Monday, October 07, 2013

The Rising | Chapter Five


I asked you beside me
I have you, yes I have you
- Lana Del Rey

The fireplace is crackling and spitting embers on the wooden floors of the living room. It's warmth is making me drowzy. I bury myself further in the blankets and keep my eyes on the starless night sky that looks down at me through the foggy windows. For a moment, I imagine myself in my old victorian bed. Just for a moment.

"Are you just going to stare out the window?" He says, snapping me back to reality.

I shift in my seat and place myself to face my guest. His presence alone comforts me, reminds me of times back home with mom when we would sing his songs on rainy Sunday afternoons. He came to me in times of need, and for that I will always be grateful.

I smile. "It's surprisingly easy to get distracted when you're alone."

"Where's Phillip?" Elvis asks, his eyes masked by those dark sunglasses.

I look towards the kitchen. Shadows from the fire's light bounces off the staircase. "He's sleeping." I reach for my cup and take a sip of my warm Mapleroots tea.

"So," he says, and gives me that trademark smirk, "why did you call me here tonight, cupcake?"

That nickname. It gives me butterflies in the pit of my stomach everytime he says it. And with that charming, southern accent.

"I just wanted to talk. It's lonely without Maggie."

"Maggie," He whispers,  "have you found out what happened to her?"

I take another sip of soothing, hot Mapleroots tea and set the cup down on the table. When I look back up, there are tears in my eyes. Elvis gives me a sympathetic smile and I return it in kind. The only time I come close to feeling joy since her dissapearance is in moments like these; having a chat by the fireplace with the King.

"Phillip doesn't understand what I'm going through. I mean, it's understandable, he's never met her. But losing her and then having Phillip suddenly wake up is all so confusing. He's not at all what I thought he would be."

"And how is he copping with this new landscape?"

I roll my eyes and sigh. "A lot better than me. He's only thirteen -"

Elvis cuts me off. "And you're only sixteen, cupcake. And this sure ain't Memphis anymore." His tone is smooth and comforting, and I know he's telling me this to reassure me but at which point does his exitence becomes my imagination?

"But I need to be there for him." I shrug and look away, slightly bothered by my own conclusion. Maybe he is just part of my imagination. "Like I need you to be there for me. Are you really there, Elvis?"

He smiles and leans forward, taking my hand into his. He rubs it gently and looks into my eyes. "I'm here cupcake. Now tell me why it is you really called me here tonight."

I take back my hand and slide off the couch. I kind of push Elvis as I make my way around him and into the kitchen. I lean against the counter and take a deep breath. Phillip and I can't possibly make it on our own, we don't have the knowledge that Maggie possessed. I don't know where to find Mapleroots or how to salvage toxic waters. It was always Maggie who had done that. Always Maggie.

I turn around to face Elvis, his handsome face almost completly covered by darkness. All I can see is that signature smirk on his lips.

"I wanted some advice..." I look away, "about what to do next?"

Silence. He loses his smirk and for some reason, the air shifts in the room. I first notice the dying fire and then a sudden heavy weight on my body.

"I'm not a tour guide, Katherine Elizabeth Calvert. Nor am I here to meddle in your affairs. You will have to find your own way through the wastelands." He says, with finality.

"But i'm -"

And he vanishes. The fire roars back to life and I feel the air around me get thinner and lighter. The cabin remains eerily silent as I contemplate his last words.

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