The Devil's Rose
Author's note: I've always loved fantasy. It's my favorite genre and I wrote this in 45 mins. I hope everyone enjoys it!
Reno's MissionAfter witnessing the incident with Jeri and her mother, Reno felt like he over staid his welcome. “Thanks for the pizza Mrs. S,” said Reno. He had been friends with Jeri for years and knew her parents well. Reno was polite and insisted on calling them Mr. or Mrs., ma’am or sir. Reno snatched a box of pizza and grabbed his camouflage messenger bag he had left by the front door. All Reno could think about was the man Jeri told him about and everything that was going on tomorrow. November 6th the anniversary of my parent’s death and Jeri’s birthday. He thought grimly. Thinking about his parents and the man made Reno lose his appetite. So he offered the pizza box to an elderly homeless man. “Save some for later alright?” Reno knew how New Yorker’s were with their food. And their money for that matter.
“Oh thank you young man!” the man shouted as Reno walk down the frosty streets. “May God bless you!” The elderly man could barely contain himself. Reno turned to the man and gravely grinned.
“God bless me? Yeah right. Someone else is going to help me out though.” He pulled up his hood and stalked away.
Reno walked to his foster home that was half way across the city with only one thought in mind. The mission. The neighbor hood he lived in wasn’t as ‘prosperous’ as Jeri’s, be he liked it there. The crime rate was low and all the neighbors were kind. Reno tried his best not to get too attached to the children or even his foster parents. It’s only temporary, he reminded himself, and it’ll all be over soon. Nobody will notice a thing. Reno’s foster parent’s believed he wasn’t ready for a real job yet and since Reno knew many of the families very well already, he figured he might as well make a living out of it. He waved to his neighbors hard not to be conspicuous then jumped over the fairly short chain link fence and sprinted up the concrete steps to the door. Reno reached for the chipped and dented doorknob but before her could touch it, the pale blue door flew opened. Slightly startled, Reno took a step back as two kids bolted past him. “See ya later Ro!” a little girl with coiled brunette pigtails hanging next to her ears shouted as she struggled to open the gate. Reno watched them slam the gate shut and dart down the street quickly. He couldn’t help but smile. Reno remembered why he was here then quickly whipped the smirk from his face. He stepped into the house and was overcome by the smell of something burning. Reno dropped his messenger bag and dashed to the kitchen. He sighed with relief when he discovered the kitchen was not in flames. His foster mother was standing over the stove aggressively stirring something that looked like hamburger meat. “Jodie?” Reno called out his foster mother’s name.
“Oh, Roland you’re here.” Jodie sounded fretful and wavering. Reno’s foster mother grabbed the pan of meat and dropped in angrily in the sink. “We’re ordering out tonight.” Reno grinned offering to help clean up. The kitchen was very smoky due to Jodie burning four different foods. A turn out the ‘hamburger meat’ was actually spaghetti noodles.
“How do you burn spaghetti?” Reno mockingly question Jodie’s cooking skills. Reno had lived with the Hanson’s for eight months. Mr. Hanson worked most of the day and sometimes the night. The Hanson’s had two little girls named Lilly and Ivy. Although the girls were twins, they couldn’t be more different. Ivy had chocolate brown curls and. Lilly looked exactly like her sister, except for the difference in hair color. Lilly’s hair was a bright crimson and very wavy. Both of the girls had sweet indigo eyes. Teachers or babysitters always got them confused so the mother developed a color coded way of telling them apart. “The calm and sweet one is the brunette. The wild and hyper one is the red head.” The girl’s mother would always say. Reno grew fond of the little girls the minute he met them. He loved their diverse personalities and told the girls that they were very unique. Lilly never listened to anyone except for Reno. “Typical big brother thing,” Jodie would mumble with a huff whenever she wasn’t able to get Lilly to go to bed. “They make me feel more…” Reno would reply calmly, “normal.”
Jodie quickly wandered out of the kitchen leaving Reno to finish cleaning. Reno had almost finished cleaning when he heard a loud thud. He dropped a plate on the kitchen floor and darted out of the room. He heard a smaller crash and darted to where ever the sound was coming from. Reno hoped Jodie wasn’t in his room. He braced himself for Jodie’s expression and anger if she was in his room as he propped himself against the wall and he stumbled on a couple of Lilly and Ivy’s toys on the stairs. Little girls and their Barbie dolls, Reno sighed as he reached the top of the stairs. “Jodie where are you?” shouted a breathless and worried Reno. He reached Jodie’s room and found her standing in the middle a huge mess of clothes, a couple empty boxes and various papers. Jodie’s pale green eyes were flicking back and forth all over the room and her light brown hair was pulled into a messy bun that was held together with two chopsticks. She had on hand place firmly on her hip and the other on the back of her neck. “Jodie?” Reno felt a huge relief as he stepped into her room. Jodie snapped back to reality realizing her adopted son was in the room. She gave him fragile smile and rubbed her shoulder roughly.
“Hey Roland. Is the kitchen cleaned?”
“Yeah.” Reno replied silently remembering the plate he dropped. “Wow,” he said gazing around the room. “What happened in here?” He was surprised with Jodie. She was adamant about having a clean and tidy room.
Jodie began rummaging through her nightstand drawers. “I was looking for you birthday present.” A hint of curiosity flashed in Reno’s dark brown eyes. He had told her that she or Mr. Hanson really didn’t have to buy him any sort of gift. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to see what the gift was. After all it has to be significant if Jodie would willingly trash her room looking for it. It’s only temporary. Remember why you’re here. Remember what needs to be done. He pushed the small voice to the back of his head.
The voice came back. “Jodie, you really don’t have to give me anything. You already let me stay in your home and be apart of your family. What more could I ask for? And besides, my birthday was two months ago.” Reno really did feel this way. Not many people in the world would adopt a sixteen going on seventeen year old boy. Jodie gasped and jumped up with excitement as she hid the present behind her back. She walked over to her son with toothy grin covering her face.
“Roland, I know you’re birthday was a couple months ago and I’m sorry all we got you was a journal, but there was a reason that was all we got you. You’re a good kid. Very responsible with your sister’s and your grades are all up so Craig and I both agreed that since you’re seventeen now it’s time you had you own way of transportation.” Jodie held out her hand to Reno and in her hand was a brass key on a little silver ring. “Welcome to the family.”