My entry chapter 2 for the Write Branches Competition. Enjoy!


1. Postcard

Izalla burnt her fingers on Sunday, so feeling pretty sorry for herself she shoved her foot down and turned up the sypathy. In other words, with a few tears and the repetition of, "I'll be okay, but it really hurts," in a sort of martyr like style, she managed to escape school.

School, for Izalla was sort of like riding a bicycle up a hill... backwards. She hated school, mostly because she somehow didn't fit in. Her life was like a broken compass - she had the material for things to work, and there was no reason that it shouldn't, but for some reason she couldn't find the right direction. Her Father said to go into Law, her Aunt said Medicine was the way, her Uncle thought the business world would fit her perfectly. No one stooped to consider that since she was 'so smart' she might actually be able to figure out what to do for her self - no one stooped down to say, "What would you like, Izalla?"

So instead of boring her time taking three sciences, extreme maths and staring at a computer screen looking for mistakes, she was at home sitting in a onesie with the telly turned up to full blast and a Domino's Pizza on the way.

Man, didn't she love Dad's apartment?

Which tore her thoughts and emotions from the old cowboy movie on the screen and reminded her of how her first sight of Dad had thrown her off guard: His hair had grown - and he had obviously let it - and it was now slicked back with some strong smelling, extremely expensive hair gell. He had a very handsome stubble, and the ever so slightly round belly had gone and been replaced with a flat stomach and muscles popping out from beneath his shirt. If he wasn't her Father, and the geeky business guy that she knew he was, Izalla would have classed him as... well, hot! But her Father being 'hot' was like saying 'pigs don't smell'. It seemed really impossible without a lot of work. So, immediately, she smelled a rat. And likely a female rat at that. A very attractive female rat. And being Izalla, who was very protective of her Father, she did not like what seemed to be going on.

Had her Dad really found a woman? It was a really horrible, unbearable thought, but it had been so long, it was very possible that he had found a woman. But she couldn't bare to think much more on the subject, so she switched the channels on the TV in the hope to find something that would distract her.

The News seemed interesting enough, they were showing a live chase of some guy speeding in a car. But soon it changed to the weather, and after that they moved to the news reporter. But that wasn't what made Izalla gasp. It was that on the woman's shirt was a very unusual pin. Actually, it was the very symbol that had been on the wall and in the clouds.

It was the very symbol that made her head start spinning and her nerves shoot lighting through her body.

It was the very symbol that made her heart thump hard against her rib cage.

Izalla turned off the TV. She couldn't take the lighting in her body and pretty soon there'd be thunder if she saw that symbol again. It scared her, but she could hardly believe that what had happened on the train was real. It wasn't a dream - instead, she was living the nightmare. Or at least, pretty soon would be.


The buzzer rang, sending Izalla's body from the couch into the air.

"How much more of this tension can I take!" Izalla yelled, glaring at the now red buzzer and still ringing. She marched over.

"Pizza delivery?" some guy on the other end of the intercom said. Izalla grinned, and let him on up. She needed a pizza more than she needed an explanation for everything that had happened over the last few days.

Soon she was sitting on the couch eating the Pizza straight out of it's cardboard box and spilling cheese down the front of her onesie. It felt good to be disgusting... When no one was looking, of course. Eventually indigestion had crawled it's way through her stomach, so after groaning and rolling around she heard the letter box open and close. Something had obviously just come through the door, which was odd. The postman should have come and gone ages ago, it was now quarter past twelve, according to her watch. She swung her legs down onto the carpet, and doubled over as she made her way to the door.

It was a post card, addressed to her. She flipped it over.

Her heart thumped even harder and all the lights went out.

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