Chapter 2:

Chapter 3: The Mask



A child cries on his knees.

-Why are you crying?

The child keeps crying.

-Answer me.


-Please, I'm begging you, tell me why are you crying. I'm so desperate to find answers...I can't keep hearing you crying like that...Give me answers...

-...Today I asked them, what did the city look like since I only see it on the television, - the kid sobs - they said I didn't need to know, after all, I'll never be allowed to get my feet there. I'm a bad child, Mr.Stranger. I kept asking them every day about cities, even knowing they wouldn't answer me.

-The curiosity of a child is a blessing! Don't ever give up on it! Your parents mean nothing compared to the power of a child's curiosity!

-Blessings are given by God...- the child keeps sobbing.

-...I don't believe in God.

-You have to, Mr.Stranger! Parents said if you throw your faith away, bad things will happen to you. - the child takes a religious cross from his pocket and hands it over to the stranger.

-Here Mr.Stranger! If you pray hard, God might still forgive you! I will pray with you too, -the kid gets on his knees and starts praying - maybe if I do so. My parents might forgive me for this night, maybe I'll still be able to have dinner today, and maybe but just maybe if God really forgives me, I'll be able to have to sleep in my bedroom.

The Stranger tosses the cross away.

-No Mr.Stranger! You can't do that, God will be mad! - the kid starts crying in fear.

-You don't need this. - the Stranger starts smashing the cross with his foot - After all, God doesn't decide what dreams you want to have in your life, as long as it can't decide that, you're fine.

-Please stop, my parents will beat me if they saw my cross broken, please stop! - screams the kid.

-Why hasn't God punished them then? if I'm not wrong, God doesn't like violence, does it? That makes them sinners as well...-says the Stranger, while keeps smashing the cross with even more strength.

-They're giving me a blessing Mr.Stranger, they're guiding me to the right path...the God's path. - the Stranger stops smashing the cross.

-So you're saying that it's God's path, being locked up in an empty dark room until your parents decide to get you out? I thought God would give us, a path full of light at least, but instead, here you are...

-You wouldn't understand...A sinner like you, Mr.Stranger would never understand...

-Thank God, I'll never understand.


Viatorem opened his eyes, the first thing he sees is a nurse next to him measuring his fever.

-Oh you finally woke up! Your friends were here five minutes ago if you've only woke up before that, they'd have a really amazing surprise! - said the nurse with a smile on her face - How are you feeling?

Viatorem, still barely awake, answered:

-I'm still feeling dizzy but better, what happened? How did I get here?

-Well, as far as I know, you fainted in an old store, the owner contacted the hospital, and as soon as the ambulance arrived they brought you here, when you came you were in a critical condition due to the blood loss, the good thing was that no organs were affected, your foot was a bit damaged but nothing too dangerous. You were sleeping for one day and now, here you are! Alive and hopefully soon, off to the hospital you go! Also, the police might come here, since you woke up, they might want to question you if the owner told the truth about how you got into that state.

After she said that, the nurse wave at him and left the room. As soon as Viatorem was alone, scary thoughts started to get inside his mind, he was scared that the girl might still be around here, looking for the right moment to finish him off. He could still hear the girl's singing in his mind while imagining her emotionless smile. Hours passed, he was still fighting against his mind, trying to avoid each thought about what happened before he got here, it was already midnight, Viatorem didn't eat his dinner since the only thing he could feel was fear. At some point, his brain was starting to get tired and his eyes were finally getting heavy, he was, at last, having his well-deserved rest.

Two hours have passed and Viatorem started hearing footsteps coming to his room, he was still sleepy so he didn't pay too much attention to it until the door was being opened, that was when he started to get anxious, was it the girl? Was it one of the doctors, which he hoped it was? Whoever it was, Viatorem decided to pretend that he was sleeping. The footsteps were approaching him, making him even more anxious than before, but then the footsteps could no longer be heard. Five minutes passed since the footsteps had stopped, so Viatorem decided to open a few of his eyes to check if someone was around him, and it was. There was a man in front of his bed with a mouse looking mask covering his face. The man with the mask ended up noticing he was awake so he picked up a small board with the sentence written: "Greeds who want to change their fate, deserve the greed of death", as soon as he knew that his message was read, the weird-looking person left the room, Viatorem thinking this was all but just one of his weird dreams again, fell asleep.

Another day and a new morning arrived, Viatorem was awakened by one of the nurses so he could have his breakfast, it was a coup of milk and a piece of bread with some butter on it. While he was having his breakfast, the door got opened so fast that even Viatorem didn't have time to turn his head to the door.

-VIVI! You're finally awake - it was Ricardo crying in tears of joy while hugging him.

-So the sleeping beauty decided to wake up from whatever pervert dream you were having. - said Jasmine giggling

-Hello Vivi. - said, Wally.

Viatorem didn't react. Even with this beautiful meeting, the first thing he said was:

-Ricardo, how's your sister?


-So weird you asked that after you've just woke up from a deep sleep! However, it doesn't surprise me that you want to know how's my pride and joy been doing! She's doing really well, yesterday as you know, I went to my parents home to see her and she was reading a story to one of her friends, I got so proud of her! Next week, it's going to be her seventh birthday and as soon as you get out of this hospital you're going to help me to buy the best gift for her!

Viatorem was relieved that everything went back to normal after everything he went through, he couldn't handle any other single abnormality.

-I see you're here as well Jasmine and Wally, thank you so much for coming here to see me - said Viatorem smiling.

-Well I may be a girl with a lot of friends and boys after me, - she laughed - but you're my roommate, after all, our room does feel a bit empty when you aren't around.

Wally just nodded with his head, since he wasn't a talkative guy, he never has been. The first-day Viatorem arrived at the dorms, he could only take one word from his mouth a day, which was only a:" Goodmorning", but the more he would spend time with Wally the more amount of words he would say. At some point, Wally finally started to build sentences for him.

- Raph couldn't come today, he had a council student reunion, but he said he'd come to pay a visit before noon, - said Ricardo cleaning his tears - also the doctor said you might get disposed of the hospital tomorrow. - This sure was a pleasant surprise for Viatorem, he'd finally be able to sleep in a place he'd feel safe. After spending some time talking with them, his friends left so Viatorem decided to leave his room and go for a walk. After he came back, Raph was waiting for him.

-Hello Viatorem sorry if I arrived late, but I'm happy to see that you're doing fine. By the way, I recorded the audio of the classes you didn't attend so you wouldn't be left with even more stuff to study. - said Raph while picking his phone to send him the audios.

-You know that our college doesn't let any of their students record audios during classes, you really do like to sacrifice your name of Class Representative for me. You might as well give that name to me.

- Our class would become the clowns of this college - Raph laughed - if you were to become the Class Representative. I mean you were once one of our best students, that was a fact. But yeah, you know how it is now...

Viatorem giggled even though that Raph's last sentence wasn't a joke.

-Thanks Raph for coming here and giving me the material I need to study. I'll study, for you.

-You should study because of yourself and not because of me - said Raph disappointed.

After Raph checked on Viatorem, he also left the room. Now he was alone in his room, not expecting any visits, and tomorrow if his body behaves well, he'd finally be able to leave the hospital. As soon as Viatorem laid on his bed, the police came in, there were two policemen and a detective.

-Good afternoon, Mr.Viatorem - said the detective with the policemen behind him - I hope you're recovering properly, I bet the nurses already told you what we're here for, so I'm going to be straight up with you so I don't spend that much of your time, and thanks for cooperating.

-Sure - said Viatorem curious with what kind of excuses the old man came up with since the police would never believe what was behind the mirror.

-You got stabbed by someone inside the store and the person who stabbed ran away from the shop, leaving only you on the floor, is that correct?

Viatorem was disappointed, he really thought the old man would come up with a cooler story than this one, but he had no other option than just nodding, agreeing with the detective statement.

-I see, the owner of the shop doesn't remember how the culprit looked like, do you know something?

-It was a girl, - the moment Viatorem said anything about the culprit, the detective started writing on his notebook - she had blue eyes and short gray hair, she was about my height and she was wearing a white dress.

-Thank you. - the detective smiled, satisfied with having feedback on the culprit - We will make sure to find the culprit! If you wouldn't mind, Mr.Viatorem, can you keep my phone number so I could contact you if something comes up about this case?

Viatorem noded, they traded numbers and so, with nothing left to say the detective and the policemen left. This was a day full of visits, Viatorem was exhausted so he decided to sleep for the rest of the day, hoping that tomorrow he'd leave this place.


The next day came, Viatorem was finally able to leave the hospital, so he headed back to his dorms so he could go study, for some reason, he was feeling motivated to do so. He was happy to finally go back to his peaceful place where his friends lived too, he missed this place even though he wasn't away for that long. Despite the things he went through, he still wanted to go back to that store, he wanted to know how he went through that he went inside the mirror, why were his friends acting weird, and how he was almost killed by some crazy girl. Tomorrow he was going to help Ricardo buy a gift for his sister, but Tuesday he was willing to go back to that store.

Monday came, Viatorem woke up, without needing Ricardo's help, and started to get prepared for college, Ricardo came in with the breakfast ready.

-Oh Vivi! You didn't need me to wake up, this is a surprise for sure! Goodmorning bro! - said Ricardo cheerfully as ever.

-Goodmorning Ricardo, I think I should become more independent when it comes to waking up early for college, - memories of Ricardo punching him and crying for his sister death's when he was inside of that mirror, came to Viatorem's mind - and you already hold so many responsibilities, I don't want to become a burden to you...

-Hahaha! - Ricardo laughed - You're my bro! And my bro is never a burden to me!

With that set, they left the dorms and headed to the college. When Viatorem arrived in his class, he met Bebe.

-Oh, so Raph was speaking the truth! You didn't die.

-Why do you sound so disappointed, Bebe?

-Because if you were gone, Raph probably would return to me...

-Goodmorning Viatorem! - said Raph noticing that Bebe was starting to mess with him again - I'm glad you came to college despise being your first day since you left the hospital!

Bebe made an angry face at Raph and went back to her desk and started painting her nails like she was at her home. Raph just got relieved that she stopped annoying Viatorem as soon as he started talking.

-Thanks Raph, you saved me a lot of my patience, you're a life savior. - said Viatorem while sitting on his desk, preparing for the class.

Raph smiled and went back to his desk. Five minutes later, the class started, it felt like ages since Viatorem attended class but he tried his hard to get back on track with the college. After having his lessons, Viatorem was about to meet Ricardo until he got stopped in the college hallway by Vivi and her two friends.

- Hey, tomorrow you're free to hang out? - Bebe asked.

Viatorem, confused with her question answered he already had plans for tomorrow, so Bebe decided that he'd meet up with her at his dorms entrance on Wednesday, not letting him answer, she just walked away with one of her friends, the other decided to stop and turned to him saying:

-I'm sorry if Bebe has been harsh on you, but you won't regret going with her on Wednesday.

After the new girl told him that, she went after Bebe, Viatorem never saw that girl before, maybe Bebe finally found another friend besides Mary, the other friend she was with. This new girl had long pink hair, so pretty that didn't seem real, her eyes were blue, and she was about his height.

Ricardo was outside college waiting for him, as soon as he noticed Viatorem he started waving at him with a big smile on his face, somehow that smile would always make Viatorem so happy for the rest of day. They spent the whole day visiting every toy store they'd find. While they were inside in one of the stores, Viatorem asked:

-Say Ricardo, do you remember the day we went to that old goods store? You didn't notice I was gone?

-Of course, I did! I asked the old man where did you go and he said that you were heading to the dorms, I got worried since you don't usually disappear like that, only if something really bad happens. - said Ricardo while searching for the best gift he could give to his sister.

Viatorem realized the old man lied to Ricardo about his disappearance, which made him even more curious about that store. Something seemed off, the owner didn't stop him going through the mirror, not only that but he even saved his life when he got back from it.

-Vivi! Look! She loves these dolls! - said Ricardo shaking Viatorem and then instantly picking one of them - Let's pay for it and go back to dorms since my exam week starts tomorrow.

When Ricardo picked his wallet to buy the doll, a picture from it fell on the floor, Viatorem giving a sign to Ricardo that he'd get the picture, looked at it. It was a picture of his sister, the same picture he saw when he was inside the mirror, but there was nothing written on it, Viatorem took some seconds until he picked up and gave it back to Ricardo.


Ricardo headed back to their dorms, while Viatorem decided to stop by Johns Good Icecream, it was 5:00 pm, the shop was about to close, but John knew Viatorem so he decided to let him enter so he could taste one of his tasty icecreams.

-I heard you were badly injured Viatorem. I'm glad you're back safe! Here, one of my best icecreams ever made only for you and it's free since you're my best guest! - said John laughing.

Viatorem was drooling while watching the beauty of the ice cream he had in front of him, when he was about to taste the delicious ice cream, his phone popped up a message, he was expecting another cursed message from his parents but it wasn't. The message came from someone named Unknown, Viatorem didn't know how this contact goy added on his phone, the message simply said a: "Hey". He thought that someone was pranking him so when he was about to delete the contact, another message came up:

UNKNOWN: I wouldn't do that if I was you :)

VIATOREM: Are you threatening me?

UNKNOWN: For your own good, I'll say yes. I am threatening you and I hope you feel threatened enough to not delete this contact, although I could create another contact inside your phone. No matter how many times you block or delete my contacts, you can't escape me. But I'm currently busy with other stuff, so I advise you to not do anything like that ;(

VIATOREM: Give me one reason to not do it.

UNKNOWN: I know everything that you've been through, what a tough journey you had! >.< But here you are, answering me perfectly healthy. I'm happy to see that, although it might not last long.

VIATOREM: How do you know that? And what do you mean by not lasting long?? Is that girl still chasing me?

UNKNOWN: At that moment, I can't tell you anything about what happened to you. Just keep this contact on your phone, and I'll text you again, until then. Goodbye.

Viatorem kept texting him but he had no answers from that contact again, after twenty minutes of spamming messages to that contact, he gave up and started to finally eat his melting ice cream, and then, went back to the dorms even more anxious than he currently was.


The next day, Viatorem was finally heading to the store, watching around his surroundings, making sure no one was following him while checking his phone for new messages from that contact. When he reached the store's door, he was hesitating however he was thirsty for answers about what happened to him in these last few days, this was enough to make him open it, and there he was the old man, who made a face like he was expecting him to come.

-Welcome, to the Gold but Old, how should I help you?

Joe Gold