Chapter 5: Past Shadows
Date: November 24, 3004
Location: Orbis- The Zerra Mansion
My eye lids fluttered open, revealing my emerald eyes. I looked up at the ceiling from my comfy golden bed and smile to myself. If only every morning was like this. The sun was shining a little below the horizon through the window by my side, spreading its glorious, newly red rays across my bedspread and onto my body. I felt its warmth as I put my feet on the cold wooden ground of my spacious bedroom. Where are those slippers?
Walking around the room, I suddenly remembered what day it was. It was November 24th, 3004. My fifteenth birthday. And that always meant an extravagant surprise party for me in the evenings where I would be in the company of the richest and most famous people in all of Orbis. I sighed and rolled my eyes, figuring out my fathers plan for the umpteenth time.
I stretched with a yawn and shuffled sleepily to the bathroom and locked the door with a click. Turning on the shower, I threw my clothes off into the clothes bin and let my blonde hair down to my shoulder blades. The first step into the stream of steaming hot water was so enlightening as the water pelt my skin and slide down my body. I smiled to myself. This day could not get any better.
I wiped the steam off of the glass mirror of the bathroom and looked at myself. I looked like a princess from one of those fairy tales my mother had always told me about. Through the mirror, I saw the pampered little girl who never missed a thing in her life. Everything was perfect in my life, and I was happy for it. But there was this one part of me that wanted the adventure and excitement that other kids my age were experiencing. That part wanted to burst out of the safety of my confined parents, but was suppressed deep in my brain by the many years of politeness and respect.
Opening the great sliding door of my closet to reveal the rows and rows of designer clothes hanging on the rack, I sighed and just gaped at the selection. It was every girls dream, and though I never got tired of seeing the endless rows of fine cloth, I felt as if something was missing. I grabbed a red dress with spaghetti straps which crossed my back and slid into it. The cherry silk fit the curvature of my developing body perfectly.
The steam had almost cleared entirely as I stepped back into my bedroom. The sun was fully above the horizon now, its rays now a golden yellow as they found their way into my room. I sat down on my bed and tilted my blonde hair to one side. Grabbing a brush, I ran the pricks through my wet hair, straightening them in an instant.
Suddenly, my head jerked around at a sudden knock. Before the door even opened, I somehow already knew who it was. My father strode in with a warm smile. November Alice Zerra! I winced at the sound of my full first name as he sauntered to the head of my bed. He knew I hated that first name, but he kept on pushing. You have a visitor! He walked out with a big smirk on his face. What on earth?
Then I knew. I was so foolish for not knowing from right then, but somehow, my mind turned on its autopilot and I saw into his mind. Amidst the jumble of business jargon and endless thoughts of my fathers family, two words stuck out before me. Damien Ganz. From then on, I knew my day was going to get a whole lot worse.
There he was, dressed in a no-so-intimidating brown suit and squeaky clean black dress shoes. I suppressed the desire to burst out laughing as he smoothed back his gelled black hair which was slicked backwards. He walked forwards and took my hands. Being the mannered young fifteen year old girl I was, I took let him take it, stifling all temptation to slap him across the face.
Miss Zerra, He said with a wide grin across his face. He leant over and kissed my hand, Its a pleasure to meet you again. I saw right through his emotional mask, straight into his brain. What a wonderful body you have. Keeping my secret telepathy hidden, I smiled sweetly and returned the compliment. I felt as if I was going to throw up as he took my arm and escorted me towards the party.
The clanking of a silver fork on a crystal wine glass clattered through the air. I looked up from my table, away from Damiens black eyes as they tried continuously to catch mine.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, my father roared over the crowd in the common room of the mansion, As you all well know, today is the birthday of my special jewel, November Alice, Zerra. There was an upsurge of thunderous applause as hundreds of pairs of hands clapped for me. I stood up and curtsied, blushing furiously as I smiled at my fathers friends. My friends were there too, but my father saw my own birthday as an opportunity to get his business colleagues drunk and make easy deals. The thought disgusted me, but I never brought it up.
I would ask you to join me in singing happy birthday to my lovely daughter! As my father finished, a chorus of high and low voices shook the room as they burst gaily into a birthday song.
Then, there it was.
Something flashed before my mind.
What was that?
I blinked a few times, trying to clear my mind.
Then I felt a small jolt of pain run through my head. A migraine?
To Miss Zerra.
My eyes widened as another pang seared through my nerves. This time, I felt it.
The next time was excruciating, bringing tears to my eyes. I bit my lips, praying not to cry out.
The thunderous claps reverberated around the room. I shook my head as tears ran down my cheeks. The pain had gone suddenly. What was it? I looked up in tears at the room who had mistaken my pain for joy.
Thank you all, my father continued and took a look at me. I knew it was coming, Would you look at that? My daughter has been moved so much she is actually in tears. Happy birthday Nova! The rest, was history.
Nova? an unconcerned voice asked uncertainly, Nova are you alright? Feeling his eyes stare down at me, I looked up at Damien and noticed I had collapsed my head on the table, shaking in tears. At that moment, I hated Damien more than anything else. His eyes were not staring at my eyes at all, but were fixed instead upon my cleavage as my chest lay across the table.
Quickly sitting back in my chair, I put my hand to my chest, Im, sorry Damien, I said as insincerely as I could, I just need some fresh air. Taking that as an invitation, I soon found myself being escorted to the balcony overlooking the acres of backyard. Why cant this guy just leave me alone?
The stars shone brightly as I sniffled a little while looking up at them. They were so close, yet so far. I felt as if I could touch them, but knew the nearest star was four and a half light years away. Feeling the wind run through my blonde ponytail and two bangs up front, I wiped my tears away with the back of my hands. I closed my eyes, imagining myself to be alone on a small hill in the dark night lit up only by the moon and the stars. I could almost feel the cool breeze engulf me, cradling me gently in its arms. But I knew such a thing was not meant to last as his voice penetrated my thoughts. Again.
Your hair looks so nice tonight, I heard Damien say. I looked up at his dark eyes. They were straying towards my chest. Noticing this, I instantly whipped around, muttering a quick thank you out of pure habit. If not for my years of manner training, I would probably have chucked him off of the balcony.
I felt his heat as he stepped closer towards me. I could see in his minds he wanted no more than to take me right then and there. I was not going to let that happen, not in a million years. He took another step. His breath tingled the skin on my neck as he breathed down on me.
Nova have you ever considered a boyfriend? Yes, but not with you.
I turned around and smiled sweetly, I have considered it, but I have not found the one who has made my heart flutter yet. I could tell he was urging for it.
Nova, he whispered. I could feel his heat as he put his arms around my waist. But right then and there, I knew I could not prevent it. No matter how strong my internal will was, my physical strength was no match for his muscular build. The harder I struggled to break free, the firmer he held me. I felt his hands slide up my legs.
I would have puked right there, but his mouth was instantly pressed against mine. I felt his tongue lash out into mine as he kissed me firmly on the lips. Eyes wide in disgust, I wanted to scream, but couldnt. He seemed to be sucking the very life out of me. I put my hands on his chest, trying to push him away.
Suddenly, I felt a tremendous surge of energy and in an instant, his hands released their clench from my body. He flew back a good ten feet and landed beside the wall, knocked out cold. I gasped and put my hands to my mouth in shock. What just happened? I looked at my hands in shock, but they were perfectly normal. Then, my head split open and I knew I was dead. I felt myself fall to the floor of the balcony, hitting my head on the concrete floor. A surge of warm blood spilled out of my cracked skull as I lay there on the floor. My eyes closed shut, the sparkle gone from my emerald eyes. Falling, falling into the shadows.
Date: November 24, 3007
Location: Navasota Island
Three years later, on that very night, on a desolate island in the middle of the ocean, Nova clutched her head in pain, stifling a scream by biting lip. Something tore through her skull like a white hot knife through butter. The screams in her head were unbearable. Nova fell to the floor, tears forming in her eyes in agony. No amount of training had prepared her for this. It was as if she had slammed her head into a slab of thick concrete. What was happening?