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Angeles Manchester woke up to the sound of yelling and the smell of smoke. She tripped out of bed and started toward the door, but not before shrugging on her thick house robe.
She ran down the hall of her family’s castle- not before locking her door- and skidded to a stop at the door of the kitchen. The sight before her would scar her vision forever: men in thick silver armor were running through the castle and killing everyone in sight.
She stood, stunned. But before long she realized that someone might try to kill her. With her long black hair billowing out behind her she ran to the case of armor and with aching arms slid it aside. She glanced behind her. No one was following. Good.
She slid open the door that was set in the stone and stepped into the dark passage. On her way to her parents’ quarters she tripped on rocks and twigs, her bare feet were bloody and stained. She had never been so miserable in her life.
Finally she reached the end and swung open the door. Her parents’ eyes darted over to her.
King George the sixth rushed to his only daughter and scooped her up into a tight hug; he looked at her with wide and scared eyes.
“Angel, leave us. Leave the castle, head to the Marina kingdom. They will welcome you with open arms. We love you, remember that.” He whispered before pushing her back into the passage.
Her mouth opened in protest, but her mother silenced her with a glare that could kill small animals.
She gulped and ran back the way she came, instead going through a different doorway that led into her bedroom. She rushed in and was glad to see the door was still locked; just as she had left it.
She ran to her wardrobe and pulled out two sturdy dresses, a corset, a scarf, and a comb; she shoved them into a travel bag and glanced around her room. She would miss the way the paint curled at the corners of the room, the way her bed creaked whenever she laid down, but most of all her vast collection of books.
Angel slipped on another one of her sturdy dresses and, of course, her shoes. She pulled her hair back and sighed.
She started out the door and stopped. Why not go out the window? She had always wanted to do this.
Her feet tingled in the icy air and she glanced down into the courtyard with excitement. She braced her legs and pushed. She screamed as she fell onto the hard dirt below the window; her legs were aching and sore.
Angel swore and climbed to her feet. She glanced behind her at the castle; it was in flames, people were screaming. Her parents were in there. They were going to die, along with every one she cared about.
She pushed back tears and started down the small path in the woods; she wasn’t going to Marina. She was going to visit and old friend. Brom.
She finally came to the small cottage in the middle of the woods. She didn’t bother knocking, she just opened the door and walked in.
Brom glanced up and frowned when he saw her. His bushy white eyebrows pulled down at the corners, his black eyes were glazed over with curiosity, and his white curls bounced all over his head. He didn’t look old, he looked middle-aged.
He pushed away the vials of… something he had been studying, and cleared his throat. “What can I do for you?” he asked in a thick Irish accent.
Angel didn’t know why she had come here before, now she did. She never wanted to die; never wanted to fade. She wanted to be invincible, a freak of nature.
“Make me immortal.” Her soft voice wavered in the still night.
Brom chuckled. “No. I can’t do that, you don’t want it. The life we live is based on the promises we make. I would know.” He snarled the last part, it was a feral sound.
Angel, as tiny as she was, shook from fear. She knew the terrible temper that Brom the immortal had, and she didn’t want to be who he was angry at. She gulped. “But… my family is dead, death is a truly terrible thing. I don’t want to die.” She said.
Brom laughed without humor. “Oh, so you want to live forever?” the girl nodded. He chuckled. “Alright then.”
Angel grinned wickedly. You’d think that she would want to die after what happened earlier; instead it just made her want to live. She nodded.
Brom eyed her. “To become immortal you will need to memorize the ceremony. Watch carefully.”
Angel did watch carefully as he took out the necessary items and chanted the right words. She had memorized it.
At the end of the ceremony she felt nausea rise in her throat; bile was creeping up her stomach and threatened to spill out. She clamped her mouth and pursed her lips. A shooting pain shot through her body; she cried out and tumbled to the floor.
Brom yelled, “Open your mouth! Your humanity needs to leave the body!”
She took a deep breath and slowly opened her mouth, a white, oozing liquid poured out of her mouth and settled on the floor. She whimpered at the helpless feeling she had when it left.
Suddenly she felt so much stronger; her skin paled and she felt her hair grow. The bags under her eyes stretched out. She could feel it all; all the change, all the… newness of herself.
She shakily stood up and Brom was waiting with a mirror. She studied her reflection, now she was absolutely stunning.
Her black hair had been long before, but now it hung to her slimmer waist in delicate curls. Her navy blue eyes sparkled darkly in comparison to her pale skin. The few freckles she had disappeared and her face was angled in beautiful planes.
This was a new, strong Angel Manchester. A better one she thought.
She was wrong.
200 Years later
I looked across the street at the beautiful girl that was silently sitting in the park; she looked so sad. She sat there everyday at three o’clock exactly. I watched her everyday, she was fascinating. The girl was beautiful, but sad. Her navy blue eyes were turned down at the corners and her small shoulders were hunched.
“James!” Billy yelled to me. I turned to see my best friend grinning at me. He clamped a hand on my shoulder. “Watching that girl again?” he asked.
I nodded silently and continued staring, remembering the way she would twist her hair in front of her finger, studying it. As if it held all the answers.
“She’s amazing.” I whispered. Usually, I wouldn’t get caught up in a girl. After all, I was James Conroy. Star football player, school “hottie”. I could have any girl I wanted with just one glance. Except this girl.
She had been here for at least a year; she always looked the same. Beautiful, charming, mysterious. There was something about her that made me want to know her. She had an effect on my heart that scared me.
“Dude, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t like stalkers.” Billy joked. I turned to him, guilty agreement was written all over my face.
He raised his eyebrows. “I do feel like I’m stalking her.” I said.
He laughed. “I’m going to go talk to her.” He said.
I sagged. He just chuckled and said he wasn’t going to try anything; only find out her name. I bobbed my head and moodily plumped onto the ground, my back leaning against a tall tree.
He sauntered over to her; I rolled my eyes. Billy was so full of himself, but then, I shouldn’t be talking, I was pretty egotistical myself.
He plopped down next to her and said something. He put his arm around the back of her, I clenched my teeth. She turned to him and said something. Except her eyes were on me, she was looking straight into my eyes, seeing my soul.
I gulped and broke eye contact. When I snuck a glance at her again she looked very disappointed. Billy laughed and leaned closer. She pushed him off the bench and, throwing a final undecipherable glance at me, ran away. I couldn’t help but notice the way she was avoiding skin-to-skin contact. Huh.
I smiled at her behavior, wasn’t she just amazing? I looked up to see a very hurt looking Billy marching over to me.
I laughed at him. He just glared, “I found out her name.” he said. I leaned closer, wanting to feel her name on my tongue, taste the syllables of her gorgeous name. “Angel’s her name” he said.
“Angel.” I echoed. It twisted off my mouth in a very pleasing way.
Billy snorted, “You are so whipped, and you haven’t even talked to her.” He pointed out. “But,” he grinned. “I could help you get her if you want.” He said.
I looked up at my best friend in hope. Could he really get this amazing girl to talk to me? “Really?” I asked.
Billy just rolled his eyes and turned away. “Come on, we need dinner.”
Immediately I jumped up and ran toward the car. We hopped in and zoomed home, anxiously awaiting my mom’s lasagna.
“We’re home!” I yelled up the stairs.
“Good!” my mom sang. She popped out of her room and jumped down the stairs.
I got my looks from Mom surprisingly. I got the wavy blonde hair and slim figure. That, along with my huge gray eyes people considered me perfect. Stunning, even. I thought I was good looking, but I could have some more muscle if I worked at it.
Billy grinned at mom. “Well, Valery, your son is becoming a stalker.” He stated.
Mom smiled widely while heating up our food. “Who’s the lucky girl?” she asked. She turned to me and flipped her hair over her shoulder.
“I’ve never talked to her. But her name is Angel.” I said quietly.
Billy smacked the back of my head. “He’s too chicken to say anything.” He teased. I turned and glared at him before digging into my food.
Mom walked over to me and brushed my curls from my eyes. She knelt so that we were eye to eye. Ugh, this was going to be one of those ‘sweet and charming’ moments. “I love you more than anything, and all I want is for you to be happy.” She started. I bobbed my head. “If this girl could make you happy then go for it. You aren’t going to live forever, so don’t waste a single minute of your time.” She said.
I pushed my plate away and said good-bye to Billy. He just gave me a teasing smile and headed out the door.
“ ‘Night Mom.” I said. She grinned and kissed my cheek.
I lay in bed thinking about Angel. Would she like me? Would I like her? I locked these thoughts out of my head and fell asleep with a smile on my face.