You had to walk home because there were no busses for detention inmates. It was a good thing you took your hat today because even though it was a rather mild day the sun was shining like it wanted blind the world. You were weak against the sun, and too much of it would result in fainting. It was a two bus ride(public), and a half mile walk to the edge of town; you just had to keep your eyes peeled for a house with a huge burnt part. As it turned out the mansion was so frikkin huge 29% burn was like 3 of your little cottages put together. Big flashing neon sign. The problem was there was a guard by the front gate and the wall around the place was about 7 and a half feet tall.
'I wish I had Dmitri right about now.' You thought, lowering the brim of your hat, so the guard wouldn't get an i.d. if he saw this lone person walking on the road. Before he could look at you though you dove into the bushes beside the wall and used them as a path to stay out of sight but get to another area of the wall where there was less
supervision. You turned a corner, and popped out. It was very shady because there were huge trees shading everything outside and just inside the wall.
'Thank you,' you thought putting your hat back under the bushes so you could climb the tree with more ease. It was still pretty tough though, seeing as the lowest branch that was likely to support your weight was about 2 feet out of reach. Finally, after jumping a while, you grasped it and started pulling yourself up, but, alas, the branch didn't hold, and it snapped quite loudly in addition to throwing you back on the ground. Now it was no longer a dallying task to get up the tree, but a do or die mission: the guard was sure to have heard and probably on his way. You sprang into the air to catch a slightly higher, but stronger branch, caught it after 2 tries, and lunged yourself into the foliage. Then, just as quickly, climbed over to the side of the tree over the wall and jumped to the wall and then the ground. As you sat catching your breath for a second, you heard the guard's boots and walkie talkie,
"What is it, Jackobie?" the walky-talkie's staticy voice asked, or really ordered.
"I heard a something by the north-east wall, sir. There's a broken tree branch, send someone over now!" the guard replied. That was your cue. You bolted upright straight for the shadowed side of the estate; the side closest to you and farthest from any door as luck would have it. You looked around the wall and saw a ventilation shaft just big enough for you to fit in comfortably and move around. You didn't need an invitation and you kicked it as hard as you could so some of the sides lifted up and pulled it off. You were leaving an obvious trail, but you were hoping you could get inside and hide somewhere in this giant house. The shaft went in about two feet then straight up. It was a bit of a strain because your sneakers didn't want to grip the smooth walls too good, but you scaled the 10 foot ascent and made it to a straight away.
'Okay so I'm between the floor of the second floor and the ceiling of the first, then, am I?' you thought logically. There was an opening shining up light ahead of you and a voice yelling orders.
'Nope, not my stop.' You thought a little scared, moving on. You kept going finding more turns and angry voices. You had to climb another 90 degree shaft and found yourself on the second story on the wall in someone's room. There were no angry voices so you looked in. There was a lady inside, she looked young with short blonde hair that spiked at the bottom and she had on a yellow uniform looking dress. The lady lay on the bed seemingly lost in thought, staring at the ceiling. Her face would change every so often: sad then angry, then sad then kinda indecisive, then kinda defeated looking. Interesting as watching her was, you moved on. As you traveled further through the shaft you heard the voice of a man faintly talking somewhere.
"-So the police woman and her crew kept trying to enter the basement, but I had them quarantined to hall outside the boardroom and the yard." You heard him say as you crawled as silently but as quickly as you could toward what you were assuming was the butler.
"Of course they were quite keen on speaking to you, Sir."
'Keep flapp'n, Jeeves' you thought happily approaching the vent where the voice originated. When you made it there you could see only a side view. The light shined in toward where a tall, skinny, man in a vest, pressed shirt, slacks, and you could tell from reflection of the sun, one of those glass circles pompous people wear in front of one eye. He faced the silhouette of a large armchair where you assumed the master of the estate was sitting.
"There was 97% death toll on our side, only you, I, and the soldiers who were away survived the attack. You-"
"They say that there is an intruder somewhere on your estate." Another deeper and totally unaccented voice interrupted.
"They haven't found her yet, but she's left a very obvious trail. They might find her in an hour or two if she stays put."
You caught the gasp that almost escaped you. How did he know you were a girl? Who was he? Where was he from? How did he know all this?
"I could show you where she was if you want. She's nearby." There was not a doubt in your mind that he was telling the truth, and all you could think as you tried to scramble away was 'F~ck
,'. You were having trouble turning around in the shaft, but you figured since this wall vent was close to the high ceiling, he'd have to at least take time to get a chair or ladder. You were almost all the way around but a little stuck with your face just above the vent grate, frantically looking behind you to get unstuck. The light below you sprang and then ceased, you looked and there was a pale face with the devil's smile playing across his lips and dark hair that swept by his blood red, burning eyes that stared back at you, devoid of a grate. You could feel your own pupils shrink as they snapshot the image in fear, and a scream caught in your throat and ended up a very loud, high-pitched hiccup. You fell on your stomach before you could get your feet under you to sprint on all fours away from the demon you could hear chuckling behind you. You didn't know that you were whimpering loudly or that your running-hops could be heard throughout the entire house, or even really which direction you were going; all you could see, all you could feel was that face at your back keeping up with ease and laughing as he hunted you. You jumped straight down to of the vertical shafts and busted out into the glaring sunshine on your back. You snapped around the way a cat would in midair, stood, and sprinted forward. You could see absolutely nothing and you would have done well to blink or squint to block the sunshine, but your eyes were paralyzed in the open position, scared to see his eyes if you shut your own. You could hear faint, muffled voices shouting at you in your trance, but you took no heed. You saw a break in the wall and ran through it, ignoring the hands that tried to keep grip of you. You ran harder. Every hand that tried to get you was his. Every voice whose shouts reached your ears was his. And above all, every shadow, where light was cut off, was where he laid in wait for you to step into his path. The fear had welled up to such a degree that it erased itself and everything else from your mind, and so everything about you was dead and nothing was left but the will to run. You pushed your limits coming out of the gates into the shaded road lined with trees and tripped over a dirty, skinny looking dog. You hit the ground and rolled a few times, as did the he. As soon as you stopped, though, you were on your feet again and running. After you got out of the horrible shade, still running, you noticed the dog had come with you, bounding to keep up with you at full speed, but ignored him until you got to the city again. You looked at him as he trotted along with you. He was a skinny, lanky, black dog, with long fur, and it almost seemed to be glad to stay with you. When you stopped a second at a light, so did he; when you started walking, he stayed close to your side. You didn't have the mental energy or capacity right then to tell him to shoo, so he followed you all the way to the bus stop. Standing the 5 minute wait took a toll on you, and you dropped into the bench behind you, almost going unconscious. When the bus finally came you had trouble getting your head to stop floating and stand up. The man opened the door when you approached.
"He can't get on this bus. No dogs allowed, missy." The man said firmly, as the dog tried to step on behind you.
"He's not mine." You said, in a tired almost-whisper, paying no real attention to him or the dog, and dropping a coin into the slot. You went to the very back of the bus and plopped your body down. You were aching all over and fighting your heart out to not faint from exhaustion and over exposure to the sun. Nonetheless your body remained tense as steel in subconscious fear.
"You look awful, dear." Some old lady, apparently gone shopping, commented to you, as earnestly as she could.
"I don't feel so hot either, ma'am." You answered the same way you had the man.
"Are you gonna be alright?"
"Perfectly fine." You lied.
"Well alright, but do have your parents take a look at you. You're bleeding a bit." She pointed to your cheek. You reached up and touched it only to be greeted with a clear shot of pain through your fuzzy head. You winced.
"Oh dear, I don't think it can wait till you get home. Here." She took a bottle of wine and opened it with a corkscrew from her purse and took a band-aid also from her purse and held it to the open neck as she turned some alcohol onto the patch. She then put the cork back in and carefully pressed the bandage onto your face. You tensed more and locked all your limbs, sucking air through your teeth as a fresh wave of pain enveloped your whole head, and finally subsided to a dull throb.
"That should help a little but have your mother change it when you get home, alright?"
"Yes, ma'am." You whispered as she got up and off the bus.
The pain was about all that kept you awake on the rest of the ride. That and all the people you saw get on and off and stare at you. You must have looked like a regular delinquent with your hair and clothes a mess, bleeding, and spread out, in a skirt, on the back seat. You were almost happy to get off the bus, if it weren't for the fact that as soon as you got off, the black dog came bounding from behind the bus, to your side. You stared at him come as the streetlights began to come on, since the sun was almost gone. The thought of being surrounded by the dark of the night made you happy for his company, and also helped with your decision to hail a cab instead of waiting in the dark for another bus that wouldn't allow him on. You caught the next cab, and asked if the dog could come too.
"Sure thing, sweetheart," the man said, looking you up and down, "Looks like you might need him." You thanked him, and climbed in snapping toward the dog as a direction to follow. He hopped in and sat beside you while you gave the driver the address and he started off. It was nearly 10:30 or so when you paid the man and stepped out of the cab, with your new dog, to your house.
"Hey kid!" The driver called as you walked away. You turned.
"Keep your nose clean, and lock your doors, got it?"
"Yes sir, thank you." you answered wondering.
"Your welcome. That's a nasty bruise on your arm." He mumbled, rolling up his window and driving away. There were no lights on your street and you couldn't get the door unlocked and open, then closed and locked again behind you quick enough. You locked everything in your house that opened, even doors to other rooms, and grabbed your gun and loaded it. You tripped over the edge of the rug trying to get behind the side of the couch furthest from the front door that was almost up against the wall. You flinched as you noticed the large multicolored bruise that ran from the side of your thigh to your knee, and crawled behind the large piece of furniture. The dog came and sat near you, a little further away than usual and stared at the door as well. Actually, he was a little too far away for your liking, so you wrapped your arm around his neck and pulled him right next to you.
"I need you here." You whispered, limbs trembling from the exertion it took to simply move the dog. It looked at you a second then back at the door.
You tried to relax as you sat with him for the next half hour, but every car that drove by, and every footstep that walked on the gravel outside your house peaked your senses and sent your heart racing.
"This is too much." you said after slightly releasing your tensed body as another pair of headlights passed by your window. You crawled over to the phone, and dialed Dmitri's cell number. It rang four long times before he picked up.
"Hey-lo?" he answered.
"Dmitri, can you come over?"
"Jazz? Yeah, I wasn't goin' home for a while anyway, Dad's in a mood. YOU sound tired. What do you want anyway?"
"I just need someone to stay with me a while."
"Aww, did you have a bad dream? Do you want me to chase it away for you?" He said mocking you in a baby voice.
"Please cut the crap, Dmitri, and get over here." You said, feeling a little winded at the anger you were putting into your voice.
"Geez, alright, alright. I'll be over soon." He said and hung up.
Soon, apperantly, meant another half hour of nerve wracking waiting. When his footsteps came toward the door, you tensed up to the highest degree possible. There were three knocks.
"Jasmine? It's Dmitri, I'm here." He called. You were just tired enough for your mind to tell you that wasn't Dmitri, it was the man playing tricks to get you to open the door. But you second thought it, and went to open it. There was no energy left in your body, though, and you fell back to the ground. With all your might, you used the couch armrest to heave yourself up and then the back as a support rail to the door. You opened it and pulled him in quick, as it was almost pitch black outside, and re-locked the door.
"What the he!! happened to you, Jasmine?" he said when you turned on the light and he could see you.
"I had a little problem at that house." You whispered. Your dog-friend walked over beside you again, and looked at Dmitri.
"You got a dog?"
"Sort of, yeah." You answered falling onto the couch.
"For God's sake, Jasmine! Did they try to kill you? Your uniforms all ripped and dirty and your bruised and bloody all over, an-
and what's this?!" he exclaimed, getting hysterical, grabbing your arm, "This looks like a hand mark, did someone grab you? This hand is pretty big; was it a man? Did some man grab you?!" he yelled. You winced as he disturbed your headache.
"Keep it down, would'ya? My head is splitting in two right now."
"I will not keep it down," he said lowering his voice anyway and going into the medical cabinet in your kitchen, "You probably almost died today, and you come home alone with some dog that looks like it would eat you cuz it hasn't gotten a piece of meat in ages!" The dog hopped onto the couch and rested its head against your leg. You petted him and smiled a little imagining that the dog was hurt at that insinuation, and was taking up the rest of the couch now so that Dmitri couldn't sit there.
"Move, mutt." Dmitri ordered angrily, holding a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a box of band-aids. The dog just looked up at you lazily with his eyes. You smiled at him and motioned with your head for him to get down.
"Stupid thing comes home and acts like he owns the place, eh?" Dmitri commented, sitting down and starting on his first aid, "Well you'd just sit there and let him wouldn't you?" he kept ranting.
"Yeah, 'home' like you like you live here."
"I might as well, I work so hard cleaning you up."
"You are such a mom sometimes." You said softly.
He chuckled, "Like I could expect you to do anything," he rubbed down a cut on your shoulder and put on a band-aid, "and wha-What is this?" He asked sniffing your cheek, "It smells like wine! When'd you do this?" He said trying to pull it off. You caught his hand and he stopped.
"Leave that one, my mom's supposed to change it." He lowered his hand and stared at you sternly for a minute.
"Jasmine, I'm not always gonna be here either." He said seriously, "What are you gonna do if I can't be here? What's gonna happen if you can't get away next time?"
"Look, I'm not telling you to stop, I'm just saying if you're going to keep doing this you need to take better care of yourself, because your mom and dad aren't going to anymore." You looked away from him, half angry and half ashamed.
"And there are people who're still here that don't want to lose you." Your mother and father were both dead, and you really didn't like to bring it up. In fact, no one even knew but Dmitri and Peter and his family, who were all sworn to secrecy. Even though you didn't like to talk about it, half the time you acted like no one raised you, and did loads of reckless things. You knew full well your father, let alone your mother, wouldn't approve, and would probably scold you worse than your friend was. You felt the black dog move in closer on your feet as Dmitri put another band-aid on you above the knee, on the bruise and you winced yet again. Dmitri looked back at the animal that looked lazily up at him.
"What do you call this mongrel anyway?" He asked.
"I call him
Knight. He's been protecting and staying by my side like a gentleman all evening tonight, so it works both ways. Knights are supposed to be defenders and chivalrous, and I met him at night
sort of, at least that's when I decided to keep him."
"Yeah, well you just make sure to feed him good. I don't like the way he looks at me."
You laughed a tired laugh, "Stop calling him names, then." He grunted, and you finally allowed yourself to pass out while he tended to the rest of your wounds.