worlds colliding (part 1 extended)
and as we crash back into one
and without remorse
just two beautiful worlds colliding
in the dark
I expand my energy source by spreading out my fingers, hands faced to the ground but lifted to the thick clouds above the city sky. It’s a very dark night, without any stars or the comfort of the moon, the alley that I am in making everything seem even more sinister. Not that it bothered me in any way. The shadows feared me, as they knew I liked to taste their edges and fabric with soft hushed moans. My eyes are closed, as the energy fills my body slowly with pleasing anticipation of what was coming. I inhale deeper, heartbeat racing. It was like this every time, my whole being preparing itself for the electricity that would surge through my cells, lighting me up from the inside. Freeing me. I feel it moving, caressing, teasing... beginning right in the center of my heart, crossing the path of my lungs, and flowing in my veins. It feels... ecstatic.
It feels like passion, like love.
Countless fireworks in the bloodstream, demanding my sole attention. Blazing unsteady flames without ever causing any pain. The only difference is that it doesn’t cloud my mind, it does not blur the world around me. It makes everything more transparent, bringing clarity, connecting me to the Universe. It makes me alive.
Worlds colliding in the palm of my hand.
As the energy takes over my body, there is something that brakes through my concentration, which makes me stop. I open my eyes, and I know that a blue light surges through them and glows out. I focus, and it slowly disappears, flowing back into the ground. My eye color, turning to that of emeralds. I hear footsteps and fix my leather jacket, straightening it with one quick move. I run a hand through my long brown hair to calm it down, feeling the static that surrounds me, causing small sparks to crackle and then vanish as soon as they appeared. I stand there for a moment lost in time, and then start to walk, my heels making the only sounds in the otherwise quiet alley, with just the faint sounds of traffic breaking through in the distance.
My eyes focus on a small shape, and it definitely belongs to a female. I see the curves on a slight figure. I stare at the long black her that reaches her waist, knowing that she still doesn’t see me because I am standing in the shadows. I notice her heavy combat boots, fitted jeans, and a black t-shirt with some signs on them. I cross my arms and step out of the thick darkness.
She makes a couple of steps, looks around nervously, probably fearing the surroundings. It isn’t safe here. And not just because of me. She should not stray in this area. Now, I wasn’t exactly the innocent kind, and my moral ground was questionable, but I still didn’t enjoy the thought of bad things happening to women. It bothered me somehow. I gaze at her and then shrug. Well, if she was stupid enough to wander off to this area, it was her fault in the first place.
Something beeps, and I know it’s her phone. She takes out the very sparkly object and looks at the screen, brows furrowing just before her eyes roll amused, in a playful manner. I walk up closer, and she finally notices me, the phone falling to the ground. She curses and quickly picks it up. She looks up at me, and I freeze, my normally calm heart, skipping one quick beat, lungs inhaling sharply. I saw that face before in my dreams, visions, and it was a face that I was always taught to fear.
This wasn’t right. It was to fast for her soul to be in this dimension that way, at this age. She was still supposed to be a child. I had years left to train and get ready for my enemy. My hands go down again, and I outstretch my fingers, eager to take care of the problem. There was no other choice. I look at her surprised expression and notice something that makes me stop again. My stare lingers on her face, and I smirk slowly, enjoying the moment. She just blushed, she was attracted to me. Well, this I did not anticipate, this was not a part of the prophecy. I bend my head to the side, very interesting indeed.
What are you doing in a place like this, love?
I ask and notice her blush spread, as she clears her throat and makes an attempt to calm down. This amuses me even more. Hmm, this could not be the girl that was meant to be the cause of my potential demise.
I could ask you the same question. The hot clothes aren’t going to save you if you get mugged.
I lift an eyebrow. Mmm, this one is feisty, how entertaining.
How is your phone?
I ask, instead of answering the question.
She lets go of the edgy expression and just waves her hand dismissingly.
It’s been through worse, but some of the crystals have fallen off, and it took me so long to make it look right.
She sighs, and I observe her with even more interest, like a preditor not sure to eat its prey right away, or to play with it first.
What is your name?
She stutters slightly, and my eyebrow lifts amused.
Well, I don’t see anyone else, so yes.
It’s Raven... can I know yours?
I stare at her shy smile and think of the prophecy that might end my life. But instead of doing anything stupid and harmful to the girl, I just smile sweetly.
Maybe one day I will tell you... because I am certain that that day will come. Now please, leave this place. You should enjoy some time on this Earth before someone, or s o m e t h i n g attacks you.
She stares at me debating my words and looks a bit irritated.
Great, so I not only get lectures from my family but also complete strangers?
She smirks and looks me over again, her bad mood quickly disappearing without a trace. I think she likes what she sees because a lazy smile spreads on that delicate face as her stare finally reaches my eyes, and she jumps back to reality, a bit embarrassed.
Fine, I need to go anyway. It was nice meeting you, even in these circumstances...
She says, apparently waiting for something. I look at her and sigh.
Lilly, my name is Lilly, and you need to leave. Now.
She nods her head and walks off, but then suddenly turns back.
Will y o u, be okay?
Oh, sweetheart, I will be more than fine. Trust me. I know how to handle myself in all situations.
She gives me a funny look but eventually leaves the scene, also leaving me to wonder and with a million and one little questions to solve. I needed to rethink my strategy, and I needed to think fast. Something has forever shifted in the matter, and changes were already happening. I could feel it.
My hands roll into fists, knuckles bending and cracking with eagerness. Let’s see how you want to play, little one. And you are more than welcome to try. Either way, this won’t last long, just a child’s play between things that actually mattered. I move out of the alley and step into the busy rush of the streets, filling my ears with mundane sounds and smells, a faint blue light snapping and flickering by my feet. Fingertips grazing slowly against the brick walls of old buildings as I move along the sidewalk, veins blazing with live fire, energy ready to embrace and smolder anyone that would be reckless enough to step into my path.
Goodnight, Raven dearest... we shall defnitely meet again.
My name is Lilly Calico
and I was born to destroy the world.
The only thing that can stop me
are the black feathers of a true Raven warrior.
Inspired by a friend,
Some of you might be already familiar with the story, but I decided to give it another life, editing the first chapter, and expanding it a bit as I am currently working on new material. And this will give me the motivation to get the writing juices flowing faster ;)
Here is a list of all the published chapters so far,
( currently working on part 12 )
destiny /ˈdɛstɪni/ noun
the hidden power believed to control future events; fate.
I walk through narrow streets, looking at the big windows of old shops. I take my time, in no rush. I enjoy this part of the human existence. It’s nice. Mundane in a good way. I look around and see the sunlight slip through buildings, I feel it on my skin and decide to pull out my sunglasses. I open my bag and spread my fingers, searching into its wide content. The bag is old and dark grey and it has seen better days, can’t say that I mind. There is something so familiar about it in a world that is so strange to me.
I came here when I was a little girl, always trained to be ready for anything.
To be ready that one day, I will bring end to the world as we know it.
I look up at the sky and admire the clouds and the way the sun plays with the light. I stare at the old stores and wonder about the simple beauty of things. All of this magic that I see before my eyes will one day change and demise. I lift my hand to my eyes and squint. There will be a time when this world will look completely different. There will be a new ruler to this planet, yet the world will keep on turning just the same. Even if it will be a much darker place.
I stand like a statue for awhile and then I just shrug my shoulders, suddenly snapping back to reality. None of this really mattered. Not the glow of the sun or the pretty things behind the big vintage windows. Not the air that I breathed or the smell teasing my senses. None of it meant a thing. I had a job that needed to be done, that I was taught how to do from my earliest years. I was good at what I did. There was no one better to deal with the Raven warrior.
I furrow my eyebrows again. Was she the one? That petite little girl, that blushed at me as if there was fire running through her skin? Hmm, well no that petite. I smile to myself, she was attractive, I will give her that. Yet her curves or her edgy attitude won’t save her life... If in fact, she was the Raven that she was looking for and that her superiors feared so much. As if she could by some chance bring death to her kind, to all the ones that possessed magic and blue fire in them.
And those of my blood that didn’t have such powers, managed to still obtain all sorts of special abilities. Some of my sisters could be oracles and others could shift their life energy so they could pass through objects like ghosts. It was an amusing power to have, yet didn’t do much for killing skills. Those often belong to my brothers because of the gene pool they possessed, at times thought many of our women overpowered the strongest of our male warriors. The abilities that came in our race where often a surprise and depended more on the spirit and less on the gender of our people.
My life energy was spectacular and outshone everyone else. That’s why the task at hand was bestowed on me. I was trained to kill the “black feathers” as our kind called the spirit warrior, that in her human form always ended up with the name “Raven”. Nobody knew why that was, yet it did. My mind wonders to the girl that I met two nights ago. There was just something about her.
Now my energy couldn’t, in fact, tell me if that was her. My radars not sensing anything out of the ordinary. Maybe she wasn’t woken up yet from her sleep. If her abilities would have worked I would sense it instantly. And I felt nothing, beyond her attraction for me. However, that wasn’t the energy that I was looking for right now. Even if....
I moan quietly. That girl was constantly on my mind. For one thing, she could be an enormous threat to me if she turned out to be the one. All of my plans and the plans of my people would fall and tumble. Our destiny would be sealed, mine especially. She would bring me doom. I couldn’t afford that mistake. I was prepared for her. Yet I could not be ever surprised by her presence. I close my eyes and inhale deeply. I should have got rid of her, the moment I met her.
My energy levels were high, her death would have been quick. She wouldn’t ever suffer. Just a blink of an eye. And yet I stopped. And for what reason again? That’s right because she smiled and that disarmed me completely. I felt the good in her, it was such a dominant part of her, even if she was a bit strange. With her choice of clothes... and her ridiculously shiny phone.
I shake my head and pass the many small shops on either part of the street. Its a bit crowded and noisy but I don’t mind. I like getting lost in the crowds and sometimes imagining that I wasn’t the person that was going to set this place into dust... well, in a way.
My eyes wander to the nearest window as I pass it and then I just stop. It’s an old antique bookstore. The glass is a bit dusty and the door looks like it’s there only until the next windy day. The paint seems to be chipping off the red door and the place seems to be here since World War I... or when the oil lamps were still in use. I open the door and hear a little bell over my head. I look up, yes, very old fashioned indeed. I walk in end inhale the smell of old books and lavender... it smells divine. I look at the empty register and stacks of books everywhere, I turn around and look at the window, the sun slips in and falls on the chime-bells made out of small square pieces of color glass.
I stare at it as it plays with the glass and falls on the books. Red, yellow and green patches coloring the store. I can see millions of little dust motes flying around and looking like stars. I sigh. Pure heaven. I stare at the scenery and think to myself that I am going to miss this when the world starts turning for our people... or if Raven reaches me before I can reach her.
I slowly walk around, my steps quiet against the old wooden floors. Normally a floor like that would squeak but with me it never does. My surroundings reacting to me and my energy. I can play with the matter, at times muting it. Like an animal that walks through the forest and does not make a sound. Just with me, the whole earth was my forest. But usually I didn’t mind, I made plenty of noise when walking in my ridiculous heels and never once tripping. But during the day, I didn’t care much for that. Prefiring low boots to silly heels.
I always wore my leather jacket but chose clothes that were more lose, sometimes adding a big hat and always carrying my vast, long shoulder bag. Basically, humans would describe me as a leather hippy. I smile and reach the bookcases, my fingers slipping past the sides. I close my eyes and let them wander. I make myself feel the energy of the objects and stop when I feel molecules “dance” in the right way.
I open my eyes and pull it out. It’s small and almost falling apart. I hold it gently in my hands and look at the cover. I freeze. The cover is green and has gold letters. I stare at it and tap a finger against it like at any time it was going to bite me. I stare at the black line-shaped bird and read the title. The combined work of poems By Edgar Allan Poe.
I open it and of course, it shows me that poem. Oh, come on! I sigh and rub a hand against my face. I look up at the ceiling. Very funny universe. Do I amuse you, do I make you laugh? I look down and read the crippling lines.
“though I said art sure no craven vastly grim and ancient raven wandering
from the nightly shore, tell me why thy lordly name is on the nigts plutonium shore...”
I stare blankly at the old yellowed paper pages and whisper in the empty bookstore.
Quoth the Raven, Nevermore...
I stare at the book in silence and close it swiftly, sending dust motes flying in the air. I hated these kinds of signs. I could always see them which was useful at times. But the problem was that I usually avoided them since they appeared when I wanted them the least.
Can I help you with something, miss?
A voice with a light French accent brings me back to life, and I look up at the tall, older man staring at me from his small, round glasses. His hair is long and grey and he looks like he just got out of bed. He’s dressed in an old fashion way. I smile. He looks like an English professor on vacation. I walk up to him and smell a faint scent of honey. I look at the wooden counter and notice a beat up mug that states “Three sheets to the wind”. I lift my eyebrows higher and feel his energy. Mmm, so much knowledge and mad as a hatter. I was already fond of him.
So can I interest you in any book, or are just here for the sights...
He lowers his glasses and twitches his eyebrows. Well, normally this kind of response could have ended badly for someone else, but this guy didn’t seem like he had a single bad bone in his body. There was something extremely kind and at the same time professional about him... even if he was shamelessly flirting like he didn’t have a care in the world.
Unfortunately not, I went in for the read... and the atmosphere.
Oh, well we have plenty of that. The dust is free by the way, help yourself, beautiful.
Yes, that I will. I need this book.
I say, holding on to it, as if I just couldn’t let myself to let go of it, at the same time I felt like I wanted to throw it across the room and burn down the whole place with just a snap of a finger.
You don’t look convinced.
Well, I am still buying it. How much?
Free for you.
I furrow my eyebrows not liking that answer.
I have plenty of money.
Of that I am sure, but the thing is already falling apart, and nobody wants things like that anymore.
I want it.
Yes, that’s is exactly why are getting it free...
I stare at him for a moment and then just sigh.
Fine, anything you want in return?
Your name would do.
Lilly... can I go now? - I lift an eyebrow, apparently a habit with this amusing man.
A Lilly. Yes, that seems about right...
“The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat’ning horn: While the Lily white shall in love delight, Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright”.
Sounds nothing like me. Are those your words?
No, just some guy named William Blake.
I look at him and see the poem in my head. I actually knew this poem but had a rebel nature and enjoyed disagreeing. I nod at him and leave the store and as I open the door, I faintly hear.
Don’t be a stranger, little tiger Lilly.
I step outside and give one more stare at the bookstore. And notice the old sign. It’s in French and reads “Lavande et Miel”. I narrow my eyes. Lavender and honey, hmm...
I walk slowly off, letting myself get lost in the old, paved streets. I really needed coffee.
Where is a damn cafe, when you need one?
It takes me about 10 minutes to get out of the endless corridors of small buildings and people buying stuff they don’t really need. I walk out and finally notice a sign that says “Wake and Shake” in colorful letters. I roll my eyes. Humans, silly creatures. I open a pretty door with flower patterns at the side and enter the not too big yet very cozy cafe.
I look around. Hmm, once again very colorful. Not my style. I inhale and decide to ignore the cheerful side of this place. The delicious smells taking over me. I sit down at the bar and hear my stomach growl. Well, some things like hunger were common for all races. I pick up the menu and the first thing I notice is the cake section. My mouth starts to water up. I slip my finger down the card and then stop abruptly. I look at the words in a delicate font. “Lavender and honey”. I remember the old sign over the bookstore.
The French words digging a hole in my head. “Lavande et Miel”.
I look around and I notice her in just a few seconds. She is using a cloth to dry a big, white plate. I put my head to the side. Of course, she is here. Of course, she works here... and she seems to be frustrated by something. I follow her gaze and notice two women sitting in a booth.
They seem very fascinating by each other. One of the women is a young girl with black hair to her shoulders and the other is older by about ten years and is dressed very professionally. There are some papers on the table. What they’re doing resembles an interview. Yet as I look at them, I sense some tension... but not the bad kind.
I close my eyes and try to focus on their words. Their voices are just a low buzz at first but eventually they become clearer. I smile satisfied when I pick the right “station”.
…so how are you with children?
I’m very gentle and caring, but I don’t mind a little spanking myself.
And is that listed as one of your special talents?
If you do it right, then yes.
Tell me now, do you think obedience is an important thing when taking care of children?
At times yes, however, I have different tactics when dealing with, hard situations.
Is that so…?
I smirk amused and then gaze back at Raven and it’s clear that she can hear them, as her face gets redder with every passing second. Hmm, fascinating. I lean on my chair to have a better view. She stands side to me and I gaze at her black hair, twisted in a long braid and I stare at her long, slender neck. And that’s the moment she turns around and sees me. Her face turns from frustrated to surprised, and then to complete shock. Her fingers loosen up and the plate falls to the ground, shattering into what seems like a thousand of little pieces. The room goes quiet, all of the conversations stopping to a halt, as if cut with a knife.
I can almost taste the sharp edge of metal as all of the focus falls on the girl. I stare at her, yet all of her focus is on me. There is another long moment of silence and then I lift my hand and wave at her. The whole situation very comical to me. I have to constantly remind myself that she might be a threat to me. That I could perish because of those crystal blue eyes. I give a tiny smile and she returns it. Then takes a deep breath, apparently holding it for some time. I turn away and look at the menu again.
Hmm, I was starving, global domination could wait.
to be continued...
The stripes on a tiger
taste /teɪst/ noun’
1. the sensation of flavour perceived
in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance.
My stomach rumbles as I look amused at the rather loud conversation exchange between the girl and her boss. The woman seems amused... the girl not so much.
I see her straighten her apron and take a deep breath. After a while she finally reaches me and I see that’s she is trying to be all professional about it. I stare at her smile... and the frustration on her face.
Well your rosy cheeks will do for starters, but that won’t suffice my hunger.
There is some silence, then followed by a lot of stuttering.
Oh no, keep going. You’re doing just fine, what else do you recommend?
I stare at her, as she looks at her notepad, her mind obviously doing over time because of me, somehow I feel flattered by it and it’s a first for me. Usually, I couldn’t care less.
I tap my fingers lightly against the counter and she jumps back to life. I listen as she recommends her special. I stare at her as I hear the name of it.
How interesting... Well, as much as I would like to experience the ‘Flavor of Raven’ first hand...
I hold a smile and stare down at a menu card.
... I like to pick for myself. Let’s see. I would like to have one of those chicken and avocado things you mentioned, double fries... Pancakes with honey, scramble eggs with toasts, and a piece, no make that two pieces of that lavender and honey cake. And to drink give me some orange juice and... Hmm, just water, I am watching my weight.
I ran a hand down my thigh as if making a point and stare at her with a serious look, as her jaw drops almost to the floor, I give her the menu and smile politely. I try not to notice how shaky her legs are as she leaves.
After about a half an hour or so she comes back and I can see that’s she’s still tense. I stare at her and narrow my eyes. Now, most of the waitresses I know would bring one thing after another, two things top. But not her, she brings all of the food on a big brown tray. She seems shaky as she reaches me at the table booth that I picked... The bar wouldn’t fit everything. I smile at her as she puts the plates down with one hand and holds the tray with the other. She’s strong for a little thing like her. I stare at her trembling fingers as she puts the last things down. I lift an eyebrow as her cheeks glow bright red.
If you need anything just ask.
She says sweetly before she starts to walk back to the counter.
And the knife and fork?
I ask amused before she can make another step. She turns back and smiles in a slightly wicked way.
Way ahead of you.
She pulls the items from the short apron and puts them in my outstretched hand.
Got some pepper? I don’t like bland food...
She gives a small smile and pulls out a little pepper shaker from the other pocket. I send her a long look and stare at the back pocket of her skimpy black shorts. I try not to linger on the legs, which is hard when she just stands inches from me.
So do you have an extra set of plates there or a can of coke for me in case I get even more thirsty? - She sends me a smirk.
Nope, all you see there is all you get.
She stares at me as if suddenly indecisive. I take a bunch of french fries and stuff them into my mouth. I slowly lift an eyebrow and then sigh. Now, this was really a bad idea, since I could disappear into oblivion because of her if I wasn’t careful. I had to keep the distance if I wanted to stay focused.
There was something about her that kept me distracted. It wasn’t just the looks because women of my kind are always filled with beauty, it comes from our powers and the way it works with our bodies. I look at her as she shuffles from one foot to another. I don’t say anything and she walks off disappointed... I tilt my head to the side.
Maybe it was her behavior that did it for me? The shyness mixed with a lot of sass? The contradiction? Or maybe because of the energy that just kept oozing out of her? The tension? Perhaps. Then again, it could just be my awareness because she looked like the creature I was supposed to fear and conquer. Filling the destiny that was chosen for me centuries before I even came to this world?
I see her mop the tables and trying to be helpful and as useful as she possibly can. I sigh again. I usually don’t make these kinds of errors. Usually... I wait till she gets closer and catches me staring. She freezes for a moment. I take a couple of more french fries and wave it in her direction, at the same time drinking the orange juice with a straw, until it makes a loud noise, indicating the glass is empty.
Would you like to sit for a moment?
I ask as she bites her lips still not sure what she wants. But then her face brightens up and she comes closer and pulls a chair out.
Sure, I would love to, and it’s my lunch break anyway, so I know that my boss won’t mind.
She sends heavy looks to the woman behind the counter and I see her nod and start to chuckle. Hmm, I like her. I should tip her later. If she stands with that girl, she must be a saint. I tap my fingers against the table, annoyed with myself, for not dealing with this the way I should. And the thing that I should have done was taking care of her in the alley. Steam almost floats out of my nose as I think this through. I grab the hamburger, take a big bite and sigh relieved. Now, this was one of the few things that I actually liked humans for. Their cooking. They maybe were a pitiful excuse for beings but they sure knew how to make their food.
That good? Are you sure you want me to be here and be a witness to you having an orgasm over the food I cooked?
I lick my fingers and take another bite, then look at her smug expression, not amused. If it wasn’t for the food, she would be already laying on the floor with a fork in her side. That would surely turn off that proud smug. Instead, I take one more last, delicious bite of the hamburger and dig a little fork in the lavender and honey cake... and not her shoulder for an example. Call it kindness and good circumstances.
Finally found your voice, darling? I’m glad, yet watch that sassy mouth of yours, it might get you in trouble... and not the kind that you are apparently looking for.
I say in a cold voice, then see her surprised face and decide to ease the tone with a small smile. I was feeling very merciful today. Very unlike me.
Wow, okay. Maybe I don’t need a break. Because you’re giving me whiplash with you being all one mood, then a second later the total opposite. I’m glad you enjoy the food. I’ll get you a new drink before I leave.
I see her stand up and start to leave. I grab her hand and she looks back at me with a scowl like a little child. Humans were peculiar creatures. I feel a strange electricity where my hand touches her, but for now, I ignore it. This wasn’t the time to think about the possible reason for this reaction between us and if in fact, if she was the Raven I was looking for.
I don’t appreciate trash talk while I eat, that’s all.
I let go of her and dig into the scrambled eggs, and biting into the toast. I splash ketchup on it. Mmm, good. I drink some water and take a tiny bite out of a pancake as if I actually worry about table manners.
I glance at her as she relaxes and her facial expressions change from mad to guilt in a second... and then I notice her staring at both our hands, now separated and I know that she felt it too. The same current radiating through our bodies. She sits down, apparently shaking the thought away. Yes, it’s probably for the best.
I’m sorry, I didn’t know.
She says softly and sits down. She notices me slowing down and raises an eyebrow.
Do you not like the pancakes?
I hear the concern in her voice and the corners of my lips lift just a bit.
I was pretending to be civil... usually, I don’t have an audience, hu... I mean people annoy me.
I hear her giggle and raise an eyebrow.
So after you devour most of the food you slow down? I take it as a compliment that my food is tolerable - she shifts her head to the side - I can leave until you finished eating if you wish. I’m not a big people person either.
She sits back and crosses her legs and somehow it feels like a challenge. This one likes to play games. Well, a little fun never hurt anybody... unless it was with me.
No. That won’t be necessary. You can watch if it makes you happy.
I shrug my shoulders and finish the eggs and enjoy the second piece of cake. It’s so soft and smells divine. Something about the scent of lavender in the air always worked on my senses. Later I take the last pancake and make it disappear in seconds. Oh yes, this feels better. Before it felt like I couldn’t think because of the hunger. I see her stare at me, eyes wide open.
Oh, you don’t have to explain. I think it’s amazing how you ate all that and with speed. You realize that will probably become a meal thing on the menu. Mel will ask to use your name but she won’t embarrass you like she did me. But yeah. Would you like another juice?
She asks and grins at me like I am the one making her smile. How strange.
No, vitamin C is covered - I pat my full belly with satisfaction - but you can bring me tea... do you have the hibiscus flower?
She laughs at my faint attempt at a joke.
That we do. Do you have sugar in it? - She asks as she gets up.
That won’t be needed, I think I devoured a small jar of sugar today... besides when you drink tea, you don’t treat it like dessert.
I smirk at her. I felt relaxed now.
You do realize, some people have sugar in their tea to make different flavors stand out but most like it sweet because they don’t like bitter things?
She smiles and takes a few steps back.
Glad to see the hunger has taken away the grouch.
She winks and walks behind the counter and starts making the tea. She returns a couple of minutes later with a pretty glass cup with a gold rim. I can see the steam rising from the red liquid, the light playing with its ruby color. I inhale the smell as I take the cup from hers. It soothes my senses. I look up at her.
The hibiscus flower is never bitter, to be honest, only black tea stands out as sharp in flavor.
I say, not able to let go of her last remark. Actually, I would have done it sooner but she left too fast. I smirk at her satisfied. She smiles and takes a seat.
Thanks for the information. I’m not a tea drinker. I’m a coffee kind of gal. Which means if I don’t have a coffee when I wake I would run and hide until I get my fix then wait like an hour then you should be safe from dying. But not safe from getting broken.
She bites her lip before she requests suddenly.
Tell me about yourself.
Maybe some other day, sunshine. I’ve got other things to do today. And I believe your shift is almost over and you are just probably dying to go home and rest those tired legs...
I look at her disappointed face but don’t give in. There were matters that needed my undivided attention. I cross my legs and lean my arm over the chair and with the other,
I sip my tea. She slouches slightly.
My legs can go on much longer than what they have done. I was actually going to go for a walk after work. You’re welcome to come if you want. And I mean it when I say I want to know about you - she gets up - Thanks for inviting me to watch you eat. I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll see you around... hopefully.”
She smiles but doesn’t move, waiting for me to speak. My fingers tap again, against the wooden surface. She gave quite a speech there but the amount of warm and kind feelings is a bit much for me.
No, I will finish my tea and then I will take off... but thank you for the offering, maybe one day I will take you up on it. You should probably go change, your boss is sending you strange looks.
She nods her head and looks back, then she sighs.
She is just curious because I’m not normal or good at talking to girls. It’s different taking orders, but this - she points between us - I don’t know what it is and... I just don’t know.
She shakes her head getting flustered and overwhelmed by whatever is going on around in her head. Yes, I seem to know what she means. Then she smiles and laughs softly.
I’ll see you around. I’m here Monday to Friday just so you know.
She winks and walks away. I stare at her and wait until she disappears behind the door. I get up, take my big bag and get to the counter, where the other woman is. I stand closer and watch her surprised expression. As if she thought that maybe I was walking out of here without paying. Funny, I always assumed the murderous tendencies didn’t show. I smile softly at her and she returns it, drying her hands on her apron. She is slightly shorter than me. She is a pretty brunette with messy, wavy hair that reaches her shoulders. She is slim and toned, it shows that she is a hard worker. She seems to be in her mid-thirties and has tiny wrinkles in the corner of her eyes. Definitely from smiling.
I lean on the counter and reach into my bag and pull out a wallet. The surprise expression returns on her face. She puts a hand on mine and shakes her head.
No need hun. It’s all taken care of.
I frown at her, a bit annoyed.
What do you mean?
It’s on the house.
Because Ray cooked everything especially for you... - she stops abruptly and bites her tongue - She has house credit and is allowed to do that sometimes... if I let her, of course.
The woman smirks and starts to mop the counter. I stare at her, still not amused by the answer. I pull out a 100$ bill from my wallet and leave it there. The woman looks up and seems to be frustrated by my behavior. I like the feistiness but I have my standards when it comes to others handling my affairs.
Mel, right? - I ask, my eyes narrowing. She nods.
I pay for myself and that’s final... - my voice is ice cold but then I change my mind - if you don’t want to take this as a payment for the meal, consider it as a big tip.
But that’s way too much...
You can share it with ‘Ray’.
I taste the name on my tongue and enjoy the taste. Then I smile again. This was turning out to be the strangest day I had in months, if not years... and this considering me throwing energy balls in a dark alley and contemplating the end of the world as we know it. I stare at Mel and the frown turns in to a slow grin. I think she enjoys this little game.
Fine... if you promise to come once for a dessert sometime soon... or twice.
I don’t think you can afford me.
I put on my sunglasses and give her a dark smile. The woman holds my stare and does the same. Mmm, I see this wasn’t her first rodeo.
I’m sure I can handle you just fine. Which reminds me, you are getting a special with your name on it.
Is that so? - I lean in and slide my glasses just a bit to look her in the eyes. They are pretty, a delicate hazelnut color or maybe amber.
Yes, I have already decided.
Care to share?
Yes... a “Tiger Lilly Special”.
She winks at me and it’s my turn to look surprised. It’s the second time someone has called me this way today. I try not to growl. The signs were a real bother to me right now. A real pain in the ass.
That name seems suitable.
I say politely and start to leave, then decide to turn around.
Thank you for the meal Mel, you are a good boss... and a real saint for making it through with her. I bet those black feathers of her can get in the way sometimes. Good luck with that.
I quickly leave the scene and prepare myself for the next phase of my plan. There were things I needed to find out before I could let myself train freely. My energy was oozing out of me and I needed to control it before... Well, we will see how things go.
Here are the links to the earlier chapters from Lilly’s perspective and Raven’s.
Disturbance in the matter
I reach the door to my place and put the key in the lock. Then sigh, frustrated. The little bugger is stuck again. I fight with the lock until it budges and eventually just kick the door open. I hear someone from upstairs shout something indistinctive and smile. Oh, look at that, someone is having a bad day too. I walk in and shut the door with a bang. My oversized bag flies in the air and lands on the big blue sofa. I look through a few letters that I left on a small table next to the entry and moan. Bills and adds.
The most mundane part of my life. At least I had the money for it and a place that was mine, and that I lived in since I was seventeen. Would have been sooner, but the elders wanted me to train close by their side until I achieved my basic skills. Everything else I learned on my own. The power expanding in me, in a natural way. My life energy growing with every day.
I was born with the ability to make my powers increase over time, channeling and harvesting it from the world around me. Using nature and the life that supplied it. Which didn’t mean I was causing damage, I only used what was already functioning in the matter. Well, until now. In order for the plans of our people to work, there would have to be some sacrifices made, but not just yet. There was still some time.
I take off my leather jacket and it falls to the floor. I swiftly kick off my high heels and take care of my dress, making a mess as I go. I walk to the kitchen just in my underwear and open the fridge. Then I frown. No, this won’t do. I look at the almost empty contents of my fridge, except for some eggs, milk and orange juice. I stare at the Chinese takeout and wrinkle my nose as the smell reaches me. Groceries, another mundane thing. I throw the stuff out to a metal bin, standing next to a small island in the middle. I grab a green apple form a ceramic bowl and take a big bite. I slowly walk to the only bedroom at my place and pick out a t-shirt and some cotton shorts to wear and tie my hair in a loose bun on top of my head.
I sit on the sofa in the living room, my back straight against the soft cushions. My eyes closed as I try to concentrate. I do this always when I get back to the flat. I like to keep my mind sharp and use my energy to exercise. It’s like stretching out my brain waves and releasing the stress of the day. I change my position, sit cross-legged and lift my right hand. I let the blue light fill every cell of my body, causing my particles to change their structure. My body changing for the time being, in order to obtain the life force that I channel from everything that moves around me. Each atom dancing around me and passing through my skin. Just like magic.
Oh baby, you make my particle barrier drop every time.
I smile to myself, using the joke that I overheard years ago when practicing my powers. One of the older students, really enjoying the flow of the energy and making the small group of pupils laugh. Though I wasn’t laughing back then. I was very serious as a child and didn’t understand why someone would disturb the lesson like that.
I calm down and let the light travel through my blood vessels, my muscles and finally let it leave through my fingertips. I feel sparks tickling my skin and form an energy ball without opening my eyes, waiting until it lifts and floats above my head. My eyes open and I look up, smiling. Easy. I form a couple more and let them float in the room. They swirl in the air but don’t damage anything, just coexist with the space around them. More like fairy lights rather than a deadly weapon of destruction. I watch them as the sunlight in the tall windows fades, replaced by the streetlamps outside.
I hardly notice it, my mind stuck on just one thought. “She will cause you trouble”. I shake my head and try to think about everything I learned from the elders and all that I know about her. It couldn’t be a coincidence that she looked exactly like the girl I was supposed to fear and later conquer. Though one could argue, that it was more a case of mathematic probability and the right gene pool.
I look at the energy balls flowing in the air and watch them swirl faster and faster with tension, perfectly mirroring my mood. One of them reaches the red brick wall and there is a bit of smoke in the air. I frown, lift my hand and make the blue light return to its rightful owner. And as it reaches me, I feel a weird sensation, a bit of a sting. I narrow my eyes. That’s a first. I shake my head again and decide to go to bed. Maybe sleep will calm my frustrated senses. I reach my oversized bed, in a not too big bedroom and just fall on the white sheets. I let my heavy head sink into the pillows as images of an upcoming dream start to swirl slowly in my mind. Sleep pulls me in, and I’m gone in just minutes as if I was intoxicated by something.
The sound of twigs breaking, rocks shifting, sand and dust lifting in the air. Feet bouncing against the ground, a steady breath, muscles moving and flexing with every step. Arms moving with rhythm. Someone running with speed faster than an average person. A young woman on a trail surrounded by the forest, and a late afternoon sun. At first, I don’t see her very clearly blinded by that sun. I feel it warming up my skin as my gaze follows her every move. I see her better now. Her black hair falling on her back as she runs. She doesn’t stop and seems to run for miles. The light fades slowly as the scenery changes... and then I see it.
Small objects moving in the air. Twigs, branches, and pinecones. I feel myself take a sharp breath. I can’t believe my eyes. I stare at the sight, mesmerized. Things float around her and almost dance. I try to breath slower. The objects moving in slow motion while she just speeds up faster and faster. And then she stops, distracted by something. Time stops for what seems like an eternity, stuff still floating in the air... and then it all drops.
I hold a scream, somehow feeling terrified by the situation but nothing touches her, just falls next to her... then the scene turns into a blur for a moment and then I see her by a waterfall. She jumps into it and swims with grace. I see the picture from a close-up. Her body sliding against the surface of the water. I still don’t see her face but my mind already knows. I think I knew from the first moment, somewhere deep inside me, realizing it was just a dream. Knowing who I really saw.
I watch her get out and take off her shirt. She has a beautiful body. She’s slight but has the curves in all the right places. However, that’s not what catches my attention. The air around her moving in a different way than everywhere else. As if her life energy was disturbing the matter in between the basic dimension. I knew how that manifested because I used that kind of power almost every single day of my life. My eyes linger on her bare skin and my mind freezes.
On her right side, I see a big black tattoo that starts under her bra and glides delicately under her breast. I stare mesmerized at the impressive feather, that without a doubt belongs to a raven. The feather is slightly arched and has a soft line around it. I feel fear slip through my veins. I’ve seen that symbol so many times in our old books, and in the almost falling apart ancient texts that only a few had the access to.
She starts running again but this time gets further away from me. I can’t follow her every step like before. I can’t even remember how it is to move faster, my steps slow and calm. As if I was just taking a casual walk. I try foolishly to reach her and lift my hand. Wanting to grasp her with my fingers. But she just disappears with time, until I can see her no more... and yet, I follow. Somehow knowing exactly where to walk. I see the path and feel her energy. It’s only then that I notice that I am just in shorts and a grey t-shirt. I look down, my feet bare and dirty.
Ignore all off that and keep on walking. I must find her... and kill her before it’s too late. The forest reaches its end and I look down again, suddenly forgetting why I was even here or where I wanted to go.
My gaze falls on the beautiful flowers growing everywhere. I gently pick one up. The soft blue and white petals tickling my skin. I inhale the smell and my head starts to spin. My breathing getting more shallow. I stare at the flower as my eyes start to get heavy and I feel an invisible hand on my throat. A blue heart lily...
You always had a cold, blue heart, my dear.
I feel the hand tighten on my neck and I give one more scream.
I wake up with a scream, my limbs tangled in the covers, my whole body drenched in sweat. My hair a haystack of a mess, covering my face and wrapping around my neck. I untangle myself from everything and kick off the covers to the floor. At the same time, a part of my brain putting some puzzle pieces together. My dream and the hair around my neck. It was the “hand” that was trying to choke me. I shiver slightly and try to breath slower. It was just a nightmare, just... Raven.
My body strains and my mind tries to explain everything that I saw in my dreams. I close my eyes and make myself focus on the details. I feel the tension growing in me as the memories seem to get more blurry, and faded the more I try to remember them. I groan. Dreams had this annoying quality that the more you try to remember, the more they seem to vanish away. As if they didn’t want to get caught. Too elusive, to stay with us after our eyes open for good. I calm my breathing and relive the nightmare.
She’s running in a forest. It’s sunny. She is so fast. The flying objects... Why were they in the air? Did she do it? I shake my head. The waterfall, she’s swimming, bare skin as she takes off the shirt. The feather... there were some words there... and music, there was definitely music in the background... What were the words? And some flowers? What...? And this is the moment when I snap.
Raven, you damn, wretched girl! Why are you doing this to me?!!
I scream out, even more, frustrated and pissed than before. Why is she constantly crossing my path? She can’t be the girl that we are all looking for. She has no powers and is so weak. I pinch my nose, trying to regain some composure and my mind throws images of the cafe and how heavy the tray must have been. How she was not tired, even after a whole day of working and slaving over people. I shout again exasperated, throw my clothes off and had to the bathroom. I needed a shower. I couldn’t think straight.
I step into the shower cabin and shut the glass door behind me, and as the hot water pours over my skin, my body starts to gradually relax. The water almost burns my skin, but I enjoy the feeling. My minds sole focus only on that one sensation. I let it overtake me as my hand searches for a shampoo bottle. I spread it over my hair and feel it foaming under my fingers. The shower gel comes next and I smell the scent of jasmine in the air. I inhale deeply and my hands go everywhere, trying to relieve the stress from my muscles... eventually the water turns cold and I enjoy that as well. My thoughts more clear now, my heartbeat beating at a more regular pace.
I walk into the living room in just a fluffy towel around my wet body, and stop for a moment, trying to remember more of my dream. I clench my fists and then swear under my breath.
Oh, for the love of Mary Magdalene, why is this so hard?
I never had difficulty like that before with remembering my dreams. I could always look inside my mind and fish out even the smallest details. But not now, not with her. I lift my head higher. This was not a problem. The puzzle pieces would soon come back to me. It was just a matter of time. I turn on the radio that stands on one of the countertops in the kitchen, grab another apple from the table, and wander back to my bedroom.
I quickly take a pair of expensive black jeans and a white cotton shirt without any sleeves. I don’t bother myself with a bra, instead, I pull out a short jacket to wear on top. I pick out a pair of dark, blue satin heels. Finally, I brush my fingers through the still wet and a bit tangled hair.
I look at my reflection in a small, round mirror that hangs in the hallway. I notice the very, visible bags under my eyes. I furrow my brows but then just shrug my shoulders, not bothering myself with any make-up. I hardly used that stuff, if it wasn’t some special occasion. And even then, it was more a case of some red lipstick and mascara, rather than a whole “paint job”.
I didn’t really need that stuff, nature gave me the things that other women craved for. Soft, flawless skin, full lips and big beautiful eyes that resembled clear emeralds. I smile and look for the keys. I spot them on the grey rug in the center of the living room and smirk. I was such a slob. I pick them up and head for the door. And then I hear the radio and a song that just started to play. I listen to the words and start to shake my head. Not possible. I walk into the kitchen and stare at the fleshy, 50′s styled radio. I stare at its intense red color and turn up the volume. The words flowing into my ears and vibrating inside my body.
”...It was a way that the light
picked you out of that night
then you were right by my side
put a soul in my body
and now it’s time to close the space
between the two of us...”
I listen to the song, completely hypnotized by it. Almost certain that I have heard it before, the words sounding so familiar and at the same time so alien. I close my eyes, as the warm male voice sings out the chorus.
”...So come on and take a little bit of my
No, I literally don’t mind
Just please don’t misplace it
And take a little bit of my
No, baby be mine now
Baby, be mine now
Maybe it’s time we put our hearts in a parallel line...”
In a parallel line. The last sentence keeps bumping around in my head as the last words of the song end, leaving only the echo of a beautiful melody behind it. That song was in my dream. I close my eyes and see the earplugs in her ears. She was listening to music. I stand without moving for a while and then hear the local news start, and finally break out of my trance. I shake my head again. Mathematical probability. That’s all. Nothing magical or mystical about it. That song had to play eventually and because I heard it in a dream, that’s why it made such an effect on me. Even furthermore, I probably heard it before. That’s why I dreamed about it. Problem solved.
I take one more steady breath. I put the keys into the lock and close the door behind me. It was time to take care of some important matters. And when the time is right, I would do a bit of ‘exercising’ and ‘stretching’. The intense energy flowing through my body, already trying to get out. An untamed beast that grew dangerous, if I didn’t let it out every day for a little, casual stroll through the park. The corners of my lips lift softly. Yes, that should make me feel better, and more at peace with my slightly troubled mind. I walk down the stairs and open the old, double doors.
The sun blinds me just like in my dream, so I pull out my sunglasses form the back pocket of my jeans. I was no longer dreaming. I called all the shots. I step out on the sidewalk and glance at a little girl passing me by. The child seems to be four or five, and when she sees my stare, she sticks out her tongue and runs away. I smile. A rebel. She runs to the end of the street but then suddenly turns around. She grins and blows me a kiss. I laugh out, wondering about the nature of women and how complicated they were. The little ones, and the all grown up kind, that gave me nightmares and caused a lot of frustrations.
And for those who want to know where the dream sequence came from.
leaving marks part 1/2
No one is so brave
that he is not disturbed
by something unexpected.
I walk past a wide sidewalk and listen to the steady rhythm of my blue satin heels. The sound seems almost comforting to me. I’m meeting up with Clara to move some things forward. I needed her opinion on the matters that weren’t serving their purpose. A few more minutes pass, and I arrive at the cafe. I head for a little table at the back of the patio. The sun is high in the sky, and I don’t want to rot inside when the weather is like this. Actually, the heat is kicking in, so I take of my little leather jacket and hang it on a chair next to me. The sun slips through my cotton shirt probably showing just a bit too much, but I don’t care. There was nothing wrong with my body, so why hide part of it behind wires and straps.
I order a double expresso and enjoy my surroundings, all the while hoping that the coffee will drag me out of the state that I feel deep, deep underneath my neutral appearance. This sort of heaviness that was weighing me down after the little nightmare session that I had. I felt so frustrated about not being able to remember the details that kept shifting from the surface, preventing me from grasping them in any way.
I look up after sensing something out of order, a very distinct kind of energy moving my way. I shift my head to the side, eyes scanning the place, senses becoming oversensitive. And then I frown, locating a precise memory connected to this feeling. Yes, I knew exactly what or who it was. Or maybe I should remain with the ‘what’. You couldn’t really call the devil’s spun a person.
Baneheart, how displeasing to see you. Do sit down and let’s chat, since that is exactly why you came.
Why aren’t you a delight for sore eyes... and don’t mind if I do.
I watch as she sits down. Long blond hair reflecting the sunrays and the sight causing me nausea. I really despised her. She crosses her long legs covered in tight leather pants and black pointy heels. She has a see-through, red blouse without sleeves, tucked inside the pants. I look at the tiny buttons on the shirt and regard a black lace bra, very noticeable underneath. Her arms are bare. My eyes wander to a purple crystal hanging on a thin black cord. It’s glowing, which means she hasn’t been ‘exercising’ in over a day. It’s a risky move amongst our kind - then again she wasn’t as powerful as me. She could afford to be lazy once in a while. The corner of my mouth lifts, but then I get serious again.
Has my mother sent you here, to spy on my doings? Is that why we are meeting today? Because trust me when I say; I have more urgent matters than dealing with you.
She is only caring about your best interest.
I don’t have any “best interest”. I have rules to follow.
And that’s what she cares about, Callico... and you have been a bit distracted of late. Care to share?
Nothing that I would want to say to you, Olivia.
She sends me an angry look, sparks starting to fly in her hazel, brown eyes. The amount of hidden fury in them, makes it almost seem that flames burn inside those crazy eyes. I smile at her. It was so easy to get her angry. This one always had a tantrum problem. I drink my coffee and when I look at her again, there is no trace of the rage that was there before. She’s changing her tactics. Strategizing. I keep my face muscles in order.
Are you sure?
I’m positive. And I am guessing Clara will be a ‘no show’ today?
That is correct. Your mother decided she has other things to attend to. I am sure you understand.
Of course, as always.
I wasn’t really surprised by my mother’s behavior, in fact, I was used to it. If this day went smoothly, then I would start to worry. I would handle my affairs with Clara tomorrow. It wasn’t really a problem. Today was more a case of a social meeting than about the ground changing decisions.
Good. Now, the gossip around town is that you found yourself some cheap thrill. Are you finally using your powers for something more pleasurable than just exercising alone?
She giggles, and it feels like someone pricked my ears with tiny pointy blades. It sounds like broken glass to me, but maybe I was prejudiced since I couldn’t stand her presence closer than twenty feet away. I look to the side and notice how her laughter attracts men sitting at the nearby tables. They look like hungry beasts, starving for centuries - and they finally found something they could eat. I shiver. Men were disgusting.
Listen, darling. What I do in my free time, and who I do it with, is none of your business. Are we clear on that?
I tap my fingers against the table and blue lights spill out of them. The energy flows like water and moves around the little coffee cup, surrounding it, hugging it - suffocating it. The cup starts to shake, cracks appear on the surface until the delicate porcelain tremors, and finally collapses inward. I smile and gaze at Olivia. I see a mixture of emotions on her face. Her crystal grows brighter as the table start to shake a bit. I spread my energy and light moves her way, tiny sparks igniting from it. Just like watching a dangerous chemical reaction; like gasoline burning... The table stops to move abruptly. The light moves back and sinks into my skin. I offer her my kindest, warmest of smiles, the one I leave for my most priced enemies.
Care for an expresso? They really serve good ones here.
Not this time, Callico. I just came here for some explanations because your mother asked me to, and nobody refuses her unless they have a death wish. I think that you of all people are more than aware of her special talents?
It goes without saying.
She slowly stands up. Her body like a dangerous weapon. The kind that lures you in, only to later devour you inside out - and then she throws you away like trash. Another used toy of hers. No longer needed. She looks down at me and gazes at me as if I was in her way. Well, I probably was. She walks away, her tall silhouette moving in a very suggestive way, curves catching a stare from both men and woman alike. I shake my head. I swear - that girl was born ‘extra’. It was definitely a good thing I didn’t have to work with her on a regular basis.
I stretch on my chair until my joints pop with a satisfying sound. I look to the side. I was getting restless. This little meeting with Olivia lifted my adrenaline levels. I needed to burn some calories and get rid of the additional fuel. I will just have to wait a couple of hours until it gets dark. There were rules we had to follow - and most of us did. I watch the sun change its position and decide to order some food. I look at the menu and something jumps into my mind. My lips twitch. “Raven’s flavor”, honestly. Who comes up with these names? I am reminded of the owner of that cafe and just shake my head. Humans were such strange creatures.
I stand in a dark alley just like I did a couple of days before and prepare myself for some fun. I let the power heat my veins and travel through my bloodstream. It fills my each and every atom until it is ready to leave. My own kind of essence. I feel it - as I lift the palms of my hands - waiting for the final climax to come. For the release.
The energy pours out of me slowly, expands and soars in the air. Forming a cumulation of a power field. The smaller energy balls drifting around it like tiny planets, swirling around their spheres. My hair lifts with the current, particles shifting, causing them to move in all directions.
And every time it’s the same. All that life filling me up. Now, If I was just a human I would call this state... happiness. There was no other way to describe it, the exhilaration, the pure joy perfectly consisting with my bloodstream. Dreams meeting reality. My consciousness intertwining with the universe. So much. My thoughts become blurry as my mind drifts off. The power in me, taking over.
I open my eyes and the light shines from me, like a lantern calling out ships in the darkest of nights. Light beams streaming out of my eyes, gliding through my skin and spilling out my fingers. I cannot see, nor hear, nor feel. I can just be. Only exist when everything else falls into place. I embrace it without hesitation - my hands lift higher and I can sense, not see, the orbs of energy moving around me, faster and faster until they are drawn in. Sucked in, as if they had no choice, giving up to the power. Devoured by the supermassive black hole of all that I could be.
End then I let it out again. Playing with it. In and out, in and out. Filtering it. Flexing it. Banding the structure of the matter.
Like a river that runs within me. Like the biggest of floods but caused by light. By the life energy of the universe and everything around us. Manifesting through me. My body a vessel for new life and eternal destruction. I feel it again. This current spreading like water ripples, exploding and coming back as a shock wave. It feels like pleasure and pain joined in unity.
If I was a mere mortal, this energy would have shredded my body into single atoms and just swallow me up, before I could even blink.
But I wasn’t. Nothing could destroy me. Nothing but... my mind seems to stumble, yet I get quickly back on track. I let out the blue beams again. My hands lifting. Right arm swaying to the left, and then to my side. Perfectly mimicking my left hand as I ‘grab’ it and form a small ball of cumulating particles. I let it grow, I let it multiple everything that I give it. I focus. Yes, just like that. Grow. Grow. My hands move even more to my left side and then behind it. I wait for the ideal moment. I let it fill each and every particle that isn’t already mixed with this power. I give myself to it. Just then, something clicks, and I open my eyes. Hands pushing forward, the down part of my palms shifting together and pushing the energy out. A loud roar fills my throat and escapes my lungs.
The energy hits the building in front of me but doesn’t actually hurt it. My hearing suddenly returns, and the sound of the ground shaking erupts in my eardrums, almost vibrating. The walls shake as well, yet the tremor stops as quickly as it started. My lips spread in a wide smile. I wasn’t intending on shattering that building. This was just a practice run. A little stretch so I don’t get rusty - or overcharged. A tiny volcano ready to go ‘boom’ at any moment. I outstretch my neck, moving it to both sides.
And now, time to collect.
Because as of now, I was completely empty.
I lift my hands, palms up, and wait for the energy to come back. I harvest the power that needed to be filtered, so it wouldn’t ‘infect me’ and make my condition worse. There were rules that I needed to follow in order to survive. There were always some rules - even for those that could demolish a world.
Even for me.
Now to human eyes, there wouldn’t be much to see here at this moment. Just a little glow over the walls and the ground. But the thing I saw, was magical. Right now I don’t see old bricks or dirty pavements. I don’t notice the filth and smell the stench of the human surrounding. What I see is an enchanted forest made out of life energy - it’s glow soothing my eyes. Every particle coming back to me like a small firefly, fluttering its wings. Only someone like me could see that I wasn’t exaggerating and being foolishly poetic. Someone of my kind would agree that I was telling the truth.
All the power moves back from each and every surface, once again forming balls of bluish light. They reach my hands and sink into my skin. And that’s the moment when I notice that something is wrong. I feel little stings just like yesterday when I was at my apartment. But this time it’s more tangible. More intense. The little orbs move faster and faster without any control from me. Jumping back in, almost attacking me, blow by blow. Faster and faster. It stings like hell. I grind my teeth but wait patiently until it’s over. Finally, it ends, and I hear a little “puff” sound, as if electrical cords just burned, causing a power damage. I stumble back and look at my hands; remainings of smoke lifting in the air. I groan, frustrated. The scratches look like I got both burned and attacked by a small animal.
Son of a gun! May you all rot in hell!
I wasn’t exactly sure who “they” were, but right now I was blaming everyone in the existence of all the creation. Somewhere in the back of my mind, a thought was bobbing up to the surface. I wave my right hand in frustration and refuse to accept it. That puny, little girl could not be a cause for all of this. The Calico family does not bow down to mere mortal beings. They do not affect us. Never.
Damn, did I need a drink. Desperately.
leaving marks 2
1. wild or violent anger
2. extreme strength or violence in an action / or a natural phenomenon
I head back to my apartment, storming into the bathroom, while my jacket flies in the air only to land on a lamp next to the window. The heels hitting and scrapping the wooden floor. Maybe there will be a dent in it later - again. I don’t even lock the door, if someone ever tried to get in, they would be the ones to blame. And to suffer. I open my medicine cabinet and look for something to put on my hands. I find a special ointment and apply it on. It stings like hell, but I ignore it. I take out the bandages from under the sink cupboard, wrap them around my hands and cut them with scissors. I stare at my palms covered under the thin, white material and sigh. Honestly, of all the stupid things that could have happened to me, something like this comes up. Scrapped and stingy skin. I suddenly feel like a five-year-old that fell down from her bike and is too embarrassed to tell anyone about it.
I look in the mirror. My hair is all messed up and electrified. I stare at my reflection and try to calm down. As my puls lowers and thoughts become more rational, so does the state of my locks. I smirk at myself. The medusa is pretending to be moderately cool. Yeah, good luck with that.
I walk into my bedroom, strip to my underwear and open my wardrobe. I stand there, topless and with hands on my hips, tapping my foot. I grab a black dress, almost ripping it from the hanger. It’s tight, has long sleeves and ends somewhere at the mid-thigh. I frown and grab a black bra to match. I put it on, then I slip into the dress. I pull up a long zipper at the back and glance at the big mirror behind me. Will do. I go into the living room, find my jacket still hanging on the lamp and pull it on, release my hair from under it and look around. In the hallway, I pick up a pair of high leather boots that go up just above my knee and quickly put them on. I shake my head, more zippers to handle. I take a wallet, my keys and head out. That drink was still very needed... at the last moment I turn around and pull out a pair of small black gloves, with the cut off fingers. Perfect.
I sit at the local bar and sip on my gin and tonic. The third one. I feel just a little bit buzzed but I also know that the alcohol won’t hit me too hard. With my specific metabolism, I usually burned it off in two, three hours tops. If I stopped drinking now - with the amount of alcohol that I have consumed to this point - and walk home by foot, I would be sober before I would reach my place. Not that I actually drank too often. I usually preferred a different kind of buzz, that only the universe could provide me.
I stare absentminded at the people around me and automatically flex my hands. They still sting. I growl quietly, not pleased. They should heal in the next two days but the situation still agitates me. Why the sudden glitches in my energy levels? My powers never reacted this way before. What was the cause for it? My eyebrows furrow as the unwanted answers slip in. I think of the moment when I grabbed her arm at the cafe that she was working at. I felt an amazing current of energy and an unspeakable electricity. But it wasn’t just the simple, mundane body attraction.
No. This kind of magnetism had a different explanation. Every person in the world has their specific kind of energy that flows through them and reacts with their surroundings, and all the beings that they meet in their lifespan. Hers was extraordinary. Captivating and so ‘familiar’. Yes, that was the dangerous part. As if I felt those vibes before. Long, long time ago... yet, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t place the memory. Or perhaps I didn’t want to find it, a strange fear stirring in my veins like poison. Clouding my vision and any rational thoughts. Was she the one that we all feared? I close my eyes for a moment and then order another drink from the hipster looking bartender with his ‘trendy’ beard. I see him later sending me very intense stares. His eyes undressing me inch by inch. Nothing new, I think to myself and change my position - and then I feel it. A change in the matter.
Electricity in the bar going crazy, light bulbs flickering, vibrations moving the air around me. I grab the glass tighter and notice little cracks on it. I let it go abruptly and scan the place. My eyelids fall down and my head starts to move. My senses are trying to find the cause for this disturbance. Mmm, almost... and... right there. My head moves to the left and I see her. Of course. It always had to be her. I see her slim back, bend over a pool table. She looks agitated. I narrow my eyes. Welcome to the club, little girl.
I watch her silently without moving. Like a dangerous predator. I stare as she plays pool with a bunch of men that look like they already had enough to drink. Though she seems to be comfortable around them as if she was just one of the guys. My stare moves to the right as a man reaches her and taps her on the shoulder. She jumps, startled and he hands her a drink. He says something to her and she seems to relax. My nails scratch against the table as I give him a ‘one over’. He’s tall, well build and has his hair tied up into a bun. What an absurd hairdo for a male. But that’s not what annoys me the most. It’s the attitude. Like something was wrong with him. He looks a like two-faced snake to me. Appealing on the outside but rotten on the inside. I watch her gulp the drink all at once and shake my head. Something was off.
I look at the guy again as the bartender comes over with shoots for all the crew. I watch his red t-shirt and how his muscles flex and tense under the thin material. He seems to be waiting for something. My eyes drift to the girl and I notice that her moves are starting to get very unsteady. Even more than before. She still plays but misses a lot. I watch as she stumbles slowly to the bathroom - and then notice him following her. He takes his time, looking around. Cautious but pleased with himself. The glass that I am holding breaks into pieces. At least I had my gloves. I ignore the pain shooting from my left hand and notice a guy at the other table drinking a beer and playing a game on his phone. I stand up and bend over his table. He looks up and I can see his surprised expression. He looks at my tight dress and my high boots. He gulps. I smile.
Do you mind if I borrow your phone for a moment? I promise to give it back...
I purr sweetly and take his cell before he can even utter a word. I quickly tap in a number and push the red button. I hear three rings and someone picks up. I don’t wait for an answer.
“Lucille’s” bar, at the 33rd street. NOW.
I hang up and throw the phone on the guy’s table. He stares at me with an open mouth but I don’t give him any more of my attention, already walking away towards the bathrooms. I walk into the hallway until I reach the open door to the bathroom. And the thing that I see sends me into a state of white fury.
I see him grab her and notice the lights flicker again as she tries to throw him off. The lamps where she stands blow off and it gets much darker. This distracts him and she kicks him in the crotch. The guy growls, but it doesn’t stop him, it only intensifies his ferocity. He punches her in between the ribs, and I gasp.
That. Will be. Enough.
The energy escapes me and every light in the hallway and in the entire bar goes off. All, except the blue light filling up the room. I stare at her laying figure and walk forward. Slowly - very slowly. I see hear faint. Good, no holding back then. My boots make soft noises against the carpet floor. He doesn’t even hear me. Well, let the fun begin.
The guy flies in the air and hits the nearby wall. I hear a loud cracking noise and notice him hold his right forearm tightly. He screams out when the realization of what just happened really ‘hits’ him.
You crazy bitch, you’re going to pay for this!
Says who? You? This poor excuse for a human being? I throw away trash worth more than you.
He tries to get up and stumbles on his way. I see that he is in a lot of pain, but the anger that blazes from his eyes seem to numb everything else. He reaches me and grabs me with his working hand. He lifts me in the air and I just smile. I feel nothing but the energy surging through my bones. My fingers light up and my nails dig into his forearms. He screams out and lets me go. I don’t tumble to the floor but gracefully jump down. I feel relaxed. It was a long time since I got to do any combat action. Normally there wasn’t any need for such a notion. Hmm, I thought I would get a little rusty but it was just like riding a bike.
I put my head to the side as the guy’s eyes grow wider and wider. I grab his shoulders again and throw him against the sink. It breaks down under his weight. I watch the dust go up in the air and the water spill over to the floor. Oh my, another bar fight between men. Nothing new - well, that’s what they will say anyway. I walk over to him and watch as he squirms and raves in pain. I crouch next to him, lower my head and whisper into his ear softly.
Don’t mess with me fool, or else you might not live to see the next day.
He flinches and I smile, wiping some dirt off his cheek.
Looks like your hair is a bit messy, but maybe that’s a good thing. I don’t think that style suited you - or any male on this planet.
I gently pull my fingers through his hair, then grab them tightly - and finish off by banging his head against the floor. That should put him to sleep for a while. I narrow my eyes for a moment, inspecting the ground around his head. Good, no blood. He might just make it.
I stand up, dust some dirt off my knees and fix my hair a bit. I look back and stare at the little figure still laying on the floor. I almost forgot about you, with all this fuss happening. I kneel beside her. She seems so peaceful. The images of what he was trying to do, fill my mind and I focus to control my own peace and calm.
Well, hello there sugar cup. How did you get yourself into this mess, huh?
I lift a strand of hair from her cheek and judge if the face was also damaged. It wasn’t. I open her jacket wider and look at her shirt and try not to roll my eyes. It’s a black one with a big, tattooed heart with a singers name in the center. Bon Jovy. Well, he did have some good songs in the end. I check the place under the ribs where I saw him hit her by lifting the material and touching the skin. Hmm, this one bruises easily I see. I stare at a black feather on her side and freeze. Fragments of my dreams pricking my thoughts. Little needles everywhere.
“On her right side, I see a big black tattoo that starts under her bra and glides delicately under her breast. I stare mesmerized at the impressive feather, that without a doubt belongs to a raven. The feather is slightly arched and has a soft line around it. I feel fear slip through my veins...”
No, that’s not possible. I touch the skin again cautiously. As if that mark could harm me. I stare at it puzzled and wonder. Could she have more of those kinds of surprises waiting for me? I lift the shirt a little higher, my stare passing past a regular looking, white sports bra and stop abruptly. And what catches my stare isn’t her full breasts slowly lifting and falling. No, it’s something completely different. Between her chest is a mark that stops me breathing. I gently touch the pale lines that start in the center and spread, as if I was staring at the roots of a tree growing deep under the earth. Or more like looking at someone that got - my pulse speeds up - struck by lightning. The birthmark has a very pale, pink shade to it. And the size is about 3 inches big. If someone looked from a distance, it probably wouldn’t even be noticeable.
My mind works on slow motion. Why does this look so familiar to me? Why do I feel like I have seen it before when in fact my eyes gaze at it for the first time? Now, was she really struck by lightning and survived, or was she born with this unusual birthmark? As my heart pumps blood with double force, I notice her start to shiver. I shake out of my daze and quickly cover her up, so she doesn’t have to add a cold to the list of things that went bad tonight. I frown. Was I worried about this silly girl? I throw a couple of invectives in the air and then lift her up until she is almost standing. I hear the door behind me and turn my head.
Well, it’s about time that you showed up. I need help with her. People would notice if a delicate woman was carrying a girl outside. That would draw more unnecessary attention. Very unneeded at this point. Even though, it is completely dark now. Use the back door as always.
Alright, boss. Any way you want it.
He comes over, takes her away from me and throws her over his huge shoulder. The girl moans as the air is practically pushed out of her lungs. I growl.
Not like that, you idiot. She probably has some ribs broken by this asshole.
I point to the ground and feel disgusted with the man that is curled up into a ball in the corner.
Just carry her the normal way - the way you carry expensive wine barrels - with care.
My lips twitch, and he nods. He shifts her body, puts it down and then adjusts the hold and lifts her up in both hands. It looks like he is carrying a carpet.
Where do you want her?
Just take her to your car. She is small, so she should fit easily everywhere - I say amused, but then think twice - But not in the trunk Ramsey. On the back seat, please.
Sure thing, boss. What do you want me to do with him later?
He points to the ball of mess in the dirty tiles and I narrow my eyes. What do I do with this creature? I would say kill him but that would drive too much attention. I think I will just leave him under the police station, they should find him there, eventually. It will be hours - if not days before he wakes up. Maybe he will learn a lesson from this experience... or maybe just get a lifetime trauma, who knows.
I imagine all the things that I could have done to him. That sure would have been a sweet treat- for me, that is. I think that he might have represented a different opinion on the matter.
Give him a nice seat in the car as well, but this time the trunk will be perfect. And big guy?
You don’t have to be careful with this one. Have some fun with it.
The beast and friend that was my helper, smiles widely at me and the muscles under his shirt start to move. I return the smile - watching his tall frame- it was like watching tectonic plates shift. Very amusing. I stay behind in the bathroom and look in the mirror. I fix my hair again and pull down my dress, smoothing out the lines. I adjust my jacket and have a ‘one over’ look at myself. Good. Poised. Calm.
I look at the floor and notice some blood on it. I lift my hand and energy slips out of my right, index finger. It sways and writhes like a snake. Traveling slowly like blue smoke. It reaches the stain of blood on the dirty ground and covers it. Spark fly and the stain turns to dust. It looks as if a girl was using a red eyeshadow and was very messy with it.
I look at the glowing dashboard in the otherwise dark car. It’s past 2 a.m. The streets are pretty much empty, but we still drive without going over the speed limit and stopping at every red light. I gaze at Ramsey and smile softly. My “Hulk” friend respected the traffic regulations whenever he could. If we weren’t in a hurry and he had a free hand, that is. I wasn’t really rushing. After he settled the girl in the back seat - and the dirtbag in the trunk - I found her ID card, in the back pocket of her jeans. It contained her address, which I was most concerned with. I couldn’t just leave her at some dumpster, not after everything that I did for her tonight. At the same time dragging her to my place wasn’t really an option either. For a second I was amused by the thought of leaving her by the door of the place she worked at - but got to the conclusion that was a bit overdramatic, even for me.
We finally stop by a dodgy looking place and I stare at the building next to us. It’s a tall structure, with red bricks and not too big windows - at least from this side. The place is old and was probably build back in the 1930′s. I look at the double doors that seem to be open and at the dirt on the sidewalk. Not the prettiest of neighborhoods, but I have definitely seen worse before. This was just a bit neglected and eaten by time.
Is this the place boss?
I look back at him and nod.
It seems that way.
We walk out of the car and shut the doors. I walk up to the entry of the building and open the door wider. I find a light switch and a single lightbulb flashes. Then I hear a buzzing sound and it gets lighter on the stairs. I turn around to Ramsay and stare as he pulls her out of the car and holds her up in his arms. He looks questioningly at me. I lift an eyebrow.
Well come on, I’m not going to carry her up by myself, seven flights of stairs - or more. Trust me, the day has been long enough without me acting as the delivery woman. So hurry up and put those muscles to some use.
We walk into the building and slowly climb up. I listen to the loud music as we pass the third floor and try to ignore it. Ugh, House music. Just a lot of bang-bang noise. I stop for a moment and the big guy passes me without any comment. I start to walk behind him when the door opens. The music blasts away with full power and a young guy, maybe in his mid-twenties stumbles out.
Alright, I’m going. Why do I have to always buy more stuff, you dickheads?
He trips on his way but manages to stand up again. He dusts away some dirt from his jeans, mumbles something and then he looks up. I can see that he is surprised to see me. He looks me up and down, and the surprise on his face turns into an obvious look of pleasure.
Hi there, sweetheart. You looking for some fun?
Not tonight, hot stuff. Not tonight.
I walk up the stairs and don’t have to look to know that he is staring at me with an open mouth. I run up to the big guy at the fifth floor and can still faintly hear the drunk guy say “Whoah, since when did the models start to show up at this dump?” and then he starts to hiccup. I still shake my head as we finally reach the last floor. I stare at him as he turns around and waits for further directions. I point a finger to the ground where I want her, and he quickly fills my request. He puts her down against the wall, near the door and heads down, then he turns back.
Any particular instructions for the cargo in the trunk?
No, not this time. I’ve got to much stuff on my mind. Just drop him off at the police station and then come back, alright? I need a lift back home.
I should be back in twenty minutes.
Good, take your time.
I watch him leave, take a deep breath and then sigh.
One hell of a day, wouldn’t you say, gorgeous?
I take her keys out of my pocket and stare at the number at the door - 24B, the seventh floor - and open them wide. I come up to her, lift her to a standing position and drag her into her flat. My hands under her arms, her body in front of me. I wasn’t really in the mood to carry a woman over the threshold. I smirk and let her go for now. I go back, lock the door and look for some lights. Though I don’t turn the main ones on, instead, I just turn on a small lamp standing on a long table behind a small sofa. I didn’t feel like drawing any extra attention in case some worried neighbor got too nosy.
I put the keys on the table, quickly scan the place and decide to just carry her to her bed. Once again I drag her across the room. With one swift move, I lift her up - grabbing her under her armpits again. She moans when I move her up, but does not wake up. I take her ID card out of my jacket, turn her around and slip it back where I found it - in the back of her jeans. I slip her black and white snickers off but leave her jacket on. I put a blanket over her slight figure and straighten my back. I finally let myself to really look around, to notice the details.
Well, so this is your place, hmm?
I walk around the small apartment as she lies on the bed, completely unconscious. I glance at her and then shrug my shoulders, she will be just fine and wake up eventually. I pass her apartment casually, my fingers sliding against numerous objects. Feeling each smooth curve and sharp edge. Hmm, what an eclectic place it was. Interesting. So many different styles and textures, yet it all seemed to fit in just fine.
I stand in the middle of the place and slowly move around.
Now, if you think about it, this place was just one big room with a bathroom. No walls to separate the kitchen, living room or her bedroom. The dark, wooden beams, the only thing dividing the apartment into little spaces. I narrow my eyebrows - but maybe that’s a good thing. If the place had walls, the rooms would have been tiny. Instead, she has a rather big, spacious nest build up for herself. The windows are tall here and they must bring her plenty of light during the day.
I slowly walk over the hardboard floors and take my time to absorb in all the details. Her bed is against a red, brick wall and is centered in the middle. To the left, there is a tiny kitchen with a pretty, old fashion green fridge, soft yellow cupboards and many, many colorful things laying around - neatly organized and giving it a very homey feel to it. There is also a small table with three chairs - each one of them in a different style. In the center of the room, is a beige and comfortable looking sofa with plenty of pillows and a brown plaid on the side; a low square table stands in front of the sofa, and a bigger and longer one behind it - matching its length.
I look around again. She sure does have a lot of stuff. Books, pillows, things made from glass; candles and all sorts of magazines. Clothes lying around, at least eight pairs of sports shoes laying on the floor next to the front door.
I tap my foot while thinking. My maybe enemy, is a messy person living in her little cozy world. Could this really be the creature that may bring the end to my existence? I gaze at her unconscious on the bed and lift an eyebrow. Very doubtful - yet not impossible. My brain wonders aimlessly about countless possibilities that raise up in my head until something finally breaks my trance.
I hear a car pull up. I walk to the window and look down. He stands there, arms crossed - a mountain man - with his back against his huge vehicle. A bit used up Hummer H3. He doesn’t move much, just waits patiently. I lift the curtain and wait for him to look up, and then I nod. He gets into the car and warms up the engine. Good. I walk over to her bed and stare at her for a moment. Such a fuss over this little creature. I move a strand of hair from her face and then cover her with another rug, it was chilly here - and then I sigh. This was so messed up that I didn’t even know from which issue to start with.
I close the front door behind me and can hear the automatic locks snap shut. Good, at least I didn’t have to concern myself with that. As I walk down the many steps of this old building I am filled with even older words by a man that once ruled the mighty empire of Rome. I whisper those words stepping into the dark of a late night.
No one is so brave that he is not disturbed, by something unexpected.
cause and effect part 1/2
unclear / adjective
not easy to see, hear, or understand
not obvious or definite; ambiguous, feeling doubt or confusion
It’s almost 4 a.m. I stagger up the stairs. Just ten minutes back in the monster truck and I was fully awake. Now I can’t seem to keep my eyes open, the sound of Ramsey’s car engine still vibrating in my ears. I reach the third floor and open the door to my flat and then bang it shut. My shoes and jacket land on the floor, my bag that was already there, keeps them company. I land on my bed, face down and stay like that till the morning. My eyes close and I fall into a peculiar, almost narcoleptic state. Strange images and scenes rolling around in my mind. Strong vines that I cannot see twisting and grabbing my consciousness. The remaining of the night taking me in.
My whole body shuts down. I disappear.
I wake up and groan. What time was it? I look at the window and a bright light almost blinds me. I didn’t roll down the blinds last night, too tired to focus on the meaningless details. I look at the clock and yawn - 9:08 a.m. Funny, it felt like noon, but then again I did usually recover quite fast. It came with the powers and my particular life energy. I rub my eyes and sink into the pillows. Something still bothering my not fully awakened mind. I push the pillow to the side and open one eye. I squint at the light and close it again. Why was I so tired last night? It wasn’t exactly like the alcohol that I drank did anything to me, my metabolism was too fast for that. And neither was it the fact that I came home late. That was never an issue.
I think of Raven and that guy I used my energy on. It was hardly anything, I had walks in the park that took more power from me - but I did exercise before, so maybe... I quickly shake that thought away. Those were just little distractions, nothing significant or essential to how my body reacted. I strain and there is a strange panic in my mind.
Why do I feel anxious all of a sudden? I concentrate on each and every part of my body and for a moment it seems that my ribs hurt. Impossible. I touch my waist and stomach, but as soon as the notion came, it also left. I felt perfectly fine now. My eyebrows furrow. Sympathy pains? Oh, rubbish - I think and quickly get out of bed. On my way to the kitchen, I wonder about my dreams, but can’t seem to remember any of them, so I just brush it off. Whatever they were, they couldn’t have been that important.
Time to move on.
I turn on the coffee machine and lean on the counter. My eyes gaze outside the window at the sunny and peaceful weather - the view that she saw did not reflect what was going on inside of her. But this wasn’t the time for those kinds of reflections. So instead, I just shrug my shoulders and go to take a quick shower. I could still taste a faint tang of gin and tonic on my tongue and the smell of cigarettes covering the dress that I never took off. I walk into the bathroom and gaze at my reflection for a long moment. As if I’m waiting to see something out of ordinary. But it’s just me in there, the same as always, just with bigger bags under my eyes. I wave my hand in the air and turn on the water. I wiggle out of the dress and underwear, and then step in. The hot water soothes my senses as I try not to think about anything. I don’t let even a single grain of sand that makes my throughs slip out.
Ten minutes later I walk out of the bathroom, wearing a white cotton shirt and dark blue shorts. I turn on the TV and start to get ready. It’s 9:30 and the local news are on. I dry my hair and listen without special interest. I hear the coffee machine click and head its way when a speaker on the show catches my attention.
“Local small town man confessed to drugging and assaulting women. There were no charges against him but women have been coming forth since this morning saying it’s true. Guilt finally ate...”
I shift back to the TV and a huge smile stretches on my lips. I see his mangled and tired face. Ah, look at that. Mister ‘sticky hands’ is famous now. How lovely. My towel lands on the floor and I cross my arms, listening intently. Instantly my good humor returns and my worries disappear like they were never there. I look at the screen and a reporter with a big square jaw and pearly white teeth. My head tilts to the side. Silly creature, that wasn’t guilt, roaming about in his empty mind and heavy veins. It was a delightful thing called fear. So tasty.
My fingers tap against my arms, and a faint blue light starts to pour out. Like tiny fireworks or microscopic explosions on the sun. Powerful but on a much smaller scale. Worlds colliding in the palms of my hands. I stare satisfied and notice that the water dripping from my hair no longer falls down, but lifts in the air, gliding effortlessly before my eyes. The small drops of water mixing with my energy and filling themselves with light. I smirk. I finally felt good, back to my old self. I start to sip on the hot coffee that I just made and know that the smaller objects in the space around me start to lift as well. This reminds me of something. My lips form a thin line and then I hear my cell phone ring. I push the green button and listen.
Boss, we need to talk.
Not now, Ramsey. I am enjoying myself with a little entertainment.
Sorry boss, but the news is big and can’t wait.
Fine, what’s the issue?
I ran into our little friend from last night.
She was in an alley close to some diner place...
It’s probably where she works.
I cut in and no longer seem to enjoy my coffee. It feels cold and tasteless. There is silence on the other side of the line. I sigh.
I was there because you said to inspect her place and the area around it. She left early in a rush and disappeared into the diner. After some time she stormed out of it and ran into a group of some shady looking types. There were three of them, all sizes. They got her cornered against a wall.
The objects in the room hit the surfaces with a low clinking noise. I look down and notice small pulls of water next to my feet. I clench my jaw.
And what happened then?
They attacked her. One by one. Like a pack of hungry wolves. She got a punch in the jaw and in the ribs.
Enough with Animal Planet, Ramsey. What followed after it?
There is silence on the line again and my hand clenches itself around the phone.
Ramsey, I am running out of patience. So be so nice and answer the damn question.
My voice is low but it vibrates. It could cut through steel right now.
They attacked her and really beat her up. But, boss... she took them on.
I imagine Raven’s slim and petite figure. Her small hands and gentle smile. I shake my head in disbelief.
More words before I end you.
Another short silence.
It’s just hard to explain. She’s human but she took them on with ease. I mean at first she was getting it, they were pounding her. But just minutes later and something changed. I could hear moans and some bones breaking. And it wasn’t her bones that got broken, boss. It was a big show. Finally, one of them punched her and she landed on the ground, then this guy walked out. I think he was a bartender and that he was trying to help her out.
She tells him to back away. She seemed terrified by what just happened. Like it was the first time. So the guy walked up to her after he already received a warning. She screamed out and he flew up in the air and landed on his back, sliding backward with speed. But he didn’t look damaged much, just shaken up.
I don’t see Ramsey’s face but I feel him smile. Like he’s proud of her. My fingers clench and the energy that slips out of starts to change its color to a dark blue color that breaks into a soft orange. I quickly try to calm myself down. This was not a good thing. It meant I was really dangerous and could cause damage. I didn’t want to pull this building to the ground, so I started to shift my energy. I focused on how good it always made me feel, the only thing in this world that made me experience the closest thing to happiness. My guilty pleasure when all I was meant to do was to concentrate on the annihilation of it all. Changing the future of all mankind. But not this time. I felt the energy and filtered it, moved it in each cell of my body until it was clean. Until it was pure again. I sigh with relief, regaining my composure.
Boss, you alright?
Yes, perfect as always. What was the final outcome of your charming little tale?
She started to run and bumped into me by “accident’. She’s sure fast, I will give her that. She didn’t look at my face, just kept running like all hell was chasing her.
Where is she now?
My voice is cold and distant, emotions on lockdown. The most practical ability I have learned from my mother.
Just a moment later she went into the diner and hasn’t got out yet. She might have passed out. I’m watching the entry as we speak.
Good. We will have to pay our “friend” and the owner of the diner a little courtesy visit. Pick me up from my place and don’t hold on the breaks. We are short on time.
And Ramsey? Did you see where our other three companions ran off to?
They drove away in a beaten up Honda Civic. Probably stolen. I got the license registration and it is already being looked in.
I smile, knowing that Ramsey meant the other likes as him, just worse. Those boys will have a really hard day.
The same instructions as yesterday or do you want them to be treated with special honor?
Special is the right word here... but keep them alive and after, call the cops. I want the ‘gentleman’ from last night to have his team with him. Maybe they can talk about their experiences. Now hurry. I have some storytelling of my own to do. The girl needs some clearance on her missing hours.
I can at least give her that after all the turbulence that she had to endure. I hang up and get dressed. Just a white t-shirt tucked in a pair of bright jeans. Heels from yesterday and a leather jacket on top. I stare at my fingers for a moment. There are some medium size scratches left and pink spots surroundings the burns. They should be gone in less than two days. I lock up and slip my cell phone in the back pocket of my jeans. I usually didn’t bother to take the phone, but lately, I felt more alert. I run downstairs as if I was wearing my sneakers and not 3-inch heels and then hop into the already parked car. I sigh. Let’s get this show on the road.
We arrive at the coffee shop and park the car nearby. I leave my helper behind and walk in, ignoring the ‘closed’ sign. My heels click against the ground with a steady rhythm. I look around but don’t see anyone, so I head straight to the kitchen. I hear quiet sobbing as I walk in. It’s the cafe owner, and she is sitting next to the girl. Her head snaps up as she hears me. Her eyes widen and the flow of tears stops immediately. She squares her shoulders and stands up, shielding Raven’s body with hers. I try not to roll my eyes at her. She didn’t deserve any of my natural attitude right about now. She had bigger things to worry about.
The cafe is closed, come back some other time.
Relax, gorgeous. I’m actually here to help.
She crosses her arms and stares me for a long time.
Why are you here? It’s a bit early for you to be enjoying some deserts. We’re closed.
I lift my hands in the air, pretending to give up and lean my back against the kitchen counter.
You know it is.
I’m not here to cause any ‘extra mess’ - I point to Raven - I just came to clear some stuff up.
What do you mean?
Well, I am guessing that she has some memory loss after last night?
The woman looks surprised by this but quickly controls it.
How do you know?
Because I was there, alright? So stop sending me those looks.
Where? At the bar or...?
Yes, at the bar, where else.
My hands lean against the countertop and I cross my ankles, letting the information sink in as I think about one more place. The girl’s flat. But I don’t mention it, instead, I wait.
I ask irritated and a bit confused breaking away from my own thoughts.
Why were you at the bar?
How evil do you think I really am?
I ask and she seems to be taken aback by my words.
I don’t... I actually don’t. It’s just that this was one stressful morning, to say the least. I’m just trying to make sense of it.
Alright, I understand. I was at the bar for the simplest of meaning. I went to get a drink - well, a couple of them. I had a bad evening and needed to let go of some steam. She was there.
I point to the girl again and watch her chest rise at a steady pace. She should be fine. Things could have gone much worse.
Did you see what happened?
I look back at her and smile.
Did I see? Oh, I joined the show... or should I say intervened - I add as Mel’s face turns to that of true terror, her skin growing pale - I helped out in my own special way.
What did you do?
I shrug at her question.
I stopped something bad from happening and taught a certain male a very valuable lesson about respecting women and the word ‘no’. I think he learned plenty that evening and won’t forget it anytime soon. I assure you.
My eyes turn dark and my lips stretch into a heavy smile as I remember all the details of last night. At the last moment, I stop myself from giggling. That kind of reaction wouldn’t be appreciated right now. I stare at her with confidence but then my stare traces slowly behind her. My eyes narrow and my lips turn into a thin line.
Can you move away?
Please step aside, I need to see the whole damage.
Mel crosses her arms again and looks like a mother not trusting the new bully in school to be friends with her child. I stare at calmly and wait. This has to be her decision. Finally, she does as I asked and steps aside, slowly sits down, and tries to have an eye on both of us at the same time. My lips move up but then I look at the girl... and gasp. Her face is all bruised and banged up. Her lips are swollen and so is her jaw. A purple mark that seems to be spreading with each passing moment. I look at her right cheek and see a nasty cut. I make myself stay calm but it’s hard. Whoever did this was already paying for it with the help of her ‘friends’. Ramsey would see to that. I look at her chest and wonder about the bigger damage.
I turn to the side and see the woman standing beside me. She puts a hand on my shoulder and squeezes it. I lower my gaze to match hers. She must notice the anger in my eyes for her grip tightens, bringing my mind into focus. I nod and then look down, I see a pair of pale pink ballerinas and a small, simple apron covering her jeans. I inhale deeply, hold it in for a moment, and exhale. The floor under me stops to vibrate. I wonder if she felt it? Well, either she didn’t or she doesn’t show it. I look at her hand and she lets go of me abruptly but isn’t abashed by it. She is a strong person with a head on her shoulders. Something tells me, she is also a mum.
I just sense it because I know how that kind of energy feels. It’s more stable, solid. It feels safe. Something I never felt when growing up. I look at her again - my eyes narrowing - or maybe she will be a mum soon. I had a hard time placing my finger on it. But the energy felt so familiar. My mind snaps back to life.
I’m fine now. How are her ribs?
She got it hard but it’s being fixed.
I look at her questioningly but don’t ask any further on the subject - there were other matters that needed explanation.
In what state did you find her today?
Mel sighs and seems very tired all of a sudden.
She was late for work and that almost never happens. She ran in and was trying to hide whatever was really going on. But I know her, she was really messed up and her ribs... I just, things were bad. She was really panicked and didn’t seem to make much sense. She was terrified and when she heard the news on the TV something just snapped. She burst out of here like an animal burning alive. I didn’t know where she was. She disappeared before I could even walk out. Raven is such a fast runner. she really loves it...
The woman’s voice trails off. I watch as she walks up to the sink, takes a dishcloth, and starts to dry the dishes. After, she washes them and dries them again. I walk up to her and take a plate from her. I put both of my hands on her slim shoulders and stare into her eyes. She blinks a couple of times and goes to sit by Raven.
I’m sorry. I’m just worried. I have known her since she was a teenager and had no place to go. I watched her grew up into this amazing woman and now I am not sure how to help her. She’s so confused.
I will try to clear up some things when she wakes up.
The woman nods again.
Thank you for coming here.
It was something that needed to be done.
I sit down on Raven’s other side, keeping a space between us. My eyes wander off to Mel, sitting on her other side. Her face that of constant worry. I couldn’t really blame her, she seemed to be very emotionally attached to the girl. Like an older sister would be or a caring mother - well, from what I heard, I couldn’t base it on my own experience. My ‘life giver’ was a very specific person. I shake off the thought and try to minimalize the memories that were breaking through. I slow down my breathing and block everything.
Time passes and we just sit in silence, with only the ticking of the clock on the wall and the sounds of our breaths. I’m starting to regret the decision to even come here. What was I thinking? I look down at the girl and my fingers curl up and tighten, new energy buzzing inside of me. Some things just needed to be explained, no other way around it. Otherwise, the situation would get even more complicated, and dangerous. This Raven warrior lookalike had to learn some rules because everything about her seemed to attract danger. After all, it brought me to her of all people. Her biggest life risk... and she, mine.
a link to the book:
and a previous chapter seen from Raven’s perspective for the curious ones
cause and effect part 2
the faculty by which the mind stores
and remembers information
I gaze as she starts to move and fidget, her chest moves faster as she inhales deeply and her eyes pop open without warning. She blinks a couple of times, frowns, and sits up confused. My eyes patiently stay on her, as her own eyes grow into focus.
I don’t say anything just wait. She looks down and touches her stomach and then the ribs, but she doesn’t seem to be in any pain. It’s my turn to frown. From what I have been told and from what I could plainly see, she had been banged up pretty hard. My eyes gaze up as she touches her lower lip and hisses. Now that was a reaction I was expecting.
What the heck is going on?
Her stare starts becoming frenzied and wild as she asks the question.
I could ask you the same thing. Where on earth did you go? And what the fuck happened to you? You had me worried sick. Jesus Raven, you could have died.
Tears start to flow down Mel’s face and I can’t help but feel embarrassed by this little display of affection and worry. I’m like an unwilling passerby froze to the spot and being unable to move. The girl apologizes with a weak voice and then stares at me.
Were you at my house last night?
I once again ignore her question and just try to think about what I needed to tell her. I gaze at her calmly now. She still looks confused but I know that a part of her already knows the answer to that question. I’m positive she remembers my smell. It was just in the way that she took her first conscious breath after waking up. Her reaction. I watch as she clings to Mel for support and how tight the woman puts her arm around her. My stare turns serious.
There’s a lot I need to tell you.
Aren’t you going to ask what about?
No, you’re here for a reason. You know something so just tell me before you leave again...
I watch as Mel pinches her and to my surprise, she manages to roll her eyes. Even after all she has been through. How peculiar.
She adds in a soft voice. Then she stares at my hands, disoriented. She looks worried now.
What happened to your hands?
She touches them and I feel the comforting warmth of her fingers on mine. I ignore it and just groan.
Let’s just say I didn’t use something correctly when exercising.
Exercising? - she sounds doubtful - Like you even need it.
That’s very nice kiddo, but I do it to let go of my high adrenaline levels.
Did you just call me a ‘kiddo’?
I wave my hand dismissively.
Doesn’t matter. Better tell me how your feeling right now.
Fine, I guess. Don’t look at me like that. I mean it. Mel gave me some painkillers and another coat of her cream. It makes the pain go away.
I look to the side, at the pretty woman standing beside Raven. Her expression looks serious and worried.
What kind of cream?
I ask her and she just brushes the question away.
It’s just some special herbs mixed with anesthetic. Nothing that could do her any wrong. I assure you.
Hmm, don’t worry. I don’t doubt you - she looks surprised at me - Just her actions.
I point to the girl and she sends me a dirty look.
This isn’t my fault. They attacked me without warning.
And why did they do that?
Because they were friends with...
I hear her voice start to break and I kneel in front of her. I hold her hand tight to grab her attention. She blushes but I overlook it.
You’re fine now, and he is already taken care of. He won’t get out for many, many years to come. And soon his three cell buddies will join him. He will be in a good company, of creatures just as rotten as him.
She shivers after my last words but doesn’t slide out her hand. My hold loosens and I stroke it a couple of times. Then I get up.
They all should be happy with their outcome. Landing in a dirty cell, and not a couple of feet underground. They should see it as mercy.
I feel the room going quiet and look at them. Two women with the same expression on their faces. It’s a mixture of relief that Raven was okay and terror that came from the possibilities. I stare at them and try to be civil about it and behave. Very unusual for me.
No need to panic. They are safe and sound in their cells. They are just a bit bruised and battered. All I meant, is they could have been in worse shape. I dramatized for effect... because scumbags like that make me sick and furious. But don’t trouble your thoughts. The only person judging them will be the judge at court. I just hope she’s a woman.
I wink at Raven and she seems to relax a bit. The other woman still eyes me suspiciously but eventually, her expression eases up as well. I look at Raven and she returns the stare. There is some determination sparkling up in her eyes that I have never seen before. She nods as if making up her mind.
So what really happened last night?
I sigh and start to walk around the little kitchen. Then I turn back, my mind calculating the possibilities. The matter at state was if I should be completely honest or just give her the most necessary facts. A little bit of both - my mind says without any hesitation.
Tell me, what do you exactly remember? And I will try to fill in the gaps.
I can see all the range of emotions on her face. Panic, fear, denial, and hope for clearance. Then the determination returns. She wants to know the truth. She needs to hear it, no matter what it was. She takes a deep breath in and lets it out slowly. Her hands fidget for a moment but then she stops, a frown on her face.
I don’t remember much. I needed to drink. So I went to the bar ordered a bunch of shots... - she sends me a quick look - No, I didn’t drink too much I can handle my alcohol, it’s a weird thing and honestly, it sucks because I can’t be a cheap drunk. I need to spend a lot to get drunk. Anyways, I have seen a few guys playing pool and went to join. One guy wouldn’t take no for an answer he kept hitting on me, then I put him in his place. Well, I thought I did because he apologizes and buys all of us a drink. He, he, he...
She stutters but then grows silent, realization hitting her over the head. It looks like she has difficulty breathing. I see the anger in her eyes spreading like wildfire. Memories that I woke up in her fluttering their wings like tiny golden butterflies - all at once turning into dark raging moths.
The asshole drugged me but I didn’t know. Not until now. I went to go to the bathroom as I wasn’t feeling well and I remember his face in the hallway. That’s it, I don’t remember anything. Then I went there and the place is trashed, and then I went outside and the rest of the goons turned up and then cornered me. Shit when down and then I wake up here.
She leans to the other woman and her eyes closed shut. She wants to hear the truth. I can see that she is terrified. I cut in before she can start to panic again.
I stopped him.
What? How? When did you get there? No, you weren’t there... I would have...
Her eyes snap right open and the words just fall out of her all at once. I lean on the counter again and sigh.
Trust me, I was there. I’ll start from the beginning. Let’s end with all the confusion, shall we?
They both stare at me with tension, the other woman as well. Even though she already heard some of it before. So I stare at them and finally start. I tell them how I got to the pub and saw her there, playing pool with some shady types. One of them much worse than the rest. I leave out what happened in the background. The lamps flickering, the delicious energy that I felt every time the girl was upset. I look at her and describe how he handed her the drink of the night and how her body responded to it after. Then I tell her how he followed her to the bathroom, always watching, waiting. Just like sin crawls behind a sinner. Slowly, with intention and never leaving its sight.
There was something really off about him... and it wasn’t just his horrific hairstyle.
My thoughts wander off to the images of last night; how pleased he looked, how proud of himself he really was. I remember the way my nails scratched the table and how the glass with the gin and tonic broke in half.
It’s Mel’s voice again breaking my frozen state. I focus on the memory of the pain in my hand after the glass broke. I center my thoughts around it and eventually calm down. I notice the girl sending her boss strange looks. As if she didn’t understand her tone when she said my name. Maybe she thought it was too private for someone she had talked with only twice in her life. I wonder if it was jealousy but don’t think too much of it.
I’m fine. I was just overthinking something. I have a very vivid memory, that’s all. Nothing crucial.
What happened next?
I look at the girl who is still watching Mel cautiously. Her stare implies that she knew that she missed out on something again and didn’t look like the idea amused her very much. She crosses her arms and her lips shift into a small pout, though she tries not to show it too much. The other woman stares back and just shakes her head disapprovingly.
I called for backup and followed him.
This makes them look at me.
What do you mean backup?
I am glad that you have such high regards when it comes to my person, but I couldn’t really take care of this on my own, could I now?
I ask and my lies slide smoothly like water over rocks in a river. I almost hear a stream and birds singing. Lying was an art and a language I was fluent at.
That’s not what I meant, I was just curious... I would never let you alone in such a situation... I mean, I am glad that you had a backup, well, not that you aren’t strong or you can’t handle yourself, all I mean is that...
I lift my hand in the air, trying to control the flow of words coming out of her mouth. She hushes as her chicks turn almost scarlet.
I know what you meant. I called my friend that always helps me out in need. I have known him for years and have full trust in him.
This was actually true, even though he was assigned to me back when I was a teenager I made sure he was trustworthy. He had to prove it to me until I had no more doubts. I trusted him more than my own mother. Then again the bar wasn’t set too high when it came to her.
Sorry, please finish.
The backup was nearby and came in just a couple of minutes later.
The stream moves gently over little pebbles. Sweet little lies.
But what happened when you started to follow him? Please tell me everything, don’t leave anything out. I need to know everything.
I look at her closely until her gaze lowers. She waits and I start to calculate how to make my story sound.
I followed him to the hallway and then to the bathroom. The whole thing took a long while because your moves had been very uncoordinated, and he was very patient. He thought it was a sure win. He was wrong. When I reached the bathroom, the door to it was open and I saw the two of you there. He was pushing you against the wall and you were struggling. Are you sure you want to listen to more?
I look at her face, all of the colors draining away from it.
Yes, don’t stop. I’m fine.
I lightly jump on the counter and sit on it. I make myself comfortable but then I frown remembering.
I saw what he wanted to do but he didn’t have an easy way with you. You were putting up quite a fight for a person in your state... Then something happened to the lights, some electrical surge. It got darker. This caught him off guard. You punched him in the crotch - and may I add, it was very well done. But the thing is, it only made him angrier and out of control. He punched you in the ribs, that’s why they hurt so much today. I’m sorry about that, I should have acted sooner but I had to wait a moment for my friend.
You’re the one because I am here right now, safe.
In a way, yes... but back to the story - suddenly something happened and the lights in the entire place went off. I heard a thud and it must have been the moment when you fainted.
What did you do in the dark? Did he run away, or did he try to...
No, he didn’t even have a chance to think about it. My help arrived and took care of it... Well, alright. Try not to hyperventilate here but I fired it off with a couple of punches to start with. I have a good sight, even in the dark and very feisty nature. Plus, I train - a lot.
You shouldn’t have, it was dangerous and...
No, I should have. Trust me, he had it coming. And my friend took care of the rest. Problem resolved. Done deal.
No, there must have been more, you have to explain in the between stuff. How did I get home?
What happened to me, you have to tell me! I don’t remember!
Alright, fine. Please stay calm and I will tell you all the rest.
I watch Mel put an arm around her again and waits until she calms down.
She’ll be fine now, please continue.
When things were taken care of, I checked in what state you were and the damage that was caused to your ribs. Don’t worry, your honor wasn’t harmed in any way.
I watch as her face really does turn scarlet this time.
Ramsey - the backup, helped me to transport the walking dirt to the police and you to your flat.
How did you know where I lived?
She stares suspiciously as if I was stalking her from day one, when in fact she is the one that just keeps popping up everywhere I go. I lift an eyebrow give her a long stare.
Your ID was in your back pocket.
How did I get to my flat?
She still looks suspicious.
You were being carried in by a man the size of a small mountain. But don’t worry, he didn’t even feel the weight... you do live high though, so the only thing conscious and in pain were my feet.
And he carried me inside as well.
No, he had to take care of the dirt. So I got you to bed.
I hear a low gasp and try to keep a straight face. It was harder and a harder challenge these days.
Well, obviously not in my arms. You do have some weight on you... so pardon, but I had to drag you there. Then I made sure you were alright, covered you with something, and left. The doors had an automatic lock so I left the keys with you. I gave your ID back and put it where I found it, though it wasn’t easy with those tight jeans of yours.
I see Mel cover her mouth when it’s obvious that she is chuckling under her breath. She stands up and clears her throat. She pretends to be busy by the sink. My stare returns to the girl and her still open mouth. I hear it click shut after a second. I gaze at her and smile innocently.
You have a very lovely place. A bit small but charming.
She smiles back with the warmest smile and I try not to frown, she does ruin all the fun for me when she’s so nice. Then I watch as her face changes for second filling with pain, that she tries to control.
Thank you. I like it small, it’s just me there so I don’t need much space - her face suddenly changes and she adds - ...and my pants aren’t that tight.
The corners of my lips lift and my expression turns darker.
Oh, they were tight, it’s a good thing I didn’t have to take them off, of you.
I hear a snort from behind me and see Mel escaping the place, saying she heard a customer, even we both well know it’s closed. I strain my ears, it didn’t seem like she got very far, just on the other side of the door. I don’t comment just look back at Raven, as her helpless stare returns to me. I see her mouth open and close up again, her face getting redder by the minute. I feel like I should have some mercy on her so I don’t add anything. I watch as she stands up but can’t find her balance so she sits back. She looks to the door to check if the other woman didn’t return and see her actual state. She sighs with relief, seeing they are still closed. Her eyes look up and stare at mine.
Thank you for everything, really you saved my life. I owe you big time. Is there anything I can do to repay you?
My expression turns serious and I walk up to her and help her stand up.
No, you don’t owe me anything. But then again, there is this one thing.
I step closer to her as tension fills the room, it simmers. I put a hand on her shoulder and then bend down, my face just inches from hers. I put away a strand of her hair and move my lips to her ear. I let my hot breath tickle her skin and whisper.
Do this for me... stay out of trouble, little girl.
I walk away and leave the room, passing a surprised looking Mel on the way, and hearing faint stutter coming from inside of the kitchen. I smile to myself. Another strange day to add to the list. I take off my jacket, walk slowly to the car, and jump in. I throw off my shoes and move my feet around. The engine roars back to life.
All done, boss?
For now, yes. As for later... it’s still optional.
a link to the book:
and as before, a previous chapter seen from Raven’s perspective
rooted grounds and foundations
decided / adjective
(of a quality) definite; unquestionable.
She picks up her bag and roams around in it until she has a small object in her hand, an old, falling apart book with a black bird on it. The dark silhouette forever imprinted in her mind. Her fingers slide gently against the faded out green cover as she closes her eyes, her energy picking the page. It leads to the same poem again, but only one part grabs her attention.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.*
No, no mortal has ever ventured so far with their dreams as I have, but then again, I was not a mere mortal, a flesh of their flesh. I could be killed, yet my dreams and energy always soar far, right until they reach the purpose, a goal that I share with all of my kin.
Until the raven is nevermore.
Something in my mind snaps and I manage to jump back to reality. Mmm, let’s finish with these dark themes, for now. The past week has been stressful enough, filled with way too many unwelcomed surprises.
Currently, I’m in the park, sitting on a bench. Bare feet, cross-legged, expensive heels laying somewhere on the ground. I wiggle my toes and shift my body a bit, eyes wandering to an impressive pond in front of me, enjoying the sun on my bare arms and face. It feels good to finally rest, leaving the unnecessary tension behind; feeling the world around me and the atoms swirling... as if lazy bees drunk on the sun and drops of nectar; blissful moments, almost sensual in their heated core.
Suddenly I sigh frustrated because regrettably, the idyllic peace doesn’t last as long as I would want it to, a dark shadow shielding the sun, a true mountain man. My gaze shifts and wanders up to him.
Did you get them?
He hands me a paper bag with some coffee and bagels while the other hand holds a pair of ordinary-looking red sneakers. He holds them by the pristine white shoelaces; as if the object that he was touching was strangely repelling to him. My eyebrows lift as I grab on to everything.
They’re just shoes, Ramsey. Straight from the store.
I got odd stares at the cash register.
His face scrunches up as he stands there, covering the scenery. At almost 6′4, and impressive body weight, he was easily feared off. I liked that about him, he didn’t let others waste his time, a thing that we got in common.
But you survived, now sit down, you’re blocking the light.
He moves to the other side of the bench and as he sits, the wood under him creaks and moans. My body slides unwillingly his way, and I silently wonder if the steel on the sides might bend. Thankfully, it stays in place, so I let myself relax again.
My head shifts slightly as the feeling of vitamin D slowly soaking into my pores, plays with my senses.
Is she trouble for us?
I put a hand over my eyes and squint at him, there was no need to ask, knowing exactly who he meant.
That’s the million-dollar question, Ramsey. A question as to of yet, I still don’t have an answer to. She’s definitely not normal, with all the abilities that she seems to have and that still lie under the surface, not discovered but that want to get out. Desperately. The energy that she produces is remarkable, the current and sparks flying wherever she goes, trouble appearing to follow her every tiny step. It’s both fascinating and potentially very dangerous.
Is she the warrior that everyone speaks of?
Trust me, if I had that kind of assurance, the girl would already be dead, and the situation never an issue to begin with.
The way she looks.
The bench under him whines again as he shifts his body weight, crossing his arms - he doesn’t seem to notice.
Yes, a spitting image of our raven warrior, mostly concerning. That’s why we need to make sure who she really is. Even without the prophecy and the many facts that we have witnessed - her powers need to be examined and thoroughly looked into.
We should consult the elders then.
I slowly sip on my coffee before I answer him.
No. That is the only thing I fear off. The tension amongst our kind is already raised, a chance of war growing. Many fractions want to succeed with the upper hand, and this would only be another excuse to start a fight. This happens every time the prophecy is nearing. Think of what would have happened if our people knew? And this without any certainty that the girl is who we think she is? No, Ramsey, unnecessary chaos, no one can know for now. We don’t have the luxury to be reckless about this, there are too many lives at stake.
He nods and gets up, as the tortured bench moans with an offense at the increased struggle.
Is she still to be observed, with reports every couple of hours?
My eyebrows lift.
Of course, and will be that way until I say otherwise. Are you keeping tabs on her now?
Yes. She was taken by the owner of the diner to her place for a short time, and then from what we established, that woman’s own house.
I see. She should be safe there for the time being but keep someone there on stand-by, she needs to be watched at all times. It’s a precaution that needs to be followed.
Not a problem.
My eyes trail him as he walks away without any hustle. Maybe he wasn’t the smartest person I knew, and would never be the one to write a philosophy essay or use the social etiquette like one of the royals, but he was the closest that I had to a family - that I could stand. He had a street smart about him and the sixth sense to things that could go wrong. In some ways, he was more intelligent and resourceful than all the scientific minds that I have encountered put together. All in the almost 27 years, I have spent wandering this earth, waiting for the final outcome. To destroy or be destroyed.
My eyes narrow, then I look to both sides first to make sure that nobody was watching, and releasing a small electric surge, blue light delicately cascading from the fingers of my right hand. As if liquid smoke, or gas matter floating around in serpent-like waves. The light moves ahead until it reaches my very noticeable friend, and moves around his ankles; exploding and disappearing before anyone can even blink. I watch as he looks down not surprised and then at me. I smile and for a moment close my eyes, blue energy moving from both my hands and gliding under the bench, my mind envisioning the task and making it a reality. My muscles flex as the delicious energy moves throughout my heated veins; just pure, sweet pleasure. All those multi vibrant sensations under my skin... The light shifts below my heels, sliding under them like a flying rug, causing them to levitate and hover just above the surface of the grass. My eyelids flutter and I watch the shoes glide with grace and then bump gently against his legs, lending on the ground.
He shakes his head in an amused way and picks them up, then he frowns but doesn’t’ say anything. Ramsey doesn’t complain, only his face is proof of any distaste, an open book at times. The corners of my lips lift, as it’s not hard to see what he’s thinking. Another pair of women’s shoes in his hands today.
“Just put them in the car”.
I mouth and he nods. Walking away without any protest, tucking them under the side of his jacket as if he had a dangerous weapon there. My mouth twitches. He was a peculiar man; tough and ruthless when the time demanded it, and mild as a lamb when there was no threat in sight. Most of the time silent and always knowing exactly how to behave, and when to say what needed to be said. Loving the speed of the chase and fast cars, but respecting the rules on the road and the limits put by other people, sometimes driving like an old nagging lady. A smile covers my lips as I finish the food, and drink the remainings of the coffee. Ramsey was unique, and everything I wanted him to be, even the thing I always thought I didn’t need. A loyal friend and a companion.
I walk through the streets heading for the less populated part of town, where the old red-bricked warehouses were. I had a visit planned, and today of all days, I felt like I also needed to be there - a small feeling at the back of my spine, soft but pulling, suggestive nudge to guide me where my spirit should sway. Our kind was more sensitive to the needs of a soul, our bodies connected in the same energy. The energy that filled the matter of this universe. Some of us ignored such pulls, being more familiar to the humans, lingering in their presence. There were even those that had left us to roam around them and mix our blood with those who never felt stars in their bloodstreams - creating new families. Those were few exceptions, while most stayed in our circle. We did not approve of such behaviors, yet neither did we stop them, believing that our energy always guided us in the right path.
I gaze up at the sun from under my dark shades and notice that its powers are fading, late afternoon soon preparing for the evening. My jacket is left in the car, and so are my other things. I walk slowly, strolling through the streets in the new shoes that did not hurt my feet or made me feel like throwing them against the nearby wall. My whole arms are bare, only the thin material of the shirt covering my skin. With hands in my pockets, I casually start to wonder about my destiny, as I had, some times before. But this time it’s different, with new puzzle pieces shifting in my hands. I was given new elements that I was not prepared for, yet I held them tightly, grasping them without any doubt. This was not how I was instructed many years back, but I would not stop in my steps, or surrender to the changing surroundings. It was still the same picture, I only had new pieces to fit into it - but rest assured, they would fit, I just needed clearance before I walked forward to where I was always meant to be. Destroying my enemies, thriving.
As the bright light follows my steps, still relentlessly heating my skin, I let my mind swim around in memories, dance on the surface of old waters.
The prophecy stated, that the star born filled with sapphire light will be challenged to fight when she would finish thirty-five rising springs and thirty-five fallen winters; embracing the warmth and the cold of the world in a living body, preparing for the inevitable. I was chosen for this task. However, here I was, eight years too early, still in the training process. Trying to find out if the girl that I met was my fatal enemy, and if so - where we had made the mistake. The prophecy had never failed before as timing goes, only the outcome itself never came in our favor as we lost our battles, this being our fifth attempt at victory. In the five hundred years that we have occupied this galaxy, in the third orbit from the sun, we had yet to earn the claim over Earth. But each time, our warrior would become stronger and gain more strength, reincarnating in a new body, my ancestors passing along new abilities, sending us hope for the future. I am sixth in line; new body, old soul. As soon as I was born, the energy shifted slightly in the cosmos, almost unnoticeable in the vast space that surrounded us all.
*Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven
and the previous chapter since it's been a long time ;)
by the strands that bind us
tie / verb
attach or fasten with string or similar cord
The bright orb sets lower over the horizon, still in power, and I move closer to my destination, reaching the right warehouse. My hand sliding against the rough walls made of faded orangy-red bricks; tall, divided windows with black frames, catching the sun rays. The thin glass laced with dust made of decades embracing the glow and hugging it, matters on the heated sun and fragile glass mixing. I sigh quietly. How much of this will be destroyed when I’m done? The question falls so unexpectedly out of my head, that I stand there for a moment, frozen and not moving. Then I quickly shake it off, stopping as the nearby double doors; old, wooded with iron elements giving it extra strength, making them seem heavy and willing to stand through every obstacle time may throw at them. I pull them with steady force and enter inside, looking around for a while, taking in the familiar scenery. I take off my shades and stick them in the collar of my shirt, waiting as my eyes slowly adjust and take in each detail, to finally land on the only person in this great space. A space that seemed lost in time, filled with a deep aroma of nature and rich herbs.
I look at her and the sides of my mouth lift with delicate content. My fingers dance around letting out just the slightest amount of vibrations, disturbing the peaceful matter. I know that she can sense it, her eyes slowly lifting, a soft smile spreading her lips as she signs hello.
I repeat the gesture and point my hand to her plants.
“How are your energy levels, love? Is it spreading in even fractions?”
“Yes, they have. I feel much better now.”
I watch her hands moving, her fingers seeming to “round” up each word with her mild movements. It somehow opens a latch in my brain, that I thought I had already sealed shut. As if opening an album full of old pictures.
Suddenly, the visions of her flood me without warning, and I remember everything in vivid detail; how good it felt to share her energy in mine. Both spirit and body alike. She knew all the ways to keep my attention constantly engaged and drawn to her. The green energy surging in her veins a perfect match with mine, that light mesmerizing me as nothing else had before. And what she did was never forced or fake, just the way that she was made, a true spark in the universe’s creation. But that stage of my life was long behind me. Throughout my life, I have made myself focus on one goal alone; to destroy my enemy, no matter when she came in my life and in what form.
I stare at the delicate line of her soft bare arms, her muscles moving as she arranges the humid soil in the pots. Slowly, precisely, with a lot of care. The sun sipping through the glass warming her skin and brightening her already fair, loosely braided hair. I stare at her closely and it all just flows in me, my energy feeling hers; tracing small footsteps on a sky map that leads me to her. It’s intoxicating, like the smell of flowers in the evening after a hot summer day, it gets everywhere. Making you almost taste the overwhelming sweetness, leaving you in a flawless, enticing daze.
My mind keeps me occupied as I remember how it felt to slowly undress her... the silky material of her shirt, laying on her shoulders, two lines of fabric gently cascading down her back, and then effortlessly falling to the ground. How it felt to touch her and savor each moment; to make my fingers glide against her skin and stop at the most suitable parts. How it felt to make them linger, and how they sank gracefully between the line of her thighs. Our energy intertwining, sapphire against soft emerald, so powerful that it threatened to bring you demise as if you might soon lose your mind completely.
My head moves to the sides, neck stretching, spirit trying to regain some focus. Long gone. It will remain in the past and you have to position yourself in the present. Now, because your time no longer belongs to you. You have a purpose to follow.
I watch as she turns around, wipes her hands from the dark soil and smiles at me warmly, while I absentmindedly notice how her clothes move against her body. Something snaps next to me. I look down confused and notice an old plant pot broken into small pieces, fresh dust lingering above it. I stare at my fingers rolled into a fist, blue light embracing it, gliding against the surface of my skin. I quickly move my fingers and stretch my hand, trying to regain some peace. I feel a light tap on my arm and look up; her eyes on mine, a worried expression clouding her normally sunny features.
“Why did that happen?”
“I’m not sure, myself.”
“Are you troubled by something?”
I start to sign, but then I move in frustration.
“I have been off lately. Sorry for the damages.”
She waves her hand dismissingly as if letting me know that mundane things didn’t really matter - unless they were her plants, of course. She was connected to nature, and such damage to the living flora and fauna almost hurt her physically. She spent her days nurturing the elements that grew and breathed and that needed her help. Her life energy was meant to heal, not to cause any pain. Not to say that she couldn’t if she was challenged to do so, or if someone mistreated her trust and good soul. That day hasn’t come yet, but no one could predict what would happen as future days got nearer, marking the time of our people.
“What caught your mind just now?”
My gaze follows her as a heavy sigh escapes my throat. I knew she wouldn’t judge, one of the few that I could trust. I had less and less of that kind of people over the years, and it was just a matter of time before I had to stand completely alone on the front lines. My hands move to construct just two words.
My open hand moves first to her and then back to me, so she knows what I mean exactly. She doesn’t seem to be surprised and reacts with a soothing calmness that I always appreciated about her.
“But that wasn’t what got you upset.”
“No, I could never be upset with you.”
She guides me to a long wooden table where a gathering of plants, flowers, and multicolored seeds lay. I couldn’t even name one-third of those, yet I knew that she could with ease, even just by their smell or characteristic structure. She was like knowledge and magic put into kindness. I never met a human who could ever match that in the slightest.
She makes sure I sit down and takes a chair that for some reason stands next to the bags filled with soil, not really fitting in.
“What has got you in this state?”
“My energy seems to be off, as yours was. Just more.”
“Things seemed to have shifted since I met that girl.”
Her hands stop, her face is a bit unsure.
“Yes. The one our kind fears off.”
“I thought that it wasn’t true. The way you were so dismissive about her when you mentioned her two days ago.”
A sigh escapes my mouth, a sound that she cannot hear, but that she can feel with all of her.
“I was. I still am. But things seem to become more peculiar by the minute, and nothing fits.”
She tilts her head to the side, observing me, then her stare gains serenity and confidence.
“You will make it work, you always do. You were born with the strength I could never grasp. There is a deep faith that runs in my veins for you.”
She shifts and holds my left hand in both of hers, squeezing it tightly. Then she looks closely at my fingers and frowns. I notice the now barely visible scratches and new dark spots on them. My vibrations must have burned me again, and I didn’t even feel it. My gaze numbly follows her hands as they let go of mine, and are lifted in the air.
She signs, marking each letter with her fingers, slowly calming down my erratic state. I get captivated by it, watching her carefully, as my whole name opens up just like rose petals before my eyes. As if regarding a pretty thing made both from fragility and strength, just wit the movements of her hands. I observe her gently touching her index finger against her open palm, making the first letter. Then her fingers connecting, the middle with the index finger, only to return to the first sign; finally she lowers the finger towards her thumb and holds her other hand. My lips spread into a faint smile. Lily. I was taught sign language by my teachers and found it the only useful and beautiful language on this planet. I knew many languages but this was the only one that felt like home. And with her, there seemed to be something gentle and thoughtful in whatever thing that she did, in all that she “said” to me, I always listened intently.
“It’s alright. I’m fine, Wren.”
I move my hands deliberately slow, to let her see that I’m no longer bothered by this, that my hands do not shake or tremble. Then I smile at her. My kind and gentle Wren. The needed light in this thoroughly dark world, a cold and lonesome universe that pulled us in. Wren, a little bird without a voice, that sings with her magic, an unlikely warrior that beat the king of birds*. She gazes at me for a moment, nods a few times, then gets up, clapping her hands against her thighs, dusting away the material from remainings of dirt that could still linger around. She looks indecisive about my current state but tries to be helpful as always. Never the one to pick up an argument if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Her stare seems to be still worried as she signs.
“I will make you some tea, a special blend of herbs. It should soothe your senses just
I gaze at her with a faint smile as she disappears to the further end of the old warehouse. My eyes still see her as she moves to the simple kitchen area. Filled with a few old but sturdy oak countertops, a metal stove that she heats with wood and many hanging gardens above her head filled with herbs and small medicinal plants. My stare follows her as the light gently follows her moves, lightning her skin in different places. I try to ignore all the pleasant views and just concentrate on the mundane things that she does. My eyes focus on her hands as she uses a pestle to methodically grain some of the ingredients for her aromatic brew and then puts it into a small bowl, to finally pour hot water over it. She then leaves it at the side and starts to chop herbs for what seems to be a preparation for a later meal.
That’s when my mind shuts off and just lingers above the surface, thoughts about this day slowly slipping through my skin right to my slowly simmering blood. I block them instantly, not in the slightest mood for such worthless things. The situation was currently under control; Ramsey and his men were on a lookout for anything out of the ordinary, constantly checking the perimeter. Aware of the danger. Besides, my energy seemed to be still off. If just a memory of some passionate moments caused such a reaction, then I feared what would happen if I got angry. And with my character... well, let’s just be happy the city is still in one piece. I smile at the thought, of all the devastation. But then my mind quickly stops being so amused. Focus, there is too much at stake, both for you and your people. Focus, dammit. You’re better than this, you can win over this girl without any hesitation. Besides, she seems to be so fond of you that she would give herself all too willingly if... when you decided to end her. Yet, not in the way, she would have like to; a smirk appears on my face but then quickly disappears. There was so much that still needed to be done.
I’m lost in my thoughts when just ten minutes later Wren puts a brown ceramic mug on the table and makes a notion with her hands to indicate the tea is still hot. I nod at her once and give a distracted smile. I look at the steam move up in the fading out light of the day and feel a strange sensation; a slight frown appearing on my face as the scent of the tea makes me dizzy, yet it smells just as it always does. A delicate blend of berries, wildflowers, and soothing herbs. Nothing out of the ordinary, yet... it feels like my head is spinning for no apparent reason. Maybe it was the heat and barely any water that I drank today? Just a lot of coffee and a few croissants that I ate. I pick up the mug and look at the things floating at the bottom of it. It makes me giggle slightly. The sound is so unfamiliar that it gets me to cover my mouth in surprise. I can’t seem to remember the last time I laughed like that, or ever for that matter.
My stare moves up and I watch the light play with different surfaces. As if watching little fairies play around, dancing to some unheard music. I shake my head. What was I thinking about here? What was going on? Suddenly, I notice dust motes floating around me and how they tickle my skin. My bare arms feel ever speck of it and I start to laugh gently, amused at the sensation. Everything seemed so colorful and bright as if in a blurry but beautiful dream. I smile as the world around me fades slightly and I just notice myself in the matter. I hear my breath, feel the blood moving around in my veins, I feel it twitch and swirl as another giggle escapes my mouth again. But this time nothing restrains me. My hand moves up and starts to stroke my left arm, sending delicious goosebumps to the surface, the notion so powerful that it shoots electricity to my spine. My thighs tighten against each other and I give out a rushed breath.
What kind of foolishness...
I mumble to myself as my head starts to spin again. I slowly get up, but then quickly sit down again, my legs not listening to me like they normally do. I look around and notice Wren; how the air moves around her and the light caresses her skin, how lightly she moves, busy with her doings. I close my eyes for a moment. Regain control. My eyes open and I reach out for the mug, slowly sipping on it, enjoying the taste, my mind soothed just for a fraction of a second. Then I really notice how it tastes and what it does to me - another delightful giggle escapes my mouth, but I hardly notice this time, too focused on the flavor of the tea, and little bits of flowers and herbs tickling my tongue, and how the still hot tea slides down my throat and fills my stomach. I feel everything. My taste buds go a bit crazy, all the sensations stirring inside me... I inhale sharply. I need fresh air. Now.
I walk out the door and slide my back against the nearby wall. What was going on around here? I think distracted as my hands feel the roughness of the brick wall, my fingers going slowly up and down against it, feeling some strange current from it in my body... the mood changes, and without any warning, I feel... the thoughts seem insane after all that I just felt. I’m hungry. My eyes open wide, and I start to laugh as if hearing a joke that nobody else could hear. Suddenly, my head shifts, hearing low steps, and somehow I’m able to distinguish each one separately. I look as she steps in front of me, and my gaze falls slightly, her concerned face taking just a fraction of my attention. Her lips seeming to grab me much more. I make myself exhale a breath that held all the wonders that her face showed.
I mouth out, unable to move my hands from the comfort of the bricks behind me. I feel every edge and dent of the surface behind me. She grabs me by the shoulders and shakes me with force I never suspected of her. This makes me regain some focus, just enough to make my hands lift to her.
She sighs concerned before I can even say anything.
“I feel very light-headed.”
She nods, this time calmer. It looked like this wasn’t the first time that she saw such reactions.
“I will help, try to be still.”
My eyes watch as she moves her hands to my wrists and gazes at me, then her fingers slowly climb up, green energy waking up to life, cursing through her skin and fingertips. I feel my lungs move with speed as I stare at her, the action is... mesmerizing. My eyes travel up just like her hands, as she glides them to my elbows, my shoulders. They gently slide against my collar bones and then shift to my jaw, the side of my face and finally my forehead. Her hands lay there, fingers spread. I close my eyes and feel her energy slipping into mine. Emerald hills on a windless day. That’s the image that fills me, overpowering and calming at the same time. Her energy covers me, embracing me tenderly but with strength. It’s been so long since... my mind trails off, as her fingers move down, marking different parts as her touch stays there for longer. Forehead, throat, heart, then just under my ribs. Her hands sinking in deep and cursing her powers through my skin and organs.
It’s so strong that it leaves me breathless as a realization hits me. Solar chakra, that stands for power and wisdom. She has been moving past my chakras, gliding into my powers. I don’t stop her, completely trusting that she is here only to heal me and make me stand strong on my own two feet. She means me no harm. Her hands slide to my waist, and new dosages of her power attack me as my body starts to tremble. She’s holding me in place so I won’t fall to the ground, stopping the whole process from working. I feel myself murmuring as I take all that energy in, at the same time always feeling her hands on me. It’s a complicated set of feelings and vibrations. It’s almost as gaining a new breath of life. My eyes slowly open, a feeling of peace taking me in, and spreading through my blood; a state of tranquility. I gaze at her overwhelmed.
“What did you do? What was that?”
I wait as she lifts her hands, looking a bit drained but not bothered by it.
“I disconnected you from her.”
My body stands there, frozen into place like a statue, brain trying to understand what’s happening as a sense of deja vu kicks in. I shake my head, letting a soft denial linger over my veins.
“You were picking up on her vibes, that’s why you feel off. This will only work for a while, so I advise you to visit me daily.”
I stand up abruptly. Daily visits? Disconnected?
“You have been feeling her for some time now. It explains the eruption of your powers.”
I watch her take a deeper breath before she continues.
“And your hands.”
My fingers lift automatically so I can inspect them, trying to find all the answers just by staring at my small wounds. But my mind doesn’t let me process it all, and all I can do is look at her with a weak but grateful smile.
“Thank you for doing this for me.”
She nods with calm.
“You need to come to me more often. If not every day then at least when you feel your vibrations going off.”
She gazes at me and signs my name again, this time there is sternness in her movements. I smile at her with more power, lifting her hand to my mouth and kissing the inside of her wrist with gratitude. I notice a light blush on her face that only adds to her natural charm and sweetness. Then I repeat, mouthing.
I will. I promise, Wren.
She exhales slowly and nods again, the softest smile spreading on her lips.
“But take my herbs with you. They will calm your energy when I am not there. I want you to be safe.”
She heads for the big table and comes back with a small purple bag, made of smooth material, then hands it to me. My fingers spread wide and I catch the little sack, grabbing onto it. I walk out of the warehouse, just as the sun finishes to set, letting me know the day is coming to an end. It was time to rest and gather new strength, and fight again. Just like I have been doing all my life. Always pushing forward until I reached my final goal. My destination. I had new orders for my big friend. I needed to know exactly what she was doing for the past hours and what actually happened to me. I would not be surprised like this again.
* The wren is also known as “kinglet” in reference to an ancient Germanic folktale concerning a contest to determine the “king of birds.” The eagle, of course, was the frontrunner – the one bird able to outfly all other birds and the one able to climb the highest of altitudes. However, he was beaten by the cunning little wren who had cleverly hidden in his feathers.
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