I am aware of the delay in this post, but it’s been a rough week. I am sorry, but life sometimes is unyeilding and manic. Thank you for your paitence with me.
15. My Bag Is Packed
Boxes taped up and my bag is packed, I think I’m ready for the next step, at least I think I am. No, I’m ready, I can do this, I’m ready to go. Box in arms, bag on back, I look into the corner of the room where the diary lay, still and open. I didn’t want to open the wounds, not so close to a time of change and upheaval, so instead I picked it up, opened up my bag and stuffed it in there, hoping to gain the courage to burn it and release Adam from my past, my mind and memory. As nothing but a school girl crush.
16. The New Guy
I eyed him over the counter. The new guy. Bespectacled, shabby brown hair, darkest eyes I’d ever seen on a human. I was entranced, plus he was tall, my age, slightly tanned and coming to work here. In the bookshop. The bookshop I worked at. Stuck in my daydream, I didn’t notice the customer in front of me.
“Oh… hello, sorry I was in a world of my own…”
“No problem, anywhere nice?” The man said beaming at me.
“Oh yes, a very nice place indeed, that’ll be $10, thank you.” Taking his money I passed him his bag.
“Have a lovely day!” I shouted as he walked out the door.
“Erm, Riva I’d like you to meet…” Oh god, now, ok turn around with your winning smile, I got this. Turning swiftly to Mr Bundle and new guy I reached out my hand to take his. But nothing happened, my hand was outstretched but he wouldn’t take it. He looked terrified as if I had a gun in my hand.
“You ok there lad?” Mr Bundle asked. New guy was still staring, as if I had horns or a pig nose. Still staring, he spoke,
“Yes sir, my apologies, I’m sorry Riva, I’m Grayson, you can call me Gray for short” he stuttered taking my hand and bringing it to his mouth. Shaking my hand away I gasped. “Lovely to meet you, Gray, where should we get started?”
“Dorian, where in alls hell are we going?” I hissed, “In here.” Pointing to an alley his arm shot out grabbing me around the waist, his hand over my mouth, a stifled scream held in. I struggled but noticed Dorians grip was not binding but gentle. His hand still clasped to my face, he was frozen to the spot, looking out of the alley, I couldn’t see anything, until the shadows moved. Eyes glinting behind masks the colour of night, the steam of the warm evening twisted around their limbs as if enclosing them. I pushed further into Dorians body, wanting to run but he tensed and whispered, “Stay still, they’ll move on soon.” Slowly, I looked up at him, into those deep eyes trying to understand how he was going to calculate his way out of this one. Staring back at me, he licked his lips and said, “Maeve?”
“They’ve gone, let’s get to the ship.”
Gazing out of the window, at the dawn colours circling the remnants of night, I smiled at my dreams as they slipped away from me. I’d slept well, waking to clockwork birdsong and the bells ring the early fishermen back to start the day at market. I glanced back at my book I’d fallen asleep reading, put my bookmark back in and jumped from my bed before the comfort of the duvet lured me back to sleep. I started making coffee when a knock at the door startled me.
“Maeve…I can smell coffee please let me in” Dorian’s whiny, slight italian accent seeped through the door.
Eventually, I opened the door, with a cup ready for him, “Worth the wait?” I smirked, I was answered by slurps. Walking to the bedroom, I drew the curtain to get dressed, I lived in a first floor apartment, if you could call it that, the bathroom was a shower, sink and toilet, which you knock your elbows on one when using the other. My kitchen was a corner of the living space and my bed the other with a curtain for privacy. I stayed as the natural light was so beautiful and the built in bookshelves were perfect for my needs as a researcher, I have a shelf for work books, my personal collection of fantasy, my unread books and my shelf of the remaining items from my family home. The items that hadn’t perished in the fire.
“So, I was thinking of taking the day off, Maeve, and I was hoping, you know, only if you want to but would you join me?” Dorian stammared, “I hate it when you’re spontaneous Dorian, Master has a big meeting with the explorers today” I sighed, “But as I can never say no to you, I’ll come as soon as the meeting starts!” His face lit up and he grabbed me by the elbow, swinging me round to dance in my living room/bedroom/kitchen.
19. Free Delivery
“So, you want me to take your friend, you and an owl hybrid to an island that no ones ever been to, except apparently the dead guy whose murder you witnessed and his map, that you stole from a bunch of thugs who are now hunting you, and you want all this with free delivery?” The captain had listened to our adventure, intently but now his face was only showing disbelief.
“I know it sounds crazy, but yes that is the long and short of it, I need help, I need to get out and I need a captain brave enough to do this.” I gave him the most adoring look I had and saw his ego beat his judgement. “Say I do this, say I rescue you and your rabble, the treasure on this sosay island belongs to me? Deal?” I looked at Dorian, Who sideeyed me, trying to warn me off the captain. Arm out, I beamed at him, “Deal, I need to save the family I’ve got, you can have whatever you find there.”
I wish she saw me as more. We’re best friends, but she’s my best friend, she is the one who still sees me as a person and not as broken. We’d met in the orphanage, I was ruling the roost, 10 years old and as bold as brass with bruises to show for it, when this redheaded, shivering 8 year old fell at me feet starving and tired. Wrapping her up in my blanket I whispered to her “Do you like fairytales?” Her big green eyes sparkled at me and a semblance of a smile peeked out from under the blanket. From that moment, we were inseparable we left the home together 5 years later, finding our place as farm hands, moving on to working in the city where Maeve was scooped up by the Administration in the Town Council and I, the bakers even though that ended in tragedy. After the fire, she never left my side and fought for me when I could not. When I’d awoken from the 6 week opium induced sleep, to 1.5 legs and Maeve, her face shining with tears and my heart bursting with love for her. I know it’s against the rules, but I love her, I have always loved her and this captain will not take her from me.
“Riva, let go of me, what’s going on with you?” Thinking I was walking into another sister witch battle, I walked in sighing to find Taura up against the wall, several feet off the floor and Riva arms outstretched, fingers clawed and pools of darkness where her eyes should have been. Hearing choking behind me, I summoned the vase off the side into Riva’s head and she dropped, out cold. Taura slunk to the floor, retching. Helping my sister up, we stood over Riva, blood trickling down the right side of her forehead.
“What in alls hell was that?” Taura looked at me, eyes slightly bloodshot, fingerprint bruises appearing around her neck, “I don’t know but it called itself Tannin.” We took Riva to the basement and lay her in the centre of the room, surrounded by salt and our chalk markings to hold her in. My peripheral vision kept catching a dark fog floating over her and the darkest aura I’d ever seen on a person, let alone a witch. Taura was peering over the old grimoire, it’s hardcover gone soft in its old age. She had her angry face on, obviously trying to hold tears back.
Hopefully next week’s installment will return to normal, but for now all I will say is see you soon and happy reading.