Thursday, May 23, 2019
The Return: Shadow Souls Chapter 1
Dear Diary, Elena whispered, how frustrating is this? I left you in the trunk of the Jaguar and its two oclock in the morning. She stabbed her finger on the leg of her gown as if she had a pen and was making a period. She whispered even more softly, leaning her forehead against the window, And Im afraid to go outside in the fantasm and startle you. Im afraid She do another stab and then, feeling tears slip down her cheeks, reluctantly turned her mobile on to record. It was a absurd waste of the battery, that she couldnt help it. She wishinged this.So here I am, she said softly, sitting up in the backseat of the car. This has to be my diary entry for today. By the way, we made a rule for this road trip I sleep in the Jags backseat and its the Great Outdoors for Matt and Damon. Right now its so low-spirited outside that I cant run across Matt anywhere. exactly Ive been difference crazy crying and feeling lost and so l wizly for Stefan.We sop up to make it rid of the J aguar its too big, too red, too flashy, and too memorable when were trying not to be retrieveed as we travel to the place where we can on the loose(p) Stefan. aft(prenominal) the car is sold, the lapis lazuli and diamond pendant Stefan gave me the day before he disappeared will be the most precious thing I buzz off left. The day beforeStefan got tricked into going away, think ofing he could become an ordinary humankind being. And nowHow can I stop thinking virtually what They mightiness be doing to him, at this very second who ever They are? Probably the kitsune, the evil fox spirits at the prison c each(prenominal)ed the Shi no Shi.Elena pa utilise to wipe her nose on her nightgown sleeve.How did I ever get myself into this situation? She shook her head, hit the seatback with her clenched fist.Maybe if I could figure that out, I could come up with aim A. I always control got a Plan A. And my friends always have a Plan B and C to help me. Elena blinked hard, thinking o f Bonnie and Meredith. scarce if now Im f expertened that Ill never see them again. And Im scared for the entire town of Fells Church.For a moment she sat with her clenched fist on her knee. A small voice inside her was saying, So stop whining, Elena, and think. Think. Start from the beginning.The beginning? What was the beginning? Stefan?No, she had lived in Fells Church long before Stefan came.Slowly, almost dreamily, she spoke into her mobile. In the outset place who am I? Im Elena Gilbert, age eighteen. Even more slowly, she said, Idont think its vain to say that Im beautiful. If I didnt cope I was, Id have to have never looked in a mirror or heard a compliment. Its not something I should be proud of its conscionable something that was passed down from Mom and Dad.What do I look like? I have blond hair that falls in sort of waves past my shoulders and blue eyes that some tidy sum have said are like lapis lazuli dark blue with splashes of gold. She gave a half(a)-choked laugh. Maybe thats why vampires like me.Then her lips tightened and, staring into the utter black around her, she spoke seriously.A lot of boys have called me the most angelic daughter in the world. And I played around with them. I just used them for popularity, for amusement, for whatever. Im being honest, all right? I considered them to be toys or trophies. She paused. simply there was something else. Something that I knew all my life was coming and I didnt hump what. I felt as if I were searching for something that I could never find with boys. None of my scheming or playing around with them ever affected mydeepest spirituntil one very special boy came along. She stopped and swallowed and said it again. One very special boy.His name was Stefan.And he turned out not to be what he looked like, a normal precisely gorgeous high school senior with rumpled dark hair and eyes as discolor as emeralds.Stefan Salvatore turned out to be a vampire.A real vampire.Elena had to pau se to let in a hardly a(prenominal) choked breaths before she could get the coterminous words out.And so did his gorgeous older brother, Damon.She bit her lips, and it seemed a long time later that she added, Would I have loved Stefan if Id known he was a vampire from the beginning? Yes Yes Yes Id have fallen in love with him no matter what exactly it changed things and it changed me. Elenas finger traced a pattern on her nightgown by touch alone. You see, vampires show love by exchanging blood. The problem wasthat I was sharing blood with Damon, too. Not really by choice, but because he was after me constantly, day and night.She let out a sigh. What Damon says is that he wants to make me a vampire and his Princess of the Night. What that translates into is he wants me all to himself. But I wouldnt trust Damon on anything unless he gave his word. Thats one quirk he has, he never breaks his word.Elena could feel an odd smile curling her lips, but she was speaking calmly now, flu ently, the mobile almost forgotten.A little girlfriend involved with two vampireswell, theres bound to be trouble, isnt there? So maybe I deserved what I got.I died.Not just died like when your heart stops and they resuscitate you and you come back talk about almost going into the Light. I went into the Light.I died.And when I came back what a surprise I was a vampire.Damon waskind to me, I suppose, when I first woke up as a vampire. Maybe thats the reason I still havefeelings for him. He didnt lay down advantage of me when he could have easily.But I only had time to do a few things in my vampire life. I had time to remember Stefan and love him more than ever since I knew, then, how difficult everything was for him. I got to listen to my own memorial service. Ha Everybody should get a chance to do that. I learned to always, always wear lapis lazuli so I wouldnt become a vampire Crispy Critter. I got to say good-bye to my little four-year-old sister, Margaret, and experience B onnie and Meredith.Tears were still sliding almost unnoticed down Elenas face. But she spoke quietly.And then I died again.I died the way a vampire dies, when they dont have lapis lazuli in the sunlight. I didnt crumble into dust I was only seventeen. But the sun poisoned me anyway. Going was almostpeaceful. That was when I made Stefan augur to take care of Damon, always. And I think Damon swore to take care of Stefan, in his soul. And that was how I died, with Stefan dimension me and Damon beside me as I simply drifted away, like going to sleep.After that, I had dreams I dont remember, and then suddenly, one day everyone was surprised because I was talking to them through Bonnie, who is very psychic, poor thing. I guess I had get the job of being Fells Churchs guardian spirit. There was a d ire to the town. They had to fight it and somehow, when they were certain that they had lost, I got dumped back to the world of the living to help. And well, when the war was won I was le ft with these weird spots I dont understand. But there was Stefan, too We were together againElena wrapped her arms around herself tightly and held on as if she were holding Stefan to her, imagining his warm arms around her. She shut her eyes until her breathing slowed.About my powers, lets see. Theres telepathy, which I can do if the other person is telepathic which all vampires are, but to different degrees unless theyre actually sharing blood with you at the time. And then there are my Wings.Its true I have Wings And the Wings have powers you wouldnt turn over the only problem being that I dont have the faintest idea how to use them. Theres one that I can feel sometimes, like right now, trying to get out of me, trying to shape my lips to name it, trying to move my body into the right stance. Its Wings of Protection and that sounds like something we could really use on this trip. But I cant even remember how I made the old Wings work practically less figure out how to use t his new one. I say the words until I feel like an idiot but nothing happens at all.So Im a human again as human as Bonnie. And, oh, God, if I could only see her and Meredith right now But all the time I tell myself that Im getting closer to Stefan every minute. That is, if you take into account Damons running us up and down and everywhere to throw off anybody trying to track us down.Why would anyone want to track us down? Well, you see, when I came back from the afterlife there was a very big explosion of violence that everyone in the world who can see Power saw.Now, how do I explain Power? Its something that everybody has, but that humans except genuine psychics like Bonnie dont even recognize. Vampires definitely have Power, and they use it to determine humans to like them, or to think that things are different from reality oh, like the way Stefan Influenced the high school staff to think his records were all in order when he transferred to Robert E. Lee High School. Or the y use Power to blast other vampires or creatures of darkness or humans. But I was talking about the burst of Power when I dropped down from the heavens. It was so big that it attracted two horrible creatures from the other side of the world. And then they decided to come see what had made the burst, and if there was any way they could use it for themselves.Im not joking, both, about them being from the other side of the world. They were kitsune, evil fox spirits from Japan. Theyre something like our western sandwich werewolves but much more powerful. So powerful that they used malach, which are really plants but look like insects that can be no large than a pinhead or big enough to swallow your arm. And the malach attach themselves to your nerves and feather out along your entire nervous system and eventually they take you over from inside.Now Elena was shuddering, and her voice was hushed.Thats what happened to Damon. A tiny one got into him and it took him over from inside so that he was only a puppet of Shinichis. I forgot to say, the kitsune are called Shinichi and Misao. Misao is the girl. They both have black hair with red all around the tips, but Misaos is long. And theyre supposed to be brother and sister but they sure dont act like it.And once Damon was fully possessed, thats when Shinichi made Damons bodydo terrible things. He made him torture Matt and me, and even now I know that sometimes Matt still wants to kill Damon for it. But if hed seen what I saw a whole thin, wet, white second body that I had to roll out with my fingernails from Damons spine with Damon finally passing out from the pain then Matt would understand better. I cant blame Damon for what Shinichi made him do. I cant. Damon wasyou cant imagine how different. He was crushed. He cried. He wasAnyway, I dont expect to ever see him like that again. But if I ever get my Wings powers back, Shinichi is in big trouble.I think that that was our mistake last time, you see. We finall y were able to fight Shinichi and Misao and we didnt kill them. We were too moral or too gentle or something.It was a bad mistake.Because Damon wasnt the only one who got possessed by Shinichis malach. There were girls, young girls, fourteen and fifteen and younger. And some boys. Actingcrazy. Hurting themselves and their families. We didnt know how badly until after wed already made a bargain with Shinichi.Maybe we were too immoral, making a bargain with the devil. But they had kidnapped Stefan and Damon, who was already possessed by then, had helped them. Once Damon was unpossessed, all he treasured was for Shinichi and Misao to tell us where Stefan was, and then for them to leave Fells Church forever.In exchange for that, Damon let Shinichi into his mind.If vampires are obsessed with Power, kitsune are obsessed with memories. And Shinichi wanted Damons memories for the last few days the time that Damon was possessed and torturing usand the time when my Wings made Damon realiz e that he had done it. I dont think Damon himself wanted those memories, either of what hed done or of how hed changed when he had to face that hed done it. So he let Shinichi take them, in exchange for Shinichi putting Stefans location into his mind.The problem is that we were bank Shinichis word that he would leave then when Shinichis word meant nothing at all.Plus, ever since then hes been using the telepathic channel that he opened betwixt his mind and Damons to take more and more of Damons memories without Damon even knowing.It happened just last night, when we were pulled over by a policeman who wanted to know what three teenagers in an expensive car were doing that late at night. Damon Influenced him to go away. But just a few hours later Damon had forgotten the policeman completely.It frightens Damon. And anything that frightens Damon not that he would ever admit it scares me to death.And, you might ask, what were three teenagers doing out in the middle of nowhere, in U nion County, Tennessee, according to the last road sign I saw? Were chief toward some Gate to the unappeasable Dimensionwhere Shinichi and Misao left Stefan in the prison called the Shi no Shi. Shinichi only put the knowledge into Damons mind, and I cant get Damon to say much about what kind of place it is. But Stefan is there and Ill get to him somehow, even if it kills me.Even if I have to learn how to kill.Im not the sweet little girl from Virginia I used to be.Elena stopped and blew out her breath. But then, cuddling herself, she went on.And why is Matt along with us? Well, because of Carolean Forbes, my friend since kindergarten. Last yearwhen Stefan came to Fells Church, she and I both wanted him. But Stefan didnt want Caroline. And after that she turned into my worst enemy.Caroline was also the lucky winner of Shinichis first visit to any girl in Fells Church. But more to the point she was Tyler Smallwoods girlfriend quite a while before she was his victim. I wonder how lo ng they were together and where Tyler is now. All I know is that, in the end, Caroline hung on to Shinichi because she needed a husband. That was how she put it herself. So I assume well, what Damon assumes. That shes going tohave puppies. A werewolf litter, you know? Since Tyler is a werewolf.Damon says that having a werewolf baby turns you into a werewolf even faster than if youre bitten, and that at some point in the pregnancy you gain the power to be all wolf or all human, but before that point youre just a mixed-up mess.The sad thing is that Shinichi scarcely gave Caroline a second glance when she blurted it all out.But before that Caroline had been desperate enough to accuse Matt of of assaulting her on a date that went wrong. She had to have known something about what Shinichi was doing because she claimed her date with Matt was at a time when one of the arm-swallowing mallach was attacking him, making marks on his arm that looked like a girls fingernail scratches.That di splace the police after Matt, all right. So basically I just made him come with us. Carolines father is one of the most important people in Fells Church and hes friends with the district attorney in Ridgemont and the leader of one of those mens clubs where they have secret handshakes and other stuff that makes you, you know, prominent in the community.If I hadnt positive(p) Matt to run instead of facing Carolines charges, the Forbeses would have lynched him. And I feel the anger like a fire inside me not just anger and hurt for Matt, but anger and the feeling that Caroline has let all girls everywhere down. Because most girls arent pathological liars, and wouldnt say something like that about a boy falsely. Shes shamed all girls by doing what she did.Elena paused, looking at her hands, and then added, Sometimes when I get angry at Caroline, cups shake or pencils roll right off the table. Damon says all this is caused by my corona, my life force, and that ever since I came back from the afterlife its been different. First of all, it makes anyone who drinks my blood incredibly strong.Stefan was strong enough that the fox demons could never have forced him into their trap if Damon hadnt tricked him in the beginning. They could only deal with him when he was weakened and surrounded by iron. Iron is bad news for any supernatural creature, plus vampires need to feed at least once a day or they get weak, and Ill bet no, Im sure that they used that against him.Thats why I cant stand to think about what shape Stefan might be in right this minute. But I cant let myself get too afraid or angry or Ill lose control of my aura. Damon showed me how to keep my aura mostly inside, like a normal human girl. Its still pale gold and pretty, but not a beacon for creatures like vampires.Because theres one other thing my blood maybe even just my aura can do. It canoh, well, I can say anything I want to here, right? Nowadays, my aura can make vampires want methe way human gu ys do. Not just to bite, get it? But to kiss and all the rest. And so, naturally, they come after me if they sense it. Its as if the world is full of honeybees and Im the only flower.So I have to practice keeping my aura hidden. If its just barely showing, then I can get away with seeming like a normal human, not somebody whos died and come back. But its hard to always remember to hide it and it hurts a lot pulling it in suddenly if Ive forgottenAnd then I feel this is absolutely private, all right? Im putting a curse on you, Damon, if you replay this. But its then that I feel like I want Stefan to bite me. It eases up the pressure, and thats good. Being bitten by a vampire only hurts if you fight it, or if the vampire wants it to hurt. Otherwise, it can just feel good and then you touch the mind of the vampire whos done it, andoh, I just miss Stefan so muchElena was shaking now. As hard as she tried to quiet her imagination, she kept thinking about the things that Stefans jailer s might be doing to him. Grimly, she gripped her mobile again, letting tears fall on it.I cant let myself think of what they might do to him because then I really start to go crazy. I become this useless shaking insane person who just wants to scream and scream and never stop. I have to fight every second not to think about it. Because only a cool, calm Elena with a Plan A and B and C is going to help him. When I have him safe in my arms, I can let myself shake and cry and scream, too.Elena stopped, half laughing, her head bent against the passengers seatback, her voice hoarse with overuse.Im tired now. But I have a Plan A, at least. I need to get more information from Damon about the place were going, the inconsolable Dimension, and anything he knows about the two clues Misao gave me about the key that will unlock Stefans cell.I guessI guess I havent mentioned that at all. The key, the fox key, that we need to get Stefan out of his cell, is broken into two pieces that are hidden in two different places. And when Misao was taunting me about how little I knew about those places, she gave me flat-out clues about where they were. She never dreamed Id actually go into the Dark Dimension she was just showing off. But I still remember the clues, and they went like this The first half is in the silver nightingales instrument. And the second half is buried in Bloddeuwedds ballroom.I need to see if Damon has any ideas about these. Because it sounds as if once we get to the Dark Dimension were going to have to infiltrate some peoples houses and other places. To search a ballroom, its best to somehow get invited to the ball, right? That sounds like easier said than done, but whatever it takes, Ill do. Its simple as that.Elena lifted her head in determination and went still, then said in a whisper, Would you believe it? I looked up just now and I can see the palest streaks of dawn in the sky light green and creamy orange and the faintest aqua. Ive talked all through th e darkness. Its so peaceful now. Just now the sun peeked up o What the hell was that? Something just went BANG on the top of the Jag. Really, really loud.Elena clicked off the recorder on her mobile. She was scared, but a noise like that and now scrabbling sounds on the roofShe had to get out of the car as fast as possible.