Lacy wandered around the school, the pale, cloudy afternoon setting an accurate tone for her mood. She was in a state of turmoil. She walked on aimlessly, only one thing on her mind.
Where was the way out? Lacy's constant deceit, it was becoming too much for her. Why did this one boy make her regret everything? She would have been fine if they'd never met! She could have lived the rest of her life in this fantasy of blissful ignorance! But then they did, and now... Lacy couldn't handle the pain. These lies... These parasites... They had to die. Even if she only told one person, that one person she longed to confess to. But... She couldn't. She couldn't tell anyone.
Lacy groaned. Suddenly, she was sitting in the grass beside a large, mossy tree, though she had no memory of herself doing so. Perhaps she had been lost in her delusions. At this point, Lacy couldn't even tell which side was the delusion at all. She lay down next to the bough at the base of the great tree. Her mind began its daily trek down memory lane, as if it were its duty to make sure Lacy never forgot. Today, however, she didn't object to its travels. Perhaps it could help her think.
In the city of Kymafos, a girl, no older than nine, hid in an alleyway, her red hair hanging in wet strands and tangles. She shivered in fear, so in shock that she could even work up the will to cry. She was miles away, but she felt that at moment she could hear screaming, crying, the sounds of men and women, a father and a mother, being tortured. She didn't know what to expect. Suddenly, they had awoken her from her sleep, their eyes wide with... Fear? Sadness? Grim determination? A combination of the three?
"Lace," they had told her, calling her by the nickname they often used (though for some reason she never used today) "You have to get out of bed right now and run. Just run right out the door and don't stop until you find the darkest, most hidden place you can. Its a game, a very fun game, and we are playing it, so run, just run, now!" They had been trying to get her to comply, but even at her age, she knew they had done a wretched job. She knew something was wrong, but she was scared. She ran without hesitation, her legs carrying her away from what she feared would be the last time she ever saw her parents.
Now, she sat, cowering in the outskirts of the city. As she quivered and quaked in the darkness, the loss in speed had hit her. From the moment, she awoke, it seemed like everything was moving much too fast, but now, she was still. The speed had kept her together, the rush her parents had imposed on her was what allowed her to keep going, but in the frozen moment within which she now existed, everything came crashing down on her. It was a nightmare... But no, her parents just woke her. It couldn't be a dream. She knew that.
Later, amidst the passing of what could have been the passing of minutes or hours, a voice appeared before her. "Are you alright?" It asked. It was a man's voice, but she could see anymore than his silhouette in the blackness. She slid herself away from him, terrified and wishing he would leave her alone, but he didn't. Instead, he came closer, but when she expected him to grab her, she felt a soft hand on her arm, then another. She looked up at him. Now that he was closer, she could see that he had blond hair and bright blue eyes, as well as a young, handsome face. "Where are your parents?" He asked of her. She turned her head away and squeezed her eyes shut, as if attempting to be rid of him. She was still afraid. "Are you parents... Alive?" He asked, caution in his speech.
Upon hearing him ask that, she looked at the floor and frowned, then burst into tears. They probably were dead by now. Then the man asked "Do you need a place to live?" She looked up at him, slightly more calm now, and nodded. "Here, come with me." He helped her up and took her hand. Even in the darkness, and with her small size, he still seemed to know she was too old to be carried. She probably should have objected to a strange man leading her off to who knows where and probably would have, but she was in too much shock to care. "What's your name?" He asked her. She wiped away some of her tears. "Lacy."
Lacy would eventually learn that the man who had saved her that night was a noble and possessed an astounding amount of wealth. He took her out of Kymafos and into a large house in the forest. It was a dream come true for her. She felt like royalty. Apparently, he led a large political group that aimed to legalize Dust and Aura in Kymafos, believing it was vastly unfair and cruel to kill the Dusters for no good reason. Lacy's late parents were Dusters, and looking back on it, she knew that was why they died. They had been found. They told her to run to save her life, but they knew they could not run. At least they could save their beloved daughter.
Lacy's new father (he had adopted her shortly after their meeting) began teaching her to fight with a rapier. As time grew on, she became talented with the blade, but still she was nothing to her father. He was impressed by her speed, however. He would use the deaths of her parents to motivate her, trying to get her to want revenge. For a time, Lacy agreed with him. She wanted Dust and Aura to be legalized. She didn't want the cause of her parents' deaths to live on. Then, she realized... This man was prepared to kill. In fact, it seemed he planned on killing mercilessly. She was still so young, only eleven now, and the thought of murder scared her to death. What's more, Lacy knew that he was crafting her into a weapon for him to use. He may not have even loved her. Once this revelation hit her, she had one thought: Run. And so, she did.
It was a dark night, and he was away for a time. The night he left, Lacy was all alone for the first time since she'd come to live with him. She tried to stick out one more night, tried to stay until the very last day she could, but the ghost of his face in the portraits haunted her, his smile suddenly much darker than it had once seemed, as if the feeling behind it had changed, so that night, she fled, politely shutting the door behind her.
When Lacy came to her first town, people came to greet her immediately. They asked her who she was, what she was doing there, where she was from. Then, Lacy realized that he was rich, and if word got around that she was here, he would come for her, then she would be unable to run. She had only one option. "I have no memory of who I am, or where I came from. I don't even know my name."
"Well then what do we call you?" Someone asked carefully.
Lacy thought on what her new name could be. She pondered a number of words she enjoyed, but her mind stuck on one that she felt fit her. She was a viola, a viola that had been dropped and mistreated countless times over, a viola with broken strings that were denied even one note of song. She lifted her head, and out came the name, "Viola." The name that would soon come to haunt her.
As she came out of the fog of her memories, Lacy sighed. The name was what bothered her the most. She had never heard Aleks say the name Lacy, and was instead stuck hearing him say Viola every time he saw her. She hated it. Perhaps it was this that gave her her conviction. She stood up, ready to tell him the truth. She had been laying down far longer than she had thought. The sky was yellowing. She smiled. She had always loved twilight.