Tale of Souls Chapter Fifteen
I can’t do this, it just seems like yesterday all of this was just a singular problem. That the world wasn’t ending. The fucking world’s ending and i feel like this is not even worth fighting for at this moment. I realize this puzzle, this never ending logic puzzle – I’m only one piece. The problem is I’m technically more than one piece. I’m connected in ways that twins, or anyone connected that way in a normal human sense – wouldn’t even understand.
It’s not just “I’m more than one”. When Kristoff is in pain, his soul screams. When Rana’s hurt, his soul cries. When Ryan’s hurt he thinks he’s not screaming, and he thinks he’s just saving it to scream out during sex when him and Yasuo get a free minute to themselves. Ryan think’s he’s a smartass, but in reality he’s just as loud as the rest of us. So when Kristoff’s trying to explain lighter than he should – what he’s been through, and then hides key details – it fucking hurts.
He thinks I don’t notice this shit.
He thinks that I forget that he’s still from our time despite being several versions of himself from other times.
There’s a knock on the door, and I seriously don’t want to answer it. I have no choice, knowing I know who it is.
“Fine, open it – see if I care.”
“Don’t be that way, I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry you didn’t have the sense to fucking tell me. You do know the whole time you’ve been back around – I could sense you screaming to the four winds? You’re only telling me half the story. You act like you’re different from us so you can get ahead in places – but admit it. We’re all Lily and until she steps foot back here – “ I started rambling, only to be interrupted.
“I was going to talk to you about that.”
“I found out what happened to her.”
“What, they have her locked up somewhere?”
“No, worse. Why do you think I’ve been on edge and screaming? I haven’t even told Rana, I didn’t even tell Ryan. “ Kristoff furrowed his brow as he opened the door and sat next to me on the couch in my living room. The apartment I’ve spent less time in since coming back to the Haven. Why? Because I’d been sleeping in my old bunk in Lily and I’s room. When Rana’s having a bad night he kicks me to the top bunk and he curls up on the bottom bunk with his tablet and watches netflix.
“What are you talking about?”
“Do you need a stiff drink? I know we all quit doing the oreos, weed and booze years ago as a vice but don’t lie to me – you have backup good shit in those cupboards. Some of it’s the shit that mom sent us years ago.”
“Yea, there’s expensive single malt in there. Haven’t had any since it got here – I was meant to have some at the wedding but – y’know Psilas.”
I nodded and watched as Kristoff stood back up and walked to the kitchen and grabbed a couple of whiskey glasses and a bottle of single malt and brought it back through. If we were in our twenties, there’d be oreos and cigarettes and maybe even some marijuana- but that shit’s gotten so strong it triggers visions and walkbacks. Two glasses poured with doubles, no ice and nothing else to stain it with.
“Good shit, I’m amazed you even opened it.” Kristoff laughed, “Wait did Sai open this without you?”
“Yea, he did – he was stressed out when y’know – I was with Psilas and by which I mean I was going through the changes at the same time as about ready to HAVE PSILAS. I mean there’s human childbirth – which i’ve never experienced, but this was fucking wild lol. I don’t mean wild in a drug induced hilarity – I mean like the way shit works. “ I took a sip of my whiskey and looked at Kristoff and sighed.
“ Good thing you’re drinking it now, because you never asked what was up.” Kristoff downed the first glass and poured another.
“What do you mean?” I looked at him confused, I could tell he wasn’t trying to hide anything anymore – the screams inside became more of an anxious mumble.
“She’s gone.” Kristoff grabbed a piece of paper out of his pocket, “I found her death records the other day. These are both of them, once for Lily and the other for Reiko. They’ve been gone for at least five years. They’re not THAT sort of government record, so these are the truth. It’s not military based, it’s not test center based – it’s civi government end. They uphold the law, and I had to sign my life away and prove to them who I was to access this shit.”
“I know you want to think they’re from another time. She’s been gone for at least five years, and the cause of the death wasn’t what you think. I’m worried because I think Rana’s suffering for the same reason. The only ones of us who aren’t, have gotten lucky, and don’t have this issue. “ Kristoff downed a second glass and poured a third, this time with tears starting to stream out of his eyes.
“She’s been missing, how…”
“She’s been missing because she’s been dying and didn’t want to tell us. I have a USB stick hidden in my drawer that hopefully isn’t missing. Matt and Luke have this thing where they love to screw with me. The USB stick had her last message to us before she held herself up in a care home far away from us.”
Talk about despair.
“She didn’t get a chance to get the stick to us in time, because of Izuchi. With all the time folding in, and things changing I think we fobbed her off by accident and never heard from her again.” Kristoff chugged the third glass and semi-slammed the glass back down and tried to go for number four. I grabbed him lightly by the wrist and put the cap back on the bottle.
“I hear your cries, just stop drowning them.”
“You haven’t even finished your first glass.”
“It’s top shelf fucking whiskey, i’m not going to just chug it. I don’t care if the fucking pope dies, mom spent a lot on this shit.” I started to cry myself, but through my tears came a moment of laughter.
“I haven’t watched the video yet.”
“Explain to me how this relates to Rana.” I grabbed his glass and walked back to the kitchen while I watched him down the rest of my glass. I put his glass in the sink and the bottle in the kitchen, turning back the other way to snatch my glass out of his hand before he tries to lick it clean of any alcohol. Because neither of us are human anymore, we’re not going to get drunk as easily even off top shelf single malt whiskey. It’s not about that, it’s about the fact he’ll drink me dry in the apartment if i don’t put it away.
“It says on the paper DNA Corruption was the cause of death. I had to ask the coroner’s office what that meant. They said it wasn’t like anything they’d seen before. There were genetic diseases before that would kill people slowly or quickly – there’s cancer, but this? Phantom wounds, sudden illness, things that come out of nowhere. They had clinical notes on her last days that I was able to read. A rarity I know, but I threatened a few people in various ways and didn’t get arrested.” Kristoff shrugged, and grabbed the ball of rubber bands that Sai had laying around on the coffee table. I watched as he tried to play with it, both like a kid with ADHD and also at the same time – with a feline aspect to his movements. Everytime he talked he hid his teeth from me.
“Put that down for a minute, and finish talking kitty, you can play with that later.” I laughed, trying to grab the ball out of his hands. Instead I was meant with a loud hiss and then Kristoff bent back on the couch a bit in disgust of himself.
“Dude, remember I said your cries are heard? Your purring and hissing at everything while we’re talking because you’re stressed and grieving is heard too. It’s OK, i’ll get used to it eventually. Tell me about the notes you found.”
“It wasn’t like anything anyone had ever seen. Unfortunately because of the nature of what happened in the accident with Reiko – it spread to her DNA as well. They said something about it wasn’t there before all of the testing, but it was almost as if it were programmed into her after she’d been through parts of the programme. Something about how it was only seen in a few rare cases over the years. Parts of her skin would rot, and near the end she evidently got bad dementia and went blind.” Kristoff looked away and started sniffling, “I haven’t even told anyone else yet.”
“You’re going to have to find a way to tell our parents, god I don’t even know if they’re still alive through all of the time folding. Fuck. Look, I know you’re grieving and I should be but we’re gonna have to break it to them all somehow.” I wasn’t thinking straight and there was Rana with a stuffed toy in his hands and Matt and Luke by his side. “Fuck. How much did you hear?”
“Everything.” Rana had been standing there since the start, watching us down alcohol and not even notice he was there. I think the boys must’ve been a recent addition to the scene because they normally won’t stand there that long. “Why would you hide that from me?”
“BECAUSE HE HASN’T HAD A CHANCE TO TELL YOU.” I yelled, which I should know by now doesn’t help Rana at all. “God, fuck – sorry.”
“What’s all this racket?” Ryan walked by in the hallway almost tripping over Matt and Luke in the process. “Rana, why are you crying? Why is there a catboy in your living – KRISTOFF!?”
“She’s gone, Rye, and he didn’t tell me.” Rana slumped to the floor with the stuffed toy in his hands holding it up to his face. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Who’s gone?” Ryan rushed into the living room and grabbed Kristoff by the shirt collar and snarled, his eyes shifting to white and his hair going white as snow. His accent shifted, which means there’s still part of Noah left in there and he won’t admit to it. “Mate, i got no fucking clue what the hell you’re hiding but you better fucken let me know right now.”