A Change in Fate
Author's note: I started writing this because I was bored one day, but I actually ended up getting pretty into... Show full author's note »
Chapter 5Drea kept her eyes open as he was carrying her, but she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. He was jumping from building to building like a ninja, moving at a speed so fast that the naked eye couldn’t possibly catch him. The land under their feet and the world around them was blurring at the speed he was moving, and yet his eyes could somehow make out the landscape ahead of them. His eyes might’ve just gotten used to the speed, but hers hadn’t. Everything still looked blurry and undefined.
Within only a couple of minutes, they had arrived at their destination. It was a small alcove a bit out of town in a rural area. A waterfall of about ten or twelve feet high flowed down over the smooth gray rocks, crashing down softly into a shallow pond. The gray rocks continued down the sides of the waterfall and around the pond. They formed flat ground with a few large boulders spread around. A forest surrounded the waterfall with natural paths leading to and from the rocky underfoot. The waterfall was an interruption in the forest, splitting up the trees and grass with its smooth gray rocks.
Drea had been there many times with Kevin and their father when she was little, but hadn’t come often in the years since Kevin died. It was never the same. As she set her eyes upon it again, she was happy to see that it had lost none of its beauty in the years since she’d been there. The water still sparkled like stars as the crisp water twinkled down into the shiny, unbroken pond water. The koi fish moved silently in it, the oranges and reds swirling around in the pool of blue. The smooth gray rocks formed the cliff behind the waterfall, jumping to the ground like cooled lava.
The boy landed on the flat rocks covering the ground. With a look around, he set Drea down, propping her up against one of the large boulders. He was extremely careful of her arm as he did so. When he gestured for it again, she held it out tentatively. He looked at it under his critical eye before holding his hand out over her wrist.
She watched suspiciously, unsure of what he was planning on doing. He’d said something about healing her. What is that supposed to mean?
His hand began to glow green and, like magic, Drea felt the pain and pressure release from her wrist. The bruises were lifting off of her skin as he poured his energy into her wound. The blood stopped dripping as her skin reformed itself slowly around the healing muscles and bone. It was strange to see the inside of her wrist healing like that as the skin slithered back over her arm. Her arm was already feeling better with the energy of his hands resembling the cool feel of smooth water.
“How are you doing that?” she asked in bewilderment. Her voice sounded gravelly after not talking for some time. He looked up to meet her eyes without taking his focus off of her arm. How he could maintain that amount of focus was beyond her.
“I’m using my aura to heal you,” he said, “It’s one of our healing techniques. I’m able to speed up time within the space of my aura. I use my mind and aura though to fix anything that time wouldn’t mend correctly.”
“How?” asked Drea
“I can use my aura to feel the damage inside the body where the eyes can’t see. I use my mind to direct the aura through my hand to fix that internal damage by reforming bones or nerves. I can use the aura to fix broken bones, fill in cracked bones, heal nerve damage and the nerves or muscles themselves, and of course heal outside wounds like cuts and bleeding wounds.”
Looking at the thoughtful look on her face, he added, “Only certain people can direct their aura so precisely though, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up. It’s usually something that comes with birth.”
“And how do you know that I can’t heal people like you?” she responded, beginning to return back to herself.
“Andrea, you don’t have the feel in your aura,” he said with a chuckle and a smile. It was the first time he seemed to let go of some of that seriousness. “A healer’s aura has a certain quality to it. It’s more… precise and exact.”
He turned his attention back to her wrist, still smiling slightly. Drea’s thoughts began to wander. She couldn’t sort through everything just yet, but there was one thing she was beginning to understand: her charm. It was now cool again as she touched it through her shirt. It had been seething hot less than ten minutes ago when she was near Crystal and the others, but now it was so cold it was hard to believe it could’ve ever been so hot.
She remembered Kevin as she clenched it; it had been hot when he’d given it to her, but she thought that that was because it was under his clothing. The more she thought about it, she realized that over the six years she’d had it, it had never gotten hot. It was always cold.
That was true until a few days ago anyway. It started burning when she’d felt the bloodlust coursing through Drake’s aura, and then happened once again when Crystal burned her. The third time was when she felt the sinister aura on her way home, and just then with Crystal, Katie, and Kaia.
Come to think of it, it only began to burn when she was near the dark, sinister aura like that of Drake’s and Crystal’s. Over those six years, Drea had never been near any aura like that, which explained why the necklace never burned. If that’s the case though, then why was hot the night she he gave it to me?
She had a vague memory of some monster on that night, but didn’t know why she remembered that. It was as if it was just thrown into her memories somehow. That bloodlust she remembered from Drake and Crystal was the same feeling as what she had felt that night six years ago too. So the aura that was present on that night must’ve made the necklace burn, but where had it come from?
It was like the charm itself was protecting her whenever danger came near, heating up to warn her of the dark aura.
It reminded her of what her brother had said to her those six years ago before he died, that when she was in trouble, all she had to do was hold onto it and help would arrive. She’d never known what he meant, but now it was starting to make sense. Maybe he knew about how it burned or maybe he didn’t, but either way she was grateful for it.
The boy continued to heal her as she lost herself in thoughts. After a few more minutes, he interrupted them saying, “Hold on.”
Hold on? She thought, for what? Then she knew what he meant. Her wrist cracked and itched internally as he repositioned it and filled in the broken bone. It was painful at first, but was replaced with a feeling of relief as the bone adjusted back to where it should be. She could see the muscles wind and twist around the bone, the nerves snaking in after. A shock suddenly made her flinch involuntarily. She almost whacked him in the face, but he had a tight enough grip on her arm to stop her. At least the nerves were working again.
Drea looked down at her wrist, amazement still singing on her face. Her arm was actually fixing itself. The boy looked up at her, his face taking on a whole new level of seriousness. His eyes had such intensity in them; it was like he was building up to something. It turned out he was: “So have you made your decision?”
The question actually caught her by surprise. She had gotten so caught up in the whole situation, it completely slipped her mind.
“Yes,” she said quietly, but with an incredible amount of conviction. “I’ll do it. I need to know what to do and how to keep everyone safe.” Determination replaced the fear she felt toward agreeing to the request. Drea was still unsure of what she was getting into, but saying yes to him felt right. She was still fearful of this new path, yet she felt empowered to take it; it was almost like one of those cheesy “meant-to-be” feelings. She had always wanted to protect everyone as Kevin had and this was her chance. It’d take some time, but if this guy was willing to teach her, she couldn’t refuse.
“You need to know though that in accepting this job, you are accepting the responsibility of protecting this town. You will be the one to stop the monsters from hurting humans. Are you prepared for that?” She continued to stare at him with the same determination in her eyes. “Very well,” he said with a slight smile, “We can begin tomorrow. I’ll tell you everything you need to know before we actually start with the physical aspect of all this.”
“Why can’t we start once you heal me? If all you’re doing is explaining, then we can start now.”
“I’m afraid that won’t work,” he said, “It’s late and you’ll need to be ready to absorb what I’ll be telling you. Your family’s probably pretty worried anyway.”
Drea felt a moment of panic before she lowered her eyes. She had completely forgotten about them. “What can I possibly tell them…” It was more a statement than a question.
She continued on without waiting for him to answer: “The more they know the more they’ll want to get involved, especially Jackie. I can’t let her, or any of them, get hurt like that.”
He remained quiet for a while. Finally, he spoke, “I can’t tell you what to do with your family, but if you tell them something reasonable I’m sure they’ll believe you. Keeping your sister in the dark is the only way I can fathom to truly protect her if that is you goal.”
She nodded, still lost in the thought. It almost made her smile though to hear how trusting he believed her parents were.
“As for your training,” he said, “we can do it every day after school. I may need you during your school hours or at night sometimes too though.” He looked up to her. “It’s your choice what you tell people.”
She didn’t understand all of what he meant, but she knew it’d be tough to find excuses so often. She’d have to be crafty. It occurred to her that agreeing to this really did involve a lot of work, especially if she’d be gone so often.
“Why don’t you just tell everyone you joined some type of club? That seems reasonable enough to me.” It seemed like a good enough idea, which made Drea smile in amusement. He didn’t strike her as someone who was that involved in the aspects of high school life, especially since she’d only seen him at school like once.
Drea thought back, feeling reflective. She thought about everything that had led her to this moment and this training; it seemed so unreal and out of place for her, but she was ready nevertheless. As she thought back to the boy and when she’d met him, she suddenly realized that he knew her name without her telling him. She narrowed her eyes at him, and through her aura, he must’ve sensed her suspicion, so he lifted his eyes to her once again.
“How did you know my name?” she asked.
“I apologize, but as I said earlier, I looked into your mind. I needed to make sure I knew who you were, and a person’s name is one of the things that’s easy to discover.” Looking at her, he anticipated her next question. “And yes, you are also able to extend your mind as I am, as you’ve already discovered. That’s something most people with the awareness of aura can do, with a little training.”
If she needed training, then it surprised her that she already knew how to extend her mind. She wasn’t very good just yet, but it was a start.
Her next question was one that caught him off guard though, “Well if you’re going to be my trainer, and you already know my name, then what’s your name?”
He looked away for a second, as if he was thinking about something. He remained quiet for quite a while, the only movement in him being his slow blinking and soft fall and rise of his chest. Drea began to think that he wouldn’t answer when he turned back to her and said, “Daniel.”
The name sounded so familiar to her, but she couldn’t remember why. It was on the tip on her tongue and yet she just couldn’t place it. The single word echoed through her mind, bouncing around incessantly. It began to bother her. Where have I heard that name before?
She tried to breach the wall that seemed to be put up in her mind as the name wrung in her ears. Without warning, her vision went black, but she was still awake. She blinked a few more times before her vision focused on the scene of her memories from six years ago. It was the night Kevin died. She had no memory of what she was seeing though, despite the fact that she could even see herself- her younger self from six years ago. It truly was like she was on the outside looking in, in to memories that didn’t belong to her, yet she could feel everything happening in her own body and mind, even hearing the thoughts of her younger self.
She saw herself at a friend’s house- a friend whom she didn’t remember- on that stormy night. She was in their kitchen, waiting for her friend and her mother to return, but then the power suddenly went out. Drea shivered as a chill ran through the room coupled with a dark, sinister feel. She still stood off to the side, but she was looking through her younger self’s body. The feeling began to crush her; it was weighing her down.
She tripped off the stool she was sitting on and fell to the floor as a she saw a tall, wolfish creature enter the room. Drea got up quickly and ran through the rooms as fast as she could, tripping over her own feet in her haste to get out. Her fear pounded in her ears, forcing her feet to move quicker than she thought possible.
She could feel the aura spewing out of the beast as she looked over her shoulder and caught a glimpse of it in the dim light. Its eyes were blood red, glowing with hatred as its purple fur prickled with the aura surrounding it.
Drea continued to run, but she was having trouble finding the doorway; she thought she knew where it was, though as she ran, it was like the entire house had gotten flipped around. It was maze-like as she wandered through countless doorways, more doorways than should’ve been in the house.
Eventually she ran toward what looked to be the front of the house. A small window shed a patch of moonlight on the floor. By that time, the monster was right behind her and she’d have no time to make it to the front door, so she took refuge in the moonlight. Her eyes remained trained on the monster the entire time.
She couldn’t move anymore with its eyes following her and the aura assaulting her. It didn’t attack, but only stood in the shadows, watching her. Drea felt its aura as it drifted towards her. It was cold and inhuman, displaying no emotions besides hatred and bloodlust. She snapped back into her own mind for a moment as she realized why the aura felt familiar before moving back to her younger self.
Then she felt another aura approaching the house. A loud bang echoed from somewhere in the house right before Kevin entered the room. She could feel her own fear for him echo through her body mixed with her relief to see him. His aura felt frazzled and worried, but somehow strong. He was speaking to her, but she didn’t respond; she didn’t dare take her eyes off the beast.
He began to stand, trying to get her to come with him, but she could barely feel her own body anymore. Just then, Drea noticed a change in the wolf’s aura. It became much more hostile, its power increasing by the minute. It was getting ready to pounce.
With a start, Drea realized it never had any intention of attacking her, it was after her brother. Panic snaked through her as painfully as a knife would slip through her gut. Before she could stop him, he stood up and the wolf charged.
It was too fast and she was too late. It slashed Kevin right through the stomach and his blood flew through the air from the four think slits protruding from his stomach.
He fell and bled like she remembered, the blood beginning to pool around him even before he hit the ground. It slid in droplets down his body, pouring down over his legs.
She saw herself just sitting behind him, paralyzed by the fear of losing him and of losing herself. She was yelling out, but she couldn’t hear her own voice.
Right before the wolf delivered the final blow, a shadow jumped through the window, smashing the glass with an ear shattering blow. It kicked the wolf out of the way and followed it into the shadows. The cacophony of metal on metal echoed back to her as Drea entered the memories that she’d always remembered. She spoke with her brother and received the necklace as she watched him die and felt the life ebb out of him.
It was strange that she never remembered the slash marks in his stomach, but they were as clear as day now. She had been told that he’d been knifed, though she never remembered anything other than the image of him. Now as she kneeled beside him, she was acutely aware of her feet and knees sitting in the warm, sticky blood. It smelled metallic and synthetic, curling her nose as it stained her skin.
The image of it all was overwhelming as all of her five senses were assaulted with the image of him there, dying slowly and painfully. Her heart was hurting just as much as it hurt the day he died as she felt the pain of his wounds through his aura. It couldn’t have hurt more if she was the one lying there, covered in her own blood.
He died within minutes. A roar echoed from the other side of the room, forcing Drea to look up. The beast fell into the light, disintegrating into dust. To her surprise, the boy, Daniel, walked out of the shadows, cleaning and sheathing his knife. He had on the same outfit, walking with the same strong, forceful demeanor. The weird part was that he looked like he was only maybe two years younger than he did in the present. It was like he only aged two years when he should’ve aged six. She felt a flash of nostalgia wash over her older self, but her younger self had no other reaction besides fear.
He came over and talked with her. Even so many years later, Drea was happy when she saw herself punch him and saw the look on his face. He deserved it, but it made her wonder why he seemed so much more sympathetic now.
After some more talk, Daniel stood in front of her. He started talking about her memories and they made a deal. He took a knee and his eyes began to glow purple. That’s when a white light entered her mind; it was the same light that she had seen for those six years whenever she’d tried to access those memories. His name echoed in her mind as her vision began to return to normal.
She blinked a few times as the white light began to fade. Her eyes readjusted and she realized that she was still sitting against the rock with Daniel healing her. Her senses flooded back into her body as her consciousness filled her again. She could still feel Daniel’s hand on her wrist and his eyes locked on her. When she saw his face, he looked slightly worried, but not surprised. Her heart skipped a few beats as she looked into his face. He had barely aged in all those years, and even then he still had the same hair and face. Only his eyes looked a little wiser.
The waterfall shone in the background, trickling softly as Drea’s ears absorbed the sound. “W-what was that?” she stuttered with confusion.
It was definitely the night from six years ago, but she wondered why she never remembered it. She knew Daniel had erased some of her memories, but it still didn’t seem real. The only thing that was familiar in that whole thing was when she was speaking with Kevin, but the rest of it was completely new to her.
Daniel looked away from her, unable to meet her eyes. He stopped healing her at that moment and began to unwrap some bandages from his arm. He snapped off a section of about two feet and tucked the excess back in the bandages on his arm. Then he began to wrap up her wrist, but stopped. It seemed like he was about to say something, but he kept catching himself.
“What?” Drea said more fiercely, the anger returning to her voice.
He took a moment before he said quietly, “Those were your memories of what really happened the night your brother died…” He paused, seeming unsure of what he was going to say next. Then he began to wrap up her wrist again. “When I mentioned your brother yesterday, it was because I was there when he died. I erased your memories of that night in a frivolous attempt to try and protect you. It’s only a shame that I didn’t enlighten you then.
“You have so much power Andrea, and back then I noticed it, but I didn’t train you. I knew you were young so I tried to make you forget, but that was a mistake. I only put you in more danger by trying to protect you. I blanked out those memories because I had to, though it probably would’ve been better if I hadn’t.”
Drea stared at him intently, realizing the truth. He was the one who had made her forget, who had seen her brother die, who had remembered her over so many years. He spoke about his mistake as though it pained him, as though it was a thorn in his side that he simply couldn’t pull out. Daniel never forgot her over those years.
She lifted her other hand to his face, feeling his cheek bone where she punched him. It was completely healed, although it had been six years.
He looked up at her with sad eyes. “You hit me pretty hard that night.” He chuckled slightly. “It’s a good thing you did though. I’m not sure I would’ve ever realized what I had become, but you were there to show me. I’m only grateful I’ve been given the chance to train you.”
“So all that really happened?” asked Drea
“Yes,” said Daniel, “Everything is true. It may seem unreal now, but it’ll become more familiar as you process it. I blocked your memories to keep you safe, but it seems you would’ve regained your memories on your own anyway. You have so much more power than I imagined.”
They sat there in silence for a moment, both deep in thought. Judging from the feel of Daniel’s aura, he was feeling really bad about what he’d done. Drea decided not to push it, but he continued on.
“I do regret it,” he said with eyes downcast, “and I only wish to make it right by training you and giving you the abilities to defend yourself. My training you is part of the rules in my uh organization as well. I can explain more on that tomorrow. I think you should take it easy for now.”
He finished wrapping up her wrist with the bandages. She held it up. It felt as good as new. She did have one more question though: “Why does it need to be bandaged if you healed everything?”
“The bandages are only because it might be a little sensitive. I fixed the internal and external damage, so the new skin and bone just need to adjust,” He stood up, stretching.
Drea hadn’t realized it, but they had been there for a while, at least half hour. She was sitting, but he had been crouched down healing her. His back must’ve been killing him. As she looked up at him, he even looked slightly tired from all of it, yet his aura still felt still felt strong. She had no idea how he could still have so much energy, but it was obvious he was physically tired. He offered her a hand and she took it, using it to help her get up. Her legs were stiff from sitting, and her butt hurt from the rocky ground.
Drea lifted her hand once again, admiring the fact that he’d fixed it completely. It was amazing.
“I should be getting you home now,” said Daniel looking at her.
“Right,” she said. “Are you going to uh carry me again?”
“That would be the fastest way,” he said with one of his eyebrows raised in question.
She nodded and blushed as Daniel smiled a little and came towards her. She’d forgotten he had to carry her to get her back. She blushed again as he lifted her in his arms. She’d never actually been with anyone before and it made her nervous that he was carrying her. He was two years older, and definitely not that bad to look at.
People just didn’t carry her off every day. It was like one of those fairy tales, those fairy tales that didn’t happen in the real world, let alone Drea’s world. Daniel snickered a little in feeling her aura of embarrassment, so she elbowed him in the ribs. He smiled in amusement and then jumped off from the ground at light speed.
He somehow sped himself up again as they left the beautiful forest of trees and sparkling water in exchange for the clean-lined houses in their straight rows; it all blurred under their feet as they raced through space. The last time he carried her, she was slightly incoherent, but now she felt clear-headed. She was able to see small glimpses of houses and trees, yet she was still unable to process everything.
In only a few minutes, they arrived at the front gate of the school, behind a tree. Drea didn’t blame him for not going to her house; after all he was dressed like some kind of ninja or assassin and it wouldn’t look too good on her part that he’d been carrying her.
He let her down gently as she used his neck to anchor herself. It wasn’t until then that she realized she’d dropped her bag in the school yard when he’d picked her up before. Daniel sensed her frantic aura and stopped her before she entered the open gates. He moved his arm in a small circle until the remaining bandages slipped off. They fell to the ground silently, but instead of piling on top of each other, like normal bandages would do, a shape protruded out from under them. He gestured towards it, and to Drea’s surprise, her bag was under them. She picked up the bandages and handed them back to Daniel with a look surprise, then returned her bag to her shoulder.
He smiled one of those mysterious smiles, then turned and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow after your school day Andrea. Then we can begin our training and I’ll make sure you know everything you need to know.”
He jumped off the ground with unimaginable speed, disappearing from sight. Drea looked up at him quizzically, ready for the day ahead as she began her walk home, thinking about everything that had happened in the space of just one day.