IN PLAIN SIGHT
The next day at Prachtig, Lucas flinched at every sound; watched every soldier with distrust, anticipating the moment he would be seized.
But nothing happened, and he wondered if Margeaux had been right about Amelia. Perhaps their secret was safe after all.
A piece of a paper, tossed by the wind, slapped against his leg.
Peeling it away, he saw it was a government flyer offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of an Abnormaal.
A bad omen.
Margeaux stared at the clock, her heart thumping. A tiny suitcase sat next to her. She felt the rumble before she saw its source. From the window she could see a small caravan of military vehicles turning onto her street, her father’s car at the helm.
Her heart sank. Betrayed! “I would never hurt you,” Amelia had said. She probably felt she was protecting Margeaux.
Margeaux cursed and snatched the suitcase, hurrying downstairs. Once outside, she wanted to run, but forced herself to walk calmly, so as not to attract attention, grateful for the heavy snowfall and the crowds of people gawking at the approaching motorcade.
Her father drove right past her, unaware.
At the bridge, she peered in dismay at the frozen river below. She and Lucas couldn’t even have a lovers’ leap into death together. The water would kill him, but she would be doomed to remain alive, until she was eventually pulled free.
She heard the peal of a scooter as Lucas pulled up. “You’re early!” she cried.
“I had a bad feeling,” he replied darkly. “Hop on.”
Margeaux clung to his body as they sped off, the falling snow concealing their tracks on the cobblestones.
They arrived at the bomb-shattered government building on the city’s outskirts as night fell. “Are you sure this place is safe?” Margeuax asked.
“Always hide in plain sight,” Lucas reminded her. “They’d never search their own facilities for us.”
They broke into the abandoned building. It was cold but sheltered them from the biting wind as they set up camp inside a vacant dormitory. It almost felt like a small apartment, sparsely furnished, and with a small kitchenette. Lucas used his abilities to manipulate the breaker-box, and the light-bulbs in the room sparked to life, making it feel more like home.
Over the next week they camped out there, falling into a comfortable routine. Lucas foraged for food and Margeaux prepared it. They played cards and told stories. At night, they slept wrapped in each other’s arms, waking when the sun glinted through frosted windows.
Margeaux knew it couldn’t last forever, but she wanted to pretend that they were a married couple, living normally. She imagined them growing old together, grandchildren visiting.
But inside, she knew this could never be.
One night she awoke, feeling uneasy. Lucas snored peacefully, his arm draped around her. Margeaux gently extracted herself and padded to the window. Nothing but a vast, snow covered field. No footprints. No tire tracks. She relaxed a bit, but went to double check the door latch.
Peering through the peephole, she jumped at the sight of a gray eye staring back at her. She pulled away in terror; then looked again. Nothing. Her mind was playing tricks.
“Expecting someone?” a familiar voice intoned behind her. Whirling, she gasped, startled to see her father standing there, his gray eyes fixed upon her.
“Daddy!” she whimpered, her blood turning to ice. “How did you get in here? How did you find us?”
He smiled as he cupped Margeaux’s chin in his palm. His grip was painful and made her whimper.
“How? Why, I’m an Abnormaal, of course.”
He laughed at her shocked expression. “There are quite a few of us out there; more than you realize… hiding in plain sight.”
© 2012 Tania del Rio
This article was written by Tania