The room was dark, darker than I had imagined it to be, I could barely see the girl that was in front of me, the one I was supposed to keep an eye on, till someone came to ask her questions. I sat with my clipboard my glasses resting nicely on my nose. “I need to tell you a story” The girl said her head dropped down as if mourning, her voice had the sound like she had been talking for days. I glanced over to the weary girl shaking my head a bit “I am not authorized to interrogate you” I said looking back to my clipboard, trying to ignore her, it would be for the best, she might just trying to get under his skin…or not. “This is an important story, I was running for a long time, I still am, this needs to be told” She said, lifting her head pleading, her voice sounding a bit stronger, her eyes shining light brown her short brown hair showing signs of unevenly growing out and edges of dyes. She had her hands tied behind her, her eyes had large bags underneath them and signs of wear on her clothes, the original colors lost. “Fine…” I said adjusting my glasses, my curiosity peaking at the same time, looking at the clipboard once more “Miss. Erylis, tell me your story then”
Erylis sat alone on some bleachers that looked down upon a football field that was surrounded by a black track field. Sitting on Erylis’ lap was a blue lunch box with her lunch of sandwiches and fruits. In her hand was a water bottle, she occasionally took drinks of. It was fairly this April afternoon, all the other students were either in the lunch room or at the tables set just outside the doors. The weather was nice, a few clouds blocking the sun for short moments before it shone back over the field.
“Elli!” Erylis heard a male voice from behind her a few moments later. Turning around she saw her friend, Alex, much taller than her, walking up to her at a brisk pace sitting down right next to her and his elbows on his knees “What are you doing way out here?” Erylis smiled a bit taking another drink of her water “Just eating lunch in peace and quiet. What are you doing out here?” She asked back setting her water bottle down and sitting in a similar fashion to Alex. “Finding you, the lunch table is really boring today, thought I would hang out with you today” He said looking out to the football field smiling ever so slightly. Erylis smiled back “So you searched everywhere just to find me?”
“Nah, too much work. I asked some of the kids outside if they saw you”
“Ah because they always tell the truth, don’t they?”
That was how that lunch continued. Idle chatting with no propose but to talk. It was also how most their lunches went, whether it was in the lunch room or outside somewhere. It always got interrupted at one point, even if they didn’t want it to.
"You sound like you are just telling me things that are not important" I said, it was a poorly thought out sentence, my mind was still trying to figure out what the purpose of telling me her high school life, or it was that by the looks of her age and how she had said she interacted with her 'friend' "It is, if you ever watch TV, you would know beginnings are just as important" Did she just snap at me? I asked myself blinking in quiet astonishment. Never mind that. She had to continue if she still wanted to. My minute of silence seemed to get her going again, as she took a deep breath to continue
"Can i ask you a question?" Alex said walking beside Erylis heading down to the bus after school had ended for the weekend to start "Do you want to go by the river tomorrow? So far it is just Kade and his girlfriend, i am sure they are just going to be kissing the entire time" Erylis looked over a single eyebrow raised up in suspicion, making Alex wave his hands a bit "Not like that! I also invited James, Kaylee, and Mark to come along." Erylis turned her head back facing forward putting her hand up to her chin as if thinking, though it was obvious she had made her decision already "Sure, tomorrow right? What time?"
"I'll just pick you up in the morning, Kade is driving all of us down in the morning so i will tell him to make an extra stop"
"Oh what happened at the river?" I asked writing a few things down, like a estimated age: most likely younger then 16, since there was a lack of her own car in the story, and older then 13 since it was clear that she was in High-School before the incident. "I was getting to that, wow you are impatient." She replied, a soft groan in frustration escaping her lips
"...And i have to get home at 10:00" Mark said sitting beside Erylis with Kaylee on her other side. Kade and his girlfriend, apparently named 'Ella', were sitting in the front seat their fingers intertwined as Kade drove with one hand. Alex and James were seated just behind the driver and passenger seats more comfortable then Erylis squished in the middle. "Ok, what time are we going to get there?" Alex asked his arms resting comfortable on the arm rests.
"Around 8:00, so more then 12 hours at the river. Did anyone remember to bring food?" Silence was the answer to that question. 6 pairs of eyes looking directly at Kade wondering if he was joking or not. With a quick laugh from Kade, the heavy air was lifted and everyone joined in, though everyone's laugh was a bit more nervous.
"Do you want me to skip the trip as well, i am surprised you didn't interrupt yet" She said, he could tell just by the way she sounded that she had most likely rolled her eyes. I went busy to writing more things down including guesses on which part she was getting at, he knew there were steps to a weapon, at least he observed it. First they find out, then they react in the way that was unique to each person, he hadn't been able to find out a strict pattern, next was then with a basic acceptance, the knowing that there wasn't anything to change the events, then react again in mostly the same fashion. "Hello? Are you awake over there, or did my voice put you to sleep" I took a deep breath, she's starting to annoy me "I am still awake, just thinking about you unique case. Continue on, i will try not to interrupt" That seemed to satisfy her, there was a squeak from the chair as she leaned back to be more comfortable "Well we spent most of the day at the lake, sometimes hiking, At sunset we..."
"Elli!" Kaylee said from across the creek, the sun sinking just askew from her, sending a glow to the landscape and the shallow creek "Come across! James made a fire for marshmallows!" Smiling happily, Erylis rolled up her pants and waded across in her just barely dried shoes, now getting wet all over again. She was looking at her feet till she got to the other side, to see Kaylee gone, going off to the fire. Looking around, Erylis saw her by a tree impatience masking any other emotions. "Hurry!" Erylis picked up her pace, letting her pant legs fall as far as they would go, she ended up running.
They got to the small camp fire with everyone circling it on some rocks found. Mark looked over "Hey Alex, your girlfriend is finally here" He said in a teasing matter. Erylis balled her fists up pursing her lips "I am not his girlfriend, you should know that better then anyone" She said knowing fully that Mark has known Alex for at least a year. But he continued anyways "Alex, don't you think she is cute angry like that?"
"She said stop" Alex said looking over to Mark a bit of annoyance on his face as well. Erylis took a deep breath and walked over sitting by mark whispering to him "I would shut your face if i were you" was what she said standing up and walking to another empty rock to sit down, leaving Mark to be quiet. It was more light in the conversations after that. Till it got late enough that they had to clean up. Heading back over to the car in a slow pace laughing and talking, then it got quiet. Alex and Erylis were left in the back while the others were ahead "Sorry about mark" Alex said rubbing the back of his head looking up at the starts, millions of them visible for the night "It's fine" Erylis grumbled perking up to listen when she heard mark say to the others "Looks like the lovebirds wanted to be alone" There were a few more comments by the others, Erylis didn't hear them. She stomped forward quickly turning Mark around. She meant to slap him, but with a small purple light from her hand she didn't hear the slapping sound. Instead Mark screamed in pain holding his cheak. Did she slap him that hard? A few drops of blood hitting the ground made her look at her hand, her fingers looked welded together, but it wasn't flesh...it was metal. It was pointed and Mark's blood had stained the edges. With a loud scream from herself she backed away her eyes wide with horror from both what she did and the fact she couldn't move her hand at all other then where it connected at the wrist.
"Now we are at the juicy part. Are you happy now" She asked her voice still annoyed a bit, but there was a bit of....what was that? Uncertainty? "So you attacked your friend?" I asked trying to get a answer "Y-Yes" She stammered a small echo in the room made me realize that she had started to cry. Oops.
"Look i said i was sorry" I said my annoyance with the girl growing as the minutes passed with nothing from her. "I heard you, don't think i am yet able to push past it, he had to get stitches, i don't know how many" Was she going to continue her story now? I asked myself looking over in anticipation for her to continue. What makes her story appeal to me? Shaking my head I just listened, but she didn't speak any more. I closed my eyes and leaned against the wall wishing someone would come. Anyone. The moments of quiet brought someone else to the room. Tall, the only thing visible was his white mask. I knew who he was Death, why was he here for just a rebellious teenager? It seemed awfully strange to me, but that wasn't important right now. "Your story was very interesting" His voice was cheerful, it makes me cringe a bit, it was to cheerful for someone like him to have "Why don't you continue. And maybe we can get out of the dark place. Who put you here anyhow? No matter, You, come untie her, she doesn't need to be treated like a criminal" I was stunned by his fast talking, i could barely keep up. Anyways, I walked over to her untying her arms and legs, she stood up only moments after, waiting for me to get up before she landed a solid smack "Don't ever say the things you did again" She said her brown eyes lite up with anger.
We ended up going to a small room, Death any myself talking on the way about the story, he had been listening for a while now, and made some of the same observations as myself, but only one thing was different, he said that her name was probably not Erylis and commented on what everyone in the story had been calling her. It was some food brought that made me realize how hungry the girl was, and the light that made me realize how strong she must be to land that solid of a hit with being so worn out. "Now continue your story, this seems like a better place to be" She swallowed some food and shook her head a bit "First tell me where i am, since you most likely have a better idea then Einstein over here" I glared, even if I shouldn't have, I did so. Death seemed to be unfazed by this, simply answering her question "You are in the DWMA right now, it is closer to the school so i can talk to you a bit easier. And it is the safest place in Death City" He sounded like he was bragging at that point, but the girl seemed satisfied leaning back with her legs crossed "Fine" She didn't seem happy that she was there even if she was satisfied by the answer.
Erylis woke up a while later, how long? She had no clue, but she was in her bed at her house. Shooting up, she looked at her hands, normal. Thank goodness. It was back to normal. She took in a big breath exhaling it slowly wondering if it was all a dream. It had to be right? She slowly got up, she was in new clothes, probably because the other ones were to wet. She walked to her door and peered downstairs listening to the voices.
"Honey, we talked about this many times, she had to go" She heard her father say the sound of waving papers traveling up the stairs "I-i know, but she is my little girl, i can't let her go yet!" Her mother replied quickly, her pacing footsteps clear. "I'm sorry but right now she needs this, we will see her again, I think they have breaks" What were they talking about? She listened closer but the rest of their conversation was meaningless details to her. Nothing about what it was or the name. So she snuck back to her bed and laid down closing her eyes. She waited till night to get up, tip-toeing down the stairs to the counter looking for anything out of the ordinary. That is when she saw it. A pamphlet like thing on the counter with large words saying DWMA and a strange school with a skull on it, and giant candles sticking from the sides. She carefully opened it reading through it quickly, taking it all in. No. She wasn't going to go there. It was stupid. She didn't belong where they were. Dropping the pamphlet she raced up the stairs not caring if anyone heard. She blocked her door with a chair and sat by he closet door. She wasn't a hero, or anything that could become one. She didn't know anyone who was going. Her mind escalated Erylis' thoughts till she stood up and grabbed a backpack shoving clothes in and then changing into clothes with a good pair or walking shoes. She took the chair from the door and went where her parents kept their emergency money, grabbing about 100 dollars. She was going to leave her friends anyhow, but she wasn't about to go to some school like she was some freak. She walked back up to her room and did the classic bed lumps to make it look like she was sleeping, she didn't think it would work but she had always wanted to do that. Next she went back downstairs to the front door and then left running as fast as she can, hiding whenever cars came along.
"Ok, so why did you run away?" I asked raising an eyebrow at the seemingly irrational reason to run away from your home. "I ran away because I was going to a school that was specialized in people using people like myself to their advantage. I didn't like that idea" She replied crossing her arms "And i thought you weren't going to interrupt any more." I pursed my lips a bit, looking at Death to see if he was going to do anything, but he was just thinking by the looks of it "Ok, fine, sorry continue on"
It was dawn, at least 5 hours have passed, Erylis felt so tired, she wanted to drop, but she couldn't stop, her parents were still asleep and she wanted to get to a place she could hide easily. In a few days her parents would be able to file a missing person's report so she has to also be able to make herself look much different. Use her money to get a wig, or shave her head all together, possibly contacts. Make herself look so different that no one can recognize her.She ended up hitch hiking for the majority of the day, asking to get to cities that were close enough but far enough that it would be a great help. Now she was closer to Navada, no one would suspect she went closer to the DWMA, but she also went north just in case they did. She stopped in a fairly large town, just not to large that there were a major police system there. But she could blend in hopefully.
The next day she focused on getting a wig and contacts. She spent most of her money on that, though she guessed she would have just enough to make it by for food. Then after that she went job hunting, walking around to find anywhere that was hiring and writing it on a pen she asked if she could have and her receipts. She found out which jobs were hiring. The next day she applied for those jobs, setting up some interviews, and then carrying on.
"Now before you ask, my wig was black and long, my contacts were green." She said rolling her eyes shifting slightly in her seat. "And nothing important happened, other then the missing posters scattered loosely around the town. I got a job, survived, rented a room in a house, and was able to stay under the radar."
Erylis walked through through the crowded restaurant, a large plate holding many other smaller plates with food. She wore her work uniform, nothing to fancy in nature, her long black fake hair pulled up into a pony tail and her contacts placed. She was used to them now, they barely even bothered her like it did back when she first moved here. She stopped by a table setting down the plates in the appropriate spots "Here is your food, do you need anything else?" The people at the table thanked her and said no to her question, she walked back to the kitchen, grabbing some more food and then taking it to their respected tables. "Erylis, you have table 9 with a family of three" Someone said to her as she passed with an empty tray. She turned on her heals and walked over, grabbing her notepad as she passed so she could write any orders down. "Good evening, my name is Erylis, i will be your server, may i start you off with any drinks?" She scanned the table as each of them ordered nothing out of the ordinary, till her green eyes landed on a familiar face. What was he doing here? She asked herself shocked to see him here. Alex may blow her cover.
"So, Alex shows up out of the blue, you expect me to believe that?" I asked raising an eyebrow out of supisoin. She just brushed off my question about belief and nodded "Yes, Pay attention better" She scolded. "Why didn't he recognize your name when he heard it?" I asked hoping my question would bring out some truth, either it be a revision to her story or just a confession. "Because.....actually, figure it out" She said with a wink in my direction. Death, who had been listening the whole time in silence now spoke "Erylis isn't your real name?"
"Not at all" She said with a small laugh "Same letter at the beginning but other then that nothing alike"
"It's Elli isn't it?" I asked leaning forward and placing my elbows on my knees. Death had been right about Erylis not being her real name, he should have caught that. "Oh, and how did you come to that conclusion?" He asked looking over in my direction. It took me a moment to get my thoughts together to make it sound like my path to the conclusion was smarter then it actually was "I noticed that everyone called her that, even if it was a nickname, which was my original guess, it makes no sense that people who she doesn't seem super close with would call her that. And normally if someone has a nickname only one person uses it." She frowned, i must have got it right. Score one for me. I thought with a smirk "Fine, you're right, my legal name is Elli Lee Baker, congratulations, you figured it out, do you want a medal?" With a deep breath she continued "I changed it to Erylis because i wanted to avoid as much suspicion as possible, even with finger prints, which i was young enough when i ran away to not have them scanned, they would have trouble. Any finger prints you would find now in the government goes directly to Erylis Angel Smith" With a small pause, but not enough for myself or Death to comment she continued her story
Erylis said her usual work goodbyes to the last people in the restaurant smiling a bit that the shift was almost over, all that was left was cleaning. "You looked like you knew one of the family from earlier" One of the female waitresses commented clearing up a table. "I" Erylis started, she had to think of a lie quick, she never knew she would come face to face with one of her old friends. "We used to date, before i moved here, we had a really bad breakup" She said looking over but the other waitress was already gone. She pursed her lips and started to clean as well.
After the cleaning had been done, Erylis walked home, a wallet in her jacket pocket, her hair lay flat on her back now, glad to be done for the day. She kept walking till she ran into someone "Sorry!" She said stumbling back a bit and looking up. It was Alex, what was he doing here? "Are you Ok?" He asked looking over "Sorry I was thinking about some things" Erylis nodded a bit "You were at the restaurant earlier, what was your name?"
"Erylis, what about your name?
"Alex, by the way what are you doing out here so late?"
"Walking home, it isnt to far..."
"5 blocks" Alex nodded at the statement walking a bit "What are you doing?" I asked curiously looking over and following him "I am walking you home, it is to late for such a girl like you to be alone" Erylis was quiet after that, just walking beside Alex, it had been so long since she has done this, but she couldn't even talk to him like they used to. "You looked shocked to see me back there" Alex said "At the restaurant i mean" He finished putting his hands into his pockets, it was a lame attempt at small talk, but he has never been good at that "Oh, you look like an old boyfriend of mine" The biggest mistake she could make was changing stories, she had to keep it the same. "So i have a doppelganger" He looked at her as if waiting for something, Erylis just laughed a bit, it was her normal laugh, she couldn't help it, she found that funny. Suddenly, as if a switch had been turned on Alex swung around to block Erylis' path looking directly at her "Your name, the real one, what is it"
"No, I think it's Elli"
"It is Erylis, Elli was some girl who ran away some time ago"
"Do you play me for a fool Elli?" Erylis blinked a few times, he hadn't heard him say her name like that in a long time either, it was probably to get a reaction out of her "No, i promise you, i have had many people come up to me asking if I was her, i just look and sound like her apparently. I dont need to take this from some guy i just barely met, now leave me alone"
"Fine, you win, I guess I was just hoping that i would find her before she became a target of the DWMA, before she hurt someone"
"You did end up hurting people, though" I said accusingly. She looked away, obviously having trying to forget another thing "Yes, it wasn't my fault though" She said not looking back. I tried to find something else to talk about so i said "Why don't you skip to the part where you started it all?" I asked closing my eyes. She nodded in agreement though not looking back "About another half year went by, keep up that is one year total....I was packing my things to move out...."
Erylis packed the last of her clothes into her car, a lemon, something she bought for about 900 dollars and helped her host father fix it up. She had enough money to keep going till she had to stop and get a job again. But to long in one spot wasn't going to do to well. She had been growing her hair out for the past half a year to get it so she could just dye it in another town, she would still wear her contacts so it would be a bit harder while she got her hair dyed.
"Do you have enough food?" Asked her host mother worriedly
"Don't worry, i will be fine, i have to move anyways, i am going to school out west so i can get a better job, thank you for having me at your house, though" She said cheerfully closing her trunk and then walking to the diver's seat getting in "Bye" She then said turning on the car and then driving off. She was finally able to explore more. This would be nice.
She was driving for a while, she pulled off to a rest stop when it got dark, she wasn't going to start driving on the interstate overnight, so she cracked her windows and leaned her seat back closing her eyes to drift to sleep. Which didn't last long. Someone started to knock on her window. Erylis looked up and out to see a boy just a bit older then her, he looked hurt "Are you Ok?" She asked shocked sitting herself up. "Yeah, can you fight with a weapon?" He asked breathlessly. Erylis frowned confused. She shook her head a bit "Can you try? Please i need help"
"You sure you aren't trying to Mug me?"
"Yes, Please. Look, i promise you, if you can help me out....they're almost here, please!" Erylis unlocked her car and got out, she wasn't about to leave some injured guy to fend for himself "Thanks, now hold out your hand, doesn't matter how" Erylis frowned a bit but held her hand straight out and facing up. With a glow of purple, she recognized this purple, it scared her for a moment, a long staff-like thing was in her hand now, tipped with a thick sharp blade. "What.." She started shocked, he was a weapon, no wonder he was asking for help. "How do i use.....you?" she then asked not expecting an answer
"Whichever way you would like, just scare the guys after me, they think I was going to harm them" his voice came from the weapon. Erylis jumped a bit and put the staff in her hand in a sort of natural position waiting. It was a few moments before she saw a few men with machetes racing that direction.
"There's a girl there, maybe she knows where he went" One of them said pointing. The other nodded they walked forward "You, do you know where i young boy went?"
"Now!" The boy said from the weapon, Erylis, shocked swung the weapon on the blunt side and hitting one of them on the head knocking him out. Squeaking a bit she backed up, holding the weapon, or should she say boy, tight in her hands and close to her chest.. "Hey, you, why did you do that?" The other asked swinging his machete, "Go! You can't get killed now!" The boy said from the weapon very urgently. Erylis lifted the staff blocking the shot, making her stagger a bit but was able to push him back, somehow, thrusting the blade forward stabbing the guy in the stomach.