Adventure Contemporary Fiction

I wake up to my phone beeping a steady rhythm.

I groan.

I've been on tour with Rosaline Height for six days, and I'm so tired I could sleep for a week.

It doesn't seem that hard to get out there and do a few dance steps, but if you do that for six hours to your least favorite songs (sorry, Rosaline) in the middle of the night, then it gets you pretty tired.

I don't even sleep well anymore.

Every morning we fly to a new location, and every night we perform.

I don't even get my spotlight-- I'm a backup dancer.

The alarm keeps going.

And then I realize what it is.

Bard Sisters meeting-- now.

I change into my uniform-- all-black bodysuit, black combat boots, apocalyptic-warrior-esque belt with pouches full of tools, powders, and my personal Gear, along with a crossbody strap with a collection of little pouches on the end, by my hip, and some kind of scale-shaped shoulder armor that is completely unnecessary for anything but looking cool.ย 

I run over to the window-- I'm in a private suite, one of several, credit to the star of the show-- and open it.

I pull on one of my Gears, a black fingerless glove with red gemstones set in the knuckles, and pull the strap around my right wrist.

"All clear," I whisper.

"Viola?" whispers Hermione, somewhere on the other side of the city (or maybe the world) through her own glove Gear.

They let us communicate from anywhere-- even with Iris, who works for NASA and is currently on the ISS.

"I'm in," Cassandra says, her voice projected from the red stone set in the center of my glove.

"Great. Who's coming today?" I ask.

"Top secret! You'll know when we're all together!" says Phebe in her squeaky voice.

"Pheeeeeee..." Cressida moans playfully.

"We'll pick you up soon," Ophelia says, the whirr of the helicopter coming in through the glove along with her voice. "In the meantime, keep watch for the King's Men. We've got a big one coming up tonight, and we can't take any sabotages."

I nod grimly, and even though you can't hear a nod, I know the others are doing the same.ย 

The helicopter comes down like the Batmobile.

That is, with dramatic music blaring and a giant searchlight and cheering from the inside.

"What happened to the King's Men?" I ask over the roar of the spinning propellers.

"No problem!" Juliet shouts.

"Yeah!" says Cressida. "They got lost over D.C. There isn't a single Man in the whole city of L.A!"

I roll my eyes and climb the rope leading to our vehicle.

"Why's it always a helicopter?" I recognize Perdita's voice from within our dark and noisy contraption.

"Because we crashed Marina's car, only three people can fit on my motorbikes and we can't use the submarine." I know that only one of us has a motorbike-- even though it's so dark in here you can hardly see a foot in front of your face, I know immediately that it's Olivia.

"Can we have some lights?" I ask.

"Okay, but it looks cool in the dark..." Ophelia sighs.

"I can't see," Perdita complains.

"Me neither, and I'm taking notes!" Phebe shouts.

A light flicks on, bright white but still leaving shadows in the corners, like our helicopter is actually an interrogation room.

Now I can see all the faces, as well as the benches around the room-sized insides of our helicopter.

There are benches along the eight walls (wait, eight? That's new.) and the walls are painted midnight black.

Dark-haired, pale-faced Ophelia is driving, and when she closes the hatch, the soundproofed walls do their job, shutting out all the thunderous roars of the propeller.

Blond, beautiful, Juliet, with rosy cheeks and sea-blue eyes, is standing by Ophelia, hands on her hips.

Little, redheaded Phebe, with her wide glasses and too-big uniform, is frantically scribbling notes on her notepad.

Cassandra, the brown-skinned, brown-haired beauty queen, is taking watch, looking over the city, and her adopted sister Cressida, blond, pale-skinned, and green-eyed, is trying to turn off the music, because it's "ruining the creepy mood".ย ย 

Hermione, who's wild, curly hair makes her look like an adult version of J. K. Rowling's character is sitting down with my cousin Morgan, who looks like Hermione got a bob hairdo and dyed it deep chocolate brown.

Hermione's daughter, Perdita, with tanned skin, almond-shaped, long-lashed eyes, and hair in every color of dye invented, is resisting the urge to instagram this.

And then there's me.


Brown hair highlighted with blond and, to match Rosaline Height's, green streaks, brown eyes, white skin, and swirls of glittery mauve and deep orange makeup around my eyes and on my cheeks.

"Makeup, Viola?" Perdita says. "You don't usually wear such colors, you're a natural-tone chic."

"It's for the performance," I say, embarrassed. "We all need makeup like this, to provide a contrast to the peacock blue that Rosaline's wearing."

"Not your own words, I assume," Hermione adds.

"You're on a first name basis with the greatest pop star alive?" Cressida gasps.

"I'm her BACKUP DANCER! One of them, actually. There are, like ten of us? twelve?"

"Thirteen," Phebe says, making another frantic note, or seventeen.

"How do you know more about my performance than me?"

"Thirteen dancers, to celebrate thirteen years. Rosaline Height decided to become a singer and dancer thirteen years ago, so everything's in sets of thirteen."

Phebe keeps writing.

"Yeah," I say.

"How did you get into this again, Vi?" asks Morgan.

A thousand dark feelings slither inside of me like eels.

The ride doesn't feel so smooth anymore.

I can imagine the engine stalling, the steering failing,

falling from the sky,

towards the ground


and falling



"You okay, Vi?"

"Nothing, I'm fine."




"What's the mission?"

"Spiras code 0.4."

"Phee... That makes zero sense ever."

"We're breaking into a museum to guard a flute Shakespeare played once as a joke with his friends.ย  His DNA is possibly on it. No one knows this but us, though. They think it's just a cool flute, though."

"How do we know?" I ask.

"Shakespeare is in our blood."

Phebe rolls up her sleeve, shoving me the mark inked onto her skin.

We all have one-- it's shaped like a treble clef wrapped around a broken heart, all exploding from a quill pen died in violet ink.

Perdita, who is only sixteen, is showing off her tattoo all the time.

Her friends think she's lucky.

It's not luck.

It's blood.

"Almost there!" Ophelia shouts.

I hold on to my seat, excitement rocking me.

I haven't slept, but this is better than any dream-- I'm with the other Bard Sisters!

On a mission!

This is epic!

"Sisters, let's do it," Cressida says.

We all rise, even Ophelia, who I hope has the helicopter on autopilot.

"Through time," Hermione says, rolling her sleeve up and showing off her tattoo.ย 

"Through war," Ophelia says, doing the same.

"Through peace," announces Cassandra.

"Through love," says Cressida.

We stand in a circle, Hermione, Ophelia, Cassandra, and Cressida extending their right arms, hand in a fist.

"For words!" exclaims Phebe, showing her tattoo proudly, palm out.

"For poetry," Perdita says sassily, reaching out like she'd high-fiving the world.

My turn now.

"For music," I say, stretching my arm as far as it goes, fingers spread out.

"For verse," Juliet whispers, adding her hand to our circle.

For magic," Morgan adds.

We aren't touching, and we're all standing two and a half feet away, so out hands don't touch.

Phebe:"By blood!"

Morgan: "By line!"

Perdita: "Through time!"

I take a deep breath.

Time for the best, most important part.

Raising our fingertips to the ceiling, we shout:

"By the grace of the Bard!"

We place our hands on top of each other's.

"By the grace of the Bard, we the Sisters of the Bard..." Hermione intones.

"Well, technically, I'm your kid, so metaphorically," Perdita adds.

We all inhale, ready to yell out.


Ophelia runs to the cockpit and presses a button.

A wall opens up with a metallic clank.

And we jump.

I wake up, groaning.

Every muscle hurts.

Oh, great.

We have a big concert tonight.

After breaking into a museum to protect something, I don't think I'll sleep again.

"That was hard to explain to the police..." I mutter, getting up. I didn't need to use any Gear, but I could have if Morgan wasn't such a fast thinker, able to come up with an instant excuse.

We hightailed out of there like cats chased by dogs.

"Viola? Hey, uh, Viola?" a male voice asks me.

I scream, jump out of bed, and grab a lamp, ready to throw it at the attacker.

And then I remember that most attackers don't announce when they're there to attack.

I look at the attacker.

He's just some boy, not much older than seventeen, with messy blond hair and wide blue eyes.

He's wearing a hotel uniform.


"Miss Rosaline wanted to see you," he says nervously.

"M'kay. I won't bat you with this lamp, don't worry."

I shove him out of the room, change into a t-shirt and jeans, and run downstairs to the private buffet room that's set up for us.

For Rosaline.

I'm just her backup dancer.

"Hello... Violet?" the glamorous woman in front of me asks.

We're all alone in the room.

Now I really see how beautiful Rosaline Height really is.

Her soft, blond hair falls in perfect waves down her back and around her face, and her signature green streaks make her look like a mermaid.

Signature peacock-blue makeup frames her emerald eyes. Her white skin is like polished ivory. She's...


"I-it's Viola, miss Rosaline."

"Well, Viola, I noticed you weren't getting a lot of sleep lately... terrible for the body, you know. Messes with your beauty, makes you more likely to make mistakes, the usual. Are you feeling alright?"


I haven't been alright for a while.

I'm not sleeping, I have secret-society issues, I just lost my boyfriend, and I'm an emotional wreck.

I know.

I hide it well.

My boyfriend, Romeo Era, died a few weeks ago.

No one knew we were together.

No one saw my sorrow.

It's hurting me so much right now.

The worst part:

He died

in a helicopter crash.

Like the helicopter's I've been going out in.

I can't...

Could not...

Could never ever

in a million years...

With all my obligations and issues, I've been hiding but--

It's hurting me, hurting me

from the inside.

For a while, I can live with it.

Not any longer.

I start crying.

"Are you okay?" Rosaline asks me.

"No..." I stutter.

"You seem hurt by something. What's wrong?"


A deep abyss opens inside of me.

"My boyfriend died."

I'm allowed to skip the performance tonight.

I'm thinking of Romeo.

Should have known that this would be a Shakespearian tragedy.

And then I hear it.

It's garbled and hard to understand, but I know what's happening.

The King's Men have found us.

Well, some of us.

"CASS-chhhk-ANDRA! Can anyone hear us! We need-ckckckkhh-now! Can someone-chkhhh-anyone-ckhhhh-hear us? Phebe! Viola! Hermio-chhhkch-come! We've been attacked! Come as soon as--"

The call ends.

I have two options.

1: Stay here, stay safe.

2: Do what Romeo would want me to do, and save them.

I pick up my favorite Gear-- a necklace with a blue stone in it that lets me become invisible.

I grin.

And then I hear the unmistakable sound of Perdita landing a helicopter on the roof.

"Come on, Vi!" We've got to rescue them, now!" she shouts.

I grab my Gear, and leap out the window, heading for the roof.

"Wish me luck, Romeo," I say silently, climbing into the helicopter as Phebe asks pereira "wait, are you actually gonna drive this thing?"

We lift off into the night sky, Hermione, Morgan, Cassandra, Juliet, Phebe, Perdita and me, riding to rescue.

And, as we lift away from the hotel roof and a worker points at us like he's seeing things, as we float over the city, looking for any sign of the King's Men, and as we leave L.A, flying out to the horizon, where the phone signal came from, I only have one thought in my mind.

Why can't I be normal?

December 22, 2020 15:10

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16:40 Dec 22, 2020

Hi! Great story!!! I loved it till the very last line!! And, after reading your bio, I just knew that I had to follow you because I too love the same genre books! P.S. Love the character names...some of them are a few of my favorite characters from other novels.


There all actually from Shakespeare plays. Easter egg: in A winter's Tale, queen Hermione's long-lost daughter is named Perdita, and my mother-daughter duo is named Hermione and Perdita. I'm not very good in secret society stories, but I also love the genre, so I'll keep going.


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Five likes and this has been on the webpage for a few hours... Can people help me get the likes high? Thank you!


Thanks sid the sloth! (WHOO ICE AGE)


Sid The Sloth
22:12 Dec 22, 2020



Also thanks to "I exist :O", who has liked just about everything I've written!!


Thanks Bill Cipher! Nice comment!


Thanks Vivek Sehgal! (Did I spell your your name right? Apologies if I didn't. Thanks for reading!)


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Who wants part 2?


Nainika Gupta
22:03 Dec 22, 2020

Hey! What a great story - so unique, and it kept me hooked :) I would LOVE a part 2!!!


Thanks! I did label it part 1, and I have an idea, but none of the prompts are compatible :( maybe next week's will be better for a Shakespeare spy story.


Nainika Gupta
22:10 Dec 22, 2020

whooo!!!!! i can't wait :)


Notice the fact that the names Romeo and Juliet appear, but Romeo wasn't in love with Juliet, but Viola...


Nainika Gupta
22:11 Dec 22, 2020

....very interesting..... :)


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Thanks a lot! :)


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Hema Saju gave me another like! Yay! Update: so did Abigail Airuedomwinya! (Cheers for figuring out the spelling!)


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Aesha Amin liked this story! Cheers for them!


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Jade Kingsley and Aarshia Ray like this great story!


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(tree emoji) abby (tree emoji) likes this story! Thanks, abby! (my emojis aren't working today) :)


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Haripriya Anand has liked this story as well!


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Yay, Kateriina Ruska! (Did I spell your name right?) Thanks for another like!


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Ugochi N. has liked this! (Did I spell your name right?) Give them a hand!


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Ray Dyer
21:10 Dec 23, 2020

Hi, Emmie! I cannot believe that I was so far into this story before it occurred to me why they were called the Bard Sisters. Sometimes there are things that feel so obvious in retrospect, but you need to get hit over the head with it before it sinks in. This was a fun story! Thank you for sharing it!


Thank you! It's called Grace of the Bard because they called Shakespeare the Bard, and, since it seemed to be the obvious choice, I called them the Bard Sisters. My favorite part is when Perdita says something along the lines of "Well, technically I'm your kid, so metaphorically". My idea is that they're all related to another Sister, like Cressida and Cassandra are (adopted) sisters, Morgan and Viola are cousins, and Perdita and Hermione are mother and daughter. I haven't figured out the other relations, though.


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K. Apple
22:32 Jan 30, 2021

Also Violaโ€™s emotional struggle (humble struggle) her sensitivity makes the super power action plot such a grounded worthy ride. Iโ€™m on her side. And love the rebels!




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K. Apple
22:25 Jan 30, 2021

Hi Emmie! Lively, powerful, believable characters and action! Sensitive characters, what a great world! And it says something very great about the writing when a reader comes away loving the world, good writing keeps the readers eyes on the prize of a story, I feel, and the most skillful writing appears to take a back seat to the world and story. Thank you for this story and world!


Thanks! I keep trying to write a part 2, but it never fits the prompt. Maybe soon!


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Okay, I don't have words for this. Wait, I do! YAY! Can't wait for a part 2, Emmie!


Thanks, Jade!


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J P Fierkens
19:12 Dec 29, 2020

You are so creative that I couldn't stop smiling (and laughing some) throughout the whole story. I appreciate your stylistic choice of switching to a word a line at certain parts to create an effect. I wonder if you could have the same affect with standard writing form, but it was a wonderful affect nonetheless.


Even in standard form I'm always going down the next line for emphasis, and in a high-action story lie this, I wanted there to be enough room. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by stories where it's all one line without any paragraph breaks, so I did this unique line-break style. Thanks for your compliment! I appreciate it!


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Katariina Ruuska
00:25 Dec 26, 2020

Such a creative story :)! Can't wait for part 2!


Working on it now! Gonna be weeeeird, but amazing. Might need a part 3, though.


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Hey Emmie! I made it to your page! I enjoyed this story to an extent, I liked how it was really just interesting in general. I enjoyed the whole plot and everything else. BUT! it kinda felt like I was missing something, in other words it was sorta mysteriously confusing. Maybe its cause there is no back story of how the Bard sisters got together, and what they're back story was, thats probably why I felt the way I did. I also enjoyed the end like the parts leading to the end. But I feel like some stories do good without a back story and s...


None of this is hurtful, and I'm thankful for your constructive criticism. I wanted it to have lots of loose ties, and some things couldn't be explained because word limits. To clarify some bits-- Headache: I get headaches when I don't sleep well or at all, so I gave Viola the same problem. Romeo and Helicopter: Romeo had died a few weeks before, so Viola was nervous about the mission, being in a helicopter. He was a news reporter. I think I put that in? Flute: The King's Men are kind of like an enemy team, with opposite goals. They were t...


Oh okay, wheww! I'm glad I could give you my critique! Wow! thank you for taking the time to explain that! Maybe it was just my fault and I was slow to understand. I'm gonna use this info you told me and read it again! Yess! This all made sense, thank you Emmie!! Merry Christmas!! or if you don't celebrate it- um...I wish you good days and happiness!


I do celebrate it, and for Christmas I gave my family the prologue of a story I won't let them read that I'm writing. Will you check out my latest story? The name is wordy, all boy names starting with H. Sorry if this isn't clear, it's a weird name.


Ohh! Well then, Merry Christmas! And thats cool! Sureee! Oh alright!


Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!


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