Write On My Soul

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Shades of Black Chapter 8

*Same Page, Different Book

                "What the Hell are we getting ourselves into?" Kevin asked once the room had fallen silent just after Karissa’s departure.

                “I don’t know.” Howie answered. He had a feeling that wouldn’t be the last time he said those words, especially not that night.

                “Then why are we going through with it?” AJ asked. “Wait… Are we going through with it?” Nick, Aaron, and Howie shrugged, Kevin looked out the window, and Brian looked at his watch. Again the room had fallen silent.

~Twenty-five Minutes Later~

                “I don’t think she’s coming back.” Brian said, checking his watch once again. Since Karissa left and promised to return with her brother, the guys had tried changing the topic of discussion at least three times. But the air of suspense, the knowledge that something major had happened to them tonight, and the lingering questions they all had about their future and their fate prevented any and all other thoughts from steering the conversation for very long.

                Kevin was beginning to grow impatient. It was bad enough that it seemed as though there was no option other than to bring these complete strangers along with them on their travels, but they really had no idea why they even felt that way. “We don’t know that. She could live on the other side of the city.” He sighed. ”Only proves that we really don’t know what we’re doing here, huh?”

                Every time someone had mentioned Karissa, Kevin said almost the same exact thing, which prompted the change of subject by someone who had no answer for him. Now it seemed to be AJ’s turn to answer, but since he too wondered about their current situation, he decided to go with it. “I guess.”

   “How do we know this isn’t like, a set-up or something?”

                Nick couldn’t help but laugh. Of all the things that had ever happened to them, he had to admit that this was certainly the strangest. Even so, he hardly thought it seemed fake, especially after he found himself nearly getting killed by one of the demons they’d encountered. “You really think they’d go to all the trouble of choreographing something like that just to kill us?” Kevin nodded in reply. “Why? She had us alone; wouldn’t she have just killed us then and there in the alley?”

                “Not if she needed backup.” AJ spoke up before Kevin could come up with a decent response. “Six of us, one of her.”

                “Oh please.” Aaron scoffed. “She took on a dude who was twice her size and he didn’t last five minutes. This is paranoid, even for you. And especially for you, Kev.”

                “But how do we know that we can trust these two? We've known this girl for less than two hours.” Kevin asked.  Yes, he was the one who told Karissa that there was no problem with her and her brother both coming along with them. But the more time he had to think about it, the more Kevin realized that the whole idea was pretty insane. "We could be fine once we leave the city."

                “Okay,” Nick started, sitting up straight in the armchair he’d been lounging in, “so what do you two propose we do? What are our options?”

                “We could not bring them along-“

                “And something bad could happen,” Aaron interrupted. Kevin glared at him.

                “Yes, or nothing could happen.”

                “And if we do bring them along?” AJ asked.

                 “Well, then they’ll be around to do whatever it is they do when something like what happened before happens again. Or, nothing else will happen and then we’ll have two strangers touring with us for no reason.”

                 “You’d really take the risk of something happening without some sort of protection nearby?” Brian asked his cousin, finally contributing to the conversation he’d hoped they wouldn’t need to have. “I mean, Baylee and Leigh are coming out to visit soon and if we get attacked again without anyone around to-“

                 “Okay, okay, I get it.” Kevin replied without letting his cousin finish. “Better safe than sorry.”

                 “Exactly.” Aaron again chimed in. “I don’t think that almost getting jumped twice in one hour is something that goes down a lot for no reason.”

                 “I think the only thing we do know is that we don’t know anything about this. Karissa does.” Howie finally stated. Kevin looked as though he wanted to respond, but was unable to think of anything to say. None of them were actually able to think of anything else to say.  The one thing they all could agree on, though, was that the whole situation was still a mystery, and they didn’t have the tools to solve it themselves.

~Fifteen Minutes Later~

 “Last chance to turn around and run like Hell,” Carey offered as the elevator chimed to indicate that they’d reached the twelfth floor.  Karissa had barely managed to convince the hotel manager that he’d seen her walking through his lobby earlier in the night, but only after he insisted for about three minutes that he’d never seen her in his life until she and Carey walked in with their bags. Now, they were finally on their way up to a particular hotel room, thankful that they hadn’t caused a stir downstairs.

                “We can’t go back now, Carey.” Karissa insisted as they walked off the elevator and she turned right once they got to the end of the short hallway. “You think that manager didn’t call up to their room and warn them we were coming, just to see if we were bullshitting him?”

                 Carey frowned while Karissa checked the room numbers on every door they passed. “Good point. But wouldn’t he have called them up before he let us come up here for that very reason?”

                 Karissa laughed. “Is it me, or did you just doubt your own skills in the art of bullshitting?”

                “Hey, you questioned yours when you started this whole discussion.”

                Karissa finally stopped outside the room she was looking for. “Okay, this is it.” She knocked on the door. “And for the record, you started the discussion.”


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