Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Chapter 2.17 - Unease

   Magic? No. Mundane? Wrong.
   Anomaly. Not. Right.
   Why? Where?
“I’m so very proud of you, Chantia.”
“I hate this town, Takuo. When I’m done with school I want to move away, and I will never come back.”
 “…and I can’t take it anymore. I…Maybe I just need to get away; go somewhere far away from here.”
“Look, I don’t know who you are or where the hell you came from, but I will not let you endanger us. So shut up.”
“It’s a great gift to have, but those without it will always resent and fear you. Keep that in mind and be vigilant. Be safe.”
 “Don’t be afraid, Leneo. I will always be here for you.”
“It’s been many, many years since I’ve been seen by the living.”
 “You have meddled with things that were not yours to interfere with, human. You have altered the Balance.”

   There. Balance cannot be kept.
“Now you and yours will pay the price.”
   Lyra shot up in bed, breathing heavily. What was that? She had had some pretty strange dreams before, but never any so…vivid. She glanced uneasily at her windows, staring at the luminescent light of the Full Moon streaming into her room. As always, a strange shiver of unease ran down her spine at the sight. She hated Full Moon. Everything just felt wrong during it; like something was there that shouldn’t be. She couldn’t put it in words.
   She turned on her side, trying to go back to sleep, but the images from her dream kept flashing through her mind. She couldn’t make sense of it at all. Dreams weren’t supposed to make sense, she knew that, but even so…
   Dreams shouldn’t be so vivid.
   She went downstairs, thinking a glass of milk might help her get back to sleep. To her mild surprise, her dad was still in the kitchen, working on his latest book. He looked up when he noticed her, a slight frown marring his face.
   “Aren’t you supposed to be in bed?” he asked concernedly. Lyra pulled a slight face at being caught out, unwilling to tell her dad that she couldn’t sleep. She was going to be a teenager soon. She was too old to look for comfort just because she had had a bad dream.
   “Have trouble sleeping?” her dad enquired, the wry look on his face showing he knew exactly why she was out of bed. She shrugged in answer, slightly embarrassed (and yet relieved at the same time) at being caught.
   “A little,” she admitted. Her dad sighed and rubbed his eyes tiredly, his other hand closing the laptop’s lid.
   “Well, I think it’s about time I stopped for the night,” he announced tiredly. “Do you want me to read you a story?” he suggested. A part of Lyra wanted to refuse (bedtime-stories were so childish), but she didn’t. The familiarity would be welcome after that strange and discomforting dream. Her dad just made everything seem right with the world.
   The next day dawned bright and clear, making the unease she had felt the previous night seem far away and distant. It wasn’t like the dream had actually meant something. Dreams weren’t supposed to make sense, after all. In the bright daylight, it was so easy to dismiss the dream and the unease that went with it. She steadfastly ignored the fact that she shouldn’t be able to recall the images so perfectly and vividly. It was just a dream.
   “Hey midget,” her brother’s voice interrupted her contemplations, instantly making her scowl.
   “Don’t call me that,” she immediately rebuked. She wasn’t that short.
   “Sure midget,” Renard agreed amusedly and ruffled her hair, causing her to glare angrily at him. Her glare didn’t intimidate him in the least, instead just causing him to laugh at her. It made Lyra scowl even more. She hated being the youngest. Nobody ever took her seriously.
   “Are you two just going to stand there and get in everybody’s way, or are you going to get moving?” Arienne’s voice sounded from behind them, decidedly vexed. “The party starts in a couple of hours and there’s still a ton of things to be done! The umbrellas need to be carried down, the balloons need to be filled, the pizza needs to be…”
   Renard raised his hands in defence. “Chill out,” he protested, “we’re going.”
   Lyra opened her mouth, ready to tell Arienne off for ordering her around, but a quick glance at her sister convinced her it would be better to just keep quiet. Arienne was clearly on edge, and no matter how much Lyra itched for a fight, she wasn’t really in the mood for it. It was still too soon after Full Moon.
   For the next couple of hours, Lyra managed to drive any thoughts of Full Moon and weird dreams to the back of her mind by helping out with the party preparations. It was gruelling work, but she appreciated the distraction.
   Unfortunately, neither the hard work nor the party that followed could keep her thoughts at bay for long. Long after the party started, the vivid images from her dream kept flashing through her mind at inopportune moments, forcing her to return to the subject.
   She had no idea who half the people in her dream were. She recognised some of them (Mom, Grandma, Charlotte), but the others…
   Except, she knew one more, didn’t she? The woman talking to the grave. That woman…that was her, wasn’t it? Why would she be talking to a grave? Her dream…could it be a premonition of the future? She took a surreptitious look at the rest of her family, trying to imagine one of them dying.
   The thought made her shudder. She couldn’t do it. Just the thought alone of losing anyone of her family made her break out in cold sweat. She might get into fights with her siblings quite often, but she couldn’t imagine them not being around.
   That dream…it wasn’t a premonition. It couldn’t be one. It was. Just. A. Dream. That’s all. Just a normal, boring, slightly unsettling…dream. That’s all. Nothing more.
(She still wasn’t convinced.)
   Arienne had moved out.
   It was nothing to be surprised about. She had talked about it for ages, claiming she was unable to fulfil her dreams if she didn’t start doing her own thing. Even so, Lyra hadn’t really believed she would actually do it.
   Arienne had only been out of the house for one day, but Lyra already missed her.
   (Not that she would ever admit it out loud).
   It was funny, she decided, that she would miss her overbearing sister that much. They weren’t even really that close. Maybe it was just the silence getting to her. Arienne had irritated her to no end with her constant chattering, but she had to admit it had made the house feel livelier.
   From the corner of her eye, she noticed something that immediately made her scowl.
   She didn’t like the ghosts. At all. She always felt uneasy around them; like there was just something wrong with them. Like Full Moon. They reminded her of the Full Moon. She was just glad there was one less ghost in the house. The other guy had decided to ‘move on’. Her mother and the two remaining ghosts had been all teary-eyed and smiley, and in Lyra’s honest opinion, excessively annoying.
   She couldn’t wait to become a teen. She’d have so much more freedom. She’d be able to come and go as much as she wanted to, and best of all, she wouldn’t need to return home until much later in the day.
   She’d be able to avoid the ghosts as much as possible.
   To her biggest disappointment, being a teen didn’t quite live up to her expectations.
   It was definitely overrated.
   “Can you get out of my way, please?” Lyra calmly requested, already bored by the situation. She was tired and hungry and wanted to go home, but it seemed the idiots in front of her didn’t want to let her go.
   “Hey, we just want to talk,” the guy to her left protested. “You don’t want to talk? Think you’re too ‘high and mighty’ for us?”
   She gave him a sweet smile dripping with fakeness.
   “Of course not,” she denied sweetly before dropping her smile entirely. “I just don’t talk to idiots who waste my time; like you’re doing right now. Now, do you mind getting out of my way so I can go home?”
   It seemed they didn’t appreciate her words, or maybe it was her tone. Either way, they were done playing nice.
   “Hey, that’s my sister you’re harassing,” Renard’s voice came from behind the guys. To Lyra’s relief, the guys immediately let her go. It made sense. Renard was part of the sports club, and he was brilliant at it. He was undoubtedly one of the most popular guys in school, and thus in teenager logic, one of the most powerful as well.
   She scowled. Perfect damn Renard.
   “She needs to drop her attitude,” the guy told Renard with a scowl on his face, but thankfully left it at that. Renard watched them walk away until they disappeared before he turned his attention to his sister.
   “You really need to stop picking fights with everyone,” he admonished her with a slight scowl on his face.
   She harrumphed and looked away.
   “Well, they need to stop bothering me,” she responded haughtily. She jumped when Renard slammed his hand against the wall, demanding back her attention.
   “This is exactly your problem, Lyra! Do you even have any friends with that messed up attitude of yours?”
   She didn’t answer him. He had touched upon a sore spot: she didn’t have any friends.
   She didn’t need any friends.
   She desperately ignored the burning sensation behind her eyelids.
Lyra is a grumpy girl, and I love her. She has great expressions. I think she grew up really pretty. :) I love long and dangly earrings, so she originally had a pair, but it made her look too bitchy, so she got some more subdued ones. Of course, she is a bitch, but she isn’t supposed to look like one. At least, not that much. I’m having so much fun with her. <3
Oh yeah, the dream? It wasn’t clairvoyance. Not quite. ;)
Bonus shot: Synchronised cheering! Way to ruin my perfect shot, guys. Their expressions are so goofy. XD