|Supernatural Fiction posted November 9, 2017||Chapters:||...8 9 -10- 11...|
Darkness comes for Jessica, but she uses her lightning
A chapter in the book Puppy Love and the Storm Above
Last chapter: Sunny reminded Jessica of all that she has to live and fight for; their friends join in on the effort.
Jessica screamed, rending the thick midnight air in half. “Get out of the house!” she screeched soon afterwards.
“What?” “What’s going on?” groggy voices echoed from various parts of the cabin.
The blonde screamed again.
Soon, twelve other people were crammed in her room with her.
“Get out, I said!”
The four newest arrivals instantly turned around to obey.
“Not you!” Jessica zapped the doorframe directly in front of Minji.
The girl flinched, faltering in her steps while Chaerin moved to protect her charge from the suddenly deranged girl.
Murky blackness from outside the windows seemed to filter into the house. Then lightning struck a corner of the roof and set it aflame; smoke made it even harder to see.
Several more screams tore the air.
A solid bolt of electricity split into tendrils that zapped the unwanted occupants of Jessica’s room through the window and surrounding wall. “When I tell you to get out, you do it!” Her eyes blazed. Then she tackled Minji through the hole that she had blasted in her house too.
The cabin combusted entirely as almost everyone groaned and moved gingerly in an attempt to sit up. “What the Hell?” more than one wondered aloud.
Jessica ignored them to shout at the stormy sky. “Gonna smoke us out like the demons did to my family, huh? ‘Refuse the path set before you and they will be taken from you,’ huh?” she demanded. “How about instead of sending messengers who don’t know what the Hell is going on to tell me something, you tell me yourselves, you cowards? Where are you? Where were you? If you’re so-”
A flash of light and electricity struck the ground at Jessica’s feet.
Minji threw her hands up in front of her face and fell back, but the iron grip around her wrist did not let her go far.
“What? Is that supposed to scare me? You don’t scare me!” Jessica sent her own bolt of lightning right back up into the churning heavens.
Minji winced when the clamp of flesh and bone on her tightened.
“Help me!” she heard choked through teeth on her right. Without her consent, she felt the power being drained from her body.
The blonde finally let go of the maknae to throw an almighty blast of electricity upward just as one bore down on her.
Twelve of twelve bystanders repeated Minji’s move. As their hands fell away from their faces and their eyes adjusted to the white light in the night, they hearts dropped.
Jessica was floating, glowing. Her whole body crackled and burned while her hair curled, frizzed, and fell out. Her clothing falling in ashes on the ground below too, her skin charred to a crisp as her eyes lost their irises and became entirely blood-red. Then they blackened. Still, the dying girl laughed. The storm dropped her, but she spun as landed on her feet and used that momentum to send yet another bolt of lightning from her hand in an underhand pitch.
Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Sunny were tossed high up onto three separate trees, held in place, and electrocuted mercilessly as they seized and screamed. Once they were dead, they were released to drop to the hard ground.
Jessica grinned evilly at the heavens. “No one, least of all you, will ever take anyone from me again!” Her voice was not her own, deepened in death.
Nine people stayed rooted where they had fallen as they watched the birth of a demon.
Then another shot of lightning blinded them once more.
Minji screamed in a pitch barely audible to humans, when she usually did not even shout.
Chaerin jolted awake and immediately hugged her charge where they lay next to each other. “It’s okay,” she whispered repeatedly. “It was just a dream.”
Still, her stomach turned too. As Minji’s Guardian, she had seen the portent as well. It could not be called a dream, but nor did it feel quite the same as Minji’s visions did.
“No, it was real,” Jessica said softly from the doorway to ChaeJi’s bedroom. Then she spun and retreated outside. “Stay away from me!” she wailed when her original housemates followed her.
They too had seen the vision and so wanted to comfort her.
“J-Jessi!” her Guardian called after her.
“I said stay back!” A lighting ball formed in Jessica’s hand. She looked at it in horror. “No!” she cried, shaking and flicking her hand as if trying to put out a match.
“Be careful with that!” Taeyeon stepped forward to help her.
“Stay away!” Jessica cried again, fleeing toward the heart of the forest. “...D-Daddy!” she whimpered as tears streamed down her face. She fell to her knees and pressed her palm to the earth. “Help me,” she begged him, trying to ground herself even as the repeated phrase burned her mouth and soul.
Her electricity fizzled while the rest of the group filed out into the middle of a real storm. Rain drizzled around them as a gentle wind blew their hair from their faces and tried to dry Jessica’s tears.
“M-Mommy... Soojungie,” she choked. “I’m sorry; I’m so sorry.” Her lips moved against the dirt as her body failed her and left her crumpled on the ground.
She flopped over entirely when Sunny ran to her with a crushing hug.
“Don’t; I’m dangerous. You could get hurt,” Jessica muttered.
“No I can’t, Mommy. I’ve got a great Shield. I’m fine!” the small girl said reassuringly.
“I’m not your mommy!” The blonde tried to push Sunny away. “We can’t be family! We can’t! I-I’ll kill you if we are. Like I killed her, them! It’s- I’m not safe.”
Juhyun knelt on Jessica’s other side. “You did not. That wasn’t you,” she told her cousin a second time.
Yuri joined her sister. “And we’re your family whether you like it or not!” She chuckled weakly.
“Fine, Yul. But how can you know what really happened, Juhyunie?” the blonde spoke lowly. “You can know how I feel and what I’m thinking... and so try to make me feel better—” the girl looked away from those around her— “but you can’t really know what happened. ...Why- why do you think I wanted so badly to forget? ...I-I tried to blast them, the demons, but all I did was cause the fire that- that burned Mommy’s lungs from the inside, a-and made it im-impossible to see, and...”
“You did not, Unnie.”
Scrambling to sit upright, Jessica soon flopped back onto the forest floor. “You can’t know that, Im Yoona.” Even her voice slumped in defeat.
“Unnie? I’m here...” Yoona murmured from the opposite direction of the voice that had jolted Jessica so.
“I am not Yoona,” the apparition said quietly. “And I cannot stay long.”
Bom, Dara, Chaerin, and Minji smiled a bit awkwardly at Jessica as TaeNy, each back-hugged by her own sister, darted forward to help the blonde sit up. “We did a quick séance,” the newcomers told her. “We’ll leave you to, um, talk.” The quartet turned toward the house.
“Soojungie!” Jessica practically flew from where she knelt to tackle the tall fifteen year old.
“Hello, Unnie.” The raven-haired girl’s lips quirked upwards. “I’ve missed you too.”
“Ssh,” Jessica whispered as she held Soojung tightly for several minutes.
Soojung chuckled as she stroked her sister’s hair. “You’ve gotten so old, Unnie,” she said. “But you’re still so little.”
“And you were just a baby.” Jessica cupped her face and stared deeply into her eyes. Jessica went to hit Soojung’s head, but halfway through the motion, her hand just petted the girl’s hair compulsively. “You, you idiot!” She tried to glare through her tears. “How could you-”
What would be a blush spread in the younger sister’s cheeks. “I thought I’d be okay because my hydrokinesis, didn’t think the fireball could hurt me, especially because of my talisman... but it fell. And you were in danger, so I-”
“You idiot,” the blonde whispered mournfully once more.
“I’m not- wasn’t nearly as strong as you- we both thought I was. ...It’s you; it’s always been you, Jung Jessica.” In looking away to avoid tears that she could no longer cry, Soojung found Tiffany. “I remember you.” She smiled softly as she reached for the Guardian.
Almost without thought, the older girl reverted back into a Dalmatian and pressed her face to the apparition’s hand.
“I named you Tiffany first.” Soojung chuckled almost silently.
“She could never stay away from you guys,” Sooyoung said just as quietly. “Hello, Soojungie. I was originally meant for you, you know.”
“Mmm...” Soojung only smiled unreadably.
“Where- before- ...What happened?” Jessica searched her Guardian’s face.
“I got called away, I think... The Gathering called me to them... They’re-” Tiffany, back in human form, blinked hard to disperse the tears collecting around her eyes and the haze blurring her mind’s eye.
Jessica turned her face to glare at the sky.
Tiffany hugged her tightly. “D-don’t!” she said in an effort to soothe her charge.
The smallest girl pressed her face back into her sister and Guardian’s arms. Her whole body tensed as her eyes squeezed shut. “I-I’m s-”
“Sad. It’s okay to be sad.” Soojung and Taeyeon rubbed her back. “But don’t let your hurt and anger consume you, Unnie; please,” the taller of the two added.
“What am I supposed to do without you?” The elder sister continued struggling against her destiny.
“You keep living. You remember who you are and what you are meant to do, what you alone have the power to do.”
“I don’t want to be alone.”
“You don’t have to be. I only meant that you are the only one who can vanquish the evil ...out there. Anyone else you want to be there can help you, but you have to be there.”
“Anyone alive, Unnie. You know that.”
“Ssh.” Jessica enclosed her little sister in another embrace. “Just let me dream a little longer.”
“This isn’t a dream. ...And maybe not in body, but I am always with you, Unnie. Don’t forget that.”
“I won’t.” Tears poured from Jessica’s eyes again.
“Don’t we get to hug her any time soon?” Yuri complained mildly from the sidelines. She grinned sheepishly as soon as the words were out of her mouth.
“No.” Jessica smiled faintly. “This is mine. Only mine,” she declared as she squeezed her sister possessively.
Yoona and Soojung giggled. “Oldest child syndrome.”
“Shut up, you stupid lookalikes.” The blonde moved back one small step, hand still death-gripping an ephemeral one. “...Go ahead.”
“You’re not the boss of me.” Soojung snorted.
“Oh, I so totally am too, Jung Soojung.”
Soojung smiled. Then it was impossible to see her through the bodies of her cousins surrounding her.
“Yoona-unnie,” the youngest girl answered in acknowledgement.
“Hello, Pretty Kryssie.” Juhyun giggled sweetly even as she cried.
“Ssh,” Yuri mimicked Jessica as she held the four other witches closely. She and Yoona let their eyes slip shut.
“Unnie, before I go, please get your pouch.”
“No, don’t go! And I-I, I’m not- ...dishon-”
“We have been more dishonored forsaken to a limbo of being avoided and forgotten, by your choice, Unnie!” Soojung cried with hints of steely bitterness in her voice.
Jessica launched herself onto her sister with a sob again. “I’m sorry; I’m sorry!”
“Th-then prove it!” Her younger sister’s heart roiled under her inauthentically hardened exterior. She knew, however, that Jessica needed to move on and was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen.
The blonde looked away. “I don’t-
“No!” her sister cried, grabbing Jessica’s face. “Look at me! Remember me! Fight for me! ...Will you really let me have died in vain? Our parents?” Soojung’s eyes scanned the nine girls before her. “Your friends?”
Jessica attempted to take a step backward, her round eyes searching her sister’s. “They will die?”
The younger Jung looked away. “Not all of them, maybe not any of them. And you do too know where you left us to rot.”
The small girl’s eyes sparkled with tears and fury. “Why don’t you try it, Soojungie? Watch me die, our parents die, all for n-”
“What we believed in!”
“You don’t know! You didn’t watch anyone lose their life. You just went u-up in smoke- you don’t have to live with-”
Soojung pulled Jessica into yet another embrace. “I’m sorry. But you know-”
Head down and arms stuck to her sides, Jessica nodded. Relinking their hands, she led her sister deep into the forest.
The others followed.
They arrived at dirt that was still mounded on top of itself.
For the last time, Jessica looked away.
The three dogs set at once to digging.
“Be careful!” Jessica reprimanded them needlessly.
“They know what they’re doing, Unnie.”
The blonde gasped sharply. “Where- where’s-”
“The demonic flames singed Mom’s lungs and incinerated her slowly, Unnie. She joined me and Dad in ashes. It wasn’t you. ...I can’t touch them.” The tall girl took a step backwards for once.
Jessica didn’t let her sister retreat, nor did she retreat herself.
Soojung squeezed her hand. “Put Mom’s ashes with mine and Dad’s in the pouch. ...Put it- us, put us on; please. Keep us, close to your heart. Don’t forget-”
“Never again,” the older sister promised the younger. With a shuddering breath, she fell to her knees in the upturned earth.
Ever so gently, Tiffany picked up the half-hidden pouch in her mouth and brought it to Jessica while her love gave the witch Soojung’s talisman. She and Sunny licked Jessica’s face to help cheer her too.
Sooyoung would do so as well, but she was already a human again. Her gentle hands lovingly brought Mrs. Jung’s ashes to Jessica.
Then the Guardians fell away from the Jung sisters to stand by the Im and Kim sisters. “We’ll always be with you,” nine people told Jessica as one. Four more voices echoed the sentiment from further away, rejoining the group.
Hands shaking, Jessica carefully siphoned the ashes as directed, let the woman reunite with her husband and younger child. Then the last living Jung put the pouch’s strap over her head to complete the connection. She stashed the talisman in her pocket.
Soojung knelt in front of her sister, grasped her shoulders, and kissed her forehead. I love you.
The blonde gasped as another vision blurred her mind. When her newly clear, determined eyes opened moments later, her sister was already gone. Still, Jessica kept her eyes opened.
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