Timid Torture

Happy Friday!

Thanks to having Monday off/being sick, this week has flown by. I could have sword yesterday was Tuesday, so I’m definitely glad the weekend is already here.

We’re back to Secondhand Soul with this week’s Master Class prompt from Our Write Side. Once again, it was too perfect and led me exactly where I wanted Videl to be, so hooray! I picked the “Timid Torture” prompt, which serves as both inspiration and title for the piece. Like these tend to be, it’s a bit on the longer side, so brace yourselves!

Enjoy!

~~~

Timid Torture

How do I keep finding myself in less than favorable situations? Sometimes, I want to kick myself. I know better than this, really I do, but I guess something about my lingering humanity makes me a glutton for punishment. Either that or my demonic qualities are making me reckless. I should have just stuck to watching from that stupid mirror, but no – I had to go to the park to tail my mother and half-sister. Apparently, my mother promised her the previous day that they would stop at the park on the way home. Lucky for me, Marcus went on another assignment shortly after his “confession” and left me to make bad choices on my own.

So here I sit, staring down at Eva as she looks up at me from her spot on the ground, green eyes lit with curiosity at the strange woman sitting on a tree branch. Somewhere near the playground, my mother is distracted, deep in conversation with someone on the phone. Like my mother, I was too focused on the sudden phone call to notice the little girl slip away and towards my hiding spot. Maybe I should disappear – not like anyone would believe her if she told – but the way she looks at me keeps me glued to the spot. She’s not supposed to be able to see me – anyone else could look right at me and not see me unless I wanted them to. Why can Eva see me?

“Can I help you?” My tone comes across sharper than I want, and she flinches. Almost immediately, I regret my choice of words. Whether I’m a demon or not, this is still my half-sister – my first encounter with her really should be a bit friendlier.

“S-Sorry…I-” She turns to leave, tears already pooling in her eyes. Damn.

“No, no, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you. You just surprised me.” I make my second mistake of the day and hop down from the branch. At least I have the presence of mind to stay closer to the tree than to Eva. Even so, I kneel down so we’re at eye-level. “Aren’t you a little far away from the playground? Wouldn’t your mom be worried?”

She looks back at the playground before looking at me and shaking her head. I’ve never encountered a kid who just stands there and stares at you, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. Clearly uncomfortable, I stand there while trying to figure out what to do next.

“What’s your name?” She catches me off-guard with her question, and I answer without thinking.

“Videl.” Mistake number three. “But you can call me Vee. Just Vee, okay?” I need to get out of here ASAP – why the hell am I torturing myself? “What’s yours?”

“Eva.” She offers me a timid smile before extending a small hand for me to shake. This kid is going to be the death of me. We shake hands, and her smile goes wider. “Why are you over here by yourself?”

“It helps me think.” I give her a tentative smile in return before I sit at the base of the tree. Eva seems to take this as an invitation and joins me.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing in particular.” My mother is still on the phone, her face worried at whatever is happening on the other line.

“Then why do you need help thinking?” Her question distracts me from the phone call and calls my attention back to the little girl. Something about the way I look at her seems to communicate my annoyance and she changes the subject. “You look familiar.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.” She takes one of my hands – entirely too comfortable for my liking – and simply holds it. I’m hyper-aware of the blood on them hidden by my glamours, and her touch only serves to worsen the sensation.

“Eva!” My mother’s worried cry rings out over the park. “Eva where are you!”

It’s a relief when she releases my hand and jumps up to answer. “I’m over here!”

She waves my mother over, and I freeze. I know my mother can’t see me – she’s looking right at us but her eyes don’t even stray from the little girl, as if there isn’t someone sitting right beside her.

“I told you not to leave my sight!” She grabs Eva’s arm, worry written all over her face. There were already tears in her eyes, triggering guilt in my chest at having not sent Eva back to her more quickly.

“I’m sorry mami, but Vee looked lonely.” Eva gestures at me, and I’m relieved at the confused expression in my mother’s eyes.

“You named the tree Vee?” Her confusion gives way to a smile. I remember those smiles.

“The tree?” Eva looks between me and our mother, brow furrowed. “But-”

“She can’t see me, Eva. Only you can. You have to keep me a secret, okay?” It’s all I can think of saying, trying to be as friendly as possible, like I’m a secret between just the two of us.

“Come on, Eva, we have to go now. Say good-bye to Vee.”

She takes a moment to process my words. Sometimes, I miss the easy acceptance that came with childhood. A moment later Eva simply smiles at me again and says, “Okay! Bye Vee.”

I watch them both walk away, opting not to follow but to retreat back to Marcus’ living room. In the mirror, Eva goes on about how lonely Vee was, and how she looked like she needed a friend. My mother simply nods the way a parent does when appeasing a child, her mind clearly elsewhere.

“Vee?”

I wince at Marcus’ voice. “How much did you see?”

“Enough to know your sister is exceptionally gifted.” Surprisingly, he isn’t upset. “I’m willing to bet that isn’t a coincidence. Does your mother’s side of the family possess any magic?”

“Not that I know of.” As far as I know, the only magic in our family would come from my father’s side. “Maybe her husband…?” But then a more sinister thought crept into my mind, and my anger at my grandmother reached new heights. “You don’t think my grandmother had something to do with it, do you?”

“I think it’s more likely than Dan having magical blood.” His voice is gentle, tentative – he knows what the idea does to me. I’m proud of myself when I manage to stay put, sitting in the couch and keeping most of my attention on my mother and Eva in the mirror. “I’ll report this to the boss – he’ll want to know.”

“What will you tell him?” There’s no way I want to know what would happen if he finds out I spoke to my sister.

“I’ll tell him the girl spotted me. Don’t worry. He won’t know.” He places a hand on my shoulder, squeezing gently.

“Thank you.” With my hand over his on my shoulder, I return the small sign of affection, trying to smile. “It won’t happen again.”

Marcus smiles at me, like he knows it probably will, before bending down and pressing a light kiss to my brow. “It could have been worse. Just be more careful.”

~~~

We finally get to see her with Eva! Let me know what you think and be sure to check out the rest of the responses and the other prompts at the post linked above 🙂

Friendly reminder: #TuesFlashFicTrain is gearing up for a new story! Check out the new prompt and give it a shot 🙂

As always, think happy thoughts!

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