Illenia Ashtear was not pleased with her younger sister’s outfit of choice. With her arms folded across her chest, and a scowl on her face, she sighed heavily. Her dark blue eyes once again looked over Nelly’s clothing as she adjusted her dark-framed glasses. The girl wore a light yellow baby doll tank-top that was split open from her bust, down. She had on a dark purple camisole underneath to cover her stomach, yet her belly button was still exposed. Her long legs were exposed from wearing tiny jean shorts and flip-flops.
The girls stood in Nelly’s room. Any outsider could look upon this room and think it belonged to a little girl. The walls were pale yellow, and stuffed animals lined the only shelves in the room. The bed sheets were pink, with various rabbit designs on the cover.
Sighing again, Illenia shook her head. “You’re exposing too much skin.”
“But, Nia, it’s really hot outside!” Nelly frowned, tying her long dyed pink hair into a side ponytail.
“You’re a young woman, Nelly, you should dress and act like one,” Illenia replied. “Why don’t you exchange the shorts for jeans and the top for…” Illenia paused, thinking. “Something different?”
Nelly continued to frown. “That’s changing the whole outfit! You can’t tell me what to do or wear!”
“Then why did you want my opinion?” Illenia asked, knowing Nelly was not going to answer her.
Nelly quickly head for the door to leave, when Illenia suddenly grabbed the girl’s wrist. Nelly looked up at her older sister, her bright blue eyes wide with fear, tears forming within them. Her frightened face now cringed; she felt a burning sensation from where Illenia was touching her. Her energy was rapidly seeping out of her body, and it showed as she could no longer hold herself up.
“Illenia… you’re…” Nelly could not finish her words; she was dropping to the ground.
Noticing what was happening, Illenia let go of Nelly, who fell to the floor clutching her wrist. Tears flowed from Nelly’s eyes as she began to cry, as she felt so much pain. Illenia looked at her bare hands, finally noticing that she was not wearing her gloves. She tried to be very careful all these years, never to touch a human being with her skin. She hated that Nelly had to be the recipient, and she hated that she had this ability to begin with – ever since she could remember.
Illenia grabbed her sister’s blanket, and then wrapped it around Nelly gently. This was the only way she could hold her sister, without killing her, so that’s what she did. Illenia rubbed the girl’s back, to comfort her. In Illenia’s arms, Nelly slowly calmed down, her wrist still burning with slight pain. As she held her younger sister, Illenia began to think back – when she first found out she had this power.
It was several years ago, during the middle of summer. A very young Nelly was rushing home with water flooding from her eyes. In her arms was a small white rabbit, injured from fighting with another animal. She passed by her mother and father, who took no notice to her, then went straight up stairs to Illenia’s room.
“Nia, Nia!” Nelly cried.
Illenia quickly turned from her workstation to face Nelly, who was sobbing. “I will go get bandages and some water. Wait here.”
Illenia got up out of her desk chair and left the room. Several minutes later, she came back with a first aid kit and a syringe full of water. At this time, Nelly had calmed down a bit. Wearing gloves, Illenia wrapped the bandages around the rabbit to cover its wounds and prevent it from losing too much blood. Illenia handed Nelly the syringe, then took off the gloves.
“You know how to use one of these, correct?” Illenia asked her sister.
Nelly nodded her head, and inserted the end of the syringe into the animal’s mouth so she could pump the water into it. Illenia watched her for awhile, before saying anything.
“It looks better,” Illenia said. “You’re doing a good job, Nelly.”
Nelly managed a smile at Illenia, before looking back at the rabbit. “Thank you for helping me, Nia. Would you like to hold him?”
Nelly reached the rabbit out towards Illenia, who hesitated before taking it into her own arms. Nelly grinned as Illenia started stroking the rabbit’s head, petting it gently. It began to cry out suddenly, its ears dropping and its eyes closing.
“What’s going on!?” Nelly asked, looking from the animal to Illenia.
“It’s dying,” Illenia stated. As she gazed back at her sister, Nelly noticed her eyes turning golden yellow.
“N-Nia..?” Nelly stepped back slowly, and then glared at the rabbit in horror.
Its life seemed to be leaving its body at rapid speeds – like it was decaying. Yet it was still alive as it continued to cry out in pain. The cries did not last long, however, as the animal quickly died in Illenia’s arms. She dropped the rabbit on the floor, which was now a bloody carcass. Nelly looked back at her sister, back into her eyes – which have now returned to their original color.
Illenia was in shock, as she stared at the dead remains of an animal that was fully alive not too long ago. She could not comprehend how something could just die like that. Nelly backed up even more so now, nearly bumping into the wall behind her. The noise snapped Illenia back to reality, who glanced up at Nelly.
“Your… your eyes..!” Nelly cried through her tears. “You killed it!”
“My… eyes…?” was Illenia’s response, ignoring the latter words of her sister.
Slowly, Illenia walked to the mirror hanging in her room and stared into it, feeling lost.
“They changed color, Nia. I don’t know how, but they did. As you touched that animal…” Nelly explained, trying to calm down.
Illenia continued to look into the mirror, concentrating on her eyes. “Changed… color..? It is scientifically possible, so –“
Nelly cut her off, stepping forward finally. “From blue to gold? Gold is not even a real eye color! You killed that poor bunny!”
Illenia turned around to look at Nelly. She approached her younger sister, who suddenly shrieked.
“Don’t touch me!” Nelly yelled. “I don’t want to die!”
Nelly’s words echoed into Illenia’s ears, brining her back to the present time. She continued to hold her younger sister, who was still wrapped about in a blanket, shaking and crying from the pain. Illenia wondered how she could have been so careless. Nelly glanced up at Illenia, trying to smile as she removed herself from Illenia’s arms. She sat across from her older sister.
“Nia..?” Nelly waved her hand in front of Illenia’s face.
“I’m here,” Illenia replied. “We’re going to be late for school at this pace.”
Nelly managed a light giggle. “Of course you would think of such a thing at time like this!”
The girls scrambled to get off the floor, and faced each other. Nelly once again smiled at her older sister and skipped out the door, leaving the blanket on the ground. Illenia sighed, her hand on her head as she bent down to pick up the sheet to place it back on the bed. She walked out of Nelly’s room and into her own bedroom. It looked the same as it did many years ago.
Everything was neatly organized, including the novels that sat upon her large bookshelf. There was hardly in color in the room, except for dark violets and reds. The mirror remained on the wall and she looked into it, reflecting on the past once again. The death of that animal was her earliest memory from her childhood – everything else was completely blank to her.
Illenia reached on the make-up table below the mirror to grab thick, but fashionable leather gloves. As she placed them over her pale hands, she felt someone’s presence in the room with her near the doorway. She turned her head to look, and saw her father standing there.
“Dario,” Illenia simply said, looking back into the mirror. “What do you want?”
“You hurt Nelly,” Dario said, stating the obvious. “I saw the mark on her wrist.”
Still not looking at her father, Illenia closed her eyes. “Why does it matter to you? You do not care about her. I know what you did to her every night when she was a child.”
Dario laughed, yet he did not sound joyful. “My dear, Illenia… Nelly is my daughter, and I care about her just as much as I do you.”
Illenia scoffed. “Don’t make me hurt you, Dario.”
Laughing again, Dario walked over to Illenia and grabbed her shoulders. He turned her around to face him, and narrowed his golden eyes upon her. “You cannot harm me, Illenia. Your power is useless against me. I however, have full control in this house as long as you live in it. You are free to leave, of course, but where would you go?”
Still holding on her shoulders, he lifted Illenia off of the ground. He released his tight grip on her and she fell to the ground in a crouching position. She looked up at him, and quickly stood up. She began to back away, towards her workstation, her hand feeling around for something.
“Are you looking for this?” Dario suddenly held up a pistol. He threw it to the floor behind him. “What a dangerous weapon for a young woman such as yourself to have. Now be careful with my Nelly. She’s very special to me.”
“You are still… No!” Illenia responded. “How can you do that to her!?”
Her hands turned into fists as she stared at the ground. When she looked back up, Dario was gone. Illenia grabbed her purse, then quickly left the Ashtear house. She had to find Nelly, and find her quickly.