just means I have to fight harder.”
I grinned to
myself as I saw her stand taller. She wasn’t in fear; no, she was stronger than
ever. Her confidence had returned and she looked him right in the eyes. “You,
Death, are going to be defeated. This is my family you are discussing. We have
never been defenseless; never been helpless. We always make a way.”
Rock had begun to
slip away, clearly not wanting to get in trouble. Death whirled around at the
sound of Rock creeping away. “Don’t you take another step,” Death ordered him.
“We aren’t done here.” He looked back to Willow, who was giving him a very
defiant glare. “You’re such a smart girl. So I’m going to leave you with
something to wrap your head around. I hold all the pieces in this game. You
hold nothing over me, but I control whether Halo lives, or whether she dies.
See, I could go back, and kill her because there is a chance that you will win.
Then, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get her back.”
respond. We both saw the sense in that. Slowly, she turned around and silently
began to walk away.
said quietly. “You still want to stay. I have information you care about;
information that can change your life.”
I silently begged
her to go on, to keep walking. I knew it was hopeless though. That quiet voice
of Death’s held a poisonous whisper that would drag almost anybody back.
“What?” she asked.
“Darky is alive,”
he told her.
confused us both. How could Darky be alive? I leaned back against a tree and
stopped listening to the two. I was too busy with my own thoughts. Could it be
true? Had Darky really survived? I never brought it up. I never got a chance to
see his grave. I didn’t want to raise the subject. It wasn’t a good thing to
talk about, considering I had been the one to stab him.
When I resumed
listening, Willow was talking. “-he was buried. I think Dallas would have asked
if he hadn’t been. You can’t honestly expect me to believe all that nonsense,
told me he’d already won. He’d achieved what he wanted to achieve. He’d gotten
a hold over Willow and his safety was assured. “You don’t have to believe
Willow. Things can be true even if you don’t believe. The problem is, the
pieces will never match up right. Not for you, only for me. All you can hold
onto is these two facts. Lewis Dark Zigmon lived, and he isn’t looking for
Death flicked his
hand and Rock left, followed immediately by Death. Willow sank to her knees and
watched them go. When they had to be a safe distance away, I stepped out of the
bushes. “Let’s go home Willow,” I said softly.
When she looked
up at me, I saw the tears on her face. “Don’t you dare breathe a word of this to
anyone Dallas,” she ordered me. “I swear I will personally inflict great pain
if you do.”
I was more than
shocked to hear the stern words come from her lips; after all she seemed very
distraught. In my surprise, I nodded stiffly and tried to grasp what went on in
that head of hers. “I won’t tell a soul Willow, but let’s get you home.”
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P.S. Opal might have been here