Lucid

~The Sequel to 'Little British Girl~
- Decide which side your on -
Three and a half month after Luci kidnapped her birth father, Xander Moore, Elia and her friends are on the run. Both north and south are engulfed in complete and utter chaos, and the resistance and the rebellium are gaining power through an alliance. Both sides want them out of the way, and they have nowhere to be, nowhere where they belong. The four friends must choose a side, the alliance, or the government, a decision that will forever haunt them all.
Nothing is certain, nothing is safe, nothing is lucid.

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23. Chapter 23

“...Yes...yes of course Charles, Thursday at noon- got it. Okay, see you then.” Elda finishes her all-important phone call to Charles, with us four all sat around her, listening in. She hangs up the phone and looks up to us all expectantly, her expression ironically innocent. “There, it’s done. He’ll be in the alleyway next to the library at midday on Thursday, you have until then to leak that information to the resistance.”

“I’ll phone Beverly now.” Annabeth nods, sticking to the plan. “Unless Max wants to…”

“No, no, it’s better if you do it.” Max assures her, shaking his head and getting up from the table, wandering back upstairs.

“Right, I’ll get to it then.” She says, biting her lip, “Daniel, could you give me a hand finding the number?”

“Sure.” Daniel shrugs, following after her as they too head upstairs to where our belongings are kept.

I don’t look at Elda, knowing that if I do I’ll break. I can’t let her see just how much she gets to me. I just stand up and walk into the kitchen, beginning to make myself a sandwich for lunch, pretending as if she isn’t a meter or so away from me. To my dismay, she follows me, getting some juice out of the fridge and positioning herself behind me, sipping away. For a moment or two I let her intimidation tactics get to me, and the butter knife slips out of my hand and falls to the floor. I quickly kneel down to pick it up, but when I straighten my back again my head collides with the marble surface of the kitchen, causing a sharp stinging sensation to escalate all around my skull. Elda just chuckles, muttering to herself.

“Stupid duo puellae.” She murmurs, lifting the knife up off the ground for me and placing it back down on the table. I wince at her words, duo puellae is latin for two-girl. Back in the south it’s a cruel nickname for children who were conceived because of their mothers having affairs, but in this scenario I think it has a different meaning. Duo puellae, two-girl, the girl who belongs in both zones.

“My name is Elia.” I remind her, my tone bitter and cold.

“I know,” she sighs, “But that doesn’t mean I can’t give you little nicknames veritus puer.” I grind my teeth at the sound of her next tease, veritus puer, ‘fearing child’, aka the southern version of scaredy cat.

“Why do you hate me so much Elda? You work for the rebellium, you’re against zoning. You shouldn’t despise me for belonging in both zones, so why do you?” I get to the point, tackling her issues with me head-on, tired of all the mindgames. Elda’s first response is to glare at me, sending lightning bolts down my spine. But she soon calms down, her anger at my audacity settles, and she walks over cooly, to speak right into my ear.

“Because you are a living, walking, talking breach of this world’s most important law...and you get away with it. Each step you take, each blink of your eyes, each breath...it’s all illegal. You break the law thousands of times each minute. I’ve known people who’ve broken the law once in a moment of weakness, and who’ve sat in a stone cell and killed themselves. But you, you get away with it every single time and that infuriates me.” She growls, digging her fingernails into her palms, “It’s not fair, why you? What makes you so special?”

“Elda, I- whoever you’ve lost in the past I’m so sorry for, but you, y-you can’t exert all your grief onto me. That isn’t fair-”

“Do I look like I care?” Elda snaps, janking my ponytail from behind and using it to spin me around so I’m facing her. I can’t help it, I cry out in pain, but that only makes her pull it harder as she shoves my shoulders so I fall back into cupboard. Before I can lift myself up she pulls me up by my sleeves, pinning me to the wall. “My sister was arrested five years ago you bovem! There’s a stone cell back in London still stained with her blood, and all she did was chase after me when I went out to commit a crime. She was innocent and she still died...where’s the justice in that, hm?”

“I-I didn’t even kn-know you- that you had a, a s-sister…” I stammer, praying that either Annabeth, Daniel, Max or my father will come downstairs all of a sudden and yank her off of me.

“Her name was Arabella,” Elda tells me, spitting in my face, “And she was twice the woman you are. So there, that’s why I hate you. You’re a living reminder that there is no justice in this world, that even a wrongful system can’t be unjust enough to take people like you down, whilst killing people like her every, single, day. You are what I hate most about this earth.”

“What’s going on down here?” I have never been more relieved to hear Annabeth’s voice. I tilt my head to the left to see her, and Daniel, standing in the doorway. “Let her go Elda.” She orders stepping forward, ready to fight if she needs to. Elda just sighs, releasing me and last and stepping back in surrender.

“We were just talking.” She says innocently with a shrug of her shoulders. Annabeth rolls her eyes and begins to storm over.

“Yeah right-”

“Leave it Annabeth.” I step in front of her, blocking her path to Elda. “I’m fine, just let it go.” Annabeth reluctantly takes a small step backwards, still glaring at Elda. I walk over to Daniel, clutching at his arm, giving it a gentle tug so that he turns to walk with me, out of the room.

We head on upstairs, not uttering a single word as we go into my room, shutting the door softly behind us. I don’t think, I wrap myself around him, kissing his lips intensely. I may be what Elda hates most about this earth, but Daniel is what I love most about it, and I know that I am the same for him, and that is so much more powerful.

~

I lie down staring up at the ceiling, unable to move a single limb. If I move, then everything starts back up again. The upcoming meet-up, the danger, the thrill...all the planning, all the scheming awaits me downstairs, but it can wait a little longer. I can stay here for a few more minutes, stuck in a pause. Stuck in a moment, in a memory of the last hour.

The clear sky is clouding, and a few weak raindrops slide down across the window, barely making a sound as they collide with the glass, as if they’re tired- exhausted even. I heave my body upwards, sitting upright, still keeping myself covered in the covers; entangled in the cotton sheets. I gaze out the window, and smile at the sight of the sun peaking out. It barely makes an impact on the dark scene outside, but it does hit the roof of a shed, illuminating it, turning its dim dark brown shade that little bit brighter.

I can’t help but think about Elda, and the way she looks at me. I knew she hated me, but I never could really understand why...until now. I don’t know what sort of person her sister Arabella was. She could have been even worse than Elda is for all I know, but the way Elda spoke about her leads me to believe otherwise. I think I believe Elda when she says that her sister was innocent, but there’s still something that doesn’t quite sit right with me. If Arabella was innocent then why did she shoot herself in the stone cell? Those torture chambers are designed to kill only the guilty. So even if Arabella was innocent, she clearly had a dark side too...maybe that’s what winds Elda so much, the confusing circumstances of her death?

There’s a soft knock at my door before it creaks open just a crack, and Annabeth pokes her head through.

“You okay?” She checks, smiling gently.

“I’m fine, come on in.” I invite her, glad for the company. She walks over and perches on the end of my mattress, twiddling her thumbs and looking down into her lap.

“I’ve spoken to Elda, she won’t bother you again,” she promises me, “Just think, a week or so to go and she’ll be back in the south, and out of our lives for good.”

“I hope so.” I nod, sighing, “But I wouldn’t be too hard on her, I think there’s more to her than just mindless violence and hatred.”

“Really?” Annabeth jokes, and we both burst out laughing, letting the mood lighten.

“No, but seriously, I don’t think Elda’s half as bad as she pretends to be. She’s all bark and no bite, if you get what I mean.” I struggle to explain, wincing at the sound of my own babbling. Annabeth, unsurprisingly, doesn’t seem at all convinced. Her face is like stone, as if she’s saying are you serious? I’m not shocked that she’s not convinced by my words, I’m not convinced by my words, in fact, I almost sound sarcastic.

“I think you’re being too easy on her,” Annabeth shakes her head, “That girl's got some serious problems.” I shrug, leaning back down, sinking my head into my pillow and stareing backup at the ceiling. I almost forget Annabeth’s in the room as I reply, intrigued by the white-turned-grey plastering above me.

“Don’t we all?”

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