The Zodiac Veils - The Thirteenth Sign

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Eleanor - Chapter 7

Eleanor's phoned vibrated on the table between her and her mum. She'd agreed to a girly day and was currently sitting with her face smelling like a fruit bowl and vegetables on her eyes.

'You know mum there are starving children in world and we have cucumber on our faces' she giggled trying not to crack the face mask.

Her mother just smiled at her, her own face mask cracking a little where her smile had dislodged the dried parts.

'It’s probably time to wash these off now anyway Eleanor' she replied through lips which didn’t move.

They both cramped into the small bathroom, her mother had commandeered the sink and she was left to bend over double and use the tap over the bath. She scrubbed her face to get rid of the bright pink, sweet smelling crust that had formed over her face. Using the towel to get the remains from her ears and chin she had to admit her skin felt amazing. She turned her head from side to side looking in the mirror not realising her mother was standing behind her holding back a laugh.

Using the towel to dry her hands she noticed the pink scar in her palm, it had only been yesterday she had cut it and it had already healed nicely. It mustn't have been as bad as Sebastian made it out to be and remembering his text she ran back to the living room.

Had blood taken n pissed in a pot, hot nurse tho, wanna do something later?

She laughed out loud.

'What is it Eleanor' her mother asked walking back into the room, her hair wrapped up into a towel and piled on top of her head.

Sebastian's been to the clinic, he had to give a urine sample'

'That boy needs to learn to wrap it up'

'Urrrrrr, mum' the disgust clearly heard in Eleanor's voice

'Well its true dear, and I hope you’re safe too'

'I’m a virgin mum, don't worry' Eleanor mumbled to her mum.

'Just don't let him and his thing near your' she teased grabbing for Eleanor.

They collapsed on the sofa laughing.

Taking advantage of her mother’s good mood she thought she better ask quickly.

'Muuuum' Eleanor asked in that tone of voice that makes all mothers cautious.

'I know that tone what do you want'

'Sebastian's asked do I wanna do something tonight and I was thinking that we could maybe go to the cinema, but you see I need...'

'You need some money' interrupted her mother smiling.

She took her purse and handed her a twenty. 'As long as you've finished the project you’re working on?'

'It’s the holidays mum, schools finished besides what project'

'I heard you and Sebastian talking about black birds or something and I just assumed, wrongly I see'

Eleanor gulped, she weighed her options. One the one hand she could say nothing and worry about the harpy things or on the other she could tell her mum which in itself could go one of two ways. She would either tell her she was imaging things or she would confirm that she's going crazy. She did have the overwhelming desire for more information though and she knew her mother had travelled a lot when younger.

'I need to ask you something mum' her voice croaked.

'You’re not having any more money young lady that's plenty beside you...'

'No mum listen, yesterday I saw something on the bus and I wanted to know if you knew anything'

Thinking it would be along the lines of tickets for some festival Helena resigned herself to find out where, when and how much.

'We saw this bird, like a blackbird or raven or something'

Helena froze, she didn't like the sound of where this conversation was heading. Her pulse began to quicken as the thing she had hoped she had hidden from her daughter sounded like it was rearing its ugly head.

'The thing is, it had human eyes'

Her stomach dropped, it felt as though she had swallowed a huge stone and it had finally made its way to her stomach. She could feel the blood drain from her freshly cleansed face and her own look of dread was reflected in her daughters face.

'Eleanor, please are you sure' her voice was filled with tremors.

'Yes mum, Sebastian saw it too, and I cut my hand on some glass and the bird took it'

This was too much for her, she jumped up and began pacing the room. Plans ran through her head, could they run? Could the oracle help? Firstly she knew she needed to speak to the oracle.

'What’s the oracle mum' Eleanor asked watching her mum pace the room, her head turning like some strange observer at a tennis match.

She must have been mumbling to herself.

'Downstairs dear, let me see your hand'

Eleanor turned her hand palm side up for her mother to see.

'Well at least your healing quick, you say the bird took your blood'

He mothers eyes drilled into her own, she could feel the seriousness of this crashing around her.

The doorbell rang and she heard Sebastian call through the letter box.

'Tell him to go Eleanor there are things we need to speak about, urgently' she told Eleanor whilst still pacing the room.

She ran down the stairs and opened the door, she realised she was still wearing her dressing gown.

'Well look at you sexy, gonna flash me' Sebastian teased.

'Not now' she barked at him.

He looked offended but she didn't have time for him.

'Stop staring and just go Sebastian, I need to talk to my mum'

'Calm down I was only joking, what's got into you, I was only gonna say that this doctor had hold of my co'

'I said now, now Sebastian, I haven't got time for another one of your stories, you slept around you have got crabs that's not my issue'

Sebastian stood open mouthed, he knew she could get cranky but he'd never seen the angry Ella before.

'Are you ok Ella'

'No I'm not bloody ok now piss off' and she slammed the door in his face.

He took a step back from the door and looked up, he could see Helena as she moved away from the curtains. He knew something must be bad, Ella had sworn at him. He didn't feel too bad but still, his best friend had just practically thrown him out of her house. Deciding to leave her to cool down he made his way down to his own house. As he turned to leave her saw the downstairs curtains twitch, no doubt come to see what the disturbance was. He waved to Mr Constavalos who didn't wave back. 'Grumpy old bit' he mumbled to himself.

Back upstairs, Eleanor entered the front room to find he mother sat in the armchair hands over her face. The look between her fingers scared Eleanor she'd never seen her mother look like that.

'There are a few things that I need to tell you Eleanor ' her mother said looking at her daughter.

'I should have told you a long time ago but I could never bring myself to ruin your normal life' and almost mumbling again more to herself than to Eleanor.

'What are you on about mum?’

Helena reached around her own neck and un-did the clasp on her locket and she handed it to Eleanor. 'Take this' and she dropped it into Eleanor's shaking hands which looked to be shaking as much as her own.

'We'll need to go and see the oracle too, and I need to show you the box'

She left the room and headed to her bedroom, Eleanor sat and stared at the locket which now lay, surrounded by its own chain in her pale shaking hand. A smear of pink face pack lay on her thumb and she wiped on her dressing gown and then began to fuss trying to get the clump off her gown.

Sounds of Smashed glass echoed through the apartment and her mother screamed. Loud crashing came from her mother’s room as it sounded like furniture was knocked over.

Eleanor's ran to the door but it wouldn't move, from the small crack she managed to force it open she could see the wardrobe lay on its side behind the door. She could also see her mother’s legs disappear out of the broken window whilst her Helena’s screams echoed throughout the apartment and deep down in Eleanor’s veins. Her mother’s shrills seemed to freeze her to the spot, her own blood felt like ice and she became suddenly frozen. She could feel her lip begin to tremble and she snapped. Pushing against the door with all her might but she was too late her mother had gone and all she was left with was a tatty old locket and her mother’s parting cries.

'Downstairs, Ella downstairs!'


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