Thanks Harry, learning to ski is a great topic, and I hope you had fun doing it! However, how on earth do I work that into this story? (By the way, Harry is my favourite music blogger. Check out his blog here)
(If you are joining Emmeline’s story today, welcome! It might help for you to begin here.)
Learning to ski. J R Manawa.
Overnight London had been plunged beneath a blanket of the heaviest snowfall the ancient metropolis had known in recent times.
The silence Emmeline had woken to was the sound of a city that had stopped moving. London was not experienced in dealing with snowfall of any kind, let alone that which now buried the city. The weather reports forecast that it was set to be the worst winter since the ‘big freeze’ of 62’.
Snow had not stopped falling since Emmeline and Charon ran from the mansion in Highgate. All night it had fell, and into the small hours of morning. When they reached the kebab shop, the friendly flurries turned into a full blizzard. By the time they left at 3am Emmeline wasn’t at all sure they would have made it back to her grandfather’s house if Charon hadn’t managed to commandeer another black cab.
At the house, Emmeline only made it to the foot of the stairs before the sight of the mess and the knowledge that her grandfather was never coming home hit her. She collapsed on the bottom stair, sobbing uncontrollably, so tired that she was unable to cry.
When she woke after the dream of her father, she was surprised to find that she was in her own bed, tangled in a mess of blankets, pillows and pink hair. She pushed herself up into a seated position, and rubbed her eyes. The light out her bedroom window was very bright.
“Good afternoon.” Charon was standing at the foot of her bed when she looked up.
She let out a scream of fright at the sight of him. “I’m sorry,” she apologised, “I don’t wake up so well,” she added, “and I don’t normally have people in my room when I wake.” Embarrassed, she began to rake her fingers through her hair to pull the waves into a semblance of order. She knew she was still covered in the scratches and dried blood of last night, not to mention the bruises which by now had to be starting to show. Her knees were raw and the palms of her hands were covered in grazes.
“How do we really know we are safe here?” she asked, looking up from the cuts on her hands to his face imploringly.
“I don’t need to be safe, if I’m near a gate I can go home any time. It’s you who needs to be safe,” he replied, nonchalantly.
“Then why don’t you go?” she said, a little grouchy.
“Because I don’t think my father ran away with your mother for love.”
Emmeline’s face turned sour, she didn’t like that he kept bringing up the topic of her – their – parental situation.
He purposefully ignored the look on her face, “I think he needed to protect you specifically, and I don’t know why. I never could never justify that he ran away for love of a human, but neither can I justify that he did it purely for the desire to protect an unborn child.”
“Great. You make me sound so worthless.”
He looked into her eyes, “I don’t know what you are worth,” he said simply.
If Emmeline was offended the first time, it was nothing compared to how she felt now. “I’m going to go and have a shower,” she announced, throwing the covers off her bed. She was still fully dressed anyway. She even still had her shoes on, another thing an insensitive monster wouldn’t know about humans. “You know we take our shoes off when we sleep, right?” she said grumpily, picking up her towel from the floor where she had left it the morning before last.
“Why are you angry?” he asked as she stormed toward the door.
“Because you don’t have any answers, only rude remarks, and given the current situation and the foreseeable doom in my near future, I would like to be clean and washed before I die, thank you.” She slammed the door after her.
Emmeline had never done well with mornings. By the time she had tip-toed over the pile of broken medicine jars, picked up a bottle of shampoo and body wash from the mess strewn across the floor, climbed over the remains of the shower curtain, and managed to get her body under the hot water, she had calmed down a bit.
She watched the blood and mud run off her flesh and mingle with the water in a lazy tornado toward the plug hole, and she finally found herself beginning to look forward instead of back into the past. Everything she had known and loved was gone, but her determination and will to live was growing stronger. The monster really was her father. She had been created solely for a horrible purpose. Her head told her she had no hope, but her heart believed there was hope she could change it.
“Is it really afternoon?” Emmeline asked when she came down the stairs and found Charon standing by the living room window, looking out onto the snow drowned road beyond.
He didn’t reply. She put down the towel which she had been using to dry her hair, and picked her way across the destruction of the room until she came to his side.
“We will have to learn to ski if we need to go anywhere today,” she said, looking out the window for the first time. The front garden was buried up to the window almost with a drift that shone so white in the afternoon sun that it hurt her eyes.
“Do you really think we are safe here?” she asked suddenly.
He shook his head and said, “I don’t know for sure, I’m still thinking. I had a look around your room while you were cleaning yourself, and I found this under one of the floorboards. I haven’t opened it,”
Rather unceremoniously, he dumped a little iron box into her open hands.