The Last Killer of Ghostcity
Chapter Seven: The Trial
Gregory’s fortress resembled a sumptuous castle of the Middle Age. At first sight, it seemed to be a peaceful place. However, on the inside, each room was used as a prison cell. A few candles were hung on the walls throughout the dimly lit hallway and followed the stairs in spiral. In one of the cells, Claire was shrunken in a corner, unrecognizable. Her hair and skin were too dirty, and she was mumbling through a little hole on the wall.
“I… I c-c-can’t wait anymore. We have t-t-to do something,” she said to a girl next door, “It’s already b-b-been six months of t-terror, fear and sadness. He wants us to d-d-die slowly,” her voice was hoarse and inaudible, “Tonight, when we leave for dinner, we’ll t-t-try to escape. I’ve already told the others, they’re ready.”
“You sure? I don’t know… It’s too risky,” the girl replied, “We’re dealing with a monster, Claire. Do you know what could happen to us? He is a wizard, and can find us anywhere.”
“All I know is that I can’t stand this suffering any longer, Elena,” said Claire, now a little bit clearer, “My brother might be dead by now. Gregory may have found him. I don’t have my family together anymore,” she cried a bit, “Let’s save our lives. Trying is better than doing nothing,” Claire responded in an even louder voice.
“All right. I’ll be ready.”
Two hours later, a sudden noise came from the end of the corridor, which awakened Claire, abruptly.
“It’s now or never,” she thought.
“Get up, brats! Shower is waiting.”
A group of caped men started to open the bars one by one. The tallest of them approached Claire’s cell and screamed:
“Dress off and get in line right here. Come on! Any sudden move and we’ll finish all of you.”
Claire was the last one in the line. When she prepared herself to tug at Elena’s back, a black out made everybody freeze up. All the candles dropped onto the floor with a violent wind. He’d decided to come visit his prisoners.
“Well, well,” said a hoarse voice, much deeper than Gaspard’s, “Look at all these tiny little freaks!” Gregory hovered throughout the hallway, “I’ve got something special for you tonight. It’s something I’ve been planning for quite a while… Hahahaha” He laughed so hard that Claire felt his voice vibrate in her empty stomach. “Guess what? It’s a trial,” he enlarged his soulless eyes, and glared at Claire, “I think it’s the perfect moment to send some of you to the abyss under this castle, because there’s no room left to allocate my new guests. Have you seen it? Y’all going to love it!” He said, sarcastically, “I’ll be waiting for you after dinner. Enjoy it, because it might be the last one! Hahahahaha!”
Then he vanished, sliding through midair until the end of the hallway. The prisoners were taken to a type of bathroom. It was too dark and narrow inside. Only a trickle of water fell through little pipes in separated corners of the room. The ground was made of clay stones, and the slimy walls smelled quite terribly.
“So, what are we supposed to do now?” Asked Elena, as lowest as she could.
“Let’s wait for the trial,” Claire answered, “Maybe it’s our perfect chance to break out.”
“Ok,” Elena replied, visibly terrified, “But if something happens to me, please don’t forget to tell my mother how much I love her,” she said, as a teardrop fell from her left eye.
“Don’t say that. Everything is going to be okay as long as we stand together, alright?” Claire gave her a warm hug.
“Alright,” she displayed a quick smile, as they each went to a corner of the bathroom.
An improvised court had been set up in the main room of the castle. Gregory was sitting at the center, holding a huge book. As the prisoners arrived, he opened it and started calling one by one. The fact that many of them were sentenced to death made Claire fear what was going to happen to her and her friend, even though she was ready to fight.
“To be on this side of the game is priceless! I’ve been in a court before, you know that? Probably not,” he said, “Next! Claire Lancer, step forward.”
Claire stood up from her seat, as the sweat took over her face. Everybody turned their faces toward her. Elena was in tears, because Claire was her only friend, she didn’t deserve to die. Nobody did. Who would be her company if she went away? Not everyone knew how brave she was, and having a chance to make justice, she would do anything to save them.
As the seconds passed, the volume of whispers started to increase. The future never seemed so unpredictable. What would happen? It was just a matter of time until they all die. Every breath counted. Nevertheless, there was still one last hope.
As Claire sat down, Gregory opened his dark book. A massive noise from the others caused him to throw a curse at them, and immediately everyone was forced to shut up.
“Order in the court!” He shouted, “I always wanted to say that. Hahaha!” Then he turned to Claire and continued, “Let me see… Hmmm… You’re a very special one. I remember your mother very well. The reason why you’re here is because that whore didn’t pay me back what she owed me. I worked hard to get what she wanted, and she simply forgot to give me what was mine. This is kind of funny, eh? What do you think?” He got closer and lifted her head up, “LOOK AT ME! I’M TALKING TO YOU, LITTLE WHORE!” Claire trembled, “You’re so much alike,” he paused and then looked away, “Sadly, she chose the wrong man to play with. I gave her one more chance, but it was not enough. She earned what she deserved,” he looked directly into her eyes, “I went there, put my gun in her head and –“, he folded his hand and pointed to Claire’s forehead, “POW! Hahaha,” he laughed vociferously, “And now, you’re going to meet her, wherever she is, because her soul, yours, and your brother’s are my payment. I really need them now.”
Every word seemed to slit every bit of Claire’s heart. Her mother’s smile was the only memory she kept. But the truth was leaking like poison from Gregory’s mouth. She was crying bitterly inside, the pain couldn’t be controlled, so she screamed from the top of her lungs:
“LIAR!” She faced him, seeing red, “Monster. The only payment you’re going to have is your own destruction,” she dried her tears and continued, “What have you done to my brother? Tell me! If I’m going to die, let me know if part of me is still alive. TELL ME!”
“Poor girl,” he rose abruptly, “I am invincible. Hahaha! No one can stop me. You should have known that. And your brother…”
Before Gregory even finishes his sentence, a thunderous explosion made part of the ceiling collapse onto the ground, and a yellowed-orange flash of light stronger than a lightning hit Gregory right in the chest. The seats began to catch fire and all the prisoners started screaming and running to the exit door, including Elena. Claire took the opportunity to run away too. However, when she was about to leave, she turned her face to the ceiling and contemplated the unbelievable. There he was, her long-gone brother Rob, this time walking on air as if it was the easiest thing in the world.
“Did you miss me “woman”?” He smiled at her.
“Rob!” She ran and hugged him tightly, “I thought you were dead. I really missed you!”
She couldn’t hold her tears, which poured from her eyes like a waterfall, “You won’t believe what I’ve been through all these months. I’m so happy to see you!” She said, overly emotional.
“I know, but now I’m here. Let’s get out of this place.”
Rob had held Claire’s hands when Gregory got up and flew a few meters from the ground and started to scream:
“AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!” Several flashes of red light were released from his hand and kicked Rob in the head, which he fell hard onto the judge’s table. “Who do you think you are, kid?” He said, his voice hoarser and angrier than ever, “So, you break into my house, interrupt my trial, release my cattle and hit me with this amateur’s magic? I’m disappointed. I’m very, very disappointed. But you know what? Thank you, really. You saved me some time, because I didn’t need to look for you, you brought yourself to me. Hahahaha! That’s going to be awesome!”
Rob threw a curse back to Gregory and he lifted upwards. Claire, was hiding under a broken wooden door behind him, and watched everything, terrified, but also impressed by his brother’s new abilities. He was dealing with magic, and nothing seemed to make sense. She remembered that only Rob could see ghosts, and probably had found a way to find her.
“Don’t play with me, Robert! You’re going to regret this!”
Gregory attacked Rob and made his body spin around, setting the court on fire.
“I’m the one who’ll win the war and rule both worlds. Fortunately, you won’t be here to see it. Get ready to die!”
The battle lasted for a few minutes, and Gregory couldn’t expect such power storm. Rob had become his worst enemy. Extremely powerful, the boy was unstoppable. Every new curse was stronger than the previous one.
“This is for my Mom!” Rob hit a fast jet in the center of Gregory’s chest, “And this is for Angela!” An even more powerful jet made the fortress shake hardly and collapse completely over Gregory’s head.
Rob took the opportunity to hold Claire’s hands and guide her to the door. Meanwhile, Gregory screamed in pain and exploded the amount of debris over him. It’d smashed his head violently.
“I’LL FIND YOU LANCER! NO ONE CAN HIDE FROM ME! I’LL FIND YOU! YOU SON OF A B…!” Rob hit the ceiling with another huge curse, then the castle started to tremble and the walls crumbled one by one, as everything turned to dust and got in his way to the exit.
“Come on, Claire!”
He ran towards his sister and pulled her against him. Next moment, he mumbled something which Claire thought to be a spell and suddenly they were transported to another place. A well-known one, by the way.