Chapter 43: The Locket

First she was gifted with a dress that almost literally had her jumping with joy, then Alkyra finally felt the content warmth she was unknowingly searching for, and finally, to end her day, she tackles down a strange boy. Oh, then there was the new girl.

Jacquiline was her name and she came with the boy. Or after him? Perhaps she following him, Alkyra thought for a moment.

The orange-scaled girl stood among her roommates (who had drifted outside, upon hearing Alkyra’s shouts), spare for Eru and the new girl, who have since gone inside; and the elf. Maine also avoided the small group, something that didn’t bother Alkyra very much. She seemed anti-social, or at least cautious, all of which was very understandable considering what the lizard had gone through a few years ago. If there was any chance of Maine coming out of her shell, it would be at the Sistren. The girl just needed time, Alkyra assumed, more time than she herself needed.

In the midst of the group, the lizard listened to the others speak about the new arrival, buzzing with curiosity, anxiety, and a bit of glee.

“Do you think she’s friendly?” asked Elorrie, who stood alongside Mirage.

“Maybe; we’ll have to wait and see. She does seem rather timid,” replied Aella.

“That’s understandable. I mean, we all sort of were when we first came ‘ere.” Mirage said.

A few flashes of memory of the time she arrived at the Sistren passed through Alkyra’s mind. She was timid when she came here the day before. No surprise there. Still…there was something that Jacquiline was hiding, Alkyra contemplated.

After the disappearance of the boy – Kyle, and the reappearance of Jacquiline, Alkyra felt worried. Not the type of worry that sent a sinking feeling within her, even though it did dampen the good mood she was in. But Alkyra ignored what she was feeling and tried to move any thoughts she had about the new arrival and the boy away out of her mind.

But Alkyra failed to displace her thought because speaking of the boy…

“Wait!” Alkyra jumped, breaking the quiet and calm nature of the conversation. “The boy was carrying a satchel with him when I tackled him. I think I dropped it somewhere with that book...” 

Said book was being taken away by Maine, out of the view of the girls as they chatted on.

“You…tackled him? You’re not very shy, are you?” one of them teased.

Alkyra sent a sharp, but meaningless glare.

“Oh come on, Kyra! We’re only kidding.”

The girl rolled her eyes at Elorrie and shuffled away her tension she thought she caused. “I know, I know,” Alkyra drawled, shrugging her shoulders. “I think I’ll go inside though. It’s getting late and I need a bath.”

She walked away, leaving the others to continue their little bits of gossip. Nearing the entrance, Alkyra saw something rather curious. It was the satchel, its contents spilled over the marble ground of the terrace. There was nothing all too strange about what the boy had stolen: a few items of clothing; some bread; a coin bag; little bits of broken glass; and a golden locket which Alkyra assumed was taken from one of the rooms. But why steal? Jacquiline knew the boy, neither of which seemed like thieves. And Alkyra knew thieves. There were times that she wandered into towns and stole a bit of meat or bread when forest berries were not enough for her, or there were too few.

Most thieves had an air about them, and it usually was a foul stench. They carried themselves awkwardly and cautiously, especially the inexperienced ones. She had seen and ran into a few during her woodland days. Eight out of ten were children with dirty faces and wide eyes, but the others were men or teenagers who looked egoistical and scheming. Jacquiline and Kyle were neither poor urchin-looking children, nor accustomed pickpockets. But what was the boy on about during the time Alkyra interrogated him? (Or, actually, when Maine did.)

"I am sorry," she remembered him crying. "They made me steal it!"

“They” was such an ambiguous thing to say. Whoever “they” were, Jacquiline wasn’t a part of. Alkyra could tell. She developed a sixth sense on who had ill intentions or not because of her wilding-way-of-life (although that didn’t stop her from being any less cautious). Anyhow, Alkyra decided she would ask questions later.

Placing the objects in the bag, Alkyra stopped for a moment and examined the locket. She did not remember any of the sisters wearing such a thing, so she doubted it belonged to them. If it did, she would return it. But the locket was so beautiful and even had an aged picture within it. It was of a woman with long hair and a youthful, but pretty face. Maybe the woman was a friend or relative to one of the girls? Even so, she tucked the locket into the satchel with everything else. She would ask them at dinner who was the owner, or in the morning, but something within Alkyra made her want to hold onto the necklace.  Perhaps she could keeep it just a little longer…?

Returning to the manor she now called home, Alkyra left the satchel in the den and decided to speak with Eru later about it. As for the locket…she took it from the bag and swung the pretty thing around her wrist before she left for her bedroom to ready for her bath.

She missed dinner that night and spent it neck deep in a tub of water, staring at the golden necklace.

The End

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