It seemed as if the walls were closing in on them as they stood within the room's small interior. The women's arms spread wide, her mouth drawn into a never ending yawn of desperation. A cry for one last moment of need. The newborn wailed and sputtered tiny bellows. Nimble fingers wrapped around her father's tightly, weaving through the small cracks of imperfection. Her green eyes filled with excitement and energy; alive with wonder. The young boy made his way towards the bed and eyed the limp hand of the women draped over the bed cautiously. The paled fingers curled halfway, unclenched and free. The father, Bellius, turned slowly to the boy, arching protectively over the newborn. The boy walked closer to Bellius, pointing at the baby girl wrapped in his arms.
"N0!" Pain struck his face and there was a shudder through his body, he grasped for comprehension. Bellius shook his head and closed his eyes in a defeated manner. "Dren?" he glanced over to the body that lay on the bed, white faced and dead. "I can't do this alone..." his voice breaking, pain spread across his face. Dren was everything to him, to the kingdom. He looked at the boy with sorrow. "Nero, you're dismissed." Picking up the infant, Nero turned away and slipped quietly through the door.
Chapter 1 - Talla:
Blue spots rolled through my gaze that swept across the seemingly endless room. I felt my steps falter and stumble as I made my way around the glowing floor. A white gown flowed from my hips, ruffled slightly at the edges. I caught a glimpse of a black suit attached to my waist, another on my shoulder as I swayed. His golden eyes focused on mine as the music swelled, his lips parting with soft words, holding me close. I dipped and twirled around the peeling crowd. His fingers closed around mine, and we danced.
My lashes flitted silently, and my eyes felt suddenly heavy as I struggled to keep them propped open. I observed the wide tree trunks as I passed. The carvings etched by the dreamy eyed children made the trunks open up like a map. I narrowed my eyes, catching a stunning bluebird almost reaching out of my view. If it kept going, the bird would soon reach the crisp air of the town over. Not one choked by exhaust and the bustle of city life.
Kids soon began to line up at the stop sign, looking like a mob in the bloody sunrise. A young boy huddled in the back looked almost out of place with his muddy colored eyes and faded blue jeans. The three bright eyed girls before him made obscene gestures and dug into his skin with horrible words. I side stepped a pile of dry leaves that littered the sidewalk, smiling at him as I passed. The girls continued to snicker and throw twisted insults at him. My neck stiffened, and the rush of boiling blood made the hairs on my arms rise. A sharp pain on my fingertips caused me to make a fist, etching small marks on my palms. I need to keep it inside, just until I can get out of here.
My stomach growled softly as I played with the silver chain around my neck. The clocked ticked slowly, making me regret not having breakfast. My claws had finally retracted around third bell, enabling me to come out of the bathroom stall. Though my eyes were still a hybrid yellow/green, I could easily pass it off as an accidental contact swap. The days went on like that, missing a few classes here and there, with the occasional fretful glances in my direction. Why are they scared of me? I'm average height, weight, just average. I'm nothing special as far as they know.