Part of The Power Chronicles by Silver :)
Rated Moderate for psychological reasons.
The Power of The MindEdit
I climb the rocky hill quickly; anyone else might have had doubts over the height, but I didn't mind them. The only difference between 20 feet and 100 feet was that it would take a little longer to hit the ground. Once I reached a crevice in the side, I duck into it. Home sweet home.
I push back my hood and unzip my jacket. No reason for that now. I place it carefully on the rocky output that I use for a hook, and open my bag. Well, at least I got a good haul today. Pleased, I take out my catch. A few canned foods, some matches, and a few white rabbits. My smile slips off my face when I looked at it all. With winter coming in, well, cold, it seemed wrong to steal from honest, hardworking folk.
Then I thought of my little sister and cast that thought aside. I was careful not to hurt anyone, mentally or physically, and stole only a little from a few people. The rabbits were a different matter, though. All I had do to was look at it, and it would freeze up as I mentally suffocated it. It was painless, quick, and didn't alert predators to the smell of blood.
In no time at all I have a fire going outside. In another situation, I would worry, but the hills and forest are full of "bad magic and sorcery". I smiled a little ruefully, since I in fact started those rumors. It kept everyone away from my home. If they found Alexi...
I hear a dragging sound from the cave and look over my shoulder. Alexi was slowly dragging herself out of her room, trying not to let her disfigured right half show. "Alexi!" I said, jumping to my feet, "What are you doing?"
"I was... worried... when you... didn't come." She coughed, trying to reach her big sister. Her protector. Her Nina.
I quickly run over and take he in my arms. "Alexi, why don't you go lay down for a while, okay?"
"No... I want... see outside... again." Her big blue eyes met mine.
Sighing, I carry her outside and set her down. That's when I notice she brought her paper with her. She starts drawing quickly, eyes fixated on the sight in front of her. I cautiously probe into her mind, not letting her know what I'm doing.
No, I can write. I can paint. Not worthless.
It's not my fault I was born this way.
Freak. Your sister hides you up here so that no one will see what you are.
She's doing it to protect me!
Maybe she just doesn't want people to see you with her.
No! She loves me! I'm her sister!
Maybe... but are you family?
I jerk my mind out of her thoughts before I hear any more. Watching her sitting there so calmly, slowly sketching out the scene, but knowing what's in her mind...
A part of me wants to hold her close, explain how I'm just like her... a freak, but I'm a coward. However, he would hate me if I told her the truth. There was a chance she would understand... become closer. But she might become furious that I didn't tell her for so long. Plus, she might run away. She would die out here, alone in the woods, if she wasn't killed first. Plus, even if she made it to the village, they would burn her as a witch. I didn't want her to die.
Another, dark, twisted part of me that I hated was that I was afraid she wouldn't trust me. That she would leave and I would be all alone. I didn't want to be left alone. I wouldn't have anyone. She was all I had. I needed her just as much as he needed me. I could easily force her to stay; set up mind blocks that made it impossible to leave. I was terrified by how tempted I was to do that.
I decided, like always, not to say anything. Instead, I get up and go inside the cave. As I pass Alexi's corner, I notice a flash of red. I approach, and feel my mouth drop. It's a quilted blanket. It as beautiful embroidery, enough to fetch a high price in the market.
The blanket I had gotten her was a plain ragged white. She must've unraveled it, and learned how to dye it. Immediately, I feel a flash of pride. She had made something so beautiful that the nobility would go insane over it. I considered selling it. I could sell it and use the money to buy more yarn. She could always make another...
I lift up the blanket and look it over. It is actually the view outside the cave. The red was the sunset. I was amazed by the detail.
"Nina?" Alexi asked. I hadn't heard her approaching.
"Alexi, what are you-?" I began.
"I wanted to surprise you with it. I guess I should've hid it better." Alexi sighed.
"This... was for me?" I asked, feeling guilty all over again. Alexi nodded.
I sighed, and placed it back down. "But it's your blanket."
"I... about that. I've been... sneaking down to the village. I got an apprenticeship at the embroidery's and fabric maker's. Nina, it was amazing! They didn't even think I was evil and didn't care about my leg! They thought I was 'brave!"
"So you're leaving?" I asked, feeling my body go rigid.
"Well, you can come do. We don't need to hide anymore! We can live our lives in society and with others!" Alexi explained with a grin.
I felt myself growing angrier by the minute. "And have to share you?" I spat.
"What?" Alexi asked, shocked.
"You are mine! My family! You rely on me! Me!" I growl, stomping on the blanket and grinding it into the floor. Her eyes fill with tears, and she screams, "I hate you! Leave me alone!" She goes to leave, but I grab her arm and pull her down. "What are you-!" She begins, but I throw myself into her mind. She is thinking about the best way to run. The best way to escape.
I probe deeper. She screams, a guttural, high-pitched shriek that carries down the mountains. I continue relentlessly, locking her mind onto the mountain cave, forcing a sort of mental chain onto her mind, making it so that she cannot leave me. She will never leave me. Never.
She has gone silent. I pull myself back and reenter my own mind. Immediately, I am hit by a surge of guilt. No! I want to scream. I can't believe I did this! I stagger outside, holding my stomach. I get furiously sick outside. I feel a warm hand holding my hair back, and another rubbing my shoulder. "It's okay, it's okay." Alexi whispers to me. I try to pull away from her, feeling an indescribable pain in my heart, made worse by her sympathy.
I stagger away, going back into the cave. She follows, her serving, loving attitude making me feel worse. I look at the blanket, ruined and destroyed. All because of that damn blanket! I pick it up, and go to the campfire, throwing it in. Alexi looks up. "No! That was for you!" She cries, leaping into he flames to retrieve it. "No!" I scream, "Alexi, get out!"
"I need to please you!" She calls back, coughing, "This was... for... you. I love... you, Nina..."
She crumples, motionless. I scream, feeling my vocal chords shredding. I screamed, and screamed, and screamed. I never stopped screaming.