It's here! it's finally here. The last chapter. Hooray for me! =D
I had already planned to make this in the form of a novella. I wasn't sure how many chapters a novella is usually consisted of, but here it is. Ready and for all of you to read.
I wasn't sure if I gave out Elja's age or not. Or the rest of the others. So, Elja is twenty-two; May was twenty-four; Jayla twenty-one; And Anise was twenty. Really the youngest. Oh, and Dr. Hansen is forty-three. XD
Enjoy the last chapter, everyone. It was really worth the wait. ^u^
This wasn't the first time Dr. Hansen chose to stay at his office overnight. Most times he left it was because he wanted to get a good night's sleep. But tonight wasn't one of those nights. He decided to stay to catch up on some work that he couldn't do at home. Primarily because of the crushing loneliness that ate at him from time to time. Other times, he felt more at home at the hospital than in his own house.
He sat at his desk, computer screen dispersing the gloom in his office. The lamp at his desk was turned on, making it less dark. Dr. Giles left half an hour ago. Dr. Hansen insisted she'd stay, but she clarified she needed to head home.
The sound of the tapping keys were the only thing keeping him company.
He sat back, reclining into his chair and looked at the ceiling. Ever since May and Jayla's suicides, he just couldn't shake the feeling that they weren't suicides. He knew better than to make assumptions, but the possibility that they were murdered was on the rise. Dr. Hansen just couldn't pin it on someone with a mental disorder. He knew that if a disabled person killed someone it wasn't all their fault. But if that person was aware of what they were doing, then it was indeed their fault.
His sessions with Elja made him shudder. The way she handled May and Jayla's deaths, it was as if it didn't affect her. She didn't respond like a normal person would. She tended to deflect the questions surrounding the girls' deaths. Dr. Hansen figured it was her way of handling their deaths. He thought she was going through the five stages of death. From where he saw it, Elja was in the denial stage. The way she showed it made all the other patients he had look sane. And that was saying a lot.
He heard what the paramedics said. They were just suicides, nothing more.
A scream echoed throughout the hall. Dr. Hansen bolted up from his chair and scrambled toward the door. He poked his head out the doorway, looking from one direction to the other. A patient must be having a night terror. No, that couldn't be. It sounded like that scream was coming from somewhere in the halls. Someone must be outside. A patient got out. How did a patient get out of their room? He had to investigate this.
He traipsed down the hall, keeping his eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary.
He heard the scream again followed by the thundering of footsteps coming from the stairs. Dr. Hansen broke into a sprint, nearly tripping when he stopped before the staircase to see Anise standing at the top.
"Anise!," shouted Dr. Hansen.
Anise turned her head, mouth agape. Her eyes were as wide as saucers.
"Run!," she hollered back.
"What?," stuttered Dr. Hansen, knitting his brows together. "What do you—"
"Run!," repeated Anise, almost despairingly. She was practically pleading.
In a nanosecond, it all happened. Dr. Hansen saw a black figure shove Anise down the stairs. He watched the figure stomp down each step, and it downright took his breath away. The figure was comprised of black, tendrils that slithered endlessly. He watched as Anise reached the bottom step. From there, he found the will to run over to her. Just as he was about to crouch by her side, the network of black tendrils coiled themselves around Anise. The girl stared at him with wide eyes. The tendrils pulled her up the stairs, where the entity lifted Anise up in the air. The tendrils seemed to hold her like she were pinned to a wall.
Dr. Hansen watched in horror. The creature did the most unspeakable thing. With its arms it grasped her neck tightly and turned her head, hearing a clear crack. Dr. Hansen felt the air being punch out of him by an invisible blow. The entity dropped Anise down the stairs, Dr. Hansen watched her tumble down like a ragdoll. When her body landed on the bottom step, he saw her eyes staring blankly into space, dead.
He gaped up at the creature. He saw the tendrils clear away to reveal a humanlike being. Looking at the being close, Dr. Hansen saw that it was a woman with long, black hair. She had black veins all over her face. Her eyes were a deep red with slitted pupils with a silver ring around them. She wore a black dress.
Screwing his eyes, something clicked in him. He studied the woman's face. The shape of it. Oval. The shape of the eyes. Unhooded. Her skin was so pale, so white, that if you take away the veins and change the color of the eyes she looked almost like...
"Elja...," croaked Dr. Hansen.
"Surprised?," said Elja. Her voice sounded different. It was the same tone, but now it sounded like a growl drowned out her voice. It sounded melodic, but at same time it sent shivers down his spine. Dr. Hansen couldn't work his mouth.
Elja walked down the stairs with practiced elegance. She kept her eyes on Dr. Hansen. Her smile showed an array of sharp, needlelike teeth.
"You," he uttered, his heart pounding, "y-y-you...y-you're..."
"A demon?," Elja finished for him. She stole the words from his mouth.
"Right," said Elja, "right." She hissed in a breath. "All these years, and you never believed me."
Standing before him, she seemed so much taller than him now. Her head almost touched the ceiling.
"I," stammered Dr. Hansen, "I-I...I..."
Elja cackled, her mouth exposing her sharp teeth.
"Funny how you thought it was all just some kind of craziness," she said, "you humans are so stupid."
"H-H-How?," uttered Dr. Hansen. His eyeballs could've fallen out of their sockets from how much he widened them.
"Ah, see," spoke Elja, "I've always been a demon."
Dr. Hansen stared, thunderstruck.
"I didn't realize it my whole life," continued Elja, she held out a hand, admiring her long claws, "that side of me had been dormant." She flashed the doctor a sinister smile. "I knew all my life that something was trying to claw its way out. I wasn't completely human, but I also was not completely this either."
Dr. Hansen stood like a statue. The nausea surged up, a sour taste coating his mouth raw. Sweat moistened his forehead. He could head his heart pounding in his ears.
"All those times I've been picked on," said Elja, "all the times I've been yelled at by that useless dad. My mother's refusal to defend me, and that stupid little brother who didn't know how to do anything." She snickered. "The night I killed them was the best time of my life."
Dr. Hansen felt his tongue swelling up, or at least he thought it was swelling. He had to get the words out.
"You," he sputtered, "you...you killed them? May? Jayla...," he looked down at Anise.
"Yes," said Elja, chuckling. "I didn't want to do it, but my instincts as a demon were egging me. I truly loved May, even if she did break my heart."
"She told me—"
Elja interrupted him with a wild cackle, her shoulders heaving up and down.
"She just told you what she wanted you to hear," she said. "That stupid Jayla deserved it." She looked down at the lifeless body of Anise. "And y'know, Anise was really just in the way. I never could figure her out. Have you ever solved a thousand pieces puzzle? Taxing, and impossible to finish. Getting into her mind, it was like she had a hundred different brains."
Dr. Hansen paled. Her words were like lightning cutting a tree.
"But," said Elja, "now that I've finished them...I'm finally free."
"What do you mean?," queried Dr. Hansen.
"I told you that the day was upon us," replied Elja.
Dr. Hansen throughout back to the day she said that. He remembered her saying it, like she was announcing a special event. Looking at Anise's corpse, and Jayla and May's suicides. It all made sense now.
"So this was your plan?," spat Dr. Hansen. "They were part of your plan?"
Elja bared her teeth, forming into a smile. She hunched over, and Dr. Hansen could hear a loud crack. He saw a pair of black bat-like wings snap out of her back. Throwing her head back, eight horns sprouted from her head: two large ones, a smaller set besides those, two smaller ones, and a smaller pair on her forehead. Dr. Hansen took a peek and he saw a long, white tail swish across the floor. He noted that it had three spine flaps.
"This is what I really look like," she said, pointing to herself with both hands. Dr. Hansen couldn't move.
"I'm going to stop you," he rasped, voice drenched with hate.
"How are you going got stop me when you couldn't even stop Jayla from copying May?" questioned Elja. "Or stop that looney tune old man from chewing out of his restraints?"
Dr. Hansen stared. Whatever defence he had left was melting off his tongue.
Elja flapped her wings. They took up the space of the staircase.
"They're never going to know," she said, "just like they're never going to know I killed those bitches. And if you even try to tell them, they'll just think you're just as crazy as I am."
Elja swung her tail, the barbs slicing through his left arm. He grabbed at his arm, feeling the blood seeping out. He gaped at Elja with such horror that he wished he were dreaming.
"I won't kill you," she said, "letting you live is more punishment than killing."
Dr. Hansen squeezed his arm to stop the bleeding at least. The pain that was a sharp and burning was now dull and distant. He stared Elja straight in the way, willing himself not to look away. For a second he considered listening to his body which was telling him to stop and rest, to give up and just give up.
But he wasn't giving up. Not without stopping Elja.
Dr. Hansen charged for Elja. He meant to grab her, but she flapped her wings and flew off the floor. She watched him nearly trip over Anise's corpse. Dr. Hansen shifted his weight and spun around, eyes on Elja. He grabbed her tail. She flew higher, lifting Dr. Hansen off his feet. It was incredible how she could support his weight. Dr. Hansen grabbed on, pulling with all his might to bring her down. She swung her tail back, then swung it forward, forcing the man to fly off.
He landed on his back. He swore he heard his back crack. His ears rang, he heard his heart pounding, his head throbbed. Dr. Hansen opened his eyes slowly, waiting for his vision to focus. Elja's wingbeats could be heard overhead. He looked and saw her standing over him, her smile showing her fence of teeth. She walked around him in a circle. Dr. Hansen waiting for her to make her next move. But she circled around him, her eyes on him.
"It's really quite funny," she said, "you did everything to stop me when the simple solution was to kill me."
Dr. Hansen let out a groan.
"And you never thought about that," she uttered. She swept her tail over his body. She pointed her barbed end at his face. Dr. Hansen stared at the tail unblinkingly. He let out breath after breath, waiting for her to plunge it through his eye. In the end, she flicked it away.
He watched her pace away, tail dragging on the floor.
"And now," she said, not turning around, "I'm free to do as I please. Which is of course destroy humanity. And no one will stop me."
Dr. Hansen's heart dropped to the pit of his stomach. A trickle of sweat ran down his forehead.
"And I have you to thank," said Elja, whooshing around. She moved so quick, her feet might as well not have moved. Her unblinking eyes gazed at him like a hawk about to catch a mouse. "Don't worry," she crooned in a mocking, syrupy voice, "I'll make sure to kill you last."
She cackled madly. She flapped her wings. She was off the floor. Dr. Hansen watched her.
Elja flew, filling the halls with her wild laughter. Dr. Hansen, while on the floor, watched here until he could no longer see her. Did she disappear into thin air? Did this all really happen? Was it all a dream?
Dr. Hansen laid on the floor, defeated and broken. It would've been better if he'd been dreaming and not face this in the morning.
What she said was right, no one would believe him. He wouldn't believe himself either. He wished with all his damnedest that he'd be swallowed up whole by the earth.
That was better than facing what he saw everyday for the rest of his life.
Aw man, was that intense or what? Now I'm wishing I had started this three years ago. *shrugs* Better late than never, right?
Thank you for reading this, guys. ^_^ I really appreciate it.