I stared warily at Mark, trying to analyze every detail about him. My letter had told me Mark had an “Evil Twin”, but how was I to know whether the Mark I was with was the good one or the bad one? I supposed the fact that he had the letters was a good sign he was the good one, unless the bad one took them from him before we entered the castle. But then, would we have still entered? What would “Creepyplier” do if it was in fact him here? Was the real Mark trapped somewhere else? It hurt my head to think of every possibility and chance about our current situation. I resolved to remain cautious, but otherwise trusting of the man before me; after all, what choice did I have?
“You alright there?” Mark asked, breaking the awkward silence. I looked up to see him glancing back at me, still holding the torch although it was getting dimmer by the second. “You haven't said much since we started walking.”
“Just thinking, I guess.” I replied. “We didn't give ourselves very much to work with, did we?” I tried to jest to lighten the mood.
“We probably figured we'd remember most of it.” he reasoned. “So much for that, I guess.” Mark stopped in front of a doorway with a sign that read “Library.” we both shrugged, the rest of the rooms we had tried to enter were either locked or covered with a thick and gooey red ooze. Mark opened the door, which let us in with a squeak.
“Squeeeeeeeak~” Mark murmured. I giggled for a second before stopping myself abruptly. Why had I laughed? I glanced towards Mark; he looked confused, and was smacking his lips as though he wasn't sure why he mimicked the door's sound.
Anyway, we entered the library and heard the door close behind us. The room was quite large, and the light from the torch Mark held did next to nothing to light the surrounding area.
“I can't see S***.” Mark groaned.
“Hey, no cussing!” I scolded. He gave me a look that read: “I'm a grown man, why should I listen to you?” I rolled my eyes and punched him in his side when he turned away. He called out in pain and turned to me while holding his side. It was during this time that I cross my arms, glaring at him as I gave a look saying: “Don't disregard me just because I'm younger and smaller than you.” Mark rubbed his side sorely, sighing.
“You know, if we're going to get through this we need to start listening to and trusting each other.” I told him.
“I know, I know.” He murmured. “It's just weird, though. Like, I think I remember things, and yet I don't. A part of me says I trust you, and another says to be careful, and the rest... I don't even know.”
“Well we have that in common.” I mused. “The majority of me wants to trust you, some of me thinks you're hiding something and I should be wary of you; and the rest is just a mass of confusion.” Mark leaned against a bookshelf in thought.
“Can you just tell me one thing, though?” he asked. I shrugged,
“Probably can't answer, but shoot.” I replied.
“Do you believe in any of that stuff?” he asked. I raised my eyebrows with confusion, adjusting my stance as I stared at him.
“I'm sorry?” I questioned.
“Well, mine said that we're trapped in a computer, and that we're in some kind of castle in a videogame.” Mark explained. “Do you believe it? Like are we actually inside of a video game?” I sighed, shrugging as I looked around.
“I don't know. I mean, I guess we are. Why would we lead ourselves on like that?” I reasoned.
“Fun? I don't know how we were.” Mark countered. I huffed,
“Well I for one believe that my former self would have a better reason for losing my memories than 'fun.'” I argued.
“I'm just saying, it's a possibility.” Mark finished, holding out his arms nonchalantly. I shook my head and looked back around the library.
“Let's get back to the topic at hand, shall we?” I asked. “Why was the library the only open door in the whole corridor?” I looked around the many bookshelves, trailing my finger along the spines of the documents.
“You think there's some sort of secret in here?” Mark asked. “It's a library, what's gonna—” At that moment I touched the spine of a slimy green book, and it slid halfway out of the bookshelf, a small click accompanying it. I grinned triumphantly, turning back towards Mark.
“You were saying?” I asked. Mark nodded at me, impressed. He then turned towards the other bookshelves and began searching for the rest of the books. I nodded and also turned away, walking down to the aisle between two rows of bookshelves. As I reached the open space, I heard a low moaning to my right. I stopped in my tracks and looked right, trying to discern the source of the noise. To my great surprise and shock, a man came rushing at me, his arms outstretched, completely bare, he shouted at the top of his lungs. I screamed, covering up my hands to try to block him. The man went right through me, sending shock waves of frigidity down my spine. I heard running footsteps behind me and soon found Mark standing next to me.
“Geez, you ok Leila?” he asked, holding out a hand to help me up. Feeling hollow with fear, I was unable to move or respond to him. Mark hesitated a moment, waiting for me to do something; but soon gave up and grabbed my arm, helping me stand and dusting me off. “What happened? I heard a shout and—”
“Naked.” I said. Mark paused in his actions and blinked a few times.
“Um... I'm sorry?” he asked, laughing a bit. I tugged at his ascot to pull him close to my face, and I stared at him with wide eyes as I said it again.
“Naked.” I repeated. “The man was naked.” I let go of him and let the information sink in as I adjusted my dress from falling. A few seconds later, Mark snickered before bursting out laughing. I frowned and walked away from him as he had to kneel down in an effort to calm himself.
“It's not funny, you know!” I called back at him. “It's an emotionally traumatizing moment for me!!” he heaved a few breaths before nodding.
“I know, I know.” he told me. “But the way you said it!” he laughed a few more times. I rolled my eyes, men were so immature. I reached out to touch another slimy book, and with a final satisfying click the puzzle was complete. My vision went blurry for a second, but then all was well and calm. I turned back to Mark, who had finally finished laughing. I frowned and punched his arm as I made my way to the other side of the library.
I looked out the window with an empty stare as Yami drove us away from Ohio. The echoes of the monsters still buzzed in my ears, and not even the sound of the radio could drown them out.
“We're almost in Illinois, Rose.” Yami told me, carefully turning the knob on the radio to see if there was any music we could listen to to calm down. “We'll be safer there.”
I didn't respond; I was too tired and emotionally drained to even think about setting up another safe house. The radio buzzed with static, and bits of words were barely audible.
“Reports are co############### the murder of ###############Anderson.”
Anderson. That was the name of the elderly couple whose home we used as a safehouse!
“Yami! Go back to that station!” I shouted, speaking for the first time in hours. Yami jumped with surprise before fixing the signal so we could hear.
“I repeat, If you have any information concerning the location of Aaron Ash and Rose Azarola, please report it to the police at once. Aaron and Rose are wanted for the murder of Earnest and Evangeline Anderson.”
I sunk deeper in my seat as the report continued. Creepyplier must have interfered with the information somehow. Now we not only have his videogame monsters after us, we have the police after us as well. I gritted my teeth and slammed my fist against the dashboard, calling out in anger. Yami took notice of my rage and stopped the car so I could take a moment to calm down. After about an hour of letting out my frustration and grief; worried of what mom or dad might say if they heard the report, I felt Yami put a hand on my shoulder.
“We should call your sister.” He told me. I sighed, once again drained of energy. I nodded and pulled out my cellphone, speed-dialing my sister.
End Chapter 22~! ^.^