Darling Daughters

Chapter Thirty-One


Having not seen Jamie for nearly a week it was quite nice and peaceful. Cassandra was getting back on track with her studies. Summer however still struggled to work out what had happened after Cassandra left the social. Like the missing piece of a puzzle.

The curse of essays and coursework seemed to overload Summer on a nightly basis. She spent most evenings in the library. It was sort of soothing, the sound of scratching pens on paper, the turns of pages, the typing on keyboards.

It was a faint whisper saying her name that broke her concentration. She looked up to see no one. She set back to work. A shuffle of footsteps went past, another whisper reached out “promitto memorari” she smiled repeating the words to herself like a faint memory. A tap on the shoulder confirmed she wasn’t mistaken or imagining things. She turned but no one was there, just a note on the top of her books.

“Take your books back to your dorm. Put on an evening gown. Be outside the library entrance in an hour. Promitto Memorari”

Summer searched the note and her surroundings for clues but found none. She packed her things and made her way back to her dorm.

Summer slipped into her bedroom and rushed to get ready, pulling out the sea green evening dress and changed. She tied up her dyed brown hair, looking at the roots only she would notice with disgust. She applied a coat of mascara a tiny bit of eyeliner and lip gloss slipping them into her bag. She slipped some simple black shoes on her feet and left.

Reaching the library, she found another note in the plant pot, tucked into the ivy. She pulled it out to see her name on the paper.

“Light the candle and come with us. Promitto Memorari”

Summer tried to find a candle but stumbled on a lantern tucked by the plant pot, inside it, a tea light and a match. With a little difficulty she lit the candle. She looked up and searched around her, there was a flickering of candle light ahead. She hesitated for a second before she made her way towards it. Every step and it moved away, she followed the lantern lights now increasing in numbers carried by unseen handlers all filtering to one direction.

After fifteen minutes she found herself in a familiar chamber. It was the glittering room that hers and Elizabeth’s grandfathers had taken her to for her birthday celebration. The lanterns stopped moving and the silence engulfed them all. Until at last someone shouted “promitto memorari”. It was taken up by the crowd where it was chorused until silence fell and the lights were lit.

“Brothers and sisters of Storm and Fire, tonight, we welcome new members, one of which a Darling.” The crowd cheered. Summer felt the eyes on her, and she became uncomfortable in her own skin. The speaker continued as a hand had taken hers and lead her through the crowd to a group of other girls. “Tonight we welcome the individuals.”

The girls were lead into the annex; a group of boys lead to another direction. Behind the annex door there was an unfamiliar buzzing noise. Summer was lead to a table. Beside it was something she had seen in documentaries, a tattoo gun and ink. She felt herself become anxious. The lady who had been sat there asked her how she wanted the writing and what colours she liked. She picked a pretty scrawl and violet and black ink. The woman smiled, covered in her own ink. The skirt of Summer’s dress was lifted and her hip exposed. It took an hour or so to finish. The stinging reminded her of an angry cat scratch, but her new tattoo was beautiful. “Promitto Memorari” was forever etched onto her skin. Summer had overheard a little about what was happening tonight. The initiation of the new members of the “secret” society on campus.

Soon the girls were gathered together and loaded into a couple of minivans before they made their way to a new location. A hair dressers salon.

Summer was told to sit in the chair, which she did. A colour chart was thrust into her lap and she was told to pick the colour that appealed to her most. Without hesitation her finger landed on a copper auburn shade. The hair dresser smiled and disappeared.

Summer looked around, every one of them had a hairdresser applying dyes and foils to their hair. Summer’s tattoo stung being kept at this angle.

About half hour or so later the dye was washed away with the mirrors covered they had no idea how they looked. A girl to her left now had blue hair. They were given a tiny mirror strictly to fix their make-up.

The girls got back into the van able to catch fleeting glances at their reflections in the windows.

They were returned to the glittering room; the flashes of cameras rang around them as they were each made to stand in front of a “before” photo of themselves from earlier in the evening.

Soon the drinks flowed freely and the socialising began. Summer seemed to be in the middle of a crowd no matter where she walked. There was a curiosity and a familiarity with most of the members here tonight. The evening ended in a round of shots before they were encouraged back into their dorm rooms.

Summer crept quietly into her dorm not wanting to wake Cassandra and explain. Instead she slipped into her bedroom and fell into a deep sleep having shed her dress at the foot of her bed.



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