Author's note: I came up with the idea while listening to the song Velonica by Aqua Timez
OneI couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Arrow’s mouth kept moving, but I couldn’t hear anything but the beat of my own speeding pulse. Arrow had singled me and two others in the hall way of the school, about five minutes before the bell rang, for some supposedly important news. There he stood, his hands on his hips, his mouth set in a cavalier smirk. After he delivered his news, the crowd stood speechless before him. Marcie, a girl about a year younger than me was the first to speak, her eyes were wide and her lithe figure tense, “there is no way you caught a werewolf. No way in hell.”
I was too shocked to speak. Had arrow really caught a werewolf, the bane of Arcana, the very same beast that had killed my mother all those years ago, and marked me forever? I found my voice as I said, a little too loudly, “where is it?!”
All eyes turned toward me. Jameson, a tough looking black haired boy, with violet eyes addressed me in his gruff voice, “well well well, little Velonica is interested in something like this? I thought you didn’t care about the ‘wolves.” He smiled, exposing his white teeth. I swallowed thickly. Jameson had never liked me after all, not that I cared. He was just another overly buff meat head. I ignored his comment and kept speaking, determined to be answered.
“Did you really capture one? Where is it at? Can I see it?” my mouth moved a mile a minute, but I didn’t care about the stares the others gave me, my gaze was focused on Arrow, who still smirked while he set his heavily lidded blue eyes on me.
“of course I really caught one, its at the old school tower in a homemade cage I made especially for it. And if y’all really want to see it, meet me at the tower, tonight at nine.”
A collective gasp ran through us, Marcie grimaced, “no way! Do you know what’ll happen if we’re caught out after curfew? I’m not taking that risk for some werewolf you supposedly caught.”
Marcie let out a huff of air and crossed her arms over her chest indigently. Jameson rolled his eyes, “whatever, I knew you wouldn’t come, but im definitely going! I wouldn’t miss a chance to see one of those damned monsters myself!” Arrow beamed and patted Jameson’s shoulder.
“I knew you wouldn’t chicken out, James, old buddy, old pal!” Jameson swatted away Arrow’s hand.
“trust me, if you’re lying about this, im going to beat you into a pulp.”
Arrow laughed it off, and I turned to Marcie. We weren’t really close, but I liked her a hell of a lot more than Jameson. “come on, you have to go!” I whispered, turning and facing her.
Marcie just shook her head, staring at Arrow and Jameson, “no, I’d rather not…” though she sounded uncertain to me.
I prodded her a bit with my elbow, “come on, Im going to go too, and I don’t want to be alone with those two over there,” I gestured toward Jameson and Arrow, who were playfully punching each other on the arm, “plus, wont it be cool to see an actual werewolf?”
Marcie looked thoughtful for a moment, absentmindedly twirling her Black hair around her finger.
“ok,” she said, ‘ill go.’
I was about to tell her I was glad she was going, before I felt a tap on my shoulder. I whirled around to see matt standing before me, a warm smile on his face. “go where?” he said, addressing Marcie. She paled visibly and shook her head.
“n-nowhere.” She was such a bad liar.
Matt didn’t seem convinced, and kept prodding Marcie, “but you just said you were going some where.”
It was my turn to intervene, “she was going to my house, tonight, to study.” Damn. I forgot that I was a bad liar too. Jameson and Arrow had ceased their play fighting and were now standing just behind Marcie and I, “yeah, she was just tellin’ us she needed help on her homework, right Velonica?” it was Arrow who spoke, placing a reassuring hand on my shoulder.
I nodded awkwardly, “yeah, that’s right.”
Matt shrugged his shoulders, “cool. Anyway we better get out of here, the bell rang a while ago and I have a feeling the teachers don’t appreciate us staying grouped together after hours like this.” Good old matt, always a stickler for the rules.
“alright, let’s go home then, “I said, before turning to Marcie, “remember to be at my house around six tonight!” Then, without another word, matt and I left the school building.
Once outside, Matt turned toward me and said, “so what was up with that?”
“with what?” I asked, feigning innocence.
“you know what.’
I sighed in defeat, I just couldn’t lie to Matt, “we’re going to the old school tower tonight after curfew.”
Matt was speechless. We walked in silence for a couple of heart beats before he spoke again, “you cant go out after curfew.”
I kept walking, not saying anything. Matt was my best friend after all, I couldn’t really hold his protectiveness against him. Matt and I knew each other since we were little, since his parents were killed by werewolves and he lived next to us on the northern side of our city Arcana. My father had always welcomed him into our home for meals and the like, so it was fair to say we were close.
“come on.” I said, resting my hands behind my back as I walked, “its not like ive been caught before.”
“what?!” matt sputtered, “you’ve done that before?”
“Duh. Whenever I go to your house after curfew.”
“oh, well that’s different. My house is right next to yours, you’re only outside for a minute.’
I sighed, defeated. I was still going to go to the school tower, but I would let matt believe I wasn’t. Arcana was busy today, as we walked through the crowded streets. We were near the north side of Arcana, the wealthier side. Our school, the only one in Arcana, was right between the southern and northern side, so it was accessible to students both poor and wealthy. Matt and I lived on the North side, sicne my father was a Venator and his father used to be, when he was alive.
Lined up on either side of the black paved street were street vendors, merchants selling their wares, performers and the like. People were milling about, talking and laughing, doing their shopping and such while it was still day light. The whole city had a curfew that started at sunset, the times changing depending on when night would fall. The reason being is that werewolf attacks were a lot more prevalent during the night.
Matt and I walked toward our houses, each of us keeping silent as we went. Finally matt said, “I really think you should stay in at night, Velonica. I mean, if you get caught after curfew, what’ll happen when they find out you don’t have a port or a code?”
That’s right. Matt and my father were the only ones that knew how much of a weirdo I was. Every man woman and child in Arcana had two things: a port and a barcode tattoo. The bar code tattoo was a means of tracking the populace and identification, the ports were different.
Everybody had small metal ports on the backs of their necks, that were put there when they were born. The ports are used for things like medications and tracking. Whenever we went to the hospital, there was a giant machine that looked like a stainless steel canister with a long needle sttached to it. They would put those inside of our ports and access our information there, basic stuff like age, sex, what diseases we had, learning ability and the like.
But the thing was, I had neither a bar code tattoo nor a port. My father, who was head of the Venators, men and women who walk the streets at night, looking for threats to the city, told me it was because they were damaged when I was a baby, when I was attacked by a werewolf.
Since my father was of such a high social standing, he was able to make sure that no one at the school or at hospitals questioned my lack of these things, and no one ever has. Since I wear my hair long, reaching my waist, no one can even see my neck, and the lack of the port or tattoo.
Matt stopped suddenly, and I did too after a few more steps. “what?” I asked, turning to face him.
“you didn’t answer me. What do you think they’ll do if they find out youre different? if they find out you don’t have a bar code or even a port? Don’t you know what happens when youre caught out after curfew without a valid reason?” yes. I knew what happened to the kids caught out after hours. They were injected with tiny chips right into their ports, that recorded their every move. It sounded horrible.
I nodded my head, “I know. But they wont catch me, I promise. Just stop worrying so much about me, im not a little girl, I can take care of myself.”
“that may be, but Velonica, I just don’t want anything to happen to you.”
I felt like something was caught in my throat. Matt looked at me, his deep blue eyes soft and sweet. Dammit, why did he have to be so hard to stay mad at?
“matt, I promise ill be okay. Just don’t worry about me. I swear I wont get caught.” Matt seemed unconvinced, as he ran a hand through his short black hair.
“but why are you even going to the old school tower? And at night? We could go during the day if we really wanted to. I don’t see whats so interesting about it. Its just a part of the school we don’t use any more. “
“well, its just…” why didn’t I think of an excuse before, I though frantically, if he knows im going to go see a captive werewolf, theres no way he’ll let me go! “Err, Jameson dared me to go! ‘ Cause its supposed to be haunted! He said I would be to scared to go at night!”
That’s a good lie! He knows how much I hate Jameson! Matt sighed. “okay, if its that important, I wont stop you, but Velonica? Just be careful, Okay?”
I couldn’t believe it!c my lying skills must be getting better! “okay!” I chirped happily, glad that he believed such an obvious lie.