Chapter Two: Black Heart
Flair burst through the black wooden door they had come to in a deserted corridor that seemed to be on the westerly wing of the huge mansion that they both had magically teleported to just a few minutes before hand, without knocking. He disappeared into the darkness within the room.
Ben couldn’t understand how this was all happening; one minute he’d been in a tree, minding his own business, and the next, a man who could throw balls of energy was lying on the floor bleeding heavily from the chest, then again he was magically transported through a bracelet of blue light and now he was walking behind his best friend into a room, knowing nothing of what was in there. His mind was whirling around in circles, of thoughts of magic. How this all could be possible? How he could be in a mansion with his best friend, who could do magic…
“Please… no… master, wake up.” Ben was pulled from his reverie by Flair yet again, as he was on the ground beside a single wooden bed shaking the man who had been bleeding in the park on the shoulder, crying and telling him to wake up. Ben entered the room and looked around. He was slightly surprised with what he saw; it was a small room swallowed up by the darkness. In the centre of the room the small wooden bed he had seen through the open doorway. Three lava lamps hung from the wall and illuminated some of the room. Two feet away there was a metal stand that held a load of operational tools like scalpels and knives and on the end of the tray, in a small metal dish, a heart. A black heart still pounding, slowly, rhythmically…
“He is dead,” said a soft but shrill voice from the darkness.
Flair spun around on his knees and cried, “What?”
“He is dead,” the voice said again, a white bony skeletal hand with black nails slipped from the blackness and pointed at the unmoving man covered in blood, “until I put his heart in that is.”
Flair paled, his white skin reflecting the orange, green and pink glow of the lava lamps. “What did you do to him, Lily?”
“I took his heart out.” She said simply then added, “I did think that was a bit obvious, but obviously not. I’ll put it back in when it is ready. But until then, you should leave.” The hand, still lying in the air, unmoving, shot forward along with a tall, slim figure. The pale white figure with caved in cheek bones, green cat-like eyes with grey strips around the irises and plump purple lips stood there, her left hand in a black lace sleeve, the other not. She wore a long red and black dress with the same colour ruffles lining the bottom. White silky hair cascaded around her shoulders, moved freely with each moment the woman made. She was beautiful, in a ghostly way. Her hand clasped onto a shiny metal scalpel and Lily Lunning raised both, before bringing them back down slowly. She slipped the tip of the scalpel into the black heart and began to cut slowly and precisely, black blood rising from the irregular object and dribbling down the side of it, the walls pounding outwards. Lily’s hand did not waver, however, and when there was a long slit in it, she stood back and smiled.
“Now, that is a beauty.” She said softly, her voice full of pride.
Ben stood there, horrified. His face had gone pale and his hands had become clenched. He gagged again.
Flair stood up. He place his hand on the man’s bloodied shoulder and whispered something Ben didn’t quite catch. He turned to Lily and opened his mouth. “Make him better, won’t you?”
“I shall try my very best. Now leave.”
Ben gagged a third time and before he could throw up, with a big gulp, he said, “Excuse me? But where are the bathrooms?”
Lily turned her head to him and smiled weakly, “Three corridors down, second door to the left.”
Ben muttered a quick ‘thanks’ and dashed through the door and turned left.
“He’s so young,” Lily said absently, smiling a smile that beamed with pride, her white small teeth showing.
“I’m young too.” Flair said defensively.
Lily turned on her heels and stared at him. “That may be the truth, but you’ve had time to grow up.”
“I know, but...”
“…But? What do you mean?”
“Nothing; never mind, I should go check up on Ben. Thanks again, Lily.”
Awkwardly, Flair walked from the room and turned left in pursuit of his best friend.
Ben emerged from the bathroom stall and went to wash his hands. He looked into the large mirror that hung from the wall and saw his pale face. His mouth tasted of the recent vomit that had passed through it. He finished washing his hands when a hazy blue light appeared behind him. Ben stared for a moment, until a man walked out from the haze as it disappeared. Ben jumped, startled by the appearance of the man.
Blood ran slowly from a gash on his cheek, which Ben noticed was pale white and hard. He had tight dark red hair and emerald green eyes and was wearing a torn silver suit. He went to walk from the bathroom until he noticed Ben by the sink. “Who are you?” He asked his voice cold, eyes driving into Ben like sharp daggers.
Ben took a step backwards, and his back hit the sink. He held in a yelp “Ben. My name is Ben… sir.” He added the ‘sir’ because he was unsure what to say.
“You’re mortal, aren’t you? You don’t have magic!”
Ben shook his head, suddenly terrified.
“God, my brother will let anyone in here, nowadays!”
“Y-your brother is… Flair?” stammered Ben.
The man laughed and stepped forwards his hands out in front of him, eyes suddenly alight. “No. Oh god, no. My brother is the man that owns this Mansion. My brother is Samuel Griffith. And you’re a mortal; you’re not supposed to be here!” The man’s voice rose.
“…Phoenix? Flame Phoenix, is that… you?” Flair appeared at the doorway, and he sounded confused. “You’re back? But I thought- never mind.”
The man, Phoenix, spun and looked Flair up and down. “Look who it is,” he sneered.
“Why are you back? What happened to you?”
“That is none of your business.”
And without another word, Flame Phoenix walked towards the bathroom door and passed by Flair, turned left and headed down the long hallway.
Ben looked to Flair and asked, “Who was he?”
“That was Flame Phoenix.”
“But who is he?”
“He’s Flame Phoenix. Now let’s go.”
Flair turned and left down the same hallway Phoenix did, and Ben had no choice but to follow.
Author's note: It's bad, I know. It'll get better. Maybe.