Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Summoning 2

Zalia Thorne walked through the long corridor of the train, passing compartments as she went until she finally settled into an empty one. She placed her shoulder bag beneath the seat and settled her head against the side of the compartment her eyes staring out the window at the fog covered platform. There were no parents, family members to wave good bye just more children filing onto the train. She wasn't sure how she was supposed to feel about it, leaving home. Sad perhaps maybe a little bit frightened and yet she simply felt numb.
"Excuse me is this seat taken?" a quiet little voice pulled Zalia from her thoughts and turned her attention towards the compartment door. There was a girl standing there, her hair was blond and in the dim light could have been mistaken for white, her skin was just was pale, almost sickly looking and her eyes the colour of the darkest brown. She looked as though one gust of wind would snap her in two and the thought amused Zalia.
"Go ahead" she said simply her voice showing her lack of interest in the concept. Whether or not the girl took the seat across from her held no bearing for her trip.
“Welcome Students” a shrill and overly enthusiastic voice echoed through a static filled intercom. “The train will be departing for The Academy in precisely ten minutes, we ask that you take this time to change into your supplied uniforms and someone will be by to inspect you shortly” as if on cue another boy appeared at the compartment door. He didn’t ask permission to enter he simply did so pulled up the input screen on the side panel. Zalia watched as he entered his size requirements and moments later it spat out a uniform. Grey slacks, white shirt, grey sweater it was extremely lacking in the colour department though she supposed that was the point. Turning her attention to her own side panel she followed the instructions as he had and within moments held a similar outfit, only in place of grey slacks she and the tiny girl across the compartment from her had grey stockings and skirts. Pulling the curtain around her seat Zalia changed from her long white summoning dress and into the supplied clothing before, with the simply wave of the hand the separation curtain retracted and she slummed back down into her seat, her eyes returning to the platform view.
“I’m Ilandra” the small little voice broke the silence again and both she and the boy to her side turned their attention to the girl across from them. “I’m from Sector E” There were seven sectors across Westwell mostly divided by land type or produce. E, O, I, S, R and finally A.
“Rykel, O” the boy spoke. The roughness of his voice surprised her, or perhaps it was the fact that he could speak at all, he had certainly seemed more like the silent type than a conversational one. Both their eyes fell to Zalia now as they waited for some form of introduction and she turned away before she added.
“Zalia” I stated “Sector A” I admitted not that it mattered anymore. These sectors were no longer their homes. Some of them might be sorted back home eventually but many of them would not be likely to see our homes again. The blond girl went to open her mouth again when the compartment door flew open. A chill settled over the space as a grey looking man stood there. He was large enough to block the entire door, tall enough to cast a shadow over all of them. “Up” he demanded his tone cold and harsh. The three of them wasted no time getting to our feet as he looked us over through dark rimmed squared spectacles. “Right arms out, forearms up” he instructed next and they quickly slide up their sleeves and outstretched their arms. “Names and Sectors”
“Rykel Reese Sir, Sector O” suddenly the man pulled out a long silvery device and held it down to the boys arm she watched as Rykel flinched for a moment and as it was lifted away a black array of numbers appeared across his arm with a small circular symbol above.
“You!” the man stated to her and she turned her attention from the marks to him.
“Zalia Thorne, Sector A” and within second the burning pain had carved a set of numbers into her arm as well. Her eyes settled on them and knew it was now her identifying factor
070990 she reached to run her fingers across the raised skin before she was stopped by his sharp tone.
“Don’t touch it you’ll get yourself an infection, you girl, your name”
“Ilandra Rollins Sector E” the other girl spoke meekly and it caused Zalia to roll her eyes, that was a good way to get walked over for sure. Zalia watched as she too was marked before the man continued.
“These marks are now your means of identification you must scan your arm each time you enter in and out of any classroom, or building during Academy hours of operation, after hours you will be require to check into your dormitories by the same methods is this clear?” and the three of them nodded in unison. “Now check in by means of your screens so the Academy can be assured you are on board” he said and moved to leave before stopping “and for the love of Westwell straighten your shirt” he stated to Rykel before slamming the compartment door shut behind him.
“Well someone forgot his happy juice this morning” Zalia commented before turning to the screen on her panel and allow the mechanism to scan her arm. “let’s hope they’re not all that miserable” Her eyes turned back to the other two now, Rykel seemed unshaken but Ilandra looked close to tears. “Look you better toughen up sweetheart because the Academy is designed to find and prey on your weaknesses the best way to beat them is to not show them any weaknesses at all” technically she knew the Academy was designed to discover their strengths, and to pair them with those who had likeminded or complimentary traits to reproduce, but they also watched for your weaknesses as a method of division.
“And you’re perfect?” Rykel growled at her.
“No” she stated simply. “I’m just trying to be a realist here”
“No you’re being a pessimist and the compartment could do without the negativity don’t you think we’re all scared enough as it is” It was a thought that had never occurred to Zalia, that the others might be frightened of their journey. The realization silenced her quickly and her violet eyes turned to the ground as she thought through that idea. It seemed absurd, to be afraid when they’d all known since birth that the day was approaching but maybe she had just been hardened to it.
“I’m sorry” She spoke suddenly, not to Rykel but she lifted her eyes to the small girl before her. “I didn’t mean to sound so harsh but I don’t know about you I don’t want to end up in the Otherlands” but even with her attempt at an apology she could hear the words came out forced, she sounded so insincere no matter how much she actually meant it. She was so focused on surviving the Academy, not only surviving but excelling and hopefully gaining a place of nobility, with a higher income and better perks. She hadn’t been destitute, but her family had struggled on occasion to make it by, she wouldn’t do that to her own children and if she didn’t have control over who she married she was going to have control over something. The Otherlands was the place the selectioners sent the undesirable candidates, those who had been born unusual, that didn’t fit into the textbook image of human perfection. The infertile, the mutated, the deformed and sickly were all sent to the Otherlands to die and Zalia would be damned if she, or anyone else in the compartment was banished there. The screechy voice returned to the intercom as she demanded that everyone take their seats and Zalia returned to her place, her gaze fixed out the window as she watched the train move down the track and the place she once knew as home disappear forever.


The jolt of a stopping train had shocked her awake and the site of her sitting up in a semi-panic brought amusement to him. Served her right for being a downer. As the announcement game over the intercom they all stood and gathered their things entering the corridor to file off into the receiving dock of The Academy. As he stepped out into the cloud covered sun he squinted his cerulean eyes and lifted an arm to shelter them from the suddenly light as the large building came into view he was left speechless. He’d seen photos of The Academy before, in school it was part of their history of course, part of their culture but to actually see it first hand, was both frightening and invigorating. The building was aged stone, and just a bleak and grey as its surroundings but the size and history it held was enough to urge him forward. Long before the fire had destroyed everything, the Academy had been a castle a place that oozed history and charm, that kings and queens had lived and ruled but as one of the only freestanding buildings left it had been renovated for the program and he hated to think what beauty and soul they had sucked out of it. The only hint of color was the lush regrowth of forestry that held the backdrop of the building itself. It was partitioned from the grounds with no visible access that he could see, at least not at first glance. He had one goal at the Academy, come out on top. He had lived in the farthest and poorest section of Sector O, his father had died when he was five and he had four older brothers to follow after. With their mother’s job they had barely survived, it became a little easier each time of them was Summoned until finally, he’d been alone, and now, his mother was alone until, or unless he was sorted back to Sector O an outcome he didn’t find all that likely.

WELCOME” The booming voice shocked him out of his thoughts and his eyes quickly turned to the front of the building. There she stood, and in person she appeared more frightening than any photograph could have portrayed. Her tall, boney figure and angular features made her appear harsh, even with what could have passed as a slight smile on her thin lips. “My name, as I’m certain most of you already know is Director Tamesis Blake and I am in charge of the program, The Academy and in turn, all of you” the idea was chilling, ownership of their lives had never been in their possession, from birth they were pledged to the program, The Academy had always owned him he’d never been free. “Now for some introductory information, you will each sit a brief written exam upon entering and from there you will be divided into four profiles, you will then be housed and evaluated with those of your likeness for the remainder of your time here” it was really not time to be screwing up together and he felt tingling nerves spreading through his arms at the idea that it was so final. He turned his eyes next to him and found Zalia had taken to stopping there. Typically she looked the same as ever, unthreatened and unimpressed by the building, the events and the finality of what was ahead of them. Maybe she was right, it didn’t really matter what he wanted, he had no control, they’d never have any control.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Dalton's part 10

Despite her own strength, supporting Hunter as they tried to make their way from the building unnoticed was a more difficult task than she had initially bargained for. This whole scenario was just a great reminder of why she didn't date, talk about complicated. As she got him outside she leaned him against the building lettings her eyes take a quick assessment, ensuring he was in one piece. As she lifted her eyes to meet his she found he was staring at her with a blank, if not shocked look on his face. She took a moment to survey herself and realized she was covered from head to toe in blood spatter. Hesitating to speak she tried quickly to formulate a lie in her mind, but she couldn't think of anything that was believable. Lying was a special skill to a Dalton, it came second nature because the truth sounded more absurd than any lie could, and she knew that. "That was so bad ass" he said suddenly and it was her turn to look shocked.
"You and I have a very different idea of that then" she said simply "That was survival plain and simple" She took no pleasure in it, and whether or not it was bad ass seemed irrelevant to her, her mind was set on the task, get the ring, get the boy.
"What the hell were those?" he asked now pushing himself up off the ground and she moved to help him stand again.
"Trust me sweetheart, you don't wanna know" she said. "but come on, lets get you out of here before the rest of them come back" She said. On foot, it was going to be one hell of an escape especially with his current state. If it had been a question of him or her, she might have just left him there, the truth was harsh but it was survival of the fittest. Despite the agonizing time it had taken them to get back into the city limits Lia felt a wave of relief wash over her. Still, she had stopped by the River to wash the blood off her face and hands as to not alarm the people around them, slipping off her jacket she turned her dress backward and placed the jacket back on to hide what blood might have shown through.
"You're pretty skilled at that" Hunter observed and she shrugged her shoulders gently.
"Unfortunately nothing to be proud of" that she had long since learned to hide blood spatter, it made her seem worse, if not the same as a psychopath.
"So much for our first date" he added.
"My first date" she informed him.
"Wait what?"
"It was my first date..."
"Ever?" she nodded to confirm the fact and he looked confused.  "Is that even possible, you're super hot" and the observation caused her to laugh slightly.
"Thanks, I think?" it was a compliment, she knew that well enough but she still was uncertain how to take anything he said. Still she wasn't sure why she'd told him that, he seemed to be thinking about it more than she felt comfortable, she didn't typically like people analyzing things about her, the less people understood her the easier it was to keep them at a distance. The problem now was convincing him what he'd seen wasn't real, or somehow finding an explanation for it that wasn't going to ruin the rest of his life. The supernatural had a habit of doing that, ruining peoples lives and she tried to protect as many people from it as possible. She knew, that it was too late for her and her brothers, but if she could keep the rest of the world out of the life than at least she would have accomplished something.
"Can you at least tell me what that was about?" he asked and she slipped the ring out of her pocket and flashed it quickly.
"I told you, It wasn't mine" she said simply. "People get a little possessive about things like this, apparently it's worth killing for"
"So what? They're like the ring mafia?" he trailed off slightly before he stared at her again "Holy shit, you're a contract killer!" he said as though he'd just unraveled the secrets of the universe. "That's why you're so good at that, you're some kind of professional" he said and she narrowed her eyes in slight confusion. That was the first time anyone had ever thrown that theory out at her but the human mind had a way of pacifying itself, so many he had simply chosen not to remember, or to even see their fangs. It wasn't the worst theory out there, and it certainly gave her an easy enough out, after all when you were in that line of work you sort of needed to stay under the radar.
"And what if I am?" she asked cautiously trying to feel out the situation, was he going to talk to someone about this, if so she was going to do the one thing she'd been trying to avoid, sticking her brothers on him to make sure he didn't talk about any of it. There was a few moments of silence between them before he grinned brightly.
"That's awesome!" and again she rolled her eyes, he really had a horrible concept of what was determined cool in societal standards. Still, it was better than having to explain to him that she'd just slaughtered an entire vampires nest in front of him.
"You need to keep what happened tonight between us" she spoke quickly, she couldn't have word of it getting out to anyone, it would make him a target even after she was gone.
"Right sure, don't want to blow your cover and all that" He said casually and she stopped walking turning quickly she grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him toward her into a nearby alley way before pushing his back against the brick wall in the darkness, her expression threatening as she held her face an inch from his her green eyes glaring into him.
"You breath a word of this or me to anyone and I will singlehandedly make sure you have no more stories to tell, we clear?" her breath was heavy and her voice serious and calm hiding the tremble of fear that was hidden within her mind, the only thing worse than letting one of those bloodsuckers get away was getting caught and locked in either prison or worse a mental institution. Beneath her clenched fists the back of her hands were resting against his chest, she could feel the heavy beating of his heart as his blue eyes searched hers before he let out a gentle breath closing the space between them and capturing her lips against his own in a heated kiss. Was that a yes? God, he was truly infuriating, she could feel her blood boiling as the heat from it rushed to her face, or was that something else? Her grip on his shirt loosened but it wasn't, to her own surprise to pull away. Her hands moved instinctively behind his neck pulling herself closer. For the first time she could remember, she was really truly alone no one was making the decisions now but her. Suddenly his hands, that had been pressed against the wall were on her waist and with ease he lifted her from the ground and turned them both pressing her back now against the wall leaning in and trapping her hips with his as she wound her legs around him. His lips trailed from hers gently across her jaw line until he stopped next to her ear "Lia" he said, his voice was rough, short of breath. I uttered a sound that might have sounded like an acknowledgement but my mind was running full speed, racing almost as quickly as my pulse which quickened as his hand came to rest on my thigh slowly inching its way up. "I'm going to marry you" the laugh escaped her throat maybe too quickly, but she had already gotten a good hold on his warped sense of humor.
"Hunter" she responded her eyes closed as his warm breath against her skin cause her skin to raise her steady breathing followed by a sudden gasp. "Just shut up and kiss me"

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A European Adventure

Well that was certainly a long time to disappear but I swear I had a good excuse. I was traveling around Europe with an extremely well packed backpack and a good friend by my side. In the short four weeks I managed a Journey that took me from Madrid, all to way to Dublin with several stops along the way. The experience was amazing, and time in places like Florence and London were more than inspirational for my writing. There was no manner of culture shock (aside from the fact that a bottle of wine in Madrid was one 1 Euro) but only an appreciation of beauty and cultural differences. Canada is a great place in its own right but it truly lacks the rich history that Europe had around ever single corner. You couldn't turn a corner, or witness a building without a story that surrounded it and hundreds of years of history and conflict entwined in the stones. I fell in love with the continent. I have always been a lover of history and royalty, the trip offered me insight and information on both, from the royal guard changing and parade in Madrid to Koningsdag in the Netherlands and a walk through Kensington gardens. It was surreal and so often I felt myself wondering if some of what I was seeing truly existed. Monaco, is quite truly Hollywood's version of a country, it is the idealistic Beverly Hills of Europe. White pebbled beaches, crystal clear water, every second store dedicated to Ferrari or Rolex. Simply walking down the streets felt safe, serene, and everything was clean and well taken care of there was no sense of unrest of safety issues, it was truly a dream.

I've only been back a couple weeks and already I miss it there, more than I missed home while I was gone, what I wouldn't give now to be locked up in a country house in the hills of Tuscany writing away my novel with the warm breeze lofting through the windows. I can see the stairs of Florence now, and the Gardens, a place I could have spent so many days just basking in the history and beauty.