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By Any Other Name

Best served Cold

By Véronique Racine Published 5 months ago 6 min read

In the middle of the forest, the noise was thunderous and the two girls hid in fear.

They had never seen a bird, it did not seem to fly, just whizz through the still air, provoking an unearthly ruckus.

Somehow it must have had eyes to see, for in spite of the camouflage over their home, it hovered over the area and after an interminable moment, dropped down without ceremony.

The noise stopped abruptly and the girls, barely 16 or so, although scared, got tired of staying in their hideout

Their mother had always told them to stay away from strangers and strange things, to stay hidden, for their own good... but both of them were overly curious and they could not wait for their mother to come home.

She had gone to town the day before, making them promise to be responsible and mature and careful and looking torn to have to let them be alone... but since Theo had died, there was no one to watch over them when Mother had to go get supplies.

" What is it, do you think? " asked Dawn in an excited whisper.

" It made so much noise, I don't know! " Twilight said, flushed with fear and anticipation.

" Do you think we should?... " Dawn hesitated.

Her sister was already up, picking up a fallen tree branch to poke the strange creature that now lay on its side.

It looked like nothing they had ever seen before.It had metallic glint, and four towers over a sleek body. It was the size of a big bird, but it couldn't be. It had no wings, no feathers, and when Twilight gingerly extended her hand to touch it, it felt cold and lifeless.

" What's that? " Dawn wondered, looking at something that was under the strange flying object.

A box of some kind.

Before Dawn could warn her twin not to check it out, Twilight upturned the metal thing to reveal what it was clutching underneath it.

A small box but the cover was held by a red and gold and black ribbon, the prettiest bow anyone had ever seen. Both girls were immediately attracted to it, it was almost impossible to resist the urge to pull it.

What was inside had to be special, shiny, incredible, breath-taking. It was not surprising that both girls, even the shy Dawn, put their hands on the ribbons and pulled at the same time.

Soft as silk, the bow fell apart and the box's cover creaked open, showering the girls with a golden shroud of light. The treasure inside; they both held their breaths as they leaned forward to see what it was.

The most beautiful rose they had ever seen.

Glistening as though it had just been sprinkled by a light rain.

Resplendent in the afternoon light, it seemed to whisper to them, draw them in, impossible to resist.

" It's so beautiful, " Dawn whispered in awe.

" I don't think anything so pretty could exist, " Twilight said under her breath.

Dawn reached for the rose in the box but Twilight slapped her hand away. " Why would you get it, why would you have it? It's mine, "

" Why would it be yours? I saw it first! "

" You hid under the bush, you never would have come out without me! " Twilight snapped scornfully.

" You're wrong, you were crying in fear and asking for Mother! " Dawn retorted, once again reaching for the flower.

Twilight grabbed her arm this time and pushed her away, making her fall on the grass. Twilight wanted to grab the rose, but her sister plunged on her and they both rolled off, pulling their hair and ripping their clothes, savage in a way they had never expected to be.

It was beyond them to stop, to think rationally: the box had fallen to the side and the rose had spilled out on the grass.Looking fragile and vulnerable and yet so compelling, so hypnotic, they needed to be the one to touch it first.

They clawed at each other as though they had forgotten what linked them together, all the moments they spent laughing, how they could not imagine life without the other.

They were twins, and they were inseparable... until this moment.

If they could have pounded the other to oblivion, they would not have hesitated a single second to do so.

Out of breath and covered in dirt and claw marks, bleeding from numerous scrapes, they did not hear their mother approaching until she saw them fighting.

" But what's going on? " their mother exclaimed in shock.Both girls straightened up as though they had been badly slapped.

" It's mine! " they both cried out, lunging for the rose, in fear their mother would touch it first.

By some twin symmetry, they both grabbed it at the same time, and gasped in pain, as this rose was pretty, but dangerous as well. And perfectly capable of defending itself.

The pain from the thorns seemed to knock some sense back into them.

They looked at each other, bedraggled and bloodied, and back at their mother, who was raising a hand to her mouth, as though to stifle a scream, and their eyes rolled back in their sockets.

They collapsed on the grassy ground without other ceremony.

Their mother rushed to them, crying their names: both girls were gray, barely breathing, but they still had a faint heartbeat.

Before the mother could make any sense with what had happened before her eyes, the drone whirred to life, a small phone screen jutting out of a hidden compartment.

" Now you know my pain, " said a voice filled with bitterness and resentment and scornful triumph.

The mother gasped in fear; the video had been prerecorded, but it had been meant for her, made for her, and it was as though the old woman stood right before her.

" You thought you could escape me, but did I not tell you? When your daughter reaches 16, she will prick herself on a sharp object, and she will die. Just like you killed my daughter, pricking her with your cure-all. You had all the answers, no time to hear what she was saying, just another junkie, wasn't she? You thought you knew all, but you condemned her to this fate. Your girl and mine now share the same fate, and you know the loss and emptiness I knew, I still know. You made this happen. Running served no purpose. Did you really think you could hide from me? This is your punishment for playing God, "

The mother started sobbing; she let go of her daughters' cold hands and went to kick the drone, never to see that old withered face cackling at her again.

Some people could not medical professionals were human and made mistakes... that it had nothing to do with malice, that some allergies were not reported on the medical file...

That sometimes things went wrong.

And some surprises, like giving birth to twins, could bring forth a miracle of sorts.

The poison hadn't killed her daughters, only put them to deep deep sleep.

And who knew when they would wake up?


About the Creator

Véronique Racine

I am a hobby writer who adores science fiction and intelligent characters and storylines!

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (1)

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  • K.H. Obergfoll5 months ago

    loved this, very cool story!!

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