Outlaws - Yolanda Olson
The resident “doctor” put Tallulah on bedrest three days ago, and she’s taken full advantage of it. Instead of her treating me as useless, she’s made me her goddamn gofer, and I still don’t know which is worse.
I guess I miss the silence.
I miss a lot of things, but since it seems like there’s no way to leave, I don’t let any of the past linger longer than it should. I allow myself an hour a day to remember what my life was like before I met Tallulah Bennett-Tillman. The world may have not been in technicolor, but at least it wasn’t full of angry hurricane winds, painting the skies distorted shades of blue and dull hues. I could hear more than just violent whispers and malicious words.
I was different.
I never did have much that I could be proud of, though there were one or two small things.
With a heavy sigh, I run a hand irritably over my face as I glance out the living room window.
The homes on this land are all the same size, except for ours.
Tallulah is the daughter of the man that leads these people.
She sees herself as a princess of sorts and requests to be treated accordingly.
I tried at first to be the man that she deserved, to give her the praise that she’s been so used to for her entire life, but I could never forget what she’s done to me. After some time, the need to be another dutiful pup to the bitch that’s tried valiantly to break me waned, rendering me to nothing more than a shell of the man that I am now.
Shifting in my chair, I clasp my hands behind my neck as I turn my eyes toward the teal and burnt orange sky high above. The sun is setting somewhere in the distance, and that’s when things tend to get worse for me.
Movement outside of the window draws my attention from the sunset back to even ground. The people that live on this patch of land are busily moving about, gathering whatever they can from the small shops before they head home for the evening.
Once the darkness settles, we’re all restricted to being indoors.
It makes me think of the streetlight coming on and calling the children playing in the streets back home. Only in this place, it’s the moon guiding everyone home in place of the artificial lights.
My eyes watch the shapes and shadows of people hurrying home. Anyone that gets caught outside after the low horn blasts through the night air will have to answer to the Abbas. And yet, here I am, still waiting to speak to him of my own free will, completely ignored and abandoned in a place I don’t understand.
Tallulah should be more than enough to keep me preoccupied was the note that came back to me. Her father signed it with a flourish as evident by the way his signature was scrawled on the bottom. I used an equal amount of showmanship to ball it up and throw it into the fireplace.
He can’t ignore me forever.
I roll my eyes at just the thought of how the morons address him as.
Someone who was smart enough to be able to entice so many people to leave their homes and loved ones behind, to empty their fucking bank accounts and live off the land, surely could have come up with something better.
I startle slightly at the sound of my name.
I sit up and place both hands on the windowsill and lean out just enough to try and figure out if it was the angry winds, or merely just a voice calling out to me.
A pair of hands quickly grip mine and as I look down at the pale, freckle-covered skin, I smile.
She’s a lot like me.
She hears the whispers too and not much else.
“Go home before someone tattles,” I tell her in a hushed voice as I pull my hands out from beneath hers.
“I’m making a stew tonight. Come by once Tallulah’s gone to sleep, okay?”
I nod, then get to my feet and pull the glass pane down in place, flipping the latch at the top to lock the window.
Shunned by her father, hated by her sibling, and the only friend I have here.
She’ll help me if no one else will dare.
I pull the hood of my jacket over my head and shiver at the low temperatures outside. One of the primary reasons I enjoy spending so much time with Sylvie is