MoboReader> Fantasy > The Ones Who were Chosen

   Chapter 5 The Voice

The Ones Who were Chosen By Lady Lilium Characters: 31775

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:02


Monday morning

'Oh my goodness! What happened to you?!'

Reuben scratched the back of his head sheepishly; his left arm still in a cast stood out obviously. The bruise on his cheek was still prominent and the bandage that had been taken off his head showed a very clear very tender looking graze that had started to scab over.

'I uh…' Reuben began awkwardly, '…fell over.'

'Fell over?!' Lauralie cried out dramatically scanning the rest of his body, seemingly looking for other injuries. She poked his left shoulder.

'Ow!' Reuben protested.

'What have you been getting up to? It wasn't that long ago since I saw you last. Did you fall out of a train or something?'

'I told you I'm fine' Reuben argued. 'I just fell.'

'Don't be ridiculous' Lauralie said puffing herself up. She leant forward, her ginger hair falling down over her shoulders. 'Do you take me for some kind of an idiot? And don't answer that' she added hastily.

Reuben grinned silently at her, but kept his lips sealed.

They were at college now, and having only seen them briefly over the weekend Lauralie sought them out immediately. Hunting them down like a sort of heat seeking sledgehammer to the face, her radar eyes scanning the heads of the crowd, she found them the second they arrived on the grounds.

'Leave him be' Lucas said to her. 'He's absolutely fine.'

'He doesn't look fine to me' Lauralie said accusingly, turning her attention onto Lucas. 'And why are you walking funny?' she poked his stomach, causing Lucas to wince.

'You're wearing a bandage?' she said speaking to his stomach and reaching a finger towards him to poke him again.

'Don't touch me' Lucas hissed angrily, slapping her hand away.

'You guys are hiding something from me' Lauralie whined, placing her hands on her hips.

'Mind your own business' Lucas growled.

She turned away from him pouting.

'Always the same short temper' she sighed absentmindedly. 'You never change do you Lucas?'

Reuben frowned in amusement at the two of them. He always found their interactions most amusing.

'Anyway' Lauralie continued brushing off her worry. 'Where's Drake anyway?'

'He should be in a bit later' Reuben told her. 'He doesn't have an early class today; he should be on the way back from his girlfriends by now.'

'Oh I forgot he's coming home a bit later this time' Lauralie said. 'Probably because he was seeing yeeew in hospital' she said pointing a finger in Reuben's face. 'Why didn't you tell me?! You know I would have come to see you at the drop of a hat.'

'How did you know I was in hospital?'

'Duh. They give you casts there? Where else could you get your arm bandaged up you silly thing? And I know you would have told Drake, he's practically family to you. I can put two and two together.'

She leant forward then and ruffled his hair affectionatly, like one would do to a puppy.

'I didn't want you to worry' Reuben replied, voicing the first excuse that came to his mind as he leant away from her. 'And besides, ' his expression grew mischievous as he threw her a wink, 'I heard you had your time occupied by two fine young gentlemen.'

Lauralie went red.

'Drake told us' Reuben explained. 'Apparently they're both very handsome. So tell me, which one will you pick?'

She poked his bruised shoulder hard.

'Ow!'

'You know if you frown any harder' Lucas laughed at her, 'your eyebrows will meet in the middle.'

She balled her fists, shoulders raised, she was positively fuming.

'You're making fun of me' she whined.

'Yeah? And it's so easy' Lucas teased.

She turned on her heel and stormed away. Lucas watched her go with smug satisfaction as she headed towards her class.

'Good riddance' Lucas said clapping his hands together as if dusting them off.

'Hey Lucas' Reuben said.

'Yes?'

'Can I ask you something?'

Lucas looked to Reuben. 'What is it?'

'Did you find her? Rhian I mean?'

'No' Lucas replied, looking away. 'I believe she had already gone.'

'Where?'

'Who knows?' Lucas shrugged. 'I don't think we'll be seeing her again. Ever. It's a good thing I suppose, I'd hate to find out what I'd do if I ever got my hands on her…after she…' he trailed off, glancing at his brothers cast.

'We don't have class for another hour or so' Reuben said. 'Why don't we go to the train station to meet Drake?'

Lucas' mood seemed to lighten at this.

'Are you ok to run?' Reuben asked him. 'Has your wound healed yet?'

'Has yours?' Lucas replied teasingly. 'How about a race?'

'You're on.'

Lucas was off in an instant, quickly being caught up by Reuben. They ran side by side towards the gates of the college, Reuben shoving his brother lightly as Lucas struggled to keep up. The two travelled through the streets, winding through back alleys and over fences and through car parks, using all the familiar and hidden paths they had grown up to love, in this town they called home.

Lauralie arrived at her lecture early, all her anger from talking to Lucas had faded away by the time she sat at her desk, and she waited patiently for the others to arrive.

The lecture began, and as time wore on, Lauralie's attention began to waver. Her eyes slid around the room as she searched for something of more interest. It was then she noticed that Rhian's desk was empty. She spared it little thought, looking ahead again and not really listening to what the lecturer was saying. There was so much on her mind recently, and it became difficult at times to concentrate on any one thing. Her mind wandered, but then someone broke her train of thought. One of the girls beside nudged her and passed her a note.

Lauralie read it.

Oh no, not this again.

Handsome, self-absorbed and selfish, David, was a guy all the girls were chasing, but not Lauralie. Perhaps that was what attracted him to her. He had everything a person like him could want, well-off parents, natural good looks, and a charming and witty attitude that earned him loads of friends and tons of attention from the girls.

Pompous little prick.

He had been chasing her for the last few weeks now, and his confidence and unspoken belief that he was somehow better than most people was the number one thing that annoyed her most about him. She had seen him being quite unkind to several people who he felt had wronged him, a few of which were her own friends. All of whom had suffered from broken hearts because of him. She had helped them recover.

After class he tagged her down before she had a chance to escape.

'For the last time the answer is no!'

He flashed her his most charming grin that would have set most girl swooning, and although Lauralie was suddenly consumed in a flurrying wave of annoyance, she couldn't stop herself thinking how white and perfectly shaped his teeth were.

Are those real?

'Come on babe, just stop playing hard to get.'

'I am not playing hard to get!' Lauralie snapped back. 'And don't call me babe.'

She made to leave, but suddenly was held back. He had grabbed her by the wrist.

Lauralie alarmed that he had turned physical with her, swiftly returned the favour with a well directed kick to the groin.

Surmise to say he let go of her. He fell to his knees, eyes watering. David moaned in agony, hunched over with his hands between his legs.

'You bitch…'

'And so the true self comes out' Lauralie declared, 'I always knew you had a temper on you.'

She ran off before he had time to do or say anything else, not wanting to be around when he finally regained himself, which judging by how hard she had kicked him wouldn't be anytime soon. But still…

People around stopped to stand and stare, one or two offered help, few even dared to laugh. But one figure who watched the scene unfold was not like the others. She had nothing to do with the college or even this world. Her name was Shire.

A tall woman, she wore a dress of fine materials, white with a black sash bound tightly around her waist and a red garment that covered her shoulders. She stood and stared as a small crowd began to gather around the unfortunate boy. People who were walking away looked back over their shoulders, wondering what they had just missed.

Shire watched this, standing in plain sight, yet was unseen by anyone.

If anyone were to have seen her, they would have stopped and stared at her, for besides from wearing clothes that were different; her very being was different also. With skin that was almost pure white, her lips held little colour. But the most distinguishing feature about her, besides her long jagged azure blue hair which was tied in several knots and ponytails, were her eyes. She had the most unusual shade of burnished gold and yellow, with emerald shaded edges.

It was eye catching.

Her eyes would have drawn all the attention, almost making the rest of her jealous.

But it wasn't the boy kneeling on the ground in agony she watched, it was Lauralie.

The guardian hummed thoughtfully to herself, furrowing her brow. Two young couples passed very close by her, facing each other they didn't notice the strange woman who stood so near.

Shire unfolded her arms; turning away from the scene she left the grounds of the college. Casually sauntering through the streets she headed towards the edge of the town, every person that passed by looked through her. But she paid no attention to any of them.

She met her fellow guardians, gathered beneath a bridge under a railway line that had for years been abandoned.

She paused to watch the fight that was before her. Again their group had run into the creatures Li and Kreas, and again they battled.

Li screamed like a banshee, a terrible pitch so deafening that it hurt the ears to listen to. She was pinned to the floor on her side by the aberrant-guardian, who struggled to hold her down. His wings flailed as he fought for balance. Li caught the aberrant's arm as he made to swipe at her, sinking her teeth deep into his flesh. But the aberrant didn't cry out, he slashed at her stomach with his free arm, and was jerked to the side as Li, still holding him by the arm, threw him off her. Beside them the red haired guardian battled with the creature known as Kreas, who was far quicker than his companion Li. Like an insect he clung to the walls and scuttled along the ground, his movement was rapid and perfectly controlled. Indigo had spent much of his energy blocking, protecting himself from the barrage of attacks that seemed to be never ending. Kreas moved with relentless speed. He cackled as if mocking his opponent, screeching and laughing like hyena. He leapt at the red haired guardian, flying through the air he covered a huge distance, crashing into him and pinning him down.

Shire found her way down from the tracks that ran across the bridge, and to the space below where the others fought. She stood beside her daughter Siren, who had been watching from a safe distance the scene unfold.

'They jumped us' Siren explained gently, voicing no worry in her tone for her companions. 'They came out of nowhere.'

'Like hunters they stalk' Shire agreed glancing at her daughter.

Siren was a girl in her late teens, looking very much like her mother with pale skin which was almost snow-white, and lips of faded colour. Her azure hair was wavy and longer than her mothers, tied on one side of her head and reaching past her waist. Her eyes, though hidden now by the hood she wore, and the fringe that grew long, were however different from her mothers. They were void of bright colour, instead were a light and misty blue.

Siren clutched the orb she held tightly in her hands; it now flashed vividly, with many bright and fabulous colours.

Siren lowered the hood of her black cloak, brushing back her blue fringe to see clearer.

'I don't like any of this' she stated simply.

Noticing Shire, the fourth guardian had returned, Li alerted Kreas with a cry. Kreas stilled his anger and stopped his volley of charges immediately. Li shook her head violently, snarling like a wolf. She turned and leapt away, Kreas followed after her in great bounds.

Indigo stuck his lance in the ground, snarling after them through bloodied teeth.

'That's it! Run back to your masters!' he hollered.

The creatures left only clouds of dust behind them as they went.

'At least we did some damage.' The aberrant released his grip on his weapons, using his magic to make them vanish into thin air. He turned calmly to Shire.

'Did you find anything?' the aberrant Culture asked her.

'No' Shire replied with a shake of the head. 'The one we seek is very elusive.'

'She is here' Siren clarified staring into her orb. 'I can feel her.'

'Of course she is here' Indigo replied, moving closer to them. 'She is trapped. There is nowhere for her to run. I just wish our search would not be constantly hindered by these beasts' he said, indicating the direction that Li and Kreas had fled.

'So if you found nothing' Culture asked Shire, 'why were you gone for so long?'

'I was watching.'

'Ha!' Indigo laughed, 'watching? Watching! Hey, she said she's was watching.'

The aberrant smiled, as if it was some kind of an inside joke that they shared.

Shire made no reaction. Instead she changed the subject.

'I think we should keep looking.'

'No' Indigo cut in, sweeping back his blood-red hair. 'I feel like we're trying to catch a single bird from a flock by hand, and we're doing it blind.'

'You're proposing we give up?' Shire asked.

'No' Indigo repeated. 'We have her trapped now.' He fell silent for a moment, before speaking again. 'We need to sit and think about this. Or else we would be wasting time and effort.'

'You have something on your mind?' the aberrant asked.

'I'm thinking' Indigo replied. 'Why has she lingered here? The entire time we've been chasing her, she's always moved on quickly. Why has she stayed here so long to allow herself to become trapped like this?'

The other three listened silently in thought.

'Why indeed?' the aberrant purred. 'I feel a strange presence in this town, something I am drawn to…but I feel like I'm being pulled in different directions.'

Siren gasped suddenly, staring into the orb.

'What is it Siren?' her mother asked. 'Is something wrong?'

'I understand now' Siren said, 'I understand why we've struggled so much to find her, why the others have struggled too.'

'Why?' Indigo asked her slowly.

Siren raised her head; a strange look upon her face. 'Culture' she said to the aberrant. 'You said that you felt like you were being pulled in different directions.'

'Yes?' the guardian replied.

Siren looked back down to her orb. 'It's because there are two of them.'

'What?' Indigo gasped.

Beside her Shire tensed, and Culture blinked in surprise.

'I can see her' Siren breathed. 'She is a polar opposite of the one we were originally chasing. This new one is dressed all in black.'

Siren saw a second figure appear in the orb, standing beside the one dressed in black. She lowered her head, her blue fringe falling over her face again.

'I see a guardian with her' Siren whispered. 'He is young and inexperienced.'

She narrowed her eyes, staring down in wonder.

'Lucas is his name.'

The brothers ran through the town. Lucas slowed to a stop after a time, waving at Reuben to do the same.

'Alright you win' Lucas gasped, hunched forwards and holding his side. 'I can't…I can't go on anymore…'

'How's the injury doing?' Reuben asked, turning back to him.

'Getting better' Lucas answered straightening up again. 'It feels a hell of a lot better than it did the other day.' He smiled. 'I think it's even stopped bleeding.'

'Good.'

'But can we walk from here?' Lucas asked. 'I'm not sure I'm up for running and jumping aroun

d anymore.'

'Sure' Reuben nodded.

They ambled side by side, walking at a gentle pace through the town as they headed to the train station. But before they came close to the station, Lucas pulled back, spotting a short distance away a figure he recognised.

'Ebony?'

She bowed her head shyly, realising she had been spotted. Lucas changed direction, striding up to her. Reuben hesitated for a moment before following, wondering in his head who this new person was. She smiled at Lucas, but appeared to become a little nervous as Reuben approached.

'What are you doing here?' Lucas asked her, standing in the shaded patch before the coffee shop where Ebony was hovering. Ebony clung to the gate behind her, leaning into the metal bars like they would offer her some sort of protection.

'I found you' she uttered. 'It was all by chance. I was wandering the town for hours.'

'Why?' Lucas asked her.

'I…' Ebony averted her attention. 'I…I wanted to see you.'

Reuben glanced sideways, giving his brother a devious look.

'Lucas…' he said in a mock tone, 'you didn't tell me you met a lady friend. What were you doing when I was in hospital? Oh! But what would Sian think?'

Lucas grimaced, speaking patiently as his eyebrow twitched in annoyance.

'You know it's not like that' he huffed. 'God you're starting to sound like Lauralie.'

'Who's Lauralie?' Ebony asked him.

'Nobody' Lucas answered shortly. 'Just another stupid girl.'

'Another?' Ebony spoke tentatively, eyes beginning to shimmer.

'I mean' Lucas began, '…that is…I didn't mean…I wasn't calling you stupid' he said hurriedly. He glanced at his brother for support.

'No keep going' Reuben told him. 'Soon you'll need a ladder to get out of this grave you're digging for yourself.'

'Why do I even ask for your help anyway?' Lucas muttered to him, shaking his head and narrowing his eyes at him.

Ebony blushed, avoiding looking at either of them now. Her companion, the toy named Pokie who had been hiding behind her up until that point, suddenly made itself known.

'You can see me as well?' The toy said to Reuben as he noticed the surprised expression on his face. 'You must be a guardian too.'

'What the hell…?' Reuben exclaimed. 'Hey' he smiled suddenly, looking at the girl now in a whole new light. 'You're a guardian too. That's great so are we.'

'Reuben' Lucas said to him gathering himself. 'This is Ebony and Pokie' he said, indicating the toy.

'Hello Reuben' Ebony smiled politely. 'Lucas has told me so much about you.'

'He has, has he?' Reuben said raising an eyebrow. 'Good things I hope.'

'Of course' Ebony replied.

Reuben's attention drifted past her, and he glanced with curiosity at the toy again.

'What's wrong with you?' the toy spat bitterly as Reuben began to stare. 'It's like you've never seen magic before.'

'I'm sorry' Ebony said in a hushed voice. 'He gets a little jealous at times.'

'I can tell' Reuben frowned sceptically at the thing floating in the air. It didn't have any facial expressions of any kind, but its body language said more than enough.

The toy didn't like him either.

'So' Lucas began speaking to Ebony, 'what are you doing out here? Why were you looking for me?'

'Lucas' Ebony began uncertainly. 'You said that you'd help me if ever I needed it.' She looked at the ground, holding her hands behind her back. 'Well…I think I need your help now.'

They headed home instead of going to the train station, Ebony walking with them. Once they reached the apartment, Lucas seeing how tired Ebony was, allowed her to sleep in their mother's bedroom. They had talked briefly before Ebony lay down to rest. Lucas placed a thin blanket over her, drawing the curtains shut. He paused only briefly to watch as Pokie padded in circles beside Ebony on the bed, before lying down next to her. Lucas turned away, closing the bedroom door quietly, leaving Ebony and Pokie alone together.

'She looks like she hasn't slept all night' Lucas spoke to his brother in a hushed voice as they stood before the bedroom door.

'Is she ok?' Reuben immediately began to interrogate in a whisper.

Lucas nodded. 'Apparently she's going through a hard time right now.'

'Nothing that time wouldn't mend right?' Reuben said enthusiastically.

'She said her foster parents don't see her anymore' Lucas continued. 'Literally. Not even when she yells and screams.' He shook his head. 'I tell you what Reuben…there's something strange about her. I know when a guardian uses magic most other people are unable to see it, but I've never heard of this before.'

'Can guardians be invisible to other people?' Reuben asked.

'If they chose to be I suppose' Lucas shrugged. He walked away shaking his head. 'I don't know. Maybe time will solve this mystery.'

Reuben followed his brother into the bedroom they shared. It was a small apartment that they lived in, and there was not a lot of room to spare.

'What if our mother comes back and finds her' Reuben asked. 'It'll be like the three little bears…sort of. Who's been sleeping in my bed?'

'I'm not afraid of her anymore' Lucas replied simply, taking a seat at the desk against the far wall.

Reuben marched over to the bunk bed, stepping over the messy pile of clothes and books on the floor. He collapsed onto the lower bed, lying back with his hands behind his head, staring up at the dusty dream catcher above him.

'Are you starting another one?' he asked Lucas absentmindedly.

'Yup.'

Lucas adjusted the light on the table briefly before returning his attention to the little metal ball he held. About the size of a golf-ball, it had many shallow ridges and grooves running upon it, with what looked like tiny screw heads protruding out from the surface. He placed this one to the side, picking up another piece of what looked like scrap metal. This one was shaped like a burnt piece of paper that had curled and scrunched up as it blackened in a fire.

'Are you making another smoke bomb?' Reuben sighed deeply.

'No' Lucas replied after a while. 'I'm making something else.'

'What does it do?'

'It explodes when you pick it up' Lucas said, 'and magic wires tie you down so you can't escape.'

'Does it work?'

'I don't know' Lucas shrugged. 'I'm still designing it, and I haven't had a chance to test it yet.'

Reuben hummed thoughtfully, tapping his foot against the wall.

'I like the purple smoke from the smoke bomb' Reuben said.

'Me too.'

The desk was scattered with loose bits of metal, pots of paint, brushes and a variety of strange substances. Lucas pushed some of these things aside, creating more space for himself. He lifted the item he held in his hand, heating the metal in his fingers by magic. He began to work.

'Are we going back to college later?' Reuben asked him.

'I don't think so.'

'What about the exams?'

'To me they seem to matter less and less with every passing day' Lucas replied.

'Yeah' Reuben said. 'I feel the same.' He sighed deeply again. 'What about Ebony? Is she staying here now?'

'I suppose' Lucas said. 'Until she and her foster parents make up with each other.'

Reuben stared up at the dream catcher.

'I bet they'll make up with each other in no time' Reuben said. 'And then everything will be ok.'

As the days turned into weeks, and Reuben found Lucas spending more and more time with Ebony. She was reserved and quiet, timid amongst strangers, and although she was friendly enough, Reuben began to form a gradually and increasing resentment towards her. Nowadays she took up most of his brother's time, and her foster parents showed no sign of acknowledging her, let alone wanting her back. And so she stayed at their apartment, her only possessions were a few clothes and other meagre things. She spent most of her time either at the flat or with Lucas out somewhere, Reuben feeling more and more like he was simply tagging along. Reuben began to get suspicious of her when he found her, on more than one occasion drifting into their bedroom. She saw the things on the desk and grew curious. Reuben quickly drove her out, subjected to harsh whispered words from his brother afterwards.

A simmering tension began to bubble.

It had been many weeks since Reuben, Lucas and Drake had visited the abandoned hotel within the industrial estate to practice their magic. Drake was spending more and more time with his girlfriend Eleanor, helping her revise for the coming exams, as was Lucas with Sian for the same reason. Lucas and Drake both travelled together on the train most weekends to see them, Lucas doing so whenever he could afford it. Ebony too scared to leave the town chose to stay in the apartment, Reuben agreed somewhat grudgingly to Lucas' suggestion that he should keep her company. On that occasion one Saturday morning, Reuben found himself sitting in silence and staring at her. The clock ticked loudly on the wall as he fidgeted with his cast.

'You don't have to stay here you know' Ebony said politely, feeling a little out of her depths and lost without Lucas to keep her company. 'I'm not keeping you from going out.'

'Lucas told me to keep an eye on you' Reuben said stubbornly, perhaps not realising how stupid he was being. 'I have to stay here.'

'Oh.'

Ebony bowed her head.

Reuben sighed, leaning back in the comfy armchair and closing his eyes.

I wonder what Lucas is doing now, he thought.

The town Eleanor and Sian lived in was one more open and less crowded than the one Drake and Lucas came from. There were fewer large shops to attract crowds, fewer abandoned buildings to attract the wrong people, and the town itself was generally cleaner and more pleasant.

Sian turned, leaning against the rails on the edge of the harbour, holding the books in her arms. The wind was strong, buffeting her clothes and hair this way and that.

It was a bright town, built right next to the sea with a wide river running right through the middle. Small ferries channelled people to and fro all day and night, and now in summer, there were more tourists visiting to see the attractions. From a distance Sian watched a family as they explored the deck of an old navy ship, the children pointing with excitement at its huge masts. It was a beautiful ship, one of the many attractions the local museum had to offer.

'Sian, come away from the edge' Lucas said to her.

Lucas, Drake and Eleanor sat on the steps at the base of a statue of an old man, he leaning forwards on a rope with a ringing bell at the top.

'It's too windy there' Lucas called over to her. 'You'll lose your notes.'

She swung her arms round and ambled over to him.

'Do you think it's such a good idea doing this outside?' Eleanor said tidying up her papers which were trying to fly away. 'It's always so windy here; we could lose all our notes. And I'm not swimming to get them back.'

'Hey, I'd make the most of it' Drake yawned twirling his pen, 'before long they'd have us cooped up in exam halls like battery chickens, labouring away on something most of us would probably never use again in our lives.'

Sian planted herself right onto Lucas' lap where his books had been sitting open; he had been halfway through the paragraph until she came along. She was now applying lipstick in a mirror and ignoring him completely.

'You know you're not making this easy for me' Lucas droned at her.

His phone began to buzz in his pocket and he flipped it out. It was a message from Jacob.

Just got bak. Where r u guys?

Lucas began to text a response, hands behind Sian so she could not read what he wrote.

Gr8 hope u had fun. Any sign of any magc yt?

He received a quick and short response.

No

Lauralie threw her head back laughing hysterically. She was sitting in-between the two brothers Adrian and Diz. Since that day Drake had been so kind enough to introduce them to her, the three had spent more and more time together, and Lauralie was becoming very familiar with both of them and their quirky habits. It still amazed her how different the two brothers were from each other.

The park bench on which they rested was positioned before a large fountain. It was a scenic spot within the town, made up of gravel paths with borders of flowers arranged by their colour, lots of grass you weren't allowed to walk on, and beautiful trees planted everywhere. The three sat beneath a weeping willow. Tiny patches of light that fought through the leaves of the tree were scattered in patters around them. Lauralie took a deep breath, smelling the scene of the flowers in the air. The park was a little piece of nature within their home town.

'I love the birds' Lauralie beamed, 'they're really beautiful.'

She shredded the slice of bread into tiny pieces and cast her hand out. The sparrows and starlings came flitting down, picking at her feet.

'They're not as beautiful as you' Adrian purred.

He turned his wrist up as he faced her, uncurling his fingers in a graceful action. And like a magician, smooth and elegant he flicked a beautiful red rose from his sleeve and presented it to her.

She laughed even more now, her voice like glistening dew on a winters morning.

'You're so funny' she said taking it from him and smelling it.

'How long have you been hiding that there I wonder? Waiting for the right moment to show me?'

'I've got something for you I think you'd like more' Diz voiced sweetly from her other side.

He handed her a single boiled sweet.

'It's orange like your hair' he said.

Lauralie blushed and grinned at him; Adrian leant back and cast him a comical frown.

'Really?' he asked his younger brother.

'Oh Diz that's so sweet of you' Lauralie said taking it. 'You're so cute!' she squeaked.

Diz flashed his brother a smug grin. Adrian rolled his eyes.

'So when are you going to teach me how to dance?' Lauralie demanded. 'It was just amazing watching you for the first time, the timing…the way you moved…the way you danced together…'

'Oh my dear' Adrian said in a serious tone, 'it's not just simple movement; it's an art, an expression of our being. There are some things in today's world that cannot be felt in words alone.'

Adrian stood up and walked a short distance away from her, hands in his pocket, the birds scattered.

'The unique characteristic of street dancing my dear allows one to use their own personal style and influences in his steps.' Adrian gave a brief demonstration.

'It's not a dance that's rigid in its rules as to what exactly it should constitute, its open to the imagination.'

He cast his arms open in a dramatic fashion.

'Are you ready to begin?'

'It's really fun' Diz said leaning forward, his words formed round a lollipop he had materialised out of nowhere. 'Adrian and I spent years practicing to get to where we are now, so many hours every single day. Right Adrian?'

Adrian lowered his arms. 'That's right little brother.'

'Where did you get that lolly from?' Lauralie asked Diz suddenly distracted.

'I've got loads' he grinned at her. 'Want some?'

Adrian put his hands on his hips; he shook his head sighing; then gave a huff of amusement.

'My dear girl' he said. 'You will be the death of me.'

Shire saw her from a distance; Lauralie was sitting talking to two young men on a bench by the fountain. Shire had watched them for a long while from the opposite end of the park, fascinated by Lauralie's every move. But something distracted her then. A voice carried on the wind.

Shire raised her head, turning away from her newfound obsession and looking towards the edge of the town.

Trapped in a world, full of betrayal

Only the angels trusted

Demons are fleeing, fearful, frightened

Weapons and swords now rusted

'I can hear her…' Shire breathed.

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