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|Set in the future with a bunch of gangs. If anyone has a suggestion for the title I'd love you forever.||
Fear. Her heart was pounding as she ran, ran away from the apartment. He wouldn’t find her this time. He had left, gone, went to a meeting at school. She would escape him this time, this time it would be different. She would run as far as possible to lose him. She ran through the darkened alleyway, the sound of rats scratching through garbage followed her everywhere. She was heading towards the highway, and at last she reached it. Panting, she extended her thumb, indicating she wanted to be picked up. An enormous semi pulled over, and she climbed in next to the driver. A stench of stale tobacco and sweat reached her nose, and she looked over to see a man in his late thirties. He wore a dirty white wife beater shirt, with yellow stains around his armpit and as he smiled at her a gold tooth sparkled suggestively.
“Hey Sweetie,” He said in a rough voice, “Where you heading?” She gritted her teeth. She would do anything, anything, to get away from the man who had kept her prisoner.
“I dunno, how far are you going?” She smiled cutely and bit the inside of her cheek as he reached his hand over and rested it on her thigh.
At last she reached her destination, as far as possible from the apartment and man from before. As she slammed the door of the semi and gave a last sweet smile at the disgusting driver, she was hit with the smell of the ocean. It was fresh, symbolic of a new beginning. A breeze hit her face and she smiled, this time, a real one.
“God dammit Rachel! Keep your point up!” Rachel winced as a blade came through the space she had left unguarded and opened a wound on her arm. As she stopped in shock and looked down at it her opponent came up with his sword, and stopped just in front of her throat.
“Do you surrender?” He asked. She nodded in reply and offered her wrist up. It looked like she was going to get another scar there.
“Persia, we need another fighter, Rachel just isn’t skilled enough.” Malady approached Persia after the fight she had just ended with her opponent, her forehead moist with sweat. She had won her fight, of course.
“I know, we’ll get a replacement soon enough if that’s what fate wishes for us.” This wasn’t good. Their last couple of fights had barely been won, none of them thanks to Rachel. In fact, Rachel had lost all of her battles. If the rest of Persia’s fighters weren’t as good as they were, the gang wouldn't have had a chance. As it was they couldn’t risk fighting for second. Rachel made the team weak, and that couldn’t be left alone. The lower gangs had heard of the loss of one of their fighters, replaced with a bad one, and had been swarming the place like mad. Fights had been instigated almost everyday for the past week. If only Christie hadn’t left. Persia shook her head at the thought; it was good she got away. It was hard to get out of the slums, and Christie had been smart enough to get a scholarship, and Persia had made sure she made use of it. Replacing Christie with Rachel was the only option left open to Persia at the time.
Arianna approached the school with cheerful thoughts in her head. She still hadn’t found any sufficient shelter, or gotten enough food last night, but she was optimistic. Anything was possible with him out of her way. Arriving at the main office, she smiled at the secretary and filled out an application form. She was now an official student at the school.
“Welcome to Point High School,” the secretary said, “I’ve put you in some classes that sound like they’re about right for you. Here’s your sheet with all the room numbers and your classes. If you have any problems with any of your classes, just come back here and we’ll see what we can arrange for you. Second hour should be starting right about now. Your class is right down the hall and then to the left.”
“Thank you very much.” Arianna skipped off to her class. She looked down at the sheet the secretary had given her. A128 it said for her second class. Opening the door of the classroom, she walked in quietly and took a seat.
Persia watched as the new girl came into the room. She was short and innocent looking with a soft smile on her face, but she knew right away this was the girl that would take Rachel’s place. Taking out a piece of paper, she scribbled a quick note to Malady, watching for the teacher to turn his back, and threw it on Malady’s desk. Malady opened it and looked questionably back at Persia.
“Her?” She mouthed, pointing to the new girl. Persia nodded in response.
Malady began writing a note back as Persia waited patiently, feigning interest at what the teacher was saying. This was her third time taking the class, and she already knew it all. Her grades were good, but she wasn’t college material. No colleges would accept her because she was in a gang. Although no scars marred her wrist, and no weapons showed on her person, the college committee had somehow gained wind of her involvement with gangs. With Malady it was even more obvious. The girl was just wicked looking, but she had a fierce loyalty to the gang. Malady was her second in charge; respected and feared by most, and fawned over by the boys.
Finally a crumpled paper landed on her desk, shattering her thoughts. She opened it as quietly as possible and read it silently.
Are you crazy?! That girl doesn’t look like she could hurt a bug, much less fight with weapons.
Persia wrote a reply on the same sheet, under what Malady had wrote.
Look at her eyes. There’s something there, she’s strong, I know it. It’s fate.
She once again threw the paper to Malady and received back another reply.
Enough of this fate bull crap. I trust you though, so I guess if you think she’s it, than she’s it.
Persia smiled. Her belief in fate annoyed Malady to no end sometimes, but they shared a special bond with each other. Although most people at the school would never have guessed that Persia was actually of a higher rank than Malady, when it came down to it Malady really was just a follower, beneath her scarier exterior.
The bell rang and the students exited class. Persia watched the new girl, and was disappointed to see her next class was almost all the way across the school from her’s. Off to history class she walked. The teacher in this class was her favorite. Although she wasn’t a very big fan of history, Mr. Polenn made it come to life.
“Today, we have to do a bit of review. I know most of you have heard this thousands of times, and that this is no new news for anyone, but it’s required curriculum. So open your text books to page 105 and read until 108. Tomorrow we’ll have a fun day if you guys do good today.”
Students groaned with the reading they had to do, but Persia complied willingly. It was about WWIII. True, everyone knew about it. Ah, well. With a sigh she started to read.
In 2035, WWIII had begun. It started with tensions between the Middle East and the U.S. but it ended with almost all the countries involved. Peaceful negotiations were trying to be made between the U.S. and the Middle East countries, but the leaders were stubborn and suspicious of the westerners, and for good reasons. Throughout the ages, the U.S. had passively been against them, and things had just intensified in 2001 when the World Trade Centers in New York had been destroyed by terrorists. Finally, the terrorists had become too powerful, and began to take control of the Middle East countries. They began to drop nuclear bombs on the U.S. in 2037, and the U.S. had retaliated. Many innocents were killed during the tragic war. The world population was cut down by almost half. Dozens of orphanages were filled up, most in very poor conditions.
Persia stopped reading. WWIII had only ended five years ago. In fact, Persia had come from one of the orphanages. Most of her gang members had come from orphanages too. The bell that signaled the end of third hour finally rang.
Persia headed off to the last class of the day, and was surprised to see the new girl enter it as well. During class, Persia studied her. She was quiet, and intelligent. Boys’ gazes wondered over to her long red hair, to her iridescent gray eyes, to her chest, and further down. Persia smiled and thought about the competition that would develop between the girl and Malady. Their appearances were completely opposites, which struck Persia as amusing. While the girl gave off a sort of innocent, harmless vibe, Malady was aggressive and sexy. The last bell of the day rang and her classmates anxiously left the classroom, a few giving the new girl lingering last glances before exiting into the hallway.
Arianna was as happy as she could ever remember being, and so free. She had never really been free before, except for the few weeks between her time at the orphanage, and when her teacher had invited her home. Although no outward expression change, inwardly Arianna cringed at the thought of him. She was only twelve when she had first met him. After running away from the orphanage she had been in, she had slept in alleyways and ate out of garbage cans.
She went to school anyway though, because without education there was no where she would be able to go. He had been her English teacher, and had pulled her aside after class. He told her he knew she was living on the streets, and had kindly offered to let her sleep on his couch. What a fool she had been. He kept her basically as his prisoner for three years. She had tried numerous times to escape, but he always seemed one step ahead of her. Arianna was convinced he must have had people watching her, because wherever she ended up, there he would be. Finally she had worked up enough courage to go to another city. And here she was, free at last. She was again homeless, but it didn’t matter, as long as he was far away.
She was so caught up in her thinking that when he passed her in the hallway and gave her a smile, she though it was just in her mind. But when he spoke, her thoughts and hopes were shattered.
“Hello.” He said; with that one word bringing back all of her fears and hatred. She would never be kept by him again, she would kill herself if need be.
Persia was walking behind the new teacher when she saw Arianna’s visage change so visibly. First a look of complete horror crossed her face that was quickly replaced with burning rage. The look Arianna gave the teacher was so full of hatred it made Persia’s spine tingle. The teacher gave a chuckle and kept walking.
Arianna saw Persia looking and her poisonous expression quickly turned back to shy smile. Persia wasn’t fooled, and smiled back, knowing that Arianna was indeed the one her gang needed. Her spirit was beyond any she had met before, and her feelings were easily hidden.
Arianna was panicking inside her mind. He had followed her somehow. She had to get away again. It was all beginning to seem so useless. The city that had seemed so fresh and energetic when she first arrived now seemed violent and foreign. She should have stayed in the old city, where she knew her way through the streets.
On her way down the stairs that led down from the school she was stopped by a girl.
“Whatever he did to you, I can help you get revenge.” She whispered into her ear and slipped a note into her hand, walking off.
Arianna opened the note to see an address. At the bottom was a three pointed Joker’s hat. Suspicious that the girl had been sent by him, Arianna crumpled the note, but at the last minute shoved it into her pocket. A car pulled up beside her as she made her way onto the street.
“Arianna,” a familiar voice inside said, “Arianna, come back with me.”
“Never!” She screamed, throwing her backpack in his face and taking off. Without realizing it she ran to the deserted warehouse district. Her feet came to a stop, and she looked up to see the number 3 plastered onto the side of one of the warehouses. Taking out the note she had cramped into her pocket, she looked back at the 3. It was the same address as on the paper.
She opened the door cautiously and was taken off guard by the commotion inside. Girls were sprawled all around the empty warehouse, except, it wasn’t quite so empty. There were couches and tables and sleeping mats rolled up in a corner with a pile of blankets and sleeping bags nearby. What took her aback the most was the way the girls were dressed though. All of them wore clown suits. Face paint was seen everywhere, and everyone had a round, red clown nose. They all turned to face her as she walked in, staring in complete surprise.
“Come in and close the door.” Said a voice within the crowd. The voice disentangled itself from a card game and came towards her. It was the same girl who had given her the address. Arianna obeyed, closing the door behind her and stepping in.
“Who are you?” She asked suspiciously.
“My name’s Persia,” The girl replied.
“Was it really wise to already give her your name?” A very pretty girl with short brown hair, and a scar over her eyebrow asked, glaring at Arianna with even more suspicion that Arianna had. “We don’t even know if she wants to join us, or, more important, whether we want her.”
Arianna was approached by a girl around the age of seven. The girl handed her a long weapon.
With no warning whatsoever Persia drew a thin sword and attacked her. Persia’s sword was a flurry of motion and Arianna blocked desperately, refusing to lose ground. Surprisingly, her weapon seemed to fit her perfectly, and she was able to block all of the blows. With just as little warning as the fight was started, it was stopped.
“What the Hell was that about?” Arianna asked frustrated and panting.
“You wouldn’t have stood a chance if Persia was really trying.” Said the clown with the short hair. She wore a red painter’s hat and revealing skin tight clown suit with a frilly clown collar around her neck, and matching frills at her wrists. Her boots were black and military style that came up to her knees. Again Arianna’s gaze traveled to her face. A blue tear was painted on her cheek, her face dominated by the red nose. Her scar seemed to add character and mystery to her, rather than looking like something that didn’t belong. All in all she was very intimidating.
“That’s Malady.” The little girl who had given her the weapon appeared again. “Well, actually, her real name’s Melody, but she fights so fiercely that people began to call her Malady.”
“Plus, it sounds cool.” Malady added laughing.
“I’m Popcorn,” said the small clown, “the weapons expert. The weapon you’re holding is called a glaive.”
Arianna took the time to take notice of her weapon. It was like a bow with a blade on top.
“It’s good for keeping distance when fighting, but it’s not very good if your opponent tries to close in. The blade on top is exactly eighteen inches in length and the whole thing is perfectly balanced. If you ever have any problems with it, come to me.” And with that the little girl backed off, her big red clown shoes squeaking. She was only about four feet tall with blond hair in pigtails. She wore a white tank top and a big puffy polka dot skirt. A yellow sun was painted on her left cheek, and of course she had the distinguishing nose.
“That’s nice and all, but will somebody please tell me what’s going on?” Arianna didn’t know whether to be irritated or excited, she settled with confusion.
“Alright, I’m going to explain this to you.” Persia said. “But, once I tell you, you’re obligated to join, but once you do you get free food and shelter, plus the support of everyone here, basically like a family. And…” she added softer, in a serious tone, “revenge. It’s up to you.”
“And if I join, what do I have to do?” Arianna asked slowly.
“You’ll have to fight.” Was the simple reply.
Arianna stood in thought. Shelter, revenge, food, support, and the ever need family, what more could she ask for? What did she have to lose? Absolutely nothing. She came to her decision quickly but firmly.
“Alright, I’ll join. Now explain away.”
END OF CHAPTER ONE
|Flower of Fire (Chapter 3)||A Night with the Faeries|
|Flower of Grace (Chapters 1-3) updated||Flower of Fire|