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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7. Tuesday, 11th January 2012

 

Tuesday, 11th January 2012

 

 

 

 

 

  Chrissie groans as she throws her bag into my car and gets in behind it, “Stupid parents,”

  “What did they do?”

  “Ha – what didn’t they do?” Chrissie had only gotten around to leaving mine at eleven and then she ran all the way back to her house, even though I offered to drive her home.

  “Let me guess, they think I’m a bad influence?”

  I’m smiling, but to my surprise Chrissie looks worried, “That’s not the half of it. They’d wanted to know where your parents were. I had to tell them they were out for dinner, I hope you don’t mind, but they looked as if they’d have phoned to police if I’d told them live on your own.”

  I shrug it off, “Nah, it’s okay, I would prefer not to get woken up by the police.”

  “How did you manage that anyway?” She asks curiously, “I know you have a social worker and everything, but still, I’ve never heard of a fifteen year old living alone.”

  To Chrissie’s surprise, and mine, I grin, “They make exceptions for me; I’m a special case.”

   It used to be a lot easier to go around with none of your stories matching up, but nowadays it’s harder, most of the time I’m just an expert storyteller, but you’d be surprised by how easy to bribe some people are. Although others have to be blackmailed; it’s more work but loads more fun. Unfortunately I didn’t get to hold anyone hostage this time.

  Chrissie laughs, “Did they let you out of the mental hospital?”

  “Yeah, finally, I was sick of staring at white walls all day.”

  “Your apartment walls are white.” She points out.

  I roll my eyes, “I’ve grown attached.”

  “Well, it’s better than cream walls, I can tell you. I told my mum that last night.”

  I stifle a laugh, “What?” Chrissie demands.

  I back into a parking space, put the hand brake on and pull the keys out of the ignition. Turning to Chrissie I say, “So, let me get this straight: your parents get home and find you gone, without explanation. Then you can get back at eleven o’clock and criticise their decorating.”

  Chrissie gets out of the car in a huff and I follow, “Well, yeah, I’ve lived in that house for sixteen years; you’d get sick of cream and brown too. And anyway, I did tell them I was going out with a friend after school.”

  I ignore the last bit and look at Chrissie, surprised, “You’ve lived there all your life?”

  “Err... yeah, and?”

  I shrug, “I’ve never lived anywhere that long.” Because I can’t, but I don’t add that aloud.

  Chrissie shakes her head, “You know, the reasons for being jealous of you are piling up.”

  I’m about tell her that there is nothing to be jealous of, when a voice behind me beats me to it.

  “Jealous of her? Yeah right – what’s there to be jealous of?” Chrissie and I both spin around to see Katrina and her ‘gang’, all smiling smugly.

  A few tittering laughs surround us, I look around to see we’ve just come up the stairs on the second floor and I can see most students giving us a wide berth, sensing Katrina is on a war path. I can feel the menace coming off her in waves. Uh-oh.

  “Let’s see: terrible fashion sense, awful hair,” a few more titters, Karina takes a step forward for every thing she reels off. Either side of her are the other Barbies, Alyson seems to be relishing the effect Katrina is having, but Jess is hanging back slightly, looking nervous. Katrina’s only a few feet away, still continuing, “terrible car, and, oh, dead parents.” She says the words with malice.

  “You -” Chrissie starts to swear at her, but I jab her hard in the ribs, cutting her off.

  “Go to hell, Katrina.”

  Katrina takes another step towards me and I step back into railing keeping me from falling down sixteen feet to the hall below.

  This is obviously the wrong move, because Katrina moves forward like a cat closing in on its prey, and leans forwards until she’s in my face, “You should have died too.”

  I hear Jess speak up and place a hand on Katrina’s shoulder; “Katrina, no-” she’s speaking in a warning tone and seems to know what’s coming, but doesn’t know how to stop it. Katrina shrugs her off and continues to glare daggers at me.

  All I can concentrate on, however, is what she said, you should have died too. She can’t know, there’s no way she can know. She means the car crash, I tell myself, they think my parents died in car crash, and I should have died because I was there in the car with them.

  I can’t take my inner voice seriously, because I can feel the wall in Katrina’s mind coming down and I catch a glimpse of the rest of her mind, the part she hides.

  It’s all white, white, white; pure bright white. It’s so bright that I go momentarily blind, and, in that split second, I hear Katrina’s voice in my ear.

  “Devil’s girl.”

  Then I feel manicured fingers shove my chest with surprising force. I feel myself teeter on the edge of the railing before – Nothing. The railing disappears from beneath me.

  All I can feel is the air rushing past me and I close my eyes waiting for the ground to come up and meet me.

  I hear the screams and shouts of people as I fall past them, but through them I can hear another noise, it pierces my mind and stirs a memory deep within.

  An evil, cackling laugh.

  The pusher.

  But this time I know who the voice belongs to. The person who pushed me five hundred years ago: the person who pushed me now.

  Katrina.

  Then – black.

 

*

 

  The first thing I feel is the pain in my left arm, it tears through me. The pain sears through me, shocking me in its odd sensation: I haven’t felt pain for five hundred years. I can tell it’s broken from the way it’s laying limply next to me. I’ve seen a lot of broken arms in my time, but none of them mine.

  Somehow I have to wonder idly about the state of my arm before all my senses come flooding back to me at once.

  I open my eyes in a flash to see those bright blue-green eyes looking at me. No, in me, I think, it’s like they’re looking straight into me. I know I need to look away, but I can’t bring myself to tear my eyes from his. For several seconds we just look into each others eyes, unblinking. I can’t help but study them and I marvel at the colour.

  A groan interrupts, what I now realise is silence. Everyone around us is completely still, you could have heard a pin drop – which is a rare thing in a high school. I must have only blacked out for a second because they’re all still frozen, watching me with baited breath.

  Then I realise that I’m the one that groaned and I move to sit up. To my surprise I can feel the pain ebbing steadily from my arm. I can almost feel the bone healing itself as I lean on my good arm. I’m sure that’s not normal - nothing is any more.

  I hear everyone release their collective breath and Chrissie unfreeze and shout “Cathy!” She tries to force her way down the stairs and curses when she can’t get though.

  Jack goes to help me up. Normally, I would have shoved him away and told him I could handle myself, but because it’s Jack and I’ve just fallen two storeys down I let him. His hand wraps around my waist and, despite myself, I lean into him.

  “Are you okay?” I think of saying something sarcastic, but then I look up at him. I hadn’t heard him speak before and his voice is soft, worried. It draws me to him, like his eyes. I can feel the confusing aura of feelings more strongly than before, but now, it’s dropped into the background and I can feel his concern for me push to the forefront.

  I blush, “Yeah.”

  This only makes him frown more, but before he can reply a voice rings out, “Mr Smith, Miss Jenks, what is the meaning of this?”

  Miss Damon is standing in the door way, hands on hips, surveying the scene. Her lips purse when she sees me and Jack standing alone in the middle of the hall. I can hear her misinterpreting the scene and I quickly pull away from Jack and lean instead on the nearest wall.

  “I asked you a question.” She snaps.

  I answer before anyone else can; they all seem to be waiting for my reply anyway, “I just fainted, miss. I fell and sprained my wrist.” My wrist does only feel sprained now. I can see her looking for any hint of a lie on my face, but I’m a better liar than the average high school student.

  Everyone frozen on the stairs are all staring at me in shock, unable to understand why I didn’t rat out Katrina.

  Out of the corner of my eye I catch someone else freezing. Having somehow made her way down the stairs, Jess is tying to slip out of a side door.

  She is now staring at me along with everyone else, but with a confusing mixture of shock, anger, gratitude and guilt – she thinks I probably should have told on Katrina, but she’s grateful that I didn’t and feels guilty that I did her a favour after what she did, or rather, Katrina did.

  I glace back at Jess. I’m not doing it for her.

  Miss Damon finally finishes her assessment of me and asks, “Do I need to send you to the nurse’s office?”

  “No miss, I’m fine now, really.” I answer, a little too quickly, my attention flicking back to the teacher.

  She narrows her eyes again, but lets it go. Turning to our gawping spectators she says, “Well, what are you all staring at? Get to class.” To emphasise her point the bell rings and people start to shuffle reluctantly in different directions, like ants leaving a nest.

  Miss Damon stalks off and Jack comes back to my side. I push away from the wall and Jack reaches out a hand to catch my elbow and steady me. I lean on him for a second longer, just because I like the feel of his skin on mine.

  “I’m fine now.” I repeat and pull away.

  He shakes his head, “No, you need to get to hospital. Just to check everything’s still working.” He adds when I start to tell him I’m not hurt.

  I protest anyway, “Look, I’ve got a headache, that’s all. I don’t need to go to hospital.”

  Jack looks at me like I’ve hit my head too hard, “Cathy,” he says slowly; a thrill goes through me when he says my name, “You just fell from two stories up. You need to go to hospital.” I can’t really argue with that, I’m about to try anyway, but the whispers are already starting to spread around me and I can see the fugitive looks being cast in my direction, some slightly fearful. In no time the whole school will have heard. The idea of the whole school knowing about my super-human feat sends a shiver down my spine. So much for my normal last couple of weeks, at the moment it’s fixing up to be the weirdest couple of weeks I’ve had. And that’s saying something.

  For that reason, I let Jack drag me – by my good wrist – out to the car park. I send an apologetic look over my shoulder at a glaring Chrissie, still stuck on the stairs.

  I wonder for a moment if we’re taking my Mini, but Jack leads me over to a flash blue BMW, the colour reminds me of his eyes. Everything seems to remind me of his eyes. Nothing can quiet compare to the real thing though.  Shut up! Just shut up about his eyes!

  I goggle at him when he pulls out a set of keys and opens the doors of the car.

  Jack looks up and with a warning looks says, “Get in.”

  I manage to shut my mouth before doing as he says. I’d thought I’d had a good car. No, I correct myself; I thought I was the only fifteen year old with a car. But no expensive BMW can beat me Mini.

  Still, the words leave my mouth, “Nice car.”

  “Thanks.”

  We’re silent while Jack backs out of his space. I can feel the damn pink elephant sneaking in again, like it tends to do when all the unspoken questions fill the air.

  In an attempt to shove it out of the car, I say, “So, how come you’ve got a car?” In my head I groan; small talk has never really been my thing.

  Jack raises an eyebrow and throws my own question right back at me,  “How come you’ve got a car?”

  Damn. “Err... To get around?” I say it like a question and curse myself for sounding so unsure.

  “Really? You don’t live that far from school.”

  “Well, my whole life doesn’t revolve around school-” I break off and stare at him suspiciously, “How do you know where I live?”

  It’s his turn to look uncomfortable, “I’ve seen you getting in your car; I drive past on my way to school.”

  “Hmm.” I’m not totally convinced, but I let it slide. I reach out instinctively with my left hand to open a compartment, but a pain shoots down my arm.

  I bite my lip and examine my wrist. It looks like I’ve sprained it. I’m sure my body could have fixed it if it’d wanted to, but I think it’d decided it’s had enough healing for one day. I can see bruises growing blue and purple where my arm was broken. I poke them and wince. I know I look childish, but I haven’t had a bruise for a while, so there’s something strangely fascinating about it.

  “Stupid wrist.”

  Jack stares at me, “You’re lucky it’s only your wrist, and it only looks sprained, I thought it was broken.” He frowns as he says it, “You could have died, you know. You should have died.”

  I fold my arms over my chest, ignoring the protests from my wrist, “Oh, that’s nice.” I say sarcastically, “I should be dead; that’s really what I want to hear. Whoopee for me.”

  “Sorry,” Jack winces, “I... I mean, I just stood there and watched you fall and there was nothing I could do. All I could think was ‘she’s going to die’. And then, there you were, looking as if all you’d done was slip over.”

  I can feel myself soften, “Ah, you were worried.” He shoots me a look, but I smile. He so was worried.

  “Why didn’t you say anything? To Miss Damon?”

  I sigh, “What was I meant to say? If I’d told her the truth she would have thought I was lying; one, she’d believe Katrina over me, and two, if I had really been pushed from two stories up I should have been writhing in agony, or just plain dead.”

  Jack shoots me an ‘I told you so’ look, but he accepts my answer. “You know, you’re very calm about all this.”

  “Denial?” I suggest, but Jack is still watching me closely, so I shrug, “My life’s weird. I’ve had a couple of near death experiences before and it looks like I’m pretty hard to kill.” He doesn’t know the half of it.

  “What about Katrina?”

  “What about her?”

  “Are you just going to let her get away with-”

  “Attempted murder?” I suggest. He shrugs. “It’s not going to do any good. If I’d have died, then I’d have happily let you condemn her, but I can’t do anything if she’s only given me a sprained wrist. Anyway, there’s no evidence.”

  “What about all the witnesses?”

  I send him a withering look, “Oh, come on, how many of the people there are going to go against Katrina? One or two social rejects that have nothing to loose, maybe.”

  Jack opens his mouth, but I get there first, “No, I’m no telling anyone. If you want to, go ahead, but it would be a bit pointless without me agreeing with you.” He doesn’t know how to reply and I smile widely.

  “Katrina will be smug as hell tomorrow.” Jack sighs deeply.

  “I know, but that’s tomorrow, tomorrow can wait.”

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