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Thunderlight, p.9
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       Thunderlight, p.9

           Adrienne Woods
 

  “I doubt that.”

  “Wanna bet? Now get dressed before I climb into a cab.” I watched as his face and glowing smile disappeared from the screen.

  “Yay,” Becky and Sammy clapped their hands.

  “It’s the greatest news ever.”

  “I would love to be a fly on the wall when Daddy tells his poor little Princess the wedding is off.” Sammy buffed her eyes.

  “Oh, it’s going to be heartbreaking,” Becky teased too.

  “You guys, that’s mean. Even though she deserves it; no need to rub it in.”

  “Elena, she’s a cow. She rubbed it in your face every chance she got. I’m glad it’s off.”

  “Oh, I’m with you on that last part, Sammy,” I said as I made my way back to the bathroom.

  “Seriously?” Becky asked.

  “Go out with George, or something,” I said with finality and closed the bathroom door

  HEN I FINALLY got out, Becky was gone and Sammy was sleeping peacefully. I crawled into the bed Becky and I shared as Sammy had completely taken over the other bed. If there was one thing you didn’t want to be near, it was Sammy accidently transforming into her dragon form.

  The next morning Becky woke me up to breakfast waiting at a small table outside on the balcony. They had everything I could possibly think of displayed on the table, from scones to bacon and eggs.

  I poured a glass of orange juice and quickly joined the girls outside. A stack of newspapers were piled on one of the chairs next to Becky. Curious, I picked up the first one and was face to face with myself standing next to Lucian. Half of them had more or less the same cover, just taken from a different angle. The other half had him kissing me goodbye at the cabby.

  “Guess you weren’t kidding when you said a picture of me was worth a lot.” I said to Becky.

  “I told you. I should’ve taken a picture.”

  “You wouldn’t,” Sammy chirped.

  Becky grunt and waved it off.

  My Cammy rang again and I laughed as the girls speculated who it could be.

  “It might be Blake, for all we know,” Becky said rolling her eyes.

  “He’s sober again,” I joke as I went back inside.

  “Good morning, sweetheart. No more towel?” Lucian’s face appeared on my Cammy with a fake frown.

  “Ha ha. Funny.”

  “It was everything except funny. I still had to talk to my mother after that.”

  “Oh, shush,” I blushed and he laughed. “They haven’t changed their mind yet?”

  “Nope. If school didn’t start so soon, they would’ve invited you to stay here for a couple of days. They asked me so many questions; especially about your father.”

  “What did you tell them?”

  “What I knew. Christmas is in a couple of months, you could spend it with us.”

  “That would be nice.”

  King Helmut’s stare from last night suddenly jumped into my mind. “Your father was staring at me last night.”

  “It wasn’t really a stare, Elena.”

  “No, before. He found me in the crowd during that wonderful speech of Blake’s. He just stared. It was kind of creepy.”

  “He stared at you?”

  “Yes.”

  Lucian had a frown on his face. “Hmph. It must be that then. Maybe you remind him of one of his teenage girlfriends.”

  “Haha, did a clown visit you in your dreams last night?”

  “No, my dreams are just for you.”

  “You are such a flirt.”

  “Only when it comes to you. You guys leaving soon?”

  “Yes, we are checking out around nine.”

  “Just take care, please. I don’t like the way Blake spoke about you last night, and I really don’t want to slay him.”

  I laughed. “Did you see the pictures this morning?”

  “I told you we make an awesome couple.”

  “Yes, you did. Why did I wait so long?” I joked and I couldn’t help smiling as I thought back to the first time I’d met him.

  He laughed quietly at my joke as he said goodbye.

  Our elevator to Tith was scheduled for around ten. As we walked into the terminal I noticed that the port in Elm was a lot bigger than the one in Tith. Once again, I hated the fact that we couldn’t drive and I so didn’t want to relive that horrible feeling.

  Just suck it up, Elena.

  The attendant strapped us in again as I took a chair next to Sammy this time.

  Sammy smiled at me softly as she sensed my nerves. “You’ll get used to it. Just close your eyes and don’t forget to hold your breath.”

  “It doesn’t help, looks like my breakfast will exit the same way it entered.”

  As we began moving, I started to say a soft prayer. Now I know why Dad loved rollercoasters so much. Why, why, why couldn’t I remember his stupid stories? I was almost positive they would be filled with rollercoaster elevators and people gliding on raiders.

  I closed my eyes as the chairs started to creep closer to the door. I would’ve given anything just to fall into a deep sleep. Luckily, or maybe unluckily, it didn’t take very long for us to reach the shiny metal doors. I could feel my body begin to shake as Sammy grabbed my hand.

  When the elevator door closed behind us, we dropped at a break-neck speed. I felt my stomach push up to my ribs and I swallowed hard as I clench my teeth. When we came to a sudden stop, I took a deep breath as I kept thinking over and over, not to let it go.

  Then the horrible sting came and to my surprise the sensation of being burned with hot irons didn’t follow. It still hurt like hell, though.

  After a couple of seconds it stopped completely.

  “You can open your eyes,” Sammy said softly.

  I took a deep breath as bile stuck in my throat but the feeling wasn’t nearly as bad as the first time. Sammy looked at me quizzically and handed me a brown paper bag just in case.

  “That was actually not so bad, if you compare it to the first time. The breath really does help.” I managed to give her a smile through thin lips.

  “See? Next time you are going to yell with excitement.”

  I highly doubted that.

  We needed to wait in the terminal for the rest of our party to exit, well everyone except Blake. I knew he didn’t like the elevators, but something told me that he was going to disappear every single time he had an episode with me.

  Becky and her Mom appeared next, and after a couple of minutes Sir Robert and Isabel followed.

  “Thanks, Lucy,” Isabel touch Becky’s Mom’s arm with her one hand while she fixed her hair with the other.

  “It was my pleasure. I’m glad that’s over.”

  “I do apologize for my son’s behavior,” Sir Robert apologized but still looked disappointed.

  “Don’t. Just think how boring it would’ve been if he hadn’t spoken last night? Besides he is the only one that can say what the rest of us are thinking.”

  A smile played on the corner of Sir Robert’s lips at her last remark. “You are too kind.”

  “Not at all.”

  Sammy and I both gave Becky a hug as our paths were going to part once again.

  We all grabbed our bags and slowly made our way back to the car. People in the terminal kept staring at me and some even pointed in my direction. All this attention was really making me feel uncomfortable.

  “Is something stuck in my teeth?” I asked Sammy softly.

  “You’re famous now, let them stare.” She smiled knowingly.

  Oh crap, the photos. “I forgot,” I mumbled quietly and tried to ignore the piercing stares.

  The ride home was a silent one and we seemed to reach the house in no time. Curiously, Blake didn’t appear to be home yet and all the lights in the house were off as we made our way in to unpack.

  Around six, Sir Robert was growling like a bear. Blake was still missing. Sammy glared from underneath her eyelashes as we both gobbled down our dinner to get back to her room as quic
kly as we could. At nine we could hear Isabel and Sir Robert fighting loudly down the hall.

  “I’m sorry about this, Elena. It’s usually not a good sign when Blake stays out like this.”

  “Don’t, I feel sorry for your parents. It can’t be easy for them.”

  “I feel sorry for my brother. I just hope he doesn’t do anything messed up.”

  “It’s going to be okay. He’ll be back before you know it.”

  “I hope so.”

  As I laid my head down on the pillow, I just hoped that Sir Robert didn’t strike Isabel. I didn’t like womanizers, but then again, you could see the love Sir Robert had for his wife, so I doubted he was capable of it. I fell asleep after their fighting stopped.

  As I drifted off, the picture of them fighting changed into me flying again. I followed close behind a Sun-Blast. In the distance, I could see an expansive ocean as I flew over a boiling volcano. It was so real, I could feel the warm heat radiating from it; as it heated my body it felt as if I had been frozen for centuries. The Sun-Blast was a couple of hundred meters in front of me when he stealthily dove into the trees below. I had a strange urgency to follow him into the mass of green foliage.

  I watched as he picked up a man who had a small girl dangling from his ankle. Suddenly, the girl fell and was caught in the arms of a young boy standing below her on the forest floor.

  A shriek left my mouth, as I watched, it sounded shrilly and horrible. The Sun-Blast looked back at the sound and dropped the man. I watched the unknown man tumble through the air. I couldn’t help but be consumed with strange emotions. It was as if he was my only love, the reason for my existence. He fell until he landed hard in a small clearing. This feeling of love for this man was so deep that watching him struggling to get up his feet made me want to kill every single person on that mountain below for doing this to us.

  As I began to make my descent into the mountain to protect this man, I suddenly stopped. I remembered that he had given me a mission and I couldn’t turn away, even for him. My duty was to destroy the sword and now that the task was over, I needed to take out the Sun-Blast. I launched myself into the air and collided with its right side as we spiraled through the air, locked in battle. I thought I finally had him when he followed me to the volcano, but something made him turn back and all I could do was chase him, trying to finish my task.

  I darted above the trees behind the young Sun-Blast but he was no match for me.

  My eye caught on something happening to my one true love below and when I looked back, I froze in horror. “No!!!!” Another shriek, more demanding than before, made some of the boys down below lookup. My heart broke into a million pieces as I saw ‘my-everything’ turning to dust. Another shrill shriek left my body and I dove forward focusing all my rage at the Sun-Blast that had caused all of this.

  I chased him, flying as fast as I could, and began gaining on him quickly near the forest. My belly became warm and the sensation slowly moved toward my throat. A huge bolt of fire escaped my lips and flew with perfect aim at my target. Swerving at the last minute the blow hit the tree in front of the Sun-Blast but before he could compose himself and swerve again, I blew out a second bolt of fire.

  It hit him straight in the left wing, throwing him into the air with a violent force. As he started to tumble to the ground he tried flapping his other wing to gain his balance. Without a second thought, I blew out a third bolt hitting him straight in the back. He was falling now and as I gained on him, I clutched him in my huge talons, shredding his scales and skin apart.

  Fury gave me extra strength and fueled my assault as I shred one of his wings completely off. He didn’t growl or anything at this last wound as he was too weak to fight me off. They’re always too weak. With the last bite of my gaping jaws I ripped a huge part out his neck, sending a crimson waterfall cascading onto the trees below.

  As I let the Sun-Blast fall through my talons, I growled as something hit me from behind. I looked back and saw a Moon-Bolt, his blue scales shimmering in the last rays of the setting sun.

  In an instant, a burning so strong crept through my entire body as if I had been plunged into the very core of the volcano, I couldn’t breathe…

  I startled awake and found myself safely on a mattress in Sammy’s room. Cold sweat rolled down my temple and my breathing was fast. How many times had I dreamt about Brian, with me taking the other Sun-Blast’s place?

  Guilt made me feel sick and I made a run for the bathroom.

  When I found the toilet nothing came out but the heaving didn’t stop. I was coughing and breathing in ragged breaths when the light flickered on.

  Sammy’s arms wrapped around my body and I started shaking.

  “Brian, again?”

  I nodded.

  “Shhh, it’s going to be fine. You didn’t kill him, Elena.”

  “I know, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m dreaming about killing him.”

  “It’s just a dream. Stop blaming yourself otherwise it’s never gonna go away.”

  I shook my head. I was responsible for his death. I should’ve never taken him with us that night. I should’ve protested like I wanted to.

  Sammy led me back to her room. I sat on her bed and she went to the kitchen to get me a glass of water.

  As I listened for her returning footsteps the phone began to ring.

  Sir Robert’s voice roared like a mad beast and he was yelling something about a warehouse burning to the ground. He sounded defeated as he yelled at Isabel. How long were they going to fight like this?

  Sammy came back into the room slowly. Her eyes were as big as saucers and the water inside the glass spilled around the edges, landing tiny droplets on the floor.

  I took the glass from her shaking hands suddenly terrified of the news she carried. “What happened?”

  “Blake burned down a warehouse. My father is going to kill him,” she cried painfully.

  I pulled her into a hug and held her tight. It was my time to be strong now. “Shhh, it’s going to be okay.”

  “No, Elena, it’s not.”

  Isabel came into Sammy’s room. She wore the same expression as her daughter. “Elena, you need to pack. I’m so sorry, but you can’t stay here anymore. If Robert comes back with Blake…”

  “Don’t. Please. I can handle it.”

  “Where do you want her to go, Mom? It’s like two o’clock in the morning.”

  Isabel started to cry. “I’m so sorry.”

  “It’s okay.”

  Sammy hugged her Mom.

  “I can’t prepare you for what is coming.” She looked at me and then at Sammy. “I’ve never seen your father so upset.”

  “I know. He needs one just as bad Mom.”

  She nodded and kissed her daughter on the head.

  Isabel stayed with us and we all flinched as Sir Robert’s growls and Blake’s cussing came floating in from outside.

  We listened to them enter the house and my heart started to pound as things began to break downstairs. Horrible growls and screams filled the house. I covered my ears to try and block it out, but it didn’t help.

  Isabel got up, and I took my hands off my ears. The screams grew ten times worse.

  “Mom, stay!”

  “Your father is going to kill him, I have to go,” she said as she left.

  Sammy cried and I couldn’t help but cry with her as my arms just squeezed her tighter.

  We listened as Isabel’s voice added to the choirs below as she yelled at Sir Robert.

  Both of us jumped from the bed when we heard the front gate open and slam loudly. Instantly, three huge men ran into the yard and pounded urgently on the door.

  “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Sammy looked to the sky.

  The screams and beatings stopped as soon as the men entered the house. The men yelled at Sir Robert and dragged him outside the house.

  The pictures running through my head of the scene downstairs made my entire body shiver. I grabbed Sammy
again and held her for a long time. They were right; I wasn’t ready for something like this.

  We didn’t sleep a bit that night and instead watched in silence as the sun peaked over the horizon. For some reason tears just kept rolling over both our cheeks, and by now my shirt was soaked.

  “Is your brother…”

  “I don’t know?”

  At six, we both went downstairs to survey the damage and to discover Blake’s fate. The lounge was strewn across the floor in what looked like a hundred pieces. Cracks and blood ran down the walls like some kind of grotesque wallpaper. I gasped audibly as fear and anger pinned me to the floor.

  We found Isabel scrubbing blood from a wall near the kitchen. She was sobbing like a ten year-old that had just been spanked.

  “Mom?” Sammy sounded frantic as she ran to her mother side.

  No, no, no, Blake can’t be dead.

  ROUND TEN ALL the walls were finally clean, well sort of. Sammy prepared eggs and toast for Isabel and I as we worked to clean up the house. I wasn’t hungry since the smell of blood still lingered in the house no matter how many scented candles Isabel lit. None of us spoke a word about the events of last night.

  This isn’t right. I don't care what he did. No one deserves to be beaten like that.

  “I'm so sorry you had to see all this mess, Elena,” Isabel said sadly.

  “Mom, he needs help.” Sammy sounded angry.

  “I know, but nobody wants to do it, Sammy,” Isabel said in a voice laced with defeat and fatigue.

  I looked at Sammy as tears glistened in her eyes.

  “Who needs the help?” I whispered, not knowing if they were referring to her father or Blake.

  “My Dad. The darkness in him is too much. He used to only hit him a couple of times, never like this,” she said through a couple of sniffs.

  “Nobody wants to help him?”

  She shook her head. “King Caleb used to do it, but ever since they had a falling out, he’s refused. King Helmut doesn't have it in his heart to hit another dragon.”

  “I'm so sorry,” I said to both of them.

  Isabel got up from the table and our glasses of orange juice wobbled on the uneven surface. “I need to check on your brother.” As she talked she went over to a cupboard and got out a huge bowl. Her hands were still shaking as I watched her pour boiling water from a pot on the stove and take some cloth rags, that used to be white but were now stained pink, and chuck them into the water. She left us quickly and went up to Blake’s room.

 
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