Secret Heritage

Beautiful, unparalleled , deadly 'creatures' are ruled By the unbreakable Loratalia and have done so since the start of time. Loratalia was strong, but one small mistake on an April morning, for just one moment, for the tiniest weeniest fraction of a second, she let her guard down.
Loratalia fell in love.
Now she has a secret, a secret so scary and dangerous, so poisonous and destructive, it threatens to crumble the entire structure and beauty of her society. When the secret is let loose, others will stop at nothing to tear it apart...

Ilse is an exceptionally talented, lonely seventeen year old girl. She lives with her horrible uncle and step aunt and two unpleasant cousins. However, one February morning her world caves in and suddenly, she finds herself questioning her very existence.
When two worlds collide, Ilse will have to decide what is real and what is an illusion.

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9. Berry

At first, bizarrely, Ilse felt like laughing at the utter absurdity of the situation; there she was, lying on a bed in a dungeon dressed in clothes she had never seen before with a head that thumped like bass with an enormous shadowy figure looming over her with a sword so sharp and thin, it hummed in the air like an electrified wire.

 

The urge to laugh only lasted a second; before long she was terrified, her heart accelerated almost painfully in her rib cage until her heart felt as if it was slamming itself against the walls in which it lived, desperate to escape and her mouth began to dry out, her breath was quick and loud and her hands felt suddenly cold.

The figure started towards her slowly, their boots made no sound on the floor and their sword did not quiver in their outstretched, un-moving hand.

“Please,” She whimpered, “Please at least tell me what’s going on before you kill me!” her voice came out strangled and high, it echoed unpleasantly around the small cell and Ilse hated herself for it. To die there, when she had come so far and survived so much seemed too terrible to imagine.

At her words, the figure stopped advancing. The room hummed with the sound of Ilse’s shuddering breath and limp struggling on the blanketed bed.

Unhurriedly, the intruder lowered the sword, swung it gracefully behind them and slid it into its compartment on their back. In one smooth motion, they then stepped forward into the light so that Ilse could see who they were.

A girl of no more than fourteen wearing a huge backpack stared back at her; her face was small and oval shaped and her violet black eyes were narrowed in suspicion. Everything about the girl was foreign to Ilse, her eyes were haunting and dusky with no colour apart from a faint glimmer of purple. Her skin was pale and waxen in a way that almost seemed to make it look as if it were glowing. The girl’s black shiny bangs fell over her face carelessly and pointed ears peeked up out of the mass of sleek lopped hair on her head.

Her clothes were similar to Ilse’s: she wore a leather corset that hugged her tiny, willowy frame and a tight fitting white t-shirt that stopped just above where her belly button should have been. Ilse did a double take, should have been? How could this girl not have a bellybutton?

Feeling even more freaked out, Ilse shuddered and fixed the girl with a look of menace.

“Tell me why I am here.” She demanded.

The girl let her eyes skit over Ilse, a slight crease in her perfect brow surfaced and she reached for her sword again.

“No!” Ilse called out desperately, deciding to change her tact, “Please, I won’t hurt you.”

To her surprise, the girl laughed at that. She laughed like the tinkling of a bell or the sound of wind through bay tree leaves; it was soft and gentle and charismatic and it made Ilse feel like a fool.

Angrily, Ilse lurched for the girl, her desire to know what was going on stronger then the fear she felt holding her back.

But the girl just jumped delicately out of the way as Ilse unsuccessfully reached for her; blood rushed to her head and Ilse staggered back and threw up on the floor. With a grunt, she tripped over the drapes and collapsed into the bed again, exhaustion ripping through her unpleasantly.

To her annoyance, the girl continued to chuckle, her deep red lips were spread wide in an honest, childlike grin which made Ilse’s blood boil.

Carefully, the tiny girl slid the enormous bag off of her shoulders and let it fall to the ground with a soft thud. Ilse peered at it curiously, wondering what could be inside.

“Berry.” The girl said finally, after she had finished giggling.

Ilse frowned.

“Exscuse me?” she uttered, weak from vomiting.

“Berry,” the girl repeated, “It’s my name.”

“Right.”

The girl gave a curt nod and skipped towards the bag. From it, she produced a huge silver flasket that was decorated with engraved gold patterns like Ilse’s bodice. With a flick of her wrist, Berry pulled the cork topper free and tipped the contents into a warped wooden bowl.

The smell literally made Ilse’s eyes roll into the back of her head, so delicious was it. Until that moment, Ilse had not realized how desperately hungry she was; her belly growled painfully at the scent of the soup and Ilse lay in silent yearning, staring at Berry’s fathomless black eyes.

A little hop, and Berry was at her side with a spoon angling it into Ilse’s open mouth, a pink tongue peeked out of the corner of Berry’s pressed lips in concentration.

The soup tasted as good as it smelt, it was nourishing and the flavour made the hairs on Ilse’s arm stand on edge. The warmth of the soup spread through her delightfully and Ilse began to feel her muscles relax.

Suddenly, the bed on which she lay was incredibly comfortable and Ilse was acutely aware of each part of her body and her steady, deep breathing.

Through heavy eyelids, she looked at Berry; the girl was looking at Ilse with an expression of open, burning curiosity. Her countenance was so insistent, so fiery that for a moment, Ilse forgot she was only a girl.

But sleep was tugging at her mind and Ilse was too exhausted to fight the clawing. 

Berry continued to visit Ilse every day, or at least, Ilse could only guess it was every day, there were no windows in her room she wore no watch, her phone had gone, Ilse had no way of telling the time. Gradually she grew stronger; she was able to keep her eyes open for longer after drinking the soup, she could stand for short periods of time, she had only vomited a couple of times since the first episode, but Ilse still had no idea where she was or what Berry and whoever she belonged to were doing with her.

Oddly, as she grew stronger, the soup started to lose its appeal; perhaps because she was fed up with eating it every day, but it wasn’t a taste that you got fed up with; it had been exotic and heavenly the first few times, it warmed her from the inside out, like a furnace had been lighted in her chest, but lately, it had started to taste gritty in texture, like unseasoned lentils originally, and then just gritty, like sand or gravel, the flavour was bland and sometimes unpleasant; the next time Berry arrived, Ilse shook her head and made a face. The smell that drifted towards her made her feel faintly queasy  and as it pervaded through the air, Ilse felt as if the scent was sinking into the fabric of the bed spread and her hair until every breath she took was thick with the smell.

“No.” She gasped, putting a hand up to ward off the approaching spoon. Mid spoon delivery, Berry’s hand stopped dead and she cocked her head like a bird. For a moment, the scene was still; Berry poised over the cowering Ilse, her sleek hair an unbroken sheet completely still in the breezeless room.

“Berry?” Ilse said hesitantly, breathing through her mouth so that she wouldn’t have to smell the soup.

“You’re ready.”

 

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