Author Note: Hello Everybody! This is my first time ever on Movellas, so please be nice while I try to figure out how to post things.
If you want to read my fanfiction, it's on www.Fanfiction.net . Just search up a-scarlet-scarf.
Cassia crawled slowly out of the ventilation system, her face covered in dirt, and her arms full of lost toys and books. The kids in the orphanage cheered as their lost items were recovered, and each of them handed her one little cent for a lost item. Cassia was practically rich, now, with $20.13.
It didn’t all come from just the kids, of course. Working part-time as a gardener for Mrs. Smilde down the street earned her five dollars a month. Playing marbles had earned her two dollars by betting, and, for thirteen dollars, normal folk could get Cassia to do their mortgage repayments.
She’d only done one mortgage payment, for obvious reasons.
Yes, Cassia was an extraordinary girl. However, she was just an orphan, and any orphan at Mrs. Helgec’s Orphanage knew that they were doomed to scrub the floors, eat off dirty dishes, and have two working toilets until they either were adopted, or died. Mrs. Helgec didn’t care if you were smart, didn’t care if you had talent, didn’t care if you had an incurable disease; if you were there, you were scum.
Cassia was there now, at the orphanage. She was hissing swears at Mrs. Helgec, who had just thrown a rotten banana on the floor, stepped on it, and demanded it to be picked up.
No one was going to do it voluntarily, of course, so Mrs. Helgec chose herself. And, of course, she chose Cassia.
Not Sammy, who was trying to find his glasses, which sat upon his head. Not Jillie, whose voice was like poison to ears. Not Emmet, who was trying to make a hat out of his bowl, and getting gruel all over his hair. No, she chose Cassia.
Cassia didn’t deny to herself that she was smart. But what she couldn’t understand was why some people had the worst kind of attitude. Couldn’t they just, you know, -poof- and turn good?
No, Cassia thought, No they couldn’t. Some people were just bad, and Mrs. Helgec’s soul was like the smushed, brown banana on the floor.
“Well, Missus Caah-seeee-ahh, won’t you finish up the job?” Mrs. Helgec had a smooth, honey-sweet voice, but with a horrifying undertone; sort of like one of those nasty egg cookies, buttered with so much chocolate and honey, but still disgusting.
Cassia gritted her teeth.
“Ms. Cassia, won’t you be a dear and wash the dishes too? Oh, yes. Everyone, give their dishes to our little Cassia.”
Cassia could murder the woman, but then, unnecessary complications would follow. She did survey the room, and found multiple murder weapons.
The knives hanging right behind her, adjacent to the kitchen door would work just great.
“Cah-sia the maa-aiid! Cassia’s a maa-aaid!” A snobby voice shouted out, pointing to Cassia.
Ooh, that Jillie Frindelmon was asking to be punched. Or at least slapped.
Crack! In her frustration, Cassia had dropped a plate. Jillie shouted out,
“Hey look, everyone. Cassia dropped a plate!”
As if that wasn’t totally obvious.
“Cassiaa’s a maa-aid, that can’t even woo-ork.”
It echoed around the room.
“Cassia the maa-aid, that can’t even woo-ork.”
“Cassia the maa-aid, that can’t even woo-ork.”
“Cassia the maa-aid, that can’t even woo-ork.”
Mrs. Helgec smirked and tossed her platinum blonde hair behind her shoulder, and examining her nails.
“EVERYONE, SHUT UP!”
Cassia was furious. The dishes and dirty banana were discarded on the floor, with a clatter. This happened often, and Cassia finally had snapped.
“Every single one of you, every single dirty one of you, couldn’t hold a candle up to the way I see the world. You lot are about as smart as the banana on the floor, with no one noticing anything! You all think you’re so great, carrying yourself on such a high horse. Let me tell you, every single one of you are idiots!”
She whirled on Sammy.
“Your stupid glasses are on your head, and I’m not even going start on how you don’t feel the pressure on your head. Judging from the state of your pants, you’ve lost your belt. Your shoelaces are missing, probably caught in the thornbushes outside, and your hair has glue in it!”
Jillie opened her mouth to say something, but Cassia turned on her.
“And you, you vile, disgusting, thing. You just, aaargh! You make my blood boil. You’re cruel, mean, a pig slathered in lipstick!”
And so it continued, until Cassia was face-to-face with Mrs. Helgac herself.
Mrs. Helgac sniffed. And tossed her hair.
“Yes, me. Dahling, do you think there would be anyone else?”
“Hm. Not so smart after all, are we?”
Cassia hated how Mrs. Helgac talked. Hated the way she could twist your own words into knots.
Hated that Mrs. Helgac was just as smart as she was.
Breathing in slowly, she recollected her thoughts.
“You. Are a monster.”
With that, she turned around, and darted out of the ajar orphanage door.
* * * *
Cassia was in a park. She didn’t know where in the city it was, but it was a park.
Not the fun kind of park, the kind of park where people, mostly adults, milled around aimlessly.
She sat down on a bench, and saw a woman asking her two-year-old son where his boo-boo was. He was crying uncontrollably, and so could not answer her.
Cassia tried not to feel too annoyed by the mother’s stupidity, but after a few fruitless moments, Cassia got up, and walked toward the mother.
“The inside of his leg is raw, because of the friction created from his bare skin rubbing on the plastic bench. His shin is hurt, probably the right one, judging from the way he’s leaning on his left leg. He banged it when he rolled off the edge. Use heat for the raw skin, but use ice for the shin.”
The mother’s jaw was slack, and she looked at Cassia in shock.
“How-how do you know this?”
“Anyone with eyes could see his knees are red, and his Best Bargain shorts are no comfort whatsoever. Also, like I said before, he’s limping on his left leg, and I can see the bruise forming on his leg!”
The mother, opened and closed her mouth, but did turn her son around and acknowledge the red skin on the inside of his knee. She opened her mouth again.
“Don’t thank me.” Cassia turned, and left.
As she strolled through the park, she noticed something strange.
Konnie Denway, one of the most popular (and scandalous) movie actresses in the business, was walking on the street. Surrounded by security guards, and paparazzi, the star was wearing long black boots topped with a short, black dress.
Cassia studied her. Mrs. Helgac adored Konnie Kenway, from her long blond locks to her tanned toes. Konnie, Cassia had noted, had a small birthmark on the right side of her neck. Konnie loved that birthmark, said the tabloids, as it was shaped most curiously like a pretty crescent. It was a light red color.
Wait a minute…
The birthmark was on Konnie’s left side. Or, at least, the Konnie across the street.
Cassia’s eyes were very sharp, but even so, she told herself she was just over-thinking things. Maybe the tabloids got it wrong.
So, she came up with a plan.
* * * *
“OMIGOSH! It’s Koh-niii Kenwaaaay!”
Cassia mixed right in with all the other people screaming in the mob of fans.
They were waving papers in the air, begging for autographs, screaming her famous quotes.
Cassia was elbowing her way to the front, with the similar style as all the other reporters around.
“Hello, Mrs. Kenway. I’m the reporter for the new issue of Starz Inside Info. I’d like to know why your birthmark changed places. “
Konnie looked at her coolly, and said:
“I never changed my birthmark.”
Cassia feigned shock.
“But the tabloids all say that your birthmark was your right side!”
Cassia already knew “Konnie” was lying.
“Don’t always believe what you read, thank you very much, and bye.”
With that, she and her bodyguards (who were buff as heck,) stalked away quickly.
Not before Cassia noticed that the birthmark wasn’t the right color.
Konnie’s birthmark was light red, like a blood vessel. This Konnie had a birthmark dark as the dirt under Cassia’s shoe.
Something wasn’t right.
* * *
It was very fun to knock out Konnie’s secretary. She squeaked like a mouse, but one quick smack cut her short. Cassia had no problem whatsoever with that one blow.
“Sorry.” Cassia smiled sweetly, stole her clothes, and walked down the hallway in the secretary’s clothes. She left her map of the ventilation in the building behind, in case Konnie’s guards searched her.
Cassia’s hair perfectly matched, and from the way the secretary squeaked, Cassia could speak with the exact same nervous, fluttery, New Yorkian accent.
Turning a sharp corner, Cassia bumped straight into Konnie.
And promptly spilled Konnie’s coffee onto her designer shirt.
“Oh-mah gosh! I’m so sorry mahm! I didn’t see ya there! I hope your okay, mahm!”
Konnie gaped in horror at her shirt, then lifted her head in anger at Cassia.
“You little imbecile! Look what you did to my shirt! Look at that stain! Oh my god, I’ll need a new one! I liked this a lot! There are a million girls who’d love your job and you...”
Konnie was shrieking at the top of her lungs, turning purple, and had an enormous coffee stain on the front of her shirt.
Cassia tried hard not to laugh, and tried to look sorry and scared.
She failed miserably.
“Hahaha! Look at your facial expression! Oh, that was priceless. If only the paparazzi saw that…” Cassia trailed off as she looked at Konnie’s tomato red face.
Konnie was breathing rapidly.“Why you little...GUARDS! AFTER HER!”
Cassia had already ran halfway down the hallway. Konnie did have a big studio, and Cassia had no idea how to get out.
If only she’d kept the ventilation map!
The security guards were gaining on her. She looked behind her, and yelped.
The guards were holding large guns, meant to kill. They stopped, and Cassia felt relieved as the footsteps behind her lessened.
She stopped too, only to break out into another run as she heard the guards cock the guns.
“Oi! I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to shoot at a-”
Cassia was cut off by a series of gunshots. She screamed, then swerved a sharp left, into an empty room. She quietly closed and locked the door, then looked around.
There was a closet at the far corner. Cassia knew there was probably no way out of it, no escape route. However, it was her best shot, and Cassia knew that.
Gunshots rang out outside the room, and Cassia darted into the closet.
It was dark in the closet. Dark and chilly. It was a large walk-in closet, with room for Cassia to move around. She couldn’t see anything, though, so she decided to stay put.
Cassia collected her thoughts. This wasn’t Konnie, but this was Konnie’s studio.
Whoever was impersonating her was doing a marvelous job.
Were the guards in on it?
Who was paying her?
Almost immediately, Cassia dug out a matchbox from a purse she had stolen from Konnie’s original secretary. She always had the matches, ever since she nicked the little box from Mrs. Helgac. They, among other useful tidbits, used to be kept in a jacket pocket, but Cassia liked the purse more.
She struck a match, and a small circle of light sprang up. Cassia swept the match around her, carefully inching her other hand an inch before the match, as she didn’t want to set anything on fire. She walked forward, sweeping her hand and her match all the way. Suddenly, her hand collided with something metal.
“Ouch!” Cassia pulled her hand back. It throbbed with pain, and Cassia winced.
What was that?
Cassia held the match closer to where her hand was hit.
An iron bar was on the wall, with rungs attached to it. It was clearly a ladder, and it led to somewhere. Cassia looked up, holding her match up too. She couldn’t see anything.
Frustrated, Cassia looked around until she found a chair. Then, she snapped a leg off, and lit the leg on fire. She did have to use two more matches, but at least she could see better. Lifting up the torch to the ceiling, Cassia squinted.
At the top of the ceiling, a wheel was connected to a hub, which was closed tightly. Cassia guessed that if the wheel was spun the right way, the hub would open, giving her a great getaway.
Feeling proud, Cassia stepped back, and leaned her torch against the metal wall. She could see the ladder and the wheel perfectly now, and was on the first rung.
Crash! The door of the closet smashed open. Light was pouring in, and the guards had no trouble at all finding Cassia. They sprinted to her, covering 50 meters in seconds.
Trembling with fear, but seeing fine now, Cassia reached down and threw her makeshift torch at one of the guards. He went down screaming, but the other two guards didn’t even bat an eye. Simultaneously aiming their guns at Cassia, who was climbing up the ladder, they knelt down into a crouch.
Cassia jumped up to the last rung of the iron ladder, scaling it like a monkey. As she got to the top, she found a loose bolt on the ladder. Unscrewing it, she took it completely off, struck a match on it, and flung it at the guards. Momentarily stunned, the guards were slightly confused. The clothes around them caught fire, prompting them to put it out. Cassia took this opportunity to turn the wheel. It opened the hub, and she threw it open.
Daylight filtered in, and Cassia smiled in relief as she pushed herself up. She swung one leg over, and was about to be free, when-
Bang! A bullet seared into Cassia’s left leg.
Screaming in pain, Cassia’s grip on the handlebars next to the hub was slipping. The world was growing fuzzy, but she could still feel white-hot pain burn every single nerve in her left calf. Her voice was growing hoarse from screaming so much, and she was about to let herself fall. Faintly, she could hear more bullets zing past her, and she felt another go into her leg.
Suddenly, two hands closed around Cassia’s hands, wait, no, more hands, and pulled Cassia up.
“Oh my, her leg!”
“The poor, poor, thing!”
“What was she doing down there?”
“Close the hub!”
Cassia’s head hurt, and she couldn’t stay conscious any longer. Letting go of her grip on reality, she let herself slowly drift off.