I don't wanna fight anymore. I want this day to be over.
Noah gives me that look. I know what he's thinking. He wants me and him to join up with Lynn and Octavia against those freaks. We probably should.
This weirdo Caleb, surrounded by a wall of green flames, seems to still being doing whatever he's doing. We need to give him all the time he needs.
But I just had my ribs shattered and put back together. I don't want to get them shattered again.
These demons are out of our league. They've killed Chris. They're gonna kill us next. This whole situation is messed up.
I have no faith whatsoever in Caleb's – my God, did they really say exorcism? We're all gonna die.
“Let's go!” Noah shouts as he rushes headlong into the fray. Stupid. Forget demons. That idiot's gonna be the death of me.
Tameka's twirlin' like a wound up ballerina. One minute she's on the ground, the next she's in the air coming down hard. Her kicks are fast.
But Octavia's been one step ahead of her this whole time. None of Tameka's attacks can find a mark. Each whiff results in another heavy dent into the floor or another broken desk or hole in the wall.
Lynn's assaults Rayne with all the magic in her arsenal. It's like watchin' a fury of warheads go off. The light show is intense.
But to see Rayne avoid each blast so effortlessly almost gives me pause. But I can't pause. I'm in the thick of it now.
Noah runs up at Mr. Mayer with a solid ice bat in his hands. He swings it with fervor. And he misses with shame. Just as Mr. Mayer gets ready to retaliate, I run up from behind, with my hands clutched together, and deliver a flaming hammer fist to the back of his head.
The fact that he didn't do that time warp to evade the attack puts me at ease.
But that doesn't stop his insane speed.
Before I know it, Mr. Mayer's got me pinned to the ground. His forearm locks over my throat. His other fist repeatedly bashes against my side. With each impact, I wanna inhale, but I can't because I'm gettin' choked out.
Noah grabs him and manages to yank him off me. I'm hackin' off to myself, tryna regain my senses.
Then I hear Caleb finally shout, “Got it!”
I look back his way to find him covered in his green flames. There's some sort of glowing circle on the floor around him. The wind's all kicked up, his hair's blowin' every which way.
He aims his rod our way. At the tip of it, a ball of bright, shining energy forms. I guess he's tryna target one of the demons.
I bum-rush Mr. Mayer with all the energy I got left. I've got his right arm clutched. Noah's got his left. It's takin' everything we got to keep him from movin'.
The sound of the energy being fired makes my ears pop. It hits Mr. Mayer right in his chest, and suddenly, he stops struggling. His body just goes limp. And all the darkness that was within it just sorta evaporates like a black smoke.
The smoke works its way up to the ceiling, where it seems to turn into a thick, sludgy goop. I aim my hand at the puddle and blast it with a torrent of flames. I'm out here cookin' the junk for so long, it sets off the sprinklers in the room.
After finally lettin' up, I don't see the darkness anymore. I know those demons are gone.
Caleb's just gotten through with the other two, too. Tameka and Rayne are just as motionless as Mr. Mayer. Lynn and Octavia seem to have taken care of the demons that were in them.
“Well, I guess this is a win,” Noah says between his heavy breaths.
I give him a cross look before responding with a, “Really dude?”
Then all of our attention falls on Chris. No one has anything to say about it. There's a deep, sickening feeling in my stomach. I wanna say somethin', but the words aren't comin'. I'm mad. There are flames emanating from my clenched fists. The demons are gone, but I still wanna punch something.
Lynn rushes to Chris's side. The look on her face—her fighting back the tears—for some reason, makes me even more upset. I wanna blame her. I know that's wrong, but if she was here earlier, maybe this would've turned out different.
“We need ta do something! Someone call an ambulance! Is there anyone else in the school? We gotta get him to a hospital!”
“A hospital won't help,” Caleb says.
The nerve of this guy. Someone needs to smack him in his face.
“Who asked you?” I snap back. “Better yet, who the heck are you?”
Caleb responds with a non-verbal utterance. Actin' like he ain't got no sense. This guy's an idiot.
“Yeah man,” Noah says. “Thanks for what you did an' all. Ya really came through in the clutch, but out of all the people who appeared ta help us, half were genuine, and the other half were demons. So respectfully...”
“Are you a demon, or not?” I ask.
“Definitely not,” Caleb responds.
“Are you a Mystic?” Noah follows up.
“See,” Noah pauses as he strokes his chin. “I don't know why, but that makes me feel even more uneasy.”
“I'm sorry,” Caleb says. “Look, it's like this: like Lynn, I can talk with spirits and do magic. Because of that connection, I'm able to see and interact with demons. Ever since I saw what they were capable of, I've been doing everything in my power to stop them.”
I look over at Noah. He looks back and shrugs his shoulders. I guess that means he's cool in his book. I still don't think he's worth our trust, but for now, I'll leave it be.
“Really, I should be asking what your motivations are,” Caleb adds in. “For the longest, I thought I was the only one who could even see demons. Now I find out that everyone in her can see and fight them?”
“Look, I know life as a teenager makes it seem like everything revolves around us,” Octavia butts in, “but are we really gonna have a full on conversation with dude over there dyin'?”
She's right. My God, she's absolutely right, and I can't stand it. I don't wanna think about that right now. What in the world do we do?
Lynn's over by Chris's side right now. She's kneeling right in the pool of blood surrounding him. Her hands are over him. The light they give off seem to be affecting him in some way. Is she healing him? She was able to heal me, but I wasn't dead. Can she heal him back to life?
“He wouldn't be the first,” Caleb says. “These demons are monsters. I've seen it happen way too many times already, and they've been getting worse. Honestly, for us to lose only him, after everything else that's happened, is a relief.”
“Will you shut up!?” Noah snaps.
“I'm sorry. That was insensitive.”
Well, she's doin' it. Lynn's managed to really put Chris's body back in place. I hope she did it right. Does she need to know how the body works for her to mess around with it? She's smart. I know there's an anatomy course floatin' somewhere in her head. As far as I can tell, he's good as new. And based on her relieved expression, I'd say she's satisfied as well.
But he's still not moving. She lays her head along his chest, tryna listen for a heartbeat. Her expression turns sour. Don't think she hears anything. Doesn't look like he's breathin' either.
She sits up and starts beatin' on his chest with her magic-imbued hands. I hear her cry, “Wake up you idiot! Wake up!” in between each strike.
Caleb slowly walks over to her. He places his hand on her shoulder and says, “Lynn.”
She doesn't even register him right now. The only thing on her mind is getting Chris to wake up. She places her hands on his chests and sends a jolt of electricity through it. His body reacts like anything getting shocked with electricity, but nothing other than a quick jump.
She keeps trying, though.
“Stop it Lynn,” Caleb continues. “That won't work. Even if you did fix up his body, he was killed by a demon. His entire spirit was viciously assaulted. You can't bring him back from that.”
Something about what he says manages to break through. Lynn stops her makeshift defibrillation attempt and just stares at Chris's motionless body.
Then she, almost completely lighting up at the thought, she says, “His spirit! Of course!”
Then I see her and Chris surrounded by some white light. It's blinding. And in the next instant, the two are gone.
This takes Caleb by surprise.
“She's not – ” he utters. “No!” Then he's surrounded by that same light, and then vanishes right behind him.
Then in the next instant, another flash of light appears, and out of it comes one of the Mystics – Hirohito.
He looks about as confused as the rest of us probably feel. His reaction to the fire sprinklers still sprayin' along with the three unconscious bodies just lyin' on the floor, and three of us left just standing here.
“What happened here?” he asks.