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It’s at that one, small, tiny insignificant moment. That you realized your own family has let you down, yet again. This is what Quentin had decide as he watched Mother and Father fight back their tears and whirl around their small home in fits of distress. He reached out and held his sisters, Rosa, clay hand. In hopes to comfort her in a situation that forgot to include them. Which he tried not to take to heart. For some reason his parents were shutting, plugging and locking every window, door or hole that lay their home susceptible to outside forces. “Mother.” Quentin finally said. “What did the chalice read?”
She froze. Her skin ash ridden and her hair slicked back into uneven, grey braids. She stole a short glance from Father who didn’t turn around. He was bent over, plugging a hole with stint spray – a spray on which a product is dispersed to take a surface or ‘used to be’ surface back to new by ‘stinting’ back into time. “Quentin, no need to make a fuss, just head to your room and start packing.” She replied.
“Mother. Whatever it is, I don’t think just getting up and going is the best…” He let his voice trail off when he met Fathers eyes. They were hard, and excited. Much unlike Mothers. He seemed thrilled, and heavy – trying to hide it.
“Why do you have an opinion for things you do not understand?” Father asked, his voice booming.
Quentin just shook his head, in hopes Father takes that as his reply. He dropped Rosa’s hand and tromped to his room. What am I even packing for? An escape for the law… a sudden, adventurous family vacation? He tugged at a velvet cloth that exposed a small mattress and an old wooden desk with piled clothing on it. Which were the only clean clothes in his room, so he picked up his canvas rucksack and dumped it out onto the floor. School books and papers tumbled out in beautiful harmony with gravity. The only thing he re-picked up from his emptied bag was a protractor and a notepad. Other than that he stuffed his mismatched clothing, his favourite pocket lamp, and a small triangular knife in the back pocket – pulled on the string to close it and slung it over his shoulder with a sigh.
“Quentin!” Mother shouted, from Rosa’s room. “Come here.”
Following her strained voice to his sister’s room where his Mother was lacing up the back of Rosa’s heat and moister dress. I guess they were leaving, he thought. She only wore that to travel. “As I was just telling your sister. You have two options here. You can stay here or come with Father and I. Both have the potential of danger and death. Your choice, sweetheart. ”
Quentin blinked up at his Mother, who continued to adjust Rosa’s clothes. She’s speaking as if this, all of this, is normal. “Secrets get people killed, Mother.” He suddenly blurted out.
“And so does knowing them.” She replied to his surprise.
“You know what? Let the boy stay.” Father grumbled, walking up behind Quentin, yanking his rucksack off his left shoulder. “Your giving him to many options. Poor boy can’t make up his mind.”
Quentin let out a gasp, but quickly trying to breathe it over. His Fathers words were cruel at best, in the most harmless of ways.
“If Quentin can’t come. I’m staying.” Rosa whispered – just loud enough for Mother to hear. Her body shivered and her thoughts swirled with questions. Could this all be because of their money troubles? Or their Fathers strange, surveyor jobs he’s been taking? She couldn’t be sure. But she was sure of the shouting voices she heard rumbling through their thin home walls from the outside.
“What did you do?” Quentin, shouted at his Father. Spinning in his direction. “That’s the guard at our door. THE guard.”
Father stared at Quentin with angry eyes. “Take Rosa with you when you leave.” He said. Plopping Quentin’s bag back on his shoulders. Who immediately rushed to Mother.
“You can’t sacrifice us, like this!” Quentin said through a shaky breath. Trying to find any trace of his beloved Mother in a shell that looked like her. “Tell me, what’s going on.” He asked again, his voice longing and sore. “Please.”
Mother just shook her head, but not to say no, it was if the words were too painful to gather into speech. “Find Earl.”
“Crazy Earl?” Quentin said, reaching for his Mothers free hand. Father’s large grasp clamped down on his shoulder spinning him back around – handing him Rosa’s rucksack as well.
His voice was firm and solid when he spoke, “Go.”
The shouting was growing louder, followed by screeching of machinery.
“No!” Rosa squirmed, “This isn’t okay!”
“It’s not, Rosa. They want us to go.”
There was a loud bang on the front door, that seemed to rumble through Quentin’s body. Suddenly, everything about him erupted. Father motioned to leave and Quentin pulled Rosa out of the room, as the front door blasted open. The guards marching through wearing yellow masks and black uniforms for the towns colours. Each guard packing enough acid shanks in their guns to take down an army. Quentin cursed in rage, making him wonder what was going on. The guard doesn’t come packed like that, just to take out a four piece family… The rhythmic steps of the guard took only moments to cross their paths. He pulled Rosa into a spare room, searching her eyes before sliding the glass pane of the window across. The movement seemed warp and more challenging than he’d thought. He heard his Father shouting and pushed Rosa through. She landed with a graceful thump, and Quentin jumped out- hearing his world shatter with the shots of the Guard and the yelp’s of his Mother, ‘They’re already gone. Just let them be!’
Pulling both straps of the bags tight, Quentin grabbed his sister’s hand – and there feet hit the dry ground in a run.
Written by A. Writes.
Read Part Three here!
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