Chapter Two: Questions and Explosions
Once Anomaly had teleported back to her house – she needed to make a quick getaway – she got changed and tossed her wet clothes in the dryer. Thinking over the events of the night, she let out a sigh. That was eventful. She got rained on. She poked a dead guy. She had been attacked by a crazy, psychotic teenager. Loads of fun.
Although, to correct her own sarcasm, being kicked wasn't quite so fun. Anomaly put a hand to her ribs and winced. Using one of possibly the most helpful skills of all time, her hand glowed for a moment, fixing most of the damage done, with the price of making her a bit more exhausted than before. She was pretty sure that girl, Ivy Animosity or whatever, had broken at least one of them. How come she was so strong? And how come she had more than one type of magic? She had used magic to move so quickly and to teleport. She should have only been able to do one, if any at all. Not everyone knew about magic, and not everyone who knew about it could use it. In fact, hardly anyone had any magic these days.
But if this girl knew how to use magic, and had more than one power, then that could only mean one thing – she was one of the Seven Sorcerers. Anomaly tried to picture them in her head. The blonde girl who looked around twenty, the man with the silver hair and silver eyes, the woman with one blue and one green eye, that one guy who always wore way to much hair gel, that other guy who was always with the hair gel one, and Anomaly. That was six. She tried to remember the last time one of them died and if it was any time recently. She was supposed to know all of this information about the Seven Sorcerers; the boring and dull tales of their advantages and their “world-changing” decisions and their deaths. Anomaly had never really been good at that sort of thing. She always let her mind wander.
Figuring she probably wouldn't think of it any time soon, Anomaly walked to her living room and, groaning because of her still slightly injured rib, looked through her overly-filled bookshelf. She started scanning the titles on there. Harry Potter, Skulduggery Pleasant, The History of the Seven Sorcerers...
Arching an eyebrow at how clearly there was no effort put into keeping the book secret, she pulled the massive, textbook-like book from the shelf. As boring as the book may be, at least there was one cool part about it – the book automatically updated itself on the deaths of Sorcerers. Opening it up to the introduction, she began scanning the words printed on the page.
“The Seven Sorcerers are the seven most powerful people in the world, surpassing the regular level sorcerers throughout the rest of the world that knew about magic. While a normal sorcerer only has one selected discipline of magic, the Seven Sorcerers have multiple, and no one knows quite how many powers they can have. This book contains the history and legends of them, and separates the myth from fact, written in the most...”
Bored of that, she decided to skip to the last page and see the most recent death. About 13 years ago.
That was it, then. Ivy Animosity was the Seventh Sorcerer. A crazy, demented, assassin, and to top it all off she was a teenage girl. Great. That could only mean one thing:
Anomaly had a new enemy.
* * *
The next morning, once Anomaly woke up, she realised that she couldn't find her phone. Frowning, she started searching through her house, only to remember she had left it at that place last night. Scowling, she figured she should call in to tell them she left it, but decided that it would be a difficult task without a phone to call them with.
After getting dressed, she pulled her boots on, grabbed a jacket and left, locking the door behind her. She may as well leave early if she was going to leave at all, otherwise she'd be called on to go find somebody or stop some random bad guy without having any time to do what she needs. She got in her car, started the ignition, and drove off.
20 minutes later she pulled into a parking spot and got out. Putting up her hood to avoid what seemed to be never ending rain, Anomaly walked over to the gleaming front doors of the building she had visited the previous night. Today there were many people wandering in the entry room, and after waiting for two people to be finished talking she approached the front desk.
The woman sitting there today looked to be in her mid twenties, with long blonde hair and brown eyes. She looked up from the computer and smiled at Anomaly. “Can I help you?”
“Yes, actually,” Anomaly answered. “Is Violet here?”
“You're talking to me now,” the woman said, and laughed. Anomaly looked confused. She saw the look on Anomaly's face and blinked. “Oh!” she replied, understanding. “You mean the other Violet! She's in the back. I'll go get her.”
Violet got up to go find Violet so Anomaly could talk to Violet. Anomaly took a second to think over that thought for a moment, and couldn't help but grin.
Violet – the one Anomaly had been looking for – came out and smiled. “Hi!”
“Hello,” Anomaly responded politely. “I was wondering if you had seen my phone anywhere around here. I'm fairly certain I left it last night, and I kind of need it back...”
“Oh!” she exclaimed, like she knew that this would happen. Which was understandable, in terms of the circumstances, but something about it unnerved Anomaly for a reason she didn't know. Violet reached into the desk, pulled out Anomaly's phone and handed it back to her. “Here you go.”
“Thanks,” Anomaly murmured, and stuck it in her pocket. There was something different about it – she had noticed in the split second when it was being handed to her – but decided not to say anything about it. Turning away, she walked outside and inspected it. It was clean. Cleaner than she had left it. Almost as though someone had carefully tried to remove the fingerprints.
All right, that meant someone had used it. And, at a guess, that person was Violet. Just as Anomaly was about to get in her car, to leave and try to think of some way to investigate that a bit more, she noticed something familiarly creepy in her peripheral vision. Looking to the street in front of her, she saw Ivy Animosity, leaning against the side of a building, sticking to the more shadowy areas. She looked like she was playing Angry Birds on her phone. And then, as if she knew she was being observed, she looked up, grinning, and gave Anomaly a little wave. She vanished.
Anomaly spun around instantly, and leaped back just in time to avoid the knife Ivy tried to jab into her. Scowling, Ivy folded the knife and stuck it back in her pocket. She crossed her arms.
“Are you deliberately trying to make it difficult to kill you?” Ivy asked, sighing.
“Maybe,” Anomaly said, then thought about it. “Actually, you know what? Yes. I am deliberately trying to make it difficult.”
“But why? I mean, really, if I want you dead, you're supposed to be dead. So you know what my question is now?”
“Why aren't you dead yet?”
“I'll be honest here – I could've guessed that question.”
“I know,” Ivy answered. “I made it obvious.” She paused for a moment, her indigo eyes focused on the ground. She sighed again and looked up. “Are you ready to die yet?”
Anomaly gave her a weird look. “Do you really expect me to answer yes? For God's sake, learn to have some patience.”
It was Ivy's turn to frown. “But... I don't like being patient.”
“Well, you should try it some time. It might be useful.”
“I can't see how that would be –“ She stopped. “You know what, I think I'm going to cut this conversation short. Just let me kill you and this'll be finished already.”
Ivy lunged at her and Anomaly instinctively teleported to get away. She succeeded in the teleporting part. The getting away part, on the other hand, was a different story. Ivy had barely made contact with her before Anomaly left, but it was enough to bring Ivy along, and her momentum caused her to crash into Anomaly and send them both sprawling.
Moving quickly to get away from Ivy, Anomaly stood up and took a split second to observe her surroundings. Grass. Some trees in the distance. Great. No hiding places. She tried to dodge but wasn't fast enough to prevent Ivy from kicking her feet out from under her. Ivy leaped up and was about to throw her knife at Anomaly when it suddenly dropped from her hand and flew into Anomaly's as she got up. Ivy glared and took a few steps back, increasing the distance between them.
“Give it back,” Ivy growled.
Anomaly looked at the knife in her hand. It had a black blade and looked exceptionally sharp. Being quick but cautious, she folded the knife and put it in her pocket. “I think I'll keep it. You know, to keep you from killing people with it.”
“Well, that's just rude. I don't go around stealing people's things. You're mean.”
“You go around killing people and you're telling me I'm the rude one?”
Starting towards her, Ivy started to say, “Just shut up and give that back” when an arrow cut through the space between them. It hit the tree on the far side of them.
Ivy stared at Anomaly, Anomaly stared at Ivy, they both turned to stare at the arrow, each other, and then at the arrow again. There was a note tied to it. Glancing at each other once again, they both ran over to the arrow. Unwrapping the note that had been attached, Ivy read it aloud.
“Animosity and Despair, you make a lovely pair. Have fun being in one piece, because you'll soon be all over the place.” She paused for a moment. "Well, that's dumb. They didn't even make the whole thing a rhyme. I know that the Animosity part is me. Would that make the Despair part you?"
“Yeah, that's me," Anomaly said slowly. “Is it just me, or is that a blinking red light coming from the arrow?”
Ivy looked at it and didn't look away. “Oh. I think that's a blinking red light. I also happen to think that this note is a fancy way of explaining that this is a bomb and it's meant to blow us up.”
“I'm going to have to agree with you on that,” she nodded. “I'm also going to say we should probably move now, and should probably stop wasting our time with this entirely pointless conversation.”
“I agree,” Ivy said, and they both lunged out of the way as it blew up.
They fell to the ground from the impact of the explosion, though neither of them were badly injured. Wood was falling all over the place from the giant tree the arrow had been in contact with, and the larger branches kept threatening to land on them. Ivy was trying to say something, pointing in the distance. Anomaly turned in time to see someone walked towards them, another arrow ready to fire. Anomaly grabbed Ivy's arm and hauled her out of the way of a branch, which was pierced by the incoming arrow. Pulling Ivy to her feet, Anomaly urged her to move. Ivy pulled her arm free and Anomaly whirled around to face her.
“Why are you helping me?” she asked, staring Anomaly dead in the eyes.
“Don't question it now – just run!”