Synopsis

You know about the cat statue. You know about her ability. You may even think you understand her a bit.

Well I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.

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-Part one –

Run.

Hide.

Forget.

A beautiful cycle. One that she’d mastered, fortunately: one that had kept her alive. Kind of.

So… why was she here? In a spotlight that flooded only the six square feet where she was suppressed to a hard metal chair with even crueler chains.  The rest of the room was darkness- which she could feel was particularly strong. A nice, brooding darkness.

She tried to snap, but couldn’t, because… her fingers were tied together. Really tightly, actually. Which may have explained why she couldn’t feel them in the first place. She swore into the shadows.

Her heart shrank back into her chest when something answered.

“Frustrated?” the voice was gravely.

“Yes.” She spat.

“Hmm.  Frustration can be so… imprisoning, no?”

“Look, I don’t know what you want, but whatever it is, I don’t have it.”

“Neither did the young woman selling jewelry in Eternalia, but we both know what fate she suffered.”

Jessica froze. “It was an accident.”

“Was it? We both know people don’t just fade. The light has to be manipulated.”

Whoever this person- this figment of the darkness was, they knew too much. So Jessica put on a fake smile as she spoke into the shadows once again, her voice like rich velvet. “Look, you don’t know me. You don’t understand me. You don’t understand why I did what I did. You don’t understand, because you have never known the big picture.”

The voice was silent for a while, and Jessica leaned back in her chair, waiting.

“Maybe.” It echoed. “Maybe, however, you’re missing the point. That woman had a child. You didn’t know that, did you? They didn’t tell you that part.”

“It… had to be done.” But Jess couldn’t stop the catch in her voice, the little quiver of doubt.

15 years earlier.

Jessica laughed as she ran through the hills of Dawnheath, her black hair flowing like glossy ribbons in the wind. The grass was slightly poky against her naked feet, the reeds freshly cut and tickly. And the sun shed down rays of warm. Warm and wonderful.

“Jessica Veronica Vacker! Get back here!” Even the shrill calls of her mother couldn’t shrink the smile that had pasted itself stubbornly across her face.

Manifesting was such a thrill. Especially when your ability was your mother’s. That way she could still train in private.

“You’ll have to catch me!” she shouted back.

Luzia speed-walked stiffly across the lawn, a look of pure stone etched into her eyes. “You know you aren’t allowed in the front!”

“Yes, but today is special!” Jessica told her indifferently. “After all, not every child manifests at twelve.” She did jazz-hands for special effect.

“Yes, but-“

“Teach me?” Jess bit her lip in a smile, knowing that her mother couldn’t possibly resist a chance to show off…

“Fine. Ten minutes.”

***

“You know what’s a cool name? Y’know, if like, I pretended to be someone else so I could go to Atlantis with you?” Jessica lay on her stomach on the couch with her arms crossed on the armrest.

“Jessica, we have been over this.” Her mother was hastily arranging a bouquet of roses on the coffee table beside her.

“I know, but still. Glimmer. That’s the cool name.”

“Sounds like a stage name for a circus girl.” But there was a smile in Luzia’s eyes.

“Okay, but consider this: being in a circus would mean I’d get fresh air every once in a while. Plus, you’d make a perfect clown.” Jess wiggled her eyebrows.

“Rude.” Her mother mumbled, though it was clear that she was paying more attention to the florals at this point.

“Well, I’m off.” Luzia said, rummaging through her purse and heading toward the door. “I love you, and no practice until I get back.”

“I know.” Jess insisted, sitting up and blowing on a strand of hair that had flopped down into her face. “I know…”

***

Jess was so busted. As much as her mother was livid about her going in the front yard, where she could be seen, she would be far more ferocious if she found out about Orem’s old room… which was restricted. Who could blame her for being interested in her older brother? Half-brother. Luzia hadn’t told her, but it was obvious.

He was out of the house at this point, and had been for like, a million years, or whatever. But his room one of the only things that was still interesting after 13 years living at Dawnheath. Jess knew that her half-brother had only lied there for two years before moving out- he’d lived at Everglen before this place.

The room was still full of him, though. Lime green walls, polished oak furniture, pictures on the dresser which were like a storybook. Almost revealing enough. Some of them had his father in them…

Jess just liked being in there. Pretending to talk to the old photos, laying on his old bed and staring at the ceiling- purely because it was forbidden.

“I’m bored.” she said to herself, a little shocked at her own voice popping out at her from the loneliness of the house.

A puppy. She wanted a puppy. Just to keep her company. Was that too much to ask of a mother who wouldn’t let her go outside, even at the age of 13?

“What a bunch of caca…” Jessica mumbled.

***

Just another by-passer. That was all she was. Not a girl strictly forbidden to be seen in Eternalia. But hey, roleplay was fun.

Jess had taken one of her mother’s smaller dresses- a yellow one that almost fit her nicely- and a pair of bright green heels, the fanciest she could find. If she was going to pull this off, she needed to fake it good.

So as she walked through the streets of the glistening city, she held her chin up, and was careful not to let the pathfinder she had swiped from her mother drop from inside the tulle of her gown, where it was carefully hidden.

“Hello!” Jess said to a pretty girl walking across the street from her. Her heart was beating a tattoo into her chest. That elf… that elf was the first elf she’d seen besides Luzia.

Jess might have fainted.

There it was. Thrill.

And Jess was officially addicted.

-Part Two-

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