Falling Through

River spent most of her time in her room, crying and bawling over Jem's death. After a few weeks without any change in her mood, her parents had taken her to a therapist. Nobody else knows what happens in the therapist's office but her. She took pills for her depression and anxiety. Nobody else had these problems. Why her?
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Well, here's a small description about her: She has lilac colored hair (originally blond), her eyes are silver-gold, she has freckles on cheeks and nose, and she's pretty tall. She's also irish, but lives in England with her rich parents.

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4. Chapter 4

Jem. Jem is all I dream about. I remember when he was 10 and I was still 9, we had climbed a tree and at the very top we sang songs and ate crackers and peanut butter. I remember his short tempered attitude, and when he got too mad, he'd leave for a few hours, and afterwards he'd come back tousled and disheveled. I remember his green eyes, like a wolf's, but more puppy-dog like. I remember Anna and I making fun of Jem because he couldn't do the splits like me and Anna. I feel a prick in my forearm, and open my eyes just a little. A woman with bright red hair stands above me, injecting a clear IV into my forearm. Water drips in a bag hanging on a hook above my bed.

"You've had a pretty bad beating." The woman says, not even glancing at me. I just nod. I close my eyes again and fall asleep, letting the dreams all come back to my exhausted body.

 

I wake up to sunlight in my face. I wear a simple blue night-gown, reaching down to my ankles. A window is open by my bedside and I peer outside. People walk up and down the cobblestone streets, some carrying bags and purses while others carried knives and swords. Knives like Michael's. The buildings that line the streets aren't made of the modern bricks used to build now. Instead, old time cottages lined the street. The only sign of anything modern are the people walking around and some pop-rock music somewhere in the distance that I'd heard some time or another. I breathed in the air. Where was I? I turned back around. A twin bed sat right by me, pushed against the corner, with a nightstand right by it. A bed-chest sat at the end of the bed, and a dresser was pushed against the wall on the other end of the room. A door stood right by the dresser. A brown fur rug was draped across the wooden planks. I peered out of the door into the dark hallway. Three other doors lined the hallway, and at the end of the hallway was a staircase leading downstairs. I could hear a few voices talking from downstairs, even a few laughs. I tippy-toed down the hallway, trying not to make any noise. My purple hair fell into my face, and I brushed it away. Was it really that bright that it attracted monsters? I got to the end of the staircase, and peered around the corner. A door sat directly across from where I looked, with peeling white paint. A living room was next to the door, with a large, red, overstuffed couch, and a matching armchair. A fireplace directly across from the couch burned a large, purple fire. On the mantle, there was a small wooden case full of wands and knives. A few pictures sat next to the case, and a few bottles full of strange liquids were lined all along the mantel. The room across from the living room was a simple kitchen and dining room. The kitchen just had counters, a white fridge, a microwave, and a sink. The dining room part was just a simple brown oak table, with 8 chairs surrounding it.

People sit in those chairs, and a woman with bright red hair scrubs dishes in the sink. I hear a snore and I peer back over at the couch. A child sleeps on the couch, a blue blanket draped across their body. I look back to the table. 5 men, and 3 women. They all look to be different ages, from 19 to 60 years old. I feel an itch in the back of my nose. Shit. I run up the stairs as fast and quietly as I can, and slam the door shut as I let out a loud sneeze. I let out 2 more, and finally realise what I just did. I made a lot more noise than I intended to, especially coming up those stairs. I hear footsteps coming up the stairs, and down the hallway. I think quickly. What the fuck am I supposed to do?

Just as I'm about to look back out the window, the door creaks open.

"Hello?" A small voice whispers. I turn around to see a small child peering over at me. The blue blanket is wrapped around her small frame, and her brown hair cascades over her shoulders. She coughs as her body spasms a little. Her pale face becomes even paler, and her eyes turn glassy for a moment. We stare at each other for a few more seconds, until she finally breaks the silence.

"Do you need anything?" She whispers. I almost cry. Her voice is hoarse and small.

"I, um, just want to know where I am." I say as I back away from the window.

"You're in Borun." She says as she studies me with her queer eyes. I didn't notice her right eye was a bright blue, while her left eye was an icy green.

"Borun? You mean, Borun, like Michael and Kris were talking about?" I say as I step towards the girl.

"Yes. This is the only Borun that exists." She says as she opens the door a little more and looks down the hallway. "Ruby has soup, if you're hungry."

"A little." I say as I nod, and she leads me down the stairs. She leads me into the kitchen and I look down at my feet. I feel all the eyes trained on me as the girl talks to the red haired woman who must be Ruby.

"Ruby, she's hungry. May we have some soup?" Her small voice asks as Ruby nods.

"Missy. You made quite a lot of noise going up those stairs." I hear as I look up to an old man staring at me. I nod in response.

"Not a talker, eh?" A blond man asks. He looks to be in his early 20's. I nod again, and they turn back to a conversation they were having. Ruby hands me and the girl a bowl of soup and some crackers.

"May we please eat outside, on the table?" The girl asks.

"Yes, Saffy. You two may eat outside on the table." Ruby says as she turns back to the sink. The girl leads me out the peeling door, out to the street. A wire table and chairs sit next the the peeling door, and she takes a seat. She pats the chair next to me, and I sit. People walking down the street give me strange looks. The girl just giggles.

"They think your hair's weird." She says as she smiles.

"My hair is weird!?" I ask as I swallow a spoonful of the red soup. The warm taste of tomatoes floods my mouth.

"We don't have any other hair colors here, beside blond, brown, black, red, orange and shades in between. And, even people with red or orange hair are pretty rare." She says as she nibbles a cracker. "You never told me your name."

I almost laugh. She's asking the same question I had asked Kris and Michael and Josef.

"My name is River." The little girl giggles. "What?"

"You have a strange name." She says as she smiles. "My name is Saffy. It's short for Safforile."

"Ahhhhh. And you say I have a strange name." I say as I nibble on a few of the crackers.

"No. Everybody here has really wierd names. Yours seems a little normal. I don't know. People who come from outside of Borun say wierd is our normal, and normal out there is our wierd."

"Oh, I guess that makes sense."

"I mean, here and there, I'm pretty wierd." She says as she frowns.

"Why?"

"Because of my back. The doctors said I shouldn't be here." She says as her face cripples, showing she might cry, but her face bounces back to it's normal self.

"What's wrong with your back..." I trail off as I peer over her shoulder. I can see a large bump under the blanket. She uncovers the blue cloth, and suddenly, feathers are everywhere on her back. Not feathers...wings. She has wings.

I stare at her in utter shock.

"I know, I'm a freak. But that doesn't mean I can't try to be normal." She says as she pulls the blanket back over her. She smiles again at me.

"So...what happened? All I remember is blacking out after I killed...something. When I woke up I wasn't were I had blacked out and Michael and Kris and Josef weren't there."

"Um...well, you see..."she said as she looked down at her soup.

"What?" I ask as I freeze.

"The blood, the black goop stuff all over you... it was shadow blood. And that stuff burns through you like acid if you have too much. But, you didn't burn. And, you killed it all by yourself. That was a brazir demon. There really dangerous, and only very experienced nephilim can kill them without getting severely hurt. As for Kris and the others, they're nowhere to be found. The council planned a search party for them, but nothing's turned up." She says as she twirls her spoon around her bowl.

"Oh. How many days was I out?"

"Well, they tested the blood. The blood was about 3 days old, and you were passed out upstairs for about 5 days. So in all you were passed out for about 8 days, 5 1/2 hours."

I almost choke on the cracker i'm eating. "8 days!"

"And 5 1/2 hours." She says as she slurps up her tomato soup. "Do you want to take a walk?"

"Um... sure, why not?" She said as she spooned up the last of her soup. We went inside and gave our bowls to Ruby, and while Saffy talked to the other people sitting at the table, Ruby gave me a pair of skinny jeans and a gray sweater, along with a small black medicine.

"Buy yourself something. Trust me, you deserve it." Ruby said as she slipped a paper currency into my black bag. I thanked her, and followed her down the stairs. Saffy no longer had her blue blanket draped over her. She had on a pair of black leggings and a black tank top. Her white wings were folded against her back. She also had a black medicine bag.

"Ready?" she asked as she smiled up at me.

"Ready."

We walked out to the street, and several people stared in awe at us two misfits. Bird girl and purple hair. We walked down a few streets, until we reached a small shop. "Danim's boutique" was painted in gold  letters on the front window, and through the glass I could see a few mannequins wearing dresses that were popular in the 1700's. Saffy and I entered the strange store, and immediately I was met with the smells of expensive perfumes, rubber, shaved wood, and ink. I look around the queer store. Shelves fill half of the store, and the other side is mannequins, racks of clothes, and let me guess...more shelves. The clothes on the racks range from 4 B.C. Chinese warrior to 1800's Victorian to today's modern casual clothes.

"This is cute..." Saffy trails off as she pulls a dress off the rack. The top looks like a prom dress from today, but the bottom is a shredded piece of purple fabric. Dark red gunk covers the bottom of it.

"I hope that's not blood." I say as I plug my nose from the smell.

"Um... there might be something else..." she trails off as she walks over to a different rack. I look through the rack where she had pulled out the torn dress. Something caught my eye. I pulled out a little black dress. There were cutouts right on the collarbone, and a large open back, with cutouts also on the sides, so no matter where you stood you could see some skin.

"Oooh! Buy that one!" Saffy says as she reaches out to pet the dress. "It's silk too."

"How much is it? I don't even know the size."

"It's a size small. It's 700 darics." Saffy says as she gazes at the little tag.

"Um, I don't really know the currency." She stares at me.

"Do you know US dollars?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"So just add 10 dollars to the US money, and multiply by 100, and you get our currency, darics." Saffy says as she looks through the rack again. She pulls out a dark purple-red dress.

"You should buy that." I say as I fold my dress. She eyes the dress.

"It's pretty. But I don't know what to wear it to. Plus, my back. It's not an open back dress." She says as she frowns down at it.

"I can fix that. I took a design class in 9th and 10th grade. I can make it open backed, and fix the length if it's too short or tall." I say as she folds the dress.

"I guess so."

We walk all around the store, admiring jewelry and shoes and books and other knick-knacks. I spot a small wooden box, much like the one my parents had given me were I stored my shell and money. I picked up the small box. Everything was the same, except the birds and flowers on mine were snakes and daggers on this one, and this one is dark brown, unlike my little pink one.

"What's that?" Saffy says as she walks over to me.

"Nothing. I just felt like I've seen that box before." I say as I set it back down on the shelf.

"That's impossible. That box is one out of two boxes made, and the other one is supposed to look nothing like it."

"Supposed to? What do you mean by that?"

"Well, the other one... has never actually been found. Ever." She says as she smiles sheepishly.

"So, are they important or something?"

"Um, yeah! They were passed down to the Heudor children. The father and mother had a son, then, while the mother was pregnant with her daughter, she ran away, along with the box. Their father is our governor, our king. His son, well... he went missing a few years back. Their mother took the daughter's box with her, and the son was mad I guess. Everybody says he went missing so he could go look for his lost mother and baby sister." Saffy says as she toys with the box.

"So, why's the box here? Shouldn't it be in the palace or something?"

"No, the king, King Augustus, couldn't handle having something of his son's with him missing, so he gave it to someone I guess, and now it's here." She says as she hands it to me. "I'll buy this for you. It's a cool souvenir." She says as we walk the the very corner of the store, where I counter I had never noticed sat. A small man sat in a tall stool. His round glasses enlarged his eyes so much, he looked like a little bug. He smiled when Saffy handed him mine and her dress and the little box.

"Well, hello little Safforile. Who is this?" He says as he smiles at me.

"This is River. She just came here from England a few days ago, but she's Irish." She says as she and I hand him our money. He counts it and hand us our change.

"Well, thank you for visiting Borun, River. You are always welcome here." He says as he smiles.

"Thanks, but I don't know how long I'm staying." I say as I grab my dress.

"Why is that?"

"Well, I just woke up just outside of the city limits, and my friends were gone. I don't really know where they were supposed to take me." I say as I look down at my shoes.

"Ahhh, you're the stranger who walked up to the guards and fainted. Everybody's talking about you." He said as he hands Saffy her dress.

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Well, you are still always welcome. Even though you don't understand why you're here, fate brought you here, so you are meant to be here for a reason." He says as he smiles. "Have a good day."

"Goodbye Mr.Danim!" Saffy yells as we leave the store. She smiles at me as she hands me my box. "You almost forgot this." She says as we start walking home. It's already getting dark out, and a few people walk the streets.

When we get home, we both head upstairs. She goes into the bedroom across from mine, and says a good night. I collapse on my bed, my mouth smiling. I might just belong here after all.

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