Ignoring the strange looks she received from the people she came across, she instead concentrated on finding the perfect place to hide. Ducking behind a residential alley way she crept stealthily along , darting from garage to garage for cover. At the end of the street was a empty house. It’s owners had long since retired to the warmer southern regions but had kept their fancy Victorian. Kallista had always loved the house and with eager hands she pried open the back door and slipped inside. It was cool inside, the heat having been shut off for some time. But it provided the shelter she so desperately craved. Prompted by her stomach she rummaged through the cupboards for anything to eat. All she found was a box of opened crackers, raisins, and a can of prunes. Leaving the prunes alone she dug into the crackers and raisins hungrily. Carelessly she tossed the empty containers aside when she was done. Her hunger somewhat abated her thoughts turned to what remained of her clothes. Stained and torn they were useless to her now, especially as they made her an easy target. Getting up she made her way to the bedrooms where she proceeded to inspect the clothing.
“Ach! Old lady clothes!” She wrinkled her nose at the row of stuffy prim dresses that lined the closet. “there is no way in hell I’m gonna wear any of those!”
Franticly she went from room to room searching for something that would replace her tatters. In the last closet she found a row of expensive suites. Of course! She remembered now the son of the elderly couple. He was a wealthy lawyer from the West coast. Occasionally he would stop by and stay with his elderly parents. If memory served right, he was about the same build as she. While he was slim and short for a man, she was slim and tall for a girl. It was perfect.
With relish she looked at the posh suites and picked one out. Snappy and stylish it reminded her of Skulduggery Pleasant. Once she had a suite like this; one she had used for Halloween when she still had friends. Quickly brushing the memories away, she shed her rags and dressed in the nicer warmer clothing. At last her bare bruised arms were covered. Now, time to do something with her face and hair. Searching some more she came across the matching hat for the suite she wore. It fit easily on her head, the brim shading her eyes.
Sharp banging at the front door interrupted her preening in front of the mirror. Jumping from the shock she cursed under her breath remembering to late the tracks she had made in the snow when she walked up to the back door.
“Who’s in there?” The voice of an older man reached her ears. “I know someone is in there! I’ve called the police!”
“Dammit, you old fool!” She seethed under her breath. “Seriously! Don’t you old people have nothing better to do than nose in on everyone else?”
Quickly picking up the tattered remains of her clothing she stuffed it up into the chimney way and dashed back down the stairs. The old man was at the back door trying to look in past the lacy curtains. Turning her head she looked out the front window and saw that a couple police cars had pulled up.
“What am I? A police magnet?” She jerked her head back around and muttered another curse at the old man.
Full of frustrated anger she picked up a glass bowl and threw it at the door the old man was standing at. It shattered through the window of the door, startling the nosey old man. He cried out in fear and stepped back, turning away to shield his eyes from the flying glass. She took that moment and made her escape through the back door and ran past him. But even though he didn’t see her, he felt her go by and called out to the police.
“Help! Police! I’m being attacked by a thief!” He cowered and would not look up at her.
“You pathetic old man!” She turned and snarled at him from the pathway. “I wasn’t attacking you. But now I wish I did. GO BACK TO YOUR COMFORTABLE HOME AND ENJOY YOUR MISIRABLE LIFE!”
She ran on, resentment filling her as she thought of what an easy life that old man must have had and how he was so quick to cause misery to someone less fortunate.
That’s not fair.
The words filled her mind reproachfully at her last thoughts. But she refused to listen and swept them from her mind as if it where garbage. Instead she hung on to her anger and fed it, having plenty of fuel for the flames of wrath.
The sounds of more police cars approaching gave her panic. One had just turned down the alleyway. Franticly she leaped over the tall fence into another back yard. Crouching low she made her way to the next yard and did the same. Thankfully no one was home. As it was only one in the afternoon, the poor sods where probably still at their boring workplaces. How fortunate for her, she grinned to herself. Going to the front corner of a house she peered around and looked back down the street. She was amazed yet frightened of the many police cars that surrounded the Victorian home she had just been in. But seeing how the cops where still focused on the house she made her escape successfully.
In her new clothes she made her way boldly downtown, getting different looks from people this time. She smirked at their admiration. It amazed her that people could be so fooled by just what a person wore. Passing by a young mother who was busy scolding her toddler, Kallista nipped the wallet from the woman’s purse.
“A girl’s gotta eat.” She smiled cockily and flipped open the wallet.
“Who do we have here?” She murmured to herself as she studied the woman‘s I.D. “Sheila Walsh…..oh! Nice. Fifty dollars. Thank you Sheila!”
Looking around she spied a restaurant and entered slyly, enjoying the accommodating staff. After a wonderful delicious lunch, she left contentedly and headed for the bookstore where she waited for the cover of night when she would make her complete get away. She did not dare go home in the light of day for fear she of being recognized.
Once inside the cozy bookstore, a familiar friend caught her attention. Smiling softly she pulled out the Skulduggery Pleasant book and began to read. So engrossed she didn’t even notice the deepening of shadows as noon changed into evening. With a contended sigh she finished the book and snapped it shut. It took her a moment to remember where she was after being lost in the world of Skulduggery Pleasant. Briefly she considered slipping the book under her jacket but changed her mind in honor of Derek Landy. He was someone who deserved the fruits of his labors . So in the end, Kallista bought the book, courtesy of Sheila Walsh.
The streets were quieter as the crowds of people began to disperse to their homes. She walked alone under the lights of the streetlamps. A jingling sound caught her attention. There across the street stood one of the Santas whom she had tried to beat up last night. He was ringing a bell for the Salvation Army. A slow smiled spread on her face as she narrowed her eyes. Looking both ways this time she crossed the street, watchful for any random sleighs that might appear. There were none. Nor were there many people. Perfect for what she had in mind. The Santa did not look up until she was upon him. That’s when he turned and smiled his automatic charity smile hoping for some loose change.
Kallista pause there and waited for him to recognize her. He did. His eyes widened as he did a double take. His mouth opened to yell. That’s when she jabbed him in the throat with her elbow and punched him with her other fist. He went over like a rock. Deftly she caught him before he fell all the way down and held him to her as if in an embrace. Nimbly she took out his wallet then eased him around the corner, taking the bucket full of change as she did so.
“Let’s see who you are Mr. Santa!” She smirked as she opened his wallet. “Ned Barker, who only has a five dollar bill in wallet. Cheapskate!”
Tossing the wallet away she rounded the corner with the bucket in hand. Up ahead was a tiny alley way tucked in between two big buildings. She intended to go there and see how much money was in the bucket. A moment later she was knocked flat on her back as a group of masked men ran out of the building carrying guns. The bank is being robbed, she thought dimly to herself as she lay there stunned. She faintly heard someone cursing at her.
“Quit swearing and grab the kid!” A rough voice barked out. “Let’s go!”
Kallista felt herself being yanked up and thrown in a van. This is just not my day, she thought wearily as the breath came back to her.
A gun pressed against her temples just as the van sped away. Once again Kallista heard the sound of sirens. Well, at least they are not just for me, she thought wryly to herself.
“Congratulations, Kid.” The man with the gun mocked her. “You have just become our hostage.”
The small group of men laughed sneeringly at her.
She wondered if this was a good time to bring up the fact that she was a wanted fugitive. Wisely she decided against it.
The van smelled musty and strangely like gym socks. Wary of the gun pressed in her temple she was careful not to make any sudden movements. She hoped the man would remove it soon. The van speed up and swerved to the right. She was tossed against the side of the van further brusing herself.
“Hey watch it Dan!“ Mr. Trigger Happy shouted crossly at the driver.
“Shut up, Dale!” Dan tossed over his shoulder. “I just eluded the police. Be grateful!“
To her dismay she saw that all, minus the driver were now looking at her oddly.
“You are an peculiar one, aren’t you!” Mr. Trigger happy spoke up. “What are you?”
He reached to grab her hat but she knocked his hand away. In that moment all three men pounced on her and pinned her down. Her hat was taken away and they gazed at her angry pinched face.
“Well. It looks like you where in a fight.” Dale laughed cruelly.
“Hey! This is the one the police are looking for.” One of the other men informed his friends excitedly. “Yeah! I just heard it on the news.”
The men laughed in disbelief.
“This thing?” Dale ridiculed, then turned back towards her. “Your in a heap of trouble aren’t you.”
“Toss her out!” Dan called back over his shoulder as he drove. “Let the police nab her. She will slow ‘em down for us!”
“You’re a girl?” Dale inquired, incredulous and laughed.
“What ever it is, toss it out!” Dan called back urgently. “I just spotted another police car coming up our tail!”
Without another word Dale grabbed her and opened the door of the van. The winter chill quickly filled up the musty van.
“No! Please don’t!” She cried, but was ignored.
“Tough luck, kid.” Dale shrugged and tossed her out.
Screaming, she felt the world spinning around her and saw the ground coming fast. Something caught her just before she hit the ground. Strong arms wrapped around her and carried her away from the noise and fumes of the passing vehicles and approaching police cars. She was faintly aware of two things. She had lost her hat and worst of all. She had lost the Skulduggery Pleasant book. It took her a few moments to realize she had stopped moving. Warily she looked up and saw a pair of brilliant blue eyes staring down at her curiously.
“Kallista. What are you thinking?” The handsome boy sighed and put her down, “Sadly. I am not allowed to help you anymore then I have. Already I have helped you too much and now you have seen me.”
“What are you talking about?” She asked wide eyed. “Who are you and how have you helped me?”
“Listen to me. I don’t have much time.” He said earnestly. “I have to be some where else. But you have a journey ahead of you. Where it ends is up to you, Kallista. Don’t be so rash and try to remember.”
The handsome boy started to walk away and Kallista saw for the first time his motorcycle. He placed his helmet over his black hair.
“Wait! You didn’t answer my questions!” She protested. “Who are you and what do I have to remember?”
Silently the mysterious stranger got on his bike then turned and looked at her.
“I’m your friend. I am Thor”
With that, he drove off into the night.
Artwork done by the genius Lizzy and used with permissin. Thank you Lizzy! XDDDDD