Chapter 1 || Quoth the Raven “Nevermind” (5)

TW: More blood than usual

At first Zeke thought he had merely woken up on the wrong side of bed. Then he wondered if he was hung over, before remembering that he didn’t drink. He staggered out of the room and the hallway spun before his eyes. Almost blindly, he descended the stairs, feeling ridiculously hungry.

Downstairs was a bar. “There’s our sleeping beauty,” said a girl from behind it. What was her name? Alyssa.

“What on earth?” muttered Zeke. This scene was familiar to him, and not in a good way.

“Sorry for knocking you out.”

“What time is it?”

“Oh, right. It’s Friday, almost noon. Wakey wakey.”

“What?”

“Uh huh, you were out for a whole day. Should be fine though, since you don’t work anymore, right?”

“But I have classes!”

“Oh… condolences.”

Zeke groaned. Everything was slowly coming back to him, and that included the fact that he was, after one-and-a-half days of missing classes, still in a den of sins and crime and vice. He ran to the door only to find it firmly locked, and worse, there was no way to open the old door except with a key.

“Sorry dude,” said Alyssa, shrugging. “I can’t let you out, I don’t have a key either.”

Zeke glanced at her warily, not sure whether to believe him or not. Her relaxed demeanor suggested she was telling the truth, but the fact that she was locked inside with him didn’t add up. It occurred to him that perhaps she wasn’t as closely affiliated with the criminals as he thought.

“You weren’t on the news,” he said. “You weren’t a part of the break in?”

“Oh, I was there too. I was the lookout.”

Zeke stared at her in despair. 

“I know what you’re thinking,” said Alyssa. “Ooh, they’re a bunch of criminals. But you saw her too, didn’t you? Lexi Lilly. She asked us to. Here, come sit down, have a cup of coffee.”

Zeke obliged, reluctantly. “I’m sorry, do you expect me to believe that?”

“I thought seeing is believing. You recognised her immediately, yeah?”

“I don’t know what elaborate scheme this all is, but it’s messed up. Lexi Lilly is in a coma. And you’re breaking into her house and hiring, what, an actress that looks just like her? To do what?”

“Maybe this will help,” said Alyssa, and phased straight through the bar.

The very real, solid bar Zeke was resting his hands on.

With a yell, Zeke jumped up. He vaguely registered the sound of his chair hitting the ground.

“If you believe me now,” said Alyssa, “Our motto is ‘legality does not dictate morality’. We did not steal, as we had the permission of the homeowner. We merely provide a service for the many of us whose lives are put on hold. Do you have any idea how many of us emerge, when the lights go out?”

Zeke was speechless.

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m actually working too. You can help me, if you’d like.” Alyssa pulled out a bunch of letters and dumped them on the bar.

“What is this?” said Zeke.

“Letters to Lexi Lilly from her manager,” said Alyssa. “Love letters.”

Whaaaaat?” yelled Zeke. “Why are you reading them?”

“She said we could,” said Alyssa with a shrug. “Also, this is backup in case it doesn’t go well with the others. I gotta get as much info out of these as I can. Lastly, aren’t you the slight bit curious?”

“This is wrong,” said Zeke.

“Like I said, we have permission.” She picked up a letter. “You can read too.”

“I’d rather not.”

“Suit yourself. By the way, are you a fan of hers in any way?”

The casual question caught Zeke off guard, given the bizarre situation. “No. I liked some of her early music, but it went downhill after she got super popular.”

“Hmm.” Something dropped from the folds of the letter she lifted. A photo. She held it out to him. “Wow. What do you reckon? Sister? Niece? Secret love child?” 

Zeke took the photo, before realising that he had decided, only a minute ago, not to look. So much for not snooping. He sighed. “Doesn’t look much like her. Probably his relative.”

“Yup.”

“Wait.” Zeke’s thoughts were returning to him and he couldn’t believe he hadn’t asked this before. “Where are the others?”

“They’ve gone to ask Lexi Lilly’s manager a question, namely, why did he break into her house? Because unlike us, he didn’t have her permission. And before you ask, yes Lexi Lilly has requested we do that.”

Another break-in, and the manager this time, thought Zeke. I’m out for not even two days and I missed so much. “Why would he tell you, unless-” he looked at the letters. “Are you planning to blackmail him?”

“That’s not how we see it. We see two old friends, now turned sour, hashing it out over a bunch of letters attesting to their previous relationship. We’re merely there as translators. As for the law, it should be fine. We have a lawyer- well, law student- to advise us. You might remember her. Elowen.”

Zeke groaned. There could only be one ‘her’. And whatever ‘she’ had said, the whole operation didn’t sound pretty.

‘She’ bounced in the backseat of the horrible car Cap drove terribly. 

Next to her, Lexi Lilly looked out the window. Truth be told, Lexi Lilly was still quite bitter over her breakup with Caden. Knowing she would see him soon made her stomach twist. 

“Why that clown though?” Rowan asked from the passenger seat.

“He was nice,” said Lexi Lilly. “At first anyway. He understood me as a person. Then he changed.”

“Yeah,” said Rowan. “People change.”

“‘Cept you, you’re always a dumbass,” said Cap.

“True,” said Rowan.

“Anyway, when we’re talking to him,” said Cap, “Remember to try not to interact with him.”

“Why?”

“Just a precaution. Is that the house over there?”

They got out of the car and knocked on the front door. A moment later, they heard yelling. “Go away!”

“We’re not the press,” said Cap. “But we do have the letters, so it might be in your best interests to talk to us.”

There was a second of silence, then the door opened. “Then come in quickly,” said the manager.

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11 thoughts on “Chapter 1 || Quoth the Raven “Nevermind” (5)

  1. Oh my, Alyssa is a ghost? Wait, no, she can hold the letters and place them on the bar for Zeke to read. Something close to a ghost? Similar to Lexi Lilly. I wonder why Zeke is able to see her, if other people can’t. He sure is taking this new supernatural spin on his “knocked-unconscious-and-kept-prisoner-situation” calmly, though, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alyssa is indeed like Lexi Lilly, more on that later. Very useful, if you’re the lookout.
      Heh, poor Zeke, getting all this supernatural stuff dumped on him. I don’t think he’s fully processed everything, but if he didn’t take it into stride, the story wouldn’t be able to move forward! 😜

      Like

  2. LOL, what a rude awakening for Zeke, I loved that line “den of sins and crime and vice.” Haha, and when Alyssa phased through the counter in front of him. He must think he’s going insane. Haha. O_O That picture of that girl with blood all over her, I am definitely curious. Eeeee, I love the mystery in your story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “”Do you have any idea how many of us emerge when the lights go out?”

    Okay. I want to know what Alyssa’s backstory is! Is she alive? Is she dead? Is she stuck like Lex Lily between here and there? And they’re using her as a lookout. xD Ahh.. That amuses me for some reason.

    Poor Zeke. As a reader I’m invested in his adventures with ‘criminal gang’ not so much his classes. What is he studying again? 😛 Lalala!

    I guess manager dude can’t see Lex Lily, unlike Zeke who’s a sensitive and this mysterious group. 😀 So exciting! And you cut off at the best times, which is really the worst times xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alyssa’s backstory will be revealed… someday! In the meantime, she is the perfect lookout because she can see you but you can’t see her. Ideal qualities for a criminal 😀
      Poor Zeke’s grades might take a dip after this encounter, but hey, there are bigger truths to discover out there.
      Ooh, the manager would be sweating so hard if he could see Lexi Lilly. She’s not happy about the break-in!
      I don’t TRY to end on cliffhangers, honest! It just logically cuts off there 😂 Perhaps more answers next chapter.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  4. That shot of Zeke stumbling dow the corridor is cool, I like how it illustrates his dizziness.

    I know he’s in quite the situation, but den of sins and crime and vice still sounds like a bit of an overdramatic assessment 😆 Bit I guess he doesn’t even drink. He does seem very proper.

    So, I’m conflicted about what Alyssa is saying. Their whole attitude could very easily be used to justify anything. “Don’t worry, we’re the good guys, don’t let what’s strictly legal ruin the fun.” Fair enough, in Lexi’s case, they may have permission from her, but that’s not necessarily a carte blanche to justify anything, especially since they’re involving other people. What if one of their clients was someone questionable? How would they know?

    That being said, the manager guy does look pretty sketchy. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, given the circumstances, I’d say Zeke is allowed to be a bit melodramatic. A bar is not the place for a non-drinker.
      That is a very fair assessment. None of them are mind-readers, so there is no way to know if their client is legit. Most of the time when the law is involved they will be walking a fine line- though to be fair, they don’t have huge run ins with the law that often!
      This story is about their mistakes as much as their successes, so we’ll see where their motto gets them. Hopefully not in jail, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, Zeke, excuse me, do not come for my girl Lexi like that. I bet you do still love her music. Hater. LOL.

    JK JK, he can freak out a bit. He’s taking in a lot of new information. A lot of it terrifying.

    I like how orderly this group is with contracts and legal representation in addition to dealing with ghosts (?). One thing is for sure, people love to keep secrets. I definitely don’t trust this manager.

    I am also suspicious of the kid. Who is she? Where did she come from? Why is she in the picture?

    Like

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