Updated: Feb 4, 2021
Feeling her neck where the giant hand had almost crushed the life out of her, Jen could still feel the heat from the redness and bruising that nearly entirely covered her neck. A wave of fear washed over her at the thought of facing that thing again. Her throat was dry and burned. "Mom…" Jen said hoarsely, choking a bit, then coughing for a second and then motioning that she needed a drink. As Jen reached out and took the glass, her hands were shaking violently, but everyone in the room acted like they didn't see a thing. For every single one of them knew facing the thing again that had almost killed her already once was a roll of the dice but, there was no choice, she had to face it whether she wanted to or not it was coming, and she had to win. The vile thing was coming for Jen regardless, and there was nothing anyone could do about it but try to prepare Jen the best they could.
Jen and the older man talked for hours, then started to practice, and she got more powerful bit by bit, learning to cast a psychic shield and form psychic bolts as well as other psychic abilities. The older man had explained that she could even pick a color for her psychic abilities, and since her favorite color was pink, she, of course, from then on summoned them in that color, a bright hot pink. Despite the shield being pink, it was still half see-through as it was not entirely stable. As time went on, it did get more robust, as did the other abilities she was learning to form. The older man explained that she could make almost any tool or weapon she could dream up all she needed was a bit of imagination. Jen frowned at the word "imagination."
After many hours of practice outside in the back yard, the older man could see Jen was becoming tired and told Jen it was time for her to take a nap before tonight's coming activities. Jen protested as she wanted to practice more but, in the end, gave up the fight and went inside; it was mid-afternoon by this time. Jen got a drink and sat down on the couch, and started to relax, enjoying the coolness of the house after being out in the sun for hours.
"Tonight will be a bit different than last night," the old man pointed out. "Tonight, there will be no need for the changeling to try and manifest in your dreams as he will be almost at full strength; he will be able to appear in our reality again.
Rubbing her still red and sore neck Jen Replied: "I wish I had the flute last night; I would have beat the crap out of him. I feel stupid that I forgot it upstairs." The older man looked confused at the thought of this. "Beaten him with the flute, how exactly would you have done that child? You were asleep..." Jen Frowned. "Oh yeah, that's right..." Trailing off for a second, then continuing, "That's where the psychic abilities like the shield would have come into use then? Questioned Jen, "Yes indeedy, good job, you are right in thinking that. You are starting to use your head more, I see, yes you are. You can always use the psychic abilities no matter if you are asleep or awake, yep. Mmmm hm. Definitely very useful to know how to use them."
Smiling with pride in just a few hours of practice, Jen had learned so much, the older man continued. "Jen, Now when fighting him, you are to be remembering that the seal you are and all you must do is to stay alive, he will only have from 12:01 tell 1:01 to disable you. But if you can be staying alive and awake until that time has passed, the seal will be bound back together again until the next time it weakens, and then your grandchildren will be the ones to deal with it. As you are knowing, failing and your life will be forfeit, your line will die with you.
"Jen was quite aware of what was at stake already, but the old man felt it was necessary to be sure it was adequately reinforced in her mind what would happen if she failed tonight. "Now, You need to be taking a nap, lay down and relax, getting some sleep you must, so you will be fresh for the fight that comes for you tonight."
Jen laid down and relaxed, thinking of all they had talked about and practiced. She was still scared out of her mind but felt more confident now after talking and practicing. She lay there for a good while tossing and turning, unable to sleep but then sleep finally found her.
Jen was shaken awake, opening her eyes to her mom leaning over her. "Jen, Jen, wake up; it is almost time!" Jen sat up slowly. "Oh, Ouch!" Pausing about halfway up and grasping the back of her neck. Jen sat up the rest of the way more slowly. She asked her mom, "Can you get me some ibuprofen? My neck is still quite sore." Her mom shuffled quickly into the kitchen and began rooting around in the cupboard, trying to find where she had put the bottle of ibuprofen the last time she used it.
Jen Sat slouched down on the couch, allowing the back of the sofa to support her neck, quietly and blankly staring across the room at the kitchen doors. A Minute or so later, Jen's mom quickly shuffled back in with a glass of water in one hand and the ibuprofen in the other. Jen took them and gave the cup back to her mom; after she finished, her mom quickly shuffled away again to the kitchen. Jen watched her mom move around the house, coming and going watching her all the while. She noted that her mom was apparently highly distressed and guessed it was due to the thought of what was about to happen.
Jen scooched up on the couch a bit and lay her head back on the back of the sofa relaxing where she sat, awaiting the ibuprofen's magic to kick in. Kent was nowhere to be seen ATM, Jen wondered where he could be, but her mind was still covered in cobwebs since she had just woken up a few minutes ago and was not fully awake yet. Jen Relaxed here for a few moments, then noticed that her mom was still in the kitchen and hadn't come back, listening; She could hear what sounded like, yes, her mom was doing dishes by hand. Jen shook her head slightly and instantly grimaced at the pain it caused. Her mom only washed dishes by hand when she was very stressed out. Jen thought for a minute, then called out, "Mom..." In an Instant, her mom appeared, doing her quick shuffle into the room. Jen motioned for her to come closer, then patted the couch next to where she was sitting. Jen's mom slowly approached and sat next to Jen, sitting upright and rigid. Jen Leaned over and lay her head on her mom's shoulder, and as if you had thrown an ice cube into a scalding hot frying pan, her mom melted back into the couch, slowly relaxing and beginning to sob into her hands.
Jen said: "It's ok, mom, I think I can win this; we practiced all day...." Through her tears, she heard her mom say, "I know honey, But I'm so worried, After the last time you fought that thing and it almost... Oh, I can't even think about it! YOUR ALL I HAVE LEFT! After your father... I Can't Lose you too! I just can't! I don't know what I would do." Jen couldn't think of anything much to say. She wanted to say something more that would make her feel better, but Jen wasn't even sure she would win, and repeating it may give it away that she wasn't sure. Her mom had not spoken of the horrific death that had taken her father last year since it had happened, not one word.
Jen responded with the only thing she knew to be 100% genuine, reaching over. She hugged her mom tight and said: "Well, mom, I love you with all my heart regardless of anything else; I Love You!" Jen's mom, taken back a bit, responded, " Ha! Oh, honey! I love you too; I Love you so much! No matter what you have to do to win, you must win. No matter what happens, it would be best if you kept fighting; you can't ever give up no matter how much he hurts you or how much it looks like you have lost. YOU MUST GO ON! Because honey, I need you. I Love you so much!" Jen smiled and said: "Don't worry, mom, I'll whip his butt! You Know I Will!" They both smiled widely and laughed for a moment.
After a while, Jen's mom said: "Well, it is almost time for you to get ready." Jen's neck was feeling quite a bit better; much of the stiffness had dissipated. And the cobwebs that had been in her mind were gone now.
"I had better go now." her mom continued. Jen Frowned. "Go? Go where? Where are you going?" Jen's mom lowered her head and replied: "Oh honey, I can't be here for the fight, I couldn't bear to..., besides the old man said if we are here, that thing may try to use us against you." Jen thought about this for a moment and then conceded the point, that thing would do anything it could to win, and she wouldn't put it past him using her mom and Kent as hostages to get what it wants, namely, its freedom to wreak havoc using her body tell it had rotted away.
Heading out the front door as the older man came down from upstairs, he and her mom said their goodbyes. The older man approached and sat again on the table in front of Jen. Both closed their eyes and began to clear their minds and prepare for what was to come in just a few minutes from now.
The Old man said, "Are you ready?" Jen replied: "Yes." and moved to a kneeling position in front of the old man. Then he began making signs with his hands; both Jen and the older man's eyes closed as they focused. After a few seconds, the tips of his fingers began to glow and leave a trail in the air as he moved his hand. With each new sign, his hands made and held for a fraction of a second, the glow increased. And so did the speed of his hands. At this point, in one fluid and smooth motion, the older man stood and pushed the table back out of the way from behind him so that he could stand in front of Jen.
At this moment, Jen began to match the older man's movements and signs he was making with his hands. At first, following him; then, after a few seconds syncing up, they were both making the same hand signs simultaneously. At this point, both their hands were glowing bright red. After each symbol, the sign hung in mid-air for a fraction of a second. Then it starting to move up, fading and dissipating like smoke. Then the time had arrived they were both at full power, and the Oldman's wrists came together, with one hand facing left and one facing right he then shoved them in into Jen's chest, hard. The Impact pushed Jen backward, but she was ready for it and resisted, stayed where she was kneeling in front of him. At that moment, when his hands had made contact, there was a bright red flash followed by Jen slapping her hands closed on both the forearms of the older man, and another Flash of red exploded out into the room. Where his hands were in contact with her chest on the left and right side of the seal, a red glow was radiating out in a pulsing pattern.
Jen could feel the power that was flowing into her, strengthening and healing her all at once. With each pulse, she felt the power increase. Her grip on the older man increased tell he could no longer bear it, and he broke the Connection, knowing she was at full strength.
Jen's hands Continued to glow red as she was having issues controlling this much power. Opening her eyes, everything was a Red Hue as her eyes were spitting red sparks. A bit of blood trickled out of her eyes and ran down both her cheeks, and she winced in pain at the burning and stinging coming from her eyes, but she remained in control, blinking rapidly as it passed. The older man examined the seal on her chest, seeing that all the seal's channels were lit up and glowing red but the left and right sides were still not connected. He looked up at Jen's face and said: "You are ready, I have done all I can, it is now up to you, fight well. Yes, indeedy that it is." The older man moved over to the stairs; he sat down and leaned up against the wall, sliding down to a sitting position, and crossing his arms, exhausted from channeling that much power into her. Within a moment, he was fast asleep, making odd snorting noises every few seconds that was quite disturbing for Jen.