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Author's note: I was so tired of reading nothing but vampire and werewolf novels. I have no patience for fairies or pixies, and the last good book I read about warlocks was Harry Potter. So I took it upon myself to write something about angels and demons. This of course snowballed into Thorn. I was inspired to call it Thorn, not just because its the main characters name, but because of the song 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn' by Poison. I knew I would be writing a series of stories, and that song gave me the titles. "every rose has its Thorn..." yeah.
'So this is what dieing feels like.' I thought.
Depending on how you did it, it could hurt, you could put up a fight. It could be painless, if you didn't struggle. I didn't struggle. I let my best friend plunge the blade into my chest because I wanted the girl, my girl, my love, to know that I would die for her. I just wish she didn't have to see it.
I felt the stab as Josh sunk the knife deeper and deeper into my flesh. He almost hit the heart. 'You always said you knew how to kill a man, I'm sorry I didn't believe you.' Tears welled in his eyes, he didn't look at me. "Good choice, you saved her life. Maybe." Josh said, voice cracking. 'What?!?! You said if I died, you would let her go!' I tried to say, but the blood that was rising in my throat cut me off.
Hearing my gurgle, Josh finally looked at me. "I'm sorry, but I made him a deal. You know what happens when he doesn't get what he wants, and he wants her." I collapsed against the wall, waiting for my demise. My death was painful, but I didn't resist it. My love, my Raven, my Princess of Darkness, crawled over to me, tears spilling from her liquid silver eyes, catching in her long black and blond hair. "Shh." is all I managed to say, along with what I hope was an attempt of her name. "Oh Thorn, I-"
I never heard her finish her sentence, because then, my world turned black and I started falling.
I was never one for religion. The whole idea of there being a God, a Satan, a Heaven and a Hell didn't really come up much with me. And despite my Gothic exterior, I wasn't a Satanist or anything. I just happened to like black clothes, lip piercings and getting a tattoo of a heart being stabbed between my shoulder blades. (yes, I did see the irony of the stabbing).
Different items fell around me, college diplomas, prom dresses, guitars, rings, even a baby or two. I memory jerked in the back of my mind, I had read in a lame 'teen novel' about demigods (half human, half Greek god), and it involved a river in the underworld (Greek Hell) called the river Styx, and it was made up of broken dreams. I guessed that the stuff around me was like that, accept they were others, mine didn't consist of college, dresses or kids.
I looked down, and saw a bright green field below me. I slowed down a bit, and landed on my feet. I walked forward, then I came up to a floor-length mirror, like in a ballet studio. I was scared to look at myself, but I ended up doing it anyway.
I started with my feet, which were no longer wearing heavy combat boots, and were bare. I still had on my faded black Levi's, but no shirt. My hair was the same, black with the tips died purple. Black eyes and another ring at the side of my nose. Everything seemed normal; hair, clothes (save shirt and shoes), even the two silver hoops on my lower lip were intact. Then I saw the gaping whole in my chest, right where Josh got me. 'How did I miss that?' I thought. 'It's right there! In total plain sight!'
I felt something tap the small of my back. I turned, and looked down to see a six year old girl holding a gold box the size on my hand. She had long blond hair that touched the ground and seemed to shimmer in the light that came from nowhere in the field. She was tiny, so to speak. Slim, short-not just compared to me, and she had clear gold-yes gold eyes that were unfocused. She was blind. "Hello. Are you Damien Thorn?" she had a voice like the bells you hear 'Santa' use at the mall during Christmas time.
"Y-yes?" I answered timidly. She laughed at that. "My name is Seraphina, but I prefer Sara. Much like you prefer 'Thorn', is it alright if I call you that?" I nodded, a bit dazed. "Good, so I'm your Guardian, Protector, Personal Angel, whatever you want to call me, I'm fine with. So how old were you when you died?" "Uh...18? Wait. Protecting angel of... huh?"
Sara sighed."Call me a guardian angel then, but that's not what I do, or else you wouldn't be here. When a child is conceived, so is an angel. When that child is born, so is that angel. When that child cries for the first time, the angel is named. When the child laughs for the first time, the angel is ranked. Mine was supposed to be high, like your rank in life was supposed to be, then somethings went wrong, you dieing being one of them. I was sent to help you fix things for us."
My eyes widened and jaw dropped. "So, let me get this straight: when I was born, so were you. I messed up somewhere along the way, and now you give me a choice, like in a bad version of the Matrix?" She shrugged. "Pretty much, but without that whole 'red pill blue pill' thing" she held up the box. "Then again, this is a bit similar. In this box is a piece of paper. If you read it, you'll erase your existence, and mine, so you can start life fresh, the only difference is when you get to the point in life where you messed up, you'll know what you did, and will hopefully stop it from happening again." "And if I don't read it?" For a moment it seemed like she actually could see me. "There's also some matches in there. You can burn the paper and you'll have to stay here for the rest of eternity." So overall, a fun-filled experience.
I blew out a sigh, and answered "Okay, lemme have it." Sara handed me the box. I took a breath, and opened the lid. Inside was a piece of folded paper and a box of matches. This is it. Do I start over, or end it all? I considered my options. What did I have to live for? 'Parents? No, they didn't love me before, why would they now? Friends?' I scoffed. Friends had gotten me into this mess, I was reminded of Josh for a brief moment. I never even- wait. How could I forget? Thoughts and memories of Raven filled my mind. I do have something to live for, and I won't give her up. "Not for anything." I whispered the last part and unfolded the paper. "Thank you." Sara whispered, but I was concentrating on reading the page. "You'll need to fill in the blanks; what you want your name to be, what you want to look like, etc." she continued. "And whether or not you want to know of my existence." I grinned as she handed me a small gold pen. "I think it would be better if I didn't. I'm more of a 'do it yourself' -er." Sara nodded, then turned to leave, but I stopped her. "Wait, one more thing, why don't I have a shirt on?" Her laughter hung in the air as she vanished, leaving me alone yet again.
I read a bit of the paper. It was pretty straight forward.
Name: Damien Thorn
What will you look like? the same.
Do you want to know about your angel Seraphina right away? No.
One after one, the questions appeared. I tweaked a few things, but left a lot. I didn't want things to be too different.
Thank you, Mr. Thorn. You're life will begin momentarily. Welcome back.
The paper shimmered then disappeared. I looked back in the mirror which had turned into a door. "Welcome to the twilight zone." I muttered under my breath. This would really suck if it turned out to be a dream. I thought as I turned the door nob. "Down the rabbit hole....HOLY CRAP!" It seemed like the right thing to say as far as last words went. The door opened and I was sucked right in, like in a sci-fi flick. I was falling again, but this time nothing fell around me. I was falling alone in the dark. I was in a nightmare. I don't remember anything after that...
"Come on feel the noise! Girls rock your boys! We'll get wild! Wild! Wild! Wild! Wild! Wi-" I cut off the Quiet Riot that was playing on my clock radio alarm and buried my face in my pillows. "Damien! Come downstairs son! That means now!" my dad's voice yelled up the attic stairs. "Ugh, coming...maybe..." I pulled myself off the mattress-my bed frame had been confiscated so it was on the floor- and hurriedly tied up my sneakers. I have to stop falling asleep fully dressed. I thought, crossing the room in three steps and headed down the ladder.
My house was an average one, cottage style, wood stove in the living room, stainless steel kitchen, and the cleanliness that only comes from living in Nowhere-land Suburbia.In that stainless steel kitchen was Frayda, the housekeeper. She was like a worker bee, always buzzing around the house doing her job,even in her late fifties she was the best at anything that involved keeping a domestic house. She was working over the stove, making bacon and cheese omelets. "Mm,smells good, what's the occasion? It has to be something related to that kid living in the attic, nobody else here likes omelets." I said peering over Fray's shoulder.
She ginned, then answered; "Yup, it's the kids' first day of senior year, hopefully now he- I guess not. I was going to say I hope he now knows how to put on clean clothes but..." She gestured to my ripped jeans and 'Metallica' hoodie from the day before. It was my turn to grin, I flipped the eggs from the frying pan and onto a plate. "Where's Voldemort?" I asked. During my younger days I was crazy about Harry Potter. My mom had encouraged me, wanting me to read as much as possible. Then she died, so I started calling my dad 'Voldemort', because at the time, he did seem like a scary-ass wizard out to get me. "I don't know why he did, two seconds later he was out the door." Fray sighed. "Sometimes I wonder if things would be any different if you're mom was around." I finished the eggs and put the plate in the dishwasher. "You never know, but Mom did have an effect on him."
That got a smile. "You're right, she did bring out the good in him." I nodded and grabbed my messenger bag off it's hook in the front hall. "Wait! I almost forgot! My godson wanted me to give this to you for senior year." Fray handed me a set of keys. I recognized my house key and the key to the shed my band used to practice in, but there was one more on there that I didn't know. "Um. Okay?" I took the keys off of her and she led me out the door. My jaw dropped.
In front of me was a classic 1967 silver-with-black-racing-stripes Cougar. "I-it-you-thanks!" I sputtered. This was not just a car, it was a classic muscle car. As in the type of car from stuff like 'Dukes of Hazard' or 'Smokey and the Bandit'. "You can thank John, I'm merely the messenger." Fray gave me a quick hug. "Lunch is on the front seat, CDs in the glove compartment, and guitar is in the trunk." "Thank you, see ya!" I jumped in, adjusting the seat and mirrors, popping in a Def Leopard CD (and sending a silent 'thanks' to whoever installed a player.) Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to hell I go!
Mine was like any other high school, lame and more boring than watching grass die in the summer. It was a plain brick building with a front lawn that was half the size of a football field. Right in front of the parking lot was a big sign that said in yellow letters 'Welcome to Eastwood, home of the Iguanas!' Yes, the founders were fully aware that it's iguana with an 'i', but hey, it sounds like 'e', so who cares? Answer: half the student body. I pulled the cougar into an empty spot beside my buddy Alec's car, well, hearse would be a better word. Alec Night, Jeremy Darkwood, Quinn Canavar and Josh Diavolo were all standing around it waiting for me to show up on my skateboard. Needless to say they were shocked to see me driving a car. The closest I'd ever come was when I'd gotten my license.
"Holy frigging crap man, where'd you get the wheels?" Jeremy asked. He had a lean build and an attitude to match. Over the summer he had died the roots of his blood red hair black, for some deranged reason. "Yeah, it's sick!" Quinn added. Quinn was the sore thumb of the group, he stood out from us because of his jock-like appearance, brown hair and eyes, and enough muscle to keep anyone from messing with him. "Fray's godson. I don't know how or why, but it was a 'last year of hell' gift, apparently." I climbed out. Josh handed me a class schedule. "Here, I grabbed it 'cause you didn't show yesterday." "Yeah, V- my dad kept me in. Thanks man." Josh was my best friend, one of them anyway. Fun fact; he had recently started wearing neon green contacts. "Can you pop the hood?" Alec asked. He was the one that screamed 'dark and dangerous'. Pale, thin, tall, with a slight resemblance to the singer from Secondhand Serenade, but with darker hair and eyes.
Just when I was about to, a new car pulled into the lot. A red mustang, latest model, convertible but with the top up sped into the spot farthest away from the school. If the driver wanted attention, they got it.
She stepped out one high heeled leather boot after another. They reached her knees, then you saw a set of black fishnet tights, then black short shorts that were held up by a pair of silver-studded suspenders, her white v-neck stopped too short for my taste, and from her leather choker necklace hung a 'Rolling Stones' emblem (mouth with the tongue sticking out). Her black hair with side bangs dyed blond framed her heart-shaped face, her slightly pouty lips coated in 'kiss me charcoal', and her liquid silver eyes were outlined in the same shade. Beside me, I heard Jer say; "Dibs." Alec, who hadn't noticed her yet, said: "You know, calling 'dibs' stopped working in the second-whoa, double dibs."
Then I knew I wasn't imagining, this girl was real. Real enough for Alec (who everyone had suspected was gay, because he never looked at women) to call 'double dibs'. The only one that wasn't looking was Quinn, and Josh slapped the back of his head for it. "Ow, what?!" "Dude, the hottest babe since never just drove into our parking lot, and you're not looking?" Quinn sighed. "I was going to tell you guys, I have a girlfriend." Seeing our 'What the hell?' expressions, he clarified; "You remember that chick I was talking to outside of the movies last month? Well, we just made it official. Wait, no! Not like that!" He finished when Josh stuck his fist out for props.
I snorted and rolled my eyes at them, I took a minute to be mesmerized at the girl. It was like a slow-motion movie in my head, the way her arms slightly swung around her willowy body. The way she radiated the 'just kill me now' look that took most of us years to master. The way her shirt made you want to...well...look. Her walk was confident, but a bit delicate. "You wanna wipe that drool off your face, bro?" "Call Rod Sterling, Thorn has just gone over to 'the Twilight Zone' " "I think he just called the almighty dibs, Jer. We're out of luck." "Huh, probably."
What was most surprising was that everyone was staring; the jocks, the hippies, the rest of the goth clique (that we mostly stayed away from) even the nerds-who probably thought she was something straight out of Dungeons and Dragons. The bell rang, so I left the guys who had all signed up for first period auto shop, when I had English lit one-oh-one.
The class was taught by Mr. Williams, needless to say for out first subject we would be studying Shakespeare. Sure enough..."Welcome class, for those of you who are new to this class, I am Mr. Williams. For those of you who have been here before, nice to see you again." He knew I was the only person that had been taking this class since I was a sophomore. "Now, this being a small town, you all know your classmates, so I would like to introduce Miss Raven Light." She walked into the class and immediately had all eyes one her.
"Miss Light just moved here from...where was it again?" "New York." I focused on the lab bench that we used instead of desks, not wanting to be caught staring. Then again, everybody else was.
"Now, Miss Light, why don't you sit next to...Mr. Thorn, that's the last seat to your right, now class, for the rest of the period get to know your partner, you'll be sitting there for the rest of the semester." My heart stopped. She would be sitting there, all semester. She sat down on my left, placing her Jack Skellington notebook next to my Green Day one. "Hi, I'm Raven, but you probably already figured that one out." "Uh,hey, I'm, uh, Thorn." Nice, nothing says 'smooth' like 'uh'. "Um, isn't that your last name?" "Yeah, but I use it like my first because my real one sounds gay." "Oh, well, what is it?" "Damien" "But that's nice" "Raven's better.
'And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;'" I quoted Edgar Allan Poe.
She gave a quiet applause. "And to think I thought guys were only here to get and easy A." I snorted. "No such thing. So have you been in town long?" I turned my body to face her. She did the same. "Nah, just two weeks." I focused on her silver eyes, they were really breathtaking. "So I guess you don't know many people here." Raven glanced down. "Not really." She muttered. "Well, I'm sure my friends wouldn't mind it if you sat with us at lunch. You know, if you want to." She looked at me. I mean really looked at me. Like, staring into my soul looking. "I'd like that." I almost sighed with relief. "Cool, so what class do you have next?" "Um, art, I think." I smiled. "Same. How 'bout I meet you outside the class before lunch?" "And maybe you could walk me there now. I don't quite know my way yet." I don't frigging believe it! "Yeah, definitely."
Right on cue, the bell rang. Fifty minutes? Nah, seemed more like five. "Alright class, I'll see you tomorrow, be ready. We'll be starting our unit on Shakespeare and his most famous works." Mr. Williams said, dismissing us. I gave and 'after you' bow to Raven, she smiled at that. "Thank you."
Art was taught by Miss McDonald, but we all called her Miss Mac, for short. She was young, graduated from college a few years back, and for some reason wanted nothing more than to teach teenagers how to paint and use a kiln. "Good morning, hormonal ones."She always cracked jokes and mocked people, which made her cool. "Nice to see some familiar faces, and some new ones. Two to a table, it you don't mind." It surprised me that Raven sat down next to me. She gave me a quick half smile, then focused on Miss Mac. "For those of you who don't know me, I'm Miss Mac. I will be teaching you about well, art, duh. Just so you know, this is not a free period, if you don't take this class seriously, there's the door." No one moved, we all knew Miss Mac never gave out a free grade, you had to seriously work. If you broke a sweat in the process, you got extra points.
Like English, I had taken this class before, so I already knew the intro that Miss Mac gave at the beginning of every year off by heart. So I took the opportunity to just feel Raven beside me. The faint heat her body gave off, the smell of the perfume she used (not too much, but enough to notice), the way she focused her eyes on Miss Mac, the way she absently twisted her fingers through her hair. Then I heard Miss Mac say: "Now, let's get down to business! Most of you already know the basic skills of painting, if you don't come and see me. Your first project it to paint something you find beautiful. Flowers, birds, the girl next door, just make sure it's school appropriate. Grab a smock, and get started." I got up and walked over to the cabinet where the smocks and tripods were. A tripod (in case you didn't know) is a stand where you can put a canvas for painting. I was the first one there (and the only guy in the class) so I passed them back. Finally, I went back to my table, where Raven was already drawing an outline for her picture. "That was fast." I commented. She smiled and nodded, "I really love this class." She started singing under her breath, and was amazing at it.
I sat down. "It's hard not to." Then we both turned to our work. Beauty, I'm not going to be able to do this project with the most beautiful thing I've ever seen... mostly because she's sitting beside me. I thought. I looked out the window, it started to snow, in September, great. Light bulb. I didn't need to sketch this one out first, so I started painting. I covered the canvas black, leaving no space white. I then mixed white, gray and silver in the center of the paint pallet. I made each snowflake unique, like they were in real life, but I saved the space in the middle for the real piece of art. I painted her. My mom always showed me pictures of mythical creatures, satyrs, dwarfs, and fairies. I gave her lacy wings and a white dress that went past her feet. She was flying, reaching upward to catch the flakes that were floating around her. Light blond hair that went past her waist circled her figure. She was smiling, with both her eyes and mouth. I was done by the time the bell rang.
I cleaned up in a hurry, it was lunch. I waited by the door for Raven, who came shortly after me. "All set?" "Yup." "Cool."
The cafeteria wasn't very full when we got there, but I had no problem finding the guys. They were sitting at our usual table in the back of the room. I could feel all eyes on us. People were probably thinking; 'What the-? Goth Guy with New Girl? No way!' I didn't care, until people started clustering around us, I took Ravens' hand and gave her an 'is this okay?' look. She nodded, not wanting to loose me in the crowd. I ignored the pins and needles feeling in my palm.The mob backed off once we were withing ten feet of our table. The guys' reactions were priceless. Quin shot me a grin, Alec muttered 'Pay up.' to Jer who handed him twenty bucks. And Josh, Josh just might have needed a crowbar to get his jaw off the ground. "Hey guys, this is Raven. Raven, this is Josh, Alec, Quinn and Jeremy." Quinn right away said hi, Alec nodded, Jer made a weird sound, and Josh snapped his mouth shut. Raven sat down next to me across from Quinn, "Don't mind them, this is as close to a girl Jer and Josh have ever been, and Alec's just the strong, really silent type." I grinned. Raven looked at me from the corner of her eye. "And what about him?" she asked. Alec snorted. Jer was trying to revive Josh who was still shell shocked. "Honestly, I think y- OW!" I kicked Quinn's shin under the table.
Looking for a subject change, I asked Alec; "So did you hear back from the manager at the Panther?" "We're hoping to get a gig there sometime soon." Quinn explained to Raven. "Yeah, but they want us to perform well known songs, if we do good, we can do our own stuff." "Whoa, wait. You guys are a band? Awesome. What kind?" "Rock, punk, the occasional pop, but very occasional." Josh finally spoke. "Yeah," Jer added. "It's me on drums, Alec on lead guitar, Josh on bass, Quinn on keyboard and Thorn on backup guitar and vocals." "You can sing?" I shrugged, but inside I was like ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap! It was Jeremy's turn to be kicked. "But we do have the gig, right?" I pressed. "Yeah, but like I said, we have to do some well-know music." Alec replied, poking at his lunch. "It's this Friday night."Quinn choked on his water. "This Friday? And you failed to mention this before because...?" Alec shrugged. "It never came up." I laughed, and I could feel Raven shaking next to me, trying hard not to. "That's okay," Jer the peacemaker said. "We've been practicing that Mariana's Trench stuff, it should be enough for a show." "But we'd need a girl singer for 'Good to You', and no offense Jer, but your cousin is just someone we tolerate because we need her for practice." Josh said.
I sighed. "It's cool guys, we don't need a girl singer." When Raven wasn't looking I gave them an 'I have a plan' wink. "So what part of New York are you from?" I asked Raven. "All over really, we moved a lot, from Manhattan to Queens." "Even-" Alec hit Jer on the arm before he could say 'New Joysey'. We all saw it coming. "Ouch! What was that for?" "To keep you from embarrassing yourself, well, more so than usual. What classes do you-" Alec started to ask but was cut off by the Mean Team.
A group of students walked in, radiating 'popular'. Jocks and cheerleaders, what a fatal mix.The football team in all of their crack-head glory. The anorexic cheerleaders laughing, pom-poms swinging. Then the leaders came in. Craig Johnson was an all-American jockstrap, dating the captain of the cheer squad, the Ice Queen herself, Angela Peterson. Both blue-eyed blonds, but Angela had so much work done, there was probably nothing of her original boobs left. "Brr. Her majesty looks feisty today." Jer commented. I quickly explained the King and Queen of Frost to Raven, who understood immediately. "They're at every school." she muttered. We were all surprised when Craig and Angela broke away from their group, and even more when they started walking towards us. "So you're the new girl. Raven right?" Angela said in her stupid sing-song sweet voice. "Hey Angela, what are you doing out? I thought vampires burned in the sun." Alec said back, looking right at her. "Ha ha, right. Don't you have some fires to start or innocence to corrupt Night?" Alec gave Craig a look that would have frozen a volcano. "Anyway, will I be seeing you at cheer leading try-outs?" Angela asked, still creepy-sweet. "Nah, I don't like to surround myself with freaks." "I think you've got it backwards, or have you noticed who you're eating with?" she now had a stereotypical valley girl accent. "I'm eating with the only decent people I've met so far. And f.y.i, you're a freak if you barf up your food after eating it." Raven said the last part in a mock accent. "You're going to regret that. This is our school, and guess who just lost any social privileges?" Craig tried to mimic Alec's stare, but failed miserably at it. "Oh how will I ever survive!" The bell rang. "See ya freaks!" Jer called happily as the mean team strutted away.
I was amazed. "Thorn, I'm sorry, but from now on, she's my best friend." Josh told me. "Well, I hope you like us, because you're gonna be publicly shunned from this point onward." Quinn said to Raven. "Yeah, because I was totally planning on joining those Gleek Freaks. Do any of you have wood shop next?" "Yep." We all said at once.
The rest of the day passed by in a blur, the only classes I didn't have with Raven was biology, gym and calculus. At the end of the day, I offered to walk her to her car. That's when I got pissed off. Someone had scratched "freak", "slut" and a few other things on the glossy red paint of her mustang. If that wasn't enough, the hood of it was completely gone, along with half the engine. "Oh my God." I clenched and unclenched my fists, trying to control my breathing. "Thorn, are you alright?" I nodded. "I'm fine." Then it started to rain. God the weather was messed. "Perfect. Come on, you can call a tow from my car." The rain picked up and by the time we got across the parking lot to the Cougar, we were soaked, and the only people in the lot. Once we were inside I unzipped my hoodie and gave it to Raven, who was already shivering. I started the car, turning on the heat. "Lemme call Alec first. He's a pretty good mechanic and wont charge you. I think he'll be willing to have it dropped off at his place." Raven nodded. I dialed Alec's number on my cell, he picked up at the first ring.
"City morgue, you stab 'em we slab 'em. What's up Thorn?" I told him about the car. "Yeah, no problem, send it over here. I've been needing a new project anyway." he hung up, and I dialed the local tow company. I gave them the schools' address and thanked them. "We'll have to wait for them to pick up your car. Do you want me to take you home? It doesn't matter if I'm late." She shook her head. "I'd rather wait with you." "Oh, I mean, aw hell I don't know what I mean." I banged my head on the steering wheel. "So how was your first day?" She looked at me. "Other than the crap that's happened." She laughed at my idiocy. "Um, pretty good. I got lucky, not only did I make enemies with more than one person, but my car got destroyed." "Technically you only made one enemy seeing as they share a brain." We both laughed, suddenly the space in the car became smaller. The heat was smoldering. "Can we turn down the-?" "Yeah." We both leaned in to turn down the heat that was blasting in our faces, our hands touched, and we were nose-to-nose.
I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to bad. But we had just met, and I didn't want to seem like one of those players that made friends with girls just to get in their pants. I looked out the window, the tow was there. "Wait here, I'll tell them where to take it." I climbed out into the pouring rain. I recognized the tow-truck driver as John, Fray's godson. "Hey man, don't tell me you killed the Cougar already?" "Naw, you're here for the 'stang. It's my friends', some douche raped it." "Bummer." John was a cool guy, around Miss Mac's age, buff, denim-clad. He owned the local garage. "Where we taking this poor soul?" he asked, hitching up the mustang. I gave him Alec's address. "Is it okay if I don't tag along? I need to drive my friend home." I gestured to my car. "She's pretty cute, girlfriend? No? Planning on asking her out?" "Someday I'll try." "Ah, but remember, 'Do or do not, there is no try.'" John did his Yoda from Star Wars impression. "Right, see ya later John. Oh, and thanks for the car." "No problem man, see you around."
I jumped back in my car, shaking the rain from my hair. "So where do you live?" A few minutes later I pulled in Raven's driveway. "Uh oh." she muttered. "What?" I asked. "That's my dad's car. He's supposed to be back in New York. I came here to live with my brother, to get- never mind." She started to get out, but I locked the doors. "Thorn, c'mon, let me out." "To get what?" Raven sighed. "To get away from my dad." She pulled back her long dark hair to show me a yellowing bruise in her neck. How did I miss that? I thought. It's right there! In total plain sight! A memory pulled in the back of my head, but I ignored it. you could hear crashing from inside the house. I put the Cougar in reverse and backed out of the drive. "Thorn, where are we going?" Raven asked. "To my place." We didn't say anything the rest of the ride.
Fray was having a fit when Raven and I walked through the front door, sopping wet, and shivering. "Damien Robert Michael Thorn! Where have you been young man? Do you have any idea-? Oh, my word, come in dear. You both will catch your death out there!" "Fray, this is R-Raven L-L-Light. S-she's n-new to s-school. R-Raven, t-this is Fr-Frayda." I chattered. "It's a good thing I just lit a fire! Raven, come upstairs and get a hot shower, some of Thorn's mother's things should fit you. Thorn, try and stay warm and then you can grab one." Fray ushered Raven upstairs and I put on a pot of coffee. We had both gotten completely soaked because Voldemort had parked to close to the entrance of our really, really, really long driveway, so we had to run through the pouring rain. I walked down the stairs to the laundry room where I peeled off my wet clothes and wrapped myself in blankets. The guys are never gonna believe this. I thought. There I was, sitting by the fireplace in my boxers, waiting for Raven to finish a shower, but I had stopped anything from happening between us.
"That's a nice girl you found. Very polite." Fray said coming down the stairs holding a bundle of soaked clothes. I nodded. "She's cool." "Where did she get those bruises?" Gotta love Fray, she was never on to beat around the bush. "Her dad, that's why I brought her here. From what I could gather, she moved from New York to stay with her brother, but her dad followed her. I couldn't leave her alone with him, Fray." She nodded. I could hear the water being turned off in the bathroom. "I gave her some of your mom's old things. I was right, they're the same size. If you're going to go up, at least wait until she walks out herself."
I walked slowly upstairs. The main bathroom door opened, revealing Raven in my mom's old t-shirt and jeans. Her hair was wet, makeup smudged and she had a faint scent of strawberries. She was beautiful. "Um, hey. Look, thanks, you know, for everything." she said. "No problem. if you want, there's a hairdryer in the spare bathroom downstairs." "Thanks." We kind of stood there looking at each other. Then I remembered I was in my boxers. I flushed. "I'll ah...just, yeah." "Oh, yeah, I mean, yeah." she said, biting her lip." The bare skin on her arm touched mine, and the spot had pins and needles.
The hot water felt good, but i couldn't get over the pins and needles thing. I stepped out, got dressed and styled my bangs to cover my face. Lastly, I fixed the silver chain that I always wore- my mom had given it to be just before she died. I got a sharp pain in my temple, like I always did when I thought about the accident....
"I want you to want me, I need you to need me, ..." Jessica and Damien Thorn sang along to the radio. It was Damiens' eighth birthday and his mom was taking him to McDonald's. "Mom, you're the coolest." "I know hon." Jessica smiled. She had the best mom-smile in the world. They were driving down the lonely road towards the main one. Jessica looked in her rear-view mirror, her smile faltered. "Mom? Are you okay?" Damien asked. "Of course honey. I just remembered something. Look in the glove compartment, there's something in there for you." Damien did what his mom asked, but not before looking in the mirror to see a shiny black car driving a short distance behind them. Inside the glove compartment was a worn box with a silver chain in it. "I know it seems girly, but this belonged to a very good friend of mine, and he asked me to give it to you when you were old enough. I was planning to wait another, say, ten years? But I thought I should give it to you now, just in case." "Thanks mom, this is really cool." "That's my boy." Jessica kissed his head, but got a worried look when she glanced in the mirror again. "Mom, what's wrong? Really." "Oh, can those eyes get any bigger? Honey, if I asked you to do something, would you do it?" Damien nodded. "Then Damien, I need you to do two very important things. Number one, I want you to put on that chain and keep it on, no matter what. Okay?" He put it on. "Good, now, I need you to take off you seat belt and hide under the seat." "But mom..." "Damien, please." He did what his mother told him to do. "Damien, honey I love you. Tell your dad I love him, too. Listen to Frayda. And never loose hope, no matter what." There was a blinding white flash of light and the sound of car brakes being slammed. Damien tried to see what happened, but something hit the side of his head. The last thing he saw was a person with big black bat wings walking away...
"Thorn, are you alright?" someone knocked on the bathroom door. I was on the cold porcelain floor. It's okay. I told myself. It was just a memory. But it had felt so real. I felt for the chain. Still there. I hadn't taken it off since that day. "Thorn?" Raven asked again. "Yeah, sorry, I'm fine." I opened the door, Raven looked anxious. "Did something happen? I heard a bang..." "Yeah, I fell, but I'm fine. C'mon, I don't know about you, but I could use a cup of coffee right now."
We were just about to sit down when I remembered something. "Crap! I'll be right back!" I said, grabbing an umbrella on my way out the door. A few minutes later, I came back in, miraculously dry, holding my acoustic guitar in it's case. "Sorry, I forgot I left it in the car." Fray walked in the kitchen. "Oh, I'm sorry, were you about to play?" "Actually I-" "Could you? I mean, I think it's really awesome that you play, and I'd love to hear you." Raven said, looking down, apparently embarrassed. "Sure." I sat down on a stool and took out the guitar. I strummed a few cords, and Raven pulled her seat closer. I picked a song at random. "I'd give up forever to touch you. 'Cause I know that you'd feel me somehow. You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be and I don't wanna go home right now..." I'd always loved the acoustic in 'Iris' by the Goo Goo Dolls. After I finished that, I played some Secondhand Serenade. "Didn't you wanna hear the sound of all the places we could go? Do you fear the expressions on the faces we don't know..." ('Maybe') "Waiting for your, call I'm sick, call I'm angry, call I'm desperate for your voice..." (Your Call) which was then followed by the only acoustic Green Day song I knew.
"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. So make the best of this test and don't ask why. It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time. It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life." Raven seemed amazed at how I played, though I don't know why, it wasn't anything special. "So take the photographs and still-frames in your mind. Hang it on a shelf in good heath and good time. Tattoo's and memories and dead skin on trial. For what it's worth, it was worth all the while. It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life.It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life. It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life..." I finished the last remaining notes and looked at Raven for a verdict.
"That was, wow, that was amazing. Can the other guys play as good as that?" I scoffed. "Only in their dreams." The phone rang. "Raven, it's your brother." Fray called. I put the guitar away. "Derek? Are you okay? Thank God. Yeah, I'm fine. I'm at a friends house. Yes. No. Okay, I'll ask. Are you sure? Alright." Raven handed me the cordless phone. "He wants to talk to you." I held the receiver to my ear. "Hello?" "Hey, is this Thorn?" "Yeah?" "I'm Derek, Raven's older brother. I just wanted to thank you for not letting my sister come home." Well, that's the first time any guy in history ever heard an older brother say that. "Uh, no problem. I mean, I heard about, you know..." "Yeah. Look, her dad's gone and I don't have a car, so would you mind bringing her home?" "I'd be happy to." "Great, thanks. I ah, have to go down to the police station, so don't worry if I'm not there." "'Kay. Do you want to talk to her, or...?" "Nah, I've gotta get going. Thanks again man." Derek hung up. "I'm gonna take you home, 'Kay? He's got..somewhere else to be." I didn't want to tell Raven where her brother was going, he would tell her if he wanted to. "Okay." "Perfect timing, here's your stuff dear." Fray put Raven's pile of fresh-out-of-the-dryer clothes. "And it looks like the rains' stopped. Let's get going then." On the way to her house I told Raven I wasn't going to tell anyone about her dad. "Thank you. I just...you know. It's bad enough having to be the new kid, but with this on top of it-" "I know. I've lived here my whole life and I know these people. They feed on stuff like this, they're little gossip vampires. Here we are." I got out and opened her door for her. "Thanks. Do you wanna come in?" "Sure." Her house had pretty much the same layout as mine, but it was a lot messier. She threw her bag on the stairs and led me in her kitchen. "Do you want a Coke?" "I'm good thanks. But Raven, can I ask you something?" "Sure." "Well, I heard you singing in art today..." "Crap, sorry, I didn't even notice-" "No, it's okay, you're really good. I was just wondering, would you, ya know, sing with us this Friday?" Raven, who was getting a Coke for herself, stopped. "You want me to sing with you?" "Forget it, if you don't want to that's fine..." "Thorn." "We can find someone in time, I just thought..." "Thorn." "I mean, you sounded really good and-" "Damien Robert Michael Thorn! Will you shut up for a second?" I snapped my mouth shut. "I would love to." "Really?" "No, I'm lying. Of course I'll help you guys out." She poked my stomach. "Ow, why you little-" I lunged at her, but she dodged, laughing. I chased her through the house, until we got to the basement.
I got the sharp pain in my head when I saw the door. It was just a door, but there was something about it that caused my headache...
"Michael, thank you again for helping me. I wouldn't come unless it was and emergency." "I know Jessica. But are you sure you want him to be blocked?" "I just want my family to be safe. It's my fault all of this happened anyway. I broke the law." "It's not your fault, you fell in love, what could you do?" A man with dark glasses crouched down to eye level with the three year old Damien. "He looks like Tom, but has your eyes. Be careful with that, it may make him a target." The man stuck his hand out. "Hello Damien, my names' Mike. I'm your mommy's friends." Damien looked at Mike, then at his mommy. He shook the hand tentatively. "That's a boy." Mike stood up. "Jessica, what if he meets her? What if he dies and chooses life again? Sara's not the best at what she does, though I'm sorry to say it." Jessica shook her head. "This is his second try at life. Everything he does now was chosen by his former self. I've seen visions of his past life, and it's no wonder he wanted to try again." "How bad was it?" "Horrible! Tom and I beat him, the only friend he had was the one who killed him, and Michael," Jessica's voice shook. "He died trying to save her." "Unca Mike?" A tiny squeaky voice asked. "Is that her?" "Yes. Ray Ray, I'll be up in a- " A girl about Damien's' age ran down the stairs and jumped into Mike's arms. The girl looked at Damien with liquid silver eyes...
"Thorn! THORN! Can you hear me?!" I was on the ground, Raven was crouched over me. "Ugh, I-I'm fine." I stood up with a little difficulty. "Ow." My neck was stiff and my head was sore. "I think you hit your head. We need to get you to a doctor." "No,no, I'm fine. Really." I smiled to show her I was alright. "I'd better get home." Raven walked me to the door. "Are you sure you're alright?" "Don't worry, do you want me to drive you to school tomorrow?" "Sure." She didn't seem convinced. "See you later." "Bye"
I walked through my front door to find the place a mess. "Fray? You okay?" I called. "Thorn! Thank goodness!" Fray didn't look like herself. Her hair was flying all over the place, she seemed out of breath and she didn't notice the mess around her. This was the woman who got pissed when a fly left footprints on the window. "Frayda? Are you okay." I asked again when she almost tackled me with a hug. "Oh thank goodness! You scared me Thorn!" "Don't worry, I'm here." "Oh, my word, i was so preoccupied I didn't fix dinner!" "It's alright, I think I'm just going to go to bed." "Can you not wear your clothes to bed again?" "No problem."
I stripped down to my boxers and fell right to sleep...
I was standing in a familiar meadow, but I had never seen it before that I could remember. "Damien." I whipped around. My mom was standing behind me. "Mom?" "Look at you! You're so skinny, I would never have thought it possible, the way Frayda cooks." I was awestruck. "Mom?" I asked again. Jessica smiled. "Is that all you can say hon? It's really me. But we don't have much time, I have some things I need to tell you. But first," she nodded her head and I felt myself wearing jeans and a t-shirt. "That's better, now. Let's get down to business. I am an angel." Well, nice to see you after ten years too mom. I thought. "You still have the best conversation starters, mom." I laughed. "I know right? But seriously. I am. And you are part angel, part human. A proeliator, or warrior. " "Christ, I've lost my mind. I know what happened! When I hit my head, I never woke up! That must be it." Jessica laughed, then became serious. "Damien, all of this is true, You need to remember what I'm saying to you. I am an angel. Or I was, I was expelled as one for falling in love with a human, your dad. Do you remember your eighth birthday?" "Of course." I ignored the pain this time. "Do you get a pain in your head every time you think about it?" I nodded. "These things called Avengers did that. They take no sides, and only take on cases that interest them." "Wait a second- can you maybe start from the beginning?" I asked. "I suppose that would be best. I was an angel, sent on a mission which I can't tell you about. Short story long, I met your dad, we fell in love, I turned my back on my life as an angel. I kept Tom a secret because I broke one of the big rules. If you are an angel, you can't love a human, or a demon. When you were born I took you to a warlock friend of mine. He put a spell on you so you wouldn't be able to see anything from my world. If you didn't know about angels and demons, you wouldn't be in any danger. "
Jessica paused. "When you were old enough, I was going to tell you all of this. But the Avengers tracked me down. I had to be punished for breaking the law, they removed your memory of ever seeing them and made my death seem like a car accident. But now you're old enough and I'm allowed to tell you. Though I may not like it, you do have a role in this." "As a warrior?" "Proeliator, it's Latin. But yes, you are supposed to train to take on the Underworld, or Hell, whichever term you prefer." My jaw dropped. "What the- Hell? Like, with Satan and crap?" Jessica nodded. "Although he doesn't go by 'Satan' anymore. I can't say his name, but I can give you these." She handed me a leather-bound book. "Only use these once your training is complete. I have to go, but we'll speak again. I love you."
I woke up in a cold sweat. "Christ, my dreams are messed." I reached for the glass of water on my nightstand. A book fell beside me, it was the one from my dream. "Holy s***!" I jumped. "Thorn? Are you up? Can I come in?" Fray called from bellow. "Yeah, sure." Fray was holding a tray with soup, orange juice, a thermometer and some cold medicine. "I want you to stay home today." she said. I sighed, and looked at the clock. 7:30 am. I was supposed to pick up Raven in ten minutes. I texted Josh.
Hey man, u up?
Can u pick up Raven 4 skool 2 day? im sick, so i cant.
Bummer, ya i can. feel better dude.
thanks man. l8r
I gave Josh her address and flipped my phone shut. "Everything alright?" Fray asked, feeling my forehead. "Yeah, I was supposed to do something today, but Josh can do it, so it's cool." "Good. So what did your mother tell you last night?" I chocked on my soup. "What?" I gasped. "I see she gave to the book, so that means she told you the story. But from your expression I take it she didn't tell you about me. I'm a witch Thorn. Or a Seer, capital 's'." My face must have looked like that emoticon, the colon and capital 'o'. Fray chuckled. "Open that book to page 27, that's my story, then again, it's kind of yours too."
I did what she said and....I was literally sucked in.
Rain was pounding down on the roof of a small cottage in an old forest. Smoke flowed from the chimney and the glow of the fire shone through the second-story window. My torso was bare, but the rain seemed to pass through me. I saw a hooded figure running-or trying to- up to the cottage. They knocked rapidly and repeatedly until a slightly younger Frayda answered. "Coming, com- Oh my! Jessica! Get in here! What happened?" The persons' hood fell to reveal- my mom? "Fray...I...didn't know where else to- AH!" Jessica cut herself off with a scream. I followed her into the cottage. "Oh dear! You did the right thing. Lay down, I'll be right back." Not really wanting to see my mother give birth, I followed Fray. She put a pot over the fire, placed some blankets close to it, the started pulling bottles and containers from shelves. I made the mistake of reading the labels.
Chicken Bones, Wolfs bane, Mandrake root, and Belladonna were present, but (thankfully) they weren't the jars she was gathering. Kneeling by the boiling water, Fray added the ingredients, saying their names under her breath. "One feather from a doves' wing, five petals from a blue rose, three gold coins, and two unicorn tears." It smelled great. Like homemade brownies and hot chocolate. The mix was a deep burgundy colour. Jessica screamed from the other room. "Oh, it's a proeliator, alright." Fray muttered, running to Jessica holding the now warm blankets. I stayed where I was, trying hard not to run to my mom. Then I heard her speak for the first time since she walked through the door. "...Thorn..." I bolted, thinking she was talking to me again. She was, but I was the kid. "He has your eyes, but he looks like Tom, especially without any hair. Will Thorn be his first or last?" "First, but we'll pretend it's his last, it's not the most common name in this day and age." Jessica was sitting upright on the couch, her short blond hair matted to her sweaty forehead, but her smile was remarkable, my favourite smile.
Fray left for a minute, then came back holding a baby formula bottle, filled to the brim with the burgundy colored stuff. She gave it to my mom, who fed it to me. "What happens now Fray?" "It depends. My potion should hide Orbis Nostri from him for a few years, but Michael will have to help you. I can't make it long-lasting, but he can." Jessica sighed. "Fray, what have I done? What kind of life have I created for Tom? For our child?" "Oh hush up girl. You did nothing wrong. It's not your fault they have plans for you." Fray pointed to the ceiling, then the floor. "But-" "No buts! Now, I'll set up a portal for you to get home. I want you to stay here and have a minute with your son."
Jessica nodded with a look of defeat. She looked at me- him- the kid in her arms. I didn't know how to think of it, it was me, but it naked child form. It started to cry when it finished the bottle. "Shh, Thorn, it's okay. I wish I could always call you that. But we don't want people to know who you are. Tom wanted to call you Damien, so we will. Damien Thorn."
The scene faded and I was sitting in bed, Fray waiting for my reaction. "Holy crap..." I put my head in my hands. "Good, it worked, I couldn't be sure, I'm a little rusty in the magic department." I usually understood things pretty quickly. I was the only junior to ace pre-calculus, but for the first time in my life I had no idea what was going on! "Why? Why? Why me?" I asked to no one in particular. "Jessica spent a long time asking the same thing. Found the answer too, but we'll get to that later. For right now, get dressed, bring the book, and eat your soup. You're going to need your energy today." I got dressed, but poured the soup down the drainpipe. I wanted to trust Fray, but I had seen what she used in her cooking, and I didn't really want any toadstool surprise. After eating a chocolate bar from my candy stash I climbed down the ladder hesitantly, not knowing what would be waiting for me below.
"Hurry up Thorn! Now, do you want the explanation first, or should we just jump into training?" Fray said. "Training? What training?" "Explanation it is then." Fray chuckled. "Come over here, Don't worry, I don't bite. Good, you might want to sit down. I'm going to tell you a story, like a fairy tale. I told you it before, when you were younger. But I hope now you understand it better now."