Heavy mist billowed around the giant trees and hills bordering us on all sides, offering the appeal of a castle hidden amongst the foothills of Germany. Snow capped mountains, wildlife, a place full of possibilities and wonder.
As the carriage hobbled across the long bridge leading to the monstrosity—seriously, who rode in carriages anymore?—I felt anything but wonder. Terror. Worry. Loathing. Trepidation. Those were viable emotions. Admiration? Not one bit.
The weight of my father’s hand on my shoulder induced a cold shiver. “Can you believe it, kiddos?” he beamed, peering out the glass to soak in the countryside. Thick auburn hair curled over his forehead, hiding the newly formed wrinkles. “Must be fate.”
Or bad luck. I’d go with bad luck.
“You sure you brought enough until your luggage arrives?”
Unable to speak, I nodded and my attention flickered to April, my younger sister. The translucent skin hung heavy around her dark, baggy eyes. She and Dad shared the same pale skin and wavy hair. She tugged at the sleeves of her charcoal sweater, hiding the now-fading bruises on her wrists.
Though only hours had passed, it seemed like weeks ago Dad dropped the bomb—he’d accepted a teaching job in Moscow. Instead of going with him, like usual, he’d surprised us with a full ride to a boarding school, where we could be around “people our own age”, as Dad put it.
“We could still go with you.”