Camp NaNoWriMo part 18

Genre: action

Start from the first part here or go to the previous part here.

 

Lilibeth wasn’t as strong or as talented as her brother, but that didn’t mean she was weak. Every Beauris had the ability to bring things to life, but the ability manifested in different ways in each person.

Her brother could take any material and twist it into any form he wanted with just a touch and a thought. She could only animate something that already had a form, usually statues and drawings, but the things she brought to life could take basic actions on their own.

In this case, it meant that she could bring a whole army with her and just throw them at her opponents. All she needed to do was point them to the right targets and make sure they didn’t kill anyone.

With her were four uncles, all chosen for their ability to create and get out of mischief. Together, they were the decoy team. Their job was to draw all attention to themselves and away from the other teams, who would do the actual search and rescue.

As she advanced through the building, part of her attempt at sowing confusion was to randomly throw doors open. If they were locked, she left it alone. If they weren’t, she threw them open with a bang and jumped in for a quick hit and run. She didn’t linger, and neither did her uncles. They just kept running around until they received the signal.

“Retreat.”

She was in a room when she heard the order, so her first reaction was to turn and head for the door.

She bumped straight into someone else.

“Excuse me,” Lilibeth muttered out of reflex.

“Help me,” the woman she bumped into said.

They already decided they wouldn’t rescue anyone, but it was hard to actually say that to the face of someone asking for help. Even if she could muster the words, the other woman didn’t give her the chance to say it. She grabbed Lilibeth’s arm and pulled her in one direction.

Uncle Tobiras clamped a hand on the woman’s shoulder before she could take Lilibeth any further.

“Let her go.”

“My husband is in here. Help me free him.”

“We…”

They couldn’t stay. They needed to move before the confusion wore off and the Sharoon family got their act together.

“If you free my husband I’ll tell you where the Sharoon heirloom  is.”

They froze.

“Wha… How?”

“I’ll tell you everything later if you help me now. It won’t take long.”

Two lions lunged at each other behind the lady. Lilibeth made a decision.

“Where is he?” Lilibeth asked.

“Follow me.”

The lady turned to run but Lilibeth pulled her onto her stone dragon.

“It’s faster this way,” she explained.

Now the decoy mission was an escort mission that was part of a rescue mission. Lilibeth gripped the dragon with all four limbs and shot down the corridor. Her battered army cleared the way before them. Her uncles guarded their flanks and rear.

After some twists and turns, they finally stopped at an ordinary door. The woman jumped off the dragon and threw it open.

The Beauris braced themselves for a fight, but there were no guards inside, just docile servants staring vacantly ahead. The woman walked up to one of the men and pulled him to his feet. He didn’t resist as she led him out of the room.

They were too slow.

Lilibeth grabbed the lady, Uncle Tobiras grabbed her husband, and they dashed out of the Sharoon estate with the Sharoon family’s conjured minions snapping at their tails. Uncle Kostoli threw his favourite bombs behind them and the bombs exploded in a thick cloud of colours.

Without a sound, they disappeared into the neighbourhood next door to where their cars waited. They would only consider the mission over when they regrouped with the others. But before that, they better make sure they weren’t bringing a spy into the group.

“Who are you?” Lilibeth asked.

After a pause, the lady said, “Hello, Wilfredo’s niece. I’m Esther. Nice to meet you again.”

~To be continued~

Camp NaNoWriMo part 17

Genre: fantasy, action

Start from the beginning here or go to the previous part here.

 

Was it only yesterday that Darius thought he could actually make a difference? He needed a time machine to go back and lock himself somewhere so he didn’t join the rescue team because he was only slowing people down.

The problem wasn’t that he was weak. Physically, he was in great shape, better than a lot of the people around him, but a fit body could only do so much when his competitors were conjured Gods and marble giants. In the face of such destructive power, his homemade staff was just a glorified toothpick, good only as a weak deterrent. His best and only move was to not get hit.

He dodged a bat as big as a human and jumped out of the way of a swing from an arm stuck to the wall.

Before entering the building, they had familiarised themselves with the layout of the estate. Unfortunately, old floor plans couldn’t tell them how the space was being used, or if any changes had been made since then.

To increase their chances of finding Luciano (and everyone else), they split up into small groups to cover different areas using different routes. It sounded like a good idea at the time. In practice… he personally thought it worked even better because it was easier to stay together when it was just three of them in a team instead of ten.

He ducked under the swipe of the largest praying mantis he had ever seen. Its claws sparked as it scraped the wall instead. A guardian lion tackled it to the ground before the giant bug could launch a second attack.

“Next?” Darius asked.

“Go,” Wilfredo said.

From the moment Darius’s team faced their first encounter with the guards, Darius knew he was so outclassed he was like a bug trying to join a battle between war tanks. He abandoned all intentions to fight and looked for other ways to make himself useful. After some clumsy attempts, they settled on Wilfredo and Augustine acting as guards while Darius focused on finding people.

Dodging a stray blast, Darius threw another door open. It was empty.

“Empty,” he announced and ran to the next door, “Next?”

“Go.”

The moment the door opened a minotaur attacked. Darius shot out of the way just in time. As the beast turned to deliver another blow, a guardian lion pounced and smashed it back against the door frame.

He felt like a character in a game, dungeon crawling with his party. Except no one wanted to kill anyone, their loot could actually fight back, and they didn’t have the super handy communication system that would let them talk to each other even when they weren’t in the same room.

Between Wilfredo and Augustine, they distracted the two guards enough that the prisoners within could fight back. They then moved on to the next door and continued their search.

The estate was not designed to hold prisoners, but it was designed to house a large multi-generational family, so there were plenty of large rooms and some isolated wings. Without proper cells, the Sharoon family turned these rooms into little prisons, each with their own guards. In reality, the rooms ranged from real prisons to massive sleepovers, depending on the guards and prisoners.

Door by door, they searched the whole estate, occasionally crossing paths with the other groups. Towards the end, they were basically running a rescue mission in the middle of a fantasy war zone. They abandoned all stealth and tore the doors down as they ran from everyone and everything. Darius had dropped his staff ages ago. It only slowed him down.

Finally, they covered the whole estate. Twice.

They didn’t find the Beauris heir.

“We need to go,” Augustine said when the mansion floor turned wild and the crumpled bodies of creatures that didn’t exist threatened to completely clog the corridors.

“We haven’t found Luciano yet,” Darius said.

“You won’t help him if you get caught. Let’s go.”

Wilfredo grabbed Darius by the arm and hauled him onto the back of his guardian lion.

“Hold on.”

They fled.

~Go to the next part here~

Camp NaNoWriMo part 16

Genre: general, introspective (is that a genre?)

Start from the beginning here or go to the previous part here.

 

Minerva watched her cousin writhe before her. She didn’t like what she was doing to her own family, no matter how distantly related they were, but she was never the kind of person who let her own feelings stop her from doing what needed to be done.

By now, most of the family already knew that their heirloom was missing. It was hard not to when it was an elaborate hairpin the size of a palm that every single family head had worn in full display. Even the rare few patriarchs.

Only a handful of people understood what was truly at stake. The consequences of the lost heirloom was not obvious now, but in a few generations, it would be impossible to hide the main family’s growing weakness. In another few more generations, the Sharoon family would have weakened until they were no different from anyone else.

That was why she couldn’t hold back. The family had banded together to find their treasured heirloom, but she wouldn’t count on their continual support once the heirloom’s closely guarded secret was revealed.

She dug deeper into Luciano’s psyche and tugged at the shadows that haunted his mind. Her cousin had always been a worrier. Everyone else thought he had grown out of it as he left his childhood and became the Beauris heir.

They both knew better.

A whimper escaped Luciano’s lips. He pressed them together until they lost their colour. A single tear rolled down his face.

Stop fighting. Please.

The sound of a bell run twice cut through the silent agony. Her first reaction was relief, followed immediately by guilt.

They had unannounced trespassers.

She left the cell without a word, welcoming the distraction. Once out of earshot of the prisoners, she pulled out her phone and called the head of security.

“What’s the situation?”

Two different groups had snuck into the building from two different entry points, wich a suspected third group running around unseen in the compound. Their main goal would undoubtedly be to release the Beauris heir. Anything else they achieved in the meantime would just be an advantageous distraction.

The guards, both willing and otherwise, had already been alerted of the security breach. No matter where the intruders went, her family knew what they were doing. They weren’t going to let the uninvited guests reach their goal so easily. She could leave the other areas to them and focus on guarding her own space.

She grabbed someone’s nightmare of being unseen and pulled it over the corridor like a shroud. That should make a respectable obstacle for anyone trying to reach Luciano. And if they broke through the illusion, she would be there, ready for them.

A small part of her wanted them to succeed. The remnants of the childish “Minnie” who didn’t want to see her cousin “Lucy” hurt. The rest of her, current matriarch Minerva Sharoon, easily batted the naive sentiment away. She knew what her duties were. Finding the heirloom came first, no matter the cost. She would apologize for the rest of her life after that.

~Continue the story here~

Camp NaNoWriMo part 15

Genre: general

Start from the first part here or read the previous part here.

 

The plan was set. Their roles roughly explained so they could at least pretend they knew what would happen once they started. The time for confidence and bravado was over. Now, having gone their separate ways to rest before the mission, was the time when their fears and second thoughts crept in.

“You can still pull out if you want,” his housemate said, once again leaning against the door frame of his room.

“I don’t have special powers like you, but I can still help.” Darius winced at how petulant his own voice sounded.

His housemate studied him, weighing the words in his mind before he spoke.

“I’m not saying you’re weak. I’m just worried.”

“If your niece can go, I can too.”

“We still-” Wilfredo cut himself off.

“We still what?” Darius refused to let his housemate off so easily.

Wilfredo frowned at him. Darius met him with one of his own.

“You really want me to say it?” he challenged.

“Yes.”

“We still don’t know what caused your amnesia and night terrors. What if something triggers you and you lose it?”

Darius couldn’t breathe. Wilfredo watched him, lips pressed into a thin line and arms crossed before his chest. Something about the sight made the hair on the back of his neck stand. For a moment…

The thought slipped away as quickly as it formed, but the damage was done. Darius curled his shaking fingers into his lap.

He should be offended. Offended that his own housemate, the only constant presence in his life, had basically just told him to get lost because he was a danger to everyone else. But he couldn’t even glare at Wilfredo, because he agreed.

He looked down at his trembling fists. Like Wilfredo said, they didn’t know what happened to him before his memory loss. They didn’t know his true abilities, his true character, his true history. He was just a shell of a man trying to jump into someone else’s drama.

Yet Baldemar invited him to join them anyway.

“Stay. I can focus better if I know you’re safe here,” his housemate said.

His head snapped up. “No!”

For the first time since his new life, he had a chance to actually help someone else. He was tired of drifting from one empty day to the next. Helping Wilfredo’s family might not change his circumstance, but at least he tried.

He poured all his jumbled mess of determination and desperation and everything else he couldn’t identify into his gaze.

Let me go. Don’t bury me in your kindness. I am stronger than we think.

Finally, Wilfredo broke the silence with a sigh. He released his arms and crossed the room to drop a heavy hand on Darius’ head.

“You’re not a kid. You don’t need my permission for anything.”

No, he didn’t, but if his housemate did insist on keeping him away, he would have listened. It was the least he could do for the one who had put his own life on hold to watch over him.

“Don’t make me break my promise to your mother.”

Darius looked up.

“I won’t.”

~To be continued~

Camp NaNoWriMo part 14

Genre: friendship, general, slice of life

Start from the beginning here or check out the previous part here.

 

There was a saying that went something like this: it takes a village to raise a child.

For Wilfredo, his family was the village. Even with members constantly moving out of the estate, there were still plenty of people around to watch his every move.

As the children of the family head, it was almost impossible for him and his brother to go anywhere alone. His brother learnt to accept it. He learnt to escape it.

His favourite hiding place was a cluster of trees at the edge of the estate. It was so far from where all the activity was that hardly anyone went there, and there were plenty of trees to cover him even if anyone came looking. For close to a year, that was his own little kingdom.

Then Esther came in.

The first time he found an intruder in his kingdom, he hid in the trees and watched her like a hunter. Who was this girl? What was she doing here? How did she find his hiding spot? And more importantly, how could he make her leave?

He grabbed the first idea that came to mind, which was to load up on pebbles from the ground and climb up a tree. He aimed.

Fire!

He threw the pebbles at the girl. It worked on birds and cats, so it would work on her too. The girl shrieked and took cover behind a tree, but she didn’t run. She looked around with narrowed eyes until she stared straight at him.

He stayed where he was. His hiding spot was perfect. She couldn’t possibly see him. Even as she bent down to pick up her own pebbles, he refused to move and reveal his position.

And that was the story of how he took a pebble to his face and fell off a tree. Not that he would ever tell that to anyone.

Esther was a girl, and old by child standards, but she wasn’t family, and she didn’t know who he really was. He did whatever he wanted however he wanted, and she took it all without batting an eye.

So he let her stay.

It was another year before he learnt that their families had been neighbours since forever, and his little kingdom was actually on her side of the property.

“So our parents know each other?” A cold hand gripped his heart. Had she been a spy all along? A secret babysitter?

“No. Our families don’t talk to each other much.”

“Why not?”

She looked away from him. “We drifted apart. It happens.”

He was still young then. Hopelessly optimistic and a firm believer of things staying the same forever.

“But we’re friends now right? We can start again. And this time we’ll be friends forever.”

But they did drift apart. As they grew older, they had less time to run off on their own. Duties came first, as did career and relationships. They still kept in touch. She went to his graduation, he went to her wedding, but it wasn’t the same anymore. He could go years before thinking about her. Had gone years without remembering her.

Until she turned up at his doorstep.

“Uncle Wilfredo, someone’s looking for you,” Lilibeth announced with Esther behind her.

That his own niece didn’t recognise his old friend made a weight settle in his chest as he recalled his childish declaration years ago. The weight grew when he didn’t recognise her son, who was younger than Luciano but older than Lilibeth.

“Please help me.”

The weight choked him until he agreed. Anything she wanted, however long she needed, whatever method she chose.

She asked for a protector for her son until she returned and complete secrecy. No questions asked.

So that was what he did.

That was the last time he saw her.

~Head over to the next part here~

Camp NaNoWriMo part 13

Genre: general

Start from the beginning here or go to the previous part here.

 

The Darius who came back looked like he had just run a marathon.

“I thought you were going to the library,” Wilfredo blurted out.

“I changed my mind.”

Wilfredo stepped back to let his housemate into the house. “You really like running.”

Darius laughed as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah.”

His housemate turned into the living area and froze, obviously not expecting to meet anyone in the house. Wilfredo clapped him on the back and started the introductions.

“Brother, this is Darius, my housemate. Darius, this is my brother, Baldemar. Baldy for short.”

Baldemar narrowed his eyes at Wilfredo.

“And this is why people target you even though I’m the family head, Wilfredo.”

“Some people just can’t take a joke. Right, Darius?” Wilfredo turned to look at his housemate, but the younger man had frozen like stone. Wilfredo shook his shoulder. “Darius?”

“I thought you were Walter.”

Yeah…

He pointed at his niece. “She’s actually Lilibeth.”

His niece snarled and threw a pillow at him. She followed that up by jumping on him like a cat. He caught her with one arm and tickled her with the other.

“Ahem.”

Baldemar was nine years older than him, but in that moment, those nine years felt more like twenty. Wilfredo dropped his niece like a hot kettle, but more carefully, because her papa bear was right there and he liked his bed tiger-free.

He hooked an arm over Darius’ shoulders and led him to the dining table.

“So, Darius, my brother wants to have a chat with you. Take a seat.” He sat Darius down on a chair. “I’ll play host. Have fun.”

Wilfredo swept into the kitchen, where he could pretend to be busy while shamelessly eavesdropping on his brother and housemate.

As always, his brother took charge of the environment, reversing their roles as he became the hose and Darius the visitor. Some people would get offended. Darius was more laid back than that. Plus he had more things on his mind, like making a good impression.

To be honest, if it was up to him, he would only have called Darius back after his brother and niece were gone. He was supposed to protect Darius, and pulling him into his family crisis, even peripherally, was the opposite of keeping him safe.

But how long more was he supposed to babysit? Esther said she only needed two months at most. Well, those two months were long gone, and in a few months she would have been gone for a year. She hadn’t told him what she was doing, and he didn’t press her back then because they were old friends, but as the months passed, he wished he had forced her to explain after all.

“You may join us if you wish, Darius.”

Wilfredo slapped the counter top. “No. He’s not going.”

His brother gave him a cool look that never failed to make him feel like a small kid again. “Wilfredo. If you want to join the conversation, come here and sit down.”

He picked up the new dishes for Darius and sat at the table. Darius wouldn’t look him in the eye.

“You didn’t tell me you were going to bring Darius into this,” Wilfredo said.

“Is he incompetent?”

“No.”

“Untrustworthy?”

“No.”

“Then what is the issue, Wilfredo?”

He should have fought harder to keep Darius from meeting Baldemar in the first place. At least then he had a chance of winning.

“Have you ever wondered why I disappeared last year?” Wilfredo asked.

“Yes.”

He pointed at Darius with his thumb.

“I disappeared because of him.”

~To be continued~

Camp NaNoWriMo part 12

Genre: angst (warning: suicidal thoughts)

Start from the beginning here or check out the previous chapter here.

 

Walter hadn’t stopped him.

Darius thought taking the initiative to get out would hurt less then getting kicked out, but the reality was that he had done that with the hope that Walter would tell him he was silly and invite him to stay. The disappointment hurt just as much as the rejection would have, only less awkward.

After living together for so many months, he should have known that Walter had a family. Should have learned more about Walter. Like why Walter was willing to stay with him when anyone else would have walked out after that disastrous night. Now he felt like an outcast in his own home, and he only had himself to blame.

He sighed. Well, he was out now. Barging into his house and forcing himself into the meeting would only make them push him out even more. He needed to find something to entertain himself, and despite what he told Walter, the library could only entertain him for so long.

On a whim, he headed for the reserve. He wasn’t in the proper attire for a good run, but he could still take a walk. That would kill a good hour’s worth of time.

Walter thought running made him happy. He wasn’t wrong, but he wasn’t completely right either.

Having no memories was scary. He didn’t know how other amnesiacs dealt with it. To live day to day in places that should be familiar to him but wasn’t, doing routines that his body knew but his mind didn’t. The worst part was when his mind wandered, and when he snapped back to reality, finding himself in the middle of something he didn’t know how to finish. It was like his own body had betrayed him, except, the real culprit wasn’t his body but his mind.

The person he was before he lost his memories must not have liked the reserve very much, because the place didn’t trigger anything in him. He could let his thoughts run as long and as far as he wanted and return to reality exactly where he should be. The running part was just him squeezing some exercise into his routine.

He reached the place where he met Lily and stopped. At the time, he thought she was trying to kill herself, but in hindsight, that assumption was ridiculous. The dried creak was nowhere near deep or sharp enough to kill anyone. He could think of at least two other places within walking distance that could do better.

So why was his first thought at the sight of Lily standing at the edge that she was suicidal?

He had a feeling he knew why.

How was that possible? Him? Suicidal? He couldn’t remember anything. He had nothing to feel suicidal over.

He waled to the edge of the river bank, as far as he could go without falling in. Half his feet hung over the edge as he looked down.

The urge to jump never came.

There. Proof that he wasn’t suicidal. Except… he already knew this place couldn’t do the job right. He knew at least two other places that could do better. What non-suicidal person looked at a place and rated how great it was as a suicide spot?

He could go there and do the same thing. Look down the drop and not jump. Then he could definitely say he didn’t want to kill himself.

But what if he wanted to after all?

He jerked away from the edge, recognising how dark his thoughts had turned. Now wasn’t the time to tempt himself. Now was the time to run very, very fast the other way.

~Continue the story here~

 

I hope this doesn’t trigger anyone. If it does, talk to someone. Talk to me if that helps. There is always hope. It’s just hard to find sometimes.

Camp NaNoWriMo part 11

Genre: general, drama?

Start from the beginning here or check out the previous part here.

 

There was a very good reason why he left without telling anyone, and why he never contacted them afterwards even if it meant they had no idea if he was dead or alive. In an ideal world, he would continue to hide himself until he finished his task.

But the current situation wasn’t ideal, and he wasn’t part of the main family, not anymore, but family still came first. Breaking his own self-imposed exile was a small price to pay to help his family.

Alone in his study, he called a very familiar number.

“Baldemar speaking.”

“Hey, it’s Wilfredo. So I hear we’re facing a family crisis. What’s the plan?”

His brother, his stoic, high and mighty brother, sputtered like a broken engine on the other end. Wilfredo laughed so hard he didn’t hear what his brother said next. Eventually, they managed to wrestle themselves back under control and have a proper conversation.

When the main house was attacked, his brother took charge of evacuating everyone inside while his nephew acted as bait to lure their attackers away. Their original plan was for the branch families to take in the temporarily homeless members while they dealt with the situation, but what they found was ransacked homes and a lot of missing people. That his daughter was safe lifted a great weight off Baldemar’s shoulders, but there were still many more who needed to be found.

With Darius’ permission, he volunteered the house as a war room to plan their response. His brother gladly accepted the offer. Compared to the branch family’s homes, the Sharoon were less likely to look for them here, in a completely unrelated stranger’s house.

After Baldemar the family head was done, Baldemar the father stepped in.

“Is Luciano with you?” he asked.

Wilfredo dipped his head, even though his brother couldn’t see him over the phone. “No. Only Lilibeth.”

There was a pause at the other end.

“I see. Can I speak with her?”

“Just a moment.”

He stepped out of the study and called out, “Lily!”

His niece walked towards him. “Yes?”

He handed her the phone. “Your dad wants to talk to you.

She accepted the phone and pressed it tentatively to her ear. “Hello?”

He nudged her into the study as a smile lit her face. “Dad!”

Sporting his own smile, he closed the door to give her some privacy. As for him, his brother was arriving in an hour. Time to let the master of the house know.

He found his housemate upstairs in his room. Wilfredo leaned against the door frame.

“Darius, my brother will be here in an hour.”

Darius nodded. “How long will the family meeting take?”

“A few hours maybe. Why?”

“Do you remember if the library is open today?”

“I don’t know. Why do you ask?”

“So I have somewhere to go while you have your family meeting.”

Wilfredo’s breath caught in his chest. Darius sounded defeated, and it was painfully obvious that Darius was volunteering to go out because it hurt less than getting kicked out. The worst thing was… he wasn’t wrong. Wilfredo had very good reasons why he didn’t want Darius to get involved, but he couldn’t share any of them to soften the blow of exclusion.

Darius walked past him out of the room. “Just remember to tell me when you’re done.”

“I will.”

~To be continued~

Camp NaNoWriMo part 10

Genre: family

This is part of an ongoing story. To start from the beginning go here. To check out the previous part go here.

 

“Where is the heirloom?”

The crocodile-spider snapped at him, but he blocked the teeth and claws with his own made-up animal. They might have tied him down, but they couldn’t take his ability away from him.

He kept his silence. They hadn’t believed him no matter how much he insisted he hadn’t taken their heirloom, and there was no way he would lead them to his sister.

His interrogators tried again and again to find his greatest nightmares and bring them to life, but they could only bring out the physical monsters, when it was always the intangible demons that truly scared him. As long as they stuck to the physical, he was fine.

Eventually, they grew weary and left him alone in the dark cell, tied up with so many different bindings he was basically a glorified burrito. He couldn’t even move a single finger without meeting some resistance.

He made himself as comfortable as he could and stayed still. Earlier, he sent his little spies out to scout the situation outside his cell. They were tiny little things meant for stealth, and in the darkness, he didn’t want to miss them because the sound of his own movements covered theirs.

It wasn’t easy, but he treat it as just another training session. As the current heir and future head of Beauris, he couldn’t be seen fidgeting like a little kid, no matter what situation he was in. He was also responsible for the welfare of everyone in his house, and if anyone had been captured like him, it was his duty to get them out safely.

In ones and twos, his spies returned. Some brought information on the layout and patterns in the compound, others presented news of the people inside, friend and foe alike. He listened to all the reports and crafted his plan.

Many of those in the main house managed to escape, but the Beauris prisoners weren’t limited to those at the main house, but also the branch families as well. None of his immediate family appeared to be in the area, which was good and bad news. He was glad that they were safe, but he would have liked the extra help freeing everyone from the Sharoon estate.

As things stood, the odds weren’t in his favour. It sounded like the whole of the Sharoon line had gathered in the estate. That was a lot of desperate people to escape from.

To complicate things even further, the Orania family was in the building too, playing the role of guard, hostage, and prisoner at the same time. He hadn’t realised Minnie had become so skillful in her ‘parlour trick’, or so willing to abuse it on her own family.

It was hard to tell the time in the dark, so he let his body lead the way. When he felt tired, he didn’t fight the urge to sleep, just set his plans aside and slept.

“Hello, cousin.”

He snapped awake. Pins and needles ran up his limbs at the sudden movement. He hid his discomfort as much as he could.

“Hey, Minnie.” He sent the Sharoon head his most disarming smile. She responded by baring her teeth in a mockery of a smile.

“I heard you had something of mine,” she said.

“Whoever told you that needs better sources. You know I take family seriously.”

“I know. That’s why you won’t mind if I personally confirm that you’re telling the truth.”

Minnie leaned over him. Everything else faded away until only her flowing eyes remained. Wait. That wasn’t right. Minnie didn’t have red eyes. They did.

“Let’s see what demons you hide.”

~To be continued~

Camp NaNoWriMo part 9

Genre: family

Start from the beginning here or go back to the previous part here.

 

It started when the Sharoon, descended from the sister, lost their family heirloom. Some rumours said they had lost it for years, others said it had only disappeared recently, but all the stories agreed on one thing. The Sharoon believed that someone from the Beauris house had stolen their heirloom, and that was why they attacked the Beauris’ main house the day before.

But the ones who actually attacked the main house were not members of the Sharoon house, but Orania, descendants of the youngest brother. Sharoon’s current head had a unique talent for twisting the mind with dreams, and she had no problems using it on her distant relatives. In many ways, the Orania line were innocent victims dragged into someone else’s battle, but there were also signs that there could be more to them than just playing the role of brainwashed soldiers.

The Beauris were adamant that they had not stolen anything, but they had grown in power as surely as the Sharoon family had weakened, and that sowed seeds of doubt in all three family lines.

Each family had one family heirloom, passed down the generations from head to heir. It was a sign of prestige, not just because it was a symbol of authority, but because it contained immense power, enough to allow the holder to do the impossible.

What most of the family didn’t know was those heirlooms also amplified the power of those around it. It was the reason why the main family, who lived day to day in close contact with the family heirloom, had the strongest abilities, while the branch families, far from the heirloom, weakened from generation to generation until their children became just as powerless as everyone else.

None of the Beauris had shown signs of the Sharoon’s iconic ability to bring dreams to life, a sure indicator that the Sharoon heirloom was in their midst, but the main family was the strongest they had ever been since the original Beauris. The current heir, especially, was second to none, and he continued to grow stronger day by day. It was no wonder the Sharoon suspected the Beauris of stealing their heirloom.

“And that’s the situation right now,” her uncle finished, “To be continued.”

She wrapped her fingers around the pendant. It was large for an accessory, about the size of her palm, but barely weighed more than air. It was so light, half the time she forgot she was wearing it.

The heirlooms were a sign of prestige, but not many had actually seen it. Even she herself, despite being the daughter of the family head, had only caught glimpses of it throughout her life until her brother passed it to  her the day before.

She lifted the pendant to offer her uncle a better view. “Brother gave this to me yesterday. I think it’s an heirloom, but is this ours or theirs?”

Unfortunately, like her, her uncle wasn’t the heir, which meant they were both equally unfamiliar with how the heirlooms looked.

“I don’t know, but I hope it’s ours.”

~Next part here~

Isabel Caves

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