Shadow Lord's Daughter: Part Seventeen

            After Wraith was sure I was safe in the basement, he went back outside to gather up the not-as-great-as-it-was-supposed-to-be picnic. I am sitting on a new black couch in front of a blank flat screen television mounted on a brick wall above an empty fireplace. Now that I’m alone and can (somewhat) think, my feet suddenly start aching, reminding me that they’ve been in heels all day. With a sigh of relief, the shoes come off and I curl up on the couch waiting for Wraith to come back.
               Kendra. Of all people, why is she the one who killed my mom and Ryan and is trying to kill me? Well, that does explain why she’s hated me all these years when I haven’t done anything to her. Actually, scratch that. Every time she’s done something to me, I’ve always retaliated, and those retaliations only served to completely humiliate her. But how could I have not seen that there was something different about her? Something supernatural? Her penchant for black clothing and the darker and morbid should have at least alerted me to the fact she might not be human. And her automatic hatred for me from the moment she first saw me, and how she knew my name before anyone told her. I had figured that since I was the queen of the school, she had just heard it.
               Suddenly, everything shallow and vain in my life (which, sadly, is almost all of it) seems so stupid and frivolous and a waste of time (which it is). I should instead be training to follow in my father’s footsteps so he can do what he wants, forget he’s human and be reunited with my mom.
               A cool hand on my shoulder makes me jump, and in slight paranoia, I think it’s Kendra and half-scream. Whoever it is laughs, the sound of bells and violins. Mom! I turn around and see her standing there, looking just like she did when I was three. But as I’m getting up to hug her, her blonde hair turns thick and black, and her bright green eyes fill with the snarl that’s on her corpse blue lips and turn silver. Kendra! Or at least the ghost version of her.
               “Hello granddaughter. How ‘nice’ to see you again.”
               I stay on the couch and slowly reach for the stiletto I have hidden in a pocket in my skirt. “How’d you know where I was?”
               Kendra smiles and reveals rotting teeth, brown and purple. “Your father forgets that his voice carries, and that not all of his ‘subjects’ enjoy having a human leader.”
               Where is it? “But why’d you kill Ryan if you want me?”
               Kendra laughs and starts walking around the couch. “Well, I always have been theatrical, comes from being around Shakespeare’s spirit so much, but it also makes taking revenge that much more fun.”
               My silver stiletto is gone, and the feeling of defenselessness takes over. “But I never did anything to you.”
               Kendra slaps me. “I know that, you spoiled brat! Your mother did!”
               I need something silver! “Then why punish me for something she did?”
               “Do you know nothing?” she snarls, her once pretty face slowly fading to that of a rotting corpse. “You are the result of her mistake,” she hisses.
               The heels of my shoes are silver. “Killing your daughter and my boyfriend just because she married a human and had an eidolon child? Doesn’t that seem a bit harsh?” I ask as I slowly reach for one of my shoes.
               “Come now, none of that, darling granddaughter,” she cackles as she moves her hand and both my shoes fly across the room and are imbedded in the wooden stairs. “I haven’t come to kill you, I’m saving that until I’ve showed you how Ryan really died.”
               Before I can say anything, she puts one wrinkled and rotting thumb against my forehead. Wraith’s basement vanishes and is replaced with a dark road surrounded by trees. The road that leads to Ryan’s house. Ryan’s house comes into view and is suddenly replaced with his room. Kendra is laying across his bed and Ryan is standing by the door.
               “Look, I really don’t feel right about doing this, I love Nikki.”
               “You only think you do, but she’s only using you, Ryan.”
               “What do you mean ‘using me?’ Nikki isn’t using me, she loves me too.”
               Kendra sighs and shakes her head. “You only think that because she’s a good actress.”
               Ryan turns to face her. “Nikki can’t lie to save her life, much less act. And besides, if she really didn’t care for me, she would’ve left me. She’s got a heart.”
               Kendra slips off the bed and walks over to him. “Just trust me, I’ve heard her say it herself to Haley. She’s only staying with you for appearances.” Her hand slides down his shoulder to his chest. “But I’m not like that, Ryan, you know that. Look how long I’ve kept us a secret.”
               “Kendra, there is no ‘us,’ we’re just lab partners.” Ryan pushes her away and walks to the window.
               Kendra walks up behind him and whispers in his ear. “But there can be. Why stay in a relationship if you’re only being used?”
               “Kendra, our science project is done, I think it’s time for you to leave.”
               She pouted, her full glossy lips shining in the dim light in his room. Ryan hates…hated bright lights.
               “You run after someone who doesn’t care about you, but you leave someone that does? That’s backwards.”
               Ryan sighs and his shoulders sag, a sign of his defeat. I want to scream no, tell him that if he gives in, he’ll die. But this is only Kendra’s memory of what happened, so I can’t say anything.
               He turns around and faces her. “If you’re right, then what should I do?”
               Kendra parts her glossy lips and whispers with eyes half-closed seductively. “Kiss me.”
               Ryan dips his head and his black lip ring presses against her mouth. I want to…no, I will kill Kendra. He pulls back and she pulls his lips back to hers. Only I can see the dull glimmering of copper in her left hand as she thrusts the tiny stiletto into his stomach, killing him instantly.

The End

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