Chapter 9:


Your Soul!My Pen

Aerith’s eyes jolted open. The world around her was dark and gloomy. The room was outlined in a jagged, inky black, as if she was inside an old cartoon. Everything was white, and the shadows where a burning orange, though there didn’t seem to be a single light source around. There was a harsh beam in the background. The kind that played from old stadium lights. Carefully, she stood up and felt the headache rush down the rest of her body.

She noticed her silver hair no longer felt like a wig and her elegant dress no longer felt like a halloween costume, it was more realistic now, tailored to match her gothic style. Aerith looked around the room, 3 doors being the only exit. Each one was identical, carrying no discernable differences. Aerith walked towards one in middle, and stepped through it.

The inside of the room was pure black. Even through the doorway nothing could be seen. Curious, Aerith only kept walking forwards. Each footstep gave off a loud echo that scattered across the hallway until the end. Eventually, a small white dot could be seen quite a ways away. Aerith had to squint to see it, though as soon as she blinked the dot found its way in front of her instantly. It was a door, or rather a sketch of one. Aerith jumped at the suddenness, looking behind her only to realize that she didn’t know just how far she had gone.

With hesitation she pushed open the door and stepped through it. On the other end she found her room, untouched by Jake’s use of the bed or any of the scattered papers. It was still a mess, but less so. She got closer to her side of the bed, careful to keep the door open just in case. On the bed was a small ink pen, seemingly made of a cheap plastic. Aerith eyed it curiously, but kept holding the door open. She tried to summon her staff, but it didn’t feel possible. Like there was some odd rejection in the atmosphere.

She used her limited vision to look at the stairs to her left, they were still there. Again, she looked at the pen. Curiosity got the better of her and she hastily grabbed the object. To her relief, the door had yet to close. She inspected the object closer now, it most certainly didn’t feel like the one she had before. This one was dull and fragile compared to the grand, high energy nature of the other. Embarrassed, she scoffed and turned downstairs. There was a dream like state into everything around her, the air tasted of the morning, each object in the house seemingly frozen into a trance, some bits of junk and knick knacks hovering in mid air.

Aerith didn’t dare touch anything for fear of some catastrophic reaction. Everything in her house was in order, except for any trace of Jake. Her various ornaments and books were all in their proper place, a few of them lost objects or trinkets she had misplaced earlier. Her curiosity faded away, and she realized exactly what happened. She turned up her head dismissively at her surroundings and looked up at the ceiling,

“Take me back, pathetic creature” Aerith demanded. The disgusting voice of the monster wormed its way into her head again, she could still hear it writhing around.

“Aerith...I’m Null, remember? I finally tracked you first I tried...I tried...I tried looking at every human in the planet...but that was slow slow SLOW! But when that Fawn showed up, y-you’re...I can’t take you back yet Aerith...not yet not yet not yet!” Null screeched aloud, “I can’t bring you back...yet...not until Jake comes too”

Aerith pondered to herself, coming up with theory after theory until her head hurt, “Why keep me here then..?”

“Oh Aerith...this place?” Null formed, “This is a world where you don’t exist anymore...Aerith. Instead, your mother becomes stricken with grief because you failed her. She’ll do anything to get you back...anything anything..even if it means abandoning you...”

Aerith giggled, “You must take for some kind of idiot if you think this is real...what did I do, run away, maybe kill myself?. Nothings even all that different here”. She looked up in pride and curiously opened the door, everything was a bit bright, sure, but it was normal. She saw the bus stop not too far away, and Saul’s store couldn’t have been that much further back.

“Don’t you get it Aerith..? Nothing’s changed here because you don’t affect anything Aerith...You’re useless to everyone except me, and only me...You’ll never do anything here...You’ll just decay like the rest of them, you could be a hero with me Aerith...just like in the shows”

“Shut it, get out my head now…” Aerith stopped in the middle of a road. She held as still as she could while she focused on forcing Null to get as far away from her mind as possible.

“No, Aerith...Don’t you get it? This isn’t a choice Aerith…this is my world...I’m your god...submit to me…join me...become me”

The world around Aerith slowly began to melt away. The buildings around her decayed and the streets formed into a lake, gel swarmed Aerith and stuck her in the ground. She began to sink rapidly as the soft material formed itself around her, encasing her in a hard shell. She screamed at first, but forced herself to bite her lip. The material found her way past her feet, freezing them in place.

“I-I don’t know what you are...but I-I’m...I-I’m pretty sure your a—“

“A friend...Aerith...This is the easy way out…” Null interrupted. Aerith held in her cry as much as she could, feelings her legs slowly being restricted. It was almost as if her fear manifested itself higher and higher up her body. She tried desperately to get her staff, anyone, to try and get her out of the situation, but it only creeped higher and higher.

“GET...—OFF OF ME!” Aerith shouted, still partially frozen in terror. Her face twisted in anger as she thrashed her muscles as much as she possibly could. The mass only went higher in response, reaching up to her neck and spreading out to her arms. Aerith’s psyche was in panic, her heart began to race and her body only shook more with each passing second. She stammered on her words before she sheepishly began to laugh to herself.

“O-Okay, you don’t need to do this, I’ll obey you if you need me to. W-Whatever you want, okay?”

Null only went further up, getting to her neck, and preventing her head from turning her head any further.

“P-Please...D-Don’t kill me. There’s still one more thing I had to finish. Before I...B-Before I…”

She drew her eyes up as far as she could before it too was frozen in the pale mud. Encased in a molded statue of stone. The only facial features that remained of Aerith were her caved in eyes and mouth, both of them stuck in the emotion forever. Null let the rest of the model world fall around it, sinking into the floor solemnly. Though it didn’t look like it, it was everywhere, watching Aerith, softly crying.


Your Soul!My Pen