Day 6 - 17

Day 6 - 17

A Chapter by Esana Bridges

Get ready -


“Ms. Éclair, would you like jam or butter with your toast?”

Éclair looked at her lemonade. It had been made with 99% lemons and 1% water, with no added sugar whatsoever. Once I drink this, I will either die or wake up enough to deal with this… She looked at Tonnerre who smiling brightly at her. She had been delighted to hear that she’d been put on a team with her idol. This thing…

As Éclair stared down the lemonade, Danzin chirped and handed a note to Tonnerre. On it were the words: Apricot jam, please.

Tonnerre blinked at the note for a moment and then smiled. “Oh wow, so you can write too, Summer! You’re so amazing!”

Danzin yipped lightly, and Tonnerre walked back towards the condiments table, scanning for tubs of apricot jam. To Éclair, he thought, That just might kill you, you know.

“Lemon juice is tasty.”

You said that right before you tried 90% dark chocolate, too. And if I recall correctly, you did not find it tasty after that.

“It’s okay. If I die, I’ll be set free.” Éclair took another moment to view the pale, translucent, faintly yellow liquid and then lifted the glass to her lips. She paused another moment and then quickly tilted the glass.

She had gone through about half the substance inside the glass when the taste hit her. A cold shiver ran down her back, followed by an entire army of them. “BLEHHH!” Éclair jumped up and started to run around. “SUGAR. I NEED SUGAR.” She charged to condiments table and grabbed a white packet, ripping it open and pouring it into her mouth. She closed her mouth and tasted it -

“URGH!” Rushing to the trashcan, Éclair began to spit in it, making strange alien noises as she did so. “WHO THE FREAK PUTS SALT IN BAGS?! ONLY SUGAR IS PUT IN BAGS. SALT IS PUT IN SALT SHAKERS. COME ON, PEOPLE. GET IT RIGHT.”

…Oh Éclair. Danzin shook his head in resignation and waddled over to the condiments table himself. He rummaged around briefly until he came upon a red and white cap with a nozzle on top and a picture of a fluffy white substance on the front. He maneuvered it carefully off the tap and rolled it until it was lying at Éclair’s feet. Then he walked to Éclair and slapped her with his tail.

When she looked down, still ranting, Danzin pushed the can closer to her. In a flash, Éclair had grabbed it and tossed the cap aside. She then proceeded to squirt a mountain load of whipped cream directly into her mouth.

…And since this might help you on the road to diabetes, you’re not allowed to have anymore dessert for the rest of the week.

Suddenly, Danzin sat up and looked around. There was something not right about the scene. Most of the people were pretending to ignore Éclair, as usual, even though they were all watching her antics, but it felt like someone wasn’t even trying to hide the fact that they were watching. Danzin’s fur stood on end as he slowly twisted around, taking in every detail -

The feeling disappeared.

Slowly, Danzin’s fur began to flatten. He slinked over to Éclair, who had calmed down and was now eating the whipped cream for fun and carefully jumped onto the table next to her and then onto her shoulder. He wrapped his tail very tightly around Éclair throat and glared around him, a clear sign of ownership.

“Ms. Éclair?” Tonnerre had returned holding a plate with some finely toasted bread on it and several tubs of apricot jam along with two knives. “Are you alright?”

Éclair barely lowered her whipped cream jar. “Fine.” At Danzin’s chirrup, she turned and began to walk back towards their table, skipping nimbly around anyone silly enough to stand in her way. She had almost finished the whipped cream by the time they’d reached the table and put the can aside to make way for her breakfast.

“Ms. Éclair?”

Pausing in her consumption of a piece of toast, Éclair asked Danzin, “Should I tell her to stop calling me that?”

…Just leave it.

“Fine.” To Tonnerre, Éclair directed a slightly irritated, “What?”

Tonnerre spread some grape jelly onto her own toast and said, thoughtfully, “Back in line, some of the other mercenaries were talking about…” She frowned, trying to remember. “About being moved to the soldier list?” She looked at Éclair, head tilted lightly to one side. “I was wondering what that meant?”

Éclair looked at Danzin. “What does it mean?” Tonnerre looked too, expectantly.

Danzin let out a small sigh and began to explain, pausing every now and then to let Éclair translate, somewhat grudgingly, to a cheerful Tonnerre.

There are two types of special workers for the Clan.

The first group consists of the fighters. The fighters are split into three groups depending mostly on ability to work with other people and tasks that they take on. Assassins make up the first group, but there aren’t just killer assassins. The term assassins, in this context, basically mean that the fighter prefers to work by themselves and doesn’t mind taking on tasks that are…different from what normal fighters would get, sometimes venturing into the illegal. They take on more secretive tasks and always work alone.

“I’m supposed to be an assassin,” Éclair announced, glaring pointedly at her new partner. “But for some reason, Clan put me in the mercenary category.” She popped the last piece of toast into her mouth and stood up. Tonnerre and Danzin both looked up at her, Tonnerre with a bit of food in her hand, eyes wide, Danzin, in expectation. Sighing, Éclair sat back down again.

Next, as Éclair mentioned, we have the mercenaries, which is the category that I believe both of you fall into. Tonnerre, you’re a mercenary, correct? Tonnerre, after a brief translation from Éclair, nodded. Yes, so, mercenaries are those who can work either alone or in groups. However, when they do work in groups, those groups are generally small, usually under ten. They, along with the next group, soldiers, are frequently hired out by other families or companies.

Soldiers are hired to work in large groups and companies and are somewhat like the private army of the Clans. They’re generally the most varied, at least in ages, among all the fighters �" most of the assassins and mercenaries are on the young side, since, you know, the Clan considers that once over 40, unless you’re really special, you’ll naturally be aging to a point where someone younger would be more useful.

Tonnerre nodded in comprehension as Éclair explained. Éclair, after checking that Tonnerre had finally finished, got up and stretched, picking Danzin up as he continued to project explanations into her mind.

The soldiers are also the group that uses the most modern weapons. Mercenaries and assassins also use modern weapons, but they also have a tendency to switch to more medieval weapons, since their jobs usually don’t require mass fighting. For example, a soldier probably uses his firearms most. Éclair uses her gloves.

Absently as she walked down the stairs and translated, Éclair tapped her belt, where two black, lightning encrusted gloves hung, their surfaces rough with the promise of pain.

After examining them briefly, Tonnerre nodded. “Yes, I heard about that part.” She smiled. “It’s part of the reason I wanted to be a mercenary.” Danzin looked at her, politely waiting for her to go on. “Well, it’s like - the rest of the world is getting more and more advanced and newer and newer weapons are coming to life. Only the fighters get to use the old weapons - only they get to live in the past.” She twirled her fingers, in imitation of twirling a staff. “New weapons are so…” She shook her head. “So ugly.”

Oh? Danzin’s thought had a thought of curiosity in it that Éclair failed to transmit. What weapon do you use?

“Oh, a staff �" or sometimes, if it’s for a big show, I use a mace.”

Ah. A lovely weapon.

Éclair yawned.

After a brief slap on Éclair’s head, Danzin continued his explanation. The second type of special workers for the Clan is intelligence. It’s split into foreign and domestic affairs. They are sometimes mercenaries or assassins who have passed the age for maximum fighter potential and have now moved on to intelligence work.

“Oh really? I haven’t seen any of them around. Do they live somewhere else?”

I think so - but it’s more - Danzin froze mid-thought. Something like a growl escaped him, as every single hair on his body slowly crept to attention. His head slowly turned, black eyes darting all around.

It took Éclair barely a moment to notice that suddenly her cute fuzzy companion had expanded to twice his normal size and was stiff as a board. It took Tonnerre a moment longer, and she had gone about ten more steps before she realized that Éclair had stopped and Danzin was having something close to a panic attack.

“Danzin?” Éclair asked, keeping her voice soft and soothing.

Almost simultaneously, Tonnerre asked, “Is something wrong, Summer?” She turned and quickly closed the gap between herself and Éclair.

Summer. Why must she stick on that? Éclair thought crossly in the back of her head.

Danzin was searching desperately. Something is coming. Get out of here.

Something - Without a second thought, Éclair began to run.

And take Tonnerre with you!

Still without thinking, Éclair reached out and grabbed Tonnerre’s arm as she went by, hauling the other girl after her with enough force to literally sweep her off her feet. The imbalance was only temporary though as Tonnerre caught herself and caught up to Éclair’s speed quickly and with only mild difficulty.

“What’s wrong?” She asked, voice quiet. Her eyes darted around, searching for a threat. “Is Summer hurt?”

Éclair ignored her, listening intently for Danzin’s next thoughts. He was still scanning the proximity, looking for something that had failed to make an appearance.

Where is it? Danzin literally unrolled himself from Éclair’s neck, twisting wildly, like an insane grapevine. What is it? He sniffed the air trying to detect an odor out of place, but the air smelled normal - everything felt normal, except…something was wrong. His ears twitched, searching for the source of the wrongness - in the corner of his hearing, a slight cracking.

Against the walls! Danzin shrieked, projecting the thought so that even Tonnerre felt it blasted into her mind. Now, now, now!

Instinctively, minds screeching in pain at the strength of Danzin’s thought, Tonnerre and Éclair flattened themselves against the wall, trying to appear as small as possible.

A moment later, the ceiling fell in.

© 2011 Esana Bridges

Author's Note

Esana Bridges
Yep, I took a really long hiatus.

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Added on November 19, 2011
Last Updated on November 19, 2011


Esana Bridges
Esana Bridges

I love mysterious things that send shivers down my back. I like emotion. I love craziness. Fairy tale rewrites or something to do with Alice in Wonderland will draw me in immediately. Feel free to .. more..

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