Chapter 41: Violet
The longer I stared at Dragomir, the more uneasy I felt. Okay, so I wasn’t actually staring at him (didn’t need to get his attention) but I was throwing glances in his direction from time to time. He still looked dazed from the sight of his heavily damaged girlfriend, Flameheart, who was now lying on a couch. Kyra, the other woman that had showed up with them, was kneeling beside her with one hand on her own ribcage and the other on Flameheart’s forehead. I looked up at Edwin and Candy, whose eyes seemed full of concern, while Rosalie paced back and forth restlessly. “I think she fractured her skull,” Kyra concluded, looking up from her companion’s body. “But she’ll be okay.”
“They killed her, didn’t they?” Dragomir asked through clenched teeth.
“No,” Kyra replied, shaking her head, “She’s a fire mutant. Only ice can kill her.” Our eyes all darted over to Rosalie, but she didn’t seem to notice. After a few minutes of silence, Kyra spoke up again, “So how did you guys get here?” Thinking that no one seemed to care about Flameheart’s condition, Dragomir walked in a huff over to a nearby window and turned his attention toward the foggy sky instead.
“Our old building collapsed,” Edwin explained, “We thought we’d all die. But, at the last minute, I mutated. So did Violet. I had the ability to make myself and whatever I was touching able to move through solid objects, so while Candy and I were falling, I grabbed onto her and the building just went through us. And Violet flew out of the way,” I smiled, remembering the relief I felt when I discovered I’d become air. “And then we came here.” Edwin concluded.
“But don’t you find it a little disturbing,” Candy began, “That the only reason you two got those powers was because you died? I mean, you’re dead right now! There was a bigger chance that you would’ve died completely and not come back, come to think about it, so really, you’re just here because of luck.”
“Actually,” Kyra said, “The chance of them mutating was greater than that of dying completely. Technically speaking, we’re all mutants. We all died on the night of the Destruction, but for some reason, we all share the power of coming back to life. Some of us just have extra abilities.”
“Where did you hear that?” I asked, a little disturbed.
Something flashed in Kyra’s eyes before she replied, “One of the Council members was speaking to people about it yesterday. Natalia, I think.”
“Okay, I’m sorry, but what is he doing here?” Rosalie asked suddenly, pointing at Dragomir. The Romanian man turned around at the sound of her accusation and glared at her. At that moment, Flameheart’s eyes flickered open and she let out a soft moan.
“Hhhhhh…” I could tell she was trying to say something, but it wasn’t intelligible. Her eyes were still a little glazed, but the soft glow emanating from the hand Kyra kept over the other woman’s forehead showed that she was beginning to fully heal.
“She should be fine,” Kyra said, taking her hand away. “I’ve healed her to the best of my abilities. All she needs to do now is rest.”
“Are you okay?” I asked, looking down at her slashed arm.
Kyra nodded, “Yeah, that’s nothing. I was able to heal my broken rib, so the worst of my injuries are healed.” She stood up and took a look around the room.
“What happened anyway?” Candy asked, coming to sit on the couch’s arm.
“We were attacked by a mob,” Dragomir answered, his voice full with venom. I tensed a little as he made his way back over to where we were standing. “They’ll all burn in Hell.”
“They’ll see you there first,” Rosalie muttered under her breath.
“What did you say?” Dragomir’s head snapped around to face Rosalie, his eyes ablaze.
“Guys, guys, calm down!” Edwin insisted, getting in between them.
“Hey…” Flameheart said quietly, trying to sit up.
“Wait, let me help you,” Dragomir ran over to her and helped her sit up straight. While I watched him sit down beside her and put his arm around her shoulder, I couldn’t help but find it fascinating that someone as dangerous and aggressive as him could go from being enraged to caring in less than a minute. A knock at the door made us all turn our heads to the front of the room. The living room we were in also served as the first room one walked into when the front door was opened. I quickly headed over to the door and opened it, surprised when I saw Skip Rogers and Esma.
“Is Rosalie here with you?” Skip asked, trying to look over my shoulder at the people behind me.
“Um, yeah,” I replied, “How did you know?”
“It’s not important,” Skip said, waving his hand in the air as if to brush the question away. “Justice needs to see her for a moment,” he explained as Esma pushed past me and went to get Rosalie.
“Hey, what are you doing? You can’t just take me!” Rosalie protested, trying to get out of Esma’s grip, but to no avail.
As soon as the two women were out the door, Skip winked, smiled, said, “Have a nice day,” and closed the door behind him. I only stood there, a little stunned, but mostly hungry. The new house we had found didn’t really have anything in the way of food and Saper’s wouldn’t be giving away anything until tomorrow.
“Ah!” I turned around suddenly at the sound of Edwin’s exclamation. He was staring at a familiar-looking picture hanging up on the room’s back wall.
“What is it?” I asked. He only took it off the wall and stared at it some more, his mouth slightly open.
“I’ve seen this before!” He exclaimed, holding up the picture, his face beginning to blanch, “This same exact picture was in that old office building we were in! You know, the one that was destroyed?”
“Okay, that is a little odd,” Candy conceded, “But still, what is so weird about that picture? It just looks like a happy family on a beach, why do you care?”
“I’m telling you there is something weird about this picture,” Edwin said, tapping his finger against the glass, “I just can’t tell what!”
“I have an idea,” Kyra said, coming to stand behind Edwin. “If you think there’s something more to that picture, try pressing your hand down on it. I know it sounds crazy, but I remember revealing a hidden message on a piece of paper once, probably because I was a mutant. Since you’re a mutant now, it can’t hurt to try.”
“Believe me, after everything that’s happened in the past two months, that doesn’t sound crazy at all.” Edwin replied, smiling a little. Has it really been two full months? I shuddered, beginning to realize that I’d just spent two months of my life in a post-apocalyptic city half-starved, stir-crazy, and now, apparently, dead. A few seconds passed after Edwin pressed his hand over the glass cover of the photo before the outline of his fingers began to glow silver. “I think something’s happening!” He yelled excitedly, staring intently down at his hand. Suddenly, the picture began to vibrate violently and I heard something sizzle, causing a sharp look of pain to cross Edwin’s face as he dropped the photo on the floor. “Ow!” He grabbed his hand and groaned a little, “That thing burned me!”
The picture suddenly exploded, making my heart leap out of my chest. When I looked back at the place where the picture had been, I saw only an empty frame surrounding a few small wisps of a glowing purple substance. I jumped again at the sound of a young man’s voice, manically laughing and seeming to come from nowhere and everywhere at once. “What is that!?” Kyra cried out, covering her ears. The wisps suddenly disappeared and flash of bright light blinded us all for a second. Once the spots had cleared from my eyes, I saw in horror that seven rakes had manifested in the living room.
“Where did they come from?” I yelled, not daring to blink.
“Flameheart, get up!” Flameheart got up shakily at the sound of Kyra’s command. Once she saw the rakes the life was forced back into her eyes and her body suddenly became tense and alert. Thank God for Kyra’s healing powers. All six of us stood perfectly still, not wanting to alert the rakes. Could they see? They had eyes, sure, but they were completely black. A shot rang out and one of the rakes fell back, spurting blood into the air. I glanced back and saw Dragomir with a gun in his hand pointed straight at the dead creature.
“Where did you get that?” Kyra whispered urgently.
“It was behind the curtain,” Dragomir replied, jerking his head toward the window he’d been standing at. Candy screamed as a rake jumped on her. The other five soon followed and began to attack us. I felt a sharp pain on my leg and I looked down to see the teeth of one of the rake’s deeply embedded in my flesh. I screamed as I saw the blood oozing out and I forced torrents of air on the creature, but that didn’t seem to do anything.
“My power is useless!” I cried out, trying to get my leg free. Flameheart must’ve head me, for in the next moment, my attacker was incinerated. “Candy!” I ran toward the blond girl, who was being cornered by two of the rakes. She screamed as one lunged for her, but I pushed the air with all of my strength and managed to through the first rake into its companion, making them both fall down. “Dragomir, get them!” Dragomir shot the two rakes who were still scrambling to get up. The last three were already dead. Flameheart had gotten two, while Kyra had somehow managed to kill one on her own.
“What was that?” Flameheart asked, totally out of breath. I had to admire how well she was doing now since her formally broken skull had just healed. She still looked badly beaten up, as did Kyra, but since their biggest infractions had been taken care of both seemed to be acting as healthy and upbeat as they could be. I guess even the deepest cuts and sorest bruises they’d gotten from that mob seemed like nothing compared to a broken rib or a cracked skull.
“I don’t know,” Edwin replied, looking back to where the picture had been; Correction- where the picture was. “How is that possible?” Edwin screamed in rage and confusion as he ran over to kneel beside the unharmed picture. The man and girls in the frame smiled innocently up at him, just enjoying their day on the beach.
“Oh my God, Violet!” Candy exclaimed, looking at me in horror, “Look at your leg!” I looked down and saw the mangled remains of my left leg. I guess I hadn’t really noticed it because, due to my new power over air, I was levitating and had prevented from putting any weight on it.
“I’m probably going to lose that,” I said to myself, “Unless,” I looked up at Kyra who, despite her usual caring nature, couldn’t hide her disgust when she stared at my leg.
“I can probably help remove it…cleanly,” Kyra said, trying to hide her true feelings. “But you’ll need a prosthetic.”
“Where will I get that?” I asked, trying to avert my eyes from my torn limb. Kyra shrugged and shook her head. I sighed and tilted my head back, reminding myself that it had only been two months since the Destruction. This probably wasn’t the worst thing that would happen to me.