Light of the Shadow – Chapter 14 – Part 4

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Light of the Shadow – Chapter 14 – Part 4


Chapter 14



“A Last Secret Revealed.
A Test of Faith, Love and Trust.
Intuition, Wisdom and Courage.
The Waxing Moon in the Sky.”





- The Prophet of Truth


Part 4

Aaran went downstairs in his usual slow pace and stopped by the living room door. The sound of techno music echoed everywhere, coming from the flat screen as it repeatedly showed the same presentation over and over again. His gaze fell on the girl, sitting in front of it, her bare feet pulled up on the couch, the controller forgotten in one of her hands.

Without thinking twice he turned towards the kitchen, thinking about stealing a few of Anne’s delicious cookies before leaving, but Selena’s empty, sad expression didn’t allow him to take more than a few steps, before he had to turn back, with a resigned sigh. Now there was another huge problem …

“You can come in, you know?” the girl asked, peering at him over her shoulder. “You don’t have to spy on me from the door.”

Aaran put a smile on his face, trying to balance a bit his naturally intimidating aura, and did as she’d told him.

“It’s not like I was spying on you,” he declared in a soft tone of reprehension and she gave him a mischievous smile, scooting to a side, inviting him to sit beside her. Aaran sighed, and, once more, complied with her request.

“Did you manage to cram some sense in my sister’s head?” she asked and he faced her intrigued.

“What do you mean?”

“I talked with her this morning. And she was all problems and impediments about going out with Alexis,” she declared. “I told her to stop that nonsense or she’d end up being single for the rest of her life.”

“Hum, I guess theyve sorted things out on their own, as far as that goes,” he told her and Selena nodded, approvingly, turning her gaze back to the bright, noisy screen.

“Good. It was about time Sarah found her place in the world,” she declared and Aaran hesitated, knowing he shouldn’t ask, that it was none of his business, but unable to do so.

“What’s worrying you, Selena?” he asked and the girl looked back at him with a renewed smile.

“It’s really hard to deceive you, isn’t it? What? Do you read minds or something?” she asked, jokingly.

“Who knows …”

Selena sighed and gave him the second controller.

“I’ll tell you if you’re able to beat me,” she challenged him and Aaran picked up the controller, looking at it with a curious expression, as he turned it around in his hands. “You know how to play, right?” she asked doubtfully and Aaran held the black thing with a bit more conviction.

“Of course.”

Selena nodded approvingly and quickly accessed the main menu.

“Okay. Ready? Go!” she claimed, pushing the start button, and two animated figures appeared on the big screen, inside a fighting arena that looked like a perfect replica of a boxing ring.

In the beginning Aaran didn’t even know for sure who was who, but Selena wouldn’t show him any mercy, attacking him non-stop. Then followed the hard task of learning as fast as possible the purpose of each small button. When he hit the floor for the third time he’d already grasped more or less the basic movements, and what he had to do to move his character around the screen. However, by then, he’d already lost too much energy and was beyond any hope of a miraculous recovery. Selena was a fierce adversary and a single glance her way left a smile on his lips. She had her eyes glued to the screen, her concentration absolute, as she chewed down on her lower lip and moved her head every time her fighter jumped or kicked. There was only one way he’d be able to win that fight, and that was by cheating. And that’s what he did.

Selena opened her eyes wide and gaped in disbelief when, with a single kick, Aaran’s fighter stole more than half her energy, up till then practically untouched. Two more blows and her character was on the ground, and no matter how hard she tried, or how many buttons she pressed, it just wouldn’t stand up, until the bell rang, marking the end of the fight and her complete defeat.

“Hey! What the hell was that?!” she protested energetically, pointing an accusatory finger towards the TV. “Did you see that? How’s that even possible? I was winning!” she insisted, reaffirming her indignation, and Aaran put the controller down, smiling tranquilly.

“Maybe. But the truth is that, in the end, I’m the one who won,” he declared in a neutral tone and Selena stared at his immutable expression, ending up lowering her harm to give him a suspicious look. “What?” Aaran asked before the girl’s long, detailed scrutiny, and Selena squinted at him.

“You cheated,” she declared and Aaran pretended to be surprised.

“Me? How’s that even possible?” he asked on purpose, and, for a split second, he was sure she was going to answer him.

“Okay, fine. I admit. You won,” she finally declared, sitting down again, and turned her attention back to the bright screen. And it was Aaran’s turn to watch her more carefully, because he was almost sure that that hadn’t been her original answer.

“And so, you owe me an answer,” he reminded her and Selena sighed, playing with the controller she still held in her hands.

“Hum, it’s nothing, really,” she replied, absently scrolling up and down the main menu.

“Sarah told you about the custody case. That’s what’s worrying you,” he guessed after a moment’s silence and her small fingers froze over the buttons.

“Reading minds again, I see,” she joked and Aaran took the controller from her hands, forcing her to give him her undivided attention.

“I don’t want you to worry about that, Selena. No court will force you to do something you don’t want to,” he declared with such certainty that, for an instant, she was at a loss for words.

“I hope you’re not thinking about killing my aunt or anything. Because I’ve already thought about that and it would just show lack of originality,” she retorted, back to her joyful tone, and Aaran smiled lightly.

“I may have thought about it, yes.”

Selena laughed and stole back her controller .

“Just pick that up! I want my revenge!”

Aaran gave her a defiant look and did as he was told, grabbing the small object with small colorful buttons.

“Dreaming never hurt anyone.”

“Hum! That’s what we’ll see!” Selena replied pushing the start button again.

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