Welcome to my weekly Wednesday Brief flash fiction entry! This is just a free piece of flash fiction (between 500-1,000) words based off of a prompt. I’m part of a wonderful group of flashers 😉 and I’ll have a link to a site where you can read other stories, after my piece.
Her full lips curved upward into a warm, gentle smile. Her hands were warm as they clasped my own, pulling me across the bed, closer to her, moving from the shadows the fringes of the delicate light that emanated from the transport gem. “I’ve come to take you away.”
“I can’t leave. Travel by the Touched is expressly forbidden.” I couldn’t find my voice, that all that came past my lips was a hoarse whisper. “They will kill you,” and make me watch, was left unsaid.
We all know the rules, they’re burned into our psyche at a young age.
Again with that infuriating smile that made my heart skip a beat and a curious warmth low in my belly. It was full of mischief and fun, promising laughter and joy that I hadn’t experienced since I was a child. Back before I knew that the lightening was to be feared, not relished, and the storm heralded things that I couldn’t possibly control, but came to me to be owned. This close to her, I could see the freckles on her skin, scattered like the stars once dotted the sky. Now they were blotted out by the lights, and the spiraling towers of buildings and apartments. Her eyes were a deep green, gold ringing around the pupil–one of the first signs of being Touched. She still held my hands tightly, the warmth spreading through my limbs, setting fire to my veins. A smear of soot ran across the bridge of her nose.
“They can’t hurt you any more, Brooke. You’re coming with me. This is your chance to leave all of this behind.” My arm followed the same swooping gesture as her own. “You can be free. There’s more to life than the steel and glass, and brown clothes.” She too spoke in a whisper. “I can take you away from this.”
“Why would you risk this for me?”
Something moved behind those green eyes, a flicker of fear, a sliver of darkness. “You’ll make a mistake, and the consequences are so much more intolerable when we are of age.”
“You don’t know me.”
“I know Jared.” She squeezed my hands. “I know that our fates are linked, I know that I am the one to take you from here and show you the other realms.” She glanced toward the door, then back to me. “I know you’ve read about them, in the books you smuggle home.”
“You’ve watched me?”
“I can only see you when you’re emotional.” Astrid shrugged. “We don’t have much time. The blackout will be over soon, and we’ll both be stuck here until the next one.”
“That’s how you got past the Sentinel.” I said. The Sentinel had been there as long anyone remembered. It once was a computer program, in the dark ages– but once the awakening came, and with it magic something happened to cause it to grow, to think. It protected our city from intrusions, and kept tabs on the Touched.
Astrid nodded, released my hands. She reached into a small leather pouch at her hip, and drew out a necklace. From a delicate silver chain swung an oval stone, faced surface glinting shades of violet in the low light. “You are my other half. It’s a strange pairing, fire and storm magics, since we’re both strong, but if it is as fate wills, who am I to fight that?”
“You’ll fight against society, but not fate?” I breathed in, watching the stone twinkle. “Is that for me?”
“I pick my battles. And yes, it is yours.” She held the transporter out to me. “It will also amplify your abilities, but we’ll get to that when we’re in a safe place and I can see what you’ve been hiding.”
“Our stones match.” The necklace around Astrid’s neck was flush to her skin, the chain thick rectangular links of glimmering gold. The stone blazed red, with the same intensity as my own. Matched in size and weight they made a striking pair.
“Fate,” She replied easily. The bed groaned as she got to her feet, and held her hand out to me. “Please, come with me.”
“I don’t have anything ready to leave.” Fear took over, settling in my chest. My heart ached with every pounding beat. The room felt cold, the skin on my arms prickling into goose-bumps under my sleeves, though sweat gathered at the nape of my neck. “Is this a test?” I brandished the transport amulet at her, the metal searing my fingertips.
“You don’t need anything.” Her voice even, I could see my fear reflected on her face. “My word as bond I will not let anything living or dead harm you.” Static silence built up between us, making it hard to breath. My chest tight, I could feel bile in my throat, burning and bitter, the lukewarm remnants of my dinner threatening to reappear.
“I accept your oath.” I spoke the words I had only heard, never having the opportunity to speak them, as no one would bind themselves to someone who was Touched. The air became easier to breath, my chest loosening. Fingers trembling, I opened the clasp of the chain, and set it around my neck. The metal was cold against my skin, the gem heavy between my breasts.
“Take my hand, and we’ll leave this place behind.” Astrid said.
I glanced around the near empty room, a sense of loss creeping into the back of my mind. I knew what my parents would find in the morning, I knew what they would do when they discovered me missing. Just as they had with Jared, they would throw my belongings into the incinerator, remove my pictures from the wall–take my younger sister to the doctor where he would remove all traces of me from her memory. They would remember, as was price of creating two Touched children. Jenna wouldn’t know either of her siblings.
I inhaled, exhaled, and took Astrid’s hand. “I am ready.”