The Book of Gateways Installment 24th

By this time I think the police are fed up with coming and asking me about perpetrators who have already fled the scene. Thank God, Piers’ ankle is fine. Just a minor sprain.
Once everything calms down and the police leave Piers and I rejoin. Sitting across from each other on my white living room couch a few inches from where he was pinned down just a couple hours ago.
“This isn’t safe anymore. We need to lay low.” Piers says as he rubs his ankle.
“You need ice.”
“I’ll get it in a second.”
Silence. I don’t think either of us know what to do, and neither one of us wants to give up the book.
“My semester at the college ends in two weeks. I’ll try to finish it out. Maybe by that time things will cool off.” I clasp my hands together at his statement. Two weeks is a long time. Anybody could come back within that time.
“You don’t think they’ll come back? I’m afraid they will. I’m still shaky from earlier.” I fidget in my seat.
“I know you are but you did great today, thank you for helping me earlier.” Piers’ eyes water a little and grabs my hand. I let it rest there for a while. We both need the comfort.
“I don’t think we should travel during the next two weeks. Just to be safe.” He nods.
“The book should stay in the safe.” I nod. “We just have to be careful…that’s all.” Piers’ thumb strokes my hand thoughtlessly. That brings me into his gravity and I find myself drifting into his comfort. Before I know it my back is pressed to his chest. He kisses the crown of my head, but I don’t mind. All of this just exhausts me. I’m not sure how much more I’ll be able to stand.

~*~

Three days go by and nothing happens. Everything seems to return to its normal state. My nerves didn’t seem to receive the memo. Every noise, shifting shadow, and random stranger became a threat. I’m jumpier than normal, but I still return to the book store. I like to think Milo keeps me company while I stay there.
“Hello, beautiful.” I know who it is before I look up from my computer. My skin ripples into goose flesh.
“What are you doing here Matt?” I say clenching my desk.
“Don’t act like this is my fault.” He says advancing to my desk. He makes himself comfortable and sits on my desk.
“Get out.” I stand. “I don’t know what you’re angle is but you’re nothing but trouble. Get out.” I walk towards the door and open it. He sneers at me and walks towards the door, but before I can react he yanks me by my collar and slams me into the wall.
“Listen to me! You stupid half wit. I warned you, I told you to stop this and get rid of it. But you refuse.” He presses against me more firmly. I grown under his weight. “You’re just like him.” Instantly it registers.
“You knew Milo?” Tears pour out of my eyes.
“No.” He releases me. I slap him in the face as hard as I can manage and spit at his feet.
“You’re disgusting.” I say as tears drip onto my collar bones. I look over to see a mother and her little daughter hiding behind a book case. Matt catches on and clears his throat.
“Cesar… I’m-”
“Get out.” And he does.
I lean against the wall for support. Turns out the woman had called the police. They’re definitely tired of me by now.

The Five Providences (Installment 1)

Chapter 1

I regain consciousness and realize that I am laying on my side in a dirty alleyway. Tan sand buildings jut up next to me giving me nowhere to go. My lip is warm and tingling and I taste blood. Great. I heave myself onto my stomach letting my head rest on the sand-brick beneath me.

“Wake up!” The bronze man kicks my rib cage. I laugh out of hysteria seeing the blood on my skin colored veil. “Shut up woman!” He kicks me again and this time I wince and let out a sigh. Out of the corner of my eye I see young men walking by, their sand colored robes dragging behind them. They see me for an instant and carry on. I suppose this is normal in this city. A young woman getting punished for some sin she committed. I feel intense pain surge through my head as I’m yanked up by my hair, my body slow to accommodate the movement. I clench my jaw and stare at my attacker dead in the eye, an act of defiance. He slaps me hard across my face and I let out a gasp.

“You think you can deny me?” He says as he yanks my veil from my face. “What are you?” He says frantically pushing me back towards the wall. I steady myself and look at him my lips in a snarl.

“Why? Does it scare you?” I say my green eyes shining even greener in the Sandah sun. I laugh as my head bobs from the dizziness. “You’ve never seen one like me have you?…Maybe you’ve never seen one at all.” I slide down the wall into a sitting position. “Maybe you won’t want to have your way with me now that you know what I am.” I laugh and spit a mixture of blood and saliva out at his feet.

“You’re of the demon spirits! Cursed for all eternity!” The man shrieks and throws my veil back at me too stunned to move. All I can manage is a laugh.

“That’s right.” I lick my dried lips “I’m almost a demon spirit myself.” The corners of my vision are starting to get patchy. The man finally makes a decision and quickly walks out of the alley. I laugh some more and lay on my side. I grind my teeth as a pull a pouch out of my pocket and shake it.

“All of that beating and all I get are a few coins?” I let out a sharp breath and let my head down again. I wake up again and it’s much later but I feel slightly better and manage to sit myself upright again the little purse clenched in my hands. I rub my head and gently put the veil back on to my head to conceal my identity. The people don’t take kindly to Alfens like me. People who have parents from two different providences or cultures are called Alfens. Or as some people would like to call them; the accursed or children of the demon spirits. Different accents, skin colors, and eye colors are really the only things that separate us from the “normal” group of people.

“Time to go.” I huff under my breath and push myself forward using the wall to steady myself.