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Drama Teens & Young Adult Fantasy

Kestrel had always wondered what it was like to have friends. In kindergarten when apple slices were being shared, and plastic chairs were scooted all over the room, with bright crayon drawings up on the wall that matched each other and his hung all alone. 

On field trips when he sat pressed to a window on the bus, chilled by the glass and forced to listen as he kept his own words from escaping, no one would hear them anyways. Seeing friends walk together smiling and laughing, having no idea what it was like.

Watching the girls make bracelets and sit in tight circles telling each other stories. Watching the boys trade cards and run around playing heroes. Watching the teachers under the trees in the shade, reminisce about shattered dreams and the deliriums of their youth.

Kestrel often heard the other kids saying they couldn’t wait to grow up. It had only taken him a week of actually listening to what adults were saying to decide that growing up was only going to make his life harder.

It was middle school when a girl came over to his table and pulled out a chair, he’d straightened, his heart pounding, excitement clogging his throat until he couldn’t speak. Then she’d dragged the chair to another table to sit, leaving him alone,  shame burning in his eyes.

He would have asked his mom, maybe his dad, why no seemed care.

But the only person ever around was his legal guardian who only bought food and leeched off the money Kestrel’s parents had left for him in their will.

At eighteen he finally took full control and got rid of the guardian, taxing the man for everything he’d stolen with evidence the man had been too stupid to hide.   

He opted out of college completely, having no desire to put himself through more torture in the name of education.

Which made it ironic when he made is first friend on a school campus.

Kestrel didn’t have to work, not with the fortune he’d inherited and the extra on top that the investor he’d hired was earning him. But he’d been helped by the owner of a small bookshop once, it had been a cold night with freezing rain, drenched to the bone he’d slipped on his bike and scraped his leg and side, leaving swathes of torn skin.

The owner, and older woman named Tracy had thankfully still been in her shop, she’d helped him, made him soup, and forced him to spend the night on her couch until the weather calmed. Tracy only had her little granddaughter for family, and was struggling to keep the shop running by herself. He’d practically hired himself.

Tracy insisted on paying him, but he always put it back in her purse later, he could do without the money. And Kestrel genuinely liked working in the small store.

So, there he was, rushing on foot, he still hadn’t gotten his bike fixed and he hated driving. To get to the shop to help open for the morning. When he slammed, full force, into another human being.

It hurt.

The other person’s head smashed into his chin and the momentum knocked them both back, small gritty pebbles dug into his back and his hands were stinging with concreate burns.

He sat for a moment trying to force his lungs to take in air again, gasping when it felt like a rubber band was wrapped around them, stopping him from breathing.

In the meantime, the other casualty of the crash was also sitting up.

A girl most likely around his age, but you never wanted to assume ages with colleges students, they were like elves that way, they could be young or ancient, and it was rude to ask either way.

Golden hair, long and free, like down her knees long, and shining like fields of sunflowers at sunset free. A beautiful soft orange dress, with long sleeves, he only noticed because both of her arms were bleeding, staining the fabric with crimson smears.

He would have apologized were he not still lacking oxygen.

Thankfully the girl seemed to notice and didn’t look too angry over his clumsiness. 

She waited until he could breathe again before offering a hand to help him up.

“Hi I’m Aurra, you okay?”

Kestrel looked down, his cheeks flushing. “Yeah, sorry thanks, I should have been paying better attention.”

She smiled “No worries, I probably would’ve have fallen at some point today regardless, no harm done.”

“Except for your dress, its all stained now.” Kestrel said.

“Ah it’ll come out, enough cold water and soap always works wonders.”

He raised an eyebrow “Do you often have to get rid of bloodstains?”

“Oh yeah, the assassin business is brutal on my dry-cleaning bills.”

They both laughed, which relieved Kestrel, since he’d almost panicked after remembering that not everyone shared his dark humor.

“So” Aurra said “I never got your name?”

“Oh, uh yeah, Kestrel.” He stuck out his hand, something he’d always seen other people do but had never actually done himself, thankfully it seemed correct, since Aurra shook it and all.

“Nice to meet you.”

“You too, even if it was rather violent.”

The two of them shared a grin “So” she said again “What Named bloodline Family are you?”

Kestrel stopped, confused. “Bloodline what?”

“Oh c’mon, we both know what I’m talking about.”

“Uh no I really don’t”

“You don’t have to tell me your families name, I know that outer

Family friendships can get messy, but there’s no need to pretend.”

He took a step back cautiously, he’d heard some wild college student stories from Tracy, this girl could be in a cult for all he knew…or on drugs. Would it be better to just play along or run away as quickly as possible?

“Ok um, sorry again about running into you but I’m late for work, so…bye”

He turned and just freaking booked it, praying that she wouldn’t follow him, whatever he prayed to must have been taking a sick day, because he made it less then ten feet down the sidewalk before Aurra full on tackled him from behind. This time it was his hands and knees eating pavement, thankfully he was able to save his face from being fully smashed into a bloody pulp.

“Okay look, you just elevated yourself to full on creep status Aurra, get off before I scream louder than a thirteen-year-old boy.”

Thankfully, crazy though she was, she weighed practically nothing and he took the liberty to throw her off.

“Kestrel this a is neutral zone, has been for decades, it’s not like I could just take you out without consequences.”

He propped his head under one hand, still laying on the side walk.

“Oh, wow that’s really comforting and not at all terrifying, miss; I’m probably on drugs!”

“I’ve never done drugs in my life!”

“That’s where you want to argue, not the fact that you just freakin assaulted me!”

“I did not, mr; I won’t even tell another Bloodliner what my family name is in the middle of a neutral zone.”

They both finally got up to face each other properly.

“Look Aurra, if that’s even your real name, I have no interest in joining your cult or drug ring or whatever! I’ve lived here my entire life, my name is Kestrel whist and I have never heard the words ‘Named Bloodline Family before today, so just back off before I call the cops!”

She did take a step back and for a second Kestrel though maybe she would finally leave him alone.

“You, your, your last name, its Whist?”

“Yeess, its something to do with a card game. Wait that’s not important-“

“No” Aurra breathed the words so quietly he barely heard her “To hush or silence, to still, to become silent” she looked up her face grim “It’s a rare name and the meaning has started disappearing, I’m not surprised you didn’t know it.”

“Yeah, okay cool, fun facts with crazy sun dress girl, if I try to go are you going to jump on me again?”

“Your parents are both gone and you have no family, no wonder you thought I was crazy.”

Kestrel was just alarmed now, how could she possibly know that??

“Think, I think your crazy, how on earth do you know about my parents, you didn’t even know my name ten minutes ago”

“Because they were friends with my parents.”

Aurra must have finally seen the frustration rising in his face.

Because she gestured to the college’s ‘chill’ area, a few metal porch swings circled around a pond. “C’mon let’s go sit, I’ll explain everything I promise.”

Fine, maybe her family could help him. Thankfully it was still early and there hadn’t been any students or bystanders to witness their weird argument/fight. And if this did end with him as a human sacrifice at least he hadn’t wasted his life going to college.

They sat across from each other, Aurra absentmindedly pushing the swing back and forth with her feet. Both of them had taken a few minutes to gather either school or work bags, alongside various other things they lost during their, altercation.

Thankfully no phones had been broken.

“Alright” She sighed “I’ll try and start of somewhere that makes sense, my name is Aurra, Aurra Stra-“

“Strathos” He interrupted.

Bewildered she stared at him “What the, how-

“It’s a note on the only thing my parents left me aside from money, my baby blanket. It just says find the Strathos family. Then you came waltzing into my life today, one of the first people to ever talk to me, in my life, talking about my parents and your parents, I figured it was probably a good guess.”

“Just a little. So this is a lot, I’m just going to jump right in.”

“There are special families around the world with different abilities, they’re called Named Bloodline Families if they’ve been around for a while, new ones pop every now and then, but it takes a while before they can earn that kind of status. Each family has their own territory, because a couple hundred years ago they didn’t do that and there were a bunch of wars and a couple of Bloodline abilities got completely wiped out.

This is a neutral zone now, but it was your parents’ territory. Your family and mine have been allies for generations, we’ve just tended to get along, and we were one of the strongest alliances ever. Even after your parents passed, people still weren’t willing to mess with them, that’s why this is a neutral zone.

Everyone thought you were dead too, otherwise my family probably would have raised you.”

Kestrel stopped her then.

“Are you saying they didn’t die in a car crash?”

“That’s where this gets kind of weird, no one actually knows what happened to them. One day this whole area is fine, the next power is radiating out so strongly Bloodlines in countries on the other side of the world could feel it, then, silence, and most Bloodliners can’t even enter the area now, and no one’s heard from any of the Whist’s in almost twenty years.”

“Great” he rubbed his hands over his face “Wait what do you mean people can’t enter?”

“Well, I said that every family has an ability, right?”

“Right.”

“My family, the Strathos, can control light and heat-“

“So your walking glowsticks.”

She leaned over and smacked his knee.

“Let me finish, we’re called illumweavers. Your family, the Whist, is a bit trickier, your called Blenders-“

“Oh boy do I get to spin around really fast and scream?”

“No.”

“Aww.”

“The answer is so much darker; you guys can make yourself so seem whatever you want to other people. Whether it’s a best friend to someone you’ve never met, a worst enemy to a close friend, or a stranger to someone you’ve known for years, you can blend others’ perceptions into anything you want, usually, your family used to remain unnoticed, some younger Bloodlines don’t even know the

Whist ever existed because your family wouldn’t let them notice they were even in the same room. My family only knows this much because of how close our parents were.”

“Wait hold on, I’ve had a really hard time, my entire life, with making friends, almost like they didn’t know I was there, are you saying that it’s been my fault the entire time?”

“No I don’t think so” she tapped her chin “You shouldn’t have been able to do that even as a kid, I’d bet your parents placed some around, strong Whist could do that, make a Blend last years or even decades. No has ever talked to you?”

“Not other than you, the lady who runs the bookstore which I’m supposed to be helping open right now, and my seedy court appointed guardian that acted like I was see through.”

“The guardian probably couldn’t even remember or think about you whenever you even left his eyesight, when did you meet the bookshop lady?”

“About a year ago.”

“It’s probably staring to wear off then, and you approached her so that might be part of it, and it wouldn’t work on me since our families worked into out personal seals that it would never be able to affect us.”

She shifted her dress collar to show him a symbol inked in black on her should, it looked like one of those fancy Celtic knots.

Kestrel slumped back, letting out a long breath.

“That…is a lot”

Aurra winced “I know, and that’s just the short version.”

They both swayed gently on the swings. Him taking in, well, everything. Her waiting for his reaction.

“Do…you have any pictures of them?”

She smiled gently “Yeah, they were there for my first birthday” she swiped through her phone before showing him a glowing happy baby, literally, baby Aurra was glowing, and two people behind her that he’d only seen in one picture before. His parents.

He smiled, they looked happy.

Aurra held out a hand “Hey I know this is a lot, but I’m here to talk to now, as your…friend? If you want me to be.”

Kestrel grinned taking her hand “I’ve never had one before, and you seem kinda crazy, so why not.”

She grinned “You seem kinda crazy too, good thing crazy people are the best kind of friends.”

The end.

November 20, 2021 04:54

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1 comment

Hungara Gamelia
04:57 Nov 20, 2021

Lol This story got wild fast, and I just looked up at one point, like how did come to this, but here it is so hope you liked you it :)

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