41 comments

Fiction Friendship Suspense

This is a collab I did with Abbie. Make sure to check out her POV, too! Part 2 will be posted soon.


Abbie's Link:

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/94/submissions/68369/


A loud bang disrupts the stroking of my loyal pet rat, Whiskers. I look up at the noise. It’s just a girl with raven black hair and icy cobalt blue eyes entering my jail cell.

More prisoners means less provisions for me and Whiskers, so this girl’s bad news. I don’t like the looks of her, either. Not wanting to come off as rude, I attempt to start up a conversation with her.

“Um, hi,” I mutter. The girl stares at me with shock as if I asked her a very inappropriate question.

“I prefer not to make friends,” she snaps. “Mind your own business and you’ll have nothing to worry about.”

Her harsh voice sends chills down my spine, and I bring Whiskers closer to my chest for comfort. The girl eyes the rat hungrily before making eye contact with me. I look down, grateful for my long hair that covers my hazel eyes.

Peeking through my tangled mop of hair, I watch as she traces a long scar on her arm. Where did she get that? And why? I attempt to talk with her a second time even though my conscience begs me to do otherwise.

“Look, I’ve been all alone in here for a long time and— hey, stop it Whiskers!” 

The girl looks up to find who I thought was my loyal companion scratching my exposed thigh, and she scowls once again. So much for a good first impression, I think sarcastically.

“You know, you can take that rat and cook it on the brick on the windowsill to make a nice snack,” she mentions, gesturing to the sliver of light peeking through the gap in the wall. She smiles, softening her tone slightly. “Better than the stuff they serve here anyway.”

I stare at the girl in shock before clearing my throat. All I want to do is punch her beady blue eyes.

“Would you ever kill your best and only friend?” I ask.

“What kind of question is that?” she asks, taken back. “Is that why you’re here? Kill your best friend? Kill someone else?” She smiles eerily, leaning forward.

“Even if I did, I wouldn't tell a creep like you. Are you sure we aren’t talking about yourself? You seem like someone who wouldn’t have a problem killing your friends,” I tease, the ghost of a smile spreading across my face. Her face turns a shade of pink as she launches forwards, grabbing me roughly by the collar. My smile slides off my face.

“I may be dangerous, but I am loyal,” she hisses. “I’m still keeping secrets from those throwing dirt on my name, hunting me down, trying to kill me. You, however…” She sneers, relishing in my fear as she drops her voice down to a whisper. “... I wouldn’t have a problem killing.” She releases my collar and returns to her respective corner.

My breath comes in short gasps, and I shake my head vigorously up and down at the girl. The moment she lets go of me, I scramble into the opposite corner. I don’t know why, but there was something about her aura that attracted me. Just the thought disgusted me.

We sit in uneasy silence. She examines the cell while I continue stroking Whiskers’ furry back. It’s a bit wet, and I didn’t even want to think about the origin of the liquid. The girl chances a glance at me, and I return one back. She breaks my gaze and pretends to pick at some crumbs on the floor. 

“What’s your name?” she asks harshly. When I don't answer, she raises her voice, quickly becoming irritated. “What’s your name?!”

“What’s it to you?” I ask with a depleted air. “If I told you my name you’d call me a liar just like everyone else.”

She laughs, a deep, musical one that echoes through the walls. This much joy felt wrong in a place like this.

“What’s so funny?” I ask, joining in without knowing the reason for our laughter. Her tinkling laughter fades as soon as it arrived.

“But seriously, what’s your name?”

“It’s James. James Knight,” I respond with some uncertainty. I sigh and look down at my slender hands, grime layering my light skin.

“Now you carry out your end of the deal. What’s your name?”

“Rayla. No last name, no known parents. Adds to my mysterious story.” She chuckles, tracing the cracks on the floor.

“James Knight, hm? Name sounds familiar. Son of the king and queen, I presume? Tell me, what are your opinions on the advisor and his beliefs that fear is the best way to control people?” She sends an eerie smile my way. I’m too shocked at her audacity to talk to a prince this way for a good five seconds.

“Nice backstory, Miss Rayla with no last name. Never heard much about you except that you’re bad, like, real bad in the crime world.” I pause, attempting to steady my trembling voice. I knew there was something familiar about her looks. Now, I’m utterly revolted at my former thought about actually being attracted to her.

“Any person in their right mind knows the answer to that question. Do you really think I’d be in this mess if fear didn’t make people so easily influenced? Threaten people that their farmlands will be taken away if they don’t comply with the law, then tell them that the prince died at the hands of robbers in the middle of the night? Of course people will believe anything if it means their own skin will be saved. What’s this to you?” I was tired of Rayla playing cat-and-mouse with me.

“Interesting…” she says, leaning against the grimy cell wall, folding her hands in her lap. She looks at me with an unreadable expression.

“You’ve passed. See, people are throwing dirt on my name. They say I’m a ruthless killer, yet I’m trying to help those accusing me. I kill those who have mass murdered others. I should be called their savior, but no, I’m simply a criminal. The fear drives them, and that’s what I’m trying to get rid of. And I’m pretty good at it, too, I must say. I never get caught.”

“I passed, what’s that supposed to mean?” I shake my head in disbelief, becoming more and more frustrated. “Oh, and I’m supposed to believe a stranger who enjoys killing people. Great. Even though you may be doing the right thing, ending a person’s life is a major no, no. Even if the person is bad and a complete jerk, that’s no excuse to kill them. And what’s this about never getting caught because it sure seems like the authorities managed to get you into a cell this time.”

“Who says I enjoy it? I kill when necessary. At first, I simply come in and try to convince them that there are other ways- with the help of a knife, of course. I only use it when they force my hand. You say ending someone’s life is a major no no, but which is better? Letting them live and having them murder hundreds, maybe thousands of other innocents? Or killing them and letting those hundreds live?”

“Well, when you put it like that… of course I’d rather let innocent people live!” I retort.

“It’s all about priorities, prince. And another thing to think about: have you ever thought that I’m here because…” She leans in closer, our breaths tangling in the air. “... I wanted to get caught?”

“But why would you want to get caught if you’re trying to murder them? That’s ridiculous unless-'' my eyes widen in realization that there might be more going on than meets the eye.

“I won’t disclose the full plan because I’m not sure I can trust you. Telling you even this much is a risk. But I’m pretty sure you’ll stay quiet, won’t you, prince boy?” She tosses a small rock up and down in her hand, giving me a small smile.

“Fair enough,” I say, eyeing the rock in her hand. “It’ll take longer for me to trust you as well. I’ve had some… past issues with betrayal.” Suddenly the metal prison door bangs open, silencing the both of us. A guard enters.

She recognizes the guard somehow and greets him like a friend. The guy has a prominent scar on his cheek and hawk-like eyes behind the helmet. 

“Good to see you, Jones,” she says to the guard, standing up. “Did you bring the stuff?”

“Shut up, Ray. And yes, I brought it. Can’t have an old friend stuck in here now, can I?” He glances at me as he drops a brown bag on the floor. “Who’s the cellmate?”

“Someone we’re keeping in this mission,” Rayla responds, shuffling through the items in the bag. From my position, I can’t see what the objects she stuffs into her pocket are.

“We can’t risk more people on this mission. You get attached too easily, Ray,” says the guard, Jones, I believe.

“He’s going,” she announces stubbornly, tossing the empty bag in his direction. “Come on, prince boy. It’s time to execute the plan.”

My mouth opens and closes like a fish out of water. The only thing I manage to get out is, “Who are you guys?” Wow. That was the best I could do. I guess this Jones’ intimidating appearance got to me.

She turns around, a smile on her face. “Just some people fighting for freedom. Now come on, this guy’s running on a favor and it doesn’t last long. We’re usually lone wolves.”

“I guess I’ll fit right into the group then. You see, I’m also an outsider.” I reach for Rayla’s hand but she turns away and steps out of the open cell door, leaving me to assist myself.

Once I’m up, I prepare to exit the cell that bound me for months, 183 days to be exact based on my numerous chalk marks on the walls. I step over the threshold with hesitation.

It was like leaving my home, kinda. I glance over at Rayla and Jones who are waiting for me on the other side. No sympathy is shown on Jones’ part as a scowl clouds his face.

“Be nice, Jones,” Rayla says to her friend. “We need him alive.” A distinct clunking sound echoes through the stone hallway, signalling the approach of the one legged guard, Mr. Grimm, and the two of them instantly go into action.

Jones pulls out a pair of handcuffs and hands them to Rayla who, in turn, latches them onto my wrists.

“Be quiet, let us do the talking,” she hisses in my ear. Just before Mr. Grimm enters, she latches her own cuffs on.

“Just taking them over to the yard. Shuffling prisoners for the coal mining,” responds Jones, playing the part of a prison guard.

“Even the high-level prisoners? Hm, guess the warden needs more people mining with the shortage. Careful with the girl though, she’s a nasty one, she is. Got the blood of our brothers on her hands. I think I have something…” He steps in close to Rayla, his breath reeking of alcohol even from my location. “...special for this one.”

By this point, I’m too lost in my thoughts to concentrate on the present. I realize that these people are serious about busting me out. How could I ever repay them? I wonder. Suddenly, I hear Mr. Grimm yelp in pain, grabbing his foot. I’m guessing Rayla had something to do with this transaction.

“Crazy girl,” I hear Mr. Grimm mumble. As fate would have it, he turns toward me.

“Oh, it’s only you. The kid who lied about being the prince,” he says rudely, spit spraying my face. I flinch.

“What’s it to you?” I attempt to throw a punch at his lopsided nose, but the chains hold me back, causing frustration. I think part of Rayla’s personality was rubbing off on me. Whether this is a good thing or not, I’m not sure yet.

Jones steps between Mr. Grimm and me. “Mr. Grimm, the warden sent me to get these rascals working in the mines as soon as possible. They need as many hands as they can get.”

The guard pulls away from me, taking a few seconds to answer as a result of his drunken state. “Well, if it was the warden’s orders then of course, of course. I’m sorry for interrupting.” Mr. Grimm bows slightly and leaves, a small smile forming on his lips.

Rayla stares daggers at the back of Mr. Grimm’s head as he walks away. I don’t blame her. If I ever get my true title of ‘prince’ back, my first royal proclamation would be to fire him.

“C’mon,” grumbles Jones, shoving us both forward. I’m almost certain he pushed me harder than Rayla, and I don’t think that it’s just to make our act seem more realistic.

Once in the mines, Jones releases both of us from our handcuffs. The air’s full of smoke and watching flecks of coal float in the air only makes me feel more uncomfortable about being miles underground.

The dim orange light emitting from the few lanterns casts an ominous glow along the tunnels. There isn’t much of a difference between the prison or the mines but now that I’m down here, I’m seriously second guessing my decision in trusting these people…

“Act normal and wait for my signal.” I jump at the sound. I didn’t realize how quiet it was until the silence was disturbed.

“I’ll give a bird whistle and you’ll follow Jones. Don’t wait for me, and stick with the plan, no matter what happens. The less you know, the better in case you’re caught.” The familiar voice signals immediate relief.

“Of course, Ray,” I whisper back.

“Don’t ever call me that, ok?” says Rayla, her voice hardening. “It’s reserved for someone worthier than you.” She doesn’t bother to whisper it this time. She flicks her black hair and walks away.

Jones looks at me with triumph in his eyes and a smirk of satisfaction plastered across his face. Seething with rage, I try to keep a level head.

Keep calm, the angel inside of me whispers.

I know I’m all for getting you angry and such, says my other guardian, But if he sees you’re upset, he’ll love it and you don’t want him to be happy. Do you?

Of course not! I tell the latter one.

I watch as Jones sneaks a small black bag to her. My curiosity burns to know what’s in the bag, but I know better than to ask. I cross my hands over my chest and look around the mines.

She’s already gone and the only other person around is Jones. Ugh, why is he still here? Figuring I had nothing else better to do, I attempt to get some answers out of him.

"So," I begin. "How long have you been working with Ray?" Jones whips his head at me and then looks away. Apparently, he’s too good to even look at me.

"No one calls her that but me and it'll stay that way, you hear kid." It wasn't a question, rather a command. I try another tactic.

"Why do you need me?" Nothing.

"Who are you?"

"Jones," he replies, head still turned away from me. I sigh; this questionnaire is going nowhere. I wonder if Rayla’s faring any better.

***

After minutes of silence between us, I figure it’s about time Jones and I establish somewhat of a working relationship. And what better way to do that than have some fun?

“Wanna play a game?” I ask Jones.

“What sort of question is that? I’m only here to help a friend out, not to play games. Nevermind, here’s a pickaxe. Just pretend that you’re mining. You’re gonna blow our cover if you don’t.”

“Uh, huh,” I say without bothering to pick up a mining tool.

“Do you even know my name?” I ask. It’s time he knew he was talking to a prince. Maybe that would get him in his place and cease our brewing rivalry.

“My, you’re a curious one. Didn’t you know that curiosity killed the cat, kid?”

“Stop calling me that and didn’t you know that cats have nine lives?” I bite back a smile as I see how frustrated Jones is becoming. His anger was my happiness and vice-versa.

“Then what do you want me to call you? Your Royal Highness?” he says in a mimicking tone.

“Exactly that,” I say with a smug expression.

Before Jones could reply, a sharp whistle pierces the air along with an ear-splitting scream.

May 22, 2021 00:47

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

41 comments

Emma Bates
05:51 May 30, 2021

good. great. :)

Reply

Valerie June
04:31 May 31, 2021

Thanks. Thank you. :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Philia S
13:36 May 22, 2021

HEYOOO!!! LOVED IT!!! I went off to read Abigail's story as well and like it was kinda unique and interesting to have two points of view of the same event. Great job!!!

Reply

Valerie June
16:39 May 22, 2021

¡¡¡HOLA!!! Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed it Queen. This was my first time doing a collab with someone and the process was really fun! :)

Reply

Philia S
06:03 May 23, 2021

:)) Agreed though, rps are fun!

Reply

Valerie June
06:05 May 23, 2021

Yeah, they are! So, how are you doing?

Reply

Philia S
06:24 May 23, 2021

:) Yeah, am doing good, slightly anxious about piling up work, hbu?

Reply

Valerie June
06:34 May 23, 2021

Same. The summer's so close, yet so far (at least for me lol.) I spent the day at the pool which was nice but tomorrow I really gotta catch up on my work! Have any story ideas for this week?

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

ooh, I love the dueling perspectives, it just gives more to the story! Great imagery, and I still like that the two were different in a way, but still telling the same story. I hope part 2 comes out soon! "She turns around, a smile on her face. “Just some people fighting for freedom. Now come on, this guy’s running on a favor and it doesn’t last long. We’re usually lone wolves.”" I see ya XDDDD Still love it lol L.W.

Reply

Valerie June
02:28 May 22, 2021

Yeah, Abbie and I were finding the best possible way to do that. Glad it paid off! I’m hoping to get part 2 out today, but I still have some editing to do. Plus, I need to verify it with her. The thing is, I want to post it before this contest ends because it actually fits one of the prompts. XD This was originally a role play and that just so happened to be a line Abbie came up with. You should thank her for it! XD :)

Reply

it sure did! oof yeah eDiTiNg lol XD I'll be sure to do that lolol

Reply

Valerie June
03:37 May 22, 2021

Aw, thanks! Yes, oof. Editing is boring, but it's funny how I never get bored of reading my own story. XD Is it like that for you? I have so many comments to catch up on. Ima just save them for tomorrow....ssh ;) I still gotta submit my other stories for this week. (Yes, I like submitting them 30 minutes before the contest ends. :P) The last few days I was an actual speedwriter. The power was incredible, but I think it's worn off. Did you happen to send me some of that...? Haha!

Reply

np :) sometimes, or like if it's an older story and I re-read it, i can't get enough of it. XDD your secrets are safe with me (but no guarantees about other comment stalkers out there lol). wow XD I could never do that XD herm, maybe I did, maybe I didn't XDDD. I can try again lol.

Reply

Valerie June
04:15 May 22, 2021

Yeah. It's like, "Wow, this is really good! Who wrote this? Oh right, me." I'm hoping you comment stalker's out there, yes you! keeps this a secret. You hear? XD I promise I do things much earlier in person. I juts like keeping my stories with me for a little longer lol. Plus, I have the most time on Friday's to finish up the little details in my story and edit a bit. :) Yes peas! How's the best way to send it? Hermmm... XDDD

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply