Bad language will melt your brain. Naughty words are fun. 😉
If the pain in Fin’s face is anything like the pain in my hand then I’m happy.
The searing heat caused by the impact of my knuckles on his cheek bone is enough to bring tears to my eyes, I shake my fist and stare at Fin who lies dumbfounded on the floor, starring in wide-eyed surprise at me.
“You little shit!” he spits, scrambling to his feet and I resist the urge to run – barely able to comprehend what I’ve just done.
I don’t bother attempting to move, I let him pummel me – he pushes me so I fall, then he kicks me repeatedly in the gut and I retch, feeling hot vomit in the back of my throat, acrid and burning.
“Fin!” Maya is up in an instant, pulling at his jacket, “leave him!” she squeaks, tugging his arm.
I can tell even as I hear it that it was unintentional, but the damage is done as he spins on the spot and his hand collides with her cheek, the squeal I hear from Maya’s lips causes me to gasp.
“Maya!” Fin has stopped kicking me and immediately submits to her, his arms wide. I manage to stand, my guts ache and my ribs bruised.
Maya stares up at him, her hand on her pink cheek, tears forming in her orange eyes.
“It was an accident…” he tries to touch her but she backs away.
“Fuck you,” she whispers, but the quietness of her voice only give her words more meaning.
“This is a total joke…” she says, gathering up her torn bag, “You’re never going to fool your father with this, I won’t be a part of it…”
Maya turns to me, “Yves… are you OK…?” her voice falters and I watch in horror as she glances at my jacket pocket – the pen is caught in the fabric of my top, come loose by Fin’s vicious blows.
“What.. the…?” she whispers, approaching me, she snatches the pen from my top and peers at it quizzically for a feel moments, trying to make sense of it on my person.
Maya stares at it and then at her hand which is covered in black ink, the pen is smashed – its contents bleeding from within.
“Did you… steal this?” she asks me, her eyes searching my own and I know it’s pointless to lie – she’ll see straight through me, so I don’t respond.
“What, you’re a fucking thief now, Goth?” Fin stands behind her, eyes narrow.
Maya stares back at the broken pen, its significance is now very obvious and I feel horrific for having taken it.
“I just…” Maya shakes her head and then looks at me, eyes narrow, “I can’t believe this…” she whispers and then she throws the pen at my chest, “If you want it, take it!” she yells at me before turning on her heel and walking away, her head held high in defiance.
I watch her go and look down at the broken pen by my feet, the rapidly spreading black ink pooling at my feet.
“Way to go…” Fin smirks at me, I know what’s coming so I pluck the pen from the ground and without a backwards glance, I run.
He loved her, he really did… just not in the way he was supposed to – his heart belonged to someone else… but she knew that…? Right? Just like she knew he hadn’t meant to strike her… his whole body ached with sorrow – an overwhelming unpleasantness at what he’d just done.
Fintan Quade followed the boy into the woods, his sorrow fading and being replaced with overpowering anger, if HE hadn’t been present none of this would have happened.
Despite living only a few hundred yards from the woods, Fintan Quade had never had any desire to spend any time there, he was unfamiliar with the trees, the landscape – but he wasn’t afraid as he slipped and scuffled over rocks and branches, as twigs pulled at his clothes and scratched at his face, Yves Black would pay for what he had done – he’d ruined everything.
Football training worked in Fin’s favour, he was gaining on the weaker boy, almost upon him.
“You better run, you fucking goth!” Fin spat venomously, right before he slipped and fell flat on his face.
Spitting out a mouthful of dead leaves, he was up in an instant – just in time to see Yves run into a cottage, slamming the door behind him with such force that a nearby owl screeched eerily in fright.
“Jeepers, Yves!” Chaska appears in the hallway, her toad perched precariously on her shoulder, “What’s the matter with you…where’s your manners?”
I struggle to catch my breath, my ribs ache with the effort and my lungs feel fit to burst, I slouch with my back to the door.
I reach into my pocket and produce the pen, I present it to the witch without a word.
Slowly, Chaska takes the pen from me and studies it closely, turning it over in her hands and finally reading the inscription.
“Your first object…” she whispers.
I manage a small nod and watch as her face cracks into a toothy grin.
“You’re quicker than I imagined…” she says, “and this is a very good item… so personal! You must really want her…”
Something about what she says sends shivers down my spine, but I ignore them.
Chaska clicks her fingers, making me jump. “Come,” she beckons and I’m on my feet immediately, I follow her to the basement.