Monday, December 22, 2014

Twisted Christmas 6




“If I cannot bring you comfort that at least I bring you hope

For nothing is more precious than the time we have and so,

We all must learn from small misfortunes

Count the blessings that are real,

Let the bells ring out for Christmas and the closing of the year. “

Words and music by Wendy and Lisa.

Start 2 A Broken Hallelujah

It was twelve days to Christmas and still there was no snow on the ground. It looked like it would not be a white Christmas. Thor walked the path from the bookstore to the ruins of the fireworks stand. It still stood there, the remains of the fire that happened almost a year ago. For a moment he remembered everything that had happed that night. First he had seen Kallista at the window then when he rushed to help her in, she had run away. No, she had been chased away by some bored cops looking for some excitement.  Angrily he clenched his fists as the memories flowed. How frightened and lost she must have been.  He had followed the chaos all the way to the end of the street where the bay was.  Who would have thought that anyone would put up a fireworks stand there?  The scared girl had run in there and had been surrounded by the police. They had accused her of something absurd, of being part of a robbery.  Then the unthinkable had happened. Shots had been fired and a blaze was ignited in the highly combustible stand.  Bystanders had whipped out their phones to record the scene that had bizarrely turned into a full scale production. No one had heard her screams that night but Thor did. It was a sound that ripped away at his heart. 
A voice on the wind whispered past Thor’s ear sounded both near and distant at the same time.

Help me!

“Kallista!”

He whirled around to find Hellboy, Skyril, and Raven standing there. A series of expressions filtered across their faces before they settled on understanding.

“We saw you leave the bookstore…” Skyril began uncertainly.

“We thought maybe you wanted some company.” Raven added

“I’m sorry, I thought I heard something…” Thor stuffed his hands into his pockets trying to cover the oddness of the situation.

“Do you want to talk about it, Thor?” Hellboy asked him, quietly.

No one has really talked about what happened that night or the days prior to Kallista’s death. Her funeral had been a solemn affair that everyone had attended.  It had been a closed casket, signifying the depth of destruction done to Kallista’s body.

“I don’t think I can…” Thor managed to say as he gazed around, looking for something to hold his attention and keep it from the scene of Kallista’s death.

Festive wreaths and other Christmas decorations on the store fronts met his eyes everywhere he looked. Shoppers came and went in steady streams, arms filled with gifts for family members.

“Well, I think maybe I could say something.” Skyril burst out. “She was like a sister to me and I lost that the day she died!”

Raven turned away and bit her lip.

“I also lost a sister.” She added quietly.

“We lost Kallista long before she died.” Hellboy spoke up gravely.

“It’s almost been a year and no one wants to admit anything.” Thor said angrily. “I could have saved her!”

“We all could have done something, but who could save Kallista from herself?” Hellboy returned evenly.

“I could have tried.” Thor grieved.

“No one knew it was going to end up like this.” Raven cried out.

Thor shook his head and started walking away.

“Where are you going?” Skyril called after him in dismay.

“I’m going to buy flowers for her grave.” Thor replied without looking at them. “No one else has been doing that.”

Hellboy, Skyril, and Raven looked at each other then followed him.

A half an hour later the four of them approached the gravesite. It came as a shock when they saw someone else there.

“Chan?”

The young man looked up at his friends. “Hi, guys,”

At Chan’s feet lay a dozen pink roses.

“She always did love pink flowers,” Thor smiled after getting over his surprise. In ironic humor he held up the pink roses he had bought.

“She loved flowers of every kind.” Skyril said as she put down the flowers she got. “Pink roses in winter.”

“It’s about time someone else thought about Kallie.” Chan lost his smile.

“I think that everyone has been thinking about Kallie. It’s just too hard to talk about it.” Raven protested.

“So, let’s change all that.” Thor spoke up. “No one knows what it was like to see and hear her die!”

“We all saw the Youtube videos that people posted of that night, Thor!” Hellboy shot back. “We all have to live with that fact that Kal died while we were all partying.”

“I know, I didn’t mean to…” Thor tried to speak but stopped.

“Enough, you two.” Raven stepped in between them. “Let’s not argue by Kallista’s grave.”

Without another word they put down the flowers and paid their respects to the broken girl no one could save.

That night everyone gathered in the bookshop for their annual Christmas party. Niall and Venice came in together; Ven looking beautiful as usual, this time with lilac colored hair. Lizzy had already arrived with Pyro, Noam, Octa, and Sarth. Chan walked in a few minutes later with Hellboy, Sam, Leo, Flame, Darkane, Nicolette, Skulgirl,  Skylara, Mary, and Thor.  Raven and Sky came in with Mar, Mir, Thalia, Lydia, and Aria following. Dan came in last with Legolas, Emerald, NJ, Quinn, and Bryony. 

Inside the bookstore it was all cozy and warm. As the friends all passed around the eggnog, woebegone Kallista bent with chains that were wrapped around her body stood outside in the cold.  No one had heard her for a year. In all that time she had been crying out from beyond never ending tears streaming down her face.

Wanting to be by himself Thor set out on the cold porch reflecting on the past year as he drank some eggnog. The more he drank the more he seemed to hear Kallista’s voice.  It was as if she was right next to him.

“Why couldn’t you have remembered who you were, Kallista?” He shouted suddenly out into the night, grieved.

“Don’t yell at me. It hurts my ears.” Kallista replied sorrowfully,

In shock, Thor whirled around and looked at the wretched figure of Kallista.

“Kallista!” He swore in horror at the sight of the chains and tried to pry them off her but his hands passed right through. “No, it can’t be!”

“I’m dead, Thor.” She acknowledged for him. “Only you seemed to hear me now. For that I am deeply happy.”

But she stilled looked miserable. It didn’t matter to Thor that she was bound up in chains and wearing tattered clothing. To him Kallista had always been beautiful and even in death he loved her.

“I’m glad to see you again, Kallista. But this is not how I wanted it to be…I tried so hard to save you….but I couldn’t.”  He spoke sadly.

“Um, this is awkward,” Another voice interrupted. Thor turned to see Sarth there looking sad but confused too. “Who are you talking too?”

“Kallista,” Thor replied in wonder as he gestured towards her.

“He can’t see me.” Kallista said sadly as Sarthacus spoke at the same time.

“Kallie’s dead.”

“It’s the eggnog.” Kallista nodded towards the empty cup in Thor’s hands.

“What?” Thor asked her, confused.

“I said Kallie’s dead!” Sarthacus spoke louder.

“The more you drink of it the more I can be seen and heard.” She moaned. “Oh my gosh I’m just like Moaning Myrtle!”

“Never!” Thor was quick to reassure his deceased friend.

“I think you really lost it, Thor.” Sarthacus backed up.

“Wait, drink your eggnog!”

“What?”

“Just do it.”

With confused eyes watching Thor, Sarthacus took a deep drink.

“Drink all of it.”

Sarthacus did as he was told.

“OK, now just wait a minute.”

Kallista waited for his reaction when Sarthacus first saw her.

“Surprise!”

Sarthacus backed up against the door.

“Kallista…”

“Hello Sarthacus.” Once again Kallista was gloomy and in pain.

“How could this be?” Sarthacus tried to touch her face but his hand went right through her.

“It’s the eggnog!” Thor said as he looked at Kallista. “The more you drink the more you can see and hear her.”

“This isn’t right,” Sarthacus seconded Thor’s thoughts. “I don’t like to see her this way.”

At that moment, Lizzy stumbled out of the door, holding  drink, ”Hey what are you guys-….KALLISTA?”

“It’s the Nog,” Thor and Sarth said together.

Thor helped steady Lizzy as she fell back in shock.

After explaining to Lizzy, Thor turned back to Kallista. “It isn’t right to see you like this. We were hoping you would at last be at peace.”

“Can you come inside?” Sarthacus asked softly. “I think the others should see you too.”

“I can’t go in there,” Kallista moaned sadly.

“Then we will bring everyone out.” Thor said gently.

A few minutes later everyone was ushered outside. Some could already see Kallista and fell back in shock, others looked confused as to why they were there.

“What is the meaning of this, Thor?” Niall asked as he took off his coat and drape it around Ven’s shoulders.

“Drink your eggnog and you will see why we have brought you out here.” Thor answered Niall, mysteriously.

Shrugging, Naill and the others did so while those who were already intoxicated by the nog exclaimed among themselves.

“I do believe I’m seeing things. “ Ven spoke up as she backed away from the horrible vision in front of her.

“You are seeing Kallista Pendragon.” Thor answered her, softly. “I don’t know how or why but I thought maybe you would all like to say something to her.”

“Kallista…” Chan spoke in wonder and sadness.

“Maybe we can help her be at peace,” Sarthacus added.

“There will be no peace for me,” Kallista sobbed. “I am here, bound to this place for my sins.”

Weakly, she rattled her chains. “This is the penalty I must pay.”

“Who told you this!” Pyro exclaimed, distressed.

“I don’t know how, I just KNOW!”  An unearthly wind not felt by the others picked up and blew Kallista’s long hair wildly around as she became more agitated.

Lizzy, Skyril, and Raven reached out to comfort their fallen friend but there was nothing they could do.

“Are you going to haunt us for the rest of our lives?” Noam asked quietly.

“I have to roam the earth till I repent for my sins.” Kallista moaned. “I am wrapped in chains by the very crimes I did while alive.”

“There is nothing that can be done?” Mar asked in despair.

“There is no more hope for me,” Kallista wept.

A muffled knocking sound was heard in the background.

“Someone is at the door,” Niall said as he gazed at his deceased friend. “The bookstore is closed and I am talking to my dead blog sister.”

“Someone should really go and see who that is.” Ven twirled a long strand of lilac hair around her finger while looking at Kallista.

“Oh, I’ll go!” Sam spoke exasperated then muttered under his breath. “This is too creepy for me.”

He left the scene of the ghost girl behind as he overhead the others mourning over her.

“You will never know marriage or have children!” Someone was saying.

Quickly Sam crossed the bookstore to the front of the building where he recognized Silente Tempest standing by the door. As he reached for the handle he noticed that her face seemed almost as white as Kallista’s.

“Hello Silente! I didn’t-“ He began but was interrupted by Silente.

“Wait Sam, you won’t believe this!” She interrupted him and rushed past him into the store. “Where is everyone? I know you were having a party tonight. Everyone needs to hear this!”

“Well, um. They are out backside talking to…..someone.” Sam said awkwardly, then poured a drink. “Here, have a drink of eggnog. It will calm your nerves.”

Silente took the glass without thinking and gulped it down.

“I would keep your coat on, it’s cold outside.” Sam warned her then lead her to the back porch.

At first all Silente saw was all the older Bloglanders gathered around. Then she noticed the pale ghostly image of her old friend, Kallista.

Swearing, Silente fainted.

When she woke up again, she was inside the comfortable bookstore and lying on a sofa.

“It can’t be.” Were the first words out of her mouth. “I just saw her at the hospital where I intern at. I must be seeing things.”

At her words everyone went still.

“You, what?”  Octa said, shocked.

“I just saw Kallista at the hospital! She is very much alive!” Silente told them all.

“How can this be?” Hellboy spoke in disbelief.

They all looked at Silente expectantly.

“I just saw her in the East Wing of St. Joseph’s Hospital, where the patients are kept who are in a coma. She has a room all of her own!”

“That’s impossible!” Hellboy exclaimed, distressed. “How can she be here and there at the same time?”

They all looked outside where they could still see a Ghostly Kallista bound with chains.

“I don’t know how this is possible,” Silente said as she gulped more Eggnog that was given to her.  “Come to the hospital and I will show you. “

“Visiting time ends in an hour.” Octaboona said as he looked at his watch.
“Then let’s hurry!” Silente urged them all.

A short while later the Blogland gang arrived at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“Follow me,” Silente instructed them. “Because you are with me, you won’t be stopped.”

The clever girl lead her friends through the entryway and down several hallways before coming to an elevator.

“She is on the third floor.” Silente told them all as they split up.

With a ding the elevator doors closed and rose several floors to the third story while playing Christmas carols. There was another ding and the elevator doors opened. There the group met up again and followed Silente down the hall to the right. Just outside the door Silente turned and make a quiet motion with her finger against her lip.

Once inside the gang stood breathless gazing at the still form of their friend, Kallista Pendragon.  Time and care had healed most of Kallista’s injuries but there was a big machine that was assisting Kallista in breathing. Without it she would be gone.

“She is kept alive by the order of the police in case she wakes up and can identify those men who a year ago robbed some banks.” Silente told them all. “I found this out when reading her chart.”

“If she is a potential witness, should she not have police protection?” Octaboona wondered out loud.

“What I am wondering is how Kallista can be both here and a ghost at the same time.” Chan said. “Who did we bury at her grave?”

“That’s the other thing I need to tell you.” Silente told them all. “You buried an empty coffin!”

Thor had picked up Kallista’s hand and held it as he spoke. “This must be why Kallista is still bound to the earth. There may be a chance she can be revived!”

“The police have left her for bait. They are watching and most likely know we are here,” Silente continued.

“That’s so cruel!” Lizzy spoke forcefully, “The police can’t do this! She is helpless to protect herself and after what they did to her….”

Sarthacus hugged Lizzy. “We can protect her.”

“I was just thinking that,” Thor said grimly.

“We are going to need more seats in here,” Raven commented as she looked around the sparse room.

Soon there were chairs all around the room with two or more occupants sharing.

“How do we get Kallista’s spirit back in her body?” Skyril asked as she smoothed away some of Kallista’s hair from her forehead.

“That, I do not know.” Silente paled again.

“What’s the matter, Silente?” Hellboy asked, concerned.

“If in the next week, the police do not catch the real criminals, they are going to pull the plug on Kallista.” Silente spoke plain English for them.  “Just so you all know, I’ve lost my job for telling you all this.”

“I’m sorry for your loss of job,” Niall said, “We will take care of you, Silente.”

Silente nodded her thanks.  And the friends all sat quietly into the night waiting for something to happen. A song came on the radio about Christmas time and hope. It started to snow outside.

They must have been dreaming because they saw Kallista again, looking down at her body. “They are coming.”

Niall woke up with a jerk and noticed it was dark in the room, then he noticed a figure over Kallista.

“Pyro, is that you?” He called out. Several others woke up then and the lights were turned on.

It was one of the robbers, he was holding a pillow down over Kallista’s face.

With a roar several people tackled the man and drew him away from Kallista’s form.  The noise brought another man into the room holding a gun. It was the other robber. Shots were fired all around the room. But something strange happened. Each bullet was stopped and fell useless to the floor. Stunned, the gunman just stood there when Hellboy punched him and knocked him out.

“Now, if someone could take out the trash, please.” Hellboy said, grinning and dusting his hands off.

To their surprise, another man entered the room wearing a trench coat and holding a sawed off shotgun.

“How do these people keep getting in with guns?” Silente wondered out loud as the man was tackled and wrestled to the ground.

The man grunted under the weight of Kallista’s Blogland friends.

“Get off me, you fool kids.” He growled. “I’m on your side!”

“Who are you?” Thor demanded.

“I was brought here by a friend of yours,” The man responded and nodded towards the still form of Kallista. “That’s the one!”

“You are telling us Kallista appeared to you?” Raven asked, incredulous.

“My name is Israel Elysium! Your friend appeared to me while I was trying to relax.” Israel grunted as his gun was taken from him. “You realize of course I am letting you take the gun.”

“Yeah, whatever buddy.” Thor said as he pointed the gun at Israel. “I want to know how you came to be here if you are not one of those creeps over there.”

Israel sighed, “Fine. I was sitting by myself enjoying a drink or two when I noticed this scrawny kid wrapped up in chains standing next to me. It was weird, but I figured it was my drink making things that way. Usually the more a person drinks, the more attractive woman can seem.  But not with this chick.”

“Enough of that and tell us how you got to be here!” Pyro demanded as he stepped in front of Thor.

“Kids these days.” Israel mumbled to himself, and then shuddered. “This Kallista chick told me to come here or else she would haunt me for the rest of my life.”

“Sounds like something Kallista would do.” Octaboona smiled a little.

They let Israel up but watched him closely as he took out several handcuffs.  Going to each robber, Israel handcuffed the men.

Breathing a sigh of relief the gang turned back to Kallista and it was then that they noticed her breathing tool had been knocked out of her.

“We are too late!” Noam cried out.

“Wait, she is breathing on her own!” Skyril pointed, excitedly.

“But she is not waking up!” Raven cried out.

“Maybe if we talk to her.” Lizzy suggested and went to be by Kallista’s side.

“Or maybe a kiss is what is needed.” Israel joked then looked surprised when he received dirty looks.. “What?”

Thor walked over to Kallista and gently took her hand. Raising her hand to his lips he kissed her.

“No one ever said it had to be on the lips.” He winked.

Slowly Kallista’s eyes fluttered open and she took a deep breath of air into her lungs. Everyone cheered.

It was two days till Christmas and Kallista was home from the hospital. Weak from her long stay at the hospital Kallista was placed in a soft chair at the bookstore. She looked outside and saw it was snowing again.  Last year had been nightmare. While she didn't remember most of her time as a ghost, she remembered everything else.

“No more eggnog for you, kiddo!” Lizzy said with a smile.

Everyone laughed and passed her some hot cider instead.
"I'm sorry for how I behaved last year," Kallista spoke earnestly. "I am truly sorry for all my actions against you. Yet I'm glad for this second chance at life. I hope to make it a better one from now on."
Everyone raised their glasses at that and toasted one another.
No one knew who started it but soon everyone was singing Auld Lang Syne. When the fireworks started, everyone made sure that Kallista was there and she was.

4 comments:

  1. Wow it is really good to read a story from you again!

    I am glad that you were able to write a ghost story whilst Kallista is still alive. I wouldn't have thought of that but it was a great twist!

    I am glad that Kallista gets a second chance for happiness after all the heartbreak she has been through.

    You really were able to express a whole range of emotions through this story, fear, heartbreak, surprise and finally happiness, relief and closure.

    I especially liked the part where Thor and Sarth were drinking eggnog :)

    *hugs*

    Well done on an awesome Christmas story!

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  2. Oo, awesome twist! Spice, I really enjoyed reading a Kal story :D
    That was a fun one too! Brava :D

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  3. You're a really great writer, Kallie. Glad to see some optimism after all the darkness.

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  4. Amazing, Kallie! :D I really liked this entry, and I was so glad with how you ended it, with her being alive :D
    Not much more to say other than Brilliant, Fantastic, and well written :D *hugs*

    ReplyDelete