strike: a faerie tale
Author's note: This a sequel; check out the first. This second book took me one month during a summer vacation... Show full author's note »
venomON IMPACT, I VIOLENTLY JOLTED AWAKE, A BELL SOUNDING MADDENINGLY IN MY EARS. I'd been slumped over a desk, Jake sitting next to me. Students were filing out of the classroom. The lights turned on as I glanced at the clock.
We were still in fourth period History. And I had been dreaming.
"Are you alright?" Jake asked as I shakily stood up from my desk. I only nodded as he put his arm around my waist, probably afraid I was going to faint or something.
"Did you have another dream?" he asked quietly. I nodded and began telling him everything I saw. I emphasized the fact I had been worrying about Josh getting close to Roxanne when I got to the part where we found them in the orchard.
"I'm scared, Jake," I said when I finished. "What if this does happen today?"
He held me closer. "Go to the office and tell them you're sick so you can go home to Josh. I'll come right after you." He kissed me on the forehead. "I'll wait for you in your room." He headed to class as I headed to the Administration office.
I stopped halfway, ignoring the students that passed me by. If Mom came to get me, she'd have to leave the house. Josh would be alone, Roxanne would make her move. I needed to intercept her, if what I saw was going to happen. I needed Mom to stay with Josh. If she were attacked--God forbid that ever happen--Roxanne would know I was going to come after her no matter what.
Instead, I went to the bathroom, to wait for everyone to be inside. I sent Jake a text to meet me near the parking lot, behind the history building immediately. I waited there for five excruciating minutes when Jake appeared next to me.
"We need to go to my house. Now." He understood perfectly and made us invisible as I flew us into the air, ignoring Jake's grip at the sudden speed. I turned to the sidewalk below in time to find Roxanne, waking nonchalantly to my house.
"I'm gonna grab her. Take us to the orchard. Can you turn her invisible on contact?" I asked quickly. He nodded as I zoomed down to her. We landed behind her, grabbed her arms with our free hands as Jake teleported us to the orchard. She squirmed her way out of our hands the moment we arrived
She looked wildly around her before turning to us. "What are you doing? Why did you bring me here?"
"You were going to see Josh, Roxanne," I said firmly. She looked taken aback at my knowledge. "I want to know why."
"How did you--?"
"Never mind how she knows," Jake broke in. "What were you planning to do with Josh?"
Roxanne looked at us with fear. "I-I just wanted someone to talk to," she said quietly. She started crying on the spot. "Josh seemed to understand me. He was the only one nice to me. Your friend Liz didn't like me--"
"Cut the sob story crap, please," I cut in. She widened her eyes at me. "Why did you leave Oregon? Not enough to eat up north? Thought you could catch a good southern meal? Were you a part of some pack?"
"No, no, and yes. But first answer me a question," she said. I was startled at her calm response. Her eyes had become darker than usual.
"Are you a vampire?"
I felt the blood escape my face. How could she assume I was a vampire? How could she even ask if I was a vampire? We were outside. It was daylight.
It took a while to unscramble my brain. "No. I'm not. Jake isn't one either."
Roxanne thought for a minute, frowning. "Do you know one?"
"We killed one in May," Jake answered for me. I gawked at him; he shrugged at me. "Technically. So, you missed him."
"Then why does she smell like one?"
I was about to tell hr she was insane… then, all late, it hit me. "Do you smell a vampire's… venom ?" She nodded. "Then it's me. I was bitten by a vampire." She stumbled back in shock. "Don't worry--I'm not one. His venom… it didn't work on me."
Roxanne gave me a searching look, trying to see if I was lying. "How could it not work on you? It's vampire venom."
"I'm not going to tell the whole story--too long, but, in summary, I'm half-faerie. He wasn't a strong vampire yet so his venom wasn't strong enough to change me." She seemed to have been convinced, if just barely. "Can you answer me a question?"
She shrugged. "Yeah."
I thought of the most important one that came to mind. "Why did you come?"
She thought for a minute. "It's a long story," she warned.
I looked at my watch-- two o'clock. "We've got plenty of time," I replied. Roxanne motioned for us to follow her to the shade; Jake leaned against the tree, she and I sat down. It was the first week of September but the heat was still kicking around.
"My pack leader had sensed a vampire around our city. There were reported murders, and the clues were easy to spot. Disappearances, perfect homicides, no evidence left on the victims. We started searching for… it this past winter. It's almost common knowledge that the only true enemy of a werewolf is a vampire. So we followed their scent until we were out of state. I volunteered to follow him. I'm staying with friends out of town.
"When I caught up with him, I realized he was only a ghost--impossible as that sounds. It seemed he couldn't survive without a body, and he steadily moved south. He flitted in and out of people… I guess looking for someone in particular."
I read her mind; she was telling the truth.
"How long have you been following him exactly?" I asked.
"It was in… mid May, I think, when I lost him. Why?"
I understood then. "He'd been looking for his grandson--to a number of degrees. He wanted to rule the world I guess--however lame that sounds--but he had to… kill a faerie." I didn't want to mention Altorania; she had no business in knowing of its existence.
"Why did he have to kill a faerie?" Roxanne asked, a little confused.
"Because faerie blood kills a vampire," I answered, remembering what Arial had told me. "Jake stabbed him with my faerie blood, which killed the… vampire ghost, but not his great-great….great grandson."
She analyzed this for a few minutes. "So… he's gone?"
Jake and I nodded. "Then I have to go home and tell them," she said, smiling and sounding relieved.
"Is it alright if I ask a couple more questions?" I asked. I checked my watch again.
"I guess it's only fair."
"Can you really not control your… affliction?" I asked awkwardly.
She thought deeply about the question. "When the moon is full, I can't control myself. I'm not as… mature yet. The transformation occurs naturally then. But I can change whenever I want to, and I have a hold over myself. I never change during the day, only when I was traveling over the mountains; even then it was dangerous, because of hunters. But with so many people around, I didn't want to risk…."
"Amy…" she said, looking down ashamed. "I am truly sorry about what I did to your dad. I couldn't fight myself at the full moon. Please… forgive me." Tears swam in her eyes then fell to the ground.
I thought long and hard. "I forgive you," I said softly. "But I think it'd be a good idea if you left. You don't seem to have much reason to stay here anymore. And I don't want this to happen again."
Roxanne nodded in agreement. "I just want to say you're a good person."
Jake raised an eyebrow as he asked, "Did Liz really not like you?"
She shook her head. "I had English with her. I knew she didn't like me because when I had asked her for a pencil, she said 'why don't you ask Josh'," she imitated Liz very convincingly. "I wasn't sure what she meant, but I stayed away from her." She sighed. "I guess I'll see ya around." She looked at us; their was a guilty look in her eyes.
Roxanne then ran away with her perfect speed till she became a small blur and disappeared into the orchard. Jake and I stood there for a couple of seconds.
"That was interesting," I said leaning on Jake. "I really think she was nice."
"Yeah, she was alright, I guess," he replied. "If she wasn't a werewolf, we could've been good friends."
"Except Liz." I sighed. "First vampires, now werewolves. I wouldn't be surprised if the Abominable Snowman showed up next."
"With us, it's possible."
We leaned against a tree for a while, reveling at what had been settled. There would be no more attacks after my dad's. He was still in the hospital but was recuperating quickly and will soon be his old self. My family and friends--and the town--would be safe again.
Jake suddenly twitched violently, making me jump. His arms loosened around me.
"Jake?" I asked as he slipped to the ground. "Jake?!" I shook him; he wouldn't open his eyes. "Jake! Wake up!" I turned him over on his back. I was about to check for a pulse when I looked at his neck.
A gray dart with a barcode number. I pulled it out, hoping its poison or whatever would stop spreading. I dropped it instantly; it burned my hand. I was about to put up a shield when I felt a sharp sting in my arm. I slipped into unconsciousness with amazing speed.
My head was swimming when I became aware of my surroundings. I felt like I was moving, like I was in a car. I was resting against someone. I tried to open my eyes but they wouldn't obey. Instead, I focused on my other senses. It was boy I was leaning on: Jake. I felt his familiar arm around my waist, my head against his shoulder. He was breathing fast. Was he scared? Nervous?
My eyes blinked open just slightly. It was dark; I guessed it was night. I tried to lift my head, I probably I didn't move at all because Jake didn't notice anything. I felt so tired; my insides ached, and I felt dizzy. My throat burned when I breathed. I smelled the same heavy metallic smell from the hospital ride… how long ago? I wasn't sure anymore as I slipped back into the darkness--
Only to jerk awake again, eyes wide open. I whimpered slightly at my sudden movement. Jake twitched ferociously, making me to move again and a dull throbbing ache to go through me. I whimpered again.
"Amy?" he said, sounding confused. I tried to sit up straight but every muscle ached when I tried. I moaned a little less. Jake moved me a little so I sat up straighter.
"I don't feel good, Jake," I mumbled. My voice felt like I had nails coming out of it instead of words, scraping their way up my throat. Jake held me, stroking my hair. I tried to look out the window. Hours? Or was it days? There was no way to tell the difference.
"What time is it?" I said softly.
"I don't know, they took our phones," he replied quietly.
"Don't try to talk now. Just--"
"I want to know," I whispered when I'd actually tried to raise my voice.
He sighed. "I don't know who they are. I woke up in the car." He sounded automatic. I sighed then moaned again; it burned inhaling the air.
"Are you in pain?" he asked. I could hear the anxiety in his voice.
I just nodded, my neck feeling stiff and sore. He started running his fingers through my hair. We sat there for what seemed like hours. Where were they taking us? Were our families looking for us, this very moment?
"We're here," said a voice from the front.
The car stopped.
We had arrived.