Friday, May 27, 2011

Disperse (Friday Fiction) [Part 2]

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Julie Arduini @ her blog, the Surrendered Scribe. Click here to read and share more great fiction. 
 
Author's Ramblings: Hey everyone! I have a major headache at the moment, apologies for such a short installment, I'm really kind of in dizzyland right now. Anyway, there's a bunch of mystery around Ebony and her wonderful life, so there's a lot of details that are left out--on purpose. I'll get to that soon enough, it wouldn't be fun if I told you everything right away, now would it? Anyway, have a happy holiday weekend and enjoy the read. Thanks for stopping by! ^_^ 


The general grogginess associated with waking from a forced slumber didn’t apply to Ebony who simply jerked out of her sleep and sat bolt upright in bed. For a moment, she remained motionless, taking in the surroundings of the cheap hotel and the other two occupants in the room. A man in white and the odd lady with the long blonde hair. 

For a moment, they all stared at each other.

Then, in the same movement that she’d risen, Ebony flopped backwards on the bed with an audible grunt. After a few seconds, she turned to her left, her back to the two men, pulling the sheets over her head and promptly going back to sleep.

“She’s awake.”

“So I see.”

“And…?”

“Shut up.”

“I didn’t say anything.”

"Don't say anything." 
The man in white rose from the cramped desk in the corner, taking three steps to close the gap to the creaky hotel bed. His gaze methodically swept over the white-blanketed and sheeted bundle occupying the bed, pale golden eyes narrowing to half-points. Catching the end of the sheet with one gloved hand, he yanked it backwards, ignoring the indignant squeak from the figure beneath it. “Give it back.”

One eye opened, holding his stare for a long, tense moment. Then she yawned and burrowed her face into the pillow under her head, scrunching up into a ball. “…stupid dream.”

There was a quiet chuckle from the desk.

“Brin-!” The man growled.

The laugh stopped, abruptly. “Could be a side effect.” The figure moved to join him at the bed. “Excuse me, miss.”

“You’re excused.” Ebony mumbled. “Whatever it is you want, it can wait. I’m tired.” Another yawn snuck out and one eye opened again. It stared for a moment, then in the same surprising movements as before Ebony jerked upright. “You’re a guy!” She sputtered, pointing. “Your hair is all wrong.”

The men exchanged a glance, then a faint smile appeared on the blond fellow. “Ah, right. Yes I am and you are not dreaming.” He tilted his head forward. “You have something of ours, may we have it back?”

“What, no please?” There was a loud sigh and Ebony scrubbed the sleep from her face with one sleeved arm. “Ow. Sure feels like a dream.”

“You are very much awake, now, if you would, please?”

“Fine. I’m up, I’m up…I think. What is it and who on earth are you?”

A choked sound came from the fellow in white. The ponytailed man frowned. “I don’t know you and you don’t know me, so we can leave it at that. As for what it is, you have an information cube—and you can give it up of your own accord or we can-”

The phone on the nightstand rang loudly. The man in white moved to answer it, the conversation held in terse whispers, ending with the receiver slammed down and the scowl on his face more pronounced than before. “Brin, they’re on their way. We don’t have time for this. Get it from her and let’s get out of here. It’s in her stomach. I can see it. I don’t need this. I need more time.”

“As your royal highness wishes.” Brin rolled his eyes. “Miss, I’m afraid I’m going to-”

“What’s an information cube?”

The man in white kicked the desk. Brin’s surprise showed plainly in the expression of utter disbelief on his pale, thin face. “Ah, right.” He frowned. “You’re strangely calm about this.”

Ebony shrugged. “Happens all the time.”

“Really? Getting picked up off the street and waking up in hotel rooms with perfect strangers?”

“Don’t judge me.” She wrinkled her nose. “I’m not that kind of girl, I just meant that stuff always happens to me.” She shrugged. “It gets kind of pointless to be all excited and hyper about it when it’s the same boring thing that keeps happening.”

Brin rubbed his forehead, muttered beneath his breath for a moment. “Fine. Alright then, it’s a clear cube about so-” holding up his hand, he pantomimed the size “and it’s probably got some colors on it, right El?”

There was an answering grunt.

Ebony shifted to sit cross-legged, her lips pursed in a pout. “Nope.”

“It’s in your stomach.” The man in white glared at her, his laptop and other equipment half-packed away. “I can see it.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah right, you have what, X-ray vision?”

“So what?”
She swallowed hard. “O-kay. Um, still no?”

“I don’t think you quite understand the situation.” The man straightened. “Brin, you have five minutes and then I’ll do this myself—my way!”

Brin winced. “Sure.” He sighed. “We need that cube. No isn’t going to cut it.”

Ebony shrugged. “Still no. Sorry…wait, you mean a little thing that looks like ice, it’s really itty bitty and it was like red and pink and yellow and stuff?”

“Yes.”

“Oh. That. I ate it.”

The man in white stood in front of her, deliberately cracking his knuckles. “I know. Cough it up.”

She leaned away from the menacing figure. “Nope.” Her hands were held out in apology. “Sorry, even if I could—and I can’t—I wouldn’t be able to just do that. I mean, come on, cut me some slack.”

“I’d be happy to do the cutting and-”

“Othello.” Brin said, sharply. “Scaring her won’t help-”

“Does she look scared to you?”

“I’m not scared.”

Silence decorated the hotel room.

The trio was speechless.

“Sorry. I didn’t know it was like, important and everything. I just thought it was…you know, like one of those confidence candies.”

“What?” Othello nearly snarled.

Ebony shied away, her hands still held up before her. “You know, confidence candy. Double C’s, The Kleer Stuff…you don’t know what it is.” She sighed. “That is so like a guy. Look, it’s a girl thing. All the girls eat it, well, all the rich girls anyway, you have to be rich to get your hands on it. It’s kind of like that cube thingy of yours, it looks like white jelly and it’s got like, fruit in the middle and stuff. If you eat a whole bag, they said that you’d be able to stand up for yourself.” Her head hung lower. “It’s like, super-expensive though, so-” she shrugged “I figured that maybe someone left it there. I mean, I didn’t realize it was something else until I swallowed it, because I don’t usually chew stuff.” She wrinkled her nose. “I’m always letting people walk all over and if I had just a bit more confidence, I could be more aggressive and-”

The men were no longer paying attention to her, instead, they were back by the window again, talking to each other in hushed whispers.

“Hey, are you listening? I’m saying something important here-!”

“Right, do that.” Othello nodded, turning away and scooping up the last chunk of cords and stuffing them into his black duffel bag.

“Do what? Where are you going?”

“Ah. He just doesn’t like to see this part.” Brin smiled, politely. Slender, pale fingers curved around a beautiful, white teapot, pouring a steaming cup of liquid from the angled spout. “Tea?”
  
“What part?” She sniffed it. “You’re not trying to poison me or something, are you?”

“And if I was?”

“I wouldn’t have a clue.” She said, cheerily. “So it doesn’t matter!” The contents were downed in a few large swallows. She grimaced. “Lukewarm.”

“Sorry, this room doesn’t come with a  kitchenette.”

“Why are you apologizing?”

“Because it’s the polite thing to do.”

“Huh?”

“Trash can.” He tugged out the plastic trash can from beneath the desk and scooted it over in front of her at the edge of the bed. “Here you go.”

“I’m missing something there.” She said, flatly. “What exactly are you trying to tell me?”

“One, two and three.”

“Huh—oh, urgh…ohh bleck.” With that twisted exclamation, Ebony promptly threw up into the trash can—or rather, tried to. There wasn’t much of anything to come out at all. She half-stood, half-crouched over the can, her sides heaving and her stomach trying to expel itself from her innards. “I hate you.”

“I’m sure the feeling is entirely mutual.” He smiled, but the expression seemed unnatural on his thin face. “How did you do that?”

“Do what?” She glared at him, wiping her mouth with the edge of the bedsheet. Her face twisted into a grimace again as her stomach heaved once more. “Did I mention that I really, really hate you?”

© Sara Harricharan

3 comments:

Julie Arduini said...

Wow! You had me on the edge of my seat AND you added pictures to the story. This is really great characterization and you definitely have built in suspense. I hope you feel better so you can keep writing. Thanks for participating in Fiction Friday!

LeRoy Dean said...

Well written!

Peter R Stone said...

Hey Sara,
That episode answered a lot of my questions - the odd blond woman is a guy, the glittering cube is an information cube, and they kidnapped her to get it back.
I think if Ebony had been scared witless rather unconcerned it would have been even more intense, perhaps?
Regards
Peter