|Guardians of the Gate
Author: Sasame Tamaki PM
Five teenage girls are brought together by fate to help defend the magical world from a mysterious enemy. *HIATUS*Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chapters: 10 - Words: 9,476 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Updated: 12-24-09 - Published: 10-31-09 - id: 2736366
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As Jaden walked down the dark street, she had the strangest feeling that she was being watched. She thought she heard footsteps behind her, but she didn't look back. As the footsteps got faster, she broke into a run. She reached the door to her apartment building and turned around…
No one was there.
Jaden shook her head and scolded herself for her wild imagination. She opened the door and climbed up the steep stairs to the topmost floor.
The building was a mess. Only people who couldn't afford much of a place to live stayed there. She entered her apartment and looked around. There was only one bedroom, and that was where Jaden slept. Her mom slept on the couch. Her father left before she was even born.
Jaden walked to the living room. Her mom, Jacinta, was watching T.V. As Jaden threw down her backpack, her mom asked, "Back already from the library?"
Jaden sighed, "Ma, the library closed, so I had to leave. And besides, I'd been there for four hours."
"Whatever. I left your dinner in the oven."
Jaden ate, and then went to bed. She was too tired to change to her pajamas, so she went to bed in her black skirt, shirt, boots, and even her jacket. She fell asleep immediately.
Jaden tossed and turned, then kicked off her covers. "Why is it so hot in here?" she wondered. "It's the middle of January, so why am I burning up?"
She opened her eyes…and screamed.
All around her, choking her, was fire, engulfing everything but her bed. But it was coming after her next. Despite her not being able to breathe, she jumped out of bed and started for her window. As she ran, though, she tripped and fell right into the flames.
But the weirdest thing happened. She was sitting right in the fire, but the flames felt cool. She did not seem to be getting burned, either. She stared disbelievingly, then remembered that she had to get out of there.
She stood and rushed to the window, looked out, and spotted a water pipe about a foot away. She climbed out and started shinnying down the pipe.
She was halfway to the ground when she heard a loud blast. She looked up just as the flames burst, breaking the windows. Jaden closed her eyes and looked down so the glass wouldn't cut her face.
She heard another blast, and looked up at the place she and her mother had lived in for so long.
Jaden's eyes widened as she realized something awful.
"Oh, no," she cried, "Mom!"
She saw the third blast, and started to climb back up the pipe.
Suddenly, two strong hands pulled her off the pipe. She looked up to see that she was in the arms of a fireman on a tall ladder. As the fire truck let it down, Jaden screamed, "Let me go! I have to find my mom. She's still in there!"
The fireman glanced down at her in disbelief. "What?! Are you crazy? The entire building is on fire! You can't go back in there. But we saved most of the people before the fire took out the whole building. Maybe one of the people down there is your mom, kid."
When the ladder was about seven or eight feet from the ground, Jaden wriggled out of the fireman's grasp and jumped out and ran towards the crowd of people. She slowed, but quickly walked through them, looking only at their faces.
But none of them were the kind, beautiful face of her mother.
She slowly began to back away, but she bumped into a young man in a police uniform, no older than twenty-five. In his hand, he held a clipboard. He looked down at her and smiled. "Hello," he said, "Are you looking for someone?"
"Yes," responded Jaden, "I'm searching for my mom, Jacinta Nakamura. She has brown hair, green eyes, and very pale skin."
He smiled again and said, "Alright. Well, don't worry. I have a list of the people we got out of the building. I'm sure she's here."
He gazed at his clipboard, muttering to himself. After every page he turned, he shook his head. Whatever was left of Jaden's hope slowly began to fade. She knew deep in her heart that her mother wasn't there.
Finally, the man looked up from his clipboard and into her eyes. She wasn't surprised to see the sadness in them.
"I'm sorry," he replied, "but your mom isn't on the list of the people out here, nor is she on the list of people we sent to the hospital. I'm so sorry," he repeated.
The man turned, and walked away.
Jaden sank down to the snowy ground. Her mother was dead. What was she supposed to do now? It wasn't like she had anywhere else to go.
She turned at the sound of footsteps and saw a young woman making her way through the snow towards her. she had beautiful chocolate-colored skin, and she wore a heavy green sweater, blue jeans, and huge snow boots. Jaden was surprised at how graceful the woman walked through what had to be at least three feet of snow. When she stopped, she peered down at Jaden with dark eyes and tossed her long, black cornrows.
"Jaden Nakamura?" the woman said, with a voice soft as velvet.
The woman crouched down and held out her hand. "Hello, Jaden. My name is Tia Dean. I'm a friend of Jacinta's. It's good to finally meet you, but under these circumstances…"
"A friend of my mother's?" Jaden interrupted. "I've never heard of you."
Tia laughed softly, "I wouldn't expect you to, dear. I went to high school and college with her, and we lived in Japan together for a while."
"Well, if you knew her for that long, why don't I know you?" Jaden asked suspiciously.
"We should discuss this back at my house. It's way too cold out here. But, so you'll believe me, here's a picture of us after my wedding." And with that, she took a wallet out of her pocket and pulled out a small picture.
Jaden gasped. She saw her mother, lovely as ever, with her long hair falling around her shoulders, and wearing a lush dress pink as a cherry blossom, smiling up at her. To her right was a younger Tia in a beautiful green dress, her hair in a bun with a few locks of hair, perfectly curled, framing her face. Her arm was around a tall young man with a huge smile. It was the most beautiful picture Jaden had ever seen, but what made her gasp was who she saw on the left of her mother.
It was her father.
Jaden had not ever seen her father before--her mother didn't own any pictures--but she knew it was her father because he looked a lot like her. Same thick, straight black hair, same gray eyes, and same smile. The only difference between them was the pale skin that she inherited from her mom. She fought back tears as she said, "Well, Mrs. Dean, you've convinced me. I'll come with you."
Tia smiled softly. "Alright. Come on, then." And she stood up straight, turned, and walked swiftly; Jaden had to run to keep up.
Jaden's eyes widened as she saw the car Tia had. It was a huge, black truck. She had a hard time imagining this beautiful woman driving such a monstrous vehicle. Tia laughed when she saw the surprised look on the girl's face. "It isn't my car." Tia explained, "It's my husband's. It goes through the icy streets easily, and I wanted to get here as quickly as possible. Hurry up, climb in."
When they arrived at Tia's house, Jaden was once again surprised. They were in a part of town where there were a lot of large houses surrounded by large trees. The house Tia had pulled up to was one of the biggest. It was light gray, with maroon shutters and a huge door. Underneath each window was a rectangular box where flowers were supposed to be. But, with it being mid-winter, those boxes were filled with sparkling white snow.
"My family has lived here for years," Tia said modestly, "It's not much, but it's home."
But Jaden looked up at her and whispered, "It's the most beautiful house I've ever seen."
Tia smiled broadly.