And the surprise is...
NEWLY WRITTEN CHAPTER ONE FOR THE IVY STORY WHICH I STARTED OVER!
Chapter One: An Anomaly
22-year-old Anomaly Despair wrapped her soaking wet jacket around her a bit more tightly as it continued to rain. It was always raining in Washington, and on a cold October night like this one it was no different. The rain just never seemed to stop.
She was well aware of the fact that she needed to get inside. If she stayed out here in the cold, she was going to get sick, and Anomaly absolutely hated being sick. She was the type of person who enjoyed being productive, not laying around and being lazy when she had something she needed to do. And being confined to bed for a few days eating only soup and watching movies was far from her personal idea of what was fun.
The dark and angry sky cracked with lightning and boomed with thunder, and Anomaly almost jumped at how loud it was. Two booms. The lightning was two miles away. She sincerely hoped she was inside before it got any closer. A young girl, probably around seventeen, opened the door from the building she was in and beckoned for Anomaly to come in. Anomaly walked hurriedly across the street and inside. The girl shut the door behind her.
“Thank you so much,” Anomaly said, shaking the water off her hair, which was wet despite the fact that she had had a hood on. “It's pouring out there.”
“No problem,” the girl said with a smile. She had light brown hair that stopped halfway down her neck and blue eyes. She stuck out her hand. “I'm Violet. And you?”
“I'm Anomaly Despair,” Anomaly said, and shook her hand. She noticed the surprised look on Violet's face, and laughed. “Sorry. My hand's all wet.”
“Oh, it's, it's not that,” Violet said with a little laugh, that seemed a bit confused and as though her thoughts had just gone elsewhere. “It was just that you have quite an interesting name.”
“Ah. Right. I suppose I do, don't I?” She gave a small smile. “I hear that a lot.”
After a short silence, Violet looked up, as if her mind had just returned to the here and now. “Oh, sorry, I forgot; would you like me to take your coat? There's a dryer in the back, and I can throw it in there for you if you want.”
“That would be wonderful, actually,” Anomaly said as she pulled off her dripping jacket, taking her phone out of the pocket first. “Thank you.”
“You're welcome,” she said as she took Anomaly's jacket. “Well, I have a bit of work left to do still once I put this in the dryer, but you can stay and sit until the rain has gone, if you'd like. I'm just going to be making phone calls and pretending I know what I'm doing on this computer.” With that, she turned and headed to the back.
Anomaly walked over to where the chairs were, set her phone on the table, and sat down, resting her head against the window with a sigh. It had been a long day. She had had to stop another group of lunatics who had thought it would be funny to attack the normal people who, unlike herself and quite a few others – including the lunatics – didn't have or know about magic. She had gotten up and left at five in the morning to go chase those idiots earlier. And she had been chasing them all day since then, and ended up in the rain, to the point where she had been forced to walk. In a way, it was her job to stop them, to help keep magic a secret, as one of the Seven Sorcerers – the seven single most powerful people in the entire world. She was one of the few who used their extraordinary levels of magic for good, and as such, it meant she was usually the one being asked to go after people who needed to have someone after them. Anomaly liked helping. It made her feel like she had a good purpose.
Violet had walked back in and gotten to work. After searching through her computer a bit, she seemed to have found whatever it was she was looking for and picked up the phone and quickly dialled a number. When whoever was on the other line had answered, Violet spoke in a quiet but slightly serious tone, at a volume as though she didn't want Anomaly to here. Not that it mattered, Anomaly thought. She was probably just talking to her manager or something.
Anomaly let out a deep breath, leaned back in the black leather chair, and closed her eyes. God, she was tired. She slowly opened her eyes again and fixed her gaze onto a spot on the ceiling, and stared at it while she let her mind wander. The ceiling was white and bumpy, aside from this little spot on it, which had turned to a weird brown colour, probably from moisture or something like that. In her peripheral vision she could see that the walls were a dark tan, and the window panes were cream. She let her head fall forward, and her dark blonde hair fell in front of her slightly freckled face. She closed her eyes again.
Anomaly's eyes snapped open at the mention of her name. She relaxed when she saw it was only Violet, who had walked over. The rain had stopped.
“Did I fall asleep?” Anomaly asked with a yawn.
“I'm fairly certain you did,” Violet responded. She handed Anomaly her jacket, which was dry now. “It's time for me to go now, so...”
“Oh! Sorry!” Anomaly stood up and put her jacket on. “I need to get home too. I've got a lot of work to do tomorrow. Thanks for letting me stay.” She sincerely doubted that Violet had any idea what sort of 'work' she was talking about, but what she said was true. She never knew what exactly she had to do, but she knew she always had something.
“It was no bother,” Violet assured her, and grabbed her coat off the hook and shut off the lights as Anomaly opened the door and stepped out. Once she was sure Anomaly wasn't in sight any more, she reached into her pocket, pulled out Anomaly's phone that she had taken, and looked at it. Making sure it actually belonged to Anomaly Despair, she set it down, turned the lights back on, took her coat off, and got back to work, but on something completely different than before.
Anomaly shivered while she walked down the street. October really wasn't a warm month, particularly at night. In all honesty, it wasn't her favourite time of the year to be taking a walk. She heard laughter from the next block over, and it was getting closer. She hid behind a building while she waited for it to pass.
The laughter seemed to be coming from a teenage girl. As the girl got closer, she could hear someone else.
“...Please, don't. You don't have to do this. Really. Please.” The other voice sounded scared; terrified.
“Oh, but I'm afraid I do,” the girl said with fake sympathy. “Sorry about that. But not really, I assure you.”
“Don't. No. Don't!” The plea was cut off abruptly and there was a thump. Anomaly frowned. Something was wrong.
She moved away from the wall of the building, and looked around. She kept her breathing quiet. Something was definitely not right.
She stepped out of the shadows and stifled a gasp. There was a man on the ground. Right in front of her. Anomaly reached down to check his pulse.
He must have been who had been pleading earlier. But then what about the teenage girl? Anomaly's eyes narrowed.
She was the killer. She had to be.
Anomaly straightened up, was about to turn around when –
“Ah, hello there.”
She froze, and turned – slowly. A girl was standing there, arms crossed, with an eyebrow arched. She couldn't have been any older than thirteen. Anomaly was too wary to reply.
“What, are you too scared to say anything back?” the girl asked sarcastically. Her skin was extraordinarily pale, and her black hair and clothes were blending in with her surroundings. “No? Oh, okay, I guess you're just in shock. Because there is, you know, a dead guy on the floor in front of you. Or maybe you're just a bit wary of me.” She gave Anomaly a mischievous grin.
Anomaly blinked. She hadn't been expecting that. “Well, I feel I have the right to be wary of a pale girl wandering around this late, conveniently right next to a body. Wouldn't anyone be suspicious?”
“I suppose that could make sense.” She had a slight Irish accent. “However, doesn't that give me the right to be wary of you?”
“It does. And yet you're the one who started the conversation.”
“True, true. Hey, I have a question for you. If these were your last words, what would you say?”
Anomaly took a step back. “I'd have to think about it.”
“Ah, well, that's a shame. I don't usually give anyone time to think.”
Anomaly didn't even have time to blink before a fist connected with her jaw. She stumbled back, shocked, and raised her arms in front of her head to block the next one. A foot hit her in the side, and she took another step backwards, trying to regain her balance. She felt someone kick her feet out from under her, and she fell over.
The girl was standing over her. It was obviously her who had attacked her. She didn't look like she regretted it. Anomaly didn't think she would. In fact, she was even cracking a smile.
“Who the hell are you?” Anomaly asked, rubbing her jaw and sitting up. She figured it was best not to stand up, but hopefully sitting wouldn't do any damage.
The girl thought for a moment. “I guess it couldn't hurt to tell, on account of the fact that you'll be dead in a few moments. Killer and naturally brilliant Ivy Animosity, at your service,” Ivy said with a bow.
“Well, hello Ivy. I've thought of my last words,” Anomaly said to her.
“Oh really? And what might they be?”
“It's just one word, actually.” She smiled. “Dodge.”
Anomaly held up her hand in front of her and a ball of green light shot out of it, hitting Ivy and sending her sprawling. She really did love being able to use magic for whatever was convenient to her. Anomaly leaped up. Ivy rolled, but rather than rolling away, she came closer, leaped up and kicked Anomaly in the stomach. Anomaly doubled over. God, she kicked hard. Ivy took a few steps back, putting some space between them.
“Nice magic trick,” Ivy said, brushing dirt out of a bleeding scrape on her arm.
“Yeah, and nice kick,” Anomaly replied, holding her ribs, which must have gotten hit at the same time as her stomach. “It wasn't a trick, though.”
“Oh, trust me, of all people, I would know. I've got plenty of fun little tricks too.” Ivy held up her hand and a stream of indigo blue light shot out and hit Anomaly, throwing her backwards, and hitting her head on the pavement. Stunned that Ivy had magic too, she lay there, attempting to get to her feet, when she heard something in the distance.
She heard Ivy mutter a swear, but when she looked up it was only in time to see a flash of blue and Ivy was gone. Taking a quick glance around, making sure Ivy was nowhere near and no one was watching, Anomaly stood up with a groan, gave herself a moment to rest, and, using magic again, she teleported away.
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