Our Tides

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Chantara Campbell is a headstrong and fierce 18-year old. She and her best friend Jasmin have spent a year as prisoners in a top-secret, high-security facility. Called Scarlet Mountain Institute. They have tried and failed to escape several times until a mysterious man, Alexander, shows up and helps them towards freedom. Along with him and his half-brother, Vincent, they embark on an adventure that neither of them was prepared for. Whilst Alexander and Vincent do everything in their power to keep them safe and away from the people who tries to harm them, Chantara finds it hard to trust. Especially with the truth about what happened to her and Jasmin and the reason why they were taken by the institute. On the course of their adventure, they learn that the world is much more magical than they could’ve imagined and that they’re not the only ones with secrets. Along with dealing with her past trauma, Chantara’s mixed feelings about Alexander is starting to take a toll on her. What happened that caused them to be taken away? Who are Vincent and Alexander and why are they risking their lives to save them? Find out what secrets are being kept and enter a magical and enchanting new world where anything is possible.

Romance / Fantasy
Izaan Rolfe
5.0 2 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1: Test subjects.

The place was cold and the stench of metal burnt my nose. The same smell I’ve smelt for a year. I was still not used to it. It looked like a lab room, one of those where they dissect bodies. In which case I was the body, but I wasn’t busy getting dissected or anything like that. A bunch of people in lab coats were standing on the other side of a glass window, talking to each other. I’m never able to hear what they’re saying, but I can see the way they gesture with their hands and throw different fluids in test tubes. Then, one of the women opened the steel door and escorted me back to my room. My head was still turning from all of the sedatives they gave me earlier. My room wasn’t anything special, none of our rooms was. It had a bed in the corner, a small bookcase and a dresser. The entire room was made of thick glass, which means that you can see everything around you, it had curtains against each of the walls in case you wanted some privacy.

Before I knew it, I was back to staring at glass walls, talking to myself and wondering how my life turned out this way. I scanned the room next to mine and saw that it was empty. It wasn’t unusual, they took us one by one. I moved to the bookcase and grabbed the same book, which I’d read a hundred times before. The rest of them were in French anyway and I didn’t understand a bit of it. We’ve been in this place for well over a year and every day is the same. We’ve tried to escape, several times, but they always caught us again. I was far lost in my book when I heard, what sounded like a struggle, in the hallway. Through the big glass door that separates us I see how Jasmin gets thrown into the room next to me, she’s screaming at the scientist-or whatever- while they’re trying to shut her in. “Burn in hell, son of a bi…” He cuts her off by shutting the door and swiping his card over the scanner. She wipes the unruly red hair from her face and sticks it behind her ears before looking at me.

“What?” She plops down on her bed and stares at the ceiling.

“Jas, it’s been a year. Struggling is pointless, let it go.” I scan her mood before returning to my book. She wasn’t truly upset, she just liked to tire them out by being impossible.

“How do you stay so calm?”

“Maybe I’ve accepted that this is my life now.”

“If that was true, you wouldn’t keep reading that book. You read it because it gives you hope and if you have hope then it means that you haven’t accepted that this is your life now. It just means that you’re distracting yourself from everything by pretending you don’t care.”

Why did she have to be so honest? She was right, though. I was ignoring everything and distracting myself. This book was the only thing that kept me sane, that kept them from breaking me.

“Let’s get some sleep.”

“Goodnight, Tara.”

Something woke me up in the middle of the night. Someone was shouting and struggling, someone, I’d never seen before.

“I’ll show you where. I’ll show you if you let me go.”

I stood up from my bed and looked out of the glass door. A light turned on in the hallway and two guards passed by, dragging a man behind them, he kept begging them to let him go. As he passed my door, I could smell the liquor on him and hear the slurring of his words.

“You bastard! No, you can’t take that!” They threw him into the room on the other side of me, I heard a large thud which was followed by various cuss words. He pulled open the curtain between us and that’s when I see him for the first time. He froze as he saw me, staring directly into my eyes. I felt a burning sensation down my spine followed by chills all over my arms and legs. For one second it almost seemed as if he sobered up, but he quickly looked away and I dismissed his stare as a drunken attraction.

“The stupid bastards took my Grog.” I frowned, but he didn’t notice, he sat down on his bed and kicked his weathered boots out. Grog, where does this guy come from?

“Sorry for asking, but what exactly is Grog?” He took a cigar out of his pocket, lit it and then stood up and walked over to the wall. He held the cigar in one hand and took a small flask out of his jacket pocket with the other.

“This, my love, is Grog.” He says, holding the flask high. “And if you haven’t tasted it then you haven’t lived.” He then closes the curtain between us and I hear him walk back to his bed. His movements were shaggy and his tongue dragged a little when he spoke. He must’ve already had a few flasks too much. I didn’t bother closing my curtain seeing that he already closed his, the one between Jas and me were never closed at night.

“Goodnight Jas.”

“Goodnight, let’s hope for a better day tomorrow.”

She didn’t say anything during the commotion, I think that she was just too tired and worn out to care. It felt like I’d barely slept twenty minutes when the strangest sound woke me up, Jas sat up on her bed frowning. The alcoholic stranger was singing, terribly. He had probably finished the flask he had in his jacket pocket too because we could barely make out a word of what he was singing. We tried to fall asleep again, but it was an impossible task. I couldn’t take it anymore. I jumped up from the bed and pounded hard on the glass that divided us.

“Would you please do me a favour and shut the hell up! We’re trying to sleep over here.”

“Oh, how, oh, how Ariana! How will I live without my Ariana?” I hear him sing louder and then I pound against the glass three times. He opens the curtain and leans against the glass. “How can I help you, darling?”

“You can keep, damn well, quiet while we’re trying to sleep. “He gives a loud sigh while looking at me from head to toe. I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and navy blue shorts and suddenly I became cautiously aware of the fact that my hair is messy and that I’m not wearing any makeup. My shirt started to feel too big and my shorts a little too short.

“Don’t kill the party. I thought that you’d appreciate my beautiful voice singing you to sleep.”

“Your singing is awful. It sounds like a cat dragging its nails over the piano. The only person you’ll sing to sleep is your poor Ariana and the only reason she’ll sleep is that she’ll pass out because of the alcohol smell in your breath. And even though I cannot smell it, I can tell that it stinks just like your singing. So shut the hell and let me sleep!” I closed my curtain and went back to bed. He stood against the glass for a while before I heard him walking back to his bed.

“Goodnight then.” I couldn’t help but smile a little and after a few seconds, I fell into a deep sleep.

I was at home. I could feel the grass tickling my feet as I ran up the hill. A slight breeze blew my hair backwards and the air smelt like early nights in spring. I was wearing a white dress with a brown belt in the middle. I sat down under a tree and watched as the sun slowly started to disappear behind the mountains, the clouds were a purple-pink colour and it had a faint golden lining around it. At first, I thought that I was alone and it was fine, but then someone else sat down next to me. He looked at me with bright blue eyes and a charming smile, yet he didn’t say anything. Then I realized: This is not my dream. The banging on the window woke me up and I shot upright only to find the guy that came in last night standing there.

“Good morning sunshine, did you sleep well? They’re calling us out for breakfast.” I looked into the room on my left, the bed was made, but there was no sight of Jas. I headed towards the dining room, the guy following me the entire time. Then I grab a plate and walk towards the woman with the hair net on her head and the pots in front of her, he mimics my movements.

“Ooh, I hope it’s a nice breakfast,” he says. “I hope that it’s some eggs, bacon and maybe avocado. I love avocado, don’t you?” The woman takes a big spoon and gives him a nice scoop of oatmeal. I snort as the satisfactory look on his face fades and appear on mine.

“Well, luckily it seems like you have a huge imagination.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” It’s clear in his voice that his humour faded along with the idea of bacon and eggs.

“Maybe if you try hard enough you can manage to make the oatmeal taste like bacon and eggs, then you can go catch a scoop of the expired yoghurt and pretend that it’s avocado.”

“Wow!” He lifts his eyebrows in an ‘I’m surprised’ way.


“Do you have a filter on what you say or do you use sarcasm and a lack of good humour as your way of surviving this world?” I frown.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He tastes the sticky looking oatmeal and his smile falls further, still, he continues to eat it.

“I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m Alexander.”

“Does Alexander have a surname or any other names?”He smiles at me and I don’t expect him to say anything else, but he continues after eating another spoonful of oatmeal.

“Alexander Marchetti. Pleased to meet you.” His dark eyes and hair should’ve given away that he was Italian, so too, his accent. I ignore the fact that I find him attractive and tell myself that it’s just because I haven’t seen any handsome guy anywhere for about a year now.

“I’m Chantara.”

“Does Chantara have a surname or any other names?” I try my best to give him a mysterious look, but he just takes another scoop of oatmeal and swallows it down.

“Call me Tara.” I scan the room for Jas, but she’s not there. You would think that I’d stop worrying about what happens in this place after being here for as long as I have, but still, I wondered if my friend was alright and what tests they were doing on her this time. I used to think that they only took her because she was with me, but they found her every bit as important as I am. The people here seldom speak, they just test and set up charts, then test some more and change the charts. I’ve asked questions a million times before, but nothing.riting here…

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