Chapter 10

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We all turned in surprise to see an intense green glow floating above a nearby river, the harsh outline of a person in the midst of the light. I shared a look with Beckham before we made our way to the front of the group to inspect the issue. It - whatever or whoever it was - wasn't moving at all, almost frozen in the air. The only reason we knew it was there was the incessant crackling sound coming from within the cloud of light.

"What is it?" Isaac asked.

"A human," Meila sighed.

"Then how is it floating?" Grace asked in a meek voice. Jaycen walked in front of her, as if blocking her from the unknown danger.

"Is it alive?" He wondered aloud, pulling out his journal and quill with an inquisitive look. He was obviously still suspicious of the thing, but also ready to write down observations at a moment's notice - as always.

"Yes," Meila answered quickly. "Can't you hear that?"

"I think we can all hear it," Beckham said irritably. "But what does it mean?"

Before anyone could answer him, however, the light flashed bright white, revealing the teenage boy within.

"Link?" I asked quietly.

"You insolent children," a voice boomed from him, quite surely not his own. "You are marching to your deaths. The only true way to get her back is to kill your dreams... Quite literally."

At that, the voice gave a dark laugh. The light faltered and the crackling intensified, as if the possession was becoming too much... But it soon went back to normal. Link's eyes snapped open and locked in on me.

Kill... Kill... Kill him...

The thoughts weren't my own, but they were definitely in my head. I thanked whatever gods were listening that I had a strong mind block on myself. I pushed against the opposing force, keeping my mind pure as Link's eyes bore into mine. They threatened to pull me under in a hypnotic spell; of course. How could I forget that Link's power was hypnotism?

"Don't make eye contact!" I warned with a loud cry.

Unfortunately, in the confusion, Chanson and Grace looked the one direction they shouldn't have - straight at Link. Their faces went blank, and they turned toward Beckham and me.

"Kill him..." They chanted together.

It reminded me of that terrible movie with the creepy twins, basically the plotline for most horror movies. I took a nervous step backward, ready to run, until I realized they were both after Beckham. Why?

It happened in slow motion, Chanson and Grace attacking him. They walked up ever so slowly, then jumped at the very last minute. Without weapons, they relied on their own strength to take him down, and pounced like tigers on their prey.

A war cry sounded from my right, and a figure shot out in front of Beckham, a glinting sword protecting him from the hypnotized fiends. Jaycen. There was something different in his eyes, true heroism, as if it were his duty to protect Beckham. Odd, I thought. Beckham doesn't like Jaycen at all, yet he's the first person to come to his aid.

I reminded myself that now was not the time to psychoanalyze. Since I understood Chanson's mind much better than Grace's, I got into it easily and began persuading him to stop. The voice from Link's hypnotism, still inhuman and not his, was much stronger than my persuasion. However, I tapped into Chanson's jealousy and switched the target to Link. The hypnotism was feeding off of his jealousy, but had left it unprotected.

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