Smoke was already choking Jadia as a small (almost invisible and unnoticed) trapdoor opened underneath the bed. She faintly heard a curse then the whole bed erupted into flames. As the pine smouldered, a jet of water came from the ladder just below the trapdoor, and two girls clambered into the attic.
“Stupid traps,” snarled a tough-looking girl with dark eyes and coal-black hair, wearing dirty, scorched jeans and a T-shirt with a picture of the singer Alex B pasted onto it. Hmm, thought Jadia, I should go check out her songs some time.
The other girl had medium long blonde locks and Jadia could sense a ‘rich’ vibe coming from the way she walked and her fancy clothes. Jadia immediately didn’t trust her. As a poor, lower-middle class girl, she didn’t like the way rich people always thought they were better than her family and looked down on them.
As the dark-haired teenager walked towards her, Jadia sensed frustration, resentment and then relief. Jadia didn’t sense emotions often but her mind was now on alert as her body was preparing itself to burn. Suddenly she saw the other young woman head towards the burning window, shooting icy water from her palms as she went. Jadia knew, then, that the fire was out and she was in safe-ish hands. She relaxed and the exhaustion overcame her.
Jadia woke to a face-full of cold water. Spluttering, she heard voices.
“Are you okay?”
“What’s your name?”
Warily Jadia sat up and wiped the damp from her face, annoyed.
“I’m Jadia. You? Where are we? Where did that fire come from? I-I can’t stand fires…”
“I noticed,” said the dark-haired girl, a little roughly, “I’m Sapphire.”
The other girl extended a hand to help Jadia up as she said, “Esmerelda. We’ve got the fire under control; it was a mistake.”
Jadia ignored Esmerelda’s hand and helped herself up.
“We just all woke up in this building…” Esmerelda said.
“So we’re trapped?”
“Not necessarily,” Sapphire called from the wreckage of the bed and jumped onto the trapdoor ladder, “Come on!”
“But-” Jadia tried to speak as she was pulled along by Esmerelda.
“But…” she yanked her arm from Esmerelda’s grasp as they reached the lower level.
Jadia turned to Sapphire.
“Why are we here?”