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Writober Part 11

“They’re using fire from pyros to generate power; they’re being drained.” Violet said, tears streaming down her cheeks as she stared unblinking at the unconscious girl. “We have to get them out of here.”

“Blast the doors with your fire!” Ryan yelled as he started running to the other end of the hall.

She tried, but the doors held.

“It’s not working.”

“Try the windows.”

Glass breaking at the other end of the hall let Violet know that the windows would work. So she held out her arms, closed her eyes, and sent all the fire she could muster through her hands.

The explosion of glass made her jump, but she quickly recovered, climbed through the broken window, and lifted the girl to her feet. Her eyes cracked open. She was alive! Violet helped her through the window and hurried to the other cells. One by one, blast by blast, they freed the tormented pyros from their prisons. Those responsive enough to know what was going on joined in and started freeing others.

Violet couldn’t believe that no one had heard all the commotion they were making. But they were quite a ways underground, and there were probably no security cameras. Don’t want anyone to know what goes on in the lower levels…

Soon, fire blasts of every shade and color lit up he dismal corridor as more and more pyros came to. Within an hour, the entire network of tunnels had been freed.

“Now how to we get everyone out of here?” Violet said as she met up with Ryan. “There’s no way we can sneak this many people out the way we came in.”

“You’re right. What do we do?”

“You’re the map. Is there some sort of back exit we can take?”

“This whole compound is connected through these underground tunnels. We can take those, but we still need to find a way to make sure these people can never do this again.”

“Any ideas?”

“Actually, yes.”

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.

Writober Part 10

Violet stared, jaw dropped and eyes wide. On the computer screen were dozens of faces she recognized from her school and neighborhood. They were all operatives sent undercover to watch her.

“You know these people?” Ryan asked.

“Yes, you?”

“Yes. I’ve seen each person at some point. They are everywhere. Their reach seems to be without end.”

“But what do they want?”

Ryan’s fingers flew across the keys. “Look at this. It’s a breakdown of their energy usage. This whole compound is completely self sufficient.”

“Through what? Solar power?”

“No. Fire.”

“I don’t understand. Are they burning wood?”

“We need to go.”

“Where?”

“Down below. Where… where I was held.”

Ryan grabbed her hand and they ran from the room, down the hall, and into a stairwell.

“Do you have this whole placed mapped in your brain?” Violet said.

“Once I determined that I needed to come back one day, I hacked my way into the official blueprints and memorized the layout.”

“We’re not taking the elevators?”

“No, they can stop them. But to save time…”

With the stairs spiraling around the outer edges of the room, it left the entire middle clear. Ryan hopped the rail and sailed through the air, landing gently on his feet at the bottom level. Violet followed right behind him, exhilarated by the free-fall.

The stairwell exit led them to a series of dark hallways lined on either side with double-paned glass windows. Each looked into a small concrete cell, but what was inside sent chills through Violet’s body. Each room held a person, chained by their hands and feet. But their eyes… They were distant and unfeeling, as if there was no one left inside.

As they walked, one cell held a girl about Violet’s age. Orange fire ignited at her hands and quickly spread, covering her body. One she was fully engulfed in flames, she began to scream, louder and louder. The fire started to rise to the ceiling, as if it were being sucked through a vent. When Violet thought she could take no more of the poor girl’s wailing, the screaming stopped with a chilling echo, the fire vanished, and the girl slumped to the floor.

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.

Writober Part 9

“Get ready?” Violet said. “Ready for what?”

Ryan glanced above them at an AC vent.

That’s his plan?

How would they even get it open before being spotted?

“Where are they?” a familiar voice shouted from the next room.

The guard got up from his perch and walked to the door. How did Ryan know they would have an opportunity?

That was when Violet saw how—Ryan was watching the reflection of the security camera off the metal door of a cabinet next to the guard’s desk. Smart.

As soon as the guard’s back was turned, Ryan ran under the vent, lifted his hands, and blasted two streams of green fire at the ceiling, destroying the vent and leaving the duct wide open. He jumped, higher than Violet thought was possible, grabbed the ledge and lifted himself inside.

“Your turn,” he said, reaching out his arm.

Violet jumped, surprising herself that she made it just as high as Ryan. He helped her up, and just as she was clear, the guard and the man who had been yelling entered the room below. Now she knew why the voice sounded so familiar. It was the Hunter.

“They’re gone! What part of ‘dangerous, high-priority, target’ did not compute with you? I called to warn you when I realized they were heading here so that you could take them below, somewhere more secure. Not leave them unattended.”

While they were still arguing, Ryan and Violet crept through the duct with Ryan in the lead. He seemed to know exactly where he was going. They made multiple turns, until he finally stopped and looked through the vent to the room below. From what they could see, the room was devoid of people, but was filled with high-powered microscopes, incubators, computers, and several other pieces of lab equipment Violet didn’t recognize.

“Coast seems clear,” Ryan said. He removed the vent and they dropped to the floor.

Not missing a beat, Ryan went straight to the computer. Within seconds he had hacked his way past the password protection.

“You should see this,” he said. “This goes much deeper than I originally thought.”

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.

Writober Part 8

Violet readjusted her position on the concrete floor and looked over at Ryan, who didn’t seem nearly as uncomfortable, or as worried, as she was. They were inside a dark, chain cage, under constant surveillance by the guard who found them.

“Why didn’t we use our power when he took us?” Violet whispered. “Then we wouldn’t be trapped in here.”

“We could have. But then he would have alerted the whole base to our presence, everyone would be looking for us, and we’d have to go on the run instead of gathering information.”

“We’re not doing that anyway. We’re stuck.”

“We’re not stuck. Just biding our time.”

“Why are you so at ease?”

“Because there’s nothing to be worried about.”

Violet thought for a moment. “You’ve been here before, haven’t you?”

There was a long pause, and when Ryan finally spoke, he was looking at the ground. “Once, a while back. They had captured me and ran all sorts of tests. They never told me what they were looking for or what would become of me after. The tests were…horrendous… I finally got a lucky break and was able to overpower a guard while he was distracted.

“So I ran. Ran faster than I’ve ever run in my life. That was when they sent the Hunter after me. He was supposed to bring me back, and he almost did. But the trick is to never let him close enough to use his ability on you. I figure he has about a ten foot radius, maybe fifteen. I committed myself to pursuing them, like you. But unlike you, I knew I needed help. That I couldn’t take them down on my own. So I searched for others like me, and that’s when I found you.”

Violet nodded. “I’m sorry you had to go through all that.”

“Yeah…but hey, I got to meet you, so something good came out of it.” He smiled at her and Violet smiled back.

“I’m glad I met you too. Thanks for saving me, by the way.”

“Of course.” Ryan looked past her at the guard sitting outside their cell. “Violet, do you trust me?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, good. Get ready.”

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.

Writober Part 7

“We’re here,” Ryan said as they crested the hill and looked down on a valley littered with a network of buildings and an immense power plant at its nucleus.

“Wow,” Violet said. “Now what?”

“Now we get inside.”

“Okay, and they’re gonna let us just waltz right in?”

“Well, there will have to be some stealth involved on our part…”

“So what’s the plan?”

“Intel. We first need to know what they’re up to. We’ll worry about the rest when we get there.”

“Great. Flying by the seat of our pants. Love it.”

Ryan smiled at her playful sarcasm as they descended into the valley. The half moon in the sky lit their path, but wasn’t bright enough to expose them. Violet’s heart was beating so fast she thought it might explode. How did a simple, young college student such as herself manage to get caught up in all this?

Oh yeah. I randomly developed a mutant power. Thanks fate. 

Deep down, Violet had to admit she enjoyed it. It was fun and thrilling, even if it meant crazy people would try to kill her on a daily basis.

The two of them crept along the wall of one of the buildings. Without warning, Ryan grabbed Violet’s shoulder and pushed her to the ground. A second later, a bright search light swept across her previous position.

“Thanks,” she whispered.

“Don’t mention it,” he whispered back. “You see that door? After the next pass of the light, we run for it. Ready? Three…two…one…now!”

Hunched over, they ran into the open, fully exposed for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, they made it to the cover of the doorway without incident.

“Locked,” Ryan said as he unrolled a set of lock picks.

“Ooh… someday you’re gonna have to teach me how to use those.”

With a soft click, the door unlocked and they opened it to see a massive guard with arms crossed, blocking their way.

“Well, what do we have here?”

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.

Writober Part 6

The Hunter woke in the middle of the road with the sun shining in his eyes. The girl was gone, but the car was still there with both front doors wide open.

He got to his feet, brushed off his pants, and replaced his hat. Closing his eyes, he inhaled, letting the various aromas fill his nostrils. One of the pyros had used their ability nearby. He could smell it. But unfortunately he would not be able to see the embers until night.

No matter. He didn’t mind waiting. He could track them easily enough, even with their head start. So he walked to the edge of the nearby trees, leaving the car in the road, and waited patiently. While on a hunt, he required neither food nor water. Survival in extreme conditions was apart of his ability. That’s why they called him, The Hunter. A true predator allowed nothing to deter him from his prey.

Except night. Nothing he could do about that.

Dark. He loved the dark. Thrived in it. He could actually see better at night. As darkness spread across the woods, he scoured the area, until finally locating the boy’s embers. Small, green, glowing flecks—like remnants of a dying campfire—were sprinkled along the ground and trees.

And not far ahead, he found both green and indigo. They had been there alright. They went—

Wait.

He sniffed. “Did they really think they could trick me so easily?”

Standing still, he closed his eyes, breathed deep, and did an about face.

They’re fools if they think embers are my only means of tracking.

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.

Writober Part 5

“How do you know my name?” Violet said as they ran through the trees, the occasional stray branch scraping her face.

“I’ve been tracking him, tracking you. His name is Russell and he is more powerful than you think. Don’t be fooled into believing you can win him over. You can’t.”

“How do you know so much about him?” Violet gasped, remembering what the Hunter had told her about the single pyro to ever escape him. “He told me about you. Well, briefly. You’re the only one he ever lost.”

“That’s me, in the flesh and at your service.”

“Wait, you used your ability as we were leaving. He told me how he tracks people like us. He’ll be able to—”

“Don’t worry. I know how he uses the embers to find us.” Ryan stopped running and faced Violet. “Ignite your fire.”

“No, it will only make it worse.”

“Trust me.”

Strangely enough, she did trust him.

“Okay.”

Violet let the familiar heat spread through her body and congregate in her fists. Opening them, her indigo flames flared to life. It was a strange relief, letting the fire course through her like that. In such a tense situation as this, it brought clarity to her mind and calmed her nerves.

“Absolutely beautiful,” Ryan said, staring at her hands, the indigo light flickered across his face.

Grabbing her hands, he ignited his own flames. The green and indigo swirled together for a moment until Ryan nodded, signaling Violet to cut off the flow.

“Now we backtrack and take a different route,” he said. “We use his own methods against him.”

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.

Behind the Curtain: Charade

Paris, 1900. The Paris Opera House was the epicenter of upper-class society. Only the wealthy could afford to attend, while the not-so-lucky would read about the ballet and the performers’ latest scandals in the next morning’s paper.

 ~

“On and off stage couple, Gerard and Ella, captivated yet another audience in last night’s stunning performance,” Ella read the article aloud to her dance partner, Gerard, as she paced across her dressing room. “Many claim to have seen an engagement ring on Ella’s finger, while others insist they are already secretly married. The couple has yet to confirm or deny these rumors.”

Ella slammed the paper into Gerard’s lap. “How long are we going to keep up this charade?”

“As long as they keep buying tickets,” Gerard said plainly. “I have to go; I’ll see you before curtain.”

“Fine.”

The door slammed behind him, followed by a knock ten seconds later.

“Did you forget to kiss your ‘fiancé’ before leaving?” She yelled.

The door cracked open and a head of brown shaggy hair popped in.

“Is it safe to enter?” He said.

“Luke, it’s you,” Ella sighed in relief. She ran to him and kissed him gently on the lips. “Did anyone see you come in? If a reporter found out I’m courting one of the stage hands and not the leading dancer…”

“No one saw me.”

As she was about to kiss him again, a short man with gray hair burst into the dressing room.

“What are you doing?” He said, franticly closing the door. “What if someone else had come in?”

“Well, it is a dressing room. Most people knock.”

“Your romance with Gerard is selling out the theatre.”

“What romance? It’s all fake!”

“As the manager, I cannot allow you to see Luke any longer. I’m arranging for Gerard to propose after tonight’s show… And you will say yes.”

“And if I don’t?”

“I’ll see to it that you never dance again.”

 ~

As promised, in front of every reporter, Gerard got down on one knee and pulled out a ring. Ella barely heard his question over the gasps of the crowd. Sneaking a glance beyond the throng, she found Luke with arms crossed.

Dancing was everything. What choice did she have?

“Yes,” she said to Gerard. The last thing Ella saw before they kissed was the look of a betrayal painted on Luke’s broken face.

[hr]

This was written for the Behind the Curtain flash fiction contest at Yearning for Wonderland.



Writober Part 4

An elbow to the face and a knee to the stomach later, the mystery man had the Hunter on the ground. Violet franticly tried to free herself, as the man ran over to her side of the car. It was too late; there was no way for her to escape. He jerked open the door and she instinctively jumped back—until his eyes caught hers. They were green, kind and gentle, not the harsh glare she was expecting from someone so strong. His hair was blond and hung lose by his ears.

He immediately went to work on undoing her bonds.

Violet felt immediately drawn to him; all fear of him had vanished. “What’s your name?” She said.

“We have to hurry. He won’t be down for long, and we need to get outside his radius,” he said.

“What?”

By now he had freed her and was helping her out of the car. He grabbed her hand and together they ran away from the road and into the trees beyond.

Looking down, green flames engulfed their entwined figures, but her skin was not burned.

“You’re a…”

“Yep. Name’s Ryan. Nice to meet you, Violet.”

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.

Writober Part 3

The sun started peaking over the horizon and a dense fog covered the ground as Violet and the Hunter drove farther away from civilization.

“And when, over the course of your quest, did you become aware you were no longer the one doing the hunting?” He asked.

Violet noticed how engrossed he was in what she was saying. Maybe if she kept his attention, if she got him to care, he would sympathize with her. Maybe he wouldn’t turn her in.

“I realized it about five hours outside Chicago. I kept seeing your blasted hat everywhere. You must not be as sneaky as you thought.”

“Or you’re not as smart as you thought. Did it ever occur to you that I wanted you to know I was chasing you?”

“Why? Because running would distract me from going after the people you work for?”

The Hunter didn’t respond. That would be a yes, Violet thought.

“Who do you work for, by the way?”

Violet barely got the question out when a green burst of light ignited in the middle of the road twenty feet ahead. The Hunter hit the brakes, slamming Violet against her belt. The green light vanished. Only a man was left standing in the middle of the road, staring directly into the Hunter’s eyes. The Hunter opened the car door and strode toward him. Violet had a feeling the two of them had met.

Violet thought for sure the man would be knocked out by one punch, but he grabbed the Hunter’s fist mid-swing and overpowered him. Whoever this mystery man was, he was stronger than the Hunter. Impressive.

Should that comfort or terrify me?

[hr]

For the month of October, I’ve joined a writing challenge called Writober. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we write something and send it to the entire group.For Writober, I’ll be continuing the series I’ve started about a tough pyro named, Violet Blair.

Need to catch up on the story? You can read earlier Writober posts, or you can read Violet Blair’s entire story.