0 comments

Adventure Fantasy Friendship

July 6th, Epsilon

Lucia Callisto

Lacing up the rugged, dark green pair of high tops that I’ve probably owned for too long, I sigh heavily. “It’s the day. Today’s the day.” I stare at myself in the mirror, studying the creases of the black hoodie I threw on and the folds in the camouflage cargo pants I’m wearing. 

Better watch out.

I slide my brass knuckles over my fingers.

Better not cry.

Throwing the back door open, I hurry down the stairs, this time with no bow and arrow.

Better not pout.

The hilts of the knives concealed among the ruffles of my pants dig into my legs.

Lemme tell you why.

I push the gate forward, stepping off my property and onto the street.

I’m coming to town.

And I ain’t taking it slow.

***

Standing at the mouth of the alley, I hide in the shadows of the buildings that loom over me. The city is quiet today, as if it too anticipates what’s to come. I tap my fingernails against the inside of my brass knuckles, praying that she’s left the house by now.

“And that’s just what happened. Crazy right?” Dasha’s voice echoes as she turns off the sidewalk and into the alley. 

I press my body flat against the wall, sucking my stomach in and holding my breath. 

She passes me by about a foot and a half before stopping dead in her tracks. “Carabelle?” Her body goes rigid and I know she’s aware I’m here. “Lemme call you back.” Spinning around, she pulls a gun out of her belt and fires off two bullets in my general area. 

“Dasha!” I raise my two gloved hands in the air, stepping away from the wall. “Don’t shoot.”

She scoffs, keeping her handgun level with my forehead. “Why shouldn’t I?”

“Because I’ve come to bargain.” 

“Bargain?” Her gun comes down just a bit. 

Stepping a bit closer, I put my right hand into the side pocket on the leg of my pants. “I just want to talk to you.”

Talk? Let’s talk about why you’ve been trying to kill me.” 

I pull a knife out of my pocket and slide it up into my sleeve before she catches on to my plan. “It’s nothing personal. I swear.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

I’m standing a few inches away from her, just close enough to plunge the knife into her chest. No screw-ups. Quick. Clean. Easy. You’ve done this before. “Well, I’m just saying.”

“Just saying what?” The handgun is barely aimed at my toes at this point. 

“You won’t be calling her back.” With a clear, swift arc, I stick the knife into her abdomen and drag it up, jiggling it in places to force the razor-sharp blade to slice through. Her gun clatters to the ground, the sound reverberating in the empty alleyway, yet I don’t pull the blade out ‘till I’ve reached her ribcage and decide that I don’t feel like cutting through bones tonight. Besides, I’m late for dinner.

I wipe my knife on the inner thigh of her pants, spinning on my heels and pulling my hood up, ready to go. As I break out into a jog, something connects with my foot and goes skidding to the mouth of the alley, glistening in the city lights. Her gun. I bend over and pick it up, stuffing it in my pocket. “This’ll make a good souvenir.” 

Leaving the alley with my head down, I jog past the faded sign that reads “Welcome to Lexas! Enjoy your stay.”.

For some odd reason, though, I get the feeling that I’m being watched.

July 6th, Epsilon

Lilium Umbra

If you let go in your heart, it’ll all be easier. I sit with my back to the wall of the vacant apartment rooftop bar, watching silently as the trees sway in the distance. This was supposed to be for Luci. It was all supposed to be for her. I swipe at tears, sniffling quietly.

“Are you there, sweetie?”

I unmute myself and bring the microphone to my lips. “I’m here.” 

“And her house is right across the street?” 

“Yes.”

“So when she walks in…”

 “I’ll see her.”

There’s a short silence on the other end. “I’m sorry that this is turning out this way. Losing someone is hard, especially when it seems to be your fault. I just want you to remember that it’s for the best.”

“I know.” 

I can almost hear her motherly smile. “Good. That’s good.”

There are footsteps behind me, and I finger the rifle in my lap, praying that it’s not her. That she’s not back yet, that it’s not time yet, not now, not me. But I’m all too commonly wrong. And I know what comes next. “It’s time.”

“You can do this, Lilium.” 

I flip the stand out and set it on the ledge of the hole in the wall that I drilled just big enough for the muzzle and scope to fit through. Closing one eye, I peer through the scope, laying my sights on the girl with long, dark hair that walks down the sidewalk, grinning at the ground. I’m so sorry, Lucia. 

“Do you see her?” Kadiya’s voice rings out from the speaker of my pink, sparkly cased phone.

“Y-yes.”

“Okay. What did we say you were going to do when you see her, darling?”

“Big breaths. In. Out.”

“And then?”

“I…” I’m such a horrible person. This is the girl that’s looked out for me all of my life, the one that gave me a home and a friend and… “shoot.”

“Exactly.”

I line up my sights and place my pointer finger on the trigger, but can’t bring myself to pull it. Why?

“Lilium, now.”

I jerk my face back from the gun, trying to subdue my sobs so that Kadiya doesn’t hear. “I can’t.”

“I said now.”

Lucia reaches her gate, stretching her hand out and pushing her thumb to the fingerprint scanner, then widening her eye for the retina scan.

“I can’t do this!”

“Lilium!”

She’s about to step in the gate when I tighten my fist, hold my breath, and pull the trigger. Faster than the wind, the bullet slices through the air and hits her smack in the center of her temple, digging through her skull and coming out the other end. 

It takes a second for her limp body to collapse, and in that moment, I find that once again, I can’t breathe. But it’s the kind where it all still makes sense, where the commas and the periods and the words all find their places in your head, yet you can’t form a single sentence. Can’t form a single thought. 

I hear Kadiya over the phone, calling my name, yelling for me to get out of there, though I can’t seem to tell my brain that it’s time to go. The words don’t work. They’re broken. But as soon as I hear the thump, the dull thud of her body hitting the floor, the fuzz clears.

“Leave, Lilium! Get up, take the gun, and go!”

She’s dead. The thought barely registers before I sling the gold-plated assault rifle over my shoulder, snatch my phone off the ground, and bolt for the stairs. When I get to the bottom, there’s a car waiting for me, so I throw the door open and toss my things in, sliding into the backseat. I barely shut the door before the car zooms off.

“I’ll see you soon, honey. Everything’s alright.”

“Yeah. Yeah.” 

***

We speed through the city, and though it’s just a blur, I can almost swear I see my face on a wanted hologram. “Slow down!” I yell to the driver through the closed partitioning. He does, and I get a good look at it. ‘Lilium Umbra, WANTED FOR: the murder of Lucia Callisto and accomplice to the murder of Dasha Halax’. This is a nightmare. This isn’t happening. 

Sliding the divider to the side, I mutter to the driver, “Take me home,” and he swerves the car around, dashing towards my house.

Everything is far from alright.

***

“Lilium.” Kadiya’s voice is stone cold as I step out of the car, tears in my eyes.

“I saw my name on a hologram. A wanted hologram.” 

“Lilium.”

I’m looking over my shoulder every other second, paranoid. “Someone must have seen me do it, maybe-maybe when I didn’t leave immediately, or-”

“Lilium.”

Looking up at her, something in her demeanor has changed. She seems… different. 

“You’re a criminal. You’re a monster. A sadist, monstrous, lunatic who deserves to rot in hell.”

“What?” I whisper, stepping back to find myself bumping into a crowd of military guards. 

“I can’t make sure you rot in hell. But I can damn well make sure you rot in jail.”

What’s happening? I try to step closer to Kadiya, to feel that sense of protection that she radiates whenever I’m around her, but she takes two firm steps back, disgust plastered on her face.

“You killed my daughter.” Shaking her head, she spits in my face. “She’s gone because of you.”

I open my mouth in shock. “You were part of this! You! She-” Turning to one of the guards, I scream as handcuffs are slapped over my wrists. “She was a part of this! She made me! It was her idea-she came to me! You have to listen to-” My speech is cut off by someone stuffing a dirty, filthy-tasting rag into my mouth. 

“Take her out of my sight.” I’m stuffed into the trunk of a military vehicle, my feet shoved in first.

“Identification, ma’am. Just a formality,” I barely hear one of the men standing by me whisper to Kadiya.

“Of course.” Pulling her wallet out of her pocket, she fingers through it and hands him a thin card. “Will this do?”

After a quick glance over it, he gives it back, smiling briefly and shaking her hand. “Thank you for turning this lady in. I’ll personally see to it that she’s punished, along with the other two.”

“I bet that you will.”

It can’t be. Shaking, my mouth hangs open slightly, the words on that card messing with my mind. 

‘Kadiya Callisto, head of government’.

Part 8 available now!

July 05, 2021 18:55

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

0 comments