Emerald Eyes *SECOND DRAFT*

Magic. Madness. Heaven. Sin.

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3. Fiery Paper

They say everyone who looks into their family history will find a secret sooner or later- in my experience it's normally a nasty one. There are many things they've told me about my family I wish I didn't know. How my parents sold me to Opeh for extra money, my mother being a hooker, etcetera, etcetera.

Not nice stuff to know.

Everyone here is always telling me how lucky I am to have this life, but I don't feel lucky. How would you feel if you were cooped up in the same room all your life with days, sometimes weeks, of your life being erased from your memory? Pretty shit. Not much I can do about it though. There's no way to escape this place and Jago, my 'neighbor' and one of my only friends, tells me the last person that tried died. Got his head chopped off with a blunt axe, apparently.

I think I'd rather just stay here.

It's not that I don't want to go outside or anything. From what I've read and what Rida's taught me, it's sounds pretty damn good. I just fancy staying alive. And I guess that's the mentality that's kept me stuck in one room for eighteen years.

This one room is grey, furnished nothing but a bed. Books always have a habit of creating stacks all over the floor, which is grey (shockingly), and drawings coat the walls. An old scientist, Rida, manages to sneak me some art supplies every now and then. So my life is pretty much drawing and reading. Oh, and forgetting half of it for a reason that, believe it or not, I don't know.

Yay.

So life blew. The only saving grace is Jago. He's a twenty year old bloke and has been stuck here his whole life just like me. At least that's what he's told me. We only talk through the wall. Our conversations usually go something like this-

"You there?"

"Of course. Sanity still intact?"

"What sanity?"

"Hah."

Sometimes he asks about my drawings or I ask about his writing, but that's about as deep as we go.

Nothing much to talk about really.

And then, of course, there's Rida. She's what you call a scientist. When I was younger she'd sneak into my room with paper, pencils, books I'm not supposed to read. Everything I know, everything I can do, comes from her. Without her, Saulaf knows what I'd be like.

"Evelyn! Food!"

The hatch at the front of room slides open and a bowl of htuos soup is slide through the door. I sigh. Same thing every single day. That cook really needs to learn how to, you know, actually do his job. I'd even let him borrow my books if it would help him. So the rest of my evening goes like this- bolt the soup, finish three drawings on my wall (I filled up my sketchbook years ago) and hide in my bed when I'm told. I'm about to fall asleep when I hear it.

"Evelyn?" it's Jago.

"What?"

"Check your soup bowl."

....Huh? Well, that's random. I throw back the covers and grope around for said bowl, before I finally find it. My hand slips inside and I jump at what I feel. Paper. Clearly cheap, nasty stuff by the feel of it. Squinting, I could just about make out what it said.

'Check the door.'

So I did.

It opened. For the first time in forever.

I step out in what I knew is a hallway. Long and made of stone like my room, it feels cold. So cold I'm half tempted to go back in and grab a blanket. A slightly salty smell fills the hallway with something mixed in that I don't quite recognize. It smells a little bit like blood, but it seems colder, more sterile...

"Gods."

My head whips around at the sound of the voice.

"Jago?"

"What do I look like?"

"Short black hair, blue eyes, a sharp face and black skin. Thought you'd be taller."

"Thanks," he chuckles.

"What about me?"

"Green eyes, oval face, curly black hair and white skin. Not unattractive."

I roll my eyes and move off down the hallway. Our footsteps ring out, making my heart jump every time. The story Jago had told about the last guy that did this runs on repeat in my head. My heart's practically screaming for me to go back but I keep going. I need to know. I don't want to die, I really don't, but curiosity beats everything.

"OI, YOU TWO!"

Shit. I'm going to die.

Jago grabs my hand and runs. He just runs. It's all I can do to keep up with him. I stumble, Jago pulling me up and carrying on. We run past thousands of rooms and people. Shouting fills the air. A couple of arrows whizz past me and we sprint even faster. The hallways suddenly change into a gigantic empty room, but it doesn't take us long to reach the other side.

A fire blazes up in front of us, blocking the exit. We skid to a halt. Jago has to hold me back to stop me from going straight into the fire. Spinning round, I watch in dismay as the fire sprang up all around the room. It began to advance inward until there's less than a fingers length between us and it. It's strangely beautiful. I reach out towards the fire. Heat shot up my fingers and I yank them back. Jago grabs my hand. He gives me a look. I roll my eyes.

Over the crackling of the inferno, I can make out the infuriated shouts of the people trying to catch us. Looking round frantically for an escape route, I suddenly feel a sharp pain in my lower back.

"Evelyn!"

A hard band of pain wraps itself around my head as I fall, Jago only just catching me. A sliver arrow's embedded in my back. I look around, my eyes falling on a ghost like man, head held high as he lowed his bow. Shit. There's nothing I could do as my eyes closed, feeling myself slip away.

 

**************************************

 

Rain fell that night. A fine, whispering rain. It hit the window like pencils on a desk, keeping me awake. I tossed and turned in my bed, trying in vain to sleep. Outside a fierce wind battered against the castle's battlements, whistling through the gray stone walls. My room was in the tallest tower within the ancient compound, over-looking a dark, menacing forest. The full moon shone bright in the twinkling black sky; perfect for a chilly night. I rose from my bed and shuffled over to the window.

I gazed out over the horizon. Tucking night hair behind my ear, something caught my ear down below me. I glanced down at the courtyard below the window. A hooded figure was pacing slowly across the courtyard, the moonlight catching on the silver dagger at his side. He moved with intent and a certain majesty I'd only ever seen in paintings.

Suddenly, a ear piercing scream ripped through the silence. My legs felt alien to me as I raced through the castle and down towards a large wooden door. The handle jiggled in my hand as I tried to open it.

It was locked.

My body seemed to move on their own as I ran into what appeared to be a study and searched like a madman through drawers for keys. Things were thrown over my shoulders as I looked,

Flinging open the door, I froze in shock at the sight that greeted my eyes. Two bodies were sprawled out on the floor with their own blood spilling in pools around them. I had to be dreaming. I just had to be. They couldn't be dead. My father, who read to me every night before I slept, and my mother, teaching me how to draw. My parents. They couldn't be dead.

Staggering forward a few steps, I sank to the ground in despair. I opened my mouth to scream but no sound came out. Salty tears rolled softly down my cheeks, blurring my vision so much I didn't notice the darkness taking over. Not until the whole world had ebbed away.

 

**************************

 

My eyes snap open, sweat drenching my face. I bolt upright. A unfamiliar blanket falls from my body. Where the hell am I?

Climbing shakily to my feet, my breathing steadies. Something tickles my bare feet. I look down and smile. Wet grass. Running my toes through it, water wound around my foot, cooling it. I glance around at my surroundings. Mounds of blankets lay where I had been with grass poking up through it. Shafts of light pour through the rough brown fabric that encloses me, a bit like a wall. Pushing back the fabric, I gasp.

I'm outside.

Lush green things, they look like trees, spread as far as I can see. Sunlight casts ever changing shadows on the ground. What sounds like birdsong engulfs me and the smell of something sweet makes my stomach growl. Taking a few catious steps forward, I look round the back of my fabric house. Hundreds like it litter the landscape behind me, small and circular in appearance. What's most suprising to me is the people. All different for each other, different skin, different hair, different everything. Back 'home', everybody's the same. And when I say the same, I mean exactly the same.

 

I make my way through the fabric houses. People move away from me with looks I've never seen on their faces. Looks that make me feel tiny, ashamed. Hiding behind my hair, I keep walking, until I reach what looks like a campfire. A small circle of people are sat around it, deep in discussion. Jago is sat on the otherside, facing me. He smiles at me and the rest looks over. They have the same looks on their faces as the rest.

"Girl, come and sit. We've got lots to discuss." A random guy who looks important tells me. Ginger hair is cropped close to his head, muddy brown eyes staring intently at me. One long scar mars his left eye. I sit down beside Jago and pull my legs up to my chest.

"What's your name, girl?" He says. Something about him is giving me a uneasy feeling.

"Evelyn."

Jago's arm slips around my shoulders comfortingly.

"My name's Rasco. You're safe here."

"And where's here exactly?"

"Chinag Woods, on the outskirts of Choein Castle."

"That didn't answer my question."

"The rebel camp, Evelyn. We fight against Opeh and everything she stands for. We saved you and Jago from her lab."

"Saved us? Saved us from what exactly?"

"We saved you from your death! She wouldn't of thought twice about killing you. You both are just lab experiments, nothing more."

 

Pushing Jagos arm from my shoudlers, I stand and move off away from the group. There's nothing about me that's a lab experiment. Well, there may bit a little bit, but I'm not just that. There's more to me than that. He doesn't even know me. Not one bit.

I am so wrapped up in my thoughts I donn't notice anything until a stranger was pratically on top of me.

"I'm sorry!" I mutter.

My face flushs red. The body chuckles and pulls me to me feet. My eyes come only to the bottom of the person throats. Looking up, I see a handsome boy standing before me, around my age. Floppy hair the colour of graphite falls infront of his face. His eyes sparkle slightly as he looks down me. Damn he's hot.

"Did you hear me?"

"Huh?"

"What's your name?" I swear that when you knock someone over you say sorry..

"Evelyn. I'm new around here."

"Cassia. Sorry about knocking you over."

I smile slightly. "It's my fault, I wasn't looking.

He smirks back at me. "As long as you're ok."

Oh gods, the guy has bloody dimples! Excuse me while I melt.

"Yeah, yeah I'm fine."

"Good. See ya round, Evelyn."

He moves past me and through the fabric houses. I can't help but smile stupidly to myself. Ok, so I have seen other guys before but they've never been hot. They'd all been stone cold.

My fabric house is empty when I return. Someone has placed a large sketchbook with various pencils on the fur bed. Flopping down on the fur, I flip it open and start sketching.

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