Chapter One – Yksi
Written by: Sese Ramirez
I wish everyday that I won’t wake up.
I wish I am dead.
I wish I was never been born.
She walks along the street with her plastic clear umbrella. Dressed in a black dress that stops before her knees. The dress has laces on top and she is wearing a wide belt with a skull and feathers on the middle. Her long hair tied into two, with feather clips on it. She looks like a Goth girl with her dark makeup and golden brown eyes. If you can see her, you would think she is weird, the thing is, you can’t. It’s a good thing no one can see her. Her huge ram horns protruding from her head would probably freak anyone out.
“I hear you.” the girl responded to nobody. It was voice that she can only hear. She knows who it is. It’s the Angel of Death.
“I need you to go to Roadmount High”
The girl, whose name is Lirika stops walking and opened her clear plastic umbrella. In one blink of an eye, she disappears.
Everyday. Just everyday sucks.
She knows this very well. She looks at her mess of a locker. Someone set up a pie bomb inside. As she opened it, the bomb exploded and spattered pie matter all over her locker and on her. Her locker and the contents of her locker was in a mess and so is she.
She hears laughter around her. Of course it is funny. It has always been funny to them.
“Do you need help in cleaning that?” the janitor asks.
She nods. She will be late for her next class. She grabs a book smeared in pie icing. She callously wiped the matter off with her hand. Not so much luck.
“You need to clean up too.” the janitor pointed out.
“I know.” she muttered back. She sighs. Looks like she will be late for her next class.
She enters her History class, her short black hair still very damp. The teachers just give her look and didn’t say anything. The teacher seemed to understand what happened to her. Her damp hair, her pissed off look, she still has some icing on her top. She was in a hurry to wash everything off, so she definitely missed some spots.
As she took her seat, she heard someone spoke, “I see white stuff on you Denise, did you just get creamed?”
The whole class snickered and laughed at that comment. The person who made the comment is known as Sydney Bright aka Snow Sydney. Her long curly black hair, white porcelain skin, bright black eyes and red ruby lips made students think she is Snow White hence the name. But for her, she is Snow Bitch. Sydney Bright is only beautiful outside but vile and ugly in the inside.
As for her, Denise Hollander, that’s her name, her family calls her Deny but in school she is called Denise or Witch Deny. She is the exact opposite of Sydney. Short black hair, pale dry skin, sullen eyes and chapped lips. She is the witch of Sydney’s twisted fairy tale.
“Now Ms. Bright, settle down. Let’s get back to the lesson shall we?” the teacher remarked clapping his hand and giving Sydney a look that says, don’t push it or it’s detention for you.
Sydney merely smiled sickeningly sweet at the teacher but when the teacher diverts his eyes to the board, Sydney rolls her eyes and stuck her tongue out.
“Oh how mature.” Denise thinks as she takes out her History book. Some of the pages were wet because she has to wash to wash off the icing on them. As she turns her eyes to the front corner of the room she nearly jumped off her seat. There is this girl holding a clear plastic umbrella and she has horns. Her golden brown eyes seem to bore at her.
She closes her eyes and rubs them down eagerly. She opens them again and the girl is no longer there.
“Whoah. Okay. No more late night horror movies for you Deny” she remarked to herself as she tries to focus on the lesson and what is written on the board.
“She saw me.” Lirika said. She is currently sitting on the roof with her clear plastic umbrella open.
She stares at her right hand, a tattoo in a shape of a tribal wing and butterfly combined with an orb on top. As she stares at it she said, “Did you hear me? I said, she saw me.”
The orb on her tattoo suddenly developed a pair of blue eyes and a mouth. It gives a huff and said, “I heard ya.”
“This is troubling. She is not supposed to see me.” Lirika said in annoyance.
“Look, she could be suicide that ya know, didn’t succeed. You know those, they are closer to death than any living.” the tattoo exclaimed.
Lirika closes her umbrella. She hears the school bell ring. She stands up saying, “I need to get back there.”
Denise puts on her earphones as she seats down to each lunch. She usually eats her lunch outside the cafeteria. Bad things happens to her whenever she eats there. Last time, Sydney Bitch tripped her and she fell on the floor with a twisted ankle and her food on her. There is one time, when Sydney was chanting Witch Deny the whole time she was there as her posse forced feed baby food to her. She can recite all the bad things that can happen her whenever she is near Sydney Bitch, most of them are inside the cafeteria. So she chose to eat outside. Far away from Sydney Bitch.
As she takes a bite on her sandwich, she sees the same horned girl in History class, walking towards the cafeteria. She immediately drops her sandwich. The girl enters the cafeteria and it made her stand up and walk towards the cafeteria door.
She slowly peers inside. The horned girl is now seating besides Sydney. Sydney didn’t see this horned girl seating besides her, staring at her. She is in deep conversation about prom and going to Hollywood after high school.
The horned girl then suddenly stands up and went behind Sydney and stares at her. Denise clamps her hands on her mouth so that she would not scream. She could clearly see this mysterious entity’s face. There is this red tint around her eyes, her lips are colored pitch black. Her horns protruding on her head are big, they look like ram horns and they are adorned with feathers and silver studs. She looks frighteningly ethereal.
She can see here. She sees her and no one in the cafeteria can see her.
“Hey Witch Deny! Look Witch Deny wants to join us! Not!” Sydney’s voice boomed.
Denise broke her eye contact with the entity. She looks at Sydney who is giving her this condescending look. She cast one look at the entity but she is no longer there.
“What’s wrong with you Witch Deny? Then again, what’s new?” one of Sydney’s posse exclaimed. Sydney cracked up on this and said, “That is good one Clarice!”.
Denise didn’t bother responding to them and ran.
“I’m seeing demons!!!” her mind screamed as she ran towards and empty chemistry laboratory. She closes the door behind her trying to make sense of what she saw.
Lirika could feel her. She is trying to asses her assignment and she can feel her. She is staring at her. She stands up and stares at her. She can tell that she is extremely shocked that she can see her.
“You are a curious mortal.” she thought.
“Don’t go there Lirika. You’re not suppose to engage with her.” Lirika’s tattoo exclaimed at her.
Lirika squints her eyes and said, “Shut up. There is a reason why she can see me and I am going to find out.”
As soon she broke eye contact with her, Lirika walks away.
Denise closes her eyes. She is now seating in on one the stools in chemistry lab. She is terribly freaked out that she didn’t even care that her tormentors have been on her case again. She then opens her eyes and to her horror, the horned girl is seating right in front of her.
“You can see me.”
“Fuck, you are real!” Denise almost practically screaming.
“Why can you see me?” it asks.
Denise stands up exclaiming, “I don’t know!!! Why are you asking me that?!”
The horned girl stares at her and said, “You are not even a suicide.”
“What? Who are you?”
“You are not a suicide but you have thoughts of it.”
Denise shakes her head and angrily exclaims, “Answer me! Who are you?! What are you?!”
The horned girl stands up and slowly walks towards her. Denise steps back every time the girl steps towards her.
“I am a reaper of death.”
Before Denise could ask further, the girl suddenly disappears. In her terror, she rans towards the door. The chemistry lab’s suddenly open that made Denise scream.
“Ms. Hollander, what’s wrong?” someone ask.
Denise looks at the person who enters the room. This person is Mr. Juarez, a Chemistry teacher. Mr. Juarez is giving her a worried look and instead of answering him, Denise opts to ran past him and towards the girls’ room.
“I think you just scared that girl to death.” Lirika’s tattoo exclaim.
“Maybe.” Lirika answered as she seats down on Denise’s empty chair. She looks around the classroom. The girl, one seat down is very noisy. She kept mentioning Denise and how weird she is. She keeps mentioning how she doesn’t like her because of how she looks.
Lirika turns her head towards this girl and said, “Girls like her annoys me.”
“Did you encounter girls like her when you were living?”
Lirika props her chin on her hand said, “Yeah. I was one.”
“Oh wow. That’s a revelation. Did you bully someone to death? thd tattoo remarked almost sarcastic. Lirika didn’t answer that made the tattoo say, “Oi, don’t tell me that’s true.”
Lirika looks at the tattoo and said, “Listen, do me a favor and shut up or better yet report to him about Denise.”
The tattoo frowned and went silent.
“That girl… something horrible is going to happen soon.”
She decides not to finish school for the day. The day was unbearable. She literally bumped into Sydney Bitch in the girls’ room. She was in so much panic entering the bathroom that she accidentally bumps into Sydney who is applying lipstick.
Sydney was furious that she ruined her lipstick. She grabs Denise by the hair screaming how an idiot and a retard she is. Her hair was pulled so strong that her head hurts. She managed to escape when the janitor enters and witnessed the chaos.
Besides being bullied by Sydney and her posse, she kept seeing the entity of death. That was it for her. She went to her locker, grabbed her stuff and got out. She would probably get detention tomorrow for cutting class. This is not the first time she has done it. She has done it so many times just to escape her tormentors. The Principal
has called her mom about it. Her mom berated her for it. She explained why but her mom told her to stop being a baby. The whole school knew about the bullying, from the Principal, to the teacher and the students know about it. Nobody tried to stop it.
“I am the reaper of death”
She remembers those words. Maybe she is dying soon. If she is really death and then maybe she will die soon. Why would she that entity? Is she the sign she needs to just go for it? Her life is worthless and unimportant anyway.
I wish I didn’t wake up.
“Your thoughts are suicidal.” Lirika replied as she seats down beside Denise. Denise in shock scampers away from her.
“Be careful, we’re sitting on the ledge of the rooftop.” Lirika replied.
Denise stares at her as she tries to compose herself. Lirika stares back saying, “I will
not harm you. You don’t have to be afraid.”
“Not harm me? You said you were a reaper of death!” Denise replied pointing her index finger at Lirika.
Lirika nods her head acknowledging Denise’s comment. “That is true but I am merely waiting. I don’t cause death. I just wait for them to die.” Lirika explained as she swings her legs over the ledge.
Hearing this answer, Denise carefully place herself near Lirika. She kept her eyes on the girl and say, “I’ve always thought that Death is an angel. You are far from being one.”
Lirika stretches out right hand at the glaring sun and said, “I work for him.”
“You work for the Angel of Death?” Denise asks looking in disbelief. Lirika nods her head in confirmation. “I am a Lost Soul.”
Lirika puts her hand down and said, “I used to be alive. Mortal. I died. I woke up being a Lost Soul. We work for the Angel of Death. No Lost Soul looks like the other, I am known for my ram horns.”
Denise looks at the horns saying, “Your horns threw me off, made me thought you were a demon.”
“Demon horns are sharp and covered in blood.” Lirika points out.
“Ew! Thanks for the image!” Denise exclaimed scrunching her nose. She bit her lower lip. She wants to ask but she doesn’t know why she is hesitating. She wants to know who is going to die. If she is going to die. That is the only logical thing she can think of why this entity is hanging around the school and why she can see her.
Lirika suddenly stands up and said, “Denise. Don’t do anything stupid.” with that she jumps off the roof. Denise watch as she disappears as she jumps off. She takes a deep breath. This day is about to get ominous as yesterday.
She opens her locker hoping something to explode but nothing exploded but someone put a dead rat in there. She covers her mouth and nose. She feels like puking. There was even a note besides the dead rat. Written on it: Here is your animal sacrifice for the day Witch Deny.
“Hey retard, like our gift?”
Denise turns around and Sydney is standing there looking smug.
“I figured that you might need one since it’s almost full moon.” Sydney remarked giving Denise a mocking look.
Denise could feel her eyes tearing up and exclaims, “Why do you do this?! What have I done to you?! Why do you hate me so?!”
“Such a drama queen Witch Deny. People like you should not exist all. Do you even wonder why we call you Witch Deny?” Sydney replied.
Clarice, one of her posse approaches Denise, flicks her nose saying, “You are ugly that is why.”
“Stating the obvious Clarice. I mean have you looked at yourself? Jeez, you look pathetic. You are a retard Denise Hollander and I am sick of looking at you or even seeing you.” Sydney exclaimed pushing Denise by her shoulder.
In this verbal tirade of Sydney, none of the students witnessing this even dare to stop or help. Not even the janitor who was a few feet away. No one cared.
Denise chokes back a sob. She will not cry nor spare a tear for Sydney Bitch and her posse. She clench her fists and walks away from them as far as she could. She could hear them laughing, she could also hear a teacher calling after her but she ignores it. She eventually sprints away from the place. The next thing she knew she was already at the streets.
“Why is my life like this? I wish they all die! I wish they all disappear.”
She didn’t see that a car speeding up right down the corner of the road. When she sees it was all too late. She felt her body hitting metal, she could not remember if it was painful. She did remember her bodh flying and hitting the pavement. Her face facing the sky and she sees a face. A face she she knows she can only see. It’s the reaper of death.
“I knew it. I am going to die.”
Lirika carefully watch the students walking along the hallway. The news of the accident has already reached the school. She could feel remorse and guilt from many of the students. She knows how they feel. She walks towards the Teacher’s Lounge and she sees the Principal and the teachers talking. They were talking about Denise and
“They have to wait for a tragedy before they do something.” Lirika mumbles sadly.
Her tattoo on her right hand rolls it’s eyes and said, “You are feeling this too much. I think the reason why Denise can see you is because you unconsciously want her to see you.”
Lirika shakes her head and said, “I am a Lost Soul. I am not neither mortal nor human anymore. What unconscious you speak of?” she walks out of the Teacher’s Lounge saying, “She was able to see me because she can feel death surrounding her person. She is unconsciously asking for death to come and take her.”
“Oh so she kinda predict that she will get mauled by a car?” the tattoo exclaimed.
“You are being rude.” Lirika said as she enters the girls’ bathroom. She finds Sydney and Clarice inside talking. Sydney looks smug, while Clarice seemed uneasy.
A remorseless Sydney Bright. Your time has come.
The girl’s bathroom room door burst open. Sydney and Clarice jumps in surprise. In front of the door, a disgruntled girl stands. Another student.
“Sydney Bright or should I say Sydney Bitch!” the girl exclaimed.
Syndey’s eyes widened at that. She is about to respond but the disgruntled girl ranted on in a manic way, “You bitch! How many of us will you drive to death?! Bitch! You are the reason why Deny got into an accident!”
“Hey retard! I did not drive that car that hit her!” Sydney exclaims stepping forward. The disgruntled girl then takes out a small pistol and points it at Sydney and exclaims, “You may as well did and I am not going to wait for the day when I turn into like
Sydney feels frozen at seeing the pistol.
“Oh my god, please don’t!” she exclaims, terror in her voice. Clarice backs herself at the back wall not knowing what to do.
“You can’t even say sorry. I hope you go to hell bitch!” the girl exclaims and pulled the trigger. Sydney fell on the tiled floor. The girl approached her fallen body and shot her thrice. Clarice’s screams and the gunshot had students and teacher rushing towards the girls’ bathroom.
Lirika stares at Sydney who is choking on her own blood. She taps her tattoo and whispers, “Mark of the Deceased. You are Cichol, come out and I shall reap!” with that her tattoo glowed and huge butterfly starts to manifest. She then placed her right hand over Sydney’s body and said, “Your soul is mine to keep, waiting for it for mine to reap. Sydney Bright.”
The huge butterfly entity flew into Sydney’s mouth and the next thing is Lirika is looking at Sydney’s soul.
“Hello Sydney.” Lirka greets. Sydney who is in her soul form, transparent and seemingly naked, stares at her cold and bloodied body on the floor. She looks at Lirika and instantly knew who she is. She shakes her head and screams, “NOOO! I cannot die! No! Return me!”
Lirika raises her eyebrow at her and said, “You demand things like you have control. I am not sorry to say that I will not return you back.”
Sydney grasp Lirika by her arm exclaiming, “Why me? Why not her?!”
Lirika smiles and said, “She deserves to live more than you do.” she then grabs the Sydney’s hand grasping her and said, “Time to go Sydney Bright.” with that her eyes glowed and Sydney’s transparent form starts to swirl and glow.
Sydney tries screaming but could not, even if she did, no living can hear her. As light envelops her she could hear Lirika saying, “You will suffer the way she did. That is your punishment.”
It then transforms into a black feather and lands on the palm of her hand. She looks at Sydney’s body and whispers, “The deed is done, return Chichol.”
The butterfly entity flew out of the dead body’s mouth and transform itself back to a tattoo on Lirika’s hand. “That girl is something.” it replied rolling it’s eyes.
“Yes she is.” Lirika replied as she walks out of the bathroom where the people are still in panic.
She opens her eyes, she hears beeping sounds. She wants to scrub her eyes or to cover it because everything is so bright. The walls are so white, so white and it’s making the brightness even more so at it is. It’s making her eyes hurt. The beeping sounds she is hearing is also making her head hurt.
“Where am I? Am I dead?” she thinks.
“You not dead.” A voice answers her. She carefully turns her head to her right. She sees a couch and on it, is her. For some unknown reason, she found comfort seeing her. Reaper of Death.
She gives Lirika a small smile and thought, “Seems like you can speak through my head. Sorry I can’t use my voice for some reason.”
“You were in an accident. You are in the hospital and you just woke up.” Lirika explains. She stands up and approach the bed where she is lying. “You didn’t die and you will not die.”
Denise takes a deep breath and ask, “Then why you are here?”
“To say goodbye. You will never see again but the next time you do, you know what it means.” Lirika answers smiling at her.
“Then who did? You were not in the school for no reason.” Denise asks.
Lirika takes out a black feather and said, “Someone did. Died tragically if I may say. You will find out eventually.”
Denise closes her eyes and she could feel Lirika brushing her bangs away from her face and then it was gone. She opens her eyes and she was no longer there.
“Denise… Live and be stronger. You are important and someone. So live.” Denise hear her say.
A tear fell from her eye. She is alive. She survived her accident. She will live and she will go on.
Denise Hollander. She didn’t return back to Roadmount High. After her recovery, her
mother decided that she will be homeschooled until she finished high school. No prom or things like that but she is fine with it. She never cared for it anyway.
Clarice visited her once in the hospital asking for forgiveness. She told her what happened to Sydney. Her accident triggered a horrible thing and it’s the killing of Sydney Bright. A girl who she only knows as Natalie killed Sydney. Sydney bullies her too. Calling Natalie a slut and a whore. Natalie whose life is far more terrible than hers; a drug addict mother and a father who sexually abuses her. Combine that with someone like Sydney; it must be hell for her.
She eventually found the courage to visit Natalie in the juvenile detention where is currently at. It was a few weeks before she finishes her home school program and get her diploma. Natalie, in a way found solace where she is right now.
Natalie greets her looking happy that she is well and alive. They talk about Sydney. Natalie regrets what she has done. School was the place she thought she could escape her hellish situation at home but because of Sydney, school became hell for her too. As Denise thought her accident is a catalyst for Natalie to snap and did it. She
got the pistol from her drug addict mom. It was unlicensed. The only good thing about her incarnation in the juvenile detention is that her father was charged for sexual abuse and will be in jail for a long time while her mother is going to rehab.
Denise told her that she will be going to college, away from this city. She plans to be guidance counsellor so that she can help kids like her, like them. Natalie wishes her luck. Denise wishes the same for her.
As she travels back home, she thinks of her. The reaper. She is seriously taking her advice. To be stronger and live on. She will try her best to make her life good so that when she sees her again, she will be ready and no regrets.She will be someone. This chapter of her life is over. Time for a new chapter and she can see it will be a good one.
“I will live.
“I will be stronger.”
“I will be a better person.”