I am Pure

Read about inside - was too long to fit in the 'About the story' bit. (HINT: it's about Sirens, but not as we know them...)


4. Through the Window

Through the Window


I didn’t even get a room to myself.

The holiday home was initially for a family of four, with two bedrooms: one for the parents, and one for two children. Kale and I got the kid’s room, containing the same, rigid furniture as the rest of the house. There were two beds, on opposite sides of the room to one another. The suite looked like it had been split in half by a mirror, each side symmetrical to the other. There was only one window, the hazy orange glow of a nearby streetlamp streaming through the lace curtain dressing it.

I didn’t want to be the one to miss out, so I quickly deposited my belongings on the bed nearest the window, in the hope that the pane of glass would prevent my old fear claustrophobia creeping in. I could already feel the heat of this stifling neighbourhood closing me in from all sides, no cold air to surface to. I missed the crisp, English breeze. I wanted to be able to cover up, not to protect myself from the bitter weather, but to hide myself from everyone, so they had no reason to laugh at me.

The grey tracksuit I was wearing was my favourite; I loved the way it covered almost every inch of my skin, spare my face and hands. But in the humidity of that hostile environment, where a stunning girl lurked around every corner, my disguise was choking me, and if I wasn’t careful, I was going to die from the soaring temperature. I would rather have died than expose my rancid arms and plump legs for everyone to snicker at, so it looked like I was going to die a warm, but dignifying death.

Thankfully, at that moment, my depressing monologue was cut short, as my elder brother Kale sauntered into the room, and my nostrils were instantly filled with the familiar scent of tobacco and liqueur.

Kale was my father’s doppelganger, except he was broader in the shoulders. He walked with a distinct swagger, even when his only audience was his kid sister. We didn’t have anything in common, and this was clear by the way he dominated the room, with me over shadowed by his presence, showing none of his confidence or poise. The only tell-tale sign that we were related at all was our eyes, both a light shade of amber, an incredibly rare colour so I’m told. I didn’t wear different well, it only adding to my odd spectacle, but Kale used his asset perfectly, filling them with a flirtatious quality when needed, and a snide one when conversing with me.

“Hey Nose,” his northern accent so different to mine, dripping with malicious tone. With a jolt I registered his use of my timeless nickname, given to me by the girls who were clever enough to pair my name with an embarrassing childhood of runny noses and green tissues.

“Don’t call me that,” I tried to say forcefully, but failed as I trailed off lamely at the end.

“Sure Nose,” he smirked, making his way towards the other end of the room, somehow making a mess with his bags before anything had actually been unpacked. He was nineteen, three years older than me, and we hadn’t had to share a room since I was ten, and Kale was a fresh, new teenager. He had demanded his own space, persuasive and demanding even then, and I was shoved into the miniscule spare room. Not that I was in it much, as most of the year I was shipped off to boarding school so Reed didn’t have to cope with a hormonal teenage girl. A boy, Kale, he could handle, but a daughter who looked too much like his dead wife was a step too far. I went to a school for girls, and I had to live with a building full of unreal, good looking young ladies who constantly reminded me of how bad I looked. I supposed I should thank them, as I wouldn’t want to be walking around clueless to the whispers and giggles behind my back.

“Whatever,” he shrugged, and I realised I had been staring at him blankly for over a minute. “I’m going to shower. You should too – you look like crap.”

Like I needed reminding, I thought to myself.

So he grabbed his bathroom gear and left me to my thoughts again, and alone – just the way I liked it. It was then, when I looked out of the window, that I saw them.

Staring back up at me, were four girls, all more attractive than any girls I had ever seen before.  Something about their gaze, their eyes locked on mine, drew me to crawl across my bed, lift the drape and press myself against the glass, to get a better look at them, and what met my curious peer was grander than had first appeared.

Each had a very distinct look, and I found it hard to tear my eyes away to look at every one of them in turn. Two of them were blonde, one considerably shorter than the other. The taller one’s hair was ironed flat, and a platinum shade. It shimmered easily, even without sunlight. She gave off the distinct air of vanity, as she stood, back straight, tall and proud. The shorter girl was curvier, whereas the other blonde had been stick thin. She had pleasant features, her hair was more golden than silver, and it too was long but falling into wild curls, acting as a mane. She had her head tilted to the right, as if trying to decipher the strange girl goggling at them through her window. The other blonde looked more shocked than curious, but was staring all the same.

The third was even taller than the platinum haired girl, and she too was lean. She also looked athletic, her vest top highlighting much defined muscles in her arms, and clinging to the hard abs on her stomach. She too was staring, looking casual but at the same time startled. Her dark hair was tied back in a high pony tail, making her eyebrows arch in a disbelieving way. Something told me that it wasn’t just her pony tail which was making her do this.

The fourth girl startled me, as, unlike her friends, she wasn’t just looking at me she was glaring. Her look was dripping with hate, her eyes screaming disgust. Her mousy brown hair fell in soft waves, but they couldn’t disguise the hardness in her expression. As her piercing eyes bore into me, I noticed something. Her eyes were pale amber – just like mine.

In fact, every single one of them had eyes identical to the next, and all had the same, pallid skin as mine.  Standing casually in a line in the middle of the walkway, they were all so beautiful, yet I didn’t feel intimidated or belittled. There was something about them that made me feel relaxed, as if I had finally found some sanity in this crazy world. I felt I had known them forever, and a wave of contentment washed over me. I tried a smile.

 Before I could see a reply, the on suite bathroom door opened, and a flood of steam spilt into the room. Kale emerged, towel around his waist, brown hair damp and spiked. His carefully sculpted torso was shiny with water vapour. As soon as he noticed me looking out of the window, his snarky smile returned.

“Thinking of jumping, Nose?” He asked, not caring for its answer. “You might want to make yourself scarce – I’m about to get naked.”

“You are such an arse,” I snap without success. I turned back to look at the eerie girls, but all I could see of them was their backs, walking down the street, arms linked, toward the distant shoreline of Serena Beach. The far away water line sparkled in the moonlight, and the four girls, who now seemed a fading dream, were getting smaller as they headed in the direction of the straw hut lined coast.

“I’m taking my towel off...”

“OK, I’m going,”

I grabbed a blanket and stormed out of the room, making for the couch. I lay down, and the white leather was firm – like lying on a wooden floor. My arm was still tender, and I was careful not to put pressure on it as I lay on my front uncomfortably, the blanket fleece and too bulky for the high thirties.

Nevertheless, I fell into a deep and troubled sleep, where I dreamt endlessly of four fair skinned girls with vivid yellow eyes.

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