(Copyright 2006 - 2007 by the Author)
Editors: Radio Rancher & Str8mayb
The following is a complete work of
fiction. Any resemblance to
characters and real life persons is completely coincidental.
The following story contains
violence and erotic homosexual situations
and content. If it is illegal for you to read this, please leave now. Please do
not copy or distribute this story without the author's permission.
Author reserves all rights to this story.
Authors Note: To all the people that have been following this story, I must apologize for the delay in my putting out chapters. When I first started writing this story, I was unhindered by writing style, or even being proper in the usage of verb tense, and had no clue as to what the "flow" was even about. I hope that with my continued striving for a better story, you, the reader, will get more enjoyment out of it. Of course, this means more time is put into each chapter, for I am not a talented writer at all. I have just been lucky so far. In the beginning, I was writing a chapter about every 3-5 days, now, it's in terms of weeks.
I do have a plan I am working towards, so please be patient, and keep on reading.
*steps down off of soap box, and bows slightly*
Now, on to the story... (And to see if I can get these guys out of trouble?!)(Not to mention myself!) This chapter is dedicated to those that want to know more about Sean.
Sean lay on the banks of the creek, soaking his feet in the cool, refreshing water. The little fishes that swam around gently massaged his feet. The warm breeze flowed through the trees rustling the leaves in harmony. The heat of the sun warmed his skin like an invisible plush blanket, and the grass trailed along the back of his neck like the smooth even strokes of a painters brush.
Sean felt so peaceful here. His new dream world was sheer heaven. The earlier events had taken their toll, and he fell asleep not knowing he was being watched.
Only he could find the path that would take him on the right journey. Dreams of a brighter future, for himself, and the boys tormented his soul.
Sean knew deep down, that the alternative wasn't the answer either. The ultimate solution, suicide, was for people who didn't believe in the afterlife. That is what the dark robed figure wanted. More fuel for the everlasting fires.
He had begun to twitch in his sleep. The thoughts wracked his mind from all angles, and he couldn't think straight.
The fragrances from the flowers along the bank had a soothing effect on Sean's sleep. The slight convulsions disappeared, as a deep sleep won out. Nightmares would no longer bother him.
The two figures watched him as he lay there.
"Should we wake him up?" The first whispered the words.
"Not yet." The second mouthed his reply.
Sean tried to find the peace within, to go on with life. His heart knew it was the right thing to do, but his mind was torn with which decision to make. As quickly as he smiled in his sleep, he would frown.
The songs of the birds in the distance grew in tempo. The tweets and chirps became louder.
A butterfly, landed on his nose. The insect was taking a break and didn't mind the sudden movement as he twitched.
"That is soo cute!" A petite shrill voice broke the silence.
"Now you did it!" The young boy's words held a forced calm, but he spoke too quickly to completely hide his enthusiasm.
Sean blinked his eyes as he awoke. Two shadows stretched across him like knives in the sun.
"Holy sh..." Sean jumped up, forgetting there was water nearby. A face first swan dive awaited him but he was able to catch his balance at the last moment. The imposing icy waters tore him from his sleep.
"I told you to be quiet. Now look what you did." The little boy pointed his finger in her face.
"I'm sorry. Daddy, are you alright?" The somber look on the young girl's face could have melted the coldest of hearts.
"How? Where? Wha...?" Sean shook as he stood in the knee deep water. He blinked away the sleep and tried to focus on his new visitors.
The two children looked at him and smiled.
"Jacob? Amanda? How can this be?" Sean sputtered, as he stared at the shapes in front of him.
"Yeah Dad, it's us." Jacob smiled while he held his little sister's hand.
"Dad, are you okay?" The sweetest sound of angels rang through the young girl's voice.
"Oh, my..." Sean couldn't hold back the torrent of tears as he stood frozen. His hands trembled as he raised them to cover his face.
"Um, Dad? You better come back and sit on the shore, before you're soaked." Jacob released his sister's hand, and reached out to Sean.
"Daddy, you're scaring me." Amanda's face wrinkled with worry.
Sean lowered his hands and blinked as if trying to wake from a dream. He shook his head and tried to push away the confusion, struggling to gain control over his body.
"Come on Dad, before you fall in all the way." Jacob stretched further to reach his father, but lost his balance, and teetered on the bank's edge.
"Don't worry champ, gotcha." Sean regained his composure, and caught his son before he fell.
"Thanks Dad." Jacob smiled up at his father as they sloshed back to shore.
"Yeah! Daddy's okay!" Amanda ran to her father, and gripped his thigh in a vice like hug.
"What are you two doing here?" Sean lowered his son to the ground, knelt, and wrapped his arms around them.
"Someone asked us if we could help you." Amanda's eye's twinkled with mischief as though she were keeping a precious secret.
"Yeah Dad. He wears a white robe, and is so nice." Jacob pulled back from the shoulder he was snuggled into.
"Uh huh. He kinda reminds me of you, Dad." Amanda sniffled out from the other shoulder.
"Why would you say that sweetie?" Sean looked at his daughter as she maintained her death grip. It didn't seem she had any intention of letting loose now that she had hold of him.
"Cuz he has a big heart, like you, Daddy." Amanda squeaked out from the shoulder her head was buried in.
"Yeah Dad. He has been as nice to us, as you ever were." Jacob tightened his grip on his father.
"Oh, kids." Sean's heart shook and he couldn't staunch the river of tears cascading down his cheeks.
"Oh Dad, we missed you." Jacob cried fiercely, soaking Sean's shoulder.
Sean couldn't help his awe at seeing his children again. They were now as they had been so very long ago. Jacob was 7, and Amanda was 5 the day they left him. The memory was one he fought desperately to forget.
"Why Daddy, why?" Amanda's voice shook as her breath struggled to escape through her sobs.
"Why what sweetie?" Sean blinked his eyes, as he looked at his daughter.
"Why did you and Mommie..." Jacob never finished his question as he watched his father's eyes roll back into his head.
The first time he met Christina, was on a blind date. Their mutual friends thought they would hit it off, and they did.
Their first date, lasted all weekend. Neither one had to work, which was to the benefit of cementing their mutual attraction to each other. There was not much sleep going on in the bedroom that weekend.
Both were vigorous in their love for each other and the relationship was new. Together, their intimacy was less than subtle. Even the neighbors complained, but the apartment manager just smiled and let them go on about their lust filled way.
A new relationship brightened Sean's outlook on life. Christina was a caring and loving young woman, but she also had a dark side.
Sean had courted her, for about 3 months, when he popped the question. He didn't want to lose the happiness she had brought him, emotionally or physically. She, on the other hand, didn't want to raise the unborn child she was carrying on her own. She still hadn't told Sean.
The "I do's" were spoken before she told him. Christina's self preserving nature held her tongue until the night of their honeymoon.
Christina told Sean that she was on the pill. It was the truth, but only in part. She stopped taking them a month after they were together, but neglected to share that little tidbit of information.
Having a new family on the way, Sean worked extra hard. He sacrificed his days off, vacations, and even worked extra shifts. The company he was employed by gave raises in increments to total number of hours worked. His diligence finally paid off.
By the time Jacob was due, Sean had worked his way into the position of meat cutters apprentice.
It didn't give much glory, but did impose a lot of responsibility.
Being the low man on the totem pole, Sean didn't get the time off that he requested for his son's birth. Sean had a larger picture in mind, and another promotion to worry about.
The birth of Jacob was the proudest moment in Sean's life. At twenty-eight, and a father, his work ethic increased to the level that the manager gave him the full time position he had worked so diligently to achieve.
Life had never been better for Sean and his family.
The long loving nights Sean spent with his wife, became less frequent with a new baby in the house.
The emotions that a woman goes through after giving birth, defy most logical thought.
There were a few, less than happy, discussions. With a loving heart, and staying calm, Sean was able to struggle through these subtle outbursts.
Sean would pick up and hold Jacob, when the arguments started. Rocking his son back and forth, humming slightly, the young boy would go back to sleep, feeling comforted by his father's protective arms.
"Please, not in front of the kids." Sean would beg this one favor from Christina while painting a smile on his face.
"They'll never learn true love and understanding if you argue in front of them. They'll learn hate, and that, is the root of all evil." Sean would hum a lullaby to Jacob, as he hoped that the young boy wouldn't remember the bad times.
"That's all you worry about. The kid. You never have time for me anymore." Christina would shout back, and then stomp out of the room.
For the next few months, that was life for Sean and Jacob. Tender loving moments destroyed by mere seconds of unbalanced emotions.
By the time young Jacob was starting to bottle feed, the peace came back to the apartment which Sean now considered a prison cell.
Sean's job became more demanding as he worked split shifts and longer hours. His new responsibilities were nearly as consuming as his home life.
The progression of time, had its impact on Sean's career. He had worked his way up to the level of full time cutter, but his shifts were still dependent on his coworkers. Sean did however; manage to have his son's first birthday off.
Sean's family life stabilized and Jacob was a normal energetic toddler of that age. He had learned to walk by ten months, and was always into one thing or another.
Sean's diligence at work finally paid off. He was up for vacation and he meant to take it.
With a little leveraging of his funds, they went on a short vacation. Money was always a factor, but the trip was worth it. Quiet romantic nights bloomed while the baby slept. This was the break Sean had needed for far too long.
Peace and quiet blanketed the house for a couple of weeks. Then, without warning, morning sickness showed its ugly head once more.
Sean was undecided about another child. He was a very proud father, but the events after the last pregnancy still lurked in the back of his mind.
Having missed out on the birth of his son, his daughter's arrival would not be so easily passed up.
The delivery room was full of hustle and bustle. The doctors were giving orders to the nurses, along with the coaching to Christina. A c-section birth was to be performed. Slight complications in the pregnancy made it necessary. The levels of toxins in her blood stream were too high, to go full term.
Sean was at his wit's end. Being behind the 'courtesy curtain', he held onto Christina's hand, and told her many times how much he loved her.
The spinal drugs had the desired effects, and she was not very responsive.
Holding his daughter after the cleaning, and vaccines, Sean began to cry. He was a father, twice over.
Being the start of a typical life with women, his daughter peed on him within seconds.
"Um, doc, I think you forgot something..." Sean held his daughter at arms length.
"No, just use the blanket to wrap her up, and get used to it" The eyes behind the surgical mask glistened.
The first few weeks flew by with no one getting much sleep. When Amanda stirred, everyone would wake up.
Jacob started to resent his little sister, with all the attention she demanded and of course received. Sibling rivalry began.
Life had almost settled down, by Amanda's first birthday. The emotional turmoil that Christina went through after Jacob's birth, wasn't as severe.
Christina even wanted to help more out with the finances, and get a job. She had quit her position at the bank, just before Jacob was born. After many discussions, Sean relented. Money was tight, and even a couple hundred dollars more a month, would be such a boost.
So with Sean working mornings, and Christina working nights as a waitress, the real problems started. The baby sitting was not the issue, but the separation, and the stress due to lack of privacy took its toll. The bedroom no longer saw or heard two people in love with each other.
With Christina waiting tables at night, and her so called friends interloping, it was only a matter of time. Waitresses are a cruel sub class of humanity. First, there was the occasional drink after work. Christina would not tell Sean her work schedule. Then came, the girl's night out, while Sean stayed at home with the kids.
This was the beginning of the end, of the happy life Sean once reveled in. When Christina came home late one night; not wearing her wedding band that was the last straw. Arguments ensued, and the outcome, divorce.
The real victims were the children. They watched their parents argue and heard the onslaught of hateful words. Amanda and Jacob knew they still loved each other, but their parents had forgotten how to get along.
After the divorce, the children were traumatized. Christina filled their heads with so many lies that the kids didn't know what to believe anymore. One truth however remained, Daddy, had disappeared.
Christina had told the kids that Sean had run off with another woman, younger and more beautiful than she was. Another tale she told, was that he died, in a plane wreck. The most damaging lie, was he ran off with another man.
Sean never knew of the lies, but had heard rumors, from the few friends he still had. His family stopped speaking to him without explanation.
The deep emotional scars of the divorce, and the big move away from his home town, weighed heavily on Sean's consciousness. His emotions had become unstable, to the point that heavy drug use had been suspect.
The death of his father, and the inability to attend the services bore down on him like a run away freight train. Trying to get a straight answer out of his family was like trying to give a root canal to a t-rex.
The final shove over the edge, was the death of his two children.
Christina's drinking had taken a terrible toll. She lay in a coma, but the children were supposedly killed on impact. Is that really enough payment, for the crime?
Sean's head, snapped back, and his eyes opened wide. His jaw moved but there was no sound. He looked like a fish gasping for air after being beached on a river bank.
"Dad?" Jacob tugged at the tear soaked shirt.
"What's wrong with Daddy?" Amanda's face turned white as a sheet.
Sean looked at his children. His eyes swelled with tears and he pulled them closer to his heart. The answers had come to him.
"Yes, Daddy is fine. I'm here now, and won't leave you again." Sean mumbled out, as he tightened his arms around them.
"Dad, let go, you're squeezing me." Jacob wheezed out.
"What, don't you like hugs no more?" Sean relaxed his hold and looked at his son.
"I do like your hugs, it's just that..." Jacob's head went limp, as tears flowed down his cheeks.
"Daddy, um, we're..." Amanda tried to speak, but the words seemed to catch in her throat.
"What is it kids?" Sean's arms relaxed as his children tried to step away.
"We're... dead Dad." The answer from the children, was empty of emotion.
"I know that, but we're together again. That's all that matters now..." Sean tried to contain his sorrow as he blinked back his tears.
"Dad, you can't stay." Jacob pushed Sean's arm away and stepped back.
"Yeah Daddy, you gotta go back." Amanda looked off into the distance as tears ran down her face.
"Kids?" Sean held his arms open, and expected them to run into them.
"No Dad. You must go back." Jacob crossed his arms and was as stern with his words as a seven year old can be.
"Our brothers are waiting for you." Amanda turned to face the mountains in the distance. Her little body remained motionless as the breeze caught a ringlet of her hair making it dance along the back of her neck.
"Your brothers?" Sean's body twitched, as the words sunk in.
"Yeah Dad. Our brothers. Don't tell me you forgot?" Jacob poked his father in the shoulder.
Sean cocked his head, and looked into his son's eyes.
"You know, Justin, Jared and Brandon?" Amanda put her hands on her hips and shook her head in disbelief and tried to look menacingly at her father.
"But, I just got you guys back. Why should I leave?" The color drained from Sean's face, from the looks his children gave him.
Jacob crawled back into his father's arms, gave him a big hug, and nestled into Sean's shoulder.
Amanda had tears running from her eyes, as she snuggled into the other side.
"Kids, what is going on? Why after all this time, are you trying to push me away? We just found each other again." Sean tried to control the violent shudders in his chest as a torrent of hot tears flowed from his eyes.
Jacob pushed against his father, and tried to escape the arms that surrounded him.
Amanda noticed the jarring motion, and decided that she needed to back away as well.
"Guys?" Sean relaxed his arms his children could wriggle from his embrace.
"Dad, you need to go back. This place isn't meant for you to stay in." Jacob looked at the flower beside him like it was the center of the universe.
"Daddy, our brothers miss you, and they're worried." Amanda tilted her head sideways, and stuck out her lower lip.
"I...don't need... to go back. They'll be fine..." Sean's voice faded to a whisper.
"Would you leave us? Like you want to leave them?" Jacob's bright blue eyes stared directly into Sean's soul.
"No Jacob. I'd never leave you. You and your sister are the most important people in my life. You know that." Sean couldn't look his children in the eye.
"Daddy, you don't need to stay here with us. We're always with you." Amanda hugged her father's neck without choking him.
"Yeah Dad. We have helped watch over you since..." Jacob turned his head as a sour look came over his face.
"Well, that's part of the past now. We're together again, and I'd like to stay here." Sean was wrapped by emotional children.
Jacob's body stiffened, and he pulled back from Sean. Amanda followed her brother's lead, and stepped back.
"No Dad. You cannot stay." Jacob's icy glare sent shivers down Sean's spine.
"Daddy you need to leave. You have a life to live." Amanda's little voice faded with each word.
"But kids, I have been waiting for this day for..." Sean folded his arms against his chest trying to fight the growing chill.
Jacob and Amanda took another step back and clasped hands. The looks on their cherubic faces took on another shade of death and their eyes started to glow.
"You need to realize, that we're not alive. You have a life to return to, we don't. Now take a look at what you're leaving behind." The death like tone of their voices left Sean's body quaking with fright.
Sean felt the change in the world around him. The daylight dimmed, and the pool he knelt beside changed.
Without the sun, the water took on a menacing appearance. It was as if the small pool started to absorb the light instead of reflecting it.
Water shot straight up like a geyser and defied gravity as it hung in the air. The ten foot wall of liquid had an almost black hole effect to it.
Sean stumbled back in surprise. He looked on as his children walked to the bank's edge.
"Now... look at what you are leaving behind..." The children's voices no longer possessed the remnants of youth and innocence.
Sean found the focus of his children's attention. They stared blindly at the protruding wall. The onyx colored waters swirled and the center of the vortex stole away his attention. An image unfolded at the center.
The hospital hallway came into focus with the twins, Brandon, and Cecelia pacing back and forth.
Sean gasped as he peered through the portal into the real world.
"Our brothers are waiting for you." The children spoke in the same hollow tone.
"But...but what about you guys?" Sean's body shook as he gazed at his dead children.
Jacob pointed at the scene unfolding before them and nodded his head.
Sean followed his son's finger and watched the sorrow of his living children drip down their cheeks. These weren't normal tears; they were full of love and caring and glowed with energy.
Jacob and Amanda closed their eyes. A tendril of energy burst from their chests towards the portal.
The energy wrapped around the living boys and pulled them into the dream world.
Though it had only been a fraction of a second, the movement seemed to linger as though each action slowed and took on a life o fits own. The claw like shape of light pulsed as it sat the boys beside him.
"What the...?" Justin's head snapped around.
"Dad!" Jared and Brandon screamed.
"Boys!" Sean found himself wrapped by energetic youth.
Jacob and Amanda watched as the living boys surrounded their father. The smiles on their faces brightened and the air warmed even if only a little.
"Boys, I want to introduce you to your brother and sister, Jacob and Amanda." Sean studied their reaction at hearing the words.
Jared glanced about and smiled at the two young children standing only a few feet away.
"Wow! Are you our brother and sister?" Brandon hopped in place as he squealed out his question.
Barely containing his excitement he stepped away from his brothers and approached his potential siblings. He didn't fear them, they were family, or at least might be.
"Hey, I know who you are." Brandon sputtered out, as the realization sunk in.
"Yes Brandon, we remember you." The two spirit children said flatly.
Brandon turned around and faced Sean and the twins.
"What is it son?" Sean's tilted his head forward as his voice lowered with concern.
The twins tilted their heads as they tried to figure out what was going on.
"These are the kids that saved me Dad." Brandon's blood shot eyes lifted to meet his father's as he answered.
"They are?" Sean glanced at the ethereal remnants of his children and then opened his arms to Brandon.
"They helped me when the crash happened. Jacob helped me out, and Amanda stood watch so no other cars would hit us." Brandon sputtered out between the sobs.
Jared walked over to the two strangers, stopped a few of steps away, and held his arms open.
"I was wondering if I'd ever see you again." Jared smiled and hugged his little friend.
"Dad? Are you okay?" Justin waved his hand in front of Sean's stunned face.
"You... you guys all know each other?" Sean stuttered out.
"Of course we do Daddy. We didn't want you to be alone, and we know how good of a daddy you are." Amanda raised her petite hands and shrugged her shoulders.
Sean staggered back, but Justin caught him and helped him sit down on the grass.
"Wow, your kids helped Jared and Brandon? That is so kewl!" Justin braced himself up against Sean.
"And you thought we left you? We have been beside you all the time Dad." Jacob peered around from Jared's hug.
Sean laid his head in his hands and cried. The rush of emotions took its toll. All the kids sensed the imbalance, and gathered around to comfort him.
"I love all of you so very, very much." Sean more mumbled and spluttered the words than spoke them in his elated sorrow.
"Um, Dad, why are you here?" Justin turned his head and peered at his father through the corners of his eyes suspiciously as he released his hold on his father.
"Yeah... why are you here? And why are your kids here?" Jared felt his brother's emotions and backed away as well.
"Uh, Dad?" Brandon whispered, and held onto Sean.
"Dad needs help, um, to realize that he is needed back in your world." Jacob fingered a bit of Sean's hair as he leaned back and gazed at his father.
"Daddy doesn't want to go back, so we brought you here to help." Amanda's hazel eyes and stern gaze focused on her living brothers.
"Is that true?" Justin was the first to challenge the statements.
Sean lowered his head to think and composed himself.
"Dad... we need you?" Jared dropped to his knees in front of Sean.
"See Daddy, they want you and love you." Amanda lowered her eyes as she spoke in a strange ominous tone. It was as though she spoke an obscure but irrefutable truth.
"Yeah Dad, they need you. We will always be with you, watching over you and our brothers. Besides, we have 'Him' to watch over us now." Jacob lifted his eyes to the sky and grinned and let out a slow pent up breath.
"Dad, you have us worried sick. Even poor Cecelia... Marty too." Brandon tightened his grip around Sean.
"And don't forget about Gordon, and his henchmen, he..." Jared stopped in mid sentence not wanting to spoil the moment.
"What about Gordon and his henchmen?" Sean raised his brow and looked at Jared with a quizzical stare.
Justin grinned at his twin's blushing. He watched Jared twiddle his thumbs, and glare at the ground.
"Justin..." Sean switched his attention to the other brother.
"Dad, they did what they had to do, to protect themselves." Jacob interjected.
"And what would that be, son?" Sean turned facing his youngest son.
"They needed help, so we helped them...a little." Amanda tried to charm her father to divert the answer.
"Okay, okay. Let me up now, please." Sean's temper rose, as the web of deceit grew.
Sean stood up and backed away from his children. He paced back and forth, and tried to clear his mind.
The children knew what the answer was, but cooperated to hide the truth.
"Okay, line up. Justin, Jared, Brandon, Jacob, and Amanda." Sean put his hand in front of him, to signal where to start the line.
After they all lined up, Sean walked in front of them and glanced at each child.
"Let me get this straight." Sean stopped, and looked off in the distance. He took a deep breath, and continued.
"Jacob, you and Amanda helped Brandon and Jared. Without your help, those two wouldn't be with me, right?" Sean took a couple of steps in the direction of the youngest children.
"Yes Daddy." The two answered together, while they kept an innocent look on their faces.
"And now, you helped all three, in something that you're not telling me about, so they would stay safe. Correct?" Sean peered at the three older boys while he stood in front of his youngest.
"Yes Daddy." They answered in stereo.
"And now, the three older boys, who know better than to try to lie to me, don't want to tell me the full truth." Sean walked down the line up, and stopped in front of Justin.
"Stop picking on them, I did it." Brandon stepped out of the line, and faced Sean.
"Did what exactly?" Sean turned his attention to Brandon.
"I uh... used our gifts to protect us. But I didn't know how..." Brandon stuck his lip out, as his head went down.
"Dad, we're all guilty of that. We did something that required all our combined efforts." Justin stepped forward, but kept his eyes forward.
"I know I was in the most danger, so I tried harder than they did." Jared broke the line and gazed at Sean.
"But Daddy, we're all guilty. I helped too." Amanda stepped forward.
"Okay, hold it. All of you are involved, but no one wants to tell me what happened?" Sean studied each face.
"Yes." The unanimous answer came from all the kids.
Sean's eyes widened, as the single word hit him. His face paled and he turned away from the kids. He was in deep thought and stared at the mountains in the distance.
The children looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and reformed the line.
"Daddy, are we in trouble?" Amanda broke the silence.
Sean turned around, and with his hands on his hips, shook his head.
"Then, what's gonna happen? If you aren't mad...that is." Jacob's lower lip trembled at the thought of upsetting his father.
"This..." Sean went down on one knee and held out his arms. He was again surrounded by his children.
"You're not mad at us?" Brandon gasped out, as he was crushed between the twins and Sean.
"Well, I am upset a little bit. But I'm more proud of your sticking together as a family." Sean squeaked out, as the kids crushed him with hugs.
"We love you Dad!" The sound of the children made a harmony like no other.
"I love you guys too. All of you." Sean whispered, before the waterworks started.
"Daddy?" Amanda whispered in Sean's ear.
"What is it honey?" Sean felt the crush of young arms relax.
"Dad, the boys need to go back. Soon. They can't stay here." Jacob tilted his head up and looked at his dad.
"Why do they need to go back? Can't they leave when they want to?" Sean's face contorted as he thought about it. 'This new dream world, is really different from before' ran through his mind.
"No, they need to leave... now." Jacob jumped back, his face losing all the lively colors it once possessed.
"Yes, they need to go. Hurry." Amanda left her fathers side, and joined her brother.
The three boys stood, as the worried looks on their faces spread like wildfire.
"Why do we need to leave in such a hurry?" Justin glanced from the younger children to Sean.
"I don't know son. But I think that it might be safer for you to go." Sean nodded his head in the direction of the youngest children.
Jacob and Amanda stepped back from the group and held hands. The energy that surrounded them crackled and grew in intensity.
"Take care Dad, and hurry back." Jared got out, before the phantom hand grabbed him and his brothers.
Without warning, the tendrils from the kids whisked away the older boys back through the portal. After the boys were sent through, the gate went back to its original state, a swirling of obsidian and light.
"Why did you have to 'send' them back?" Sean glanced back at his younger children after he stared at the portal.
"They don't belong here, and neither do you. You need to make up your mind." Jacob spoke in a monotone voice with no child like qualities to it.
"Can't we spend more time together?" Sean frowned at the idea of leaving his children, so soon after being reunited with them.
"There is one thing, we need to show you. Then...you must go." Amanda's blank stare meant it was no longer an option of staying.
"But..." Sean lost his ability to speak, with the glares he got from his children.
"This is what you seek..." Both children stretched out their arms and pointed to the center of the vortex.
Sean broke his gaze with the kids, and looked at the gateway. His jaw hit his chest when the center began to focus.
The view cleared up. It was another hospital room. A woman lay there, hooked up to all sorts of tubes and wires.
"Who? Oh my god, is that...?" Sean gasped out between his fingers.
Jacob and Amanda nodded their heads.
"Why do you want me to see...?" Sean glanced in the kids direction, before his eyes caught something moving in the room.
The light around the bed dimmed, as a shadowy form circled Christina. There wasn't a true shape that distinguished it, but a flowing silhouette of blackness.
Sean was frozen in terror. He didn't know what that thing was, but could only feel the icy coldness of impending death.
"Watch father, this is what you need to know." The children urged Sean not to look away, or close his eyes.
The shape solidified to the more appropriate form we're all familiar with. The long hooded black robe and glowing eyes was death personified.
The figure stopped moving, and looked around. It seemed to sense it was being watched. Having looked around the room, it centered its burning eyes on Sean and pointed.
Sweat ran down Sean's face, having death point at you, isn't a good feeling at all. The goose bumps ran up and down his spine, as the sub-zero glare from death focused on him.
Jacob and Amanda closed their eyes. In their short lives, they've experienced this first hand.
Death went back to work. The heart monitor showed the steady decrease in pulse. The brain waves were already at a minimum, and flat lined. The breathing machine slowed down to no movement at all. With the next exhale, all signs of life were gone. There was almost a smile on Death's face, when he turned and looked in Sean's direction.
Death faded back into the shadows that he came from. His job here was finished.
The evil black robed figure appeared and snatched the life essence that rose out of Christina's chest. In one quick motion, he palmed the sphere of light, and absorbed it into his own being. The grin on his face, was evidence that he had waited for this moment. He held the energy ball to his chest, and enjoyed adding one more to his vast collection of lost souls.
A chuckle escaped his lips, as he disappeared.
Tears ran down Sean's face and the portal closed. The wall of water, slid back into the pool with the colors returning to normal.
Sean stared at the stream as the blackness left. His body trembled after he witnessed the death of his children's mother.
"Dad, we're sorry you had to see that." Amanda walked over to her father and grabbed his hand.
"Yeah, but it was necessary that you see what will happen if you don't go back." Jacob held Sean's other hand.
"Oh... kids." Sean knelt down and hugged his children.
"Don't you see Dad? He knows you could be his next..." Jacob wrapped his arms around his father's neck.
"Don't let him Daddy. Once he gets you... there is no going back." Amanda cried into Sean's shoulder.
"Yeah, our brothers are waiting for you. Time is running out." Jacob sniffled out.
"Will I ever see you guys again?" Sean held his kids as if his life depended on it.
"You will see us again." Amanda gave her dad another good hug.
"But even if you can't see us, we're always with you Dad." Jacob wiped his runny nose on his fathers shoulder and tried to smile.
Cecelia watched as the boy's blank looks disappeared. It had only been a second or two, but their tears had a luminescence to them. She cocked her head as she approached them, and looked for anything out of the ordinary.
"Boys?" She paused, before getting any closer.
"What Granma?" Brandon smiled at her.
Cecelia let out a sigh of relief and continued to walk toward them.
"I think Sean is going to be okay now." Justin winked at his brothers.
"Yeah, he should be alright pretty soon." Jared grinned, knowing they had experienced a special moment in their lives.
"And how is it, that I believe you?" Cecelia studied each boy.
"Cuz its true Granma. We wouldn't lie to you." Brandon wore his best puppy dog face and shook his head.
"Well now, you wouldn't lie to me, huh?" Cecelia straightened up and put her hands on her hips.
The three boys looked at each other, and with slight smirks, nodded their heads.
"I guess I will take your word for it now. But just this once mind you." Cecelia squinted at each boy. She took her time and watched for any hints of mischief.
"Maybe it's time to go see if he came back?" Brandon felt uneasy under the scrutinizing eye of Cecelia.
"Back? Back from where?" Cecelia caught the hint.
"Nowhere Granma. Can we go see him now?" Justin positioned himself behind Brandon's wheelchair, and waited.
Jared had learned his lesson from earlier, only one person in control of the chair at a time. He reached over and undid the brakes and stood back.
"Oh you three are gonna age me before my time." Cecelia gave up. She knew when a battle was lost, after having lived with Justin for so many years. She sighed and looked down the hall.
"Don't worry Granma, he really is okay." Brandon smiled as Cecelia started to walk.
Joy sat beside Sean, and held his hand. She rubbed it against her cheek, and tried to warm it up.
The sudden chill in the room made her shiver as a draft ran down her spine. She swore a shadow moved in the corner of the room.
She looked around, but noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Joy looked at Sean's face, then the monitors. Her vision started to blur as the lines on the graphs moved. The sound of the monitors seemed to slow down...
To be continued
Thank you to my editors for their help in making this story into what it is today. Comments and criticisms are always welcome. Please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org For those of you wishing to read ahead in the story, you can find additional chapters at http://www.tickiestories.us or http://www.myspace.com/stories_by_hal or http://crackerwriter.us/Main_Site.htm Thank you all and hope to hear from you soon!