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“This curse is put on you now.” Those words always seem to hang over my head, keeping a constant vigil on me, never leaving. They haunt me. My entire world, everything I knew, was thrown out of control, put into wild havoc, because of that one statement, that one damned question. They always seem to stalk me. I don’t understand why she had to do that, why she would force that on me, but that sentence, those damn words, are mine to utter. They have to come from my mouth. I’m cursed, forsaken, I want to die, but they won’t let me. Death is out of my reach, no matter how much I want, no matter how much I prey, it won’t come, my altered, my changed, my deformed destiny, my fate, my being. I knew that something was wrong that day, that I should have stayed behind, yet I ignored my senses, and now I’m here.
“Yeah, bye,” I yelled to my mother and little sister, hurriedly closing the door to the large apartment behind me. I was almost late… again. This happened all of the time, maybe I should cut back on late night gaming. What the heck? My paladin is almost level 70, and I need to stay in the guild. I need a life. What ever, the years almost over. Then I will no longer be subject to nine months of arduous torture, were I will have three months to recover from the avid pain of study, then have to repeat the cycle once more before I would have to move out of the house, get a job, and stop mooching off my parents. Yes, it does seem like a bleak future, one that I’m not quite ready to embrace, but will have to because of the rules set forth by society. I sighed, briefly closing my eyes and turning my head towards the concrete flooring baking under the near summer sun. Maybe it was the in the air, the sounds, or my own mind, but something, a feeling that I couldn’t quite explain, a thing that was palpable yet undetectable, was pervading the air, seeping into my mind and not leaving. I don’t know why, but the strange feeling that today was different, that I wouldn’t come out the same, was driving itself deep into my head. I looked up at the overly-bright sky, at a sun that was attempting to once again give me both vitamin D and a bit of skin color.
“Hey, Luck!” I heard an obnoxious voice yell out from behind me, the sound of running feet annoying me more and more as they approached. His was the kind of voice that annoyed you whenever you heard it, yet I always ended up hanging out with the guy. I turned my head to look at him, a look of obvious boredom and lack of interest showing on my face. I was like that every day. In fact, if I wasn’t like that, I’m fairly sure that all of my friends, acquaintances, enemies, and even people whom I’ve never meet would wonder why I wasn’t wearing such a look, and eventually either decide that they were dreaming, or that the world was coming to an end, because the impossible was transpiring and something hideously disturbing was showing on my face, which would result in mass suicide and chaos. There is a 36.7% that this would come to pass if I did look any differently, and I don’t want to kill the world, therefore I am forced to do this for the sake of my friends and loved ones.
“Hey Tori,” I yawned.
“Geez, your lively today.”
“Am I ever?”
“Hmpth, valid point.” He grumbled. I looked over at my friend. He was a pretty average guy, maybe 5”10, light brown hair, pretty lanky, no features that really pop out. I was almost exactly the same, black hair, same height, wasn’t built up but definitely not fat. Why my mother had decided that my name should be Luck, I have no idea. But hell,
“Gah!” I heard Tori scream, he voice cracking from panic. I glanced over at my friend, not really interested in what he was freaking out about, this guy had the backbone of an average garden snake. No, I think I’ve actually met a few garden snakes that had more courage in their slithery, small, helpless bodies than Tory. He was staring at his cellphone, stopped in his tracks, a pained expression undisguised on his face.The huge screen of the device glaring in the morning light. I could clearly see 8:12 showing brightly in fluorescent white lettering. The train to school left at 8:15, leaving us three minutes to travel what would normally take us seven or eight.
“You slowed me down idiot!” I took off at a dead run, quickly leaving Tori behind, screaming at me like he was when I unplugged his computer to get him to stop playing some MMO. On my defense, he played it for two straight days.
“You b*****d,” I heard him pant close behind me.
“You idiot, if it’s that hard to breath while running, don’t speak.” I could feel his venomous gaze trying to pierce through me, but I didn’t really care. If we missed the subway, there’s no way that we could make it to school on time, I tried to pick up the pace. Ha! I could see the station not far off, we would probably be there in another fourty-five seconds. “C’mon!”
“Dammit,” Tori kneeled over and panted, breathing heavily. Even though neither of us worked out much, I was easily the more fit, and could run long distances without tiring myself. I knew that short run probably pushed him to his limits, I would know, he was in my Phy Ed class. The man at the toll booth didn’t even bother asking us for our student passes, and just let us through. It was nice that he wasn’t a pain like that. We heavily sat down in two vacant seats, the subway leaving just as we boarded. Tori still looked as if his lungs couldn’t get enough oxygen.
Our stop blared into view, eight hours of guaranteed boredom greeting us at our destination. I fervently wished that the ride could have been longer. I heard Tori let out a groan behind me, sighing and face-palming himself. Yeah buddy, I know how you feel. I quickly snatched up my bag and hopped off the subway, that station being located directly in front of my school. At least it was Friday, I told myself. Maybe Tori and I could head downtown latter, not as if there were anything else that we should be doing on a Friday afternoon. Huh, that made me a little sad. Why don’t the two of us have more to do than loaf around?
The school was a large, three story building that looked as if it were entirely made out of glass, shinning brilliantly in the early morning sun, the window panes looking alive and vibrant as they reflected the suns deep orange, golden rays. This, and the girls in their uniforms, were the only aspects of school that I could stomach, the only things that kept me from driving myself into insanity during this immense, arduous eight hours of hell. Tori seemed not to care about either of the things that made me love life, simply lowering his head in defeat and trudging to the doors, moaning like a dying animal that was feeling the last vestiges of life slip away from him. He was finally doing something to reflect his intelligence. I could have sworn that I could feel a sudden gust of cold cut through the warm spring air as I opened the door and walked inside.
Stop.Talking.I.Don’t.Care. Ugh, my teacher never wants to shut up and let class end does he. Dammit, only six or seven more minutes, then I will be free. Free! I could feel myself shaking with anticipation at my eventual escape from madness. I felt like a prisoner who knew that he was about to be set free, like a dog that knew he was about to be taken out for a walk. If I hear the word radical one more time, assuming that it manages to cut through the protective barrier of distracted thought that encased my mind, I may be driven deep down into the depths of insanity, far beyond any small shreds of salvation.
That’s it. That miraculous ding that signaled the end of class. The end of school! I now have two free days, ones that I will probably waste doing absolutely nothing contemplating on doing things that I should probably be doing. But whatever, I’ll still have free time! Wait, why am I so excited about loafing around being bored? Why, I just depressed myself. I began to make my way over to Tori’s desk, gathering his things in his bag. As I approached my annoying friend, something blocked my line of sight. Now, normally when I’m about to get my friend, and we are about to break free from Guantanamo Bay, excuse me, I mean school, I don’t like it when things stand in front of me, barring my path. But this thing had breasts, and long hair, and should I daresay something else?
“Excuse me,” I heard an annoyed, feminine voice irritably state from above me “I’m not sure if you were paying attention in biology, but the human face is on the head, not the chest.” I tore my eyes away from their previous resting place and set them on her face.
“Oh Rebecca, what is it?” I just barely stood taller than her, her brownish black hair hanging down her back in slight curls, running down to lower back. She had small, delicate features and pale skin, almost white.
“What do you say about taking me out tonight?” I stood there, speechless, mouth agape like an idiot. I was almost entirely sure that things never, ever happened this way, but who was I to refuse?
“S-s-s-ure, w-were,” I stuttered out, barley able to keep my balance. My legs won’t hold me, I know it. I can’t fall over now, that would suck. A lot.
“Café Mariane, at 7:00,” it was more of a statement than a question. My opinion wasn’t needed, useless information. Who cares? This is freaking awesome. She quickly scurried off and left with a group of her friends. I turned toward Tori, completely speechless, starring at me with an awestruck look strewn across his face. I gave him a look that said ‘sorry buddy, but I’m not turning this one down.’ I had the feeling that a big, stupid grin was on my face. He abruptly turned away from me, annoyed. Oh well, I have a date!
It was really, really cold. And dark. I had to take this route to that damned café again why? I drew my coat tighter around myself, trying to ward off the overly hostile cold, my breath fogging in the air as I walked. I should start seeing the lights of active downtown soon, and be out of this crappy neighborhood. The buildings were in disrepair, the street lights flickered, and I would definitely not want to be a teenage girl walking these streets alone. I’m a teenage boy, and therefore have a smaller demographic of shady people that would want me. The lights of downtown suddenly struck me as I was silently whimpering to myself in fear.
I approached the restaurant, looking as if it was just barley within my budget. She was going to bleed me dry. I glanced inside the window of the café, watching waitresses stopping from table to table, taking orders and bringing food, to and fro, for what seemed like years. Bringing my jacket closer around my body to ward off the chill, I looked out at the city lights, the brightly flashing neon advertisements stuck high up onto buildings, flickering on and off, with brand names and logos all over them. The chill and cold didn’t stop people from being out and about, pedestrians walking in and out of shops and restaurants, some with couples, smiling and hugging onto each other. It was starting to make me feel nauseous. I was begging to feel stupid standing out here.
A couple walking and laughing to together, in particular, caught my attention. They looked normal, but on closer inspection, I saw Rebecca clinging to the arm of her old boyfriend, both merrily walking their way from a different building. That I had gotten used didn’t anger me as much as that I had walked all the way out here just to have to walk back with nothing. Really, she didn’t even have to use me, it just worked out itself and I didn’t even have to be involved in the equation. Well, there goes an hour and a half of my life. Thanks for that Rebecca. I sincerely hope that this works out for you. So well that you get married, have kids, become trapped in a loveless marriage, divorce, and feel terrible with yourself.
I started down an ally-way perpendicular from my other route. It would take a bit longer to walk this way, but I would be able to cut past most of the crowds and bad neighborhoods this way. Though, that’s not to say that this little stretch of dank, slightly foul smelling dark path was particularly pleasant to traverse down either. Light, almost petite sounding footsteps echoed behind me, the sounds of the busy city seeming to recede far behind me.
“Hey, are you alone?” a feminine voice inquired, a devious sounding inflection sounding in her question. I found that my voice wouldn’t work, both fear and surprise holding it back to my thoughts. There could be any number of reasons why some random women could have been asking me why I was alone in a dark alley way late at night, and I didn’t want to have to be involved with any of them. “Well?” she inquired again, sounding inpatient and slightly annoyed. In response to my continued silence, I felt a sharp object point into the nape of my back, slowly increasing in pressure as my lack of speech continued. “Answer!”
“Yes!” I blurted out, the adrenaline coursing through my body clouding my thoughts as sweat dripped down my brow into my agape eyes, hurriedly looking about the dark buildings in fear.
“So you are alone then right? You’re not lying to me? No one else around?” she asked more aggressively, the blades head pointing even farther into my back.
“No! No one here but us… I think.” My voice quavered. I felt like I could lose all of the strength in my legs and collapse at any second. The busied sounds of people talking and cars driving sounded faint and distant, as if the alley extended much farther than it should, not even the bright light of the city reaching into oddly far reaches of the stretch of walkway.
“Good, this may take a while.” She whispered, the slightest traces of remorse ringing in her voice. I could feel her drawing nearer to me, cold breath making me shiver as it rolled over my skin, sending goose bumps along my skin. A sharp pang emanating from neck as teeth dug into the flesh. As soon as her fangs settled into place, my entire body seemed to alight with fire. The searing heat ran throughout my entire being, through my muscle, into my bones, and even into the essence of my thoughts. Both my brain and eyes felt as if they would explode as the rest of my body would melt. I have no idea what I looked like then, as perceived fire burned me down to the very core of my existence, but I couldn’t have looked dignified in the cold, dank street. An eternity of hell later, her teeth left my flesh. Immediately, the fiery heat was replaced with icy cold, like liquid nitrogen was injected into my being to replace the magma. The fierce cold replaced the searing heat in every way, through my tissue and marrow, down to the soft pink thing in my head. I felt like the life had been drained away from me.
The cold gradually left as my thoughts became solid, organizing themselves into coherence. I gingerly opened my eyes to find a full, glowing moon through the small view provided by gap in between the two buildings making the alley. It shone bright and luminescent, lighting up the night sky around it to a dark blue. Though the cold had left, I didn’t feel warm like I should have either. I drug my head off of the wet, cold ground to the sound of sobbing near me. A girl with long, silver hair had her head buried in her arms, pale skin standing out stark from her black dress, her figure seeming to glow in the pale moonlight. She almost seemed like a ghost, the ghastly white complexion ethereal.
“I’m sorry, sorry, sorry,” she mumbled to herself in between breaths, hysterical in her tears, the young voice filled to the brim with sorrow and remorse, constantly cracking as if she could barely keep herself under control. Her head came up to meet my confused gaze, revealing a bloodstained face that couldn’t have been over seventeen large rivulets of water from her tear ducts clearing a path through the red liquid. The girl seemed to shake violently as brilliant green eyes that seemed to be descending into the soulless depths of madness starred at me, looking intently at my horrified expression. I felt like I was inside a horror movie, like none of this was real. A terrible fear clung at my heart. Every nerve in my body was yelling at me to run, to leave as quickly as possible, to never come back, yet I could hardly even keep my head up above my chest. My legs wouldn’t respond to my panicked attempts at movement, whether that was from fear or lack of strength I have no idea.
“This curse is put on you now,” she stated, sounding as if she were laughing from hysteria and crying from an intense guilt at the same time. “You’ll live forever,” the girl mumbled falling to her knees, the small voice lowering at the last word, her eyes never moving as she sank to the ground. Violent coughs erupted from her chest, crimson red blood frothing from her mouth, splattering onto her chest, further alleviating her laughter as tears of the same liquid feel from her eyes like two miniature, discolored waterfalls. The sound of her quickly fading, maddened existence fell into silence as her life drained from her corpse and she feel into a pool of blood, shriveled and dead. In the bright moonlight, her silver hair shone crimson red.