Sara chatain belongs to Gwenn of the @2BlueWizards
Dark clouds marched from the sea, the wind their banners, the lightning their spears, the thunder their drum. They came with the force of nature, and men will give way to this force. Sara looked to the sky, it was completely black, the storm clouds had lain out their cohorts, they were ready for war. There came thunder their roll of drum, then a lightning cut open the night sky, it was the first-thrown spear that signals the starting of the war, then came the arrows of rain.
Sara began to run, she already started to understand the nature of Alinna’s decision. Sara had nothing, no money, no means of contact, she won’t even survive the night, or the next day, letting alone returning to Paris. Sara used to think people are kind, maybe they are, given the condition they have nothing to gain from her. But whatever the odds are, Sara was determined to run, and first thing first, she needed to find a shelter.
Sara hid under a staircase in a narrow alley, it must be the fire stair of some nearby apartment. For now, Sara thought, and proceeded to wipe the water from her face. She caught movement in the corner of her eye. Sara, being on the edge of her nerve, jumped deeper into the shadow. Had she been spotted? Sara heard a flutter of wings, she looked up through the gap between each stair, only a shape can be made out beyond the curtain of the rain. It was black, and had wings, a bird, her Avian Friend, can it be? The bird tapped on a window on the second or third floor, from which flowed a warm orange light.
"Now what the devil is it?" Someone shouted inside the window, a woman, and the window opened to the tapping. "Oh well hello, birdie, do you wanna come ins...aye where you going?" Sara again heard the flapping, and out of the rain a dark shadow dashed towards her. Sara let out a short scream.
"Oi, someone down there?" It was the woman upstairs. Sara did not want to be spotted, she...well she simply can’t take the risk, she doesn’t want trouble. Sara flattened herself against the wall, she kept her steps light and small. Almost there, just one more step! The ground felt warm...and furry, and it moved, and hissed a scream. Something sprinted from Sara’s foot to a nearby trash can, it was large, and has glowing yellow eyes, and it hissed again at Sara, a cat. And Sara in turn screamed in fright.
"Hey, you down there, you alright? What’s the business, you’d better talk or I’ll call the police." The woman upstairs shouted again.
No, not the police! "No, Madame, please I’m just finding a place for the rain." Sara shouted back. And a beam of flashlight shone to the corner she was hiding.
"Miss, you alone down there? That’s no place for shelter, got a place to go to? Or else you’d better come up. It’s a good neighbour, but you never know."
"...." That went quite opposite to Sara’s original plan. Sara planned to find a hotel of some sort, and though she hated to but she might get one night or two free accommodation by means of her 'gifted' voice. But now...
"Miss, you there? Do you want me to call the police?"
"No!" Sara responded ab.ruptly, "Thank you Madame, I’ll come up."
Sara dried her wet hair with a towel, it was not from the rain. The owner of the studio was kind enough to let her use the shower.
"Here you go, chicken soup." Sara took the mug with both of her hands and thanked her hostess, and carefully dodged the cats, they basically own this small one bedroom apartment.
"Name’s Maeve, what’s your?" The woman of the studio sat down on a beanbag cross the tea table. She’s a small woman, had wild locks of dim golden ginger, which makes her little frame somehow resembles a burning match. Her small cat-like face was beamed with curiosity, well-defined by her high cheek bones, and round glittering emerald eyes.
"...Sara." Despite her hesitation, Sara give her real name.
"Nice name, where you from?" Asked Maeve.
"France, you may say so..." Sara sipped from her mug, and give Maeve a smile. To one side of her hostess, that was the main door, and on the back of it something familiar pink caught Sara’s eyes. A dress, a pink bohemian dress.
"Pardon me, but...are you Miss Floren?"
"Aye, that’s my last name, Maeve Floren. Do I know you?" The woman of the studio tilted her head and her b.rows raised in confusion.
"I saw you earlier, at Ginger Cafe." Sara was somehow happy, it was comforting, to a degree to see a familiar face after being dumped in the middle of a storm. Even though they had only met once.
"Oh really? That’s some luck I say." Maeve nodded, and returned a smile, she sounded happy as well.
"Do...do you mind I ask you something?"
"Do you know someone by the Name...Lin?"
"Never heard of that."
"How about Alinna? Or di’Nox?"
"Doesn’t ring the bell, what she looks like? That’s a she, no?" Maeve looked up to the ceiling and shook her head.
"She’s...she’s quite tall, taller than me. Dark hair, really dark, and have amber...maybe b.rown eyes." Sara remember the vision Alinna gave her. "She doesn’t look entirely Caucasian, has some Asian trace in her."
"No, that’s too b.road, we’ve got quite a few Asians in our neighbourhood, no offence, but all Asians have dark hair and b.rown eyes." The woman tutted and shook her head again.
"No, she looks like mixed blood, but..."
"Sorry, can’t help you." Maeve shrugged.
"Oh, thank you."
So she lied to her again? Obviously isn’t it? But for what purpose? Alinna fab.ricated a life just to endear Sara? Well she did a bad job at that. And something’s...if endearment is what she wanted, Alinna could easily make up better scenarios, she’s good at that. Let’s be honest if Alinna put on a friendly mask, Sara probably would trust her. Why come all these riddle talk, hard attitude and scary visions? As if she was shouting: Go away and don’t come closer! Lylthians like to make things complicated I guess, that was Sara’s conclusion.
"Why you ask about her? She done something to you?" Maeve folded one leg and sat on it.
"Yeah, quite a lot." Sara nodded.
"You know times when you just stop looking, things pop up from nowhere."
"Yeah, I guess." Sara felt a little nudge at her elbow, she saw a kitten, no larger the size of her palm. It was black from head to paw, expect for a crescent shape white fur on its chest. By look the kitten has not the best health, it has one eye shut close the other opened a crack, and its pupil looks dull. The kitten purred and tried to snuggle under Sara's arm.
"Come here Tínul (Tee-nool), don’t bother our guest." Maeve reached out to hold the kitten by waist, but she can’t take it off. Tínul’s little claws hooked to Sara’s jumper.
"Ah ma pauvre chérie." The rain, the wind, the coldness, they were all gone, all gave away to Tínul’s little soft paws, so did Sara’s heart. Sara took the little kitten and it curled up in her arms. "It’s ok."
"He likes you." Maeve grinned, and her little canines gave that grin a wicked vibe, the mischievous kind.
"He? Oh mon chéri." Sara tapped his little nose, and the little kitten waved his paws trying to catch Sara’s finger. Sara felt her heart melts.
"Can I keep him?" Sara asked her hostess, who was observing her and the kitten with great interest.
"Maybe, if that’s what he wants." Little Tínul yawned a purr and began to knead Sara’s chest, now she can’t take her eyes off him!
"How come you keep so many cats?" Sara was indeed curious.
"Keep' em? Nay, they are my people, well my family, families stick together." Out of no where, Maeve’s pupils narrowed and she grab a slipper and threw it at Sara’s head, Sara took a fright and dogged, but the slipper wasn’t aiming for her, it flew over her head and hit something on the kitchen counter. "Get off there, don’t touch it!"
Sara turned around and saw a cat quickly jumped off the counter, away from a tea cup. "Why did you do that?" Sara frowned.
"Because that’s my Baileys, and that’s alcohol. Cats can’t drink alcohol, but they don’t know that, they think it’s milk! If I don’t be rough about this, he may think it's fine but the damage will show over times."
There was something, a feeling, Sara can’t quite grasp it. It was like a stroke of violin string, kind of there, kind of not. Sara remembered back in the days, Constance scored her harshly for wandering off limit in their old castle, and even suspended her snacks for a week. Sara never understand her guardian's anger until one day, she nearly fell off a decayed floor. The castle was old and unstable and Constance was just trying to proteact her.
"So what’s your plan, heading somewhere." Maeve’s question pulled Sara back from her thoughts.
"I...I am trying to go to Paris."
"If you can swim, across the sea that’s France." Maeve gave a slight point southward.
"Where are we?" Sara asked in confusion.
"You don’t know? For real? You’re not been kidnapped, aren’t you?"
If Sara would be completely honest, she was, but then how can she explain? "No," Sara said. "I...I was with some one, but I...I decided to go off by myself."
"You were ditched aren’t you? Wait is that Lin? Geez she’s kinda a jerk." Maeve tutted in disapproval and made a face.
"In some way, yeah."
"Well you can take the train to London and fly to Paris. We’re in Brighton by the way."
Ok, quick thinking Sara, you don’t have your passport with you, and money, and well basically anything. And airport is busy, surveillance are many, who knows who’s watching? Maybe she should turn to the French Embassy? How about her arrival record, Sara has none into this country, there were simply too many things she can’t explain. Well Sara could argue she was kidnapped, then all the investigation? Sara simply just wanted to go home!
"Hey wait, I’ve got a mate driving down to Newhaven tomorrow, you can take ferry to Dieppe, you can ride train to Paris from there! But that's up to you."
"That sounds good!" Sara's eyes lit up but quickly dimmed, how the hell can she book a ticket? And Britain being Britannia she still needs a passport. For a moment Sara feel she shouldn’t just went off, at least the whole ‘mirror teleport’ thing is pretty convenient.
"Wait, you’ve got anything with you? I mean you’re travelling, right? No, don’t tell me that Lin has all your luggage, you should call the police!"
"No, we...I don’t know how to explain this to you, but it’s not what you think. We had quarrels and I’ll be honest, I don’t like her, I don’t understand her logic, and I swear I want slap her in the face if she does that riddle talk again. But...she kind of saved my life once, and...well and there are things I want to know, and she might has the answer."
"Everything has a price you know. You don’t have to know whether it’s sun goes around the earth or other other way round to well...live. Often times they look like milk but they are poison."
"But aren’t you curious?"
"Curiosity kills the cat. Ok, I don’t know why I do this, maybe because Tínul likes you, I’ll book a ticket for you alright?" Maeve took a long look into Sara’s eyes as if she was trying to read something, but suddenly she bolted out of her seat and hauled out a laptop from a pile of clothes.
"No, I can’t accept this..." Sara held out a hand to stop her hostess from doing whatever she was trying to do.
"Yes you can and you must. I’m not gonna just leave you out on the street! Look I want to be a good people, and you want to go home, so let me handle this, and save us both sometime, ok?" Maeve opened her laptop and began to type.
"Maeve, I can’t thank you enough, you must take this." Sara was speechless, she cannot be more grateful! She unlatched a chain around her neck, took up Maeve’s hand and put it inside hers. It was a simple pierce of jewelry, but it’s gold.
"Everything has a price."
On the edge of the city, a woman stood alone on top of a hill. Above her, the heavenly war had reached its climax. The lightning weaved a net that lit the entire night sky, mortals shun this power, but this woman withstand it.
"Ishuul, you must return to her." Said the woman to another figure at her side. The long train of her outfit caught in the wind and bellowed behind her like strange wings.
"No, Eresh, let me return to your side." It was a man, he leaned forward, pressing a hand against his chest.
"No, Ishuul, she needs you." Urged the woman.
"Do you not need me as well? You were hurt, let me stand in your guard!"
"Ishuul, I can well defend myself, but she cannot."
"Why do you want to protect that ungrateful woman, she is not worth it!"
"Ungrateful? To what does she own us gratitude?" The woman turned her head to the man.
"You saved her life!"
"We also ruined her life. No Ishuul, can you not see? She came out from nowhere, she should well remain hidden but some one want her seen. It is the work of the Fate."
"Then Eresh why send me to protect her? If it is the will of the Fate, then Fate will see it done."
"Because that is the least we can do. I tried to scare her away, but she will return, Ishuul, she will return. I hope the guardians of this land can help her."
"And you wish her to return?"
There was a long pause, "...yes."
"Then as your wish, my Queen."
The man threw himself down the hill, but in his place a raven like creature soared high, almost touched the heavenly battlefield. He rode a saber lightning, the wind filled his feathers and he dove into the night.
By nightfall a 90s or 80s Rolls Royce silver spirit pulled out at Maeve’s apartment front. Conveniently the rain had just stopped. This friend of Maeve was supposed to meet them in the morning but can’t make it because of the rain. How convenient for Sara! They heard the car horn and went down stairs. A kind-faced chubby man greeted them from the drive’s seat.
"George you’re late!" Maeve complained impatiently with arms akimbo.
"Beg your forgiveness but the weather agrees differently." The man unbuckled from his seat and touche his hat b.rim. He...looked familiar.
"George Barnabus, at your service, madam."
"Mr. Barnabus, you are from the Ginger Cafe, are you not? I saw you the other day." Sara acknowledged gladly
"What a merry coincidence! So it all seems meant to be, then let us waste no more time." Mr. Barnabus opened his back seat door for Sara. "Any luggage madam?"
"Thank you Monsieur, just me."
"That’s it then, fasten your seat belt, madam. A good night to you, A Bhean Cat, we shall see each other again."
"Slán tamall, George, drive safe!" Maeve waved her hand at them both and they drove away.
They spend less than thirty minutes on the road. Mr. Barnabus was a good man, very kind. They made small talks on the way, Sara again asked about Alinna but Mr. Barnabus wasn’t sure, or would not talk. The trip was uneventful, and Mr Barnabus dropped her off at the port and wished her good luck. Sara thanked him and saw him drove off into the night.
Now Sara was alone again, she needed to came up with something, how to get her bypass the Customs? The night wind by sea was quite chill, Sara pulled tight her jumper, tucked her hands in her pocket and began to cross the street. As she walked pass a trash can, out of the shadows something suddenly sprang at her. Sara screamed and flung her hands to whatever the devilish it was, grabbing it by hair or fur and threw it on to the pavement. "Get off me you damn bloody beast." Sara yelled. The thing arched its back and hissed a low threatening hiss. It was a black cat, an enormous one, larger than a dog. The cat glared at Sara with two ugly yellow eyes, Sara threw a fist at it and the cat quickly hissed and ran back into the dark.
Now what, Sara groaned, and put her hands in the pocket. Wait a minute, what did she just throw at the cat? Sara turned her pocket inside out, it was empty. Pure genius I threw my ticket away! Sara fanatically searched around, there was nothing, not a trace to be found. Sara slouched on the side of the pavement, what she gonna do now? Tears began to fill Sara’s eyes and the night wind gave her chills, Sara sneezed and to her fright, something fell off her hair, it landed on Sara’s lap and meowed. What the devil is this now? Sara spontaneously wanted to shake whatever it is off her lap but it meowed again. Another cat? What is her with cat tonight? Then she felt soft paw and saw a white crescent on this little black fur ball.
"Tínul! Tu m’as suivi! Tu ne m'as pas abandonnée! (you followed me! You haven’t abandoned me)" So she was not alone after all. Sara felt her courage returned, she cuddled the little cat. "Come Tínul, see what we can do."
That Customs lady was kind enough, Sara thought, walking back and forth outside the port centre, biting her nails. She was kind enough to listen to Sara’s plight and checked for her, and praise the modern technology, she asked Sara’s name and details etc and found the booking conformation. However, it was at that time, she required to witness Sara’s passport, which she does not have. Sara found an excuse and bolted out of there. It was almost the boarding time, she needed to act! Maybe she can beg the custom lady? Then again Sara’s voice only has power over emotions, not reality. She probably would makes the custom lady cry with her, but can’t conjure up an illusion of a passport.
A sudden collision woke Sara from her thoughts, she staggered backwards and was caught by a gloved hand.
"Madam, are you all right?" Sara took a fright from this sudden event, then there came a man’s voice again. "Madam, are you hurt? Do you need help?"
Sara shook her head, and quickly muttered an apology, it seemed she was so lost in thought that she ran into a man. Sara stole a glance, he was tall and lanky, dressed in black from head to toe. He had curly dark hair, his eyes were bit sunken, but they were b.right, and green.
"I am so sorry sir, I did not see you, I..." Sara stammered, not knowing how to explain.
"No, Madam, it was my bad, wandering around in the middle of the night all in black." The man joked, and he smiled and that smile warmed Sara. He had a somehow comforting aura, a sense of familiarity, and Sara felt drawn to that.
"No, no Monsieur, I..."
"Madam, it is almost boarding time, do you want to go inside, are you expecting someone?" The man asked again.
"Madam, is there anything wrong, can I help you?"
Sara shook her head and followed a nod, per say tonight's and previous night’s experience had rekindled her trust in people, many good people had helped her to go this far, maybe this is meant to be, maybe fortune is on her side? Sara took her chance.
"Monsieur, I’m supposed to go back to France tonight, a friend booked the ferry for me but...I lost my ticket and my passport, can you help me, sir? Please." Whether it was intentional or not, Sara imbed her voice with helplessness and anxiousness. But that was her true feeling, true emotions.
"On no," the man was visibly moved, "For the ticket part, I won’t be worrying too much, they have online records of purchase. But the passport...have you spoken with the Embassy?"
"Please sir, I need to leave tonight, can you help me?" Sara urged, her eyes now filled with tears.
The man paused and frowned and ground his teeth, he seemed to be fighting a war inside. "All right madam, I usually don’t do this, but I....ok I work in the Customs office, I just finished my shift...but, ok let me talk to my colleagues, I can’t guarantee anything, but see what I can do."
"Merci, merci beaucoup Monsieur! Vous m'aviez sauvé la vie!" Thank you, thank you sir, you saved my life! Sara exclaimed in joy!
"Now madam, you come with me! You are freezing, you need a cup of tea."
Sara took the drink from the man and felt much better, things are heading towards the b.righter side. I’m coming home! Sara took a sip from her tea, it was just the steam from the drink, right? Sara found her sight went blur and her head heavy, and she was tired, exhausted, and sweet sleep beckoned her. Sara did not put up with much of a fight, her head sank as well as her heart, and she saw the green-eyed man’s hand and a ring on his finger.
"Everything has a price Madame, everything has a price."
Sara fell to the dark of sleep.
In dreams Sara saw her Jean-Pierre again, he hasn’t aged a day. His leafy green eyes were as kind and gentle, but they were sad. Sara cannot recall much of the dream, she remembered she said to him, 'Pierre, I’m coming home to you.' But Pierre looked at her with those sad eyes, 'No Sara, you must wake up now! Wake up, and RUN!'
There was a bump, and Sara woke up, a wave of confusion and disorientation engulfed her. Where am I, Sara thought, she was surrounded by darkness, the same dark in her dreams. She was moving, on something, a car? There was another bump, she heard people talking in distance, then the car stopped. With a metal cling she saw light, faint light in front of her. A door? Two figures, one big one thin, climbed inside, the light was gone but it was replaced by a flashlight. So it was a truck, and Sara was in the back of a truck?
Sara felt two hands pinned her to the floor, another reached for her skirt. That woke Sara from the twilight of her mind. She tried to scream but her face was muffed. A lanky figure hunched over her and Sara kicked him in the abdomen, the man in turn slapped Sara across the face. Something dashed out of her pocket and Sara heard the man shout, after that, a tapping on the backdoor. Sara felt the weight on her arms gone, but she was dragged aside. "What the hell!" A man shouted, and it was followed by the sound of feathers, of wind, of beak and claws. Then a shriek and Sara shrieked with it, a shriek she filled with her rage and fear, and from that shriek came a sonic wave, so powerful that it crushed whatever around her into the wall then and floor of the truck. They blacked out.
Twilight slipped into the crack of the backdoor, Sara was indeed in the back of a truck, beside her two men lay face down, one big and hairy the other bold and thin, they were not the man who offered Sara a hand and a drink at the Customs. Sara crawled towards the door, it swung open at her push, dawn is yet to come, but twilight was suffice for Sara, she saw a road sign, and it was in French.
Sara slouched on the ground and cried and screamed, and there was so much yet so little in that scream. A black bird perched on top of the backdoor, watching in silence...
By nightfall, Sara sat on a train, she was wearing a leather jacket, and in one pocket, she had a purse belonged to two random truckers, and in the other, a little kitten. Sara sat and watched blankly to the field outside.
Paris, she thought, I’m coming home.