2.1K 130 3

The sensation in your stomach twisted continuously, like a monster raging in its locked chambers. It pinched at your insides, reminding you of the lack of nutrients you had. Especially for the activities you were doing today, you needed food that you didn't have. It was enough to erupt a pain on the side of your torso.

Fingers wrapping around the edge of a brown watering can, you stood there in the sun as you tipped water among the plants of the backyard garden. The splatter of droplets against the dirt ground echoed into your eardrums, slightly making you dizzy for the lack of energy you have. The vibrant colors of the flowers peered up at you, almost in a way where they're ridiculing you.

A rustle suddenly caught your attention and your head snapped to where you heard the sound. It came from the other side of the garden, so walking through the withering snarls of brown weeds, you reached the other side. Your [e/c] eyes cautiously scanned the area and spotted a dark green bush that could've been the cause of the sound. You inched your feet around the wide plant to see nothing. Raising your eyebrows, you shook your head at your paranoia. It must've been some sort of rodent.

You pulled back from the bush and began your way back to the plants you were watering, but a wave of pain hit you. Sinking to the ground and holding your stomach tight, you cried at the feeling of needles prickling into you. That was it; you somehow needed to grab something from the kitchen - anything that could save you from this terrible feeling.

Forcing yourself up, you hurried back inside, away from the torturous sun. Walking back to the familiar hallway, the feeling of being watched washed over you and you looked around in panic. There was no one around except for the creepy portraits that hung on the walls. You sighed; it wasn't as if stepmother would notice if you took a piece of bread from the pantry, would she?

Like a skittering mouse, you crept around as fast as you could, finally reaching your destination. You let out a breath when you saw the place empty of anyone. Rushing past the dining table, you slipped into the pantry to be greeted by darkness. Shit. Where were the candles when you needed them?

Blindly stretching your arms out, you felt the cool touch of platform and knew that food rested on it. The feeling of wrapper touched the back of your hand. Slightly widening your eyes, you returned your left hand to where it originally was. You carefully pulled at the item and knew immediately that it was what you were looking for. With that in mind, you scurried out of the food closet with the weight in your hands. The moment you stepped out of there, not only did the brightness greet you, but a person did as well.

In fact, you even bumped into them. It wasn't your stepmother, but it was Delphine....which, to be fair, wasn't any better.

She blinked at you in surprise for a few seconds, and her dark, spidery lashes fluttered at you. It didn't take long until she regained her composure though, so she smirked tauntingly at you. "You didn't think your fight with mother went unnoticed, did you? I heard about it, how you're not supposed to be..." Her eyes flickered to the loaf of bread that was clenched tightly by you. "...eating at all today."

She snatched it away from you and you helplessly let her. Your arms fell to your sides limply. The smell of bread lingered in your nose, teasing you and making your stomach grumble even more. You refrained yourself from glancing at the tasteful delight and cautiously eyed the girl in front of you. If you treaded lightly, maybe she would end up deciding that it wasn't worth it to rat you out. "Will you...tell stepmother?" you asked her meekly, your hues begging at her.

She barked out a laugh and disgust seeped into her features. Leaning a little forward, she narrowed her dark eyes at you. "Look at how pitiful you are, silently begging me like this. Seeing you without an ounce of dignity is enough for me, so being the kind person I am, I will not tell mother. After all, she does not need to deal with your selfish mistakes again. Now shoo, go back outside. The garden still needs work to be done."

"Thank you," you softly murmured, despite the insults she threw at you. Whether you'd like to admit it or not, you were being saved by Delphine here, even if her reasons were for herself only.

She raised her perfectly carved eyebrows and wrinkled her nose at you. "None of this is for you, bitch. Hurry up and leave already," she scoffed, dismissively gesturing you out with the motion of her hand.

Not waiting for a second longer, fearful that she might change her mind, you quickly got out of the kitchen. Treading back to the messy room you slept in, you opened the wooden door and went into the outside world once more. The yellow ball in the sky was a little lower than before and the heat was a bit more bearable.

Your white - matted with soot - dress slightly tousled by the slight breeze, you crouched down to the ground. Picking up the abandoned water bucket, you held it for the second time. You stood up and frowned.

You were really lucky to have escaped trouble so narrowly, but the fact that your exhausted body didn't have the food to stay productive...was still prominent. It was all you could think about.

Another rustle from the same direction filled the silence of the garden. But unlike last time, you chose to ignore it. You wanted to completed the chore of watering the entire garden as soon as possible, to save your energy to last through the night. It was probably just another rodent and you didn't have the time to spare to entertain your curious thoughts.

While you were about to head on over to the flowers again, a movement appeared in the corner of your vision. Your lips parted in awe as you swiveled your feet towards the view of the bush again. Laying your eyes on a small creature that had just appeared from the shrub, a gentle breath released from your throat. The small animal's fur was coated in a sleek brown with white tuffs that poked out from its behind. Long ears poked out from its head, sticking straight up, as if in alert mode. Big, round, black eyes that reflected beautifully stuck out on each side.

It rested there calmly, its body lumped in one spot and looking so...squishable. "You're so cute," you whispered.

Without realizing it, you had instinctively moved forward at the adorable creature. Its ears twitched and it noticed you. In less than a second, it hopped madly across the garden, further from you. Your face paling at the error you made, you hurried after it, forgetting your starved situation. "W-wait!" you called after it, running through the fields.

It sped off to the front side of the house and even though you would've normally stopped by now, there was something pulling you to chase after it. Down the curve of the driveway you went, your legs continued to pummel against the gravel. You watched as the tiny thing disappeared past the gates of the property.

Taking the turn onto the streets, you desperately scanned the area to see that it had completely vanished from your sight. Wheezing raggedly, you used the stabled nature of the metal gate to keep yourself upward.

Something touched the side of your right foot. In confusion, you peered down at the ground and noticed a dark bundle. You hesitantly picked it up to see a note plastered on top of it. On it was messy handwriting, so you went to read it.

[Y/N]. I've noticed how famished you've been looking lately. It wouldn't be right if I let this situation go unhandled, so I bought some food for you. Please enjoy this, as I had spent a lot of time thinking about what you liked the most. Make sure to keep yourself healthy from now on.

You blinked at it for a couple of seconds. There wasn't any name written on it, but the only person who knew your actual name and situation besides your...family was Aziel. This was from Aziel then, wasn't it?

Making a mental note to thank him the next time you see him, you tore through the package, revealing the contents that laid inside it. Bread, biscuits, fruits, and vegetables were all tucked neatly into a bowl. You dropped your jaw at the sight of it and your mouth watered. Forgetting about the fact that you had found this randomly in the street with a note that had no name on it, you hungrily shoved grapes into your mouth.

With your cheeks stuffed, you retreated into the walls of the family's land and devoured the food. It was goddamn delicious and the emptiness of your stomach was beginning to regain itself. You could feel yourself more awake, more strong, and more happy.

The rabbit may have escaped, but it was a miracle in itself for leading you to this. In a way, it was protecting you from your stepmother, making sure you got the secret gift that Aziel had left for you.

Ashes of CinderWhere stories live. Discover now