Again, I’m really sorry for skipping days. I was preparing for a math competition today (we didn’t do very well, by the way), so I was working all last night. To make up for it, I came up with the next part of Trapped. Since it’s been a while since the last one, here’s the previous part. Enjoy!


“…not uncommon…”

“…don’t understand why…”

“…What did she see?”

“It was not our place to know, only to wait. Only she knows.”

 

For a while, Hope drifted in and out of consciousness. She could tell, now, that she was back in Angel’s side room, back in the Hole. She could hear her friends and her sister talking with Terrence and Kestrel, inquiring about her. She tried to bring herself to stir enough to catch their attention, for her to wake, but every time the dark waves of unconsciousness dragged her back down.

She wasn’t entirely unconscious, as she soon realized. She was still aware of her thoughts, of the time passing. She could still remember what she had seen, although only barely. She could recall only the terrible choice that the Darkness would force her to make, and even that was slipping away faster than he could hold it, leaving her only with a sense of dread and anxiousness for her future.

What was it the Darkness said? ‘You and them, or them or you’? No, that’s not right.

It slipped away. She let it go, knowing she would never find it again.

 

“Hh-wha-?” Hope jolted awake suddenly, the plaid blanket still wrapped tightly around her. No one was in the room, and all was eerily silent; Hope had expected some sound from the main room, but there was nothing. She wasn’t sure what woke her up, either, because there was no one around and no loud sounds.

Deciding that she felt fine, she pushed off the worn-out blanket and got off the water-bed. I’ve been here too often, she laughed to herself as she made her way to the entrance, taking care to avoid knocking over Angel’s neatly stacked herbs.

She stopped still as she stood in the entrance to the room. There was no one in the main room, and the fire was out, so the only light came from an eerie grey glow off the walls. She was distinctly reminded of all the night shifts she spent running through the Concrete Plains, keeping close watch for the Darkness.

She took a step towards the exit, but as she did, the whole place began to shake, deep rumbles echoing faintly from the heart of the Echo (no pun intended, but it’s still not as bad as my other puns). She froze, waiting for the quake to pass before taking a few more hesitant steps.

She saw Sam standing up ahead. “What’s going on, Sam?” she cried out, speaking over the louder rumble that reverberated throughout the Hole.

He reached out to her, taking her hand and pulling her along with him. He seemed grim, no longer his general optimistic self. “Remember, all those years ago, when they first brought you and Melody back here after finding you in the Echo? You told us that all you remembered was one phrase: ‘A paradox will end it all.’ You were right.”

“Really? How?” Hope stumbled along after him, sliding off the ledge and following him through the Echo’s corridors.

“Think, Hope,” he gasped as he rounded a corner. “What paradoxes do you know?”

“Well,” Hope panted as she trailed behind him, “There is ‘I always lie,’ ‘You shouldn’t go into the water until you learn to swim,’ ‘Drowning in the fountain of eternal life,’ and-”

Sam finished the sentence for her. “The beginning of the end.”

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