Genna Merden

Genevieve and Dane Merden live in a place called No Man's Land with their drunken father that so desperately tries to run from his past. For all Genna’s life her only goal was to make sure her father didn’t drink himself to death and keep the secrets that needed to be kept. But secrets never last, and she won’t realize how dangerous they are until they get out.

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“Gen!” Genna’s eyes fluttered open. “Genevieve!” It was Dane’s voice. At first she wondered why he wasn’t already in the fields, but the pounding of rain on the roof answered her question. Then came a crack of thunder. She was sitting up now. She couldn’t remember the last time it had rained this far to the west. She peered down from the loft. Dane used a thick quilt to soak up the water that came from under the door.

“It’s rainin good out there, help me out.” He called up to her.

“You idiot.” she grumbled, making her way past the sheets that separated the three sections for father, Dane, and herself to the ladder.

“Well if yer so clever,” he gestured to the water soaking thru the quilt and into the stone hut.

Genna landed on the dirt floor and pulled her trench coat off the hook and over her shoulders, covering the loose fitted button-up shirt she had slept in. Then she slipped on her leather boots and swiftly moved over to the fire place. Dane watched her, waiting to see what brilliant plan she had in mind. She picked up the wooden fire poker and made her way to the door. She snached up the now soked quilt and threw it into Dane’s arms and opened the door.

“What in holy heavens are ya doin?” he asked, still holding the quilt.

“Watch, ya pinhead.” she smirked at him. He shook his head and grabbed the hat that sat on the table and placed it on her head before she stepped outside into the pouring rain. With the fire poker in hand, Genna used the wide edge of the stick to create a series of channels in the dirt outside the door. This lead the water away from the hut and into the street. Water dripped off the rim of the old hat in front of Genna’s face as she worked. Not long after she stepped back into the hut and shut the door. She placed the hat back were Dane got it.

“At least one us had half a brain.” Dane joked.

“Aye.” Genna agreed. Then she realized, it was only the two of them in the hut. “Where’s Father?” she asked.

Dane shrugged, slinging the damp quilt over a chair to dry. “Where ya think?”

Genna huffed, and picked the hat back up and walked out the door into the rain.

“Genna!” Dane called after her, “He’s not worth yer time!”

Genna didn’t listen, she stormed down the flooded street to the pub. Lightning lit up the road as she walked. Right as she pushed open the swinging doors, thunder shook the old building. The bartender swept the wooden floor next to the table to her left. He looked up, startled. When he seen who she was he knew exactly what she had come for. He said nothing, just pointed to the loft.

She nodded, “Get me a bucket.” she ordered.

“Yes, Ma'am.” he responded immediately, and did as she asked.

Not long after he came back with a wooden bucket held together by a metal rim. She nodded to him in thanks and stepped back outside. She used the tough right out the door to fill up the bucket, then made her way back into the pub and up to the loft. The only things occupying the loft were three bodies. One of the three was her father’s. She sighed and tipped the bucket onto his head and took a few steps back for safety purposes.

He flew to his feet and stumbled for only a second. His eyes stopped on her and he relaxed. It was the first time she had seen him sober in a long while. He opened his mouth to speak, but the look on her face must have stopped him. Genna felt as if she might cry from anger and other emotions. He waited for her to speak. She felt her hands shake, she clenched her fists to stop them. Small sparks danced across them. She took a few deep breaths to stop her power before it got out of control. The sparks died and she relaxed her hands.

“You swore.” she said in a shaky, but stern voice. The look on his face revealed that he had no memory of promising to anything. He looked down at his feet. Genna’s heart was in her gut. “There’s a storm. The house was flooding, but don’t worry I fixed it.” she said quickly, struggling to control her anger. “And Dane hears of an Iseshore ship at the port. Probably means Lora’s comin for another chat.”

His eyes widened at this. “Again?” he finally spoke. “This soon?”

Genna crossed her arms.

He shifted nervously, “She needs to stop.” he said, slightly lowering his voice.

She wondered if father was speaking of Lora or the Ice Queen. “Which ‘she’?” Genna asked, razing her eyebrows. This took him by surprise. He hadn’t even referred to their mother in years. “Well.” she started, “I’m headed home so Dane don’t have to face the sister alone. Dane? Remember him? Yer son? You haven’t seen him in awhile.” she spoke harshly.

She then left him there. Standing alone in the dim loft of the pub. On the way out of the pub the Bartender gave her a strange look. For a second she wondered if he had heard anything. Imposible. She told herself. Father and her hadn’t spoken that loudly.

On the way back to the house her path was lit by the flickering candle light from the wooden structures on either side of her and the lightning that flashed frequently. For a second she thought about crying, the drops of rain would be the perfect disguise. No. she thought harshly to herself, no tears would be shed over this. Crying was never Genna’s thing. There was no time to weep over things. No time for regrets and sadness. Only time to move on and come up with solutions.

At her hut, she stepped carefully over her small channels that lead the rain away from the door. She noticed there were three more sets of footprints in the mud. Two much larger and deeper than the other. One set of footsteps had trampled one of her channels right over. “Ah!” she sounded in frustration. She used her boot to fix the dirt back into her desired shape that kept the water from leaking into her house.

She threw open the wooden door. The four beings in the hut all jumped in surprise. Genna was not in the mood to deal with this. “Get Out.” Genna commanded darkly to Lora and her two companions.

“Hello, Genevieve.” Lora greeted. Her voice made Genna sick to her stomach. It was much higher and smoother than Genna’s. Genna’s voice was low and cold. Lora’s voice was comforting, Genna’s made your skin crawl. This mirrored their powers in a way. They both had a sort of telekinesis, but Genna had added mind control and other small things. Lora supposedly could take away the feeling of pain.

Genna stormed closer, “Get. Out.” she said again.

Dane put a hand in front of her and whispered in her ear, “She brought food.” he hissed.

Genna looked at him, disgusted. “No.” she said to him. Then to Lora and the two men in armor she had on either side of her, “We don’t need yer help. We need ya to leave.” she said coldly.

Lora stepped closer to Genna, “And I need to speak to you on behalf of our mother. The food is just a peace offering.”

Lora was a good four inches shorter than Genna. There was a similarity in their appearance. They had the same thin lips and the same nose. They also had the same facial structure, but Genna’s was covered in freckles. That was about it. Genna had her father’s red hair and light brown eyes, and Lora had a chestnut color hair with eyes a touch darker than Genna’s. Those features were either from her own father or their mother, although Genna didn’t picture the Ice Queen with brown hair and brown eyes. When Genna thought Ice Queen she seen a pale, tall and thin lady with strong features. Long, white blond hair with icy blue eyes. But, what would Genna know? She had never seen her mother before.

“Well we definitely don’t want to talk to her.” Genna said, almost amused.

The man on Lora’s left was obviously greatly offended by this and drew his sword. This caused a lot of commotion. Dane stepped in front of Genna. Lora lifted a single hand and purple sparks formed around her hand and fingers, they also extended a ways up her arm. She didn’t do anything else, this was just a warning to the man that started to pull his sword. The man dropped it back into its sheath.

“None of that.” Lora said to the gard.

“Yes.” Genna agreed, “Now leave.”

“Your welcome.” Lora said, razing an eyebrow. She was referring to the incident only a few seconds before.

Genna narrowed her eyes and cocked her head to the side. “I could a done that myself.”

Lora smiled sweetly, “I am sure you could have.”

This made Genna’s blood boil. She practically growled at Lora.

“Now now,” Dane spoke up, “None a this is necessary. We’re willin to listen, but nothin else is set in stone.” he told her, taking Genna’s forearm to hold her beside him.

“There’s no ‘we’ in this.” Genna grumbled to Dane. He elbowed her in the gut and she shut her mouth.

“That is all we ask of you, Brother.” Lora nodded to Dane. Genna hated the way she spoke all proper. No one spoke like that in No Man’s Land.

Right then Father entered, everyone in the hut except Genna was taken back. Finally, someone that would be on her side. He didn’t look angry, surprised or even drunk.

The rain water dripped from his scruffy and scared face. His soft and weary eyes went from Dane to Genna. He sighed and spoke to Lora. “It’s great ta see that yer well, Lora, but I really need ya back on yer way.”

“Hugo.” she started. She walked closer to him, pushing past Dane and Genna. “It’s not safe here anymore.” she lowered her voice, but not enough so that Genna couldn’t hear.

Father’s mouth parted slightly. “Not for your children, and possibly not even for you.” she continued. “Tell me Mr Merden, what would happen if they found out the reasoning for you leaving them? What you did?”

Whatever this ment greatly offended Father. “Nothing.” he said sharply and coldly, “I don’t know what yer gettin at, but no madder the things I done-good er bad- my family wouldn’t do nothin to hurt me and my children.”

“Not your family anymore.” Lora corrected quickly. “Things have changed.”

“Always family.” he hissed. “That’ll never change.”

Lora swallowed hard and rather loudly. Genna and Dane exchanged looks of confusion. It was good to know someone was just as confused as herself. The two soldiers stood in the corner poker faced.

Lora stood silent, looking as if she didn’t know what to do next. The only sound in the hut was the cracking of the fire and the pounding of the rain on the roof. Lora glanced at Genna and made a face as if she had developed an idea.

“What would you know?” she asked Father in a harsh voice, “Seems to me that lately you’ve been to shitfaced to notice any of the changes going on around you.”

Genna snapped without any thought, her hand flew up at Lora. Red, violent sparks erupted from her hand. Lora expected this and blocked her with her own powers. Both of their forces entangled together between them, making a ball like shape of red and purple sparks.

Both of the soldiers drew their swords. Dane and Father jumped to action with surprising speed, but not as fast as Genna. Her free hand threw the two unnamed men into the nearest wall making a loud noise of armor hitting stone. Her red sparks held them there, not able to move.

She turned her attention back to Lora. Lora smerked. Genna quickly realized Lora had tricked her into snaping. Well played. Genna thought, but it would never happen again. Dane and Father froze, both watching Genna and Lora tensely. Genna realized just then how much Dane looked and moved like Father. When Father was sober at least.

Lora pushed harder at Genna. The purple sparks gained a little ground. Genna didn’t allow this, she pushed back. It was surprisingly easy to overpower Lora. The red sparks easily consumed the purple ones. Lora tried to stop this, but it was no use. Genna was stronger than her. Much stronger.

Lora smiled, “Okay, Sister.” she surrendered. Both of them dropped at the same time. The two soldiers stumbled, gaining back the control of their bodies.

Lora turned back to Father. “She is strong, Huge. They are both strong. It will only grow.” she spoke slow, so that he could fully understand what she was saying. “They are half magic, half assassin.”

Genna’s brow hardened. Yes, Father was an assassin. He killed people for money. What did that have to do with Dane and her?

“Half of their blood is from the Ice Queen and the other half from the Merden family.” Lora repeated in more detail to make herself clear. “Surly you seen this coming.”

“Aye.” Father’s voice cracked. “I can protect em.” he looked Genna and Dane in the eyes.

Lora lowered her voice so no normal ear could possibly hear, but unfortunately for Lora, both Genna and Dane did not have normal ears. “There is a prophecy that speaks of them, Huge. They are not safe here. Isabel insists that they come to Iceshore. With her.”

Genna turned to Dane. He was already looking at her, his expresion mirrored hers. His tired face filled with confusion and almost everything else. Prophecy? Genna had little to no knowledge of prophecies or anything like that. All she knew was what they were, some prediction of the future that was pretty much always right. What future could Dane and Genna possibly have that was so important that it was carved in stone? One that put them in so much danger that their mother insists that they come to Iceshore at once.

“Greenholt has heard of them. They will come for their heads.” Lora told Father.

Father was speechless. “No Greeny could find us here.” his voice was unsure.

“True.” Lora agreed, “But one of your people could. Easy.”

“What are talkin about?” he asked, baffled.

Lora stared at him, like he didn’t know something that was obvious. “The assassins are loyal to Greenshore now, Hugo.”

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