I am finally back in the game with Studio 30 Plus this week! We had the words gamin and/or ragamuffin. Be sure to check out other responses to the prompt over at Studio 30 Plus via the link above or the badge below. Without further adieu, here is the next installment of the Weather Riders serial.
I stood on the deck, fighting to breathe. To calm the thundering in my chest. My mind spun with questions, with fear. I never told anyone. I had promised my mother before she died that I would never speak of my abilities. That promise continued to seal my lips. Who else knew?
I lost track of time standing on the deck trying to figure out what to do. I heard the door slide open then shut. Even before I turned, I knew whoever came out, it was not Caiden. A moment later Marcus leaned up against the rail next to me and stared out at the lake. I waited for him to speak, but he remained silent.
Steeling myself for what would come next, I broke the stalemate, “How did you know?”
Damn it. I knew there was more than him being nice to me.
“He wants to help you.”
“By turning me in?” the moment those words left my lips, I knew I screwed up by giving them life.
Marcus turned to me and met my eyes, “Where did you get that idea from?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
I shook my head, “I gave my word. I can’t tell you.”
Marcus sighed and turned back to the lake, “For a time, those in control of the Weather Riders feared your kind. You are powerful and it scared them. So, your kind were persecuted.”
“Why do you keep saying ‘my kind’? I’m not an alien or something.”
“Forgive me. I mean no offense. It was a figure of speech to acknowledge Chimeras are different than other Weather Riders.”
“Oh,” I bit my lip, “Now what? You lock me up? Kill me?”
“For heaven’s sake, no!”
Marcus’s outburst caught me off guard. Everything I had ever been told about the Council and Weather Riders society said that I was dead should they ever find out.
“Come with me.”
I must not have had my distrust as well hidden as I had thought from the tone in Marcus’s voice when he answered me.
“I give you my word I will not cause you harm in any way. I want to show you something.”
I followed Marcus through the house to a room on the far side from where I sought refuge on the deck. Caiden was nowhere to be seen. Marcus opened a door to two children sitting on the floor playing some complex game I did not recognize. They both looked like little ragamuffins with their dirt smudged faces, tangled hair, and ragged, mismatched clothes. The older boy could not have been more than seven, which meant the younger boy was about five at most.
“Noel, Ruben, meet Shayna.”
The two boys spoke their greetings and then turned back to their game. Marcus closed the door and led me back to the balcony.
“Their parents were killed because their mother was a Chimera, like you. It happened before certain people were removed from the Council. We are sheltering the boys here because we believe they may have inherited that blood and, without some guidance, there is a good chance it will kill them before they learn to master their power.”
Marcus’s last words slapped me. Chimera powers were lethal?