The Fire Within - Heidi Cooper

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

Edited 27/4/17

Chapter 7 (v.1) - Chapter Seven

Submitted: September 21, 2013

Reads: 114

Comments: 2

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Submitted: September 21, 2013

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Chapter Seven

 

 

 

I trundled off to school with thoughts colliding and bouncing off one another inside my head. Today was going to be a long day. I was excited about my date with Josias tonight, but was anxiously waiting to hear what my mother had to say too. Perhaps she was finally going to come out with the truth. She had been acting so weird lately; ever since I first told her about my odd dreams in fact.

 

My mother has the same sigil. What does this mean?

 

Helena and Josias were waiting for me at the gate. I looked up at them and gave Helena “that look” and she nodded. That was our go-to signal for “we really need to talk.” Josias smiled at me through his green eyes and I relaxed a little. He slid his fingers between mine and gave my hand a little squeeze. I smiled back.

 

First period Helena and I were in the same class, but Josias had a slightly different timetable. It worked out well because we had Drama, and it was a perfect time to chat, especially if we were paired off, because Helena and I were nearly always coupled together. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Josias enough to tell him what was going on. It was just that I honestly didn’t know how to tell him. How do you tell someone something like that without coming across as a bit unhinged?

 

Helena’s voice snapped me back into the present.

 

“Are you ok Em?” Helena looked at me quizzically with a touch of concern in her eyes.

 

“I don’t know,” I responded. “Something…something weird is going on…at home.”

 

“With your dreams?”
 

“Not exactly…” I said, then I re-evaluated. “Well...sort of.”

 

“What is it Em?”

 

I sucked in a breath and exhaled deeply. I searched her eyes for a moment. Helena was an understanding person, but even this would shock her a little.

 

“Ok, here goes…” I started. “You know the dreams I have been having. The strange blue light. The eerie, though welcoming house. The Fireplace. The blue sigil…”

 

“Yes…?”

 

I instinctively held up my palm and closed my eyes. I heard Helena gasp, and felt her take a step back. When I opened my eyes and looked at her, she had her hand over her mouth and was staring wide-eyed at my palm. The sigil was glowing, dully, but glowing nonetheless.

 

She mouthed the word “Em” but no sound came out, so I continued with my strange albeit true confession.

 

“This is the sigil from my dreams. It’s the same sigil as the one above the fireplace, and on the amulet. In each dream, when I tried to grasp the amulet…I was awoken by my alarm…or woke just before my alarm. The other night was different though Ley. A few nights ago, I had the same dream about the same house and the sigil appeared right before the amulet appeared in the fireplace. Only this time, I managed to grab it…or at least, I thought I did. When I woke though, all I found was this burn mark on my palm…the sigil…and that’s not the half of it…”

 

Helena managed to choke out, “There’s more…?”

 

I nodded, and let me arm slowly fall to my side again. I tucked a wisp of hair back behind my ear, sucked in another breath, and continued. “Yesterday, when I came down for breakfast my mother wasn’t in the kitchen. My dad was in there cooking as usual…I asked where my mother was, and he said that she hadn’t slept very well last night and was just feeling a little off. I thought that was odd because she never gets sick. Anyway, Josias was waiting for me at my front door and we walked to school together. Even he could sense I was a little out of sorts, but Ley, I can’t tell him. Not yet anyway…How do you tell someone that?”

 

Helena nodded as she listened, cogs grinding inside her head so loud that you could practically hear them.

 

“There is more…”

 

She looked at me expectantly, her eyes wide.

 

“When I arrived home yesterday afternoon…Josias walked me home, but then he had to go to practice…I found dad in the kitchen and mum was nowhere in sight…”

 

Helena was hanging onto my every word…

 

“Dad made milkshakes and we sat down to drink them. I asked how mum was and he said she was still feeling off and that she was resting. He asked me to please be quiet going upstairs as he didn’t want me to wake her. I downed the rest of my shake and headed up to my room when I heard strange noises coming from my mum’s room…”

 

I started to feel a little prickly heat all over my skin and Helena must have noticed, because she put her hand on my arm and said, “Go on Em. I’m listening.” Helena smiled a little awkward smile, in the hopes that it might comfort me. I smiled awkwardly back and proceeded.

 

“So I hear these strange noises and I get curious, right?”

 

Helena nodded, not taking her hand off my arm, or leaving my gaze for that matter.

 

“I poked my head around the door and I saw it…”

 

“Saw what, Em?!”

 

“The strange blue glow…and it was bright Ley, really bright. But it wasn’t just a glow and when it diminished a little, I saw the sigil. This sigil…”

 

I held up my palm again and Helena gasped. I saw in her eyes that she had a million questions running through her mind. So did I. So many that I didn’t have the answers to.

 

“Does your mum know?” asked Helena. “You know, about…about what you saw?”

 

“That’s another thing. I told her about it…normally when I told her about my dreams she would just shrug me off…act like I was just being silly…told me countless times that they were just dreams and that I shouldn’t read into them…”

 

“But this time…?”

 

“This time was different. She was different. Sure, I still felt the same awkwardness when I brought it up as I ever did when I tried to explain my dreams…but this time she said we need to talk and she wants to sit down with me tomorrow…”

 

“Wow, that’s so weird…”

 

“I know right?” I responded. “Whatever it is, hopefully I will get some real answers tomorrow. I knew something was up, Ley. I just knew it…but until now, she has never opened up to me in the slightest about it. Part of me is excited, but another part of me is extremely nervous…I can’t really explain it.”

 

“Well, it’s a good thing if you finally figure out what it all means, right?” Helena stated. “I mean, you know you aren’t crazy. You know these dreams have always meant something. Now maybe you will understand what they mean…and why they are happening…”

 

Helena ran her hand through her hair and took a shallow breath. “It’s really weird though, don’t you think? About how you and your mother share the exact same symbol on your palms…and she falls ill, the night you think you almost managed to grab the amulet…”

 

I nodded, and looked beyond Ley, thinking up a tonne of different scenarios in my head.

 

The rest of the day went slowly. The classes I had with Ley were different…well, she was different. I suppose it wouldn’t be easy to take in everything I had said to her in drama class. I knew she didn’t think I was weird…even though I thought I was…but she just needed a little time to process the new information. She was my best friend though, had been since forever. She always had my back, and I always had hers.

 

Josias kept smiling at me and it would send tingles up through my body, almost making me forget my confession to Ley this morning. And those eyes….

 

The bell sounded and shook me out of my daydream. Josias and I were running through a field full of violet flowers in slow motion and…

 

“Em,” Josias said.

 

“Huh? Oh, Josias…” I said his name a little too dreamily. He smiled, shrugging his bag further onto his back.

 

“Come back down to earth, space cadet.” He said. “You ok, Em?” He tucked the hair behind my right ear and smiled at me warmly.

 

“Yeah I am ok,” I said. “Just a little…just a lot going on at home and stuff, that’s all.

 

“Well, like I said before I am always here for you, Em.”

 

I smiled at him and nodded in appreciation. “I know, babe. Thanks.”

 

“Babe…” he grinned, “That’s cute. I like that.”

 

We hugged and parted with a kiss. We had a date in a few hours and I ran home to get ready.

 

I let myself in with the key and headed toward the kitchen. “Mum! Dad!” I called out. “I’m home!”

 

No one responded. They must be out, I thought. I raced upstairs and flung my bag in the direction of my bedroom door as I slipped into the bathroom and locked the door behind me. I hope they remember about my date tonight…

 

I gave myself an extra pampering just to be sure that I looked my best for tonight. It was our first date and I wanted to make a really good impression. I scrubbed, exfoliated, tinted, spritzed, glossed, combed, added product, tousled, applied make up…not too much, just smoky eyes and a bit of lipstick, put my hair into loose waves and stuck them into place with some hair lotion to give them a more natural look. Hairspray tended to dry the hair and make it look stiff…I wanted a more delicate look.

 

Once I was sure I looked just right, I wrapped my bath sheet around myself and sprinted to my bedroom, kicking my bag further in my bedroom as I did so.

 

I opened all of my drawers and tossed the entire contents onto my floor, trying to locate the most practical, yet stunning ensemble. After what seemed like an eternity, I found the perfect outfit; a violet corset-type top with lace up backing, black embroidery around the top of the bust and shoestring straps, dark blue denim hipsters with black embroidery at the bottom of the legs encrusted with diamantes and a pair of black, strappy high heels…but not too high. I put it all on and looked over myself in my dressing room mirror.

 

In an almost conceited fashion I blew a kiss to the mirror and smiled. Let’s face it; I really did look a million dollars. I put in my favourite dangly, amethyst earrings, clasped a silver bracelet around my wrist, and put a silver chain with a pendulum-like amethyst pendant around my neck. Voila!

 

Just then, the doorbell sounded. Had I really taken that long to get ready? Josias wasn’t picking me up until six o’clock. Oh well…Rome wasn’t built in a day.

 

I headed down the stairs carefully so as not to break my neck with a head first roll to the bottom, courtesy of my heels. I was so excited, but I still valued life and I was not one of those people who could run, dance or skip in a pair of heels.

 

I fussed one last time over my appearance, and then flung open the door.

 

“Hun, could you help your mother…” My father stopped dead in his tracks and looked me up and down. “Holy moly, Em!”

 

“What do you think, Dad?”

 

“It’s um, wow.”

 

I looked at him and felt my face flush a little pinkish. Oh crap, he hated it and he was going to tell me to go and change…

 

“Em, you look…wow,” he said, clearly stunned - what, his daughter could scrub up real nice?

 

“You look absolutely stunning, Em. I hope that boy of yours can keep his hands and well, everything to himself.”

 

My cheeks flushed crimson. Just then mum appeared, and just as she looked up and saw me, she dropped the box of stuff she was carrying and stood there, like a stunned mullet.

 

“Doesn’t she look pretty honey?” my dad said. “Reminds me of you when we went on our first date, remember?”

 

She gathered up the box hurriedly and glanced at me. Suddenly her facial expression changed, and she said, “Em, you are just…” she was clearly emotional. “You look incredible. I hope that Josias boy knows just how lucky he is.”

 

She looked as though she had something else she wanted to say. “Mum, you look…is everything alright?”

 

“Yes…yes honey. It’s just, there has been a weight on my shoulders for so many years…and I wanted to keep you in the dark, I tried so hard to keep you protected, because I didn’t want you to live that sort of life. I’ve come to realize though, that sweeping it under the carpet won’t make it disappear, and I would rather you find out from me…from us…” she glanced towards my dad, “than from someone else.”

 

“I…I don’t understand mum…dad?” I looked at them back and forth, hoping for more answers.

 

“Honey, not now. Tomorrow, I promise. You have a date tonight. Go out and enjoy yourself. We will talk tomorrow.”

 

I shuffled my feet a little and said, “Ok. Ok, I will. Tomorrow, right? You promise?”

 

“Yes honey,” they said in unison.

 

“Oh, and sweetheart..?”

 

“Yes Dad?

 

“Make sure that boy, treats you like the princess you are.”

 

I smiled and just as I turned towards the driveway, I saw Josias pull up. I waved and blew my parents a kiss as I made my way towards his idling car. Josias had already gotten out, opened my door and stood there ready to help me in the passenger seat. As I came near he grabbed my hand, kissed it gently and said, “You are gorgeous, Emilie. Breathtaking…”

 

I hopped into the seat and Josias shut the door. I looked up and saw my dad put my arm around my mother, and they were both smiling at me.


© Copyright 2017 H D Cooper. All rights reserved.

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