I had never exciprenced such an all consuming darkness before.
It was so dark I could see more with my eyes closed.

I sucked in air.
Building up to a good loud scream of terror.

But a hand clamped down on my mouth.
"Shhh" Austin hissed, invisible in the darkness.

He let go, slowly.
"Whats going on?" I asked "What happended?"

"This is the entrance to Hades" Austin explained.
"Well. . . how do we get out of here?" I moaned.

I wasn't afraid of the dark.
But I was afraid of being blind.

"I can see fine" Austin said "Just follow me"
"But I can't see you" I groaned "-Oh wait I know"

I reached into my pocket and pulled out my keys.
I grabbed the little flashlight keychain, I knew this would come in handy. . .

I turned it on.

I hadn't realized how close Austin was.
He was directly in front of me.

And I ended up shining the flashlight in his eyes.
When the light touched his eyes I almost screamed.

His eyes were glowing, freakin glowing!
They were glowing bright yellow, like cat eyes.

I dropped my little flashlight.

"What the-" I stuttered "Your eyes"
"Oh" he said, seeming to get what I meant "It's a vampire thing. You ever heard of shineback? Well, Its a predatory thing. Like, if you shine a flashlight over a lake at night you can tell if any crocodiles are their because when the light touches their eyes they glow. Any more questions?"

"No" I breathed "Sorry, it just scared me."
"It's okay" he said "Just follow me"

"But I can't-" I began.
I stopped short when I felt something tug the back of my shirt, pulling me.

"C'mon" Austin said impateiently.
He was pulling me by the collar of my shirt.

"Well, I guess thats one way" I muttered.
He towed me along in the dark tunnel for a while.

We didn't speak for most of the way.

After a while I could see a dim light ahead of me.
It was a blueish grey light.

It wasn't very bright. . . but, hey I was just glad I could see something.
It's a human instinct to panic when we can't see.

We were getting closer and closer to the light.
And eventually we broke out of the tunnel.

"Woah" was all I managed.

It was like going back in time. Their were white greek-styled houses everywhere that reminded me of the Parthanon. People. . .well Immortals, were running all over the place. I could tell they weren't human, and I could even tell a few that I thought were vampires. . . but I had no refrence for the other ones. The lighting was a dim greyish blue. It reminded me of early morning or evening. When I looked up I could see rock. It was obvious we were in a mountain.

"Remeber" Austin said through clenched teeth "Don't make eye contact with anyone. . . just follow me"
"Okay" I whispered, trying not to attract notice.

I followed Austin through the Greek-like streets.
Trying not to look at the exotic and magical immortals around me.

After a while Austin stopped at a pretty white house.
Complete with colums and carvings of the gods.

Austin kocked on the door.
I ducked behind him.

But I had to look up when the door opened.
It was impossible not to want to know what kind of immortal lived there.

It was a girl. She was short with tan coppery skin. Her light brown hair was styled in a short pixie cut. Though, I didn't believe she was a pixie.
Something about her big brown eyes reminded me of a puppy.

Werewolf maybe?

I wasn't sure.
But I knew she wasn't a vampire.

She smiled when she saw us "Austin?" she said suprised "I didn't expect to see you here"
"Hey Yori " he said casually "Is Domingo here?"

"Nope" she chirped "He left this morning. He didn't say anything about leaving Hades though, so he's probably still in the city"
"Thanks, Yori" Austin muttered, fustrated.

"Any time" she said smiling in a way that made me think she meant that.
That pissed me off.

"C'mon, Rala" Austin said, grabbing my sleeve to tell me he meant me.
But who the hell is Rala?

Yori shut the door.

"Who the hell is Rala?" I demanded when Austin led me into a small alley in between two houses.
"I said that so Yori wouldnt know your human" Austin explained "No immortal would have a name like Rebecca"

"Okay . . .so what do we do now?" I asked.
"I have to go find Domingo" Austin said, tense.

"Okay, lets go" I said.
He didnt move.

"What?" I asked.
"your staying here" he said, uncomfortably.

"What-why?" I stuttered.
"Domingo could be anywhere in Hades. . . and I move faster by myself" Austin explained.

"Well, what am I supposed to do?" I asked, helplessly. He was gonna leave me alone in a strange city full of . . . creatures . . . why wouldn't I be scared!?
"Stay here" he said "And don't talk to anyone"

"But what if-" I began.
"Stay here"

"But if someone-"
"Stay here"

"But-"
"Stay here"

I felt like I was argueing with a tape recording.

"Fine" I huffed "I'll stay here. . .but if someone eats me then I'm gonna come back from the dead and haunt you"
"Nobody is gonna eat you" he promised "As long as you stay here"

"Why do you keep saying that?" I asked.
"'Cause your safe here" Austin elaborated "You see, Hades is broken up into two neighborhoods. Bellonna and Ate. We're in Bellonna. It's safe here. Do. Not. Go. To. Ate."

"What's wrong with Ate?" I asked, curious.
"To put it lightly, it's a bad neighborhood" Austin said grimly.

"Alright then" I said "Well, go find . . .Domingo"
He nodded and ran off.

I sat down in the alley way.
I watched the immortals passing me by.

Some looked at me.
But most ignored me.

I people-watched and hummed.

After about a half-an-hour Austin had still not returned.
I was starting to get edgy.

I mean, what if he didn't come back?
What if, his plan to fix the problem was to leave me here in Hades untill the werewolves got me?

But, Austin wouldn't do that. . .
Right?

I heard footsteps approaching.
I asumed it was Austin.

Elated, I got up.
But the figure entering the alley wasn't Austin.

It was Yori.

"Hello?" she called.
My stomach flipped.

I didn't know who she was.
I didn't even know what she was.

I knew she was a freind of Austins. . .
But Austin was a vampire. . . whatever she was, I doubted she was a threat to him.

"Oh" Yori startled when she saw me "It's you. . . what are you still doing here?"
She didn't say it rudely or meanly. . . but I still didn't trust her.

"Hey, uh, ummmm Rala? It's Rala isn't it?" she asked, coming towards me slowly "Your Austin's freind right? Do you wanna come inside?"
I didn't know what to do. . .

I didn't want to go inside some random. . . creature's house.
So, I did the only thing I could do.

I ran.

I darted deeper into the alley.
Farther away from Yori.

"Wait!" she called after me.
I ran faster.

When I reached the end of the alley I was on another street like the one before.
I pushed through the crowded walkways, just running.

The more I ran the less people I began to see.
The houses began to change too.

Instead of the fancy greek houses I now saw red stone buildings.
With graffiti all over the walls.

It was darker here too.
Less street lights to illuminate the darkness caused by the mountain.

I stopped running.
I walked slowly, panting.

Everyone I saw was seriously creepy.

I saw two vampires fighting in an alley.
I looked away.

Then I saw a big dingy looking dog.
It snarled at me and jumped through a space inbetween a borded up window.

Most of the people wore hoods.
So, I couldn't really see them.

But, their were still only about 10 or so people I saw.
Compared to the 100's I saw before.

I was lost now.
In a bad neighborhood-

I was in Ate.

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