CHAPTER FIVE: IVY’S TIME WITH ANOMALY
Ivy almost walked straight to the door, but stopped. It could be a trap. She didn’t want to be caught particularly badly, so she decided to check around the outside of the house. She quietly walked around the entire house, then teleported inside, having seen no sign of an ambush from outside.
She reappeared in a bubble of dark blue energy, a bubble that disappeared once she had been inside for a few seconds. She glimpsed around, noticing she was in the living room, saw no one, and wandered into the kitchen, wondering if anyone was there. Once again, it was empty.
Frowning, Ivy stepped out of the kitchen and down the hall. She peeked in the open doorways, as she had done the first time she had come, and tried to open the one closed door. She turned the handle. It was locked. She heard someone behind her, and instantly knew who was there.
“Anomaly,” Ivy said, already turning around.
“Ivy,” Anomaly replied, smiling. “I’m really glad you came.”
“If that’s so,” Ivy said, eyes narrowing, “then how come you made me search your house to even find you?”
“Because if I had just come to the door, you could have been planning to kill me. However, I don’t think you are, because you don’t have the knife in your hand, like you did last time we were in the situation of you turning around to find me standing here.”
“I suppose you’re right. I was scanning your yard for traps before I came in as well.”
“Traps? What kind? The kind where someone jumps out to kill you?”
“Something like that, but that someone would just so happen to be Saturnine Morose.”
Ivy didn’t say anything for a moment, then tilted her head at Anomaly. “So why did you want me to come over?”
Anomaly shrugged. “You’re an interesting person.”
“You are as well. That’s why I even showed up. In your letter, you said, ‘I was wondering… Never mind. I’ll tell you if you show up.’ I showed up. So what were you wondering?”
She smiled. “You’ve got a good memory. I’ll get to that in a little while. Do you want something to eat or drink? I’ve got stuff to eat and stuff to drink, you know, because I like those things.” She turned and started walking down the hall. Ivy followed.
“This is so weird,” Ivy said as she followed Anomaly through her house. “I mean, I just don’t get it. I tried to kill you, I broke into your house, and I think I might’ve done something else I can’t remember… Why haven’t you tried to get revenge on me or something? I’m sure you could have already if you had tried. So why haven’t you?”
They walked into the kitchen. Anomaly turned around to face Ivy. “Getting revenge isn’t something I do. I mean, yes, I’ll get revenge if I really feel that it’s necessary, but with you I don’t feel like I have to. And it wasn’t entirely your fault that you tried to kill me.”
“Not my fault?” Ivy asked. “It was my entire fault. I chose to kill you. Well, try to kill you, that is.”
“But you wouldn’t have tried if it hadn’t been for Saturnine hiring you to. You just chose to do it as another job, not as something against me in particular.”
“I guess that’s sort of true.”
“If anything, the part that was most your fault was agreeing to murder someone in the first place.” Anomaly opened the fridge and looked inside. She arched an eyebrow, then shut the door. “Well, it appears that I don’t really have anything good. Oh well. We can just go to the living room, then.” She crossed the hall over to the living room, and Ivy joined her.
“To be honest with you, I’m still quite confused about what you wanted me to come for,” Ivy said. “Is there any chance you could tell me now?”
“Nope. I’ll get to it later. I like your accent, by the way. It’s very… Irishy.”
Ivy laughed. “That’s probably because I’m Irish.”
“Cool. Anything you want to talk about? Like, I don’t know, something about yourself?”
Ivy arched an eyebrow, considering if there was anything. She hadn’t ever really been asked if there was something she wanted to talk about before. Probably because she didn’t talk to people very much. “I don’t know,” she responded. “I haven’t had a conversation like this in a while. Well, I mean, I had a conversation earlier, but that was kind of different.”
“Hm. Well, I haven’t really talked to anyone today except the mail man when I gave him the letter to give you. Oh, I thought of something to talk about. How was getting the mail today? Was it delivered to your door, like I requested, or put in the mail box? Was it fun?”
Ivy grinned. Anomaly was fun to be around. “Well, the mail man came to the door, and he handed me the letter, and asked me a few things, then he brought this guy to the door who wanted to talk to me. That was who I was having a conversation with earlier.”
“Sounds interesting,” Anomaly said, nodding. “Who was the guy who wanted to talk to you?”
“Um, I think it was Audacious Beguile or something like that. I didn’t even have a clue who he was until he sat down in my house and started talking.”
“Oh, I know Audacious!” Anomaly said. “What did you think of him? I think he’s cool. He’s a close friend of mine.”
“You know him? That’s kind of weird. I sort of meet you, then I meet Audacious, and it turns out you know Audacious too… That’s funny.”
Anomaly shrugged. “I guess it’s just a small world.”
Someone knocked on the door. Ivy looked at the door, then at Anomaly. “Are you expecting company, or…?”
Anomaly waited a moment before answering. “It’s the ‘or’.” She stood up and, being sure she was invisible, looked out the window to see who was there. “You wouldn’t believe who’s here right now,” Anomaly said to Ivy.
“It wouldn’t happen to be Saturnine, would it?” Ivy asked as she walked over, also invisible.
“Someone much more pleasant, I assure you,” she replied, pointing to the person outside. “It’s Audacious! He’s got good timing, I must admit.” She returned to her normal, non-invisible self. Ivy did the same.
“Hi Audacious,” Anomaly said brightly, opening the door. “We were just talking about how Ivy met you today.”
“Hi Anomaly, it’s great to see you,” Audacious responded, then glanced around and walked inside. Ivy thought he seemed to like to just walk in. “Oh, hey Ivy.”
“Hay is for horses,” was her reply.
He laughed. “I guess you’re right.” He turned serious, then whispered something in Anomaly’s ear. Ivy didn’t like the way Anomaly’s face seemed to slacken as she listened.
“Are you sure?” she asked, eyes narrowed.
“Well, that’s no good.”
“What should we do?”
“How should I know?”
“Um, hello?” Ivy said, waving her hand in the air. They looked over. “Have you forgotten that I’m sitting right here? What’s going on?”
“Audacious says that there are people who were chasing him. They were after us,” Anomaly said.
“Us as in who? As in me and you, you and Audacious, me and Audacious, although that last time you would have had to say ‘you’ rather than ‘us’, or what?”
“’Us’ as in me and you. We should probably leave.” Anomaly walked off down the hall, and Ivy heard her go into another room.
“That’s interesting,” Ivy said aloud to herself.
“What’s interesting?” Audacious asked.
“The fact that the first time I go and visit Anomaly, there’s someone after us. Oh, and it’s also interesting that we both know you.”
He shrugged. “I’m just amazing.”
Ivy rolled her eyes. “You’re just annoying.”
He shrugged again. “Depends on who I’m talking to.”
“Who would be after both me and Anomaly?” Ivy asked, the thought striking her, and ignoring Audacious’s previous comment. “What are the chances of that happening?”
“How about, oh, I don’t know, two percent? Have you guys been seen together?”
“Not unless it was when I tried to kill her, when she stopped me from killing someone, or just today.”
Audacious paused. “You guys have some… interesting visits with each other.”
“Saying that out loud caused me to notice even more,” Ivy agreed, nodding.
“I can understand that.”
“How come they were after you, then? How did they know you were in contact with the two of us? And how did you get here fast enough to lose them?”
“I’m a vampire. I’m really fast. And the only reason I can find that someone came after me was because they probably saw me talking to you.”
Ivy lowered her voice. “So does that mean we could be being stalked right now?”
“It could mean anything.”
They stopped talking when they heard a fist pound on the door. Anomaly walked back into the living room, a black bag in hand. “Let’s go,” she said quietly.
Audacious nodded and Ivy shrugged, then they both walked towards Anomaly.
“Okay, everyone hold hands,” she said.
Ivy arched an eyebrow at her.
Anomaly rolled her eyes. “So I can teleport us all to the same place.”
“Ah.” Ivy, Audacious, and Anomaly grabbed each other’s hands, then disappeared.
As they reappeared, the ground gave way beneath Ivy and Audacious and they tumbled down the hole in the ground. They hit the bottom, which was full of mud, thanks to the rain that was constantly falling. The mud splattered all over them.
“Ugh,” Ivy said.
“Gross,” Audacious said.
“Damn it,” Anomaly scowled, looking down to where they were. “I always forget about that hole. I would have warned you if I had remembered. Do you need help out, or can you get out on your own?”
“I can get out on my own,” Ivy responded.
“I don’t have magic, so I may need some help,” Audacious said.
“Ivy, help him out,” Anomaly said.
“You don’t tell me what to do.”
“Help him out now.”
“Ugh, fine.” Ivy grabbed his arm and teleported them up to where Anomaly was.
The rain was even worse out here. Ivy saw that Anomaly was already thoroughly drenched, and Ivy could feel herself getting wetter by the second. She put up her arms to make a shield – to prevent her from being wet – but Anomaly stopped her.
“Don’t waste your energy on that,” she said. “I’m sure you can handle being a little wet.”
“More than a little,” Audacious muttered.
“Get over it. I took us here for a reason—“
“Other than falling in a hole and getting soaked?” Ivy interrupted.
“— and that reason is so we can get away,” Anomaly continued, glancing at Ivy but ignoring her comment.
Ivy looked around at her surroundings. There was trees in every direction, and fallen leaves were on the ground, and there was plenty of rain, of course. “Where are we?”
“Stop being annoying.”
“Sorry. We’re in America.”
“Give me an answer or I will—“
“Somewhere that it’s clearly raining.”
“Anomaly Despair, I swear to God I will—“
“Ok, fine, we’re in the Milky Way galaxy.”
Ivy lunged at Anomaly and they fell on the wet grass, rolling over and getting even muddier. Anomaly laughed, then pushed Ivy off and stood up. She grabbed her black bag, which had been dropped when Ivy jumped on her, and started looking through it. Ivy stood up, shook her head, causing her wet hair to fling around, then started to brush herself off. She heard Audacious laugh.
“What’s so funny?” she asked.
“You,” he responded, grinning. “And Anomaly. You guys are just funny.”
Ivy sighed and ignored him.
“Audacious,” Anomaly said, looking at him, “did you happen to see who was looking for us? That would be exceedingly helpful.”
“I don’t know her name. She had reddish hair and green eyes. Very professional looking. By the look on both of your faces, I’m assuming you know who she is.”
“We know her,” Ivy agreed. “And we hate her.”
“Well that sounds fun. You’re being chased by someone you hate.”
“Of course it’s fun. In order to have hopefully gotten away from her, so far we’ve only had to fall in a hole, get covered in mud, and be drenched by rain,” she said, her voice full of sarcasm.
“Hey,” Anomaly said, zipping up the bag, “you didn’t have to be that muddy. You jumped on top of me.”
“And you pushed me on to the ground.”
She shrugged. “Oh well. Anyway, I took us here because I know the way out of here to somewhere they’ll never find us.”
“Yep. And the way out is to simply teleport.”
Ivy stared at her. “Seriously? We could’ve gone anywhere if all we were going to do is teleport. We didn’t have to come to some stupid rainy forest.”
“I agree with her,” Audacious said, pointing at Ivy.
“Well, it was the first place I thought of, okay? Now where should we go?”
“Let’s go to my house,” Ivy suggested.
“No. Saturnine can find you there.”
“Saturnine…?” Audacious asked.
“The woman who’s after us.”
“Well then let’s go to… Oh, we could leave the country. That would be so much fun,” Ivy said, smiling. “I’d love to go back to Ireland.”
“That would be really nice, actually. Saturnine would never find us…” Anomaly grinned.
“Um,” Audacious said, “I don’t think I can leave. I mean, I have to actually go places, and I don’t see why I’d have to go in the first place.”
“You’d have to because we’ll force you to,” Ivy said with a mischievous smile.
“Ignore her,” Anomaly said. “You have to go because Saturnine knows about you. And that means she’s after you, too.”
“That sucks,” he muttered.
They heard a rustling behind them. Branches snapped. They all spun around.
Coming out of the trees was an army of something that looked like living mannequins walking towards them. They had no faces and were all white, approaching like a miniature zombie horde. Their movements were stiff and jerky, as if they were made of some sort of plastic. They probably were. And leading in front of them was none other than Saturnine Morose.
“Hello,” Saturnine said, a smile on her face.