The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)

BOOK: The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)
3.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
The Sword
By Missy LaRae
Copyright © 2012 by Missy LaRae
Published by Pretty Wycked Designs
All rights reserved.

This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. All persons, places, and businesses are a figment of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Printed in the United States of America
First Printing 2012
ISBN 978-1475117059
This book is dedicated to my two number one fans, my awesome sons. I hope that I can continue to create stories that will engage your imagination and make you smile forever. You are both my everything. Love, Mom
Chapter 1

ush, now. We don’t want mama to

hear us in here do we?” I shook my head. The sound of Tyler’s voice went off like a gunshot next to me. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to control the frantic beat of my heart. I felt like it was gonna pound right out of my chest the way it was heavin’ inside of me. I could hear it just like it was beatin’ straight in my ears. I crawled forward on my hands and knees past Mama’s bed, and tried to slow my breathin’. If I just held it in and never let it out I knew it wouldn’t wake her up. I needed to focus on the goal.

The key
We knew mama kept the key in her closet above the door. It was high up, almost to the ceiling, and it would take both of us workin’ together to get it. I smelled the gagging stench of mama’s perfume on the carpet, and felt the sharp tick of the berber imprintin’ itself on my hands and knees. Every breath I took was just like I was takin’ her scent into my lungs and keepin’ it with me. We reached the closet door and Tyler turned the knob as slow as he was able. Just today he’d taken the kitchen spray and oiled the hinges and knob up as best he could. Mama’s closet door always complained when it was opened.
Lady luck favored us and I made a note to send her a thank you card when this was all over. We crawled into the closet inch by slow inch, and closed the door so it was open just a sliver. I could feel the emptiness of mama’s gaze watching me from her sleepin’ form on the bed. I knew that her eyes would open up and she would see us. She’d arrest us with her cold blue eyes full of hatred. Her face would change. The hollows would fill up with color, and she’d fly up at me from the bed, and take her anger out on me with the crack of her palm against my face.
“Hurry up Tyler,” I whispered. Even as low as I was talkin’ I still felt like it was too loud.
Mama always drank wine before bed, and it usually put her out for a few hours of sleep before she started tossin’ and turnin’. I had lain awake many nights listenin’ to Mama. I could hear her mumbling in her sleep and knew that in the mornin’ she would take her
sleeplessness out on us.
Tyler nudged me up onto his shoulders and I perched there while I reached for the key hangin’ on the nail above the door. I tried to hurry as he struggled. I could feel the sweat beadin’ on his brow as I hung on and tried not crush him. I knew his fifteen year old shoulders were strainin’ under me, but we had to have that key. I finally found the hard nub of the nail, and my body sagged in relief as I felt the key hangin’ off of it. I grabbed it, pulled it down, and Tyler slowly dropped me to the ground. He hugged me close for just a second. I knew we were gonna have to get out of there quick before Mama woke up.
Down on our knees again we opened up the closet door and crawled through. I tried to hurry it up, but I didn’t want to wake her up for nothin’. We crawled back the way we came, and eased Mama’s bedroom door closed. I laid my head down for a second on the cool wood floor, and knew I’d be shakin’ like a leaf as soon as I got back to my room. Backin’ away from her door down the hallway I felt the crashin’ realization hit me that we had done it. When Mama woke up in the morning, and that key was gone, we were gonna get it if we weren’t gone by then. We had to go, and we had to go now.
We each broke off and went to our rooms. Both of us were already dressed and ready. I had on my jeans, my top and my sweatshirt, and I put on my socks and shoes, grabbed my backpack, and walked back out of my room. Tyler came out of his only a minute later. He took my hand in his own and we walked to the kitchen slow and quiet as church mice. Stoppin’ at the basement door we looked at each other and I nodded at him to open up the door. We had finally taken the key. Tyler stuck it in the lock and turned it. The door opened and we walked through, shutting it behind us.

ama didn’t used to be so mean to us.

She used to hold us and kiss us all the time. I remember when I was just a little girl Mama braidin’ my hair, and huggin’ me all the time. It was just like she couldn’t get enough of me just bein’ in her arms. Tyler used to sit on her lap and tell her how pretty she was, and Mama’s face would light up, and she was the prettiest woman I’d ever seen. I don’t know what happened, but it was like Mama changed in one night. The night she got a call from her Mama, and she just broke down and cried as hard as I ever saw her cry. I remember askin’ her what was wrong, and her lookin’ at me like she was just full of some kind of pain. She stopped lovin’ on us, and she stopped huggin’ us just like that. She pulled my hair one day after I dropped a glass in the kitchen not too long after that. Mama pulled my hair so hard I cried. It felt like she was gonna pull my hair right out of my head.

“Stupid girl, don’t you know that glasses cost money!” She screamed at me. I didn’t even think about that. It wasn’t like I jus’ dropped the thing on purpose. It slipped out of my hands like it was rolled in butter. I’d got on my knees and I cleaned up every piece of glass on that floor. After that I never looked at Mama the same. That was the first time Mama ever hurt me, but it sure wasn’t the last.

Mama always told me that there wasn’t nothin’ I could do to change anything about anything, and I should just stop tryin’. I stopped sassin’ Mama after she ripped open my cheek with her ring when she slapped me across the face when I was about seven years old. The scar below my left eye is faded, but I can still see it when I look in the mirror. Mama said I was sassin’ her because I didn’t add Ma’am when I answered her. I always said Ma’am after that even when I was scared that sayin’ it was gonna get me hit.

Tyler always told me to stop worryin’ about why Mama hated us so much. We had other things to worry about, and we needed to get out of this house before she killed us both. Mama kept lots of things down in the basement that she said we was never to touch. She had boxes down there that had our Daddy’s name on them, and we’d never had the courage to look in them before tonight. Daddy died when were just babies, and no matter how much Tyler and I asked about him, Mama never talked to us about him. Every time I would ask Mama about him she’d change the subject real quick, or just tell me if I didn’t shut my mouth she’d shut it for me. I like to think Daddy was big and happy. Tyler’s gonna be real big one of these days if he keeps growin’ like he is. Mama said she can’t keep up with his appetite so she might just have to give him away someday to people who can feed him. Tyler stopped eatin’ so much after she said that. He knew she was like to kill me if he had to leave me with Mama all by myself.

We walked down the creaky basement steps and Tyler didn’t let go of my hand ‘til we got to the very bottom. We switched on the overhead light and the sudden brightness blinded me for a minute. The scent of mildew was in the air, and I put my hand up over my nose to stop from breathin’ it in. I didn’t know what I was gonna catch bein’ down there goin’ through all those old boxes.

“Come on Lilybelle, we gotta hurry and get Daddy’s stuff down and see what’s in there before Mama wakes up.”

We hurried over, and ever mindful that Mama was
right upstairs
we were as quiet as could be. There were only about four boxes, which was a relief since I just wanted to get out of that house and never look back. Tyler took the lid off the first box, and we both stared at the contents. Lookin’ up at each other we smiled slightly as we both realized that we looked just like our daddy. Neither one of us had our Mama’s hair or eyes. We sometimes thought she stole us from other people just because we didn’t look nothin’ like her. Now, lookin’ down at my Daddy’s picture I could see where we took after him.

“Can we take some?” I didn’t want to take stuff if Tyler thought it was wrong, since he was older than me by four minutes. He always said that we were the same age, but those four minutes counted, at least to me.

“We can take a couple but we need to look through this stuff and find what we’re lookin’ for.” He’d already started goin’ through the second box while I looked at the pictures.

I knew we were lookin’ for stuff that would lead us to somebody on our daddy’s side of the family. We hadn’t ever met our Mama’s parents. She told us that they didn’t want to see us, and that made us feel like they didn’t love us or care about us at all. Our daddy had to have family though, and we knew that if we were gonna find some answers we we’d have to look through his boxes to get them.

I felt the cold seeping into me as surely as I was sittin’ there on the ground goin’ through that box. I felt like I was doin’ somethin’ that I wasn’t supposed to be doing, and I knew if Mama caught us she’d make us wish we’d never been born. I knew we were takin’ too long and needed to hurry, but I didn’t see anything in the box I was lookin’ in that looked like it would help us find our daddy’s family.

“Hey I got somethin’!” Tyler whispered. His excited voice brought my attention around to him, and I saw he had of stack of letters in his hand. “These are letters from a Mrs. Evelyne Richards, her address is in South Carolina.” Tyler shoved the letters in his backpack and kept going through the box. We knew daddy’s name was Daniel Richards, but our Mama’s name wasn’t Evelyne. Maybe this Evelyne was our Grandma.

I put the lid on the box I was lookin’ in, and I pushed it back over to Tyler, and he handed me the last box. Openin’ the lid I heard a sound from upstairs and I froze. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I sucked in my breath and looked at Tyler. Neither of us moved for a tense minute, and we finally breathed easy as we realized that it wasn’t Mama, just the house moanin’ at us. Felt like it was tellin’ us to hurry up and get out. I reached in the bottom of the box, and my fingers felt somethin’ round. Felt like a cookie tin. I pulled it out and popped off the top. Inside it was full of change and dollars. I looked over at Tyler and he grabbed the can out of my hand. We’d been savin’ up our money for at least the past five years. We didn’t get much money, but every time Mama left her purse out we would take a dollar, or a quarter. Sometimes just a nickel. We’d saved $264.00 up so far, and hoped that would buy us tickets to somewhere other than where we were at.

“How much money do you think that is?” Tyler just shook his head at me. He put the lid back on the box he was lookin’ in and looked up at me.

“We gotta go Lilybelle. Mama’s gonna wake up, I just know it. We gotta get out of here right now.” I knew we did too. Neither one of us wanted to know what Mama was gonna do when she woke up and saw we were both gone. Gettin’ in the basement had been hard, but gettin’ out of the basement was gonna be hard too. I got my backpack on and Tyler grabbed my hand as we turned off the light and headed back up the stairs. Every creek of the boards made my heart thump harder, and my palms started sweatin’. I shook my hand for Tyler to let me go, but he just held on tighter and told me to hush. Reachin’ the top of the stairs he pushed gently on the door as he turned the knob, and he stuck his head out the door. Grabbin’ onto his backpack like it was my new best friend, I followed him up quickly through the door and we shut it behind us. I could smell the spaghetti that we’d had for dinner, and the sour
nervousness that was in my stomach made me want to heave it up all over Mama’s polished-toa-shine-on-my-knees-for-three-hours, kitchen floor.

“What are we gonna do with the key?” I couldn’t keep the note of desperation out of my voice. I just wanted to leave and never look back.

“We’re gonna lock the door and take it with us,” he told me. I nodded as he turned around and locked the door and stuck the key in his pocket. We both headed towards the front door like silent partners in crime. I looked at Mama’s perfect living room, every single thing she owned in one particular place, and I wanted to reach over and just throw a blanket on the floor to make her see red when she woke up. I didn’t though, and just kept on headin’ towards the door. Reachin’ it, Tyler took the chain off the top and unlocked the dead bolt, and we turned the knob as quiet as we could. I didn’t know how long it was gonna take us to get to the train station, but I was just as eager as Tyler was to be gone. With the door finally open we slid through, our dark clothes helping us blend into the fading night. I had my light blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail, and Tyler had a knit hat on his head to conceal the shock of his white blonde hair from anyone passin’ by. With his mane of hair wavin’ in the breeze we’d be seen for at least half a mile. We walked out onto the front porch and closed the door gently behind us. I looked at the fading stars and saw the sun slidin’ its way over the rim of the sky. We should have done this a long time ago, but I’d never had the courage till now. We both breathed deep as we turned towards the front yard and walked softly off the porch.

BOOK: The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)
3.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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