The history of the forbidden. It was supposed to be an old and ancient book. I was expecting a dark leather binding and wrinkled yellow pages. Mystical. Something foreboding yet tempting.
It’s like that at all.
“Not what you were expecting?” My mom smiles. “Really, Dear. If it was to look like something so typical for our kind, how could you expect us to remain hidden for long?”
It is a hardback of maybe 300 pages, and it’s red. Not a faded or crimson red, but a tulip, very spring-like red, and the letters are white. Not gold or even beige. A snowy white.
She flips through it. It has the plainest format I’ve ever seen with the most uninspiring font and uncomfortably knit words and sentences. I have yet to read a word and could already feel my eyes crossing.
“See? Not mystical at all.” She smiles and hands it to me. My expression must’ve betrayed me because she laughs. “I think the formatters did a good job making sure no one would ever be tempted to actually read what was on the pages.”
She’s right. Dictionaries have a more beguiling look to them.
“But in those pages, Thalia, it tells the origin of our power.” She leaned closer. “And how to harness them.”
My mother is so beautiful. Golden hair and jewel-like eyes. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not. She attracts enough attention for the both of us.
I had made the mistake of asking her about our marks. On a morning before school when I had a huge presentation due.
“Go on. Put it in your bag.”
“What?” To take with me? To the Academy! “Mom, if I get caught–”
She laughs. “Honey… I saw the way you looked at that book. Regular people look at it with even more disdain. You could take it out and read it in the lunchroom, and no one would bat an eye.”
“Actually they would think I was weird because I’m reading such an weird-looking book.”
“Come on, you’re going to be late.” She puts the book in my bag for me. “Just tell your friends your mom is making you read a weird-looking book.”
I hate how pushy she can be sometimes.
I really don’t want to take it in with me, especially not with Maxton being just about my only friend. My mom chitchats with me as usual, and all I can think about is a subtle way to leave it in the car without her noticing. I passively answer all her questions about the presentation while she corrects all the history my group dug up at the school library. I carefully unzip my bag.
The title of the book: HISSTORY
Why is it…
I squint my eyes. HIS STORY
She’s in the middle of explaining the real reason for the formation of the Order of Rights, when I ask, “Does this say his story? Mom, what’s with this title?”
“Oh, the story of our King. Our origin begins with him.”
I stare at it for a minute, then casually start to move my bag over to the side. My mom is back to talking, and this is the perfect opportunity to have the book accidentally fall out.
Better not actually.
Mom is the type to show up at school claiming I forgot something. Then we’d really draw attention.
I sigh and zip up my book bag.
We’ve made it to the drop off zone, and the anxiety begins to wrap itself around my limbs. I start to open the door, and my mom grabs my arm.
“Thalia?” Her blue eyes shine vehemently. “Try to find out today who’s missing. We… shouldn’t let our own be forgotten.”
I nod and get out, shutting the door behind me, avoiding the gaze of the students and statues, avoiding the roof where cameras may be watching.
That’s what the forbidden become. Forgotten. Wiped away. We should not exist, so they make it as though we never did.
I force myself to look up at the cliques and groups of friends who seem to have someone missing, at those who act strange because their friend is no longer there.
But this girl probably didn’t have friends. She probably laid low in the background remaining in silence most of the time. Just like me. And she was still caught, and here I am with a book telling the origin of the forbidden and how we got our powers. I swallow the uneasiness in my throat and try to focus on my lines for the presentation.
(Photo: Jaredd Craig)
It has been a while since I posted about this story. I have been writing this story, but I’ve been neglecting this blog due to school priorities. Here is the previous chapter. Here is the page leading to the other chapters and has an overview of the story.