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The Black and White Angel By Lady Lilium Characters: 11415

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:07


Chapter one

Rat Face

She stood before the cupboard in her home, grabbing hold of both the handles, and opening the doors simultaneously.

Within the cupboard, and beyond, was another world. A large town lit by hundreds of lanterns that hung above the dark streets, and everything was utterly still. The moon above was in its whole, shining down its glorious light upon the rooftops.

She leant forwards into the cupboard, and fell down towards the dark town. From her back wings erupted, and she soared through the sky above the town. She climbed higher towards the moon.

'Lilith!'

She opened her eyes.

'Lilith' came the voice again, singing teasingly at her.

She pushed herself up from where she lay resting on her side. Sitting up slowly and lifting her head to the figure that stood before her.

'What are you doing here?' she asked flatly.

'I could ask you the same thing' the figure named Joseph said.

Lilith lowered her eyes glowering.

You are not allowed up here' Joseph told her.

Lilith cast her eyes away from the pest before her and towards the rest of the library.

'I think it's so wrong, ' Lilith said 'to hide away all this knowledge from the world.'

'Whatever your opinion on the matter is' Joseph replied, 'is irrelevant. Think of the punishment you would suffer if caught.'

'Don't you mean when I'm caught?' Lilith replied meeting his gaze again. 'No doubt you will scurry to the teachers and tell them of my sins. Nothing would give you more pleasure I'm sure than to see me punished.'

'As you deserve' Joseph glared.

'You are not allowed here either. You would surely be punished also' Lilith said. 'If you tell them I was here, I will tell then you were here.'

'And who would believe you?'

'My father is a powerful man' Lilith told him. 'I have influence.'

'Not as much as you would if you didn't act like a freak' Joseph shot back. 'And besides, your family is small. Only your father and your servants can tolerate you. I have both my parents and their parents, and aunt and uncles and successful older siblings. If you want to play that game, I assure you, you will lose.'

Lilith gritted her teeth, nails digging into the sofa she sat upon. Her upper lip twitched as she thought desperately for a swift enough and decent response.

'You think you have influence?' Joseph went on. 'Yours is nothing compared to mine. You're just a grey haired freak with no friends.'

Lilith's hand went automatically to her head. All her life she had had grey hair, dirty like smoke. And all her life she had been forced to endure scorn and ridicule because of it.

'I have friends' Lilith muttered. 'But you're right; it's hard to get people to accept you, when you look different. It's hard to live in a city where the people are so judgemental of everyone around them, people who care only about what they see and not what is inside.'

'Even your own mother hates you' Joseph went on, pushing her further. 'My family never treated me like that. People see you for what you are. I will do great things in life, unlike you.'

'It must be nice' Lilith said. 'Living in the shadows of such a rich and powerful family, and using their success to your own benefit, as if you had a hand in anything they've achieved. You act so, but you don't.'

'And you think you are better than me?' Joseph sneered. 'You.'

'I know much of the world, and of life. I have learnt, I have travelled, and done far more good for this world than you ever will. You know nothing.' She lifted her heavy eyes to him.

'Uncultured swine.'

He slapped her.

Lilith froze in shock for a moment, head still turned to the side. Cheek burning.

She slowly turned her head back towards him; then rose, very slowly to her feet.

The two locked stares, each challenging the other, and for the longest time, neither moved.

Lilith was the first to act. She swung to the side, reaching for a medium stone statue of a naked woman that happened to be in arms reach, intending to strike Joseph with it. But a voice called out to stop her.

'ENOUGH!'

Lilith froze, still holding the statue high, arms outstretched as she had been ready to swing. She glared at Joseph. Eyes burning, brow furrowed and lips twitching in a snarl.

'LILITH!' came the same voice. 'Put that down!'

Still holding up the statue, Lilith turned her head, seeing a tall dark haired figure striding towards her across the open hall. His tall black boots echoed with each heavy footstep, and his dark cloak billowed menacingly behind him as he approached.

Her heart sank at the sight of him. It was one of the teachers.

'What on earth do you think you're doing?' the teacher asked incredulous, glaring at her as he stopped beside her. His dark eyes, oiled pointed beard and narrow face gave him a very sharp look, like a vulture.

Lilith looked back at Joseph angrily. He had not moved or even flinched at her action, he just gazed back at her calmly. But below the surface, Lilith could see his uncertainty. He too was nervous at the sudden appearance of the teacher.

'Lilith' the teacher prompted.

Lilith lowered her head, placing the statue back in its place.

'You do realise that if you were a low-born you could be killed for being here. I wish you would act your class, act like a lady instead of a peasant.'

'Class' Lilith sneered under her breath.

'What!?'

'Nothing' Lilith replied clearly. 'I'm sorry sir.'

'I have a good mind to have you beaten' the teacher went on. 'This is a very serious crime. You do know that only the most important select few are allowed to be here?'

'Yes sir.'

'You know that only the high lords and ladie

s are allowed to be here?'

'Yes sir.'

'And students are not.'

'No sir.'

'If the headmaster knew about this…' the teacher went on, completely ignoring Joseph. He pursed his lips, puffing himself out, his cheeks growing red in anger. 'You should be beaten. You deserve to be beaten. But lords don't beat ladies; I will have to think of a more fitting punishment for you.' He waved her away arrogantly, like one would do a servant. 'Get out of my sight and return to your class.'

Lilith bowed her head submissively, as was expected behaviour from a student towards a teacher. She carefully walked past him, heading to the doors of the library.

'You too Joseph' the teacher snapped, as if noticing him for the first time. 'You shouldn't be here. Make your absence swift.'

Joseph automatically dipped his head, moving quickly away from the teacher. As he passed Lilith, he couldn't resist one last hurtful comment while he had the chance.

'Freak' he muttered under his breath as he overtook her, striding across the marble floor towards the entrance of the library.

His voice was low, but Lilith heard it clear, and she knew that even if the teacher behind heard it clearly too, he would have pretended he didn't.

Lilith reached the doors, pausing with her hand on the cold dark wood. She glanced into the library once last time, feeling a deep sorrow in her heart. It was a beautiful place, with an impossibly high ceiling made only of glass. Natural sunlight spilled into every corner of the room, lighting up the red and brown and black pattered diamond floor.

She didn't know when she would see the place again, if she would ever get the chance to see it again.

And then she noticed the teacher, standing a distance away glaring at her.

She dropped her gaze, and left through the doors.

High lords and ladies Lilith thought to herself. What is class in a world like this? Why is so much importance placed on breeding?

Lilith thought then of the high lords and ladies, the very purest, richest, most successful in society, with statuses within the city that nearly matched the king and queen themselves. The most obnoxious, selfish and arrogant people in the world, groomed to be blind to everything beyond their own desires. People who were physically unable to understand or even see those in poverty who suffered, those who were not so lucky in life as they.

She sighed, standing upon the stage and staring back at the many faces before her. Her punishment had been to stand upon the stage with the teacher, and balance several books on her head for two and a half hours. If she lost concentration, and one of the books were to fall, one of the other students in the room were to endure the same punishment beside her. She didn't want that to happen, she was unpopular enough as it was, and so, she stood there, as still as she could, and waited for time to go by.

One of the faces before her was that of Joseph's. He sneered up at her regularly as he continued on with his work.

Lilith sighed again, eyes sliding about the room as she looked for something to take her interest and make time pass quicker. The room the classes took place in were very large, and often one teacher would teach nearly a hundred students. All the chairs and tables faced the stage, the ones at the back higher than the ones at the front so that everyone could see.

Lilith sighed some more. She was used to this punishment, or at least as used to this sort of treatment as one could have been. This was not the first time she had to endure this. Lilith dared a glanced to the side of her, and towards the teacher who sat at the podium in the centre of the stage, the same one who had given her this punishment. He glared at her briefly, before returning to his papers.

There was not a friendly face amongst any of them, save for one. One of the few friends she had, a young girl seventeen years in age, the same age as her. Her name was Victoria. She smiled uncertainly at Lilith, and Lilith smiled back, more encouragingly. Victoria returned to her work.

Lilith let her attention drift away, and her eyes began to glaze over, the books on her head still balanced perfectly still.

Time slowly ticked away.

When at last her ordeal was over, Lilith was allowed to leave with the rest of the class, once she was given permission by the teacher. Once everyone else had left.

She took the books from her head, placing them on the stage and walking carefully past the teacher, avoiding his glare.

She moved through the large expanse of the school, through its many halls and long corridors, and outside into the glorious awaiting sunlight.

She breathed a sigh of relief. It felt good to be out in the sunlight again.

Lilith looked at the world around her.

The city she lived in was the capital, and the largest city for miles around. It was congested, and in places filthy. The air was the first offense to those not very well acquainted to city life, especially this city life. Day and night great factories churned black smoke and sick air into the atmosphere, but one became accustomed to the dirt they breathed in. After a time, one stopped noticing it altogether. There were many building crowded here into this little area of land, and the streets were very narrow. Many large towers and tall building grew from its cement; the taller richer buildings were built in the centre. The not so tall buildings were built further away from the centre, and the poorest buildings, the dank and squalor homes, were at the very edges. These were the poor quarters, where those without money lived in filth, scraping a living at the edges of humanity.

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