Painting Pictures

Malrick has an overactive imagination. His mind involuntarily turns ordinary walks into treks through a mystical forest and boring classrooms into ancient chambers and caverns. He spends his time hiding from others. But then Malrick meets a girl named Rule who teaches him that what he sees isn't delusions, but a gift that he can learn to harness. But Rule isn't all she claims to be, and with his parents convinced Malrick is nuts, Malrick will need to unravel the truth of wether he has a wild imagination, a rare mental disorder or a magic gift. And doing so just might mean he will need to stop hiding and trust a girl he barely knows.

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22. Rule

Chapter 22

 

 

-Rule-

“Have you heard about Mr. Hilleye’s daughter?” An annoying classmate of Rule’s asks, something in his tone jerking her out of her daydreaming. She’d been annoying him for the most part. At first, his playful crush on her had been entertaining. Now, it’s a nuisance. 

“No. No I haven’t. I didn’t even know he had a daughter.” 

“Oh yeah. She’s the whole reason he got the job as a substitute here.” He smirks, satisfied with having captivated Rule’s interest. 

“Really?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Come on, Nick! Tell me more details!” 

“It’s, uh, Jackal, er Jack, actually. Not that my name matters or anything. How’d you even confuse—?”

“Listen here, Jackal. I couldn’t care less about your name.” Rule interrupts. “Now you’ve got my attention for thirty seconds more at the most, you better spill something worthwhile.”

“Mr. Hilleye got the job because Mrs. Amsay was injured so badly she had to go to the hospital. You want to know who injured her, Kyrielle Hilleye. His daughter. It took some master manipulating, but somehow they worked out a deal that Mr. Hilleye would fill in for Mrs. Amsay as an apology and pay for any medication she may need.”

“Kyrielle Hilleye? Why does she sound familiar?” Rule muses, too stunned by the tidbit of gossip to come up with any other response. 

“She’s a student here. Kind of new, started a few months ago. I hear she’s got some pretty unusual powers.” Jackal gloats smugly, glad to have kept Rule’s interest for almost a full minute. “Beyond just basic Visionary stuff.” 

“Unusual how? What can she do?” Rule asks, more speculating to herself then posing a question to Jackal. 

“Dunno,” he shrugs, frowns sourly as Rule quickly becomes disinterested. “Maybe we could go grab a bite to eat after school and talk more about it then?”

“Not interested,” Rule scoffs immediately wandering away from Jackal. She strolls purposefully across the gym, grabbing two daggers off the wall of weapons and locking into a fierce battle to the death against the empty air. She whirls and twists, jabbing and slicing her invisible enemy with the twin blades. She doesn’t sop until she’s gasping for air, doubled over because of a stitch in her side. 

“Well done,” a nonchalant voice declares. There’s no hint of appraisal, and Rule knows immediately who’s approaching without even having to look into their ice-cold grey-blue eyes. 

“What do you want, Luque?” Rule groans impatiently. He twirls a longsword in his right hand, the platinum blade glittering in the LED light. Luque Greenill is known for two things, be the second most powerful Illusionist at Woodpaige and being the son of the most prestigious businessman on the Island and his pompous trophy wide. 

“What do I want? Nothing.” He grins a sickly sweet grin. “The real question is, what do you want?”

“I do not know, Luque. What do I want?” 

“You want to be the best. But you can’t be, Rule Ellintha Arrowheart. You may be the best now, but don’t expect for that throne to be forever yours.”

“Yikes, aren’t you a bit overdramatic?” Rule tosses her eyes towards the ceiling. “After all, this is real life. Real, mundane, boring life. Not some chic flic or soap opera. So here’s my suggestion for you, Luque. Why don’t you go entertain someone else with your dramatic spiels, someone who actually cares.” 

“You’ll see.” He taunts, slowly starting to retreat. “You wait and see. We’ll see who’ll be on top soon.” 

“Wait.” Anger courses through Rule, rendering her blind and stupid. Her fingernails dig into the fabric base of the dagger, her grip tightening around the hilt until her knuckles are white. “Fight me. Right here, right now. Let’s see who wins, for the fun of it.”

“I don’t think—”

“Don’t think what? You’re not brave enough to take on me?”

“You didn’t let me finish.” He curls his lip in disgust. “I don’t think that’s a good idea for you.

“Oh, don’t worry about me. I won’t even whine like a baby like you would do if I got hurt.” She jabs. “In fact, I wouldn’t be anywhere near crying or even have reason to cry because I will obliterate you before you can blink.” 

“Oh, yeah—?" In the blink of an eye Rule has herself within striking fostance and is raiding the dagger for the blow. 

Luque ducks low, scrabbling out of the way and readying his longsword. Rule feels as if a fuse is about to how, the pressure inside of her is so great. With a mental roar she launches herself towards Luque, managing to grab ahold of him by the waist and shove him without refinery to the floor, the mats the only thing to save him from a broken skull. 

Rule readies her daggers, prepared to execute the pretend kill when a teacher comes along. 

“Hey! You two!” She shouts. “Break it up already!” 

With a growl Rule slowly starts back away from a nervous Luque, who picks himself up and saunters away, only a smidge too fast which betrays his cowardice. She continues to glare daggers in his direction. If looks could kill, this one would deliver a slow painful death to Luque where he writhed on the floor in agony for moments stretched into infinities. 

She blinks, part of her wishing my gaze actually had the power to do that and part of her disgusted with myself for so much as thinking thoughts so violent as those. 

What ever happened to the younger version of herself, who wouldn’t even entertain the thought of killing a spider no matter how much she hated and feared them. What happened to her childish innocence, when she always smiling and laughing. She would never lie, never intentionally hurt anyone or anything with a heartbeat. 

A slow sigh escapes Rule’s lips. She knows very well what happened to that  erosion of herself. Her father took her and warped her until she became the cold hearted yet successful monster he dreamed of.

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