July 1st, 2016 | Published in Dragon Wars
A/N: As promised I have started posting Shattered on Gumroad. Itâ€™s PWYW (and Â£0 is acceptable so thereâ€™s no risk) so subscribe today. If you want to sample it first then you can read the first chapter on my facebook page. If you like my stuff youâ€™ll love Shattered.
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â€œAre you mad at me?â€ Kira asked in a small voice after Ophelia dragged her and Sera into a corner out of earshot of anyone else at the start of their morning break.
Ophelia looked at her slumped shoulders and sighed. â€œI’m not mad. A little irritated maybe, but mostly confused. Why didn’t you just tell me?â€
Kira looked down and shuffled her feet. â€œI was going to, but I was scared. I didn’t want you to think that I was only being friendly because of who you were. I don’t have many friends and I didn’t want to ruin it, so I kept putting it off until Kate pissed me off. Bloody stupid, I know.â€
â€œNot stupid,â€ Ophelia said. â€œSurprisingly human but not stupid.â€
â€œHonestly, Kira.â€ Sera had her hands on her hips. â€œCouldn’t you tell we considered you a friend? So yeah, a little stupid.â€ She gave an amused grin. â€œBut Mum’s boss isn’t human, who knew?â€
Ophelia snorted at that before turning back to Kira. â€œOne question â€“ how old are you really?â€
â€œHonestly? I don’t know. I’m in transition so in one sense I really am sixteen but in the most real sense? I don’t recall.â€ Kira must have realised what Ophelia was about to ask because she smiled. â€œWe don’t die easily but enough damage forces to reform our bodies as infants and when that happens, we don’t remember until we hit maturity.â€
Ophelia stared at her for a long moment. â€œThat’s weird,â€ she said finally. â€œSo did you come here to find me?â€
â€œNot exactly. We knew you were in Caredale but we came back because this is home. And we knew the Lost Ones prison had a crack here so they would be emerging. Plus, Dad really does want to know why no one died here. I did see that incident you had with Kate the day I started here so I knew who you were but that was just serendipity.â€
â€œI see,â€ Ophelia said thoughtfully. â€œSo is Kira your real name?â€
â€œSort of,â€ Kira said. â€œIt’s the familiar version of Kirala which is my real name.â€
â€œYes, that’s what I thought–â€ Ophelia broke off as the bell rang for the end of break. â€œPlease tell me it’s Physics not Chemistry.â€
â€œIt is,â€ Sera said.
â€œThank goodness.â€ Ophelia said as she headed back inside.
â€œSo are we still friends?â€ Kira asked as she trailed after them.
Ophelia paused and gave her a level look. â€œFor now, but if you’re hiding anything else, tell us now.â€
â€œI swear that I’m not hiding anything.â€ She hesitated before adding. â€œBut I think granny is.â€
â€œYes, I noticed that,â€ Ophelia said. â€œAre you coming or not?â€
â€œYes!â€ Kira sped up a little bit to walk with them. â€œBy the way, where did you get that battle of wits line you use on Kate?â€
â€œOh that,â€ Ophelia grinned. â€œIt’s one of Aunt Sophie’s â€“ she uses if she thinks someone is getting too clever. I think she read it somewhere.â€