“NO! NO! STOP IT!” says Karly laughing.
“Fine,” I say. I snicker as I drop the feather I’d been using to tickle an answer out of her. “Will you tell me now? Please tell me! Please Karly?”
My sister’s olive face is round. Her lips are pink and her shoulder length brown hair is pinned nicely. With her curious grey eyes she is my father’s clone. She is not as short as I’d hoped; standing at about 5,2, but at 5,8 I feel short already.
Okay, but no more ticking. My day was good Lacey. I had Geo-landscape covering. Also, they returned our grades from mid-terms.”
“What mark did you get? Better be over 70 or more tickling,” I joke lightly, but she has a gloomy expression.
“I got a …”
“Well? Spit it out already Karly, you can’t have done worse than last time.” I say with a half-hearted giggle.
“I got 100 on my last exam Lacey. It’d be hard to do better,” she says with a mega eye roll.
“Well … I guess, but no more holding back, come on Karly what’s this terrible mark?” I remark playfully pondering how truly horribly it could possibly be.
“I got a 97,” she replies with a mock-solemn expression.
I laugh at her reaction.
“Humph, Lacey it’s not my best it’s under my average. I haven’t been focused lately.”
“They’re moving you to top rank classes, you’re that amazing. So tell me whatever could it be bothering the perfect student: Karly Night?” I ask her with real worry.
“I had a vision … I mean my skill is healing, but it was weird it was a vision, no something deeper … a premonition,” she says gloomily.
“Of what?” I prompt gently, but persistently.
“Of death.” She mutters under her breath.
She pauses for a long or what felt like a never ending break in the conversation.
“I had a premonition that people died, people were dying, and people were going to die, because of me!” she starts wailing by the end of her sentence. The death getting to her.
After my mother died I went through this really gloomy phase. I spent about
I cradle her in my arms. I can’t afford to coddle her knowing what’s coming. If she’s sensitive like this falls apart over silly nightmares and confusing reality with dreams she won’t ever make it to 13.
“Oh Karly, what am I going to do with you? You could never kill anyone, you’re the fly no one can hurt,” I reply with a light, but empty tone. “It just felt so real,” she says sobbing.
“I know, but it’s okay it was just a nightmare, it’s not real, it’s all not real.” I state.
She looks up at me with red, puffy eyes. She wipes them with her sleeve, so I hand her a tissue. She dries her eyes off gently with care, because they’re swollen from overuse from previous sobbing sessions.
“So what else is on your mind?” she inquires. She sits up and smirks at me with curiosity streaked eyes.
“Something,” I say quietly in a small voice.
“Is something wrong? Did I do something? Is what I told you upset you? I’m sorry. What’s bothering you? Can you tell me? Miss Okarthney says telling your problem is the first step to fixing it,” she says all this in one breath in under 10 seconds.
“Miss Okarthney was an ugly old hag who dropped a teacup on my foot and it shattered! There was blood everywhere!” I squeal.
“That was an accident and hey! Quit trying to avoid the subject spit it out Lacey Wacey!” she teases me in her mocking pout face.
“The demon royals … they’re coming. They’re coming for-for girls and you’re going to be one ofthem,” I blurt out quietly.
“Lacey what? What do you mean?” she asks.
“It’s better for you, better life, better home, better people …” my voice drifts off at that point. These people they’re no better, they’re worse, they’re sickly, they’re disgusting, and they’re demons.
I cringe at that thought. Forcing my sister to a life of pain and misery and endless cruelty with the most despicable, evilest creatures … “Lacey really? That’s it!” she asks unconvinced.
I’m not telling her, she’s too young to know. She can’t know about these things, about my death, her death the end of our lives as we know it. I can’t burden her with this suffering. I’m doing this to protect her so I need to protect her from this pain. Or else she’s so fragile I think she might just break. I think I can already see the cracks forming.
“Karly, you’re going to have to trust me, I want to help you, but you got to let me,” I say with a superior tone.
“Oh, but Lacey you always telling me to preserve my virginity,” she says in a formal swerve trying to poke fun at me.
“Humph that applies to that buy of yours Miller, no more Miller,” I know she may have feelings for him, but really what can I do? I can’t afford to doubt myself now.
“Miller!” she shrieked laughing hysterically. “Miller’s, Miller, he’s so UGH, I’m not in love with Miller,” she laughed, but her rosy cheeks say everything she’s not.
Millers been her best friend since she was three. They obviously both love each other, but are too embarrassed to admit it. They knew each other before my mother died.
“Of course you’re not Karly I’m so sorry to have mistaken your blushes and stuttering for friendship, not romance. I assume it was my stupidity that blindsided me.” But, my laughing has thrown her off the edge and her face has a ticked off expression that doesn’t suit her nicely.
“So it’s a seduction?” asks Karly with a hardened face.
“What?” I ask. “I guess, do you-will you um we will need to make some changes in your lifestyle.” I mutter.
“Like?” she asks trying to provoke some more explanations.
“We’re going to move your classes up to top level-“ Karly cuts me short.
“’We?’ You and who? Aunt Ronnie, Grandma? Dad …” her voice drifts off carefully from the sensitivity of the subject.
“Father is dead for all it matters. He is dead to us. His daughters Chas, Misty and Sondla are going to be picked unless someone does something about it and I will.” I remark sharply.
The topic of my father has hardened my heart and I feel nothing, but anger and betrayal at my father. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him! We’re not going down without a fight.
“Lacey, even if I can get someone to fall for me what about you?”
I’ve been pondering this lately what about myself? I’m sort of signing my own death warrant by letting Karly win. But she’s my life, if she dies I have no reason to live. No purpose.
“You’re going to make them ALL love you. We can’t afford to take risks. Two of them will die, they will fight for the throne. The two remaining widows will likely be executed. You need to be the second prize for the winner. It also adds value to you, them having to fight for you,” It’s a lot … a lot for a 12 year old girl. But she can handle it, she has too …. I wish it could be different if my father hadn’t left, if my mother hadn’t died …
“Lacey,” her voice trails off. “I don’t know about this …” “I just have a bad feeling about this. Sometimes my gut feeling is right about these kinds of things. I just don’t know.
“Karly I know … I wish there was another way and it’ll haunt me forever forcing you to do this. Taking away the remains of your childhood and choices. Forcing you to grow up extra fast … It’s not fair and I’ll make it up to you someday …” I feel remorse already. I’m sentencing her to a life of watching others suffer. She’s a healer it’s against her nature not to help someone in pain. It’ll hurt her. She can’t do it. I can tell by her face that It’s hurting her.
“So are you coming?” I ask with a sneaky, sly Smirk.
“Coming where? Where are we going?” her curiosity overcomes her.
“We have to take you through the beautification process. Cut your hair, style it, MAKEUP,” we burst out giggling and laughing at the thought of me smothering makeup on my sister’s face.
“Where are we going?” her tone sounds mystified.
“We’re going to Aunt Veronica’s room to prim you and make you all beautiful and stuff. Make a girl out of you,” I laugh at the last part and a blushing Karly joins in.
“When are they coming? How long do we have?” her face already breathes nervousness. Her cheeks have taken on a peach shade.
“We have time Karly,” my voice is exasperated as it drifts off at the end. “It’ll all be okay. We have time aunt Veronica didn’t tell me how long, but long enough … I think.”
“I miss mother,” Karly moans her voice contorts into a frantic expression.
“Hello, Karly,” the voice comes from behind us and if it’s startled me it rattled her entirely. Her head whips around but I calmly reply.
“Hi, Sierra,” I say without turning around. “Is Saey back also?”
The girl I have turned to face has long, light brown hair pinned back in a messy bun with hair escaping from the bottom. Her nose is slightly crooked from an accident she had when she was younger. It also chipped one of her teeth. She doesn’t like to talk about it, but Saey explained
Her hazel eyes have flecks of green that are complimented by the green paint of the wall. She leans against the doorframe awkwardly. She slips and rebalanced herself.
“Yeah I guess … she’s around here somewhere. Mummy and daddy let her blown off classes today, because of tiredness or something. She just wants to ditch class. She’s probably not in her dorm. Likely out partying. B.T.W Ozzy dumped her for Ali. What a douche,” Sierra’s voice is defensive, she really cares for Saey.
UGH! Not Kimmi Leers. I’m fine with Sierra and I’m close with her sister, but Kimmi is just UGH! She has short designer styled hair and black sunglasses. Her mini skirt and t-shirt that comes up to her ribs. The neck line also goes so low she has cleavage and she is 12. I think she still wears training bras or maybe she got a boob job.
“So Lacey how’s the fam? Still no boy I see. What ever happened to that guy Carl?” her smile is so plastic.
“Carl is my cousin,” I roll my eyes exasperated with her. If I had control over Karly she and Kimmi would be history.
“So did you guys hear? The new, juicy, secret gossip is-“OH NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! This is why I hate Kimmi. She totally ruined my plan. NO! NO! NO! NO! Please be the new kid or something stupid like that, that Kimmi is always blabbing about.
If they find out they’ll know, they’ll all try. Harder. It’ll be so much harder to save Karly. I know it’s selfish to care only for my sister, but she comes first. Karly is priority and right now she’s all I’m thinking of when I decide to change the topic FAST.
“Hey Kimmi, did you get an A on your midterm? I know Karly did good. And what about you Sierra?” my hurried tone doesn’t seem to register as unusual in Karly’s mind.
“Well I don’t know about Sierra over there, but I got a 56! Daddy doesn’t mind though, he said as long as I receive a passing grade, he won’t cut off my allowance,” says Kimmi with an eye to eye smirk. Gosh, it’s so hard not to just slap her so hard that it’ll wipe the grin right off her face.
“Hey Kimmi, I never asked you what do you want to be when you grow up?” my tone is genuinely curious. What does this snob want to be? Let me guess, a model. UGH!
“Duh I want to be an heiress of the money daddy left me. Psych no I really want to be a princess,” her smug voice tells all. It’s all I can do not to scream every curse I know. She ruins everything. Not this, she can’t have my sister’s only chance.
“A princess!? Isn’t that a little age 4 even for you Kim?” Poor Sierra all left out in the cold while all of her friends plot for the crown.
“Yeah well opportunities arise and present themselves occasionally …” Kimmi’s voice drifts off in a triumph tone. She isn’t supposed to know, no one is. The demons were likely told that we know and that’ll be our bests. We think it was meant to be a surprise to see all natural. So of course naturally Kimmi’s ahead of the game.
“OMG not Karly’s dad! EUH! That’s gross Kimmi! No offense Karly,” Sierra’s voice is light, but accusing.
“You know I am sitting right over here and I am not deaf. Is this what all your conversations sound like?” I inquire in a superior tone.
“Oh who invited the buzz kill in?” laughs Kimmi, but Sierra and Karly exchange hard glances.
“Excuse me? The buzz kill is that what I am to you-“
“So you were saying about being a princess?” interrupts Karly quickly.
“Oh yeah, it’s actually a secret I’m not supposed to tell anyone. A.k.a besties ears only,” Kimmi’s tone is smug.
“Anything you need to say to Karly and Sierra you can say in front of me.” My tone is defiant and hardens Kimmi’s expression.
“Fine,” she says exasperated. “The demon royals are coming. Three sons and they each need a wife.” So she doesn’t know about the kill. Only one can live. Only one crown so only one son to take it.
“Oh dear Lacey, Poor poor Lacey, one does not simply be something when they grow up, they become someone,” says Kimmi in a mock poetic voice. This girl couldn’t pass as iconic to save her life, but still it was hilarious watching her try.
“Oh and who do you want to become?” I snap back at her. I can’t stand her stupid remarks and her trying to sound influential especially agitates me, with sensitive Karly being around her nearly 24/7. days and now extra competition. I’m screwed. What do I She could be convincing enough if she wanted too.
“Hmm, I think a cheap stripper or a prostitute, or maybe an unemployed mistress,” says Kimmi with equal verve to her tone.
“I asked who you want to be, not what you want to do,” I say quoting her earlier concept like a smack in the face.
“No matter what I do I know my mom and dad will be there to support me,” a cocky smile playing on her lips.
This was the blow that drives home. It definitely worked. I shut up in an attempt at self-control my face still fuming.
“God Lacey calm down you should take a chill pill,”
“Kimmi-“ mummers Karly in a brave defensive attempt, I appreciate more than she will ever know.
“Don’t Karly your sister obviously has no self-control,”
I have more control than she will ever know. If I didn’t I’d unleash my power surge on her. Watch her face go up in flames as I unleash my fury on her. Instead I go to the bathroom.
As I get up to leave, Kimmi makes a final remark to try to get me to snap. The warning registers on Karly’s face a second too late.
“Hey Lacey do you really have to use the bathroom? Because, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were going in there to cry, the toilets probably substitute for the mother you never had, poor you she died. But your dad chose to leave.” She smiles in an ear to ear grin, flashing her pearly white teeth for all to see how she can afford getting her teeth bleached.
I wish I could snap her neck