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Monster: A Prologue
Night’s eyes fluttered open, air rushing into his lungs. A pounding heartbeat later, he realized what had woken him.
“You’re alright now, hon.” Said a musical voice.
It startled him into a sitting position. This simple movement proved to be a mistake. He clutched his chest as a sudden surge of agony blurred his vision and brought a bout of nausea.
A light hand pressed fingers on his shoulder, “Hon, lay down.”
Night eagerly obeyed, wincing.
“It’s all in your head.” He looked up to see a woman with golden hair. She seemed to radiate warmth. Her expression was serious and relaxed at the same time, “See?’ She gently pried his hand from his chest. Night examined it warily, then blinked. No blood.
He looked at the woman questioningly, letting his expression speak for itself.
“I’ve healed you physically, but it seems as if your ability to Feel is somehow hindering the psychological process. But don’t you worry, now,” She caught the fear in his eyes, “It’ll just take a while for your mind to catch up. It still thinks there’s something to react to.” She explained.
“…Feel?” His voice quivered, “There’s a name for it?” He was, of course, referring to the sensing of auras and moods. As he said this, he noticed that her aura was slightly unusual. It comforted him, but also made him antsy. She was a stranger.
Her eyes smiled as much as her lips, producing a strange flutter in Night’s chest, “You’re a minority. Feelers are very rare.” She sighed, shaking her head, “I just can’t believe no one told you…” She said somewhat to herself.
Night scowled, “I never mentioned it to anybody. Not that anybody would listen…” He added morosely.
At this, the woman frowned, “You’re away from all that now.”
It was then that Night grew concerned with where he was. The recent past came flooding back to him. His heart fell.
Frantically, he reached out with his mind to help his eyes search. A cold, dark forest. And he was in a cold, dark clearing with a warm, bright someone. It was, at the very least, unfamiliar and frightening.
His mind detected the presence of various animals, as well as a residential area nearby. Humans.
Night swallowed. He was among humans. A whole other realm than his home—his previous home, that was. And with his white hair, chilling red eyes, and massive black wings, he’d stick out like a sore thumb.
How on Earth was he supposed to live here?
A million things ran through his mind all at once; latching onto details and missing so many.
“How—how did I get here?” his voice sounded foreign to him, breaking the silence awkwardly like shattering glass in a silent church.
She gazed into his eyes, the unearthly blue contrasting painfully with his red. Her voice was gentle and hushed, “A young lad like you doesn’t belong on the ground, bleeding to death.” She said simply.
Night realized that this was the one who had saved him, pulled him up off the cold ground when nobody would and took him under her wing, if only for a moment…
Only then did Night notice the stunningly white wings protruding from his savior’s back.
An angel? But how--?! What was an angel doing in the Demon Realm? His mind reeled.
He wanted to disappear, the monster he was. He wanted to ask her questions, so many questions. Most of all, he wanted to thank her. But no matter how hard he tried, his mouth could no longer form words.
The angel tenderly brushed his hair out of his eyes, “I can’t stay with you.” She whispered, placing something in his hand and folding his fingers around it.
Her words seemed very distant; Night was too distracted by the friendly gesture. He wanted to pull away, to shrink back from her touch. At the same time, his chest ached with intense loneliness, a loneliness he could never escape. Always alone… and he didn’t want the angel’s touch to end.
But it did, and he watched with sorrow eyes as her wings beat softly and she disappeared over the trees, taking the warmth with her.
The silence echoed in his mind. He sat up and leaned against a nearby tree while he gathered his thoughts and his strength.
It wouldn’t do him any good to stay here. It wasn’t snowing anymore, but he was on the snow-covered ground and shivering violently.
He stood, wincing as he did so. Chanting the words it’s all in my head did little. Staggering, he straightened and closed his eyes.
It took a great deal of effort, more than he’d remembered. It had been a few years since he’d practiced the act of disguise. It was easy enough to shroud himself; the hard part was keeping up the act simultaneously. Most of his energy was devoted to concealing his wings from human eyes.
His wings were gone. Ok. Good.
He struggled a moment longer before realizing he couldn’t keep his eyes and hair hidden with any amount of consistency. It was the wings, or the other miscellaneous features. Not both. As long as he could keep the distinctively Demon traits hidden, he could deal with the eyes and hair. After all, as much as his eyes would draw curiosity, his wings would be much worse, for obvious reasons.
He sighed. He’d seen humans before, watched them from a distance. He’d never walked among them, though, and prayed he had the strength to keep his identity secret. He thought back to his past; is seemed hundreds of years ago now. He had noted that only the elderly had white hair here. At the young age of eighteen in a society where you live hundreds to thousands of years and, while not the most common of traits, white hair was not seen as strange, this fact of human life was intriguing enough to stick in the back of his mind.
Even if white hair at his age was logical here, red eyes screamed abnormality.
Night scowled. This is your life now. Deal with it.
He hadn’t realized he’d been clenching his fists until he relaxed them. Slowly, he unfolded his hand, eyeing the angel’s gift. Clenched up in his fist were two crisp hundred dollar bills. He gasped sharply, then sighed.
He dragged on into the woods, Feeling his way to a nearby road. Night emerged onto a sidewalk, the occasional car lighting up the dark road. He followed the sidewalk, trying his hardest to blend in. Now and then he glanced around, but he had no idea where he was, where he was going, or where there was to go to.
Finally, he came upon an antiqued sign:
Welcome to Willow Creek
Population: 5, 328
“Make that 5, 329…” Night whispered.