Chapter 1: Discovery

Chapter 1: Discovery

A Chapter by lottima
"

Well that was unexpected. What next, a flying pig??

"

He’s back, I told myself, looking out of the window at the tall shadowy figure outside. A cloud passed over the sun, obscuring my vision, but I could just make out his eyes and teeth glinting in the half-light. A cold chill crept its way into my bones and I shivered.

It was early, too early for him to come, only the end of May. Memories of the cold days and frosty nights that accompanied his visits flitted by, and I drew my jacket over my chest.

I sighed as I picked up my books and excused myself out of class, which happened to be my least favourite subject; maths. Whilst walking down the staircase, I wondered why he didn’t come in September or later, as he usually did. Recalling all the stories and lies that I wove around me every time he was here reminded me of my mother, for it was mostly to her that I made my excuses to be out of the house.

I suppose I should count myself lucky, I thought. She was going out of the country on a trekking holiday in India. She had mumbled something about “learning about Indian beliefs and cultures” to “inspire her for her paintings”. Anyway she’d be gone for a couple of months at the least. Normally, she drops off my stuff the day she leaves, and I just go straight to Taylor’s (my best friend).

Salali, my mother, was an artist of Native American origins. Her name means “squirrel” and it fit her perfectly. She’s famous because her paintings are from all around the world, and no two look the same, because she studied the culture and history of what she would paint or sculpt. She’s not around much to care for her own daughter, but when she is she’s very loving and often tells me of my late father and how I was more and more like him every day. I was certain that if she found anything interesting in India, she would stay there for much longer.

Aaron, my father, was ravaged by a wild boar whilst on a hunting trip, and I had very dim recollections of sitting by his bedside, either staring horrified at the terrible yet fascinating wounds, or holding his hand while he talked to me. The only thing I never forgot about him was his voice, deep, rich and comforting.

The sudden impact of the floor after the last step dragged me out of my morbid thoughts, as I went through the unpleasant sensation as my foot landed on the ground much earlier than it expected. I remembered what I was going to do. I risked a glance out of one of the hallway windows: he was gone. But he’s still here somewhere, I thought uneasily, as I made my way towards the school library. The door creaked as I opened it and the old librarian looked up at me curiously, pushing her glasses back up her nose.

‘Alex? I didn’t expect to see you until next year. What brings you to the library? Surely not for books, or did Emma send you here to get her book of the day?’

He’s back’ I replied, ignoring the deliberate sarcasm beneath her words, everyone here knows I never spend my school time in books if I can help it, ‘Already’.

The old crone looked at me, flabbergasted, her specs slowly sliding. At least I know how to stop her nattering on and on now.

‘I’m going to need you to explain to the school,’ I grimaced. ‘Time for another camp out in the sports hall.’

            Without waiting for a reply, I dumped my books and bag behind the counter with a clang (don’t ask me what’s in my bag, half the time even I don’t know!); several 6th graders looked up in alarm, and then went back to their work. The “Chauveau” (she’s originally French), as we call her, looked at me intently.

‘You know we won’t be able to explain this easily. Frost doesn’t come to the south of America as May is just starting to warm up. People will begin to wonder, and then think, and all too soon the truth will come out…’

            ‘So invent something, global warming? I don’t know that’s why I just take care of the dudes and you think! You’re the librarian!’ I retorted.

            ‘All I’m trying to say is, (whisper more likely, I could hardly hear her and I was so close she was almost breathing on me, gross I know), that it’s different , I can feel it. He’s going to be even stronger this time. So take heed.’ (Yes she actually said take heed!).

            ‘I can take care of myself’ I replied tersely. Uh huh, whatever, I know you say it every time, I said to myself. But I couldn’t ignore the feeling that something was wrong… My heart was pounding with fear and I was really edgy, hence the shouting at librarians.

            I went up to the only bookshelf I take books from, unlocked the glass door, took as one dead, when darkness falls and creatures of the night, blew all the dust off them, settled down in a big squashy armchair and began to read…

*************

Bringggggggggg, went the school bell, waking me out of my daydreams. I shivered thinking about what happened last time; I sure don’t want to live through that again. I checked my watch, it was 3:05, and my history class started in a couple of minutes.

History, I should add, was in the other building, across the courtyard, and up two flights of stairs. I had to go outside to get there, outside where I saw…him. I knew that he knew I was at school just as I knew he was here before I got that glimpse of him. Well, it’s face him or face 60 lines of I must not be late after school and I sure as hell don’t want to be here with him after dark, I declared to myself, there’s nothing to it.

I grabbed my bag on the way out and stopped at the doorway stuffing the books into it, then made a break for it to the other side and carried on running until I got to room 110. I heaved a sigh as I saw Taylor and Ashley just about to walk into class.

‘Hey! I thought you weren’t gonna make it for a second there! We thought you had caught the swine flu when you bolted out of class!’ grinned my mischievous friend, as he held the door for me. I shot him a dark look.

‘Well maybe not swine flu, but, you know something like that…’ he trailed off.

‘Got…to tell… you something’, I panted as we made our way to our desks.

Just then M Parkstons walked in (looking like he thought he was Shakespeare) pompously, and slammed his books down on the table. Everyone jumped and fell quiet immediately. Mike got off his desk, winking at Ashley and flipping his fringe across his face as he did so. What a show-off, I thought to myself as she blushed. Wait a minute, backtrack there: stop! Yep, she blushed! ASHLEY blushed??? No. I must be imagining things; Ashley was the award winner for hating boys, much to their disappointment, coz she’s really pretty with her long wavy blond hair, and bright blue eyes. She eventually made an exception for Taylor just last year as she got to know him, but other than that she always said that it was torture when she had to “put up” with our boyfriends in 9th grade; whereas Mike must have gone out with half the girls in school. Find them, catch them, dump them was his motto. Ashley falling for Mike?? No way…That’s impossible! But then again, imagine if they...

‘ALEXIA LYCAN!’ M Parkstons shout brought me back to earth.

‘Err, yes! No! All of the above!’ I said bewilderedly.

Taylor stuffed his knuckles in his mouth to stop himself from laughing behind the teachers back.

‘Thank you for joining us,’ he said with that look in his eyes. I groaned. ‘Can you explain to me just why you weren’t listening?’

‘Umm…’  I stuttered looking around, then seeing he had a tie I had never seen before, continued: ‘I was…admiring your new tie, sir.’

Emma and Alyssa were watching our conversation as if it were a tennis match, eyes round as baseballs.

            ‘Why thank you Miss Lycan, as a matter of fact it was a present from my mother.’ He said, looking at it fondly. ‘She always knows what to choose…’

He trailed of as Taylor buried his face in his arms, a huge grin on his face, only to be frowned at by Emma, the girl in front of him. I could hear her from where I was, whispering, I smiled to myself, thinking same old Emma, wanting to know anything and everything. Unfortunately, the teacher saw my smile and thought that I was laughing at his tie; probably because it was green with pink pigs on it.

He looked at me turning white with fury, oh no I shouldn’t have said that, he thinks I mocked his mum. M. Parkstons’ mum was the woman of his life, his best friend, and also his housemate. And Parkstons was his “mum’s little darling ducky”.

‘Do you think I would be fooled by that, Miss Lycan? Is there PIGEON written across my forehead? Well?? Is there?’

‘No, sir’ I replied, watching his face getting redder and redder. When it got to purple it meant he didn’t have anything else to say.

‘No indeed, so don’t take me for one. Did you really think you could charm me into not giving you detention by a well-placed compliment? Well you thought wrong. Two can play at your little game and I can assure you that you won’t win.’ Now purple-faced, my history teacher paused for breath, panting like he had just run a mile.

By this point everyone in the class had stopped what they were doing to stare at M Parkstons shining violet face, several of them trying not to smile. Taylor chose that moment to risk a look out from under his arms; took one look at the wheezing professor and burst out laughing. The latter glowered at him before whipping out a detention list out of his back pocket. Alyssa was speaking in an undertone to Emma,

‘Ok, so you,’ He pointed at me with one stubby finger. ‘You’re getting fifty lines. Got a pen? Ok, you’ll write: I must not mock my teacher in any way or in any class. I also promise never to fall asleep in History again nor make up excuses. And you,’ the finger pointed to Taylor, ‘I must not mock my teacher in any way in any class no matter what their wearing. I also apologize for any criticism I laugh at and will never do it again. Oh, and I haven’t forgotten you Miss,’ pointed to Alyssa. ‘I will not whisper things behind anyone’s back for it is rude and disrespectful, 20 lines.’

Alyssa’s mouth opened wide in shock, (it looked like she was trying to swallow a fly), but she didn’t say anything as she dutifully copied the sentence into her workbook. She and Emma never, ever, ever got punishments for anything at school. Oh well, you learn something new every day I suppose.

A piece of paper fell on the book that was my pillow just a few minutes ago. I looked up to see Taylor glance at the paper then at me. I quickly opened it discreetly:

Boy Parkstons can sure get touchy about his mum!

I can’t believe that he got so angry!

Anyhow, what did you want to tell me?

Before you fell asleep?

 

I got out my fountain pen and wrote:

Hey we wouldn’t have got anything if you hadn’t

Started laughing while I was talking! ^^

Oh yeah I totally forgot!

He’s back!! I can’t believe it,

But I saw him in the courtyard.

Is it ok if I come a couple of days early?

Will your mum mind?

 

I folded up the note then subtly passed it back to Taylor. He read it for a few seconds then began writing furiously:

Come on how was I supposed to not laugh?

His tie had pigs on it!

Back to Chaos…What!!!

How is that possible

He can’t frost up the place at the

End of May!

What are we going to say to people?

Sure you can come 2 days early

I get an extra breakfast of Alex’s pancakes! ^^

My mum won’t mind

She isn’t here half the time and

When she is here I have to do everything for her.

 You know how she gets when she’s

Away with the fairies, this time she even

Talks to them!!

 

I crumple up the bit of paper that was now covered in ink and shoved it in my pencil case. Just as I was doing so another message fell on my hand. I looked at Taylor questioningly, but he was starting is fifty odd lines. I unfolded the parchment:

When do you start?

I sighed, looking at those four words, knowing that I couldn’t choose if I even wanted to do it or not. I flicked it back across the table to my spiky haired friend:

Tomorrow

 

I yawned and decided to concentrate on the lesson seeing as I missed half of it already. Putting a new ink cartridge in my pen, I looked up at the black board where Parkstons had already started scrawling and began to write the first of my fifty lines: I must not mock my teacher in any way…

*************

 

            As we were walking through the school gates, having done our fifty lines, I remembered that I had to get my stuff for staying at Taylor’s a day early. I was sure that my mum wouldn’t object. And Taylor’s (according to Taylor) wouldn’t mind. I grabbed Taylor’s arm to make him slow down and listen to what I had to say.

‘I need to go to my house to collect my things,’ I told him.

‘Okay, I’ll not be much use there, so I’ll get everything we’ve ever written about... Chaos, these past five years,’ he replied. ‘Maybe we’ll find something about him that made him come early.’

‘Good idea, I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll meet you at your house in ten minutes.’

At the end of the road, we separated, and I walked the familiar road to my house.

            ‘Hi honey,’ my mum called out as I let myself into our two bedroom apartment. I followed the sound of her voice until I saw her in my bedroom, closing the last of two suitcases with a snap. Her silky straight black hair, so unlike my own, was twisted up in an elaborate bun with the help of some red ribbon.

            ‘Err...’ I didn’t know what to say.

            ‘Oh sorry,’ she explained. ‘I had finished packing mine so I decided to save you the trouble of doing it yourself... especially because you always leave it until the last minute.’

‘Don’t worry, it’s okay,’ I said automatically, before taking a breath and adding. ‘Actually... about that... Is it okay if I go to Taylor’s tonight instead of tomorrow? I mean, I know it means having to make the trip to his house tonight instead of just dropping my stuff off before you go to the airport, but I have a big test tomorrow, and I really need to revise, you know me... always leaving things ‘till last moment!’

            I finished this sentence on a false light tone, but inside my mouth every word tasted like bile. I had to remind myself that it was for the best that way; the year before, Chaos had managed to make my mother bait for his newest plan. Unlike the others, this one consisted in something very strange, that we would give him braches from a rowan tree (also known as the mountain ash). After doing some serious thinking about how he could use it (in vain) and seeing if there was a way out (not to be found), we agreed, and Salali still had no clue of what was going on. I had debated on whether to tell her, but one thing kept holding me back, the one that was holding us all back: that they would think we were mad. And if that happened, I didn’t know what Chaos could do.

            ‘Great idea! I never thought you took school work seriously , what with all the bunking off you did last year (Mr Parkston’s fault, of course). I know you keep saying that it’s the wolves, but is there really no one to do it in your place?’

 Not likely, I thought privately.

‘It’s really dangerous,’ she started off on what I recognised as a worried rant.

‘Yeah, so are we going then?’ I cut her off quickly before she could get into full swing.

‘Okay, let me just find my keys... and my shoes...’

Five minutes later we were sitting in the car. I was absentmindedly keeping an eye out for Chaos, though I wasn’t expecting him to appear. So I listened to my mother’s quiet muttering as she thought aloud. She always liked the sound of her plans if they were voiced, and it was the perfect opportunity to see if she resented the fact that I was hastening the goodbyes.

To my relief though, she was talking about how it would make it easier for her to get to the airport in Newport in time the next day, and still have a lie in, (we lived in Yachats in Oregon),and how it would be if she spent some time with Marisa that evening. Marisa was Taylor’s mum (if you hadn’t guessed) and she was also Native American, which wasn’t surprising as most people who went to our school (Mai-Coh High) had the same genes from some great, great grandparent or something like that. The thing that drew them together, as they told us, was that they were both struggling as single mums who were recently widowed. That, and the fact that Taylor and I were virtually inseparable.

When we reached the outskirts near the forest though, and after climbing the metal stairs to ring the doorbell, all thought of that was completely wiped from my head.

‘Hi!’ Taylor opened the door, and his face was ashen. I immediately knew that something bad had happened, and I prayed that it wasn’t Chaos. He ushered us in as he would normally do, saying as he did so. ‘Err... my mum’s not well at the moment, she... she has a migraine! Yeah, that’s it, a migraine. Sorry she can’t come down and see you,’ he turned to my mum. ‘But she needs sleep. You’re welcome to stay for coffee though, if you want?’

My mother frowned a little, and I could see that she could see through the bluff as if it were a smokescreen. She looked concerned and tried to go upstairs, but Taylor barred the way, and from the look on his face I knew that something was worse than usual. All thoughts of Chaos fled from my mind as I saw my mother seem to pick up something too, because her features softened a little and she spoke in a gentle tone:

‘Need I remind you Taylor, that before you were old enough to realise what was happening, it was me who took care of your mother’s... problem.’

Taylor relaxed a little, but he was still reluctant to let her pass.

‘So you won’t tell anyone? Not even... the authorities? There’s nothing wrong with her, it’s harmless, it’s just,’ he paused, as if judging whether to trust her or not, even though he saw her just as much as I did. ‘It’s been getting worse.’

‘Your secret is safe with me,’ she replied patiently. ‘Why don’t you two get out of the house a little while to do your revision? It’s a beautiful day, not one to be worrying about things like this.’

In other words, get out of the house while we talk about things we don’t want you to overhear. I made a noise of acknowledgement and dropped my bags in the hallway.

‘You coming Taylor?’ I knew that he didn’t want any sympathy; it would only upset him more if I didn’t act as if nothing had happened.

‘Yeah, just a sec,’ he replied, as he grabbed a bunch of papers and his schoolbag from the tabletop.

*************

 

            After rifling through anything we could find about him, and not getting anywhere, I leaned back on the grassy hillside and let the heat of the sun warm my face, it was probably the last time it would do so in a long time. After a while I decided to ask the question that had formed in my mind as soon as I saw Taylor’s grey and pallid face in the doorway. He seemed much better now, just lounging on the grassy hillside.

‘What did you mean by, your mother’s worse than normal?’

There was a pause in which Taylor got up and tidied all the books and papers away before he finally said, in an almost quavering voice:

            ‘You know how she is, she always gets worse when Chaos comes, and doesn’t completely recover when he’s gone, even though she has no idea of what we do. Well, instead of talking to her “faeries” as she calls them, once or twice a week, before acting like a normal person again, this time... It’s as if she’s in this universe, but she’s in a completely different world! She barely recognises anyone, even me, and spends most of her time just looking around her in amazement, talking about beautiful flowers she finds whilst picking up pens, or exclaiming over brightly coloured will o’ wisps whilst looking at the bulbs in lamps. Sometimes she says that she’s riding a griffin, having the time of her life sitting on a wooden chair!’

            ‘Oh, I’m sorry about that,’ I was at a loss for words of comfort. ‘I’m sure she’ll get better over time.’

            There was a pause, before I asked bewilderedly. ‘What is a will o’ wisp anyway?’

‘I have no idea!’

‘Maybe we should as Emma,’ I said thoughtfully, before realising that it was a perfect opportunity to steer the conversation to safer grounds. ‘While we’re at it, I’m going to ask her for her cookie recipes, those chocolate chips ones she made last week were delicious!’

‘Yeah, that reminds me, you’re making pancakes tomorrow morning; you have to.’

This was put so matter-of-factly that it completely threw me off guard. Then I saw a glint of the usual mischief back in Taylor’s eyes.

‘Why do I have to make pancakes?

‘Because,’ he said. ‘It’s your turn.’

‘Oh, yeah I remember now. You burnt them last time didn’t you? Wise idea to let me do it,’ I teased

            ‘Only because we were having a pillow fight,’ Taylor sulked, all smiles disappeared. ‘And you cheated by tickling me to death so I couldn’t reach the oven.’

            ‘Excuses, excuses,’ I answered mockingly.

            ‘Oh, that’s it, you’re dead,’ he said getting his water bottle out of his schoolbag. ‘I’ll give you up till three. One…two…three!’

            He started chasing me all the way around town, grabbing the bottle and drenching the other one with water until we collapsed on a hill sopping wet and laughing. There was a moment of silence as we regained our breath, and I watched the last rays of sunlight spray purple and red across the blue sky. It was a gorgeous sunset. But that moment was interrupted, as if a cloud passed over the sun, when I suddenly got the strange feeling that we weren’t the only ones, as if someone malicious was watching us but couldn’t do anything about it… yet.

            ‘Wow look at the sky!’ Taylor said voicing my thoughts.

Then it clicked.

            ‘Sunset! Taylor we have to get to your place quickly!’ I cried jumping to my feet, cursing myself for forgetting. I pulled him to his feet and started dragging him in the direction of his house.

            ‘What’s so wrong about…oh?! We’re such idiots! I guess I’m just not used to it in summer. Wait a minute, why do I feel like I’m being watched? Normally it takes him ages to get out of the school. Maybe it’s just Ash and Aly planning to play pranks on us.’ He thought out loud.

            I mouthed, and then raised my voice. ‘Hurry up!!’

            The last beams of light were disappearing over the horizon as we ran up the stairs on the side of the house that would lead us to the second floor. Taylor closed the door while I ran around the rooms checking if the windows were all closed.

Once we were sure that everything was locked up we fell on the sofa in my best friend’s room. I looked around. It still looked the same, maybe a few more posters were hanging up, if that was possible, on the walls all ready covered in them. I laughed softly to myself as I saw that there wasn’t an inch of wallpaper showing anymore (Taylor’s mum put it up three years ago while she was in a fairy mood, so naturally it was covered in rainbows and pixies). I remembered that the moment he saw it, he declared he hated it, and has been trying to cover it up ever since, hence the posters.

I hadn’t been there for ages, since December, when our families celebrated Christmas together. My mum seemed to have left, and Marisa was nowhere to be found, though we had found a note stuck to the fridge (as was Marisa’s habit) saying that they had gone out for dinner, and that we shouldn’t wait up for Taylor’s mum because she’d be back late. Salali had added a few words at the bottom telling me that she’d be back soon (as if), that she would miss Taylor and I in India, and told me to behave myself (at which Taylor had a good laugh).

            This didn’t faze me in the slightest, having been brought up mostly by Marisa, when she wasn’t so wacky. I supposed that it was a kind of deal, a friendship bond, my mother helping Taylor’s financially, and the latter looking after me when the other went abroad to paint, or to go on tour, or something similar.

They just clicked right away, a bit like Taylor and me, I thought, looking over at him. He looked like a dead man, he was just flopped down on the sofa and his black hair was all stuck to his forehead because the gel had come off while we were running.

            ‘What are you thinking about?’ asked the dead man, sitting up.

            ‘Oh, just about your lovely wallpaper and how it’s such a shame I can’t look at it anymore,’ I gave him a wide smile.

            Groaning, he threw a pillow at me.

            ‘What you don’t like it?’ I asked, innocently surprised.

            ‘Please don’t remind me of it,’ he grumbled.

            ‘Ok, ok, I won’t. But only because I’m too tired.’ I replied. ‘I’m sleeping in the same room as usual yeah?’

            He nodded, and with that, curled up in his blanket, shut his eyes and immediately fell asleep. I’ll just tell him about him in the morning, he won’t listen if I wake him up now, I thought. I shook my head, I never knew how he managed to do that, I have to spend hours getting comfortable before I can even think of sleeping. Today it would be even worse because he was back. I’m not thinking about it, I told myself off as I walked down the corridor to the guest room; or my room seeing as I practically lived there. My bags and suitcase were already there and the bed was made up. Saved by mum, I mentally thanked her; I would have had to spend ages getting the cover onto the duvet. I unpacked most of my clothes and put them in the wardrobe on the far side of the room, next to the window. I risked a look outside: nothing. Phew, I must be getting paranoid, I’m sure he’s not that strong, I thought as I finished putting up the last thing. As I closed the wardrobe a wave of tiredness came across me. I slid into bed, and my last thoughts before drifting off to sleep were of the blotchy-faced breathless history teacher.



© 2010 lottima


My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

646 Views
Added on April 21, 2010
Last Updated on April 21, 2010
Tags: werewolves, vampires, spirits, gods, fiction, teen


Author

lottima
lottima

Limousin, France



About
Hey, I'm Charlie, and I love writing, drawing, acting... Anything arsty I guess, come to think of it! If you're wondering why my profile picture is a wolf, it's because I'm writing some books, and th.. more..

Writing