Ch21: One wild night
Months passed with little said from Phayefine. Magdaline began to gain more friends and confidence in her abilities. She found that the instructors cycled from troop to troop. Most of them taught multiple weapons, and would bring in something new and different. But new and different were few and far between here. It seemed the shift never changed.
Magdaline could fend off most of the troop in the circle. There were still only a few that she did not feel she could better. She did not face Phayefine at all since her last encounter. She hoped that the girl did not want to.
Tylenyphe was not seen since the circle with Damon. She often thought of him. She had never thought that a human could be with her in thought as he was. Tylenyphe was a different story though. Magdaline believed there was no one that she wanted to forget more, but could not.
One evening when their march was almost complete. She was walking while not really paying attention to the cadence or her friends. She felt a tug on her sleeve. She turned to look and to her surprise it was Phayefine. Magdaline could not hide her shock.
“Can I talk to you?” the older girl said in a soft voice.
“Uh, sure.” Magdaline said. She knew that whatever this talk was, it was not going to end up good for her. It was her task to avoid this girl as much as she could. Magdaline slowed her pace to walk closer to the back of the troop with her.
“Look, I am sorry for being like I was. We were playing and it all got out of hand.” Phayefine’s expression was sincere. “I was so mad when Tylenyphe was taken away that I took it out on you. I have been alone and hurt so much that I needed someone with me. She was that person, and now that she is gone. Well, it makes me sad.” As she talked a tear fell down her cheek.
Magdaline looked at the girl frankly. “You threatened to kill me. You threatened my friends. You caused me so much pain.”
“I know. I am very sorry about it, I can only ask for your forgiveness. I have seen the real you and it is so much better than I thought I could be. Please forgive me.” Phayefine’s tears fell more fluidly.
Magdaline could see so much pain in this girl. “I will forgive you.” She said calmly. “I was taught to forgive. I will not forget though.” She said the last part firmly. “I have spent so long not being able to trust. You and Tylenyphe made sure that I have to watch my back every day.”
“I know. I wish I could take all of that back and just start over.”
Magdaline could not hide her tears. “I want things to be different. Just give me some time.”
The next evening, Phayefine walked on the same row as Magdaline, She would have been next to her but Sarros made it his duty to stand between them. He knew if they really went at it, there was not much that he could do to stop it.
As they walked, they talked about the training, the fighting, what they learned and what they hoped would come next. Each in turn would tell jokes and they would all laugh. Phayefine was not excluded from their friendship. She added more than any of the rest thought she could.
Each night thereafter became more and more casual. The group of four did almost everything together. As the days and nights passed, Magdaline hoped that all the bitterness had passed. True to her word though, she never let her guard down. Phayefine had been so hurtful that she could not even sleep right.
Another month passed and Magdaline had become the centerpiece of a small group of friends. Each person she regarded as a close friend, and she loved them all.
Late one night, she was awoken by Phayefine, who giggled as she woke her up. “Hey, come on, lets go do something fun.” She whispered.
“What?” Magdaline’s eyes could not focus.
“Come on silly.” Phayefine persisted.
Slowly, the young girl got up. “Lets get Elizira.” She said.
“No, no time for that.” Phayefine giggled a little. “Come on.”
Both girls snuck to the front of the barracks, slowly and carefully opened the door to the office. They saw sergeant Lorafean. Meditating. Phayefine covered her mouth to prevent laughing out loud. ‘Meditating.’ the woman was sound asleep.
They moved to the door leading outside. The older girl opened it as quietly as possible. And soon, they were both outside, running as fast as they could towards the parade grounds.
Magdaline heard noises from ahead, lights. A campfire and a lute. Someone was singing. “What is going on?” She implored.
“Tomorrow is graduation day for the seniors. Tonight, they get to party. We are GOING to that party.” Phayefine could barely contain herself.
The older girl entered the parade grounds first. Magdaline stayed back, trying not to get caught. She felt a thrill that she had never felt before. She knew that if they got caught they would be sent, wherever they sent the bad people here. Wherever that was, she did not want to be there.
As soon as the older girl got to the clearing and saw all of the tall and beautiful people, she ran in. Phayefine was not shy about herself at all. She looked very happy to be a part of the crowd again. Madgaline thought that maybe she had fallen out of favor with the troop and was shunned. This could well be. Once she was defeated in the circle, she stopped being the top dog. ‘Hm, she thought, does that make me the top dog?’
Magdaline put her thoughts aside for the moment and focused on not getting caught. As she peered around the celebration she could not see any instructors or sergeants at all. She crept closer to the event. The scents of alcohol were enticing. She could see the upper class. Each a vision of perfection in mortal form. As she moved closer to the event, she suddenly felt a tug on her arm.
“Sarros?” She exclaimed in a startled voice. “What are you doing here?” She asked almost at a whisper.
“You have to come back, if you are caught you will go into the brigg. Phayefine is trying to get you in trouble.” The boy said hurriedly.
“No. She is with me.”
The boy looked around.
She pointed at the crowd where Phayefine was clearly engrossed in the attention of an older boy.
“You have to come back, he pleaded.”
“Go away!” She flatly told him. “You can either be here with us, or go back.” Even Magdaline was surprised at her response. She wanted to be older, she was finally seeing what it was like to be there and this boy is trying to drag her back. She quickly snached her hand away from his grasp. Slowly she pointed back towards the barracks.
The sounds of the festival were calling to her. She walked straight out into the open. She thought any second sergeant Lorafean would grab her and drag her back. With each ginger step, she moved closer to Phayefine. She looked back. Sarros was hiding in the shadows. He was motioning her to come back.
Suddenly she felt someone grab her arm. She was yanked into the fray by Phayefine and was handed a cup of something. It smelled sweet, but had a tanginess about it. The older girl lifted it to her lips and she gave it a little sip. It was wine, and it was glorious.
Phayefine swayed with the lute player as he sang a soulful song about the march of dragons. Sipping her wine, she moved through the crowd dragging Magdaline all the way. They reached the center, and she turned to face her directly and put her arms around her shoulders. As she sipped her wine again, she would place her forehead against the younger girls and sway with her.
Magdaline felt the first signs of the powerful wine on her. Her head spun as she swayed to the music. Boys and girls danced together the same way. No one stuck out because they were all the same. She felt comfort in the crowd, not having to prove herself to anyone.
As the song changed to something a little more with a beat, the older crowd began to cheer and dance faster. Phayefine took Magdaline by the hand and led her almost straight into the arms of a half elf boy. His eyes seemed like a dream. Her arms wrapped around his waist and she stumbled a bit. When she regained her composure, she could see Phayefine dancing with another girl. The boy helped her keep in time and caught her when she nearly fell. She felt very dizzy as the night progressed and felt she did not want the feeling to end.
A while later, the lute player started playing the theme for the guard, the older boys and girls joined in on the spot. Most with their last cups of wine, swaying and singing. Magdaline did not know the words, but at the time was in heaven as an older boy had his arm around her neck. When the song was over, everyone, including her drank the last cup, turning it upright and pouring it down.
The boy kissed her gently. It was wet and very awkward. And with that, he dropped his cup on the ground and walked off. She was both confused and elated. She had never kissed a boy, or anyone for that matter.
As the older crowd began to shuffle and stumble back to the barracks, Magdaline found herself again grabbed by the wrist by Phayefine, both girls stumbling.
Phayefine hugged her. “I needed that so badly.” She said in a stupor. With that she gave the young girl a kiss of her own. It seemed much more passionate than the boy’s earlier. She was more confused now than then. She had heard of girls who liked other girls but was never around any of them.
“Come on, one more thing before we go back.” Phayefine took her hand and they bounded off towards the main gate. As they passed from building to building, sneaking but not being very sneaky about it they turned the corner to a large building that Magdaline had never seen before. Most of the buildings in the compound were wooden and drab in color. This one was made of blocks of stone. She saw a broad door in the front and torches on either side. There were walls to either side of them.
“Where are we?” The young girl asked.
Phayefine positioned herself in front of the girl and looked soulfully into her eyes. She leaned in close to her then put her arms around her waist. Magdaline prepared for another kiss. She was so confused by what was going on. The alcohol that coursed through her also did not help matters.
“Have a surprise for you.” Phayefine whispered into her ear as she warmly embraced the girl.
She stepped back just a little and unbuttoned the lower buttons on her shirt.
Magdaline watched in amazement.
The girl reached in, and pulled out a shiny knife.
Magdaline looked confused. “No,” she said softly. She knew she was in trouble. She began to back away from the girl and wanted to get as far away as she could, when she turned she went face first into another person, then fell to the ground.
“Did you miss me, you little runt?” The voice was unmistakable.
“Oh my god.” Magdaline barely squeaked. “Help!” She yelled, but her voice was choked by fear. She got up as fast as she could and was going to run, but Tylenyphe stood broadly in her way. She moved to run past the girl but felt a tug on the back of her hair. Phayefine pulled her and slung her as hard as she could to one of the walls. Both girls began to converge on her. Magdaline clung to the wall for her life.
With a swing, Tylenyphe’s closed fist landed on the young girl’s face. Another into her stomach and she doubled over. She finished her move off with a knee directly to the side of her head. The young girl fell over.
“Help.” Magdaline’s voice still squelched and sputtered. The pain from the knee was throbbing in her head. Tears began streaming and blood trickled from her lip. “No. Please, no.” She begged.
Phayefine kicked her in the side and she doubled over onto the ground. “No baby girl, you’re not going to die just yet. You are going to beg us to kill you.” Another kick, this one in her mouth.
Magdaline pulled her arms up to her head to try to protect herself.
“What do you have to say for yourself? Any last words?” Tylenyphe leaned over grabbing a handful of hair. She began to drag her towards the middle of the entryway.
Instinctively, Magdaline reached up to grab her hand to prevent her from pulling her hair out. She received another kick from Phayefine across her forehead, missing her nose by just inches.
“I told you I was going to kill you.” Phayefine sputtered. She took the knife and raked it across the girls forearm drawing blood the whole way. “You never should have come here. You never should have been born. You even killed your parents. You deserve to die.”
Magdaline grabbed her forearm, the pain was excruciating. “Please, stop.” she begged again. She received another kick to her head. Her vision blurred for a second. She heard someone yell something. “Please, somebody help me.” she begged, crying.