I can’t tell you how long I stared at this month’s picture trying to come up with an idea. A happy one, no less, because apparently I’m depressing people. 😛
Well, something finally came to me. This short is actually connecting to the New Adult serial I’m working on – Your Lies – which will be coming twice a month starting in April, and I’m super excited about it. This is a glimpse into the the past of Delia, the heroine.
I don’t know that I can call it happy, but I don’t think it’s necessary sad or depressing… I didn’t break her, Norris, I didn’t break her!
The Lies Begin
Parents are stupid.
They think they’re smart, that kids don’t know what’s going on, but they’re wrong. Kids aren’t stupid. Well, some kids are, like Todd Pratt across the street. He was the dumbest. But I wasn’t. I wasn’t stupid, even though that’s how my mom and dad treated me.
I picked at the loose thread on the arm of the couch as I listened them fighting. They weren’t shouting or anything. They were pretending they weren’t fighting—Mom would say they were “having a discussion”—but talking all hushed and behind their bedroom door didn’t make it less of a fight.
That was all they did anymore. Fight. I swiped at my stinging eyes. I wasn’t going to cry like a baby about it, but it made my stomach hurt. ‘Cause it was my fault. If I wasn’t like this, they wouldn’t have anything to fight about. And it was always about me. Even before I messed up today, I’d heard them. The way they’d say my name or the way they’d look at me… Something was wrong with me, and they must have seen that a long time ago.
I didn’t want to be diffrent or messed up. I just wanted to go back to the way it was before–when Mom would smile at Dad like he was the best thing ever, and he would hug her and swing her around when he came home from work.
I sat up straighter when I heard the bedroom door open. Mom hurried over to me and sat beside me on the couch, but Dad walked over and looked out the window. And he looked mad. I felt sweaty and gross all the sudden.
“Delia,” my mom said. “I want you to know we’re not angry with you. You didn’t know any better. Thank goodness it happened here at home and not where—”
“Sylvie!” Dad’s voice boomed, and both Mom and I flinched.
“We’re not angry,” she said again, really slow. “But you can’t do…what you did anymore. Ever. It’s too dangerous, and you could get really hurt.”
“Okay,” I said when she stared at me like I was supposed to say something.
“And,” her eyes flicked over to my dad then back to me, “if anyone, anyone, ever asks you about it, you need to pretend you don’t know what they’re talking about.”
“You want me to lie?”
See? Parents were stupid. How many times have they told me lying was wrong? It was bad, and I should never, ever do it. Now, I was supposed to lie.
“Delia, honey, this is important. I wouldn’t tell you to do it if it wasn’t. No one can ever know what you are and what you can do. Promise me you’ll keep it a secret.” She grabbed my shoulders. Her fingers dug in, and it hurt! She gave me a little shake when I tried to pull away.
“Ow! Fine. I promise! Geez, Mom!” When she let go, I rubbed at one shoulder and glared at her.
“Good.” She stared at me, her lips jiggling weirdly. “Now, go get ready for bed.”
I jumped to my feet and looked at my dad, but his back was still to us. My stomach squeezed painfully again. I hurried into the bathroom, and as soon as I was in the small room, I heard them talking in quiet, angry voices again. I slammed the door, not caring if it made them mad. Because they made me mad. They wouldn’t tell me what was so wrong with what I could do or what wrong with me. They wanted me to stop doing the one thing that made me feel…like I was special. And now, I had to lie too.
After brushing my teeth and washing up, I went into my bedroom without looking into the living room. I didn’t hear them talking anymore, so that was nice. The worst was when the fighting happened at night. It just kept me up and made me feel sick.
I changed into my pajamas and crawled into bed. Before I could turn the lamp off, there was a knock on the door. It opened a bit, and my dad stuck his head in my room.
“Can I come in, Dee?”
“Yeah.” I sat up and scooched my back against the headboard.
He shut the door behind him and came to sit on the edge of the bed. “There is nothing wrong with you.”
My breath went funny, catching in my throat. How did he know I had thought that?
“Your mom’s just worried. For good reasons, but she also doesn’t understand.” He sighed loudly. “She’s not like you and me.”
“You? You mean, you’re…”
He held his hand out, and muttered a few words. A circle of light appeared, hovering above his palms. “You can say the word, Dee. When it’s just the two of us, you can say it.”
“Yes.” He twisted his wrist and sent the orb spinning. “They call us magic users.” He scrunched up his face. “But it’s so much more than that. We don’t just use magic. It is a part of us; something that can’t be separated or ignored. The magic is -” He sighed. “I”m getting ahead of myself. The important thing for you to understand is it’s dangerous for people like us out there. That is what upset your mother. She’s afraid of what could happen to you. Here, take it.”
I reached out and laughed in surprise when my fingers wrapped around a solid ball. It was smooth like glass, but warm to the touch. I held it in both hands and looked into my dad’s eyes. It was weird, because he looked so happy, but sad, too.
“I’ll teach you,” he said quietly. “How to use it, but first, I need to teach you to be safe from those who would hurt you if they knew.”
“Why would anyone want to hurt me?”
“Because they don’t understand, and people fear what they don’t understand.” He brushed a hand over my hair. “You are so special, Delia. This is a gift, and you should never fear what you are, but you always, always have to be careful. And that’s why you have to do what your mother said. If anyone asks about magic or magic users, you pretend you don’t know anything. That’s one thing that will keep you safe.”
I nodded. “Okay, Dad.”
“I know you have to have questions, and I promise I’ll answer them soon. But for now,” he smiled that huge smile I hadn’t seen in a long time, “I want you to show me. Show me something you can do.”
He hadn’t been home earlier when I’d gotten frustrated doing homework and had sent my books flying through the air without touching them, making Mom freak out. I thought for a moment, deciding what to do. Taking a deep breath, I stared at the orb in my hands. My whole body felt warm…and just nice, like everything was right and like it should be. Then, dozens of beams of light, all different colors, streaked inside the ball. The glow lit up Dad’s face, and his smile widened.
“Beautiful,” he said quietly.
But he wasn’t looking at the orb anymore; he was looking at me.
Be sure to check out the other peices inspired by this month’s photo!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris