May 2, 2018

1.00 The Most Important Day



The air was warm as sunlight crept into the beach bungalow’s open windows.


Agnes stretched awake, staring at the foreign ceiling above her. 


The sounds of waves hitting the sand were comforting and nearly lulled her back to sleep, yet as she registered where she was a smile stretched onto her face. 


She pulled herself upward into a sitting position, her eyes dancing over the small room, yet she found it empty and her smile fell. 



She looked down long enough to catch the edge of a piece of paper with familiar scrawl written across it.


‘Don’t be late.’
He never was one for theatrics or romance.


Agnes shuffled out of bed slowly, minding the clock as she did. It was still plenty early - she would even have time to kill which she had been trying to avoid. 


She wished her sister could be there. 


Why did everything have to turn so sour?
She put it from her mind and put her headphones in to drown out her own thoughts. She had better things to think about.


Today was her wedding day, after all.




I know there’s no form,


And no labels to put on,
To this thing we keep,



And dip into when we need.
I don't have the right,




To ask where you go at night,
But the waves hit my head,



To think someones in your bed!
I get a little bit Genghis Khan


Don’t want you to get it on
With nobody else but me


With nobody else but me
I get a little bit Genghis Khan


Don’t want you to get it on, 
With nobody else but me.



Nobody else but me!

<>

And the lights they glow,




Like I just lost the world war,
And the scene slips away to the evenness I fake.



It’s a cheat somewhere,
Cause I don’t really want you girl.


But you can't be free,
Cause I’m selfish I’m obscene.


I get a little bit Genghis Khan,
Don’t want you to get it on,



With nobody else but me.
With nobody else but me.



I get a little bit Genghis Khan,
Don’t want you to get it on,



With nobody else but me.
With nobody else but me.


I wanna make up my mind but I don’t know my myself,
No I don’t know myself.


I wanna make up my mind but I don’t know myself,
No I don’t know myself


I wanna make up my mind but I don’t know myself,
No I don’t know myself.

"-annnd I get a little-" Agnes stopped, startled as the earbud was yanked from her ears. “Oh!”
Erik was staring at her impatiently, his head tilted slightly.


She pulled her other headphone from her ear and placed her phone down on the dresser behind her. “I didn’t hear you come in, dear. Where have you been?” She smiled at him, not letting his skeptical stare shake her.
“Getting ready?” He laughed a little before shaking his head. “What else would I be doing on this important day?”


She suddenly felt silly for asking. “Oh, right!”
“I see you’re… busy doing the same?” Erik laughed again before sighing. “What in the world were you doing, Aggie?”


Agnes rolled her eyes, “what, haven’t you ever seen dancing before?”
“Dancing?” He snorted. “Well if that’s what you want to call it, sure.”
She swatted at him with a scowl before turning to face the dresser. “Hey!”


“What? I’m just teasing! Don’t be so sensitive, Aggie.” Erik pleaded with her.
Agnes rolled her eyes.
“Come on, Aggie, you’re not going to be mad at me on our wedding day, are you?” Erik’s hands gripped at her upper shoulders, his voice fluctuated in tone as he slightly rocked her.


She looked down at her nails carefully, content to ignore him.
“Especially not after I pulled some strings to get you into the salon?”
That caused Agnes to turn around sharply. “But how? They were all booked up when I called them.” That was the problem with eloping - you don’t get all the bells and whistles.


Not that she needed them, but she’d be lying if she said she hadn’t wanted at least a few of them.


“Because I’m amazing, of course! Do you think I’d let you go through today without a chance to be made-over?” Erik smiled at her and she couldn’t help but smile back. “It’s at noon, so don’t be late! I’ll have a cab come pick you up by 11:30.” He looked towards the clock and sighed. “You know, island traffic. No one is in a hurry to do anything here.”


“I actually kind of like it… it’s nice to have a chance to relax, you know?” Agnes looked out the window and smiled at the ocean.
“I think I’m going to like it a lot too.” He followed her gaze out the window before shaking his head. “Anyways, I was just stopping in to let you know so you wouldn’t be surprised, so I’m going to head out.”
“Already?” She frowned. “But you just got here…”


Erik was already halfway towards the door. “Something-something bad luck to see the bride before the wedding?” He turned and gave her a smirk before waving. “I’ll see you later, Aggie.”
“But wait-!” She shouted for him and he stopped, sighing before turning around. “How will I know where to go?”


He made a look of disbelief before rolling his eyes. “I’ve hired another cab for you… duh?”
She had half a mind to flip him off, but she wasn’t in the mood to fight with him today. He slunk out the door shortly after and she sighed.
Today is supposed to be a good day.
Her eyes drifted over to the small parcel on the table.


That wasn’t there before.
She approached it cautiously and picked it up off the table.


She moved to turn it over in her hands when the bottom rattled off with a flash of silver that clanked into the table. Agnes looked at it curiously before a soft smile pulled on her face.
So Erik wasn’t that much of an asshole after all?
It was one hell of a weird necklace, though, but she wasn't that picky.


She replaced the lid back onto the tube and turned towards the clock causing her eyes to widened: she still had to shower and maybe even eat before the cab came!
She gripped the necklace in her hand and resisted squealing as she rushed off for the bathroom once again.


Today was going to be the most important day of her life.







“Hey Louise, your customer is here.”


Agnes watched as the woman behind the desk of the salon waved at her coworker who was distracted on her phone. The salon itself was beautiful and airy.
“Louise!”


The woman on her phone jumped. “Huh? Oh… that’s my name, right!” She straightened herself, chucking her phone to the side with a slight crash and Agnes stood stunned by how beautiful she was.
“You must be Agnes,” Louise’s voice was even more musical and gorgeous than Agnes could wrap her head around. “Great that you’re here early! I was getting bored!” She snorted a laugh before gesturing for Agnes to follow her.


“Wait you don’t have her slip-” The woman at the front desk was drowned out by Louise’s song-like voice.
“Don’t need it, doll.” Louise laughed again and Agnes followed her straight on back to her station. “Have a seat, love!” She slapped the chair carefully before moving to lean against her station. “So you’re getting married? Should I say ‘congratulations’ or ‘I’m sorry?’”


Agnes laughed. “Maybe a bit of both.”
Louise immediately laughed right along with her before shaking her head as she turned to her station. “Yup, I’m going to like you.” She whipped back around suddenly with a grin. “So are we doing the whole she-bang or just part of it?” She gestured to Agnes then.


“Well… Erik already got me a dress, I think, but to be honest it hardly fits.” Agnes pursed her lips and shrugged. It was the thought that counted, anyways. “Even still I’m only wearing it once so I’m fine using that. He’s paying for this so… I don’t want to charge up his card that much.”
Louise’s brow furrowed. “Erik?”


“Oh, sorry, my fiance!” Agnes immediately responded.
Yet the confusion didn’t immediately dissipate from Louise’s face. “Huh… I thought his name was something else. Ah, well.” She shrugged and shook her head. “Honey if he’s paying for it, you should go all out. They say you only get married once and well… while that’s probably bullshit for 90% of the population it seems like a nice thought.”
Agnes grinned. “Not a fan of marriage?”


Louise smiled to herself and touched the strange pendant hanging around her neck. “I suppose it has its upsides.”
“Are you married?” Agnes looked at her hands curiously, but saw no ring.
Louise snorted and shrugged as she sorted through some supplies. “I guess you could say that.” She snuck a glance at Agnes with a devious grin. “He’s an asshole, but he’s my asshole, you know?”


Agnes shook her head. “I know it, far too well.”
“Shall we begin?”



Agnes stared at herself in the mirror, it was the first time that morning that she actually felt like a bride.


“So?” Louise grinned as she nearly bounced in her stance. “What do you think?”
“It’s so gorgeous.” Agnes whispered, yet she felt a pang of sadness. “I wish my family could be here to see it.”


Louise shifted before rushing up to hug her from the side. “Well we’ve just spent the past 4 or so hours in close quarters, so I’d say you can call me your sister for the rest of your life. How about that?” She winked at her and Agnes found it surprisingly comforting.
The woman Agnes recognized from the front desk poked her head into the room at that moment. “Uh, there’s a car here for you, miss?”


Agnes spun around. “Is it that time already?”
“He can wait!” Louise shooed at the air. “You should have your moment! There’s no rush!”
Agnes wanted to stay there, but she shook her head instead. “I don’t want to keep Erik waiting, I should probably head out!”
“Then I’ll walk you out!” Louise insisted.


It was bright outside and the sun was hot above them, baking the dusty ground around the island. Sure enough, parked outside was a smooth black car with its driver standing right outside it. She almost would’ve thought him a statue the way he stood rigidly with his head tipped down, his face hiding behind the brim of his hat.


“I… I thought he had called me a cab?” Agnes looked at Louise nervously. The driver picked his head up slightly, his stern, freckled face catching a bit of the sun.
Louise looked shocked, “a cab? To take you to your wedding? No, no, no! Absolutely not! Thank the gods he didn’t do that!” She shrugged before waving at the driver. “Anyways, this is for the best - just let him know where you want to go and he’ll take you!” Louise leaned on her suddenly, “to your wedding, to the temple to be blessed… to the airport…”


Agnes choked on air before laughing and shaking her head.
“What? Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of cold feet!” Louise pulled her into a quick hug. “I’ll see you again soon, alright?”
Agnes felt her brow furrowing slightly but she smiled. “I certainly hope so! I think we’ll be staying here for a few days after at least!”


The driver opened the door for her and she stepped into the vehicle, smiling to herself as she felt the first onset of butterflies.
She was getting married!
It was all happening so fast.
She wondered how different tomorrow would feel?


She looked down at the necklace Erik had left this morning and put it in, tucking it into her dress carefully. Maybe this would be the good luck charm she needed?
She could only hope.

<>





“She just left, but we’ve got a problem, Liv.”
...
“She has the artifact.”


“It was giving me a headache the whole time, that was definitely it.”
...
“Do you think he’ll kill her for it?”


“Shit. Well I sure as fuck hope you’re right.”
...
“I can head that way if you’re ready.”


“Louise? There’s another-”
“Got bigger fish to fry, Beth.”
“It’s Berni-”


“Right, whatever. It’s been real. Louise will see you tomorrow… also avoid the pier for tonight, just a heads up.”



“You sure you don’t need to stop anywhere? We have time.” The driver’s voice was deep and quiet.
Agnes shook her head. “I’m mostly just eager to get this over with.”


The car was beginning to slow to a stop outside of the beach she and Erik had agreed on. She would meet him there, they would say their vows, then they would go to the courthouse to make it official.
Really official.
The door had come open on her side and Agnes looked out at the beach with anxiety gripping her chest. She was doing this. She was really doing this.


Cornelia wouldn’t be here.
Nor her brother-in-law.
Nor her nephew.
What was she doing? Family once used to mean so much to her and now? She was getting married without them. She and her sister swore they’d stay together after their parents died.


That was foolish, wasn’t it?
“Agnes.”
She turned suddenly, pulled from her own thoughts. “Huh?”


The man’s face was emotionless and he looked forward before turning back to meet her gaze. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”
That seemed to both settle and unsettle her, but she didn’t come all this way for nothing. “No… I want this. I do.”


It was fast and a little underwhelming, but cold feet were natural, right? She made her way past the pier, yet the people there were not who she expected.
Then again she had asked for the beach specifically, so maybe she would see him when she got further out?


Yet as her sandals hit the sand the beach seemed to be clear of any familiar faces.
Perhaps she was early?
She hadn’t actually checked the time before leaving.
Agnes took in a slow, long breath as she listened to the waves against the sand accompanied by the sounds of children playing in the park behind her. It was more relaxing than she had ever realized.
“Agnes?” The voice seemed slightly confused and she turned to follow it.


Her whole face fell, and she resisted scowling. “Erik… you’re not dressed!” How could he do this? Seriously show up in what he was wearing this morning? He had been “getting ready” all morning yet done nothing?
He looked at her with slight annoyance. “...and you’re overdressed.”



Agnes gritted her teeth, feeling her hands clenching into fists, yet she tried to swallow it. She never did specify that she wanted him to wear a suit. Gods this was not going how she dreamed it would. She could feel tears prickling in her eyes and she bit her cheek to stop them from spilling out. “Th-This isn’t how…”


“Yeah, well, me either, but it’s about damn time things finally got rolling.” He handed the box he was holding her suddenly, leaning in as he did so and his voice dropped and a strange smile pulled on his lips. “You’ve been a liability this entire time, Aggie, I’m quite glad to be done with you.”


His words hit her like a truck and panic was soon replacing her disappointment. “What…?”
Erik gripped her wrists suddenly as she tried to back away, his eyes bore down into hers with a determined smirk. “You’ll die if you let go of this box.”



She trembled in his grip, trying to pull away, yet her gaze was locked on his as his pupils dilated, consuming most of the iris of his eyes.
The thought sunk in deep, and her whole body began shaking uncontrollably as she clutched to the box. This was her only chance to live. She could never let it go. She wanted to reach for Erik, to find stability to grab on so she wouldn’t fall to her knees but she couldn’t bear to let go of the box.


She’d die if she let go of the box.
“I’ve got what I need now, so it’s time to clean up loose ends, ok Aggie?” Erik gave her a disgustingly warm smile as if she weren’t near collapsing. “One more, darling, stand up straight now. You’re shaking like a leaf.”


Agnes wanted to look away, yet she couldn’t tear her eyes from him. “Please… I don’t-” Tears spilled from her eyes. She finally broke the stare and struggled to resist bringing her head up. She closed her eyes tightly. “I don’t want to die.”
Erik shushed her carefully, his hand reaching to hold her chin up. “Look at me, Aggie.” He commanded.


Her eyes came open immediately and more tears spilled out. “Now listen, I need to get out of here, and you’re going to help me do that. It’s for a good cause, Aggie. Chin up, now!” He smoothed her face lovingly. “Perfect! Now you need to take this important gift up to all those people up there. Your life depends on it.”



His pupils dilated once more, a bit wider this time and Agnes could feel her pulse echoing throughout her body. Racing rapidly as she realized how close she was to death. Her face was a mess of tears as she looked towards the pier and back to him. “W-Why are you doing this? I… I thought you loved me?”


“Love you?” He nearly snorted. “Don’t be ridiculous. You’re a means to an end, Aggie, and your end is coming.” He finally released her and dusted himself off as she scrambled to stay standing without his support. “You better hurry up, my sweet Agnes. I’d hate to have to make this messier than it already will be.”
He pressed his hands into her back, nudging her forward and up the beach.


Agnes felt like she was made of lead as she walked. Suddenly she couldn’t hear the children playing, or even the sound of the waves. All she could hear was the pounding of her heart in her chest as her fingers trembled and clutched at the heavy box in her hands.
She stumbled and tears poured from her eyes as she tried to regain herself. Gods, help me.
The gods don’t answer prayers, though.


No one did.
She was alone… and she was going to die.
Her breath came out in rasps as she made it beneath the start of the pier. There were so many people… yet she felt invisible watching them.
She turned slowly, risking a glance back only to find the spot where Erik once stood to be empty and more tears spilled from her eyes as she choked on a sob.


“You’ll die if you let go of this box.”
She didn’t want to die.
Her fingers gripped the box tighter.


Something grabbed her gently around her waist and Agnes jumped, a scream catching in her throat as she scrambled to keep both her hands on the box.


A woman had ushered her out of the opening of the pier, one hand gently on Agnes’s waist and the other perched lightly on the box that held Agnes’s life. “It’s ok, stay calm. I know what’s going on. Everything is ok, Agnes.”
Agnes nearly crumpled into her grip, “h-how do you know my name?”


“I’ve been keeping my eye on you for a little while now, but I can explain that later, ok? My name is Olivia. Stay calm, Agnes, everything will be ok.” Her eyes were soft and she pulled Agnes tighter to her. “Within the box you hold is a bomb-”
Agnes doubled over at the word, her body violently shook and the woman tightened her grip on her. “A… A b-b-bomb?”


“We can’t walk it into those people, Agnes, and I can’t diffuse it right here. I need you to come with me. We need to get somewhere farther...” Olivia began to pull on her but Agnes refused to follow, shaking her head vigorously.
“N-N-No! I’ll die if I… if I don’t…” Her gaze jumped up to the children running around in the park and more tears rolled from her eyes. She couldn’t let a bomb go off on them. “I… I can’t… I can’t risk it going off on all those people…” She didn’t want to die either, but she couldn’t let it go off on them. “W-Where do you want me to go?”


Olivia gave her a warm smile, reaching up carefully to wipe at her cheeks. “This way, and I promise you, Agnes, I won’t let you die.”
Olivia pulled her, guiding her as they walked around the edges of the pier. Agnes wondered how quickly she would die now that she’s strayed from the path. Perhaps Olivia should step away too, to minimize the damage that would be done?


Agnes had to admit that Olivia was the only thing keeping her together. Her soft voice repeated a mantra as they walked. “Everything will be ok, I promise you. We’re almost there.”
“H-How big of a bomb are we talking?” Agnes asked as Olivia finally stopped walking at a spot on the beach. “Someone should warn-”


“I’ve already got people evacuating the area slowly, but we’re trying to do it in a way that won’t cause mass hysteria. If it’s discovered that I’ve taken you off track well… we should be far enough away that people won’t be affected by it.” Olivia slowly pulled Agnes to the sandy ground. “You can let go of the box now, Agnes.”
“You’ll die if you let go of this box.”



Agnes shook her head firmly. “I-I’ll die if I let go of this box.”
“Did he tell you that?” Olivia inquired.
Agnes nodded, sniffling as she tried to start taking more normal breaths in.
Olivia nodded slowly, and seemed to contemplate what she wanted to say next. Finally she nodded more seriously and met Agnes’s gaze. “Ok, go ahead and rest the box on the ground.”


Agnes hesitated, this was a risk to trust Olivia and she knew it, but so far Olivia hadn’t seemed untrustworthy.
Erik hadn’t seemed untrustworthy, either, her mind reminded her.
Yet what else could Agnes do? She slowly lowered the box until it settled into the sand, her hands still holding the edges of it. She looked back up at Olivia for further instructions. “Now what?”
Olivia was nodding and she took in a deep breath. “Now I’m going to help you let go of the box, ok?”


“You’ll die if you let go of this box.”
Agnes felt tears stinging in her eyes as she started to shake her head. “Please… I-”
“I promise you, Agnes. I won’t let you die.” Olivia touched her arm gently she could see a small hint of fear in her extremely calm features, yet there was no doubt. She was afraid, but she wasn’t uncertain.
Agnes took in a very unsteady breath, failing to calm herself before she nodded. She did it before she could regret it, squeezing her eyes shut so she wouldn’t have to watch whatever doom may come from her releasing the box.


Suddenly a gust of air knocked Agnes’s hands away and Agnes jolted. Her eyes came open wide as she clutched herself, watching the bubble that surrounded the box slowly disappear and Olivia’s hands had come to grip hers tightly.
“You did it! You’re fine! Everything is ok! You’re free now!”


Agnes sat back in the sand and sobbed, everything felt uneasy in the world. She wasn’t supposed to have survived that, and the cognitive dissonance only increased her fears. She looked over to Olivia so she wouldn’t be alone in her thoughts and found her with the box uncovered, her hands reaching into it carefully.


Olivia smiled at her slightly, but Agnes could see her nervousness. “Agnes, why don’t you head up towards the road. It’ll be safer there.”
“What are you doing?!” Agnes gaped at her.


Olivia focused down into the box but glimpsed back up at her. “Well, I’m going to try to disarm this bomb… but there’s still a risk I’ll do something wrong and… I’d rather you not be at any further risk.”
“I… I don’t… I don’t want to leave you like that...” Not after everything this woman has done to help her - and they didn’t even know each other. “S-Surely there’s something I can do to help?”
“Well-”


Something wailed behind them - someone? They crawled unnaturally towards the beach, stopping at the edge of the waves and shrieking unnaturally.
Agnes suppressed a scream and Olivia turned with a look of dread back to the box.
What horror film had she stepped into?
“Who… what are those?” Agnes gasped.


Olivia closed her eyes, anxiety more clearly on her face. After a moment she exhaled, her eyes opening and her shoulders relaxed. “They’re followers of the Goddess of the Sea… they’re after the artifact the man you came here with stole. I can explain more later, but all you need to know right now is that they’re not friendly, and they can’t leave the water until nightfall or they’ll dry out.”
Agnes looked at the setting sun with worried eyes. “How much time-”


“Hey!” The voice was familiar and venomous, it sent chills running down Agnes’s spine. The box beeped loudly below them.
“You’ll die if you let go of this box.”
“You’re a means to an end, Aggie, and your end is coming.”



“We’re out of time…” Olivia whispered breathlessly.
The ticking from the box below them began to speed up rapidly.
Agnes felt frozen in place as time seemed to slow.


Grunting.


Movement.


Panic.


Shrieking.


Blinding light.


Darkness.



Chapter List | Chapter 1.01 >>



A/N: thanks for hanging in there with me, I was off by 2 days, but hey, it's here now! 
I told you it'd start off with a bang.
For those without Youtube access, the song is "Genghis Khan" by Miike Snow.

3 comments:

  1. a BANG indeed

    What a start wow!

    Gah, yeah Erik or is it Eric, who cares he's a jerk and deserves to rot. Poor Agnes what a horrible way to elope really. Easily I think one of the top worst, if not THE worst, elopings.

    How action filled I'm all revved up for the NEXT CHAPTER. This was so goooooood hahahah!

    Also Olivia is beautiful and so was Agnes and just I'm reeling from the quality of this chapter. Hehe the sequence with Genghis Khan was fun heh, until Eric-stupid interrupted at a good point in the song. THANKS FOR NOTHING.

    Now I gotta find the strength in me to wait for the next chap

    ReplyDelete
  2. Argh... The feels! I can't!!!

    Perfect way to ratchet up the tension: add a bomb O_O

    so glad that Aggie and everyone else is OK. Wish Erik wasn't though but, meh...

    Next chapter please, Liv?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Even as his "nice" version Erik couldn't help but have asshole tendencies. Don't yoink earbuds!

    It's great to see these characters again, and I love that you started things off on their wedding day. And Agnes was even questioning herself as doubting thoughts about her family kept creeping in, I really liked that. Seeing Erik's powers in action was so creepy; his eyes! I like the use of gifs, though!

    ReplyDelete