A scream surfaced through Drina’s mind. It called out to her causing a spike of anxiety. Reach out into the darkness of her dream, she tried to grab for the invisible hand she knew. Voicelessly she cried out back to the void, panic running a cold chill throughout her body. No matter how far she reached, the voice was locked behind the shroud of endless space. The scream increased in volume the more Drina pushed to reach out, almost to the point of deafening when a jab to her side startled her awake. With a gasp, Drina grabbed the dagger she had under the pillow and wiped it out towards the assailant who had poked her. Stopping the tip inches from her sister’s face, Ocan waited unflinching and unamused.
Drina dropped the dagger with surprise, the disorientation now fading. It took her a moment to take in the surroundings of the hostel where she remembered that they were staying in. Half rolling over, she wiped at her face realizing she had been panting and sweating in her sleep. Calming herself down, she suppressed her emotions as the subtle whispers quieted down. Did she have a nightmare? Was Ocan here to help calm her down? Taking one final deep breath in, she sat up to look back at her sister. Ocan’s arms were crossed while she waited, her glare just as sharp as the dagger she held to her face.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to threaten you in my half state.”
With a deeper frown, Ocan replied only in their native tongue. It was low and quite, meaning only one thing. She was upset at her.
“That is not what I’m mad about.”
Staring dumbfoundedly, Drina waited for her to continue. When she didn’t push further, she sighed heavily, pressing the topic.
“If it’s not that, then what?”
Ocan pulled out a small pouch of money and threw it at her sister. It hit Drina hard in the shoulder causing her to grunt at the pain. It took a few seconds to realize it was the money she had used to pay for the meal last night.
“How could you be so rude! Lulu has been kind to us and you are being so cold.”
With a controlled breath, Drina closed her eyes to keep from getting angry. “That’s the problem, Jeta! We are getting too comfortable. We can’t get too close to these people.”
“She is a good person! Lulu has fed us and is taking care of me while you are working at the festival. She only wants to help us.”
Drina dropped the coin pouch at her side, reaching for the dagger to place back under her pillow. It was true that Lulu had done her a huge favor while she was doing the fortune tellings during the evenings. Ever since they had arrived into this town, Drina had been too lenient. “And that is why I paid her. Service given is a service paid. Once I finish the contract tonight, we are leaving here. It’s not safe to stay-”
Before she could finish her sentence, Ocan cut her off. “No. You may not trust her, but I do. I’m staying here.”
Without waiting for a reply, Ocan turned and began to walk away. Drina’s pit dropped. What did she just say? Grabbing the coin purse, she leaped off the bunk and rushed to follow.
Ocan refused to face her, turning the corner to the front entrance. A small shiver of fear trickled throughout Drina’s body. Breaking into a light jog, she caught up to her sister in the middle of the hall, grabbing her wrist tightly to stop her. Turning Ocan to face her she continued in a hushed whisper, containing her fear in her voice.
“What do you mean you’re staying? We are leaving to head towards the Eastern Sea once we are done here. If we stay too long we’ll-”
Ocan broke the grip she had on her wrist. “We’ll what? Actually be happy? Meet people we like? I see how you look at Hestar and you have been losing control of your powers. We can’t keep running away. You can’t keep running away.”
Drina felt the whispers once more as her blood began to boil. “Running away? I am not running away. We are in danger from those who killed our parents. I am trying to save us!”
Ocan scoffed. “You are just paranoid.”
Drina watched as Ocan turned to continue towards the common room. Flabbergasted by her back talk, she clenched her fist as her body shook from rage. Paranoid? When did she think this? All she wanted was to keep her alive and safe. She did what she had to. Unable to control her powers, she watched as several figures floated about, calling to her as they pleaded for help. Drina couldn’t focus enough to hear their words as she stomped off towards Ocan. Unsure how many people were around them, Drina grabbed painfully at the back of Ocan’s neck to drag her to the back office where Lulu sat. Throwing Ocan against a small chair, Drina slammed the door shut behind them. With all the swirling ghosts and overwhelming wails of their cries, Drina could hardly hear herself think yet she needed to get things set straight. They were not staying another night in the hostel.
“Tonight, you are to pack up our things and meet me at the tent on the fairgrounds. We are leaving and that is my final say. You may think I am being paranoid, but you are naive.”
Ocan rubbed at the back of her neck, staring at her with terror. Drina knew she had never been this aggressive with her before, but she needed to be firm. Ocan stammered as she tried to gain the confidence to argue. “What’s the point in leaving tonight. We are in no rush. If you wanted to leave that badly, why not just go now?”
Drina gritted her teeth. “I have to fulfill my end of the bargain. After the seance, we leave.”
Ocan’s eyes teared up as she pushed out of the chair to stand in Drina’s face.
“When you want to selfishly do something, I always have to listen, but when I want to stay you tell me no. You want to leave so badly, then go. I am staying.”
Drina growled, her voice growing stranger with each word she spoke. The volume of her voice was no longer hushed in the thralls of her temper. Out of all the times, Ocan decided to defy her now? “Selfish? You think I wanted this? I am trying to stop fate and you think I am being selfish? Death is on the line!”
The whispers around her began to echo her words as the otherworldly voices chimed in. The swirls of spirits darkened the room as Ocan coward from Drina. Her eyes began to dart around the room, surprised at the sudden change in Drina’s appearance. Drina had no idea what she was seeing when a sudden hand touched her shoulder. Between being startled and calmed, the room shifted to sudden silence. If not for Lulu’s hand to stabilize her, she would have almost puked at the instant shift of energy.
“Ok, I think that’s enough out of both of you. You need to calm down and take some time to ground yourself. I understand this is a sibling matter, however, I fear any longer and things will be said and regret will ensue.”
Drina opened her mouth to retort when Lulu placed a firm hand on her hip.
“This can wait until tomorrow. For now, I think you should cool your head before you work tonight. Ocan will stay here and help me around the hostel until then. Besides, the poor girl is shaking.”
It had not occurred to Drina how upset she had caused her sister to be until she looked over to see her sobbing in silence. Closing her mouth, she was sobered by her actions. Releasing her power in full with no control, letting her anger control her emotions, and yelling at her sister all had taken a toll on her. If it was not for the strange power that had calmed her down, who knows what damage she would have wreaked. They still had unsettled matters to discuss, yet before she could continue, Lulu turned her around and shoved her out of the room. With the quick close of the door and the click of the lock behind her, Drina stood in a stupor in the common room. Did she just get shoved out away from her sister? The nerve of her! She stood at the door, clenching her firsts to pound at the door when Drina caught several people in the common room staring with concern.
Maybe the walk Lulu had suggested was a good idea. Dropping her hands to her side, she awkwardly rocked a moment on her feet before turning to slowly make her way back into the shared bedroom. Picking up her pace to her stuff, she freshened up, changed a few garments then made her way out of the hostel. When she had finally made it a few blocks away from the building, she had slowed down to smack her forehead. What was she thinking! She had nearly endangered Ocan and herself by that stupid argument. Already exhausted, she leaned against the side of the closest building and crossed her arms. This had been the first time they had ever fought. Was it really that important to Ocan that she wanted to stay? Although it wasn’t 100% true that she was being selfless, Drina did want to spend more time with Hestar.
If only she had not decided to read her fortune, they would have already been on their way out of town and looking for small jobs here and there to save for the trip. At least now, Drina would end up walking out of town with enough coin to pay for a boat ride out of Castromnia and still live comfortably. With a huff, Drina knew there was no turning back now. With her name on the line and Lulu protecting Ocan from herself, they were going to have to stay another night. Looking around her, the roads were quiet with only a few people heading off towards the market. With the entire morning to herself, Drina clicked her tongue. Maybe she could do a little shopping for necessities, and perhaps a trinket to give as an apology to Ocan. Her stomach gave a hungry ripple, reminding her that she still had to eat. Pushing off the wall, she felt the coin purse on her hip and followed the shoppers.
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