Chpt 1

Chpt 1

A Chapter by Layla J Omorose

1.


Sonya “Beauty” Lamar sat quietly at the dinner table, patiently waiting for her father’s return. Beside her, her two obnoxious sisters bickered back and forth about the truth of meaningless gossip.

Who was sleeping with whom? Who’d had the latest plastic surgery, and anything else they could find on social media that they could flap their gums about. Each time one of her sisters laughed in their high-pitched voices, Sonya wanted to ram her head through a wall.

Really, what was father thinking leaving me alone with these two? He should have taken me with him. At least then I wouldn’t have to constantly listen to hyena laughter.

Twirling her fork on her dinner plate, she concentrated on trying to figure out what exactly her oldest sister Daphne had put on their plates. It looked almost edible, but the smell… Sonya was sure if she took one bite she would be sick for months.

“What’s the matter, Sonya? You don’t like my cooking?” Daphne asked as she took a break from her cackling to bother Sonya.

“Of course, she doesn’t. She only likes Daddy’s cooking.” Beth mocked as she tossed her phone on the table. “There’s nothing good on the internet… eww, what the hell did you make, Daph?”

“What? It’s supposed to be stewed beef.” Daph shrugged. “It doesn’t look so bad to me.” Taking her spoon into one perfectly manicured hand, she tasted what Sonya was sure the worst thing her sister had ever tried.

“See it’s not"”

Sonya watched as her sister’s face turned three different shades of green just before she excused herself and darted off to obviously hurl her insides into the upstairs toilet.

“Guess, we better order out.” Beth sighed as she picked her phone back up. “What do you want to eat, Beauty?” she asked Sonya without taking her eyes of her phone.

She wished they’d stop with the nickname already. S**t, she wasn’t even sure how she had gotten it, but she knew she didn’t deserve it. Compared to their perfectly polished appearances, she was nothing but a plain Jane.

Sonya glanced over at Beth, who was the nicer of the two. Although Sonya was sure Beth despised her just as much as Daphne did, Beth was just politer about her hatred.

“Anything is fine. Did you cut your hair again?” Sonya asked. How many times had she watched her sister change her body, be it her hair or dropping ten pounds in one week, for a job?

Sonya really didn’t understand it at all.

Beth was beautiful. Who thanks to their mother’s side of the family, possessed a flawless bronzed complexion that had been unaffected by the scars of puberty or the stress lines of life that normal people had. For a woman in her early thirties, she still looked no older than twenty-one. With her naturally light brown hair cut into a short pixie style, she looked even younger. Add to that her eyes, which were the same light color as her hair and seemed to sparkle with radiance, Sonya didn’t understand her sister’s need to torture herself to look like some anorexic Barbie doll.

“Yeah, this photographer wants something more edgy for his shoot, and my long hair wasn’t cutting it.” Beth’s bored tone, as if she would rather be anywhere other than talking to her, cut Sonya deeply.

Their relationship hadn’t always been rocky. When they were younger and while Daphne was chasing boys and the limelight, Beth and Sonya had been inseparable. They were each other’s best friend, and there wasn’t a thing Beth couldn’t tell Sonya.

She truly missed those days when they would laugh and joke with each other. But as the years passed and they grew older, Beth became more distant, choosing to hang with Daphne and treating Sonya as if she didn’t exist.

When things changed between them she didn’t know. Nor did she care at this point. The damage had been done to their relationship, and there was no going back to how they were before.

“I ordered pizza,” Beth said as she rose from her seat at the dinner table.

“Are you actually going to eat it or throw it back up like you usually do?” Sonya didn’t mean for her words to come out as harsh as they did, but it was the truth. She couldn’t remember the last time her sister had eaten real food.

Beth gave Sonya a side glace, and she was sure that if looks could kill, she would have had her throat slit in that instant.

“I’m going to check on, Daph.” Beth waved a dismissive hand in the air as she turned away from Sonya and began walking out the kitchen, the sound of her designer heels clicking against the hardwood floor as she left. “Make yourself useful and wash the f*****g dishes.” With that, Beth walked out of the kitchen.

“B***h,” Sonya whispered as she moved out of her seat. She would clean the dishes later. Right then, she needed some air. Leaving the kitchen and Daph’s killer stew on the table, Sonya headed towards the back patio that was connected to the library down the hall from the kitchen.

The moment she walked into the room a calm sense of serenity washed over her, and she was able to breathe freely. Away from the judgmental stares of her sisters, Sonya locked herself away in the library. Taking her shoes off by the door, she dug her toes into the soft blue carpet. This room had been specially built for her by her father. He had spent thousands to create the perfect space for her to get lost in world after world. Compared to an actual library and the ones she saw on TV, hers featured small, yet beautiful mahogany bookcases lined along the back wall. On the shelves were some of her favorite books, and some she had yet to jump into. In the center of the room were light colored sofas arranged in a half circle around a glass coffee table that still held her coffee from this morning and the new book she had just started.

Picking up the book she had been reading, Sonya sat on the sofa and stretched out against the soft cushions as she once again dove into the world of monsters and heroes. She had opened the curtains earlier to let light into the room. With the sun setting, she was given a beautiful display of the changing sky as she let herself be swept away. Before she knew it, exhaustion overtook her, and she was drifting into a peaceful sleep where she would dream of dark princes and their fierce passion…

How many times had she come to this very same castle? How many times would she stand before its large doors and wonder what lurked behind its walls? How long would she look up at its dark peaks and wonder who was watching her from the single lit window?


Too many times Sonya found herself wanting to see what waited beyond the castle doors. As much as she wanted to push open the door and walk into the castle, she couldn’t. Each time she reached her hand out to the handle she froze, and a prickling sensation would travel up her arms. Instantly she would jump back. Holding her stinging arm, she would stare at the castle doors wondering just what type of permission she had to have to gain access to the looming structure that lay before her.


“Open for me,” Sonya whispered as she once again found herself reaching for the castle door’s handle. “Please.” Closing her eyes, she took hold of the handle and almost leaped for joy when she noticed there was no pain this time.


Slowly opening her eyes, half expecting to see that her arm had been cut off without her knowing, she found that not only was her arm still attached to her body but the castle doors were no longer locked.

Saying a small prayer of thanks, Sonya held the handle and pressed down on the lock. She eased open the large doors, huffing as she struggled with the weight of the ancient wood. The old doors opened. The sound of their rusted hinges moving for the first time in, what she assumed was years, echoed through the air as strong gusts of wind tossed her hair into her face. Behind her, Sonya heard the sound of crows as they took flight from the forest behind her.


Paying no attention to the tingling suddenly going down her spine, she continued to push the door until its opening was wide enough for her to fit through. Squeezing through the space, Sonya entered the castle. Before she could step fully into the hallway, the doors slammed shut behind her. Sonya jumped and found herself surrounded by cold darkness. Panicked, she went for the door handle, only to find it had disappeared.


Frantically, she felt where the castle doors had been, searching for any sign of the entrance she had just come through. All she felt was the coolness of smooth stone. When she banged against the newly formed wall, she winced as a pain shot through her.


“What the hell is going on?” Confused, she was left with no choice but to move forward and hope she found a way out. Shivering against the cold, Sonya wrapped her arms about her body and pressed forward.


She didn’t know how long she walked for or how far she had gone. Even with her eyes adjusted to the darkness of the castle, she couldn’t make out anything. No shadowed figures of lamps, windows, or anything else that could offer her warmth and light.


“Who are you?”


Jumping at the sound of the sudden voice, Sonya’s eyes quickly darted around. Still she saw nothing but darkness.


“What are you doing here?”


This time she felt something brush against her. Again, she jumped and looked around. Once more she saw nothing.


“Who’s there?” she asked into the darkness, the sound of her heartbeat echoing wildly in her ears. “Who are you?”


“You come into my home,” the voice grew darker, more animalistic, “and ask me who I am?”

In the distance, Sonya heard something that sounded like a giant animal had just entered the room with her. Terror snaking its way through Sonya’s body, she slowly found herself backing away from the direction the sound come from.


“I asked you a question, woman.” There was a dark growl and another footstep.


Without a second thought as to where she could go or what she could do, Sonya turned on her heels and took off running. She only made it a few meters before she ran into a massive body. Stumbling back, she looked up to find a pair of yellow eyes staring intently at her. A scream caught in her throat as horror consumed her. In the darkness, not only could she see the yellow of the monster’s eyes but the sharp tips of long fangs that were too big to fit inside its mouth.


“Answer me.” The creature took a step forward. The ground shook beneath her feet, and she fell backwards to the ground. “Why are you here!” This time the monster’s voice boomed in the darkness, and around her lights flickered on, illuminating the hallway in a low and eerie light that did nothing to ease her fear.


“What is it? Does the sight of me offend you?” With another earth-shattering step, the creature came into view.


This time she did scream. A loud and horrifying scream that would have chilled the darkest soul. In the background, she heard a dark laugh. Or was it growling? She couldn’t be too sure. What she did know, was that with the fading sound of his amusement was a bleak darkness that quickly consumed her as her body fell to the ground in a limp heap…


Sonya woke up screaming, the dark creature from her dreams still fresh in her mind. When strong arms wrapped around her, she screamed louder and struggled to break free.

“Shh, Sonya.” A voice like her father’s penetrated through the horror of her nightmare. Still, she struggled, not sure if she would open her eyes and see the creature that would haunt her dreams for the rest of her life. Or if she would find the dark loving eyes of her father.

“Sonya, baby, open your eyes.” Unmoving arms held her tighter. Gradually, she calmed as her father’s comforting embrace surrounded her. Like always when he held her, she reverted to the young girl she once was. Leaning into him, as she had done so many times before, Sonya found comfort in the arms of the one man she knew would never hurt her.

Just as that thought crossed her mind, so did the image of the beast from her nightmare. She shivered in her father’s embrace, and he held her tighter, rubbing her arms in an effort to ease her fears.

“Bad dream?” he asked, and she felt the warmth of his breath across the top of her head.

She nodded.

“What to talk about it?”

She shook her head.

“All right then,” he said before softly patting her head with one of his large palms.

A contented sigh escaped Sonya, and she snuggled closer to him.

“Aren’t you a little too old to be cuddling up to your father?”

“Never,” Sonya whispered, and she felt the rumbling of his chest as a light chuckle escaped him.

Despite herself, she smiled.

Sonya didn’t care if she was seven or thirty-seven. She would always seek comfort in the arms of her father. He was the only one who understood her, and she would do anything for him. She didn’t care what anyone said, friends, family, and especially her sisters. None of their opinions mattered. All that mattered was her father and his love for her.

For a long moment, they sat in silence, enjoying each other’s missed presence. The silence was so peaceful between them that Sonya almost drifted back off to sleep in his arms. But just as she lowered her lids, she felt his tap on her arm.

Sitting up, she stretched as her father moved from the sofa. and watched him walk over to his discarded duffle bag by the door.

“I’ve brought something back for you and your sisters.” He told her as he rummaged through his bag.

“You know you didn’t have to.” Even as she said the words, she was sitting on the edge of the sofa, anxiously waiting to see what new gift her father had brought her.

While she wasn’t into extravagant presents and gifts, she loved anything her father brought back from one of his many trips.

“I know that, but still… ahh, there it is.”

“What is it?” Sonya asked, almost falling off the edge of her seat as she tried to peek around to see what her father had pulled out of his bag.

“Now, close your eyes,” her father said as he turned to face her while keeping his hands behind his back.

Raising her brow, Sonya gave her father a questioning look, and when he smiled at her, she couldn’t help but smile back. For the thousandth time, she couldn’t understand why her rugged but handsome father wouldn’t find a woman and settle down. Although Sonya might not have wanted to share her father with anyone else, she wasn’t the young and naïve girl she used to be. Her father had needs just like any other man, and with her mother being gone for so long, Sonya was sure he was lonely. With dark piercing eyes that were highlighted by the rich brown of his skin and the dark brows and long lashes that surrounded his eyes, she was sure there weren’t many women who could resist his charm. Especially when he smiled and showed off the dimple he had in his left cheek.

“Come on, close them,” he told her in that smooth voice of his.

Sonya could see how others would be confused by her father. His gentle and good-hearted nature was sometimes at odds with his tall and wide frame. And often times his temper surprised her, especially when it came to him coming up to her school when she was young and threatening all the boys that picked on her. Thinking back, she couldn’t help the soft laugh that escaped her.

“Beauty,” he said. While she hated when her sisters called her that nickname, she didn’t mind her father saying it. Because to him, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and the nickname suited not only her looks but the person she was on the inside… or so he told her.

“I’m closing them.” She shut her eyes.

“Hold you out your hand.”

Following his instructions, Sonya held out her hands.

“Don’t open them until I tell you.”

“I know, Daddy.” She heard him chuckle and then heard his footsteps as they neared her. Excitement replaced any lingering fear, and she found her hands itching to hold what he was about to give her.

“Good girl.” With that, he placed a box into her hand. Sonya frowned as she heard something that sounded like a jewelry box opening.

“Okay, now, open your eyes.” Her father said.

Following his instructions, Sonya slowly lifted her lids. The first thing she focused on was her father standing a few feet away from her. He nodded at her hands and her gaze followed. Wide eyed, she stared at the beautifully crafted necklace in her palms. The perfectly cut diamonds twinkled against the black velvet of the box.

“A red rose,” her father said as he came to sit beside her. All Sonya could do was openly gape at him and the necklace. “Beautiful both inside and out, it is a timeless piece.” Her father took the box from her. Sliding the necklace out of the box, he held it up for her to see.

“See how the diamonds shine… just like you.”

She couldn’t hold back her tears. Raising her hand, Sonya brushed her fingertips against the cool surface of the rubies that made up the rose’s petals. Its stem was crafted from gold and emerald gemstones and dangled off a gold rope chain.

“Daddy.” She sobbed, and suddenly her vision blurred.

“Come, let me put it on you.”

Unable to form words, Sonya simply turned around, lifted her naturally curly hair, and waited patiently as her father hooked the necklace around her neck.

“There we go. Turn around and let me see how it looks.”

Releasing her hair, she turned and faced her father with teary eyes.

“It’s beautiful, just like its owner.” She felt the smooth caress of her father’s thumb as he wiped away her tears. “It’s a custom piece, and when I saw it, I knew it was for you.”

Sobbing like a twelve-year-old, Sonya tackled her father in a tight bear hug. “Thank you,” she whispered.

“You’re welcome. Anything for you.” He hugged her tighter, and she sighed. Truly, nothing felt better than the love of her father.

“I love you, Daddy,” she said as she finally released him.

“I love you, and that idiot ex-husband of yours didn’t deserve you.”

Just when she thought she had herself together, she broke into another round of sobs as painful memories assaulted her.

“Damn, I’m sorry… you know what…” Standing from the sofa her father grabbed her by the hand and pulled her to her feet. “Let’s get you cleaned up, grab your sisters, and head out to eat. I saw that Daphne tried to cook again.”

Laughing, Sonya wiped the tears from her face. “Yeah, and she paid the price for it.” When she saw her father cringe, her laugh echoed loudly as she followed him out the library.

Even with her spirits momentarily lifted, the creature from her nightmare still lurked in the back of her mind. Those intense yellow eyes staring at her, telling her that it wouldn’t be the last time they’d meet.


© 2017 Layla J Omorose


Author's Note

Layla J Omorose
Enjoy :)

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Added on October 17, 2017
Last Updated on October 17, 2017


Author

Layla J Omorose
Layla J Omorose

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Wow, it has been a long time since I last posted on Writer's Cafe. Since my last update a lot of things have happened in my life, some good, some bad and I have been working on getting myself back tog.. more..

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