Jackrabbit

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - Chapter 2

Submitted: October 02, 2017

Reads: 181

Comments: 6

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Submitted: October 02, 2017

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This was my chance. My feet launched me off the ground. Latching onto the stone wall, I dug my fingers in between the cracks and hoisted myself up. The climb was perilous, not to mention the weather wasn’t the best either. Rain thundered down, slicking the wall and pushing me towards the unforgiving earth. One simple miscalculation at this height and my brief journey would come to an abrupt end.

The window was just a few yards higher. It inched closer agonizingly slowly, but somehow my fingers eventually found their way wrapped around the bottom. My muscles screamed as I hoisted myself up and through the opening. For several moments, I laid there on the floor, soaking wet and panting. Slowly, the room spun into view. It was dark, seemingly abandoned. It looked like a bedroom, with a grand bed that was decorated quite nicely. It was uncommon to see such a nice room go unused. The owners didn’t strike me as the kind of family that was wealthy enough to have every room look this good.

Cobwebs covered the bed, making it impossible to distinguish the colors of the sheets. Even the wardrobe and other pieces of complementary furniture were coated in a thick layer of dust. An ancient-looking portrait sat on the bedside table, depicting a young man with blond hair and kind eyes. Of course, he probably wasn’t so kind in real life. The artists always took the liberty of depicting the models in a better light for extra pay. Most likely the boy was just some spoiled noble brat like all the rest.

Creaking the door open, I crept into the hallway. Even the servants would all be asleep by this hour. Just find the staff. That’s all you need to do, I reminded myself as I continued. If I recalled correctly, the staff was kept with its owner: a young lady of 16. The Leviatans were well-known for their daughter and her prowess with magic.

Now that I thought about it, what a turn of events it had been. My journey had begun under the noble pursuit of wanting to regain my magic, but here I was, no more than a thief. What would Karen think if she could see me now? She’d probably tsk and shake her head. “What a disappointment my brother is.”

My thoughts jerked back to the moment as I opened the door a crack. By the side, the sleeping figure of a girl was in my vision. She breathed softly, her chest rising and falling ever so slightly. Of course, she didn’t really have much of a chest to speak of in the first place, but that wasn’t my main focus. My gaze immediately shot over to the staff mounted on the wall on the far side of the room. It was a regal thing, simple in design with a large, red gem on the top. Creeping across the room slowly, I rested my hands on the smooth surface. Was it made of metal? Wood? It was impossible to tell just from touching. Either way, something about it felt peculiar. Energy entered and left the tips of my fingers, leaving me with the urge to shiver.

The sudden pressure on my back caught me by surprise. A large hand gripped my tunic tightly around my neck, causing my eyes to water. “May I help you?” a smooth yet cold voice inquired. Before I could answer, a sharp pain shot through my head and everything turned black.


 

“I’m telling you he might be useful to us.”

“The answer is no, milady. He could be dangerous. Not to mention he must’ve killed the guards to get in here at such a late hour.”

“Renault, stop being a wet blanket. I simply cannot stand by and watch a perfectly fine peasant squander his life away tainted by evil. I want to give him salvation.”

My eyes cracked open slightly, the picture hazy. Slowly, two figures came into view. A tall, imposing man stood across from the girl that had been sleeping in the bed. Brown hair hung down limply, tousled and messy. He probably had been sleeping until before I entered. Either way, neither noticed me and continued their conversation.

“Milady Rachel, you’re being unreasonable,” the manservant pleaded. “He’s a killer, and it’s my job to assure you’re alive for your 17th birthday. I refuse to let any harm befall you.”

The girl knit her eyebrows and opened her mouth for a retort before catching my gaze. She stopped immediately and turned towards me. “Look, he’s awake!” she squealed.

I struggled to stand up, but realized I had been bound to a chair with rope. Warily, I glared at her as she approached. This girl has no sense of personal space, I thought sheepishly as she leaned in close enough for me to smell her perfume. The girl’s gaze was a gold so intense that it was difficult to keep eye contact.

“Who are you?” she asked, tipping her head to the side.

“What’s it to you?”

The tall man from before, Renault, stepped forward and looked down at me with a stony gaze. “I suggest you answer our questions, lest you be thrown in the dungeon. We haven’t had anyone down there in so long we might just forget to feed you.”

Normally the threat wouldn’t have fazed me, but this Renault was quite intimidating. Reluctantly, I turned my head downwards and fell silent. “I came here to steal the staff.”

“What would you want with Lævateinn?” the girl named Rachel inquired.

“I wanted to sell it.” The lie slipped out easily enough, which was strange considering the beating my father would’ve given me if he had caught me speaking such a falsehood. “With all that gold, I never would’ve had to work a day in my life again.”

“Just as I thought,” the manservant huffed. “He’s nothing but a petty thief. Now let’s wash our hands of this scum and -- ”

“Renault, silence.” The seemingly rambunctious girl was quiet for once. Renault fell silent, though he looked a tad irked. Her gaze was unsettling, making me shiver. Despite that, though, she seemed oblivious to my vulnerability. “You…. Do you want salvation?”

“What kind of question is that?!” I barked indignantly. “It’s not your place to decide my lot in life. There are those with the capacity for power and those without. I had my reasons for coming here, and I won’t accept your false notions that I’m some kind of evildoer.”

For several moments, the room remained silent. Renault opened his mouth, ready to dish out a stinging retort, before Rachel spoke. A smile covered her face and her eyes appeared brighter. “You have spirit and tenacity. I like that. Renault, we’re keeping him,” she announced.

But, Milady, someone of your standing shouldn’t be around a peasant.”

“I’m not hearing any arguments. He stays and that’s final.” She looked back at me, seemingly nothing more than a naive girl. “Now shall we undo your restraints?”

For some reason, I felt at ease taking her hand. Langsport and the Collins family had finally churned out its first rat, and I was it. Despite that, there was no need for any, “salvation.” I would forge my own path. Whether it led me towards the light or away, I had yet to know. Of course, if I had known, I probably would’ve left. When I had begun my journey, I was prepared to shoulder the consequences of my actions. But I wasn’t willing to be dragged into caring for another.

 

 

 


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