Alghaven: Part One

Part One

Sidney is on the bus, on her way home after a long day at the bridal shop she works at, when an older lady sits down next to her. Sidney thinks nothing of it, but the woman keeps glancing over at her out of the corner of her eye with a weird look on her face. After two stops, they come to another and the woman gets up. Sidney looks over at her, noticing she doesn’t exactly look old.

She’s short and hunched forward, like old ladies are, but when Sidney gets a glimpse of her face, the first thing she notices are the woman’s beautifully bright purple eyes. Her hair is as white as snow, covered mostly with a ugly, purple paisley scarf. Her face lacks wrinkles, and her skin looks soft, so Sidney can only imagine how it feels. Sidney soon realize the woman isn’t old at all, more like close to her own age. Sidney can’t see her body because she’s wearing a long, brown faux fur coat, and the scarf around her head descends halfway down her back.

The stranger pulls the scarf partially over her face so she can’t be seen very well and goes to walk away from Sidney, but then she turns back to her. Her mouth opens and closes a few times, like she has something to say. The only imperfection on her face are her slightly chapped lips.

“Come on, lady.” Ron, the bus driver, grumbles .

The woman sighs and tosses me a cloth that clearly contains something inside. “You were- are – destined for better things, Sidney.”

Sidney has no clue how the woman could know her name. She watchs her hurry off of the bus, moving quickly, her hunch seeming to disappear as she exits the bus. Sidney scowls, trying to get another glimpse of her, but she’s unable. Sidney hesitantly unravel the cloth she’d been given, finding a necklace of sorts inside.

It’s small- half sun, half moon. Sidney doesn’t know the material, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. The sun part is dark blue, with small specks of orange and yellow. The moon half is a shiny silver flecked with white and teal. The rays of the sun are short, and when Sidney places her forefinger against one, she finds out it’s quite sharp when it draws blood. She hisses quietly and pulls her finger away, peering at the small blood speck, it quickly disappears before her eyes, leaving her finger dry, no pain at all. Sidney can’t resist the urge to poke one of the rays again. That time, nothing happens. It merely pushes into her finger without breaking the skin and without causing pain.

She scowls down at it, wondering how such a thing was possible. She turns it and looks at the edge of the moon, seeing that it looked sharp as a blade. You know what they say about curiosity and the cat. Well, Sidney is pretty much the definition of the cat. Using her right hand this time, she runs her forefinger down the edge of the moon. She has to resist yelping as it cuts into her finger, feeling like it’s been sliced in two. When she looks at it, she sees it was just a small, bloody indent, like a very large and painful paper cut. She watches intently, seeing the same thing happen as before. The blood simply disappears and as soon as it’s gone, there’s no wound.

She tries it again. Nothing, just like before. Sidney stares at it for a while before wrapping it back in the cloth and throwing it in her messenger bag. She stares at the bag for a moment before laying her head back against the seat.

“I’m insane.” She whispers to herself, staring up at the ceiling. After she wracks her brain on how she’d come to be this way (probably genetics, she concludes), she shuts her eyes, knowing she has another 45 minutes.

<><><>

Sidney says a nice chipper goodbye to Ron on the way off the bus because she knows he finds it annoying.

 

“See you tomorrow!” She smiles brightly as she steps onto the sidewalk in front of her apartment.

“Whatever.” Ron says, closing the doors without a glance in her direction. Sidney laughs as the bus chugs away sluggishly. Her amusement soon fades when she remembers that she has to walk up six flights of stairs to her lonely apartment.

<><><>

Sidney sighs when she enters her apartment, throwing her keys on the old table by the door and setting her bag aside. She hears a clamor before Tomo, her old tabby cat, comes around the corner meowing loudly. The meowing is short lived because soon enough, he’s hawking up a large gray and black fur ball. He walks away pompously, and Sidney barely resists a groan.

“Thanks, Tomo.” She gets a loud meow in response from the other room as she goes to find paper towels. After twenty minutes of scrubbing the stain out of the carpet, she collapses into her recliner and turns on the TV. The apartment may be lonely, but she prides herself in neatness and can’t stand it when it’s even remotely dirty.

She reaches up and takes her hair out of its ponytail, a few stray brown strands falling out. She puts the hair tie around her wrist and runs her hands through her hair. She sighs again, knowing she has to eat and shower before doing it all over again tomorrow. She watches the news for an hour before her stomach growls, demanding food.

She goes to the fridge, noticing there’s barely anything inside. She rolls her eyes and grabs some leftover fried chicken. Good fried chicken, from a diner down the road. She goes there often enough that all the employees know her by name. She grabs a plate from the cupboard and places the chicken on it before putting it in the microwave to reheat. She leans against the counter, wondering how her life got so goddamn boring. Tomo, hearing the microwave, comes running, tangling himself in Sidney’s legs, butting his head against her calves.

When the microwave beeps, the grabs a bottled water and returns to her reclining, watching reruns of King of Queens while she eats. Tomo sits patiently at her feet, so she peels off some skin, dropping it on the floor for him. She watches at he bats it around and rolls onto his back before sinking his claws into the piece and putting it in his mouth, chewing loudly.

At ten thirty, she falls into bed, having just showered. She lays there for a moment, just staring up at the ceiling before she remembers the bus incident. How could she have forgotten? She gets up and goes to the front hall, grabbing her messenger bag before bringing it back to her bedroom. She pulls out the cloth, unraveling and setting it before her. She stares at the necklace before pulling her cellphone out.

After checking several notifications she’s surprised she has, she dials her best friend.

“Hey, Sid.” Daria answers, sounding happy to hear from her.

“Got some time?” Sidney asks, running her thumb along the fine silver chain of the necklace before her.

“For you, always.” Daria chuckles and Sidney hears her take a bite of something.

“Hey, share.”

“No way.” Daria chuckles again around a mouthful. “You’re never the one to call me, so what’s up?”

“Well, you’re not going to believe what happened to me today,” Sidney starts.

TBC

 

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