The Orphanage Of Lost Souls
By: Dementia’s Knight
Part I: The Long And Winding Road
Chapter V: Wraith
“The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal - every other affliction to forget: but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open - this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude.” - Washington Irving
Hassan Al Kazir woke up much like he did every morning, cold and sore from spending the night sleeping on the street. Life for him had changed dramatically since 9/11, though that had happened over nine years ago.
Being of Muslim heritage his family had never truly been accepted in America. Both of his parents had worked hard to make sure that they made a stable and comfortable life for their future children. After Hassan was born his parents provided him with every possible advantage, they sent him to the best schools and worked to teach him about his heritage so that he could grow to have a strong appreciation for his Muslim roots.
All of that changed when the Twin Towers came down. He and his parents would watch the news, his mother weeping and his father holding her as the footage replayed over and over again. In the aftermath of the attacks hatred and violence erupted against Muslim Americans. Mosques were attacked on a weekly basis, citizens were accosted in the streets, and life for Hassan and his family changed forever.
Several years after the initial attack things had gotten back to normal for the most part. The Muslim American community no longer lived in fear that they would be attacked for their beliefs, and they went back to their normal routines.
It was during this lull in alertness and fear that his parents took him to their mosque for prayer service. As they began the service a man ran in to the building, he shouted something that Hassan didn’t understand and threw a large duffel bag into the midst of the gathering within the mosque and ran out.
Hassan watched everyone panic and scatter away from the bag. He felt his mother pull him back and force him behind her. In a second the panic in the room grew to terror as the bag in the middle of the room exploded.
Fire engulfed the room incinerating patrons as they scattered from the explosion. Hassan’s mother and father stood between the blast and their son. The concussion of the explosion knocked the three of them backward, Hassan laying underneath his parents, his head throbbing and his mind racing to grasp what was happening.
The young boy struggled to climb out from under his parents. As he stood he looked down at his parents, their faces were charred and their clothes and bodies were torn and singed. Hassan fell to his knees and latched onto his parents bodies.
The world fell away as Hassan cried into his mother’s chest. The screams of the people in the mosque faded into the background, everything became a hollow echo of it’s former self, the world slipped away and Hassan was alone.
Someone grabbed Hassan from behind and pulled him away from the corpses of his parents. The young boy screamed to be let go and struggled against the strength of the older person.
“Hassan, you need to calm down.” the person told him as they turned him around.
Hassan looked up at the face of his uncle, he struggled once more to be turned loose and felt his body grow stronger as he clutched his uncle’s arms to try and push away.
“What’s happening?” his uncle asked weakly as his grip loosened and he let the boy go before crumpling to the floor.
Hassan turned to run back to his parents, but found they were nowhere to be found.
“They’re gone Hassan. You cannot be with them any longer.” a woman’s voice told him.
Hassan turned and ran, he knew that the woman in black was here, she always showed up in this part of his dream. “Leave me alone!” he screamed as he left the mosque and ran down the street.
After the day his parents died Hassan had learned that he was different. He knew it when his uncle had collapsed in front of him, or more accurately because of him. Searching for answers, Hassan had tried to recreate the feelings that had caused what he’d done to happen again. Now, he could tap into his power whenever he wanted, plus a new one that he’d figured out.
Walking up to the front of a bakery Hassan looked around and then closed his eyes, he focused on his power and willed it to come out. Seconds later the young boy disappeared from sight. Opening his eyes Hassan saw the world with new eyes, everything was gray except for the people, they now carried a bright red glow.
Hassan smiled and walked through past the bakery patrons, he went back to the storeroom and grabbed several loaves of bread and slipped out through the back door. Letting his invisibility fade he sat down and began eating his newly won plunder.
“Stealing is a very bad habit.” a man’s voice told him from further down the alley.
Hassan looked up at the man. “What’s it to you?” he asked with a sneer.
The man lit a cigarette and approached Hassan. “No concern of mine, I just hate to see good kids do bad things.” he said. “You know I met a kid like you a few weeks ago.” the man said.
“Did he want to be left alone too?” Hassan asked and took another bite of his bread.
The man nodded as he took a drag of his cigarette. “As a matter of fact he did, but then that woman in black showed up and took him. I tried to help him, but she was too quick.” he explained.
Hassan went invisible and dropped his meal at the mention of the woman in black, he ran down the alley and quickly hopped the fence to get away.
The man sighed and dropped his cigarette and stepped on it before putting his glasses on and running after the young boy.
Hassan ran down the street and into a parking lot where he hid between several cars.
“Hassan, I don’t want to hurt you!” the older man called out as he reached the parking lot where he’d seen the young boy run with the help of his heat signature glasses. “I need you to trust me!” he called out.
“You’re working with that woman!” Hassan yelled back.
“No, she’s trying to get you to make you do bad things, I want to help keep you safe.” the man explained.
Hassan let his invisibility fade away and stood up. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?” he asked.
The man smiled. “You just have to trust me.” he said.
Hassan thought for a moment and walked slowly toward the man. “Alright, just keep her away from me.” he said.
“I’ll do my best.” the man said as Hassan walked toward him. When the boy got close enough the man reached out and grabbed him by the throat.
As Hassan struggled to breath he watched the man’s face fade away being replaced by the shrouded face of the woman in black. “No!” he cried out hoarsely.
“You’re far to trusting Hassan.” the woman said as she touched her free hand to the struggling boy’s head, rendering him unconscious.
“Hey, wake up.” a boy’s voice said from somewhere in Hassan’s mind.
Hassan opened his eyes and looked up at a young man with black hair looking down at him. “What happened?” he asked.
“You got popped by Myra, the woman in black.” the other boy explained when Hassan gave him a puzzled look. “My name’s Anthony, welcome to Hell.” he said with a weak smile.
Hassan sat up and looked around. He was in some sort of classroom, but everything seemed old and rundown.
“So what do you do?” Anthony asked him.
Hassan looked at him with a blank stare again.
“I can make smoke, I use it to disguise where I am, like a James Bond car.” he explained.
Hassan continued to stare blankly for a moment and then answered. “I can be invisible, and I take people’s energy.” he said.
“Figure that all out on your own?” Anthony asked.
Hassan nodded. “What about you?” he asked.
Anthony shook his head. “Myra explained it to me and helped me understand how to control it.” he said.
“So she’s not evil?” Hassan asked.
“Oh, she is, just helpful when she needs something from you.” Anthony explained.
Hassan slid off the desk he’d been laying on and sat on the edge of it. “So what does she need from us?” he asked.
“Afraid you’ll have to ask her that. All I know is that you and I are the only ones here, and something big is going down soon.” Anthony explained.
“How do you know that?” Hassan asked.
Before Anthony could answer the door to the classroom opened and Myra hovered in. “I see our new student is awake.” she said.
Hassan quickly turned invisible and ran toward the door, trying to slip past Myra and escape. He was halted quickly as Myra flung him backward with a blast of energy, sending him plowing through rows of desks and skidding into the wall beyond.
“Silly boy, your tricks won’t work on me.” Myra said. “I want you to explain to him what he’s doing here, and help him with his talents like I helped you.” she told Anthony.
“Why can’t you teach him?” Anthony asked.
Myra’s eyes began to glow red as she looked at Anthony. The boy felt a sense of dread well up inside his chest and felt his body grow weaker.
“Alright, I’ll do it!” he shouted.
“Good boy.” the hovering woman said before she left the room.
“Bitch.” he said as he slowly got up and walked over to where Hassan lay on the floor.
Sarah sat in bed, her arm still in a sling and her body still sore from her encounter with Myra several weeks ago.
“She got Hassan.” she told Wesley as he came into the room.
Wesley sighed. “That’s two, any idea how she knows about these kids?” he asked.
“I had a thought about that.” Sarah said. “What if she’s working with Arnold?” she asked.
Wesley shook his head. "Arnold died in that fire, you know that.’ he said.
Sarah looked down at her hands. “Until recently we thought Myra had died in that fire.” she said.
“Look, if she is working with Arnold then this thing is a lot more dangerous than we’re equipped to handle.” Wesley said. “The kids aren’t ready for that.” he added.
Sarah nodded. “I think we need to consider packing things up here and going into hiding until we can properly prepare them for what might be happening.” she said.
“No, we don’t run. Neither of us have run from what we’ve had to face when it comes to this facility.” Wesley said. He took a seat next to Sarah’s bed and took her hand in his. “I made a promise to you a long time ago, do you remember what I said?” he asked.
Sarah nodded and smiled. “You told me that as long as you had breath in your lungs you’d fight for me and these kids.” she said.
“And I meant it. I know that we’ve lost a lot over the years, but we’ve also done so much to make sure that these kids are prepared for the danger that faces them. I mean I’ve lost count how many times we’ve save the day, but I know that it’s a lot.” Wesley told her. “And I don’t plan to quit now just because Arnold and Myra might be working together.” he added.
Sarah leaned up and kissed his cheek. “You’re right, you always are.” she said with a smile. “So what are we going to do?” she asked.
“I’ll see if I can dig something up at work. You continue training with the kids until you hear from me.” he answered.
Sarah nodded. “Thank you Wesley.” she said with a smile.
“That’s what I’m here for.” he said before he kissed her forehead and left the room.
To Be Continued…