If you haven't read the first two installments of the story of Renaissance, check out the following links:
Week 1: Raker's Return
Week 2: Brigit the Brash
Albert George watched his niece climb down from the dirt-splattered F-150 truck. She flashed a quick smile in his direction and started to stroll on by. The woman in the truck watched them, her body frozen in time.
“Jade?” Albert restrained his voice, seeking a calm tone. “It’s not safe for you to be out here alone.”
The girl paused. “I wasn’t.”
A strange tingle ran along Albert’s spine just like his father told him it would. Could it be? Didn’t he have four more years to prepare? He sniffed the air. Sulfur. The woman in the truck stared back at him. “Who’s that?”
Jade squinted at the driver, a look of confusion crossing her face. “She didn’t say.” She shrugged one shoulder. “She knows you.”
Albert clenched his fists and nodded toward the dragon fountain. “That wasn’t the last dragon.”
Jade laughed out loud. “Yeah, right. You’re crazy.” She shook her head and hurried toward Albert’s gas station. Her laughter trailed behind her like an overpowering perfume.
The truck still sat by the fountain, and Albert strode toward it with purpose. The driver couldn’t be Brigit, could it? He got within a few feet of the truck, and the woman startled like a surprised bird, revved the engine, and burned rubber only to screech to a stop at the gas pumps.
Albert’s heart pounded in fear. Jade stood beside the pumps. A dark-haired man hovered over her, his body leaning in close and possessive.
“Jade! Get away from him.”
The man stroked her cheek once. Albert’s stomach churned at the sight.
The dark man glanced at Albert and hopped into the truck. It sped away kicking up dust and gravel.
Albert skidded to a stop next to Jade. “Did he hurt you? What did he say?”
Jade’s almond-shaped eyes sparkled. “What?” A secret smile spread across her face.
Grabbing her arm, Albert dragged her through the store and into his office. Three quick turns of the dial and the old safe door swung open. He hauled out the bag containing his spear gun and cross-bow and slammed it on his desk with a thud.
“I should’ve smelled him sooner.” He strapped on his holster. “There’s a lot you don’t understand.” He jabbed at a faded WANTED poster on the wall. “Is this the woman in the truck?”
Jade rubbed her hands along her arms like she was cold. “Uncle, you’re scaring me. That’s like from the old west or something.”
“Does it look like her?”
She shook her head. “It can’t be her. Is it her grandmother?”
Albert grabbed the duffel bag and shoved past Jade. “This wasn’t supposed to happen now. We thought I’d have four summers to teach you.”
“Four summers?” Jade stiffened. “Here? No thanks.”
“Jade.” He rubbed his face and struggled over what to say in a few short seconds. “You’re here for a reason. My sister adopted you on purpose.”
Jade shook her head. “Because she wanted a child. She loves me.”
He relaxed his grip on the bag. “We all love you,” he said, laying his hand on her shoulder. “But it took a lot of historical research to find you. It had to be you.”
The girl backed up against the wall, looking young, small, and afraid. “What do you mean?”
“Your grandmother’s ancestors honored the dragons of old. The women…” He paused, unwilling to disclose the role her ancestors played. Slinging the bag over his shoulder, Albert marched out of the office. Sixteen was too young to learn that you’re dragon bait.
Word Count: 591
- The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.
- Betrayal is in the air.
- Relationships unravel or strengthen.
- A long-kept secret is revealed.