Welcome to Tuesday Tales. I have been fortunate enough to join this group of talented and amazing authors. This week’s prompt is Dance. I have to decided to use this weeks prompt as a nudge on the post-apocalyptic book Escaping Humanity that I am co-authoring with Sarah Cass
“Thank you Lucas.” Annie gave Lucas a weak smile as he helped her sit in front of the fire.
“I am pleased that you agreed to my assistance. The Spirits say it will aid you on your journey.” Lucas sunk down to the ground. He set a cup of tea next to her.
“The Spirits?” She quirked a brow. “Charlotte said you might be able to help me get the jumble of memories straight in my head.” Since her last attack her mind felt like a hard drive ready to crash. Memories that had once been crystal clear and in some semblance of order now overlapped and intertwined.
“I know you have not had much time to learn our ways since you have arrived. The heart of our group is the remnants of a Lenape tribe. My mother and father are Lenape, and Ravenhawk is our Chief, our leader.” Lucas inclined his head towards the mug in her hand. “Drink. I promise it will not harm you.”
“Chance. His Lenape name is Ravenhawk. As mine is Silver Wolf and James is Night Hawk. My parents along with yours and Chief Ravenhawk formed the rebellion in an effort to assist Exceptionals and ensure our survival.”
“Modern day cowboys and Indians…got it.” Annie inhaled the steam coming off of her mug before she took a sip. Whatever the contents it definitely didn’t smell or taste like any tea she had ever had in the past.
A low chuckle filled the space between the pair. “Something like that. James mentioned you had spunk.”
A sad smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “James mentioned something about me other than being a pain in his ass? Almost sounds like a Christmas miracle.” She cleared her throat after a moment as her thoughts drifted to James and the kiss they had shared. Not a word had been spoken about the incident. Perhaps it was better that way. Forgotten as she was destined to be in the not too distant future.
“You will not be forgotten Annie. James and Charlotte are still working on a way to help you. “
Annie swallowed hard as her hands gripped the mug in her hand tighter. She had heard mention of a few telepaths in the compound but knowing about them didn’t prepare her for having a thought plucked from her head. “So…the Spirits you mentioned. You think they can help me?”
“I believe they can. From what I have seen you have a journey ahead of you. It will not be easy but in the end it will be worth it.” Lucas nodded.
“So what do I need to do besides drink this?” It didn’t take long to finish. Despite her initial trepidation she enjoyed the flavor. A slow warmth spread through her body.
“Relax. I understand with everything you have been through you are nervous but I promise no harm will come to you.”
“You are so different than your brother.” A short laugh escaped.
Lucas’ laughter joined hers. “Our appearance may be almost identical but it is easy to tell us apart. How do you feel?”
“Feel? Should I feel something?” It hit her then. The flames in front of them shifted and changed. Shapes and colors formed within them. She leaned in closer to get a better look. As she inched forward the image shifted and changed overlapping with the previous one.
“Easy Annie. Do not force it.” Lucas placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. “You may want to lie down.”
“I’m fine.” A wave of dizziness rolled through her as the mug tumbled from her hands towards the ground. Annie tried to move to catch it but her limbs refused to obey. She felt Lucas lower her to the ground facing the fire.
“Do not fight it. You will see what you need to.” Lucas’ voice wove through the sounds that began to come from the fire.
The images in front of her shuffled and mingled until one came through clear on its own.
“Mom he’s never going to be ready in time.” A younger version of Annie folded her arms across her chest. She couldn’t have been more than sixteen years old. “We’re going to be late and we’ll miss the first dance.”
Abbie’s rich laughter filled the room. “You worry too much. Your father wouldn’t let you be late for this. He knows how important this is.”
Annie blew out a breath in a huff with a roll of her eyes. “Right because running out right before the Father and Daughter dance at the club shows how important this is to him.”
“Hey cut your Dad some slack. This is just as important to him as it is to you.” Abbie straightened a lock of hair that had come loose from one of the pins in Annie’s hair. “He’ll be right back.”
“Right.” Annie jerked back from Abbie fussing over her hair. “We should have left ten minutes ago damn it. You weren’t late when you took Ethan and Danny.”
“Anna Maria Johnson drop the attitude this instant.” Abbie snapped in a stern voice. “Your father will be back soon and you will make it to the dance. Stop acting like you’re Cinderella on borrowed time. Granted if you keep it up you’ll find out what it feels like to be the only one not going and there’s no fairy godmother here to help you.”
Properly chastised Annie dropped her arms to her sides. “Aunt Talisa would save me if she were here. She would fix everything.” Her shoulders sagged, “Dad’s been blowing me off for a week. It’s like he doesn’t want to be around me anymore.”
“Annie he’s not blowing you off.” Abbie hugged her daughter to her. “There’s just been a lot going on but it doesn’t mean he loves you any less. Work has been crazy for both of us.”
“Not making me feel any better Mom.” Annie leaned into her mother, soaking up a few moments of comfort.
“Who’s ready for a night at the ball with their dear old dad?” Warren walked into the room holding a rectangular velvet box.
“Daddy we’re going to be late.” A hint of a whine laced into Annie’s voice.
“I promise we will make it but I couldn’t let you go without this.” Warren walked over and placed a kiss on Annie’s forehead and then one on Abbie’s lips.
“You’re late and you’re bribing me with jewelry? Isn’t there some lesson in here about what not to do with a guy?” Annie smirked up at her father.
“She gets the smartass side from you Gail. Open it or you’re going to make us late.” He chuckled as he stuck his tongue out at her.
Annie took the box he handed her and popped it open. A bracelet in white gold lay within the confines of the box. Stones in a myriad of shades and colors nestled into each intricate setting. Tears welled up in her eyes and a gasp escaped. “Daddy it’s beautiful.”
“Hey none of that you’ll ruin all the time you spent getting your makeup perfect.” He wiped away a tear with the pad of his thumb. “Each stone has a meaning to it. Aunt Talisa can tell you better than I can what each one is. It’s there to protect you. She said it would help guide you.”
“I love it. Thank you.” Annie wrapped her arms around Warren and hugged him tight.
“I’m glad baby. Now let’s get this princess to the ball.” He leaned in to give Abbie another kiss. “I have something for you but that will have to wait until later.”
“Ew gross.” Annie interrupted.
“Have fun both of you.” Abbie grinned at the pair.
Warren held his arm for Annie. “Shall we?”
“We shall.” Annie looped her arm through her father’s.
“The ball awaits.” He led her towards the front door.
“We’re still going to be late.”