“Lacey listen to me.” He stares at me with a sympathetic expression. “We don’t have a lot of time, and you know that bad stuff will happen and we have barely a month.” He tries to hold my hand, but his claws keep catching on mine.
“No that’s you, not me. Bad stuff won’t happen to me, just you, only YOU! I don’t need your sympathy, I’m not some kind of charity case, I can handle everything myself. I AM NOT A CHARITY CASE!” I scream, tears threatening to pour out of my eyes.
“Even at your weakest you are the strongest person I know. Listen to me Lacey, you are not some charity case. That’s not how I see you. Things are just complicated for me- for us right now. And we can’t be together. Not now, possibly not ever.” Oh really! SOOOO original. He is giving me the classic break up speech that everyone uses.
“Oh now you are going to go and use the whole it’s not you, it’s me crap and we can still be friends, we were never going out anyway. I DON’T EVEN LIKE YOU!”
“Actually it’s you not me. You and me combined just isn’t a good thing.” He shrugs at me with a sad expression as if he really wished things weren’t like this.
“Also we can’t be friends, because we can’t be around each other Lacey, I’ve told you this before. It’s conflicting interests. I have to support my side and my family and let’s face it you are never going to abandon yours.” He says sadly.
“Oh please how can you talk to me like that? How can you stand here in front of me and say those things. You don’t have to do anything there is always a choice, you just don’t want to make it.” I shout back at him defensively. Now the tears have finally come and are rolling down my face in silent, long streaks down my cheeks. I can feel my eyes puffing as the quiet sobs escape my so composed demeanor.
“No I don’t, you don’t understand! I have to do this, I have to support my family, I have to be on my side. It might seem like a choice now, but our destinies are already laid out for us. I am meant to be on this side. It’s what will happen on May fourth to me. And you will be on the opposing side, that’s why we’ll have to kill each other. When they all show up on May fourth to find their destinies and we find our destinies. Some people get love and others,” he stares at me blankly and sadly. “Get enemies.” He finishes and looks ready to cry.
“Stop it! Don’t make me feel bad for you, I have no sympathy for you, YOU! You think you have your future planned out, you’re letting others plan it for you and letting them convince you its reality. It’s not real, you are going to be someone, but nobody said that it has to be who they told you to be. And I hate you for that.” I shout angrily at his allowing people to take his life and his choices.
“Lacey, Lacey its not like that-” he’s caught up in his own sobbing. He’s crying and his red eyes are going to be so puffy that his eyes might just get red all over.
“You’re a coward and you are just like everyone else, scared to be who you really want to!” I say, he’s convinced himself that he is meant to be the person they always told him he would be. They’ve taken his future and molded it to something. Even if that’s not his destiny he will convince himself that is it no matter what. He will probably force himself into a warrior for his family even
if he is destined to be a human cashier.
“You are right. Everything you said is true.” He says quietly and sensitively. “It’s just how I’ve been raised to think and even so I don’t want to get my hopes up just so come May fourth and I’m going to be stuck as an evil demon who will be forced to kill you!” he says tears streaming.
“NO! Shut up! I hate you and I hate when people do this, try to make me feel guilty for doing what is best for me. You can’t do this, I don’t want to be around you ever again,” I yell. I get up and walk across the room to the door hand on the handle.
“I’ll see you again, I can’t help it.” I roll my eyes and stalk out of the room with hard eyes and my head down.
I walk to my room and am greeted by a young brunette lying on my bed next to two suitcases.
“I want to go,” says Karly with scared eyes a crazed expression and a rabid stare.
“Okay,” I nod simply. “You change and I will pack.”
“Already did, for both of us!” she says with a hint of pride.
“Then change into pants and a shirt, I will too.”
I pin my hair up in a black ribbon and pull on light pants and a tank top that leaves my lower abdomen exposed. I put on a belt with lots of space for weapons. I’ll get some soon enough. I put on a thick, black, leather jackets because I don’t know what temperatures we will encounter and I pull on a pair of leather boots with low heels. I put on thick black eyeliner just for the sake of the outfit. I put some other essentials into a pack. Food, water basic needs just in case. I don’t know where we are going.
Back to school? No they will find me so that’s useless. Back to my aunt? No not safe. To my fathers? Not an option. I have to find somewhere new where we can stay and call home. Somewhere safe.
I turn to find my baby sister in gym shorts that barely reach the top of her thighs. A V-neck tank top that does not cover her up enough. Her hair is pulled up in a high pony tail with a scrunchie. She has a thin sweater left unzipped. She wears high converse and long socks. The theme of her outfit appears to be neon.
“Wow Karly, I better shield my eyes or your clothes might just leave me blind. Very inconspicuous indeed. I grab a pair of sunglasses, at least stay a little bit inconspicuous.
“Lets go,” I say slipping on my pack over my
shoulder holding it by one strap. “Follow me.”
I climb onto the bed and survey the room.
“Lock the door,” I instruct Karly strictly. After the lock is turned, I realise its not enough, we need time to run, not just to get out.
“Barricade it, the lock won’t hold,” I promise.
She starts moving furniture towards the door, but its not enough.
I concentrate for a moment and send every piece of furniture jump against the door. I hop off the bed just in time.
With a quick glance at the window, the glass shatters into a million pieces onto the grass many stories below. I can’t explain how I shattered the glass. It’s just, I suppose, instinct. I look down. That’s a long drop. I don’t know what I need to do. I don’t know what to tell the wide eyed girl staring at me, behind my shoulder. I can’t jump this and Karly definitely can’t.
“Okay here is the plan: see the ledges on the windows? And the balconies? We are going to jump them, but we can’t stay on one for too long, because they might break with the weight and force of our bodies. Okay?” I bite my lip staring at Karly’s troubled and blank face. She looks super nervous, but isn’t ready to challenge me.
“I can’t Lacey, I’m not like you,” she says quietly and embarrassed. She looks ashamed of herself.
“Karly, do you want to leave?” I ask perching on the window sill.
“Yes Lacey, I really want too, now!” Her eyes bore into mine and it’s almost like a push shoving me backwards.
“Tell me why. This is important Karly, I need to know why you need to leave now. Why can’t you just wait a little while longer? Just stay here for a little bit more until it’s safe to leave. Okay?”
“Mind your own shit Lacey, stop getting yourself in the middle of my crap and go worry about your own stupid problems!” screams Karly, marching right up to me, planting herself in a position that invades my personal space.
In the least threatening way possible, I slowly place my hands on her shoulders and push her a few steps back from me, but her face flushes and she tumbles onto her butt.
“I hate you. Get the hell away from me. I’m going to go tell on you,” she shrieks.
“Well it’s ironic, that casual reference to your demonic boyfriend’s birth place and the area he currently resides. Will you move there later on when you’re older?” I shout back at her. I know it is a low blow, but I’m frustrated and I can’t control my temper.
I know people are probable coming because of all the noise we are making, but I can’t help it. We are both impulsive, but she is extremely likable and I’m extremely aggressive. I guess we do share the same roots though. It’s pretty clear from what she does next.
“Hey!” I shout suddenly as she tackles me hard and throws me against the floor and my head slams back against the ground beneath me. It leaves me dizzy and I stumble while trying to push her off of me.
“Get out,” she spits at me. “Go away now! I don’t want to see you ever again. That is the only reason I won’t tell on you. So go!”
“What?” I turn on her. I mean seriously. Who does she think she is?
“GET OUT!” she shrieks at me and shoves me hard against the window.
She doesn’t have any power or muscles behind her moves. It is purely rage and fury that are powering her badly placed blows.
I can’t believe what I am about to do. I can’t believe that she is actually making me do this! I don’t want to do this, but I have no choice. Actually I do want to do this, just not like this. I think that it’s better off like this though. She might be safer like this, at least for now. But, I don’t know about me. Who is going to protect me? who is going to make sure I’m still breathing after I fall off the face of the earth? Me I suppose.
“Karly, I’m leaving. I’m so sick of being the personal body guard of a no good, stuck up, spoiled, overgrown brat. The little snob who hasn’t looked up long enough to notice that I am the only person really looking out for her-”
“You’re actually going to leave me here?” her eyes widen at the realisation that the world doesn’t revolve around her. “You are going to leave me here to die? YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME! YOU BROUGHT ME HERE AND I WANT TO GO HOME. NO ONE HERE CARES ABOUT ME, ALL THEY KEEP TALKING ABOUT IS MAY FOURTH AND YOU!” She looks on the verge of tears, but she holds them back with much effort. I’m so fed up with her, it’s not like I am being paid to babysit her. She is weaker willed than I ever thought, then I’d ever expected for her. She doesn’t even care about anything real. All her problems are materialistic and shallow.
“I need to go.”
I turn to face her one last time still gripping my suit case. I give her a small salute and a half-hearted wave and turn to face the next step into my future, and embrace the rest of my life.
I jump off the railing to a balcony two rooms to the right. I grab a hold of the railing and try to pull myself up and over, but I lose my hold and my grip falters. I tumble downwards and am barely able to regain my footing on a small perch.
I cling to the wall really urgently so that the walls dig into my bare, exposed stomach and palms. I’m still a lot of stories above the ground.
Okay, if I shift a few feet to the left and then jump, there is a balcony about 50-60 feet below me. 5 story drop, but the balcony leads to the second floor and that jump will be easy. The question is: Am I willing to jump 5 stories and risk missing the balcony. It could even break from the momentum. Oh, and the danger factor, I can lend on my head or end up with my back bent the wrong way.
I start moving until I think I’m directly above the balcony. Okay, okay I can do this, I can do this. Do it for Karly and Lucas and everyone else is stuck. Take a leap for them, for freedom, risk it. Like I told Lucas “you always have a choice”. Now its time to make mine.
I release one hand. Then a thumb, a pinky, my ring finger, my middle finger and then it’s just one finger and I lose my grip. The momentum is too much and I go flying back way too far from the balcony.
Okay, put your feet down, tuck your head in. Ready, set, oh I’m going to die now, just become a splat on the ground.
Then suddenly I feel the ground remerge under my shoes and the only pain is a slight tingling in my ankles.
I start to run, but up ahead of me is a fence. I bite my lip. Electric. I can see sparks charging up and down the barbed wires. Don’t get cut, it’s probably dirty.
Have faith in yourself, believe in yourself Lacey, you can do this. I can do this! I WILL DO THIS!
I take a few steps back and sprint towards the fence, my boot hitting the ground next to the fence for a boost on the way up. But I don’t make it all the way up. I don’t tuck my feet in enough and my feet get caught on the barbed wire and I feel the electricity pulsing through me into my blood stream from my cuts. I fall to the floor blood spilling out of the wounds covering my body, blood coating me and making all of my clothes stick to my skin.
I pull myself up. My pack still slung on my back.
My suitcase locked in my right hand I begin moving towards the woods painfully.
I know where I need to go, I need to see my father, it’s the only way. We have a lot to talk about.
Even though I swore my dad off forever, I’m a little desperate though right now. It’s the only way I can get the things I currently need.
Now which way to my father’s house? Who am I kidding I don’t even have a clue where my father and his family live. I’m not family just of biological relation.
I trek through the wood for what seems like hours and I swear every branch I past went out of it’s way to give me a scrape.
I think I’m officially lost,
I turn several more corners, but then I understand it. This is a maze, looping around. I think it’s been infused with someone’s former ability. Some form of mind control or mind games or telekinesis.
I think I’m going in circles and every passage is taking me back to where I started.
I close my eyes and listen. I can hear it suddenly the trail that appears to be calling to me.
I walk towards the trail. After bumping into a tree several times I decide to climb it.
I climb up to dangerous heights where the branches are thin and far spread. I scamper around the thin limbs keeping a firm hold on the trunk but it’s become very, very thin.
I look out over the maze, but all I can see are miles of paths and trees. I scurry down to where I abandoned my suitcase and find that several people are already crowding around it. I stare at them.
“Hey, who are you? Get AWAY from my stuff!” I shout attracting their attention.
“Adeline?” says one girl wide eyed and open mouthed. She appears to be the group beta second in command to the girl standing aside her. The leader girl moves confidently, but cautiously towards me. She holds her hands out in front of her bare, but one of the boys behind her appears to be defensive and draws a weapon. I don’t see what it is, I just catch a glint of silver.
“Lacey?” says the first in command girl. “My name is Kara, I’m not going to hurt you. I promise if you come with us you will be safe. We know who you are and we know about your family and your mother.
“Who are you?” I ask again staring at them quizzically.
“We are runaways. The ones with abilities who don’t want to face their soul returning and find out they are destined to be evil fishermen, serving demons for life. So we left so we can use our abilities freely without the looming date hanging over our heads and have our destinies be our own choosing. I don’t know where you are going, but we would be happy to personally accompany you, in trade,” says Kara.
“What? What do you want from me?” I ask confused, what in he world could these people possibly want from me. They don’t me, I don’t know what is it they want to trade with me.
“All we want is for you to join us. I know that this is something huge to ask of you Lacey, but there are things, bad things, dark secrets tucked away and hidden under graves that are about your family. Tonight you can stay with us and at least let me explain some of my reasoning. Then if you are still among us in the morning and we will take you to your destination. After you reach there you can make a choice whether or not to join us. Okay?” I stare at her. Even though she seems tough and cold on the exterior, I can see that she is truly caring and wants to keep my safe. Her deal is more than generous and I’d be more than happy to accept it. But rather then accept it graciously I use a more cold demeanor to make it seem like I’m reluctantly settling.
“Follow us,” she says and they begin moving into a thick amount of overgrowth that I didn’t notice before forms a path.
The second in command offers her hand kindly and I graciously –this time- accept it.
“My name is Copper. You know it matches my red hair. I was named after it.” Its true, her hair is sleek and copper falling to her neck.
“I’m Lacey, but I figure you already know that. Do you know where we are going? How do you know who I am?” I ask her so sternly she bows her head shyly.
“Yeah I already knew that,” she says quietly. “We are going home, our- my home. The others are there too. I don’t know if you will get to meet them though, you need to talk to Mara and the older ones. We know who you are, because we knew your mother. Not me personally, but she came to us often. She is very close friends with one of the women.”
“Was,” I correct her. “She was very close friends with of the women.”
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t- we didn’t- none of us knew. We just figured she was busy.”
There is a long silent pause after that and eventually she breaks the tension.
“Where are you going?” she asks suddenly piping up with a certain curiosity that must have been eating her alive. And that’s when I know I like this girl.
“I need to go and see my father. We haven’t spoken in ages and I don’t wish to break that silence, but I don’t really have anywhere else to go.” I say.
“You have us.”
“I think you know by now that I can’t stay.”
“Because, I have a younger sister who needs me and someone very close to me that I want to see again.
“Who are they?” she asks quietly.
“His name is Lucas and he’s the best and the worst person I’ve ever met.” I say uncomfortable sharing so much of myself to a complete stranger. I feel vulnerable and exposed.
“Is he someone whose ability made them bad or is he a demon?” I stare at her shocked. Before I met Lucas I never even considered the possibility. I was repulsed by the idea. Maybe they didn’t all come here to be away from the destiny, maybe they came to be free to love who they want.
“He’s a demon, but at the same time he’s not. It’s like his genes shove him one way, but his soul the other. His genes are stronger, because they are a physical representation of his future. I just hope when he gets the last piece of him back he comes and finds me with open arms. We have the same birthday and that’s also the day.”
“That’s terrible,” she says sympathetically. Her jaw dropping so low I don’t know how it didn’t hit the floor.
“I told you a little bit about me, now can you tell me a little bit about you?” I ask, wanting to distract her from the topic of my love life.
“Okay, um, I guess. What-what do you want to know?” she is reserved like me, but shy and doesn’t have the confidence I have mustered over the years. She remains me of myself after my mother died.
“Tell me about you, your life, um …” I hesitate, I don’t want to push, but I really would like to know what it is.
“Why did you join these people, because, your eyes look they’ve seen more then the walls of your group. So why did you run away? What did you run from?” I stare at her carefully trying to evaluate her emotions, because she looks so fragile.
“Okay, well I ran away when I was younger after my parents got divorced. I never met biological father, I was raised with a different father. Anyways, after my parents got divorced I stayed with my mom, since I wasn’t related to my dad. So one day my mom didn’t come home on time. I don’t know what her job was exactly, but I think she was a prostitute. Well, she didn’t come home and we were so into debt. The rent wasn’t paid. So the landlord came and he I guess knew my mom from her job, but I told him no. Then they came, they snapped the landlord’s neck. They-they forced me. It was painful, they started feeding off me. I ran, I ran and she found me. Your mother and some of the people with her. They saved me. She found me new clothes, she stitched up my wounds and took me here. When they came again, your mom fending them off. She saved my life.”
“They, the people who abused you … they were demons, a pack?” I ask suddenly, intently.
“Yes, how did you-“ she starts to ask, but is cut off by a sudden abrupt interruption that makes me revaluate our location.
“We are almost here!” shouts Kara from the front somewhere. “Copper take Lacey to the pavilion.”
Then suddenly a huge set of buildings surrounded by a blossoming community appears in front of me. Almost immediately Copper grabs my hand and starts running towards a building and dragging me along behind her. She opens the large doors and we burst inside and she slows down and seats me down in a plush chair. She takes the seat next to me.
“Miss Night! It is a pleasure to have such fine company among us say you wouldn’t have –“
“My mom is dead, before you start with that. I just want to be taken to my father’s home. Now hurry up and tell me my family’s dark secrets and all that.” I say annoyed and impatiently.
“Fine,” hisses one of the people up there in the risers across from me. “Your blood is tainted, there are more people who went bad. You are destined to become one of them. We have seen what will become of you, you following the demon boy. You will follow him all the way to your death.”
“Shut the hell up, you don’t know me! YOU DON’T KNOW MY FUTURE!” they don’t know who I am.
“Says you. Do you know your future? I fear our opinion is just as good if not better then yours. In fact we have a girl here who is able to see the future, perhaps you can consult her and she can tell you your future,” smirks the woman. Clearly the dominant one, therefore the leader. I think.
“Maybe I will,” I turn to walk away waiting for someone to stop me, but nobody does. As I step back outside, Copper comes and stands next to me keeping pace.
“You really should consider the offer, they can train you, help you. Lacey you don’t need any more enemies …” her voice trails off.
“What could being here do for me?” I turn and shout, suddenly frustrated.
Random people turn and stare at us now, but no one rushes forward to see if everything is alright.
We stand there in silence for a minute, before finally Kara jogs up to us.
“So you’re staying right?” she asks raising her eyebrows, placing a hand carefully on Copper’s shoulder. Copper puts her head down as if ashamed or scared. If I don’t stay, who’s getting punished for it?
“No,” I spit at her. Not my problem if they suffer, Karly is suffering. For all I know she could be dead, because I didn’t stay …, my mother could be alive if I stayed … these people can survive longer … if I stay.
Then I notice it, people may have stared when I yelled at Copper, but now I see them walking forward. Some clutching weapons, or have flames dancing through their fingers.
“YOU HAVE TOO, BECAUSE YOU ARE PATHETIC! YOU ARE SO NAIIVE, EVEN I CAN PROBABLY TAKE YOU. YOU ARE NO MATCH FOR ANY OF YOUR ENEMIES. SERIOUSLY LACEY, LOOK IN THE MIRROR. YOU’RE HALF DRAINED!” I flinch at the words. They are more hurtful, because I recognise the voice. Saey.
“You couldn’t take me if I were three quarters drained,” I regret the words the minute they come out of my mouth and I am completely responsible for what happens next.
She tilts her head and smiles accepting my challenge.
She runs up, shoves me into the stream behind me and that’s the last thing I remember.