Dark Academy: Chapter 2

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Apparently the universe had shifted while I was out.





“What?” Came my witty reply. Maybe I hadn’t heard her correctly. Matter of fact, I know I hadn’t. I couldn’t have. I don't get visitors, no one ever came to see me. The closest I ever got to visitors were people from the church me and my mom went to. But those were mostly all adults— the younger kids at church tended to avoid me for some reason, after a while I learned to not seek friends. It just wasn’t going to happen.





“He’s downstairs.” My mother announced over her shoulder as she left my room. I was curious to see who it was. Although I was sure it was on of mom’s work buddies.





“Mom, wait,” I followed her down the hall then down the stairs. “Who’s—oh!” Oh was right.





I froze on the last step of the stairs as I caught sight of the stranger that sat in the arm chair that faced the stairs in the living room. He looked up at me and smiled as he rose out of the worn armchair and crossed the living room to stand in front of me.





“You must be Alyssa,” He spoke with a deep, rumbling Italian accent. It was strangely alluring, not that I noticed or anything. “I am Marco De Luca. I am pleased to make your acquaintance.” He extended his hand out toward me. I was glad I had the decency to shake it and not stare at it like I was ogling at the rest of him.





He was very good looking. Not super düber sexy, but sexy enough to make you sit up and pay attention. Not unlike what I was doing right now. My eyes roamed over him, taking in everything and leaving out nothing. He looked to be about in his late twenties and from what I could see the guy worked out. A lot. He had short black curls, roguish features, and intelligent grey eyes. A small goatee lined his chin.





Wearing a black-T over a pair of tight leather pants and a dark trench coat he easily towered over me. To complete his I’m-a-bada** look he wore a pair black combat boots with black skulls on the sides.





I don’t know about you but I think it’s safe to assume that he likes the color black.





“You can let go of my hand now, Alyssa,” He said, breaking through my reverie. He smiled when I snatched my hand back. He continued, “Good. Now that you are up we can talk.” He took a seat in the chair he had just vacated and motioned for me to do the same even though it was my house, well my mom’s house but still.





I walked around the sofa but didn’t sit down. Marco glanced at my mother who was sitting across from him.





I folded my arms over my chest, trying my best to look bada**. It was all but lost on them. “Mom? What’s going on?” Too many weird things were happening way too fast and it was way too coïncedence if you know what I mean. “Who is he?” I jerked my chin toward Mr. Marco De Sexy.





My mother, who looked to nervous to say anything, just sat there looking at everything but me. Oh, yeah, something was up. Good, the Sherlock in me had that all figure out, now just to figure out what the Sam-heck was going on.





After a minute of my moms silence and raised eyebrow from me, Marco finally decided to speak up. Smart man, seeing as I was getting more and more agitated the longer the silence dragged on. “I am a Scrutator.” Or he’s not so smart and wanted a good strangling.





“A what now?” I cupped my ear caustically, because the guy was a nut if he thought I understood that.





He glanced at my anxious mother but explained, “A, ah, Scrutator. It is Latin for ‘seeker’. I am part of the envoy of emissaries sent out to ‘seek’ out the students who are to attend Dark Academy, then deliver them safely back to Netherworld. That among other things, anyway.”





All I could think was, 'eh? Netherworld?' I focused on the first thing.





“Uh, Dark Academy? What is that, some kind of eerie, gothic school? What am I the next Harry Potter?” I cracked. Judging by his taste in clothes it wasn’t a completely ridiculous assumption. At least he didn’t wear a cloak and carry an umbrella.





Marco laughed. A deep, booming sound that filled the room. “No, not entirely. Actually, besides the way the school is built, which is a bit gothic, it’s like any other place for learning.” He paused and gave my mother another furtive glance. “Except, well… Since your mother failed to explain it all to you, I suppose I will have to educate you on the matter.





“You’ll have to have an open mind about what I am about to tell you. Most are not very accepting when they first find out the truth. And since you have been kept in the dark a lot longer and haven’t had much time to adapt to the idea, it may be a bit more difficult for you to grasp.”





Okay, holding back judgment that this guy is a head case. I finally decided to sit since I was tired of standing. I still had my pseudo bada** attitude going on but let my mother take my hand. When I looked at her she still refused to look at me.





He started again. “Dark Academy is a school that trains the filii immortalis, or immortal children, to control their powers and fight the darkness that plagues the world.” He sighed. “What are the immortal children? The Venatori. Hunters of the dark. Demon slayers. Children of Angels.”





Angels? Not that again, I thought referring to my dream.






He stopped to gauge my expression. When he saw the blatant confusion he rushed to continue. “You are the product of the union between human and Angel. You were born to defend human kind against a primitive evil that seeks to reign over the earth. It is your destiny to protect the world from this evil From the Demons that stalks the earth.





“Dark Academy was built as a way to bring all untrained Venatori together and teach them our ways. Its location is not, however, on earth. It dwells in the Netherworld, a realm between Heaven and earth.” He stopped and drew a deep breath. “Every Venatori has intensified strength and abilities. Also, each individual Venator had a special affinity for a certain element. There are no boundaries for what this many be. This is called one’s Gift.





“Once you graduate from Dark Academy, you’re ready to be assigned to earth to defend a certain territory from the Demons. Finally, not all immortal children join the ranks of the Venatori or Scruatati. Some become workers in the Netherworld. They are allowed to become store and company owners. Much like on earth. We immortals have needs to, you know.” He smiled finally having reached the end of his harangue.





I nodded and nodded and nodded some more because I was half way between contemplation and hysterical laughter.



What the hell was I supposed to make of all that? What the hell was I supposed to think? Was I expected to believe that? I looked over at my mother she had decided to look at me. She looked close to tears. I frowned. Was she in on this? Did she believe this crap? I hoped not.



Me? Not human? Of course I was human. Angels and demons and dark forces. Suddenly my Harry Potter joke didn’t seem so funny. This was…so… It couldn’t be true. And yet…I wanted it to be. I really did. A part of me wanted this to be real. But how could it be real. It wasn’t possible.



I sighed and looked from my mom to Marco. “I don’t know if I believe this,” He lifted a hand and waved it around futilely. “I don’t know if I’m able to believe it.”



Marco leaned toward her. “I think, deep down, you know the truth. You’ve known all along. Look for the answer inside yourself.”



It sounded corny but it did make me start to think. There was a lot that didn’t feel right as of late. Going to school, being around other kids, the weird dreams I’ve been having at night. It was all connected. I was sure of that now. Divided they all seemed irrelevant but when looked at together… Maybe, just maybe.



I shook my head. No. I can’t believe it. It’s ludicrous. It’s…



Right then the dream I’d just had, the one with Michael, flashed in my mind with starling clarity. Almost as if I was dreaming it all over again. Believe. That word again. Michael had said to believe. This is what he meant. As if it was just some easy task. Like taking out the trash or washing the dishes. We’re talking about angels and immortals here. How could I believe that?



“What I seek most.” I whispered. I knew what he meant. I was seeking the one place I really, truly belonged. Who would have thought it’d be with a bunch of freak immortals?



“Well?” Marco inquired.



Sighing I replied, “I guess I’ll have to trust you, and Michael, and believe.” Although, putting my trust in strangers and freaking dreams seemed a bit stupid, but what the heck? What’s the worst that could happen? My mother obviously believed so I guess that left me without much of a choice anyway.



“How do you know about your father?” my mother questioned. I looked at her. She looked surprised and alarmed. This was the first time she had spoken since we’d come down stairs.



“My what?” I countered. “Father? You said my father was gone.” I accused, suddenly upset.



She nodded sadly. “He is gone,” she explained. “Your father, obviously, is an Angel. He left right after you were born. He didn’t want to but he had a duty and he is nothing if not a loyal man, err, Angel.” She reiterated her question. “What do you know of him?”



“Not much,” I answered honestly. “He came to me in a dream. He told me who and what he was and that I should believe. But at the time I had no idea what he was going on about. And I had no idea he meant, this.” I tried to smile but just ended up grimacing. My mother laughed and hugged me.



“You said he came to you in a dream, correct?”



I turned to Marco. “Yeah. It was odd. It started out like all the other dreams I’ve been having lately. All dark and empty. But then Michael appeared and talked to me. That’s what made this one different from the other.”



He nodded. “So you’ve had more dreams like this.” It wasn’t a question but I nodded anyway. “I think, Amanda, that your daughter here is a Seer. And,” he looked purposefully at my mom, “a Dream Seer at that.”



My eyebrows went up, as did my mothers. She gaped at Marco. “Are you sure? But how? I mean, it’s just so rare. And, and—” My mother stopped and looked at me.



“All the signs are there, Amanda. I am very certain of it.” He spoke to me this time. “How old are you?”



“Sixteen.”



He nodded, leaving me wondering why he’d asked and looked at the Armani watch he wore on his wrist. He stood up. “Well, I must report back to the Academy. I will return at seven o’clock to pick her up.”



My heart picked up with excitement and fright at the thought of leaving. This was all I knew. Being here with my mom, just the two of us. The thought of being around people like me was appealing but it also scared me. Did I want to go? But in the end I knew I had no choice.



“She’ll be ready by then.” My mom assured him.



He inclined his head to the both of us and walked to the door and let him self out. The door shut with a soft click.





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