Claimed *Completed*

"I'm already living on borrowed time. When it comes to it, it will be my time to go."

500 years ago Cathy should have died, but she didn't. She was saved by the Devil.

"I agreed to something ... Something that cant have been important then, it seemed too far away.
I'd agreed, after five hundred years, to hand myself over to the Devil, to become his."

Now her time's up, but back in the city where it all started, things are far from over. Cathy finds out that there is more to the Devil than she ever thought. A new boy, a best friend and a deadly enemy, things are about to get complicated...

"No one's that good or bad, it's not that simple, nothing's that black and white. It's more grey."

*Hi, this is my first Movella, so I'd love some feedback and constructive critsism! Thanks :)

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6. Monday, 10th January 2012

Monday, 10th January 2012

 

 

 

 

 

  I spin the car around and press my foot down, ignoring the honks of other drivers and the swear words directed my way. The road ahead of me is blurry because of the tears now clouding my eyes.

  I can make out a few faces staring at me from the pavement, but one in particular stands out. The familiar sweep of brown hair and blue-green eyes - but they’re gone as soon as they appear.

  I blink rapidly, which makes it a bit easier to see and I force myself to calm down. Breath, I tell myself, in, out, in, out.

  I try to stop the road spinning past quite so fast, but my foot won’t ease up on the accelerator and the last thing I need is the police on my trail and a high speed chase. They’ll probably send me to a mental hospital.

  I pull over to the side of the road outside a run-down laundrette, breathing hard.

  Chrissie’s clinging on to the seat for dear life and staring at me like I’ve completely lost it. It was only a matter of time before this happened. Maybe she’ll suggest the mental hospital. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

  I take a deep breath. No, I’d promised myself I wouldn’t freak out. Okay that was before I’d had another memory reliving incident; the second in a week, and not one in five hundred years. I must be even stranger that normal at the moment.

  But I’d promised myself I could break down at home when Chrissie was gone. Damn - Chrissie.

  I glance at her again and I can feel my face burning with embarrassment.

  Chrissie relaxes slightly, but still looks a bit wary. I sigh, resigned to the worse.

  “Okay, if you don’t want speak to me again, I get it. I can drop you back off at home. You probably want to cancel the party as well-”

  “What?!” Chrissie interrupts, looking angry, “Under no circumstances are we cancelling that party! For one, this is the best chance I’m going to get to plan the most amazing party ever – well, until I become famous. Two, I so want to see Katrina looking jealous again, I could really get used to that. And three, I kind of already told a couple of people.”

  There is a long pause, and then Chrissie says, “I actually like you Cathy Jenks, believe it or not,” as an after thought she adds, “Well, apart from when you completely freak out on me, which seems to happen quite a lot.”

  I sink back into my seat, “I’m sorry I keep freaking out. I promise I’m not usually this insane.”

  Chrissie grins, “That’s okay then. Just warn me next time you’re about to have an episode.”

  “I’ll try,” I grin back in relief. Chrissie is avoiding asking me why I freaked out, but I can sense it bubbling below the surface. Maybe she can tell it’s a tender subject, or that she’ll only get a vague answer if she asks. Whatever the reason she stays unusually quiet while I navigate my way down a longer, but bridge-free, route into town.

  We spend the next three hours wondering around several shops full of every material you could ever imagine. We settle for a pretty pink patterned material from Cath Kidson. I have to whip out my credit card and pay for more rolls of the material than we could ever need – but who cares? Not me and it’s my money. Sort of.

  It worked out to be a lot, but I specifically asked Chrissie not to look at the price. I think we must have come out with the most expensive material in the shop.

  After getting more animated around all the fabric, Chrissie goes quiet again during the car ride to my apartment. I can feel the weight of my ‘episode’ sitting in the car with us like a giant, pink elephant that we’re both trying to ignore.

  The elephant seems to disappear the moment I open the door to my apartment.

  Chrissie stands frozen in the doorway as I breeze through, hang up my coat and disable the burglar alarm. If I’ve learnt anything, it’s that you can never be too careful. I glance up at Chrissie and feel slightly smug when I see her expression.

  “Close the door can you, the heating’s on.” A cold breeze is blowing through and I’d taken to permanently leaving the heating on, even when I’m not here. I’ve not quite gotten used to the British winters yet. The gas companies will be having a party.

  Chrissie closes the door, her eyes still locked on the room. I look around, following her gaze. I’d treated myself this time, even if teenagers don’t tend to have luxury apartments.

  The room we’re in now is open plan; a kitchen and dining table on one side of the room and a huge bookshelf covers the opposite wall. Sofas are scattered throughout the rest of the space and there are thick rugs under foot.

  Most striking, though is the wall opposite the door, which is covered from floor to ceiling in glass, with a balcony over looking the city. It’s already getting dark and lights are starting to twinkle down below.

  “Wow.” Chrissie finally find her voice.

  I grin, and kick my shoes off. I’m quite proud of what I’ve done with the place, it feels like home. “Make yourself comfortable.” She wonders up to a sofa and looks at it like might vanish if she sits on it.

  I have to stick my head in the fridge to stop myself laughing, “It doesn’t bite.”

  Chrissie sticks her tongue out at me and sits down. I grab a can of coke and throw another one to Chrissie before sitting next to her.

  She looks at me. “You have no idea how good you’ve got you’ve got it; money, this apartment, no adults.” She sighs wistfully.

  “It’s not as good as you think. There’s only so much stuff you can buy, it’s lonely. You’re too materialistic, it’s sentimental things you should value most. Like parents.” Then I say something I’d never told anyone, I don’t even think about it, “I miss mine.”

  I stand up and walk into the kitchen before I can say anything else. I search though the cupboards for all the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies.

  I try to find a distraction in cooking, but I’ve never much liked it and my mind keeps wondering back to what I’d said. I do miss my parents. My father I just plain miss, I’d been eight when he died, so I only have a few memories of him. My mother though, she’s more complicated...

  “If you roll that any flatter it’ll be a pancake.” I snap back to the present and glance down at the dough I’ve been rolling out. I roll it back into a ball and start again. I can see Chrissie out of the corner of my eye and, although her voice is teasing, she has a worried look in her eye. I can tell she’s been thinking about what I said too.

  I can feel the elephant sneaking in though the door, so I try to change the subject, “So, what do you want to do with the material?”

  Chrissie jumps up, grinning, “I thought we could put some of it on the table and I think it’d be great if we could make some of it into bunting. We could string that across the room. Oh, and on the balcony,” she pulls out a roll of material.

  I grin, “Wow, it even matches your hair.”

  It does, too. She laughs, “My mum always told me it would never match anything.”

  “Do you want to see the rest of the apartment?” I ask.

  Chrissie’s eyes widen, “There’s more?”

  I chuckle, “Yeah,” I shove the cookies in the oven and take Chrissie on a tour of the rest of the apartment. I dig out a sewing machine and start cutting out the shapes for the bunting.

  Munching on cookies and laughing with Chrissie feel more normal I have done in a while.

  Almost normal, but not quite.

 

*

 

  A few hours later, Chrissie shouts a hurried good bye and slams the apartment door behind her. I can hear her retreating footsteps on the stairs.

  Before I can break down I jump up and head across the apartment. My footsteps echo loudly in the sudden quiet. I reach the door I was headed for and pull it open.

  It’s the only door in the apartment, all the others I’d replaced with beaded curtains. I’d told Chrissie it’s just a store cupboard, but as I open it looks more like an office. It’s neither.

  It’s my room. My memory room. Mine, for my eyes only. It has bookshelves, cupboards and tables full of tings I’ve collected over the years; books, paintings - all of them originals. A dress sits on a dress maker’s manikin in the corner, out of all the dresses I’d worn, this one is my favourite, the most exquisite and the only survivor.

  It’s almost the exact same colour as Jack’s eyes.

  Why am I thinking of Jack’s eyes?

  But Jack was there on the bridge today, watching me. I realise only now who those eyes belonged to, and why they seemed familiar. Well, who wouldn’t be watching me, I was driving like a maniac – he was probably wondering who passed my driving licence. But how did he get there so quickly? He wasn’t in a car and Chrissie and I left straight after school – so how did he get there so quick? Maybe there is something more to it?

  I shake that thought off; I always think there is more to it than there really is. I’m getting paranoid in my old age.

  I sink into a chair at a desk. I open a draw, dig through its content and then pull out a small, ornate wooden box. I stare at it for a few seconds.

  It has a thick layer of dust on top, despite having recently been moved to the apartment with all my other things. It permanently has that air about it; of not being opened for hundreds of years. Which it hasn’t, I locked this box away along with all memories of it.

  I take a deep breath and open it.

  All the memories come flooding back so fast it’s painful.

  Burning... screaming... feet pounding... blood pounding in my ears... run-run-run... too late... my fault...

  I slam the box shut with shaking hands, and it’s like turning a tap off. It was a big mistake to open it; I know I shouldn’t have done. But I had to, I just couldn’t help it, however much it hurts. Slowly, I let the memories drip away, and then they stop altogether.

  Something interrupts the sudden quiet.

  Oh, come on my dear. Open the box; remember... you know you want to...

  No! No, I don’t! I scream at the voice. As faint as it is, I clutch my head, No! Please, no, no... no...

  Let it all back in, remember... the voice is snarling now, feel it, remember it, mourn it. Cry for her Catherine! Cry, mourn!

  No. I say it more forcefully this time. No. I shove away from the desk and run from the room, letting the chair fall to the floor and the box lying innocently on the desk.

  I slam the door shut and lean against it, breathing hard. I can feel tears threatening to spill again, and all I really want to do is collapse on the floor. But no matter what I promised myself, I’m not going to give him the satisfaction. I’m not going to do anything he wants me to do.

  I run from the apartment, grabbing my coat on the way out. The further away from here I can get the better.

  I’m going to stay strong; I’ve done it for five centuries, so I can last a night.

  Because I know that voice. Even if the last time I heard it was five hundred years ago, I’d know it anywhere.

  Because that voice belongs to the Devil.

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