Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 10

Albin stood there staring at the same wall that Rowan couldn’t take her eyes off of. The blood smeared on the wall was still glossy, it had not been there long enough to dry. She wanted to scream but no sound came out. Was this… Was this her fault?

She walked up to Albin and placed her hand on his shoulder. He looked back at her with glazed over eyes that didn’t see anything. He was in shock. The knife was held tightly in his hand, its blade now wet with blood.

Was this… Was this his fault? That couldn’t be true. There was no way that was true because she had seen his unwavering loyalty. He would never do something so awful, but she also knew that it certainly looked like he did it. Someone was trying to frame him.

She eased the knife from his hand and nearly fainted when she felt the now familiar feel of a memory trying to make itself known to her. She was touching his hand, nothing more. According to Rei she should not be able to see anything. She viewed the memory.

Albin had started cooking breakfast when he heard a strange noise coming from the bedroom. He found his grandmother dead with a knife in her chest and a message scrawled in blood on the wall. Without thinking he pulled the knife out.

She suddenly felt as though she were pulling on the memory. Both she and Albin passed out on the floor.

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Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 9

Rei smiled as he pulled the car down a short driveway. “We’re here.” he exclaimed. They were in a quiet neighbourhood. All the houses were similar in a way. Everything was so clean and new, or at least mostly everything. The house that they had decided to go to in order to examine the Stone of Corbin was that of Albin’s grandmother. It reminded Rowan a lot of her father’s house, small, quaint, and bearing a history that extended before the history of the current occupants. It made her smile.

They climbed up the front steps and Albin knocked on the door. A little old lady who Rowan remembered from the council meeting opened the door. She smiled when she saw her grandson. “Welcome Albin, Rei, Miss. Winters. I got your call. Feel free to do whatever you want to do here. I’ll get some tea ready.”

“Grandmother. You don’t have to do that.” He walked past his grandmother and into another room. A gentle clanging sound could be heard from within.

“I see he has yet to change.” the woman frowned.

“Changed?” asked Rowan.

“My, my. I haven’t introduced myself yet have I. I’m Edna, Edna Hoffmann. You can call me Ed.” Ed took Rowan’s hand and shook it. “Alby has been like this for most of his life. He does whatever he’s asked and will even do jobs he wasn’t asked to. I keep telling him that he shouldn’t be so incredibly unfailingly obedient, that it is okay for him to turn down jobs but he won’t listen to even me.”

She led Rei and Rowan into a small sitting room. Everything in this room was either black, white, or grey, and had a blocky shape. It was not what Rowan had expected. She took a seat in a chair. Rei sat on a couch and Ed sat next to him.

“Don’t tell Alby I said this, but sometimes I worry about him.” Ed said quietly.

“You don’t have to worry.” Rowan replied. “He seems pretty good at his job.”

“That’s not why I worry. You see his parents were both servants of the council and a few years ago they both passed on a job. I think he tries so hard because he blames himself, though I don’t know what he thinks he did.”

The three sat in silence for a few minutes.

Albin walked into the room carrying four tiny teacups. “I made mint tea. I hope everyone likes it.” He exclaimed as he handed the teacups out. “Wait. Why is everyone so quiet?”

“No reason.” Rei said. “We just all really wanted some tea. Mint tea is my favourite thank you.”

“I thought ginger tea was your favourite.” frowned Albin.

“That was two months ago.” smiled Rei. “Anyways let us get down to business. Sorry but I need to ask you to do this Miss. Winters. Do not pull away no matter what. Look for anything that could be a clue in this investigation.”

“Okay.” Rowan said nervously. She still didn’t know what exactly she was getting into. Just how old was this stone? What memory could be so terrible within it?

She grasped the stone in her hand and closed her eyes, concentrating on the memories within this stone.

“Good luck.” she heard Rei say before she was overwhelmed by all the memories.

She gasped before diving in. The memories went back to before the Roman Empire fell. A young girl held the stone and spoke silently. Behind her bright green hills rolled into the horizon. Later a young man wearing plate armour held it and he to whispered words into it. The many types of people who had at one time held this stone amazed Rowan. It was multiple centuries old, filled with the heritage, dreams, and emotions of thousands of people, and now Rowan was becoming a part of this amazing heritage.

Finally she got to what she wanted to see, what she needed to see. A young girl clutched the stone while in the wardrobe in the Corbin house. She was scared. After the murderer walked past the wardrobe and into another room she left the stone in a pile of clothes and burst into the living room. Rowan could hear the girl’s screams of fear when she saw what had happened. She wanted to help the girl, but this was all in the past. Feet pounded against the floor and the girl screamed one more time.

After a few minutes a man dressed all in black and wearing a ski mask reached for the stone. “We got it.” he said. “Now we just need to destroy it.”

    “Be careful.” warned another voice. “Everything will be remembered within that stone. We will be caught if it sees your face.”

“But you can erase those memories, can you not? I mean you did erase the memories from all those other objects. Besides even if a rememberer gets their hands on this stone and discovers our identities we still have her to deflect the blame. They can’t touch us.”

“We never know what will happen in the future. Nothing is impossible.”

“Yeah, but still…”

The stone was shoved into a pocket and it remained there for many days. Finally it was pulled out and placed into a gloved hand. “So this is the Stone of Corben, eh? It looks smaller than I had expected.” a woman’s voice said.

“It does look rather small, doesn’t it.” replied the second voice from before.

A couple minutes later it was placed back into the pocket. A few days later it was transferred to a safe where it remained untouched for many years.

It was taken out of the safe and placed into the hands of a young girl who Rowan recognized as herself at the age of 5. She did not remember this. “Take this and protect it always.” A voice said. “It is now your job to keep this stone safe. I’m sorry that I have to do this.”

     Then the girl went on her way and history unfolded.

Rowan opened her eyes and found that everyone had left the sitting room to do their own things. Rowan’s tea still sat on the small coffee table, now cold. She sighed sadly. She hated wasting such good tea. She decided to relax for a bit, allowing her to go over everything she had seen. She needed to make a decision as to what she would tell Rei.

That is when she heard the scream.

She jumped up and ran towards its source.

She burst into a bedroom and stood shocked at what she saw.

Albin stood in the centre of the room. His whole body shook with sobs, a bloodied knife was held tightly in one of his hands. The body of Edna Hoffmann was on the floor and on the walls a message had been written in her blood.

“You have been warned. We will come for you. – The Raven”

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Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 8

That day they took a taxi to a quiet neighbourhood filled with large houses. For the entire ride neither of them said a word because they couldn’t talk about their job in front of someone who wasn’t part of the hidden world. That happens a lot in movies and books. The heroes talk about their dealings with the supernatural or their criminal acts within earshot of people that will either think that they’re crazy or will call the police. Sure oftentimes passersby won’t hear enough to actually understand, but you can’t always count on that now can you.

They paid the driver in front of a large white house with boarded up windows and a for sale sign. It didn’t look like anyone had gone inside for at least a few decades. At least someone had tried to keep it looking nice. The grass was mowed, the small flower gardens along the path had been weeded and planted, and the house looked like it had been recently painted. Even the boards over the windows looked pretty recent as though they were only there until the panes could get replaced.

Mr. Hoffmann noticed Rowan admiring the property. He smiled. “The council pays people to come here regularly so that someone may actually want to live here, but after what happened 40 years ago no one seems to want it.”

“I see.”

“A representative of the council will be inside to give us a quick tour and to tell you anything you need to know.”

“Okay.”

Mr. Hoffmann walked up to the door and knocked. A young man of Asian descent opened the door.

“Hello.” he said with a smile. “Young Albin. Miss Winters. I’ve been waiting for you. Come in, come in. You should begin your investigation at once.”

They walked inside into a small entrance area. A small shelving unit lined the wall opposite of the front door. The other two walls contained doors to other rooms within the house. The man led them to the left.

“I’m Rei Keller by the way. A member of the Council of the Hidden within this fair city. I’ve been here for about 50 years at this point. If you have any questions feel free to ask me.”

Rowan stopped in her tracks. How could this man who looked like he was only just out of high school over 50 years old?

He smiled at her. “I look young for my age don’t I.”

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Only about 110 years.”

“Holy.”

“If you think my age is unbelievable don’t ask Edmund how old he is. That information will blow your mind.”

Rowan continued walking following Mr Keller down a short hallway into a living room that for some reason looked familiar to her. “How old is he?”

“Well he’s never given me an exact age but he has told me about some of his adventures in the Roman Empire hanging out with Caesar.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Oh yeah and just call me Rei.”

Mr Hoffmann looked irritated. “Can we start already?”

“Why yes Alby. We should get started as soon as possible. Sorry I got a little carried away.”

“It’s fine.” Mr Hoffmann sighed.

“Okay then, let’s get started.” Rei walked to the centre of the room. “This is the room where most of the action happened 40 years ago. We sent people through here shortly after it happened, but we haven’t had a rememberer until now since they all went into hiding. In the past rememberer’s were used to solve crimes between hidden individuals because oftentimes that is the only way they can be solved. Everything in this room is almost exactly as it was back then, except of course we cleaned a bit. The objects should still retain their memories. Miss Winters, why don’t you try accessing the memories.”

Rowan walked up to a sitting room chair and touched it. She closed her eyes and concentrated hard. This was a lot more difficult than it normally was. She couldn’t see past the memory the chair had of just after the murders had happened. She felt sick to her stomach. Blood had been spilled over the hardwood floor. Dead eyes stared up at the ceiling. She removed her hand before she could see more.

She touched other objects and got similar results. She looked over at Rei who looked concerned. “I’m not getting anything.”

“That’s strange. Objects should retain their memories no matter what happens. I wonder what’s going on.” He frowned.

Mr Hoffmann also frowned.

Suddenly Rowan remembered the books that had been thrown all over the floor after the break in at her apartment. “I’ve seen something like this before. After someone broke into my apartment the other day some things were disturbed and when I put them back where they belonged it felt as though they were brand new. They had no memories before or during the break in.”

“That is very interesting.” Rei mumbled.

“Rei, isn’t there a type of hidden that can erase memories?” Mr Hoffmann stepped in.

“Yes, but they don’t exactly erase memories. They are known as memory thieves and they take the memories of others into themselves making the other person forget things, but they only steal the memories of people. As far as I know they can’t steal the memories of objects because they can’t read those memories.”

“Hmmm. Maybe this is something that hasn’t been seen before.” Mr Hoffmann said with his arms crossed.

“Alby, that’s not possible. I already know of everything the hidden world has to offer.”

“Maybe that’s not the case.”

Meanwhile Rowan walked up to a wardrobe in the same room and stared at it in horror. With a careful hand she opened the doors. Inside some jackets were still hanging up and on the bottom sat a blue sweater and a red scarf, both things that she remembered clearly.

She remembered them because they often showed up in her dreams, specifically in the ones where a man called out for her and she hid terrified in a wardrobe.

“Um Rei?” she asked.

“Yes Miss Winters.”

“I think I remember being here in this wardrobe during the event 40 years ago.”

“That’s not possible because that would make you over 40 and you are still in your 20’s. Besides rememberers have the same amount of time on this planet as normal humans. There is no way you could have been there. But maybe that memory isn’t your own. I understand you have something of great value to you. A stone perhaps.”

Rowan pulled the stone out from under her shirt where it had hung since she had gotten up in the morning. Rei looked at it in amazement.

“Wow.” he exclaimed. “I never thought I would get to see this again. It wasn’t found after the crime all those years ago. There is no way you are one of them by blood though. They all died then which must mean that you are somehow related to the killer…” he continued rambling.

“Wait.” Rowan interrupted. “What are you talking about?”

“Well you see, that stone you have hanging from your neck is an objects that rememberers use to record hidden history. This particular item is known as the stone of Corbin and it belonged to the family that lived in this house. You having it can only mean one thing, that you are related in some way to whoever committed this grave crime. I’ve read into your past. Is it true that you don’t remember anything from before you were put into the system? Don’t lie to me now.”

“Rei, please. There is no way she has anything to do with this.” Mr Hoffmann exclaimed.

“I don’t have any memories from before I was about 5. I was found as a blank slate by my Father.” she ignored his complaints.

Rei smiled again. “Good. Sorry but I just had to use my powers on you to make sure you weren’t lying. It seems that you speak the truth which is good because that stone may be the key to solving this crime.”

Rowan stared at the blue stone for a second before enclosing it in a tight fist and closing her eyes. She was going to read the memories of the stone as soon as possible.

“No, no.” Rei exclaimed. “Do that somewhere else. There are a ton of memories in that stone, or at least there should be. Plus I want to leave this room. It may have been cleaned but that doesn’t change what happened here.”

She dropped the stone and let it dangle from the chain. “Let us be on our way then.”

Rowan followed Rei and Mr Hoffmann out of the clean abandoned house. As they walked down the path towards the side of the road where Rei had parked his small blue car she looked back at the house.

It looked like the perfect house for a large family to live in. It looked welcoming despite the boarded up windows. Did something so terrible actually happen there?

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Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 7

A girl sat in a cupboard alone and afraid. The metallic smell of fresh blood hung in the air. She clutched a blue stone to her chest begging for the memories of her ancestors to save her, but they would not come to her aid. They never answered no matter how much the girl talked to them. They weren’t actually people after all, but shadows left behind in the memories of the Stone of Corbin.

“Clea!” a man shouted from somewhere in the house. “Where are you? We need to talk.”

She did not reply. A shiver shook her body. There was no way she was getting out of this alive, but she had to protect the stone at all costs. She placed the stone in an old shoe and opened the door wide. Light filled the small space.

“I am here.” She shouted after carefully closing the closet door.

The stone stayed there until a masked figure retrieved it.

Rowan woke up to the sound of footsteps outside her bedroom door, the taste of her dream still on her lips. After speaking to the Council of the Hidden, Mr. Hoffmann returned her necklace and she went home. Of course the strange man who had randomly showed up at her apartment had to stay with her. She was in `danger`after all. How could she be alone when someone out there wanted her blood.

Of course Mr. Hoffmann was forced to sleep on her couch. He did object at first about this. He claimed that he needed to be in the same room because some of the hidden had powers they could use to infiltrate a locked room without opening any doors or windows. Then he realized why she had to be alone in her room and apologized. Maybe he wasn’t such a jerk after all.

She started by looking at the red lights of her digital alarm clock. It was just past midnight. She swore. Of course Mr. Hoffmann was a bad roommate. He was still up at such a late hour and he wasn’t even being quiet about it. She her bedroom door to tell him to be quiet, but instead she stood frozen with an expression of horror on her face.

Mr Hoffmann was nowhere to be seen, most likely because he was sleeping on the couch and its back blocked her view. Where she thought he had to have been a book floated in the air. A page was flipped then it just hung still in the air.

She had to have still been asleep. Books did not just float. She yawned and went back to bed.

The next morning Mr. Hoffmann wanted to talk with her.

“So I noticed that I probably scared you last night. I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t scare me. I slept all night.”

“Again I’m sorry. I should have more careful. I shouldn’t have paced and I should have found a better place to read my book.”

“You have nothing to apologize for.” Rowan looked at him in confusion.

“Yes I do. If I had been more careful you wouldn’t have woken up in the middle of the night and seen a floating book. You see I’m a geist. We never actually sleep. Instead we are able to walk around and do things in an ethereal form. Unfortunally this means that we are invisible all night and there are many things we cannot do in that form such as talk.”

“Oh.” she finally understood what he was talking about. “You don’t have to apologize for that. Besides I thought I was still dreaming when I saw the book so I wasn’t really that freaked out. It’s fine. Really.”

“That’s good.” he said as he put his jacket on. “Now lets get ready. We have a lot of work we need to get done now.”

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Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 6

“Won’t you sit down?” The bald man asked her. “We have so much to talk about and I would hate for you to be sore afterwords. Good. Good. Now let us begin.” He smiled showing off what Rowan believed were sharpened teeth and a split tongue. This man looked almost reptilian except for when his mouth was closed and he looked perfectly normal.

“I am Edmund Skyscale though you can call me Edmund. I’m the head of the Council of the Hidden in this area.”

“The hidden?” Rowan looked at him blankly. A couple of the other members glanced at him briefly out of worry.

“Yes. The hidden. You may not realize this but there are creatures other than humans in this world who are both sentient and humanoid. Some people call us monsters, others myths. We live among humans and hide ourselves to keep ourselves safe.” He sighed loudly. “God. I sound like someone from a poorly written supernatural romance novel. I’m sorry we expected that you would already know this stuff. I certainly didn’t expect you to know nothing.”

“I don’t understand.” She stammered.

“I didn’t expect you to. It is a lot to take in all at once.”

“That’s impossible. I’m sure I’m just being pranked. I should probably go.” She stood and backed up to the door.

“Who would have pranked you?” A woman asked. She had long white hair and her eyes were covered with a scarf. She removed the scarf revealing bright purple eyes. “It certainly wouldn’t have been the man you call father. He doesn’t even know where you live. He believes you live in a better place than you actually do. It’s not like you have anyone else either. Humans tend to be scared of you. So who could be prank in you?”

“Scar.” Ordered Edmund. “Stop scaring the poor girl.”

“That is all stuff you could have learned through a little research.” Rowan exclaimed. “It means nothing.”

“Is it? Sorry I had no idea.” Scar chuckled.

A woman with bright red hair stood up. Flames jumped behind her eyes, or so it seemed. She held a hand up and it erupted in flame. “Please don’t go.” She begged. “We need you to help us.”

“Pyra.” Warned Edmund. “There is absolutely no reason to scare the poor girl.”

“If only there were more qualified people in this area. Than I wouldn’t need to deal with things like this.” He mumbled to himself.

“Hey.” An unremarkable woman with grey hair and blue eyes exclaimed. “We are more than qualified.” She looked at Rowan and smiled. “I hope my little Albin treated you well.”

Rowan still stood staring at this bizarre group of people. “How… How is that possible? No one should be able to do that.” She finally managed to say.

“How is this so unbelievable.” Asked a man with brown hair and gloved hands. “From what I understand you aren’t a stranger to strangeness.”

“B… but how?”

“Now look what you’ve done.” Edmund mumbled to himself. Aloud he addressed Rowan. “We are the hidden of course this is possible. Scarlet is a see of sorts. Pyra is a phoenix, and believe it or not but Greg here is a Memory Thief. I understand that you’re able to read the memories of objects. Is this correct?”

“I mean I do see strange things whenever I touch old objects. But that’s not normal. Im delusional. There is no way I’m one of you.”

“Yet you are. In fact you are one of the most prized type of hidden in our society. You are a rememberer.”

“A what?”

“A rememberer.” He replied.

“Is that even a word?”

“Of course it is. It’s just not a very common word. Essentially you are able to read the memories of objects, but you can’t read the memories of humans, any living creatures, or anything that was alive within a year ago. Your kind usually acts as private investigators, police; and help keep our society from turning chaotic. At least you did until 40 years ago.” He explained.

“What happened 40 years ago?”

“Something terrible. An entire family of rememberers were found murdered in their own home. A few days later it happened to another family and then another. The remaining rememberers went into hiding. We have been unable to find any to help us solve this case. That is until now of course.” Edmund smiled. “And that is where you come in. We want you to use your abilities to find the killer or killers. We will pay you handsomely.”

“I don’t know if I can even do what you want, but I’ll at least try.”

“Good. Then we have a deal.” He held his hand out. The other Council members watched with interest.

Rowan stared at his hand with minor amazement.  When she noticed everyone else watching she grabbed his hand firmly and shook once. “We have a deal.”

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The Rememberer – Chapter 5

Mr. Hoffmann wasn’t joking when he said they would leave at dawn. Rowan had only gotten a few hours of sleep when he rudely shook her awake.

“Come on. Wake up. We must leave immediately.”

She groaned. “Are they even going to be up at this hour?”

“Of course they will be. They’re up when they need to be up and they sleep when they need to sleep.”

Rowan rolled her eyes. She had had enough of this man’s nonsense. He kept on spewing words that only worked to make her even more confused.

“Fine. Just leave my room. I need to change.”

“Oh. Okay. I’ll leave then.”

He stood outside her door as she changed. She knew this because she could hear his occasionally cough. She prayed that he wasn’t somehow peeking in on her, but from what she had already learned about his personality that was highly unlikely.

It was as though he knew what she was thinking because he called into her room. “I won’t peek. Don’t worry. The Council will know if I do and I can’t have that.

She ended up choosing one of her many pairs of blue jeans with a black t-shirt to wear to this meeting. Not exactly the best outfit to wear when meeting a group of people who call themselves the Council, but it would be good enough because everything she had that was even remotely fancy was dirty.

She opened the door when she was done.

“I’m done. Let’s go.”

Mr. Hoffmann raised his eyebrows. “Wow. You look great.”

“Really? It’s just a t-shirt and jeans. It’s nothing special.” Though that compliment creeped her out a little bit she still ended up blushing.

“Yeah I know. It’s just that I was always told I should complement a woman on what they’re wearing no matter how casual it is.” He smiled.

“That’s an outdated thing to do you know.”

“Really?”

“Yes really. I’m not trying to look nice so you don’t need to say anything.”

“But it did make you happy. Did it not?”

Rowan decided to ignore his question, mainly because it did make her a little bit happy when he said that and walk over to her door after grabbing her purse off the kitchen table. Gladly nothing had gone missing while she slept.

“Let’s go.”

“Okay. I’ll lead the way.”

They walked through the same city streets Rowan had walked through for the past few years. She had been there since she left home to live in the city. This was a decision that she often regretted. At the time she believed that everything she could ever dream of was in the city. A good paying job, many friends who cared about the same things as her, and someone who loved her more than anyone else. She thought everything could be found here, yet when she actually moved to the city she could barely pay her living expenses. But she couldn’t move back in with her father. She didn’t want him to think less of her.

The stores were still closed. The sun had just barely risen above the horizon and already she was a good distance away from her apartment. She usually didn’t wake up before noon. She was exhausted. Normally she wouldn’t have done something so crazy like this, but she didn’t have much of a choice. Her most prized possession had been stolen away by Mr. Hoffmann and she had to get it back.

But thinking this made her start wondering about how he had known that she cared for this necklace. It’s not like she reached for it once while he was talking to her. It had actually been hidden underneath her shirt. She shivered at the thought of him reaching into her shirt to grab it off her unconscious body.

They walked up an alleyway and stopped next to a large blue dumpster. Large areas of paint had peeled away showing the red rust underneath. Mr. Hoffmann took a key out of his pocket and unlocked a door next to the dumpster. They stepped into a darkened room. Dim light shone through slits in the boarded up windows.

He walked up to a door on the far wall and knocked. A thin bar of light shone out from beneath the door.

“Rowan Winters the rememberer is here.” He announced.

“Let her in.” Another voice called.

He opened the door and beckoned her inside. When she walked in he closed the door behind her.

She now stood with a room lit by a mixture of old-fashioned torches and flashlights. It was so bright in here that Rowan had to blink a few times to get used to this new brighter light level. Across from where she stood twelve people sat in chairs. They all stared at her in interest.

“Welcome Miss Winters.” A bald man with golden eyes with slit-like pupils in the middle exclaimed. “We have been waiting a very long time for you to come.”

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The Rememberer – Chapter 4

Rowan woke up in her own bed. Her warm quilted blanket sat on top of her. It was actually too warm and she was sweating heavily. Her throat was sore. She sat up, tossing the blanket onto the floor. On the nightstand next to her sat a steaming hot cup of tea. She knew that she had made no tea that day and even if she had it wouldn’t still be steaming hot. This was something her father would do;make tea when she wasn’t feeling well. But her father was not there. He was far away. She did not drink the tea. Besides the night was too hot for such a beverage.

She carefully got up and tiptoed to her closed door. She opened it just a crack so that she could see into her living room. Something didn’t feel right to her.

On her couch sat Mr. Hoffmann, his back turned to her.

She slammed the door open instantly. “What are you doing in my apartment?” she demanded.

He was noticeably startled. Quickly he turned to look at her and he smiled. “Good, you’re awake. I was getting a little worried there.”

“What. Are. You. Doing. Here?” she seethed. “I barely know you.”

“Oh, well you see you fainted right there in the doorway. I couldn’t leave a lady such as yourself in such a position now could I. I carried you inside and put you in your bed then stayed to make sure you were alright. I was about to call an ambulance because it was taking too long for you to wake up. I did nothing wrong” He sounded sincere.

She suddenly clutched her head. The pain was only slightly bearable. “What did you do to me?” she demanded once more. “What do you want from me?”

“I did nothing to you and as for your other question all I want from you is for you to allow me to do my job. Failure is not an option in my line of work.”

She raised an eyebrow amidst the pain. “What exactly is your line of work?”

“I’m a servant of the Council of the Hidden.”

“What does that even mean?”

“You will know in time. Soon if I bring you to them now.”

The pain faded away. “Are you sure you didn’t do anything to me?”

“Of course I am. I think what happened is that one of the members of the Council reached out to you through the memories in my jacket. His name is Bruno and he’s an intensifier.”

“Reached out?” She was now completely confused.

“It is definitely possible with your kind. You are a Rememberer. The Council will tell you more about your heritage when you finally meet them.”

“I am not going anywhere. I need to stay here to wait for a possible call for a job offer.”

“Oh. You already got that call. They wanted me to tell you that you did not get the job.”

“What?” she ran to the phone and looked through the call history. Sure enough she had gotten a call from the high school just hours before. She also realized just how late it was. The time was 2:43 in the morning.

“And also I think you should know that I cleaned up around here while you were unconscious. Man was this place a mess.”

“Of course it was.” She snapped. “Someone broke in and left a raven corpse in front of the door.”

“What.” He stood up. “It’s even worse than I thought. They’re coming after you now. It won’t be long until you are yet another one of their helpless victims. You need to talk to the Council about this asap.”

“I won’t be telling anyone anything.” She moved to her front door. “Now leave before I call the cops.”

“You won’t be calling anyone.” He held his hand out and dangled Rowan’s necklace from his closed fist, smiling mischievously. “Not when I have this.”

“You stole that. Give it back.” She demanded frantically. That blue stone was the only thing she had from her life before she had been found by her father. It was worth more to her than anything else she owned.

“I won’t give this back until you talk to the Council.”

“Fine.” She gave in. “Fine. I’ll go with you.”

“Good.” He put his hand down. “We leave at dawn.”

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