A Dark Dance

Francina wants to be a ballerina. Her dream comes true when she is accepted into New York Ballet Academy.

But what will happen when Francina meets strange and mysterious Ty, who is 19? Will her dreams turn to nightmares?


Based on/Inspired by 'Dance of Shadows' by Yelena Black

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9. What Am I Feeling?

Gabe's POV

I sat by the window, staring out at the dull moors. I found them interesting when I first went on the train to school. But that was when it wasn't raining. It always seems to rain now. The rain beat on the train: it was the loudest noise. Luckily, my mood matched the weather. If I'd been happy it would have dampened my mood. All I think now is that the world seems to be feeling the same way as I do. Confused: the wind whips the rain in all directions, never deciding; my insides flip about and my thoughts run over Fran in different lights every 5 seconds. Dreary: it's cold and wet outside, and I wouldn't want to be out there; the thoughts make me tried and I want to get away. Stop thinking for a while. With this on my mind, I recline my seat and do something I've never done before: take painkillers to send me to sleep. Well, it's probably help with my headache anyway. We've got ages... to go... before... our... stop... any... way.

 

"Gabe! Gabe! Gabe!" I opened my eyes drowsily.

"Just a few more minutes..."

"Gabriel, wake up now!" I was jolted awake at that. It was Francina's voice, and she never called me by my full name. I sat up. I couldn't see her anywhere. I blinked the sleep out of my eyes and started to find I was lying in a field. Not just any field though: it was the one next to her house. I looked over to where Fran's house should be, only to see a fire.

"Fran?" I was worried. How on earth was I lying in the field next to her burning house? Was I dreaming? I tried pinching my hand. My arm. Again. Again. Damn. I forgot. Super high pain tolerence. That's what comes from dance instructors holding your arms in position, making bruises. Not to forget that I had a fairly high tolerence anyway. "Francina?" Where was she? I got up and started looking. "Fran! Cina, Cina, where are you?" My heart beat fast in my throat as she didn't answer. It was very quiet. There didn't even seem to be a roar coming from the fire. Could the train have stopped? Was I carried off, still asleep? But surely someone would have woken me up, or I'd have woken up by myself when I was moved? And where was everyone else? It was almost like I'd been thrown off the train and somehow had not woken up.

 

I saw the flames flicker as my body went cold with the realisation of two things. One, I was stood right in the place where the burning shed at the end of Fran's garden was about to fall. Two, Cina could be in the house. As it burns. Options whizzed through my head at a million miles an hour, shortly joined by the still circling questions I had had since I woke up.

 

What if Francina was in there? Was Rachel, Madeline and Oliver in there as well? Why had it started? Should I go to try and rescue them? But then what if they weren't in there? What if they'd got out? What if I went in there for nothing? But could I risk the fact that Cina might be in there? And why was I here? Why was I the one waking up outside her burning house? How did I get there? Does that mean I should go and rescue whoever was in there? Why me? Why Cina? What was I doing here? Where was I supposed to go now? How would I get through the flames if I did decide to try? Who put me here? When was someone going to help me? I moved out of the way just in time as the shed eventually slid into the field, exactly where I had been standing. I finally decided what to do.

 

"CIIIIIIIINNAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!"

 

I screamed at the top of my voice, desperately hoping she would hear me, or it would help in some way. Even I could hear the desperation in my voice, and I could feel my raw throat when my voice finally broke. I wiped my face of the tears that had been gathering there for a while and stood frozen, gripping my ribcage tightly, no knowing how to cope or what to do.

 

Just then, through my tears, I saw a tiny flash of light as though the flames were reflecting off a tiny mirror or a knife. There must have been someone to hold it, whatever it was, so therefore there must be someone in there. I didn't care if it was Cina or not, I was just doing it because it might have been. Whatever happened next, it might have been Cina in there. And I had to save her if it was.

 

I set off running with my eyes tightly closed towards the broken bit of wall that I could climb over. I could get to her house blinded, at a run, I knew it. I had to. My eyes seared as I closed the space between me and the flames. I braced myself for the impact, and ran with all my energy.

 

I felt it when I hit it. It was impossible not to. It was like I was trying to push through a wall of branding irons. I couldn't see, but I knew my skin was scalded all over, and that it was peeling, letting the heat to more sensitive skin, which blistered even more painfully. My skin was incandecent with agony by the time I broke the other side. I stumbled a bit further before opening my bloodshot eyes to the world. I expected to see my clothes burnt off and my skin peeling and an angry pink, but when I looked down my clothes and skin were intact and fine. The pain receded to an odd tingling sensation before disappearing altogether.

 

Only then did I realise that my surroundings were not right. I should have stumbled through the door frame to a broken and dirty kitchen, but instead, I had gone through the open doorway into a very white room. I knew tears were still spilling down my face, but I couldn't be bothered to wipe them away when I knew more would just fall. The 'door frame' behind me was a full, old fashioned wooden door, and showed no shigns of being a burnt frame a moment ago. There were also many crevices and corridors hidden in folds of luxury cutains and lighted with old fashioned lamps. I couldn't work out how the room was so light. It was like I'd stumbled into the past. Then, from behind me, I heard soft pattering footsteps of someone light running across the room with soft shoes on. I tensed, ready to leap round and surprise them. They thought I hadn't heard them. Three. Two. One. JUMP! I leaped in the air, but not before I felt small arms slip around my waist. As I spun in the air, I noticed dark, red and brown hair pressed to my chest. I knew that hair. I knew those arms. The face I knew so well looked up to me. I crushed Cina to my chest. She didn't try to pull away to breathe, but just hugged me as tight as she could back. We still hadn't hit the floor again. The sterling-grey-beautiful-shiny-metallic of Cina's eyes and let my tears fall. When we eventually touched the ground again, we sunk down, just holding each other, as though we hadn't seen the other for years.

 

"You were... you were... i-in my house. I-It was bu... bur... b-burning and I screamed your name and you flashed a mirror or a knife or something at me and I knew it was you and I had to go and save you and I don't know how I got there but I just knew I had to go ans save you in case it was you and I nearly got hit by my shed which was burning and it hurt so much and I did it with my eyes closed and I thought all my clothes had burned off but they weren't and then my door had gone so I went through the frame but then I was in here and now you're here and I can't believe it and I just need to touch you to check you're real and- and- and..." she lowered her voice so I could barely hear her. It could have been a mistake, I could have heard her wrong, but I'm sure she whispered, "And I love you, Gabe."

"But, it was the other way round! I was in the field and I saw the light and had to go and save you and it hurt me so much and I got through the door way to find I was here. Then you found me."

"I don't care. We're here and that's all I care about right now."

"And- and I love you, Cina," I breathed. We were already on the floor, and we somehow scooted to the wall where the soft curtains made a perfect resting place for two kissing people.

 

At some point we tore them down, but I don't remember when. I don't remember much. Just the feel of Cina kissing me, and me kissing her back, letting out all the pent up feelings and finally, finally, just holding Cina. Surprised to find lace under my fingers, I moved my head enough to see that she was wearing a tight, silky leotard with an intricate lace covering going from the inside of the straps to the neck where it ended in a silky collar wraped around her neck. Her tights were soft, so soft, and as I touched them they ripped under my fingers and Cina gasped against my mouth. Her eyes flew open to see mine glowing dark and staring at her. Not to be outdone, she reaced her hands round me and scrabbled at the thin, grey t-shirt until it ripped down the back. I was out of it in five seconds. It was like a game. I popped the button holding together the collar of her leotard at the back; she curled her legs around me and raised herself off the floor until my arms were shaking with- with I don't know what - just her - and we collapsed on the soft curtains again.

 

Then I began to feel hazy. Just like when you're tired, when your eyes start to prick a bit and you have to rub them to keep your vision clear. I stopped kissing Cina, and she asked me what was wrong, but the feeling had already gone away and I leaned down to nibble her ear and whisper that it was nothing. Next, the feeling came back and Cina rippled in and out of my vision. I must have started screaming, because I was holding her tighter and she was fighting to get away from me, turning her ears away. Then I felt the heat. It ripped through me and I let go of Cina, but now she was hanging on to me, but I was too hot and I just wanted to cool down: if I didn't cool down I'd boil.

 

When the pain finally faded, I found myself lying next to her on the curtains, both sweating and breathing hard. Consequently, the pain came back. I found Cina's hand and gripped it tightly, receiving the same response from her. I was screaming and so was she, and I couldn't see anything but the light, the bright light that burnt my eyes and swirled around me. I looked towards Cina with an excruciatingly painful twist, to see her enveloped in flames. Her head was also turned towards me, and she was screaming too. My vision then blacked out, but I could feel that I wasn't lying on the curtains anymore, although my hand still gripped Cina's. My voice was croaking but I kept screaming and yelling, until my hamd was torn from Cina's and I stopped. There was no point to screaming anymore. Not without Cina. I would bear it for Cina. As my other senses finally gave out, I whispered her name one last time.

"Cina."

 

Through the swirling darkness I felt myself being shaken and tried to open my eyes. I could feel something beneath me and slowly tried to drag myself out of the state I was in. I needed to wake up for Cina! Was she there? I heard voices swirling above me and moved each limb in turn, to check they were working. They were. I moved my head a bit. It was working too. I didn't seem to be hurt anywhere. Finally, I covered my eyes with my hands to shield them from the light and peeled them open. It was just like waking up, except I was in a room that wasn't my own: either at school or home. I moved my hands only to be blinded by a light hanging above me. Only then did I realise that the noise of voices had gone. I looked around, wondering where Cina was, to see the school nurse heading towards me.

"Ahh, you're finally awake, I was just herding your friends out. Like sheep they are, hanging around in here doing nothing. Anyway, how are you?"

"I- wha... Why am I here? Where's Cina?"

"Who dear?"

"Cin-" Wait, why would the nurse know Cina? "Oh, um, nothing, just how did I get here?" I was still confused.

 

"Your friends carried you in. Apparently you'd been asleep on the train but yelling and screaming and thrashing around so when they got here they got a teacher who said to carry you in. A right wreck you were in, hitting everybody and croaking random things. Then when you got here you just moved a bit more then you curled up and didn't move for a couple of hours. Your friends must have been taking watches outside my door because as soon as you started thrashing and kicking again they were all here in about 5 minutes. Phones, I suppose. I tried to wake you up and when you laid still again, finally, I took the chance to send your friends out, then you woke up, and here we are." I'd bee listening to all this is silence, and the truth finally sunk in. The whole thing had been a dream. Now I sounded like a stupid kids book when they wake up and it's all a dream. What the heck was happening to me? "You okay? You look like I've just given you and electric shock." I nodded stiffly, then tried to swing my legs over the bed to get up. "Hey, hey, you're not allowed up yet!" The nurse pushed my shoulders down. She smelt of vanilla and strawberries. What the heck?! I shook my head, and the nurse, taking it as my denying her asked me if I wanted to see my friends. I shook my head quickly and laid back down.

 

I was drenched with sweat, but I felt freezing and bone tired. I just wanted to sleep, even though I'd been asleep for hours. I pulled the covers up and the nurse moved away. I pulled the covers over my head and tried to go to sleep, but I was wide awake. Wide awake and bone tired. Great. I lay in the darkness of he quilt, trying to regulate my breathing and think of nothing.

 

What the heck was happening to me?

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