Stairs to Nowhere

Not your average Cinderella story. The locked tower holds in a girl with broken things where her heart should be. And, this tower holds out a girl with a heart as hard as black ice. Smoke creeps up the stairs, and the rising flames between these two are threatening to burn everything that stands in their way. The cause of these flames? Insecurities and one boy. Good luck girls. A Fairy Godmother's wand can't fix this.


2. Mix the Light into Gray

 Wake up little girl; it's your time now.

   The attention didn't stop in the cafeteria. I don't know why I thought it would. No one would've passed up the opportunity to whisper about the once mute girl who had finally found her voice. By the end of last class, over half the school had heard; and when it was time to leave, people moved to either side of the hallway to let me pass.

   I was gathering up homework supplies when I felt something brush up against my arm. Surprised, I jumped a little, whipping my head around to see another girl standing beside me. She was maybe a inch taller than I was with, what looked like, English supplies clutched to her chest. Glasses were pushed right up against the bridge of her nose, and twisted stands of her hair were starting to escape her braid.

   "She had it coming. Thank you."

   She didn't seem fazed by the fact that I didn't respond. The quiet had been back since the incident happened.

   I stood there, one hand against my locker door and the other holding my math notebook; staring with my mouth slightly open.

   Throwing me one last small smile, she turned and walked towards the front doors. When she was swallowed up by the mass of bodies, I finally felt like I could breathe again. I was still looking in the direction in which she had disappeared when another person decided that whispering was overrated.

   "Hey, Mute! Nice job out there!"

   I didn't really care to look and see who it was.

   "I'm gonna have to find another name for ya. 'Mute' doesn't really suit you anymore does it?" Deep, short chuckles came from behind me. This time I turned, surprising me a little more than them.

   "It doesn't matter. I probably won't ever talk to you anyway." I suddenly forgot how to breathe. They were all staring at me, worse now than before. My eyes went wide and horror filled my face. Without another second's thought, I loudly shut my locker and took off speed walking towards the doors, hoping that the air flying past my face would somehow find its way into my lungs.


   "So, x=5."

   I frowned at the paper.

   "Or does it equal -5?"

   I sat my pen down. This was my cycle, hold the pen in my hand and occasionally do a problem or two, put it down and stare at it in frustration, and then pick it back up again to maybe do my work.

   Standing up from my desk, I walked over to the door. An awful squeaking noise, made by the door handle, made me cringe. What was worse was the creaking of each step as I descended the stairs to the second floor. The door that opened onto the second floor was splintering on my side, but on the side visible to to the rest of the house, it was painted a soft white color, giving anyone who looked at it the illusion that it held an average room behind it. Through it, I could hear Evelyn's obnoxious giggling.

   Once opened, the door gave way to the lovely sight of Evelyn sitting on the couch, a certain blonde quiffed boy next to her. This, was Luke Hemmings.

   I cursed under my breath.

   When Evelyn had someone over, she did not want me to make an appearance. Luke had been over to the house a hundred times, and yet, he didn't know I lived here too. Nobody did. And Evelyn had no intentions of telling them. I usually stopped at the splintering door to listen and see if she had company over.This time I forgot.

   He had had his head turned towards her, their backs facing me, but the movement behind him had caught his eye and he turned. Saying he was surprised was an understatement.

   Closer to the bottom of the stairs than the top, I threw myself into the kitchen as quickly as I could. I stood in there, clutching onto the ledge of the counter top; its cold surface was the only thing keeping me from throwing up.

   I heard hasty mummers, and seconds later, the click-click of heels on wood floors. Her voice sounded as deadly as a cobra mid-strike.

   "Why are you down here?" For a few seconds, I didn't have the ability to turn and face her. And once I did, I wished I hadn't. Her eyes bulged, and her back bowed with the weight of her rage. I opened my mouth, closing it again when I realized that I didn't have the voice to speak.

   "Why are you down here?!" Evelyn screamed.

   Luke had walked up behind her.

   "Emily?" he asked. I met his blue eyes for a only a second.

   "Hi Luke," I mumbled, glancing back at Evelyn.

   "Go upstairs," she growled.

   "Wait. She lives here?" Luke seemed confused. He stood with one hand on Evelyn's shoulder the other stretched out towards me, keeping me from leaving the room.

   "No," Evelyn spit out. Nerves of steel were forming inside of me; I could feel them.

   "Yes, I do." I glared at Evelyn, daring her to deny it. She narrowed her eyes.

   "Only because her mom died and left her here." Anger flared up in my chest. I was very territorial over my family, and that's why when I lunged at her, it didn't surprise me.

   Her head made a dull thud as it hit against the cupboards. But, I couldn't do much damage more before Luke wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me off of her. I was lifted into the air as he flung me across the room. My knee collided with the cupboard under the sink, making me hiss in pain. In shock, I paused for a couple of seconds.

   Then, without looking at the other two, I turned and sped back into the living room, up the stairs, through the splintering door, and up the next set of stairs to my room. I could hear Evelyn shouting profanities at me with every step; they echoed in my head like the thundering of my heartbeat. As soon as I was through my door, I locked it, trying to steady my shaky breathing. I bent down, pulling up the leg of my yoga pants. My knee was throbbing, and it was already starting to bruise. The black and blue spread across my pale skin looked like a palate of watercolors that had been spilled, creating no pattern but creating something strangely beautiful.

   I stood up, pressing my back to the door, palms still feeling the vibrations from it being slammed, and all I could think was:

the shadows aren't safe anymore.

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