The House of Strife II: Rebirth
By GQ and Zhak
Disclaimer: We don't own anything
GQ's notes: This is the sequel to The House of Strife… doye.
Zhak's notes: Marlene is a young adult here. Ehehe!
Chapter One: Marlene
Marlene stepped inside the school grounds of the International School in Sector 1. Since there were no more Turks in ShinRa and they were having a hard time recruiting, Tifa just asked her a favor to fetch her children from school. Marlene watched as children passed by her, looking up at her curiously. She forgot to tell Tifa that she would just be walking without any bodyguards, but anyway, she knows that the children that she would be fetching would be capable of protecting themselves, knowing their parents…
"Auntie Marlene!!!" Theodore ShinRa greeted. He was a 10 year-old boy who looks a lot like his father except that he got his mother's eyes. Running after him was his younger sister, a 9 year-old girl who looks like a blonde version of Tifa. Marlene smiled happily upon seeing them. "Hello, kids." She greeted as she embraced the two.
"Wheee!!! You're fetching us?" Lavinia asked happily. Marlene nodded. "But I have no car. Is walking okay with you?" she asked.
The two exchanged glances before replying in unison, "Okay!" with happy smiles on their faces.
"But can we stop by a comic book store first?" Theodore asked.
"Not again?!" Lavinia wailed.
"Come on, I have to have the new issue!" Theodore told her.
"I thought you've subscribed already?!" she snapped.
"Okay, okay, we'll stop by the comic book store and then I'll buy you kids some ice cream okay?" she asked. The two children cheered happily. "Wheee!!! Thanks Auntie Marlene!" Theodore said happily as they walked out of the school grounds. "So, where is this comic book store that you're talking about?" Marlene asked.
"It's in Sector 2." Theodore replied.
Marlene froze, her smile fading a bit upon hearing the name of the place. She knew what happened there, of course, because she knew the victims personally… very personally.
Theodore was leading the way while Marlene and Lavinia conversed about dolls and teddy bears… and they did not realize where they had passed by until he stopped walking and stared up into a house.
"What's wrong, Theo?" Marlene asked, stopping. She suddenly shivered as a cool breeze blew against her towards the direction of the house. Her eyes widened when she realized that it was the old Strife residence. She suddenly lost her words, just staring nervously at the house. There was something creepy about it.
Theodore just tilted his head to the left, staring up at the house smiling slightly with a lost stare.
"Come on, Theodore, let's go." Lavinia said, feeling shivers running up her spine. She tugged her older brother's sleeve. But Theodore took no notice. Dropping his bag on the sidewalk, he began running at full speed towards the house. "Theodore!!!" she squealed before running after him.
Marlene was stunned. She saw the two children enter the house. She ran after them, but once she reached the gate, she stopped in her tracks when she thought she saw someone from her peripheral vision peering over her from the window on the second floor. She looked up at the window but there was no one there.
Then she just heard some crashing noises from inside followed by the sound of the little girl screaming.
"Lavinia!" Marlene called out as she rushed further into the house going to the front door. She instantly entered the house and stepped inside. She stopped in her tracks when she realized that the whole house was suddenly silent.
"Lavinia? Theodore?" she called out, hoping for responses.
She began to get worried. Just as she stepped forward away from the door, it just shut by itself, making her turn around to it again in surprise. She reached for the doorknob and tried to open it, but she froze when she heard strange croaking noises coming from the stairs.
She shuddered in fear before slowly turning around to look at the stairs… what she saw made her scream.