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Autumn: Chapter Three

February 18, 2010

.:C h a p t e r  T h r e e:.

Bryn took a deep breath, straightening his jacket.

“Are you alright?” He asked Autumn.

She nodded.

“Okay, then.”
He walked out into the yard and came to Faria, lying in the leaves.

She moaned and sat up, holding her head.

“Don’t move,” Bryn said.

“I wasn’t planning to,” Groaned Faria.

Bryn frowned.

Autumn came up behind him, looking a bit timid.

A ghost of a smile appeared on Faria’s lips.

“So, Bryn, are you going to tell her? She’s tired of being kept in the dark, you know.”
Bryn didn’t sat anything.

“Oh, c’mon, Bryn. You know you owe it to her, what, after everything that’s been going on.”
“Just shut up, will you?” Bryn said, exasperated.

Faria laughed.

Bryn thought that Autumn was going to say something, but she just stood a little behind him, and didn’t breathe a word.

He ran a hand through his hair, waiting for her to say something.

But she didn’t, and he had a homicidal Faria on his hands.

He turned back to her.

She had a smirk all over her face.

“Good luck, Bryn m’boy,” She said.

He rolled his eyes as she disappeared right in front of him, fading away, the smirk lingering.

Just like the Chesire Cat, Bryn thought.

He stood up and turned to Autumn.

“Well, I suppose I have some explaining to do.”

Autumn watched as Faria faded away, and Bryn turned to her.

“Well, I suppose I’ve got some explaining to do.”
She nodded.

“What is going on here!?”

Bryn sighed.

“Okay… Autumn, I don’t really know how to put this, but…”
He fixed her with an odd look in his eyes, and she fidgeted.

“But what?” She asked.

“Your life, Autumn… it’s not real.”

Autumn blinked, and there was a frozen moment.

“Not real?” She asked, quietly.
He rubbed the back of his tufty hair, looking awkward.

“It’s a dream, Autumn. All of this,” He said, gesturing to their surroundings, “isn’t real. It’s a fabrication.”
She blinked again.

“Wh…what are you saying?”
“I’m saying that all of your friends, all of your family, your whole world, is just… a dream. You’re asleep, Autumn.” He said, putting his hands on her arms.

Asleep…
She drew back from him, shaking her head.

“No, no, that’s not true. It can’t be true,” She said, almost pleading.

He shook his head sadly.

“I’m sorry, Autumn.”

Images of the past day flickered through her mind, and she began to connect it together. The weird happenings, the strange erasure of the bike incident, it all made sense now.

But she didn’t want to believe it.

“How can I be dreaming?!”  She yelled. She felt the tears coming now, welling up and blurring her vision slightly. “How can my life be a dream? Tell me, Bryn, or whatever your name is! Are you a part of the dream, too?”

He shook his head.

“No, I’m real. Perhaps the only real thing here. They wanted you to remain clueless, so you’ve been sleeping. They made a false world for you, a dream. And things are beginning to fall apart here. Wondering why your mother hasn’t come home yet? ” he said. “You’re not who you think you are, Autumn.”

She clenched her fists.

“Then who am I, then?” She yelled, tears streaming down her face. She couldn’t bring herself to face what she knew somewhere in her to be the truth.

He reached out for her.

“Autumn, I-”

“No!” She yelled, “Stay away from me!”

She drew back her fist, and he didn’t flinch as the blow struck him in the cheek.

He was knocked back a step, and he raised his hand to feel the bruise that was already raising.

“I, ah, I suppose I deserved that,” He said. “But you’ve got to understand, Autumn.”

She gritted her teeth.

“No, I don’t want to understand! If this is a dream, then I want to live it!” She said.

With that, she turned and ran back to the house, stumbling along.

She slammed the door behind her, and glanced back out to see Bryn standing in the yard, looking defeated.

Good! She thought, drawing the curtain over the door.

She ran up to her room and collapsed onto her bed, wiping her tear-streaked face.

How could all of this be a dream? It didn’t feel like a dream. How could her whole life not be real?
She felt more tears welling up in her eyes, and wiped them away.

She sniffed, staring out the window, her arms wrapped around her pillow.

Her mother, her father, her entire life, wasn’t real? How could that be?

She wiped her eyes again, and walked over to the window, staring out.
She pressed her forehead to the cool glass, and sniffed.

She realized that she still needed answers. She had only heard half of it from Bryn, and then she had left him.

She wiped her eyes one last time, and then left the room and descended the stairs again. She drew back the curtain, and was presented with the yard, minus Bryn.

She hurridly threw open the door and ran out into the yard.

“Bryn, where are you?!” She yelled.

No response.

The wind began to pick up, and the leaves whipped around her ankles.

“Bryn?” She asked, looking around the yard.

No… he can’t have left!

She kicked a small cluster of leaves, sending them flying.

“Bryn!” She yelled into the air.

He said she wasn’t who she thought she was. Then who was she? He couldn’t just leave like that.

She balled her fist. He wasn’t giving her answers. Did he think that she couldn’t handle it?

Then she realized how she had reacted. She had punched him.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe I can’t handle it.

She closed her eyes for a moment.

“Wherever you are, Bryn, you’d better get back her soon!”

She yelled. The only answer was the wind whipping through the leafless branches.

Bryn stood over the sleeping body of Autumn, and wished that he had been able to accomplish what he had needed to. But she refused to listen to him, and she had even punched him.

He nursed the bruise, and smiled wistfully.

He couldn’t blame her, he supposed.

Someone entered the room behind him, and he turned to see Faria leaning against the inside of the doorway.

“What do you want?” Bryn asked her. “You know she doesn’t know everything yet, and she can’t wake up on her own.”

“I know. But you know that your actions are against the Council’s best interests. You know you shouldn’t be meddling. Leave well enough be, kid.”

“I could care less what the Council thinks. I don’t serve them.”

She smiled dangerously.

“Whether or not you serve us, we do care what you do. I just want you to know that your actions are not going unnoticed. If you become too much of a risk to us, we will remove the problem.”

Bryn raised an eyebrow.

“Are you threatening me, Faria?”

She smiled, and looked down at the floor.

“Possibly. I’m just warning you.”

“Then if you know that she’s not awake, and you want to leave well enough alone, then why did you go after it?”

“It was for safety. We don’t know your motives, Bryn, but we felt that you were getting too close to it, so I went in to try and take it before you could get to it, if that’s what you’re after.”

Bryn smirked.

“I see. So you don’t know my motives, then?”

“Unfortunately, no.”

“You wouldn’t understand even if I bothered to explain it to you, Faria.”

She smiled again.

“Very nice, Master Bryn. You still have time to make your move, whatever it may be.”

Bryn was silent for a moment.

He glanced down at Autumn, then back up at Faria.

“Whose side are you on, anyway?”

She shifted, crossing her arms.

“Just know that the Council hasn’t overlooked you. Be careful.” With that, she turned and left.

Bryn stared after her, then looked back down at Autumn.

Was he mistaken, or had Faria just… helped him?

“Hold on, Autumn. I’m coming back for you,” He said, before leaving the room himself.

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