Hello and good evening!
I don’t usually post this late at night, but the day ran away with me and I just didn’t have time to put this up earlier. On the bright side, I finished reading a book today, and got some other writing done, so yay! I probably should have worked on this last night and scheduled it to go up this morning, but that would mean I’m on top of things and we all know that never lasts.
Anyway, today’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class prompt series. For this particular piece, I chose the “Plastic borders” prompt. I’m still itching to write about Ariella meeting Niklaus’ parents, but that’s clearly not happening. Maybe next prompt! So, for this one, we get to see Videl following through on her thoughts to get ahead of her grandmother. Plastic borders serves as inspiration and makes an appearance as an item in the piece.
When I first suggested it, I didn’t really think that the boss would go for it.
I definitely didn’t think he’d make me do it myself, either.
And yet here I am, standing outside my mother’s friend’s house, preparing to kidnap my half-siblings. I was hoping they would just let Max do it – an angel is obviously better equipped to trick someone into giving up a kid, but of course I’m not that lucky. Even worse, Max can’t even help me. If they’re around, it’s impossible to hide my mark. Something tells me bloodstained hands wouldn’t go over well if I get caught trying to take the children.
On the bright side, Marcus is with me. I’m suddenly glad they didn’t send him and Max – his bloody-black eyes are infinitely more terrifying a mark than my blood stains.
“I’ll take care of your mother’s friend. You take the kids. Your sister already trusts you.” Marcus runs through our skeleton of a plan. Really, it’s probably even less than that.
“Okay. Just make sure the woman stays asleep.” I take a deep breath, steeling myself against the nerves. It’s obvious to Marcus, and for a moment he reaches for my hand, squeezing in reassurance. He doesn’t let go until I pull away, nodding and disappearing in place.
This room is nothing like the one she has back home. My mother’s friend must not have children. Both Eva and the baby sleep in the same room, a plainly furnished guestroom. Eva sleeps curled up in a queen-sized bed, the same bear from the other night held tightly in her arms. Her soft snores fill the room, and I start to hate myself for what I’m about to do. What kind of older sister willingly exposes her siblings to demons? I remind myself that she’ll be safer with Marcus and me, but it doesn’t help much. After all, I’m partially responsible for all of this in the first place.
No – I’m not responsible. My grandmother is. I try to remember that.
“Eva?” I’m as gentle as possible, sitting at the edge of the bed and shaking her small shoulder softly. “Hey, Eva wake up.”
Her snores stop, and she groans slightly, unwilling to wake up. I call her name again, and her eyes flutter open. Confusion clouds her gaze at first, but after a few blinks she really sees me, and her face turns more alert.
“Hi. How are you?”
She shrugs, sadness in her eyes. “My mom and dad are in the hospital.”
“I know. I’m here to take care of your while they get better.” I let my instincts guide me, allowing my hand to smooth her hair in a protective gesture. “Guardian angel, remember?”
Eva smiles, some of the sadness in her eyes fading. “Are you going to stay here?”
“No – I have to take you and your brother to my house.”
“Does Stella know?” I consider lying to her, but her eyes are so wide and vulnerable – I can’t.
“It has to be a secret, okay? It’s dangerous for you and your brother because your parents aren’t here. There are bad people who can hurt you. That’s why I’m here.” I do my best not to scare her, and though there’s a flash of fear in her eyes, it’s gone in a second, immediately replaced by trust. Was I this trusting as a little kid?
“Okay.” She kicks the covers away before climbing off the bed and stepping into her slippers. “I need to get my things.”
“I’ll get your brother.” I watch her for a moment as she gathers some of her toys into the suitcase at the foot of the bed, where all her clothes are still packed away. Turning to the baby pen at the other side of the room, I gather the baby’s things into his bags before slipping them onto my shoulders. Bending down, I’m careful as I pick him up – I’ve never held a baby before.
It’s strange, holding my half-brother. He’s so little, but heavier than I expected. I do my best not to wake him – the last thing I need is for his crying to wake Stella. Surprisingly, he continues to sleep like a rock.
“Ready.” I turn to Eva – she has one hand on a suitcase and in the other she holds a picture frame.
Curious, I ask, “What’s that?”
“It’s a picture of my parents.” She holds it up for me to see. The picture is bordered by plastic – not the strong kind, but a fragile, thin plastic. It’s decorated by sporadic bursts of glitter and several stickers. Eva must have decorated it herself. The picture in the frame is of my mother and her husband, hugging and looking at the camera as her husband snaps the picture. They look happy. Again, a shot of guilt runs through me.
“Ready?” Marcus is at the door, looking between me and Eva. My sister, uncharacteristically shy, takes a step closer to me, almost hiding behind me.
“Yeah. Eva, this is my friend Marcus. You can give him your things and he’ll take them to our place.” I nod in his direction when Eva looks at me for reassurance.
“Hi.” She hurries over to him, handing her suitcase over but not releasing the picture frame, clutching it tighter than I’ve ever seen her clutch her bear.
Marcus walks the rest of the way into the room, relieving me of the burden of the baby’s things. “I’ll meet you back home.”
“See you there.”
He disappears, and Eva jumps. “Is he an angel too?”
“Something like that.” I readjust the baby so I can hold him with one arm. “I need you to hold my hand so I can take you too.” Without question, she puts her hand in my free one. “Hold on.”
A moment later we disappear from the room.
Is Eva scared of Marcus? Maybe. I’m looking forward to writing about his interactions with Videl’s siblings. I wonder if he’s any good with babies…
Friendly reminder: Don’t forget to hop on the #TuesFlashFicTrain! We’re near the end of this round so don’t miss your chance to play with Gloria’s story 🙂
As always, think happy thoughts!