Based on an original story by Alicia Bruzzone
Just Another Wednesday Afternoon : Part 3 – “Sisterly Affection”
By C.R. Gardner
Read: Part 1 | Part 2
Stumbling was all I needed to do to escape Security. Then we ran. ‘Oh God! Not Evangeline!’ She was my twin, and she terrified me.
“That was fun,” said Cam, leaning back on the luscious green grass, the decorative forest at his back as I cleaned up my leg from the ornamental waterfall at the edge of the pond. “Such cutting riposte.”
“Stop it!” I said, glaring at him “All those senseless puns were making my ears bleed! Couldn’t you see the blood?”
“Nope, just the blood on your leg,” he laughed, pulling up a blade of grass.
“Always thought you were cheesy, Cameron Luxen IV! Sure as heck explains the old sock smell!” I said, sitting on the grass beside him.
He laughed again, “Thought you didn’t like puns.”
“You okay, Addy? Seriously, you look a little white. Here, let me,” said Cam, taking out a white handkerchief the size of a foresail and bandaging my leg.
“What do you know about my sister, Cam?”
“Aside from the fact that she’s the most gifted swordsmaestro the world has ever seen?”
“Not much. What about the Slice and Pun gang?”
I groaned, shrugging, “Either they want me to fight her, or help her…”
“Or they want you to help them fight her.”
“Cam, why are you training me?”
“To be Adeline Épée de la Faucon and only interested in academia is fundamentally wrong, like being a vegetarian hawk. Especially when you have such a gift with the sword.”
“No,” I said, shaking my head. “Evangeline’s gifted. Me, I’m just average.”
Cam laughed, catching me in his blue eyed stare, “Not even close, Adeline. Maybe you’re not as talented as your sister, but I’d heard that Evangeline is what you’d call a freak. Her abilities do not fall in the normal range. Your abilities, however, are at the high end of normal. You’re very talented, Adeline.”
“So you’re training me because I was an Épée de la Faucon without a sword?”
“That was my original reason.”
“Because I get to spend time with you.”
“Oh, how sweet,” said a voice, “Although it’s very interesting listening to you lovebirds, I don’t have much time,” said Evangeline, stepping out from the trees.
“Evangeline! When did you… We’re not…”
“Perhaps not yet, but I think you will be. A match with the House of Luxen would be advantageous. Can’t see Papa objecting.”
“What do you want, Evangeline?” Our relationship had always been fraught with menace, a peculiar concoction of love, hate and terror. I hadn’t seen her for weeks, she was looking pale and tired.
“Your help,” she said, sitting beside me, so close we were almost touching. “Have you ever wondered why, that although we’re twins, we’re so completely different? You’re as fair as I am dark, you’re as good as I am evil.”
“Evil?” Evangeline smiled widely. “Don’t, Adeline, you know I am, and it terrifies you.”
I looked away, “I’m sorry…”
Evangeline shrugged, “Don’t be, it’s what I am. Recently I discovered something,” she said, snapping the chain from her neck and dropping two rings into her palm, one light and one dark. “We were never meant to be two separate people. Father made some pact with a demon and an evil sorcerer, they separated us into pure good and pure evil. So here we are.”
I stared at her.
“You’re joking, right?”
“No. But here’s the thing, they stuffed it, we’re not quite pure.”
“What’s with the rings?” said Cam.
“They were the sorcerer’s. He told me everything before I killed him. Because we’re not pure, one of us will die, but these rings mean we have a chance of combining our two selves into one person.”
“So we both get to live.”
I just stared at her, “I don’t get it. Why would you care whether I live or die?”
“Look at me, Adeline. What do you see?”
“My menacingly beautiful twin sister.”
“You seem kind of faded and frayed around the edges.”
“You’re the dominant twin…”
This time I laughed.
“Well you are, and I’m fading away. Soon I won’t exist. I’m doing this for purely selfish reasons; I don’t want to die. I don’t know what will happen, but I’m willing to risk it. Are you?”
I smiled, “Despite everything you are my twin, and I don’t want you to die either. Be interesting to see who we really are.”
Evangeline gave me the dark ring and slid the light one onto her middle finger. “Put this on your left hand.”
I looked at Cam. He nodded. I slipped it on. Dizziness and nausea swept over me. Our rings touched, agony seared through every cell. I was unravelling. We melted away into a chaotic maelstrom.