The runner (I really need a better name for this)The runner Jay Fox story pointless tag old topic reborn ^_^
Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:40 AM
Who knows, maybe people will like it
Chapter one: The start of all this crap
I think I will start the story from the beginning, I know I just gave an overview of what we are and it may have spoiled it for you, but I don't really care. So our story will start with my childhood. I never knew my parents, the first thing I remember is the god awful orphanage.
The orphanage itself looked bright and cheery, it was painted in white and a trill of light blue. It also had a retarded sun with a smiley face painted on the front. The owner of the orphanage was an old lady named Miss Lass. She was an old witch of a woman, and her bright pink cloths were a complete contradiction to her character. Her husband left her years ago, I cant imagine why. She may have given us enough to eat and a place to sleep, but we hated her. I'm not trying to be rude, but she was heartless and cruel when there wasn't another adult around.
There weren't many other orphans there, and that's not cus they were adopted. In the years I lived there not one of us got adopted, and I blame it all on Miss Lass. Not sure how much of it was her fault thought, but ill just blame her. Well anyhow, in the orphanage my best friend was a boy named Brome, he was shorter than me and had light brown hair and blue eyes. Together we made life hell for Miss Lass. It was only fair, she did the same to us after all. On a regular basis we stole her drivers license, put dyes in her shampoo, and hid her mattress. We were careful about it thought, she could never prove it was us, but she blamed us most of the time anyway. It was one of the few things I liked about the place, but it in no way makes me even consider going back. Things started to get harder at the orphanage for me after the first years. Even before I started trying to make her life hell, Miss Lass hated me. She thought I was the worst kid she had ever gotten. Well she acted like it anyway. I was the one scrubbing the toilets with the toothbrush, and doing the dished. And yes, she actually had me cleaning toilets with a toothbrush. It was a mistake on her part, as soon enough she found out I was using her's. The look on her face had been priceless, and well worth the two days with no food I got for punishment. Naturally I didn't mind it, food was easy enough to steal anyway. I didn't mind it so much, you get used to it after several years. I even enjoyed it from time to time when me and Brome pulled something a bit bigger then usual, like stealing the wallets of visitors and placing them in Miss Less's hand bag, or blocking Lass's rooms door with furniture and leaving her there for a few days. Brome would always give me a little smirk as we pulled something big, he would wink at me and climb out onto the roof. The roof was the only place we could get away form Miss Lass. We would sit up there for hours and talk, ignoring the screaming of Miss Lass as she found whatever we left her that day.
It was up on the roof were I last saw my friend, I was seven when it happened. We were sitting up there listing to Miss Lass yell at the other kids about our whereabouts, she had never caught on to us climbing onto the roof and none of the other kids would dear tell her we were up there. They had found from experience that telling on us would land them a punishment for a crime they didn't do.
“Do you think we will ever get adopted?” He asked me. We had been sitting in silence for several minutes, and I wasn't expecting the question.
I hesitated for a moment before answering.
“I'm sure we will.”
“You don't believe that, your smarter than that.”
“Well I have to believe something!” I said getting angry thought I was not sure why. “How else are we going to get out of this dump?”
“We could leave.” He said flatly. “We are both skilled pickpockets, and can survive for days without food. We could live just fine, away from this place and Miss Lass.”
I starred at him. “I'm only seven, and your not but...” I trailed off as a realized I didn't know how old he was. He looked as if he was about to say something more but started as a huge blast of thunder ripped threw the sky.
I hadn't noticed the storm clouds, but all of the sudden rain was pouring down around us.
“We better get inside.” Was the last thing he ever said to me. He stood up just as a bolt of lightning hit a tree just outside the orphanage. The shock wave hit us both. I starred in terror as a branch fell and hit the roof just in front of Brome and started sliding down towards him at an alarming rate. He locked eyes with me and mouthed “Go.” as the branch hit him and they both fell from the roof.
“Nooo!” I cried as a saw him fall.
I jumped up and off the side of the roof, grabbing the ledge of a window as a fell. I continued climbing down the side of the building till I was five feet from the ground. I dropped and dashed around the side of the orphanage and ran to the branch. I grabbed the branch and tried to move it but it was to heavy. I grabbed Brome's hand sobbing.
“This is my fault, if we didn't rig Lass's door we wouldn't have retreated to the roof.”
his hand went limp and I stood there sobbing, grasping his hand. Miss Lass ran over yelling something at me but I ignored her. I could hear sirens in the distance and knew I couldn't explain any of this... or wouldn't. That night has haunted me ever seance.
I left that night, there was no way I was explaining what happened to the police, let along Miss Lass. When the police arrived I took advantage of Miss Lass's temporary distraction and ran off into the night. No one would find me, I made sure of that. I ran for at least two miles that night, when I finally stopped I was horribly tiered and gasping for breath. I wandered into an ally and curled up in a corner. I was small and scared in new york of all places. I guess I forgot to mention that before. Well that night seemed to last for ages, and I eventually fell asleep. The next day was bright and sunny, I was soaked, my cloths looked horrible, I was freezing, and my hair must have looked dreadful, but at least I was finally away from that god forsaken orphanage.
Chapter three: Life on the streets
Life on the street was grate. It may sound weird, but I loved it. I wandered around the first day, pondering on how I was going to get a decent meal. I had standards, I may have been living on the street but I was not going to eat from the garbage. I was doing a bit of pickpocketing the first day, and stole a granola bar, why that woman was walking around with it in her back pocket ill never know. It made a decent breakfast and the wallet I snagged with it had a good bit of cash in it as well. It was a nice wallet as to, made of a nice black leather with the designing of a butterfly printed on the front. I tossed out the drivers license, the woman looked nothing like me so it wouldn't do me any good, and a few credit cards. There was a nice Starbucks gold membership card in there that I kept thought, I used that for lunch.
I lived like that for several days, even pulled a scam in Olive Garden a few days latter. I sort of followed a family in and got my own table, my escort to me table didn't question me being there to much, but he did look at me funny more than once. I got my dinner and it was one of the best meals I ever ate, when it came time to pay, that was when it got tricky. When my waiter came after taking my dishes he glared at me.
“Did you enjoy your meal Miss?” He said, I could hear the strain in his voice as he no doubt thought 'There is no way she has the money to pay for this, who let her in here anyway?'
“The food was lovely sir, ill be sure to recommend this place to my friends.” I replied, my eyes scanning for a way I could sneak out.
“I assume you will be paying now?” He emphasized the word 'paying' as he glared distastefully at me.
“You know, I think ill have another round of bread-sticks before I leave.” I tell him and wait for him to fetch it for me. He gave me an evil smirk.
“I know what your doing Missy and it wont work. As soon as I leave your going to bolt without paying, and I cant have that.”
I pulled a few twenty's out of my pocket and waved them in his face.
“I have money you moron, now hop to it and get me my bread-sticks.” He gave me one more distasteful look and walked away. He stopped by another employ and muttered something to him then pointed to me. I waved at him and he walked off. The employ was watching me attentively. An idea formed in my mind. I had the money to pay for the food if all else failed, but why pay when you and get it free? That motto had served me well so far,
The waiter came back with the bread-sticks and slammed them down on the table in front of me.
“Anything else I can get you.” He asked me sarcastically.
“Yes, you can get me the manager.” I told him.
He looked at me, and asked. “Why might you want to see him?”
“I have a complaint about the staff here.” He glared at me once again and walked off to get the manager. The other employ was still watching me so I could have to make up a decent story instead of bolting like I was going to. I munched on a bread stick until my waiter came back, a man following him wearing a formal suite and a gold badge that said 'manager' on it.
“What seems to be the problem Ma'am?” He asked. He spoke formally and didn't make eye contact.
“I have a complaint about your staff.” I told him. My waiter stiffens and he shoots me a hateful look.
“Since I got here, my waiter has been glaring at me whenever he was near me. He accused me of not being able to pay and watched me while I was eating. Not to mention he slammed my food down on the table and used a sarcastic tone whenever talking to me.”
The manager looked a bit shocked, I was a seven year old sitting in Olive Garden alone and accusing his waiter of bad service and stalking. He looked at the waiter. “Is this true?” He asked. The waiter shot me a hating look and replied.
“It is not, I treated her like any other customer. Its true I had her watched, but that was because, frankly she looks like a street rat and I didn't think she had the money to pay. I didn't want her to bolt out of the restaurant without paying...” He trailed off.
“So you glare at all your customers and speak like there idiots?”
The manager took the waiter aside and started lecturing him. I took this as a good time to sneak out. The employ that had been watching me had left to help another customer so I had a clear exit. No one questioned me leaving and I simply walked out. As I was walking away I hear a cry “See I told you! She left without paying!”
I chuckled, it may have been a bit more work than I would have liked, but I got out with a free meal, and even snagged a few tips on my way out.
I was walking back to an old building that I called home, when a boy with snow white hair stopped me. He looked a bit like me, his cloths were dirty and his hair was messy. He looked a bit older than me, maybe eleven. He was thin and lean. Like her had been living on the streets most his life.
“That was clever how you distracted them in there, and you even made it out with the tips left on a few tables, not bad at all.”
I starred definitely at him.
“I suppose you going to tell them what happened and get the police on me?”
He laughed and introduced himself.
“The names Snow, iv seen you around. Your rather good at surviving on the streets.”
“My names Cinder, now was there something you wanted?”
“I pulled that one a few weeks back, went to the bathroom and climbed out the window. That's why the waiter was so suspicious of you, I think they have a picture posted on me in there now. I checked the windows a few days ago, there kept locked.”
“So your like me? Living on the streets?”
“Yep, been living on the streets most of my life. Umm... I was wondering, do you wanna team up?”
The question made me pause. The kid reminded me of Brome in many ways, he even had the same lopsided smirk.
“Do you have a place to sleep?” I asked him.
“I do, its an old building. One of the walls fell down ages ago and no one ever goes in there.”
I blinked in surprise.
“The one by the bay? By the china town?” I asked.
“That's the one.” He said giving me a wink.
“Whatever, lets get going I'm exhausted.”
And that's how a met Snow, we spent years living together in that old house. those were good days.
Most mornings we would pick a few pockets and get some coffee at Starbucks, the gold membership card served us well for many years. For lunch we usually got sandwiches form one of the many restaurants scattered around. We were a good team, Snow and I. We looked like opposites, me with me jet black hair, and him with his snow white hair. We had a good living for many years. We had to move out of out house a few months after I met Snow, they tore it down. We moved into the top story of an old school. The ground floor was still used regularly but the top floor was deemed unsafe. It was east enough to get to and the heating system still worked up there.
Things were going grate, until we pulled a little scam and Snow was arrested.
Chapter four: How it ended
Yes its true, Snow was arrested. But its not really what you think. This was a few years latter and the little scam wasn't really so little... The plan was elaborate but the aim wasn't to get any large sum on money. It was a challenge really, you see there was this gang of delinquents that didn't like us to much, and we regularly challenged each other to challenges. The challenges started small but started getting bigger and bigger. We both thought we were better than the other, me and Snow were much more skilled then the spoiled kids that thought they were gangsta with there expensive cloths and general gay appearance.
So anyway, it started a few months after me and Snow joined forces. They saw us stealing and thought it would be fun to 'show us up and decide who was the real bad ass of the town.' It started with small challenges, steal a pack of gum from a overly paranoid shop owner before the other team. The shop itself was fulled with at least seven cameras, and this was just a small corner store.
The task was easy, Snow distracted the store owner and I blocked the cameras and walked out with a few packs of gum. The “Cool dogs of epicness” as they called themselves, sent in a solo kid who was caught and thrown out of the store. It took them three more tries to finally get it. Naturally there response was “You got lucky, best two out of three.”
The next task they decided on was to see who could steal a lunch out of an offices fridge without being caught. They thought they could do it easy because one of them was the son of the manager at the office. He forgot his dad wasn't working that day.
This task was good fun, Snow went in and asked were the restrooms were and scouted out the place. When he came back he told me that the kitchen was right behind the front desk and the fridge was in the far left corner. He also got a look at the times for the lunch brakes, if I hurried I could just make it in and out before anyone was there. I went in and used the same excuse Snow had, I say three of the other team in there as well. One of them was asking for his father and the others were looking around for the kitchen. I ducked behind a corner before they saw me. I made my way to the kitchen and opened the fridge. There was some good stuff in there, spaghetti, some seafood, and some sort of soup. Naturally I snagged the seafood. It was in a nice chines takeout box and I stashed it under my shirt. On my way out one of the kids day me and yelled “Look, shes stealing food from the kitchen!” I just starred at him blankly. Some of the employs glared at the kid and told him to stop yelling and that a seven year old wouldn't be stealing food from an office building. I had to fight to bite back laughter. People were so stupid.
I walked out and tossed the box of food to the leader of the “Cool dogs of epicness.”
“There ya are, I hope you like chines food.”
The kid glared at me for a minute and started laughing. He shook Snow's hand.
“Fair enough, but I want a rematch next year.” Me and Snow both agreed.
It wasn't a year thought, we started challenging each other on a monthly bases. Me and Snow won most of the stuff, but they got in a few wins here in there. They weren't so bad, they were friendly challenges... Well friendly meaning we weren't trying to prove we were better than each other, we dropped that after the first few rounds, they wearing to friendly to the poor people we scammed and stole from thought. This went on for years, until that one day when we went to far.
The challenge was strait forward enough, we were to have lunch on the top floor of a very wealthy business, picking some food up on the way there. Me and Snow gladly excepted and started planning, we loved the challenges. It gave us something challenging to do and it was rather fun to see the look on peoples faces when you turn up in there hotel room bathtub. That one came up many times over the years.
I was twelve when this one happened, Snow was fifteen. We met James in front of the building. James was the leader of the “Cool dogs of epicness.” They changed the name of there group to “White fire” a year or so after we started the challenges. We had become fairly close friends to James in the years we knew him, he had never gotten caught and his family didn't care so much what he did so we say him regularly.
“You ready for a good challenge?” He asked us as we walked up.
“Are you ready to loose a good challenge?” Snow asked him with a laugh.
James grinned. “We shall see mate.”
“The plan is to get the the top floor of that twenty story high building, and eat lunch in the main meeting room. There are no meeting planned there today, so all you need to do is get up there and grab some food on the way. Once there we shall dine and then get out before they I.D. us then brag about it to each other. Any questions?”
Me and Snow looked at each other. We knew each other very well and knew what the plan was just by that one look. We had pulled something like this once before but on a much smaller scale. We had been looking forward to this event for a few weeks now, and had already scouted a good way up. This was being planned for two weeks in advance because of the magnitude of it, giving the everyone participating a chance to plan for it. This was something we rarely did, but we had done it once of twice before.
“You ready James?” I asked giving him a evil smirk.
“Me and my boys were born ready.”
“They lets do this!” Snow called and we advanced on the building.
Our plan was simple enough, the kitchen was on the fifth floor so we would take the elevator there looking like we had every right to be there, most people wouldn't question us. We would grab some food and make out way to the stairs. There was a lot of security in this building, and we knew it would be rather bad to get caught.
The first part of the plan went off without a hitch, we got some food and made out way to the stares. I looked out a window a almost burst out laughing as I saw James and two other kids riding a window washing platform up the side of the building. James saw me and winked.
Me and Snow hurried up a bit, but didn't run or look like we were in a hurry. We were wearing out best clothing, and looked like normal kids. We took a chance and used an elevator to go up to the second to last floor, the elevator wouldn't go all the way up unless you had a special key card that we hadn't managed to get a hold of. We walked around a corner and right into a security guard. He grabbed our arms and glared at us.
“What are you two doing up here?” He asked in a deep voice.
“My father called for me.” Snow bluffed.
“Who's your father?”
“Mister Anderson.” Snow replied flatly. “And he dose not like to be kept waiting.”
“There is no Anderson here.” The guard told him bluntly.
“Mister Anderson? The head of the company? Name ring any bells?”
The security guard hesitated. Snow continued.
“You can keep us here as long as you want, its not our jobs that are on the line here.”
The security guard let us go and nodded to us respectfully.
“Err go on a head sir, iv no wish to keep Mister Anderson waiting.”
“Smart move.” Snow said flatly and continued walking.
When the security guard was out of sight we bust out laughing.
“I have no idea why people keep falling for that, it worked every time.”
We found the stairs and climbed up to the meeting room. It contained a long sleek table surrounded by several large expensive looking chairs. Snow whistled.
“Now this is a nice place.”
There was a tabbing on a window and I walked over and opened it. James climbed in followed by two other kids.
“Here we are!” He announced. “Now we eat!”
The meal was good, I snagged some chowder and Snow had some chicken, both were good cold. We sat walking with James about future challenges we could have, and re living old memories of challenges gone wrong and mad dashes from the polices. We were having a good time, and that's why we didn't hear the door opening.
By the time we knew what was happening it was to late, several men in formal looking suites walked in and starred at us I disbelief.
“What in the world are you kids doing up here!”
We jumped up and me and Snow pulled hoods over our heads. James and the kids that had joined him ran to the window and jumped out onto the window washing platform and started descending.
“Well... This is awkward...” I mutter to myself.
“Security! Get up here now!” One of the men shouted.
“Time to go!” Snow shouted and we ran of the men, pushing them out of the way and dodging hands as they tried to restrain us. We pushed passed and dived into and I dived into an elevator.
“Get in here!” I yelled at Snow. He was three feet away when a security guard grabbed him.
“Go!” He shouted and I pushed a button and started descending. Luckily the elevator didn't require a key to leave the top floor, or id have been in big trouble. I rode it down to the ground floor and dashed out. I saw James standing over in the shadow of an ally and ran over to him.
“They have Snow.” I panted.
He looked at me sadly, but with anger burning in his eyes..
“No one was suppose to be there today, I checked the schedules. This shouldn't have happened. Luis was caught as well, but me and Todd escaped.”
I turned and saw two police cars pull up to the building. The same security guard we had tricked was pushing Snow out, his hands cuffed behind his back. I locked eyes with him for a second then he was pushed into a police car with who must have been Luis.
“Did they see your face?” I asked James.
“I don't think so, did they see yours?”
“No, I pulled up my hood as soon as they came in.”
“Good, they cant I.D. us... I hope.”
“We better part ways James, ill see you in a few days when things die down.”
We parted ways there, I watched the police car take Snow away. This was not something we had planned on or even dreamed would happen, this was the first time a challenge had gone terribly wrong. And, the last.
Chapter five: A beginning and an end
Well there I was, alone. Snow was who knows were and I wasn't sure what to do. I could go back to our house in the school, but there wasn't much to do there. Most of my energy had left me and above all I was scared. Me and Snow hadn't left each others sides for years, and now he had been taken. I couldn't blame James, he didn't know there was a meeting today.
I wandered off, not knowing were I was going. I didn't know what they planned to do with snow but I was sure I wouldn't be seeing him for a long while. If they gave him a phone call he would most likely call me, we had acquired fairly nice phones recently and we both memorized each others numbers. We used the info to get a yearly plan with unlimited local and long distance for a very good deal, we even got a texting plan even thought we never really used it. Both of us never attended school, I was suppose to but I never did. Big wast of time, nothing I would have learned there would help me on the street, and I could care less for proper grammar.
I made sure my phone was on and wandered the city. I didn't feel like eating and I wasn't short on cash so I didn't pickpocket anyone and I didn't feel like pulling a scam. I ended up near a large building. It looked like a science lab, workers were carrying equipment inside and a short man with brown hair and a beard wearing glasses was overseeing things.
“If you drop that you will be sorry.” He told a worker that seemed to be carrying a glass box full of testing tubes full of strange liquids. The worker looked terrified. I thought about making him trip just to see what would happen, but decided not to. I may have been a thief and a scammer, but I wasn't one to purposely cause harm. Well to humans at least.
I jumped out of the way as a man almost ran over me carrying a large box.
“Get out of here you little brat, your just in the way!” He yelled at me. I made a rude gesture at him and walked threw the mess of people carrying boxes. I looked over at an ally and saw a shape dart out of view. I thought it was a boy, but it looked like he had a tail. I shook my head, that was impossible. I'm just not thinking properly.
The man with the brown hair walked over to me.
“Who might you be young ma'am?”
I starred at him. Most people wouldn't even talk to me because of my appearance, they just associated my look with trouble. I couldn't blame them, my cloths were old and ragged and my hair was generally a mess of black.
“Never call me ma'am ever again.” I said almost insulted. That's what you call the old proper people who think there perfect and better than everyone else. The fact that he even thought about saying it to me was just rude.
“Fine then, whats your name?” He asked again.
“I go by Cinder, who are you?”
“The names Simon.” He said cheerfully. “I'm I scientist looking for a cure for cancer.”
He winced as he heard a crash. He turned and saw a box laying on its side, its content spilling over the ground. He cursed and yelled at the worker he quickly picked up the box and ran inside. I chuckled and Simon glared at me.
“That box had over seven thousand dollars of equipment in it, and think it all braking is funny?”
I stopped laughing and starred back at him. We got into a starring contest. It went on for a few minutes then a tossed a small pebble I had in my hand at his leg. He blinked in surprise.
“Good fight yourself, you cheated so I win by default.”
“What is cheating but a smarter way to play a game?”
Simon started laughing at this.
“Well Cinder, what brings you here?”
I didn't particularly like him prying into be business but I answered anyway.
“I was just walking by and I wondered what was going on.”
“Well its just a bunch of workers helping me set up.”
I nod at him and start walking away.
“Hey wait!” He yelled after me. I did not like the face that he seemed to have taken an internist in me, that just caused trouble. It had happened once of twice over the years, some kindhearted woman saw me out on the streets and decided to try to take me in and 'help' me. I went along with it, she took me to her home and gave me some food and a place to sleep. Snow went along with it, keeping out of sight but watching me to see what happened. The next day I woke up and looked out her window to see Snow signaling that trouble was coming. I looked down and at the bottom the the apartment building child services had just pulled up. The woman had come in smiling and told me that the nice men were going to take me to a new home. I then preceded to jump out her window, climb down the fire escape, and jump off onto the child services truck leaving a nice big dent in the hood. The woman was horrified and started screaming at me from her window.
“Its a nice offer, but I just ditched one of those god forsaken orphanages!” I yelled up at her as me and Snow ran off together.
Well anyway Simon ran after me. I slowed and let him catch up.
“Are you living on the streets?” He huffed.
“Yes I am, and if you call child services on me I swear ill kill you.”
“Just wondering.” He walked off back towards his building.
I walked off, putting what had just happened out of my mind. I was walking past the ally that I was the shape in and a small rock flew out of nowhere and hit me. Winced and looked over at the ally but there was no one there. I looked down and saw a note tied to the stone. I picked it up and read it. It said “I don't know you, and you don't know me. But just know theirs more going on in that lab than Simon would like you to think.” That was it. Well that as very helpful. Naturally it made me want to find out more. I decided that tonight, when things settle down there, id sneak in and see if I could find anything.
It was getting late so I went back to my home in the old school. Things looked like they always did, out pile of old sheets and mattresses was in one corner, in front of a working heater. A small cooler lay by it. It was strange to be here without Snow, we had found this place together and I don't think I had ever been here without him. It was getting cold so I switched on the heater and curled up on the makeshift bed I had been using for the last few years. I fell into a light dreamless sleep.
I awoke what must have been a few hours latter by the noise of another human nearby. I pulled a hunting knife from under the heater and stood slowly. Whoever it was had a small flashlight. He turned and shone it right on me.
“O sorry Cinder, didn't mean to blind you.”
It was Snow. I sighed with relief and ran over to him, giving him a big hug. I looked up at him.
“What happened? The last time I saw you you were getting dragged away by police.” I started, he shushed me.
“They let me go.”
I was shocked. “Just like that? They didn't even make you stay overnight?”
“Not exactly Cinder, we better sit down.”
I could tell by his tone something bad was coming.
“What happened? What's going on?”
“I have to leave Cinder.”
His words stunned me. I couldn't imagine living without him.
“What do you mean you have to leave!” I exclaimed.
“They wanted to put me away for three years, then they found out I lived on the street. They probably thought they were doing me a favor or something. They made me promise to make an honest living, they assigned a officer to watch me and make sure I don't ditch. I'll be leaving tomorrow, I don't know were yet.”
I was almost in tears when he finished.
“You cant go, we work together, you cant leave me!”
“Its not that I want to, I don't have a choice. Cinder, we have been living on the streets for almost five years now, we cant go on like this. This was only the first time one of us was arrested, what if it happened again?”
My sadness turned to anger, I wasn't sure why.
“Fine, just go. If you don't want to live here anymore, I'm not stopping you.”
“Cinder don't be like that! That's not what I meant. I just think maybe its time for us to start working for a living, instead of stealing and scamming.”
“Go, just go. Have fun with your new life.”
I walked out then, without another word. Snow chased after me yelling but I ignored him. I pushed open a wall panel and climbed out onto the roof of the school. I could hear Snow following so I went to the edge and jumped. This was a trick I learned a long time before, if I turned in the air and grabbed a window ledge, I could swing to a maintenance ladder.
I climbed down and ran off. I couldn't believe Snow had said that, and I didn't want to even think about him. My phone rang and I threw it in front of a truck as it sped by. There was a crack and peaces flew everywhere.
That was the last time I saw Snow, for a few years anyway. The police took him away to who knows where.
I was alone again, and this time I decided to stay like that.
I didn't know what I was going to do. I could survive on the streets well enough, but would life be worth living without Snow? It was hard enough to get over the death of Brome, and I only got over that because I had to and with the help of Snow.
“Well this is a fine mess iv gotten myself into this time, its just my luck to. First Brome and now Snow. Its like I'm just bad luck to everyone I meet.” I said to myself. It was a habitue I took up ages ago. When I was alone I tend to talk to myself.
“Well I guess I could go see what Simon is up to like that note said... But on the other hand I have no idea who its from.” I pondered it for a bit. I now literally had nothing to lose so I decided to do it. Its a good thing I did, if I didn't I would most likely be dead... Nah, I'm much to smart to die, but you get the point. My life would be very different, maybe even the world would be different if I didn't go snooping that night. You know, thinking about it, everything that has happened could theoretically be traced back to me. But who has that much free time? and the few people that do wouldn't have the knowledge to I was fairly safe of that happening.
Anyway, I was feeling alone and like I had nothing to lose. So I went snooping.
When I got to his lab, everything was dark. There was a car parked out front to I assumed that Simon was still there. The nearest windows were about two stories up but they were easy enough to clime to. The windows were made of a nice wood, not the cheap plastic frames you get nowadays. I looked in and saw the windows were blacked out. That was why I couldn't see any light.
“He probably thinks he's so clever.” I muttered to myself.
I pulled the knife from my back pocket and slid it under the window. To my surprise the window was unlocked. You would think anyone going threw the trouble to black out a window to keep people from looking in, would at least lock the windows.
I slid it open and looked inside. It was bloody bright. The entire place was lit with a bright blinding light.
“So that's why he blacked out the windows, he didn't want the people next door complaining about him leaving the lights on all night.”
I looked around, the place was littered with lab equipment. Vials of liquids were everywhere as well as bags of what seemed to be filled with different colored furs. The most prominent thing in the large room was the TV. Simon was sitting there in front of a huge TV playing on an Xbox 360. It looked like he was playing a game that I had seen advertised in many stores, Assassins Creed Brotherhood. At least, I think that's what he was playing. He didn't seem to be very good at it. A teenage boy that looked to be about sixteen was watching him from a corner, the only place in the room that seemed to be flooded in shadows. I looked closer at the boy, and gasped when I saw that he seemed to have a tail. Not just that, he had white cat ears sticking out from the top of his head. His eyes seemed to glow yellow as he watched Simon, grinning as he failed a jump and died. Simon threw up his hands.
“Fine, your better at this than me. Happy?”
“Yes I am rather happy.” The boy said taking the controller form Simon.
The boys tail was white like his ears, he was tall with medium length gray hair. He was wearing a plane black shirt with old looking jeans with a hole cut in the back for his tail.
“The note guy was right, this isn't a cancer research facility!” I mutter to myself, wincing as the boy seemed to hear and looked around.
Feeling like I had to know more, I climbed threw the window. Quietly as I could I made my way down to the ground and hid behind some unpacked boxes. Simon was busy unpacking a box of junk and the boy was playing his game. Not knowing what else to do I crept towards Simon. He seemed to know someone was watching him because he turned his head and looked around. Not seeing anything he went back to work. I was right behind him now. Deciding to take a risk I said “So, cancer research ehh?”
Simon jumped and whirled around to look at me.
“How in the world did you get in here!” He yelled. The boy was at his side in an instant, he showed his teen in a snarl. They were pointed like a cats.
“Its you! The girl I met earlier today, how did you get in here and what do you think your doing here!”
“Well first of all, ill not say how it got in. And I think what I'm doing here is starring at a boy that looks like he is half cat, care to explain that?”
Simone's shoulders sagged but the boy looked poised and ready to strike.
“Calm down Ryu, she already saw you so there not much we can do now. Well not without killing her.”
The boy, Ryu, ignored Simon.
“Who do you think you are breaking in here? Iv half a mind to tear your eyes out.”
“That's enough out of you Ryu! Cinder is now my guest, as and such you will not harm her.” Simon said sternly.
Ryu fumed and stormed away.
“You must forgive Ryu, he really is a good sort at heart. Now, what are you doing here?”
I didn't think I should mention the note that had been thrown at me telling me to come snooping, so I made something up.
“I just wanted to see the cure for cancer was coming along, looks like it coming alone just fine.” I winced as a heard how stupid it sounded.
“Well Cinder, you have two choices. By now you have seen to much, so you can ether agree to join us here, or you can go spend some quality time with Ryu, its your choice.” I knew by his tone that he meant the part about Ryu to be a threat.
“What is it you do here?”
“Well as you may have noticed, I am not working on a cure for cancer. Its just what I tell people to get them to donate millions of dollars in cash to me. Cash that I use for much more interesting research.”
“More interesting meaning learning how to give people tails and cat ears?”
Simon waved his hand dismissively.
“There both just a side affect.”
“A side affect to what?”
“The serum I'm working on.”
“Just shut up and tell me what its suppose to do!”
“Well theirs no need to shout.” Simon said rubbing his ear. “The serum is suppose to give humans the seances of animals. The hearing of a cat, or the eyes of a hawk. Iv gotten very close, but as you can see by Ryu, there are a few minor side affects.”
“If you call a tail minor!” Ryu yelled for the direction of the TV.
“Yes, only minor problems. And by joining us here, you would also be a test subject of sorts.”
I starred at Simon for a long while. I loved the idea of heightened seances, and the scam he was pulling was genies. He has just getting people to give him millions, and because most people didn't even believe there was a cure for cancer, he could always just say he was still looking. The thought of living with that Ryu, I don't think I could live with that.
“So what do ya say Miss Cinder, will you join us?”
Chapter Six: Life with new friends
Well what could I do, I didn't really want to spend time with Ryu, because that sounded hazardous, and climbing out my window wasn't looking like a good option. I starred at Simone's outstretched hand and debated trying out a judo throw Snow had taught me. But I soon decided that might not end well and that I should just agree.
“Fine, I'll join you. But keep Ryu away from me.”
Simon grinned and Ryu shot me a evil smirk. I glared back at Ryu and ignored Simone's hand, there was no way I was shaking it.
“Good, I'll have you moved in immediately.”
“Wait what? Moved in!?” I say, shocked at the idea.
“Well yes, I cant have you living out on the streets now can I. Do you have any belongings you wish for me to have Ryu fetch?”
I thought about my old home in the school, I had loved there for years. The only real possessions I owned were on me, the wallet I had stolen when I first started living on the street, the knife I had taken from a stupid boy why had tried to mug me in an ally, and a green ribbon I had tied around my wrist. I guess there was the old blanket and our cooler, but it wasn't worth telling Ryu were I lived to get them back. I planned to use them again eventually anyway, there was no way I was living here for the rest of my life.
“No, I don't really own anything to fetch.”
“Well then, I'll get you some new cloths tomorrow.” Simon eyed the knife I had, held in place by the ribbon. “But maybe you should give the knife to me for the time being.”
I looked at him innocently.
“You don't trust me?” I said, making my voice as innocent as possible.
“We both know I don't.” He replied. “Now give it to me or I'll have Ryu take it.
“Fine.” I muttered, handing him the knife.
“Good, now I would like you to meet someone. Rue, could you come out here please.” He called.
A young girl walked out from a room behind Simon. She was very young, younger than me. She looked about seven but I wasn't sure. She had blonde hair and big almost purple eyes. She held a stuffed cat that looked a bit like Ryu tightly in her arms.
“This is Rue, you will be shearing a room with her for a bit until I can get better accommodations for you. Rue, this is Cinder.”
Rue nodded at me.
“Hello Rue, how did you get wound up in this?” I asked. I noticed Ryu watching Rue, waiting fro her reaction to the news. His cat ears had disappeared and so had his tail. He seemed a bit more relaxed seeing Rue.
Rue looked at me quizzically but said nothing.
“Can you speak?” I asked her.
Her cheeks turned red and she hid behind Simon. She still didn't say anything. Simon spoke up.
“She rarely talks to strangers, give her a bit of time and she'll worm up to you.”
Rue gave me a small smile and ran over and hugged Ryu's leg. Simon gestured for me to follow and led me into the room I would be living in until I managed to get sneak out. The fact that Ryu had cat ears and a tail didn't bother me so much, it was strange sure but it was something that he seems to only have at certain times. But did Rue ha have the same... whatever it was?
The room was nice, but was made for Rue. There were a few stuffed animals on her bed, a fox, two cats, and a rabbit. The walls were a grayish blue. There was a bed in the corner that the stuffed animals laid on. It was cute, but not somewhere I would choose to stay.
“Ill set up a bed for you, make yourself at home... Just don't brake anything.” Simon said walking out.
Like I could brake anything. It was mostly bare. There wasn't even a window to brake.
My eyes darted to the forum or something. It looked a bit like a shadow and was gone in a split second.
“Now I must be going insane, or maybe its that damn Ryu.” I mutter.
I look at the wall and see a note posted there. Curies I investigate. I trip on a stuffed rabbit and curse. I kicked it away and picked up the note.
'When I said there was more going on there, I didn't think you would go out and join them. I was hoping once you saw Ryu you would have just left. All you really did was quicken Simone's job. Well I guess it cant be helped now. Be careful Cinder, and by the way, don't let Simon or Ryu see this message. I wouldn't worry about Rue but you best destroy it.
Best of luck, you'll need it now.'
I starred at the note and ripped it up. I put it in my pocket and walked out of the room. Whoever had given me the note that had brought me here, it wasn't anyone it seemed I would soon meet. I wasn't sure why he had told me to come in the first place, it seemed he wanted to scare me away. Simon wouldn't have come looking for me would he? I wondered.
“And what are you doing Cinder?” I hear someone say from behind me. I jumped and span around.
“I swear if you do that again ill kill you!” I say impulsively. Then I saw Ryu. He was grinning at me.
“Now that something I would like to see.” He chuckled.
Rue had left his leg and was following Simon now. I couldn't help smiling at the sight of her. She was adorable in her pale yellow skirt and shirt.
Ryu followed my line of sight and saw me starring at Rue.
“And if you do anything to Rue ill cut off your hands and shove them down your throat. Simon wont be able to save you then.” He said his grin gone. His face was a mask of pure hate.
“Ryu are you irritating Cinder?” I heard Simon ask from across the room. Rye gave me one more evil look then walked off, his cat ears pinned flat.
“So Cinder, I have a bed set up for you. Its nothing to fancy but it should do. Also, there is a bathroom over there with a working shower. I would like you to use it. Ill grab you some clean cloths.”
I starred at him blankly. The last time I had taken a shower was years ago, unless you could count standing in the rain a shower. may sound gross but hay, I had been living on the streets for years. As for new cloths, I got them fairly regularly. They were easy enough to steal. They were never nice though, I always stole more cheap cloths and even then I dropped them in med and let them dry then washed them again before I wore them. I did this to make them look old and dirty and make me look less likely that I stole them.
“Fine.” I replied, “But if you even think for a moment I'll wear a skirt or dress of any sort you are sadly mistaken.”
“Fair enough.” Simon chuckled. “I'll be back in a bit with the cloths. If your hungry ask Rue.”
I blinked in surprise. “Rue handles the food?”
“She is the most amazing cook iv ever met.” I winked at me. “And the last time we had Ryu cook he made our charcoal extra crispy.”
Simon grabbed a coat from a hanger then walked out the door. I groaned. Something told me that Simon was the only one keeping Ryu from doing something horrible to me.
“I'm not going to eat you.” Ryu called from the couch. He must have sensed my unease. He looked normal again, it was sort of annoying.
“Why do your ears and tail keep disappearing?” I asked after a short silence. I really couldn't think of anything else to say.
“They come out from time to time, mostly when I'm excited or mad or just feeling strong emotions. Don't ask me how it works because I don't know.” I said sighing.
“So whats your story? How did you get here?” I asked sitting beside him. He looked at me strangely and scooted to the very edge of the couch.
“And why would you want to know that?”
“Err well I just thought that since we're sort of living together now we should get to know each other...” I trailed off.
“No.” He said bluntly and went back to his game.
I watched him running around on the game par-core stile then stuck a knife in someones back. The man dropped off the building top and landed on a random bystander.
“So whats the point of the game?” I asked trying to make conversation.
“Your travailing threw memories trying to find the location of an artifact needed to save the world.”
“And stabbing that guy helped in that goal?”
“No I just kill them for the fun of it.”
I starred at him for a second.
“Can I try?”
He tossed me the controller.
“You can figure the controls out for yourself.” He said then got up and walked away.
“Were are you off to?” I called after him.
“I'm going to find Rue, I'm hungry and Simon refuses to tell me were he hid the food. That's something he only tells Rue.”
I turned my attention to the game. I messed a bit with the controls and fell of the roof. Red mist clouded the edges of the screen so I assumed I was about to die. I walk by a mean looking guard and hit the wrong button and start attacking him.
“Son of a...” I mutter as I die. I hear laughing from somewhere behind me and assume Ryu had seen my fail.
I toss away the controller and stand up. I turn and see Rue watching me attentively. She had changed into some light blue night cloths.
“Hello Rue, Ryu was looking for you.”
She nodded and beckoned towards Ryu who was sitting at a table eating something or another.
“You think you could get me something to eat?” I ask her kindly. She nodded and beckoned for me to follow. I tripped on a box of files and cried out as a fell. Rue turned and jumped in surprise, her cheeks reddening and rabbit ears appearing on her head. I blinked up at her in surprise.
“Its not Simone's fault, I was an accident.”
“So you can talk!” I said, I must admit I was proud she had decided to talk to me the first day I knew her.
She nodded and helped me up.
Life here was definitely going to be interesting.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:41 AM
It felt good to take a shower, I hadn't had one since the orphanage. And naturally the first thing I did was turn the water up to hot and scold my back. I cursed and jumped back knocking over a towel rack. The towel rack crashed to the ground and snapped.
“Wonderful.” I muttered. I didn't bother trying to fix it, to much trouble. I turned the water temperature down and tried again. I was shocked by the amount of dirt that washed out of my hair, for the first few minutes the water running down my body was almost black. I didn't use any of the shampoos stacked up, I may have been living in a decent building, but I wasn't going to go all clean and girly now.
I got out of the shower and pick up one of the towels that had scattered the ground when the rack broke. I wrapped it around myself and walked over to the counter to see what Simon expected me to wear.
“You have got to be kidding me.” I said as I stared at the pure white shirt and skirt. I thought about just putting my old grimy cloths back on in protest, then thought of a better idea. I rubbed the white skirt on my old ragged jeans till they were a dirty white color. I left the shirt clean as I had no problem with wearing it. I put on the cloths and walked out. Simon eyed me, he instantly noticed the dirty skirt and frowned.
“If you didn't like the color you could have just said so.”
I glared at him.
“I said no skirts Simon.”
“I know, I just had to see how you would react.” He tossed me a pair of black jeans. “Are theses more to your liking?”
Just then Ryu walked out of his room and starred at me for a moment. Then bursts out laughing. I threw my wet towel at him. He jumped back still grinning but walked off. I went back into the bathroom and changed. I walked out and tossed Simon the skirt.
“I'll not be able to return this now, thanks a lot Cinder.”
There was a hint of sarcasm in his voice and I couldn't help chuckling.
I looked at a clock that was hanging over the main door and blinked in surprise. It was three in the morning, and no one seemed the least bit tiered. Not even Rue, she was following Ryu again now.
“Dose anyone sleep in this place?” I say to no one in particular.
“Ryu rarely sleeps, but it is strange for Rue to be up this late.” Simon answers.
“And what about you Simon?”
“How can I sleep when I have so much cancer stuff to cure?” He said and winked at me. Judging by the amount of movies stacked by the TV, and the three laptops all open to different online games, work was the last thing on Simone's mind. I yawned, it had been a long day, and I had almost forgotten the events that had led me to this place. A memory of Snow flashed threw me mind and I pushed it away, fighting tears.
“I'm going to bed.” I said and walked off to the bed Simon had set up for me in Rue's room.
“You better be off to bed to Rue.” Simon called. Rue nodded and followed me. I climbed into the old bed thing Simon had pulled out. He had put new sheets on it and I decided it was the nicest thing I had slept on in years. Rue climbed into her bed and pulled the covers over her head. I sighed and got up. I turned off the lights and found my way back to my bed.
“Night Rue.” I muttered, then fell into a deep sleep.
The next day I was awakened by the smell of food. I got up and stretched. My hair was a mess so I combed it a bit with my fingers then stood up. Rue had already gotten up and made her bed, something I had no intention of doing. I walked into the kitchen type place that consisted of a stove, and fridge, and several tables cluttered with pots. There was a large sink in the corner as well as a microwave. Dishes scattered the tables and the smell of bacon was fresh in the air. I had rarely had bacon when living on the streets, and had only sampled it twice when I was in the orphanage. My mouth watered at the smell of it.
“Cinder, nice of you to join us. Come and sit down.” Simon called. I sat down next to Rue at a small round table. There was a plate of pancakes in the center along with a plate of bacon and some eggs.
“I'm hope your not a vegetarian.” Simon said around a mouthful of eggs. I grabbed a plate of bacon and eggs and munched on them. Ryu was nowhere to be seen.
“Did Rue make this?” I asked.
“She did, I told you she was an excellent cook.”
I smiled at Rue.
“That she is.”
Rue blushed and turned away
“And were is mister Ryu?” I asked, “He doesn't look like the type to leave bacon lying around.”
“Interesting that you should say that, Ryu is actually exactly the type that would leave bacon lying around. You see, because he is infused with animal DNA, he finds the idea of eating the flesh of animals repulsive.”
I starred blankly at Simon.
“Ryu is a vegetarian...?”
“He is, and so is Rue.”
“Then why did she make bacon? Why would you even have meat here?”
“I like meat, and so we keep a small amount on hand at all times.”
I shook my head in disbelief. Living on the streets had made me enjoy food, regardless of what it was. I couldn't imagine not eating any meat.
I glanced to the side and saw Ryu walk out from somewhere or another. He glanced at what I was eating and gave me a distasteful look. I made a rude gesture at him and went back to eating.
We finished and Simon gathered the plates and loaded them into a dishwasher I hadn't noticed was there. Rue walked off, she was holding a stuffed rabbit in her arms. I realized that the reason she had a rabbit was because she was infused with rabbit DNA, or something like that. I hadn't gone to school in years and I hadn't the slightest idea of how it worked, but I found it rather interesting. According to Simon, Ryu could see in the dark as well as a cat could all the time, and had all around better sight. He also had the seance of smell of a cat all the time. When he was angry or just experiencing a strong emotion of any kind his cat ears and tail came out, he had the hearing of a cat and much better balance.
Rue on the other hand, was a completely different story. According to Simon, she was not suppose to have any part in his experiments. He never said what happened, but she seemed to have gotten a small dose of the serum. When she ran she moved faster than I would have thought possible, and when her ears came out there wasn't much you could do that she couldn't hear. And I'll admit, she looked adorable in rabbit ears.
It might not have been the best conversation to have over a meal, especially since I had just woken up. I jumped up and yelled at Ryu as he walked out of Rue's room with my old ratty clothes and threw them on a pile of dirty clothes by a washing machine. Simon put a hand on my shoulder.
“I told him to Cinder, try to put up with Ryu. He doesn’t hate you with all his hart and soul like you seem to think.”
I looked back over at Ryu and his face seemed shocked for a second then went back to normal. I put it out of my mind as it didn't seem very important.
“So Simon.” I started, knowing I was most likely not going to get an answer.
“Why are you letting me stay here? Am I not a threat to your safety? You seem to be completely fine with a street rat living in your home. Not to mention that you told me about your little cancer scam.”
“Iv lived with worse.” Simon muttered to himself then seemed to realize that he had said it out loud.
“Err, right.” He started slowly.
I knew he was hiding something, but there was no way he could have known I would come right? Or could he had been the one to give me the first note? I thought about mentioning it but decided it might not be a good idea.
“I'll admit this is not the first time iv err 'adopted' an orphan. Both Ryu and Rue were orphans. Rue has lived here for most of her life, and Ryu has been living here for several years now. It was not that strange to me to adopt you as well.”
I thought about this for a minute.
“You aren’t some child predator snatching orphan children off the streets are you...?”
Simon laughed at that. I chuckled as well and did my best not to show what I was really thinking.
So Ryu was an orphan to, adopted sort of in the same way I was. No, I was not adopted, that is something I would not let happen.
Something kept nagging at me though, both Ryu and Rue were orphans, and both of them had ended up as part of Simon's experiments. Well, according to Simon Rue was not suppose to be part of it, but she ended up in it anyway. Did that mean Simon intended to use me in his experiments as well?
Before I could stop myself I blurted.
“Simon, do you intend for me to be part of your experiments?”
Simon looked at me quizzically.
“Do you want to be part of my experiments?” He asked in response.
Now this was a question I was not expecting. After hearing about all the advantages Ryu and Rue both had, the improved seances and all that, found that I did want that for myself. According to Snow though, most of my seances were better than most peoples. Wasn't so sure about the idea of a tail though.
“Yes, I suppose I do rather like the idea of it.” I replied.
Simon seemed amused by this.
“Good, I was hoping you would say that. Also Cinder, I want you to know this. The serum is a life changing thing. You would never be normal, never be able to go out in public without a hat. Never be able to wear skinny jeans ever again. Also there is no telling how it would affect you, it affects everyone different.”
The earlier cheerfulness from his face disappeared and he cursed under his breath. It quickly returned though. Before I had a chance to ask him about that he slapped me on the shoulder.
“Well, I should probably let you know we will be leaving soon, so put on some real clothes and brush your hair or whatever you want to do.”
“Wait, were are we going?” I asked.
“Training.” Simon said cheerfully and walked away without explaining further.
I was thinking about following him and trying to squeeze a bit more info from him than just 'training', but before I could Ryu walked up to me.
“So now you know ehh.” I said as he stopped a few feet away from me.
“Well you wouldn’t tell me anything, so I thought id go to Simon.”
“Simon had no right to tell you anything about me.” He hissed, his ears poking through his hair.
“You don't need to get so touchy about it.” I snapped. Me hand moving towards my knife. I had gotten it from Simon's room. He just left it sitting on a table. Like I wasn't going to get it back.
Ryu noticed and shot me an evil grin.
“Do you really want to fight me?”
I pulled out my knife and Ryu crouched like he was going to pounce. I was about to swing my knife, the butt of it, I was not going to try to kill him, when there was aloud knocking from the front door and the sounds of a woman yelling. From the cornor of my eye I saw Simon jump, a panicked look of his face.
“How did she find me!” He exampled.
Before he had time to react the door flew open and a woman stormed in.
“You.” She said pointing at Simon.
“You blew off our date.”
“Err something came up... A breakthrough, ya a breakthrough I swear.”
The woman’s eyes left Simon and pinned themselves of me and Ryu.
“What is that doing here.” She said pointing to me distastefully.
Simon cleared his throat.
“Windy, this is Cinder. Cinder, this is Windy.” Simon said as he shot me a 'put away your knife right now or you will regret it for the rest of your life' look. I slipped my knife under the bracelet and turned to Windy.
“I take it you and Simon know each other?” I said, then felt really stupid for saying it.
“Simon, for your sake this better not be your 'breakthrough'.”
“You said you were not going to pick up anymore strays.”
“Look, I'm sorry I missed our date. I was getting ready to go when Cinder err... dropped in.”
Thinking back on it, when I had 'dropped in' Simon had been playing video games with Ryu. I doubt the date had even crossed his mind.
“Simon, you owe me. Dinner Friday night. I pick the restaurant, you pay for everything.”
And with that Windy walked out the door and slammed it behind her.
We just stood there in silence for a minute, stunned at what had just happened. Then Ryu burst out laughing. Simon glared at him then at me.
“What were you two doing? Cinder, I thought I took that knife away from and Ryu, you know better than to be baited.”
Ryu shrugged and walked into another room. Rue came out from under the table, how she had gotten under there I had no idea.
“Simon, I told you you had a date last night.” She said.
Simon sighed again.
“And now I have one this Friday, what fun. Well anyway, Rue, go get dressed if you would. We will be leaving in fifteen minutes.”
“So let me get this strait. You think I'll just let you send me to school?”
Simon had explained while we were walking that now that I was living with them, I had to take some sort of class. We were walking down a busy street. Rue was holding Simon's hand and was grabbing at mine.
“Its not school, its a self defense class. Its good fun, you get to hit stuff.”
I stared blankly at Simon.
“So getting to hit stuff makes it worth doing?”
“Just shut up and walk Cinder. Its not all that bad.” Ryu muttered.
He was wearing a gray hat so if he got mad, his ears wouldn’t pop out. Rue as well, had a white hat on. She had changed into some sort of robes. They were white with a light blue trim. She had blue belt on as well. I think that was good. Ryu was wearing the same but with a black belt. I was wearing the clothes Simon had given me and felt a little under-dressed.
“So, are you some epic ninja master that can run up walls and kill people with your mind?” I said sarcastically, looking at Ryu.
He shot me a hateful look and we kept walking.
“Cinder, do not bait Ryu.” Simon grumbled.
We walked in silence for a while longer then Simon told us to stop. We were now in front of a small building that was squeezed in between to larger buildings. It seemed a bit out of place. It was a gray building with a dragon painted over the doorway and looked old and abandoned. Not unlike some of the places me and Snow had lived in.
“Err is this the place?” I asked slowly.
Ryu walked up to the door and knocked hard.
“Yo Drakeo open up!”
There was a bit of swearing from inside and the door slowly opened a crack.
“O Ryu, your early... this isn't a good time.” A man said from inside. From behind him I heard someone muttering sarcastically.
“O don't worry, Simon wont be here for at least fifteen minutes. Simon is always late. No I don't need a back door, you will have plenty of time to escape.”
“Your kidding right. This is just a joke. Please say he isn't in here.”
Drakeo looked sheepish and said nothing, slowly backing into the building.
“Told ya Simon, who else would have been able to sneak a note into Rue's room while we were both there.” Ryu muttered.
Simon's face had gone bright red and he was clinching his fists. There was a crash from inside and I heard Drakeo yell at someone.
“You just had to brake the window didn't you!”
“Sorry Dax, I'll pay to have it fixed. I swear.”
“Ahh just go you damn fox.”
I turned to Simon and shot him a questioning look. He ignored me and pounded on the door. After a minute Drakeo popped back to the door and opened it. I looked him up and down. He wore the same robes Ryu and Rue were wearing but with a white hood pulled over his head. He pulled back the hood reveling an almost reptilian looking face. His eyes were odd, one of them was a dark blue, the other was a deep red.
“Err, hi Simon. You're early.” Drakeo said, his face red.
“So, hes here? In new york?” Simon replied, glaring at Drakeo.
“No idea who your talking about.”
Simon stared at him for a minute, then sighed.
“The children are here for there lessons. I trust you are able to handle that. And put your hood back on, someone might see you.”
Drakeo looked at Rue, then Ryu, then me.
“Err, you have an extra Simon.” He muttered, looking me up and down.
“Like he didn't already tell you.” Simon muttered.
“This is Cinder, she knows nothing. You will teach her.” He continued.
“Okay then. Hello Cinder, I'm Drakeo. You may call me that, and nothing else.” Drakeo said looking at me inquisitively.
“Now come inside, watch yourself, there was a bit of an accident with a window earlier.”
“I'll be back latter, do what he tells you. And Cinder.” He glared at me.
“Don't steal anything.”
I gave him an innocent look and he walked away muttering to himself. I walked inside and followed Drakeo through a short hallway and into a large room. The floors were polished and there were three windows on the right wall. Why three? I have no idea. They all gave an amazing view of and ally wall. The middle window had been smashed and there were bits of glass scattered everywhere.
On the far wall there was a huge mirror. By huge, I mean it was the wall. It was spotless, and I had to resist the erg to throw something at it. Propped against the the left wall were a few racks of different weapons, stave’s, wooden swords, and so on. Everything looked clean. Well, other than the broken window.
“Well, since we have a new student here I'll start off by giving you all a short lecture you will most likely never use while fighting.” Drakeo said with a small grin.
Ryu groaned and sat down on a mat in the middle of the room. I hadn’t noticed them before but there were half a dozen mats in the center of the room. Rue was already sitting by Ryu. I sat down by her and Drakeo started his lecture.
I really hate teachers. There smug, and think there better than you because you have to sit and listen to them for hours. Mis Lass had sent me to school once, after my first class I got myself expelled. It wasn't hard, Brome helped me do it. He told me exactly how to get expelled in the fastest possible way, like he had done it many times before. He most likely had looking back on it.
Drakeo was the exception though. He rambled on about how what he was going to teach us was only to be used in self defense and such like that. Mostly though, he basically mocked it, like he was required to say it but thought it was retarded. He said most things sarcastically and ended it with 'And all that jazz.' I took an instant liking to him.
After he was done I raised me hand.
“So Drakeo, I don't suppose I need to wear the same robes and Rue and Ryu?” I asked.
“You will next time I get around to buying more, for the time being your robes will consist of whatever your wear, and a colored belt.” He replied.
“So what color might that be?”
“Depends on what color you want.”
I blinked at him in surprise.
“Isn't there some sort of order?”
He grinned at me.
“If I gave them out depending on your skill level, then people would know who to pick on. By giving everyone the color they want it mixes things up.”
“People meaning who? Afraid Rue will pick on Cinder?”
“This was started back when I had a regular class, and I didn't just train you guys for Simon.”
Ryu looked like he was going to say more but Drakeo shushed him.
“Now, Ryu, come with me. Rue, show cinder the basics if you would.”
Rue nodded at him and took my hand. It felt a bit weird that Rue was going to be teaching me. I looked over at Ryu and Drakeo, they were attacking each other with lightning speed, each holding a staff. Ryu swung at Drakeo's legs, was blocked, then twisted and went for his head. Drakeo block him easily then with one swift movement, knocked Ryu's legs out from under him and placed the end of his staff on Ryu's chest.
“Err.. your not going to do that to me are you Rue?” I asked hesitantly.
She blushed and shook her head, then took my hand. She showed me some basic punches, and a few kicks. It was a bit hard to concentrate with Drakeo and Ryu making so much noise, but it was rather fun.
Rue was amazingly flexible and could kick up higher then her head and move about as fast as Rye and Drakeo.
There was a loud crash and glass flew everywhere. Rue lost her balance and I barely caught her before she hit the ground. We looked back and saw Drakeo glaring at Ryu who was laying on the ground surrounded by glass shards. He was bleeding from a few cuts on one arm but otherwise just seemed a bit dazed. Drakeo groaned.
“Typical, I loose two windows on the same day. Its cold here this time of year, I could die ya know.”
“Stop whining Drakeo.” Rue said, surprising me. I hadn’t heard her talk all day.
Drakeo sighed and walk over to a small door.
“I'll clean this up, please move Ryu for me.”
I glanced at Ryu who looked dazed, but mad.
“Is that safe..?” I asked slowly.
“Most likely not, just be careful.” He replied, his voice muffled by the wall between us.
I walked over to Ryu and grabbed one of his arms, Rue grabbed the other. We dragged him away from the window then dropped him when he started struggling.
“What do you think you doing! I can walk you know!” He yelled.
“Fine then, I'll leave ya to walk then.” I mutter walking away.
Drakeo walked back out with a broom and started cleaning the glass from the two broken windows, muttering to himself about stupid foxes. I looked around and walked over to where Rue was practicing a complex looking flip. She held out her hand and I took it. She quickly flipped me over her back and landed on top of me. I grunted as the breath was knocked out of me.
“Whaa?” I managed to gasp.
Rue got off of me and walked over to Ryu who handed her something laughing loudly. Rue walked back over to me and helped me up.
“And what was that about?” I wheezed.
She blushed and showed me what Ryu had given her. It was a small stuffed fox.
“Ryu took it from my room and said I could have it back if I flipped you.” She muttered sheepishly
“Then I forgive you. Ryu on the other hand, is going to regret this.” I muttered glaring at Ryu. He grinned at me and waved. I sighed and decided I'd have to get him back latter.
Drakeo finished cleaning the glass and tossed the broom back into the closet.
“Well that's enough for today, hopefully Simon will be back soon.” He announced.
Rue took my hand and let me back down the hall towards the door that led to the street, then opened a door I hadn’t noticed. It led into a kitchen and she sat me down at a table then started making something or another.
She worked quickly, making some sort of pasta with a cheese sauce. The smell of it quickly drew in Ryu and Drakeo. They sat down at the table with me and started talking. I sat back and started thinking about what had happened. It suddenly dawned on me that whoever was in here before we arrived was the one that left the note in Rue's room.
“It's like he's stalking me.” I muttered under my breath. Ryu glanced at me but said nothing. Then I realized that Ryu had found out about the note. I turned and glared at him.
“You went through my stuff!” I said loudly, interrupted what he was saying to Drakeo.
“No, you were just stupid enough to leave an important note in your pocket. When I picked up your laundry for Simon the peaces fell out. You really should have been smarter than that.”
Rage boiled up inside me but I kept my cool. Ryu noticed my anger and grinned at me.
“You want to take this to the training room?” He asked evilly.
Drakeo, who had just been watching, stepped in.
“Shut up both of you. I'll have none of that. I've already lost two windows today.”
Rue brought over a bowl of pasta and set it in the middle of the table. She brought over some eating utensils and sat them down in font of each of us then sat down herself.
“Looks wonderful Rue.” Drakeo said cheerfully. He glared at me and Ryu.
“If even one noodle gets on my floor you are both scrubbing this place up and down till I think its good enough. Understand?”
We both nodded and Rue served the food. Everyone started eating. The food was deciles, better than anything I had eaten in years. After I was done I looked around the kitchen. My eyes landed on a patch of wall outside in the hall. It was discolored, like whoever painted it ran out of paint and used a slightly different shade to finish. I would have sworn it wasn't there before.
I asked Drakeo where the bathroom was and walked out, shutting the kitchen door behind me. I walked over the wall and touched it. The patch of wall peeled off and fell into my hands. It was another note.
“Your kidding me.” I muttered to myself. I walked to the bathroom and closed the door before reading the note. It read:
'Hide my notes more carefully next time, if I had wanted Simon and Ryu to know I was here I would have told them. Well... I guess it isn't all your fault. I was stupid enough to listen to Drakeo. He has the wort sense of time. Anyhow, I would like to meet you face to face. Without Simon knowing though. I'll send to details a little latter. Until then, be safe and don't bait Ryu. Its a shame I'm in a hurry, Rue's pasta is the best.
P.S. Flush this note down the toilet if you would, I'd rather this one not get found'
I stared at the note in disbelief. Before flushing it down the toilet.
“He was here less than fifteen minutes ago.” I muttered crossly to myself before walking back to the kitchen.
“Ryu! Shame on you for making Rue flip Cinder!” Simon exclaimed after hearing the events of the training session. Ryu just grinned at him and went back to what he was doing. I looked over at Drakeo and noticed he was trying to not laugh. I sighed and looked back at Simon.
“I don't suppose you are going to take any sort of action?” I asked, knowing the answer.
“Nope.” He said, chuckling to himself.
“Your new here Cinder, you don't know how things work yet.”
“Are you going to tell me how things work?”
“Though you were going to say that.”
Simon got up and walked towards the door, calling us after him. Drakeo waved as we left then shut the door behind us. I heard him muttering to himself as we left, something about foxes and avoiding favors. I figured it likely had something to do with the note I'd found. Whoever this 'Fox' was, he seemed to have taken an interest in me for some reason or another. I found it rather odd, honestly. I know my life was like some story, leaving home and living the good life on the streets, doing what I pleased. Getting into trouble, avoiding getting caught. And now living with a teenage boy who was half cat, and a little girl who was half rabbit. Not to mention the scientists that had been scamming the general public out of millions of dollars for his experiments. I'd be hard for people not to take an interest in my life. But the fact that he had led me to Simon, and had left me several notes worried me a bit. It couldn’t have been random chance that he led me to Simon, could it? Maybe he had seen me and snow pull a few stunts, and figured it was something I could do. That must have been it, not many other people would have been able to sneak into Simon's lab anyway. I'm not ever sure Snow could have done it, I was always faster and more agile than he was. He used to say I was cat-like, and joke about how if I fell from any height, that I would land on my feet. We never tested this, but I would think he was correct.
“Cinder. Cinder. Cinder. Cinder!”
I looked over and saw Simon giving me an annoyed look.
“What?” I ask him, getting annoyed myself.
“Bout time.” He muttered to himself. “Go with Rue and Ryu back to my lab, I've a few more errands to run. Don't cause trouble, and if you need anything, ask Rue.” He told me, then hailed a taxi and climbed inside. He waved at us as he drove away and Rue waved back at him. We walked back to the lab and Ryu opened the glass doors. Seemed pointless to me, having glass doors. The reason to have doors was to keep people from seeing what you were doing, without trapping yourself inside a room.
Ryu disappeared and came back wearing a black T-shirt and jeans. He plopped down on the couch and started flipping through channels on the TV. Rue walked to her room and closed the door, I figured she was changing as well. I really didn't know what to do, I didn't exactly want to be near Ryu, but didn't really know what to do otherwise. It had never been like this for me, my whole life I had been living on the streets and always had something on my mind. Finding food, or avoiding cops. Something to keep my mind active and give me something to do. I walked over to a work bench type thing, that had a laptop open on it. Apparently, this laptop held important files on the subject of flash games. Not really knowing what to do, I started messing around with it. It was some shooter game, points would pop up after you shot something.
“Wow, so this is what rich people do nowadays, ehh.” I chuckled.
“This seems completely pointless.”
“It does to you, but I've been stealing Simon's high scores on those games for about as long as I've been here. It may be pointless, but those flash games decide who does what chore around here. So you best practice.” Rye said, grinning at me.
“Wonderful.” I muttered.
Rue came out of her room wearing a cream colored shirt with a butterfly on the left side, and blue jeans. I couldn’t help smiling at her. I had become rather fond of the little girl in the short time I'd known her. She walked over to Ryu and joined him on the couch.
I tried the flash game again, died, then decided it wasn't worth my time staring at a computer screen and dieing over and over. I walked over and joined Rue and Ryu. Rue was hugging Ryu's right arm and staring intently at the TV screen. I had never really watched TV, nor had I played video games, nor had I used computers and any of the other technology people used. It just seemed to pointless to me. Me and Snow had cell phones at one point, I think Snow picked up an Ipod once, but other than that, we lived without all the things people seemed to 'need' nowadays. James and his friends always seemed to have some fancy device on them, it cost them a few challenges when they tried to get them through metal detectors. He had shown me several odd things, all of them pointless sounding to me.
The TV was no different. They were watching some show about traveling through space in gates that looked like they were filled with water. It was interesting enough, and occupied my time. But gave me a headache after a while. How people could stare at screens all day was beyond me.
“Do you both plan to just sit here and watch a screen for the next few hours?” I finally asked, not being able to take it anymore.
Ryu shrugged and kept watching, toying absently with something. Upon further investigation, I saw he play toying with my knife.
“How did you get that!” I exclaimed, stand up and glaring at him.
“I have my ways.” He chuckled, totting the knife at me.
I caught it expertly and slid it under my bracelet, its usual sheath. Snow had told me to, after getting my the knife. That way it was always with me. It was good logic, I never took of my bracelet. It took a while to get used to, and I have a few scars from it, but that knife had lived there for about as long as I can remember. Well, it was generally there. I had needed to leave it somewhere when we had a challenge that required going through a metal detector. People made thing so difficult with there fancy machines. Not like I was going to mass murder everyone in the building or something. And if they had a fear of that, then they likely needed to find a new occupation that didn't make people so angry at them.
“I'm guessing cat, what about you Rue?” Ryu said suddenly, looking at the girl.
“I think she should choose a white fox, she would look pretty with white hair.” Rue replied. She had somehow found a wolf plushi, pure white but with black on the top of it's head, and was hugging it to her.
“What are you two going on about?” I asked, sitting back down and looking at them, absently taking my knife out and cleaning out under my nails.
Ryu eyed my knife then looked at me.
“Well, since you're here, and not one of us, you must become one soon. Simon will ask you to choose an animal, or choose one for you if you cant decide. I'm thinking you will choose a cat, as they are the best choice overall.”
“Are not, Fox always told me that all were equal in there own way. Like how I can run faster than you Ryu, even though you can see in the dark.”
Ryu flattened his ears, that had apparently appeared again, and started flicking his tail in annoyance. Ryu shrunk back and hugged her wolf to her, closing her eyes. There was an explosion on the TV, and Ryu turned to look at it, a grin on his face.
“Rue, Simon told you not to bring up Fox. He's not welcome here and you should just forget about him. What he told you is not true about you anyway, as you are only mildly one of us. Enough that you get the animal traits from time to time, but not enough for you to be considered fully one of us.”
“Fox told me I am one of you! No matter how mild it is!”
“No, you aren't Rue. If someone took a blood test from you, it would show completely human, making you just a human. Where as my blood would show a mix between human and animal. That is how Simon defines us. You should be happy that if need be, you can pass for a human.”
“Wait.. how many of you are there?” I asked, sort of butting into there conversation. I know it was rude, even after living on the streets for most of my life I didn't like to butt in on people, but my head already hurt from there stupid TV. Them talking about blood types and 'us' and almost one of them was not helping a thing.
“Me and Fox. Now shut up. Simon should explain thing soon enough. You should be thinking about what animal you want though. Depending on how the serum works out this time, you may get the animal like traits of it, not only things like there speed or sight, but things like there ears, tails, paws maybe, and hair in awkward places. Although the ears and tail and sometimes the paws come and go, while the hair tend to stick around and grow back very fast.” He said, making it clear he did not liking the hair part of things.
“You know all of this, yet there are only two of you..? And what about Drakeo?”
“There are only two of us left. Oh.. and Drakeo. Now this would be a very good time to shut up.”
The TV started exploding again and Ryu started laughing. Rue was no longer on the couch with Ryu so I decided to look for her. I honestly felt a bit dizzy from watching that stupid TV, and I tripped over a box and started cursing loudly. Ryu looked behind him and yelled 'Language!' very loudly, just to annoy me I'm sure. I kicked the box way and walked towards me and Rue's bedroom. I figured that was a good a place as any to find her. I opened the door slowly and saw her laying on her bed, hugging a few stuffed animals to her. A Siamese cat, the white wolf I had seen her holding before, a fox with an oddly colorful tail, and a gray tabby cat.
I had never been much for stuffed animals, but I sat down by her and started watching her. She looked up at me then turned her attention back to the animals. She was talking quietly to herself all the while.
“What are there names?” I finally asked, not really sure what else to say.
She looked up at me and smiled.
“The cat is named Brook, The wolf is Silverpaw, The fox is Feathertail, and the gray tabby is Jin.”
I nodded at her, examining the animals closely. The cats looked normal enough, but 'Silverpaw' just looked odd with the parch of black on his head. He didn't have a silver paw ether. The fox was properly named thorough, the weird colors in his tail turned out to be multicolored feathers.
“I like them, especially the fox. His tail is cute.”
“It's not as cute as the real thing, Fox's tail was much more pretty when he let me put lots of feathers in it.” Rue said fondly, her eyes sparkling as she hugged the stuffed fox.
“Who is this Fox? And if Simon hates him so much, why do you have a stuffed animal based off him?” I asked after a bit. I couldn’t help it, I really had no idea what was going on. The fact that someone called Fox was sending me notes and wanted to meet me was odd enough, the fact that Rue had a stuffed animal of him, was ever weirder. I was getting sick of being in the dark basically.
“Fox is one of us. He used to live here with us from time to time, although he traveled a lot and only stayed for a month or so at a time. He taught me and Ryu before Drakeo, at least about fighting. He taught us other things too, like how to hide. Simon wont let him see us anymore though.. They had an argument and Simon threatened him and told him to never come back. That was two years ago. Although he never stopped watching out for us. I see him sometimes. He only shows himself to me, because Simon convinced Ryu he was bad..” She said sadly, still hugging the stuffed fox to her.
“Shut up Rue!”
I jumped and looked towards the doorway to see Ryu standing there. He looked not quite mad, but very irritated, his tail flicking in annoyance. Rue shrank back, hiding behind me for some reason. Like I could fight off an angry Ryu.
“What's your problem Ryu? She was just telling me..”
“I know what she was telling you. But we are not to speak of Fox around here. If Simon heard her she would be in big trouble, you are both lucky he isn't here.” Ryu cut in. “And Cinder, if Fox contacts you again, you best tell Simon. No matter how he may seem, you need to stay away from him. He was sent away for a reason.”
Did I mention I don't like Ryu? I'm not sure I have yet, but I don't. What he said made seance, but so did the message from Fox. Fox had led me here, and gotten me involved with all of this, but apparently he was some sort of evil guy that Simon hated.
Ryu patted Rue on the head and went back to whatever he went back to doing, I didn't really pay attention. And Rue turned her attention back to the stuffed animals. I had a bit of a headache, so I laid down on the bed Simon had made for me.
Why must things be so difficult. All I had wanted to do was clear my head and try to convince myself that Snow wasn't betraying me. And somehow, I had ended up with a new home, and a new mess of trouble. I was no stranger to trouble, but this was a kind I had never dealt with before. I was always in control when I had lived in the orphanage, no one crossed me and Brome. Then when I was living on the streets, I was in control of my life. I lived with Snow, and spent most of my time with him, but I could leave whenever I wanted, and live however I chose. Now, I felt like I was stuck in the middle of someones game. Simon controlled if I could leave the building, Rue controlled when I ate, Ryu controlled the TV, not that I really cared. I still see no point in a TV. I really didn't control my life anymore, even after just a few days.
I had never really worried where my next meal was coming from, or where I was going to sleep, or anything like that, despite living on the streets. The winters were difficult at times, made running hard, and pickpocketing a bit more tricky since everyone was covered by coats all the time, but I still never had any complaints. And now that life I had loved was gone. I could always sneak away, naturally, but as Simon mentioned once “Now that you know, you are one of the family. Meaning you're stuck with us, if you like it or not.” Getting past Ryu would be a pain, and it's not like I had much to go back to. Snow was gone now. Seemed to be a bit of a trend with me. Make a decent life for myself with someone, then watch them vanish and run away from it.
“Cinder.. Do you want to be my older sister?”
The sound of Rue's voice made me jump, I had forgotten she was there. Her question shocked me a bit as well, I had never had a proper family. Brome and Snow were about as close as I ever got to it.
“I'm not sure it works quite like that, Rue..” I replied after a short pause. I wasn't really sure how to respond to the question.
“Fox told me once that people like us make our own families.. Since we aren't with our real ones. Ryu and Simon are my brothers. And I want you to be my sister.”
“I'd have thought Simon would be your dad.”
“Simon is no dad, he is to irresponsible. He is like a much much older brother. Fox was like my dad though..”
I sat up on my bed and looked at her. She was hugging the stuffed fox tightly and looking at me. Her rabbit ears were out, and I have to admit she looked really cute.
“Sure, I'll be your sister. But that doesn't mean Ryu is my brother, right?”
Rue smiled at me and got off her bed, running over and hugging me. She giggled softly and shook her head.
“No, it means you is my sister.”
I smiled and hugged her back. I kind of liked the idea of having a little sister. Not sure if I could ever accept Ryu as a brother though, or even a friend. We were more of.. acquaintances.. That were being forced to live in the same building, that hated each other. I guess that sort of is the definition of a brother, but that's another subject all together.
“Well then sis.” I grinned, “How about we get a snack.”
Rue smiled and nodded, apparently really happy at having me as a sister. She put her animals on her bed, keeping the fox with her, then walked to her closet.
“What are ya getting from there?” I asked.
“Since you are a girl, you are allowed to know where I keep the food. I can let Ryu or Simon know, or they will try to cook. And I don't want to move again so soon.”
I couldn’t help laughing at this. I was fairly sure Simon had mentioned that Rue kept the food hidden from Ryu, but I didn't know that she chose to hide it from both of them. I found it rather amusing, that the seven year old girl made all the food because she didn't trust the irresponsible older boys with it. Not that I should have been trusted with food, I'm rubbish at cooking and am likely worse than Simon and Ryu. I never had to cook, living on the streets. Nor in the orphanage. On the streets I ate rather well, mostly from diners, and street venders. The street venders I trusted though. I followed one once, and saw where he got his food stock from. I never ate from him again. So cooking was not one of my many skills.
“I want to make pancakes. Do you like pancakes Cinder?” Rue asked. She was climbing out of a trapdoor in the bottom of her closet holding a box, apparently full of pancake mix, and a bottle of syrup.
“Sounds good.” I chuckled.
Rue shut the trapdoor and locked it with a small key, which she then put in a small pocket on the stuffed fox. She set the fox on her pillow, then left the room, waving for me to follow.
Ryu looked up as we emerged from our room and grinned at me.
“Wacha making there Cindy?”
I glared at him.
“You ever call me 'Cindy' again and I'll kill you.”
“I'd like to see you try, Cindy.” Ryu chuckled.
I continued to glare at him, my left hand reaching for my knife. He returned the glare and flicked his tail.
“I'm going to make pancakes Ryu, you want any?” Rue said, distracting both of us and completely killing the mood. Ryu's mood changed instantly and he jumped up and walked over to us.
“Heck ya I do, your pancakes are amazing Rue. Need any help cooking them?”
“Not from you.” Rue giggled, “Last time you caught yourself and the kitchen on fire.”
“Pfft, one time fluke. Besides, this building is a lot more fire retardant then the last place.. Come on, please?”
I blinked in surprise at Ryu. His change in mood was so sudden he was like a whole different person. Apparently, he liked pancakes. Or was it something else.
Rue sighed and handed him a spatula.
“Mix two cups of water into the mix with that. I'll turn on the stove. Cinder, would you like to help as well?”
I chuckled and shook my head as she walked over to the stove.
“Cooking isn't for me, I can already tell you.”
She nodded at me and started looking for a frying pan. Ryu had somehow gotten the table covered in a white powder, and was sneezing. How he managed to do that when all he needed to do was poor the mix into a bowl and add water, I'll never know. This was why he wasn't allowed access to the food I suppose.
Rue looked over at him and shook her head, scolding him.
“Ryu, how many times have I told you to use a bigger bowl, and to measure out the mix and not just dumping it in.”
She continued to scold him and I decided it best to keep my distance from the cooking area. Oddly, Ryu seemed in a good mood as the little girl slapped his hand for trying to sneak a chocolate chip from the mix.
“I guess he just loves to spend time with her, doing what she enjoys.”
My heart lept into my throat and I whirled around to see Simon grinning at me.
“Did I scare ya?” He said, chuckling to himself.
“Why didn't I hear the door?” I asked him, annoyed.
“I didn't close it. Now come with me, they are cooking and I have stuff I need help bringing in.”
Simon led me to the door and over to a taxi, handing me a few bags.
“Ryu is really fond of Rue, if you haven't already noticed. That's one of the reason he doesn't like you much. Rue seems to have taking a liking to you, and it makes him feel jealous.”
He grabbed a few more bags of who knows what, and started walking back towards the building.
“How long have them been living with you?” I asked, wondering if the bags were filled with something important, or if he just filled them with rocks. They weighed a ton.
“Ryu has been here since he was a boy, almost ten years now. I sort of adopted him around the time Rue learned to walk.”
“So Rue has lived here her whole life? Who are her parents?”
Simon stopped and sighed.
“Bit of a long story there, and not one you need to hear. For now anyway.”
“Well, all that did was make me want to bug you about it more. Now don't you feel smart.” I replied, a bit annoyed.
We walked back inside and Simon let loose a yelp and dropped his bags. The stove was on fire, and Ryu was frantically trying to get a fire extinguisher to work.
“Rue! Tell Ryu to put that fire out right this instant!”
Rue walked over to the stove and put a pan over the flamed, snuffing it out. She giggled to herself and looked at Simon.
“Ryu made you some pancakes, Simon.”
“I can see that.. He's gotten better.”
I shook my head. How this was normal I had no idea. But it was becoming more and more clear, that Rue kept this place from collapsing in on itself. Rue picked up a black piece of something, I guess it was a pancake, and took a bite of it. The inside looked like good, nicely cooked with half melted chocolate chips in it. But the outside was black and crumbling away as she held it.
“Good job Rue, it tastes great.” She smiled, apparently un disturbed by the disaster that had just happened on the stove.
Ryu grinned and picked up one himself, taking a bite. His face showed they were not quite as good as Rue had said they were, but he continued to eat it and tossed one to Simon. Simon somehow caught it, and half of it crumbled into black dust in his hands. He eyed it and looked at me.
“Err.. Ladies first and all that, wouldn’t want to be rude.”
“Oh no Simon, Ryu made these for you, it would be rude of me to eat them. I'll just wait for Rue to make some, so as not to deprive you.”
Simon sighed and took a bite, black dust fell from the burnt piece of pancake as he did. His eyes watered and he spit it our, wiping his tongue on his sleeve.
“How come Rue's was nicely cooked in the middle, and mine was just a lump of charcoal!”
“Because that's what it is.” Ryu said, then burst out laughing, pointing to a bag of charcoal sitting under the table.
“Who do I keep you around again?” Simon asked, glaring at Ryu.
“Cus I keep your life interesting.” Ryu replied, grinning.
Rue was cleaning up the mess and trying not to laugh herself. I sat my bags down and decided to never eat anything here I didn't see Rue make herself, without the help of Ryu.
“So is this normal life around here?” I asked Simon as he tried to get the black dust off his blue, band t-shirt.
“Basically. I should have seen that coming honestly. Ryu is always trying something like that. I'm a bit surprised Rue went along with it though. She generally doesn't like it when Ryu pulls something like that.”
Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:43 PM
First I'd like to ask, how old are you?
Second, I LOVE your thief storyline. It reminds me of a venice story I once read about a gang of thieves. The name sums up the character, the scrawny appearance, the distrustfulness, it all reverberates in the story =]
Only criticisms are the spelling (No idea why there are so many mistakes) and the sudden twist in the storyline. However I expect you have more in store for me, and I can't wait to read on!
Edited by Kryptex, 26 March 2012 - 02:50 PM.
As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence. - Benjamin Franklin
To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence
consists in breaking the enemys resistance without fighting. - Sun Tzu
Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:00 PM
As for my age, I'm fifteen.