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Rising Phoenix Chapter 1
The auburn flames danced against the black abyss of smoke as a storm gathered and rumbled in the distance. The topaz eyes of a terrified girl who was between the age of ten and eleven; scanned the area of which the building where she spent most of her life, well the life she only knew and could remember once stood.
She stood there rooted to the spot, she didn't know if it was because of fear or if some invisible being held her down.
The wind started to gather showing the storm was moving closer.
There was a howl just as a strong breeze crashed into her making her side-step two steps backwards.
Once she regained her balance she brushed her hair out of her eyes.
She had a range of colours in her hair: burgundy red with hints of brown and black, it tumbled right down her back. She also had a fringe, full, but long enough to sweep past her eyes and could be fashioned in anyway she wished.
The clouds were probably the only sign of movement: as they burst and showered the city, thunder roared and lightning filled the sky with blinding light as the sun would in the daytime.
When she finally forced herself to move towards the blaze, her home had already keeled over spreading charred wood and unrecognisable bodies around the area where it once stood.
She tiptoed around the wreckage delicately hardly creating footprints in the ash. Suddenly she stopped dead in her tracks as there was an echo of mocking laughter that seemed to get closer.
'W-who's t-there?!’ she stammered staying where she was but circled the same spot searching and taking in every detail of her surroundings.
She was in the middle of New York but it felt like the middle of a wasteland on the moon as there was only the street lights on, no apartments nor offices seemed occupied not even the streets, not a soul passed through that particular street that night, not one witnessed the burning of the orphanage except for the victims themselves, Phoenix and someone who had nearly given her a heart attack.
"Oh, you must have gotten a terrible fright witnessing that!” came a quiet sneering voice. Phoenix slowly turned around to face the stranger, her heart had literally done a one hundred metre sprint in seconds.
"I mean what age are you? Seven? Eight?" This echoed in her ear, her warm breath ran down her neck leaving her hairs to stand on edge. She then knew that the stranger was directly behind her.
"I'm eleven actually!" Phoenix corrected annoyed thinking how anyone could take her to be that young.
She turned to the stranger shocked to see that the girl in front of her only looked a few years older...
Her charcoal black hair fell across her face, as the wind picked up again, she brushed it out of her blood coloured eyes and stared back down at phoenix. She was only a few inches taller than her but then again phoenix was tall for her age.
"Heh, you've got nerve talking to me in that tone of voice."
Phoenix was disturbed at the sight of the girl’s eyes, were they blood shot? No, even her irises were red. She had never seen anything like them before. She couldn’t decide what to make of them so instead she decided to ignore them awkwardly.
There was a pause until phoenix asked,
"Who are you?"
”Look, I’m not here to do the whole 'let's be friends’ thing’.” The girl sighed, her voice suddenly started to fill with dread and hate, “And I was told no communications with the target, so sorry, but I’ve got to follow the orders and do my mission properly…”
She let out another sigh and smirked "By the way, the name's Scarlet."
Phoenix was confused and scared by this, her eyes widened, at the word she used, “target”.
“Why did you say target?” She asked shakily. But instead, Scarlet ignored her and stepped back a few steps and raised her hand towards Phoenix and started muttering what seemed like another language, faster then Phoenix ever saw the human lips move.
The atmosphere suddenly went icy cold as if every dark deed and any darkness ever breathed across the face of the earth were drawn towards to that one girls palm. Her eyes flew open still muttering words but her eyes weren't red anymore they were a deep black like whisps of smoke they daunted out. There was a deep rumbling sound, followed by growls and snarls as creatures appeared out of no-where.
This took Phoenix aback as she had never seen anything like them before.
They were black with a hint of red with jaws the size of a car each filled with razor sharp teeth.
She still didn't move as she felt a disturbance with the creatures, she glanced into their deep red eyes the exact same as Scarlet’s except she saw no sign of life...
”I know what you are thinking”, She giggled smugly, “These creatures are called Baskania's they are brilliant summons and kill easily but there only disadvantage is that they are blind...but the thing is...all they need is one drop of blood from there prey..."
There was a deep cutting echo as metal met skin. A red-hot liquid poured and dripped down the side of her rags. She clenched her side and fell to her knees. The blood was mixing with the rain, which made Phoenix shiver at the touch. Looking up with blurred vision, she saw Scarlet lazily approaching. But something was wrong she had stopped in her tracks and her face was stricken with horror. Phoenix’s hearing was going also, but before she blacked out she managed to hear a deafening roar and see a flash of purple and flames, which seemed like long distanced echoes.
She woke to complete darkness...Alone in the dark gave relief that she wasn't in danger, or maybe it was meant to look that way? It also gave worry to where she was and why she couldn't see or hear anything. Was she dead? The answer would soon arrive. There was a sudden change in the air, a gentle breeze, it seemed to swirl and gather in a general direction. Phoenix seemed hypnotised by it and began to follow. The breeze started to show hints of reflection and twisted and turned in a most beautiful way. A strong gust of wind raged from behind her showing why the air showed reflection, it held tiny pieces of glass.
The pieces gathered together, one by one forming an elegant gold mirror that was decorated in an oriental fashion. Two Japanese dragons framed the outskirts of the mirror, only one of them had wings; the other did not but seemed to snake around the border. There were also two beasts at the bottom of the mirror, just below the two dragons, they looked like wolves but they had more of a larger and wilder build. At the top a large bird was placed, wings spread and head looking up. Phoenix fingered the wings delicately scared they might crumble back into dust. She was intrigued by the design, the wings were spread but they also looked like they were melting, as if they were on fire.
Phoenix stopped admiring the beauty of the framework and looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair and clothes were sopping wet, but her rags were mostly covered in blood from the wound she had received from Scarlet’s blade. She turned to look at her wound on her side, it was deep but it wasn't bleeding anymore.
"Great another one to add to the collection..."she sighed looking back at her wounds reflection then back again to the real wound.
"What the...?" She questioned doing a double take back at the mirror.
"I could have sworn I saw someone..."she whispered touching the mirror, creating ripple effects on the glass showing a blurry vision of a girl, just an inch or two smaller then herself with chocolate brown hair and crimson eyes that sparkled, she was wearing an old fashioned dress, which looked like it was from the Victorian age. Jet black in colour and it looked like she was mourning. When she first saw the girl, she thought it was Scarlet. But then she realised that Scarlet did not have freckles, which the girl in the mirror had. For scarlet had a pale and clear face, with more subtle features. The girl in the mirror seemed to have no special features at all, as if they were all drained away. She smiled warmly before she disappeared. When she disappeared the mirror seemed to melt and vanish also sending a gush of warm ash and air towards Phoenix.
Phoenix gasped for air and then got a sudden jolt of reality, that it was all just a dream and that she was lying in the middle of a puddle mixed with her own blood.
She looked up to see the ground scorched and that hardly any grass was left. She sat up and then tried to balance herself before standing up.
"How did this happen? The fire was out ages ago, and I'm sure it didn't reach this far...."she scratched her head puzzled wondering who or what made the ground burn like that. Then her whole body shook with pain so unbearable she could barely stand. Thunder crashed and lightning flickered reminding her of the storm.
"Uh...I have to get out of this storm fast..."she mumbled to herself.
She stumbled and clawed at what seemed like a wall. She shook a little and steadied herself, while the rain ran and howled it's way through the city. The rain dripped down her face, soaking her hair which clung to the back of her neck and back.
"Ouch!" The girl moaned trying to cover and bandage her wounds on her side with her rags, she ripped at the fabric around her waist showing her tanned complexion, pressurised and tied the loose rags around her wound. She slinked against the wall and sat down hard on the damp ground.
Blood still seeped through the make shift bandage and mixed with the rain on the ground, creating a cloudy reddish pool that reflected in the full moon.
Soon not just rain streamed down her face, tears started cascading down and around her cheeks also. She blinked and wiped them away. It wasn't her wounds she was crying about though, she was used to pain, not that she would do it on purpose. She was always clumsy or sometimes it wouldn't be her fault. She always got teased by the other boys and girls at the orphanage.
But the ones who did most of the damage was Alex and her two wanabees Summer and Jane, they were the ones who turned everyone against her. They went to school at the orphanage, so as you can see life was a nightmare. She never had or made a friend in her life. She always got pushed around or kicked always covered in bruises.
One-day things took to the extreme. She was making her way down from the top of the 3 storey building stairs when Alex pushed her. She lost her balance and fell the whole way down. When she got to the bottom all she could do was lie there in pain...the very first time she didn't cry, no but embraced it. She closed her eyes trying to block out the sounds of Alex wailing about how she witnessed her "trip" to the teachers.
The teachers always seemed to believe her lies, they never seemed to look past her bright blue eyes and see how cruel she could be.
I mean how can she blame them, I mean what kind of name is Phoenix anyway?!
Rumour has it; when she was dropped of at the orphanage no one knew her life before hand, not even Phoenix herself! Only that the worn out tag on her left arm had Phoenix written on it in stained calligraphy.
The only thing she knew was her birthday and what age she was, the 5th of November and 3 years old. But now eight years later things are about to turn for the worse.
"W-why me...why? ...What the hell is happening?!" she screamed to herself pulling her knees close to her chest then laid her head down crying even harder into her knees.
"Dude, come on, don’t do this to me...."A strained voice came from around the corner where Phoenix was hiding, it was heading straight towards her.
A boy with messy brown hair and aqua blue eyes came in to view. He was struggling with a boy who looked around the same age. He had jet black hair and amber orange eyes, he looked like he hadn't slept for weeks, and was struggling to hold himself upright, so he was half leaning on his companion, and half trudging on the ground.
The boy suddenly looked up, eyes focusing on Phoenix's shadow against the wall.
He laughed drunkly,
"Hey ...look Jem, it's.... it’s a hobo..."The boy who's name was supposedly Jem, glanced up at her.
"Dan, it ain't a hobo, it’s a girl! …I think she's hurt..."he muttered now noticing the blood.
He got up, forgetting he was supporting his friend, and dropped him accidentally.
"Ouch...why did you do that? Dan asked sleepily.
Jem didn't seem to notice; instead he continued his pace towards Phoenix.
She didn't seem to notice the two, but instead was in a trance due to her shock, which she soon was snapped out of, by his shadow now towering over her.
"Hey, are you ok?" he asked gently, crouching down beside her.
"Does it look like I'm ok?!"
She snapped, standing up suddenly, which caused her pain to shoot back, forcing her to stumble and fall forwards. Jem caught her before she hit the ground.
"Whoa, sorry, look; I'm only trying to help.
I'm Jem, and this is my brother Danny.” He beamed waving his hand towards his brother, slumped towards some garbage cans and crates.
"I'm Phoenix. ” She said curiously peering behind Jem towards Danny.
He saw her staring and simply waved of any concern.
"Oh him, he'll be grand!” he said.
"What's wrong with him?" Phoenix asked still concerned, even though Jem already told her to drop the subject. Jem opened his mouth to answer, but instead; the image that laid before her simply melted out of existence.
A shrill annoyed voice, too loud, it could make ones ears bleed, came towards her.
"Phoenix! Get up off the grass this instant; before I ask Alex to permently move your stuff to the basement!!"
A crowd of twenty girls and boys stood around in a circle around phoenix, smirking and some jeering. She lay still on the grass not believing what she just heard.
"Did you not hear me?! You SWINE!!" The woman screeched, dragging Phoenix to stand up by pulling her by the scruff of her neck.
Phoenix gasped waiting for the pain to shoot back but when she looked down to her side. Her wound was gone...She shook her head in disbelief;
"This-this isn't real............."
"Bu-but-you’re dead!” Phoenix gasped, ducking from the woman’s grasp.
"Here that Miss?” She thinks we're dead!!" Alex smirked grabbing Phoenix again before she could break into a run.
Phoenix shivered when she caught her and black spots started to daze her vision; her pain had come back.
She stood still for a moment, wanting to collapse, but instead shut her eyes for a few minutes. Wishing-no-begging to be as far away possible from them all.
When she opened them again, Alex and the others were gone, and the orphanage was still a pile of cindered wood, like it was before she wandered into the alley. Thinking again how she got back there she realised; she was being supported. She looked over to see Jem’s confused look staring at her.
“What happened to you? All of a sudden you were there askin’ me a question then boom you were down like a shot bird!”
“I don’t know…” She started uncertainly, then again she realised she wasn’t being supported anymore but she was leaning on Jem so she quickly moved away.
“Wait, if I fainted or whatever way you put it, then how did I make it back here? And why am I standing up?”
“Oh right, yeah you just got up yourself I guess you were sleep walking? We followed you back up here and then you looked as if you were about to collapse so I caught you.”
She was shocked, what did happen? The only thing she could make sense of was that she definitely did sleep walk.
Jem noticed from her expression that she was confused and anxious; so he dropped the subject.
"Come on, let’s go back to my place, we need to look at that gash anyway.” He beamed holding out his hand for her to take.