Well I broke my nail on your coffin lid
Trying to get to the beauty within
Oh yeah, you're gonna be mine
Digging a grave while wearing a skirt
Asking for trouble, gonna get myself hurt
But its fine, you're gonna be mine
"Let me wipe those maggots from your eyes. You make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!"
Gillian paid little attention to the narrow dirt road ahead of her as she loudly sang the words of the song. It was night and she was driving an old, rusty, pink cabriolet Cadillac that was making some seriously disturbing noises as it moved on the bumpy ground. She had decided to wear her hair in two playful, high pigtails that were now bobbing up and down as the car bounced on the dirt road.
"Happily. I'm so hap…"
The girl stopped singing and turned down the radio. There was someone on the side of the road some metres ahead, waving for her to stop. Gillian slowed down until the car stopped right next to the hitchhiker. It was a woman.
"Hi" she said.
She was young and remarkably pretty and was dressed in a long blue medieval dress, common clothing for that area of the country. She had long blond hair and grey eyes.
"I'm going to Dylarn. Could you take me till there? At least to the Hollow Cross?"
The girl grinned.
"Sure" she said. "I'm going toDylarn, too. Hop in."
The woman got in the car next to the girl and the car took off again.
"I'm Marion" the woman introduced herself.
"I'm Gillian, nice to meet you" replied the girl blandly.
"I'm so relieved you happened to pass by and take me. I was scared to death alone out there."
"You're not from our places, are you?" the woman asked.
"No, it's the first time I come here" Gillian admitted.
"So, what were you doing out in the woods at this time of night if it's so dangerous?"
"My carriage fell in a ditch and I couldn't move it on my own. I was returning from Gedows to Dylarn. I'm so lucky I run into you. What are you doing coming to our town. It's not exactly an idyllic destination."
"I'm travelling here and there all the time" the girl said.
"A nomad" Marion commented.
"You could say that. Lately I've been thinking about staying in a place for a while. Take a break, you know."
"In that case, I'd advise you to find a better place than Dylarn" Marion said.
Gillian remained silent but a faint smirk appeared on her face.
Gillian stopped the car where Marion had asked her to. Then the woman got out.
"Thank you a thousand times for driving me up to here" Marion said gratefully. "I'm not sure I would have made it on foot."
"No prob" the girl replied smiling.
The woman turned to leave but after taking a few steps she seemed to regret it and turned to the girl again.
"Where are you going to stay for the night?" she asked.
The girl shrugged.
"I was hoping to find a pension or something."
"I'm not sure you will at this hour" the woman said.
"Oh, well. I guess I'll sleep in the car then."
"That would be dangerous."
Gillian tried to take her most cute, childish, take-me-to-your-home-and-pet-me face.
"Do I have an alternative?" she said.
Marion frowned and seemed to be thinking for a moment but then she sighed and said:
"Why don't you stay with us tonight?"
Gillian's face lighted up.
"That would be great, but… us?"
"I live with my two cousins" Marion explained. "Trevor and Gwendolyn."
"Are you sure they will be ok with me staying over?"
"Yes, don't worry about that. I owe you for driving me home. That's the least I can do."
"Well, then, I'd love to" Gillian said with a wolf-like smile.
She parched the car there, at the side of the street, took her only bag and followed Marion to a nearby house. It was a two-floored mansion with a small garden of roses surrounding it. The woman took out her keys and unlocked the door.
"Trevor is probably sleeping" Marion whispered. "I hope we won't wake him. Come, I'll show you to the guest room."
Marion led Gillian to a bedroom of the first floor, said goodnight and left her alone, closing the door behind her.
Gillian put her bag next to the bed on the floor and sat heavily on the edge of the bed.
"Here we are."
After having slept for less than two hours, Gillian went out of the bedroom early the next morning. She wondered around for a while until she found the kitchen. She was about to go in when she heard some voices from inside.
"You can't rush thing, Trevor. Not only it won't do any good for Gwen, you might get yourself killed on top."
Gillian frowned. That was Marion's voice.
"And what do you propose? That I just sit here and wait until I find her dead body thrown in some ditch?"
That was a man talking.
"I didn't say that. I care for Gwen, too, you know. I'm just saying we must wait for the Army. We'll have much more chances with them."
"You're talking" the man said bitterly. "You took a carriage and went all the way to Gedows on your own to search for her. You have any idea how worried I was? What if you went missing, too?"
There was no reply from Marion so Gillian decided to make her presence known. She took some steps back making no sound and then walked with heavy-sounding steps to the kitchen.
"Good morning" she greeted smiling as she entered.
The two people in the kitchen had already turned. Marion was standing before the sink, peeling some potatoes. The man, Trevor, was sitting on the table before a plate with pancakes. He was young, no older than twenty-fine. He had light brown hair and grey eyes. Quite charming, quite charming…
"Ah, good morning!" Marion said cheerfully. "How did you sleep?"
"Very well, thank you. Thanks again for letting me stay for the night."
"That's Gillian, the girl who gave me a lift last night. This is my cousin, Trevor."
"Nice to meet you" Gillian said smiling.
"You too" the man murmured and got up leaving most of his breakfast untouched. "I'll go to the… centre to see if there's any development."
He left the kitchen with a grim expression.
"Don't mind him" Marion said returning to her potatoes. "He's usually very nice and polite but… We have some family problems lately. Anyway, come on. Sit and have some pancakes"
Gillian sat on a chair on the table.
"Thanks but I'm not hungry."
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You shouldn't skip it" Marion said in a motherly tone.
"I know. I'm just not used to eating so early. I'll have something later. Say… what problems do you have? If I'm not being too indiscreet here."
Marion sighed heavily. She stood still for some seconds but then took the bowl with the potatoes and brought it to the table. She sat across Gillian.
"I have another cousin, Gwendolyn. She's Trevor's sister. We practically grew up together the three of us. Their parents died early so mine adopted them. After my parents' death, three years ago, we all inherited this house and live together. The thing is… Gwendolyn's been missing for more than a week now and… you know."
Gillian put on a worried, sympathetic face.
"What happened to her?" she asked.
"Gwen was engaged to Markus, one of Trevor's friends. A very nice young lad if you ask me. Until one day decided he wanted to become a soldier. She left Dylarn and joined Rothbar's army. Gwen was devastated. She loved him so much. So, after about a month, she decided to go look for him and bring him back."
"How sweet" Gillian commented.
"Maybe. But we don't live in times suitable for romance. Not as long as we're under Rothbar's reign. Gwen joined the monthly caravan that travelled from Dylarn to Gedows. Gedows is also under Rothbar's authority. It's also very close to his castle. That's why Gwen believed she would have more chances of meeting Markus there."
"So… that means she could be still in Gedows. You can go there and search for her" Gillian suggested pretending she didn't already know Marion had gone to Gedows.
"I went there searching for her after the caravan returned without her" Marion said. "But she's nowhere to be found."
Marion looked to get emotional. Gillian took the chance to reach out her hand and cup hers in a comforting gesture.
"I'm sure she's fine and you're gonna find her soon."
"I don't know. If she's in the hands of the Lords…"
Gillian's eyes blazed.
'Jackpot' she thought.
"The Lords?" she asked trying not to sound too excited.
"Rothbar and his gang" the woman said, her voice somewhat angry. "The Nephilims assigned them with the governing of Dern. They do whatever they want with us."
"That must be frustrating" Gillian said.
"It is! They… they are beasts! They recruit young men to Rothbar's army, usually by force. And they kidnap young women to have as toys in the castle."
"If Gwen is alive, she must be in Rothbar's castle by now. And no woman has ever gotten alive out of then until now."
Gillian suppressed the urge to further question the woman. She didn't want to push her luck. However… this could be her chance…
"I'm so sorry about all this" she said. "I would like to help you find your cousin if I could."
"You're so kind" Marion said and smiled at her. "Thank you but our only chance is the Army."
"I would probably shouldn't talk about that…" Marion said biting her lip.
"It's alright" Gillian reassured her. "You can trust me."
"The Dylarn's Army is a… an organization that plots against the Lords" Marion said reluctantly. "Me and Trevor are members."
"A resistance army…" Gillian contemplated.
"Yes. Actually the whole town hates the Lords. But most of the people here are too scared to do anything direct against them. Those men are so cruel. They're capable of burning the whole town to the ground of we oppose them. That's why the Army is acting underground."
"I see" Gillian said. "Well, that's very nice. I applause you. Down with the tyrants, right?"
"Thanks for listening. I used to talk to Gwen but now that she's not here…"
"Oh, I understand. In fact, I'm happy I already made a friend here in Dylarn. I'd love for us to talk and hang while I'm here."
"I appreciate that. Thank you."
Gillian got up.
"So. I'm afraid I've already abused your hospitality. I must start looking for a place to stay" she said.
"You can stay here for a while, if you don't mind. I mean, we have a big house."
"Really? That would be great. Thanks."
Gillian flashed a wide smile that revealed her sharp teeth.
'So it's true what they say… If you do a good deed, you're gonna get rewarded…'
The song in the beginning is 'Happily Ever Cadaver' by Wednesday 13. The whole story is actually inspired by that song. Please review! Bye!