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Dark Secrets (Prologue)
Here he was again. Trapped in the darkness. The cool, deadly fingers pulled on his hair, ripping out black strands. Sharp nails tore at his body, making him scream out in pain. This is death. This is what you asked for, isn’t it? Said a familiar voice deep in the back of his mind. It’s too late to change your mind. Too late. He knew this voice, though he couldn’t quite place it. But that was the least of his worries right now. The shadowed hands placed the tips of their razor sharp nails at the top of his back. He bit his lips, awaiting the pain that was about to come. Just as they were about to dig in, he found himself in a room. His room.
“Adrian?” Said a voice, coming from outside the door. There was a knock, followed by the loud creak of the door opening.
“Adrian?” It repeated. It was Fyre. He sighed; relieved it wasn’t the black monster from his nightmares. He looked around the small room, giving the corners extra attention, making sure nothing was lurking in the shadows. Adrian turned back to the doorway and to the small, red haired girl standing there.
“What is it?” He asked, knowing exactly what the answer was going to be. This was the second week he had had this dream. The second week someone had to come and sit outside the door to check on him when he started screaming.
“You were talking in your sleep again.” She muttered softly, knowing that they both knew it wasn’t just talking. It involved blood curdling screams, curling up on the floor, and clawing at his back. His hand gently touched his shoulder blade, and winced as pain shot through his whole body. “You should be happy you don’t have long finger nails. Or else you might just have no skin left back there.” He remembered Maia saying as she put a bandage on the bleeding wound.
“Have you been having that dream again?” Fyre said, when she realized Adrian wasn’t going to answer. She stepped through the doorway and sat down on the edge of the bed. Adrian jumped at the sudden movement of the mattress. You’re being too jittery. Calm down. He told himself.
“No. I told you I haven’t had it for a while.” He said as he glanced over to her. She nodded, seeming like she understood, but he could tell that she didn’t believe him. What is it about kids? He thought. They can always tell when you’re lying.
He looked her over, taking in her small, agile body and young features. A normal ten year old living in Saint Elizabeth’s would look much older and worn than Fyre. Adrian knew he was seven years ago. You grow up quick when you live in an orphanage.
“Why won’t you tell me?” She asks after many moments of silence. Even in the dark room he could make out her bright orange hair. She brushed her bangs out of her eyes, revealing two green orbs begging him to tell her. Adrian sighed and watched as it became a visible white puff and disappeared. He hadn’t realized how cold it was. Even Fyre was wearing a jacket over her pink pajamas.
“Is it cold in here to you?” Adrian asked, sitting up and throwing the covers off. He stood up and walked to the doorway, scanning the walls for the thermostat.
“The heater’s broken, don’t even try.” She sighed. “And don’t try and change the subject.” She got off of the bed and walked over to him, her bare feet making soft thuds as she walked on the hard wood floor. She reached up and tugged on the sleeve of his t-shirt, trying to get his attention. “Please tell me.” She pleaded.
“It’s none of your business.” Adrian said, shrugging her off.
“I just want to know.”
“I said it isn’t your business.” He turned to her and they stared at each other in silence.
“I just want to help you, ya know.” She said softly.
“Maybe I don’t want your help.” Adrian narrowed his eyes at the little girl. She didn’t look scared, or angry. Just annoyed, like she was trying to get into a chest that wouldn’t open.
“Doesn’t matter what you want. Sometimes we all need things that we don’t want! I want to help you, but I can’t do that if you don’t tell me anything!” She said, louder this time.
“It isn’t something for you to know! Now why don’t you just go before we wake up the whole orphanage? You aren’t helping anyone!” He yelled. The annoyance from her eyes vanished. For just a moment, he saw the hurt in deep green. It didn’t last long, soon enough the annoyance was back, as if he had imagined it. But he knew that he really had hurt her, and that’s what he wanted. He was tired of people wanting to “help”, but all they wanted was access to his thoughts. To see truly how insane he was. Adrian wasn’t going to let that happen anytime soon.
“Fine.” Fyre said as a tear slowly rolled down her cheek. Without another word she turned around and stomped off to her room. He frowned as he watched her. She’ll be fine tomorrow. He thought to himself, but he knew that it wasn’t true. Fyre doesn’t let go of things.
He glanced over to the pitch blackness of the room he had woken up in. At least the hallway was lit by a small night light, set there for the smaller kids to see the path to the bathroom. He reached in and flipped on the switch. Light flooded the hallway. Adrian looked away, his eyes not being able to stand the sudden brightness. He grabbed his pillow and blanket and dragged them out into the hall. He threw them on the ground and flipped the switch off. Now he was stuck with the dim nightlight. This’ll have to do.
He crawled under the blanket and gently set his head on his pillow. He took in the lemony scent of floor cleaner and cringed. The stench made his eyes water and his head hurt. He opened his mouth, breathing in and out, so it wouldn’t burn his throat as much. He opened his jaw slightly and let out a yawn. It will all be better in the morning. His eyes slowly slid shut, but he didn’t sleep the rest of the night. He could feel the dark monster waiting in his room. Lurking in the shadows. It was waiting for him to sleep so it could attack him. So it could make him scream and bleed. So it could kill him.