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Hi, my name is Dante Valdir. I’m not like other kids. Most kids like football, basketball and soccer. I like to sit around in my room and read or fly around at night. Yes. I said fly. Not fly as in planes. Fly as in me in the air. I can do that. It’s all part of what I am. Most people would say I was a freak. I guess I am kind of a freak. But I’m also half vampire. And part demon. That kind of fusion is called a damphir. But the demon part of me is hard to control. I can do spells and stuff like that, but I can’t do anymore because the demon might take over.
Anyway, only four people know. There was a fifth, but I took care of him. End of story. Now only my parents, my brother Mark, and my friend Kate know about that side of me. Kate found out when we were 10. I couldn’t control myself then. Some guy cut himself and I smelled the blood… She wasn’t freaked out by it or anything, but I had to make her swear not to tell. My brother knows because he’s one too.
At school today, we were at lunch when I got a call from dad.
“Dante, your mother and I are gonna be a little late getting home,” he said.
“Dinner’s in the fridge, don’t trash the house,” I finished.
“Right. And don’t—,” he started.
I hear a crash in the background, followed by a scream.
“Tyler, where’s that net?” I hear mom call.
“You can’t catch a mouse with a butterfly net!” he yells. “See if you can lure him out with some ham!”
“Mice don’t eat ham,” I hear mom say.
“This one does,” he replies. “That’s what genetic mutation does to you.”
“I can see you’re busy. See ya later,” I said
My parents are scientists. They spend a lot of time at the lab working on experiments and testing new types of medicines.
“What did dad want?” Mark asked.
“He-llo?” Kate said, “Aren’t we supposed to be working?”
“Like I said, we could go around filming local sites of pollution, then we could show clean areas and explain what could happen if we don’t take care of the planet,” I said.
“It’s almost winter break. We could see our parents could take us to different states and film pollution there,” Mark suggested.
“We could film a scene in each site.”
“Just one problem… My parents won’t drive me all the way around the country,” Kate pouted.
“Our parents could do the driving!”
“We have to see what mom and dad say.”
We sat there throwing ideas around until it was time to go to our next class, geography. I went to my locker to get a bottle of blood to quench my thirst. Then I went to class, hoping my fangs would retract on the way there. As soon as I got to class, I knew something was unusual when Mr. Epps wasn’t at the desk. Instead, there was a tall, light-skinned guy with blonde hair. He looked like he was in his late twenties. He was standing at the board writing his name out. Joe DeAther.
“Okay guys. Your usual teacher is out sick,” he said.
“Do you know how long he’ll be out?” Taylor asked. Taylor is the type of girl that thinks the world is hers and she controls everyone. She’s also a cheerleader.
“I don’t really care,” she continues. “I’m just asking for everyone else’s benefit. I actually think you’re hot.”
“Typical Taylor. Always finds someway to make it about her,” Kate said. “Damn cheerleaders!”
Way to go Kate. She has some kind of grudge against Taylor. I wouldn’t know anything about it.
“You know, Kate, they have therapists who help people who feel insecure about themselves so they won’t have to be so b—.”
“Ladies, please,” Mr. DeAther said.
“Let it go, Kate,” I said. “There will be other times.”
We finally got started, and the class got more interesting, which is unusual because the only time class is fun is when the teacher gets confused and curses. Apparently, Mr. DeAther used to live in Brazil and he knew a lot about the people and their culture. Then, he started talking about how long ago, there were these secret witchcraft practices. He said that they started out as a small children’s game, but grew into something bigger. The people believed that there were ancient grounds that possessed sacred powers. By the time he finished that story, class had already ended. For once, we didn’t have homework.
Math and biology passed by in a blur. Before I realized it, school was over. I walked outside looking for Mark and Kate. I spotted them over on the soccer field. Unfortunately, they were being harassed by Gary Lumis. Lumis is the linebacker for the school football team. He thinks that just because he benches 220, he can take what he wants. Don’t get me wrong, Lumis isn’t a bad guy. He just wants his way. He’s one of our friends. I walked over to see what they were talking about.
“C’mon guys, you gotta come,” he was saying. “It’s one of the biggest parties in high school history.”
“Sorry,” Kate said, “I’ve got to go shopping for my sister’s Christmas presents.”
“What are we talkin’ about?” I asked.
“Lumis is throwing a pool party Saturday,” Mark replied.
“It’s almost the middle of winter,” I scoffed.
“It’s an indoor pool, dude,” Lumis chided.
“Oh, I have to go. See ya later guys,” Kate said.
She got into her new gold Porsche and drove off. I thought it was hot the way she sped off in the wrong direction, turned—drifting a little—and drove past us smiling.
Eventually, she’ll be fined for that, I thought.
“So, are you comin’?” Lumis practically begged.
“I guess…” I said.
“Well, I’ll be there for sure,” Mark said. “So save me some of the ladies!”
We all laughed at that.
I walked over to my car, a black and silver Chevy Camaro Z28, and popped the trunk. Inside, there was package wrapped in blue wrapping paper.
“Lumis, your mom wanted me to drop this off for you.”
“What is it?”
He pulled off the paper and opened the box. Inside the box was a limited edition PS3. Damn. I wanted the limited edition for my birthday, but my parents wouldn’t get me one ‘cause I haven’t even opened the one I got for Christmas. If I want to preserve my personal belongings, that’s my business.
“Awesome! I hope it came with some games,” he said. “Oh, here’s a card. ‘You have to go out and buy your own games! Love ya! Mom.’ She’s the worst!”
“Happy birthday, Lumis,” Mark and I chided.
“Sssshhhhh! Don’t tell anybody!”
“Well, we gotta go,” I said.
Mark and I got into the car and I started it up. Then, Mark leaned forward and kissed the stereo.
“I love this thing,” he yelled as he turned it on. It blasted some loud rock music that he liked to listen to. I really didn’t like the noise, but Mark was gonna be Mark regardless of what I said. I adjusted the rearview mirror and yelped. There was a strange man in the back seat, but when I turned around, no one was back there.
“What is it?” Mark asked.
“It was… nothing I guess.”
“Don’t tell me these vampiric powers are too much for someone as demonic as you.”
“Shut up,” I said, driving off.
“What’s for dinner,” he said, quickly changing the subject before I decided to push him out of the car.
“‘Dinner’s in the fridge.’”
“I guess that means we have to hunt for our food ourselves,” he pouted.
When we’re left to fend for ourselves, we always hunt deer in the surrounding wood area of our house. Deer are some of the only normal creatures that make fair prey for vampires. They have speed, evasiveness, and intelligence. Most people call deer dumb, but they have incredible minds. They just run out in front of cars either because they’re interested in the lights, or they’re scared of something. We do kind of get tired of drinking deer blood, so occasionally, we’ll go on “hiking trips” to somewhere with bears. They’re much more fun to hunt, and they have short tempers. Plus, they put up a good fight. It’s like this all the time.
When we pulled into the driveway, I grabbed the keys and stopped. Suddenly, it was like I was watching a movie, except I was in it. I saw myself running after someone. A guy in a red shirt with a mohawk, an arm band that said ‘FURY’, and a chain looped through the belt holes of his jeans. He looked like he was pissed about something, but I didn’t bother to ask why. I grabbed his shoulder and he turned around. It was Lumis, and he was yelling at me. I couldn’t hear what he said, but then he was storming off again, pulling out his keys. I shouted something at him, but he ignored me. He unlocked the car, got in, and started it.
It happened so quick, I wasn’t sure it happened at all. His car exploded and everyone in the parking lot screamed. I saw Kate rush to his car, and Mark chasing her, pulling her away as she screamed and cried. Then I was back in my car, Mark shaking me by the shoulders and calling my name.
“Dude, what did you see?!” he shouted.
“I-I d-don’t wanna t-talk about it,” I said.
“C’mon. You know as well as I do that what you see in those visions of yours is a lot more important than you think,” he yelled.
“Just leave it alone!” I growled.
“What was it?!” he bellowed.
“Leave me alone!”
Mark sighed and lowered his voice.
“I just wanna help you, that’s all. It’s clear that whatever you saw upset you,” he told me. “Please, tell me what you saw.”
I looked away as I told him, “…I just saw Lumis die.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about,” dad was saying. “He’s seen worse and it didn’t happen.”
We were in the kitchen discussing my latest vision. It was two in the morning, and we were all tired, but my parents felt the urgent need to talk about it now. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t wait until tomorrow, although I knew that they would be home late again then.
“Do you remember when you saw your mother dying in the lab?” dad asked.
“Yeah,” I remembered. I saw mom go up in flames when some weird liquid she had in a beaker spilled on her. We rushed to the lab to find the suspected liquid spilled all over the floor and mom spraying her lab coat with saltwater to put the fire out. She didn’t burn, but she was pissed because it was her favorite coat.
“My point is, not everything you foresee is going to happen,” he continued. “All I’m saying is that maybe you should calm down about the whole situation.”
“So what you’re saying is, I’m not supposed to freak out when ‘foresee’ one of my best friends’ car kersplodes with him in it?” I asked incredulously.
“…I wouldn’t say ‘kersplode.’ What does that mean anyway?”
“There’s a page about it on Uncyclopedia.wikia.com,” Mark answered.
“It’s titled ‘Splosions.’ It’s a--”
“Does that really matter right now?” mom interrupted. “Obviously Dante is disturbed by that vision. Can we focus on that?”
She’s got a point. Although, I wouldn’t say I was ‘disturbed’. More like ‘seriously-freaked-out-by-the-fact-that-I-saw-Lumis-die-and-my-parents-don’t-seem-to- be-worried-about-that.’ I’m not gonna tell her that, though. She’ll get a big head and hold it over my head for the rest of my life.
“Mom, dad, just look at him,” Mark was saying. “He’s just standing there frozen in place.”
It’s true. I was standing in place. And for a good reason. A giant shadow was creeping over the table. Then, it rose up and covered the ceiling. Then, it started drifting over toward Mark. I couldn’t take it; I was sweating a river. The shadow was just drifting there and they didn’t see it. It reached what looked like an arm out at Mark and tendrils of darkness reached out grabbed mindlessly at him.
“NO!” I shouted. The light over the table exploded, plunging the dining room into darkness. Even though it was dark, I could still see the shadow as it slowly crept away.
“Dante, what happened?!” dad asked.
I couldn’t say anything because, as the Thing was leaving, it spoke to me.
You appear to be damphir. I will be watching you.
The light bulb that exploded fixed itself and the light came back on.
“Thank you Marcus,” mom said.
“I hate being called that,” he grumbled.
Dad tried to get me to tell them what I was so scared of, but I didn’t want to talk about it. It was just too much. I went upstairs, climbed in bed, and tried to go to sleep.
At school the next day, Kate and Mark tried to calm me down, but I just could not get past the whole Lumis dying thing. We decided to finish the discussion during lunch. On the way to biology, I saw something that should have made me wet myself. It was a guy wearing a red shirt. But not just any guy wearing a red shirt. He had a chain through the belt loops of his jeans, and an arm band that said ‘FURY’. But that wasn’t what I was looking at. I was looking at his head. The guy had an unmistakable mohawk that sent chills down my spine. I only had one thought in my brain at that particular moment.
“Mark, look,” I said.
“What is--,” he started. “Oh shit!”
We ran over to Lumis, who looked at us like we were crazy.
“Where’s the fire?” he joked.
“Listen, don’t leave school ‘til we talk to you,” I said. “It’s important.”
“Uh, why?” he asked.
“Please, just trust him,” Kate said. “He had this vis—.”
Her sentence was cut short by an elbow in the ribs. She really needs to work on keeping her mouth shut.
“Meet us in the library after school,” I said.
We left him standing there before he could ask more questions. I didn’t need to be told that he would hound me all day with questions. I didn’t want him to start now. Lumis had a habit of following you all day until you gave him the answers he wanted to hear. As tired as I was, I didn’t need that.
“Save your questions for later,” I told him.
I walked to biology with thousands of my own questions buzzing around in my head. Once I entered the classroom, I felt an awkward sense of peace. I walked to my seat calmly as if I didn’t have a care in the world. As I sat down, I watched the teacher write the day’s assignment on the board. It was then that I noticed the teacher wasn’t the usual Ms. Claretha. Instead, it was some funny looking lady with a scent that could only be explained as mouthwatering. She was writing her name on the board. Ms. Dor.