Weekly Episodes

Eyes of my Enemies

Book 1, Episode 1: Crimson Waters

You know that feeling when you know that you’ve been doing the same thing, completely stuck in a routine but you just don’t care. You have a few very close friends, and it really doesn’t matter what you guys are doing. You know that every day you’ll round up everyone probably smoke some blunts after work then just chill in the car talking and laughing. It’s the good life, but all good things peak, and everyone understands that life is not simple. I never thought life as being a difficult task; it was so easy to be carefree, even in college. But these extraordinary unpredictable things happen. You’ll end up making tough decisions because if life is easy as a straightaway, without a single turn down your path; then you’re doing something wrong. Challenges will always have a way of popping up when you least expect it, so you can try to live without a care in the world; just be ready to have your world flipped over when your time comes.

You can hear footsteps coming from below as I enter the living room from my basement room downstairs. I walked out of the basement freshly dressed and look over to my dad completely occupied by his iPad tablet. We have a nice house, a spread out living room, and large glass windows beside a glass door that align along one side of the room. I made my way to the door before turning around barely glancing back to my dad.

Me: Hey Dad, I’m going out now.

He continued to intensely scroll through pages on his tablet. I was now fully facing him, staring in his direction, but I quickly grew tired of waiting and walked out the door. His head pops up after hearing the door open and he yells out to me over the sound of the door slamming behind me.

Dad: Huh, yeah ok, BE SAFE. /

I chuckled after hearing him yell out at me as I hop in my car play some music as I pull out the driveway. //

My old Volvo pulls up to a house surrounded by woods there are already several cars piled up in the driveway, but I manage to squeeze through and park my car in the center of the driveway. I pull out my phone to type a message but before I have the chance the door opens and a girl my age appears in the opening. A grin appears on my face as she throws up a peace sign sliding herself into the passenger seat of my car. Her name was Nikki, short as can be and an attractive face to match her small body. While her looks align with her body her personality could surprise you. She was daring blunt serious one moment and goofy awkward mess the next. Do something she doesn’t like and you’ll be sure to get an earful about it, but at the end of the day, she’s my oldest friend part of our ring of friends.

Me: What’s up?

Nikki: My sisters are fighting, Dad’s MIA, and my fucking dog won’t stop barking.

Me: Which one?

Nikki: Vinny, who else?

Me: That bastard. (I begin to back out of her driveway switching my attention from her to the road to my phone.) Well, I can’t solve family dilemmas, but I can extend Jeff’s invitation to you.

Nikki: He’s got the house to himself, it’s not even the weekend.

Me: I don’t know how, but he’s got it.

Nikki: Fine, but we need drinks.

Me: Lots of drinks.

Nikki: To the liquor store!

My car rocks down her bumpy road as I speed down it taking a fast sharp turn onto the main road where we peel away.

Nikki, Jeff and I are outside Jeff’s little cabin where you can see the ocean cove in the background. Jeff stays with his mom, but she leaves on the weekends, so we use the empty home to our advantage. I walked out of his house with an empty thirty rack with cans rattling around inside. I headed back to my car with Nikki following behind me.

Jeff: No, but I’ll definitely check that shit out man, but ah, yeah, I’ll catch you around brotha.

Me: Yeah, no doubt man, and no worries, I’ll take care of these for ya. (I said shaking the empty box up in the air.) Can’t have you getting kicked out your house already.

Jeff: (Laughs.) Alright, good looks man.

Nikki: Later Jeff. /

They do their ridiculous handshake, I laugh at them as I swing around to the back of my car to toss the thirty rack in the trunk so I can dispose of the evidence of our underage drinking elsewhere. Nikki and I get in my car so I can drop her off back at the other side of town. / Before I sit in the car I slide out a black CD case I have wedged in-between the center console and my seat. I flip through several pages until I find what I’m looking for and toss another one of my CD’s into the slot of my radio. You could see the colorful designs on the CD surrounding its title written in graffiti lettering spelling out “J Cole.” / I pulled out of his driveway bumping my head to the beat of the song as my car also seems to be shaking to the beat as we trek down Jeff’s dirt road. / We talked about all the random weird shit we did at Jeff’s, time fly’s while cruising through the long windy path to her house. She basically lives in the center of a forest, the road cut through woods full of tall trees where branches drape eerily over the road. It’s the type of road you’d want to use high beams to maneuver down its curvy streets, but as we drew closer to her neighborhood, we passed by more and more cranberry bogs creating a misty fog that lingered on the roads at night. / We had stopped talking for a while as Nikki looked much more tired than from when we had first entered the car. I finally took the turn into her street, leading by us down yet another dark and bumpy dirt road. She picks up her head and begins to rummage through an oversized purse to search for her keys looking more frantically for them as time goes by and she still has yet to find them.

Nikki: Shit, I left my keys in my house again. (She said as I pulled up to the side of her house and killed the lights.)

Me: So, just sneak in again like you always do.

Nikki: Yeah, they caught on to that. The one window I can actually reach is always locked now. My parents are such dicks. It’s like they’re just messing with me knowing there’s no way my short ass can get through any other window.

Me: (Laughing.) Yeah true, but it’s all good. Being the nice black man I am; I’ll happily break into your home for you.

She cracks a smile and laughs that way when you want to be nice, but she’s so tired I could tell it’s purely out of pity. Either way, I approached the window that was pretty high up, but it should be possible to reach it if I used the deck that ended just three feet shy of the window. I leaned out as far as I could while standing on the railing of her deck, supporting myself by gripping onto a metal pole that sticks out of the house to hold an outdoor light. I swung myself forwards extending one arm out to press my palm against the window and struggled to slide it open. I had one hand gripping the top window frame while the other was still holding onto this outdoor light on the side of the house. Now was the hard part where I needed to swing one of my legs into the house, then try to poke my head through. As I’m hunched over halfway inside their home with one foot on the window sill and the other was sliding off the side of the house, I tried to thrust myself in, but as I do this a blood-curdling scream echoes from the floor below me. Startled, I flop into their home falling onto the tiled floors of their kitchen face first, but my determination had me springing back up to my feet. I spun around to stick my head back out the window.

Me: Just stay here and stay quiet. I’ll be back in ten, if I’m not, try to break in or get help.

I quickly explained to Nikki whose face went from tired to something of pure terror. I didn’t give her any time to respond as I immediately whipped around trying to move through the nearly pitch-black kitchen. Luckily, I knew this house well enough that I could still get around with only bashing my toe off the table once. I wasn’t that surprised that nobody woke up from me busting my way into their house especially after nobody had done a thing after the initial screaming I heard. This house can get pretty loud with three older daughters, you need to be a heavy sleeper if you want a good night’s sleep. I knew exactly where that scream had to have come from. If it came from below, the only option was Sammie’s basement room. I rushed down the steps, but slowed down for the last few, as I cautiously reached out to open her door. There in the center of the room, I saw Sammie sitting at the end of her bed with her head down all alone in her room with just her desk light on. She was a beautiful girl with a pure porcelain face which somewhat resembled Nikki’s. It was easy to tell they were sisters, even with different skin tones and hair colors. Sammie was also taller than Nikki, which is unusual for a younger sister, but then again, most people are taller than Nikki. I was slow when approaching Sammie, I carefully avoided stepping on any of her things messily scattered across the floor as I lightly placed my foot down with each step. Closer now, I could hear her softly weeping quietly onto her lap. She started to pick her head up, it was hard to recognize her through all the dyed blonde hair covered her face. I calmly said her name taking another step closer. Her eyes darted in my direction and instantly widened filling up with fear. She began to wail at the sight of me with uncontrollable tears sliding down her cheeks.

Me: Sammie, Sammie, it’s me. What’s wrong?

I said softly sitting down next to her trying to look her in the eyes, but she turned her head away back to the floor. She sniffled and quickly wiped her nose clean.

Sammie: You… you can’t be here, you’re dead, I saw it. I saw you die.

I slid back a little completely shocked, eyebrows raised and everything. She gained the courage to look at me again, but you could see the tears in her eyes that she viciously tried to hold back.

Sammie: I… I don’t know what’s happening, it had to be a dream, but, it wasn’t. It wasn’t anything like a dream. Like I’ve had vivid dreams even lucid ones before, but this was nothing like that. It had feeling, there was so much I saw, and everything was… I don’t know, just everything was so sudden, and it felt just, real. I can remember every detail. (She spoke quickly and in a panic.)

Me: And you saw me, saw me die.

Sammie: You didn’t just die, you were murdered. ///

Sammie: It’s weird like everything was so clear, but it’s still hard to say what actually happened. You were there, it was dark out, but I could tell you looked confused. I saw you wandering off then out of nowhere there was a blur (Flashing images of something sprinting past me as I stand alone in a shadowy area. What you see isn’t meant to be clear, I’m the only thing that you can see clearly while everything else is shrouded.) or maybe something was moving very fast, all I know, is you were knocked off your feet and then there was a pool of blood all around you… (Fast images showing me falling into the crimson waters of a literal pool of blood that flows all around me and through a major wound in the center of my chest.)

She choked up a little bit trying to mutter out one more sentence. I grabbed her hands, they were cold yet extremely soft and started to warm up as I lightly squeezed them, doing whatever I could to calm her down.

Me: Hey, hey, Sammie, it’s alright. What you saw, didn’t happen. Like, just look at me, I’m fine… and maybe, if you are right. If it’s not a dream and some kind of- like a vision maybe. Well, at least I know to look out now, be a bit more cautious, I guess. (I said with a grin on my face. I let go of her hands, she pulled them up to her head so she could run her fingers through her hair fixing the mess it had become.)

Sammie: I must sound so crazy, but there is one more thing I saw. (I looked at her curiously.) The only thing I really saw on it, whatever did this to you, was the big, red, glowing eyes and how they looked towards me as if it knew I could see him. And they just got bigger and bigger… (She groans.)

She sounded much clearer and a bit more relaxed, but still, it’s a lot to say especially right after the fact. So I could understand why she had to let out a long sigh of defeat, unable to wrap her mind around what just happened to her. I brushed some of the tears and strands of hair out from her face. She smiled, but politely slide back a little. I tried not to remember that she had a boyfriend or that she was my best friend’s sister. Either way, it felt like the right thing to do.

Sammie: Thanks for listening, St. J. I’m sorry I got you wrapped into all this, and if I freaked you out with my craziness, sorry. That being said, I think I’ll be alright now.

Me: Freaked me out a little bit there, but it’s no problem. Let’s just tell everyone you had a bad dream. We’ll need time to figure out if this was anything more than that, but really, please try not to worry too much I’m sure I’ll be…

I spoke with a smile that brushed away from my face once I heard a door shut from upstairs. A creaking sound from the old wooden floors in the living room grew louder as something drew closer from above. I silently motioned my head towards the stairs signaling for Sammie to follow me as I exited her room trying not to make a sound while going up her steps. / While creeping up the stairs, we hear the creaking floor boards now deadly close as a shadow forms underneath the doorway. I hold my breath as the doorknob spins. There’s a slight pause but the building suspense made it feel like an hour all leading up to the point when the door was quickly swung open and everyone screamed. My hands drop away from my face to find Nikki and her older sister Becky on top of the steps. They were both wielded unnecessarily long cooking knives pointed at us until they realized who we were, sighed, and then lowered their weapons.

Me: What the fuck are you doing? (I loudly whispered.)

Nikki: What do you mean, what are you doing? You were supposed to let me in.

Me: Yeah, that was before the supersonic screaming, that I said I was going to check out. (I turn to face Becky) By the way, how didn’t you hear that?

Becky: I don’t know, I was sleeping. Not out drinking or whatever any of you do with your free time. So, why are you two scaring the shit out of us down there? (She said waving her knife at Sammie and me.)

Sammie: Well, I was the one who screamed. Nothing happened, I just had a bad dream, but at least St. J thought to check to see if I was alive still. I don’t even know how we managed to scare you, or what you’d think you’d find in my room; at least you two look prepared for anything.

Me: Yeah, exactly what were you planning to do with those anyways? (I said pointing my finger to the tip of Becky’s knife.)

Becky: You don’t want to know. (She said grabbing the collar of my shirt.) Now come on blacky, it sounds like nothing; so just let us sleep.

Becky said yanking me up the stairs. / I stumbled back into the kitchen.

Me: Alright later guys, it was a nice meet up. (I said starting to walk towards the door but turned around to look back at everyone.) And Sammie, really, try to get some sleep.

Sammie sighed with a smile knowing that’s probably not going to happen, then turned around and trooped back into her basement. Becky was already half way into bed by now, so I began to leave, but found Nikki standing in the kitchen blocking my way from the exit. She gave me a weird look that said, “you know you fucked up.”

Me: What?

I asked shrugging my shoulders. She kept that look on her face as she strutted off to her room still looking pissed. I rolled my eyes and headed out to my car.

Me: Later. //

My little red car drifted off to a clearing on the side of the road not too far away from their house. From inside my car, you could see the clock reading 2:14 as I step out. It was very dark out on this foggy night; the only light in the area was my headlights shining behind me as I walk to the back of my car. / There was a weak light coming from my phone that shined down on the thirty rack with a few cans that had freed themselves from the rest outside of the box. After some clangs and crushing noise, you could see me starting to walk into the woods with the box rattling in my hands. Getting about four steps deep into the woods, I heard a howl in the distance that really spooked me out making me drop the whole thirty rack spilling empty cans onto the ground. I slowly backed away to the car but kept my eyes locked on to the shadow filled forest before me. / I was speeding home now looking out to the road blankly. My buzz was mostly gone, but the late-night fatigue was affecting my driving. I’ve driven this route enough times it feels like I’m on autopilot while speeding down these winding roads. This gave me some much needed time to think, but the only thing entering my mind was every strange detail that came out of Sammie’s mouth. I could hear her voice repeating in my head “you can’t be here, you’re dead, I saw it. I saw you die.” You could see how nervous I had made myself just from the amount of black specks of fabric that I flaked off while tightly gripping the steering wheel. As I stared far down the road continuing to think, I swear I saw this red glow in the woods that shined just in the corner of my eye. I panicked nearly swerving off the road, but I was able to quickly jerk the wheel swerving again back into my lane. After collecting myself, I took in a deep breath and got the hell out of there speeding off into the night. //

(((Music Montage.))) My head falls down sinking into my pillow as I let out a groan. // You can see light from the window rapidly moving closer to my face and into my eyes when suddenly they snap open to the sound of an alarm in the morning. // My fist pounds on the alarm clock shutting it off. // Feet patter up wooden steps. // I pour some cereal into a bowl while wearing a lifeguard uniform then spin around to the counter behind me to grab a spoon. // While driving to work, I bob my head to the beat of the song as I pull into a parking lot. // I swing onto a guard stand overlooking a small outdoor public pool with the regular type of people you would find at a public pool. There are kids running around their parents, too busy talking on their phones to settle them down. I just sit in my guard chair observing it all as I clutch onto my stomach with a groggy face from dealing with this severe hangover. Before looking up at the sun, I slide on a pair of aviator sunglasses to shield my eyes from the sun as it sits low in the sky. //

From that same angle, it shows the sun again, still low but is now on the other side of the sky showing a full days’ worth of time had passed. One of my work friends Tim comes up to me from the other side of the outdoor pool.

Tim: Hey do you think I could leave early. I know you hate closing alone, but I need to get home early to meet up with some people later.

I look out to the four people in the pool. Three little brothers whipping balls at each other and one other old guy is swimming what feels like his hundredth lap.

Me: Yeah, I think I’ll be able to manage without ya, it’s all good.

Tim: Alright, thanks. I’ll see you around.

As Tim walks off [time begins to speed up.] You can see the kid’s ball war in super speed before the family starts to leave the pool. / Once everyone is out, I lock the gates and start cleaning up the place. / You see me shoot a few of the balls in a bin from a little ways away. / I take down umbrellas and organize a few chairs. [Time returns to normal speed.] // A heavy locker room door, which takes some effort to move, is slammed shut in front of me as I lock it up. / I turn to see a car pull up and park next to mine. / Nikki is in the front seat waiting for me tapping on her steering wheel while listening to whatever came up on the radio. / Wanting to get out as soon as possible, I hustled to the far corner of the pool zone to pick up the last ball but stopped in my tracks at the sound of something rustling in the woods outside the fenced in pool area. That’s when I saw the red eyes again. I could see them clearly this time through the moving shadows the trees casted as a breeze that swept through my work place. I couldn’t make out the actual figure, but still, we were able to stare at each other for a second or two before it dashed away. My heart raced, I took quick gasps for air as I stepped back almost falling into the water but was able to catch myself grabbing onto the armrest connected to the guard stand. I got back onto my feet and start looking around to see where the creature could have gone, but everything was a blur like my head was spinning out of control. // Nikki is still waiting in her old grey car. You can see the phone in her hand as she closes a Facebook app going to a message typing in “hurrrry up.” She looks away from her phone and glances into her mirrors to see they’re glowing red from the massive eyes of a large, black, furry head. You can hear the creature’s deep menacing growl as it takes a step closer completely filling up her mirror with the red glow. // My hand gripped my head trying to gain control of myself when I heard Nikki’s screams muffled out by a roar so loud there wasn’t a creature on Earth that could produce it. The noise was enough to snap me out of my daze. I ran up to the fence pressing against it trying to get a better look at the black shadow standing in-between our two cars, but it was still hard to see with my vision just now clearing up. I ran over to the gate frantically attempting to unlock it and get out to the parking lot when the dark shadow of this giant wolf glides over my head. You could hear a loud splash in the water as small waves from the pool pushed water all the way out to my bare feet. I dropped my keys into the puddles of water letting them drift away with the retracting water as I slowly turned around and walked up to the edge of the pool. It was dark towards the bottom of the deep end, I could have just let it go and ran over to aid Nikki, but my killer curiosity had me peering over the edge. As I looked down, the water was illuminated with red bubbles that streamed up. There was something down there, but it was too hard to see. Before I knew it, the was wolf pouncing up out of the water and broke through the locker room door. This door was thick and was only meant to be slid open, but now one half of it was lost inside the dark locker room while the rest of the door hanged from above. I stood at the dark opening of the locker rooms with tight fists.

Me: NO, I’M DONE! YOU COME OUT, NOW! I’m sick of whatever game you’re playing. You’ve been haunting me and my friends for days, so just do whatever the hell you came here to do. (I screamed out so afraid that I’m nearly in tears.)

Footsteps could be heard from inside the locker room as the glow of the monster’s eyes light up the eerie locker room from inside. From that light, I could see a man in front of the beast. He’s a skinny but a tall man in his forties with long dark red hair wearing a black cloak and fine pieces of jewelry scattered across his body.

The Man: Straight to the point aren’t you, very well, I’ll do the same even though you know exactly why I am here.

Me: Yeah, I get that it’s not looking too good for me, but why? What the hell did I do to make you so afraid that you have to hide behind your werewolf?

The Man: You haven’t seen fear yet child, and don’t take this personal. I wouldn’t expect you to understand or believe me, but what I’m doing is a necessary evil. You don’t know it yet, but you’re dangerous, and I cannot allow you to endanger everything we’ve fought for.

The man’s eyes flash red causing the wolf’s eyes to now shine even brighter as it must stand up on its hind legs and lets out a deep growl. It paused, continuing to stare me in the eyes, but all I could see of it were those bright eyes leaving the rest of its body hidden in the darkness.

The Man: DO IT, DO IT NOW!

The beast lunges out of the shadows ripping its arm through my chest. The monster lifts me up by my impaled chest waiting for me to look down and cough blood up onto its fur before tossing me into the pool. Blood streams out of my body in all directions as red water rained down on me from the splash. A few of my organs drift away, the full moon’s light shimmers onto a pool of crimson water that buries me as I sink to its bottom.

At first, there is the uncomfortable feeling of your inner self being ripped away from your physical body. Once my soul was free from a human vessel I still looked the same but with a light glow and a clear intangible form. I was also much calmer now that all the pain stopped as I slowly made my way up floating into the sky uncontrollably, but you don’t feel panicked or worried, mostly just relieved. I started to move up faster and faster rushing through clouds. I could feel a slight warmth as my soul broke through the atmosphere and continued to travel through a black sky. I felt like I was in space, but that’s not where I was; I didn’t seem to be anywhere for there was nothing but darkness that I was moving through. There was no sun, moon, or planets just a vast darkness. I felt a rush of unbearable heat and saw flames all around me, but I blasted past through that like it was a red hot wall of glass. Once I opened my eyes again, I found myself traveling through a white tunnel. I started to slow down finally looking back to see the flames far behind me. Then I looked forward to a bright light ahead, but something was blocking out the light and stood in my path. The great brightness behind him made me unable to make out his figure until I was face to face with the same man responsible for my death.

Me: NO, NO! WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!

Kalexo: (Laughs) I am Kalexo, a Warg from Hell, and I know I wouldn’t let you live on Earth, also I truly am sorry for having to kill you. But my pity will not save you from your fate, for I can’t allow someone with your potential to enter Heaven either.

Me: So all this was just to send me to Hell. You couldn’t have even waited for me to die a natural death? I swear, I’m not that nice of a guy, we could just wait.

Kalexo: I wouldn’t expect someone with your live span to fully understand the complexity of what goes on in the afterlife. But basically, yes, you’re right, and I am impatient. So come with me and you might learn a thing or two about yourself.

Me: Yeah, we’ll see about that. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but your little bitch didn’t follow you up here. (I said with my fists up.)

He flew over to me and easily grabbed me by my throat lifting me up off my feet.

Kalexo: Don’t you see boy! You’re dealing with something far out of your league. I could be a God to you mortals! I could have you all bow at my feet as you chant my name.

I was getting angrier after feeling completely helpless and constantly getting beaten down. Now my eyes were the ones that were glowing, but a bright white color as I could feel the energy building up within me. This energy whipped around me like silver wind allowing a smirk to come across my face seeing Kalexo’s face now frantic although he hadn’t loosened his grip on my throat.

Kalexo: Etheric revenant bastard. Stop this now, child, you have no idea how to control yourself.

I screamed at him whiplashing beams of energy everywhere in all directions. Kalexo was slashed off of me in my rampage and he fell down to his knees. The energy was too much for this dimensional tunnel to handle and suddenly a tear in the wall appeared. A dark slash black as space formed in front of me creating such a contrast against the blinding white background that surrounds us. Just like a black hole, the dimensional tear sucked everything towards it with extreme force. Kalexo quickly gets sucked through the hole in this dimension. I tried fighting it, floating, flying whatever would get me closer to the light. But it’s pointless, after tiring out I spiraled down into the tear where I passed out from exhaustion. // I awake later to see my own body lying lifeless in front of me on a small, cold, metal table. ///

 

Book 1, Episode 2:

Dead Man’s Tale

hospital creepy

 

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a dead body, but it’s a pretty chilling experience. We see people all the time, but a lifeless corpse without that little shine in their eyes really makes all the difference. But this is completely different because it’s your body. Nothing like looking in the mirror, because you can actually see yourself in a way only possible from outside your own perspective. And you won’t see that little bit of soul in my eyes either because I guess I am my soul right now. Floating above my own body. And right now, I could look into my own cold dead eyes.

I’m in the morgue room of a hospital in this clear spirit form still looking down at my lifeless body. I had a massive “Y” shaped incision cut into my body that was stitched back up after the autopsy. It only felt like a few minutes had passed since a beast tore through my body, and now I’m all cleaned up and the hole in my chest has been stitched making me look like some creepy ass doll. I don’t know what to do or what’s going on. My mind is still in panic from the previous events. I approached my body placing a hand on my face in an attempt to get back into my body and somehow forget about this whole nightmare. But the second I was about to make contact, my hand faded right through my physical body as if nothing was there. For a moment, as my hand was deep inside my own head, I could sort of feel my brain and the fluids inside my head. Completely grossed out, I flinched backwards and ended up floating through the wall behind me into the halls of the hospital. Doctors, nurses, and patients all passed by me, but no one could see me, or even feel my presence as they faded through me. I tried talking to them, but no one responded. Irritated I began screaming at people, but they walked right past or even through me as I’m right there in their faces. In despair, I threw myself onto a counter with an attractive nurse standing behind it. One arm faded through the counter while the other held its ground pounding against the counter. I picked myself back up and pinned one arm up to hold my head with two fingers massaging the gap in-between my brows. I slammed my other hand down in a fist and glanced up to see if I had caught the nurse’s attention. She was still peacefully standing there with a clipboard in hand and the butt of her pen in her mouth fidgeting it up and down as she thought.

Me: Hey! Hey, Blonde McBig-Tits! (I sigh is desperation) You can’t hear a word I’m saying, can you?

Still no response. I reached over to poke her breast, but again, my hand fades right through.

Me: God fucking damnit! I can’t do shit while I’m like this! What the fuck is going on!?

I screamed again pounding my hands on the countertop. This time I must have created some wind because a piece of paper flew out from the nurse’s clipboard and landed right in-between my arms. I dropped my head down and looked at the paper with curiosity. It started today’s date at the top, 8/17/15. As I continued to read, I realize it’s my own medical report and that the date it shows is that of my own decease, three days ago. That was enough to freak me out, but as I continued to read, I found the description column:

The victim was aggressively mauled by an unknown animal. Left in water making victim unreachable to said animal. One Nicole Terrain reported the dead body.

I looked up from the page instantly remembering Nikki. The last time I had seen her she was most likely being torn apart by that same werewolf that got me. After this recollection, I ran through the walls of the hospital until I found myself aimlessly walking on air outside of the building. At first, I was scared and found myself unable to move my limbs they just uselessly flopped about. But soon, with a little focus, I started to float forwards. From floating, I figured out I could fly, probably as fast as I’d want to go. There was no wind against my face or anything that could hurt me, I was completely free. The feeling was similar to when I was floating up to heaven, but now, I had control. In about a minute, I could reach Nikki’s neighborhood. Flying over common roads and taking shortcuts through forests where I normally wouldn’t be able to drive through. From up here, I had a perfect view of the area. Once I spotted the pond I recognized so close to Nikki’s house, I powered forward knowing exactly which direction to fly towards. I swooped lower soaring through the trees that piled up in their neighborhood and came to an easy stop at their driveway. The house wasn’t that large, everything was pretty average besides the giant beat up boat unused in the backyard. I saw their door opening to let out a medium sized cattle dog who trotted across the yard sniffing around for the perfect spot to relieve himself. I hovered close to him, but the dog bared his teeth as I approached. After backing up a bit, it seemed as if he lost track of me and started looking confused until he stopped and stared directly into my soul. Nikki’s dad, Dan, your all-American father, jeans, flannel, the slight smell of beer, and a mustache as thick as his head, appeared on the deck.

Dan: Vinny, the hell are you looking at. Come on, boy.

Vinny scampered back to his master. I was a bit surprised that he had the capability to sense me, but I couldn’t dwell on that for long. From the driveway, I could see through their window and spotted out Nikki walking around looking healthy and happy like nothing ever happened. Knowing that she was ok put me at ease allowing other things to occupy my mind. I phased into the Earth’s crust moving towards their home. I traveled through the darkness of dirt and grime until I appeared in Sammie’s basement room spotting her out in the center of her bed. Her legs were wrapped in blankets, arms digging into the collection of soft material. I floated up to her seeing that her eyes were as red as roses like she hadn’t slept in the three days I’ve been dead for. Her hair, that was always perfect and well kept, was now tangled and all over the place. It didn’t look like she had been crying, but more like she was just traumatized, her eyes had probably run dry of tears long ago. Now, her eyes were kept wide open and her mind constantly in deep thought. Her room was always trashed, but this was getting bad. Old food that she never got around to eating was left out for the dogs, not too many clothes were on her floor but other blankets and pillows look like they’ve been tossed about, and the empty tissue boxes scattered everywhere showed the extent to her grief.

Me: Sammie, Sammie I need you need to hear me right now. (I said brushing my arm through her shoulder.)

Sammie shivered as goosebumps crawled their way up her arm before she cocooned herself into her blankets. I floated back a bit knowing my ghostly presence wasn’t doing a thing to help. I was left to hopelessly watch her misery unable to tell her that things might turn out to be ok. That is, if I ever get back into my own body. The door upstairs opened and shut, and I began to hear footsteps trooping down Sammie’s steps and into her room. Her boyfriend, Marcus, enters from another part of the basement shaking his head after seeing Sammie in the same condition he left her in.

Marcus: Hey Sammie, Nikki made us some chicken fingers upstairs if you’re in the mood? (There was no response.) Sammie, how long do you plan on keeping this up? You’ve been at it for days now. What’s going on with you? (He stares at Sammie, but she doesn’t even glance at him.) Seriously though, tell me, what’s up, and not some rant about psychic visions. I need something real, a reason why you’re like this. Something, anything, so I can help. (Her silence continues.) Alright, don’t speak, I get it. This is obviously because of St. J right? Look, it’s sad and all but you need to get over it and go on with your own life. That’s what he would want right? Look at Nikki, that was her fucking best friend, but even she can manage to put on a fake smile, carry on, and go to work. (Sammie blinks twice then continues to be deeply involved with her thoughts). There was definitely something going on between you two. WHAT ARE YOU NOT TELLING ME!? Why Are You Silent!?

You could see how angry he was getting by the bulged vein sticking out from his forehead as he got up in her face. He stepped forward and grabbed the bottom of her head. His hand wrapped around Sammie’s jaw pinching her cheeks with his thumb and fingers making her look right at him. His other hand was in a tight fist pulsing every once and a while as it was stuck to his side. By now I was watching with fury, but in this state, I couldn’t do anything but let my rage build.

Marcus: TELL ME! DID YOU FUCK HIM!?

He had Sammie’s attention now. She was mad but didn’t react much. She backed away fighting against a bit of Marcus’ resistance, but he soon released her smooshing her face back. I rushed at Marcus, attempting to shove him into the ground. It would have been easy, he’s not a very big guy. But instead of being the hero, I just floated through his body. I could see him paused for a second, feeling the cold chill down his spine. But his suspicions were short lived as he went right back to accusing Sammie who stayed almost in a trance not showing any emotion or even moving a muscle.

Marcus: ANSWER ME! DID YOU TWO DO ANYTHING!? (He groans in a shouting manner), JUST DO SOMETHING, crazy bitch.

My anger started to be uncontainable as everything around me became hard to see. Light poured out from my eyes with the silver energy back again flowing through my body and whipping about the room gaining in speed the more he screamed at her. Sammie smacked his arm out of her face leaving Marcus astounded by her sudden retaliation which only angered him further. Marcus cocked his arm back looking like he was about to smack her. That’s when the whole room was sent into darkness. A pulse shot through the room shattering every light bulb until the only light in the room was coming from my furious glowing eyes. Her bed started to shake, lamps and other things on her desk where knocked aside. Her cat, Charlie, hopped on top of a stack of clothes and hissed at me before fleeing the room. I opened my mouth, letting out more light that shot out from my lips as I spoke in a demonic voice that was still my own.

Me: YOU DON’T GET TO HURT HER.

Energy flowed through her room like a storm causing Marcus to sprint out tripping on a drawer that flew out of Sammie’s bureau as he escaped her room nearly pissing his pants. I was still furious, my eyes showed it all. Not even from just the light, but how my brows strained, and my eyes were almost vibrating along with the rest of my body. I wanted to sprint up those stairs and chase after him, but at the same time, I didn’t want to leave. There was nothing for me to do here, but still, I felt the need to not leave Sammie’s side. An overwhelming feeling of guilt came over me because whichever way you look at this situation, you see Sammie suffering, and only me to blame. My presence, my death over, and right now I’m probably scaring her shitless with all these ghostly abilities. I looked over to her, she was no longer in the hallucination like state of deep thought, but I’m not sure if this was any better. Sammie dipped her head down and began to cry as her room still spun about with my silver wind that I was unable to contain. It hurt me even further knowing that I was not only the cause of her pain but a witness, the only one completely unable to do a thing about it besides scare her and bring even more confusion into her life. Through her tears, I could hear her mutter one thing out.

Sammie: Tha… Thank you. (She then went back to balling her eyes out.)

Me: She thanked me, after everything… she’s thankful?

I was dumbfounded. The first thing to happen next was I dropped down to the floor, her clothes and furniture parting away from my presence as I landed. The room settled down, the streaks of silver energy ceased, and the room grew quiet as the lights died down. Finally, my eyes flickered off and I took a deep breath of musty air feeling both relieved and exhausted. Sammie stopped crying and looked up noticing that whatever was going on had stopped. She began to look around the room that’s completely trashed, which says something considering how bad it already was. Then, for just a second, I swear, I saw her look up not behind me, but for a second, we had locked eyes somehow. Her deep blue eyes filled with fresh tears blocking out the red along the edges, looked up at me with awe. She blinked, and a tear streamed down her cheek. She then got up to her feet picking up a few of the pillows that had been tossed about by my energy storm. She flung them back onto her bed only to lie back down amongst them concluding her cleaning session. Her cat, Charlie hopped up onto her bed nuzzling his head into her ribs. She had the strength to form a smile as she stroked her pet that gave me a huge relief. In that moment, I could feel that she would be ok. There was nothing else I could do for Sammie. I didn’t want to haunt her or be forced to watch her cry, so I floated up the stairs out of her room that I left jumbled. I had only made it to the bottom of the stairwell when I found Nikki opening up the door then cautiously walked down each step. She stopped half way down the steps and darted her head in my direction. She stared at me with such a confused expression on her face.

Nikki: Saint St. J?

Me: Oh my God, Nikki! Yes, it’s me! You can see me, right? This is great.

Nikki: (She had mixed emotions.) St. J, I can hear you, but I can’t see you. What’s going on, and what just happened down there?

Me: Sorry, that’s a little too much to explain right now, but don’t worry I handled it. I know it might not seem like it, because I’m dead and everything, but I’m fine, really. More importantly, what happened to you? The last thing I remember is you waiting for me at the pool, and I just assumed that you were killed by Kalexo or his werewolf.

Nikki: Kalexo?

Me: I’ll try to explain that later, not sure how, but things might make more sense if I know your side of the story too.

Nikki: Well, wow this is all so unreal, but you know, I was going to meet up with you after work. Then out of nowhere, I saw its head, a giant wolf’s head, with bright glowing red eyes. At first, it was just sniffing around. I thought it would go away if I was quiet, but then it ripped out my door and bite me twice. (((Fast images of blood flying out of her car as the beast shakes its head violently.)))

She lifted up her shirt to show where the scar on her abdomen should be, then looked really confused feeling her skin on her arm where I’m guessing the other bite mark was supposed to be.

Nikki: It was right here… what? (I stared at her blankly.) Weird stuff like that has been happening lately, I tried not to think it was a werewolf, I really did. Almost convinced myself that it could have been a weird bear or some kind of mutant wolf, but after I saw my eyes and the claws. (She paused sensing my confusion.) I’ll show you, it’s kind of cool in a creepy way. Just let me just check on Sammie real quick. (She said eagerly.)

She walked down the stairs peaked around the corner at the bottom of the stairs to see Sammie sitting there in the dark in a cluttered mess. The only movement she had done was move from a sitting position in her bed, to simply laying back letting her legs dangle off the bed.

Me: It’s not as bad as you think. I think she’ll be ok if we give her some space. Sammie thinks she’s responsible for my death because she tried to warn me about it, but there’s nothing either of us could have done about it. (I explained to her as we moved up the stairs.)

Nikki: So, we should just tell her right now that you’re fine, well sort of. I just don’t know how I could without sounding crazy. (She says picking up a sock and tosses it into a basket at the bottom of the steps. As she did, she passed by a beam of light that shined on her face revealing that her eyes now looked green.) But what do you mean she warned you, how did she know that this would happen?

Me: She told me she had a vision, and it described the werewolf that got us both. But we can’t tell her now, she’s been through enough supernatural shit today. And I’m going to find a way to get back my body back. Once I do that, I’ll just tell her in person.

Nikki: You think you can get better? St. J, you’re dead. We all saw your body. I was the one who made the 911 call reporting that you were dead.

Me: I know but some part of me is still ok and I honestly feel stronger now. I just need to figure out what the fuck is going on first. And right now, you’re the only person who can see or help me, which has to make you a werewolf or something, because so far, you’re the first human to give me a second glance. It seems that only animals can see or sense me.

Nikki: Well, I’m glad that I can help St. J, and I’m definitely happy that I can talk to you again, but still these last three days have been hell for all of us.

I got up in her face and released some energy to create a glow from my eyes that illuminated the dark stairwell.

Me: Yeah, I think we’ve all gone through some changes.

I said looking into her eyes that were most certainly brown last time I saw her but are now are a vibrant green. Her eyes reflected the light back like how a cat’s would in the dark.

Nikki: You saw my eyes didn’t you. It’s creepy, I know, but come on.

She walked up the rest of the staircase and opened the door letting in a light that brightened up the whole stairway. I followed Nikki up into their small hallway where a few outdated pictures hung up on the wall, mostly the three sisters. Becky was sitting on one of the leather couches watching some cooking show. When Nikki steps out you can see Becky’s attention pivot, she mutes her show and waits for a response to the obvious question.

Nikki: She’ll be fine. They had a fight, I think. But honestly, she’s probably feeling a little better right now. It’s still some shit, but I think she’s going to be over all of this soon.

Becky: Did you hear how much noise they made? What kind of fight was that? And you were down there for a while.

Nikki: I don’t know Becky, just give her some space, and give me some too. (She said slamming Sammie’s door then stormed off.)

Becky: Nikki, I was just…

She didn’t wait to listen, within the second we were in Nikki’s room at the end of the hall leaving Becky confused not knowing a thing about what’s happening to her family. // Inside her bedroom there were the basics, bed, closet, a chair only used to hold old clothes, inspirational posters, all that jazz. She hung up lots of art she’s made over the years and a few posters of pictures she’s taken and claimed were her best.

Nikki: Are you still here? (She asked after closing the door behind her and starting to look around the room looking clueless.)

Me: Yeah, I’m not going anywhere till I figure out how to get my body back.

Nikki: Well, this isn’t going to be easy, like how am I supposed to help you when I don’t even know what’s going on with myself. All my senses are on this whole new scale, and if you think what happened to my eyes is weird, then look at this.

She flexed her arms swinging them down fast. As she moved her fingers hardened into claws as fur sprouted up all the way to her forearms ending with a scruffy bit of hair pointing out past her elbows. She looked up at me; her eyes were almost glowing with such a vibrant green color.

Me: What!? That looks like it’s just the start, to be honest. You could probably do a whole lot more if you ever understand exactly what it is you’re doing.

Nikki: I don’t know if I want to use this. I’m turning into a monster, and I don’t want to end up like that thing that attacked me. Just look what it did to you! You’re dead now and turned into a ghost for some reason. Do you think this is what happens to everyone?

Me: I don’t know, Nikki. Probably not. But I was just trying to get at that there’s just so much more going on right now, a lot of bad shit that I don’t understand and I really can’t handle alone. You might need to know how to control whatever is going on with you, in case we ever run into Kalexo again.

Nikki: Alright, since you’re forcing me to ask. Who is that guy you keep on mentioning?

Me: He was the man who came with the werewolf. He’s the one who told the wolf to kill me.

Nikki: So what, he like has a pet Werewolf?

Me: Not exactly, if you saw this guy you’d get it. He was long and dark, wore a cloak, like something from a movie, but he did this weird thing with his eyes and the wolf thing did the same thing, so I’m thinking he’s gotta be some kind of mind control wizard type deal thing.

Nikki: I know this isn’t a time to be speculative, but that doesn’t make any sense.

Me: None of this makes sense! I died but somehow I’m still here ‘cause some guy in a cloak stopped me in the afterlife. He acted like I was some kind of threat to him, which was his reasoning for stopping me from getting into heaven; because he said he was from Hell.

Nikki: (under her breath.) What the fuck. Are you telling me you fought a… like a demon?

Me: No, no he had a word for himself. Ah, what was it? (Nikki pulls out her tablet, then looks back at me curiously.) Uh, I think it was a Warg.

Nikki: Hmm, don’t think I’ve heard of that before, (She glanced up from her device after tapping all over the screen with lightning fast fingers.) but look at what this site says about them. (Showing some creepy website, titled GoT, that looks completely fan based.) It’s supposed to be someone with the supernatural ability to connect with beasts. Their souls can physically connect with other souls creating a network with the souls they’ve interacted with. Because of this deep connection with the world, some receive visions or messages of all types…

Me: Visions huh.

Nikki: (She stops reading the text and looks up at me.) Sounds like what you said Sammie could do, right?

Me: She knew about my death, but not only that, she knew the specifics. That it would be a monster with glowing red eyes. Exactly what happened. As for all that animal stuff, I don’t know.

Nikki: Well she hasn’t exactly tried, or done anything really for that matter… I really don’t know how long she can keep this up.

Me: I know, I feel bad that I haven’t been able to do anything to help.

Nikki: Yeah, especially since this is sort of your fault she’s all like this too. (I glared at her after the unhelpful comment.) Anyways, we’re going to need to break this down if we want to understand what happened. What else did this mysterious guy say? He seems to be giving us some answers.

Me: He said the reason he murdered me, was to bring me to hell, that I couldn’t be allowed to go to heaven because of my potential. What would’ve happened if I did!? What if I made it to Heaven? Maybe they could train me or, or… hold up. Kalexo said something else that I didn’t get. (I said beginning to lose my focus.)

Suddenly it hit me like a flashback, my eyes lit up as I dipped my head down curling myself in a floating ball. / (((In Black & White))) I pictured myself back inside the white tunnel. Kalexo is yelling at me “Etheric revenant bastard. Stop this now child, you have no idea how to control yourself.” / I come out of the trance as the light sucks back into my eyes and the all the objects on Nikki’s desk stop shaking. Some things had knocked over during my mini episode. The chair full of clothes spilled out onto the floor making the whole place look like there was just a miniature earthquake. I floated down to sit on the floor leaning up against her bed. I mumbled something that was hard to understand.

Nikki: What’s happening, are you alright?

Me: (I tried to catch my breath.) Etheric… Etheric revenant, he called me that. I need to know what it is.

Nikki: (She typed away incredible fast quickly finding the answers I craved.) Alright listen to this, apparently, it’s a spirit, but of a former human being. It says they’re rare and a dangerous type of poltergeist that live in shadows and take the energy from living things.

Me: Well I guess anything makes sense; I could easily be defined as a spirit who isn’t human anymore. Is there anything on how to get my body back? (I ask as she continues to type away).

Nikki: No, not exactly, but it does say they can possess bodies both dead and alive. So you could just take your old body back, or a new one, whatever you want.

Me: I don’t know how to do that! Get in and out of a body. I tried walking into myself earlier, but I faded through it like I do with everything else.

Nikki: Well, you have to try to make it work. You won’t automatically just get your body back you probably have to do something. Maybe like how you can light up my room. You could try that?

Me: That just happens, the only times I’ve been able to do that was when it was to my advantage. When I really needed it. I could feel it building up when Marcus was coming at Sammie.

Nikki: Alright then, so we just have to get you mad.

Me: No, I didn’t say it was like that! I just think whatever I can do is tied to my emotions.

Nikki: Well, you should be feeling a bit emotional right now. Sammie’s growing more insane by the second, you’ve lost your body, and the only way to get it back (she whistles for Vinny who quickly pokes his head through the door) is by trying.

Me: No, I’m not going inside your dog! What if I can’t get out, I’m just supposed to live the rest of my life as your pet!?

Nikki: As entertaining as that would be, I don’t think you’ll get stuck in there. Think of it like climbing a tree if you put yourself in there you can get yourself out.

Me: What the fuck am I doing? (I sighed while getting into Vinny’s face.)

I took a few deep breaths putting more energy into every breath until I’m able to make my eyes glow, and this time without causing a mini hurricane. But what I was trying to do was different from before. I may have stopped myself from whipping energy beams about, but I couldn’t stop the room from getting cold or the frost from building on each of her windows. Vinny who senses me and the energy I was giving off tried to get out of the room, but Nikki shuts the door in front of him. She then gets down on her knees to hold her dog down, hugging and petting Vinney until he relaxed, but the dog was not having it. He snapped and growled barring his teeth in my direction, but as far as I was concerned, I was untouchable and continued to focus my energy looking into his eyes while concentrating with all my might. My eyes shined with a silver aura and Vinny’s eventually did the same. I moved my head closer to his bouncing my curly hair against his fur when suddenly there’s a bright light and I was sucked inside the dog’s body. My soul slimmed out and slurped into Vinny’s mouth. Nikki waits for things to settle down, the frost thawed and the lights simmered down to nothing. Slowly, she releases my new body and looked down at me from a crouched position.

Nikki: St. J, is that you in there?

I open my mouth and make a weird whining noise trying to answer her, but that’s the best I can do.

Nikki: I guess that’s a yes (she laughed) Come on, I’m driving you to the hospital. You can figure out how to get out of my dog on the way there.

I stumble out of the room trying to follow her while still getting used to my new legs. ///

We appeared out in the back parking lot of the hospital. I’m back in my intangible form floating a little over Nikki as she walked up to the building. She was looking behind us to see Vinny happily waiting in the car with his head stuck out the open window.

Me: Well, what’s your plan here? I’m going to float up to that third window there, I remember that’s where I came from when I left the hospital. What are you going to do; walk in, ask to see a dead body?

Nikki: Nah, I think I’ll improvise.

She runs up to the base of the hospital without hesitation continuing on at a full sprint towards the brick wall. Right as she reaches its edge, I watched her leap up higher than I’ve seen anyone jump before. She took two steps running right up the building’s side, then kicked off flipping through the air to land on the fire escape on the second floor. I, more simply, swooped up next to her.

Me: Hey, that was awesome! You really pulled that off.

Nikki: Thanks! (She said with a big smile clearly enjoying her new abilities.)

Me: Come on, it’s this way.

I said leading her to a window that I flew right through. Nikki springs up to the next level of the fire escape and extends out one finger slowly shifting it into a hard claw. She rams this claw into the lock and crawls through once the window pops open. She moved through the opening dropping to the floor fluently like a cat would, but as she rose up to her feet she did not move another muscle and became as speechless as I was seeing what was before us.

Kalexo: Hello again boy, missing something?

Kalexo was leaned up against the morgue drawers with a creepy smile. He swung my drawer wide open revealing my body just lying there waiting for me dressed in a patient’s gown, but there’s no way of getting to it with Kalexo hovering above me dragging his fingernail against my body’s skull.

Me: How can you even see me you’re not a werewolf?

Kalexo: Ah true, excellent deduction. Yet you and your little pup friend look like the smart type, I’m sure you two did your fair share of research and know all about my sorcery and Warg abilities. But another secret I’ll let you in on is that one of the perks of living in Hell is that you develop the Second Sight. (He explains while walking around the room.) Which would allow me to see you for exactly what you truly are. A demon, just like me.

Me: Quit lying to me, Kalexo.

Kalexo: Oh, what’s the matter, boy? You should be happy to finally meet something like you.

Me: I’m not like you!

Kalexo: Would you like to bet on that?

Me: Don’t you get it! This isn’t some game, this is my life you’ve been fucking with! I’ve been left in the dark and confused by just about everything that’s happened to me.

Kalexo: Yes, I would imagine so, but you do know what you are, don’t you? So you should understand the potential you could have in the afterlife. If you come with me I can teach you how to use that vast energy supply of yours. If you come with me I can answer all your questions and teach everything I know.

Me: You know that’s not going to happen. To think I’d trust you for a second.

Kalexo: That’s only because you still think like a foolish mortal. You’ll need to rid yourself of your human ways, because face it kid, you’re never going back to normal; body or not. By the way, in your little research session of yours; did you ever find out what my main ability is? To have control over things weaker and wilder than me?

He said as his evil glaring eyes began to shine red. I heard glass shatter and objects dropping to the floor behind me. I looked back to Nikki seeing her back up uncontrollably slamming herself against the wall with her hands clinging to her head. Her eyes were shut but you could see all kinds of lights peering through her eyelids. She called out my name for assistance, but Kalexo was right there in front of me. I took a step closer to Nikki while grinding my teeth towards Kalexo. Nikki was suffering trying to keep her senses and control over her own body. Kalexo was creeping into her head by force so Nikki dug her nails into her skull trying to claw him out as her own blood flowed out from her hairline. I knew there was nothing I could do without my body so I shot over to the drawers and grabbed my own dead face. My eyes glowed upon contact like a chemical reaction with my physical body that caused a great amount of energy to flow between me and my body. Kalexo was distracted and too late to stop me now. He rushed over too me by the time my energy was released and everyone was pushed back against a wall. My corpse sat up fast and gasped for air that its lungs couldn’t breathe. I felt myself fading thinner like I was disappearing as the slight glow my spirit form gave off faded to nothing. My body’s eyes opened slowly shinning bright as flashlights. My corpse opened its mouth and lights flashed from all openings as what was left of my spirit funneled into my mouth. Everything went dark for a second until my brain’s wheels started spinning again after the three-day vacation and I snapped back into true form howling a petrifying cry. My eyes which used to be a deep brown were now silver and my pale corpse seemed to tint itself back to its natural mocha color. My ghostly screech must have been enough to snap Nikki out of whatever spell Kalexo tried to put her in. Her body slid down to the floor resting herself against the wall after unrelentingly fighting against Kalexo’s mind control. She was exhausted, barely able to keep both eyes open, but at least they seemed to be back to their radiant green hue.

Me: KALEXO!

I yelled in a deep voice as I floated out of my metal drawer tomb and down to the floor. Nikki picked her head up and saw me first before anything else and was unable to believe her eyes.

Nikki: St. J, is that really you?

My body was hovering over the floor, my hospital gown fluttered from my pulsing energy. Despite the goofy attire, I stood in mid air with muscles flexing in the pose of a man ready for anything. With confidence, I sprinted at Kalexo winding my fist back about to punch him, but he stepped back jerking my arm forward flinging me at the wall behind him. I put my arms up closing my eyes preparing myself for the impact. But when my eyes opened again, I was floating through the wall of the hospital and looked down finding myself hovering aimlessly above some dumpsters. At first, I was afraid more than anything and I began to fall dropping down into the piles of trash down below. The crash was rough but I think I might have saved myself at the last second, or else injuries would have been more severe. I started crawling my way out from the lumps of trash bags.

Me: Damn it.

I growled finding the strength to burst up into the air with an explosion of garbage below me as each bag of trash was split open from the force of my take-off. I whipped around back and through the same wall again focusing my powers to become clear to phase through the wall then become solid again in time to punch Kalexo. By the time I made it back into the fight he was just taunting me standing over Nikki who was virtually helpless at the moment back to fighting against his control and squirming on the floor. I charged for him but wasn’t able to switch back to my physical form fast enough to strike a punch. I was able to knock him over tossing my legs out right as I flew past him and collided into the wall at the other end of the room.

Kalexo: All that power wasted on an angry child. (He said getting back up to his feet.) I’ll show you something with some real strength.

Kalexo’s eyes glowed again, this time he wasn’t after Nikki, but made a call out for backup. A massive birdlike creature broke through the window a second or two later sending glass and wall plaster into the room. It had a vulture’s head and wings but four reptilian legs and a scaly tail with a few sharp feathers towards its tip. It squawked loudly at me making me back up past a door that suddenly opened as a brave nurse decided to investigate the noise of beasts and destruction. The woman shrieks in fear seeing the monster hissing and lashing out its forked tongue. Nikki ran over pushing the nurse out of the room and slam the door behind her. She spun around and roared at the creature baring sharp teeth as her claws emerged from the blood pumping roar. I looked to her with surprise at her viciousness. She got to one side of the beast and I had the other as we both jumped up and down yelling at the creature backing it away from the door. I kicked, Nikki swiped her claws, and the beast whipped its tail, but we were each able to dodge these warning strikes. Once we backed the beast over to a corner, Nikki left me in charge as she ran back towards Kalexo who was standing peacefully in the back of the room enjoying the show. As she raced up, Kalexo remained motionless. All it took was just a flash of red from his eyes, and his pet jolted forward somehow maneuvering itself through cramped spaces. I leaped up into the air trying to intercept the beast before he got to Nikki, its target. Me and the beast collided. I clung onto its wing and from there, I made my way onto its back pounding on the bird with hammer fists and hook shots to the neck. Basically ignoring me, the creature continued for Nikki, clawing and pecking at her. Nikki could only dodge so many of its attacks and was constantly grazed by the creature’s claws before she managed to get a slash in under one of its arms. But the constant onslaught of attacks from the beast was too fast and too much for Nikki. She was knocked down to the floor, the bird stood over her. It’s twelve-foot wingspan spread over Nikki’s head ready to make it’s final blow to its fallen prey. In that moment, I leaped up off its back and wrapped my arms around its tube neck kicking at the beast as I was swung around. The bird was a bit confused now at this point. It managed to toss me up into the air while spinning around to whack me with its tail. I rocketed down to the ground but before the floor struck I tried to fly hard using all my strength to not hit the floor. The intense pressure placed beneath my foot and the tiled floor below became so intense that the tile actually split in two.  By now, I could feel the energy within me that allowed me to fly and fight. As I got angrier, I was able to create the silver whips of energy. Papers were tossed up into the air and the lightbulbs above us flickered on and off. Silver wind was flowing throughout the small room but two noticeable concentrations of energy slammed the beast against the wall creating cracks that spread throughout the entire side of that room. Kalexo reluctantly was forced to step in, not expecting me to have this much control of my abilities already. He pulled a dagger from his sleeve and approached me from his corner.

Nikki: ST. J, look out!

She warned me just in time to become clear as I turned coming face to face with Kalexo just daring him to use his weapon. As we were in the middle of this heart racing standoff, everyone’s attention was diverted to the direction of a loud howl that shook the entire hospital. You could hear the nurses and doctors now banging on the door yelling at us to open up as Nikki effortlessly pins the door shut by just leaning on it. She was forced to stand guard at that end of the room while behind me there was a bang against the wall coming from the outside. Nikki’s face looked horrified at the idea of something else entering this fight. She must have lost her position on the door because a few doctors and nurses had teamed up to ram the door open nudging Nikki out of the way. I sprinted over shoulder checking the door shut when I heard another explosion like bang from the outside of that wall across the room. All I could see was the dust and plaster enter the air while hearing this out-of-world screech and a few weak chirping noses. I looked over my shoulder to see the same dark wolf that killed me now with a half dead bird-like creature within its jaws. With one more jerk, the bird’s lengthy neck snapped sending feathers everywhere silencing the monster. The wolf growled at Kalexo with orange blood dripping down from its furry lip. By the look on Kalexo’s face when he saw the beast, you knew that this time, it’s not under Kalexo’s control. Shocked by how fast things turned away from his favor, Kalexo backed himself into a corner and began rummaging through his robes until finding a small sparkling vial containing a purple liquid.

Kalexo: Until next time then. For your sake, let’s hope you’re better prepared.

He said smashing the glass across the floor creating a blinding light that involuntary made all of us look away shielding our eyes from streaks of intense light. The flash subsided leaving Nikki, still barricading the door, me, the half black kid in a torn hospital gown, a dead ten-foot-long flying reptilian, and a werewolf standing over his kill. The werewolf lifted himself up to stand on his two hind legs. I looked into the beast’s golden eyes, he was still as he stared back at me. This made him look far less threatening and much calmer than the previous shade of glowing red. He let out one last howl while raising his arms up high in the air only to smash them down to the floor as his whole body began to morph back into his human state. Thick shaggy wolf arms started to shrink as all his hair receded throughout his body. Claws turned to fingers, black fur turned into a full head of dirty blonde hair, as his limbs shifted into proper human shape. The naked wolf-man stayed crouched low to the floor then looked up at Nikki and me, who had backed into the opposite side of the room.

Blake: Hey, I’m Blake. (He sounded winded from the transformation.) Neither of you two wouldn’t happen to have a pair of jeans on you, maybe a blanket.

Nikki and I looked to each other and then broke down laughing out of relief.

 

Book 1, Episode 3:

The Beast Within

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Down into the darkness traveling deeper and deeper through rocks, dirt, and grime. Time passes, until finally, we reach a large empty cave with cracks edged along the rock ceiling. Kalexo emerged from the shadows appearing out of a cloud of low floating smoke. He walked up to the brim of this cliff allowing the tips of his feet to slip off the edge along with a collection of stones coming from the peak of this summit. He glided down to the center of Hell, a vast wasteland dark and filled with the sounds of suffering. It’s a painfully crimson domain, even the rocks that made up every wall, roof, and floor of this evil place have a dark crimson tint. You see a large lake of lava and fire in the center of this massive dome, it seems to be the only light emitted in Hell. It’s just bright enough to give the underground cave a dark red glow. Through the dim light, you cannot see where the walls end they just go on and out into the distance. Stalagmites and stalactites pierced into the growing space between the ceiling and the floor until plunging into the lake of fire. In the distance, beyond the light the lake emitted, are dark red mountains, some volcanic, with magma bubbling up from the inside and shots of lava flying out. Beyond and surrounding these mountains it seemed like the rest of this hellish landscape was completely ablaze. As far as your eyes could see, there was nothing but flames. Kalexo dropped closer towards the lake of fire where you could see a line of people freely walking across this crooked narrow rock formation that rose fifty feet over the lake of fire. These people seemed to be so calm like they were in a trance or just believed this to be their fate. Without looking down, they would take their last step and plummet down into the liquid flames below. The sound of their screams, cries, and agony could be heard all throughout Hell, but no matter how loud they screamed, the others continued to willingly plunge themselves into the lava. The line marched forward without skipping a beat as the smell of burning humans puffed up with soot from below. Flesh peeled limbs stuck out of the flames as sinners sunk to the depths of Hell screaming out bubbles that float up and pop out the molten liquid. Kalexo dropped closer. Creatures could be seen coming out from the other end of the lake at their own separate part of Hell. They looked demented as if there were no thought put into their shape, or the placement of their limbs. Regardless of their hideous form, each of them would rise out from the flames shaking the burning liquid off their disfigured bodies and continued to march down into even darker tunnels, possibly into even worse sections of Hell. Kalexo watched this all as he floated down to the center of Hell, where he dove through the flames plunging into the heat. Although lava surrounded him, he was unaffected by their flames. He swam down to the bottom of the pool where there was a large crack riding along the lake’s floor large enough for him to maneuver his way down into the crevasse. A flaming vortex crumbles away layers of the crack until it is a wide pit that sucks him down fast into the darkness. / He appeared again in another cave, being spewed out from a waterfall, with red glowing water, where flames danced at the top of its arc, and the mist was replaced by smoke. Kalexo landed on this crusty plane with cracks everywhere shooting out jets of steam in some sections while bubbles foamed in others. A miniature volcano was before him. The front of this structure was indented perfectly forming the shape of a throne.

Kalexo: Lucifer, my Lord. I have returned.

A creature materialized before the throne in a collection of red burning lights. It was clearly a humanoid, yet he stood nearly twenty feet tall. It had the handsome face of a man with blonde hair and piercing cold blue eyes. This creature didn’t have arms, but four wings with massive human hands at each of their tips. The top wings were huge, draping behind his entire body. They had a skin based wing structure, similar to a bat’s wing. At the tip, his powerful hands branched out and stiffly formed a hook with his claw-like fingers. The whole set up looked very demonic, these hands were wrinkly, and his nails were unkempt, thick, and unreasonably sharp. The lower set of limbs are feathery, like an eagle’s wing. These set of hands were still clearly powerful in strength but looked much more like human hands. There were eyeballs, of all shapes and sizes, lined up from the beast’s wrists leading up the brim of his winged arms and across his chest where just a few of these creepy eyeballs were scattered along the upper portion. Every eye on this demented creature’s body glared down directly to Kalexo without blinking or ever straying from concentration. Lucifer’s lower body was basically the same as a human’s, besides the fact that he’s four times the size of a normal human, and he had hooves, like an ox. He wore a type of toga, mostly just a white cloth wrapped around his muscular body and weaved in-between each of his wings. The Devil before Kalexo took a seat on his throne. The magma inside reacted to his presence giving off a harsh glow.

Lucifer: Yes, I see that, Kalexo. I also see that you have failed to bring me the child. Again.

He spoke in a booming voice deeper and louder than any human could produce.

Kalexo: Correct, the wolves of Earth protected him, and it appears that he’s gaining control of his abilities at an accelerated rate.

Lucifer: This is not good, I will not allow this threat to continue. The boy already has the power to destroy the balance between worlds! You witnessed that event first hand and saw him change history right in front of us. While his presence may have worked in our favor, if you allow him to continue learning of his potential, he could create unknown tolls of damage against us and our cause. Eliminate him, bring the child to me! I wish to personally throw him into the Lake of Fire myself, and damn anyone else who dares get in my way! ///

Outside of the hospital towards the woods, Nikki and I followed Blake down a path where the vegetation had begun to dominate the narrow trail. We found scrubs for Blake and me to wear, the pants he needed, but the shirt wasn’t his style and he ditched it going along shirtless where I had found a white T-shirt to wear. We might have spent too much time at the hospital because not long after we escaped, alarms went off and all types of emergency vehicles could be seen flashing in the parking lot behind us.

Me: I still don’t think it was smart to leave that gecko bird thing just lying there in the hospital. Like, it’s weird enough that the body from a mysterious death just disappeared, but how is anyone going to wrap their heads around the fact that something like that exists.

Nikki: (Scoffs) You don’t know what you’ve missed in the three days that you’ve been gone. I can tell you, it’s been a freak show lately. Ghosts haunting their relatives, sometimes right after they die. You’re not the only dead person people have seen walking around, and demonic voices have been heard in churches. Hell is literally coming to Earth, and people are going to know about it soon enough.

Me: Man, I didn’t know it was that bad. I really fucked up. I single-handedly ripped open the path between our world and the next, there’s a crazy man from Hell trying to capture me, and I have no idea how to stop any of it.

Nikki: At least we were able to get you back in your body.

Me: Yeah. (I said sounding less thrilled.)

I placed a hand on my chest looking deep in thought when a flashback hit me. // (((Black & White))) I was in the hospital bathroom looking at myself in the mirror with my shirt off. The “Y” shaped autopsy incisions had healed themselves once I regained my body, but the scars they left remained. I poked the discolored flesh expecting to feel pain, but there was none, I was completely healthy. Next, I looked at my eyes moving my face up close to the mirror. (((My silver eyes are the only thing in color.))) I pried open my eyelids and moved my eye about within its socket making sure everything was still normal. I placed my hand back over my heart over the trails of my scars. I could feel my body’s warmth and my heart pounding as powerfully as ever, but why is it when I look into my eyes, I look dead.

Blake: (From outside, he pounded on the door.) What are ya taking a shit in there? Come on, the cops are here, we gotta go!

I continued to stare at myself in the mirror with a blank expression. // (((Back to Color)))

Blake: (He chuckled) You guys make me look normal, and I occasionally have to take flea baths.

Me: (To Nikki quietly.) Why are we following this guy? He fucking killed me.

Nikki: Not to mention, him turning me into a monster. (We both stop as Blake turns around to face us.)

Blake: You’re not a monster. Not yet, at least. The only way you’ll ever be able to contain the beast within you, is with my help. And St. J, as far as anyone else is concerned, you don’t even exist. You are a ghost of your former self, a walking dead body with just about every cop in the station looking for you. (My eyes went wide after he called me a dead body.) If you want to explain to them how your three-day nap healed your wounds, be my guest. Or, you could follow me. Someone who’s been able to keep their supernatural abilities a secret all their life. You guys didn’t even make it a day till the news cameras started rolled up. So yes, like it or not, you will follow me. (He started walking.)

Nikki: You’re an asshole, you know that.

Blake: Yes, but like most assholes, I’m always right. (He said looking back at her with a large and strangely friendly grin.)

I held back the urge to let my energy go as it bottled up within my tightly grasped fists and flaring eyes. As mad as I was, I knew he was right. Nikki and I stopped to pause for a second looking to each other probably thinking the same thing. But after a second or two, we continued to follow Blake through this thin path in the woods without the slightest idea of who this guy really was or where we were going. //

Sammie gloomily opened the door for Tonka who dashed outside without hesitation. She stepped onto the porch barefoot and in pajamas. Tonka was another one of their dogs, he’s a short but stocky Pitbull with naturally sad looking eyes, yet he wore a giant smile on his face as he galloped off into the backyard. Sammie looked off into the distance starting to daydream as she leaned against the porch’s rails. Soon after spacing out into nothing, a pain shot through her head forcing her to clutch her skull as a look of discomfort came across her face. / (((Blue streaks formed along the edges of her sight.))) You start to see short flashes from something else’s viewpoint. Something that ran fast and was able to move through a wooded area in a blur. / In that moment, Sammie snapped back to reality after hearing a rustle in the bushes. Still startled, Sammie looked down to Tonka. His ears perked up at the sound of an intruder. Before Sammie could think, Tonka darted off at full speed towards the bushes.

Sammie: TONKA NO! Fucking dumbass.

She jumped over the rail of the porch landing in the driveway as Tonka had already disappeared into the woods after the animal moving with fear away from this bulky dog leaving Sammie to fall behind them both. She looked up after staring down at her feet and found herself starting to speed up moving quickly over the grass, rushing in-between trees, jumping through bushes, and over branches. She hadn’t been paying much attention to Tonka, she was just running intensely and found herself slowing down, surrounded by nature, and all by herself. For the moment, it was quiet and peaceful in the middle of these woodlands, but again, she heard rustling in the bushes. Instinctively, she whipped around to the sound at her left. A small female deer slowly emerged from the bushes staring at Sammie. Sammie didn’t move but continued to stare into the dark black center of the deer’s eyes. A ring of blue appeared in the deer’s eyes, and for a split second, she could see herself while looking through the deer’s perspective. She saw that her naturally blue eyes seemed to be more noticeable in that moment, they had this blue shine to them. Whatever connection Sammie had with the deer was lost and the animal galloped back into the forest. The blue shine in her eye vanished and she began to sway to one side, then to the other, before losing her balance and falling to the ground with grace. Like a dropping feather. Her head laid on a pillow of grass that rose up to tickle her cheeks as she looked to the sky seeing the birds fly above the trees. //

A large osprey flew into the skyline out of the massive tree that Blake, Nikki, and I stood under. The tree was unnaturally large compared to the other trees in the area that seemed to clear out of its way creating this little field in the middle of the forest with the tree in its center. A well was built off to one side with a line that went down into the well and shot up into the tree. I looked up to its height, my silver eyes shined in the light, and my long curly hair blew in the breeze. I saw that the tree was hollow from the holes in different levels of the tree. Yet, the plant was still obviously alive radiating with color. There’s a small balcony made of wooden planks hanging under one of the openings to the tree looking like the only possible way to get inside.

Nikki: So… This is it, we’re here. (She said relieved.)

Blake: Yes, this is it, World Tree. It’s one of the last living Native American legends left in this world. My family worked with them since we got here hundreds of years ago escaping European enemies. We found out the colonist weren’t as accepting either and ended up spiting with them and found shelter with the Indians in their sacred tree. They showed us how to use the tree to heal wounds and we took care of the supernatural problems they faced. It worked out well for us.

Nikki: Oh really, is some of your family in there now?

Blake: No, let’s just say things have been dangerous, even before your friend here caused this huge mess. Guy’s like Kalexo, Wargs, and occasionally your average skin-walker have been causing problems. But Wargs, (he shakes his head) Wargs have been the sole enemy of our kind since the dawn of our existence.

Me: Hold up a second, how old are you exactly? We’re talking about the colonist here.

Blake: I don’t know exactly, frankly I stopped caring. (Turns to Nikki) We’re not immortal, but our healing abilities keep us youthful for longer than what you’d need. I was bitten probably 400 years ago, and I barely look a few years older than I did that day.

Me: So, what, has there always been so much of this fantasy stuff going on, all this time, and everyone’s just been completely ignorant to it!?

Blake: You’d be surprised what people choose not to believe in. But now it looks like they’re going to have no choice but to man up and start believing in some of these fantasies. And then, they’ll have to choose a side.

Nikki: A side? What are normal people going to do? They don’t have a place in all this.

Blake: THIS, what we’re in now. THIS IS WAR! And war influences everyone’s lives. They won’t have a choice but to pick a side and win or get crushed in the crossfire.

Me: I have a feeling like things are going to be a lot more complicated than whatever you’ve been dealing with before. Like you said it’s been just werewolves and Wargs, so how can you explain something like me or, the creature that Kalexo had.

Blake: Alright, first off. I’m not a bloodthirsty werewolf! What you saw on the night of the full moon, was my animal instincts weakening me to Kalexo’s control over animals. Honestly, the plan was genius to use me, a lone wolf, so that he doesn’t have to get his hands dirty. I’m going to tear that smart-ass prick to sheds when I see him again.

Nikki: You’re going to need our help. You can’t do this alone.

Blake: And what, I need to take help from a pup, along with some lost soul with a powerful temper tantrum.

Nikki: There’s nothing you can do all by yourself. You know you don’t stand a chance on your own against someone who can control you like that.

Me: Do I have to remind you two this guy’s straight out the pits of Hell. Imagine what other creatures he could have in a world of demonic monsters. That is, if he doesn’t just take over your body again.

Blake: I KNOW! Do you think I haven’t thought about this? (Sighs) Yes, I can train you, if you help me. I suppose you are my responsibility now. At least, that was how it worked back in the day. As for you, I don’t know what to tell you. I’m a Lycan, not some spirit guru, go find someone who actually knows about that kind of subject.

Me: Who the Hell is supposed to help me!? A palm reader isn’t exactly going to cut it… Just forget about me, I’ll figure something out. What are you guys going to do anyway?

Blake: About one months’ worth of training a day if you’re going to be any use to me when I rip Kalexo’s throat out. (He said glancing at Nikki while walking towards the tree.)

Me: Not sure how much I like this.

Nikki: Its fine, I’ll be able to handle myself.

Blake: Will you? (Nikki glares at him irritated.)

Nikki: Could you just check up on Sammie for me, I’m not sure how long I’ll be out here. Just go all invisible and sneak around or something. I just want to make sure she hasn’t gone completely insane.

Me: Yeah, OK, no problem. I guess I’ll be seeing you guys later then.

I looked up to the few clouds far out in the sky making for perfect flying weather. Nikki was looking at me with unsure eyes, she looked like she was in thought but seemed ready at the same time. With a burst of energy, I split the Earth’s crust under my feet causing dirt and rocks to fling up from the ground as I rocketed into the air. My face was stretched back not anticipating the g-force, but I then swung around back towards the hospital and center of town.

Blake: Alright then. Lesson one, survival, with a consecration on healing. (He said with a malicious grin on his face as his eyes started to shine a darker gold color.) ///

Blake let out a roar revealing his sharp canine-like teeth as he moved with extreme speed towards Nikki. He jumped up and punched down from above. Nikki managed to move out of the way by stumbling forward before rolling across the grass. She looked up off the ground and Blake was already standing right above her.

Blake: See, your dead now. You’ve got the speed, that comes naturally. This time, use your senses to control and manage that speed.

He said starting to creep forward. Nikki was more prepared now with her hands up in fists. Moving around a bit, Blake shot out with an electrifying jab. Nikki had her hands up and flinched back as she was struck, but when she brought her head back up, she flared out at him with her eyes burning bright green.

Blake: That’s it, girl! I want to see the animal inside come out! Let’s hear you roar!

She tilted her head back and spread her arms out behind her, leaving her body vulnerable. Blake took the opportunity to run up on her. Just as Blake was close enough to strike, Nikki let out an ear-shattering call that had a force behind it strong enough to knock Blake back and off his feet. Nikki approached him growling, she bore her fangs and flashed claws where fingers used to be. Blake shuffled back to his feet slowly. He was mostly just astonished by what was happening. Nikki sprinted for him slashing away viciously without quit. He’s able to dodge a good amount of her attacks using height as an advantage as he constantly slid back. But relentlessly, she pushed forward moving into a position where she could continue to tear up his chest. Blake sprung out backflipping away from Nikki gaining extra distance as he kicked off her chest. They both were tossed away from each other. The only difference was Blake was still on his feet dragging a hand into the ground to stop the backwards momentum, all while Nikki was still only starting to get up off the ground. She glared out to Blake who was bleeding terribly from wounds that were set deeply in his chest. Blake’s expression grew more serious as he saw the boiling rage lying within Nikki’s eyes. She growled out to him while taking a step forward. Before she could get any closer, Blake released a roar with such power that it trembled the ground they stood on. Even the mighty World Tree above shook and its leaves shed from the sheer might of Blake’s roar. Nikki cupped her ears and dropped down to a knee as her claws and teeth go back to normal and her body was showered from the World Tree’s leaves. The dust had settled, and again, Blake stood over Nikki. This time, he extended out a hand to aid her, but she was fine getting up on her own.

Blake: You might have some potential after all. How could you have pulled something like that off? What is this, like you’re second time fighting as a Lycan?

Nikki: As a Lycan… yeah. I suppose I took your advice seriously when you said go animal. Did I handle myself a little too well? (She says laughing while brushing some leaves and dirt off her shoulder.)

Blake: No, it’s not about that. How did you have claws just then without fully transforming? Only some of the strongest Lycans can shift specific parts of their body. Mostly, I’ve only seen it from the Dire family, a group of pureblood Lycans. A bitten Lycan should never be able to possess that type of power. You haven’t even turned yet, but you have an ability of a skilled Lycan warrior, how?

Nikki: How should I know, I expected it to be an easy move. Like, I don’t have to change everything, just my hands.

Blake: You don’t understand. Going full animal is a painful process, especially your first few times. You break bones and muscles to form your body into something new. To see you effortlessly do this doesn’t make any sense to me.

Nikki: (She laughed a little.) I don’t know what to tell you, Blake. Maybe you’ll need me more than you thought.

Blake: Maybe, but your still just a young pup, you can see it in the way you fight. Lots of power with no thought or reasoning. Our brains are what separate us from savage animals, always have your human mentality in control. You need to find the balance between you and the beast if you want to be successful in battle… So shut the fuck up, and show me the claws!

Fur brushed down Nikki’s forearm, all the way down to her deadly talon-like claws.

Nikki: I’m game if you are.

Blake: (He scoffed.) I’m just excited I get to take this a little more seriously now. The next round’s mine! (He screams charging forward with long strides.) //

At Sammie’s house, I floated down landing outside one of their windows where I crouched down with my back against the wall. I tried to switch to my clear form but was quickly snapped back to normal.

Me: Aw, come on.

Again, I tried to become intangible, and for a second time, I was unsuccessful. Frustrated, I stood up and decided to get serious. I stared at the wall for a second placing my hand against the rough surface while taking in a deep breath. My eyes were closed, I didn’t want to see the wall coming and give myself an excuse to be scared as I suddenly jolted forwards. The second my hair touched the wall, my body turned intangible. I held onto this loose feeling to the best of my abilities fearing that I might become solid after only phasing halfway through the wall. It felt like an instinct, not like flying. No, this was my body’s natural way of defending itself protecting me before I hit the wall. I flopped forward into their home where I quickly ducked down behind one of their leather couches. Slowly, I peeked my head past the edge but didn’t see anyone home. The TV was on with the news playing, the bathroom door was open with no one inside, and I couldn’t hear anybody inside the kitchen. It was safe to say, no one was home. I less cautiously moved up to the TV with intentions of turning the screen off but before I could hit the button on the remote, an image of our local hospital flashed on the screen. I was immediately interested and hurried to the screen. To my surprise, as I got close, the screen turned to static. My irritation with my unstable abilities grew, but for the moment, I was more surprised at what I’d done and just stood there for a second. Curious, I reached out with one arm which caused pure white sparks to fly in the air in between me and the TV. I quickly backpedaled falling into a seat on the couch behind me, which must have been far enough from the TV for our strange connection to cease. The white sparks vanished and the TV flickered back to the same report of the hospital reminding me why I had gotten so excited in the first place. /

Reporter: As if we thought local Tobey Hospital had enough to worry about when just three days ago we learned of the disturbing and mysterious death of Zachary St. Julien whose body was found mutilated at the local pool he was employed. All this morning, we’ve been following the case of his body’s strange disappearance, yet even more exciting was not the body that they lost, but of the one that they did find. Officer Slater, comments on the finding.

Officer Slater: It’s a shame we couldn’t find the young man’s corpse and it’s even worse that his death has caused so much attention. We’re doing our best to clear out the crowds and let the higher up organizations take care of the other findings.

Reporter: Can you give us any of your thoughts on this body you did retrieve?

Officer: I really can’t say much, they’re telling me to keep this case shut.

Reporter: So, you couldn’t say if the multiple witness reports were true about seeing an unreal giant creature with wings. That, or anything of the people seen fleeing the building with one of them, um, flying. (She said with a smile.)

Officer: No comment.

Reporter: Really, I have the video footage right here.

The police officer walked away. After he left they showed the footage of me flying away as Nikki and Blake jumped out the building. It’s filmed in terrible quality, but it’s believable. Throughout the original interview, there were people in the background with all kinds of signs of pure insanity saying Free The Aliens, and We Want The Truth. / I must have been watching with such attentiveness that I didn’t hear the car roll in as Becky enters her home. She tossed her keys on the counter running one hand through her hair as she stormed in. With barely enough time, I sunk down fading through the floorboards to the basement as Becky barged into the next room. While still intangible, I quickly look around the room finding that Sammie wasn’t home either. I shook my head and floated up the stairs to see what Becky was in such a rush about. At the top of the staircase, the door was slowly opened but Becky was not in the living room. I heard her on the phone in the next room. /

Becky: (On her phone, she waits as it rings) … Hey Nikki, it’s me again. You really need to pick up… Sammie’s missing, she ran after Tonka and we haven’t seen her since. There’s a lot of weird shit going on, so just come home, please. OK, bye.

She was extremely upset, it was easy enough to tell as Becky flopped herself onto her bed in distraught. I didn’t have time to explain to her everything, not when everyone’s out desperately searching for Sammie in the woods. I rushed out from their house with great speed now that I started to get the hang of phasing through walls. The blast from my take-off caused all the doors around me to slam shut with a howling gust. Being home alone, that’s enough to frighten anyone, but Becky just sprung out of bed to immediately opened the door back up.

Becky: Hello? Sammie, is that you? (The silence and unexplainable absence got to her.) Damnit, what’s going on in this house! //

Tonka ran through the woods looking as happy and energetic as ever, yet strangely, his eyes are bright blue. He looked around sniffing the area seeming overwhelmed by every scent he came across. The dog broke out rushing through a tall bush, which unexpectedly, stood at the border in-between the woods and the road. Tonka stood in the middle of the street blankly in a loss for direction when a car appeared speeding towards him while curving down the road. They quickly slammed their breaks and swerved out of lane. Sammie’s parents exited the car rushing up to their dog. Their mother, Jo, smothered the dog with affection while Dan called out Sammie’s name to no avail. Jo got the leash on Tonka and was petting his face when she noticed his abnormally blue eyes suddenly darken to their natural state. A wave of blue aura rushed through the woods and hovered above the clearing where Sammie abandoned herself. I had already found her passed out with her eyes glowing blue. To me, for all I knew, she looked dead. Her eyes were open, glowing or not, she was unresponsive to my calls and just lied there motionless. I had grown hopeless with my face buried in her gut crying.

Me: Damnit, Sammie. Come back. (I rose my head back up, unable to stop the tears from rolling down and plummeting onto her body.) Did I do this? Was it Kalexo. A fucking werewolf, something else from Hell? God, help me. If there’s a Hell, then you must exist too, right? Well, where are you then!? What are you waiting for!? She doesn’t deserve to die!

I can’t look at her or open my eyes at all. I’m too busy trying to stop flaring white lights from my eyes while fighting back tears and grinding my teeth together to the point that it should hurt, but I can’t feel the pain. I didn’t see the cloud of blue aura suck back into Sammie, but I do hear the long faint gasp of air she sucked in. I look down at her and feel her lungs rise with the first signs of life. I laughed in relief as I wiped the water from my eyes and dry my face. Sammie blinked her eyes a few times before they returned to their normal blue state. The look on her face is obscure like she can’t quite see me, or yet, she doesn’t believe that she sees me. But once her eyes do focus in on me, they widen as she gasps out. I could feel her cringe, but she stayed lying on my lap cradled in my arms, where she’s been since I found her in these woods.

Me: It’s ok, It’s real. I’m really here. I’m just so fucking happy you’re not dead.

I don’t know if at that time she truly understood. I don’t know how she would, but even still, she clung on to me and started to cry into my shirt until we had matching tear stains. I held her back and stroked her hair that flowed down from my chest to the grass below. We just sat there for a while under the trees both needed time to recover from the shock. ///

Me: I’m sorry if I scared you. I know I’m probably the last person you’d expect to be with right now, in the middle of the woods.

Sammie: (She sniffled a bit then looked up at me with a reassuring joy in here eyes.) Scared? Do you have any idea how relieved and happy it makes me to see you again? I have no idea what’s going on right, or why any of these bizarre things keep happening, or why they’re all connected with you. But what really killed me, was knowing that you were going to die without really having any idea of how I knew it, or if I could tell anyone, if there was something I could’ve done to prevent it. (She spoke frantically while sitting up slowly placing herself by my side with our legs still intertwined.)

Me: There’s nothing you, me, or anyone could have done, trust me. If you were there that night, it would have been just another person that got hurt because they knew me. Lately, not one thing in my life has been the same really. I really did die three days ago. That’d have to be the weirdest thing of ‘em all.

Sammie: Yes, you did. (She says it like it’s obvious) You don’t need to tell me that, I saw what happened to you, twice. Once in the vision, then afterward, when they asked me to confirm your body and this nightmare turned real. (I looked shocked.) You didn’t have your ID on you. Their only lead was Nikki, who we had to meet up with at the hospital that night, and she was still getting care, so my dad and I went into the next room and they asked us if this dead body was you. I almost couldn’t believe it, I wanted to say no but I couldn’t say anything.

As she speaks frantically, you can see what’s happening as she describes it. / (((Black & White))) Dan and Sammie walked down from Nikki’s hospital room to mine with solemn looks on their faces. There were two cops outside the door, and once stepping inside, the two were surrounded by doctors. After making their way through to the operating table they’ve placed me on, you could finally see me laying there with all kinds of stitching to cover up my wounds. After seeing my body, Sammie’s face grows blank and nearly turns as lifeless as my own. Her hand gripped onto her father’s arm with noticeable strength and he embraced her through the traumatic experience. (((Back to Color))) /

Me: Damn, that makes it all so much worse, I’m sorry.

Sammie: Sorry for what, getting your chest ripped open? (She said with a smile that I doubt anyone had seen in quite a while.)

Me: Well, I did promise you that I’d be fine. And, then I died.

Sammie: You can’t blame yourself for things out of your control, I’ve been doing that for days now, so I can tell you it’s a miserable way to live.

Me: Yeah, but unlike most people, what you lost, sprung back to life in those three days without a scratch, just some silver eyes. (Sammie grabs my face curiously looking into my eyes.)

Sammie: What happened to you? (She said seriously, then slid her hand away from my face.) It’s time you let me in on this, really. What’s going on?

Me: Well, keep in mind, it’s all hard enough for me to believe. So, have an open mind. (She nodded.) Alright, so there are these werewolves, no wait. Shit, what was Blake calling them?

Sammie’s face was so lost, it made me smile. She punched my shoulder for laughing. //

Nikki and Blake were both panting, hands on their knees facing each other without letting the opponent out of their sight. The once beautiful field below them was now torn apart with claw marks and heavy footprints everywhere.

Blake: Ok, enough with this equal playing field shit. It’s time we go full animal.

Nikki: That’s alright with me. But you did say this was a painful process, right?

Blake: Very. (He said smirking.)

Nikki: Ok, well, I have to turn sometime, so how do I do it?

Blake: Alright, you’re going to take a few deep breaths, do whatever you can to relax. Obviously get some space, and if you’re stupid enough to hold onto or wear anything you really care about, now would be the time to get rid of that.

Nikki nodded following his instructions. She took deep breathes and awaited more commands.

Blake: Now, the best way to let your inner beast out, is by roaring. That’s an easy way to let your animal spirit take over. The moon does help us turn, so most first-timers will wait for a full moon, but we don’t have that kind of time. So try to clear out ALL human emotions and take in that primal instinct. Just make sure you don’t stop breathing, I don’t want to take care of an unconscious body.

Nikki: I think I got this.

She signaled for him to move back as she started the heavy breathing process and easily pulled out the claws, bright eyes, and teeth.

Blake: Ok, keep it up, but get angry, get wild!

Nikki hastened her breathing as veins began to pop up on her forehead and arms. She could hear her heart pounding faster and faster. By then, her transformation had truly begun. You could hear her bones snapping and crunching into shape as Nikki dropped to the ground moaning in agony. Her inners could be seen moving around under her skin, right before dark fur swept through the area. She looked up to the sky, tears poured from her glowing eyes then streamed down a misshaped head sprouting with fur. Up above, the half-moon could barely be seen as clouds filled the air right as it just started to get dark. Nikki released an immense roar up to the sky that was built from every ounce of pain she’s endured. She started to smash the ground as her limbs got bigger and longer. Blake took a step towards her as her transformation continued. Still hunched over, her body grew. You could see her new long and pointed ears shoot up as Blake drew near. She growled at him, but Blake wasn’t intimidated by such a young Lycan and kept walking. Nikki whipped around, surprisingly fast despite the pain she suffered and still continued to feel as she shifted into a full wolf form. Her coat of fur was long and shaggy. She wore a pitch black coat and she had these eyes so green they could be marbles. She was now growling twice as loud in-between heavy breaths as she inched closer to Blake. At this point, her tiny clothes could not handle such stress, her shoes sliced open as each toe shot out. She clawed off her shirt as her new form completed. The urge to drop on all fours and howl overwhelmed her, making this last cry much louder, sounding more like a wolf’s howl than the usual ferocious roaring Lycan’s yield.

Blake: Well, there you go, Kid-o. You made it past your first turn. How do you feel?

Nikki growls deeply, then charged, knocking Blake over as she gracefully leaped into the air. Her power was unreal, Blake was left to watch her bound well above the World Tree and seem to glide over the woods until dropping out of sight. Blake got back up to his feet still looking out into the distance as the setting sun was blackened out by an incoming storm.

Blake: (He groaned while getting up. Lycan grunts echoed throughout the woods.) These younglings are going to have me dead by the end of the week.

He snapped into a minor animal state growing fur all across his face, muscles flexing naturally, and his eyes turned a potent gold. The process was instantaneous only needing a quick growl to get his blood pumping. He then took off leaping after her on all fours, even while in a human state. He pounced forward swinging from trees and kicking off large rocks. He did whatever was necessary to keep Nikki insight and not let her stray too far away. ///

 

Book 1, Episode 4:

Dogs of War

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Blake has seen much in his long life as a Lycan on the run from the likes of enemies that I have yet to imagine. His speed was incredible and the movements he made were flawless. I suppose those are the type of skills you pick up after being on this Earth for centuries. The forest was his home, he could navigate through it faster than any other being. He had to move quickly, the bond between a Lycan and their bitten was strong. A sense of responsibility was established, especially in the case that neither Nikki nor Blake wanted this to happen. Nikki was now separating from her actual self. A beast within desperately craved to control her. Blake knew the dangers of true Lycan instincts better than most. He knew what Nikki was capable of, but never expected for her to adapt so quickly. As her howls became more of a distant echo, the look on Blake’s face was unmistakably fear.

Blake sprinted through the darkening forest with enough strength to tear the ground apart with each step. After a quick glance, he lept up snatching a branch with one arm tossing himself high enough to catch another branch. He swung up the tree’s trunk then kicked off its side sending him gliding over the skyline. Through the air, Blake scans his surroundings while preparing to land. He darts through the small branches and leaves of one tree to smack into the thick trunk of another. Dangling from a knot in the tree, Blake drops to slide down its base. With a swift kick, he’s launched forward back onto the forest floor where his sprint slows down to a mild jog. A light fog had set in this area. Blake moved cautiously sniffing the air as he moved. He didn’t make a sound with each footstep carefully placed as he curved around trees. He discovered a clearing in the forest, but not a natural one. The trees here had been knocked to the ground by an incredible force. The scene looked like a meteorite landing. Massive forty-foot-tall trees snapped at their base or were unrooted leaving mounds of dirt missing from the ground.

Blake: Idiot.

There was a crash zone where bushes, grass, and dirt had been moved aside in a path of destruction. Clumps of Nikki’s black fur was found at the sight either tucked in with the dirt trail she created or caught in the branches of fallen trees. Blake picks up a clump of her fur off the ground putting it up to his face to inhale the scent. His eyes pierced through the forest to a location far away beyond the darkness that lied ahead. With a jolt of movement, Blake sprung into the air flinging himself upward using a series of branches. He bounced off tree trunks and swung upon branches kicking off them with the force to take the whole tree down, if not the branch. All his skills lead up to this one last maneuver. Blake took a long jump arching over the skyline directed towards the tallest tree in the general area. He fell short but clung to a neighboring tree’s branch. Stiff unkempt nails sliced into the wood leaving claw marks as Blake ground the branch down while flinging his body up with enough momentum to sprint up this seventy-foot-high tree. With sheer footing and determination, Blake made it far up the tree on his two feet before lunging forward to climb the rest of the way up much more like a cat than a Lycan. As gracefully as ever, he swung up to the highest branch that would support him and gazed out in the same direction as when he first took in Nikki’s scent. The scenery was dark, and the fog had only begun to pass. Blake howled out tipping his head back silhouetting the moonlight off his furry face. The clouds moved out of the way of the moon and its light shined down revealing the suburban buildings of LittleRock not far in the distance. At that moment, a much deeper and more menacing howl surfaced much closer to town. The call was strictly impulsed, but Blake took it as a threat.

Blake: That quick bitch. (A roar twice as loud was heard echoing throughout the town into the woods and beyond.) Shit! Shit, shit, shit.

Blake panicked scrambling down the tree some ways before dropping off a long branch to creator into the ground below. He took off into the night continuing to curse himself under his breath. //

Sammie and I are leaned against a large tree talking as the sun drops under the forest horizon behind us.

Sammie: (laughing) Wait, wait, wait… Ether what?

Me: That’s what he called me, an Etheric Revenant.

Sammie: Well, from what you described, you sound like someone who sucks out people’s souls. Like something straight out of a horror story. I don’t know, have you done anything like that yet?

Me: What, eat someone’s soul? No, not in this life.

Sammie: Then I don’t think that you’re this dark spirit you’ve been describing. Sure, you’ve got these paranormal abilities, but I wouldn’t be so quick to call them evil. And I definitely wouldn’t just go on Kalexo’s word, why would you trust anything he has to say? I bet he’d like you to believe you’re this evil spirit that belongs in a place like Hell with him and all his other lizard-bird demons. But you must have this other side, like you said, with potential in Heaven. And I want to help you find it.

Me: I’ll take your word on that, but for now let’s just work on staying alive and all these other little factors, like how every cop in LittleRock is out looking for me. I haven’t even told my parents I’m alive, I don’t know how to explain this to anyone because who could understand what’s going on. I’m not sure if I’d even want them to.

Sammie: If you don’t want to get the police involved, I can understand that. We don’t need the whole public’s attention. But we need somebody’s help, I don’t really care who it is right now, even if it’s from our parents. They don’t need to know about the danger we’re in, but they should know what’s really going on with us.

Me: I don’t know about you but I still have a lot to figure out about myself before I can get my folks involved, that is if I even get the nerve to. (Sammie appears to be disappointed.) Look, I know that you’re right and shit. They deserve the truth, but I just can’t do this to them, or to myself.

Sammie: Well, my situation is a bit easier to understand, don’t you think? So, let’s start there. Think you could give me a lift home. (She stood up pushing off my shoulder, then extended her hand out to help me up.)

Me: A lift?

Sammie: You do fly, don’t you? You said it was the most thrilling thing you’ve ever done.

Me: Yes, I know I fly, but you don’t. I haven’t had a passenger yet-

Sammie: How hard could it be?

Me: Shit, I guess we’ll find out.

Sammie: Yes!

I took her hand and floated up off the ground to her eye level. I scooped her up resting her body and legs in my arms as I slowly elevated to test my strength. Everything went by smoothly as we rose over the trees and her entire neighborhood came into sight. In the distance, you see the red clouds grow dark as the last bit of the sun passed down under the horizon. We hovered in the air for a second looking at the all the tinted clouds that filled the sky.

Sammie: Beautiful.

Sammie was awestruck, but the moment was soon ruined. A high pitch eerie howl echoed throughout the whole neighborhood. On edge, I spun us around in circles, probably a little too fast for Sammie’s liking as I scanned the area. Sammie tilted her head back with fearful eyes. I didn’t look at her, my eyes were locked on to the section of the woods where you could see red lights cracking through the trees. The lights expanded into crimson pillars of light beaming high up into the sky. Thunder crackled as the sky darkened. The beams of light faded away. The once beautiful red-tinted clouds now clustered together forming a storm cloud with red flashes from within like heat lightning.

Sammie: What’s going on? (She said looking around anxiously.)

Me: Nothing good, that’s for sure.

I descended back to hover just above the woods. As I did, this immensely terrible smell filled the air that was nearly unbearable. I coughed and gaged until finding a piece of cloth to cover my mouth and nose with.

Me: Uhg, I’ve never had to deal with anything like this before.

Sammie: You definitely wouldn’t forget the smell if you did, it’s brimstone. But we’re not in a volcano or anything, I guess it could be something that was spewed out of one, but…

Me: What if it was spit out of Hell?

Sammie: Huh?

Me: Check it out.

Sammie grabbed on to my shoulder allowing me to extend my arm out towards Kalexo who stood in the clearing where the red beams of light had emitted. He gave a strange gesture rotating an open hand as he slowly clenched it into a fist. Then he turned around flapping his cloak shrouding himself in darkness as black smoke seeped out from the cloak and begun to spread. The smoke advanced around him until Kalexo was out of sight. A gust blew away the smoke revealing that Kalexo too had disappeared. We hovered over to the clearing. I looked confused, Sammie was on edge. A flash of lightning shot down nearby from the terrifying storm cloud above. Sammie began to squirm in the panic and I quickly brought us down to the same spot Kalexo once stood.

Sammie: Was that the man, Kalexo, you told me about?

Me: Yes, I’m not sure what he’s up to, but it’s got to be something. I can still smell brimstone, so whatever it is he’s planning, it isn’t over yet.

We stood there in silence for a bit looking around for anything, flipping logs and rummaging around the forest, until the Earth started to shake like a vicious earthquake was centralized to our location. We cupped our hands over our faces as the rancid smell became unbelievably potent. A light grumble trembled below us as pockets under the grass rose like the whole ground was bubbling. I dove into Sammie pushing us both to the edge of the clearing while a single jet of steam ejected behind me. Lava followed erupting from the Earth with such force that a dark red pit was created. The burning liquid consumed the grass in the once peaceful clearing and set a nearby tree ablaze. Sammie yanked on my arm trying to get me to back away from the pit before it ruptured again sending steaming hot rocks into the air. In amazement, I refused to look away, but with another tug, I retreated with Sammie. The pit bellowed out pitch black smoke with little flakes of red hot ember. From there, emerged five black dogs. Hellhounds, one more of Kalexo’s pets from Hell. They each combusted into flames after rising from the Earth’s crust. Their flames were crafted from their energy making them glow all types of powerful colors from yellow to orange and red. With panic, I stared the creatures down while noticing Sammie still scanned the area. The dogs had long shaggy fur and were all jet black, like a Lycan, but much smaller. Their glowing eyes matched their coat of fiery fur. One of the dogs stepped forward, its face was mutilated missing half of its skull. The dog chomped its teeth dripping saliva from the gaps in its skull while staring at me with its one orange eye. It then looked back to the other dogs as the flames that coated its body rose up high. The other Hellhounds of the pack followed his lead.

Me: Sammie, run. Get out of here.

Sammie: Why, what’s going on, what’s coming for us?

Me: What do you think!? The fucking dogs from Hell, they’re right there in front of us!

I yelled thinking she must be insane until one charged towards us but completely ignored her swerving out of her way to directly pounce on me. Luckily, I was able to dive off to the side collapsing into the dirt, just in time. Sammie rushed over to help me up.

Sammie: St. J, are you alright, what was with that?

Me: The dogs, they’re not after you so you can’t see them. Uh ah (I said frantically as I’m slowly surrounded by Hellhounds.) Just get out of here, get help, do something. I’ll survive, but I’m not sure if I can take them all.

Sammie nods trustingly, she took a few strides away from me but looked back biting her lip nervously. (((Sammie’s POV))) I looked strange, intensely staring out at nothing. My feet were spaced out and the look in my eyes was so serious, there was no doubting the severity of this situation. She ran off to the side within more thickly placed trees thinking of some way to help. / I spun around while staying low, staring each dog down, waiting for them to make a move. I concentrated on my abilities and suddenly, my eyes shined a brighter silver color than they ever have before. The half-faced Hellhound jumped high for my throat. My reflexes made me shoot down to avoid the attack, but I quickly shot back up to check the beast from underneath making the dog slam onto its back. I ran up to kick the dog while it was down, but before I could wind my leg back, another one came up from behind and bit down on my elbow. With screams of pain, I flung the mutt at a tree that crackled and swung after being struck the Hellhound’s full body. That dog skimmed down the tree’s length and laid at its base stunned. I looked back at the rest of them all teamed up on one side of me barking and growling at me as I slammed them back with my energy. (((Sammie’s POV))) She saw me flexing my arms forward at targets she cannot see. After I moved my arms you could see waves from the silver wind thrashing out violently. Her only proof that I wasn’t insane, was that she could also hear the dogs barking and whining after I slammed them into the ground. She became really focused on this one area behind me where she could see burn marks in the grass and a small flame for each pawprint. Her eyes widened as she begun to get a grasp of what is happening here. The strange fire formation rippled like a wave, as sparks and ash trailed behind this phantom as it rapidly moved closer to me. / I heard Sammie screaming out for me. I had time to glance back, but it was too late for me to get out of the way. The half-faced Hellhound I first checked into the dirt had gotten up, leaped through the air again, and this time managed to take me down. With one wave of energy, I’m able to fling the other dogs away so that I could place all my attention on holding back this burning head full of teeth before it could gut out my throat. My fingers mashed into his open wounds dripping boiling hot blood down where it splattered and steamed onto my face blinding me. Unable to open my eyes, I had no idea what was going on as Sammie ran to my aid kicking the blank space directly above me. The little beast rolled across the grass burning everything it touched. A fire was now spreading throughout the woods making an intense entrance as that Hellhound rose again now growling at Sammie. She cautiously looked back in its direction and focused hard on that area. For a split second, the Hellhound became visible to her, just long enough for them to lock eyes. I couldn’t really see what was going on still injured laying on the ground. Slowly, I sat up willing to fight but was relieved and amazed to see Sammie taking the situation into her own hands. The orange-eyed Hellhound’s eyes flashed blue then faded into their natural dark color. From that point on, he was no longer able to hide his appearance from her. The creature looked at me then to her and calmly paced forward. I was shocked to see his flames die down to more gentile levels as this Hellhound stood there like a puppy at Sammie’s side. Sammie looked down at her new menacing friend without the slightest clue of what was going on, but she seemed very happy with herself. As I was distracted by Sammie and what she did to that dog, the others had started to creep up on me. To my surprise, the Hellhound who was just trying to kill me, was now on my side. He stepped over me and barked at all the other dogs, but they would not listen to him anymore and growled to all three of their foes ahead. The Hellhound’s crawled closer, I had to get up now and look defensive as everyone else in our party. I nudged Sammie urging her to try something.

Me: So, I know you can’t see, but there’s about six…

Sammie: I know!

She took a step in front of me and her dog ready to defend us both. I could see the hounds coming, but Sammie couldn’t, making it all that more courageous when she stomped her foot down screaming.

Sammie: STOP!

Her yell was loud enough to gain the whole pack’s attention causing each of their eyes to flash blue. For a moment, they all just stopped, stopped moving, stopped growling, they were perfectly calm. Sammie, unsure of what she had just accomplished, stood confused and looked to me in hopes for some kind of reassurance. Unfortunately, I wore nothing but a blank expression, completely taken back. I had no type of explanation for her, just a smile as I laughed at our unexplainable success then hugged her.

Me: You did it!

Sammie was smiling at my excitement, she looked over my shoulder seeing embers trailing across the opening.

Sammie: What are they doing now?

Me: (I watched for a moment) They’re leaving.

The dogs followed the first Hellhound back to the pit from which they emerged. The others dug their way down the pit, on their way to Hell, as the half-faced Hellhound was to be the last one to approach the hole. This one, however, didn’t seem to want to go back to Hell. He stared into the pit then back over to us, unsure of what to do next. I looked over at Sammie, catching her staring right back into the dog’s one eye. They both just froze there for a bit lost in some kind of deep connection. Whimpering from the other Hellhounds could be heard as they all cried out for their leader. The dog looked down to his comrades and stomped his paw over the pit causing it to crust up with a puff of smoke. A strong gust magically swept through the air as the pit to Hell was sealed. The wind blew away all the hellish flames that had spread throughout the forest. There was another small rupture but this time it caused the pit to crust up and collapse in on itself leaving the landscape dry and coated with burns and ash. The Hellhound looked down at the pit as it disappeared then strutted over towards Sammie sitting down by her legs and started to wag his tail. The dog glanced over at me, slyly, seeing my slack-jawed face of disbelief.

Me: Really?

Sammie: What do you mean, he’s nice. And look, he doesn’t even really smell like brimstone anymore.

Me: No! I know you’re going to be having these connections with animals and I guess even devil dogs, but he bit my fucking arm. Just look at this. (I said waving my bloody arm all in her face.)

Sammie: Oh, quit bitching and help me think of a name for him.

Dip: They call me Dip.

Sammie jumped back and grabbed my wounded arm making me cringe so bad that I had to bite my lip to stop myself from yelling.

Sammie: You, you can talk?

Me: And your name is Dip? (I say unimpressed.)

Dip: Yes, it’s Dip, and yes, some of us can talk. We are a very useful race designed to keep the balance between our worlds. Usually, we’ll only act unless under strict orders, but our freedom was stripped away by that demonic man. That is until you freed me from that Warg’s spell. The way I see it, right now, I’m without a master, and you, woman, you gave me freedom, so that makes you my new master.

Sammie: Alright Dip, you’ll be the perfect guard dog. And you can talk too, you’re hardly even an animal now are you.

Dip: Trust me, I can be a beast when needed.

Me: No kidding.

Dip: If it doesn’t bother you, would you let me see your arm. (I looked down at him doubtfully) Please, I think it will help our relationship, and it will only be for a second.

I shot a distrustful look down at the dog but didn’t seem the harm in it. I crouched down to his level extending out my torn arm. He walked up to my elbow where you could see an array of deep cuts from each tooth that dug into my arm. Dip sniffed the wound then started to lick the blood up and off my elbow. It didn’t hurt, just felt weird, forcing me to make this uncomfortable cringing face. He cleans up all the blood, even what was drenched on my shirt. It doesn’t make my arm feel any better or have any effect on really anything. Dip paused with his one eye wide open looking out into nothing.

Dip: Oh?

He started to twitch his head a little while making this strange noise, like what some dog’s make when they talk in their sleep. His whole body combusted into blue flames that rose up high, higher than what his normal flames would. I had to leap out of the way or risk being burnt.

Me: What the…

I investigated the fire that consumed his entire face seeing two orange glowing eyes within the blue combustion. The fire soon simmered down to nothing but simple red flames that barely edged over his shaggy fur. When the flames cleared, his face looked like the other Hellhounds with two eyes and everything else in its place.

Sammie: Oh good, now look how cute you are. (She said rubbing his head.)

Me: This isn’t going to do anything for the cuts on my elbow will it.

Dip: Forget about that, what are you, Master? Where do you come from?

Me: What? I guess, I, I don’t know what I am. I was born in New Hampshire then moved here, but that’s probably not what you were looking for.

Dip: Not at all, this is very peculiar.

Sammie: Why’s that, Dip?

Dip: Well, to be honest. I only wanted to see Master’s arm because I love the taste of blood, but his is different. Not sweet like human’s and had quite the unexpected effect.

Me: You sucked up my blood, just to get a taste! What the fuck’s wrong with you, you little monster!?

Dip: I live in Hell! What I did is plenty acceptable in our culture, compared to what those other cretins would have done to the scent of blood, especially yours.

Me: I don’t wanna hear it from you! You know what…

Sammie: St. J!

Me: What, do you really see nothing wrong here!?

Sammie: That doesn’t matter, are you hearing what he’s saying. You’re not human, St. J, but you’re not a demon either because I’m guessing demon blood doesn’t heal your wounds, right Dip?

Dip: Correct.

Sammie: Then Kalexo was lying! You can’t be some kind of evil spirit or anything like that.

Me: Well, what’s this prove? That I’m not human. I sort of knew that, but this isn’t exactly good news either.

Sammie: It just leaves us with infinite potential, if werewolves exist…

Me: Lycans.

Sammie: If they exist, then there may be more to this world than we know. You have a power that no one can explain, blood that isn’t identifiable, and you came back from the dead! You’re the greatest mystery this world has to offer.

Me: I wish I could see this as positively as you do, but I can’t. I don’t want to be a mystery, I don’t want people hunting me down because I’m different. What happens if Kalexo hurts you because of me.

Sammie: We won’t let that happen, I know you won’t at least. And in exchange, I’ll figure out what you are.

Me: What I am. (I scoff) What a life, I can’t even answer that simple question. I just can’t  believe that I’m not human. (I turned away from them gripping onto all the hair at the edge of my forehead. Sammie came up to me from behind taking my hands and placing them back to my side.

Sammie: Does it matter? (At first, I could only look at her with shock and distrust.) I think I’m a Warg, Nikki’s a Lycan, and you’re still you. We’ve all known each other for as long as I care to remember, and back then, we all saw each other as human. There was no difference between us and that will never change. You can be human if you want, but I say fuck that. Fuck humanity, we’re something else and you deserve to know what you are. If you want, of course.

I couldn’t think of words to say. The aggravation and unrest I had been feeling for some time now swept away by the kindness of her much-needed words. I wrapped Sammie in my arms hugging her tightly. I might have caught her off guard at first, but she sunk into my embrace and began to knot the curls on the back of my neck. I leaned back and kissed her under the trees with stars shimmering up above.

Me: Whatever I am, this is how we say thank you. I won’t give up again, we’ll figure out all the answers of this world and in the next, one way or another. And we’ll do it together. (Sammie smiled and nodded.) Come on, your parents must have been looking for you for hours now, I should probably get you back home now.

Sammie: Right, this should be good. I want to see my mom faint when she sees you.

Me: She probably will, I am her favorite after all.

Sammie: Shut up.

Sammie said knocking me on the head as she crawled onto my back. I looked down at Dip as I started to levitate higher into the trees. He seemed eager to get moving huffing up at us with his anxious feet chopping up and down. I took off without hesitation curving above the tallest branches with Dip swiftly tailing behind me. I rose up high above the neighborhood riddled with trees that clogged up my view. But even with the unfamiliar viewpoint, I was able to spot out their little house with the large boat in the back. With my target in sight, I gently glided down and skimmed my shoes against the concrete driveway for a smooth landing. I let Sammie slide off my back and watched as she took steps up to her porch then turned to face me.

Me: You want me to come in with you?

Sammie: Well, yeah. Of course I do. Just give me a second to figure all this out, alright. I don’t even know what to say or how this’s going to go. I’m guessing they’re not going to just let me off the hook after acting so strangely this week.

Me: You think they’ll be mad at you?

Sammie: I haven’t spoken a word to anyone this whole time. I don’t know if they’ll be mad but they’ll want some answers. And today after all that, I disappeared for hours! How do I explain anything?

Me: The truth would be the easiest out, but I fully get why you wouldn’t want to do that.

Sammie: How is anything I say going to be easy.

Me: I know. Just tell them what you can, make them listen to you. If anything, I’m sure they’ll only want to help.

Sammie: That’s what I’m worried about. (She said quietly.) I guess they do deserve the truth though, but in pieces, for now at least. Uh, can you wait out here with Dip for a minute, while I go deal with this shit?

Me: Yeah, do what you gotta do.

As she walked up to her porch steps, she gave one long last look to us before placing a hand on the doorknob. She paused to take in a deep breath before entering her house. I sat down on the first step with Dip at my feet. I pet his head feeling the stiffness of his ears as they perked up once we started to hear yelling just moments after Sammie walked through the door. I didn’t want to eavesdrop, but from how loud her parents were talking, it was impossible not to. I could only make out who was screaming loudest at the moment, so I only heard muffled out bits of the conversation from “Where were you?” to “What were you thinking?” and “Do you understand what’s been going on outside?” Then you could hear Sammie retaliation as she spoke quickly and with anger making it hard to understand from outside. I stood up looking down to Dip.

Me: Well, I guess that’s my sign, right?

I said before nervously laughing. Dip cocked his head at me without an answer and sighed after I disappeared through the doorway. /

I stepped through the doorway as the argument continued before me, everyone was too distracted to turn around. I saw that Sammie hadn’t even made it out of the kitchen before being surrounded by her parents and Becky as they all yelled at her in unison getting nowhere with the conversation. I closed the door behind me loudly causing everyone in the house to look right at me. Sammie smiled while everyone else’s face was puzzled or frightened. Even their dad, a strong hardy man, needed to take a step back to process all of this.

Becky: (In almost a whisper.) What the fuck is this?

Sammie: Who do you think it is? It’s St. J! (She rushed and hugged my side acting as if everything was normal to ease her parents into this.) He’s ok, I’ve been with him all this time. Well, today at least. Like I said, it’s hard to explain, but still, I’m sorry.

The rest of her family basically ignoring her words. Slowly and curiously they approached me, jaws dropped, hands trembling, as no one could believe their eyes. As they got close, I could see the strange reactions after noticing my silver eyes. Overall, they were in awe of the chance of my existence until one by one they processed the fact that I actually had come back from the dead.

Dan: What in Hell happened to you?

Jo: Dan!? (Sammie’s mom snapped at him for that question.)

Me: It’s alright, I get it. With what the news said about me, and my eyes being the color that they are, it all must seem really fucking weird and impossible that I’m here right now. (I laughed nervously) But it’s me! The same kid you’d have over for dinner like I was part of the family. I’m not a monster or a zombie, I just want one thing to be the same as before.

Their dad was the first to move. He had a big smile on his face and snatched me up for a bear hug that the rest of the family couldn’t help but to join in on. I smiled looking over them to see Sammie grinning in the background. //

Blake’s body was torn with slashes spread all across his skin. The blood and dirt mixed in with his hair had darkened it deeply. He took heavy breaths while the sweat and blood that crawled down his face cooled him on this dark summer night. He slid down the wall he rested against in an alleyway between two old buildings. As his body dragged to the ground, you could see the side of the wall behind him covered with blood that streaking down to his position. He looked up at the moon shining brightly. You could tell it was late out from how bright it glimmered, but only for a few seconds until more clouds covered the position. Blake tried to catch his breath and wipe the grime off his face as he pulled out his phone weakly, and dialed a number. //

I was lying in a bed with Sammie next to me rolling about attempting to get comfy. The room lights up as my phone goes off vibrating harshly against the top of Sammie’s wooden desk. Sammie groaned loudly as she flipped over burring her head in my chest. My eyes slowly blinked open. My groan was in unison with Sammie’s as I reluctantly reached over to answer the phone.

Me: Blake, what do you want? (I said tired and irritated.) /

Blake: (He panted for a second needing one more deep breath before speaking. Blake braced his body against the wall .) Hey… you gotta meet me up downtown, now. It’s important.

Me: What, no. It’s like two a.m. What’s so damn important you need to see me right now?

Blake: Have you seen Nikki yet, no, she’s gone tearing up the neighborhood. So meet me up downtown behind the barber shop. Before someone else dies.

Blake hung up the phone as he turned to face the several dead bodies that have stacked up just outside the alley with trails of blood spilling out into the streets.

 

Book 1, Episode 5:

Through Heaven’s Gates

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A handsome angel dropped down before an enormous gate filled with pearls and golden rods connecting them all together. There was one big pearl, perfect, polished, and big enough to crawl inside of, located at the center of the gate. Alongside were giant support pillars that rose several stories high at either end of the gate. These pillars were lined with spikes of diamond and continued to appear all throughout the wall that seemed to go on forever. Miles of beautiful architecture encircling the holiest of all cities, Heaven. Up above, there was no blue sky or dark space, only blank whiteness, the same as what I experienced in the white tunnel between worlds. Although the whole sky seemed to be bright, it was clear that all light was emitted from somewhere within Heaven. The holy city had this glow to it causing the sky to seem whiter than white from up above while down to the surface the light was so heavily concentrated, it had a golden hue. The being at the foot of the gate appeared to be an average human but stood where no human could ever stand in the flesh. He approached the wall and looked up at the massive angel who guarded the pearly gates. This being was taller than the towering walls he protected with its head and mighty angelic wings breaching over the wall of gold. The angel’s two powerful arms pulled down a lever to unlock not one, but all three gates, stacked in a row in front of the little being below. The doors opened in unison. First there was this swirling noise, like a marble rolling on hardwood floors, followed by a loud clang, one for each giant pearl in each gate. “CLANG, CLANG, CLANG!” Each pearl stopped spinning, the gates cracked open from the center splitting around the giant pearl allowing vast amounts of light to pour in from just the tiny opening in the gate. The angel stood at the doorway embracing the light as it consumed him. He took light steps forward seeming to hover up higher after each step. He looked to his left where the giant angel looked cramped but content in-between the two walls of solid gold. The great angel nodded to the other with a smile before he jolted out flinging each gate open as he raced forward with a bounding leap. The angel’s faith was tested as he jetted into blinding streaks of holy light. His pupils retracted adapting to the light causing his eyes filled up with their natural green color. With wind blasting at his face, the angel sprinted through the streets of Heaven at speeds faster than any car could drive. His curly blonde hair fluttered nicely in the wind. He passed by marble homes, roads of gold, and beautiful water fountains with intricate gardens. Everything in this world seemed to have rare and unseen diamonds and stones of all colors making the holy city sparkle with glimmering lights. The angel came up to this temple that resembled a massive twelve-sided pyramid. Each of its sides lead up to, not a point, but an opening in the roof where an intense beam of light rose into the sky. The blast of white light was tinted gold and shinned out its radiance for all of Heaven to see. The only entrance into the temple was a thick curtain that was hung up high taking over one of the twelve sides completely. The angel lowered his shoulder as he dashed through rippling away the heavy cloth. Inside it was dark, the marble floors were clear and trailed deeper into the temple in a perfectly straight path. Lined down the edges of this hallway were angels who guarded the sacred room at the end of the hall. These angels were not typical angels, not to anyone’s standards. They were called Seraphim and seemed to stray from human form, unlike most angels. They were very large, skinny, and had six wings. The beings were all naked. Their top two wings shrouded their faces, the next set gracefully flapped up and down somehow keeping them afloat, while the bottom two wings covered their feet. They were in a constant chant praising “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!” with deep but harmonizing voices. He paced down to the end of the hall standing before a simple wooden door that opened on its own as he came into position. The Seraphims continued to chant, the angel stepped through the opening, and the door closed itself behind him. It was silent now in this mostly empty room. Everything here was white making it almost look like we had entered a new dimension. The room was coated in blankness even the floor. The wooden door behind him seemed to float in endless space. A second being looked up after gazing into a koi pond below, one of the few things placed in this room. Besides the pool, there was a willow tree hanging over a lone desk and chair with seemingly no contents on top. The being by the pond rose with a gentle smile on his face. He had the appearance of a man with peaceful brown eyes and a well-trimmed brown beard ornamenting his face. His whole body was engulfed in flames but neither him nor his pure white clothes seemed to be affected by them. These flames were a brilliant shade of blue, very light, almost a tint of white towards the center that grew into a deeper blueish hue the further the flames got from his body. His bare feet slowly took strides across the empty floor up to the other being so he could place a hand on his shoulder.

God: Let me hear your troubles, my son.

Gabriel: You know what has been troubling me my Lord, for days now.

God: You speak with anger Gabriel, do not let the troubles of man affect you.

Gabriel: My Lord, it’s not just man that troubles me, Lucifer’s demons are entering Earth. It’s no secret that a rip has been created between our worlds. Why have we not taken action? The angels guarding Earth are in constant battle against forces of evil.

God: My son, everything is right, the balance has yet to be disturbed, Lucifer knows this is not the time to make actions on Earth, so I shall keep my word and not interfere with Earth’s affairs.

Gabriel: Lucifer may be true to his word, he himself hasn’t ventured to Earth, but his demons and other forces without loyalty to any side see no reason not to invade the world of man; if they’re strong enough. It’s all about that child, we must take action before the balance is destroyed. Eliminate him, if need be.

God: This child you speak of, do you have any idea what he actually is?

Gabriel: I’ve heard some rumors, but no one seems to be sure. What is he?

God: Someone who can keep the balance. He may be the only good soul that can make a stand on Earth. I know he will come to meet my expectations and hold the peace. He is the reason why I do not take further action.

Katrina: (Her voice is muffled from behind the door.) Even if he cannot use his own strengths! (She tosses the door open and storms inside.) He is still weak, and his foes are only growing more powerful and within larger numbers.

A female angel stormed up to the two. She had long blonde hair that twirled in perfect coils, she had green eyes and large white feathery wings. She wore a wrap of blue cloth that covered her chest, wrapping around to her back, in between each wing, then swirled down around her waist where it draped between her legs.

Gabriel: Katrina, what are you doing here? This isn’t your place to speak or your decision to make.

Katrina: I came to apparently see that you can’t make any progress. How can both of you chose not to take action when it must be made?

God: Calm yourself, Katrina. You are still a young angel and not skilled with the necessary trait of patience.

Katrina: Well I’m sorry, but not everyone is an all-knowing being. Some of us can’t wait for their fate to be made for them and stand idly fully depending on the skills of a human child. I do not have the faith you have my Lord, especially not in this meer boy. But I can make your expectations a reality. Give your word, and I can save your beloved humans.

God: I have faith in all my creations. You must do what you feel is right. If you cannot hold back this feeling, then go. Flee to Earth and help the boy.

Katrina looked in the eyes of God and gave him a slight nod before exiting.

Gabriel: Katrina, no. Come back! (He reached out his arm, but it’s useless, she was gone. He then looked back to God.) I apologize for my daughter, she’s always wanted to earn the respect you’ve given our family.

God: You were given my respect for the same reason you didn’t leave with her, your undeniable loyalty.

Gabriel: Thank you my Lord, but to be honest, it takes everything in me to not go after her. Earth has already become dangerous enough, and we know what will come once she breaks out of Heaven.

God: I admire her spirit but there are consequences for all actions. She will make it through this; you know this as well as I do. (He paused) Do you know why I gave you the right to have a family, unlike all other angels?

Gabriel: No Lord. I never asked, just accepted this gracious gift.

God: I needed my most trusted soldier to know what it’s like to create life, to have a child and the ambition to protect it. Think about Katrina when you hear my decisions. I put the same amount of thought and love in those decisions with all of my children as you would with her. I trust this child, St. J. His heart is pure, motives are strong. He doesn’t need an army of angels, but maybe just one to push him in the right direction. //

Sammie was in my arms as we gently descended behind a gas station. It was the first building in a line of stores and businesses that crowded this downtown area. The stores were all lined up facing the main road, where beyond another row of buildings stood. I landed us behind the stores on an industrial one-way road that provided parking spots to the nearby businesses. The railroad tracks rode parallel to the ocean coast from the bay behind us that made a nice sight in contrast to the dumpsters and other unnecessary items kept behind these stores. The streets seemed to be empty and unreasonably quiet. One of the few working streetlights had just gone out to add to the eerie vibe.

Sammie: Where could my sister be?

Me: I have no idea, but this is where Blake told us to meet him. (We looked around for a second.) Come on, if Nikki really is in some kind of trouble, we should hurry up.

I started to look down the dark path and walked forward. Sammie stood there for a second gulping then nervously ran up to my side grabbing my hand.

Sammie: I don’t like this; I hardly trust Blake, and we have no idea what Nikki could’ve gotten herself into this time.

Me: Yeah, but this isn’t going to be like getting stranded drunk somewhere, or that time my car stalled out in the middle of the bogs. No, this could get a lot…

I stopped realizing I had stepped on something. My only clue was the squishing sound it made as my foot pressed down against it. I looked down to a severed hand under my shoe squirting out blood from the wrist as my weight pressed down. I flinched back kicking the hand off to the side as Sammie cringed grabbing onto my arm.

Me: The flashlight! You brought one in your bag, right?

Sammie calms down quickly and went through the string bag she had on her back and rummaged around clinging the metal objects inside until pulling out a long black flashlight. She shined it around our area scanning for anything out of the ordinary. I saw Sammie with her hand placed over her mouth stopping her squeal short as she desperately held back the urge to cry with the most shocked expression plastered on her face. I gently took the flashlight from her before it slipped from her smooth hands and kept the beam pointed in the same direction as I walked closer to her discovery. A group of dead bodies sliced into pieces and all lumped together in this big pile stacked against a store wall. They still had the look of fear on their faces like they were petrified into stone then slashed and hacked away. It was hard to tell if they were placed like this or they had all just diced themselves up here in this spot. One of the more intact victims was a beautiful light skinned girl with a short yellow dress. I heard a rustling sound coming from this alley just feet away from the massacre. My eyes were glued to the opening between the two buildings anticipating the worst. Despite my fear telling me not to look away, I turned back to see Sammie still a little ways behind me. I slowly crept forward as Sammie quietly but swiftly moved behind me as I shined the light down the alleyway. Resting there against the same stone building, was a man coughing up blood into his hand while the other hand clutched a fatal wound across his large belly where his intestines had spilled out onto the ground between us. I basically threw Sammie the light as I zipped down to crouch by the man’s side.

Me: Hey, hey, what happened, who could have done this to you?

Dying Man: (Painfully breathing in agony.) It was the dog, a giant dark beast did me in.

Me: (Sighing with despair. I tilted his head back opening his airway giving him the chance to take one last breath.) Do you need anything, a request, anything?

Dying Man: Just take me away, angel.

He said that while he clutched my arm and stared directly into my eyes. I could feel his grip weaken as I put my hand onto his and soon it flopped to the ground dragging against the concrete. I took a deep breath and stood up to face Sammie who needed to wipe a tear from her eye. I walked up to her putting my hand on her upper arm. The man’s blood was on my hands and soaked into Sammie’s shirt from my touch.

Me: We need to keep going, find Blake, save Nikki. He’s the only one who can teach her how to control herself, also he’s our best chance of finding her.

Sammie: Nope, think we’ll be able to handle that just fine on our own.

She said timidly while her fingers pawed into her small string bag. I looked behind me, to where Sammie pointed at whom I could only guess must be Nikki standing on all fours atop the roof of a store ahead. I could hardly see the great wolf with her jet-black fur blended in with the night sky, her fluorescent green eyes were a dead giveaway. Her three-inch claws dug into the building’s shingles and you could see the steaming air she snorted out through her nostrils looking down in our direction. It was hard to see her in the dark, but as she leaped over us, only her pure white underbelly could be seen. She came down for us, but I intercepted her midair leaping up to push her back with waves of white light as I screamed and extended my arms out. Claws thrashed just a foot away from me, but I was able to repel them back. For a moment, I could look into her shining eyes seeing a strangely blank expression. A second later, those eyes flared up as she let out a mighty roar tossing me back as I flung her away with streaks of silver light. Sammie had to leap out of the way as I came down hard rolling into the dumpsters. She sprinted over to me as I started to get myself up to a crouch.

Sammie: Why is she attacking us!? Can she not see who she’s doing this to?

Me: I’m not even a hundred percent sure that’s Nikki.

Sammie: It’s her!

Me: Well if I don’t fight her she’ll kill us! Stay behind the railroad tracks.

Sammie: No, I can…

I had already kicked off the ground flying low across the pavement towards the charging Lycan racing down the road after me. I slightly edged up and bounced my foot off the ground kicking myself a few feet above the wolf. There was some distance between us, but I hadn’t climbed high enough to get out of her reach as she clawed up at me like a lion attacking a bird. Her snarl terrified me, but not nearly as much as when I saw her massive paw streaking up to claw off my face. Her bear-like arm phased through me while I flew by, cringing the whole time.  Unsatisfied, she continued to claw at the air where she had last seen me relentlessly. This gave me enough time to drop down to the ground behind her looking back with horror at such a demonstration of the beast’s strength. My intangibility wore off filling me with fear. Nikki sniffed twice then grunted looking back at me with those demented eyes. She dashed forward forcing me to sprint for my life and scramble into the air. After a few long strides, I heard gunshots from behind me that brought an even more disturbed look to my face. / Sammie held up a pistol with the flashlight in her other hand tactically supporting the weight of the gun with her arm that pointed the flashlight in Nikki’s direction. She let one last shot lose. Gunsmoke rose in front of her face blocking the serious look she wore. / I felt the rush of a bullet whistling by my side. Looking back over my shoulder, I could see Nikki had tripped up from the shots to her backside and fell to her face emitting a deep growl. She sprung back up on all four paws after quickly healing her wounds. Her eyes darted to her sister’s direction as she released an obnoxiously loud roar at her. / With a cloud of dust from barreling feet, the wolf was coming for Sammie this time. You could see the beast through the sights of her pistol, three notches and the dog’s head lined up right down the middle. The barrel of the gun was steady and did not waver. / Sammie bit her lip as she hesitated and failed to shoot her own sister, while Nikki was able to rampage forward without emotion. Sammie showed frustration holding back tears as the stress along with the weight of the gun made her arm shake. Right as Nikki approached, Sammie dipped her head down in acceptance as her gun swung down to her side. She continued to cringe but the anticipation lead to nothing. All she heard was a grunt and her eyes popped back open at the sound of rushing wind. I had come down fast from above, my arms wrapped around the wolf locking in under her armpits. The beast was incredibly heavy, but at my speed and in the heat of the moment, I could scoop her up just long enough for our combined momentum to send her flying. The wolf’s limbs flailed in a frenzy as the beast soared through the air and smashed through the building Sammie was standing under. Bricks went flying after what sounded like an explosion of force. I whipped back around to pick up Sammie as chunks of stone struck us both. Sammie was limp in my arms after the experience left her with a blank expression. I tossed her up repositioning her in the air for a better fit. I could see the color flush back into her face as she looked at me, in that instant realizing she was not dead. By now, we had risen high above Nikki and the destroyed building feeling safe at this elevated position. I had to say something to Sammie but continuously glared down expecting the wolf to recover and continue her attack at any moment. Sammie was desperately looking down trying to spot out her sister in the pile of bricks.

Me: Sammie, is that your dad’s…

Sammie: Yes… I should’ve shot her. I just can’t help but to see her as my sister.

Me: She’s more like a mad dog than your sister right now. (We both looked down.) Look, about earlier, I didn’t know you had that.

Sammie: I wasn’t sure if I should use it.

Me: I don’t think a gunshot will kill her. All I know is she’s alive right now and very angry. (You hear bricks rolling down piles of debris and something rummaging through the stones.) If she can live crashing through a brick wall, I don’t think a shot to her head will kill her, maybe just put her out. (Sammie shows doubt as she rolled her eyes.) If you can’t shoot Nikki, you should give me the gun.

Sammie: You don’t even know how to reload a pistol.

Sammie said sliding out the chamber to check her bullets then slammed the cartridge back into the gun as she pulled the hammer back. I stayed silent while nodding. / Below us, Nikki had emerged from the rubble knocking over a load of stray bricks as she shook the dust out from her shaggy fur. The dog then jumped up on top of the next building down the line rising to our altitude. Sammie snatched another clip of ammo from her bag as Nikki crept closer to us leaping from one rooftop to the next.

Sammie: I have to do this. (Nikki roars out hurdling over the next gap between buildings.)She’s my sister, I won’t let her become a monster. (I slowly made us trail backwards moving along the rooftops.)

Me: She won’t die, I know it. (Nikki leaped closer.)

Sammie: I’m not as sure as you are, but regardless, it needs to be done.

Me: She’ll kill us if you don’t. (My eyes are glued to Nikki as she gained speed.)

Sammie: I can do this, alright!

Me: So do it!

Sammie yelled in frustration as Nikki lunged across another gap. She held her weapon tightly as the trigger was pulled. The bullet when out with a bang, I could feel the recoil myself as Sammie’s shoulder was shot back. The first round hit Nikki directly in the head, which luckily was enough to slow her down and send her into a quick roll flipping across the building’s roof. We kept on flying away as Sammie watched her wolf sister tumble about.  She was incredibly relieved to see that she hadn’t killed Nikki, but neither of us looked too thrilled seeing how fast she sprung back to her feet unaffected by the gunshot. Blood streamed down her snout and past her eyes flaming with rage. With a monstrous bark, she charged forward and was back on our tail fueled by this intense ferocity that only a beast could bear. Over the wind, I could hear the determination in each panting breath growing louder as she drew closer.

Sammie: She’s getting closer St. J!

Me: I know! Lemme just… wait what’s that?

There was a man out ahead of us standing on a roof in the center of downtown. Even more confusing, the man started to wave at us. I thought he might have been drunk until we were right over him and I could see that it was Blake who was not waving hello to us but waving us away.

Blake: Get the fuck outta the way!

We swooped down next to him where he had been waiting for Nikki while partially in wolf form. His clothes were still torn and soaked with blood and the smell of his own sweat. The slash marks coating his body and arms had only slightly healed, enough to stop bleeding, but still very deep. The look in his eyes was sinister clearly ready for some payback on this young pup. He waited until she was midair forced to jump to this building from the next. Blake’s eyes flashed gold as he stomped his foot down forward and roared off the edge of the building. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but his call affected Nikki. Her eyes grew wide and lost their shine as she fell short sinking down into the alleyway below. She dropped fast and broke through yet another wall, although this one was much thinner. She evaded our sight, landing a few floors beneath us as the building shook from the impact.

Sammie: Guys, this way.

There was a door Sammie found leading to the store below us. We all hurried over and sprinted down the steps. /

Me: Damn, what’d you do to her?

I stood in the doorway of the now destroyed phone store. Posters glided through the air, stands were demolished, and phones, cases, and chargers were scattered everywhere. Below the massive hole in the wall, clumps of fur were piled up along streak marks leading up to Nikki at the opposite side of the room. She was under heaps of plaster and pieces of the stands used to present the phones. She was naked in her human form in a completely absurd body position as her unconscious body was tossed across the room. Her arms still had fur all over them and a jagged claw where each finger should be, but Sammie didn’t show a drop of judgment. She shoved me and Blake out of the way as she ran across the cracked floors and quickly stripped off her jacket to throw on Nikki’s naked body.

Blake: Who the fuck is that?

Me: Her sister. You wanna tell me what just happened back there?

Blake: It’s called the alpha’s call. I’m the one who turned her meaning she has to listen to me. If one of your own is rampaging out of control, it’s up to the alpha to show their dominance. By roaring in her face, she subconsciously backed down and reverted to her human form.

Me: Why didn’t you do this sooner? She must have been tearing up the streets for hours.

Blake: I was supposed to teach her how to control herself while being a wolf myself, which would have made my life a whole lot easier. But for some reason, she could turn much faster than I expected; even on her first try. The animal in her took over and she ran off into the woods. After an hour of tracking, I eventually had her cornered downtown against the water, but she obviously overpowered me.

I looked down at his wounds, his pants were covered in blood and ripped all over. His upper body had four claw trails going down one side of his torso, and his left arm was cut up badly as well.

Me: What about those bodies? (Blake looked at me with a serious expression.)

Sammie: Guys, come over here. She’s waking up.

Sammie called us over after making her sister decent. Nikki was shuffling around like a child having a bad dream. Despite mine and Sammie’s attempts to shake her awake, she would not open her eyes.

Blake: NIKKI, GET UP.

He said in almost a roar but more of a commanding tone. Her eyes were the first thing to move opening with a flash of glowing green light. Her body sprung to life, she took heavy breaths and was instantly overwhelmed by Sammie and me on both sides of her. With too much going on at once, she couldn’t make out our voices as we said, “It’s ok” “You’re fine” and “It’s just us.” She just looked forward in a daze. Blake stood in front of her bending over until they were face to face.

Blake: (His eyes shined yellow.) Nikki, relax.

Nikki’s eyes stopped glowing and dimmed down slowly to their natural green state, the fur across her arms vanished, and her claws receded. She calmed herself down releasing the beast out to actually be human again. It slipped out of her with a sigh and she almost seemed normal again.

Nikki: Shit. What happened? What are all of you doing here?

Sammie: You don’t remember, you’ve been running around town all night.

Blake: Her mind was in a different state, a full animal state. If we weren’t able to get her out of it, she would have lost all her humanity and been stuck a wolf forever.

Nikki: Wait, Sammie what are you doing here. She shouldn’t see me like this… wait, IS THAT DAD’S GUN!?

Sammie: Yeah. I know everything now, about Lycans, Wargs, and what happened to St. J. I already knew everything about you too Nikki. I even got to shoot you just a few times. I gotchu good too. Right in the face like BLAOW. (She said smiling waving her gun around.)

Nikki: Whatever Sammie, just get that gun out of my face. Damn, the sun is really is coming up now. How long have you been looking for me?

Blake: Well, I was looking around for you myself and got my ass kicked for most of the night. So, I called this guy about an hour ago and the next thing I know, I see two idiots flying towards me with you chomping at their tails.

Me Your lucky I even showed up, you probably would be dead if…

Nikki: Hold up a second… St. J, what the hell were you doing with my sister at three in the fucking morning!?

Me: Uhm, uh, yeah you see there’s a funny story behind that that I was planning on telling you later, or, maybe never.

I said nervously laughing while I scratched the back of my head. Nikki growled my direction barring her teeth at me while giving the death stare.

Sammie: Oh calm down, we slept together stop pulling this big sister shit acting like you’re the Virgin Mary.

My eyes widened in complete surprise of how open and forward Sammie was being in this situation. I had planned on telling Nikki, she would have found out eventually, but I would’ve handled all that so much more delicately. Nikki glared me down rising up off her feet with fire in her eyes and claws retracted.

Nikki: I’m going to fucking kill the both of you. Really St. J, my little sister.

She growled and snarled while chasing me out the building. You could hear claws scraping against metal and things outside breaking as I flew about zooming around the area. Blake stood up tall looking down to Sammie chuckling.

Blake: Smooth, real Smooth.

Me: (From outside.) Ow, you bitch, you cut me! //

Nikki and I were outside on the main street were brick sidewalks were placed nicely and the stores looked welcoming. A streetlight flickered at my level where I’m hovering looking down to Nikki. Blood leaked out from my shoulder soaking into my sleeve.

Me: Come on you’ve already tried to kill me enough tonight, could ya just let this go!

Nikki: Not a chance St. J! I’ve beat your ass pretty bad before, but just wait and see what I’ll do to you when I have a reason!

She said hunching over as fur sprouted across her body.

Blake: Aw, for fuck’s sake, here we go again.

Me: (Nikki roars.) Oh no you don’t!

Sammie: St. J, stop! No, Nikki. Don’t!

I shot down to her level colliding into Nikki with incredible speed. I slammed her to the ground but she clung on to me making us both scrape against the concrete for a few feet. She seemed to be focusing her transformation all towards one arm so that it rapidly morphed first. The sleeve of Sammie’s jacket erupted into shreds of fabric as Nikki’s arm expanded into a Lycan’s. As we wrestled on the ground, I made full effort to keep that arm away from my face. Her pointed claws reached out for me as the transformation caused her skinny arm to expand. She moved her face closer to mine. Nikki’s transformation spread as her eyes slanted. The whole left side of her body was shifting faster than the right, like a spreading virus. One eye was larger and more wolf-like than the other, fur patched around that same side of her face, and veins pulsed up her neck. A ripple shot under her skin, her shoulders broadened, and muscles implanted. She had me on my back now as the tip of her nail dug into my collarbone. I yelled out with both frustration and pain. My whole body seemed to vibrate as I became engulfed by a silver aura. A light from within seeped out my skin and was emitted all throughout my body. Like a natural barrier, Nikki was drawn away from me as the light from my aura pushed against her. Nikki’s body continued to shift as the silver lights surrounded her. I looked at her with glowing eyes as she growled down at me opening her fang filled mouth as more hair sprouted across her face. She snarled in a deep breath and was about to roar when I screamed back out to her with a ghostly cry.

Me: No!

Nikki was shot into the air ten feet above me as my energy expanded. A bright glow of silver light blinded the scene, but you could see wiggling beams of light, like tentacles, hoisting the half-shifted Lycan over my head. I yelled out again while waving my arms down. Like a composer of light, the silver waves followed my motion in a whiplashing ripple effect tossing Nikki up high above the line of stores and off towards the bay. As she arched high you could hear a light howl before dropping out of sight.

Blake: There you go! That’s one way to stop a Lycan from going on a murderous rampage.

Blake yelled up to me as I stayed hovered in the air whiplashing silver beams that circled around me with a rush of wind. I looked possessed with my eyes glowing and unexplainable abilities at the tips of my fingers just waiting for me to comprehend. Suddenly after, it seemed all of my abilities had failed me, and I dropped down collapsing the second I hit the ground. I landed hard but stayed on one knee, fully conscious, but extremely winded. Sammie rushed up to me.

Sammie: What was that, St. J!? She’s already been through hell, you didn’t need to kill her!

Me: I don’t know what that was, I’m sorry. Is she alright?

Sammie ignored and looked over me with squinted eyes unable to see wherever Nikki could have landed. This street was lit with several streetlights lined along the sidewalk. There was only one alley close by to get to the back street a little bit closer to where Nikki fell. Sammie sighed with discontent, then left me as I struggled to catch my breath. I was watching her jog away when I felt this painful slap on my back. I cringed and instinctively my eyes pulsed with silver light. I looked behind me to see Blake with an arm stretched down to help me up.

Blake: Come on freak show, let’s get this little family back together. You can all try to kill each other back in your own house like traditional domestic abusers.

Sammie: (Out in the distance.) Nikki, Nikki! Are you alright? //

Sammie passed this Mexican bar and restaurant. She followed the porch up and around to the side of the building where a narrow alley led to the back.

Sammie: Nikki, where are you?

The alley was dark with a thick musk where shadows shifted with the rising sun. There were steps down and a lot of trash on the poorly tiled floor that her shoes stuck to as she stepped across them. Sammie kept a hand on the wall to keep her balance as she walked through the tight space. She froze after feeling a strange wet texture along the wall. She brought her fingers up to her face seeing that it was blood plastered all over the wall dripping down to the ground where it drained along the edge and all throughout the cracks. Her hands fumbled the flashlight as she slowly directed it in front of her and clicked it on. She knew what she would see, but hadn’t prepared herself enough to not be scared at the sight of a pile of dead bodies.

Sammie: Aw shit. I really shouldn’t’ve come alone.

She said under her breath as she took a second but managed to tiptoe herself over the first body. A girl not too much older than she was in a once bright yellow dress now mixed with dirt and blood. A whimper blurted out from her lips as she found herself surround by bodies all hacked and mutilated in different ways. She remembered how afraid they looked the first time she witnessed them and it wasn’t any less traumatizing the second. She skips a little faster through the alley trying her best not to touch anything but it’s impossible and the look of disgust on her face was overwhelming. Now taking heavy panting breaths, she was almost to the end of the alley of death with only one more body to cross. She blocked out what she had just seen and worked her legs to move forward but stopped short with one leg still in the air. There was a loud footstep just outside the alleyway followed by the sound of something big, like an angry bull exhaling. Sammie went from gasping out whimpers to dead silent. She backed up a step and waited for her lurking sibling.

Sammie: Nikki?

She said weakly. It was silent for a moment before Sammie gasped out for another breath after holding her last one for so long. A black paw stepped into the puddle of blood at the end of the alleyway. Sammie backed away nudging a body with her shoe before finding her footing. The wolf paced into the opening. It didn’t look like she would fit but her long fur pulled back along the walls as she squeezed through. As Nikki’s head passed through the shadows, her eyes seemed to shine twice as bright. It was basically all you could see of her. A shadow with green eyes paced towards her. She opened her mouth and terrifying white teeth came into view. Sammie kept moving back as her sister growled out at her. She looked back quickly staring directly into a dead man’s eyes. She slipped and scrambled back to her feet then flicked her head back to see that Nikki had crept closer.

Sammie: Nikki stop, you can’t do this to me, we’re family.

The wolf lunged out one foot creating cracks on either side of the walls before wedging herself between them. She viciously shook her body attempting to move closer while continuing to snap her teeth.

Sammie: Wait, Nikki, wait!

In desperation, her eyes flashed blue and Nikki actually began to settle. After some much needed deep breaths, Sammie attempts to return to that state of mind. Her eyes glow blue as Nikki’s eyes darken. She’s invisible now, lost within the shadows as her mind is under siege. Sammie’s brow quivers as she focuses deeply on her sister. She thinks about what she wants, who Nikki is, and what she looks like.

Sammie: Please Nikki, come back. I need my sister.

A teardrop fell from her face. Illuminated by her glowing eyes, the tear was a pure blue color. Sammie reached out to rub the snout of the Lycan’s face. Her fingers slide through her fur and through the longer patches under her jaw. At that moment, Nikki’s eyes flashed blue then slowly faded to black. //

I groaned out as I hovered into an upright position ignoring Blake’s hand for assistance. The two of us made our way over to the two girls.

Me: Ahg, my head feels like it just got hit by a ton of bricks.

Blake: I’ve lost more blood in the past hour than you have in your entire body, I don’t want to hear it.

Me: Yeah, but you must be able to heal or something right? You’d be dead if you couldn’t.

Blake: I would be dead centuries ago if I didn’t.

I kept walking not noticing that Blake had frozen in his steps behind me. His eyes were wide like he could sense something that I couldn’t.

Me: If your wounds will be gone by tomorrow morning, then you deserve to listen to me bitch.

Blake: Shut up.

Me: Aw come on, don’t be a dick, that’s fair.

Blake: No, shut up. Something is going on with those two.

Me: What is it?

Blake: It feels like… No, it couldn’t be him. I could smell the devil on Kalexo a mile away.

Me: Then what is it!?

A woman’s screech could be heard echoing all throughout the neighborhood.

Blake & Me: Nikki! //

Nikki was in a panic kicking away the bodies that surrounded her. She wanted to get away from them all because she could remember their faces now and the horrible things she had done to them. She wailed out screaming in horror as grief filled tears poured out from her eyes. Sammie tried to catch her but Nikki’s arms thrashed about. She had to take a punch from her older Lycan sister, but inevitably, Sammie wrapped her arms around her sister and held her tight. Nikki stopped fighting and begun to accept what she had done. Her cries were muffled against Sammie’s body as she didn’t allow her sister to look back at the pile of corpses at the end of the alley. Nikki begun to drop down to her knees and Sammie went along with her.

Nikki: I’m a monster, fucking murderer. I killed them, Sammie. I remember now, I remember everything. I could have killed you too.

Sammie: You didn’t hurt me, it’s ok, we can get past this.

Nikki: I can’t! I hate this thing inside me. It’s evil.

Sammie: You’re not evil, you just need help. Blake can help you.

Nikki: I want this to all go away. I want to forget, but I know I never will. What should I do, Sammie? (She returned to crying uncontrollably.)

Two figures appeared behind them at the top of the porch. Blake and I slowly approached seeing that things were alright, for the most part. At least everyone was safe, although each of us had wounds, none seemed to compare to the emotional trauma Nikki was going through. The two of them kneeled in a stream of blood flowing from the alleyway, across the street, and into the bay behind us. The concrete was riddled with slash marks and torn clothes. Nikki looked up over Sammie’s shoulder at the pile of bodies. Her fingers dug into the back of Sammie’s shirt damp with her tears. It was probably hard for her to see with tears draining from her eyes, but she still didn’t look away. Blake approached with a Mexican flag ripped off from the pole up front. He draped it over them both like a blanket covering Nikki’s small body. She sniffled and turned to face everyone.

Nikki: I know why you two gave me those looks when you first saw me. St. J, I know why you had to stop me from turning again. I’m a horrible beast, a fucking monster with no self-control.

Nikki slammed her fist into the already cracked floor. She envisioned herself mutilating the innocent humans and again slammed her knuckles into the street spilling her own blood into its red laced cracks. Sammie clung on to her sister’s arms preventing her from hurting herself further. More tears were shed as Sammie wished she had words to comfort her sister, but there were none. I placed a hand on Sammie’s shoulder. She rested her check on it feeling my warmth in this dark situation.

Blake: You gain control through daily practice, not from dwelling on your past mistakes. Trust me, there will be more mistakes, just be happy this one can be taken care of.

Nikki: What do you mean?

Blake: I mean, I’ll take care of this. The three of you get out of here, there’s no point in you watching.

He said walking in front of our group. He took one of the bodies by the heel and dragged the corpse out behind the railroad tracks.

Me: Blake, what are you doing? (I asked as Blake continued his work.)

Blake: Stomping out the breadcrumbs. This is one paranormal incident the world doesn’t need to know about. Things like this are why people hunt my kind down.

Nikki: I don’t blame them. (She said to Blake as he returned for the next body. His face looked grim, but he continued on now with the girl in the yellow dress.)

Blake: Your self-pity is honorable but pointless. Go home, rest, and get ready for tomorrow. Unless you would really rather be digging graves?

The three of us were silent, Sammie gulped down her fear and spoke.

Sammie: Fine, Nikki, you should come along.

Nikki held her silence and stared at Blake while he simply turned his back to her dragging out two bodies at once.

Me: Come on, now. (I said lightly as I led them away. Sammie clasped one arm around Nikki guiding her down the empty street along the bay as the three of us wandered away from the scene.) ///

Katrina turned back to see the pearly gates afar in the distance. Rays of light shot out from that direction until vanishing somewhere in the all-white tunnel between dimensions. Katrina was free to walk about this blank plain where no walls were visible nor was there any structure. Just an empty light tunnel. She fluttered her wings and floated down the tunnel seeing nothing ahead of her but blankness. She heard shouts and hisses from different creatures in the distance seeming to echo around her from all directions. She overcame a brief moment of panic and quickly sped forward still confident in her decisions. There were two giant angels with four arms and mighty angelic wings knocking these shadow-like figures back away from the dimensional tear that they protected. These angels had such power and size that any opponent that breached Hell’s wall of fire was instantly outclassed. The massive beings fought on but the shadow figures of Hell had seemingly endless numbers and moved relentlessly without fear of their own demise. The shadows had a dark outer rim and a ghastly grey inner body with four glowing eyes all red-orange colors. They were random figures with no fixed shape. Some came long, fat, small, or skinny, but they all had a set of black shadow arms with long sharp claws. Katrina started to glide past the two angels trying her best to avoid detection with her head hunched and sly evasive moves. She swooped down for the black dimensional tear that sucked in everything in sight, when the massive angel sprung to action. He effortlessly slammed his three-foot-thick spear down in front of her path while continuing to fight the shadow monsters with a second spear.

Massive Angel: Whom so ever flees from the Temple of God will have death and misfortune haunt their days.

The voice came from the angel, but he didn’t move his lips. The booming commandment echoed through the tunnel surrounding Katrina with sound waves.

Katrina: Does this mean that it’s my choice? I must go to Earth, there are people there that need me so, so STAND DOWN!

The angel drew his spear away from her and begun using it to fight off the dark spirits trying to enter Earth. Both spears spun around rhythmically hacking away any demons with the point of his spears. Katrina smiled as she dashed underneath the giant’s legs. The dimensional tear that had caused so many troubles for everyone of Earth was just within Katrina’s reach. She kicked off the white floors to glide through when one of those spirits wrapped its claws around Katrina’s ankle. She screamed while hacking at the ghost-like creature with her fists, but it wasn’t affected. Katrina looked in pain as her ankle started to burn from the demon’s touch. Its claw sizzled into Katrina’s skin as she crawled for the dimensional tear, just a few feet ahead. Her cry was loud and amplified from pain to freight as she saw one of the giant angels happen to stumble backwards and crush the creature under his heavy foot. The demon’s quiet hiss slowly faded away along with its thin arms that edged out from the angel’s boot as the shadow disintegrated into a vapor. Shocked by the lucky turn of events, Katrina crawled backwards scampering away from the massive ten-foot shoe in front of her. She backed away until her wings got caught up in the pull of the dimensional tear sucking her away. Her wings flapped open like sails as she was dragged into the darkness by an unstoppable force. After entering the dark void, trails of lights streaked past her at an accelerated rate as she seemed to be falling faster and faster. She screamed in confusion with her wings spread out wide, but she found herself unable to fly. The control this dimensional tear had over her was overpowering as Katrina sunk further and faster through the dark tunnel. The streaks of light turned to trailing flashes that were brighter and more rapid coming up from all sides of her until her world turned to static. Finally, she blacked out. //

Katrina awoke in a forest alone sleeping on top of a rock. She appeared as if nothing had just happened to her, her clothes were intact and hair was well groomed. She looked around in awe seeming to be so interested in every little thing she saw. The sun was too bright for her to stare at directly, reminding her of God’s flames. A warm gust blew through the woods swaying Katrina’s dress. The sensation was all new to her, there was so much in this world that she was unaware of. But she hardly seemed to care, too indulged looking at the thousands of swaying leaves to let the mystery of what lies ahead affect her. Growing up in heaven her entire life, Katrina had never actually viewed Earth, just heard stories. Seeing this land of nature, sin, and glory was a whole new experience for her. She was curious of every living thing from the fleeing rodents to the chirping birds as they fluttered about zipping across the sky. Katrina rose up and stretched her wings taking a few steps to explore her new environment. She was about to leap up and fly alongside with the birds when she caught a glimpse of her now jet-black wings in the corner of her eye. She was struck with wonder curling the feathered appendage right in front of her face in complete disbelief that her once pure white angelic wings had now shifted to an intensely dark shade of black. She skeptically blinked her eyes and pet one of her wings, but nothing happened. Still not convinced, she plucked a feather out to analyzes it. Its pitch-black complexion was very new to her. The feather was about nine inches long, thick, and had a beautiful shine to it. As she slowly rotated the feather, holding it close to her face by the quill, it suddenly started to shed its strains and flaked away until disintegrating into a cloud of black smoke. Astonished, Katrina tried to catch the smoke her hand but it all just slipped through her fingers.

Katrina: No. My wings. What’s happening here?

She shook the shock off her face then looked back at her black wings as they stretched out ready for takeoff. Different or not, they still worked the same. With one flap she was already several feet in the air and after another, she was soaring high up curving around the trees in search for answers. ///

 

Book 1, Episode 6:

Heavenly Beings

snow_wolf_by_akeli

 

(((Black & White))) It was late and quiet out at this hour of the night. Nikki laid in her bed amongst the darkness. Her face was visible because of her phone shining brightly not even a foot away from her face. Outside, a strong wind blew against her window and whistled throughout the room. She could hear a branch snap off the tree outside her window and come down with a thud as it was tossed against their house. Nikki moped out of bed to investigate the storm raging outside her window. / It was almost too dark to see outside with the raindrops speckled across her window. The neighbor’s lights blasted through columns of swaying trees as the wind continued to howl. She looked more intensely wiping the condensation off the surface of her window as below she could see a large shadow sprinting in between trees. The figure was large but stayed low as it made its way closer to their backyard. Nikki’s breathing grew heavy, she lost sight of the beast but continued to scan the area with great focus. A set of large eyes pierced through her from a distance. / Terrified, Nikki backed away towards her bed while keeping her vision directed to the window, too afraid to look away. Behind her, an enormous Lycan crept out from another window in the back corner of her room. This Lycan was a lighter color, it’s long fur was drenched from the rain that dripped all over the floor. The beast growled deeply, but Nikki still refused to face it. Her eyes were locked shut and her lips shuddered. A wolf paw smacked against the window in front of her forcing her eyes to open with tears running out along the edges. The Lycan’s paw was big enough to take up the center of her window not counting its claws that scraped against its surface. Two howls could be heard from opposite ends of the house. Screaming echoed through the halls from other rooms. The Lycan behind Nikki barked at her to turn around. Its whining continued until she finally did, and the beast pounced out for her. Nikki closed her eyes again to avoid the terror, but as she expected blackness, all she could see were the faces of the people she killed. (((There’s a green tint around the screen as we see through her viewpoint.))) / She roamed down the backstreet behind the stores downtown. Her head dropped down to sniff the ground when she darted her head up to a woman screaming in terror. She focused in on the moving target, the girl’s neck seemed to be pulsing with blood just at the surface of her skin. She sprinted around the back of the bar from the side entrance. She was wearing a yellow Latina sundress, (((this was the only thing in color.))) Nikki rushed at her instinctively, not letting her prey escape. The woman hardly had the chance to turn around before Nikki had leaped on top of her. They both hit the ground. From her view, we can see the woman’s croaked face dead in front of her. The side entrance door swung open with a bang. Out came a man with a pistol in hand. Nikki turned unable to feast as she found more humans standing behind her. Nikki rose up on her hind legs now standing high off the ground where she looked down at the little man with his weapon shaking between two hands. Several other men came swarming out of the building. They were all in uniform, most likely employees of the bar. With confidence, the man looked back to the others around him and fired his pistol. Nikki flinched back, from the noise if anything. Her roar was deafening as it was monstrous. Then followed by the sound of rushing wind, Nikki dove in for the man’s throat. / From there Nikki blacked out, but you could still hear the screams of several different men either shouting in attack or it was their cries of pain. / Unable to take any more, Nikki awakened from the dream with a jolt forcing her head up and through her headboard. The wood cracked and Nikki moaned in more of an annoyance than pain. Her eyes look exhausted, a few bags from another sleepless night. She slowly blinked her eyes thinking about falling back asleep when she saw her alarm clock reading 12:42 PM. She sighed while lying back on a plush body pillow tempting her eyes to close and her mind to drift back to sleep. She didn’t want to do anything, she didn’t want to exist, all she could really do was sleep, despite how late in the day it was. As her eyelids became too heavy to hold, the indistinctive sounds of Sammie and I conversing kept her awake. Nikki’s face shifted from depressed to disgruntled. She flopped over freeing herself from the covers that now draped across the floor. With a dragging groan, her feet hit the ground barely lifting off the floor as she downheartedly shuffled herself out of bed and out the door. /

Me: No, no, no. I’m just saying that, hypothetically, you could be like an evil ruler of cats. (I told Sammie as we sat together on the couch in the living room by the hallway.)

Sammie: Sounds more like a crazy cat lady.

Me: But so much cooler. They’re not even pets anymore if they’ll listen to your every command.

Sammie: A slave army of cats, that isn’t that cool. Couldn’t I get something a little bigger, I don’t know, something actually useful. (Nikki enters in the background.)

Me: I would say bears, but I don’t see enough of those around.

Sammie: Wolves?

Me: That’d probably be the coolest animal you could round up, but again, there aren’t too many wolves around here. I guess coyotes would work, but why bother when Nikki is worth a hundred of them. Ain’t that right, Nikki.

Nikki stumbled into the kitchen trying her best to drown out our conversation. She had her head buried in the refrigerator for some time now before I called out her name forcing her to come out of the cold. She only glanced up at me for a second before plunging back into the fridge.

Nikki: Yeah, whatever.

Sammie: Hey Nikki, St. J stole a box of donuts if you’re interested.

Nikki: I’m fine.

She shoved a second handful of deli meat into her mouth and then onto random smoked sausages hidden under heaps of pasta. Sammie and I looked at each other with concern but quickly snapped out of it when Nikki walked through the hallway. / We continued to talk but Nikki chose not to make out our words as she stowed herself away in her room. She flopped onto her bed in the fetal position and watched as her arms turned into those of a Lycan’s then back to a human’s, over and over again. Her arms beefed up with thick black fur and razor-sharp claws only to shink back down to her regular petite form. As Nikki closely inspecting her talon-like fingers, her cell phone rang with an obnoxious tone. She flung forward trying to crawl across her bed poking holes in her mattress and sheets. She strained to reach the bedside desk where her phone laid, then struggled to hold her phone with dagger fingers. Her phone became scratched up as she cradled it up to her face delicately placing each jagged finger in a supporting position.

Nikki: Hello… oh hey what’s up… yep, yes I’m doing fine, everything’s going alright… I, I don’t know Rebecca, not today… Well, I’ve got some training to do today… Yeah, something like that… Ight, will do, I’ll talk to you soon, ok… Alright, later.

The phone slipped out of her hands as her conversation ended. It hit the floor with a loud smack, but Nikki hardly seemed to care. She had ambition in her eyes with a heavy task ahead of her. She stepped over the phone and paced out the door. The sunlight that blasted into the living room gave Nikki an extra second of blissful ignorance before catching Sammie on my lap. Her hands were hidden somewhere in-between us while mine had a firm grip on her body.

Nikki: Aw for fuck’s sake, I wasn’t even gone for two minutes.

Me: Shit. (I said under my breath zipping up my fly as Sammie blocked me off from Nikki’s view while getting up with haste.)

Sammie: I guess we thought you weren’t coming out for a little bit longer.

Nikki: Yeah, well, I did. I’m heading out to Blake’s again. I’ve got some questions for him.

Me: Do you want a ride there, we’re not doing much. Nothing productive at least.

Nikki: You can’t use your car St. J, you’re dead. I’ll drive myself.

Me: I could fly us there in half the time, and then you won’t have to troop through the woods for an extra hour looking for Blake’s treehouse.

Nikki: Don’t you two have your own weird shits going on, I’m just trying to figure out my thing.

Sammie: Not without us. We’re here for you Nikki, Blake too. The last time you saw Blake, you left him in shreds…

Nikki: I know what happened Sammie, that’s why I’m going back.

Sammie: Yeah, but if we’re not there with you, then there won’t be any difference from last time. It would really put me at ease if we could help you with this.

Me: Nah. I don’t think anything bad is going to happen, either way. The thing is, I’m feeling like a lost cause right about now. I’ve hit nothing but dead ends trying to figure out what’s been going on with me. But Nikki, you actually have someone with you that’s a Lycan too, and he’s willing to teach you! It would be cool if we could help at least one of us feel comfortable with what’s happening to them.

Sammie: We can do this Nikki, we’ll bust you into the best Lycan Blake’s ever seen.

Nikki: (She sighed) Alright, you can help, but please, don’t make me regret this.

Me: Of course.

Sammie: Yeah, yeah, come on.

Sammie said jumping onto my back making me stumble through the kitchen. Nikki hesitated while watching us wobble through the room. She shook her head but followed us out. //

At Blake’s tree house, some distance away, in the center of the field. Sammie and I were messing around laughing in the long grass. I would disappear as Sammie ran up to me leaving her puzzled as I revealed myself standing right behind her. Then, as she turned around to face me, she may have got just a glimpse of my body before I disappeared again only to reappear seated atop a tree branch. / My voice and Sammie’s were drowned out in the distance from atop the balcony high up in Blake’s treehouse. It hung off from an entire structure formed high up within the branches. There were no stairs to get down or any sort of exit, this opening appeared to be the only way of getting into the strange home. Nikki was seated on its wooden planks dangling her little legs off the edge pouting down towards the field. She glared down at us obviously irritated with her hand tucked under her chin to support her head. Blake walked out from inside the tree house with a glass of liquor in his hand.

Blake: So what, are you just going to stay pissed at them forever? They look a lot happier than most couples I’ve seen over the years.

Nikki: It’s not that I’m angry… (One of Blake’s eyebrows bounced up as he shot down a look of disbelief at her.) OK, I know I am angry, but I also know I shouldn’t be. Like screw it, they’re just two people that happen to like each other, it happens with a lot worse combinations than those two will end up. But still, why should I be alright with that shit.  Like come on, isn’t your best friend’s little sister supposed to be off limits.

Blake: (He sipped his drink and shrugged his shoulders.) I don’t know man. Shit, I can’t blame him, she’s pretty cute.

Nikki: Ahg! You’re useless. (She got up and took a few steps into the house. Blake spins around to face her again.)

Blake: Hey you know this useless guy still needs to show you how to control those powers of yours.

Nikki: Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be trying that again anytime soon. I don’t even know if I want control of that type of animal… (Blake was about to speak but Nikki kept going.) What the fuck are we!? The whole time I was a wolf I was just wild and very, very angry. I killed just for the fun of it! What kind of creature does that?

Blake: One that is misunderstood and extremely misguided… Do you know why we exist, our kind I mean?

Nikki looked at him blankly for a bit before she shrugged her shoulders and softly shook her head.

Blake: It started with a famous pack a thousand years ago, // they were called the White Wolves. Their bodies were long and thin, and they wore pure white coats. All twelve of them had bright blue eyes and these tails, longer than their own bodies that could lash out right at you. God made these Earth-bound warriors as something to keep the balance so his armies of Angel’s wouldn’t have to get involved in Earth’s problems. Shit was hell of a lot worse back then, even compared to now. The wolves roamed Earth, ridding our world of demons, ghouls, and dark spirits alike. They were a rare, but beloved sight to everyone struggling to survive in this fucked up world. This was all until one day, this group of crazy ladies attempted to perform a ritual that involved sacrificing newborn babies to one of the most ancient of dark spirits. They basically wanted to open the babies so that they were empty vessels to be taken over. The wolves were able to kill the witches, but the last one escaped to finish the ritual. She stabbed all ten of the babies. When the pack found her, it was already too late. The dark spirit had entered Earth, but before it could take its offerings, ten of the White Wolves intercepted it taking the infants as hosts of their own. Without a vessel to enter, the spirit withered and died and the remaining two White Wolves carried the babies back to their homes to grow up amongst humans. So, as these babies grew up, they soon found out that they were not like the other children of the village. These human babies became the first Lycans. They could transform, but not into their former wolf bodies. In this new form, the wolves were larger and more beast-like after mixing with mankind. Their fur was now pitch black and only one of ‘em got to keep their blue eyes. Fucking purebloods. /

Nikki: Purebloods?

Blake: That’s another story. Anyways, the legend goes on to say that the last two White Wolves still roam the Earth killing evil spirits and shit.

(((During Blake’s story you can see the events described in Black & White. The Wolves are the only thing in color.))) All twelve of the white wolves sprinted through the dark forest, their bodies gave off just enough light to see. They looked just as Blake described, long slender bodies with white fur and a long tail that was ghostly clear and constantly waved majestically. They each rushed past the screen, one by one, turning into more of a blur as they all moved together. / A rock was seen plummeting down towards one of the white wolves who stayed in his position completely motionless. The rock looked like it made a direct hit as it struck the ground, but you could see a streak of white light at the last second. The streak of racing white light zipped right up to this rock golem as it destroyed a 13th-century village made of stone and wooden houses. The light came to a stop forming back together into a White Wolf, it’s tail still seemed to be made of the streaking white energy. It leaped up for the golem as the monster whipped down another rock. The wolf cried out with a screeching voice so powerful that the boulder shattered into shards. The wolf continued on barreling through the center of the golem emitting out a great warm light. The rock monster stumbled back with a massive hole in its body. It grumbled down to a knee but was not defeated. Slowly, it reached out and tore off the roof from a stone crafted house searching inside for an easier victim to strike. Before the monster could take a step up, two white wolves sprinted in from behind. They rushed in from either side of the golem with their tails stretched out wide almost touching each other. As they raced by, their tails crumbled the golem’s legs and the stone turned into pebbles as his entire body fell cratering into the dirt. The three wolves met up in a circle as some of the villagers reappeared from the woods nearby. The wolves seemed not to notice the humans as they had their eyes deep off in the distance. They all howled up into the air as the sky darkened. / The darkness swept through and you could see all these burnt trees within the woods until another tree scrolled past filling the screen with darkness. / In this new area, witches had gathered together chanting up into the sky beginning their ritual. It was dark out, but the moonlight shined down from above creating shadows from the skinny arching trees that surrounded these witches. The leader of the coven stepped to the center of a pentagram formed from ash. She held up a timeworn book with one arm. Her eyes were wild and her dark hair was braided into diverse patterns. The woman began to recite what was scripted on the old pages of her leather bond book that started to flip through its own pages automatically. Suddenly the scene darkened as if the moon had vanished. The six arched trees that surrounded them suddenly caught flame bringing an eerie light to the dark world. Weaving around each tree, illuminated by the fire, were evil spirits. They appeared as gaseous clouds but had a face and some type of structure while the rest of their dark entity just trailed behind them. Some of these spirits heads were skulls while others had more fleshed out human features such as eyes and a nose. / Back at the village, where the golem’s remains formed a massive stone hill, you could see women running around frantically. Some talked to others desperately, others rummaged through their destroyed homes. A young woman with long navy-blue rags balled her eyes out into another woman’s gut. This elder woman sympathetically stroked the grieving girl’s hair. She stopped stroking her and fell silent. The young woman wiped her eyes dry then looked up to where the other woman’s eyes were glued towards and shared her look of excitement. Leaping down from that same direction were the pure white paws of the White Wolves. The rushed by the village as the people within shouted out with happy cries of joy towards their saviors. / The pack moved cautiously through the dead woods where the witches lied dead or beaten. Their blood soaked into the soot from the trees nearby that had been burned down to a powder. Another wolf with his white fur tinted red from the blood that dripped down its neck and rippled into the red puddles below. He leapt through the air leading the rest of his pack to the ritual site. A ring of ten dead babies was placed over the pentagram written in ashes. The babies were wrapped in white cloth that had been tainted with grey stains. At the tip of the circle the first infant still had a curvy dagger pinned through it. The evil spirits zipped around like bats in the night swooping down attempting enter the infant’s bodies. The two White Wolves already there defended each of the babies. One stood tall with her tail extended out breaking off into fragments. Separate whip-like ghostly appendages that lashed out at any spirit who drew close to babies. The other wolf leaped through the mess of spirits roaring at them. He then pounced down on the last remaining witch and tore her throat to shreds. The spirits flooded back down all at once swarming around the infants. One wolf looked back to his pack then jumped up again parting the mess of rampaging spirits with a heartfelt roar. Their window of opportunity was closing. The rest of the pack raced into the circle of sacrificed babies. The White Wolf outside the circle whipped her tail knocking away a few of the spirits then snatched the dagger out from the babe with her fox mouth. With grace, the dagger was removed and spit out from her jaw. The second it was gone from the child’s gut, a blinding white light was created that shined out from the baby’s wound. The light emitted only grew brighter. With waves of illumination, each wave brighter than the last until the screen is clogged and the pure white fur of the wolves were no longer visible. / Close up to the face of one of the baby boys, he gasps out, as if this were his first breath. His radiant blue eyes open and the child begins to cry. (((These blue eyes are also in color.))) He’s not the only child showing signs of life. There were four of them fitted comfortably within a woven basket tucked into the inner cloth lining. Holding the baskets, were the two remaining White Wolves trotting back into the village with the baskets in their mouths and one last baby held in each of their telekinetic tails. / A door was flung open to make way for a curious woman poking her head out the doorway. Other villagers seemed to be gathering around this one area. Kids ran down the streets, and people peered out their windows, but only the brave stepped outside. The two White Wolves strolled down the streets bringing joy to everyone they passed by. The two of them placed the baskets down on top of a sealed well as a small crowd formed around them. A large woman broke through the middle splitting apart the crowd until she came stumbling into the open space. She paused, a bit nervous to approach the world’s most powerful protectors, but the thought of getting her child back gave her confidence. She quit hesitating and moved forward with her arms up in the air reaching out for her baby completely overwhelmed with joy. The wolves quickly dropped the babies down into their mother’s awaiting arms then sneaked away as the crowd broke into celebration. They had to walk past two small children, a brother and sister. The two of them didn’t look afraid but in awe of their heroes standing before their eyes. One of the white wolves walked past the children with their arms extended out to pet the wolves white fur, but the other embraced the children. She ducked her head down allowing the kids to stroke the soft fur on her head and ears. There was a light smile on the wolf’s face as the children were tickled by her whiskers and giggled. She looked up with a more serious expression seeing the other wolf glaring out at her from beyond of the village. Without making a sound, she bounded through the air to land next to the other white wolf. She stayed grounded for only a second, long enough for her to stare out at the lingering two children before the two wolves blasted into the air disappearing into the night sky. The children looked up into the stars as their mother stepped in-between them with their infant brother in her arms. They all looked up to where the wolves disappeared off to with a grin plastered across each of their faces. / Focusing in on the infant’s piercing blue eyes, the scene dissolved transitioning to an older version of this mixed family. The two older siblings were no longer kids and now in their early twenties. They stood before their teenage brother looking at him with curiosity as he signaled for them to step back. The teen’s eyes shined bright blue like they did when he was just a baby, but now they seemed to have rage deep inside him. He was in pain, briefly, as he was able to transform quickly into a pitch-black dog larger than Blake or Nikki’s Lycan form. This beastly wolf swayed its long shaggy tail and remained calm, which was a big relief for his human siblings who tried to not seem afraid, although they clearly were. The older brother tried to take a step forward but froze after the Lycan howled up to the moon tinted red and low in the sky. //

Nikki: And you believe all that?

Blake: What, the part about two magical White Wolves who still walk the Earth, or all the Godly mumbo jumbo with evil spirits, witches, and monsters?

Nikki: Any of it.

Blake: I don’t know. No Lycan denies the White Wolves existence, keep that in mind. Some of us really hold onto their beliefs… I’ve heard of people seeing them.

Nikki: Really!?

Blake: Yep, but those people ain’t me, so you never know really.

Nikki: Huh. Before St. J, kind of, opened up the world to all sorts of supernatural shit, I never would have been able to consider any of this as being the truth. But now, you really do never know.

Blake: Sucks, don’t it. (He finishes off his drink.) Hey, do you want something, I’ve got a whole cabinet full of this stuff.

Nikki: I’m fine. But Blake, what were you trying to get at with that story. Like, I guess I’m a Lycan now too, and I’m always down for a history lesson, but this doesn’t exactly help me or our situation.

Blake: Alright, you probably didn’t know this, but when you go full wolf you aren’t fully coated with black fur like every other Lycan. I’ve seen some brown ones, some grey ones, but never have I seen a Lycan with a white coat on their stomach like you do.

Nikki: What, really!? What does this mean?

Blake: I’m not sure, but you sure are something else with that white underbelly of yours. You have this ability to turn quickly and you can have wolf limbs while still in your human form. All I can say is, you have something special, and I can’t let you give up on your potential just because you gave into your instincts.

Nikki: Blake, I don’t know.

Blake: Just be like your ancestors, you have some part of them inside you. I can see, one day, you being like them; dominant and respected. Lycans weren’t always seen as beasts, only because of overpowered pups and foolish tyrants did this rumor come to be. You stick with me, and I’ll make sure you never become like that ever again.

Nikki: You know, you can be sort of sweet when you’re not a complete asshole.

Blake: Yeah, (He laughed) it’s a damn shame being a dick is just too much fun. ‘Sides, we all gotta be good at something, right. (He said with a chuckle.) Ah, so are we going to sit here getting all deep and whatnot, or are you going to have a drink with me.

Nikki: Fine, I’ll drink. Something strong.

Blake: What’s the point of a weak drink? (He said as they both laughed and walked off into another room.) ///

Police sirens echoed throughout a parking lot as five cruisers painted the lot with skid marks. They each slammed on their breaks just before this seemingly peaceful supermarket. An officer stepped out from the car leaning against the open door to talk through his radio.

Officer Steele: Laurence, Laurence, where the hell are you!? Officer not in sight. Neither is suspect. We’re going in.

A mess of police officers raid the supermarket moving in military formation. //

Inside the business, Katrina rampaged about. Her long dark wings knocked over items as she flew down the store’s aisles in search for answers. She fluttered her wings hovering down to the ground where her thin sandals landed in a puddle of grape soda.

Katrina: Uhg, this planet is disgusting.

With a few light flaps of her new black wings, she was back to hovering through in the air. A man hidden in the adjacent aisle knocked over a container of peanuts that loudly rolled across the floor. Wide-eyed, Katrina swoops for him and tackled the fat man to the floor only to guide him back up by his collar.

Katrina: Hey, listen to me. Where is Zack St. Julien!? Do you know him, the boy they call St. J.

She said yelling at the man who was sweating out of control. In such fear, he tried to speak but was only able to mumble out a few unintelligible words.

Katrina: Ah, useless. (She released the fat man allowing him to scamper across the floor to another aisle faster than you’d expect a man of his size.) Who here knows where I can find him! (She shouted into the air. A little boy with his baseball cap on backwards timidly strolled up to her.)

Boy: Hey. I think I know who you’re talking about angel lady.

Katrina: Really, you do?

She landed by his side and spoke nicely in a much gentler tone than what she gave the fat man. A woman in the background raced down the hall looking through every aisle jerking her head left and right in a desperate search for her son. After nearly slipping on a cereal box, she came to a sudden halt spotting Katrina with her boy peacefully engaging each other. Her face froze for a moment, unable to imagine what to do next. Her face is frantic the perfect mixture of fear and rage.

The Woman: MIKEY, GET OVER HERE NOW!

His mom shouted out from down the aisle. The boy looked over at his mother without showing her any expression. He just stayed as he was, completely entranced by this beautiful and mysterious creature in front of him.

Katrina: Aw come on, you can tell me. Just real quick. Where did you see him?

Boy: I saw him on the TV like every day, he’s famous or something. The TV says he lives in LittleStone, which is where my daddy works, and he says they’re looking for him too.

Katrina: Who’s looking for him?

Boy: Hmm, I don’t know. Everybody, I guess.

The mother came from behind with a large lamp held high over herself and smashed it against the back of Katrina’s head. She flinched forward if only from the noise, and seemed to be unaffected by the shards of glass that smacked against her and scattered across the area. Katrina turned to face the woman with a fire blazing in her eyes. The woman’s jaw dropped, as even she herself had no words to explain what she’s done or whom she did it to. She dropped what remained of the lamp out of her hands and nervously took steps back.

Katrina: You really shouldn’t have done that.

The woman’s mouth was still wide open, but she was unable to produce a scream, just little gasps. Katrina jumped into the air screeching in a painfully high pitch while hovering over the petrified mother. She hung in the air with her black feathers puffed out shaggily making her wings look twice their size. By the time Katrina landed back down, the mother was already halfway out the store running off towards the back screaming out her son’s name. Little Mikey was fine though, he stood beside Katrina with a contagious laughter that made Katrina crack a smile.

Boy: You’re funny.

Katrina: I thought your mother was funny when she ran away like a coward. (The boy laughed.) Well, I must say, you are the only one who would help me, I’m grateful. (The boy hugs Katrina’s leg. He’s so small that Katrina awkwardly does not know how to respond, so she pats his head.)

Megaphone Voice: (From outside) For those of you inside. Release the boy and come out quietly with your weapons on the ground. As long as you do that, I can guarantee each of your safety.

Katrina: Who said that! (She searched the room, but was left confused.)

Boy: It’s the police. My mom told on you. You’ve gotta hide.

The boy tugged on her dress, but she wasn’t budging.

Katrina: No, you’ve helped me enough for today, I…

As she spoke, cans of tear gas were flung through the windows clinging against the hard-tiled floors. The gas within sprayed out in spurts, and with enough canisters to hit every aisle, the whole building soon filled up with toxic gas.

Katrina: What is this?

She asked the boy, but he had already hunched over and was unable to speak or breath as he coughed nonstop. It was getting hard to see like there was a mist this the room that caused Katrina’s eyes to burn and tear up at the same time. With a cringed squinted face, she fought through the pain, scooped up the boy, and begun to fly blindly towards the exit. Bursting through the clouds of toxic smoke, she could only make out a handful of black figures that was the SWAT team charging for her with their weapons ready. Katrina hugged the child tightly in her breast as she flapped her wings violently. A powerful gust whipped through the hall sweeping all of the gas out towards the armed men as they flailed backwards. Canned food and boxes went flying off the shelves shattering windows and pelting the police force. The armed men grew terrified as they tried to fight hurricane caliber winds and screamed out instructions to each other. The SWAT team fanned out to flank her but, due to her wing power, every aisle around her collapsed into the next one causing a domino effect throughout the supermarket. One by one, shelves of snacks, baking goods, and grains toppled over the soldiers in the aisles. The remaining soldiers who were lined all throughout the store, especially condensed near the exit, all opened fire at their target now completely without cover. Without hesitation, she dropped to the floor wrapping her wings around herself and the child in her arms shielding them both from the onslaught of bullets. Her thick wings were strong enough to take the impact of several bullets at once, but if she moved the wrong way she would risk her life and that of the child’s. Without adjusting her wings, she used all the muscles in her legs to launch herself upwards. The soldiers reacted and shot up at her, but her wings folded in concealing the two in an indestructible ball of feathers. They landed hard without a clue to their location. She rolled them somewhere near the edge of the supermarket stopping right in front of one very confused swat agent. The man in uniform looked to be out of the action placing himself so far back in the store, his gun wasn’t even ready. While his shaking hands struggled to find the safety, Katrina poked her head out through the crease in her wings. She rubbed her face against her feathers finally able to clear her eyes and see the harmless looking man before her. He had an unsure half-smile on his face as his weapon pointed down but still in her direction. There was a rustling to Katrina’s right as another SWAT agent popped up from behind a fallen shelf, his weapon started to rise up but paused seeing the child in Katrina’s arms. The man opened his mouth, but Katrina didn’t let him speak, she lunged forward, and a gun was fired at the other side. All three shots were deflected as Katrina’s wing lashed out to smack the weapon out from his hand. The man was defenseless and in a panic. A team of SWAT agents came sprinting towards their direction firing shots as they ran spraying lead throughout the hall. Katrina looked at the innocent man to her left with rage, but with more bullets flying their way, she shielded them all as she dropped to the floor coating the boy, soldier, and herself with her wings like a blanket. The soldier looked in awe saved by this beautiful fallen angel. As they made eye contact in the darkness under her wings, he giggled. Katrina’s wings flapped up and the soldier was launched back like a sack of potatoes by the hands of a quarterback as Katrina flung him into the mess of cops behind them. The other SWAT member was astounded at her show of strength. He lost his rifle but had grabbed the pistol from his side, but couldn’t bring himself to attack her after seeing something like that. Katrina rushed by with the child in her arms and used one wing to drape over them both like a dark cloak. As she ran by, she used her other wing to smack the pistol out of that SWAT member’s hands, then continued to wrap the wing around herself as she ran on. She and the boy fled down a nearby aisle to avoid the gunfire as the gunshots kept flying and the SWAT team scattered all throughout the store. Her wings swung back and forth like how her arms would had they not been cradling the small boy. Some type of little grenade was flung in front of their path tapping against the hard tiles by her feet. Katrina instantly spiraled up and shot back down into the next aisle down and wrapped her mighty black wings around her party. There was a deafening explosion instantly followed by a flash of light that had them both shook. The shelves rocked as lightly colored smoke drifted in-between the cracks. She looked down at the boy, he looked scared but safe at the same time with his head tucked in between soft wings and a plush breast. With the boy curled up in her arms, Katrina was going to make a sprint for the exit. The aisle was clear, and the exit was only a little ways after the end of the this hall. She dashed forward letting her wings trail behind her for maximum speed. The SWAT team breached the aisle Katrina had just escaped. She could her gunfire and confused shouts from the next row. After a flick of her wings, this aisle too came tumbling down with cries of pain heard from the squished men in that row. Two men escaped stumbling out in front of her path right at the end of the aisle. Katrina placed a hand over the boy’s eyes. He struggled to see, but Katrina didn’t wish for him to. She ruffled her wings angling each feather to form a saw-like edge along the bottom of her wing. With a twisting motion she hopped in the air rotating her shoulders to slash through each of the unsuspecting cop’s throats with the tips of her wings. Blood scattered as her wings opened and she made gusts of wind behind her rocketing herself forward. Cops behind were blown away as the exit was coming within reach. Finally, the gunfire ceased, and movement was at a minimum. Katrina took bounding steps towards the exit. She knelt down to the floor allowing the boy to free himself from her embrace and take a single step towards the exit. He seemed unwilling to leave her behind at first and turned back half way through crossing the automatic sliding doors. He opened his mouth about to say something with big sappy eyes before Katrina cut him off.

Katrina: Get out, child! It’s not safe here!

A bullet whizzed by them and shattered the glass window behind the boy. Glass shards flew through the air as the child screamed, but Katrina spread her wings out wide to prevent any more shots from flying past her.

Katrina: Go!

This time the boy didn’t need to think about it, he fled right through the blinding sunlight and back to his mother. Katrina smiled watching him pass through the light outside. His safety may have distracted her from the approaching threats from behind. Her smile vanished as a Taser was fired at her back. Time slowed down, and her body vibrated, as all she could hear was the crackling of electric volts traveling throughout her body. Her wings stiffened in a crooked position as all her muscles contracted at once. Her body shook but she stayed on her knees with pure determination keeping her legs from giving out. This was all up until an officer tackled her from behind. He was able to slam her to the floor but was instantly tossed off by some kind of instinctual spasm her wings made. Another officer wielding a baton tased her. The prongs dug into her bare flesh right in-between her two wings. Her body pulsed up then dropped hard leaving her nearly motionless, her wings laid out flat. One of her fists slammed to the floor cracking a tile. She slammed down again with other fist a little bit beyond her last strike. She ground her teeth and tried to crawl away as an officer stood over her sillouetted from the light pouring in from outside. This cop pinned his knee into her thigh stopping her short as Katrina reached out towards the light with the exit just a few feet away. A tear fell as the boy outside could be heard screaming at the police to stop. The officer on top of Katrina snatched one of her hands flinging the cuffs off his belt with an arrogant grin. But right as he went to apply the cuff to her wrist her hand flicked around and twisted the cop’s arm until he screamed out in pain. The other officers were stupefied at the relentlessness that this slender tall woman had, wings or not, they’ve never seen anything like this before. That pause of shock gave Katrina enough time to rise weakly, swing behind the man, and twist his arm so far back that he whimpered. She forced the cop to take a step back as she yanked on his arm keeping him close to her as a human shield.

Katrina: I’m leaving now, all I wanted was to find Zachary St. Julien. That’s it! I’ll leave your friend’s arm intact if you refrain from shooting me as I leave.

Katrina’s tone sounded threatening, but not a single one of them lowered their weapons. In fact, they moved in closer.

Katrina: Stand back, or else I’ll…

Katrina’s prisoner gave a smirk look before dipping his head down as each of his comrades opened fire without the slightest regard for his life. Katrina was shocked by the cruelty of humans as she ducked her head down behind the human corpse shield. Bullets pelted through the officer’s chest even with his bulletproof jacket on. His body shook as the surrounding officers would not let up. A cop came up with a shotgun in hand and blew away the upper portion of Katrina’s shield, or in other words, he blew the head off that guy. Completely terrified, Katrina dropped down spiraling her wings around herself for a full cocoon coverage. The officer’s dead body flopped on top of Katrina soon siding off and landing besides her on the floor. / You could see her face from within the darkness of her own wings as Katrina caught her breath to shrug off the shock.

Katrina: What’s wrong with these humans, I didn’t hurt anyone.

She said over the constant gunfire in the background. Her cocooned-self rocked after taking a big hit from that shotgun. She could feel every pellet that went into her wings from that shot making her cringe with agony. / With those hundreds of pellets indented in her wings, Katrina uncoiled herself spinning and jumping up into the air stunning the policemen as each pellet rolled off her wings and was flung into the circle of cops around her. While mid-air she flicked her wings out and across her body sweeping the surrounding officers away giving Katrina some much-needed space. She bolted out grabbing two policemen by their collars as she soared overhead. She flew up as high as the ceiling would allow while the SWAT team below looked up at two of their men dangling in the air screaming for help. Katrina silenced them with a heavy swing cracking the two heads together making them limp in her grasp. She swooped back down using the two officers like battering rams knocking down the rest of the police unit below before tossing her two weapons aside. Somehow, she found a way to smile after thwarting every attempt of restraining her this police department had to offer. Katrina spiraled through the air with glee as she fluttered down making way for the exit. The light was ahead of her, the sliding doors already wide open, everything seemed right until she heard a whistle off to her left. Uneased, she flew faster. With the exit so close, it seemed nothing would get in her way now. There was no way she could have seen or guessed that there would be another cop waiting for her hiding behind the shopping carts by the exit. He had a wooden baseball bat in hand, still partially in the box from this very store. The timing was perfect, right after the whistle he stepped out and swung down like a club making direct contact with the back of Katrina’s head as she flew through the narrow opening. She laid right there, stiff with her face to the floor and only a few more feet to the next open door and the open sky beyond it. Blood leaked out from her head as she managed to look up at the champion police officer taking a step out from his hiding spot. He took heavy breaths in disbelief that he could actually take down something that could fight back against an entire police unit. He kicked her dark wing as it hung over his foot. Katrina didn’t move at all, which helped settle the man’s stomach. Just to be sure, another two officers jogged up to the dark angel and fired their Tasers at her, not wanting to take any chances this time. From Katrina’s view, the floor took up half the screen. She could see out through the exit doors just ahead of her, the light, chirping birds, and parked police vans all within her grasp. But things had already begun to blur out for Katrina as the blood traveling between cracks in the floor drifted against her cheek. Above her, every officer in the building had fully surrounded her by now. Each of them with a weapon in hand directed right at her. //

She awoke in the back of a prisoner transportation van. Her arms were cuffed twice, once around her wrists and again at her forearms. A chain rode down from her wrists and was linked to each of her legs also within bounds. To make things even more uncomfortable, her wings were folded against her back and wrapped up in chains that coiled around her entire body. She struggled to move finding nothing but more discomfort and the rattling of metal on metal. With the overdone amount of restraints, escape seemed like a pretty far-fetched idea at this point. After a few moments of attempting to break free, it was clear with her bonds so tight that the only thing she’d be able to accomplish would be worsening the chafing that’s already formed around her wrists. She startled to settle down as footsteps could be heard coming down her direction. A man in a suit walked up to the van and opened the back doors blinding Katrina with the light outside. The man’s name tag clipped to his tie read Agent Sullivan. Katrina tried to speak, and by the look on her face, it was going to be some nasty things. But her words were muffled out by the rope tied tightly around her mouth.

Agent Sullivan: Jesus Christ! Oh, I’m sorry, that’s probably frowned on where you come from. I never was that big into the whole religion thing. That is, until now I guess, shit. Look here, gorgeous. I don’t know what you are, or why you did this, but I can tell you this, Hun. You are no angel.

Katrina started to shake violently as the agent extended his hand over to her swan neck with a syringe in his hand with hell of a big needle. She stared at him with a powerful anger through her nearly vibrating green eyes. Air snorted out of her nose like a bull and her breathing became even heavier and more frantic than angry as the needle dug into her throat. For a second, she was calm, just angrily glaring into the Agent’s speck eyes. The drugs started to kick in and she could barely recognize the man’s face as the blurry blob backed away. The medicine worked so quickly that before the engine could start up, Katrina’s head had already drooped against the cold metal wall. There was bumps as the van went over a curb and pulled away from the scene, but Katrina was completely uncontious by then. ///

The next morning, I was with Sammie in her room. The morning had dragged out but things were just now starting to get interesting. We were kissing and moving around feeling each other under the covers while soft music played. You could hear her giggle when I moved the right way, or the sound of us taking in each other’s breaths. This went on until the door upstairs, leading to her basement room, was flung open and her dad hollered down at us from above.

Dan: You two, come upstairs, Now!

We both freaked out as he yelled down at us. We practically jumped off each other bouncing to opposite ends of the mattress. My legs got all wrapped up in her blankets making me topple over and slam my face against the floor. Sammie had nearly gotten fully dressed by the time I recovered. She shuffled her hips into jeans then scrambled about to snag a few clothes tossed randomly throughout her room. After much searching, I finally found my shorts that somehow found their way under Sammie’s bed. When I stood back up, Sammie was ready even with socks and shoes on her feet. She threw my shirt at my face blinding me while I held my shorts in one hand and fastened her blanket that was still wrapped around my waist.

Sammie: Really. Come on, hurry up. The longer we take the more awkward and painfully obvious this will be. You’re lucky my parents are even letting you stay here.

Me: It’s all good, see.

I said confidently while letting my body fade through the sheets then hover up above her bed. My eyes lit up as a few things that had been tossed across her floor suddenly hovered up on their own. I dove into my shirt and snatched my shoes out of the air while landing in my shorts. Her bed sheets slowly drifted down on their own perfectly aligning themselves on her bed while I quickly slipped into my shoes. I jumped up and shook my hair about, then attempted to slick back my untamable curls with nothing but a bare hand as I directed a big smile Sammie’s way. She rolled her eyes but couldn’t help but to crack a smile as she led me up the stairway that we both dashed up its steps awaiting whatever her father had to tell us. Her parents were both sitting at the edge of their seats watching the news with some shots of thedestroyed supermarket displayed along with cop cars and crowds all throughout the scene.

Dan: Oh, good, you’re here. I’ll go back.

He hit the rewind button on the remote to scroll back to earlier moments in program.

Reporter: As you can see, she caused untold amounts of damage to the interior of the store. What people are calling the Angel of Death, stormed through the building shouting, pushing, and frightening everyone in sight. We have an eye witness report with us now.

The Reporter signals for her guest to step into view of the camera. Mikey’s mother took a few awkward steps towards the reporter while pulling on her son’s hand to get him to follow her. Mikey looked angry at this whole situation and at everyone here, so he flashed dirty looks at the camera every once and a while.

The Mother: That winged creature kept asking about Zack St. Julien for some reason. She would toss people around, scream in your face, do anything to figure out who this man was. She even tried to kill my little boy here. (She said craddling her son’s head as he closed the eye pressed against her stomach and his face grew even more irritated.) Luckily, I was able to protect him until the police captured that monster.

Reporter: Yes, I’m getting word now that the person the Angel of Death was looking for is indeed the same young man who mysteriously died and then even more mysteriously disappeared three days later. As if people haven’t heard enough of this teenager, his story keeps getting bigger and more supernatural. All we can ask now is; where is Zack St. Julien?…

Dan muted the TV and looked back at us as other images flashed onto the TV screen. Sammie was looking at me, curious of my reaction to all of this, but I was still trying to take it all in.

Me: We need to find her, we need to go, now.

Sammie: You don’t know what she wants with you, for all we know she could just be someone else trying to find you only to kill you. She doesn’t exactly seem like your regular kindly angel.

Dan: Ah, that’s just going of the media. They’ll play this shit off as hard as they can. They’re labeling her a villain saying that the angel killed a cop, yet on the police report it shows he died of gun shots. You know that angel isn’t flying around with a Mini Uzi, even though that would be just great.

Dan said laughing to himself. I hadn’t paid much attention to him, or any at all. My eyes were glued to the screen where it showed a clip of Katrina flying up to a man picking him up and screaming in his face only to drop him and fly away.

Me: Those wings… What’s something like that doing here.

Jo: Looking for you.

Me: What the fuck did I get myself into. This better not be someone trying to kill me again.

Sammie: We won’t know until we talk to her.

Me: You seriously down for this? I have no idea where this lady is from what or what she could be capable of.

Dan: I’m sure it’s nothing you two can’t handle, how badass could an angel be.

Jo: She’s got black wings.

Dan: I don’t give a damn if they’re bloody red, these two took on a pack of flaming wolves by themselves and Nikki’s a damn dog herself. (He chuckled) I don’t think anybody’s messing with this family now.

Me: Then there’s always the chance that she’s not looking to kill me, maybe like a messenger from God that will explain every crazy thing that’s going on.

Sammie: What kind of message are you expecting?

Me: I don’t know, you gotta hope it’s a happy one though.

Sammie: Alright, but we still don’t even know where to find this angel. (Her mother Jo, walked up to us laughing.)

Jo: Actually, that was a lot easier to find than it should have been.

She held up her tablet viewing a newspaper app with a headline that titled: Can Holbrick Penitentiary Hold the Angel of Death.

Sammie: That’s just a half an hour away from LittleStone!

Me: Starting to think it’s not such a bad idea huh, come on, we’ll have to actually use my car this time.

Sammie: You don’t have a car, St. J. You’re not supposed to be alive.

Me: Details. (Sammie gave me a disapproving look.) Can we just get to that bridge once we cross it?

I said starting to walk to the kitchen with Sammie trailing behind when her dad stopped us.

Dan: Sammie, wait. (Her father stepped into the kitchen too.) If you’re going to take my gun, that’s one thing, but don’t use it like some gangster idiot and shove it down your ass. Here, take my holsters.

Sammie: (She looked up to him shocked.) You knew, this whole time and didn’t say anything?

Dan: Of course I knew, they’re my guns, I take them everywhere. But I’d rather have you be protected, than me make the mistake of being overprotective. You’re almost an adult now, I don’t want you to go out and do these dangerous things, although I can’t say I raised you any better. You’ve always had better judgment than me. That, and you’ve got a boyfriend who can walk through walls, so there’s not much I can do to stop you, now is there.

Sammie: Thanks dad. (She laughed while hugging him with a big smile stretched across her face.)

Dan: Hey, you’ve got a better shot than any son I could have asked for. We’ll be going down to the range more often now when you have the chance.

Sammie: Ha, I can’t wait. Thanks again. (She looked distressed not finding a place to put her new equipment. She then turned to me.) I’ll just be a sec, okay.

I nodded to Sammie as she ran back down to her room with her new holsters in hand leaving her father waiting in the kitchen with me. He took a step closer to me wanting to say something in private.

Dan: I trust her with guns only to help you with the job that I trust you with.

Me: I know. I’ll protect her, with everything I’ve got.

His arm snatched out taking hold of my forearm as I did his

Dan: I knew you would, it’s just something I need to hear as a father.

Sammie came bouncing up the steps and out of the basement with a black tank top on, her hair was in a tight pony tail, and two pistols holstered on each hip. She even remembered to supply herself with extra clips poking out from her pockets, and was smart enough to sport combat boots looking ready for our mission.

Me: Sammie, wow.

She had my eyebrows rising to the ceiling as I couldn’t stop the grin from forming on my face. Something about her badass Tomb Raider vibe had me more attracted to her than I have been in a while.

Sammie: Oh yeah, I’m ready now.

Me: Fucks yeah, I’d say so. Alright, no worries, Dan. We’ll be back before you know it. (I stepped outside.)

Sammie: Later guys, and really thanks so much for everything.

Me: Dip! (His head poked out from the cabin space on Dan’s boat docked in the backyard.) Let’s go! I hope you know what you signed up for, because we’re breaking somebody outta jail. (I said putting my arm around Sammie as she stepped out the door.)

Dip: Who?

Me: No idea, hopefully she won’t try to kill us though. Come on! (Sammie and I began to elevate into the sky. Dip cocked his head sideways but still followed us without a question as we hovered through the air.)  ////

 

Book 1, Chapter 7:

The Prison

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My feet gently touched down on the sidewalk that rode alongside a big suburban house with the front wall painted green. Sammie crawled down out of my arms and watched as I paced forward in a trance staring up at my own home. This was the place where I grew up, but the way my eyes blankly stared forward, it seemed more like a haunted house my friends had dared me to go inside. I gulped blinking my eyes a few times thinking about how this would all work out. The thoughts made me shudder.

Sammie: Well, I’ll ask just like you did. Do you want me to go in with you?

Me: I’m not going in.

Sammie: What!? This was your idea! Not to mention, the only way we’re getting all of us to Holbrick.

Me: No, I meant, my parents. They’re not going to know I was ever here.

Sammie: So what, you’re just going to steal the car, you asshole!

Me: It’s my car!

Directly after, you could hear cars blaring their horns from out in the distance. A little closer, you could hear the dogs of the neighborhood barking. Then even closer, there was rustling in my neighbor’s bushes. Out from the vegetation sprouted Dip with twigs wedged in his ears and fur. He happily stampeded through the neighbor’s yard then leaped over my road clearing two SUVs as they drove by. All of this athletic coordination just to land hard in my mother’s flowerbed in the center of our yard.

Dip: Made it!

Me: Dip, what the fuck. Stealth mission! That was the whole point of all of this. (I loudly whispered.)

Sammie: Yeah, it’d be such a shame if your parents came out now before you steal their car.

Me: I’m not stealing…

Dip: Is it that red one with the window down?

Sammie: Yeah, how about you hop in and relax. We’ll be there in a second, okay.

Me: Dip, wa…

Dip: Okay!

He said running off with glee diving through the small opening to crash land inside my car. I groaned with my hands above my head splitting through my long curly hair. I sat down on the front porch to think, my head was drooped down towards the dirt. I felt a hand on my shoulder and was surprised to see Sammie sympathetically staring at me while taking a seat by my side.

Sammie: You’ve got a couple options, St. J. None of them are easy. In fact, one could be we just steal a truck and ram it into the prison. But we both know that won’t work out for long, and that the best thing you could do for yourself and for your parents would be to tell them everything.

Me: I can’t.

Sammie: Why!? It worked fine with my parents. I guarantee you, St. J, when they see your face, there won’t be anything else for them to feel but happiness. You won’t have to tell them anything or even stay, just show them you’re alive.

Me: That won’t work, I can’t just pop in and out without explanation. They don’t have much right now, but they can at least wrap their minds around what they’ve been told. I don’t know how much they actually do believe, but what would I do after telling them? What would they do? I don’t think they’d be much help to our cause, especially with the type of shit we’re dealing with.

Sammie: Ok, it’s okay, I think I get it. There’s just too much going on right now. And don’t worry (She cups my face in her hand.) I like things the way they are right now too, nothing has to change, but we do have to keep moving.

Me: Yeah, one step at a time. (I take her hand that’s extended to help me up.) Step one: sneak into my own house, somehow find my keys, don’t break down mentally. Step two: break an angel out of jail. Easy fucking peasy.

Sammie: Maybe when things begin to make sense again, you can tell them.

Me: (I sighed.) Yep, well, until then. (I floated up into the air.) I’ll be back in a flash.

I hovered towards my home dragging my fingers against the shingles just below a window. I positioned myself right where my room should be, then turned intangible to slip right through. / I stayed invisible while in my house allowing all light and matter to pass through my body. I became part of the landscape, just a shimmer of my outline was visible allowing a full visual of the room. My first reaction when entering my room was to smile. It was a nice flashback to simpler times with everything arranged just the way I left it. Even the musky basement smell was nostalgic. There was one poster, the only thing that was out of place. The middle of it had been torn off. Like someone tried to rip it off the wall quickly but the tape holding down its edges held tight keeping portions of the poster intact. I touched the wall where my poster once hung. I saw a (((Black & White))) silhouette of my mother standing exactly where I stood. I backed away with shock on my face as I could see the pain on her’s. She cried into the blank spot where my poster should be. Her hands gripped onto a ghostly shadow image of the poster and yanked down while letting out a depressing cry. It was hard to watch as I saw her drop down to her knees and cry into my wall. She slid to the right and cried into my bed, that’s when I saw that her hand opened and the crumpled piece of paper rolled free. I walked over to her and attempted to hug her, but the second my transparent body made contact, the black and white vision of her shattered. The allusion was lost, and I was alone in my room again feeling broken in that moment. I knelt where she once was and picked up the crumpled paper from under my bed and unraveled it. It was nothing more than a poster, just a stupid trippy wormhole pattern I thought was cool, but it reminded her of me, and that was enough to cause emotions. I tossed the paper on the floor, stood back up, and paced around my room opening drawers and looking through the top of my desk space.

Me: Keys, keys, keys. Where are you, keys?

I was in the process of looking under my bed when I heard a creek in the floor behind me. I remembered that creek specifically, the one that went off anytime someone stood in my doorway. My head flinched back as my mother looked my way. She looked beyond me and through my room, then rested her body against the doorframe. I was speechless like I was the one seeing a ghost when really, it was the opposite. My lip quivered wanting to find the words to say, but there was none, and she walked away without hearing my voice. I raced out to the doorway that creaked as I stood under it. I looked down the hall to where my mother walked, further and further away from my presence.

Me: Mum.

She gasped turning around, this time without a doubt, she was looking right at me. Or at least, she should be, if I wasn’t such a coward. She put a hand over her mouth and closed her eyes trying to keep the promises she made to herself not cry so much anymore. I ran my hands through my hair tilting my head back, breaking the promise I had not to get them involved with me. At the same time, our heads dipped back to rest against the wall behind us. Then simultaneously, we stomped about in this small hallway disappointed in ourselves. My tantrum finished first and I was able to turn around and watch my mother grieve over her very much alive son. Unable to continue, I sighed out while fading through the floorboards and swooped down into our living room. I had one last place to check, there was a spare key in the drawer by the back door. But to my surprise, I found my original keys with the bullet case keychain along with my parent’s keys in the little black box where they kept them all. Not only was I abandoning them, but I was stealing the little momentums they had to remember me. I reached out for the keys, they instantly became invisible as I made contact with them, I then shoved them in my jacket pocket. Satisfied, I looked over to my father, on the couch like usual. I smiled at the feeling of things being normal, despite the fact my mother had probably freaked herself out with no one but me to blame. Still, I managed to stroll out the house waving goodbye to my dad as my body faded through the door. //

I was relieved to be out of that house and back behind the wheel of my own car. I slapped two hands down on the steering wheel and looked over to Sammie seated next to me as I dangled the keys in my hand.

Sammie: Did you talk to your parents?

Me: One word, accidentally.

Sammie: You’d be feeling better around this time if you had talked to them.

Me: Please, Sammie. My conscious is already doing enough to me, it doesn’t need your reinforcements.

Sammie: If you say so.

Me: Alright well, uh, you two ready. We’re gunna be whipping out of here for obvious reasons.

Sammie: I got the GPS up and ready.

Me: Nice, Nice. Ok, let’s do this.

I said firing up the engine, the music started blasting immediately and to make matters worse, my car in idle was never exactly a quiet thing. I rushed to get the gear into reverse and quickly backed the car up angling myself to peel out.

Sammie: Can you roll my window down?

Me: What, why now!?

Sammie: Nevermind.

She said leaning back in her seat to slip a piece of paper out Dip’s already rolled down window. I looked at her disgustedly shocked, but before I could speak the sound of the house’s back door slamming shut had me slamming on the gas pedal. I swerved out into the road cutting off a car that was speeding by.

Me: What was that!

Sammie: What was what?

Me: The fucking paper you tossed out, what did you put on it!?

Sammie: Relax. It was just an apology.

The car barreled away leaving a gust of wind that tossed the paper into a puddle of mud where my car was parked. Through the murkiness, you could read in Sammie’s well-crafted handwriting: Sorry, your son loved you very much, I’m sorry he was too much of a pussy to tell you that. ///

My little Volvo rocked as we hit some harsh winds while driving down the highway. Dip was in the middle of the backseat, he sat up tall taking up all the space in my rearview mirror. Sammie looked up from her phone disappointed.

Me: Any luck yet?

Sammie: No, neither of them are picking up. I don’t know what’s up with that. //

Nikki’s phone laid on the railing of the balcony attached to Blake’s treehouse. Her phone vibrated so hard that it shuffled off the balcony falling three stories to the base of the tree’s trunk. It hit the ground with a thud but bounced back up to show the screen was still intact and displayed Sammie’s name on the caller ID. / Over in the field, you could see the two Lycans training in their wolf form. Nikki pounced for Blake, but he was quick to jump high up above her needing only to snap his legs out to kick her right back down into the dirt. //

Sammie put away her phone and tilted her head back.

Me: It’s alright, I’ve got no doubt they’re just at the treehouse training.

Sammie: That’s not all I’m worried about.

Me: What, you’re worried about this!? (I said laughing putting both hands on the wheel again.) You’ve fought through werewolves and flaming pit bulls, but you’re worried about a few fat prison guards. We’ve already been through worse, and we’ll probably see worse too. So, let’s just get through this one obstacle, and I might actually get some answers from this girl.

Sammie: Yeah, you’re right you know wha…

Dip: Guys, it’s hot back here.

Me: Dip, you’re from Hell, and it’s not even eighty degrees in here.

Dip: You people say you have this Air Conditioning technology. I don’t know how you manufacture cold air, but this clearly doesn’t work.

Sammie: Do you want to stick your head out the window?

Dip: Why would I want to jump out the car?

Sammie: No, you just roll down your window and let the wind hit your face. (She showed Dip how it’s done then pulled her head back into the car smiling as her hair continued to lash about uncontrollably.) See, like that. I don’t know, it’s a dog thing.

I shrugged my shoulders back at him, but still hit the button to scroll down his window allowing a lot of wind to pour into the car pushing Dip’s ears back. The pounding sound of wind rushing through the one open window freaked him out. He looked over to Sammie, unsure of the purpose of this, but she nudged for him to continue. Dip stuck his whole head out the window, his lips flapped around from the high-speed winds making trails of his slobber streak across the side of the car. He had this huge smile on his face as we drive off to the sound of his laughter. //

Katrina found herself strapped down against a hard metal table glimmering under a fluorescent light hung from above. The room looked trashed with papers all over the place and broken glass on the floor mixed in with spilled puddles of coffee. Her wrists and ankles were locked in with cuffs bolted to the table. Her wings were no less free uncomfortably strapped down to the table with long leather belts. She lifted her head up as far as it would go and strained herself to hear the conversation two people had in the hallway outside. //

Doctor: We cannot keep her here, she puts everyone in this facility in danger.

Cop: What do you mean? She’s tied down tight, we’ve taken every precaution, there’s no way she’s getting out. The girl’s a human with weird bird wings, not Superman.

Doctor: It’s not just that, we have a supernatural being in our building. What if others like her try to get her back, what if it’s like that marketplace all over again, but with fifty of those, things? That can’t happen in a prison.

Cop: Well, at least we know that we can stop, maybe even kill these things. I can admit, she put up a good fight. But like everything else, her kind will go down.

Doctor: Well let me hear this genius idea of yours on how you’d like to proceed with her? A court date, release her to the inmates, I don’t even know what we’re supposed to feed her?

Cop: She’s not human, none of those rules we have with the other inmates comply with her. Just keep her strapped down and alive and everyone’s happy. She’ll be out of our hair in no time. Actually, I think they want a team to come in tomorrow to check her out. (The Cop looked through the tinted window, he wasn’t really able to see her, but he checked anyway. The Cop gently elbowed his buddy’s side surprising him a little.) Hey, talking about checking things out, wings or not, she’s a hottie. Let me get another look.

Doctor: Fine, just remember this time; look don’t touch.

Guard: Eh, whatever you wuss. I don’t see what’s the problem with having a little fun though. Like, why you think we strapped her wings down so damn tight, and then rushed out to buy those titanium cuffs to cement to the table, and for what!?

Doctor: I’m going to take a wild guess saying it’s not for you can get all handsy with another inmate. (He pointed out while swinging the door open.)

Katrina’s left eye quickly shut as the two men approached her on either side of the table. She remained perfectly still and calm as if she were unconscious. The Cop seemed giddy as a schoolgirl rubbing his hands together, while his accomplice admired her strapped down curves from a distance. Katrina, laid there holding in her frustration until she felt the cop’s hand stroking down her face. Her eyes snapped open and glared his direction. The Cop flinched backward recoiling his hand as he feared she would try to bite it off. She did indeed open her mouth, but this was to inhale a deep breath filling up her lungs until her chest pushed up against the belts strapping her down. With everything she had, Katrina let out an ear-shattering screech that rattled her whole face and shook the structure of her enclosure. The two men scrambled to get out the room. They slipped on spilt liquid and cut their hands on the scattered shards of glass as they caught themselves from falling. The Doctor had his hand up cupping his ears when he bumped into a desk knocking over more equipment as both men fled the room as fast as they could.

Cop: AHHH! Somebody, kill that bitch.

He said as the Doctor slammed the door shut behind him. Katrina continued to screech but it wasn’t nearly as bad now behind the walls. The Doctor pinned one arm up against the wall picking at the blood that dripped from his ear. He looked over to the cop resting with his back against the door as he slid down to the floor. His ears were bleeding too. The Doctor heard another strange noise, like a knock on the window. He looked to where the tinted glass on the door begun to crack, right in the center.

Doctor: Oh shit.

Cop: What now?

The crack spread to all corners of the window, then finally shattered giving a perfect view of Katrina’s head lifted up from her table, still screeching. With nothing blocking off the sound waves, her screech turned just as loud as before. The two men both dropped down to fettle positions cringing in unbearable pain. //

We drove past a fence fifteen-feet-high with the words “No Trespassing” posted on signs at least every sixty feet. Once the trees along the side of the road began to clear out we could see fields that stretched out for acres where the prison was located. Gridding off sections of the field were more fences lined with rows of barbed wire that coiled down until hitting one of the four towers strategically placed at every corner. Sammie pointed out all the people gathered outside the prison entrance as we rolled past the front gates. There was clearly a protest was going on, even while driving by we could hear the angry shouts and hundreds of arguments coming from this massive crowd. Signs held up high bobbing up and down over the swarm of heads. I could make out a few signs that read “Kill the Angel of Death”, but then you could see others with a completely opposite message reading “Free the Angel.” The whole crowd was in an uproar, but it was hard to tell if they were angrier at the prison and its guards, or the other protesters and their opposing opinions.

Sammie: Wow! Did you expect to see anything like this?

Me: No, I’ve never even seen anything like this, well at least…

I was hardly paying attention to the road in front of me when I saw the red flash from brake lights shining in my face. l almost wasn’t able to stop in time, but I slammed on my breaks until they screeched, and my car came to a stop with only inches to spare. Dip was flung forward into both mine and Sammie’s laps. We all groaned but everyone was okay.

Me: Shit. My bad.

I said to Sammie who didn’t seem to care very much, she just let an eyebrow bounce up with a slant in her lips. / I followed that same car as it turned into a gas station across the street allowing Sammie and I to get out of my car.

Me: I don’t think I could get any closer to the prison without being recognized. My face has been up on the news for three different occasions in a week. I’m basically a celebrity to crazy people like this.

Sammie: Well, I was expecting that’d we’d just stroll right through the field, walls, and security, easy as that.

Me: Yeah, I want to, but I might need a security card to get all of us out without raising the alarms. Basically, it’d give us total access to the prison and get us out of any trouble should it come our way.

Sammie: Mmh, I like the idea, but they keep those on their side at all times.

Me: True, true, but luckily, you are going to be the sneaky little girl that you are and snag one for us.

Sammie: Me, why me!?

Me: Well like I said, everyone in there knows me, and I can’t grab the tag when I’m intangible which I’d need to be to get through that crowd unseen.

Sammie: Uhg, fine. I think I have an idea anyway.

She walked backwards for a few steps and quickly flashed me a sinister grin. I grinned at her and leaned up against the side of my car where I had a good view of the prison’s entrance gates. Sammie slipped on a jacket to better conceal her weapons while crossing the street. The closer she got, the more engulfed in the sounds of angry chatter and fights she became. Sammie casually entered the center of the crowd where everyone was full of energy and emotion. They were angry at the prison, angry at Katrina, and a lot of them were just pissed off at each other. Sammie was quiet as she flowed through the crowd listening to each of their conversations. A wicked grin sprouted across her face as she stepped up behind this greasy fat guy in a green shirt that was too tight. This guy was pretty tall, all it took was for Sammie to move behind the big fella to completely avoid his sight. From there, all she had to do was jump up and smack the sign out the man’s chubby fingers. As he slowly bent over to retrieve his sign, Sammie snapped over to the dude standing behind him. She was eager to leap up and kick out the back of this man’s knees. With her toes dug into the man’s flesh, and heels imprinting the man’s calves, Sammie hopped off discreetly walking away as she pulled out her phone.

Sammie: Where the fuck are you, Trent? You do this to me every time!

The man Sammie knocked down to the ground had gotten up. He was bald, stocky, but most importantly, he held a furious grudge against an unknown subject. His eyes flared across the crowd barely giving a second glance to the innocent little blonde girl busy arguing with her boyfriend. The fat man turned around with squinted suspicious eyes that instantly locked on to the angry looking muscle head who stormed up to him wiping the dirt off his shoulders. The two locked eyes with mean mugs already exchanged. They didn’t hesitate to get in each other’s faces and start flapping lips.

Fat Man: Did you smack my sign!?

Angry Man: How could I after you kicked out my fucking knees!?

Fat Man: Hey man, I didn’t do anything. But I’ve seen you lose your shit on every single person here with one of my signs! Who else would do it but you!?

Angry Man: I don’t know and I don’t care, just watch your fucking step, tubby.

Fat Man: ‘Fuck!? Like I’d really go around kicking people. I’m not some ‘roid addicted brute that wants to kill everything I don’t like.

Angry Man: If you’re trying to get at something then just say it. If not, then step the fuck down! (He said drawing close until he was just inches away from the man’s chubby face spraying out spit with each word.)

Fat Man: Aw, you Ass!

He said shoving the man back into other protesters who each shoved him back into the fight.

Sammie: Ooo.

Sammie had snuck back into their little battleground just to make that last comment followed by an innocent giggle. After glancing over to hear that, the stocky little angry man turned an even brighter shade of red. Sammie, broke into full-on laughter as the stocky dude punched the fat man straight in the face making his cheeks jiggle and blood spit out from his lips while other spectators cringed at his pain. The bystander, who the angry man had just bumped into, decided to step into the ring. He was a tall man with long arms holding up his sign with both hands tightly gripped. He smacked the sign down breaking it off the angry man’s face causing the whole crowd to go wild. Before you knew it, there was a full out brawl going on within the crowded area. Sammie was surrounded by masses of sweaty arms all swinging out for each other. Hair was pulled, people were getting punched, stomped, and bitten, but Sammie was small enough to crouch down and swiftly move through the swarm. This one kid, nearly Sammie’s age, wound his fist back and accidentally whacking Sammie from behind with his elbow. He looked sorry after getting a glimpse of Sammie’s small figure staggering back for a second.

Teen: Oh! Oh, I’m so sorry.

Sammie: What are you sorry for? (The boy looked confused briefly before Sammie side-kicked him into swarms of more people.) It’s a riot, isn’t it! (She said then slipped away.)   

A buzzing alarm went off along the outer gates of the prison as the guards who had prepared for this scenario came flooding out. Armed with riot shields, police batons, and thick vests, the guards created a barrier with their bodies separating the crowds from the prison gates. There was no possible way to calm this crowd down or attempt to reason things out. Instead, they just tried to shove the whole lot of angry protesters off the prison’s grounds. While most of the guards held the line and pushed forwards, a new group arrived to infiltrate the crowd on their own and try to break up the mob that has formed. But with this hot-headed population, those guards were the first to succumb to violence. Back along the line between guards and protesters, the guards were getting too violent treating protesters more like inmates than civilians. Some of the men and women within the mob ended their differences and teamed up against the dominating prison guards who they all had reasons to hate. Others were completely ignorant too deep within the crowd to notice the approaching guards as they continued to fight amongst each other. The brawl had escalated into a full-blown riot with conflict breaking out at all ends. Sammie heard pain filled screams coming from the center of the mob and decided to stick to the outskirts. She crawled over men grappling with each other and squeezed through a group of protesters attempting to escape after being blinded by pepper spray. Finding a little space away from the madness, Sammie paused to focus and look around. After just a second of searching, another scream caught her attention, this one was much closer. A guard dragged out a woman by her hair. Her feet scampered to keep up with the guard’s and her arms waved about but they could not get a hold of the guard’s arms. Sammie was furious, even other protesters had stopped fighting to witness this injustice, but none of them did anything. Their faces seemed very surprised to see this one small girl step towards the guard with ambition in her eyes. Bystanders nudged one another to get each other’s attention as Sammie sprinted up to the guard. She launched off the ground with surprising height to tackle into the guard with all the force she could muster. The woman he dragged was immediately released as Sammie hugged the man’s head with each of her limbs clinging tightly. Her legs thrashed around kneeing and kicking him constantly as the guard circled out of control unable to see or free himself. More guards came in to assess the situation but were shocked at what they saw.

Guard 1: Is that Tom over there?

Guard 2: Yeah. Think we should help him out, that chick’s wild?

Guard 3: What a fucking pussy! Fuck Tom, let that chick beat his ass, he’d probably like it.

Guard 2: Yo, guys.

The second guard pointed out that the group of bystanding protesters had now stepped up after Sammie’s performance and were ready to protect her from the next wave of guards. While their actions were commendable, this now left Sammie alone with the man she was attacking right as he begun to pry her off his face. The guard tossed Sammie off him along with his helmet both striking the ground hard. Something shined underneath Sammie, she took the time to conceal the object away. Sammie then crawled backwards staring up at the guard who crept closer pulling a baton out from his side. The guard’s hair was untamed without his helmet, his eyes were strained with anger, and his cheeks rippled with rage. He took one more step forward before feeling a hand on his shoulder. The wild look in his eyes vanished and turned blank as I mysteriously appeared behind the guard with a cocky smile that spread down to Sammie below. I winked at her and just as suddenly as I appeared, both the guard and I were gone. Sammie blinked in disbelief then started to dart her head around looking for signs of me to no avail. I appeared just a few moments later with a big smile like nothing had happened.

Sammie: Nice timing, but what’d you do with him?

Me: Oh, nothing. (I mumbled as in the distance you could hear the crying screams of that same guard streaking down across the skyline.) We just talked it out.

Sammie: You know, a simple punch to the face would have been just as impressive.

Me: (I wrapped one arm around Sammie and walked us away from the crowd.) Yeah, well, that creep got what was coming to him. Honestly, he’s lucky I didn’t go higher. (I was laughing but then paused looking over to this woman who was staring right at us.) The fu- Can, can I help you?

Crazy Protester: Oh my, dear, your eyes. It all makes sense now. (The woman rushed up to me pushing Sammie out of the way as she got up close to my face.) You’re Zachary St. Julien! (I made a dramatically unpleasant face.) Yes, you and that angel must be connected. You’re not one of them, are you? Or no, wait, don’t tell me. You’re Jesus.

With that last bit of nonsense, Sammie whipped out her pistol pointed right to the side of the woman’s head.

Sammie: Yeah, and I’m Gandi. (She cocked the pistol starting to bring fear into the woman.) Now get out of here! (The woman ran off as Sammie made her flinch pretending to pistol-whip her.) Crazy bitch.

I looked to Sammie both amused and shocked at the same time. I instantly reached out with one arm to pull her close to me as we both turned invisible, although the sounds of my laughter had to be a dead giveaway.

Me: I told you these people go crazy over the news. (I said as the brawl continued right below where we hovered.)

Sammie: Aren’t you freaking out!? What are we going to do when she tells someone?

Me: You kidding me? Did you not see how scary you were, I almost pissed myself. She’s a crazy bitch anyways, nobody will think anything of it.

I said as we floated back over to the gas station across the street. Nobody was around, just one car full of people stopped to watch the riot from afar. To be safe, we reappeared behind the bathrooms out back and began to walk back towards the car. I was still chuckling to myself.

Sammie: Are you still laughing about that?

Me: Yeah, yeah, I’m sorry. How are you? No one got you too good out there, did they?

Sammie: Nope, I’m fine.

Me: You started that riot, didn’t you?

Sammie: Well how else was I supposed to get this? (She said waving the security card that hung from a lanyard swaying towards my face.) I think I like prison breaks, we should break out my uncle sometime, I always liked him.

Me: Yeah-No. That’s not going to happen. And we haven’t broke anyone out of jail yet. I’m guessing you two are still up for the task. We have everything we need now.

Sammie: Yes, Sir.

Me: Alright. Dip, those crowds will be calming down soon. I need you to run around inside the prison, go as fast as you can, and be the slippery little devil-dog you are and don’t get caught.

Dip: Gotchya.

He said a moment before speeding off down the road. He broke through the crowd and dashed up to the gates right as they opened letting in more guards. They were too occupied by the riot going on that they hardly cared to notice the dog set loose into the prison. One guard, however, was taken off his feet as Dip sprinted through. The guard looked around unsure of what happened then was yanked back up to his feet by the surrounding guards. Dip continued to slip by everyone, the dog reached the next row of fences barricading the prison off from its fields. His eyes lit up and the hellhound burst into flames as he powered his way through the metal wiring. His body pressed against the fence with all his might until the hot metal gave out and he was through. Next, all he had to do was break through glass doors and he was free to roam the prison to his delight.

Sammie: Well, Dip’s in.

Me: Yeah. Now for the rescuing part of this mission.

I held on to Sammie’s hand until she became as clear as I was. We then flew up and swooped down, disappearing behind the walls of the prison. ///

Katrina stretched her head up high enough to see through the gap in the window frame. She seemed to be puzzled by the sounds of barking that echoed throughout the halls followed by the distant platoons of stomping feet. The marching grew louder as a group of guards armed with shotguns marched past her cell block. Katrina quickly ducked her head back down as they passed but kept one eye cracked open. Once the area quieted down, she continued to chomp on her gag already quite worn down with bite marks. After a gnawing and tugging on the cloth long enough, she was able to wiggle it down to her neck. She then took a deep breath filling her lungs until she could no longer bear to keep her eyes open. Her whole body arched as her wings pushed against their straps still taking in this massive breath. Katrina’s head flicked forward as she screeched out a sound so highly amplified the whole building shook. //

Outside the gates, where the riot took place, Katrina’s screech had brought the whole brawl to a halt. Everyone looked confused and scared, guards and protesters alike. / The crazy protester woman was surrounded by prison officials. She was on her knees pleading to them when the screech sounded, and they were all down to at least one knee now. The insane woman crawled up to the nearest guard a young good-looking man and pulled him close by his uniform beginning to spit out her absurd conclusions.

Crazy Protester: The angel is calling her people! God’s army is coming to Earth!

The guard looked uncomfortable, he tried to back away but the woman clung on and continued to speak.

Crazy Protestor: This is the punishment for our sins! Every event has lead up to this, it’s the end of days!

Bystanding protestors heard her words and begun to panic. They were already afraid and hyped up with energy, all they needed were some freighting words to have them all scatter in different directions. The guards were unsure of what to do, even some of them fled along with nearly every last protester. As swarms of people ran away by the masses, cop cars began to roll in followed by the media and their camera crews ready to capture the next big story in this crazy fucked up world. //

Sammie and I were somewhere within the hallways flying by offices when Katrina’s screech hit us. Something within her powerful soundwaves shot right through me and warped my body. My abilities were affected directly and suddenly the two of us snapped into the scene becoming visible once again. I dropped out of the air and we both came crashing down with our hands covering our ears instead of buffering the fall. Sammie’s head was glued to the floor where she curled up into a ball with a cringed face. I was on all fours hollering at the ground. I then flung up with both hands squeezing each side of my head while I roared in pain. As blood dripped from my ears, I saw the glass from windows lined along both sides of the hallway crack and shatter as Katrina’s screech continued. I dove over Sammie putting my body over hers so the glass could fade through us both. She watched with one eye lifted off the floor to see the glass bounce and shatter off the hard floor. She looked up and saw the glass raining down and fade through her open eyes. Sammie was amazed and terrified at the same time until she saw my arms wrapped around her and became calm knowing nothing could touch her. The screech eased to a stop creating a deathly silent environment. I floated us up to our feet and only then did we snap back to tangibility. I took a step to look around the area, the glass beneath my feet crackled with every step.

Sammie: At least we know she’s here.

Me: Yeah, but where? That sounded like it came from every direction.

I looked back to Sammie as her eyebrow fidgeted trying to reach a higher focus. She blinked her eyes a few times until they shined blue. I rushed over to her, but she looked calm and remained standing very still with a focused face. / (((A haze of blue frames the screen while we see through Dip’s eyes.))) Dip was moving at high speeds through a hallway. His little paws came into frame brightening the path ahead of him with his flames. Sammie felt what Dip felt, she heard the hastening of his breath and felt the rush before a kill. She saw the guard in front of Dip, right as he pounced into the air. She could feel his jaw opening and this grumble building up within the dog’s gut as he made this horrible growling sound. / Sammie snapped out of the state in a flash. The switching between states of mind seemed to take a lot out of her. As her eyes dimmed down their natural color, she collapsed into my arms where I held her until she caught her breath.

Me: What did you see?

Sammie: Nothing really. Dips fine, I just didn’t want to see what he was about to do to that guard.

Me: No doubt there. (Footsteps approached us from around the corner.)

Sammie: Quick, get us out of here. (She said taking a hold of my arm.)

We submerged through the glass riddled floor ending up in a holding cell with a large black woman and her dreaded blonde cellmate relaxing in her cot. There were cells all over this level that circled around a cafeteria the next floor below.

Inmate: Da Hell! Boy, how’d you do that? Nevermind, just get me out of this damn shit hole.

Me: If you tell me where they’d keep a dangerous prisoner, one that couldn’t be kept with the rest of the inmates, I’d let you out.

Inmate: Oh, like solitary. Yeah, my girl Shawnda got put there last month. They just dragged her by her hair down those steps and gone! She disappeared through that hallway and nobody seent her for weeks.  (Her finger pointed to the hallway down one level on the opposite end of the cafeteria.)

Me: Alright, thanks. Come on, let’s go. (I said taking Sammie’s hand.)

Inmate: Hol’ up

She said snapping up to her feet to grab Sammie’s arm. Before I had realized what happened, a chain reaction occurred as I turned clear followed by Sammie and the inmate. I continued to walk out the cell, oblivious to what was going on, while the convict still had a hand on Sammie’s arm and yanked her deeper into the cell. I spun around feeling Sammie’s hand slip through my fingers and found her on the opposite side of the steel bars. Sammie smacked the inmate’s hand off her but she continued to claw at Sammie and drape herself all over her.

Inmate: Y’all know you two aren’t getting outta here together without me, right!?

Sammie: Fuck off. (She said shoving the inmate off her and stepped back to the opposite end of the cell.)

Inmate: Gemme outta dis damn cell!

Me: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s be easy, okay. (I said stepping into the cell before things escalated between the two. The girls continued to glare nasty looks to each other.) Now, look! Clearly, I’m not a cop or nothing, I have no problem letting you out of here, but I’m just curious. What’d you do to get yourself locked up in here anyways?

Inmate: Skinny white bitch like ya girl here thought she could take my man. He thought I would sit around let him sleep around with whoever the hell he wants. FUCK NAH! I cracked that lil hoe’s spine with the forty-fours I just put on my truck. Now all that lil slut’s good for is sleepin’ ‘round. HA! You know what, (She said taking a step towards Sammie.) that little bitch looked just like you.

Sammie: Skinny white bitch have one of these?

She flicked her pistol out from the holster, popped off the safety, slid the hammer back, and looked at her enemy intensely.

Me: Ok, no, no, no. (I said dragging Sammie out of the cell. She waved her gun around but we soon turned intangible.)

Sammie: St. J, no, stop. (She whined lightly.)

Second Inmate: (Still sitting on her cot.) What the fuck?

Sammie and I reappeared. She reluctantly holstered her pistol glaring at the first inmate as I lead us away.

Inmate: You look out for this one brotha! (She laughed like a crazy woman.) White girl’s even crazier than me.

Me: Don’t worry, I know. (The inmate continued to crack herself up as we left the scene down the steps.) //

Two guards walked down a corridor of the prison.

Damien: Carl, you’ve got to take it easy. Quit walking around like a soldier, you’re freaking me out.

Damien had his shotgun resting on his shoulder while Carl, on the other hand, looked unnaturally stiff. He practically marched down the hall holding his weapon tight in his hands.

Carl: I’m acting exactly as I should be. Do have any idea what’s happening inside these walls.

Damien: Yeah, we finally picked up a babe that doesn’t look one of those alley girls down by Brooksburg.

Carl: The THING has wings!

Damien: Carl, bro. We both know whatever it is we have locked up in there is twenty times hotter than that thing you call a wife.

Carl paused for a second steaming with anger, but he wasn’t the type to let rage take over, so he swallowed his pride and continued with his duties.

Carl: All I’m saying is that this isn’t exactly any ordinary day. It wouldn’t kill you to…

Damien: Shut up for a second, would-ja. The hell is that up ahead?

Down the hall at the opening to the cafeteria, light poured into this corridor only blocked out by two figures walking closer towards the two guards. The taller one on the left with big hair looked like he took on a fighting stance as the other started to reach for her gun.

Damien: God damnit. They’re armed!

Carl: WHAT!?

Damien: Yeah, sucks to be right, huh?

Carl was so anxious that he scanned the whole area fearing the worst, as if there could be some kind of invasion going on within their walls. Only making things worse, I decided to leap up into the air with my arms out wide as I stayed in a hovering position.

Damien: Holy shit!

Carl: It’s flying! It’s another one of them, the angels! They’ll take over the prison and kill us all!

Damien: Now hold up, Carl before you…

It was far too late now. Before the guard could get out another word, pellets scattered through the air from Carl’s gun, as he repeatedly pumped more shells into the weapon and fired them down the hall like a mad man. His face showed fear, his only way of conquering it was with a big weapon in his hands, and the barrel pointed towards those fears. He felt safe with a hail storm of shotgun shells separating him from whatever it was he thought was at the end of this hall. The gunfire ceased leaving nothing but the sound of empty shells rolling across the floor. The gunsmoke lingered in the air and plaster was left in pieces on the floor from many scattered shots.

Damien: Are you satisfied yet!? Jesus, Carl. They just looked like a couple of teens and you, you… hold up, where’d they go?

He looked over to Carl, but he was just as clueless as Damien was. The guard sighed then looked back down the hall hoping to see anything but two dead bodies once the dust settled. But instead, what he saw was a dart flying through the cloud of debris blowing it all away revealing myself as I sped through the hall. I stayed low and moved so fast that it was impossible to recognize me until I was right up in their two panicked faces. I collided into one guard tackling him through a wall where our clear bodies disappeared. Carl was left alone in a hysterical state cradling onto his shot gun.

Carl: Damien! Oh God, no. What’s going on!? (His voice echoed throughout the hall.) //

Sammie stood outside the cafeteria entrance with her back pressed against the wall. She looked nervous, the inmates above her all had their eyes on her from within their cells. Some rattled on their cages and others whistled down to Sammie, but she remained silent. She caught her breath and peeked her head down the hall, just long enough to see the only guard remaining pacing about in a panic. Carl inevitably had to move in. His eyes were open wide not missing a second of action as he slowed his pace for the last half of the corridor. His trigger-happy fingers swayed the gun left and right as drops of sweat traced past his face. //

Damien and I passed through walls of concrete and darkness as I swooped up through the holding cells. Damien shouted out like a child on a roller coaster, his arms flailed wildly, but as long as I could make his body intangible, he was light as a feather. I held him down long enough to pop back up in the same cell with the large black woman and the dreaded blonde who laid in her cot. I flung Damien onto the cell’s floor. He crawled to one corner of the cube and pasted his back up against the wall shivering with fear having no idea how he appeared in this new location. He breathed heavily and gripped onto his beating heart never able to shake the urge to dart his eyes back and forth. The dreadlocked blonde opened her eyes that immediately widened with terrible ideas entering her mind.

Inmate: This guy again? Where’s sugar biscuit!?

I ignored the large black woman and walked over towards the guard. I stepped on his shotgun where it laid inches away from his feet and slid it behind me, out from everyone’s reach.

Damien: What… What are you?

Me: I’ll be sure to let you know when I find out.

With that, I gave him a two fingers salute and flicked my fingers out fading through the cell door. Damien gave me a weirded out and confused look as I stepped back

Inmate: Oh-wee! Come on, girl. Get outta bed, we gotta man in the house!

I shook my head not looking back as I hurdled over the rails behind me. //

Carl tip-toed down the hall sticking his gun out in front of him practically checking every step before he took it. The light at the end of the hall was creeping closer. As he swayed his weapon side to side, you could see the extent of damage a full round of shotgun shells could cause to this narrow hallway. A few papers posted to a bulletin board were torn to pieces, the wall and floor were both riddled with holes, but no trace of me or Sammie remained. Carl’s feet crunched down on the little metal beads left under his feet along with layers of plaster, dust, and torn sheets of paper. / Sammie kept low sneaking away from the opening to the hallway just as the guard reached its end. She moved deeper into the cafeteria, over to where tables and chairs crammed this open space. Crouching behind a chair didn’t do much for cover, but this was a massive room and it’d take more than a quick scan to spot her out. / Back at the cafeteria’s entrance, the barrel to Carl’s shotgun slightly edged out into the open as he psyched himself up before taking the risk of stepping outside. After one last deep breath, he walked into the arena setup more like the Colosseum than a simple cafeteria. With its upper level full of caged-in spectators circling above the dining hall all enclosed in this gigantic dome structure. The girls here wanted a show as they looked on from above. They shouted down to Sammie and the guard screaming out nonsense as they wildly shook their cell doors and banged their bars making an uproar.

Carl: Hey, quiet down, would ya!

He screamed up at the inmates waving one arm at them as the other still tightly grasped his weapon. Suddenly, he heard the sound of metal clanging against the floor to his side. Carl jumped swinging himself to the direction of the noise and let off two shells before he even had the chance to see what was there. Luckily, it was nothing. From his perspective looking around the room, the whole cafeteria was empty. But things weren’t adding up, Carl looked down to where he shattered the floors tiles with his gun. Laid there was a single clip of ammo belonging to a pistol nonstandard for prison guards. Carl bent over to pick the clip up. The mass of inmates suddenly became twice as wild cheering and screaming out. Through their calls, you could hear Damien’s distinctive male voice from within the cells.

Damien: Turn around, Carl! You idiot!

Carl’s head was up, but he couldn’t make out Damien’s words. It was too late, Sammie was right behind him. She smacked the back of his head with the blunt end of her pistol knocking Carl unconscious. The entire prison block turned electric. The inmate’s applause and cheers all directed for Sammie boomed throughout this empty dome. Sammie was hyped up by all the attention, she was all smiles as she fist-pumped her pistol up into the air feeling the love from the crowd.

Me: Come on, superstar. This is still a rescue mission. (I said floating down from above.)

Sammie still had that cocky smile as she locked her arms in with mine. I carried her out the cafeteria and down the hall up to this room with broken glass all along the floor. There was a door with a broken window deep along this hallway. Posted on the door was a warning sign with the words DANGEROUS PRISONER inscribed. Sammie slid her security card through a slot on the side of the door. Green lights flashed and the lock unhinged cracking the door open.

Sammie: First good sign all day.

Filled with excitement, I hardly even responded to her, I just flung the door open so we could both trek inside. The first bit of astonishment was seeing how beautiful the angel was before us. Her wings were unsettlingly dark, but they were strapped down to such an extent that you couldn’t help but to pity her. Sammie and I approached from opposite sides of the table leaning in with interest. Katrina awakens from her false sleep poking one eye open at a time. Our eyes met, I was still frozen in shock while she shifted from peacefully asleep to in a rage. She gasped in a breath leaving me confused. Sammie began to stealth towards me when Katrina screeched out a quick blast shooting sound waves my way. I was flung upwards breaking a hole through the ceiling. As I dropped down limply my body naturally caught itself and hovered just inches above the ground.

Sammie: Wait, you don’t understand.

Katrina didn’t wait. She arched her body up pulsing against her straps. Sammie tried to prevent her from hurting herself and held Katrina’s shoulder’s down. The second Sammie touched her, Katrina began to screech out again like she did against the guards. A loud ongoing screech that put everyone surrounding her in agony. I flopped down on the floor unable to use my powers. My face was laid down in the puddle of spilt coffee and ripped textbooks. Sammie slowly fought through the pain and crawled towards me. She was so determined she didn’t notice the broken glass between us that sliced her arms as she dragged across the floor.

Sammie: St. J (She moaned.) Do something. Wake up!

She reached out and grabbed my wrist. My fingers twitched as a light emitted shinning against the floor’s tiles where my head laid. I lifted my head up, my eyes shinned violently. I released a ghostly cry that ended Katrina’s screech and left the room quiet as my howl faded into silence.

Katrina: What was that? You two, you’re different from the others. Who are you?

I returned to my natural state. My eyes dimmed to their silver color as Sammie and I managed to get each other onto our feet.

Me: I was hoping you could tell me. My name’s Zachary St. Julien, I think you were looking for me. ////

 

 

Book 1, Chapter 8:

Escape

Prison2

 

(((Dip’s POV))) While panting heavily, we see through a low angle as the dog raced through an empty shower area. Several voices echoed through the open room from behind. / Several guards armed with assault rifles were creeping into the shower area. Their faces were each covered with helmets and shrouded with plastic shielding visors.

Guards: Where is that thing… Careful… It’s in here, I know it… Fan out! /

Dip slowed to a stop and quickly sniffed the ground with intense curiosity. He looked up to where one shower was still running hot water filling the air with steam. A puddle formed around a hair-clogged drain and had leaked across the floor over towards Dip. His flames simmered down further into his shaggy fur. As footsteps continued to echo towards him, Dip made time to lap up some of the floor water. He acted as if he had never tasted water before in his life, the warm liquid filled him with such joy he now mashed his face against the floor slurping it all down. The footsteps stopped, the guards had already made contact. They paused, unsure of how their target could have possibly caused such a difficulty for the rest of the prison’s guards. They questioned the order given to shoot on sight and decided to press closer towards the dog. The water shower water stopped flowing after its automatic cycle had completed. In the now quiet environment, Dip snapped his head up upon hearing a guard stomp his boot down into the echoing room. The guards shook seeing the Hellhound’s eyes filled with fire. He snorted out a mess of smoke and burst into flames. The puddle beneath him evaporated instantly turning to steam that mixing in with the smoke to form a multicolored cloud barrier between him and the guards. The men shot into the eruption of fire and gas until one shouted out for them to cease fire. There was a campfire’s size flame of Hellfire still burning in the spot where Dip once stood, but no other trace of him remained. The guards looked to each other, nervous and confused. Their leader took a step forward.

Lead Guard: We move up. After it! (He yelled out as all the guards charged past him.) //

Dip cut a corner smashing into a wall of the linking hallway. The was a door with a red cross on it right next to the hole in the wall Dip created. On the other side of the wall, you could hear the female nurses scream out in fear. They didn’t dare open up the door, even if they had, Dip was already gone. They were met soon later by the full platoon of prison guards all crammed together in an orderly fashion and moved after Dip down the hall. / He passed through an opening, the brightly lit cafeteria finally gave Dip the wide-open space he needed to escape. He hastened his pace dashing past the rows of cells lined up on the upper levels of the cafeteria. The prisoners yelled out to the dog calling him over and shouted out to the other inmates informing them of their visitor. Dip was unaccustomed to all this communication. He howled to them with glee as he raced across the ledge. / A guard behind him slid down to a knee just as he entered the dome. Dip howled out a 100 meters distance away from the guard, but he didn’t let his weapon waver. He fired out rounds in bursts spraying shots Dip’s way. / The bullets ricochet off the concrete walls and steel bars from lucky inmate’s cell as they safely found shelter. Dip leapt over the rail smashing into a table below destroying it. Scraps of wood and metal screws were flung at the unconscious guard, Carl, still laid off to the side of the cafeteria. The inmates again became very excited and ratted against their cell bars continuing to shout and cause a commotion. Dip shook off the blow and sprinted out forward again. He looked back to see that several guards took position along the railing resting their guns against it to make a perfect firing line. Dip burst with flames streaking out from the tip of his tail scorching the floor tiles below. He bounded up to the next level on the opposite end of the cafeteria. At his high velocity, Dip slammed against a cell block caving in its bars for a gentle landing. The large black woman inside dropped her guard hostage, Damien. The second blonde inmate with dreadlocks checked to inspect the damage. Dip was imprinted in their cell, his flames were low, and his eyes were closed. Just as the blonde girl drew close, Dip snapped to life. He bounced off their holding cell bending the bars under his paws to free himself. He looked at the two women in jumpsuits and blinked his eyes slowly towards them before he blasted up into the air twirling around mid-air to scamper away down the nearest hallway. The two women looked at each other and blinked twice, slowly, just as the dog did. A guard’s shout got them back into focus.

Guard: (Far in the distance) Remain in your cell, inmates!

Inmate: Charlene, see if you can fit through the bars!

Second Inmate: But the guards?

Inmate: They’re gunna fuck us up anyways, let’s go!

Charlene turned for the opening between two bent bars. The black woman grabbed Damien, who’s remained perfectly quiet throughout this entire ordeal with socks stuffed into his mouth and his arms bound with bra straps. Charlene is skinny and easily able to fit through. She extended one leg through the gap then grabbed the bar above her as she wedged the rest of herself through. After a second of contact with the steel bar, she could feel her hand cooking to the metal and flinched out flopping to the floor outside their cell.

Second Inmate: AH! Don’t touch the bars, they’re wicked hot.

Charlene looked down at her burnt red hand with patches of skin missing, but still, she laughed realizing where she was. Gunshots whizzed through the cafeteria soon after. Charlene dove down cradling her burnt hand. They weren’t aiming for her, the guards hopelessly shot down the hallway Dip had already escaped through. Grateful for her life, Charlene sighed in relief. She looked up as Damien hollered out with his forehead pushed against the smoking metal bar and the original inmate guiding him through from behind.

Charlene: What are you doing with him?

Inmate: Giving us some leverage, idiot. (She said giving Damien one last shove to pop him out the cell, she then easily stepped through.) Quick, follow that fucking dog. I’m getting us outta here if no one else will.

She dragged Damien up and pinned him to her body as they moved together in a rush out through the nearby hallway. They had all cleared out when a mass of guards entered the area to investigate.

Guard: Hector’s not going to like this. (He said inspecting the cell.) You want me to follow them?

Lead Guard: Yes, you in four others go. Keep this under wrap, you guys shouldn’t even be heading out there. HQ is about to put this whole shit on lockdown. They want all guards in the cafe, so get back on the double.

Guard: You got it, Sal. (He and four others moved out down the hall as the remaining guards held still awaiting orders.) ///

Me: My name’s Zachary St. Julien, I think you were looking for me.

Katrina: (She looks astonished.) A

A bright flashing light flickered from red to yellow after an alarm was triggered blasting a siren throughout every hallway. Katrina was cut off and became very frantic rustling about to escape her restraints. She looked back over to me in a panic.

Katrina: Did you come to free me?

Sammie: Yes!

Katrina: Well, come on then! You wouldn’t have gotten this far without an evacuation plan. Help me get out of these things! (She kept trying to flap her wings, but they were too well strapped to the table that was bolted to the ground.)

Me: Ok, ok, just let me concentrate.

That gave me just a few extra seconds to get my head straight and figure out how I was supposed to this. After a moment, my hands faded through the bottom of the table with my palms faced up. Sweat dripped down my brow as I struggled to focus on my abilities through all the noise, lights, and other distractions that this stressful situation had to offer. She didn’t look too sure of me as I stood over her. I moved my hands up, but I couldn’t feel anything. I didn’t know what I was looking for, so I tried reaching out to her again. This time, Katrina’s whole body became clear as a ghost. A joyful laugh slipped out in this stressful moment, reassuring me. Sammie peeked over my shoulder to see as Katrina suddenly felt the sensation of being weightless. Her eyes widened as I lifted her up. She began to move about without the feeling of being chained down and soon discovered herself to be transparent and light. With a shocked expression, she phased her arm through the restraints. I had to move up along with her as she started to rise up spreading her wings and stretched them with bliss as she leapt into the air. The second she left my grasp her body flushed with color. Katrina patted herself down instantly relieved that she was back in the flesh. Her wings were so wide that they took up the entire room as she sustained herself in mid-air for a moment. She then folded her wings behind her back and landed her thin sandals down on top of the table. Sammie and I were looking up at her with awe, even in these hasty moments, it’s still breathtaking to see an extraordinary creature from Heaven for the first time.

Katrina: Alright humans, now what? (She said leaning towards us.)

Sammie: We’re flying right through these walls and out this prison. (She said placing a hand on my shoulder.)

Katrina: What an incredible talent.

Katrina nodded trustingly and gripped my opposite shoulder. Her comment shook off the doubts building within me. I stood up tall now but noticed Katrina was nearly at my eye level. I looked back to the wall in front of us and closed my eyes. When they opened again, they glowed with white fire as we all leaned forward taking a step of pure faith. My forehead came up to the wall and passed right on through. While Sammie and Katrina, on the other hand, bashed their faces against the wall and fell back on their asses. / Ahead of me, there was a squad of guards trooping down to this section of the building that was lined with solid steel doors for solitary confinement. One inmate you could see through a tiny slot howled wildly while these guards moved with purpose. They didn’t look like regular prison guards, more like soldiers. These men had armor and much larger guns than what you’d expect for your traditional prison raid. I hadn’t noticed, but I landed down ahead of them and instantly returned to my natural state revealing myself to the guards. One yelled out and pointed in my direction. Honestly, I didn’t believe he could see me until all their weapons were directed right at me. Terrified for Sammie, I looked behind my back and was shocked not to see her there.

Me: Shit.

Armed Guard: Fire!

Me: Shit!

I yelled out again making myself intangible just in time to flee back behind the wall followed by each bullet that pelted into the slabs of concrete. / Re-entering Katrina’s confinement, Sammie had just gotten back up to her feet and rubbed the red mark on her forehead. Sammie looked fearful hearing the bullets slam against the wall, but regained her grumpy face once seeing me reappear. Her and Katrina both greeted me with the same irritated expression as I stumbled back in and fell on top of them in a hurry.

Me: Sorry, but you wouldn’t of wanted to come anyways. It’s all the noise that’s the problem! It’s hard enough to take on one passenger, let alone two!

Katrina: So, you really don’t have control of your powers yet. (She said disappointedly.)

Sammie: It’s fine, that’s why we took the card. It’ll get us out of here in one piece. (She said and opened the door back up for us.)

Me: Outside that wall, I saw a group of guys heading this was with assault rifles.

Katrina: How many?

Me: I don’t know seven or eight, something big. I let them see me too. (Equally disappointed at myself.)

Sammie: It doesn’t matter, let’s get out of here while we can! (She said yanking my arm out the door.) //

We sprinted down the hallway leading up to the cafeteria when Sammie slowed her pace down to a halt.

Me: Sammie, what the fuck!?

I yelled out over my shoulder, but she didn’t budge. She was still as a mannequin left on pause with her eyes open and glowing blue light. Her face was stuck in a fearful expression. I ran back to her grasping her face.

Me: Sammie, Sammie! Move Sammie. For Christ’s sake, we gotta go!

Her eyes focused on me, but they were still glowing. She was stuck somewhere within her own mind, still able to see me, while a vision played out in her head. // (((Sammie’s POV))) Small balls of light whipped past her flying randomly throughout the same corridor we now stood in. You could hear my muffled voice slowly come into clarity but mostly just heard her own heavy breathing. There was a slight outline of my face drawn in the background with blue lights. The last thing she heard was me repeating her name. Then, a white dot was fired, coming for Sammie, growing larger and larger as it approached until it took up the whole screen. // Sammie returned in dismay, she gasped for her next breath, only to be suffocated as I pulled her in to embrace her tightly. She was silent. I pulled back to look at her seeing she still had that same empty look in her eyes. She quickly pushed off me just as I heard multiple voices echoing through the cafeteria. Sammie’s eyes grew wide with comprehension.

Sammie: Everybody, get down!

Sammie was so afraid she kept away from me and dived to the floor where she tucked in fear. I moved ahead of her stepping towards Katrina who slid down to her knees ducking her head while her wings flapped over her body shielding herself. My face looked stressed as the silhouettes of the ten prison guards blocked off the light from the cafeteria. They stepped into the hallway’s entrance creating shadows that streaked down the hall. I froze when I needed to act, leaving myself an open target as all the guards opened fire.

Sammie: ST. J! (She screamed up at me from on the floor.)

Survival instincts kicked in turning me intangible the second I heard gunfire. I took in a soothing breath as the swarm of bullets rushed through me reminding me that I was alive. This rush of ecstasy soon faded as I realized the dangers of this situation. I was terrified again looking back to see my greatest fears had come true. Sammie had flopped into a puddle of her own blood that seeped into her clothes and spilt onto the floor. Katrina skidded back in a flash gracefully draped one wing over Sammie while shielding herself with the other. Sammie was lost from my sight, but I could see her crimson blood drained down the cracks in a straight path trailing under my feet. The closer her blood came, the more I was filled with agony. I was so lost in my own rage to the point that every breath I took in was grunted out. It felt like my body was swelling with energy that pulsed out with each deep breath. My eyes glowed brighter than ever before as I began to levitate. A lucid sound surrounded me, that of rushing water or gusting wind. I wasn’t clear anymore, but it seemed I had another form of defense as lights lashed about the space around me. Any time a bullet was fired my way, it would get smacked away by a wave of silver lights that moved in a purposeless fury. Without control, my hovering body tilted forward and crawled myself inches closer to the cafeteria. There was nothing the guards could do to stop me. They wasted shot after shot, reloading entire clips, as their crushed bullets were smacked away and left to cling off the floor. They poked at the beast I apparently had deep within me, and it was coming for them. / Back at the other end of the hall, Katrina had let Sammie pick her head up after the gunshots slowed down replaced by gusts of silver wind. Sammie’s face cringed as she moved, she had red eyes and glossy skin below them but managed to hold back the rest of her tears. Through all the pain in her eyes, you could see the amazement she showed watching me with a silver glow reflected off her face. / Most of the guards had taken cover behind tables and chairs, anything to make them feel safe against an enemy they’ve never seen the likes of before. There were more guards timidly waiting deeper within the cafeteria. As I passed through, all of the tables bolted to the floor were ripped away by sheer might and begun to swirl around me as light poured from my body. Anything else they used for cover was sucked up too. Even the guards themselves were caught up in the cyclone of silver lights. The remainder of the guards were clobbered away by chunks of debris trapped in my whirlwind as it reached its maximum size at the center of the room. From within my light tornado, I screamed out a ghostly howl which silenced the alarm and shattered every light inside the building. There was no need for them now, at this moment, I was emitting so much light, so brightly, that no one could even see what was happening before them. The flash of light intensified right before fading away with a pulse of energy. Darkness began to creep back inside the cafeteria until only my eyes were shining, and even that too faded away. I felt like I had just then regained consciousness, finding myself in a new landscape dark and unreasonably quiet. Slowly, I descended back to the floor at the center of the cafeteria. The dome seemed wider than normal as it was nearly empty with all of its tables tossed aside and squished to the corners. Everything from broken tables to injured guards had been backed to the edges of the cafeteria under heaps of more debris. Some tables had flung high enough to collide into the prison cells above freeing a few inmates with more gaps made in their cells. But instead of wilding out like you would expect from any newly freed animal, these prisoners were timid and afraid. It seemed like they almost wanted to stay in their confinements if that meant protection from the likes of me. Chairs were scattered all along the edge of the levels above, blood was splattered against a wall, and groans could be heard occasionally breaking the silence. All the guards were either dead, injured, or buried underneath random objects that rat-packed against the walls. I didn’t have the time to be shocked or to wonder about the powers I possessed, as my full attention was directed towards running back to Sammie’s side. / Katrina crouched over Sammie who was able to sit herself up and lean against one of Katrina’s spread wings. Sammie tried not to whimper, but it was impossible with her two bloody hands putting as much pressure on her thigh as she had the strength for. I hustled down the hallway refusing to let myself catch a breath before blurting out in a raspy tone.

Me: Oh, thank you God. Sammie, I thought you were dead. How bad is it?

Sammie: Well, I feel dead!

Katrina: She’s in shock.

Sammie: No, I’m in great amounts of fucking pain. God damn that fucking bullet.

She lifted her hand off her wound and ran it through her hair staining everything with blood.

Me: Sammie, you gotta keep pressure on that. (I got down and pressed my palm against her thigh. She yelped and began to pound on my back with hammer fists.) Ow! Sammie cut the shit. Stop fucking hitting me!

Sammie: You’re hurting me.

Me: You got fucking shot, Sammie! We, we gotta get you some kind of help or you’re gunna fucking die! No hospitals, no doctors, maybe Blake can help, shit my mom’s a nurse, maybe.

Sammie: St. J, shut up, quit being dramatic.

Me: What!?

Sammie: The bullet went through my leg, see. (She picked up my hand darkened by the blood). It skimmed through the outer part of my leg, no arteries, no vitals, I got very lucky.

Me: You know that’s not just some little bullet graze, right?

Sammie: Yeah, we’ll stop the bleeding, clean it up good, I’ll take it easy, but I’m going to be okay St. J.

I was so relieved to hear her say that, I had to kiss her. I pulled away standing up above her finally taking in the time to breath. I scratched my head and looked out to the destruction leading all the way up to the cafeteria. I tried to wrap my head around what had just happened, but it was all too much.

Sammie: You know, you were amazing just then. Terrifying to anyone on the other side, but your heart was in the right place. You were trying to protect me, and I don’t know how we would have made it out if you didn’t do something unexpected like that.

Me: I didn’t think I was protecting you, I thought I was avenging you. That’s what makes it worse.

Katrina: There are those in heaven who did not think you were capable of such abilities. They called you a hoax, even God said you wouldn’t be able to use your full abilities. But look at you now. With a bit of a push, we’ll see what you really are in no time.

Me: Yeah, probably, I don’t know though. Let’s just get out of here, we’ve wasted enough time.

Sammie: Hold up, I’m sorry, I don’t even know your name.

Katrina: Katrina.

Sammie: Katrina, are you really saying you’re from heaven. That you’ve talked to thee God.

Katrina: Yes, my father is an archangel, so he works more closely with God than others, so I’ve always been… Oh my, they still have my bag! Can you two excuse me for a second? I know exactly where they put it, it’s down the hall here.

I nodded my head and let Katrina race on ahead to get her things as I crouched down next to Sammie.

Me: Come on, you.

I went to go pick her up, but she leaned towards me suspiciously making herself look busy by ripping off the bottom lining of my shirt where there was already a tear.

Me: What are you…

Sammie: Did you hear that? (She whispered obnoxiously then wrapped the scraped cloth like a bandage around her thigh.)

Me: What exactly, my head’s still processing?

Sammie: She said she talked to God, the God. Mr. Creator of the world.

Me: Well, she is an angel, so…

She tethered her bandage to her wound and wrapped one arm around my shoulder as a signal for me to lift her. I wedged my arm in between her knees carefully avoiding the wound on her thigh, but the pain was inevitable as she was lifted off the ground. Her nails dug into my shoulder as she cringed.

Me: Sorry. (I said looking down at her as she bit her lip trying not to show the pain on her face.)

Sammie: Does it not bother you? (My eyebrow jumped at the question. Sammie’s nails dug deeper into my shoulder with every step I took down the hall.) I know your parents are religious, but you never were. Doesn’t it hurt a little? We were wrong this whole time, we thought we could explain things we had no business in. We thought we were better for not believing in something that we couldn’t prove.

Me: I never really knew what I believed. But hey, why is this hitting you now? Three days after I came back to life I told you that I met a magic man from Hell and that I could see heaven’s light at the end of a white tunnel. Was that not enough to get you to reconsider the whole religion thing?

Sammie: I don’t know, it wasn’t enough. (I scoffed.) Well not enough to make some serious life changes.

We reached the cafeteria entrance lined with piles of broken metal and food scraps that I hovered over and continued to float across the opening and into the next corridor.

Sammie: If Hell’s real, and there’s bad people out to get us, that makes sense. But you start saying that God’s real and anybody can have eternal happiness, I don’t know. It sounds too good to be true, right?

Me: I don’t know what to tell ya. Last week I thought werewolves were only in cheap sci-fi movies, and people couldn’t come back from the dead. But lately, I’ve realized that the world’s hell of a lot more confusing than I previously thought, so I’m just going to hear the angel girl out and hope it’s all good news.  

I was hovering down the next hallway when Katrina came soaring in from behind with a dark purple bag in her hand. The cloth of this bag looked silky, like your hand would glide right across it. The bag was lined with golden threads framing its edges all the way up to where they made a delicate bow at the opening of the bag.

Sammie: Not your average carry-on, huh?

Katrina: What? This was a gift from my father.

She pulled the golden thread to open the bag and pulled out two thick, chrome, cuff bracelets and slid one through her wrist. This fine jewelry sparkled even in the dim emergency lights that appeared along the edges of the floor and ceiling. The silver cuff bracelet expanded once Katrina slipped it on, nearly taking up Katrina’s entire forearm.

Katrina: It’s something he gave me a long time ago. I don’t know when I’ll see him again, but this helps.

Sammie: You’re dad, the angel?

Katrina: Archangel.

Me: Ok, everybody! We’ve been down here long enough. Katrina, can we leave now?

Katrina: Wait. (She stealthfully walked in our direction.)

Sammie: Katrina, we’ve…

Katrina hushed Sammie and tip-toed to the corner of the hall leaning against it for a second before springing into action. She leapt out in front of two armed men and screeched in their faces as she flapped her wings. With just one fierce blow, they were both knocked back several feet by a rush of gusting wind. I swiftly brought Sammie around the corner only to see that the action was over as I found the two men groaning on the floor.

Katrina: Would you two mind taking care of them, I can’t get this last cuff on for the life of me. (She said struggling to slip on the bracelet while pacing away down the hall. It looked too small for her to fit it through her wrist, a large blade popped out from one side of the jewelry as she messed around with it. The blade nearly cut her then was quickly recoiled.)

Me: Hold up, what exactly do you mean by that?

Sammie: Katrina! How’s he supposed to do…

Sammie started to mouth her off but was silenced with pain as I rushed over to kick one of the guns out of the guard’s hand as he lifted it our way. Sammie flicked out her pistol with her free hand waving it back and forth between the two guards while still clinging onto me.

Me: Whoa, yo, let’s chill out here guys. Alright, keep it cool! (I turned to whisper loudly to Sammie.) The fuck do we do with ‘em!?

Sammie: I don’t know, did Katrina want us to… (She nudges her pistol towards their two captives.)

Me: No! (I said in a doubtful tone.)

Sammie: Ok, I know, do your thing. Just do it quick and get us out of here.

I nodded then took a step towering over one of the guards below. Sammie had her gun pointed right at them, but they didn’t show any signs of intimidation as I stepped forward. My eyes lit up as wind rushed all around me. One guard rustled beside his comrade, the two bodies hide his arm from my view. I didn’t notice the gun pointing my direction until it was cocked back. Without a flinch, a current of silver light whiplashed in front of me with a loud buzzing sound from concentrated energy. The energy beam crossed over one guard and struck the other with an explosive force. I hadn’t moved a muscle, the only actual reaction from me was my eyes dimming down revealing my flabbergasted face. Below me, the pistol flopped down to my feet, it was busted, smashed in, and crooked. One of the guards coughed out a mouthful of dust and looked to the other finding him dead to the right of him with a hole the size of a grapefruit in his chest. Shards of concrete from underneath were smashed up inserting themselves in the guard’s gaping wound and were scattered throughout the hall. I backed away from the scene, my hands shook rocking Sammie only increasing her pain, but she didn’t make a sound. The guard was freaking out even worse than either of us.

Guard: Clyde!

He screamed out the guard’s name over and over shaking the corpse, but there was no coming back. Devastated, he crawled forward to pick up the broken pistol limply pointing it my way. I stepped away from him, deciding our conflict was over, but Sammie held her weapon right back at him. Before I could stop either of them, Katrina came striding through. She full on punted the dude’s face without remorse then continued down the hall.

Katrina: Nevermind, I got it! Quickly, let us escape before more come! (She took off and I was forced to fly after her.)

Me: What the fuck was that! I have no control over this thing!

Sammie: It was an accident, he forced you to.

Me: Why can’t I just flick my finger and the gun flies out of his hand!? Why’s it got to be a light show, smashing, and destruction!? What kind of power is that, why do I have this!?

Sammie: St. J! Wall! Wall, wall, wall, wall, wall!

We raced towards a check-in station where inmate’s folded jumpsuits were flying off the rack. Katrina’s powerful wings sent every loose item surrounding her into the air as she passed through. She swooped under the turnstile gate rolling through the small walkway behind it. Her wings shot her right back up to her feet as she uncoiled and pounced forward with a quick rush of motion. She gained enough speed to successfully break through what she must have assumed was a locked door up ahead. / Sammie and I were not far behind. I paused my rant just in time to turn us intangible before colliding into the walled off area.

Me: And how come I can fly and do this ghost shit so easily, but everything else is such a goddamn mystery?

Sammie: St. J, don’t you think we should help out Katrina? /

Katrina barreled through the doors falling into some kind of office space. The room was cleared out in a hurry with papers left everywhere and chairs knocked over. Armed men from both the prison and police departments flooded into the room after hearing the door break down. The door ground against the floor sliding her a few feet into the room. Just as the men opened fire. Katrina tossed the door as if it were a frisbee knocking through a few guards, but more men took their place. She coiled her wings around her, at opposing angles then fluffed them out until there was only a narrow gap of vulnerability where the tip of her wings met. She ran straight past a large group of officers each taking their shots as they moved into the room from a narrow opening. She leaped up lashing her wings open to fling crushed bullets that flew out her wings like a spread shot. The pelted guards paused as Katrina pivoted her body towards a heavily armored guard wielding a riot shield who stood his ground in front of her. She drop-kicked the man cramming him between the wall and his protective gear. She then picked up his riot shield, holding it up high while looking through the scuffed glass. With a flick of her wing, her feathered appendage smacked the few guards ahead of her back through the open windows of the hallway from which they came. Katrina stepped into the hallway jolting forward with bounding steps fueled by her flapping wings. She plowed through the line of cops congested in the hallway until they were packed into the corner in a big pile. She strutted away from the mess chucking the riot shield further down the other end of the hall where more men tried to enter.

Me: I think she’s got it. Hey Katrina, over here. (I said reappearing behind her.)

Katrina: I cleared out the area. You kept up well.

Me: Yeah, it’s sorta cheating compared to… (I started before shots started flying towards us. Katrina’s wing shielded Sammie and I before I turned to move down another doorway. Katrina followed us closely.) Down this way!

I glided forward towards a set of double doors that Katrina raced up to open for us. The doors flung open and in came the bullets. We yanked Katrina back behind the door as this single machine gunner kept us at bay. We were unable to make it through the next hallway where large windows curved down the corridor each blocked off with metal bars. There was only a moment for Katrina to catch her breath before the cops behind us caught up, and again, we flooded back into the office space. Katrina’s wings held back the bullets for the moment, but I had already turned Sammie and myself clear. Without any visual indication of where I was, Katrina heard my voice in front of her.

Me: Can you hold up long enough for me to take out the gunner!?

Katrina: Go!

We jetted out through the double doors to the hall, a simple passageway between two wings of the prison. Taking position behind the gunner was no trouble within this state. We landed beside the SWAT member, he was on one knee lining up his shot with the assault rifle rested upon sandbags anticipating the angel to break through those doors at any second. Switching us out of our clear state was the signal. Sammie instantly fired a shot through the back of the man’s thigh cutting through his kneecap. He screamed out in both surprise and pain.

Sammie: Yeah, it fucking hurts doesn’t it!

The man flopped down to the floor, but his gun magically moved up into the air and into my arms like someone was there handing it to me.

Me: Katrina!

I shouted kicking the SWAT agent pushing him away from me. Katrina didn’t hesitate to escape. The door cracked open and Katrina slipped through slamming the door behind her before running towards us. Seconds after window to the door was shot out I returned fire giving Katrina some cover. The recoil flung me off my balance, it was nearly impossible to aim and shoot with Sammie still clinging on to my side. Before the both of us could fall, I floated up and continued to fire.

Sammie: Behind us.

Sammie called out. She took her hand off her wound and gripped her pistol with bloody fingers. Her arm swung out behind me as she fired shots down the other opening. We were getting sandwiched in as officers, guards, and SWAT teams alike came hustling in. I could see exit signs down that direction, but it couldn’t be worth the risk. I took a few steps away from the opening and back into the hall. Katrina was barricading the double doors with her wings alone braced against to door as she flexed her legs back. Sammie looked at me as I blocked off her line of fire and continued to walk towards Katrina into the narrowing hall.

Me: Katrina, get ready. We’re going out the window. (I said pointing the assault rifle towards the steel bars fortifying the nearest window.)

Sammie: That won’t work…

I sprayed my shots hitting the window, the wall, and the bars. Shots ricocheted off the metal bouncing all throughout the room along with shards of glass and plaster. My eyes looked wild while behind the hunk of machinery firing round after round.

Me: Come on! Break, damn it!

I screamed out as a wind whipped around me. The bullets kept flying as streaks of light lashed out towards the wall pounding against it so hard the hits sounded like explosions. The door at the end of the hall opened and the officers watched the chaos as energy streamed from my body. The wall before me was torn apart in pieces, bricks exploded out of place as the gunfire continued. White streams of light slithered around the barrel of my gun as energy beams whiplashed through the air blasting holes through the wall. They struck just as randomly as my machine gun, but sure enough, the window space was opened, along with chunks of the wall surrounding it. The gunfire halted and the assault rifle slipped from my hand. I limply floated into the air carrying Sammie with both arms. I breathed in heavy pants while furiously looking through the massive hole in the wall I had created. Katrina instantly leapt through the opening spreading her wings out wide to almost stop herself in space. I let out a ghostly war cry as I made myself intangible and passed through the guard’s last attempt of pegging me down. The guards panicked out to the location they saw me last, but I was gone with streaks of energy still trailing through the hole. Sammie hollered out too as we made dips and loop the loops through the open space in the sky. We bolted away from the prison but could hear them shouting out to us with the occasional shot fired. I moved up to Katrina reappearing in her presence.

Katrina: I’ll fly on ahead and distract the men blocking you. It’s the least I can do. But can you promise me that we’ll meet again, somewhere safe?

Sammie: Of course, we didn’t go through all that trouble just to lose you now.

Me: I’ll go to that store where you were first taken by the police. Do you know how to get there?

Katrina: I’ll be able to find it.

Me: Great, we’ll see you there.

Katrina: Wish me luck.

She said swooping in towards the field outside the prison. Katrina cut through the air spinning as she accelerated down over what looked like the entire police department parked outside of the prison. The men below readied their weapons and kept their eyes sharp to the sky until one finally pointed out the angel flying above. She opened her dark wings, blocking out the sun, becoming nothing more than a silhouette gliding down from above. She wrapped her wings around herself and begun to plummet as the army below opened fire all at once. The bullets made their mark more and more the closer she got to Earth. Just as the gunfire became unbearable, she reached the surface and was forced to spread her wings out stopping herself abruptly in midair. The force of this maneuver was so strong that every man within a thirty-foot radius was knocked down to the ground and blown away pelted by their own bullets. / Sammie and I were clear moving through the disorderly madness. Officers struggled to stay on their feet through Katrina’s gust. With Sammie in my arms, I faded through the men cautiously watching the event unfold around us. / A few feet ahead, Katrina took two steps forward before stomping off the ground and leaped above us. The shocked officers in the mix had no idea what do against her as she soared low in their direction. With a flap of her wings,  Katrina shot into the air at the same time as a helicopter curved around the side of the prison. The helicopter’s speaker crackled as it dipped in Katrina’s direction. /

Helicopter: Land now and come quietly or you will be shot down.

The helicopter was filled with men wielding large guns each equipped with scopes of varying degrees. They spun the helicopter around to line up the soldier’s shots, but by the time the copter steadied, Katrina was nowhere in sight, leaving the men puzzled. Suddenly, the helicopter rocked to one side. The men were forced to hold onto the latches or risk being flung out the vehicle. / Katrina was below them swinging on one of the helicopter’s landing beams. She rocked it good until it almost tilted over to its left side. One of their large gunners dropped falling past Katrina and to the ground below. She swung off the bar kicking the base of the chopper, which tilted it even further to one side. The helicopter was now swirling out of control, but the pilot was able to stabilize it to some degree slamming it down hard on the prison’s roof to avoid a full-on crash. The helicopter skidded against concrete destroying its landing gear until it finally smacked into a ledge to come to a stop. / The pilot inside slammed his fist against the reading dials in the cockpit as he watched Katrina fly away across the field. / Lower to the ground where yellow tape and police blockades blocked off parts of the field from the prison stood Agent Sullivan. He wore a stern yet composed look upon his face. His ear piece buzzed an indistinguishable voice from the other end of his call. Agent Sullivan pulled his sleeve up to speak into the hidden mic.

Agent Sullivan: That’s a negative, I do not have visual. (More buzzing in his ear.) No call it off, I doubt this will be the last we hear from them.

He said confidently with his chest puffed out even in defeat. He looked off to the side as if he could feel someone watching him. His eyes showed curiosity, but that soon faded as he had other business to return to. / In the background, a clear version of Sammie and I hovered past Agent Sullivan keeping an eye on him as we continued further through the field phasing through the fence and all the surrounding police cars. There was barking coming from behind us, in the outskirts of the field.

Sammie: Do you see that over there?

Me: I wish I didn’t.

Sammie: Go help him!

Me: I’d rather get you to a doctor. (Her stern expression didn’t alter.) Alright, alright.

We hovered over to where Dip was backed into the wall by four riot control guards. Two of them used their riot shields to slam Dip back while the other two would spray cans of mace down into his face. Tinted orange, Dip lunged up at the man spraying mace and chomped down on his arm. But not before long, another guard had slammed him back down while the rest approached. Dip stopped growling from the ground and looked over to our direction as Sammie and I dropped in close. My eyes flashed silver with rage as I threw out my fist towards one of the men, but nothing happened.

Me: There’s not much I can do while I’m like this.

Sammie: Then fight him face to face, you’ve done this before! (The guards below looked around confused hearing our voices not seeing another civilian around in sight.)

Dip: Master!?

Me: Alright! Dip, put in a little effort, we’re getting out of here!

Dip’s black shaggy fur ignited with red flames that scorched the men’s shields driving them away. I switched out of my intangible state and immediately was surrounded by rushes of wind. The guards who witnessed my sudden appearance idled in fear as I hovered above and slapped them away lightly. Dip broke through the mess and continued to blast heat. As the crowd scattered, I held on tight and dropped to the ground still rushing about with Sammie in my arms.

Sammie: See, you’ve got this down. You didn’t even kill anybody this time.

Me: I never…

I grunted out before being interrupted. An officer seemed to pop up out nowhere very close by. He only had a pistol, but it was quickly pointed my way. The silver wind moved so fast it cracked through the air. The cop’s body folded as he was spontaneously struck in the side by some force. His body spun through the air before coming down grinding his face into the dirt. I cringed watching what I had done, the man’s body came to a halt flopping face first into the grass. More guards in the distance took notice and ran over to him. He laid in the dirt sobbing, but it was relieving to hear that he lived despite his condition. It would have looked a lot better if the situation hadn’t forced me into an awkward smile. /

Distant Guard: Hey, those are the two from inside the prison! /

Dip: If you’re not going to be stealthy Master, then you better have the legs to run.

Dip said racing past us. I leapt up into the air after him and whizzed out ahead of the dog. There was a fence coming up that blocked off the little stretch of woods followed by multiple rows of highway. I started to curve up above the fence as gunshots were fired from behind us. With a pulse of energy and the wave of my hand, the top section of the fence was split open wide enough for me and Dip to hurdle over and escape into the woodland. /

Agent Sullivan was in utter disbelief as he looked to the split fence across the field from him. An attendant dressed in no more than a shirt and tie raced out to the agent once the gunfire had ceased. The short jog from the police van seemed to have him winded.

Attendant: Agent Sullivan, do you want your car. There’s still time to track them down.

Agent Sullivan: Track them, possibly. Catch them, no. I want you to go over footage, we’re not making any more moves until I know exactly what all their cards in hand are.

There was a slight pause after, but the serious look in Sullivan’s eyes screamed, “Now!” The attendant shuffled away towards the prison leaving Sullivan to stare back out into the short patch of woods ahead. //

My small car curved around the exit ramp of the highway. Any faster, and we would have been sure to flip. I took the next right and sharply turned into an empty parking lot of the familiar looking store where Katrina was told to meet us. Sammie groaned in pain as the car rocked forward and I put the car in park.

Me: Sorry about that.

Sammie: I’d rather you not drive like a maniac, than be sorry about it.

Me: Had to do something to get us out of there. And look, we made it just fine.

Sammie: I’m fine for now, but I still lost a lot blood and am fugitive to add, so goodbye hospital care.

Me: I know, I’m working on it. (I searched the sky for black wings.) I’ll be right back.

Sammie: Uhg, I don’t care. Just make this pain go away. (I nodded knowing nothing in this small supermarket would do the trick.) But be quick, Katrina shouldn’t be much longer now. (She said in a slight groan.)

Dip started to crawl across the backseat and through the window to follow me out.

Me: No Dip, stay in the car with Sammie. I’m just getting some medicine while no one’s in the store.

Dip: Come on, let me tag along. I’m still amped up from all the excitement.

Me: A hyped up flaming Pitbull is the last thing I need right now. Just stay in the car, ok, stay, stay.

Dip: I know eight different languages, you ass. I’m not some braindead mutt you found off the streets that can’t tell the difference between their own feces and a bowl of Kibbles and Bits.

I sighed out of patience and floated off into the store that was lined top to bottom with yellow tape and boarded up in other sections. Sammie watched me glide off then disappear suddenly midway through the lot. She tried to get comfortable, cautiously shuffling around in her seat until she allowed herself to close her eyes. But in the background, police sirens blared from half a mile away before soon fading out. Dip kept sniffing loudly up in the air. He then moved from the left side of the backseat to the right whimpering with his head looking straight up out the window. / Sammie looked irritated but didn’t say a thing until Dip started to bark up at the sky.

Sammie: Dip! What the fuck.

She yelled at him as she looked out the window to see Katrina circling the building where I had trekked inside.

Dip: You didn’t tell me we were saving an angel! (Katrina spiked down to the ground fast pounding a hole in the concrete with her fist.)

Katrina: Where is Zack St. Julien?

Sammie: He’s in the store, but you can just call him St. J, though. You sound so official and strange calling him that.

Katrina: Why, that’s his name?

Sammie: Yeah, but nobody, and I mean nobody calls him that. It’s been St. J his whole life. His boss, teachers, practically the whole school called him St. J, he’ll barely look up if you say Zack.

Katrina: You humans have such strange customs. /

I was seen flying back across the lot to the car with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a few rolls of gauze curled up in my arm like a football. I touched down waving to Katrina as I landed.

Me: Alright Katrina, do you want to ride with us, see how us humans live?

Katrina: Oh, very much, yes.

Sammie: Yup, my werewolf sister, boyfriend back from the dead, and redneck father. You know, your typical nuclear family.

Unaffected, Katrina eagerly slid into the backseat of my car practically forcing Dip out the window as her wings crammed up the backseat. I shut the door behind her once her wings were clear and moved up to the front seating myself down comfortably. I glanced over to Sammie as a black feather flew past her face, she was staring right at me with an obnoxiously depressing grumpy face. She struggled to keep her leg locked straight while her seat was being pushed forward by Katrina’s wings braced against the back of her chair. Her feathers jabbed through openings into the front seats poking Sammie in the cheek. I ignored her indifferent face and flashed her a big stupid smile as I started my engine and drove out the lot. ///

Agent Sullivan parked his all-black state regulated car outside of a motel room. He killed the engine and rummaged through his pocket for his cellphone but hesitated before dialing a number. An elegant man’s voice responded first, only allowing the phone to ring once.

Phone: Sullivan, sounds like you’ve had a rough day. How about you tell me what in God’s name happened back at the prison.

Agent Sullivan: Nothing you couldn’t decipher from the news. The angel got away, we failed.

Phone: Never should have trusted those commoners with something like this we should have brought her directly to our facilities.

Agent Sullivan: We should have, but the public would never let up on us, we’d still be hearing about it and would continue to for weeks.

Phone: True, but never-the-less, we are now facing a serious predicament. There is a dangerous creature in our world and I suspect she will not be the last we see.

Agent Sullivan: My thoughts exactly, sir. I have reason to believe that the allegedly deceased Zachary St. Julien had a part to play in this woman’s escape.

Phone: I’d call you insane if I hadn’t heard she was already looking for the boy. Do you suppose the two are working together?

Agent Sullivan: What I know is that these two are both powerful, they are different than me and you, different than humans…

Phone: Obviously.

Agent Sullivan: As obvious as the two are working together.

Phone: I see. (There was a moment of silence. / We view the elegant man on the other end of the phone call. He wore a tailored suit that he was constantly adjusting while looking out to the skyline view of an animated city.) Agent, I’m sending you the information of a contact, a man I wish for you to get along with as he will be helping you on your mission following this case.

Agent Sullivan: A contact, sir? You’re talking about someone outside the agency?

Phone: Sullivan, it’s time we look for people of qualification to this new world. /

Agent Sullivan: (Switching back to Sullivan, he angrily stepped out his car, slammed the door, and leaned against its side.) New World? Qualifications? Who exactly are you looking into!?

Phone: John McHall, he has over a decade of experience in…

Agent Sullivan: He’s a maniac, a savage, criminal.

Phone: He’s a hunter, Sullivan. Just like you. Except his prey is much more ferocious and bizarre than any terrorist case or biological threat I’ve ever given you.

Agent Sullivan: I cannot believe you are trusting a mad man with our equipment, our intelligence! There’s no shortage of risks if you fall through with this.

Phone: None of that will happen, not with you working closely with Mr. McHall.

Agent Sullivan: He’s going to get me killed, if he doesn’t kill me myself. I pursued him for months, sir. /

Phone: So, you know better than others the type of creatures this man hunted. Beasts that most men couldn’t dream of in their worst nightmares. Like it or not, you know nothing of this line of work. I found someone who does. Let him do his job, and yours is to keep him out of trouble and keep him alive. Do you understand, Agent Sullivan? /

Agent Sullivan: Oh, I understand, sir. Your will shall be done.

With that, he slammed his flip phone shut pounding the device against the top of his car denting it.

Agent Sullivan: Fucking John McHall! They hired a bounty hunter for monsters, the fucking CIA! I’ve heard a million things, but I’d never seen them so desperate, God! Those cowardly pricks are ruining the organization. (An elderly woman had stepped out her building and started dialing away on her phone. The look she gave the agent a disgusted look.) Piss-off lady, don’t bother calling the cops. I’m above them.

He said lightly before he stormed into his motel room with an aggressive slam of the door leaving the old woman horrified and alone. Appearing to be shocked, she continued on with her phone conversation. //

A rugged man walked up to a set of steps allowing himself to enter an expensive looking private jet. He had a grizzly beard and a thick leather jacket that almost concealed the long machete he kept on his right hip. His shotgun, however, was not at all hidden. The weapon swayed freely from the strap slung to his shoulder. He had a beastly smile on his face as he took off his sunglasses and tossed them aside to the ground below. A man dressed like a butler stopped John McHall halfway into his ascension through the stairwell.

Flight Attendant: Excuse me, Mr. McHall, but weapons of any kind are not permitted on this or any airline.

John: Well, I’m sorry… (He picked up the attendant’s name tag, giving it little attention as he ripped it off the man’s chest.) Pal. But I don’t have and weapons on me. No, what you see here are tools. Tools used for a very important job, a job your employer trusted to me. So, I am going to try my fuckin’ best not to test these tools out on your little decrepit body. I really want to, but I’m going to hold back these urges. So, could you help me out here buddy, and step off, so I don’t have to cave in your stubbly little face. (John McHall stepped in close to the attendant whispering the last few lines. The attendant turned quickly masking his fear and walked up the rest of the steps. John followed closely behind. As he reached the top and entered the plane, he saw the attendant speed walking away.) Oi, where you going, mate. I’m still going to need my drink and peanuts!

He yelled out to the assistant before he escaped out of ear range. The cocky smile had not faded from his face as he strolled down the aisle tossing one of his bags onto an empty seat and sat himself down nowhere near his luggage. His instantly became relaxed kicking his shoes off and pulled a cigarette out from within his jacket pocket. ////

 

 

Book 1, Chapter 9:

The Angel of Death

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(((In Black & White)))

Surrounded by darkness, this realm was empty, but you could hear the angels chanting. Footsteps tap on the wooden floors as a figure passed through hidden without light.

Seraphim: Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!

Gabriel opened the wooden door at the end of the hall to let God’s domain bring light into the darkness. The Seraphim looked in his direction, their eyes were shielded from the light with their wings draped over their faces. They continued to chant that phrase over and over with lovely repetition. /

Gabriel: My Lord, you wanted to see me.

God spun a realistic globe from his desktop. He stared into it with great intensity as if he were looking for something. Gabriel walked right up to him along the barren all-white plain that is God’s home.

God: Ah Gabriel, you have arrived. (He stood up with him.) I have something very exciting for you.

Gabriel: Is that so? I’m grateful Father, what did you bring me?

God: It’s not what I’m bringing you, it’s what I will allow for you. I have watched over you since your creation. You have been my most beloved out of all my angels and archangels alike. Because of this, I believe you deserve something very special.

Gabriel: Father, this is unnecessary. It brings me enough pleasure to have the honor to stand at your side by your throne.

God: Ah, lies! You know you should get more, and why not, you deserve it. (He sets the large marble globe off the table.) Another thing I have observed is your fondness for Amitiel. I wish for you to wed her, if you both agree.

Gabriel: Are you sure, my Lord!? There has never been a wedding in Heaven. It’s not something any angel has ever done before.

God: This is true, and there will never be another. It is my gift to you, Gabriel. I trust her as much as I do you, and the child you will bear will be the first angel to be born outside of my own creation.

Gabriel: I-I do not know what to say. Thank you, Father.

God: It is fine by me. It gives me pleasure to see you so filled with such joy. Go, go tell Amitiel the news. Go tell everyone! We will throw a wedding so tremendous that we will shake Hell’s ceiling and they will be envious of such a celebratory event.

Gabriel flew out the door with a large grin on his face. //

Gabriel approached a beautiful home. Its walls were made of pure marble and a spectacular yard to match laid out front. The grass was bright and trimmed into patterns with incredible precision layering each blade of grass into symmetrical designs that stretched across the massive lawn. Amitiel was just outside the door, she looked surprised to see Gabriel standing on her porch. She was a beautiful brunette with blue eyes and a thin waist that faded down into a wavy ghost-like entity that made up her lower body. She was the spirit of a beautiful woman, one who now lived amongst the angels in heaven. Through the window, you could see the two of them talking. They both grew happier and more excited with every word shared. They came together to kiss in a picture-perfect location framed beautifully by the window opening. //

Gabriel and Amitiel made their way along a hovering platform to a sacred area elevated several feet above the ground. They seemed to be below Heaven, it was darker here with all the light of their world shining far above their location. Below the platforms, there was nothing, a vast wasteland trenching deep into this dimension. As the two beings stepped onto the hovering sacred island, the land mass rocked with each of their added weight. Once on top, the ground stabilized, and they began to explore it with awe. There were twelve pillars, each made from a different material. Rock, sandstone, wood,  pure vegetation, diamond, gas, metal, and ice, there were pillars made of light and darkness, of molten rock, and the last one which swirled with electric currents. These formations surrounded a white stone bench with a small pond moat circling the bench. (((The pillars were the only thing in color.))) God was behind the bench awaiting the two as they approached.

God: Come before me. (God took a step back and they stood in front of the bench.) Are you both ready? (Both Gabriel and Amitiel nodded silently. They tried to appear serious, but the extreme joy that they felt forced them to smile.) What I am doing with you has not been done in many years. It’s a powerful ritual that you will need my help to complete, because today, it is your turn to make something beautiful. All you must do is think about what you want this child to look like. Picture the baby before yourself. What it will look like, who will they become? Anything, and I will do the rest. I’ll ask again, are you ready?

Gabriel & Amitiel: (After a slight pause, they looked at each other and continued.) Yes, Father.

God placed his hands on each of their shoulders. The light blue flames that God radiated slowly rose until they consumed all three beings and the fire burst up high and roared with bright lights. All of the pillars began to glow growing brighter and brighter until the light was so intense that you could only see a sketch of everyone’s outline.

God: You need to concentrate!

He hollered over the intense sound of rushing energy. God’s holy fire burned with a roaring power as each of the pillars hummed with energy. An even brighter light emerged from the bench followed by a clash of static. After that, all other sound had died out. Each of the pillar’s light went out, one by one, in order. Once every pillar returned to their natural state of elemental quality, the scene was dramatically dimmed down. Even God’s flames had died to a below normal length. A sigh could be heard out of both exhaustion and relief after the procedure had been completed.  Lying there on the bench, naked and cooing, was a newborn baby with gorgeous white wings and marble-like green eyes. Amitiel picked up her child and cradled her in her arms. Gabriel rested his head on her shoulder to get a glimpse of his newly born girl.

Gabriel: She’s beautiful.

God: Yes, a perfect child. What name will you give her?

Amitiel: Katrina, for she will be raised to be pure.

Focusing in on the baby’s polished green eyes. //

(((Back to Color.))) The green in Katrina’s eyes flourished with color as you could now see her as an adult. She’s seated on a leather couch in Sammie’s house. Jo sat beside her, in what little space remained between her and those massive wings. Dan, as always, was in his recliner chair, both in deep conversation with Katrina.

Katrina: But what I can say for sure is that, despite what’s happened, I made the right decision coming to Earth. I saw the influence of Lucifer back in that prison. The guards, the women, they all had so much pain. Together, we can prevent further chaos from breaking loose.

Dan: Are you still talking about your regular scum of the Earth citizens, or are you referring to the actual demons that came out of the dimensional tear, which is how you entered our country, correct?

Jo: Dan, stop interrogating our guest.

Katrina: It’s quite all right, I’m sure you have as many questions, as I do.

Sammie and I entered the room from the basement. You could hear us slowly stomping up the steps, on account of Sammie’s injury. Her leg was bandaged up well for a home job, and after just a day of resting, she only needed a cane to help her move around. I also did my best to aid her up the stairs, or wherever else we went. I allowed her to lean some of her weight on me as she draped one arm over my shoulder.

Dan: I’ve got one for ya. It’s been buggin’ me for a while now. So, you really have no idea what St. J is? (He said looking over towards me as I appeared in the room. I didn’t look too thrilled to be put on the spot or to see Dan questioning Katrina. In fact, everyone gave Dan a questionable look.) What!? I just thought she would know. Wasn’t that the whole reason you rescued her? (Katrina grew a puzzled look on her face.)

Me: Yes, I took a risk hoping she could give me some answers, but it was still a risk worth taking. She can fly, fight, and come on; we have an angel from Heaven right here in front of us. Katrina might not know what I am but think of all the other questions she could answer for us.

Jo: I’m still getting over the whole, she’s an angel thing. Are all angels’ wings really so black?

Katrina: No, none of them are. Not even all angels have wings. My father doesn’t because he’s an archangel, other higher angels don’t need them either.

Dan: So where does that place you?

Katrina: Place me? There is no hierarchy in Heaven. We all have a purpose in God’s plan. Everyone falls in line and all roles have an equal part to play in his greater scheme of things. My Father is strong because that is how the Lord made him. Because of this, he was able to travel to Earth many times. (Pause, Katrina’s head sunk.) I probably should have asked him for a way to return back home before I left.

Sammie: You stranded yourself here to help us?

Katrina: A dimensional rip is only a one-way ticket, so I suppose so.

Me: Katrina, we can help you find a way to get home.

Katrina: Don’t bother. My mission is here, where my Father left off. It’s was his job to maintain the human race, to keep them from spiraling into self-destruction.

Dan: A little late. (He sneered under his breath as Katrina continued.)

Katrina: I hate to say it, but I agree. This world is not at all what I expected from the land of God’s children. Some angels hate humans, but my Father always fought for them. He would describe you to me as lost souls fueled by ambition. I would ask why no one helps you and he would say that you would one day find your own way and our worlds would meet in harmony.

Sammie: That sounds so beautiful.

Dan: Yeah, if you believe in all that…

Jo stomped on Dan’s foot silencing him before he could bring further embarrassment to their species.

Jo: This must all be so confusing for you, I’m so sorry sweetie. We don’t have to talk about all this now if you don’t want to.

Katrina: No, no, you’ve all done so much for me from opening up your home to returning me my freedom. I will answer any question to the best of my abilities.

Dan: Well, alright then. How about this, it’s the question we’ve all been dying to know, literally… What’s Heaven like?

Katrina: (She looked puzzled really needing time to think about this.) It’s bright.

Sammie: Bright? (She said laughing.)

Katrina: I don’t know! How do you describe something as common to you as your home? To me, this place is very different and strange. I don’t know how to use any of these things that you have and manage so easily. (She looked across out to all the different kitchen appliances behind her.)

Me: It’s alright, nobody expects you to be used to life on Earth on your first day. The way I see it, as long as we share similar goals, Katrina, you have a life here with us. (Sammie tugged on my sleeve.) And talking about having a life, this leads me to my next…

Sammie: Do you guy’s mind looking after Katrina for us? We’ll just be out for a few hours.

Jo: You’re going out!? Sammie, where!? You were just shot yesterday, you’re supposed to be resting.

Sammie: Mom, I’ve been in bed all day. I can’t stand being cooped up inside. I don’t know why, maybe because I’m a Warg, but I’m starting to feel better. Like I still have a bad wound, I know that, so I’ll take it easy. But none of us know how any of this works, so maybe I can take a hit better than most people.

Me: It’s true, both of us don’t heal as fast as Nikki, but look at the bite you guys bandaged up for me when I first showed up here. (I rolled up my sleeve revealing a nasty scar.) See, it’s healed.

Jo: I don’t know you t…

Dan: Well, there’s not much I can do against two supernatural teenagers…

Jo: Dan!

Dan: What? At least let me hear what’s so important that they need to leave for. Where are you guys heading? (Jo switched from glaring at Dan to Sammie.)

Sammie: We’re gunna go see a movie. Like we said, be back in a few hours. (She nudged me to help her out the door.)

Jo: What if someone sees you?

Sammie: It’s too dark.

Jo: You two are in major trouble with the law, you can’t be irresponsible like this.

Sammie: There’s not going to be a cop at the movies.

Jo: Then I just plain won’t allow it. (Sammie was beginning to fume with anger.)

Me: I just have to make sure you remember, I haven’t done a normal human thing since a werewolf tore through my chest plate.

Jo: Yeah, now try having kids.

I looked like I had more to say, but it wasn’t worth it so I just flailed my arms back down. Jo, remarkably, held her ground like her life depended on it. Sammie and her mother were battling it out through a fearsome stare-off not even needing words to be in conflict. Dan knew better than to interfere, but I had to do something.

Me: Come on, Sammie, I’ll just stream something online or something. (I trailed my hand across Sammie’s back as I moved around her and back into the living room.)

Sammie: Yeah, or something. (With her eyes still fixed on her mother, she took my hand and walked up to the peak of her stairwell.) Hey, St. J! Catch me.

With her one good leg, Sammie leapt up falling backwards down to the steps. I freaked out as I left her family with horrified faces while I lunged forward.

Me: Shit, Sammie!

I pulsed down the steps in a burst of energy sweeping a gust through the house that slammed the surrounding doors shut. Her mother rushed to the top of the steps and peered down the dark corridor, but there was nothing there.

Jo: Sammie! St. J!

She dashed down the steps in a fury. You could hear her indistinguishably grumbling to herself from the basement below. Katrina was frozen in her seat innocently observing the whole situation with a shocked expression. Dan looked over at her warming her up with his “I-couldn’t-care-less” smile. Suddenly the whining sound of my engine startled Katrina but she seemed to ease up seeing Dan relax next to her in his recliner chair. / My car had pulled out of the driveway and drove off in a cloud of dirt / by the time Jo raced back up the steps and swung open the front door.

Jo: Sammie!

She screamed then disappeared outside. Dip entered the living room from the basement seeming confused by all the disturbances. Dan sipped a half drunken beer then turned to Katrina.

Dan: So, it’s bright.

Katrina: (She laughed if anything out of shock.) If you really can’t wait to know, there are lots of marble formations and golden buildings. Heaven is one big city that you could fly over for hours amazed by its beauty. Everything there is lined with jewels and diamonds.

Dan: Diamonds you say, this whole Christianity thing sure is looking a lot brighter. (Dan went off laughing to himself while Dip crawled up on the floor.)

Dip: It’s a damn good thing none of you ever ask me about Hell ever. //

My hand gripped tightly onto the top of the wheel as we curved around the road. Sammie struggles to sit still and relax.

Sammie: Jesus, I wish she’d get off my back for once

Me: She’s just being protective.

Sammie: Did you see her chase us down the street! What’s protective about that?

Me: I don’t know, she’s crazy. Her heart’s in the right place, though.

Sammie: I suppose, but she was always like this. Before the world fell apart, it was all the same.

Me: Yeah, she was the same with Nikki.

Sammie: And with Becky too, and she’s the oldest out of all of us! It’s like she’ll never learn.

Me: Hey, maybe next time we go out, if you don’t get shot, they’ll ease off a little bit. Like your practically are a superhero now. Controller of nature, animals and beasts alike. If you figure your shit out and I figure my shit out, plus having Katrina, Dip, Blake, and even Nikki is learning how to fight too. We should be able to tackle anything, so honestly, I don’t care if…

As I ranted glancing over to her from time to time, Sammie was beginning to break down. You could see her look away from me as her eyes flicker with blue lights uncontrollably. She grabbed onto her face and cried. A loud sob had caught my attention and silenced me. In the darkness, lights from outside shined down onto her before flashing away behind us.

Me: Jeez, Sammie. I’m sorry if I said something…

Sammie: No, no, it’s not you.

Me: Then why are you crying? (She began to pull herself together. Her eyes faded back to their natural color and she took deep breaths to help calm herself. Her eyes were still puffy and red, but she seemed to be herself again.)

Sammie: I have no fucking idea! (She said sounding hysterical, not crying, but laughing actually.)

Me: Alright, you’re scaring me now. What’s going on?

Sammie: I-I saw something, but not really. I felt something, and it just made me really, really sad. But now it’s over, I feel better.

Me: Uhm, ok. Are you sure, do you want me to turn back?

Sammie: No! No, no, no. I need this, we need this. Let’s go have fun. (She grabbed my free hand and seemed to be very much back to her normal self.)

Me: If you say so. //

I opened the car door for Sammie, she handed me a pair of sunglasses from the dashboard. My silver eyes glimmered from the street lights above before being concealed behind the shades. I flung her arm over my shoulder and lowered myself to help boost her out of the car. Sammie slammed the door shut with a wooden cane she brought that helped us get across the parking lot.

Me: Are the sunglasses really necessary?

Sammie: Do you want to freak out everyone with your pale lifeless eyes? (I shot her a look.) Oh, relax. As if I’d care about that. It’s your face that’s all over the news, so you should try to do something to hide it.

Me: Starting to think this wasn’t the best idea. We look like a blind and a cripple heading out to go see a movie, like having powers doesn’t make it weird enough.

Sammie: So, what do you want to do, lie in my bed for another eight hours?

Me: That could be nice, but I think we’re thinking about two completely different things.

She laughed as I opened the doors to the cinema for her. As we waited in line, I kept getting the weird feeling that someone was watching me. I focused on random things like the music from an arcade game and people’s voices although I couldn’t understand what they were saying. I’d dart my head left and right with a slightly panicked look on my face. But before my paranoia could cause a full scene, I realized that we were up next at the ticket booth.

Staff Member: How many?

I paused to actually pay attention to the girl behind the counter then quickly guessed what she had said.

Me: Uh, two for “Trials of Titus,” please. (I said with an awkward smile, then turned to Sammie.) Good thing I still have some cash from back when working my day job was a thing. (I said to Sammie after handing the girl fifteen bills and walked away.)

Sammie: What about popcorn?

Me: I said I have some cash (I chuckled) ‘sides I brought a little food in my pockets.

Sammie: Uh whate…

She dropped to one knee turning her head away from me and down to the floor. The already blue carpet lit up slightly as her eyes started to glow. / She saw flames everywhere in a dark background. She heard the fire crackling and small explosions echoing in the background as two giant dark lobs that resembled eyes popped up in the center of her vision snapping her out of it. / Sammie’s eyes were wide, she stopped her heavy breathing and tried her best to calm herself down by the time I dropped to her level.

Me: Are you alright? (I said helping her up to her feet.) It’s your leg, isn’t it? Damn, I hate to say your mom was right on this.

Sammie: No! No wait, yeah, it’s-it’s my leg. (She laughed nervously.) Nothing much though, see. (She said holding onto my arm as she got herself up and continued to walk towards the theaters.)

Me: You are really starting to worry me a little bit, Sammie. I just want you to get better.

Sammie: I will. Sitting at home won’t magically fix me. St. J, you said it yourself. We haven’t got to do anything together except dangerous supernatural shit. I won’t let a little scrape on my leg stop this from working out.

I smiled, a bit doubtfully, but I still agreed with her. She leaned her weight on me as we hobbled down the hallway with different movie posters hung along the sides of the walls. //

Nikki was in her room with the lights off and the window shades up. There was a reflective green shine to her eyes like a cat’s at night. She looked very focused, seated on the floor on top of random clothes scattered across her room. By the look of determination in her eyes, it appeared that she’s been like this for some time. Her legs crossed over each other and she shut her eyes finding an inner self. In a jolt of action, her wrists flicked out sprouting with hair that spread to her hands as each finger cringed until hardening into a solid claw. Nikki peeked at the Lycan paws below her. She then shut her eyes again and started to take heavy breaths. Hair grew from her hairline down the sides of her face. Suddenly, her breathing accelerated and veins bulged from under her skin. Her nose began to morph out into a snout bringing her into deep pain, but before the transformation could continue, Nikki balled her claws into a fist piercing the palms of her hands. Blood trinkled down to the floor, but her breathing regulated, and her nose shrunk back to normal. As Nikki opened her eyes they shinned with green lights, and when she panted her next few breaths, you could see her razor-sharp teeth. She seemed to be thrilled with her accomplishment, quickly but carefully, she patted her fuzzy sideburns with massive claws. She then poked one deadly nail through her hair and out popped two wolf ears immediately folding into place. She giggled at herself wiggling her ears around before instantly regretting them. Her cell phone buzzed against a wooden bureau sending the intense vibrations directly into Nikki’s new oversized ears. She flopped to the floor as the phone continued to ring. Her teeth bared out as she cringed in pain until her body finally shifted itself back to her natural state. She sighed out in relief and grudgingly walked over towards her phone.

Nikki: Hello… Oh, hey… Really, what time is it… Oh, right. Sorry, I must have lost track of time, but oh Blake, I did it! I got into the half state!… Yeah, definitely… Be right over. (She looked at her hand while speaking. Her wounds had reduced to nothing but four small red marks on her palm.)

Nikki tossed her phone on top of her bed and spun for the door. / She walked out her bedroom finding her parents, Becky, and Katrina seated on the couches watching a movie.

Katrina: Hello, Nicole. (She struggles to pronounce the name correctly.)

Nikki: Nikki works, but that’s alright. Hi.

Jo: Where have you been all day?

Nikki: I was practicing some new control methods. I have to get better before my next lesson with Blake.

Dan: The wolf-boy.

Nikki: That’s one way to put it, but yes, him.

Jo: Where does this boy live?

Nikki: He’s not a boy, he’s over 300 years old, and where he lives is just as hard to explain.

Dan: Yup, you’ve already lost my interest. (Nikki sighs, Jo pouts and sunk back into her seat.)

Nikki: Are you guys going to be fine if I leave?

Jo: You might as well just go, there’s nothing I can do to stop you anyways! (Nikki stared at her surprised.)

Becky: Sammie and St. J dashed out on her.

Nikki: Yeah what’d you expect, Sammie’s a sneaky bitch. She probably roped St. J into it.

Becky: She jumped down the stairs and disappeared with him through the walls.

Nikki: Wouldn’t doubt it. St. J has no idea what he’s in for. Anyways I’m out. See you soon.

Dan: You need a ride there or something?

Nikki: No, I’ve got my own means of transportation.

She said as her eyes flashed green. By the time she reached the door, she had already begun to change growing fur down her arms and across the sides of her face. When she stepped outside, fur sprouted all over as her body shifted into a full Lycan state. She roared into the darkening sky before dashing off into the woods. /

Katrina: Well, at least I’m not the strangest thing in your home.

Becky: Not by a long shot. //

Sammie and I were in one of the last few rows of the movie theater. I’m eating random little candies out of a plastic baggy. I switch things up and start to rummage through my pocket for a big woopie-pie that I immediately unraveled. The movie had been playing for some time now and was in the middle of an intense action scene. Lights from the screen flashed on and off us illuminating our captivated faces. Sammie reached over for a piece of candy. She put it up to her mouth about to let it slip through her lips when her eyes started to glow.

Sammie: Damn it, not now. /

(((A blue tint formed around the edges of the screen.))) She saw a shadow hovering over her own home which is currently burning up in a huge fire. She heard the screams coming from inside the house as her vision moved her closer to her home traveling through a window. Flames were everywhere creeping across the wooden floors. We move closer as the building cracks and crumbles, an eyeball rolled in front of her sight and started to bubble and sizzle until the body part melted into a goop. / She came out of the vision with a terrified expression as her eyes slowly faded back to normal. Her heavy breaths were muffled through my jacket where I held her close to my body shielding her from other’s view. I heard her partially form words in-between deep breaths. She looked up to me with so much pain in her teary eyes.

Me: Sammie, Sammie, it’s okay, you’re safe. What did you see?

Sammie: (She caught her breath.) We need to go back… We need to stop it. (She spoke loudly and with fear.)

Me: Back where, home? Stop what?

Sammie: Death!

People had already been staring at us, but by now, it seemed like no one in the theater was even trying to stay focused on the movie. Not as our much more interesting drama unfolded.

Me: Yeah, alright. We’re getting out of here.

I gently slide Sammie out of her seat as we descended to the floor making it appear like we were about to lie on the sugar sticky gum riddled floor. But before she touched the ground I had turned us both clear as we disappeared through the tiled floors.

Movie Goer: Ey, getta room, freaks!

A man screamed out two rows behind us in the very last row. The friends he had around him all laughed but soon quieted down as an official cinema worker approached climbing up the steps towards them. He shined a red light stick in the direction of where Sammie and I were last seen, but his face filled with disbelief seeing that no one was there. / Sammie and I traveled through the darkness while in a clear state. / We emerged from under the Earth’s crust nearby my car. I floated up gently placing Sammie in my passenger seat. After setting her down I returned us to our normal states and looked around the lot finding it clear for the most part. Nothing but empty cars and flickering lights.

Sammie: Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Me: Sorry, but we have to hurry. (I started my car engine, pulled back, and peeled out beginning to exit the lot.) When you fell earlier, it wasn’t your leg, was it? (I said without looking away from the road.)

Sammie: (She started to tear up.) No, I don’t know. I thought I was doing the right thing. It wasn’t that bad of a vision. But after this last one… I-I just know, that someone’s going to die.

Me: Sammie! (I shouted out over her and the sound of my old engine. She was quiet, we continued to speed down the street, but I took a moment to make eye contact with her.) You didn’t do anything wrong and no body’s going to die. I’ll make sure of that. (Sammie shuffled back into her seat. I then stomped my foot on the gas pedal accelerating through the straightaway.) //

Everyone still watched the movie in their seats peacefully. Katrina took up most of the couch as her wings were out and extended behind her, so she could lean forward and stare intensely at her first Hollywood movie experience. Becky was at the other end of the couch uncomfortably squished while Dan and Jo sat on the adjacent loveseat.

Jo: Dan, could you get us some more popcorn?

He didn’t say anything, just nodded and got up with a grunt to grab a fresh beer from the refrigerator before searching through the cabinets.

Dan: I don’t think we have anymore.

Jo: Did you check up top?

Dan: I don’t see it.

Jo: There’s more left, I saw Katrina put it away. You’re just too short to see.

Dan: Jesus.

He said wedging his foot on the bottom shelf to lift himself up higher. His hand patted down blindly across the top shelf just missing the package of popcorn with every attempt.

Dan: Come on.

Suddenly a blast hit the house from outside. Dan was flung to the floor as everyone else shifted in their seats. Katrina hovered over Becky spreading her wings over her. The home ached while everyone else was silent, even the film only played a quiet tune with the sounds of footsteps in the snow were barely auditable.

Katrina: We must act quickly, something is outside.

Dan: You two, stay here!

He yelled to Becky and Jo while getting himself up to his feet. Dan then shot back into the living room and grabbed his pistol off the shelf above the fireplace. Katrina stepped in front of him, she swung her arms against each other clinging the metal bands that were strapped to her wrists. This caused two large blades to pull out from slots in her bracelets with some sort of craftsmanship not seen on Earth. The blades snapped out with the ring of clashing metal. They extended three feet out from her hands, which gripped onto bars connected to the base of the blades. Like a Tonfa, the blades continued trailing down Katrina’s forearms where they ended a few inches below her elbow. With her hands wrapped around the handle of the weapon, and its blades riding up and down her own forearm, the sword was a very much an extension of her own body. She swung her weapons downward leaving her body open and ready to move. Dan looked in awe at her elegant combat tools then to his pistol still within its holster in his hand. He placed the pistol back on top of the shelf and moved behind his recliner to where a wooden cabinet was placed on the wall. He dug out his keys and opened the cabinet snagging the pump action shotgun hidden within. He nodded to Katrina then swiftly moved out the room. //

I stressfully drove my car with sweat bleeding from my brow. My body rocked as I spun the wheel hard and at high speeds raced down this windy road. To my right, Sammie’s body was pressed against the right side of the car as we took the harsh turn. Her eyes were glowing, but she seemed to have no control of herself. Almost like she was in a deep sleep as she made no conscious movements, only mild tremors as if she were trapped in a nightmare. She gasped out her next breath and her eyes dimmed to just a shining point.

Sammie: No! Make it stop. (She spoke weakly.)

Me: Sammie, hold on. We’re almost there!

Sammie: St. J?…

After muttering out those words, she screamed in agony as her eyes blared out blue lights again. She fell limply back into her seat but her face continued to quiver with fear. My teeth ground aganst each other seeing Sammi in such pain. All I could do was drive faster, even with no idea of what was ahead. //

Dip barked out into the dark forest right across from the house. He was already outside growling into the night by the time Katrina and Dan arrived on the porch’s wooden steps. It was impossible to see what had caused Dip’s aggression. He just looked like a dumb dog barking out at nothing.

Katrina: Dip, do you see it?

Dip: It’s too dark, but I can feel a presence ahead. (He growled.)

A large black lobe of light whizzed past Dip in the middle of the yard. He quickly rolled out of the way avoiding the attack. The black lobe hit the house crackling its structure. It already seemed to have sustained the first hit with major damage breaking apart the building’s roof. A few seconds later, a gas pipe went off towards the back of the house causing their entire home to catch fire quickly. The fire illuminated the surrounding area bringing a shadow-like figure into the light. The figure hovered before Dip but appeared to be twice the size of an average man. Its form was like a ghost, it wore a dark cloth that was tattered and smoky as it drifted along the bottom of this shadowy figure. With its massive cloak blended with its actual self, it didn’t seem to have a form, but still, it clearly was humanoid in shape. It had a triangular head with eyes even darker than the rest of its body. Two skeleton hands seemed to just appear at the ends of its black sleeves. Down its wavy body, you could see two black shoes that poked out from underneath. It wielded a long black stick, that looked like a scythe, but with two blades on opposite sides of both ends of the staff. The creature floated in the air flapping its two bare-boned skeleton wings. By the structure of its wings, and how it gently flapped them, there was nothing natural keeping this creature airborne. It could levitate like I could along with several other unnatural qualities. / Katrina showed a more terrified look than the others, her eyes gave it away that this fear was more than just from the creature’s eerie appearance. It seemed like she already knew the strength of the opponent they were up against. She refused to speak or move, trapped by her fear. / Dip, as in his loyal nature, sprinted towards the threat with his head lowered and his feet scampering for the monster at full speed.

Katrina: Dip, no! We need to do this together!

She had to scream out to him, but it was too late. She looked back to Dan fearing he would be just as daring, but he seemed heavily shocked with his house up in flames. / Meanwhile, the cloaked being was calm and still, even as Dip drew near. Dip moved fast with confidence, while Katrina cringed in fear knowing it was too late for him.

Katrina: Dip!

He lunged into the air with his teeth bared as flames and slobber flew from his mouth. The ghostly creature didn’t move until Dip was right at its face. It twirled its scythe creating a dark circle slicing cold metal through the air. The scythe hooked through Dip cutting in through his stomach where the tip edged out his back. The scene was still as Dip stayed suspended at the end of the creature’s weapon. There was nothing but the crackling fire in the background followed by a gentile whimper from the dog as blood leaked from his body. The creature seemed to be inspecting Dip as he had him close at hand. Dip’s fight was over, he dared not move and waste the little life he had left, but curiosity struck him too causing his head to lift up to face the demon before him. Its eyes seemed eternally deep sucking in all the light around him like black holes. The hood of its cloak was a part of its body, the same as its eyes, there was no difference. It didn’t seem to have a mouth, nothing moved as they heard the monster grunt before twirling the scythe around again. This time, it moved its staff in a circular motion above its head followed by a downward slash that slammed Dip into the dirt as he slid off the blade. / Katrina gasped out. / The shadow descended to the ground by Dip, whose flames had blown away from just a mere breeze. He laid there motionless appearing to be nothing more than a slightly oversized shaggy black dog. The monster silently shuffled forward extending its arm out to point a skeleton finger Katrina’s way. /

Dan: Explain yourself later. Right now, we need to drop this killer. You go in for a direct approach, I’ll shoot the thing down from an angle.

Katrina nodded, she swallowed her guilt and rushed forward towards the creature with both her blades up in the air. They came crashing down on the creature’s scythe as it moved to block her attack. It then twirled the scythe hooking her two blades and tossed them into the dirt. Katrina spun around slicing into the shadow with the jagged part of her blade below her left elbow. An opening in its form appeared. There was no blood, just a gaping tear right through its abdomen. Even still, the monster remained calm and silent. Ripples flowed throughout the cloak steadily restoring it to its full form. Katrina looked shocked but had to react quickly as the dark figure swung its scythe towards her. The scythe was held high above its own triangular head and came crashing down onto both of Katrina’s blades crossed defensively over herself. Its attack was difficult for Katrina to repel, her arms shook under the creature’s strength, but Katrina didn’t let up. Before it had time to strike again, she pulsed forward flicking the scythe up with a wave of her right arm then drove her left blade through its chest. The creature paused for a moment but was still unaffected. It seemed to let out a demonic low sigh while backing away slowly ascending to reveal Katrina’s blade from within its shadow form. Katrina had never seen a creature fight with such little aggression or show so little signs of damage after a clear hit. It didn’t bleed, cry, or fade away. It’s ripped cloak even managed to repair itself by the time the demon had taken its position above her. Its skeleton hand poked out from its sleeve with a dark energy flowing through its bones to form another dark lobe with swirling purple volts forming around it. Katrina crossed her two blades as the lobe was shot at her with nothing more than a wave of its hand. She was pushed back with a storm of wind rushing against her as the blast of energy struck. She withstood the dark energy for a second, but her blades shook under the pressure as she fought the unnatural power. Dark lights flashed all over her face just before she gave in and the ball exploded with purple and black streaks. Katrina was tossed back and flung through the flames that rose above the house. / Loud blasts of gunfire went off back in the front yard as Dan moved forward dragging the shadow’s face away with an array of buckshots tearing the shadow’s face away. He continued to pump the shotgun over and over with a painfilled look on his face.

Dan: You can take my house (fired a shot) Burn everything I have (fired another shot) But you won’t be the end of me!

That last shot caused the ghostly creature to surround itself with purple volts. It appeared to be in pain but continued to attack. The purple volts concentrated and traveled out from its body and through its boney fingertips. A wave of dark energy pulsed out striking the ground right before Dan. He was sent up into the air and crashed down on one of the cars in the driveway. The windshield cracked from the impact, but Dan struggled to keep the fight going and crawled to the hood. The dark creature materialized above him slowly fading into the night sky. It held the edge of its scythe against Dan’s throat. Stricken with fear and anguish, Dan froze. The monster reeled the scythe back allowing nothing more than a steady swing but it would be enough to end everything. But before it could, headlights blared into the scene brightening it immensely. The tires from my car screeched from behind as Sammie and I came flying down the street. I laid on my horn while Sammie leaned out the window scattering pistol shots all over this thing’s face and upper body. Her bullets and the light from my car all seemed to whoosh right through the demon slightly breaking it down. I killed the engine while the vehicle still crawled forward, I then faded through the roof of my car and floated on top of the hood. In the blink of my eyes, the shadowy figure appeared before me. Sammie screamed at me from behind telling me to run, move out of the way, or do something. I didn’t really listen, I just stared the evil spirit in its black eyes with my own silver orbs fixated right back at him. The shadow floated back a bit.

Me: Get Out!

I yelled in a ghostly voice forcing the shadow backward with waves of energy that flowed out from my shout. All the cars around us shook a little, their alarms went off, and the cracked windshield shattered. The creature’s eyes widened as police sirens whirled and their flashing lights could be seen through the woods. The shadow looked back to me, just as dark and mysterious as ever. It then flew up into the night sky and disappeared out from my sight. //

Katrina couched taking in a large breath then shot herself up into an upright position suddenly regaining her consciousness. She saw Becky trapped under a pile of wood where the back porch had collapsed around her and caught flame in some parts. The fire had spread down from the house too and was already beginning to surround her. Katrina fluttered her wings jolting towards Becky. She dug her arms in through the rubble and scooped Becky up. She was covered in splinters and ash that coated the confused look on her face. She blinked her eyes slowly in a daze and looked up to Katrina who carried her in her arms. Wind rushed against her face after Katrina brought them through the air.

Becky: Thanks.

Katrina hastened to the front side of the house and dropped Becky off in the driveway by her father. Dan stood tall with his hands rested on top of his head as he took heavy breaths. He looked at his family gathered in front of him happy to see all their faces, but his eyes continued to search, and he became more and more nervous.

Dan: Where’s Jo? (He asked Becky clearly fearing the worst. She couldn’t stand to look at him, it hurt too much. She just sorely sunk her head down.) Where’s your mother!?

He hollered out and started to move his legs without thought towards the house while the fire still raged on. I sprinted over to Dan catching him before he got any closer. I clung onto his shoulder and fought off his wild movements until I could better contain him. Dan tossed his arms about starting to break free, but I kept a tight grip on the bend of his arm.

Dan: No! Let me go!

In his frenzy, Dan clipped my jaw with his elbow allowing him to break loose. I reached out to him again, but Dan had moved away, he was only able to make it one more step before being knocked back on his ass by a huge explosion. This one was clearly from their giant boat out back as parts of it scattered into the smoke-filled air. The blast tore apart Dan’s home sending chunks of wood and metal flying everywhere. Dan remained lying on the pavement unable to cope with what had just happened. He crawled up to Katrina getting up to her knees. She had no idea what to do never seeing anyone before in such pain.

Dan: Did-d, did you see her?

Katrina: Excuse me?

Dan: My wife, Jo. Was she in the house?

Katrina: I-I only saw Becky, she was under a heap of…

Dan: Why didn’t you save her, where is she?!

Katrina: I’m sorry. (She squeaked timidly.)

Becky: Dad, she saved my life.

Dan: (Brushing off that last comment.) St. J. You can look for her, you won’t get burned. Maybe, maybe she’s still in there, maybe she’s alive.

Sammie: Dad, that’s enough! She’s gone.

Dan: How would you know!? Huh! How!? How, how could any of this be happening?

He buried his face into his arms slamming a fist into the concrete. I turned to see that Sammie was just as emotional. She walked up to what was once her home in sort of a trance holding her hand over her mouth as tears flowed down her face. As I approached her she fell right into my grasp and began to cry heart filled heavy tears.

Sammie: She-she really is…

Me: It’s okay Sammie. Everything’s going to be…

Sammie: No! I knew this was gonna happen. I knew it and I did nothing!

Me: Sammie… (Becky came up from behind me and tugged the back of my collar. Katrina stood behind her.)

Becky: St. J, the police, they’ll see you.

Me: But, I. (My fist clenched, I was still amped up and ready to fight.)

Becky: Please, St. J. Don’t make this any worse. You and Katrina have to hide.

Me: Alright.

I sighed dragging myself away from Sammie, her hands slowly slipped away from my fingers as I stepped away. It didn’t feel like the right thing to do, my inner thoughts would rather I fought and chased down the monster that did this. That, or continue to hold Sammie and find some way to make her feel right, but I couldn’t see either of those options to be possible at this point. It felt wrong to step away and hide, but with the police already amongst us, and the fear Katrina showed towards the uniformed men approaching, I knew it would be best to flee. I stepped away from Sammie, without parting my eyes from her view, then placed my hand on Katrina’s shoulder and turned us both invisible. Sammie seemed to be in bad condition, it pained me to watch as the family turned their backs on me and await the incoming wave of officers alone. Becky soon came to her sister’s aid with an arm wrapped around Sammie reliving me of my duty. Katrina and I stayed in the general area to observe things as the first cop car bumped down their road.

Katrina: What are we…?

Me: We’re invisible, stay quiet.

Katrina: Oh? (She checked her limbs to see that they were clear.)

Three police cruisers and a trailing fire truck pulled up surrounding the house as pieces of it crumbled down to its foundation. The firefighters did their best to combat the flames with their hoses, but there was nothing much they could do at this point as everything was reduced to wet clumps of ash. Becky, Dan, and Sammie were approached by an officer for questioning. The press took pictures of the scene. Time passed before I saw a blacked-out car roll up into the driveway. The bald, stocky, but small, man who wore a red CIA field agent uniform stepped out his vehicle. Katrina tried to rush at him and break free from my grasp. She reappeared for a second before I leaped back for her returning her to invisibility. I fully came to expect the consequence of tackling Katrina to the ground, but I was surprised to see the angel easily able to manage the impact, if anything, only hurting myself. With the commotion we caused, we were lucky not to have alerted any of the surrounding officers. I crawled off Katrina but kept a tight grip on her arm, my attempt at continuing to assume charge.

Me: Are you crazy? Do you want to go back to that prison and get the rest of us locked up in there with you? (I said barely whispering.)

Katrina: That’s the man who knocked me out and took me to jail, Agent Sullivan.

He stood in front of the Terrain family, flashed his badge at the officers talking to Becky, Dan, and Sammie, and prepared to induct his own investigation.

Agent Sullivan: I’ll take it from here, boys. (He said with a fake smile that dragged away as the men walked out of his sight.) Well, well what do we have here? That had to hurt. (He said looking at Sammie’s leg.)

Sammie: That happened before the fire. I fell off my bike and got jabbed by a stick. (Her voice still cracked with emotions, but she held her composure well.)

Agent Sullivan: Ah, I see. Well, looks like it didn’t slow you down much, that’s good. Now, aw. what happened here? (He said without an ounce of concern in his voice as he crouched over Dip patting his side.)

Becky: That’s my dog. He, uh, he never was too lucky.

Agent Sullivan: I can see that, appears to be quite the injury he went through. Mind explaining to me what happened?

Becky: I’m not really sure, he just crawled out of the fire with scraps of metal in him. I pulled it out, but he didn’t make it.

Agent Sullivan: I see, very sad. (He continued to speak without emotion.) And what’s your story? Awfully quiet back there aren’t we?

Dan: I lost my wife, my house, and all my property. So I’m not fucking sorry for being too quiet.

Sammie & Becky: Dad!? (They sounded concerned.)

Agent Sullivan: (He laughed.) It’s alright girls, nothing I’m not used to. Not too many people are fans of the police, am I right? But a smart guy like you wouldn’t mind me asking why you have a shotgun laying out in your front yard?

Dan: I have a permit for it. Do you want me to go rummage around through the wreckage to go find it? (He snarled with clenched fists.)

Agent Sullivan: (Laughed annoyingly.) Ah, no. I was just wondering how you managed to keep your weapon out of harm’s way but not your wife. (Becky got a grip on her father’s arm to prevent him from upper-cutting another officer of the law. She tried massaging his stiff muscles doing anything to calm him down as his steaming face built with anger.) But that’s none of my business, priorities right. (He made a slight chuckle.) You can see my concern though, right? You have slash marks all across your yard and your car’s windshield is shattered.

Sammie: What are you presuming!? Our home just blew up in flames and destroyed everything we own. What do you want from us?

Agent Sullivan: Nothing much, I was simply hoping that one of you could make sense of the call we received about a dark winged figure that created a massive explosion. (He switched his focus from Sammie to Dan.) Followed by the numerous reports of gunshots in the area. But, I don’t know, your neighbors must have some kind of imagination, right!? (Fake laughed) That is unless you saw something or know of anything like that, or any other bizarre events that took place tonight.

Becky: I don’t know what you want me to say. No, there weren’t any monsters here tonight, just a really bad fire. Now, if you’re done, we need to go find someplace to sleep tonight.

Agent Sullivan: Oh, yes, of course. My apologies for taking up your time only to get nowhere. I’m sure we’ll be able to continue this conversation some other time. Sounds good, yes. Okay, I’ll be seeing you. (He patted Dan on the back as he cockily strolled past them flashing a big smile on his face.)

Dan: I want to rip his fucking head off, that disrespectful bastard.

Sammie: Can we just get out of here?

I lead Katrina up behind Sammie so I could slip my keys into her hands from close behind. She continued to look down but smiled as I placed my hand on her shoulder and whispered into her ear. She closed her eyes and twisted my keys around in her hand slowly closing it into a fist. Sammie stepped in front of her family back to her can-do attitude.

Sammie: Alright, how about we head up to Nikki’s place for the night. (She said casually dangling my keys up. Dan seemed to get the hint, but Becky was still a bit lost.)

Dan: Fine, anywhere but here.

He said leading Becky over to his car. I stood over to the side as Sammie lingered her eyes in my direction while walking to my car. I gave her my full focus when I should have been more cautious while only invisible and not intangible. An officer blatantly bumped right into me forcing Katrina to yank me into the yard to avoid further contact. The cop seemed to be more confused than suspicious as he swiped his hand through the blank space ahead of him. Luckily, he wasn’t as serious as Agent Sullivan and assumed he had just tripped himself up. The officer looked around dumbfounded, but mostly just to assure that no one else had seen the slip up before he carried on shaking his head at himself. / Sammie rode off in my car with Dan and Becky close behind. Becky looked uncomfortable with the idea of driving past this group of cops without even a windshield to help hide her anxious look. They left the few black crispy walls that remained of their home and their mother’s abandoned SUV in the driveway where police officers stood jotting down notes of ever irregularity. ///

Katrina soared on ahead. I descended to the road where Katrina’s dark wings blocked out the moon and created looming shadows that trailed behind the little red car below. I steadily crept into my car angling myself into a seated position in the passenger seat before making my body visible and fleshed-out again.

Sammie: Holy shit! You scared me.

Me: (I laughed.) Sorry, should have knocked… (She half tried to smile. I knew how hurt she was internally and how poor of a place this was for her, so I decided to keep things brief.) I talked to your dad, he knows where to go.

Sammie: Are you sure Blake will be alright with all of us staying there?

Me: He’s got plenty of room. I’m sure we’ll be able to convince him, eventually. (Slight pause.)

Sammie: Have you thought about how we’re going to tell Nikki. That’s all I can think about right now.

Me: Well you’ve got to stop before it kills you. I won’t make your Dad do it, I saw how messed up he was, we all did.

Sammie: Yes, well at least he didn’t see it happen, then choose not to do anything because he wanted to watch a stupid movie.

Me: You’ve been through a lot, Sammie, but don’t forget to learn from your past. When I was gone, I didn’t blame you for my death, I’m sure your mother wouldn’t want you to blame yourself either.

Sammie: This is different. You came back to me, she won’t.

Me: You’re still new to these visions, give them time. Right now, they’re painful and confusing, but I bet they will come clearer with practice. You have an incredible gift, Sammie, you’re going to help out a lot of people with it. As long as you remember that you can’t save everybody and to give it time to grow.

Sammie: I should have been able to save her. This isn’t a gift, St. J, I didn’t ask for this.

Me: None of us did, but we can’t give up now.

Sammie: Give up, we’re not even fighting for anything but our own lives!

Me: That and a hope to live normal lives again, that’s what keeps me going.

Sammie: You really are optimistic. (She sighed) I just need something to go our way, then maybe I can have the hope you’ve got, but if we don’t get a win soon, we’re going to be out options. (The car moves down the road dropping out of sight under a hill.) //

(((Sapy Music Montage))) The two cars pulled up to a small opening in the woods on the edge of a side road. / Becky, her dad, and I trooped through the darkening forest guided by the flashlights in our hands. / Sammie rode on Katrina’s back as she lightly glided her along and made circles around us. Sammie, unamazed by the starlit view she was given, huffed and simmered her face down against Katrina’s bare back letting her tears gently slide off her skin. / As we emerged from the woods we heard the grunts of Lycans brawling in the distance. Nikki and Blake were in the middle of practice. Her clothes and face were covered in dirt, the cuts across her cheek healed progressively. She retracted her claws and made Blake wait in the open field under the treehouse. Nikki looked happy to see us but confused by our random arrival and the solemn looks on our faces as Becky and I met her in the center of the field. / Katrina landed with Sammie easily able to crawl off her back aided by her father who stayed close by at the edge of the forest. The three of them looked out across the field to Nikki whose eyes widened with emotion from the information Becky and I had to offer. Above, World Tree stood magnificently swaying in the summer breeze. Below, Blake, the lone wolf, stood isolated letting the tall grass tickle his shins as he took in the situation. / Nikki spat out a few words then began to cry falling into both of our arms. I looked to Becky, who was teared up herself, I silently dropped my head down with theirs. Her dad walked up from behind placing a hand on Nikki’s shoulder. She turned around and looked up at her dad as her green eyes shimmered with tears held tightly. She released everything allowing her tears to stream through the air as she leapt into Dan’s arms. Exhausted, Sammie leaned her weight on me, I wrapped an arm around her holding her close. My eyes gazed across the field where met with Blake’s. He nodded to me and turned for the base of his home. //

I silently stepped out of a room Sammie and I claimed and peered back inside. The room was obviously made up of all wooden walls, other natural furniture filled up the open space and a hand-woven tapestry was hung for decoration. The room seemed to be carved out of the trunk of the tree. One corner of the room curved along the center of the tree as the treehouse was formed around its base, a darker wood than the rest of the walls. I looked back to Sammie sprawled out on top of the bed in a peaceful slumber. I carefully closed the door behind myself and walked off down the hardwood corridors outside. / The hallway wrapped around the tree’s trunk ascending further up the tree. There were other doors going deeper into the tree’s base and random Native American mementos such as drums, art, and skins draped on the wall. / I stepped into an opening where Blake leaned over a wooden balcony illuminated by the moonlight. From the top of the treehouse, you could almost see the entire forest. But right now, in the midst of night, it was just a dark sea of waves made up from treetops along the horizon.

Blake: ‘Gets hard to sleep when lives are on the line. I know the feeling.

Me: Well, I can say it was a lot easier back when all I had to worry about was passing a few college courses.

Blake: I’m taking a big risk if you choose to reside here permanently. You know, I wouldn’t have let you stay if half of you hadn’t just lost your mom.

Me: I figured as much, but thanks anyways.

Blake: (After a brief silence.) Kid, do you have any idea what you’re doing?

Me: (I laughed for a second then stopped once I saw that he was dead serious. I pitifully sighed out what was left in my lungs.) Damn, I-I guess not. It’s that obvious huh?

Blake: Well look, I know I say I’m the alpha of this whole wolfpack, but that’s just between Nikki and me. In reality, I have no idea what I’m doing like the rest of you. But all those people, in this little group you’re forming. They need a leader. Someone who can get them through shit times like this.

Me: (I laughed.) Yeah, and I’m guessing this is the part where you say that guy has to be me. (Blake looked to me and silently shrugged his shoulders.) Man, I know what you’re saying. We need someone to look up to, but I can hardly control my powers. Why would any of you follow me?

Blake: It’s not always about who’s the strongest, it’s not even the smartest that become leaders.

Me: So, what is it?

Blake: I don’t know, you just have to have that confidence, a little charm. I see that in you, like how you can act like things will work out when they probably won’t.

Me: How would you know…

Blake: Thin walls, Lycan ears, not much you can hide here around me, especially those sweet little conversations with your girl back there. (I grunted slightly agitated but expected nothing less.)

Me: Well, if you know what to do, then why won’t you do it?

Blake: I’m no alpha. I had my chance to have power. It was wild, it was fun, but everyone I loved ended up suffering. I’m not going through that again. The pressure can cripple you if you’re not up for the job.

Me: (I tilted my head down rubbing the back of my neck.) But you have done it before though.

Blake: Yes, and like I said, never again. Look, I can say the right shit every now and then, and I know a little bit about the game. But trust me, you’ll catch on, and you’ll do hell of a lot better than I did. Just give them something to fight for some…

Me: We just need to find hope.

Blake: Yeah. I remember when I had that, but then again, that was a long time ago. Hope will go a long way, but you still have to get past this first step first, then they’ll believe in you. But I swear to God, you let all this go to ya head and I’ll knock the sense back into ya. (He slapped my back and started to walk away giving me one last bit of advice.) For now, just try to get some sleep.

I stood there staring off out at nothing.

Me: (In a quiet raspy voice.) Yeah, that’s not going to be any easier now. ////

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