Love is a Haunting

Sabrina's Haunter

Seaweed twisted and floated overhead. Dappled sunlight cut through the waves and rippled down from above.

Alli was walking, on the shallow ocean floor, in a white suit. Gray, wooden buildings lined the street, on either side, underwater. The doorways yawned, black, empty entrances, that doubled as windows to oblivion.

The water was clear. Nealy also walked, far ahead, in a beige suit, instead – her beige suit. Her orange hair floated behind her, longer than Alli remembered, dangling in a loose braid, stray wisps sticking out in every direction. The halo on a sun. The corona, the crown.

Alli walked behind her, dragging an ax on the ground, holding the yellow handle in her left hand. The blade cut up clods and carved out furrows of brown sand, which curled into clouds, following in Alli’s wake.

Nealy turned and met her gaze. The green eyes that locked with Alli’s, over the thin shoulder were unmistakable. Alli knew it was Nealy, but it could have been anyone. She barely recognized her anymore. The memory was shredded to ribbons.

Alli woke up in tears, staring up into the cold, still night.

I did everything for you, her lone thought hung in the darkness, rattling in the air, like a question.

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Second image courtesy of Kristina Stipetic

Music

Beyoncé – “Haunted”

Sanctuary

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Wheel of Fortune was ending. Ran and Alli sat on the couch and listened to the rain drops striking the windowpane.

Ran rubbed Alli’s upper arm, “Was there anything in that lab that could have hurt you?”

Alli sunk into the crook of Ran’s arm and kept her eyes on the television set, “There are other types of avatars: Dark Avatars that are like shades; they live in their own grayscale world.”

“There are also Anti-Avatars, that are sentient, and take on human forms, like avatars, but their true forms are not beautiful and iridescent, but bestial and ugly. Monstrous.”

Ran’s face grew pale and she looked down at Alli, “Did you ever see one of those things?”

Alli nodded; her hair was soft, cut in a medium fade, “A few times. One appeared and got through…the night Aro was hurt…Then the lab was closed down.”

Ran held Alli close, in the darkening room, to protect Alli from something Ran herself knew little about. Water cascaded down the glass.

Alli let off an involuntary shudder and closed her eyes. Ran reached through the gloom and encroaching feelings of dampness, to turn on the lamp.

“You can find great strength, within your vulnerabilities,” Alli remembered Aro saying, yesterday evening on the beach, in Atev. Aro still wore her hair cut in a high fade, even though she now wore tailored suits, smoked cigars and had many gold rings on her fingers – instead of a jean jacket with holes in it.

“You deserve all of it, after what you’ve been through,” Alli had said, setting down her knife and fork, after their meal.

Aro smiled, “You deserve it too. Become the Sky Avatar. You deserve to be happy.”

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