In The Sky

My entry for the chapter two of the branch movella :) See the competition page of the first chapter :D

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1. Chapter 2 - The Curtain of Black Hair

 

   'Did I do that?’ The question repeated over and over in Izalla’s mind until the words became a muddled mess; showing a credible answer was impossible. She had now stepped off the train and was just sitting and contemplating her actions at the entrance to the main station. Her Dad would be here soon and, like always, they would have a deep conversation about the world’s workings, so maybe the event that had just occurred could side-step its way in.

 

  Looking up, the woman she had seen earlier was still fiddling with her phone on the bench opposite. Was she waiting for someone too? It must be just a coincidence that they were heading on the same train of thought. During the journey, the stranger had been forced to take the window seat just in front of Izalla, so she could see her face from her own space. After the unexpected blackout, she was still playing on her mobile like nothing had happened. Even though many had dismissed it as a ‘rare phenomenon’, like a sudden solar eclipse, whispers fluttered up and down the aisles. A child cried hysterically into his Mother’s lap for the final minutes of the trip and some teenagers joked about how they all jumped on top of one another. A few moments after the lights came back on, the speakers on the train grumbled as low voice announced, “We apologise for the slight delay, but we entered a tunnel which caused an electrical disturbance. Our journey will remain on schedule and we hope to arrive shortly.” There was never a tunnel there before, Izalla thought, but it had been a year since she’d been on this trip and builders can work fast when the money says so.

 

   A glass hexagon clung to the ceiling, showing the London pigeons and sapphire sky that Izalla was all too familiar with. Glancing up, she saw an ivory cloud soar smoothly past the window and she merged them into the hieroglyph in her mind. This had to be implanted into her memory until she could grab a computer to research it. She couldn’t allow herself to forget anything she had seen today, especially not that symbol. Nevertheless, the strange woman pushed her every thought aside once again.

 

   Staring at the curtain of black hair, she took her attention off of her phone and glared at Izalla. However, neither broke their eye contact. As if reading her mind, she answered Izalla’s burning question, “It was a Cloud Concealment; totally normal but very rare.” And back she went to tapping the large screen constantly.

 

   Izalla knew that ‘rare’ and ‘normal’ could not sit together in the same sentence and a Cloud Concealment sounded utterly unreasonable. Izalla put the lame answer down to her trying to look clever and perhaps attempting to ease the tension from their awkward eye contact. But why would you say something like that for a stranger? Izalla just had this deep feeling in her mind that she knew her from somewhere.

 

   At least all of this thinking had distracted her from the throbbing recollection of her claustrophobia, as the crowd bustled around her. After about ten minutes of furiously fighting the questions in her head, the large clock on the wall announced that it was one o’clock and, right on time, a sweaty hand patted her shoulder. Smiling, she turned, expecting to see her Father, but this journey was full of unanticipated surprises. Dark brown eyes with an orange tint met her own silvery grey ones and a piercing warning sound rang in her head. She couldn’t move from his gaze.

 

   A low voice bubbled from inside of him, escaping from his mouth along with vulgar breath, “Izalla Lys, you must come with us at once.” The school must have found out that she was here, but she hadn’t told a soul who could blab. Plus, these weren’t the usual teachers sent to pick her up after her visits. An unusually shaped object bulged from the man’s jacket. A gun? Was she getting kidnapped? Before she could listen to her natural warning bells, she was being pulled to her feet. Down to an instinct, she raised her head for help towards the clear hexagon, hoping that someone would see her discomfort and run to her aid. The cloud she had been concentrating on before had suddenly turned against her, widening and blackened in the sky. Obscuring her view, darkness was falling again and only a few things were in her sight. The man and the dark haired woman were all she could see now.

 

   Before she succumbed to the night, she felt some strong arms grab her from behind, their long nails cutting deep into her skin. She would've screamed in pain if she wasn't stunned in silence at the presence of this terrifying man. A thread of black hair hit her cheek like a whip. It was the stranger. Why was she helping me? Izalla mumbled in her head, where all her thoughts seemed to be spinning wildly, but she wasn't complaining as she had no clue what was happening. This man was dangerous and it was all because of her stupid impulse to touch that hieroglyph. The dark concealed her vision and he pushed the woman’s arms away, enclosed his wings around her. The sky went black.

 

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