19679 WORDS- This was probably the most fun I have had so far.
I know there are plot holes, Oh well. You can fix them.
-Elias? He is way too complicated? I know he makes sense in our head
-I still don't know about the voice (says this 2 weeks in)
I nodded gravely pulling myself off the broken mattress and reapplying the bandages on my chest. I looked in the mirror. There was grime upon my face and a purplebruise across my forehead. I was lucky that my skin was of a darker shade for if I was any lighter the bruises would vividly clash. I felt sick not only from thwe state of my body physically but also from the state of myself emotionally. I was a wreck inside and out.
I took a closer look at the head cook. He was old, that was the first thing I noticed. Very old. Too old to be working but then I guess we were lucky. Old enough to know Elias. It was hard to say I was not exited. Because I was. Zephina glared at me when I started jumping up and down outside the flower. If I wasn’t wearing a shawl over my mouth, it would be obvious that I was smiling.
The fallen flower was a small establishment in the centre of what zephina called the ‘middle class part of town’. It looked respectable, with men and women laughing about on cushioned chairs by a roaring fire. The atmosphere was jolly and juist as Zephina and I were about to walk through the drosted glass doors, it came to my attention that with a poster for a theatre groyup performing on Thursday, there was the wanted poster for me and Zephina plastered on the wall. She also must have noticed as I then heard a “Don’t worry. Keep your head doen,” in my right ear.
The royal head cook was seated in the middle of the room, surrounded by a number of other people, an honest move in case we were dangerous. If I was being truthful, I myself was terrified of Zephina. But she wouldn’t hurt me, I repeated. She wouldn’t hurt me.
We strode in in our usual untalkative manner and though we earned a few looks from the fellow people, thankfully no-one paid much attention to the stranger and the forgotten. However not once did the man look at Zephina, he stared at me, straight in the eyes. It was rather unnerving and Zephina also noticed, rather annoyed. In our many encounters, no-one had paid attention to me. She always did the talking (which I was happy about) and did the ‘everyone look at me’ actions (which I was also happy about). I was always the person who guarded the door or myself. If I wasn’t so stubborn that I could do this, I doubt Zephina would want me to come with her, even if it was all my own business.
I wanted to speak to the head cook myself, but sadly I couldn’t disguise my voice like her. So instead I kicked her from underneath the table with her worn heavy boots and hoped to the Gods she understood my thoughts. This was not to be prolonged. I was sick and tired of waiting.
“Listen,” snapped Zephina but the man still continued to look at me, smiling.
“My name is Emrys .... (what was Elias’s second name again? Ugh. I hate forgetting) and I am Elias’ relative.”
I coughed out the water I was drinking. Zephina glared at me in her usual way and passed me a handkerchief. This man was Elias’ brother. Now I was really smiling. A smile I had held in for over 6 months. Amara, don’t be foolish. What has he to tell us that he hasn’t told thousands before? The smile faded away to the dust on the floor.
“Let us eat. I hope you don’t mind that I have already ordered today’s special. Eat,” he said as a plump woman came and served us food. I kicked Zephina again, I was not hungry and this needed to finished quickly.
“We do not want to eat,” said Zephina as my stomach growled. But my hunger for information was worse.
“But why? You both must eat,” said Emrys picking up a serving spoon and dishing out some pearl barley soup into three thick rimmed cream plates. I kicked Zephina again and this time she looked at me as if to tell me to stop,
She stood up in a showy off manner and shouted so that everyone in existence could hear, “We do not want to eat!”
Silence followed and the man at the counter came up to us both literally cracking his knuckles. I sighed to Zephina. She just had to ruin it. “Are these men bothering you, Emrys?”
The head cook stood up at level with Zephina and said as loudly as she had, “No, no. Please, let use the private rooms and take the food away. They would not like to eat.”
“Sure?” questioned the man, disappointed that he would not be getting his fight today.
Emrys nodded and led us in through a door near the back of room, zephina squeezing my hand as if to say she was right.
This space was identical to the one we had just been in, furnished and decorated in the exact same manner. Every little detail was the same from the shells engraved in the skirting boards to the hanging painting of a woman dressed in golden gowns. And no-one was here. She could kill him very easily and no-one would ever see.
“Achem,” coughed Zephina arms folded across chest. Emrys clutching onto the edge of a stick with his balance, seated himself in one of the empty chairs. He was old. Very old.
“Does your partner not speak?”
My cheeks warmed and I looked towards Zephina who shaked her head. No I do not speak.
“No,” She said.
“Fine. Then you must unveil,” he said, with a wave of his arm as if he was the one in authority. Zephina laughed, coldly.
“No.” She could not remove her scarf. As much as her face was rather masculine, she was still a woman and he would be able to tell. Then the questions would follow.
“Not you. Her.” He pointed a wrinkled finger at me.
“He is not a her.”
“To tell you the information I am about to give you, I must see who she is.”
“There are other ways of getting out that information.”
“I am an old man and am willing to give up the rest of my life for this matter. You can not persuade me with your knives and your guns. This secret will only reach the ears of the person who it is for.”
Zephina lent in to retrieve something from her horrible tattered bag. She was not going to give up and neither was he. They were both stubborn. Uncle had told me that the mixture of similar in a relationship was dangerous, especially if it was bad qualities. Two stubborns would make an even bigger mountain of stubbornness.. This would lead no-where. I was the only one who could stop this.
“Stop,” I said, raising a hand to her. Emrys continued to look at me and for the first time in the night I stared at him too.
“What do you want?” I said.
“Don’t do this. You will get us caught.” Whispered Zephina quietly in her normal voice. I shaked my head.
“No. I need to know. What is the point of living if I don’t know why to live? I need to know who, what, I am. And I don’t care if I end up in the deepest darkest dungeons in these wretched lands, I will not stop until I know. Yes, I need to know. Leave my Stranger, before I do this. You would not survive locked up; you need to breathe. You need space. Leave.”
“Sorry?” I said in disbelief as a result of which Zephina simply blinked.
“You can’t expect me to just run away without you.”
I was in the process of removing the black scarf. As I shaked away the hair tie that had been gripping my head awfully harshly the entire day, Emrys walked up towards me. Zephina stood by my side dagger in hand, and beginning to speak, “If you tell...”
But she stopped when Emrys leant in to kiss my forehead and begun to cry with a smile. I went limp, not understanding how to comfort the tearful man. Finally, after awfully long listening to his sobs, he said.
“Amara. Amara. I can not tell you. I can not tell you.”
I took a step back from his heavy arms. How did he know my name? How the hell did he know my name? And what could he not tell me? I breathed heavily and Zephina put a hand on my shoulder in comfort. I let the warm touch stay.
“Please,” I said in a cracked voice, “Where is Elias? My uncl..”
“I know. I knew him briefly, your.. uncle. He was a good man. A very good man. He loved you very much.” I didn’t know what to say. There were too many questions; I wanted to ask who I was, who my uncle was and why I didn’t remember? But as if he could read my mind, Emrys continued, “I can’t tell you. It is not right. I should not be the one to tell you.”
Zephina stood in my defence and as usual took violence to be the answer, “Tell her,” she growled.
Ignoring her, the head cook raised his hand in the air. Inside entered a young man, younger than Zephina and me. He looked down, smiling like a maniac like Emrys. He also looked rather like the cook, with the same tall skinny figure, light brown eyes and impossibly pale white skin. His hair, however was different, curly muddy brown locks where Emrys’ were straight and grey. Was he his grandson? I asked myself. He must be the cook’s grandson.
“Come closer Elias.”
My head pounded as he took one step closer. Another step the dizziness swarmed around me. Another step I hear the birds and my eyes close.