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Phantom Wars Chapter 25

The lost truth comes forth at last.

Chapter Twenty-five: Dark Truths

It was four days since the Reapers tournament and Ethan had yet to go see his dad. He spent all that time just wandering around earth aimlessly. Finally he grew bored of that and decided to return to the mansion.

Ethan went straight to his room when he got inside the mansion; it was empty again, no Picario. Ethan sighed sadly and lay down on his bed. He closed his eyes for a moment but managed to fall asleep. He dreamed again about his death but this time things were a little different.

When Ethan was lying on the ground dying he could see the man getting out of his car. The man rushed over to Ethan and leaned down to check his pulse. The man’s face seemed calm and steady, which was strange for someone who just accidentally ran someone over. After checking Ethan’s pulse, the man grinned quickly then ran back to his car and sped off.

Ethan woke up in sweat once more. He rubbed his head as his dream quickly faded away from him. He tried remembering what it was that was so important in the dream he had to remember but the harder he tried the faster it slipped away, until it was gone completely. Ethan called out for Picario but got no response.

He hadn’t seen Picario in nearly two weeks and he really missed him. Was he really acting that bad that Picario was going out of his way to avoid him? Ethan got out of bed and went to his dresser to grab a change of clothes. As he pulled out some new pants the box with the keys got snagged on it and fell to the ground. The keys fell out of the box and landed by Ethan’s feet.

Ethan reached down and picked up the keys. He stared at them for a long while and put one back in the box and in the dresser and the other in the pocket of the pants he was about to put on. When Ethan finished changing he left his room and teleported to floor 99. He went to Mary’s first but he reconsidered knocking on the door. There’s a good chance she didn’t want to see him, so he decided it would be best not to bother her.

Next he grabbed the key from his pocket, went to the door it belonged to and put the key in the lock. He turned the lock and then opened the door and went inside.

Picario returned to his room after talking with Kelly. Inside the bedroom he saw that Ethan’s clothes were tossed carelessly onto his bottom part of the bed. Picario knew that it meant Ethan had been here, but wasn’t there any longer.

He hadn’t seen Ethan in a while and he wondered if Ethan was avoiding him since after he and Marry ditched him during the tournament. Picario stared hearing rumors about Ethan and all the horrible things he was doing. He wanted to talk to Ethan about them but he couldn’t find him anywhere. Picario refused to believe anything that those people were saying about him.

With a heavy sigh Picario grabbed some of his comics he had yet to read and climbed to the top of the bunk and started reading them. After Picario read through most of the comics he had stacked by him Marry burst into the room. “Where is Ethan I need to talk with him right away,” She said franticly.

Picario was surprised by this sudden visit and he said, “I don’t know I haven’t seen him since the tournament. Why what’s going on?”

“I figured out why Ethan has been acting so strange lately. He’s been chasing after his father who committed suicide, except his father didn’t commit suicide that’s what it was meant to look like.”

“What are you saying?” Picario asked.

“David Alaster, Ethan’s father didn’t kill himself he was murdered. And so was Ethan!”

“What do you mean murdered, he died pushing a kid out of the way of a speeding driver.”

“Yes a speeding driver who was targeting Ethan. That driver knew Ethan wouldn’t just let some innocent kid get hit by a speeding car.”

“I still don’t understand what you are saying Marry.”

“Ok then let me break it down, a car speeding by happens to be coming right after some little kid right as Ethan is within range to shove the kid out of his way but at the cost of his own life. It could be a coincidence or it could be someone was waiting around that area for months, getting down the schedules of everyone on Ethan’s block, from when they stepped outside their door to when they would get to the exact street Ethan was killed on.

“Now what if that same person intentionally messed with Ethan’s alarm clock so that he would wake up just a little bit later than normal? This way Ethan would be forced to go at a faster pace thus ensuring Ethan would be in a good fluent motion to be able to spring into action and get hit by the car. Now then this is where things start connecting and making sense.

“Why would a car suddenly turn the corner far, far away from where the children are crossing the street, but only slam on its brakes after Ethan was in motion to jump in front of the car? Why not way before so they could stop with plenty of time to avoid hitting the child? Once more the skid marks found on the road, go straight with absolutely no sign of turn or trying to move out of the way from hitting somebody.”

“I’m still not fully understanding,” Picario said.

“Neither was I until I thought really hard about it. Once more this all sounds like one big coincidence because that’s what it is… to everyone else. This has been something that has been planned for not just months like I said earlier, but years. Everything had to be just right for this all to work so smoothly like it did.”

“So Ethan was murdered by an insane driver out for him what’s so important about that?” Picario asked climbing out of his bed.

“Nothing if the driver was their normal self, but if say a ghost were to posses a human and take control of them for even a short amount of time then release them right at the moment where its too late for them to stop a tragic event from happening. Then I dare say that ghost could get off Scott free without technically breaking any of the rules.

“But they didn’t do it just once; no they did it before, about eight years before to be precise. Do you have a chair so I can show you?”

Picario didn’t have any chairs so they had to go outside and Marry made a quick fashioned chair out of the combination of her elemental powers. It was a normal chair with a back, and four legs.

“So now what,” Picario asked?

“Now say there is someone standing on this chair,” Marry said. But this person has a small noose around their neck for suicide. Normally when people hang them selves they kick the chair over but the chair fell forward, in a very inconvenient way to be kicked for someone trying to kill themselves instantly.”

Marry then told Picario to stand on the chair. He did as she said then she started lightly lifting his body up and moving his legs so that one foot was on the top back of the chair and the other was behind it. Marry also instructed Picario to imagine he was holding a noose with one hand to help him balance. When he did so she continued.

“Now tilt the chair forward with your foot that’s on it.” Picario did as she instructed.

Marry then floated above Picario and put her hand out saying that was the new noose. Picario grabbed it and she continued again. “Now then the noose is the only thing really keeping you balanced because you’re teetering with one foot on the chair and the other behind it. So then next you’re going to let go of my hand, or the noose, and at that same time I’m going to release my spell on you that’s holding you up in the air; except think of my spell as me being the person possessing you and controlling your actions.

“And when I release control of your body you suddenly gain it back but in an awkward position. And on the count of three you’re going to let go and so will I.”

Marry then counted up to three slowly. When she hit three Picario let go of her hand and she released her spell holding him up. Picario panicked as he lost his balance entirely and his foot that was behind the chair instinctively kicked forward knocking the chair over and Picario fell with it.

“Now then what happened there?” Marry asked.

“I fell down and kicked the chair forward,” Picario retorted.

“Exactly, but what if there was something to keep you from falling down like you did? Say for example a tight short rope wrapped around your neck.”

Picario took a long moment to think about it all when it finally hit him. “Then the rope would catch you and the force from the impact would cause your neck to snap,” Picario said.

“David was being possessed by a spirit but when he got control of his body he was in the same situation as me; his natural instinct took over, he panicked and kicked the chair forward making it look like a suicide. David didn’t kill himself…”

Ethan was surprised that the room inside looked exactly like his house on earth. When you first step inside you see the stairs leading up to the second floor and past that a hall way leading directly to the kitchen. A large open area of the hallway on the left leads to the living room. On the walls were numerous family photos of Ethan and his parents. To Ethan it was like stepping back into his childhood home, before his Dad killed himself.

Inside the living room David stood starring at a picture of Ethan, him, and his wife all together smiling with a park in the background. “Spring break, 2004, we were too poor to go anywhere out of town so we went to the park everyday and took that picture on the last day,” Ethan said.

“Yeah, I wanted to do something special for you and your mom that year too, but it turns out both of you were more than happy to just have all of us spending time together.” David said without turning around. “Funny too, all that years vacation money went towards that camera. Whatever you may think of me I’m glad you finally came by.”

“I don’t plan on staying too long so how about you get to the point of what you wanted to talk to me about.”

David turned around to face Ethan. His eyes were red like he had been crying a lot recently. “Well then I guess to start I should explain to you that when a phantom kills another living person without making the proper arrangements then they are in immediate line of execution by the reapers. However there are ways to bend the rules on that one. And the man who is the cause of both our deaths has done just that. And not just once, he has killed our family members off for generations.

“When you were nine your aunt approached me telling me she had news about the death of her daughter; your cousin. News she said that was related to me and you and that we might be in grave danger of an unknown threat. It was on the phone and she wouldn’t’ tell me more until she got to me in person but she did tell me that all the strange deaths in our family was related to the dangers me and you might face soon.

“Needless to say she never made it over here, in fact she never made it out of the house, and she died the same day she called me of mysterious circumstances. The cops were ruling out murder and were led only to conclude her death was an accident. But I knew it was too convenient that she died right after sharing all this stuff with me.

“My grandfather once told me and your aunt that our family is cursed and this curse was not natural by any means. We used to think he was mad; of course a curse wasn’t natural after all it was a curse. But after your aunt died I started thinking back to what he was saying and began looking into our family history and found that what your aunt and my grandfather were saying were connected.

“In my research I found that for countless generations of our family at least one Alaster has died each generation by mysterious causes. The same thing happened to your cousin; she died when she was twenty. I didn’t want to believe in this curse, didn’t think this sort of thing could be true but the evidence was all around me. So I grew scared that this curse was coming after me next, and then you. I then shut myself away entirely trying to find out more about this; to find a way to stop it from happening or getting to you.

“I have absolutely no memory of my death. One minute I was in my research the next I was waking up in a dark empty landscape with only this mansion around. After only a few weeks in this place I left and then spent countless hours hovering around the house watching you and your mother. I hated being able to do nothing to comfort either of you but every attempt I made to contact you was destined to fail. Soon enough I couldn’t take it anymore and needed an escape, something to distract me from it all. And for me the only thing was these tournaments held at the mansion here.

“They gave me a new focus to distract me from the pain of no longer being with you guys. At first I was weak and powerless but soon my powers developed and as I grew stronger and stronger a man approached me. This man explained everything to me and told me to join him in his cause. He even admitted that he was the one responsible for all the strange deaths in our family, including mine. He confessed he had possessed me and forced me to kill myself without even knowing what happened.

“This man is Leo Alaster, our ancestor. I thought he was insane but something in me changed forever after he told me all of this. I became obsessed with murdering Leo every chance I got. I killed him right away after he told me all of this but he simply re-spawned in front of me in his room where we were. The only place I could really kill him was the tournaments, and I entered every one of them hunting him down and ruthlessly killing anyone who was in my path.”

David stopped a moment to turn around and face the fireplace; then he continued. “Unfortunately I couldn’t stop him from killing you either. And for that I am sorry. I know now the only way to kill phantoms like ourselves for good is a reapers scythe or using the dark spirits from the other worlds.

“But I could never lure Leo out to use one of those spirits against him nor could I find a way to get my hands on a scythe. Although I suppose none of that really matters now does it. Anyways that’s what I have been wanting to tell you for the longest time now. And that’s why you must stay away from Leo Alaster.”

Ethan listened to his father’s story then when he was done he scoffed at him and shook his head. “You are really something you know that? I mean mixing in the truth with lies is a great way to convince someone of the lies but I’m much smarter than that. I mean Leo is my great ancestor and he has been killing off members of our family for generations but with no known reason? And then he conveniently possessed you and made you kill yourself and eight years later decided to come after me.

“Sure I will give it to you that Leo sure is mysterious and hell he probably did some bad stuff while alive but I highly doubt, even if he was our ancestor, that he would go around killing his great grandchildren just for fun.”

David sighed sadly and said, “I don’t expect you to believe me right away but perhaps in time you will see the truth for yourself. There is something else I absolutely must tell you though.”

“You know what don’t bother were done here.” Then Ethan turned and walked to the door.

“Your mother is dead,” David called out to Ethan.

Ethan froze in place. He stayed where he was listening intently.

“She passed away just over a week ago. I think that losing both of us the way she did was too much for her to withstand. I failed you; hell I failed you both as a father and a husband. I mean I did my best to make you both happy but when the time came that I thought you were in danger I shut both of you out entirely and just tried to handle everything on my own.

“I learned too late that I should have let you both in on it, at least enough of it. Maybe if I had then things may have been much different. Anyways you don’t need me anymore. You moved on, and since your mother isn’t here she obviously has too so I think its time I did as well. Whatever you make of yourself in this place know that I will always love you my son. And that I believe you have what it takes to find a happy ending here; not like me.”

Tears streamed down Ethan’s face as he listened to what his father was saying. He didn’t know how to respond to any of it so when he was done Ethan just said, “Goodbye.” Then left his fathers room and started wiping his tears away.

Ethan took out his amber crystal and thought about going back to his room but instead decided he had to see for himself if his mom was really dead. He teleported to floor one and rushed out the mansion door. He ran all the way to his old house and when he got there inside he found it was completely empty. No sign of life in the house anywhere.

Ethan wanted to believe his mom had just moved away but he knew better, so he rushed over to the only other place she could be; the cemetery. And it was there next to his father’s gravestone he found his moms. She was already buried; lying next to his father. Ethan fell to his knees sobbing quietly.

After a while Ethan stopped sobbing but he stayed in the cemetery as a rainstorm soon came by. Strangely enough the rain pelted Ethan though instead of passing right through him. It was cold and he started to shiver but Ethan stayed there regardless.

Eventually Ethan pulled himself together and left the cemetery, returning to the mansion. He went straight to his room to look for Picario; he just couldn’t stand to be alone right now. However Picario was once more no where to be found in their room and so he moved on and went to Kelly’s. She too was gone and Ethan went to Marry’s next, he still didn’t know how she would treat him but he didn’t really care at that moment.

When Ethan knocked on Marry’s door he was surprised to find Picario was the one who answered it. “Ethan!” Picario said surprisingly. “We have been looking for you everywhere there’s something shocking we discovered that we need to tell you.”

Picario dragged Ethan into the room and shut the door behind him. Marry was there too, looking a little anxious. Ethan got no time at all to say anything before Marry started talking at a fast pace. “Ethan finally, listen I have discovered something unbelievable. You and your father were murdered by a phantom here at the mansion. Your dad didn’t commit suicide after all, he too was murdered.”

“I don’t understand what are you talking about?” Ethan asked.

“Take a seat you’re going to need one.” Marry said.

Ethan did as she said and Marry explained everything to him as she did with Picario early.

When Marry was finished Ethan was in total shock. His Dad was telling the truth about everything. He really didn’t commit suicide after all. “I have to go!” Ethan said as he ran out of Marry’s room.

Ethan rushed over to his dad’s room. He tried opening the door but it was locked. He pounded on the door over and over until reaching into his pocket for the key. The key was no loner in his pocket though. It had disappeared. His father had moved on.

Ethan hung his head and put his palms to the door. His parents were gone for good, and once more he didn’t even get to say goodbye. Even worse his father tried to say goodbye to him but Ethan just ignored him and refused to listen.

Marry and Picario came up behind Ethan shortly and asked if he was okay. Ethan turned around and said, “He’s gone, my dad is gone. He tried to tell me goodbye but I just blew him off. Now I will never get the chance to do so again.”

Marry went up to Ethan and hugged him. She embraced him tightly and said, “Everything is going to be alright my friend.”

Ethan hugged her back then the three of them returned to Marry’s room for some tea.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Jake Pendragon all rights reserved 2015

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