The Bright Single Ones

[My entry for the '24 hours in the City of Bones' competition.]

The bond between brothers and sisters is said to be stronger than anything but what happens when that bond is tested to the extreme?

When twins Alexandra Furud and Seth Furud are torn apart because of Alexandra's black eyes, they never thought that the only way that they would be reunited is when one of them turns away from their enchanter blood and sells their soul to the demons as a means of escape, leading to a life on the run for both twins.


1. The Burning Star

No matter how much she screamed, the walls would never cease their taunting act of throwing the shrieks onto deaf ears. Her torturers were trained in the harshest of conditions for this; trained to ignore the pleas of help or the endless offers of great riches and rewards if they were to ‘accidentally’ leave behind a key that would grant their prisoner’s immediate release. Of course, none would be so thoughtless to kneel to such offers when in doing so it would mean their own execution. She knew this well from the many rewards that had been thrown back into her face just like how her screams were thrown back into her own ears.

Time meant nothing in her dingy circle of hell but she was sure that a year had passed since she was taken. Unlike most teenagers, she did not bring in her sweet sixteen in a limousine or surrounded by her dearest companions, no, she brought in her birthday strapped to a table of pure discomfort. Her hands were bound tightly above her whilst her feet were bound below her. And rather than celebrate, she didn’t even notice that another year of her life had passed as the cloaked men above her sliced away at her skin as it attempted ever so valiantly to repair itself before too much blood was lost onto the metal slab. No matter how much she screamed, the torture would never end. The pain would never stop. She was alone; all because of her black eyes.


There were no screams tonight; Alexandra didn’t need to scream now. All of that pain was gone. It had passed just as easily as her last birthday. Of course, Alexandra’s birthdays would come and go just like the strangers that constantly passed her in the streets but she was no longer 16, she was no longer a prisoner to her own kind… her old kind. No, she was now 17 and living in Portsmouth, hiding from the likes of her own brother as he furiously hunted her to return her to the chamber where she had counted each blood stained brick and where she had wept every waking second for a family that refused to come.

Sitting up on the rooftop of a grand building that overlooked the crossing between both Portsmouth and the nearby Isle of Wight, Alexandra stretched her arms high above her, stretching out the muscles that had tightened during her sleep before cracking her knuckles, one of the many terrible habits that caused people to visibly cringe. With a lazy glance out to the unusually calm ocean, the first ferry of the morning began to enter Portsmouth’s dockyard signalling that it was closing in on 6am.

Hands rubbing lazily at her tired eyes, Alexandra froze as a slight speck of pain pinched just below her right eye, catching her attention considering she no longer felt pain like the mortals around her. Rapidly rummaging through the lone duffel bag that was enchanted to act as if it never ended inside, Alexandra soon retrieved a jewel encrusted pocket mirror and was soon staring in astonishment at her reflection. “Well, that’s new…” she mumbled to herself as her fingers began dabbing away at the tattoo-like shape that had burned itself into her tanned skin. “New but fitting…” Alexandra almost added as an afterthought.

Below her, the ferry’s car passengers began their departure off of the large vessel, all tourists and workmen alike oblivious to the blonde girl perched up on the high roof, dabbing away at the burning star that had etched itself into her skin, refusing to budge no matter how hard she rubbed. The mark simply continued to darken whilst Alexandra was on the brink of throwing one of her tantrums that usually ended up with someone, or something, being set alight in a rush of black and red flames.

Once she had rubbed hard enough to redden the skin even further, Alexandra threw the intricate mirror across the ledge of the roof, watching it with pure hatred as it flew through the air and crashed into its target; through one of the many glass windows of the ferry. It was an impressive throw but not one a mortal could make. Satisfied with the damage and sudden chaos that had been caused by her actions, Alexandra turned her back to the expanse of water and its floating vessel whilst rubbing her hands together vigorously, slight sparks shooting off as she mumbled a few incantations under her breath, her dark eyes remaining open despite the flames that were rising dangerously close to her face. Smoke began to billow out around her hands, engulfing her skin in dark ash as the world around her spun nauseatingly fast before halting to a state where not even the nearby seagulls flapped their wings in mid-flight.   

“I do so hope that wasn’t the St. Clare. That truly was my favourite of the ships.” Swinging around, Alexandra groaned in frustration at the dark shape that was evolving before her very eyes, rising from the cloud of smoke that she had previously created.

“What is this?!” Her painted nail flew up to point at the black ‘tattoo’ that seemed as if it was still burning its way into her skin. The figure merely chuckled through the smoke, his amusement evident.

“Nice ink, Furud.”

“Why does it hurt?! You promised me no more pain!”

“I promised nothing. I said that I would take away your care for pain.”

“Well, I am caring for this pain and I do not like it!” Red and black sparks began to sizzle into being at the tips of Alexandra’s fingers despite her knowing nothing could harm the creature.

“Whatever that mark upon your skin is, it is not of our doing so you’re wasting your time by summoning me here. You were warned the night we came that you would need to face him again. We warned you, yet you dismiss our warning.” Just like the being’s interest, the smoke cloud began to slowly drift off over the dockyard, dragging the grinning face with it.

“You said I was free of that kind! You said my soul was what bound me to them!” The smoke now smirked tauntingly at her until it evaporated into the air, leaving only the eerily clear voice behind in the breeze in answer to Alexandra.

“Did you really think that an enchanter who chose to live among us would ever be free?”

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