Forever Young

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  • Published: 22 Dec 2015
  • Updated: 27 Jul 2016
  • Status: Complete
Darla is most definitely not a human.

She's one of the Ashki, an immortal race who have lived alongside humans from the very beginning. But friendships don't survive that long, and her contacts with her fellow Ashkine people are practically non existent, humans just tiny little pieces in the jigsaw of time. And an old enemy is back, proposing changes to the way their society has run and developed, and destroying the Ashki in the process.

Now Darla must gather her friends together to save themselves and their souls. But after so many millennia, is time finally running out for the Ashki?

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16. Miss Missing You

There was a scrap of paper lying on the floor. It was slightly scorched around the edges, blackened and charred as the unfurling edges of my heart. I picked it up with a frown, and unfolded it. There were words dancing on the page, and my brow furrowed as I read it.

 

Now let me first make it clear that I did not intend for any of this to happen. I didn’t join the circle with the intention of breaking it apart, but sometimes instincts just don’t care about that sort of trivia.

See, the thing about about instincts is that they aren’t rational. If a murderer comes into your home and you have a gun, you don’t stick around with two cups of tea brewing in the kitchen to try and make peace or thing of a good solution, do you? No, you either shoot or run, and you don’t even realise what you’ve done until it’s all over. Most times, it doesn’t even feel like a choice, you don’t make the choice yourself, you don’t realise it’s been a choice until long, long after it’s made, amybe you never realise it, maybe you die immediately because you’ve done the wrong thing and in that split second before your soul leaves your body you realise with a startling shock that you made the wrong choice, and it wasn’t even a choice you made.

I’m getting off topic now, I suppose, you really must know that it’s quite a flaw of mime, ever so sorry, of course. It’s the circle that’s important to you, isn’t it?

One of the worst things about what I did is the fact that, despite our many irritating differences, these people, they were my friends, and if I’m to be quite honest here, they were the only friends I had. It was just the five of us, facing the world, joined together in an unbreakable chain, not a single weak link between us, we didn’t think. Around such an insignificant thing as a tree, but for the five of us, it held such a greatly significant bond back then.

Now I see it as so much more than just a tree. A perfectly plain,. Perfectly ordinary tree. Even as the place I began my ‘reign of terror’ a someone once so eloquently put it.

Reign of terror. Funny phrase, that. I suppose I should start at the beginning of my tale, which you must bear in mind is quite a while ago, my memory may not be so entirely accurate as one would hope.

Please, whatever you do, don’t judge me.

I broke the circle. You probably worked that out by now, and what happened after too, but I don’t care – I’ll tell you anyway. It was the circle of my four closest friends, the very thing that we all thought to so perfectly embody our spirits. And I, being the great, kind and caring friend that I am and always have been, broke it. Well done me, friend of the year.

Now I’m not sure entirely what happened afterwards. I was tired, you see, and everything tends toget a bit fuzzy when I’m tired, like the welcome embrace of a bed stuffed with teddy bears. What I think happened, or at least what I remembered, is that we were all holding hands, sharing our energies amongst one another as we did mosy nights – Kaden always told us it made us more empathetic – and then suddenly, I heard somebody screaming. There was a deafening sort of bang, and a friend’s arm on mine, whispering words that I couldn’t for the life of me decipher.

What followed in the next few years was quite possibly the best fun I’ve ever had.

Lara and Adrien had been absolutely furious with me, of course. Their questioning took simply forever, and Kaden couldn’t even speak to me, he was so bloody preoccupied with trying to comfort Darla, who was understandably distraught to the point that she couldn’t utter a word to someone when it wasn’t even their bliddy fault but she just wanted somebody to blame because oh wow there’s definitely no other way out of this one now, is there? Although I wish I could have spoken with Darla, I also knew that Kaden wouldn’t let me anywhere near her unless it was to see me exiled for all eternity.

It was quite annoying of him.

When I finally left the island, it was not, despite many protestations, on my own. Darla was with me.

What you must understand is that it was her own choice to accompany me. She wasn’t forced into doing anything she didn’t want to do, nor did she appear to change her mind, and that is the honest, honest truth, you won’t get it more honest from anywhere. I have nothing to say against that fact, so don’t try to trick me into anything, it’ll just be your own loss.

We went all over the world, Darla and i. Norway, France, Russia and everywhere your average immortal chicks could dream of. And England. We didn’t like that too much. Too English.

Everything was great, though, for a while at least. WE were happy in our own little world of sins and love and tragedy and the hellish fire of beckoning adventures and new found freedoms. Then, of course, as would always have to happen, it came to a somewhat tragic ending.

Again, I must repeat what I have already told you; it wasn’t my fault. They pushed me into it, into a sea of inexplicable lies that crashed down so violently that I could barely hear my own mind, begging me to stop all of what I was doing, put an end to all of this madness.

I was angry, you see. Darla had just left me for Kaden, abandoned me in an old, dusty London street, to fend for myself. Then they came for me, just once I had managed to find someplace mildly safe.

It was just a bit of a mad blur, really, sort of like that short period of time between sleep and awakening, when you don’t quite see what’s going on and don’t remember anything of it later.

Yeah. Yeah, that’s what it was like. All that I can really remember was the sound of Kaden screaming, and Darla shouting at the top of her lungs about nonsense that sounded normal at the time, and Adrien and Lara both running towards me and throwing all the strength towards me, until a great wall of fire swept across my vision and I stumbled, screaming, as the four of them just stood there and laughed. They all blamed me for it, of course – they always do – even though, as I have told you already and you are propably tired of being told about, it was not my fault. Got that? Good. Because that’s barely even the beginning.

See, in the years that came later, we did have quite a few encounters, which as you can imagine did not end well for me. In fact, two of them nearly ended in my untimely death. Yay!

The first time was, I think, in Skye, at the castle, Eilean something or other, one of the Jacobite dumps that could have been beautiful if it were not for the fact that the rain was a perfect match for the torrent of poisoned blood dancing through my veins.

Three of them showed up, Adrien, Kaden, and Lara, and they were all a bit hacked off with me, to say the least. I distinctly remember Kaden attempting to punch me in the face. He didn’t succeed though, so it was all, good. For a while.

They were all a little bit annoyed about the fact that I was fighting on the other side from them – the English side – but they were all helping out the Scots, with hearts as freezing cold as the weather in their homeland, which was probably a little bit weird for their actual forces, the Espanol. (Imagine me saying that, with a really cool accent and a swishy skirt.) I beat the three of them, obviously, so it was when they were running away, Lara cursing about the fact that I’d nearly revealed she was – gasp! – a woman. In the army! Horror!

But again and again as Lara decorated the fields with her colourful words, we all screamed and slapped and screamed and scrapped. It was a cacophony of sounds around us until they shrieked like I’d just gouged all their eyes out, which was what I was going for, but that’s just between us, okay?

Anyway, they disappeared a little while after we met, and I didn’t see them again for a good while, and it was all five of us, the squad, back together again.

It was great.

Lara was there first, looking like the whole world had just smacked her cat in the head, then a scowling Adrien with Kaden, who looked like a deformed Freddo. Darla came, too, though slightly later, looking like a messy combination of all the three, not very pretty. Like, at all. As for me, id like to say I looked perfect, but I actually probably looked like a rabbit had attacked me and turned me into a carrot. I’m glad you weren’t there to see that.

But all appearances aside, we were really all just there, you know. I was chilling in a manor garden, minding my own business, and then they poofed in, quite majestically I must admit.

Then came the onslaught of words.

“Ah, you tried to kill us!”
“Ah, you’re supposed to be in exile!
“Ah, you’re a lunatic!”
“Ah, I’m going to crap on your head if you don’t get away, ah ah ah!” That was Adrien. He might want to seem strong and ‘gangsta’ but really he’s just seriously weird and likes to pretend that he could beat up Chuck Norris. Actually, he’s a banana poodle. With blue hair. But that’s new.

Anyway, I’m getting side tracked, and I’m running out of paper, which kind of sucks. It was pretty much the same as last time, so I won’t bore you with all of the details, but just remember: it was not my fault. None of this was my fault.

We didn’t speak again for a few centuries. I’m sure you’ve heard. That’s why I’m writing to you, you need to know the truth and I’m scared I won’t be able to talk to you in person.

Don’t trust anybody else. I’m going in for a trial soon, I’ve heard, and I might lose my powers, heck, I might even lose my immortality.

I could lose everything, but if you believe me, we won’t lose each other. Please.
Love,
Keda

 

Well, that makes a hell of a lot of sense. Not.

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