Beyond The Holders
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It took me a long time to figure out what my father was. Looking back now it seems so obvious, but then again, I never would have dreamt of it. My father would leave me and my mother for business trips. He would go all around the country, but making sure to hit every city. He had a big list of towns which he'd cross names off of. I always assumed he was a traveling salesman. Until the one time I went with him.
Of course he didn't bring me in with him, but he left me at a motel. He'd leave in the middle of the night, and then return in the morning. We stayed in that town for about a week. I must have been no more than thirteen. One night he came back looking terrible, he collapsed on the bed and fell asleep, leaving the bag he brought in with him on the floor. I should never have looked. But I did. I was so curious, I wanted to be connected to my father, to know him better. I crept out of bed. It was as if the thing in the bag called me. I walked up and opened it. I've never known what I saw in there. All I know is if I think about it long enough my head starts to hurt. But the next thing I knew I was on the floor with my dad above me. He was pale, and scared. I had never seen my father scared. He gave me a tissue and told me to wipe my mouth. The tissue turned red, I didn't even know I was bleeding. We went straight home that night, and I was never allowed to come with him again.
A few years later, I came home to hear my father talking on the phone with someone. My father said things like "You can't, He'll find you." and "They already know. They've always known." But not at one point did he mention a name. It wasn't until I heard "Why would you think that would work? The accident with the Object wasn't my fault it was..." that I realized what he was talking about. A week later I started doing research. The further I searched the more it scared me, and the more it scared me the more interested I got. My father found out. He didn't say anything about it though. He just stopped talking to me. That summer he left and never returned.
I always assumed he died, and moved on with my life. I tried to stop thinking about the Holders, and the Objects, but I guess it was in my blood. One day I walked into a mental institution in a city I was visiting, just to check, or at least that's what I told myself. I walked up to the man behind the desk and asked if there was someone by the name of "The Holder of Innocence", the man behind the counter looked like he was about to cry, but only in one eye. I ran out of that place, and I never went back. Not even back to the same city. I swore off the research and tried to get on with my life. Until I got the call. It was him, he told me he was dying, and that this was the last time I could see him. How could I deny him the chance?
He was alone in the hospital room, I sat down beside him. He didn't look ill at all. He looked quite well. I felt nervous, wondering why he called me. He apologized to me, for bringing me along, he told me that because I now knew, I could never stop looking for them. I asked him the only question I could think of, the one question that had be bugging me ever since I learned.
I asked him why he started looking. He smiled. He opened the drawer beside him and pulled out a scroll. He handed it to me, telling me it's the only one he managed to keep from Them. I considered asking who They were, but I didn't. The scroll was covered in weird symbols, looking like a text. I couldn't read it, and hadn't recognized it. It must be the language of the Holders I told myself. I asked him why he gave it to me, he told me he was going away. "Dying?" I asked. He shook his head, and told me that death would be better. But that he could not let Them have him. So he needed to protect himself the only way he knew how. That's when I saw it. Behind the flower pot on the nightstand beside him. The Bag. I looked at my father. He told me that he and it would protect each other, it was the only way. It was the only time I had ever seen my father cry.
Three days later I read in the news about a massive power outage in the hospital my father stayed in. I got a call later that day from the hospital, they told me my father was missing. But I knew. Just as well as They knew. I knew what he had become.
Today I'm going to the park nearby, I'm going to try to find the Serpent and pick up the hammer. If I live, I will find another and take it. Until I have enough. Then I will go back and find my father. Or at least what was my father. He is a Holder now. He has a new name. The Holder of the End.
[ Story continues with Smile ]
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