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Born of the Mind

By @Smkincade

The Guild

I was nine when my parents sent Clarence and I away. Ever since then, I have longed to see them again. I miss the feeling of my mother stroking my hair as she sings a lullaby, soft and sweet. I miss the sound of my father’s laughter as I run circles around him chanting, “Catch me if you can!” One thing I don’t miss however, is my parents scolding. I never liked feeling like a disappointment, and still today, it makes me want to crawl in a hole and never come out. So, at Travis’ scolding tone, so much like the parents I had long ago, I fight the urge to crumple right then and there. 

 

However, Travis is much rougher than my parents ever were, as he grabs a fistful of Julian’s shirt and drags him towards the house, seething. I make to follow, but Travis notices, and quickly shouts, “Asher!” before vanishing with Julian, into nothing. 

 

Not a moment later, Asher is by my side, rolling his eyes, “Looks like I’m on babysitting duty, he’s lucky I actually listen to him.” 

 

I glare at him as I cross my arms over my chest, “I don’t need to be babysat,” 

 

“Just doing what I am told, that’s all.” He says as he raises his hands in innocence. 

 

“Why do you listen to him anyway?” I question. 

 

“Well, in The Guild, he is one of my superiors, so if he wants me to do something I do it. It is a huge sign of disrespect to not obey our superiors, and there are consequences.” 

 

I nod in understanding, but keep a scowl plastered on my face. 

 

Asher studies me curiously, “Funny, but I don’t think you’ve given me the privilege of a single pleasant expression, tell me Elizabeth, am I really that revolting?” 

 

I look him over, taking in his raven black hair and blue eyes, which glitter in amusement. The corner of his mouth quirks upward as I examine his strong jaw and lean but muscular build. 

 

“I-” The words get caught in my throat as steps closer, and flashes a dazzling smile. 

 

“Well?” He asks as he gets even closer. 

 

My heart pounds so hard in my chest that for a second, I wonder if he can hear it. 

 

He steps closer even still, and as much as I will my body to move, it doesn’t. He has me pinned. 

 

“I couldn’t fully admire you before, Julian ruined all my fun, but now that he’s gone…” His eyes glint mischievously as he reaches out to tuck a lock of hair behind my ear. 

 

No! I want to say, but my lips won’t move. Move! I will myself, Move! And so I do. 

 

I stumble forward into him, nearly knocking him over. I right myself and stare defiantly into his eyes, barely an inch between us. 

 

“Never,” I whisper quietly, but venomously, “Do that again.” 

 

He just stares in shock and confusion, taking a step back, “How-how did you do that?” 

 

“Do what?” I ask, confused. 

 

“Break free, from my hold on you.” He answers. 

 

“You didn’t let me go?” 

 

“No, I had you as firm as before, and then suddenly, nothing, my grasp slipped.” 

 

“I escaped…” I muse in wonder. 

 

“Indeed, I have never met anyone who has been able to do that.” Asher says, “You’re no ordinary girl.” 

 

You have no idea. 

 

I start to say something, but am cut off by the return of Travis and Julian, whose lips are pressed together in a thin line as he meets my gaze. 

 

“Tell your father,” Travis speaks to Asher, “that a meeting must be held immediately, and that it is of the utmost importance.” 

 

“Yes sir.” Asher salutes as he gives me a wink and struts away. 

 

“Elizabeth,” Travis beckons, “you must get ready.” 

 

“For what?” I ask as I walk towards him and Julian. 

 

“To meet The Guild.” Is all he says as he turns to go back in the house. 

 

I follow Julian inside, “There’s a dress for you in the guest room, just go into the living room, go right into the hall, and it is the second door on the left.” 

 

“Thank you.” I reply, “Are you-” 

 

“Later,” He says, “Now, you have to get ready.” 

 

“Alright.” I answer, and make my way into the bedroom. 

 

*** 

The room is small, and sparsely furnished, with a queen-sized bed back against the left wall, an antique dresser opposite it on the righthand wall, and a mostly empty closet beside it. Laid out on the bed is a deep, forest green dress, with a silver-embroidered matching trench coat. On the dresser is a pair of black satin gloves and a small black veil hat. 

 

I haven’t ever worn such fine clothes. The dress falls to my ankles in elegant drapes, and the gloves are smooth as I slide them on. I coil my hair into a bun and adjust the hat in the mirror as I take myself in. It has been a while since I’ve actually bothered to put on any makeup, but after doing some digging through the drawers and finding a surprisingly large supply, I decided to touch myself up. I brush a light amount of blush on my cheeks, dab some deep red lipstick on my lips, and apply mascara to my lashes. When I feel that I look presentable. I exit the room and breeze out into the hallway. 

 

I follow the hall out into the front living room, where Julian and Travis are waiting on the rusty orange couch. I notice that the shattered glass from earlier is gone, wondering when someone had the time to clean it up. Both Travis and Julian turn their heads at my approach. Julian looks as though he is about to say something, but he is silent as his gaze sweeps over me. 

 

“Elizabeth, you look…stunning.” He murmurs as if dazed. 

 

“Snap out of it Jules!” Travis waves his large hand in front of Julian’s face, “We’ve got places to go!” 

 

I try not to laugh as Julian blinks a couple of times, “Right, the meeting.” 

 

Travis then moves towards the front door, and locks it. 

 

I watch, confused as he turns and makes his way into the kitchen and Julian follows. 

 

“Where are we going?” I question. 

 

“You’ll see.” Julian calls over his shoulder. 

 

We continue into a bedroom that is slightly larger than the guest bedroom. 

 

Travis’s room? I guess internally as I look around. 

 

Much of the furniture is similar, but there is also a wooden desk in the right corner next to the dresser. Leaning against the wall by the bed, is a guitar. I watch as Travis opens the closet door and pushes aside some clothes to reveal a shining, round object. It is about the size of an apple, and emits a slight white glow. 

 

“What is that?” I wonder aloud. 

 

“A transporter orb.” Julian explains, “They allow us to travel to the main headquarters.” 

 

“But couldn’t Travis just, I don’t know, disappear us there?” 

 

“No,” Travis answers, “the headquarters is secured against all entry, even by magical means. The only way in is via these orbs.” 

 

I nod my head in understanding, “So how do they work?” 

 

“The user must envision the destination, in this case, the headquarters, and place their hand on the orb. The orb then instantaneously transports them there.” Julian explains. 

 

I think about this for a moment, “What about me? I’ve never been there before.” 

 

“As long as one person using it has travelled to the location before, the orb will work.” Travis assures me, “Now, place your hand on the orb.” 

 

I do as I am told as he and Julian place theirs on as well, Julian’s hand rests partially on top of mine, causing me to blush slightly. The orb is warm and I feel a slight tingle in my hand, but I am not sure whether it is from the orb, or just having Julian touching me. 

 

“Ready?” Travis asks. 

 

Julian and I both nod and in a blink, the room has vanished. For a moment all I can see is blinding white light, but then, a grand room begins to materialize around me. I stumble forward, disoriented, and feel steadying hands on my shoulders, I look up to come face to face with Asher, who has his signature grin plastered on his face. 

 

“Gotcha,” He teases as he releases my shoulders, “it’s about time you three got here!” 

 

Julian shakes his head, “The meeting starts in ten minutes!” 

 

“I’m just joking around! But wow, you clean up nice Elizabeth, you should dress like this more often.” 

 

“Thank you.” I stammer, blushing again. 

 

“Jules, why don’t you show Elizabeth around the place before the meeting?” Travis suggests. 

 

“Sure.” Julian replies as he adjusts his deep green tie. 

 

I didn’t realize until now that Julian also got dressed up. His hair is combed back neatly, I watch as he brushes some invisible dust off his pristine black suit. Asher is dressed similarly, but wears a white suit with a pale ice blue tie. 

 

“You like it?” Asher asks, noticing me looking. 

 

“It looks very nice.” I answer with a small smile. 

 

“There it is!” Asher beams triumphantly gesturing to my smile, “Finally, a look that isn’t a scowl or a glare!” 

 

“Ha ha, congrats.” I reply, widening my smile. I haven’t felt this good in a long time. 

 

I look around the large room in awe as groups of people materialize from thin air. They are all dressed similarly, the men in suits and the women in formal dresses. I watch as a small group of three struts by, all in matching tan suits and white ties. 

 

“Is there a dress code or something?” I ask, my curiosity getting the best of me. 

 

“In a way, yes.” Julian answers, “Each family wears certain colors, it helps us distinguish who is with whom, and where they are from.” 

 

“Interesting, so I’m guessing your family colors are black and green?” I say, noting his suit along with my dress. 

 

“Yes.” Julian says. 

 

“How do you know the colors?” I inquire, “Does everyone get to pick?” 

 

“It is based on our family crests,” He explains, “this tradition goes back many decades.” 

 

“I see, but I am not in your family, why have me dress in your colors?” 

 

Julian tilts his face slightly so his eyes gaze deep into mine, “Family is much more than bloodlines Elizabeth, it’s bonds, friendship, love, the sooner you learn that the better. This whole organization is built on that concept.” 

 

“Thank you.” I whisper, looking down, away from his gaze to hide the tear that slides down my cheek. Clarence was the only family I’d ever had for a long time. The fact that Julian considers me family, after such a short time…I swallow and look back up, “Truly, thank you.” 

 

He then comes close and wraps me in a tight embrace, “I know we just met, but I want you to know that I mean every word I say: You are a part of this family now, whether Travis likes it or not. We’ll always be here for you. That’s what a family does anyway, we look out for each other. I am glad I found you Elizabeth, and we are going to find your brother.” 

 

We both jump at the sound of Asher clearing his throat, “As much as I hate to break this up, we have to go. The meeting starts in three minutes.” 

 

Julian then pulls away with a smile, “Shall we?” 

 

I smile back, “We shall.” 

 

Then, with Asher leading, we make our way across the great room into a side passageway lined with statues. I gaze ahead and see a pair of grand double doors. My shoes clatter on the polished marble, and I take a deep breath as Asher holds the intricately designed oak door open for Julian and I. 

 

“Welcome to The Guild.” Asher whispers in my ear as I pass him. 

 

I give him a bright smile in reply, holding back a laugh as his own widens in response. I suck in a breath, and make my way into the room, to my first ever Guild meeting. 

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  1. Sarahisdaname

    Jun 6, 2021

    Hi smkincade! I started another writing competition if you were interested!

    Please complete the required fields.



    0 Replies Jun 6, 2021
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