The Shimmer Project

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Number 7

Number 7

Vigidis was furious, she screamed around the apartment throwing things and breaking them. Eris and I sat on the couch watching her.

“ In the newspaper!” Vigidis cried.

“ You know Vi it was to be expected,” I said. She glared at me a vase flying in my direction, I ducked before it hit me.

“ We’ve completely blown our cover!” Vigidis screamed. “ She’s done it!” she pointed her finger at Eris.

“ Vi stop it. You’re the one who started it in the alley last night,” I reminded her. I could feel Eris beside me fuming, her eyes were flashing. I placed my hand on her shoulder reminding her to calm down.

“ Connie you don’t really believe in our happy ending do you?” Eris asked. I shrugged.

“ Why not? Why can’t we have a happy ending and so many other people can?” Vigidis moaned collapsing into an untouched beanbag.

“ Well I think your study idea is out the window,” Eris answered. “ Like the library,” I rolled my eyes.

“ I do have something to say about the library you know. In this case it was not at all necessary to kill, and where are we going to learn how to read now?”

“ The guy was going to bring us the police!” Eris defended herself.

“ Oh come on Eris! How would he do that? And I don’t think he would. I think he was just curious! He wasn’t doing anything wrong! He’s the first person we’ve had a conversation with since the facility.”

“ Hey I talked to the guy in the train!” Vigidis pointed out. I rolled my eyes at her.

“ Then you killed him. This guy is still around.”

“ His name is Caleb,” Eris informed me. I started at her wide-eyed.

“ How do you know?” Vigidis demanded sitting up straighter. Eris shrugged standing up and moving towards the door.

“ It was written in his notebook,” she answered. Vigidis and I watched as she left the room silently.

“ She is really starting to annoy me!” Vigidis cried getting up and slumping against the couch next to me.

“ You can’t expect very one to be perfect,” I answered calmly.

“ Where did he go? The guy? Caleb.”

“ I don’t know. He just ran off. I wanted him to stay. I liked him, didn’t you, he was nice.”

“ Yeah well he was alright.”

“ He’s one of those, uh, foreign people, did you see. I’d never seen anyone like that in the facility. The ones with the flat nose bridge and almond eyes,” Vigidis nodded slowly. I sigh. “ I just don’t understand what made Eris explode like that. It was so out of the blue. She just killed last night, it’s not like she was weak.”

“ Maybe boys bring out the worst in her.”

“ Maybe it was because she was worried about the police. Speaking of which, what are we going to do about them?”

“ We can stop going outside.”

“ There is no way I’m staying cooped up in here! Not ever. We escaped for a reason, not just to find a new prison to hide from them in.”

“ I agree.”

“ What are we going to do about Caleb?”

“ What do you mean? Nothing.”

“ You don’t think he’s suspicious?”

“ No, I think he’s a nice guy who just saw a horrible murder on the beach and was trying to understand. We just happened to be there. I don’t see why he would suspect us,” she shrugged.

“ Whatever.”

“ I’m going to get dinner,” I murmured. “ We still have some money,” I said glancing at my bulging red purse.

“ Hey, I’ve seen these people use cards to pay. We should get one of them?”

“ How?” she shrugged. I sighed standing up. “ I think, life in this world is a lot more complicated than we expected.”

Vigidis and I went to little supermarket just a few blocks from our building. I did most of the serious shopping while Vigidis tossed things she thought looked good into the cart. Since we had first escaped we had had to learn how to cook. At first we stole food from people’s houses, after while we discovered money and upper markets. I used to choose food with a recipe on the back. One day I discovered cooking channels on the television. Since then I’d been playing around with ingredients. I made sure we had vegetables and fruits to stay healthy. James always told me that vegetables and fruits were healthy. I picked out eggs in a carton while Vigidis placed a large handful of peaches in the cart ginning.

“ We had peaches yesterday,” I frowned

“ That’s because I like them,” Vigidis replied grinning.

“ What do you think of this?” I asked holding up a hunk of cheese. Vigidis shrugged.

“ It’s cheese,” Vigidis told me.

“ I did know that. But how about we do a fondue!” I suggested reading the back of the cheese’s packet.

“ A what?” Eris demanded.

“ Oh no never mind, you need special stuff for that. Never mind. We’ll just have an omelet,” Vigidis grinned. She loved omelets, she loved food.

We paid for the food then started home with our shopping bags. We discovered Eris walking down the street looking annoyed. She spotted us and jogged over.

“ You could have told me you were going out,” she murmured taking one of the shopping bags from me. “ I was looking for you.”

“ Sorry, it was spur of the moment,” I replied giving her a smile. She shrugged one shouldered then turned back to our building. We were walking down the street when Eris let out a small cry and stuffed us into a small street adjacent to ours. We stood silently watching five police officers walking by. One of them stopped to buy a donut at a shop. They others stopped to wait for him. I realized we were in earshot.

“ She said she was government,” one of the said.

“ Government wouldn’t want an army coming here just for three girls. They’re not army. Government would send more police,” another replied. My breath caught in my throat and I glanced at my sisters.

“ What army?” one of them asked clearly confused.

“ Some chick called about an SAT arriving here tonight. They’re looking for three girls that they think are living downtown,” the first one replied.

“ SAT?”

“ Special assault team moron!”

“ For the missing girls huh. The ones from the psychiatric hospital?”

“ Yep.”

“ Why can’t they just let us do it? It’s our city. How dangerous can they be?” the confused one answered.

“ I dunno. They’re sixteen,” another said.

“ Still in high school. What about their parents?”

“ Dunno. Did you look at their photos? Their sisters, triplets,” the police officers slowly started away.

“ Chief Samuels thinks they might have something to do with the murders,” that was the last thing we heard.

“ Oh we’re in trouble now,” Vigidis murmured. I nodded looking at Eris. Her eyes were flashing dangerously.

“ Stupid primate,” she spat.

“ It’s not their fault Eris. It’s their chief,” I answered.

“ We need to find this chief,” Vigidis agreed as we quickly started towards out apartment building again.

“ And do what? Kill him?” I demanded.

“ You got a better idea?” Eris asked her eyes still flashing. Vigidis placed her arm on Eris’s shoulder to calm her. It didn’t work very well.

“ Maybe it’s not the chief who was the first one with that idea. Maybe it’s James. Who else do you think called? It’s Director Morgan behind all of this,” I said.

“ Connie that’s not helping. If they put our faces in the paper as murders we’re screwed for the rest of our lives,” Vigidis reminded me.

“ Anyway Director Morgan is already on my list. It’s a real bummer we didn’t run into him on our way out of that stinkin’ facility,” Eris uttered.

“ Sure. A bummer,” I echoed. We entered our building and started up the stairs. It was a pretty long climb with our shopping bags but we were all very fit. When we arrived on the eighth floor a strange square machine pinged then two doors slid open. We all started in surprise as he walked out. Caleb. He stood there only a meter away staring at us wide eyed.

“ Caleb,” I smiled, his eyes winded even more.

“ Hi…how do you know my name?” he asked cocking his head to one side.

“ Uh, it was written on your notebook,” I replied quickly, Vigidis and Eris stood by my sides nodding in agreement. Eris looked away.

“ Oh,” he smiled slightly. He was pretty good looking guy actually. I had never seen anyone like him in the facility. It had been new to me as soon as we were free to see people like him with slanted eyes. In the facility everyone was white and pink. His skin was pale with a honey tint to it. He had longish strangely shinny black hair that hung in front of his eyes. And his eyes were coal black, like ours, only they were slanted, almond shaped. His brows were thick and black and his lashes were pretty long. His lips were full for a guy and his nose dipped between his eyes. He had a strong build as well, thick muscles under his smooth pale skin. His clothes were pretty interesting; he wore a pair of black jeans then a loose white shirt with a loose black tie and a thin black leather jacket.

“ So uh what are you doing here?” I asked curiously. He jutted his chin to a door.

“ I live here. What are you doing taking the stairs?”

“ I don’t understand.” I asked.

“ Why not take the elevator?” he tossed his thumb back to the box he’s just came out of.

The elevator,” I echoed then shrugged smiling. “ Does the elevator go to the penthouse?” I asked.

“ The elevator goes to all the floors. You live in the penthouse? My aunt told me it was couple.”

“ Oh well they moved out a month ago, about, we got here two weeks ago.”

“ You living alone?” I frowned at him. “ Don’t worry, I won’t give you in to the police,” he glanced at Eris. She continued to look away.

“ Thank you.”

“ But what are you going to do about bills and insurance?”

“ Bills and insurance?”

“ Yeah, to keep your water and electricity running. If you don’t have any adults running around, and if you don’t have a job… you’re basically squatting in the penthouse until someone realizes.”

“ That’s why the lights went out last night!” Vigidis murmured. He arched his brows.

“ Is squatting bad?”

“ It’s against the law,” he frowned. “ You’re, not really from around here are you? Some, third world country?” he cocked his head to one side.

“ Third world country?” I echoed. He hesitated then shook his head.

“ Listen, if you like, seen as we’re neighbors, I can help,” I blinked at him in surprise.

“ We’re fine. Thanks,” Eris replied coldly. He stared at her in surprise.

“ Honestly I don’t mind. I mean, I don’t have the money you need, but I can lend you a few battery lamps that I can charge up in my place. And, I can teach you to read and write too,” I stared at him.

“ How…how did you know?”

“ I overheard you in the library,” he admitted.

“ I knew it!” Vigidis hissed. He smiled slightly.

“ So, what do you say?”

“ What do you get out of it?” I asked. He shrugged then grinned.

“ Your charming company for the summer. I will be starting in a new school this years, maybe I could get you to sign up too. You’d be the only people I’d know in school,” he smiled again.

“ We accept!” I blurted. He grinned.

“ Connie!” Vigidis hissed.

“ Great! I’ll bring you those lights tonight! So uh what are your names?” he asked. “ You’re Connie?”

“ Concordia,” I replied watching him slowly make his way to his front door. Vigidis hesitated then answered as well.

“ I’m Vigidis and uh…” she glanced at Eris who was obviously not going to answer. “And this is Eris,” Caleb nodded reaching his hand out, I immediately grasped it and shook it. Vigidis did the same, Caleb paused glancing at Eris, she didn’t move so he ran his palms down his black jeans.

“ Cool names. I haven’t heard them before,” he said. I shrugged.

“ Yeah, we chose them.”

“ Connie!” Vigidis moaned.

“ You chose them?” he arched one brow curiously. “ So what does Concordia mean then?”he demanded. I pursed my lips and answered automatically.

“ It’s Latin, mythology, the goddess Concordia was the goddess of peace succeeding a battle,” Caleb nodded slowly.

“ Do all your names come from mythology?”

“ Yes,” Vigidis answered. Caleb smiled swinging his door open. “ Would you like to come in for a drink?” he asked.

“ Uh no thanks, we’re good. Got to make dinner,” I held up one of the shopping bags I was carrying. He nodded. “ Maybe another time.”

“ Yeah, sure, I’ll be up with the lights,” he nodded then waved slightly before closing his door. Eris glared at me as we continued silently up stairs. As soon as we were in the penthouse she exploded. I had the impression she didn’t like Caleb very much.

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