Friday, January 11, 2013

Flashback Friday: Risa (Part 3)

 Part III


 A five year old boy had been stabbed. The crowd started to huddle around the scene of the mother grasping her child in her arms, moaning as if she were wounded. In all that confusion the trio had noticed one detail no one else could see. Because they had a perfect view of the scene, they managed to catch a glimpse of a girl about Risa’s age fleeing from the crowd.

  Her knee length black hair flowed lightly in the wind as she made her way down the street. It was far, but they could just, ever so slightly, make out the bare branches on trees of the long-since abandoned park.

  The next day was just like every other usual day of the week. The only change was the posters put up everywhere around the city. It turned out that the little boy who had been murdered was actually the only son of a very rich couple. The woman’s husband was some sort of politician and was outraged to hear that his boy had been killed while he was wandering alongside his mother at the market. The posters offered a 1000 € reward for those who found the culprit. On it was a hand drawn reproduction of a young girl’s head, emotionless. The description: long black hair, pale skin and freckles. People had seen them everywhere and often stopped to stare, it was very promising amount of money after all… Search teams had been formed, which snuck around the city on the lookout for the murderer. The braver ones dared go alone, some watched the streets from the window, in the safety of their own home. Aside from the usual commotion in the city, nothing else had happened.

   Risa went back to taking care of her precious fire, Tatch was out on the street looking for food and Skel was working as the metal worker’s apprentice. Risa noticed that there was no more wood left in the huge barrel and decided to go and cut some. Without fire the city couldn’t be heated, and seeing it was getting just colder and colder every day well…

  She put on the boots she had traded with her friend, which were a little to large for her, and set out to find Thatch and Skel so they could cut some wood. The Bois de Vincennes was the closest woods although most of the trees had already been cut. It used to be a park, only now people had ravaged most of it and dug up all they could.

“Do you want to come at the metal worker’s shop? Maybe it would be better than heating the city,” Skel suggested to Risa, “ I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, I mean, that fire’s giving you grey skin! What’s it gonna be like in the summer too?”

  The fire was actually very important for the entire city, or at least that part of town. The fireplace was the central heat. The heat went through tubes that filtered the smoke and traveled all the way up to inhabitant’s houses. It wasn’t much, nor was it ecological, but most people believed it was efficient. As long as you kept the fire going it would supply heat.

“What? Are you kidding?! I like my fire!” Risa said poking her lip out. Suddenly she felt like doing a cartwheel. She wheeled all the way down the hill, until she reached the trees.

“Hey!” she called out to Tatch and Skel,” What’s with you guys! No more energy?”

  They looked like tiny specks far in the distance. She made her way through uncut trees. The forest was quite thin so the trees didn’t protect her much from the wind. Droplets fell from the sky. She looked back but couldn’t see her two friends lagging still behind. It was cold out, but Risa could resist almost any northern weather. It was as if she had an internal fire burning in her. Her own source of heat.
  Sticking her tongue out, thin slivers of ice fell from the sky and landed softly on it. They became more and more abundant, it stung and tickled at the same time. They melted once they reached the ground and created small icy puddles. Her tongue exposed, Risa stretched her arms out. It felt so nice today, even if it was cold, it was nice, and all you could do was be happy.

  She turned her head and saw, standing next to her, was a young girl her age and height with long black hair. Her profile next to hers, the young girl was tasting the ice too. She hadn’t seem to notice her presence, or more likely was ignoring her.  Suddenly, she turned her head and Risa remembered. It was the girl from the picture, the killer, the murderer, that girl who was wanted. Her long black hair had swished as she turned, like velvet curtains flowing in the wind.

  She looked amused but didn’t smile, then turned her head and looked up at the sky.

“Where are you going?” Risa found herself asking. She didn’t know why but this question seemed important.

  The girl turned towards Risa and took two steps forward. Her expression had gone from amused to monotone, almost sad.

“I think some ones looking for me, but I don’t want them to find me.”

No kidding. Risa thought but didn’t dare say. This girl impressed her for some reason; she even almost scared her. Should she report her? This was definitely the person people were searching all over for. Maybe. But first, she had to get rid of something that had been gnawing at the back of her mind since the accident.

“Why did you kill him? That little boy….”

“He was in my way,” she enunciated very, very clearly. Such a simple phrase: He – was – in – my – way. But, it could mean so many things. Risa needed to know more. She wanted to knowwhy.

  Hair swished, and before Risa knew it, the conversation was declared officially closed as she saw her turn her back towards her. Walking away, determined to get to an unkown destination. Risa started to follow her. But wait! No, what about Thatch and Skel…. And the fire! It won’t go on forever and there’s no wood left. It’ll last two…three days tops! No! Go back! A voice in her head screamed, but she continued onward.

“Wait!” she yelled running after the girl. Most people would feel stupid running after someone, but she couldn’t care less. Her pride did not extend that far out.

 “I’m Risa.”

“My name’s April.”

  Then something strange happened. There must have been something wrong with April, she was not right that girl. And those eyes… She wasn’t cold, but Risa felt herself shiver.

Part 4

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