Until I Die

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It was raining, storming in fact. The rain pelted the window, hitting the glass then running down it in a maze. The outside world was blurred, a dream, but something was very real out there in the orange-tinted darkness. A shadow was moving, darker against the others and it was coming toward the window. I’d switched off the lights a few minutes ago when a chill had run up my spine, settling at the back of my neck. Now it was harder to see me inside my room. I wasn’t the only one awake in the house. My sister was playing music loud enough to make ears bleed. My two brothers and father had ignored it and gone to sleep a few hours ago but at three in the morning, Anya, my sister, didn’t care much about sleep.
The shadow moved a little closer, crouching low. My hand gripped the wooden handles of my nun chucks tighter. I bristled, my gaze never leaving the window and the shadow just a little farther. Slowly my hand slid under the pillow and clutched the handle of a kitchen knife. I lowered myself off the bed just as slowly and crouched beside it in my pajama pants and singlet, peering over the top. The shadow had reached the window. Finally. I was sixteen tomorrow and I’d spent the first three years of my life happily, just like every other kid, but then, even though I was so young, I’d recognized the danger I was attracting. For the next thirteen years I tried to convince myself they weren’t real but the creeping feelings, the shadows, they were real and they’d finally reached my window. A hand smacked against the glass violently, making the glass shudder violently. My muscles tightened, my breathing quickened even more and my heart thumped out an unsteady rhythm. I put the knife on the office chair tucked into the desk to better use the nun chucks. Part of my soul rested on the desk, my laptop. I knew that wasn’t the only reason that a hand that looked human but was clearly more than that was now sliding down my window at three in the morning. Three overflowing bookshelves lined the opposite wall with hundreds of books crammed on the shelves and the floor around them.
The hand drew back for a second then smashed through the window. Glass rained upon my bed and I skittered back into the doorway. Dark fog rushed through the crack and two tall, strong men and a woman stood in front of me. They were dressed in black robes and no emotion at all showed in the lines on their faces. I didn’t wait for them to make the first move. Realizing that solid weapons would do nothing to harm these fog creatures I dropped the nun chucks behind me. I ducked, shifting my weight from my back leg to my front and spinning. Willing every ounce of power I’d trained over the last thirteen years into motion I struck out my hands, palms thrust out like I was shoving someone back. I felt the power lift out of me, running through my blood and heart and striking out through my palms. It was invisible, but I could feel the raw energy hurtling itself at the woman and striking at her heart. She stumbled back onto my bed, a black fluid dripping out of her chest. The two men were retaliating. On instinct, I dropped flat to the ground, willed power to wrap around my leg and kicked out at one of them to trip him. I threw the best shield I had around me. I felt safer inside the sphere of magical protection, but it wouldn’t last long. I punched in the direction of the woman and she began crumbling in on herself, dying. The man on the ground was almost up. I struck him in the head with a roundhouse kick, but just as I got my foot back on the ground the other man threw a brick of cold power at me. My shield wavered for barely a second, but it was all they needed. The other man connected his fist with my face. The moment I was stunned, power rammed me in the gut.

‘Help.’ I yelled mentally and, “Please.” I chocked.
Through the open window a wind lifted suddenly. The rain veered in its path and began pounding the men. The woman was just dust on my floor and bed covers now. I brought my hands to my side and with my palms up I took a deep breath, bringing my hands up my body as I did so. I was gathering the power of the element that was most difficult for me to conjure and control, but was what I needed against these opponents. I felt my body ripple with power, heat, fire. My hands caught and then the fire quickly spread up my arms. I held it at bay there and redirected the power at my opponents. It burst off me. I breathed out deeply, calmingly, and a smile spread across my face. The fire engulfed the fog creatures and seconds later they were also just piles of dust.
“Thank you.” I whispered aloud and mentally and air and water left. There wasn’t much earth could have done while I was inside, but I thanked it anyway. A wind pulled playfully at my hair for a moment, then left.
This was it then, the first attack. They’d started it. The battle had finally begun.
In the morning, the vacuum cleaner had cleaned up the dust on my bed and floor. Nothing had been soaked by the rain when I had summoned it or been scorched by the fire. I told my father that people had been throwing stones and one had crashed through my window last night. He wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t blamed for the damage. My mother came back that afternoon from an art fair. It was from her side that I had gained the magical power I had, though she didn’t have enough to notice it. My father’s side had absolutely none. My mother’s mother had more power, but she still didn’t realize. My aunt Nora knew of hers, though. It was mostly healing power, but she could summon a weak coercion mirror. A coercion mirror was like a mask. It could be pulled on easily, but to make it show people things radically different than what you were required concentration.
I hadn’t told anyone the extent of my powers. Nora and I sometimes got together behind my father’s back. My mother thought it was all good fun using crystals and mind will to heal the body and clear the thoughts, but she didn’t take it seriously and my father would have a few things to say on the matter. The reason that I had so much power wasn’t clear to me, but I hadn’t seen anyone with as much power as me before. I’d searched and I’d tried to convince myself that I’d seen others before, but I couldn’t trick auras into showing me what I wanted. So I was alone in this battle. The shadows were still there, lurking behind trees and buildings. The fog creatures had only been the start of it. The reason they were after me was something I’d had suspicions for a few years, but only proven four or five ago. The beginning of it was the books. I had a knack for picking exactly the right book. Exactly what a person would best like, whether they were a stranger or not, but this wouldn’t attract the attention of the other magical forces. What did was what I did when I read books. I picked the truth out of them as easily as finding a cherry in a blueberry pie. I found what pertained to the real world and what was completely false. I could find out anything about anyone as long as I could calm myself enough, trust completely to my instincts. The second part was my writing. I didn’t look back on my words, just let my fingers do the typing. Tales unfolded of mystery and adventure, torture, death, heroes and power. Some ended well and others didn’t. The one thing that they all had in common was that they were all true. The vampires, the angels, the werewolves and witches. The demons and the shadows. The fear and the bravery and the pain and death and the laughter and happiness. It was all the future. Some of the books started in the past but they quickly overtook the present and told of events to come. The other magical forces wanted this. They wanted me. Alive and breathing and able to read and write. They wanted me to tell them how to defeat their enemies but I wouldn’t let them take me. I’d fight until they died…or I did.





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