Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chapter 4

Kestrel LeStarre stared at Ivy Animosity for a moment, as she climbed out of the window and into a conveniently placed tree. Ivy looked back at her, waiting for her to follow, and Kestrel shook herself. She sheathed her sword, which she had lowered to her side, and walked over to the window that Ivy had climbed out of, boots making muffled clacking noises on the wooden floors.
                Ivy had already begun to climb, and Kestrel leaned out of the window, rain stinging her face, wind tossing her black hair into her eyes. Ivy reached the bottom, and looked up at her impatiently, gesturing as if to ask what was taking so long. Kestrel rolled her eyes and brushed her hair away from her eyes, and then reached out and grabbed the nearest branch.
                It was fairly thick, thankfully, so Kestrel swung her legs over the windowsill and pushed off with her legs, swinging towards the trunk. She caught it with her legs, and released one arm to grab onto it. Her feet found a short branch for her to balance on, and she slowly began descending.
                A couple of minutes later, her feet touched the ground. She was facing the tree, not Ivy, but she knew that Ivy was smirking.
                “Shut up, Ivy.”
                “I didn’t say anything.”
                “Yes, but you thought it.”
                “I’m the mind reader, not you. And right now you’re thinking ‘Wow, I’m really out of shape, I should practise more’, aren’t you?”
                Kestrel had to admit that that was pretty much exactly what she had been thinking. Another, seemingly unconnected thought, drifted across her mind.
                “Hey,” Ivy said, “I am not a trial!”
                Kestrel turned to face her, and raised an eyebrow. Ivy raised a knife. Kestrel lifted her hands in mock surrender, and Ivy grinned and replaced the knife in its sheathe. Kestrel stepped away from the tree, and Ivy moved off to the side to give her room. They stood there, in the dark, in the rain, both absorbed in their own thoughts for a couple seconds before Kestrel remembered that they had more important things to be doing.
                “So, Ivy,” she said, “have you spoken to Thrust more recently than I have?”
                Ivy turned once again to face her. “Probably not. The last time I saw him was at that weird party he had for no apparent reason. You remember?”
                Kestrel shook her head. “Not particularly. I remember that I wasn’t able to make it, though. D’you have any clue where he is?”
                “Any clue where his house was?
                Ivy didn’t say anything, but she held out her hand, which Kestrel took to mean yes. Kestrel took Ivy’s hand in hers, and her hand began to glow with a deep indigo light. Soon both of them were consumed by it, and disappeared. The same car that had passed Kestrel earlier, whizzed by once more, and the driver caught a flash of the light as they disappeared.

With a flash of indigo light they materialized in front of a ramshackle, run-down house that resided in a dark lane of ramshackle run-down houses. Kestrel stumbled forward a bit when she released her grip from Ivy’s hand, and she could feel Ivy’s smirk. The house was one story, and its windows were halfway open, with the door hanging off its hinges.
                Kestrel stepped forward, and Ivy followed her. They were both acutely aware of the silence. Kestrel’s footsteps slowed, while Ivy’s quickened, and soon they were walking side by side as they crossed the street, muffled thumping from their boots making the only sound on the cobbled street.
                They reached the door, Ivy now slightly ahead, and Ivy gently pushed it open. It gave a creak that seemed deafening in the eerily silent night, and Ivy walked in not even bothering to look back. Kestrel followed more slowly, noticing as she did the spots on the door that were noticeably darker, as if they had been splattered with liquid. She groaned.
                “Here we go again,” she muttered as she stepped inside, closing the door behind her.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Third Chapter

Thrust Ominous wasn’t too happy. He was pretty mad. In fact, he was so mad, he didn’t even notice the balls of fire spinning in his hands, crackling nearby branches and smoking bushes as he walked on through the dark forest. The forest was known for its thickness. It was called the Epais. Most of it was covered in shadow, and Thrust was coming up to one of the only clearings in the whole of Epais; it was big and almost too bright for someone emerging from the trees.

In the light stood four figures. They were shoving each other around and laughing stupidly. It was almost as if they were on a picnic. Thrust marched right out of the forest up to them. They didn’t notice him at all. Thrust was about to open his mouth to shout out something furious, but someone was shoved into him. Thrust caught him in his burning hands and the falling guy suddenly lost his grin. He jumped up, and twirled around. His name was Gregory Deep.
“Hey, what’s the idea?” he yelled.
Everyone noticed Thrust now. The tallest one of the group, Randal Edgemore, suddenly gazed down harshly. Thrust let out the flames in his hands.
“I’m tired of you all!” Thrust said, “Not one of you has been nice to me ever since I joined your stupid group, and not one of you has been doing anything to help me do these stupid tasks!”
“Look, bud,” said Randal. “You wanted to join our clan, we let you join our clan. You must prove yourself worthy of staying in our clan. We can’t just let you join us if we know you’re no good. And you expect us to be nice to you? We’re plenty nice to you. Everything we do is for your own good.”
“Like the time we stuck you in the Pyramid of Hurt!” said the only girl there, Trundle Pine. “We purposely locked the door before you could get out to see how creatively you could escape. In my opinion, though, you failed that test. Even though it was cool that you blew up the wall, you could’ve at least spared us the trouble of having to kill all those demons.”
“I have to fix everything you guys do. You practically depend on me for survival,” said Thrust.
“Yes, well, you don’t seem to have a problem with that. Did you get the key, or what?” Randal asked.
“I have a very big problem with that! How would you like to be responsible for the death of everyone including yourself? You wouldn’t know because you’ve always gave ME that responsibility.”
“Hey, look, man, we’re all friends…” said the guy Thrust burnt.
These people were not Thrust’s friends. Randal had offered a position on his team after they met. He claimed they needed an Elemental to back up his forces. After that, Thrust had done no less than breaking in and out of places to pass tests and to stay alive. This was week four. He has begun to know each of his clan mates very well, and by the looks of things, they were never going to quit making him suffer.
“Okay guys, we’ve got to think of a name to call ourselves,” said Randal, turning his back to Thrust.
Thrust was too weak to stick around alone. He had enemies now, he was sure of it. If they knew where he was, or found out how terrible a fighter he was, at least they may be more cautious if they knew the Adepts he was being protected by.
Protection was what he needed. But really he needed to look protected. If he could last long enough with these morons, then maybe he wouldn’t be hunted.
“How about Team Awesome?” suggested Deep.
“That’s a stupid name, Deep,” Pine practically screamed. She was very particular with serious stuff like this. “How bout, the Warriors and a Lizard?” Everyone burst out laughing. They really were idiots.
“No wait,” said the one who hasn’t spoken yet. His name is Bijou. You’d think that since he’s so quiet, he’d say smart things, “Lizards are cool.” But he doesn’t.
Thrust sighed as they went into another argument over what was cool, and what was a suitable comparison for Thrust. He may have suggested some better names, but they would be put off as “the worst names on earth”.
“Okay, guys I’m leaving,” Thrust announce at last.
“How ‘bout the Randle, Gregory, Bijou, Trundle and some other kid club?” suggested Gregory.
“Hey why is my name last?” shouted Trundle.
“It’s not,” said Gregory, “You’re forgetting about the ‘and some other kid’ part.”
“Why does my name have to be next to his?!”
Randal interjected, “Come on, this is a team name, you should keep it short.”
Thrust was really getting tired of this, “I SAID I’M LEAVING!” he shouted.
“Fine, see you later,” said Trundle.
“No, I mean I quit. You guys are not helping me improve my magic in any way, I can’t say anything to you without being made fun of, and again, I do everything for you.”
“You can’t leave. You need us!” Gregory said.
“I’ll get over it.” Thrust replied and turned around.
“No you won’t.” Randal said.
“Yes, I think I’ll be fine.”
“You think we don’t know why you’re with us? We know what advantage you want. You can’t hide your thoughts from us. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. That makes us your enemies. And we know where you hide.”
Thrust stopped walking away. Then he started again. If they wanted to kill him, they would have already. He just couldn’t stand them.
“Don’t think of returning, Thrust.” Randal said. A list of responses floated into Thrust mind, but he just walked on in silence.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chapter Two

Ivy Animosity, with her past of living in Washington State, was quite used to the stormy rain clouds that poured down in what seemed like a million tiny bullets of rain. However, that never made her like the rain any more so than when she had first experienced it. But she had to deal with it, once again, because she had been hired to kill someone by her old friend Thrust Ominous, and the person soon to be dead just so happened to be in a rainy area at the moment. And killing was her job. She couldn't chicken out because of some annoying weather patterns.

Ivy reached the door of Miss Jubilance Glee's house, debating on whether or not to just kick the door in or open it quietly. She chose quietly for the occasion. No need to get into a fight when she could just get the job done quickly and over with. Placing her hand on the door, she applied a small amount of magic into unlocking the door soundlessly. It swung open silently, without even a creepy old creak.

Stepping inside, she made sure to close the door making the least amount of noise possible. Needless to say, Ivy managed to trip on the rug inside and tumble to the floor, nearly breaking a hole in the wall with her foot because of her combat boots. Silently swearing, she nudged the door shut the rest of the way, got to her feet, and relocked it. Being careful not to trip on anything again, she made her way through the house, coming to the door of what was seemingly a bedroom. She got out her knife, ready to kill.

* * *

Once the victim was dead and the body no longer had a head, the door was off its hinges, and “STAY OUT” was written on the door in blood, Ivy pulled out a sheet of spotless white paper from her pocket and wrote “Ivy” in her small handwriting with a black Sharpie. She was going to add a smiley face, just to make things funny, but when she heard the quiet clacking of boots in the hallway, she froze.

Who would be in the house at this hour? It was practically two in the morning. There was always the chance that it was someone Glee had known, but if that were the case they wouldn't sound like they were trying to be sneaky. She heard the footsteps coming into the hallway and stop, possibly to read the message on the door.

Ivy set the paper down, put the lid on her Sharpie, which she stuffed into her jacket pocket, and used this opportunity to sneak away. She had planned to just go out the window, but she only had time to duck down when she heard the other person walk into the room. She had barely squirmed under the bed before the footsteps were nearing ever so slightly closer, closer, and stopped. They were probably reading Ivy's note.

Ivy frowned. She recognized those boots that the intruder was wearing. However, she wasn't planning on giving herself away because she knows someone with the same shoes. That would be silly.

It had already been a few minutes that the person had been standing there. It was making Ivy impatient. She had been here first, why was she the one who had to wait to leave? It was unfair. Besides, a little fight couldn't be too bad...

She stuck her hand out from under the bed and grabbed their ankle. After a hearing a girl cry out in surprise, Ivy barely had time to yank her arm back under the bed before it was sliced off by a sword.

Rolling out from under the bed on the opposite side, Ivy came up and launched a kick into the other girl's side, who gasped and smacked Ivy hard with the hilt of one of her swords. Ivy had whipped out her knife and pressed it to the girl's throat at the same moment she felt a blade pressed to hers. She looked up from the sword, her black hair in her face, and frowned when she saw who was holding the weapon.

“Kestrel?” she asked.

Kestrel LeStarre blinked. “Ivy?”

“Er... hi,” Ivy answered with an awkward smile. She didn't usually run into people. “This is, well, an unusual situation, to say the least.”

“I couldn't disagree,” Kestrel replied. “Would you like to move your knife away from my throat?”

Ivy sounded wary. “Only when you move your sword.”

They both lowered and sheathed their weapons. There was a moment of silence before Kestrel got back into the conversation. “Why are you even here?” she asked, a slight edge to her voice.

Ivy pulled an envelope with her name on it out of her pocket. “I was hired to.”

She could see the surprised look on Kestrel's face. “So was I.”

They stood there, confused, trying to come up with some sort of reasoning behind this. All they achieved was some short-answer conversation.

“Were you told to come at this exact time?”


“You were a little late.”

“I was busy.”

"I wasn't."

"I can tell."

“Who sent you?”

“Thrust Ominous.”

“Same here.”


Ivy was quiet for about a minute, then she shrugged, walked over to the window sill, and opened the window. Kestrel stayed where she was and gave Ivy an odd look. “What are you doing?”

“Finding out why we were both sent here,” Ivy answered, climbing out the window. Once she had gotten all the way out, she stood on a tree branch just outside. She poked her head back in. “Coming?”

There was only a slight hesitation. “Yep.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chapter 1

It was a dark and stormy night. Seriously. Kestrel LeStarre was outside, unwillingly, hesitating outside of the door which led to the home of the person she had been hired to kill. She wasn’t an assassin, didn’t even particularly enjoy killing, but when the letter from her old friend Thrust Ominous  had come in the mail, asking her to kill someone, she was too intrigued to say no.
                But she hesitated. Her hand on the wrought iron doorknob, rain cascading off the roof, and falling in torrents from the sky, she hesitated. The house belonged to a one Miss Jubilance Glee, and Miss Glee was rumoured to have a power that was so rare no one knew what it was. For all Kestrel knew, it could be the power to kill someone with a wink, or eat her enemies, or something equally ridiculous.
                A car flew past, spraying her with rainwater, and she flinched. Why was there a car out at this time of night? She bent down once again, and pulled the hood of her cloak over her head, suddenly cold. She reached into her pocket, and withdrew a paperclip and a flathead screwdriver. The paperclip had been folded into a small right angle near the end, and was perfect for lock picking.
                She carefully inserted the paperclip all the way through, placing the flathead screwdriver in the lock opening. She dragged the paperclip all the way back, using the screwdriver to turn the lock at the same time. The faint click of the lock being unlocked could be heard if she listened closely enough. She pushed the door open, and it creaked.
                She winced. Her cloak was dripping water so she removed it and hung it carefully on the conveniently placed coat-rack by the door. She reached behind her and grabbed the doorknob, attempting to pull it closed silently behind her. The nearly inaudible creak it made sounded as loud as a gunshot in the darkness, and Kestrel bit her tongue to keep from cursing.
                She stepped forward cautiously; making sure the soles of her boots wouldn’t clack against the hardwood floor. Her eyes were starting to adjust to the light, and ahead of her she saw a spiral staircase, and at the top she could barely make out a landing. The stairs appeared to be carpeted, so she took the few more steps required to reach the bottom one, and then placed the weight of her left foot on the centre of it. It too, let out a squeak.
                Kestrel moved her foot over to the edge, where it was more strongly connected to the bannisters, and so less likely to creak, and brought her full weight up to stand on it. It held. She made her way up the stairs like this, freezing whenever a shadow moved across her range of vision, eyes scanning left, right, left.
                Finally, she alighted on the landing of the second storey, and immediately knew that something was not right. She wasn’t a detective, but anyone could tell that the door leading to the bedroom wasn’t supposed to be off its hinges, wasn’t supposed to be open, and, most importantly, wasn’t supposed to have the words

Written in blood.

                She froze. The house was silent, too silent. There were no quiet noises of sleep coming from the bedroom. It was almost as if…
                No. That was unthinkable. You didn’t hire two assassins to do the same job, it simply wasn’t done. There was no official rule against it, of course, but it was bad manners. Hardly daring to breath, she walked to the door, every footstep echoing a hundred times louder than a cannon, heart in her chest. She looked through, and there on the bed was a corpse.
                It was headless, so she couldn’t tell who it was, and had been stabbed multiple times. It was bloody and gruesome, not at all how Kestrel would have done things. Strangely, the sight seemed to calm her, even as she filled with anger. She walked to the body, knowing it was too much to hope that the killer would leave a link to his or herself. When she had crossed the room, she looked down, and there on the corpse’s chest was a note.
                It was written on clean white paper, and had but a single word. A name.