Okay, so I posted this on FF before here.. sorry guys, it slipped my mind. Now, I’m posting it here! I’ll try to keep it updated here from now on too! Promise! Oh, and if anybody wants to read it, (though I wouldn’t recommend it) my original HR series is still posted on here…
“Dad?” I yelled. “Dad, where’d you go?”
I ran through the woods, dodging trees and stones and any other objects I saw in my way as I searched for my father. I’d seen him come in here, so he was around here somewhere… but the question was, where?
Finally, I ran around one last tree and hit a clearing. And, standing right in the middle, was Dad.
But he wasn’t alone. There was a woman there too. She was tiny, almost toddler sized, and had flaming red hair. I couldn’t see her face, though.
As I watched, he grabbed her and pressed close to him as he leaned down to kiss her deeply. Her arms went up around his neck, and Dad’s around her waist, bringing them ever closer as they continued to kiss.
I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. My eyes were glued to the scene in front of me. It was strange; I was sure I’d never seen that woman before, and yet, she looked so familiar. Standing right here, only a few feet away from her….. it didn’t even feel familiar. It just felt… right. It was like having her there clicked in the last piece of the puzzle, that one single piece that had been missing for so long…. and now it was found, and the puzzle completed.
After what seemed like an eternity, they broke apart, and my father looked over at me with the happiest smile I’d ever seen on him. He motioned for me to come over to him, and I did, hesitantly. He stuck his arm out, as if to pull me in like he had the woman, and she did the same.
But just as I was about to step into their warm embraces, everything went black, and my eyes flew open.
– – – – –
I sat up, breathing slightly heavily, and looked around. Rays of pure golden sunlight were shining in the window, and the alarm clock read 6:47 AM. I yawned heavily, and then climbed out of bed and walked to the door to head downstairs for breakfast.
My dad and my bodyguard were already in the kitchen when I got there, and they seemed to be in the middle of a heated discussion. I paused outside the door to listen for a minute.
I heard Butler sigh and say, “Artemis, don’t be ridiculous. Nothing is going to happen now, especially nothing that could in any way be connected with the People.”
I blinked. Who were ‘the People’? Guess I’ll have to look into that, I thought, before listening in closer.
“I know, old friend. But I can’t shake the feeling that something is going to happen! It’s strange; I haven’t seen her for almost thirteen years, yet, lately I keep looking out the windows, and my ring, and I keep almost expecting to hear it go off, or to look and see her hovering outside. I don’t know why, I just do. It may have something to do with the strange re-occurring dreams that I’ve been having, but I don’t know.” I heard him sigh. “I pulled the Book out again this morning, and was reading over it. It was impulsive, I don’t know why I did it… I guess I just thought it might help.”
“And did it?” Butler asked quietly.
“A little,” Dad admitted. “I don’t know why it did, but it did.”
After that, the room fell silent, and I decided it was safe to go in.
“Morning, Dad,” I greeted, walking into the kitchen. He merely nodded. Now that I could see him, and up close, I could tell from the worry lines in his face that he was stressed. “Are you okay?”
“Fine,” he said, getting up and dumping his plate. “I have work to do. If you need me, I’ll be in my room.” Then he walked out without another word.
“What’s up with him?” I asked Butler. Of course, it was needless to ask; I’d just heard him say what was wrong with him, but I figured I’d better act like I didn’t.. at least for now.
“He’s stressed,” Butler answered. “There’s just been on a lot on his mind lately. I don’t think he meant to be so curt, Artemis.” He set a plate in front of me and a glass of milk. I took it and nodded gratefully.
“I figured it was something like that. Usually he only is like that when he’s working on a big project or something,” I said, taking a sip and swallowing it quickly.
“You could call it that,” I heard Butler mutter.
“What?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
He looked at me and shook his head. “Nothing. Just eat your food before it gets cold.”
“Okay.” I leaned down and started eating silently, but I couldn’t last for long. My curiosity was getting the better of me. “Butler, who are ‘the People’?” I blurted, not even ten minutes later.
Butler, who had sat back down to keep eating when I did, choked. “What?” he demanded, as soon as he could breathe again. “Where did you even hear that name?”
“You and Dad were talking about it…”
Butler sighed, looking at me with a mix of worry and curiosity in his eyes. “Artemis… exactly how much of that conversation did you hear?”
“The parts about ‘The Book’ and Dad’s dreams, and expecting some lady to show up,” I replied, shrugging and taking another bite.
The relief showed in his eyes as he said, “in that case… I don’t think it’s my place to tell you. Ask your father.”
I scowled, but nodded. If he really wanted me to ask my father about it, then there must be a reason. “Well then,” I said, standing up, “I think I’m done.”
Butler chuckled. “You really want to find out about the People, don’t you?”
“What can I say?” I answered, giving him a crooked, guilty smile. “I’m curious.”
He chuckled again and shook his head. “Fine, fine. Just do me a favor; don’t push him too hard for information, okay? If he doesn’t want to tell you, he probably has his reasons for it.”
“Of course,” I agreed, inwardly knowing that I probably wouldn’t honor that agreement. I felt guilty, but I couldn’t deny the truth. And anyhow, I deserved the truth, right?
With those thoughts in mind, I got up, dumped my plate, and headed out of the room.