A Long Way Home: Chapter 1

A Long Way Home: Chapter 1

A Chapter by Izabellla

Suzan finds out that the world is stranger than she thought. After a mysterious warrior comes to her rescue, she is pulled into a dangerous circumstance that will change both of their lives forever.


Chapter 1

"Mom! I'm going out," I shouted, lacing my sneaker with one hand while holding a sandwich, my dinner, with the other.

"You're still here?" Mom had come back from work upset. I just left without answering, as I was in no mood for another quarrel over my being late for French classes. Besides, I think it was actually a rhetorical question.

Mom was crazy over France and everything connected to it. After all, it was where she met and married my dad, and where I was born. Both took place in a small village somewhere in the south. It was also where, in my mom's fascination for French names, I was named Suzanne. I don't remember much from our stay there, because I was only three or four when we moved to Warsaw in Poland. Her job as a costume-maker brought her here, but the theater she worked for quickly went bankrupt. Now we live in a city much smaller than the capital, about eighty to ninety kilometers east. My father is constantly away on some business trips and my mother is a dressmaker. She is not the best in town or anything like that, but she can't complain about lack of commissions. In her free time she is absorbed by her obsession, which she tries to pass on to me. Sometimes she says something about going back to the small village at the north of France. I can't say I share her enthusiasm. Poland is where my home is.

With brisk steps I strolled over an amaranth pavement toward a bus stop a few hundred meters from my house. I wondered if there was such pavement anywhere else in town, and why they found it fitting to make it of such bricks. They were pink. I hate pink.

As I arrived at the bus stop, I noticed there was not a single person in sight. That was strange. The only living thing there was an oddly-colored bird. I peeked at my wrist watch.

"Excellent," I grumbled. I had just missed the bus. Now I had no chance of being on time for my French lesson. The next bus would be another thirty minutes. I dragged my body to the next bus stop and decided to call Magda, just to pass the time. I didn't want to go back home in the middle of a fuss.

Magda is my best friend. We have known each other for a long time but have been best friends for only three years. She's like a sister to me now.

"Hey, hi, hello! I'm probably not doing anything important, but I'm too lazy to move my a*s and pick up the phone. Call later," the answering machine replied after a few beeps. Obviously, getting through to her was going to require a miracle. If that was going to be the case, then my visit would have to be unannounced.

Time ran exceptionally fast, considering the circumstances, and before I noticed it, the city bus was pulling up slowly. Both of its sides were covered in advertisements�" one side was promoting a clothes shop and the other with a butcher's. Yeah, I know; the combination was a little unusual.

It was empty inside, as was usual at this time of a day. I sat down just behind the driver. The golden seats were scratched and covered in chewing gum (and God knows what else), and the way the bus was shaking like an epileptic on each curve made me cringe in fear. The vehicle passed stop after stop until it finally reached mine. I got off and marched towards the very tall, pink tenement house where Maggie lived. I stepped into the stairwell through the dilapidated wooden gate and ran upstairs to the fifth floor, taking the steps two at a time. Before my eyes appeared a bright green door in a retro style that always filled me to the brim with positive energy. This could have been due to the fact that usually just behind them was Mag's dishevelled head, and she'd be looking at me with her huge, slightly-slanting, chocolate eyes. Anyway, it was truly one of a kind.

I knocked a few times. No one answered. I imagined Magda would be alone, engrossed in her Vampire Dairies soundtrack, as usual. The knob gave away instantly under my hand and the door opened, almost invitingly. I closed it behind me carefully, looking around the place and taking in what I found there. Shoes were spilling from the cabinet before me, scattered all around the hall floor. On the right, in the doorless kitchen, everything was turned upside down. The floor was covered in greenish-yellow goo mixed with some spices that were spilling out of the broken jars.

I knew I should leave the apartment as soon as possible, but my legs seemed to lead me further in on their own accord. I found myself walking into Magda's room. Seeing the state the rest of the place was in, I wasn't surprised at the sight of more knocked furniture, scattered clothes, and broken CDs. There, on the windowsill, lied Mag's bracelet, which the girl rarely ever left behind. I hoped my friend hadn't been home when it was being demolished.

As I turned around to leave, something I saw made me stop dead in my tracks.

Standing in the doorway was a tall, well-built man. He was wearing a tight black costume. His face was hidden behind a ninja-like mask that revealed just his eyes, which were shooting daggers at me. In his hand was a short and sharp-looking knife that flashed menacingly. I backed away rapidly and held fast to the windowsill for balance tripping on the carpet as I went. The man moved towards me. All of a sudden, I felt strangely weak and vulnerable. Cautiously, I shifted to the balcony door and grabbed the doorknob. The man was getting closer and closer; the knife flickered dangerously close to my stomach while I struggled with the knob. At the last moment I managed to open the door and escape from the blade by jumping onto the balcony.

The thief rushed after me. I took a few steps backward and came in contact with the balustrade. The terrace wasn't big; it was certainly much too small for my liking at the moment. The dagger glistened threateningly near my collarbone this time. I started to wonder whether he would kill me himself or force me to jump to make it look like a suicide. I closed my eyes, feeling the cold metal on my neck.

Suddenly, something shot through the air with a swish. Surprised, I lifted my lids and saw a whip - similar to those used to rush horses but much bigger - hitting my failed murderer. The whip belonged to a pretty young girl dressed in a black corset, tight leather trousers and strange knee-high open-toed boots, with claws as heels. She overpowered her opponent, knocking him out cold. Then, she turned to face me with a wide, slightly crooked grin. Long, dark hair tied up in a ponytail with a purple ribbon flew in the wind. She was probably eighteen or nineteen - or so her demeanor suggested. I gawked at her, speechless.

Although she seemed strange and somewhat dangerous, I knew I was lucky. If it weren't for the mysterious stranger who, in ways only known to her, somehow appeared out of nowhere on the fifth floor of the building in this sparsely populated part of town, they would probably be writing my obituary right now.

The girl waved her hand theatrically.

"Izabela Tuho. To your services."

© 2012 Izabellla

Author's Note

This story is co-written with my friend Zuza.

The chapters from Suzan's point of view – like this one and most of the first half of this story – are written by my friend then edited and translated by me. I decided to leave the simplistic style of writing as it is because I think it shows how Suzan thinks and it would give you a comparison with the mind of Unikko (aka Izabela) later on. I also decided to leave the names in their original form seeing as there are many foreign characters in the story. I thought it would be better for emphasizing the culture differences later.

English is not my native language so if you spot any mistakes please tell me.

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The beggining was my favorite when Suzan beleived it was a rhetorical question. I think we have all been there. Thats what realed me in. This is well written, with description that i like because you dont have to think to understand it. This is the kinda thing i'd read on a lazy day! Goodjob.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


The beggining was my favorite when Suzan beleived it was a rhetorical question. I think we have all been there. Thats what realed me in. This is well written, with description that i like because you dont have to think to understand it. This is the kinda thing i'd read on a lazy day! Goodjob.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Added on May 16, 2012
Last Updated on May 16, 2012
Tags: fantasy, dragon, warrior, girl, world, danger



Warsaw, Poland

I'm materialistic, selfish feminist with homicidal tendencies, who live with Horacy's life philosophy (stoical-epicurean philosophy). I have music addiction and pink-repugnance. And you wouldn't want .. more..

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