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Washed Away - Excerpt from Untitled Novel
“Ugh,” I moaned. I felt some kind of slimy surface beneath me, pressing into my skin. Where was I?
I slowly opened my eyes. My head throbbed as I tried to remember what happened – I couldn’t. Glass walls surrounded me, held in place by several steel bars. I was in some kind of cage.
“Hello! Is anyone out there?” I called, although the attempt was futile. I pounded the glass with my fists, trying to break it; I failed miserably, only resulting in bruising my hands.
Suddenly I heard footsteps. “Hello!” I screamed again, praying that someone would come. My wish came true. A face appeared at the glass.
“Ally? What the hell?” It was Xavier.
“Oh, thank god!” I started sobbing. “I w-woke up in this cage thing, and I don’t know what happened.” I sunk down to the floor, hyperventilating. “Get me out of here!” I screamed.
“Shh,” he said, panicked. “Calm down. I’ll go get help – “
“No! Don’t leave me here!” I wailed.
“Ally-” he started to say, but something stopped him. Suddenly, I felt water drip on my face. I looked up. Water started pouring out of the top of the cage. It was hot. Burning.
I screamed, and tried to block the water from splashing my face. No way was I going to let myself be casted away… to die. “Xavier!” I yelled, the water scalding my entire body.
He started pounding on the glass, but his efforts were useless. It wasn’t breaking. “Ally!” he screamed again, tears running down his face.
Then I felt him. The voice that was not my own. "Don’t be afraid."
How can I not be afraid? I’m going to die, I thought.
"You’re not dying. You’re just being born."
“What?” I said aloud, Xavier looking at me like I was both dying and turning psycho.
I put a hand to my face. I felt the white substance on my face washing away. The face I’d known my whole life, my identity…being seared off by the scalding water.
I took away my hand. The white was covering the tips of my fingers, and I felt tears running down my face, mixing the water that was gathering at the bottom of the cage.
"Let it wash away. Be free."
Tilting my face to the water, I let my arms drop to my sides, my face feeling the full force of the blast. It burned but I clenched my teeth and endured the pain. I let my life wash away. I trusted the voice.
“No, Ally, no!” Xavier continued to scream. Ignoring him, I closed my eyes.
"Be free," the voice repeated and then it was gone.
The blast of water stopped. I heard Xavier gasp, then a door opening.
I opened my eyes. Father…
“Father!” Xavier called again, and I saw the king walking towards us.
“What happened?” Zidia asked, a worried look on his face. It seemed…fake.
“I don’t know! I just found her like this, and, ugh!” he yelled in frustration. “I…I couldn’t break the glass,” he stuttered, another tear dripped down his cheek.
The glass shattered.
Out of nowhere, I heard it creek, and bam! Millions of pieces of glass were everywhere - in my hair, cutting my face, arms, legs. The ghostly white water flowed out through the steel bars.
“Ally!” I heard my name, and felt a set of strong hands pull me through the large gap in the bars. “Oh my god Ally, why? Why!” Xavier screamed, shaking me, angry at my unresponsiveness.
I refused to talk. Traumatized, mute - whatever you want to call it. Zidia settled for trauma.
“Son, be calm. She’s in shock, let her recover-“
“No! She’s dead! Dead!”
“Son, being angry won’t help; we have to find out who did this,” the king said. I swear, there was a slight grin on his face.
“You,” I blurted out. I don’t know where it came from. It was like someone else was speaking for me.
“You,” I said again, more bold and determined. But what was I determined for? I was dead.
“Ally, you’ve been through a traumatizing experience. Come, you have to rest,” the oh-so majestic King Zidia stated, grabbing my arm and leading me through the hall to one of the bedchambers. Xavier followed solemnly, in a trance.
I hissed. What was wrong with me?
"Liar," said the voice.
“Liar,” I repeated to the king in a low tone. He acted like he hadn’t heard me. But I knew. He’s the one responsible for my memory...why it’s gone. A liar. But could he have put me in a cage to die? Perhaps…
We had reached the bedchamber I had stayed at the last time I was here. Xavier opened the door, and Zidia set me down on the bed.
“Father,” Xavier began, but the king shushed him.
“I will send in a medic shortly. Rest. Later, unfortunately, we have to discuss the wild.” I swear he smiled again. “Come Xavier.” My boyfriend was pale. Very pale.
The door closed.
I felt her emotions swarming through me. Frightened. Angry. Panic. Zidia trapped her in there…he knows who she is. This isn’t good, not at all. But could it work?
Maybe…it just might work out to be an advantage. Only one way to find out! "Markus," I said, summoning my new angel. "Come to me. I have an assignment for you…"
“But father, someone did that to her! You can’t cast her out!” Xavier exclaimed. What useless chatter!
“No son. Just because she’s your little girlfriend, she’s no exception! You will obey my judgment!”
He left my chambers without a word, looking like death itself. Well, he is practically related to death. I laughed.
So naïve - I remember the woman who conceived him so many years ago. She betrayed me afterwards. That girl will pay like she did - banished to the wild to die. More than likely she’ll run back to her little god, though. But I’ll make sure she never returns. I’ll also make sure He won’t dare to try to steal my citizens again! Especially my sons heart…
I sobbed into my pillow, staining the crisp white fabric. How could this have happened to me? I did nothing wrong! No matter what the voice says, I’m going to be banished into the wild, where I’m going to die. For good.
I had waited and waited but no one came. Not even my Xavier. I longed to run a hand through his thick, brown hair. Just to see his face. I thought back to all of the time we spent together, even if it was a short period. Two months, I think.
During the rambling of my thoughts, I dosed off, letting the darkness of the dream world overtake me.
“Ally, come to me,” the angel said. His embrace smothered me, holding me tight to his chest. “I love you.”
“Who are you?” I asked, somewhat frightened. At the same time, however, I was tranquil.
“I’m yours,” he said, kissing my head. It felt so good to be loved, to feel the heat from his body. He ran a hand down my back. I pulled away from his arms to look at his face: beautiful - the shape of his nose, the enticing lips, everything. Especially his eyes; they were a piercing bright green. The color melded in perfection with his sand-colored hair.
“I love you,” he said again. This time I responded.
The door opened, banging into the wall, pulling me from the grasps of my dream. I sat up, startled. It was Zidia.
“We believe that we have found the culprit who did this to you,” he stated bluntly, making a motion of his hand for me to follow.
He led me into the study, a place I had never been to before. When he opened the door, I gasped. It was beautiful and majestic. Figures.
Wooden bookshelves made of mahogany lined the walls. Antique tables and chairs were scattered across the room, matching the ornate rug that spread across the floor. Above I could see the rails of a balcony, suggesting a second floor. A large door led to the main section of the library.
At one of the tables sat Xavier, a guard in handcuffs, and another guard standing. His sword was unsheathed as if he were ready to pounce on an escaping prisoner. The spear he wielded in his other hand looked menacingly sharp. I shuddered.
“Ally, I am pleased to present your killer: Knight Loren Michelle. We have evidence that proves he locked you in the cage. We’re waiting for a confession from him,” Zidia said.
"Don’t believe him," the voice chimed in.
“And where is this evidence?” I asked, suspicious.
“That is confidential, Ally,” Zidia said in an angry tone, glaring at me.
“Don’t you think I deserve to know who “killed me”, and why? That includes the evidence, your highness,” I countered sarcastically.
“No. No you don’t,” he replied coolly. “Guard, take him to the dungeons till the banishment ceremony.”
“No! I didn’t do anything to her! Tell him the truth!” the prisoner furiously screamed at me.
“Enough!” Zidia yelled, silencing everyone. “Out,” he said, pointing to the door. The guard dragged a still-screaming Loren Michelle out of the study towards the cold, dark dungeons that everyone in the city feared, for it usually meant the holding place until the banishment ceremony for the unlucky citizen.
Xavier stood up. “Come, Ally,” he said, taking my arm firmly. Zidia stared us down until we closed the study door. I let out the breath I had been holding.
“Shh. Wait until we get to your holding room.”
Holding room? Before I had thought it only to be a bedroom for me to sleep in. If they had wanted to “hold” me so bad, then they should have put me in the dungeons with Loren.
I thought of the dream while Xavier led me away. What had it meant? It seemed so real. And those eyes - the piercing green that seemed to bear into your soul, the perfect body. Only an angel from legend could be that beautiful.
“Ally,” Xavier said, breaking my train of thought. We were outside the “holding” room door.
I looked up at him. He looked angry and sad, a mix of emotions. It hurt me to see him this way. “Yes?” I responded quietly, my voice barely a whisper.
He didn’t respond. Opening the door, he waved me through, following behind. He shut it loudly.
I sat on the bed staring at him, his muscles tense – furious. He even had an expression of pure rage. It was frightening.
"Be brave," said the voice.
“How could you let this happen Ally!” he yelled, kicking the door. I flinched.
“I don’t know Xavier, I-“
“No! You didn’t say anything about that guy doing this to you! Why are you covering for him? Huh? You’re cheating on me with him! I know it! This is what you get for being with him, and you still cover for him?”
I let him finish, waiting a minute while his face turned from red back to its normal color. Now, I was mad.
“Xavier, I am NOT cheating on you! And I’m not covering for anyone! I don’t know who did this to me. I, I don’t remember…” my voice trailed off.
I know, I replied to the voice, letting a tear fall, running down my face. Why was I crying?
“Ally,” Xavier said, anguished. He came over and sat next to me. I leaned my head against his shoulder. He stroked my hair. “I’m sorry.”
I let out a sob, tears staining his shirt. I felt his own tears mix with mine. Why did he have to cry?
“Ally, I’m so sorry. We’ll figure out some way to fix this, I promise. I’ll, I’ll come in after you, or we’ll hide you somewhere…” he rambled on, desperate in conceiving a plan that will save me.
“Xavier there’s nothing you can do.”
“No! Don’t say that, don’t you dare say that,” he said, shaking. He stared into my eyes, trapping me in his gaze.
“I love you,” I whispered.
He kissed me, rough, wild. So very different from his usual kisses, usually tame. He let the “beast” out. I kissed back, savoring it as if it was our last. It would probably be, too. I moaned.
It was so passionate, so right. I don’t know how much time passed before he pulled back. Loud footsteps could be heard down the hallway, slowly, agonizingly painful, the sense of knowing that once the footsteps reached the door, I would never kiss Xavier again. We stared at each other, our eyes full of hundreds of thousands of words that would never be said to one another. About our love that each of us feels for the other.
“I’ll find you,” he whispered. “I’ll come after you. I promise.”
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”
“I’m going to keep it,” he said fiercely. The footsteps stopped outside the door. “I love you.”
The door swung open. Zidia burst in, his face full of delight. “It’s time to go son,” he said.
Xavier ignored him, focusing on me. He bent down again, quickly kissing me, before walking out the door. Determined. Zidia glared at me before following Xavier out.
What am I suppose to think about? I asked, but it clicked. All the things that were gone from my memory - the conversation, the spray, how I got killed - all the things I suspected because of the voice, validated.
Zidia, I hissed in my mind.
"Zidia," the voice agreed.