It was late- past midnight- when I heard the sound of footsteps and rustling clothe outside my tent. Instantly I was wide awake. I unsheathed the knife I kept under my pillow and waited, silent and still, until I could see the person who was sniffing around my home… There!
The sight of him confused me more than the fact of him being there. He looked like an over the fence dweller. His clothes were smooth and clean, and his hair, although slightly ragged, was short and accustomed to brushing. His skin was darker than night, and his eyes were yellow, glowing orbs. He stood at 6’2″ and had more muscles than an ox. Had I been on the other side of the fence, I would have smiled. Here, the sight of him tightened every muscle in my body and terrified me to my core.
He stopped sniffing around my tent, freezing. Very slowly, his eyes scanned the surrounding area. His peripheral sweep landed on me. Instantly I shot myself out of bed, tackling him. He let out a startled cry as we tumbled back into the piles of rubbish. I heard his deep breath as he prepared to yell, and instantly slapped the blade of my knife over his Adam’s apple.
“You yell, and I’ll kill you!” I hissed. “Why are you here!” Slowly, with quivering hands, the guy reached up, pulling my wrist slightly away from his throat. I allowed it.
“I was sent here by a friend… To give you something.” His voice was shaking more than his hands, if that was even possible.
“I have no friends!” I growled, pressing the knife back to his throat. “Who are you, and why are you here!”
“I-I’m not lying, honest!” He cried, straining against my hold and the knife. “I was sent to give you something! You’re Kira, right?”
Those words made me hesitate. Slowly, I loosened my grip around his neck, lowering the knife. I walked slowly backwards into my tent, holding the knife out towards him. “Come.”
His relief was palpable. Still, it took him a second to actually get up the courage to follow me in. As soon as he did, I twitched my knife in the direction of a chair. He squinted, then shrugged. He reached into the bag on his back and removed a small, glowing orb. It resembled his eyes. He placed it in the air above him. With the added light it provided, my whole tent was lit. That made me smile, something I very rarely did.
“Alright, then. You still have some questions to answer…” My eyes were drawn to his bag. I wanted to know so many things… But I had to choose only a few. “Who sent you?”
“Jacques Gordan,” he answered automatically. I frowned. Who the heck was ‘Jacque Gordan’ and why did they… Oh. Maybe that’s the name of the guy firm the window. The thought made me happy all over. I almost laughed. “Do you know him?” The guy asked tentatively.
I was amused by how this tall, muscley guy was so meek, like a little lamb. “I think so. He lives up in the window, on the…” I had to think for a second to get the number. “Sixty-second floor?”
“Yes, that’s him!”
“Why and what did he send me?” I asked cautiously. More than what, I really wanted to know why. Everything was cause and affect. What is the cause of this little night visit to yours truly, and what, more importantly, will be the effect?
“As to why…” The guy was clearly trying not to smile. I scowled at him. He cleared his throat, regaining the serious expression he had been wearing. “You’d have to ask him. But what…” He opened his back pack. Slowly, one by one. He removed a number of items- a roll of sky blue ribbon, a bag of Skittles, and huge bag of Twix; two pairs if scissors, a can opener, four cans of soup; a package of hair ties, a brush- I’m so freaking happy right now!- four books, two dresses- one red, one blue- an industrial sized box of cleaning wipes, and a bag of needles filled with various liquids. “These are vaccines, so you don’t get sick.” He shook the bag if needles, “you aren’t scared of needles, are you?”
“It depends. Are you trained to do this?”
“No, not really. But we all took a basic class in medicine in Highschool.”
“That’s very reassuring.” I sighed holding out my dirty arm. He removed one of the cleaning wipes opened it, and scrubbed away an area of dirt of my skin. I gasped. The skin underneath was pure white. He laughed.
“That is what healthy skin looks like,” he teased good naturedly, before starting with the syringes. It took him an hour. By the end of it I was snappy and irritable; angry and tired.
“So are you leaving or not?!” I snapped, jerking my arm back. “Cause you’re losing your darkness!”
“Someone doesn’t like shots,” he taunted, packing up the syringes and shoving him in his sweatshirt pocket. “Here.” He tossed me the backpack. “Keep that. There’s a first aid kit in there.”
I caught the bag easily and quickly stuffed everything back inside. “So…” I hesitated, glancing over at him. In the rising light of dawn, I could see the smudges from the paint on his face and in his hair. I reached into the box of cleaning wipes and stood up, tentatively wiping away some of the black on his forehead and hairline. His skin was very tan, and his hair was platinum blonde. “You haven’t actually told me your name yet.”
The boy sighed, taking my wrist and slowly lowering it from his face. “My name isn’t really important, but… Alex.” He smiled. “My name’s Alex.” And with that, he was gone.
“So, have you heard from them? Did they do it? Alex, answer me!” Over the holo screen, I could see Alex scrubbing frantically at his hair and face. His torso was bare- I’d actually woken him up with my call.
“Give me a minute, man!” Alex complained, glowering back at the screen. His face was dripping with dark gray water, and his sink was stained black. The roots of his hair were tinged with the same.
“Busy night?” I smirked. Alex has a reputation for staying out partying all night, and only coming in when curfew was lifted at five thirty. How he hasn’t been caught and who he parties with is a mystery. He refuses to take me with him.
“You could say that.” Alex smirked, toweling off his face and dripping hair. He tossed the towel into the laundry chute and slumped back on his bed. “He contacted me this morning. Your girl attacked him, apparently… Put a knife to his throat.” Alex gulped uncomfortably, rubbing his neck. He shuddered, shaking his head. “But,” he continued, “as soon as he mentioned her name, she let him go. She was happy to get all the stuff. She seemed confused, though, when he told her it was from a friend.”
“I haven’t actually told her my name,” Jacque admitted. “And the shots?”
“Let’s just say it’s done, and leave it at that.” Alex glanced at the clock and yawned. “Can you be here at nine?”
“I can try,” I replied skeptically. “But Marco might not let me out.”
“Speak of the devil.” I spun around with a gasp. Marco stood in the doorway of my room, arms crossed. “Morning, Alex.”
“Morning…” Alex glanced sympathetically over at me. “So… Yeah. See you at nine bud.”
“See you then.” Alex ended the holo call. Slowly I stood up, facing Marco. “What do you want, brother?”
“I wanted to show you something…” Marco chuckled. “Rather, someone.” Marco turned, leaning out into the hall. “Crystal, can you come here please?” Seconds later, a young woman strode into my room. My eyes widened. This girl… Wow.
“Hi.” She smiled. “My name’s Crystal. You’re Jacque, I presume?” It was all I could do to nod. This girl was… Wow. I just… She was 5’6″ with platinum blonde hair that reached mid thigh. Her lips were perfectly sculpted and pink, her legs long, tan and perfect. Her everything was perfect. I shook my head. Probably an airhead… I hoped.
“Well?” Marco prodded. “Aren’t you going to say hi, Jacque? Be polite to your guest! After all…” Marco winked. “She is going to be your bride in a few months.”