They had been at it for hours. Hatred and Jealousy had been arguing since we left the burning tragedy behind. I’d tried my best to ignore it, but now it was too difficult for me to remain on the sidelines.
In my mind, I flipped a coin to see which direction she may have fled when she left the wreckage. I refrained from using her name both verbally and mentally, just in case she could sense it.
She knew so much about me, and I never uttered a word to anyone. Many, including those in my family circle, had their suspicions but nothing concrete. I had always feared what would come of me if they knew. I was already an outsider and an outcast of sorts. I was never respected for what I could do, and I didn’t want to give anyone any more ammunition than they already had.
“None of what you say is relevant!” Jealousy shouted. “You weren’t invited.”
“Neither were you!” Hatred yelled back. “You showed up when you were summoned, just like me.”
“Din and I had a great thing going until you showed up,” he growled.
“Oh, I’m so sorry I wrecked boys’ night,” she hissed. “Dinlas is nothing without me.”
That got my attention. I turned and scowled at her. Jealousy giggled in the back seat as she slumped back into the passenger seat.
She knew she’d crossed the line with me. She is, after all, my minion and not the other way around. Although I could admit that she fueled my power to great levels, more so than Jealousy, but I wouldn’t admit that out loud to her. That I’ll just keep between myself and Jealousy.
Hatred is a far more powerful human emotion than jealousy on its own, but when they’re paired together, I can move mountains. There is nothing more powerful than a jealous rage fueled by hate.
I didn’t know what that bar scene was back there. I knew it was more power than I had ever felt in my existence, and I knew it was conjured by her. Somehow, she was able to summon Hatred from her hiding place, forcing her to come out and play. I couldn’t figure out if it was designed as a distraction to break free from me or if she did it to cause the very tragedy she felt pulled toward.
None of that mattered in that moment. I had to deal with the two children, bickering back and forth about who ruined who’s time.
“I think it’s time I ride shotgun. Your thoughts, Din?” Jealousy wagered.
“If I knew you two would keep your mouths shut, I would send her to the back seat with you,” I said. “I can’t hear myself think with you two arguing.”
“I just want to say, he started it,” Hatred said, spinning around to look at Jealousy. “All I did was come to the place I was summoned. I couldn’t help that.”
“That’s right, you were just showing up where you felt you were wanted,” Jealousy mocked. “The fact is, there are plenty of other places on this marble that spews hate. Why didn’t you show up there instead? Oh yeah, that’s right, it’s because you were looking for us.”
“I never denied that fact, Jelly,” she replied. “Yeah, I was looking for you two. When he left, it was just us. Then you disappeared. I knew you found him, but I didn’t know where. So, I put all my focus and attention on locating you both.”
“Out of all the hate that spreads across this land, how did you know the brother’s altercation had anything to do with me?” I asked, keeping my eyes forward.
“Because it was a jealous rage,” she replied, grinning wildly as her eyes twinkled at the thought. “I felt the power rise within you and knew it was the right place to go. When I saw your car, I decided to play with you a bit, which is why I crawled into the trunk.”
“It was childish,” Jealousy scoffed.
“Like you wouldn’t have done the same thing,” she snapped.
“Stop!” I shouted, slamming on the brakes.
The car screeched to a halt, throwing both Hatred and Jealousy forward. I threw the gearshift in park and jumped out of the car.
It was dawn, and the crisp air filled my lungs as I walked toward the horizon, where the sun began to peek above the ridge. I stared and watched the bright orange ball ascend into the turquoise sky.
What was I going to do? I thought I had a direction when I found the liar bleeding in the snow. I figured that was a way I could use my gift and maybe help some mortals along the way, but after what I experienced at that bar… My world had been flipped.
Hatred’s arrival complicated things. She twisted Jealousy up into fits, but she made me feel alive. Parents never say they play favorites, but I knew that to be a lie. I’d seen the favoritism play out within my own family, and I feared that resulted in the favor I showed Hatred.
Jealousy knew that, which was why he acted up and made a point to try to establish himself within the group. I chuckled, placing a cigarette into my mouth. Is that what I look like to my own family?
I flicked the match with my thumb and lit the tip of my cigarette. I puffed slowly, watching the sunrise, and blew smoke rings at it. I needed to figure out my next move. How can I hunt what I can’t see?
“You can find her through Hatred,” Jealousy said, approaching me cautiously from behind.
I chuckled at his extended olive branch to get back into my good graces and the fact I knew that already. Hatred was my ticket to tracking her. There were too many questions left unanswered, and I needed answers.
“I know that,” I answered. “But what I don’t know is how to best utilize Hatred to track her whereabouts.”
“Can’t you just wait until you feel that surge of hatred again?”
“It would be too late if I waited for that, and she would be gone,” I replied.
“That’s not entirely accurate,” Hatred said, coming up behind us.
I turned to look at her. She seemed sure about her comment. Her arms were folded with the satisfaction of knowing something I didn’t. I took a drag, blowing the smoke from my nose.
“Do tell,” I urged.