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Jonathan slowly opened his eyes and immediately closed them again. He turned over and groaned. Extending a hand, he slowly felt the warm, soft earth he was lying on. Young grass tickled his fingers. Where am I, thought Jonathan, and opened his eyes again, more carefully this time. As he was lying on his side now, the sunlight didn't hit his eyes as cruelly. Jonathan looked down at his hand, sluggishly slowly, taking in the sight of bright green grass. Some inches away from his hand grew a small patch of pale pink lilies. He gently touched the flowers' petals, his face taking on a look of wonder.

Shielding his eyes, Jonathan rolled back onto his back and sat up. He did every movement slowly, as if it hurt to move. In contrast, Jonathan was actually feeling so light, so problem-free he felt no need to move fast. He looked around. It was a beautiful valley, green with life. Flowers were scattered across the field, a lonely tree stood a long distance away.

Jonathan stood up, slowly, and taking one more look around, headed towards the tree. From afar, it looked ordinary and old, with dark green leaves whispering in the slight breeze. As Jonathan neared it, he saw that the tree was different. He stepped carefully over each and every flower, smiling a vibrantly bright smile at them. I have never felt this happy, thought he.

It was a grand oak.

Jonathan looked up at the branches, growing far above, his head tilted all the way back to look. It looked very beautiful, and he relished in the fragrance of flowers and nature. He looked back down, towards the west, but could see nothing but the forever long valley. It's not a problem, thought he, I could walk hundreds of mile sand not tire of such exquisite sight.

He walked on.

It didn't seem to end, the beautiful landscape. But Jonathan was not worried, for he liked it. At one moment he even wondered why he wanted to leave this place. He smiled goofily and said to himself, “Only a fool would want to leave this heaven.”

Little did he know he was right.

Slowly, night came. The sun reddened and slowly disappeared behind the hills far, far, far away. It was a heavenly sight, how the sky changed from pale blue to a mix of pink, orange, and purple. Jonathan stopped and sat down onto a mattress of grass. It's so nice here, he thought before going to sleep.

Weeks passed. Jonathan found everything neat and happy, but slowly continued to travel forward. He found that for food, he could always pick the wild berries growing right under his feet. There were wild strawberries, and once he found gooseberries. He also found that all trees gave fruit. Apples, pears, peaches. Jonathan loved this land.

Months later, he still could not get out of the place. At first it seemed nice, but not anymore. It was all tasteless, all so boring. It was fake.

Jonathan began to be more worried and he could no longer ravel in the peace and quiet. He was disturbed by the silence, no bees, birds, wild animals. Just he, all alone, trapped. He countinued walking.

Jonathan only knew his name – Jonathan. He didn't even know what he looked like. Did he have brown hair or blond hair? Did he have blue or brown eyes? Was he tall? Did he have freckles? He somehow knew what each word meant, and at the same time, he could not remember anything else. Who am I, wondered he. There was no answer.

Then he began to have the dreams.

“Darling wake up,” heard Jonathan. He slowly opened his eyes. His mother was standing above him, her dark red hair hanging down like curtains, her amber eyes looking at him with gentle love. She smiled and kissed his cheek.

“Breakfast's waiting Jonathan,” she walked out of the room, closing it behind her.

Jonathan woke up feeling confused. He knew the woman in his dream was his mother, but he could not remember her. Was she nice, asked he himself. She looked gentle and friendly in the dream, he answered.

Jonathan opened the book titled Treasure Island. Standing near the shelf, he began to read. In fact, he became so absorbed he stood there the whole day, only startling up when Mary bustled into the room, her wild hair tucked into a neat bun.

“Brother, you book worm! Reading boring books again are you?” She laughed and hugged him.

Who was the girl, asked Jonathan himself again. She looked very similar to the woman I saw before, answered he.

The dreams were interesting, but very confusing. He could not piece the story together. There was a part missing, a part that took up most of his heart.

Mary, her proud head bowed, a black veil over her eyes. She wore a black dress, and her hair looked black.

“Maaaaaaaryyyyyy.” whispered something. It was a creepy sound, a sound of somebody scratching a table with old, rusty keys.

“Maaaaaaaryyyyyyyy.” said it again. The sound was closer to Jonathan, but he could not move.

“My wifeeeeee. Cooooome greeeet meee.” Black, shadow-like hands stretched forward and cupped Mary's face.

“My lord.” answered she. A dark face with glowing crimson eyes appeared out of the shadows, it's body long and dark. Slowly, the shadow-man leaned towards Mary and whispered in her ear.

“You can finally be mine.”

Jonathan awoke in cold sweat. His eyes snapped open and he quickly sat up. Everything was dark, so dark, in fact, that he could not even seen an outline of his hand. Covering his eyes with his hand, Jonathan tried to calm down. The dream wasn't scary. It was sick and perverted in the way that made you want to run and hide, and never emerge from your place again.

This shadow seems so familiar, thought Jonathan. He scowled, trying to remember. Suddenly, he was jolted out of his thoughts by an unpleasant feeling. Something, very slimy and small was moving up his leg. Reaching out, Jonathan picked that 'something' up. It squirmed in his grip.

Bringing the whatever-it-was closer to his face, Jonathan squinted. He still couldn't see anything. He threw the insect away.

At the same time, he felt earth shift under him.

“What the?” It was soft and squishy and it squirmed. It was moving under him. Terror like no other rose in his throat. Jumping up, he trembled in disgust. And he felt hurt like no other. Jonathan howled in pain – it was a long and blood-curling sound. He fell to his knees and tried to make himself as small as possible. The pain blocked all thinking. The pain was the only thing on his mind. The pain. Adding to his ever-growing horror, Jonathan felt the insect move on him. He felt them in his ears, and in his mouth. Bile rose in his throat, plugging his breathing and he threw up. He could not stop.

One moment he was in heaven, another he was stuck in this god-knew-what place. He shook and trembled. Jonathan fainted.

My eyelids felt heavy with tears. I felt pity for the girl and for the boy. Especially the boy. Stubborn and foolish, he tried to save his sister from a disaster that still grabbed her mind, heart, and soul.

Jonathan slowly opened his eyes. There was a light bulb hanging on the ceiling, shining weakly down. Everything blurred in his eyes. Slowly, he concentrated his eyes, trying to see past the pale yellow fog. He wished he hadn't.

Maggots. Everywhere. Crawling under him, in his shirt, pants, navel, ears. It was so disgusting. And he could not move even a little. His hands were tied behind his back, warm blood seeping down his half-bare back. When has this happened, asked he himself. Where am I?

He tried shifting around again, but all he managed to do was make himself feel even worse. His stomach protested, but nothing came up. He blacked out again.

When he came to again, he remembered. Mary, sweet little Mary disappearing into the well. He...he went and climbed after her. Then...he, he awoke. And she was there. And then he couldn't remember. He grit his teeth and tried to remember. Stupid, stupid, stupid, he thought to himself. He could not remember what brought him to this situation.

He awoke again, screaming Mary's name. Tears gathered in his eyes, and he called himself a fool hundreds of times. How could he be so stupid. How could he be so weak?

In his fury, he managed to move forward a little, crawling on the maggots and feeling disgust surge through him. He crawled until he saw stars in his eyes and hung his head.

He heard a chuckle. Wearily lifting his head up, he saw the shadow. Crimson, devilish eyes looked down upon Jonathan in mirth. Long black hair hung down to the floor. His hands were behind his back, and he grinned, a toothy grin with sharp silvery white teeth gleaming like knives.

“Good evening Jonathaaaan.” he rasped. Crouching down, he leaned until he was almost touching noses with Jonathan.

“It's so niiiiice to seeeeee you awaaaake. I hope yoouuuu enjooooooooooyed youuur staaaaay.” His tone was that of hot chocolate, warm and melting. Jonathan snarled, but could not say anything back. It was as if his voice was suddenly gone.

“Doooon't woooory, littleeeee booooy.” He patted Jonathan's head.

“Soooon, yooooou'll beee gone foreveeeer.” He smiled a sincere smile, a smile that looked weird on such a pale and sadistic face. The shadow stood up.

“Sanavi eum!” and turned away, exiting the door. The maggots squirmed and suddenly, hundreds of sharp teeth bit into Jonathan's flesh. A scream tore out of his throat.

I hear a scream. It must be in my head.

Oparu exited the room and locked it behind him. If my brother finds out I'm doing this, he will kill me, thought he. Looking to his right and to his left, he went away to his room, to wait for the boy to be healed. His hands shook from excitement, he was finally going to make things right. For hundreds of years, young beautiful girls have disappeared from asylums and had been married off to his brother – Ushuram. It was finally time to throw him over. He might not be able to return the girls to their original world, but it was better than being married to Ushuram, surely.

Has it ever been mentioned that good things happen rarely? That's what happens to every hero of every book, story, song. They are always faced with challenges that would sweep a normal person off into death's hands. Not with Jonathan.

He thought he was going to be killed. He was prepared to go down with a fight, trying to kick and shake off the maggots. Then, he noticed that they had faces of children. Innocent little faces with pale blue eyes – just like the ones his little sister had. And he stopped struggling, not being able to kill such innocence.

That saved him.

And that made his problems worse.

Ushuram walked down the hallway towards where 'Jonathan' was located, secretly eager to see the bloody mess the maggots had made with the foolish boy. His hands twithed, and a sick smirk made way onto his face. Getting the keys from his pocket, he slowly opened the lock and looked inside. It was as clear as any other cell, maggots swarming the floor, but no prisoner.

“Impossible.” he murmured. A beautiful, innocent face changed to one of shadows.

“OPARU! Get here now!” It was a whisper that traveled up the walls and over the ceilings, it was a whisper that stopped Oparu in his tracks on the way to the cell. His heart gave a wrench of terror.

“No.” muttered he to himself. And he opened the door the real cell where Jonathan lay, unconscious, but healed. He picked him up, and turned towards the a small wooden door at the back of the cell.

“Aperire innocentes,” whispered he and swiped his hand across it. Slowly, it did. It was gemstone green inside, and Oparu laid Jonathan inside. Outside he heard the footsteps of his angry brother.

“Proxime,” whispered he again, and swiped his hand across it vertically. Quickly he stood up, just as his brother entered the cell. He didn't dare turn.

Ushuram looked around the cell. There was blood on the floor.

“What have I told you Oparu?” asked Ushuram. Oparu didn't answer. His face growing darker, Ushuram stepped softly clother to Oparu. The younger brother didn't hear anything, but stood still as stone.

“You betray me, do you not brother?” whispered he across Oparu's neck. Not expecting his brother to be so close, the second brother jumped, his heart in his throat.

Ushuram's hand curled around his brother's hand and yanked down, hard.

“Yooooou forgeeet youuur placeeee littleeeee scuuuuum,” hissed he into Oparu's face, “You forgeeeeet I'm the oneeeee youuuu shouuuuld be afraaaaaiiiid offffff.” He yanked Oparu by the hair to the left. The other one gasped from the pain.

“I shouuuuld puuuuniiiishhh yoooouuu.”

|| weeks later ||

Jonathan woke up in a small hut, and saw Oparu next to him. Baring his teeth, he jumped back, only to find that he couldn't. Yanking his body, he felt as if he was glued to the cot.

Oparu was facing him with his back, but at the sound of the panting he turned around. The once beautiful face was covered in scars. One of his eyes was missing. Jonathan saw that the eyes were sad. Taking out a pencil, Oparu wrote something down on it.

“Don't worry, boy,” it said, “I'm a friend. I won't hurt you.”

“Rubbish!” yelled Jonathan. “You lie! You took my sister as your wife!”

“No,” wrote Oparu, “that was my brother. I'm Oparu, his younger brother. This is how I paid to get you out of Ushuram's clutches.”

“B-but, then how? What?”

“We're twins. Except, I'm human, and he's not.” Oparu looked sad for a moment. Then he wrote, “I want to help you save your little sister, and in turn, save many more women in the same danger.”

“Why?”

“Because it's not alright, what he's doing. It's not alright that he takes so many wives and then gets rid of them. I want to put a stop to it!” wrote Oparu, his eyes growing angry.

“I don't believe you.”

“Then don't.” it was a small whisper, broken and small. Oparu stood up and went out of the room.

Three months later, Jonathan understood. Three years later, they were friends.

Three decades later, they won.

Author's Note:

This is a sequel to my previous story: Darkness. Yes, I felt guilty for giving it such a bad ending, soooo, I made a sequel. This is ALSO my entry for the March One-Shot Contest. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it's not too bad. Thanks, - DraculaFan

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