Providence- Part Twelve

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There was a word that came to mind when I thought about the psychotic situation I had found myself in. Disenfranchised. To be deprived of power; marginalized. Yes, that summed it up rather nicely. The Prophets had been staying in our home for three days now and I have barely left my room. It was noisy, crowded and I couldn’t find a single relaxing spot to read. In a house of 18 people, it was a near impossibility. It was just as well, I suppose. Otherwise I would have to duck and dodge Shaun as well and have to listen to him and Merceillious argue over who was going to wipe Nathaniel’s nose or whatever. Epiphany had been in a state of shock when she realized that Nathaniel was actually a girl. Apparently, she’d been under the impression that Mercy’s little “kitten” had been a boy and that my brother was just turning into a dirty old man. She wasn’t all wrong, that was for sure. I straightened my collar with a sigh and prepared to head to the kitchens for a much needed cup of caffeinated bliss. Anette was in town running errands for the day so we were on our own until she returned. Jamal, Cayden and Epiphany had begged off for the day, unwilling to stay in the house any longer with the Prophets running rampant. I wish they’d taken me with them.

I shivered, tugging my sweater sleeves further down my wrists. I had only just recovered from the flu and Mercy was willing to let me out of the house just yet. My immune system was too easily compromised. It was chilly in the house, unnecessarily so, as if someone had been playing with the thermostat and turned it all the way down. Helix’s little bell jingled behind me as I left the room. She wasn’t even willing to brave the swarm of teenagers. Smart cat. I walked to the elevator calmly, steeling myself for the chaos that would no doubt be downstairs. I pressed the button to open the metal grate…and nothing happened. A frowned found it’s way etched across my features. I called for the lift again and still, it didn’t respond. What in Berlin’s blue blazes was going on? Had someone been messing around with the command prompts on the elevator system? It had all been programmed and set by me personally once we updated and computerized my wing of the house. If someone had been toying with the elevator, it had likely locked itself to keep out intruders and viruses. Wonderful. It would take me all day to reset it.

I heaved a long suffering sigh, cursing homeless street kids that didn’t know a computer from one drawn on a piece of paper. It was tragic. Truly. I headed for the stairs despondently. I hadn’t had to take the stairs since the elevator had been put in. Mercy was too afraid that I might fall and break something vital so he insisted that I not use them. He really was very protective of me, I thought with a smile. We had our differences but he was a good brother and a good Head of the family. I would never tell him that to his face, though. His ego was already the size of Big Ben. It was amazing he could fit through the door with a head that big. I made my way down the stairs slowly, taking each step cautiously. The closer to the ground floor I came, the louder the din below grew. Just as I expected. Utter and complete chaos. I could hear a few of them running around shrieking out “Not it! Not it! Anya’s it!”. Tag? Did we not have enough video games and puzzles for them to do? There was another commotion coming from the kitchens. I was almost at ground level and if they had touched my specialty coffees, not even the Queen would be able to save them from me.

I stepped onto the last stair and something crunched beneath my foot. Paper? I leaned down to pick it up, only to find more littering the stair. What on earth had those heathens been doing? Someone could have fallen on this! It seemed I had spoken too soon. My shoes connected with more paper on the hard granite floor of the main hall and the ground slid out from beneath me. I was in mid-air for the blink of an eye before my elbow connected sharply with the floor in an attempt to catch myself. It worked but now an aching throb echoed throughout my existence. I couldn’t stop the rather colorful, uncouth curse that burst from me at the sensation. A gasp of horror came from my right and suddenly there were hands helping me to stand.

Oh, geeze! I’m so sorry, Mercedes! I was working on a picture with Gavin for Nathaniel’s birthday and I got distracted. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again. Are you okay?” Noah’s hands flitted over me, looking for bumps and bruises.

He pressed my cane into my hand, embarrassment and anxiety rolling off of him in waves. Out of all of the Prophets, Noah was probably the most tolerable in my opinion. He was a great reader, like me and I had showed him, yesterday, the large map of Middle Earth that spanned the entirety of one wall in the library. He had been in awe and I found that I could appreciate his good taste, Prophet or not. I waved him off, holding back the aggravation I felt as surely as the pounding pain in my elbow. I would not say something nasty. I was calm. I was collected. I could do this.

It’s fine, I’m not broken. Do you know what happened to the elevator, though?”

His embarrassment was even more apparent all of the sudden. That could never be a good sign.

Er, Carson tried to hack into it like he saw in one of those action movies last night. He was pressing buttons and then it just stopped working. I’m really sorry, I’m sure he didn’t mean it. He just wasn’t thinking…”

Of course. Why didn’t I see that one coming? He tried to hack it like in the movie. My fists clenched, nails biting into my palms to stem the flow of rage from bursting out of me like an alien out of John Hurt’s chest. There was a smile on my face that I’m sure was as frigid and unforgiving as it felt. I left Noah behind, moving to the kitchen without another word. Coffee. Once I had coffee, everything would be alright. I could go back upstairs, back to the calm and the solitude and wait for Anette to get home. The kitchen was no more placid that the main hall had been. From the rather strange smell coming from the room, one of the Prophets had tried to cook, only to end in, what I could only assume was disaster. Anette would not be pleased.

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