Angelfire

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Chapter 23

Kalama relieved me about seven or eight hours later, looking more refreshed than she had when I had first relieved her. After spending all that time here by myself I was able to wipe off all evidence of tears, and my eyes had gone back to normal.

Unfortunately, while I had been keeping watch there hadn’t been much going on, and I hadn’t been able to hear anything.

I walked back to the village quietly, hiding whatever weapons I had on me. I didn’t see Raphael in the room when I walked in. I wasn’t too worried about where he was, just thankful that he wasn’t here to confront me. I hated crying and I hated when people saw or knew I was crying.

I went over in my head what I had done to take care of myself since we had gotten here. I had eaten a bit, and I had slept for a few hours. Nothing tremendous, but it was progress.

I decided to have a quick shower, only spending a few minutes washing up, and then getting something to eat. There was still food left out, probably from before Kalama left. I grabbed some to eat, hungrier than I was a few days ago. I was going to go to sleep afterward, but my mind was too restless.

To quiet my mind I decided to do some exercises, followed by some stretching. I was still recovering from the month I had been locked up. The exercise stopped all of the overthinking and the stretching let my body and mind relax. Once I felt like I was relaxed enough I wiped off any sweat with my towel from the shower, let my hair out of its ponytail, and climbed into one of the beds.

I started to doze, but before I could fully fall asleep I heard someone enter the room. I assumed it was Raphael since Kalama was watching the creatures camp, and no one else had a key to the room.

He set something down as he made his way inside the room. I kept pretending to sleep. He walked as quietly as he could towards me, and I felt the bed dip as he sat beside me.

He brushed some hair away from my face. “I know you don’t like me, and I know you don’t know me, but I love you, Blaze. You’re my daughter and I thought I would never see you again. But when I did I regretted ever sending you away. I just thought it was the only way to keep you safe. I’m so sorry. And even though you can’t hear me because you’re asleep, I want you to know you can trust me. I’m never going to leave you again.”

He got up and went to do something. I was too stunned to pay attention to what. I was not expecting that at all.

I thought about what he said a bit more before I fell asleep. My mind and body were too exhausted for this.

----

When I woke up Kalama was back and Raphael was gone. Kalama was just sitting at the table eating, looking out the window. I shifted my weight, and Kalama turned to look at me as the sheets fell off of the bed.

“How long was I asleep?” I ask.

She turns back to the window, “I’d say at least eight hours.”

Really? I thought to myself. I hadn’t slept that much since the summer before grade 12 started when I had been kidnapped by Iris, Camden and Storm. I had barely slept at all since Storm had been kidnapped.

I got up out of the bed and made my way over to where Kalama was eating, and stole food off of her plate. She looked over, offended at the audacity I had by stealing food from her. Then she got distracted by food again. She was such a glutton.

I sat beside her and started eating what I had stolen. It was good to eat. It felt good to eat, to taste what I was eating. And I was realizing that I didn’t always have to put myself before my family. I had to take care of myself before I could take care of my family.

I set down what I was eating. “So, what have you observed so far?”

She shrugs. “Nothing much. Just the same routine, it looks like. They have at least four creatures on guard, one at each direction, and at least two guarding Storm and Camden. The rest of the time its train, eat, sleep. Switch up the guards. Stuff the I’m sure you’ve observed.”

I nodded. “But I’ve also noticed that on the east side the guard is always slacking off since there’s a big cliff-face there. They tend to be less alert, and I think I even caught someone dozing there too. That means that they don’t quite have the discipline of a highly trained army or unit.”

“It is strange though,” she said, “That they’re not. You would think that they’ve been trained for a long time considering how long the random attacks have been happening. It’s been about two years since the first attack started.”

“I know why,” I said, glancing over at her. “Whoever is in charge of this war is feeding off of the inequality of any dark creatures. Everyone in Elamantti believes that they are only dark, that they are born with that dark mindset. They’re not. They are born with the colours, but not the mindset. They’re taught that. But there are ones who are making decisions against what they were taught.”

She looked over at me, her eyebrow arched in questioning. “How do you know that?”

“I overheard a meeting they had one time. A bird-like creature led me to them. It was supposed to be a dark creature, but I saw that it had a few light coloured feathers. And when I overheard them talking, some of them spoke English, which helped me understand why they were there. They were talking about how the council locks them away when they find them, all because of the colour of their feathers or fur or skin.”

“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”

I looked up at Kalama. “I did. I told Headmaster Azalea. I didn’t tell anyone else ’cause I thought they would think that I was working with them, which isn’t the case.”

“Wow,” she looked really bewildered. “I actually didn’t think of that. You were right not to tell the whole school. But you could have told me.”

She looked a bit hurt that I hadn’t, but I didn’t really have time before I had to leave. “I’m sorry I didn’t, but I didn’t have time before we left. When we did get back Storm was kidnapped, and it slipped my mind after that. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you right away.”

She contemplated that for a minute before starting back up again. “I think I may have an idea for how we can reason with the creatures, without just slaughtering them all.”

When she looked over at me I was startled. There was this wicked intelligence I had never seen in her before. This cleverness. “What do you have in mind?”

She grinned wickedly. “What if we just reasoned with the creatures? What if we could get them to lead us back to wherever their leader is operating from?”

I... hadn’t thought of that. “You know, for a dumbass, you’re actually pretty smart.”

She smiled again, “Thank you. For a bitch, you’re actually pretty soft.”

I rolled my eyes. “Let’s start planning.”

A/N:

Sorry that I haven't been updating lately but I've been swamped with school. Also, my laptop finally got fixed, so I'm able to use my computer without any problems. My updating schedule will not be regular, it will just be whenever I happen to finish a chapter. So sorry that the updates won't be regular, but I thought that you guys would prefer infrequent updates versus no updates. Be sure to keep your eye out for any new updates. This is the best I can do for now.

-Mady

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