CHAPTER SEVEN: IVY ANIMOSITY HAS NINJA SKILLS
Ivy woke up before both Anomaly and Audacious, so she decided that, to amuse herself, she would mess with Audacious’s thoughts.
She silently crept into the living room, where Audacious was sleeping on the floor on top of a few blankets, with another on top of him. Ivy hadn’t really had anything for other people to use – she had never had company, on account that she was a murderer and killed practically everyone she met. She sat down on the chair in there and started to grin as she spoke with her thoughts.
Hello, Audacious Beguile, she thought.
Whoa, Audacious thought in alarm. Ivy, why are you in my head?
I’m not Ivy, Ivy said, her voice sounding low and guttural.
Then who are you?
I’m your worst nightmare, buddy.
Audacious burst out laughing and sat up, having woken up because of Ivy interrupting his sleep. He looked over and saw her grinning.
“Good morning,” she said. “Get up now, and get ready to do stuff soon. No time for sleeping long.”
“What are we doing?” he asked.
Ivy shrugged. “I haven’t the slightest idea. But I’m telling you to get up now. So you have to.”
“No, I’m older than you.”
“Yes, because you’re in my house. And if you don’t I’ll—“
“Okay, I get it, I get it,” he said, getting up.
“Anomaly!” Ivy shouted. “Get up now! No more sleeping allowed!”
“Chill out, Ivy! I’m already up!” Anomaly shouted back, then teleported into the living room in a burst of green light.
“Well, you don’t have to shout,” Ivy said, and laughed when she saw Anomaly shaking her head in annoyance. “Now everyone get ready to leave.”
Ivy, Anomaly, and Audacious stood outside the door, waiting. Audacious and Anomaly were being patient, but Ivy couldn’t stop fidgeting. She hated waiting. It was so annoying. Audacious had said that, in order for him to have Ivy go to the dreaded ball with him – and for her to get her money – they had to meet up with someone. The door they were waiting outside of was white, but the paint was chipping off of it, along with the rest of the house. There was mould growing on the sides of the house, and the windows were grimy and disgusting.
Ivy went to kick the door down but just then someone started to open it. Anomaly turned invisible, making it seem like it was only Ivy and Audacious by the time the door opened.
A man had opened the door. He was tall and pale, with dark eyes and dark hair. Ivy assumed that he was a vampire, she could tell from his appearance, but also on account of the fact that Audacious knew him. He glanced at Ivy, then nodded to Audacious. “Hello.”
“Hello,” Audacious responded.
“Who is she?” the man asked. He had a soft but serious voice, one that sounded like the owner wouldn’t tolerate even the slightest bit of mischief. Ivy hated people like that.
“I’m none of your business,” Ivy said to him.
“Um, Ivy,” Audacious whispered, “you kind of are.”
“Oh. Oh, right.”
“I’m still waiting for an answer,” the man said impatiently.
“I’m Ivy Animosity. I like to kill people.”
The man arched an eyebrow.
“She’s telling the truth. She does like to kill people,” Audacious said.
“So,” Ivy said, “I told you who I am, now who are you?”
“I’m none of your business. For real.”
Ivy frowned. “Don’t steal my responses. That’s lame. And not fair.”
“That’s too bad, girl.”
“Don’t you call me ‘girl’. Ever. And you are my business. I’m standing here, and I was hired to do something that apparently has something to do with you. Now tell me who you are before I hurt you.”
“Do not speak to me in that manner. I will call you whatever I want, and I won’t tell you who I am. Girl.”
“Oh I am so going to kill—“ Ivy started but Audacious put his hand over her mouth without thinking. Ivy bit his hand.
“That had better have hurt.”
“Good. Don’t put your hand over my mouth.”
“Ivy, we came here for a reason and—“
Ivy put her hands over her ears. “I’m not listening till you say you won’t put your hand over my mouth.”
“Fine. I won’t. Happy?”
She grinned. “I’m not listening till you say that I’m amazing.”
Audacious sighed. “Ivy, we don’t have time for this. I need you to focus.” He reached over to take her hands away from her ears but she resisted and started shouting.
“I’m not listening! La la la la la! I’m not listening! Not until you say it! I’m not listening!”
“Ivy!” Audacious said, speaking loudly to be heard over her yelling. “Stop it!”
“I’m not listening!”
Ivy felt the man try to grab her, to get her to focus, and she whirled around, seeming completely serious, her knife already pressing into his throat.
“If you have something to say to me,” Ivy said, smiling sweetly, “you can just say it now.”
He arched an eyebrow. “You’re impressive. Could you take your knife from my throat now, girl?”
She pressed the blade in deeper.
“Could you take your knife from my throat now, Ivy?”
Do it, came Anomaly’s voice in her head. Ivy had practically forgotten she was even there. Like Audacious said, you’re here for a reason. Find out what it is.
Ivy waited for a moment, then moved away from the man. She looked at Audacious, and she looked nothing like she had just attempted to stab someone. “So, are we just going to stand here all day, or...?”
“Or,” he said. “Ivy, I think you’ll have to wait out here – mostly for safety reasons.” In his head, he said to her, You can listen in on the conversation, but I can tell that you aren’t allowed to be in there. And yes, it’s partially for safety reasons. For everyone, you crazy person.
“Fine, I’ll wait out here.”
“Excellent,” said the man. “Beguile. Come inside.”
Audacious stepped inside, glancing at Ivy before the door shut. Anomaly appeared, no longer invisible.
“Well then, that was interesting,” she said softly to Ivy. “You can change moods quickly.”
Ivy shrugged. “I’m used to having to go from a conversation to a murder quickly. I have to be, on account of the fact that I sometimes need to pretend to be innocent when I’m about to kill someone, because I’m young and all that stuff. It’s a useful advantage.”
“Young and crazy. When I say crazy, I mean, like, insane. By the way, when you were saying ‘I’m not listening’ to Audacious, it took all of my self control to stop myself from laughing. It was hilarious.”
“I know. That’s the point. No one likes people without a sense of humour, you know? Besides, I never get to joke around anyway. I love when I get to. I also love pulling out my knife super quickly. It’s because I’m Ivy Animosity. And Ivy Animosity has ninja skills.” She paused and tilted her head. “They talk quietly.”
“Them. Audacious and the stupid guy you wouldn’t let me kill. I’m listening to their conversation, and contributing to ours at the same time. Multitasking, because I’m amazing like that.”
Anomaly rolled her eyes. “You are so annoying...” She trailed off and looked at Ivy, who seemed to be curious about the conversation inside. Anomaly listened in as well.
“She’s the security you said I needed,” Audacious said. “She’s the best there is for this kind of thing.”
“And the best is a girl who can barely qualify as a teenager and acts like a five-year-old?” the man countered. “She’s a waste of time!”
“Ivy is nothing of the sort. She’s a murderer, as I said. A feared murderer, at that. She was the one who caused that huge massacre last year.”
The man hesitated. “She did that?”
“Yes. Ivy did that.”
“Then how are we supposed to trust her? She killed that many people and got away with it, she could do the same to us!”
“She wouldn’t. I know someone who seems to be capable of telling her not to do something – and she can get Ivy to listen. In fact, she was with us the entire time. And they were both listening in on this conversation. Ivy, Anomaly, won’t you come inside?”
“Gladly,” Ivy said, then kicked the door. It snapped from its hinges and fell out of its frame. “I’ve been waiting to do that since we got here,” she said with a mischievous grin.
The man stared. “You can’t just kick down other people’s doors!”
“Oh, but I can. And I just did.”
He glared. “You had better pay for that.”
Ivy smiled. “See, you say that as a threat, but it isn’t scary to me. At all.”
“And you want her as security?” he asked Audacious. “She’s too conspicuous with her... methods of getting inside.”
“Oh, I love that word,” Ivy said. “Conspicuous. It’s so fun to say.”
“Yes, I want her as security,” Audacious said. “She’s good at that kind of stuff. But Ivy...” he looked at her. “No killing until I say you can.”
The man sighed. “Well, I suppose it’s your decision on who’s responsible for your life. If you want a crazy lady, so be it. Now, get out of my house. I have work to do and a door that I now have to fix.”
“Fine then, we’ll be leaving,” Anomaly said. She motioned for Audacious and Ivy to follow, then the three of them walked out the door. Well, the doorframe. There wasn’t exactly a door to walk out of anymore.
“That was awesome, Ivy,” Audacious said. “It looked so cool when you kicked the door down...”
“It did, didn’t it? Just another ninja skill that comes with being Ivy,” Ivy said as they walked down the street. “Should we just teleport? Walking’s overrated.”
Anomaly thought about it for a moment. “Yeah, we should.”
“I think so too. Walking is for boring people,” Audacious said.
“It really is. Which means that we have to teleport.” Ivy grabbed both of their arms and teleported back to her house.
“Hey Audacious?” Ivy asked.
“Yes?” he responded, still clearly impressed with teleportation.
“Could you tell us the reason we spent all that time at that guy’s house now?”
“Oh. Of course. Well, basically, he’s the guy who forces everyone to go to the stupid ball thing. So this year, he’s making me and the people after me – the ones you get to kill – go to the ball. It’s like a trap for the other people, a trap where I’m the bait.”
“Okay then,” Ivy said, nodding. “Now can you tell me this guy’s name?”
He paused. “I would but...”
“But? But it’s supposed to be secret? I’m not supposed to kick down doors, but I do anyway. So tell me.”
“Oh, no, it’s not that. It’s just that I don’t actually know his name. It never seemed important to remember, you know? Just kind of slipped my memory.”
“You are a very forgetful person,” Anomaly said. “Mind explaining this whole ball thing to me?”
“From what I know,” Ivy said, “is that it’s some huge fancy thing that vampires go to. And Audacious needs me as security for him, because he’s not brave enough to defend himself.”
Audacious nodded. “She’s right. I can’t defend myself, just like she can’t get out of wearing a dress for it.”
Ivy felt herself go red. Anomaly stared at her. “You are wearing a dress?”
Ivy reluctantly nodded, and she saw Anomaly grinning, trying to prevent herself from laughing and possibly getting her head pulled off. Ivy couldn’t help but laughing at the look on Anomaly’s face.
“That’s not fair!” Anomaly said, laughing. “How come I can’t laugh but she can?”
“Because I’m a ninja! And you aren’t!” Ivy said, laughing also. “And you’re laughing right now!”
“Yeah, and with the risk of you pulling my head off!”
“That is so true,” Ivy said, still grinning but the laughter fading.
“I know it is,” Anomaly replied, smiling.
Audacious observed the two of them. “When did you guys meet each other?”
Ivy shrugged. “A few days ago. When I tried to kill her.”
“Yeah, that’s when we met. It’s certainly not how you’d expect to meet someone you end up liking later on,” Anomaly said.
“Why’d you ask?” Ivy said to him.
“Because,” Audacious said to both of them, “it’s funny to see how well you two have become friends in the last few days. I mean, it’s crazy. But I’m not questioning it. After all, I am – or at least I hope I am – Ivy’s friend too, and I met her after you did. Am I your friend?”
Ivy laughed. “Oh, of course you’re all desperate to be friends with the awesome person. Yes, you are both my friends.”
“Cool. Always wanted to be friends with a murderer. Actually, wait, no, I was always terrified of murderers. Same thing,” Anomaly said.
“Well, that’s just excellent, isn’t it?” Ivy said. “Now we all have friends. We’re an odd group, though, I’ll admit. I’m an evil murderer, Anomaly’s the good guy, Audacious is a vampire, and then, of course, Anomaly and myself are Sorcerers. We are, admittedly, pretty damn cool.”
“Hell yeah,” Anomaly said.
“We should think of a name for ourselves,” Audacious suggested.
“Okay!” Ivy said. “Let’s be... Let’s be...” She faltered. “I’ve got nothing.”
“Neither do I,” Audacious admitted.
“Or me,” Anomaly said, “but we can always think of that some other time.”
Ivy thought for a moment. “Who wants ice cream?”