I started writing this because I was bored one day, but I actually ended up getting pretty into...
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Drea woke up in a small, dimly lit room lying on a padded bed. She was covered up by a thin sheet with an ice pack on her forehead. She wasn’t exactly sure where she was either. It took a few minutes for her eyes to adjust properly in the light, but when they had gotten used to it, Drea just lay staring at the ceiling, wondering what happened.
Her memory was a little foggy, but it was slowly coming back to her; she just had to give it a little bit of time after that fall. Drea sat up slowly, trying not to induce dizziness. It was incredibly difficult, but within a few minutes, she was propped up. She found that her shoulder was hurting as she sat there feeling dazed. She moved her hand up to her shoulder, feeling bandages curl up from her elbow to her shoulder. She smoothed her hair back and took a deep breath as it began to sting painfully.
How did I get here? she thought looking around. The pain shot through her body, snapping her brain back to reality. It woke her up, and she realized she was in the school nurse’s office. Drea suddenly remembered what had happened all at once. Crystal’s touch had burned her and that’s what had sent her to the nurse. It was so painful that it drained her energy and forced her to the ground. It was so powerful that it went right through her clothes and burned her skin. How is it possible that a simple touch could physically harm me? She wondered with confusion. Something’s wrong…
She had a feeling Crystal wasn’t right, a feeling that was reaffirmed by her memory of the wolfish quality that Crystal had taken on. The image of wolves sprung up from that memory, spreading like a virus in her mind. Every time she remembered Crystal now, she looked like that wolf. Not human, but not entirely an animal either. Her eyes were the most terrible part of her, though. They were always glowing red in her mind now, looking more like the eyes of those monsters in the classic nightmares. It was completely inhuman.
Drea rubbed her temples with all the thoughts bouncing around in her head ripping her mid to pieces. Her life was beginning to feel like something out of a science fiction novel. Scattered memories began to flash back to her. She began to see bits and pieces of memories she didn’t remember seeing. The wolf-like appearance she saw was very familiar as she began to see it often in her memories of six years ago. Six years ago was when Kevin died.
Drea didn’t remember this wolf thing at all of the day that he died. It was strange. It was like this wolf was in her memory, but she just didn’t know it was there; as if it had been masked by something else.
More parts of her memory came back to her in shattered pieces depicting this monster. She only saw still pictures of it, giving her curiosity for its purpose there life. It was as if it was just thrown into her memories, yet it felt like it belonged there. Drea thought about it for a second, thinking that just maybe the monster had something to do with her brother’s death, but right when she thought she remembered, it slipped away. So close, she thought as the answer avoided her once again.
Drea sighed and swung her legs over the side of the bed slowly. Her body was feeling a little sore from falling and lying in the bed for so long. She reached for her phone on the bedside table. It was three o’clock, end of the school day. Drea’s day actually ended at two fifteen, and Jackie’s at three, but she usually waited up for Jackie to walk home with her. Knowing Jackie though, she had probably been waiting in the nurse’s office all day for her to wake up.
Drea got up slowly, using the side table as an anchor. She still felt a little dizzy, but she really didn’t want to lie in bed any longer. She took a deep breath, feeling stronger and stronger with every second as energy flooded back into her body. She walked slowly to the curtain that separated the beds from the office, pocketing her phone on the way.
Upon opening it, she was blinded by the bright light outside the room. After a few seconds, her eyes re-adjusted revealing Karen and Jackie waiting for her. Karen must’ve come to wait with Jackie after school ended.
Once they saw her, they gathered around her worriedly, looking at her with concern in their eyes. Drea probably looked pretty beat up, especially with the way she was leaning against the wall, but she was feeling miraculously strong.
“Are you ok Drea?” Jackie said with concern.
“I’m fine Jackie, it’s only my shoulder.” Unfortunately Drea just couldn’t keep the ring of annoyance out of her voice. After hearing “are you ok?” about five times in one day, Drea couldn’t help but to feel weak and useless. She hated not being able to protect everyone, or even herself, and the fact that her little sister was acting like she was the older one made it even worse. How could she care for all of them when she kept fainting and falling down? It was a terrible feeling to feel like she was putting a bigger burden on everyone around her. Drea wanted to be like her brother so badly, she wanted to protect all of them and keep them safe, but now everyone was concerning themselves with protecting her. That was the last thing she wanted.
“Drea, you’re not fine!” said Jackie more forcefully. She rarely raised her voice like that, especially to her sister. “You need to stop saying that nonchalantly when all of us can see that you’re nowhere near fine! You almost fainted this morning, and you did faint today. Mom and dad know now too. They’re taking you to the doctor’s to get you checked out. Quit trying to be strong already and just let us take care of you.”
That pushed Drea completely over the edge; she just couldn’t take it anymore. He little sister was acting like she was her mother and that wasn’t acceptable for her. She normally didn’t get angry at Jackie, but she just couldn’t help but to show her attitude to little miss I-know-everything. “Why don’t you quit trying to act like you’re my mom? I can take care of myself Jackie, I’m a big girl you know, and I don’t need my younger sister to take care of me. It’s my job to protect you, not the other way around. I’m fine, so you can just leave me alone.”
Jackie looked genuinely hurt, but she really didn’t care at the moment. It hurt to feel like she was the failure of the family and that her younger sibling had to watch over her. It hurt her even more to know that she had disappointed Kevin, and that she couldn’t protect the people he’d given his life to protect. Drea normally wouldn’t have even said anything to Jackie, but she couldn’t let herself feel so helpless anymore.
Karen still stood next to Jackie, looking extremely uncomfortable. She knew better than anyone else that Drea didn’t normally blow up like that.
Jackie was just about to say something else when a boy of about seventeen seemed to materialize next to Drea. She could’ve sworn that he wasn’t there before, but she must’ve gotten so caught up in the argument that she didn’t see him approach. He had such a powerful presence too, like he was emanating power.
Who is he? thought Drea with curiosity. He wore a school uniform, but she’d never seen him in school before. He did seem familiar though with his short black hair and piercing eyes reverberating in her memories. It was like the wolf; he was in her memories somewhere, but she just couldn’t place where she’d seen him. There was a lock in her head that she just didn’t have the key to, making it impossible for her to remember where she’d seen him.
She was so lost in thought that it took him a few tries to get her attention again, which didn’t help her side of the “I’m ok” argument.
“Excuse me,” he said politely, but also a little impatiently, “I know you’re a bit busy, but I really need to speak with you Andrea. It’s very important.” How did he know my name? She didn’t remember meeting him, but everything about him seemed familiar. His voice was the same as something she’d heard deep in her memories, but his aura was even more familiar. It was fierce, gentle, and sharp all at the same time.
With a start, Drea realized that it was the aura from that morning, the aura that had knocked her to the floor. This was the guy that did that to me? As she dug just a little deeper into his aura, she felt a reserved, cold feel like that of Crystal and Drake.
Are they related in some way? She wondered. It seemed likely since they all seemed to be a little different than the average human. Of course with that thought, what did that make Drea? She was able to looks at people’s energies with her mind, so how much different was she really from them?
She still couldn’t quite place where she’d seen him, but now she knew she’d spoken with him sometime before. The eyes were the thing that gave him away; they were knowing, and they knew the answers that Drea was beginning to so desperately desire.
He raised his eyebrows at her impatiently, using his hand to direct her to the door. “If you wouldn’t mind…” It definitely seemed like he was in a rush.
Drea slipped behind Jackie to grab her bag from the chair and said, “I’ll see you later Karen, Jackie, I’ll see you at home. Walk safe Jackie, I’ll catch up.” She ended in a type of remorseful tone, not regretting what she had said to Jackie, but wishing she hadn’t made her hurt so much. She then walked towards the door with the boy leading the way. Jackie stared back at her, wishing she could understand Drea a little more. Maybe it wasn’t her place to interject, but she cared about Drea and wanted to make sure she was alright. If only she could see her sister’s point of view a little better.
In the hallway, the boy leaned against the wall looking nonchalant, yet he still emanated a sense of duty as Drea stood across from him. “Well,” she said, “what did you want?” Drea just couldn’t keep the tone of annoyance out of her voice.
“I think you know what I want,” he replied, “You were able to recognize my aura weren’t you?” Her eyes widened at the mention of the aura. She had never talked about it with anyone before, so how would this stranger know about it? “I do apologize for this morning though. I didn’t mean to hurt you like I did; I only needed to know who you were and your intentions. It seems you’re much more than I previously thought.” He was looking at her as if inspecting her. It seemed like he knew so much, making Drea feel ignorant in his presence. She knew nothing at all about what was happening with her, but he seemed to have all the answers.
He sighed and stood up straight, all those answers hidden on his face. “Andrea, you know you’re no ordinary human and that’s why I’m here. You possess specific abilities within your mind and within you that need to be harnessed before they get out of control. More of those monsters will come around you with the more power you obtain, and without the proper training in how to use those abilities you have, they’ll end up killing you or those people close to you.”
“Wait,” she said with confusion, “Monsters? I mean I saw Crystal look a little bit like a wolf, but actual monsters?” She still didn’t even understand why Crystal had looked like a wolf. She didn’t remember what answers he was looking for.
It took a second, but then a look of realization appeared on the boy’s face. He finally understood why she wasn’t getting it the way he thought she should. He sighed, looking remorseful. He moved a little bit closer to Drea, but stopped. “I can explain everything if you’ll comply with my training. I know that you’re confused, but I can’t tell you anything until you’re willing to listen.”
He seemed serious about getting her to train with him, seeing that he knew she wanted to know what was going on, but wouldn’t say anything until she agreed to this training of his. “Look, I’m not sure about this. I mean I don’t even know how much of what you’re telling me is true. I’m nothing special anyway, I’m sure you can find someone else to train or whatever.”
She began to walk away when he said from behind her, “You’re just like your brother Andrea. He refused me too and he suffered because of it; don’t repeat his mistakes, I don’t want to see you get hurt again.”
She stopped dead in her tracks at the mention of her brother. How did he know about that? How does he know what happened to my brother? She turned and spoke, “What did you mean about me getting hurt again?” Her eyes were wide, but she tried her best to hide her surprise from him. She knew her face was growing pale though at the mention of that night.
He looked down and said, “You’re more than you think you are, and I know you’re not the same stubborn little girl that I met six years ago. You can do this Andrea, but you need my help.” He paused, looking back up. “I can’t answer your question without giving you the desire to search for more answers. I only want you to listen to me and train with me. I don’t want you or your family getting hurt again because of ignorance.”
He was quiet then, but Drea still didn’t understand. She was about to question him again when her memories of that day six years ago flashed back to her suddenly. She still saw the wolf and her brother, but now she saw the silhouette of a boy hidden in the shadows. It was like more pieces of her memories were being glued back into the empty spaces that were previously cut out. It all just made her head hurt.
She must’ve looked like she was battling all the memories flying around in her head as he paused unexpectedly. He looked at her as she struggled with herself, remembering what he’d done all those years ago in an attempt to protect her. Now he wondered if he’d made the right decision by not training her right away, by choosing to keep her ignorant. He could only hope that she would listen to him now, but now she didn’t even remember him.
He looked at Drea with sadness with his eyes, wondering what was going on in her head. She wanted to know the answers, but was that enough to convince her? If that wasn’t, hopefully the thought that she’d be protecting her family would be.
Drea mulled over what he had said. Monsters that would attack her and her family? It seemed unreal, but there was something in the way he said it that made her want to think about what he’d said more closely. What he said, as crazy as it sounded, struck a chord in her, but for now she wasn’t sure what to do. She wanted to protect her family, though protecting them from actual monsters was a bit out of her league.
He seemed to realize that as he looked at her, saying gently, “You don’t have to decide now Andrea. I’ll meet you tomorrow for you answer, but stay safe until then.”
Drea turned around just in time to see him disappear right before her eyes. It was like one of those moments in the movies where the mysterious mentor magically disappeared. It was like he disintegrated into the air as a breeze whooshed past her. A breeze inside a building, she thought curiously as she heard his voice whisper, “Don’t make the wrong choice.” He was completely gone then, the quiet suddenly becoming very loud in her ears. Drea looked around nervously and began her walk home, her footsteps echoing out in the empty hallway.
It was probably five o’clock when Drea arrived home. As she walked in the door, she saw Jackie was already home, waiting. When Drea walked in the kitchen, her mom came over to her saying, “Drea!” and gave her a big hug. “The school called and said that you fainted! We were so worried about you! Jackie said she was waiting with you though and not to come down. We knew you would be alright.”
Somehow that didn’t make Drea feel any better. Her parents stayed home when she passed out because her little sister was watching her. She couldn’t believe that they didn’t even come to the school to make sure she was alright. It only worsened her mood to know that they basically ignored her.
Her mom continued to squeeze her as her dad and Jackie stared at them. Her dad usually worked a 9-5 job, but he must’ve gotten off early for this. Drea had forgotten about the argument until she entered the house. She wasn’t angry anymore, but she could tell just from everyone’s auras that the room was very tense. Her father didn’t like her supposed attitude, her sister was full of remorse and sadness, and her mother was just happy to see her. At least she seemed to be getting better at feeling other people’s emotions.
Her father got up, his figure barking with authority, “Andrea, I don’t know what you were thinking. Leaving your sister behind like that? You had just fainted and she’s not supposed to walk alone. You could’ve fainted again on your way home. It would’ve been better for the both of you if you had just stayed with her.”
Drea sighed, unhappy that she had to go through this now. She understood why her father was mad: her parents were extremely overprotective since Kevin died, but she really wasn’t feeling up to an argument. She didn’t really fight with her parents much anyway since she was usually so withdrawn. Apparently they saw that as good behavior.
She rolled her eyes, but unfortunately her father caught that. “Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me young lady. I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but we don’t appreciate your new attitude.” He paused to look at her with disappointment. “Now up to your room where I hope you’ll have an attitude adjustment.”
Drea only looked at him with contempt, taking her time to respond. “Do you even understand what I’m going through? Do you even understand me at all?” It was quiet then. He obviously didn’t think that she would’ve said anything in retort to him. “I’m supposed to be the older sister, but you treat me like I’m a little kid. I know what I’m doing, so why do you act like I don’t? It’s like you trust Jackie more than me; you didn’t even come down to the school when you found out I got hurt! How could you not care enough to check on me when I randomly faint like fifteen minutes into the school day?”
She paused then, aware of the boiling emotions of her father. He was not the type of guy who would let his kids tell him off, but she could feel a small sense of remorse creeping up in him. Nevertheless, she continued, “So you think my attitude’s changed? Did you ever think that maybe I’m just being like a normal teenager?”
She was absolutely seething now. “I’m fifteen and Jackie’s eleven, so why don’t you trust us? We aren’t little kids anymore and yet you treat the both of us like we are. I’m pretty sure Jackie can walk home by herself without getting killed like Kevin did, and if you’re so worried about the two of us, then I’d think you would’ve come to pick me up from the nurse. You’ve all been so scared since he died, but you’ll never understand how I feel. How guilty I’ve felt because I couldn’t help him. It was my fault that he died and nothing you say can change that.”
Drea looked up at them, holding back tears in her eyes. She hated to bring up her brother, but that was something they needed to hear. It was something that had been bothering her for a long time. Without waiting for whatever they were going to say to her, Drea walked past them and headed up the her room. Her mother and father stared at each other, looking a little lost and confused. It was obvious they didn’t know what they should do.
Jackie only looked down at her lap, feeling sad. Drea never raised her voice like that and Jackie wished that she could help her sort through whatever was bothering her. Jackie knew that something was wrong with Drea, but if she didn’t tell her, Jackie had no idea of what to do. Telling her parents was obviously a mistake though.
Up in her room, Drea sat behind her closed door with her head resting on her knees. She wished she hadn’t had to say those things, but she just wasn’t in the mood to be the perfect daughter right now.
All of this made her think of the decision she had to make. When the boy had finished speaking to her and he disappeared, she had begun her walk home alone. It was extremely quiet with not another soul in sight.
Drea pondered over what the boy had said, unsure of whether to believe him or not. The whole thing just seemed so outlandish. She thought that he knew what he was talking about, but she was having a hard time grasping the concept of her being some type of superhero. She was never anything special, and despite her resolve to protect her family, she never thought she would be. The boy just had this demeanor about him that made her believe that she could do it.
But why was she the one who had superpowers? Usually the popular people or important people or well-known people get the powers in the books and movies, so why would a quiet girl like her get the powers? She wasn’t even sure if she had legitimate “superpowers”, but the guy made it seem like she did. The only thing she knew about was her mind abilities, but that probably wouldn’t classify as a superpower. That guy knew what she could do, but she knew he wouldn’t tell unless she agreed to do this training with him.
She sighed. Something about all of this was making sense to her somehow. The fact that she could extend her mind, and even what Crystal said was clicking in place with what the boy had said. If he was telling the truth, and there were monsters hanging around her just waiting for the chance to attack, then she would need to learn to use these powers of hers to protect everyone. Drea had wanted to protect her family all her life, but the thought of being a hero was just frightening and unrealistic. She wanted to do it, but she was scared of the world that she could be opened up to. This was bigger than just her, but how much bigger was it?
She had been making her way down the street slowly, still caught up in her thoughts. If these strange monsters can attack me, then why don’t they just kill me already? It’s a unique form of torture to make someone paranoid of being attacked when no one’s actually attacking just yet.
There was more to this than she thought. Just then a strange presence lifted her out of her thoughts. Her necklace once again began to burn for the third time that day when it hadn’t burned in six years. The aura surrounding her felt dark and sinister, but the feel of bloodlust was the strongest. It was the same feel from that morning with Drake, and the same feel from her memories of Kevin’s death.
Drea knew automatically that it was dangerous, but she couldn’t get away. She became paralyzed with fear as she realized her every movement was being watched. It felt like the presence was crushing her, restricting her and her ability to get away with its bloodlust snapping her resistance like a twig and crushing her bones like toothpicks. She could no longer move. She could barely even think anymore. It was approaching her now, relishing in her fear. She didn’t know if it would simply kill her or torture her, but either way it seemed as if her time was running out.
Drea stood there, waiting for it to make a move, but it still continued to observe her, absorbing her fear. The only thought she had wasn’t to get away now, but it was of her memory of what her brother had done for her all those years earlier. She was in that same position again, still unable to save herself.
Now more than ever Drea wanted to learn how to protect herself so someone else wouldn’t have to do it. Maybe training with this guy is the way, she wondered in what she thought would be her final moments. Things were getting strange and maybe it would benefit her to accept this training offer, but if she was going to die, it wouldn’t really make a difference.
She only wanted to be like her brother, yet there was never a way to do that. Now might be her chance if she made it out. The feel of the aura continued to get stronger, causing her heart to skip a beat and her eyes to widen with the force of it. It was amazing how strong it was, but that wasn’t good for Drea. The burning on her chest continued, getting worse with the aura increasing. For all she knew, it had already burned her chest it was so hot.
The sinister feel would not leave her; it continued to consume and crush her as she stood there in pain, her head throbbing with the feeling that her body was being crushed. She thought she really would be crushed, when a sensation of a cool reprieve washed over her. The pain was lifted to be replaced by a feeling of soothing calm and relief. Another presence had chased it away and enveloped her entire body in its wonderful feel. It was giving her the energy to counter the dark feel.
With a start, Drea realized that it was the boy’s aura from earlier. He emanated raw power in such a fierce way that if Drea didn’t know he was on her side, she’d be running down the street at one hundred miles an hour already. Somehow he had enough power to conquer that terrible feel, chasing it away without even skipping a beat.
He wasn’t visible to her, but she knew he watched her, protecting her like her guardian angel. Her charm stopped burning with the aura gone, cooling off as she held it in her hand. She didn’t understand as she stared down at it; it was more than just a charm, and maybe that was another answer she’d need to find. She took off down the street, not willing to stick around, running back towards her house.
Now she sat on the floor of her room, angry that she just sat by and watched, unable to do anything for herself. That was one thing she’d had enough of.
She came to her conclusion. She decided that she could no longer sit idly by and let other people do watch over her. She wanted to be able to protect herself, and there seemed to be only one way to do that.
Tomorrow she would meet with him for her answer. She would train with him in order to become stronger, in order to keep her family safe. Drea just couldn’t let them down. Maybe she could even come to understand what was happening to her.
She got up and sat on her bed, looking out of the window with determination shining on her face bright as a star in the ever darkening sky. She held her once-again-cool necklace in her hand, remembering Kevin. It was her time to be something great. It was her time to redeem him and prove to him that she wouldn’t let him down.