Part 5: Desperate measures

Hello once again! My name is Hades Mortem and I'm going to skip the introduction part and cut straight to the story this time, since I have something really shocking to tell you!

I walked around the school very determinately. Ghoulia hadn't been able to find a cure for my powers, so I had to try something else. Luckily, I already knew what that something else was going to be and now I just had to find it. یا she, to be specific. My ultimate solution, was to seek help from Gigi Grant, a female genie, who had the ability to grant wishes. I figured that if science couldn't help me, then maybe magic could.

After twenty منٹ of wandering around and searching, I came to the school garden, where I found Gigi sitting on a bench right اگلے to the water fountain. I approached her carefully, but right after she noticed me, she stood up, backed off and gave me an angry look. "Don't آپ dare to come closer!" Gigi shouted with a mix of anger and fear in her voice. She was obviously in a shock. Apparently, the tales of my dreadful powers had reached her ears as well. I followed Gigi's order and stopped walking. She stared at me for a long time, most likely calculating what to do next, before she took a deep breath and decided to speak once again.

"What do آپ want?" Gigi asked with an accusing tone. "Gigi...I...I need your help," I said, trying to sound as polite and friendly as I possibly could. "With what?" Gigi continued, still clearly irritated. "I'm trying to get rid of my powers. Me and Ghoulia already tried to do so with scientific methods, but failed, so now I'm asking your help," I said, hoping that Gigi would understand and دکھائیں me some compassion. "What makes آپ think that I'd be the best person to help you, besides the fact that I have magical powers?" Gigi asked a bit sceptically. I noticed how her voice had changed from scared and judgmental to curious and genuinely interested. "Well, if I'm not mistaken, you've gone through fate similar to mine yourself," I began. "Care to elaborate?" Gigi asked politely but firmly. "We've both been tormented سے طرف کی our powers. When آپ were still bound سے طرف کی the lamp, آپ had to fulfill every dream and desire of your master, no matter the consequences. آپ were forced to act against your own will سے طرف کی your powers. That's the exact same thing that I'm going through right now. I cannot choose when and whether یا not to use my powers. Instead, I'm restricted سے طرف کی them and they're dictating my life. Please Gigi, I need your help," I کہا desperately. Gigi stared at the ground and tried to wipe a tear off her eye, hoping that I wouldn't notice. I had hit her tender spot. "Fair enough," Gigi کہا quietly while nodding her head. "I'll help you. But I need some time to prepare. Meet me at the front gate in two hours," she then continued and lifted her gaze from the ground. "Thank آپ Gigi," I کہا gratefully and gave Gigi a warm expression. "Don't thank me yet," she کہا with a bit of hesitation and doubt in her voice, but still answered my gesture with a soft smile. Then we both left the garden. Gigi went to prepare herself and I went to the weekly meeting of the Disappearing Club.

"Hello, Hades! How are آپ doing?" Catty Noir asked as I walked inside the room where the Disappearing Club held its meetings. "I'm doing great! Gigi Grant promised to help me get rid of my 'unwanted talents' just a moment ago. I'm not sure how things will turn out, but I'm hopeful," I told eagerly. "Oh Hades, that's wonderful!" Catty replied happily. "No it isn't," Twyla joined the conversation. "What? But why?" Catty asked in amazement. "I think no one should be required to change themselves just to fit in," Twyla answered briefly and succinctly. "Maybe you've missed something, but my abilities disable me from ever having any sort of physical contact with anyone. I think that's a good enough reason to start making some changes," I کہا strictly and looked Twyla straight in the eyes. "I think آپ misunderstood me, Hades. What I was trying to say is that maybe آپ shouldn't try to خارج your powers completely. Maybe آپ should just try to find a way to turn them off for a while. I just want آپ to understand that for many monsters their powers are what defines them. یا have آپ ever heard of a ghost who couldn't walk through walls یا a dragon incapable of breathing fire? I bet the answer is 'no'. Now think about yourself. What kind of Death would آپ be, if آپ could not kill?" Twyla lectured passionately. "I can't just 'turn off my powers'! It just doesn't work! Trust me, I have tried it many times before," I کہا skeptically and mildly angry. "Yes, آپ have. With science, medicine and now magic. But have آپ ever thought that maybe آپ already have the cure, but آپ just don't know it yet?" Twyla کہا calmly, clearly trying to lead the conversation. "Please explain," I کہا swiftly. "I mean, your father was able to get آپ and that definitely requires physical contact with someone, so it must be possible to turn off your powers," Twyla answered. I was actually amazed. I had never even thought of that before. "But how?" I then asked. "I don't know. But the point is that آپ shouldn't rely on science and magic to solve your problem, when آپ possibly already have the means to do so yourself, without even having to change who آپ are completely. آپ just have to continue trying, do مزید experiments and discover those means yourself," Twyla کہا and gave me a meaningful look. "But I've tried everything! And I'm tired of trying! That's why I seek help from others!" I کہا with an exhausted tone. "Very well, Hades. Do whatever آپ need to do, but only if آپ truly think it's for the best," Twyla said, with a little bit of commiseration in her voice.

"You know, I could possibly even be able to help you, if that's what آپ really want," Twyla then continued after a brief moment of silence. "Really? How?" I asked curiously. "My father has these potions which allow the user to change into any monster they want. I was thinking that maybe you'd like to try them. I always keep few bottles with me in school, just in case," Twyla کہا and opened her bag. "That's awesome! I appreciate your help, Twyla! Maybe I won't need Gigi after all," I کہا enthusiastically. "So, what kinda monster do آپ wanna be then? I have vampire potion, skeleton potion, werecat potion..." Twyla listed as she emptied her bag to the table. I was so tempted to choose the werecat potion, for reasons that are most likely very obvious to you, but ultimately decided to go with the skeleton potion instead.

"I think I'll take the skeleton potion. It just feels like the most fitting option for Death," I کہا and grabbed the vial from the table. "Good luck, Hades," Catty کہا and smiled encouragingly. I opened the vial and poured some of the potion on me, waiting for something to happen.

After ten منٹ of waiting, I still hadn't got any results. I sighed, closed the bottle and put it back on the table. "I don't understand this. These potions should work for all monsters," Twyla کہا with a confused tone. "So why didn't it work for Hades?" Catty asked.

"Because Death is not a monster," Invisi-Billy, who had remained silent through the entire conversation, said. To be honest, none of us even knew he was in the room, because he had turned himself invisible, like he quite often did. "Based on what logic?" I asked in disbelief. "For many people Death is a good thing, even though آپ might not think that way yourself. I still remember the دن when my grandmother died. It may sound awful, but my whole family was very relieved when she did, because she was gravely ill and in great pain," Invisi-Billy explained. I pressed my head down. Invisi-Billy noticed my gesture and decided to continue speaking. "You don't have to be ashamed of your powers, Hades. In many cultures, for example, Death is often celebrated سے طرف کی people. Those people see Death as a saviour. For them, death is a new beginning and a chance to be redeemed and forgiven," Invisi-Billy said, trying to infuse some faith in me. "Thanks...I guess..." I کہا quietly. "But I think Twyla does have a point. آپ should definitely pursue your happiness, but be sure not to lose yourself along the way," Invisi-Billy کہا and looked me straight in the eyes. I didn't know what to do یا say, so I just stood there silently. Then I happened to glance at the clock. "I'm sorry, but I have to go now," I کہا shortly and left the room. It was time to meet Gigi. Obviously I didn't know it back then, but I was about to make a huge mistake.

I met Gigi at the front yard of the school. She greeted me with a soft smile as she saw me approaching. "So, are آپ ready for this?" Gigi asked. "Yes," I answered briefly and confidently. That was my first step towards the disaster. "Very well then," Gigi کہا and took a deep breath. We were both nervous, but also really determined at the same time. This moment would change my entire existence forever. "I think the simplest way to do this, would be to turn آپ into a completely different monster," Gigi کہا expertly. "Why is that the simplest way?" I asked skeptically and curiously. "It is easier for me to just create a new body for your consciousness, rather than alter the already existing one," Gigi explained with a knowing voice. "But of course, it's your decision. If آپ want to try something else, just tell me," she then continued with a polite and sympathetic tone. I thought about what Twyla and Invisi-Billy had told me about "trying not to lose my true self". I decided to heed their advice. That was the سیکنڈ step towards the disaster. "Gigi, I appreciate your help and I know I'm asking much, but could آپ just خارج my powers? I don't want to be any other monster. I want to be me," I کہا with a naive and hopeful voice. "Very well. But that is going to require a very large amount of my powers. I might not be able to help آپ immediately in case something goes wrong," Gigi said, a bit worried. "Don't worry. I trust you," I کہا confidently. That was the final step needed for the disaster. "Okay," Gigi sighed swiftly and a little timidly. Then she stretched her arms out, took a sturdy position and closed her eyes. After muttering a short mantra, Gigi slammed her palms together, resulting in a bright, blinding flash.

After my eyes recovered from the flash and my vision was restored, I looked at Gigi, who seemed very exhausted. "Did it work?" I asked carefully. "I don't know," Gigi answered with a weary voice. "Then I guess I should perform a little test," I کہا determinately. Gigi looked frightened. "Don't worry. I won't put any students in danger," I explained. "I think there might be some frogs in the biteology class. I'll go there and see if I still possess my powers. Will آپ be alright?" I then continued. "Yes, I'll be fine. Just go," Gigi کہا while wiping sweat off her forehead. I ran inside the school and headed for the biteology class. Then the disaster struck.

When I had just entered the corridor leading to the classroom, I suddenly felt myself dizzy and weak. I soon collapsed to the floor, since I could no longer support my own weight. I tried to relax and breathe a little bit, hoping it would help, but I couldn't actually inhale any oxygen. I was suffocating and it felt horrible. Then I felt an ice-cold wave travel through my body. Everything began to turn dark.

As I lay there on the floor semi-conscious, my head facing down, I suddenly heard an unearthly, but very familiar voice. It was my father. "I do not recognize آپ mortal, yet I sense your time has come to an end," he کہا coldly and then paused for a moment. "Who are آپ and how did آپ manage to hide yourself?" he continued and began reaching for me. I whimpered weakly and turned around, allowing my father to see my face. "Hades?!" he gasped in amazement and took a step back. "What...Is happening...To me..?" I asked with my last bit of strength. "You are fading away from reality. آپ are dying. But I will NOT let that happen. I will NOT kill my own son!" My father کہا with his haunting voice. He probably کہا something else as well, but I couldn't hear it, since that is when I passed out.

After some time I woke up again. I was lying on a بستر surrounded سے طرف کی my دوستوں and my father. They all seemed exhausted and tired, but also very relieved after I opened my eyes. Some of them even showed signs of grief and sorrow, like Frankie, whose eyes were wet.

"What's going on..?" I asked in confusion. "You were in a coma for three days," Catty answered quietly and with a serious tone. "Re-Really?" I managed to stutter. "You shouldn't have challenged your fate, Hades. After Gigi removed your abilities, آپ began to vanish from existence," My father explained sternly. "And why is that?" I asked with a worried and a bit frightened voice. "Because there cannot be Death without death!" My father replied with an imperative and furious tone. "The only way to prevent آپ from disappearing was to restore all your abilities but since Gigi couldn't do it all at once, I had to put آپ into a coma. This allowed Gigi to restore your abilities little سے طرف کی little and also made sure آپ wouldn't die سے طرف کی draining your powers too much," My father then continued, now with less anger and strictness in his voice. He was still trying to act tough, but I saw through him. It is not normal for Death to be afraid of itself, so I understand why my father was so nervous and shocked.

"So...I have my powers back now?" I asked after a brief moment of tense silence. "Yes. آپ either possess your abilities and live یا آپ don't and die," My father confirmed briefly and exhaustively. I nodded swiftly. My gaze wandered around the room and was greeted سے طرف کی both pitying and encouraging expressions. "Could I...Can I have a moment alone please?" I asked and looked everyone in the room with pleading eyes. "Yes, of course," My father replied and left the room with my دوستوں following close behind.

And there I was. Sitting alone on my bed, trying to make sense of all this. I didn't know whether to shout, cry یا laugh. The only thing I knew for certain, was that all I had done was in vain. I still had my powers and would always have them, despite my efforts to be relieved of them. But surprisingly enough, I didn't feel sad. I felt empty. Pointless. I was confused. I had almost died and it felt so weird and unreal. Especially because I'm one of those few beings incapable of dying. My head was filled with all sorts of thoughts. I leaned back, took a deep breath and sighed heavily. Then someone knocked on my door and opened it.

"May I come in?" Frankie asked, peeking through the open door. "Go ahead," I کہا and smiled in a friendly and inviting way. Frankie came to me and sat beside me. "What's on your mind?" she asked with a sincere voice. "Nothing much. I'm just disappointed. I was so hopeful we could find a cure," I کہا at first. "Actually, hold on. That's not how I feel. Honestly, I don't know how I feel. I'm mostly confused. And I think...I think I might be coming to terms with my powers after all," I then continued lightly, belittling my ordeals and filled with confidence. "You sound quite the opposite to the Hades I spoke with just a couple of days ago," Frankie کہا with a delightful tone. "Yeah, I know. But I realized I would much rather be me than anything یا anyone else," I replied with naive voice, still bursting with confidence. It was false confidence however, for in reality, I was just deceiving myself and denying my true feelings. "That is good to hear. And I'm sure آپ had your own reasons. But do not worry. I don't care who یا what آپ are. آپ will always be my friend," Frankie کہا encouragingly, compassionately and warmly. The glimmering of her eyes rivaled that of the sun itself. "And no matter what anyone says, your powers do not make آپ any worse of a person and there is definitely nothing آپ have done wrong, Hades. I actually believe that the biggest victim of your powers is آپ yourself. I'm sure there is no way someone could possibly have gone through مزید terrible and dreadful events than you," Frankie continued enthusiastically, trying to cheer me up, with a wide, unsuspecting smile on her face.

And that's when I broke down. It all came back to me. All my terrible deeds, all the gruesome kills, all the promising lives that had ended prematurely due to me. All my repressed feelings and memories were attempting to get out at last. I bursted into tears and cried inconsolably.

"Hades! What's wrong?" Frankie asked, with her voice now changed from cheerful to worried. "I didn't want any of this, Frankie! I hate everything I am and all the things I have done! I bring darkness and suffering wherever I go! I just can't take this anymore! I should have vanished right there on the school floor!" I sobbed uncontrollably. "Hades! Just...Calm down! Talk to me! I can help!" Frankie insisted with a desperate voice. After I noticed how sorrowful and helpless Frankie seemed, I took few long breaths and somehow managed to cool off a bit, even though I was really hysterical. Then I told Frankie everything. About Spectra, about Ghoulia, everything.

After I stopped, Frankie looked at me with terrified and startled, yet compassionate and pitying eyes. "That is awful! I'm so sorry Hades! I did not know! No one should be forced to undergo such abominable things!" she exclaimed in despair. "Well, if it wasn't me, it would be someone else. Someone would always suffer," I replied evenly and thoughtfully. Frankie gave me an admiring and respectful look. "You're a very brave man, آپ know that Hades? And nothing will ever change my opinion about you. You're such a sweet, loving and مجموعی طور پر awesome guy," she کہا with an encouraging voice.

"But I must know one thing," Frankie then continued with a much مزید serious and grim tone. "What can آپ tell me about my own death?" she asked. "It's better that آپ don't know. It's better that only one of us has to carry that burden," I answered hesitantly and reluctantly. "Tell anyway," Frankie urged with a decisive, but a bit faltering voice and looked me straight in the eyes. "Okay, listen," I sighed. "Do آپ know why your grandfather, Victor Frankenstein, is often referred to as the 'mad' scientist? Do آپ know why آپ have the body of a teenage girl? And do آپ know why that کہا body consists of pieces sewn together?" I asked with a serious tone. Frankie had a shocked and glazed expression on her face, as she connected all the pieces together in her head.

"Do آپ now understand what I mean?" I continued. "I go through these same haunting thoughts every single دن and I know how much pain, suffering and grief they can bring. I do not want آپ to experience the same horrors I do. I want to spare آپ from it because I love آپ Frankie. آپ are my best friend and آپ do not deserve to suffer like I do," I کہا with a meaningful voice and shed a tear.

Now it was Frankie's turn to break down. Tears flowing from her eyes, she gave me a warm smile which was followed سے طرف کی a short, compassionate interjection mixed with happiness and sorrow. "Oh, Hades!" Frankie managed to shout and then, without a سیکنڈ thought یا any hesitation, she leaped towards me and hugged me tight.

It was only after she let go that I realized what had happened. Frankie had just touched me, but she wasn't dead.