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Chapter 7 | Tale of the Devil's Bridge

I'm happily looking at the demon's bridge, mesmerized how it creates a perfect circle with its reflection, I took out my camera to take another shot. As the flash made another click. I felt someone's presence.

"You also find it beautiful, do you?" a stranger said, giving me a tamed look.

"Yeah" I replied shortly, turning my gaze back to the fantastic view. 

I did not expect to have company at the moment. But it felt just fine to have someone to talk to.

Amazed by the perfect engineering of the bridge, human touch can't be traced from the sharp design, it appears to be naturally formed. The builder of that bridge might have spent a lot of time planning and finally launching the work.

"Do you want to know the real story behind?" he caught me off guard, yeah, I want to know the real story.

"Well, an in love man built this bridge to prove his love to the lucky woman named Aurora... and that's it" I managed to shoot a relaxed smile. The man in black plain shirt is just intently looking at me with a smile plastered in his handsome face.

"That's the story in the surface, a man building a bridge to prove his genuine love. Then a happily ever after. Now," he paused as he motioned a step to a huge rock trailed all the way to the other side of the bridge, "let me tell you the real story..." flashing a smirk, he strode his hands on the overlapped three branch. I felt excited.

"Leonardo, a sturdy lad, who grew up in a poor family fell in love with Aurora, the moment that he laid an eye to the young girl, he knew that it was love...but, he felt hopeless because a thread of difference in their life status was undeniably long, however, he showed the only way that he can afford and put effort on to send his love to Aurora" I hopped in a haste to go comfortably with his wide pace, "everyday, Aurora receives a bouquet of wildflowers from the forest with a little note saying 'Love, Leonardo' she was really impressed, slowly, she started to spurt love for Leonardo, she secretly sent letters to the young man, in her last letter, she stated that she want to see Leonardo" he suddenly stopped, I almost bumped at his back. Holding tight on my bag strap, I crawled my gaze to the level of his head, he's looking somewhere in a posture like gearing up for the next part of the story, "But one night, his father learned the relationship between his daughter and the poor guy."

"W-what happened next?" I initiated a hint that he must continue the story because he suddenly paused. He threw a gentle glimpse at me, his eyes started to glitter as tears signaled an attempt to escape. 

"Aurora's father did every trick and tactics to cut his daughters feelings for Leonardo but he didn't succeeded, he ordered paid men to bring Leonardo in front of him. He knew well that the man lack in money, so he hit him on his weakness, he wanted him to build a bridge for his daughter within the interval of two days, if he'll make it in time, he promised to give his daughter in wide open arms---"his story telling stopped, it's because I suddenly grabbed his right hand, I tripped on the slippery rock. Fortunately, he was able to grab me at my waist. 

"Uhm, please continue" I muttered in a trembling voice. My heart skipped a beat on the next thing that happened, he ducked in front of me, he grabbed my legs and carried me in piggyback. I tried my best to resist but pain trailed up badly on my left leg. I sighed, giving in to the idea that I have to be like this the whole day, well that's what I thought.

"So, the poor guy left in dismay, on his way home, a swirl made it's way to block him. A man in red hood played close. Tears started to upwell in his eyes, he knelt and asked the Devil to grant him a favor. After an hour of trading, they came up to a final deal. The devil will grant the bridge possible, but after that, Aurora must cross the bridge first. Without hesitation, Leonardo clung to his only hope" he tightened his grip on my pants to maintain balance. 

"To everyone's shock, it was one sunny afternoon, at exactly 3:25 pm, Leonardo showed the finished bridge, in the mind of Don Gerard (Aurora's father), he doubted but left with no choice, he gave his daughter to intertwine in love with the man" he took a deep breath as he made another heavy step, this time, we are nearing on the middle of the bridge "they wasted no time, Aurora and Leonardo decided to live together away from Don Gerard, at the back of his mind, he never forgot the deal, he led his girl to the bridge, walking side by side as they merrily chanted their plans of building a family, a swirl suddenly huffed and swayed the trees, the devil appeared. Leonardo explained the request of the devil, watching his beloved back, inching slowly to go cross the bridge, the devil beside him grinned and mumbled 'after crossing the bridge, your soul will be mine.' Leonardo, realizing the plan jolted in full speed, he crossed the bridge to save Aurora" I sensed sadness in his voice, "just before his breath was taken away he managed to say 'i will look for you in another life, my love' he threw his body into the innocent waters below this bridge" he continued, he motioned himself down to land me on the historic cement of the bridge.

I breathed in the fresh air given off by nature whilst supporting my posture from the edges "that's sad" I uttered in sincerity, it's tragic.

After a moment of dead air, "But there's more," a lonely grimace started to curve up in the face of the stranger standing like a statue before me, I gave him an intrigued look, "fate was merciful to give them another chance, in another life" as he stated it, events started to spin in my memory, it ached a lot, I wanted to scream out in disbelief and horror.

The stranger grabbed me at my wrist when I'm about to fall, "you a-are Aurora" I stared at his pink lips, it began to quiver but it managed to draw a smile.

"A-and you are my L-Leonar-do?...."

He took a step closer to me, he drew his face near my face. I closed my eyes tightly in thought that he will kiss me but I felt his warm breath on my ears. 

"No, I'm the devil and I'm here to take you" 

Almost breathless, I woke up. Where am I?! I'm about to panic when I remembered that I'm Alyana. "Sh*t" I mumbled, close to whiper. Caressing my nape, I extended my hand for the phone to check the time.

It is 6:30 pm. 

I fell asleep instantly when we  reached home. I felt so tired and exhausted that I didn't even managed to sleep on Alyana's room.

Waning my gaze at the sofa. I saw the hustling of Nami on the kitchen even if it's just her back that was faced to me. 

I noticed that the little kid who saw me naked this morning tip toed all the way to my direction. 

"How are you, Alyana?" she whispered. She's really sweet. The thought of that bad dream was drawn aside because of her. My heart fluttered aa  I cupped her cheeks. 

"I'm fine, sweet heart" since I don't know her name yet, I chose to address her with that. Her eyes slowly widened as she grabbed my hand that was on her cheeks.

"Are you really ok, omg!" she almost jumped at her seat, "you usually call me Rave, but you called me sweet heart, aaaahhhh......pinch me, Alayana" she deliberately slapped her face for a couple of times. She was about to slap once more but I  catched her little hand. Her cheeks already turned pinkish.

It's because I'm not Alyana, dear. 

"Stop it, little one. You're hurting yourself" I hushed as I clutched my feet to stand up, "I'll take a shower. Be a good girl. I'll be back" I gave her a gentle smile. Shock was still all over her face. In fact, her lips was opened a bit. The inner me just giggled.

___xXx___

Letting the warm water pitter patter on my skin. I closed my eyes tightly. What was the meaning of that dream anyway? Reincarnation? What a horror, geez. I shook my head, but another thought entered my head. 

On our way home, we saw a cat sitting outside, gray and black in color. Its eyes were deep green. Alone and cold, I patted its head before entering the house. I initiated to close the gate, my heart almost escaped my chest the moment that the cat jumped. Her beautiful eyes were firmly barred to me as if it wanted to say something but can't because it was a cat. I shrugged my shoulders disregarding the cat's presence. *haist*

I rotated the water knob. Shaking my hand to remove the excessive water on my arm, I turned to get the white towel hanging on the metal bar beside the soap tray attached on the tiled wall.

I spent the next minutes of the night by towel drying my hair as I headed out of the bathroom. Upon going out, I slid my fingers to open the upper most drawer of the table.

Weird tickles clawed in my stomach, enlivening the butterflies living inside, bursting out a force to my veins causing my heart to drum like crazy.

"Aaaah, how could Alyana have a clip collection?!" I cried in happiness. My throat dried as I brushed my gaze to the aesthetic sight. *urgh* I want to let out a merry shriek. 

Shining in pastel colors, gold and silver, this clip collection was my favorite way back in college. I wanna praise and adore Alyana, she really had my taste. 

The stroking of my fingers on the fine design came into a halt. I'm afraid that I might love her life too much and refuse later on to be my real self. 

A pink comb was on the left part, just beside the clip box. I turned to my bed as I entangled Alyana's wavy brown hair. I'm naked under the towels but I chose to threw it off, so what? I'm alone here anyway. I love the coldness of the moment so I closed my eyes gently. 

Scratch.

Calm steps. 

My curiousness hurled me to the direction of the dark corner of the room. A luminescent object blinked. I felt my heart race realizing that it's a living thing. It creeped out of the shadows and moved its little legs to wander towards me. 

How could that cat enter our house?! My room?!

She came into a stop down the foot of the navy blue covered bed. While waggling his furry tail, she purred softly. 

Its attention was immensely barred at me. 

I'm about to carry it with my bare hands but I noticed a small round handle on the floor, just beside the cat's right paw. Hmmmm? That's odd, it's like an opening to a box or something on the floor. 

I walked around it, examining it's subtle features. It looks old hinted by the color and a touch of rust  I kneeled beside it and postured an indian seat. 

Gearing to open it up in full force, a call on the veranda interrupted me.

"Alyana, you have visitors" Nami said in here gentle voice.

Visitors? 

I stood up and hastily picked a loose dress. I caught in my peripheral vision that the gray cat followed me. 

__xXx__

"Who's my visitor Na----oh" a handsome complexion stood up to give me a hug. My eyes widened a bit, shocked by his action, I decided to stay still.

He loosened his arms around me after seeing my dad coming.

"Oh hi, Hero. You're here. How's your mother, son" he said in his welcoming mood. 

While chuckling, "Don't worry Dad, your sister is well. Besides, I'm a good boy, I won't cause her any problem" dad walked close and ruffled Hero's hair.

"Oh, Alyana. Talk to your cousin first and.....your new friend" he addressed at me while examining the man beside my "cousin" from head to toe.

In his neat polo shirt, the man with Hero was the new student in my class. He hadn't changed outfit yet. I wonder what are they up to. Or just "what was the plan of my mischievous cousin?" *haist*

I heaved a deep sigh as I motioned my hand to offer them a seat.

"Uhm...what are you doing here?" I don't really know if that's the right question to ask.

"Tss, hello. I'm your cousin, I can go here anytime I want. And, oh, I want you to meet Kervin.... Kervin Kier Montreal" I saw a faint smirk trail in his lips, I can smell something fishy. This mean kid! Tss.

"I-I c-came here to return your pen" he drew out his hand. I rolled my eyes as I laughed. 

"You don't need to bother yourself, you can give that to me tommorow" I even extended my angle to give his shoulder a slight tap. I took the pen after. I caught a bewildered expression on Hero, he's a silly boy.

"We're leaving then" Kervin abruptly stood.

"Hey, you can stay for a bit longer" I tried to convince them but they are already at the door. 

"Uncle, and Granny we're leaving!" Hero yelled in his lively voice. 

I pouted in dismay but a figure grabbed my attention. A gold plated badge, shaped like a sun with eight rays, was on the sofa. I picked it up and rotated at it's back part, a text was written but it can't be discerned. 

I decided to ho back at my room, striding my limbs on the stair whilst abstracted on the badge. It looks familiar. I think I saw it somewhere. I nibbled my lower lip.

Argh I think I really saw it somewhere.

Wait could it be.....

"Aaaaahhhh" a stroke of pain sliced on my head, and after that, the familiar pitch of black blanketed on me as I lost touch of the real world.

Authors Note: Inspired by the idea of Fallen Weirdzard. Revised by permission ✨

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