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Story Time Contest: Hero Edition
25th Jul 2012 at 2:37 AM
Thanks: 119 in 4 Posts
Chapter 2: A Long Night
Previously on: Elizabeth attempts to make up for past mistakes; her sister Sarah is grudging at first but comes to accept Elizabeth's efforts.
Chapter 2: A Long Night
"I will start at the very beginning. Some of it you know, some of it you do not." Elizabeth said, eyes clouding with memories as she began.
"It was another day of our mother's drinking, and her endless slew of insults.
It was also the day I met John Ross. I dutifully ushered you off your first day of kindergarten that morning--I remember you said "Don't leave me here alone", and I spent about twenty minutes convincing you that there wouldn't be any monsters
--but skipped school myself. I needed to shirk my responsibilities for a moment--just one moment! I was asleep in the park when he gently nudged me awake. I was startled, and wary, at first. But John Ross' tenor was so gentle, so reassuring. I didn't know what he was, then. I skipped school every day that week, meeting him in the park at ten o' clock each morning.
"He brought me something each visit; a blouse--the expensive, ruffly, utterly girly kind, denim jeans absent of holes, a dress for you, once--after he had gotten to know me a bit better. You were all I ever spoke of...everything else caused me great grief.
By the time of my eighteenth birthday, he had confided he was a vampire--which, of course, I didn't believe. At first. But then things started adding up: his speed, his grace, his bright skin and eyes. He was the first person to ever ask me what I wanted, and I loved him for that. In addition, I was wearing real clothes for the first time--so were you. We had good food, warm quarters, and he gave me enough money to put Mom in rehab. Things were starting to look up. When Mom came out of the program, sober, I left--"
"In the middle of the night. I...I thought you were dead." Sarah recalled, tears welling in her eyes.
"I'm so sorry." Elizabeth repeated.
"I know." Sarah said quietly.
"I drove by the house sometimes. Just to make sure you were okay."
"What?" Sarah asked, surprised.
"I wasn't completely negligent." Elizabeth blushed. "It seemed like our mother was doing...okay with you."
that way?" Sarah grimaced. "She was broken, Beth. She couldn't be fixed...not with nectar, not with sobriety." I couldn't fix her, Sarah thought.
"I didn't kno--you know what? I didn't want to know. I wanted to believe you were
, I wanted to be...free."
"It wasn't your resonsibility to take care of me, Beth. I know that no--"
"I should not have left." Elizabeth interrupted.
Sarah chuckled. "That's been established." Elizabeth laughed breathily, solace glancing her features.
"She treated you much better than she had me. Otherwise, I would not have let her keep you, Sarah."
A few minutes later, Elizabeth said, "I was turned three days after my eighteenth birthday."
"What was it like?" Sarah asked curiously.
"...Hot." Elizabeth replied. Sarah looked confused.
"My blood felt as if it was boiling in my veins. The pain was unbearable--but I was unconscious for most of it, John Ross saw to that. When I awoke, I had transformed. My plasma had melted away, and...and I was THIRSTY." Sarah twitched uncomfortably. When Elizabeth saw her expression, she reassured her, "I am a 'vegetarian', now, Sarah. Have been for almost a decade." She chuckled.
Relief washed over Sarah's face.
"What do you...drink now?"
"As a replacement? I consume Plasma fruit. I used to raid the hospitals, until I couldn't stand the taste of Sim Plasma anymore."
"You got tired of the flavor?" Sarah was incredulous.
"Yes, I did. After I had abandoned 'live' for a while, I began to prefer the sweetness and color of the fruit. Now I just cultivate it, and convert it to juice if I want to reminisce." Elizabeth closed her eyes. when she opened them again, she said, "But I do not miss my old ways."
"So, what happened to John Ross?" Sarah inquired, after she had determined her sister had a long enough moment of silence for her past.
"He...I do not know." Elizabeth said sadly.
"How long has he been--do you miss him?"
"It has been years. And yes, I miss him. I loved him for most of my adult life, Sarah." Sarah tried to imagine a life without Lee. She couldn't.
"What about her? There is much to tell."
"I assume John Ross is her father?"
"Yes. I discovered I was pregnant shortly after I..left."
They were both quiet for a minute.
"What is she like?" Sarah asked. Elizabeth's eyes lit up. Sarah couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy: Samara had been her replacement. Elizabeth had wanted to escape responsibility, but only transitioned from caregiver to a true parent.
"She is...hope. She is so kind--she brightens a room when she crosses the threshold. Everything comes easily to her, but she doesn't take her opportunities for granted. She truly wants to help others. She is everything I could have asked for in a daughter, and she makes me a better person for all her good."
"She sounds wonderful." Sarah said.
"She is." Elizabeth whispered. "Enough about me, for a moment. Tell me about Lee."
"Well...Okay." Sarah smiled. "So a few years ago, in college, my best friend Celine did a stint as a matchmaker--don't raise your eyebrow at me, she had good intentions."
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions, Sarah. I would know." Elizabeth chided.
"Yeah, yeah. That's my husband you're talking about. Anyway, I was focused on becoming a doctor, she wanted me to get out a little--I finally caved around twenty minutes into the 'old, alone, 67 cats, blah blah blah' speech. I agreed to meet the 'perfect guy' she gushed about, and two years later, we were getting married."
Lee chuckled, sitting down beside Sarah. "It didn't happen exactly like that. She agreed to meet me to shut up Celine. Then she called off our date and left me standing in the cold like a sad puppy." Sarah giggled.
"Aww, you poor baby." Sarah pinched his cheek and he leaned into her touch, nuzzling her palm.
"It was the worst mistake I ever made." Sarah said regrettedly.
"The next day, he sent me a bouquet of roses and a card. Watcher, it was the sweetest thing. That's when I decided to give him a chance."
"No, you agreed to meet me. I had to charm you with my irresistable handsomeness and amazing wit first--that's when you decided to give me a chance."
"True." Sarah laughed.
Elizabeth couldn't help but laugh along with her.
"And how about Dylan?"
Sarah's grin widened. "He's--"
Sarah was interrupted by Elizabeth's phone ringing. She pushed down a slight wave of annoyance.
Elizabeth checked the caller ID, eyes widening. "I-I have to get this."
Sarah waved her off, her irritation growing. She was always quick to anger when it came to her sister.
Elizabeth got up in response, answering the phone and speaking quickly into it. After a few seconds she snapped the phone shut and dashed for the door.
"I've got to go." Elizabeth said hastily.
"You're just going to leave? After all that?" Rage bubbled up inside Sarah's chest.
"I'm so sorry. Please forgive me." Elizabeth turned and ran outside before Sarah could get another word in.
She sprinted to her car, shutting the door as she turned the key. The car hummed to life and she pressed her foot down hard on the pedal.
"Jensen. Route to SIGNAL Headquarters right away." Elizabeth said, calling up the car's integrated virtual intelligence.
"Yes, Ma'am." Jensen replied, an electronic accent touching his words.
Less then 10 minutes later Elizabeth had pulled up in front of Headquarters, slamming her foot on the brake and flinging open the door.
She got out of the car and quickly changed into her standard uniform.
"You said it was urgent. So I'm here." Elizabeth said breathlessly.
"Agent Blakely." Captain Rieser acknowledged as they exchanged quick salutes.
"Operation Alpha is in play."
Elizabeth's eyes widened. "You--Alpha? That was a last resort."
"We are at our breaking point, Blakely. We have to pull out the big guns, quite literally. And we have to do it now."
Elizabeth paused, unsure what to say. Alpha? That was genocide. That couldn't be...
"I need more information." She said finally. "What happened?"
Captain Rieser's eyes flared and she avoided the question. "We have got no time to waste. You are either with us or against us. You are either in or out. Yes or no, Agent Blakely. Can the city of Littlefield count on you to get the job done?"
"Yes, Ma'am." Elizabeth said, echoing Jensen's earlier words. So she would be going in blind. That was nothing new.
"Alright then. Rieser out." The captain turned on her heel and walked away, her advanced age not showing in her lithe step.
Elizabeth slowly blew the air out of her lungs. She would have to go forth with a plan that every fiber of her being disagreed with. But first, she would need more information.
She pressed her hand to the security scanner and proceeded into the elevator, pressing the button for floor 13. It was going to be a long night.
Elizabeth is the main character; that was a bit of a problem for Chapter 1 because there was supposed to be an emphasis on how her leaving hurt Sarah, blah blah blah. In the future there will be much more Elizabeth.
Word Count: 1541
Hero Type: The Atoner
Current Plot Point: Mysterious Past
Previous Plot Points: Redemption Quest
Song Lyric: “I remember you said "Don't leave me here alone".
Bonus: Cosume: Elizabeth's Suit