1. One Day At A Time.
The water was so hot it was almost
cold. I kept my hand held underneath the steadily streaming
faucet, watching it burn an angry red mark into my skin. I didn't
flinch, I just gazed at it like I was observing a sparrow pecking
at a bird feeder- a deadened, dull look in my midnight blue eyes,
but with the slightest spark of interest as I pulled my hand away
to examine it and saw the mark rapidly fading. By the time I'd
wiped my hand dry on the scratchy, stiff grey towel, there was
nothing left that might suggest what had happened. I was a
Syeori. We all had high pain tolerance and a Syeuxi for
fast-healing. It was just there, the moment we were born, like
our ability to run super-fast, be super-strong and
I guess we fell under the 'superhuman'category, if you were talking in Earth standards. After living on Earth for all this time, I was beginning to realise what a cliche I sounded like. But I wasn't some fantasy fairy some random human author had conjured from the contours of their mind. I was real and greater than anything anyone could imagine.
I checked my reflection briefly in the sticky bathroom mirror, tapping the toe of my boot on the laminate flooring along with the sloppy rhythm of water pounding into the bottom of the bath.
"Victoria? What are you doing?" Elise had appeared in the bathroom doorway, her eyes glittering like crystals, hands fluttering around her face with the constant nervousness she had. Her eyes flickered to the hot tap of the bath, her brow creasing like a peach drying in the sun.
"Vicky… Not again. How many times do I have to tell you?"
"Don't call me that. You don't have to tell me anything Elise. Go away."
"Your parents don't want this."
"I don't have parents, remember?"
Elise sighed, tucking a strand of frizzy, walnut brown hair behind her ear.
"Well at least for now, I am your parent. It's not healthy for you to be… experimenting like this."
"Well how else am I supposed to know about my Syeuxis? No one tells me these things, least of all you. How else am I supposed to find out who I am unless I'm told? Mind your own business."
A Syeuxi was one or more genetic gift that Syeoris are born with, and I have spent my whole life trying to figure out mine.
I leaned across the bath, the splashing water flecking tiny droplets down the front of my cheap Wal-Mart tank top as I reached over to twist the tap until the water stopped. I stared at the cracked, celery-green tiles that pasted the wall, fiddling with the ends of my long, palomino-blonde hair as an awkward silence ballooned through the tiny motel room.
Elise scooped the small handful of
toiletries out of the plastic bathroom cabinet- shampoo and
conditioner plus hairbrushes, my make-up bag and our two
"Come on, Vicky." She sighed, sweeping back out of the bathroom and reaching for the bulging duffle bag on the end of my bed. "You need to get ready. We're leaving in ten minutes."
"Don't call me that." My eyes narrowed in the direction of my Miue-Sha, my guardian, my fingernails digging into the palms of my pale hands. "You know I hate it when people call me that. There are no abbreviations."
Vicky was not my name. In fact, Victoria Ferris wasn't even my actual name. The Syeoris- my people, had strange, un-Earth-like names. When my parents had arrived with my twin sister, Sloane, and me fifteen years ago, they'd had to change our names to blend in. I was barely months old at the time. I never knew my Syeori name- only those back on Raenowiel, our planet, would remember it. .
I pulled my hair into a loose, messy bundle atop my head; securing it with a rubber band I kept around my wrist and left a sharp little dent in my skin when I peeled it off. No makeup, instead, I masked my face with a pair of oversized Persol shades, clicking out of the bathroom in my heeled ankle boots. I gazed disinterestedly around Room 6 of Sunny Days motel, Connecticut. We'd been here four days. I wouldn't miss it. I didn't miss anything any more, apart from my parents, and most of all, Sloane. My hands automatically slid up to grip the slim silver locket hanging around my neck which had the picture of the three of them closed inside.
They said we had to split up. We all
had to. Get on the move and keep moving. Never settle anywhere
for more than a week or two. They said it would all be over
before we knew it- So why had nothing changed after seven months?
I sat down slowly on the edge of the lumpy mattress, stuffing my
pyjama top into the side pocket of the duffle bag alongside my
phone as Elise shouldered her plain canvas backpack.
"Are you ready?" She asked me quietly.
'NO!' I wanted to scream, but I didn't. Instead, I just dug my nails in again, nodded slightly and followed her out of the room.
I don't know how many of us there
were to start with, or even how many are still here, lurking
around now, somewhere, hiding, like me. Blending into the humans
of this planet they called Earth. It was a beautiful planet, full
of swaying trees and towering buildings. It was all I knew of
life- Other than a couple of fast-fading memories from Raenowiel,
Earth had pretty much been my home forever, however unfamiliar it
still seemed. Fifteen years ago, when Sloane and I hadn't been
born long, Raenowiel came under attack from the strange, eerie
creatures called Chiyels that lived on the neighbouring planet,
While all the warriors stayed to fight, everyone else fled, scattering to different planets- I don't know how many got to the others, or here. The Chiyels had defeated the Syeoris, and now they were hunting the rest of us down, one by one.
That's why we had to separate. Desperately clutching at the last chances we had to keep the Syeori race alive. Who knew how many were left? No one could tell. Maybe me and Elise were the last ones.
Elise was my mother's friend. I hated her, and we didn't agree on much. But there was one thing we were certain of- We wanted to find Sloane and my parents and Elise's brother Tristan. We wanted to know if they were alive, because if they weren't, then there couldn't be much else to live for.
"Sloane. Close your eyes. Focus.
Breathe. Draw Victoria's mind into your own. You can do it, I
know you can," Tristan paced back and forth down the highest
floor of the multi-storey car park in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania.
Sloane bowed her head to her knees, two curtains of long, glossy
black hair falling over her face as her eyes screwed up in
concentration. "I…can't," She said breathlessly, her fingers
shakily gripping the curb of the pavement where she sat between
the noses of two cars.
Tristan squatted down in front of her and placed his hands on her knees. Warmth radiated from his palms, jolting into her bones. Sloane gasped for air, her mind grappling in search of her sister's. She'd found that telepathy was one of her Syeuxis, and now Tristan was helping her improve and shape it to help them find Victoria, Elise, Richard and Lisa.
There was a sudden click and then she was floating- Victoria was sat in the passenger seat of a second-hand Ford Focus, cruising down the Interstate 91.
'Why can't she just give me a break, she'd be going mad if she didn't know what her Syeuxi was…' Sloane's breath caught in her throat as Victoria appeared in her head, her voice… It was like standing next to her again, feeling the comfort of her twin… She'd missed that comfort. Then, snap- Tristan smacked her across the forehead, bringing her out of her reverie.
"Sloane," He hissed, "What did you see?"
"Interstate 91, Connecticut." She replied in the same second. "They'll stop at The Mayflower Inn And Spa, close to where they are right now, and they'll stay there a few days. We have time."
Tristan nodded in approval, "Cool." He said slowly, considering which action to take next, "Looks like our last night in Penn Hills, Sloanie. Let's get back to the hotel, yeah? You should rest, then we'll go find our sisters first thing on the morning, okay?"
"Okay." Sloane heaved herself to her feet, flexing her long, pale fingers to try and loosen the wierdness she still felt when utilising her Syeuxi. She turned and followed her Miue-Sha out of the car lot, Victoria's thoughts still tingling in the back of her mind.
Sloane somehow got the feeling that very soon, her sister would be in danger. Scratch that, they were all in danger. The Chiyels were coming, and soon, they'd be dead, the Syeoris would be gone forever and Raenowiel would be under a different power.
Sloane shrugged, snapped a piece of Orbit chewing gum into her mouth, pushed the thoughts out of her head and kept walking.
One day at a time, Sloanie. One day at a time.
A/N: So should I carry on with this novel? I wrote this chapter ages ago, months and months ago. Please comment saying whether or not I should continue with this alongside writing City Girl?