Holly woke up like every morning, not bothering to turn on her light, and went to her window. Her window. She laughed at the thought. Her only outside connection, the only thing that reassured her that there still was a world out there.
A world she was missing.
All because of mud people.
She should be grateful, she knew that. But these people had taken away her life, her freedom. Why couldn’t they just let her go? They weren’t getting the ransom. Why were these people trying so hard to keep her alive.
But that didn’t matter. Maybe Butler and Juliet were telling the truth, maybe they were doing it out of the kindness in their hearts.
Holly let out a exasperated sigh, going back to look out the window. Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and Juliet came in.
“Hey Holly, Butler wanted me to ask you why you haven’t come down to eaten ever since yesterday morning.”
“Im not hungry Juliet.” The elf whispered, leaning her head against the glass of the window, feeling the cool morning air that reached it.
“What’s wrong?” The blond said, wondering why Holly was acting so strange.
“Well then, come on. Let’s get some breakfast in you.” Juliet turned around and walked three steps before looking back. Holly was still perched at the window seat.
“I told you, I’m not hungry.” The elf muttered.
“Do you want me to bring something up?”
“No, just… leave me alone.” The elf snapped.
Juliet was taken aback by this, but turned and left anyway, Holly got up and locked the door behind her.
Juliet paused when she heard the lock click but descended down the stairs still. She went to the kitchen, where Butler was waiting for Juliet. The blond took a seat and stared at her hands.
“Where’s Holly?” Butler said after a while.
Juliet looked up, “Something’s wrong.”
“What, is she sick…or hurt?” Butler asked, concern spreading over his face. Hopefully it wasn’t the latter.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Butler voice raised a little.
“I’m not sure.”
Butler went from behind the counter.
“She locked her door.”
“I have a key.” He said walking towards the door.
“Dom, she wants to be alone.”
Butler was about to walk through the door, but stopped. This was serious. Her sister never used his first name unless it was. Juliet continued.
“The room felt…darker. She told me to leave her alone. She wouldn’t look at me and then she lock the door right after I left. She didn’t turn the lights on when she got up and the way she sounded…I felt, like she was blaming me for something.”
“That sounds like symptoms of-”
“Depression, I know.” Juliet finished. Butler returned to walking out the door. Juliet got up and followed.
“She wants to be alone!” She said again, this time louder.
“She needs to talk to someone!”
Juliet stopped and shook her head sadly, he was right. There was a difference between want and need.
Butler knocked on the door, no answer. He knocked again, and when she didn’t answer, he got the key. He opened the door to find-
Meanwhile, when Juliet left and after she locked the door, Holly went back to her window, not sitting down. She looked out it. The only thing going through her head was:
I need to be alone. No one knows me, no one cares.
Holly looked at the window one more time, before turning to go through the tunnels. It was dark in there, and she knew Butler would be up any second in an effort to comfort her. She needed to get away.
-one there. He looked back on his hand, which was still on the door handle. If the door was locked, how did she get out. This was serious, he called down to Juliet to go check the rest of the manor, then went to Artemis’ study.
Artemis was in the middle of a business meeting. Talking to three people from the world about taking down a enterprise name “Fission Chips.” Artemis was thinking about also taking down the businesses of the men he was dealing with, but something in his head stopped him for some reason.
“Yes I believe-” Butler walked in right at the moment where Artemis was explaining his plan, “Butler,” He hissed quietly, so the speakers didn’t detect him talking. “What do you want? Do you realize how important this is to the family na-”
“I cant find Holly.” Juliet panted, she had searched the whole place (That she knew of).
Artemis bolted from his desk chair when he heard this. What was Holly thinking? She didn’t know the tunnels like him!
Holly clambered through the tunnels, guided by the faint candles on the sides of the walls. She didn’t know where she was going, but she didn’t care. Just like no one cared about her…
She stopped in her tracks, what was she doing?! She looked around, not knowing where she was. Then she heard the most horrifying sound-
Artemis moved as quickly and calmly as he could, leaving the Butlers and the meeting behind. He went to Holly’s room and went through her closet to the tunnels. He didn’t know where she was going, and he figured she didn’t know where she was going either. Artemis had noticed Holly’s emotions change and her mental abilities darken. He knew she was going into depression, he just hoped it was a passing phase.
-footsteps. Loud ones, like running. She tried to move, tried to get away but her feet stayed rooted to the ground. Her mind abandoning arguing with itself:
“They don’t care for you, they took away your life, you freedom, your soul.”
“Yes they do, they care for you, they saved you.”
“An accident! A pity! A donation! A ransom!”
Her thoughts were interrupted by someone placing a hand on her arm. Her screams muffled by the oncoming hand to her mouth.
“What are you doing down here?” She heard a voice ask her in her ear.
Holly pulled away from Artemis’ grip, turning around fearing the worst. His eyes filled with anger, one hand gripping her hair and the other going for a knife.
But all she saw in his eyes was concern and fear.
“You aren’t hurt are you?” He said, looking her over.
“No.” She muttered.
“What were you thinking, coming down here? You could have gotten lost or hurt!”
“Wow,” She said sarcastically, “Sound like you actually care about me.”
“I do Holly, you’re my responsibility.”
“And that’s all I will ever be. A responsibility. Not a friend, a person you take pity on, a person that cant take care of herself.”
“Holly, that’s not it-”
“then what is it? You said it yourself, I’m your ‘responsibility.'”
“Knew that I never should have shown you these tunnels…or that damn window.” Artemis muttered, not meaning for Holly to hear, just venting his anger. But she did, and that pulled her mood even darker.
She took in a deep breath, “just leave me alone. And tell Butler and Juliet and anyone else to stay away from me.” She said, running the way she came. Artemis shook his head, this was worse than he thought. He climbed through the entry in the pantry, to find Juliet and Butler standing there. They turned towards him, the most confused look on their faces.
Artemis sighed. “Don’t…Ask.” He said before going his study and slamming the door in a fit of anger.
Holly searched the hallways, finally finding the way to her closet. She went through the door and slammed the door behind her. She sat at her window again, staring out it and resting her head on the cold glass of January soon again.
This all started with a window.
Holly wondered: Did Artemis really give her this window in the kindness of his heart…
Or for a test of her sanity.
If it was the latter…she was failing.