Some people wrote that it is a dark presence which made humans do actions they'd later regret. They said, in black ink, the darkness lies within. Others say darkness is found, like a disease contaminating our hearts. Both philosophers and scientist agreed that darkness is the absence of light. Many wrote that darkness is the void, that being in the pure darkness was being blind and not feeling anything at all. All I certainly knew was that, darkness was surrounding Finn. He needed our help and we had to find him and not after it was too late.
I awoke humming this alien song I mysteriously learned. Never have I ever slept like this. I dressed up and decided to go out of the room and explore home a bit. Yawning and a disheveled I lurked the hallways and peeked whatever room which door was opened. I haven't reached the kitchen yet and thought some breakfast would be nice, I paused my task of exploring and headed straight to the kitchen.
Once there, I didn't knew what to do. <how much should I take?> <what is this for?> <Am I supposed to eat these?> Many questions popped in my head and Bartram once again, came to rescue me and he was even willing to answer my questions. After breakfast and a few kitchen lessons. Bartram ended up saying: "I'm sorry if we were hard on you last night."
"I think it was kind of necessary, though. Don't worry about it, Barbar."
"I don't like the nickname, Kelly. Just, don't." He paused. "Girl, I got to know something. What do you think of Pen?"
It felt like breakfast had its revenge and it was trying to eat me up from inside. Wait, no, it wasn't breakfast. it was fear. Fear of getting caught. But I promised Pen to keep quiet. I kept cool because of that, otherwise I would have exploded like a volcano of truth. "Pen? Well, he's a good boy... He's lucky to have you as a friend." Instead of friend I was going to say brother, but being remembered of what happened yesterday saved me an awkward situation.
"You think you're going to be good friends?" And yes, he overdid the "good"
"I... I don't see why not. He's a good friend of yours, right?" I tried to ignore the indirect message. Thinking he would eventually stop asking.
Luckily, he bit the bait. And then told me he needed to water the plants and left. As soon as he got out of the kitchen, I sneaked out and resumed my peeking. You may be guessing I was out there to find Pen and, I admit a part of that isn't entirely false. And if you're guessing I found him, you guessed right. And yes, he was still sleeping. And yes, I entered his room.
He had pijamas on. The blankets only covered his legs and the rest was splattered over the bed. It didn't looked like a nice place to sleep after having a bed like that. I wondered how was he taking what happened yesterday. I wondered why Finn only talked to me and not anyone else. Maybe Pen needed to hear what Finn told me in the night. But he was still sleeping. <Should I wake him up?> I didn't knew the answer and in a confusion and twists of ideas I grabbed his hand and stood by his side for some time. He was adorable while sleeping and I smiled knowing that we had much ahead to experience but also knowing he was going to go with me. He sleep-talked and turn on his back to the other side. The problem was I was still holding his hand and was dragged and fell over him.
If there was something these two knew, it was how to get me out of my comfort zone.
"Um... hi, Pen." I said when I saw his eyes were open. He wasn't surprised, nor shocked or screamy, as I feared. He could keep it discreet. "good morning?" Was my desperate attempt of ignoring the situation.
"Hello. You're on my bed..." He took a look at the situation, then at his hand. "...And you're holding my hand." I was terrified, almost frozen. He laughed a bit. "You're weird, Kelly."
"I'm not! I was just..." I could have explained, but I didn't wanted to. I was there to tell him something else. "Nevermind. Pen, there's something I need to tell you and it's about your brother." I could see his smile quickly vanishing and his eyes revealed that deep inside, his childish attitude was replaced by a serious, deep one.
"yeah? what about him?" He sat on the bed and grabbed his knees. Forcing me to sit on the edge.
"He spoke to me last night."
"now, did he?" He asked annoyed.
"Pen, do you have any problem?"
"Of course I do! If he can visit you in dreams, why couldn't he come to me? Is it because he hates me? Is it because I didn't remember him and he forgot about me? And why you? Perhaps you're just as important to him like you're to me. Kelly, I can't understand."
<No freaking out, not on my watch!> "Pen, You are my hero. And he may have saved me before you have, but you're different. He decided to hide and you didn't. And you know that I'll always be here, next to you. You gave me something he could not. You gave me a home and that's more important than a roof, food and warmth."
"I'm sorry, Kelly. But the more questions I have, the worst my ideas are..."
"I have my questions, too. I know this is a matter of believing, but you must trust me, Pen. I trust you." He sobbed and I was about to hold him in my arms, but Bartram entered the room, looking at Pen, he had to ask.
"Dude, what's going on? What happened?"
"Nothing we were just talking." Said Pen. "So, what did he tell you?"
"I guess Bartram needs to hear this, too." Bartram sat next to us. "Finn needs help."
"Are we talking about Finn? Finn, the one with the crown and ice powers? Last time I saw him he didn't looked like he needed help. What is it?"
"Well, he said time was running short, that he was turning evil and that everything would be solved when the time has come..." I don't know how could I remember that easily, that was a dream and they tend to be forgettable. "Guys, I'd go out there. But he's your brother and... you deserve those answers, too."
"I am, Kelly." Said Pen. "We'll go as soon as we can to find him. I still have some things in my old room and we need to tell my parents that we're going to... we're going to... Where is it we're going, exactly?" Ha, little detail that Finn could've cleared in that dream.
I could feel the shame while I said: "I... don't know?" Both of them raised their hands to their foreheads. "But we'll figure that out, I'm sure of that!".
"Nevermind, we must talk to your parents, dude. This isn't the kind of regular scavenge we usually do. This is serious stuff." Said Bartram.
We walked out of the room and back into the kitchen. We decided to talk about the subject while we waited for his parents to come. The questions flew back and forth and answers were rare and weird. "how are we going to find him?" "I don't know." "Hey he's supposed to be king of the ice, right? what if we set thermal goggles to detect cold?" "Dude, that's totally not how they work." "But what if we follow the breeze, it should be going to where he is, right?" "That doesn't sound wrong. But I am not convinced, yet." "That's a pretty wild guess." and the talk went on and on leading to nowhere...
When the couple arrived, together, they were looking confused at us. trying to decipher what we were trying to do. I had to cough out loud to get the boys attention. The discussion was going to rushed at the moment. They turned around and both of them looked at me as if I was the one that should talk to them. I didn't want to, but it was too much pressure and I gave up.
"Finn... he needs our help..." I muttered "And we er... must find him... And he told me all of this in a dream, tonight." Their faces were frozen. I didn't knew if that was either good or bad. But since I expected the worst, I kept talking just to lighten the news. "It was really him talking. He said time's growing short and he'll turn crazy if we don't stop him."
"Kids." Dad said "Go and pack whatever you need for a long journey." That was a yes on the travel and I felt relieved. Only the fear that they wouldn't allow us to go was already a huge burden . Pen and I went to his room, while Bartram to his.
In the room, he started packing things in his backpack. I found mine and packed the few things I had. Pen wasn't the same from the day before. While we were there, I felt I needed to say something to him and I simply couldn't, I was thinking what would be the best to start with. But he was ahead of me and said: "What are these?" He asked about the maps I left him on the desk.
"Oh, they are presents for you. I thought an adventurer would need maps so he comes back home, safe and sound." I hugged him from behind, because it was true. I wanted him to come home from each of his adventures. He looked back and we were face to face, then. Being sincere, I wanted to bite him and steal another kiss from him.
"And what did you marked on them?" The question surprised me. "They were intact last timed I checked" I thought out loud. But he was right, they had red arrows and X's all over. Then I looked at the other maps. they were marked, too. Looking at the maps, I saw a red marker on the desk. They were marked by someone who was inside the room. Then again, I remembered my hat and how I got it.
"Well, Pen, I guess now we know which way to go."
"You mean... he marked the maps?" Pen asked with a weak voice. "Couldn't he at least give me a sign he was here?"
"Pen..." I said, trying to calm his rising anger with a swift tone. "He's your brother. And as Bartram cares for you, I'm sure Finn cares for you, too. If he didn't contacted you, it's simply because he thought it was the best for you." I caressed his arm and kissed him in the cheek. "Those are not questions you should ask now. We'll find him... together, right?"
That was enough to get a smile out of him. "You're right." Looking back at the map, our cheer went back down: "That's a really long journey!" Did I made a new speech to calm his nerves again? No, I just succumbed to despair like him. I let him go and looked at all the maps, and they all marked the same distant spot.
"It'd take days to... Weeks! It'd take weeks to reach him!" I screamed, almost without control.
"Aww man!" We heard Bartram coming closer. "You guys found out where he is?"
Pen and I were frozen, we took a step away from each other and hoped he hadn't seen me hugging him. When Bartram finally came he stuck his head out of the door frame and we simply nodded out of fear. "And you guys found that he's really far away?" And of course, we nodded again. "Aww..." Bartram mourned- "Man!". I laughed nervously.
"Well, big quests have big rewards! Or so I've read. Come on, guys, I thought you were brave adventurers. Brave adventurers would help the ones that need help."
They both muttered the approval of those ideas. I strapped my backpack and did gestures for the boys to follow me. They did the same and started walking out of the room and this time, I followed them to the door, where mom and dad had a couple of backpacks more. Those backpacks had our future meals and they wanted to say goodbye.
"Farewell, kids." They said. The boys hugged them and proceeded to cross the door. "And Kelly." They added, while they were out. "Thank you. You gave us something back, something we've lost long ago. Hope, Kelly. Without hope, life would be only a routine and it would be meaningless. As we know what it is to live hopeless. We ask you only one thing: Keep hope alive."
There was something in them. Something that gave away that was the last time we were going to see them. Perhaps they knew that our journey was going to be longer than we expected. The smile on their faces told me that they were waiting for this moment, after all. As if, after years of pain, they found peace. I nodded and answered: "I promise." and they hugged me goodbye.
I turned around and catch up with Pen and Bartram. We marched on the roads and into the mist. Following the red arrows and guided by compasses, we began only but the beginning of our journey. For, as I said, it was longer than we expected it to be. I knew we were guided and guarded. Which reminded me of a song I've read. I never knew how it went, but the lyrics wandered in my mind, like we wandered on ice.
valor in night the moon shone bright
as we walked out of the house to never return
a room full of irredeemable people with abandoned qualities.
the words tattooed on the wrist in remembrance
we are all just faces in mystery
once he was wrong and he went all alone
he couldn't remember the strength of his will so he killed
the need for which one of his own connected secrets
Writers said that when you choose to live your life honest
you'll be measuring your own grave
but only eyes could save him
the guided spirit lost him
on the road a traveler asked
have guilded souls been found?