Author: Dark Princess Of Daydreaming PM
There are 26 of them. They represent the first 26 days of the month. On the remaining days, they have increased powers. But this group is special. This is their story.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 3 - Words: 12,095 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 10-25-12 - Published: 12-11-11 - id: 2978575
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 2: (Beau)
My story started a lot like Ashlyn's. It was a bitingly cold January day, a month after my birthday. But I'm not going to explain that because it would be pretty boring. Instead you get to hear about a demanding friend/mentor, an annoying boy, a pretty girl, and all of the problems of B. Welcome to my world.
I studied the boy in front of me, Draco, wondering if he would turn out like Conrad. I couldn't stand another Conrad and hopefully I wouldn't have to. Draco didn't look too bad, after all. He had normal brown hair and his pale blue and pale green eyes were cautious and intelligent, not arrogant. I squinted slightly to see his aura. Its paleness and obvious lack of the blackness that symbolizes darkness reassured me and I breathed a silent sigh of relief.
Ashlyn and Anna, the girl Brad hates and loves, among other things, walked in. Ashlyn looked worried and I had to resist the urge to go over and find out what was wrong. I knew it was not the time, despite the slight pain in my chest that I felt when Ashlyn was upset.
Draco glanced between Ashlyn and me, and then at Conrad, who stood off to the side of the pit, his hands in his pockets and a smirk on his face. Draco's eyes widened slightly and then narrowed.
"You're Beau, right?" He phrased it like a question, but it's not, not really. Draco knew things –you could see it in his eyes.
So when I said, "yeah," he nodded and kept going.
"And Ashlyn, Anna, Conrad, Carolyn, and Brad?" he glanced at each person in turn. Everyone nodded, except Conrad, who rolled his eyes. Carolyn, who was one of the Elevens, frowned at Conrad.
"And Karen and Gordon, of course," Draco finished. Gordon looked irritated, probably at being named last. "And you wanted to test me?"
Karen looked a bit unsettled, but nodded. I watched Draco say something to the tall, blond-haired girl beside him, who nodded. He stepped confidently forward towards that strange, water-filled bowl.
I looked on eagerly. I wasn't here for Ashlyn's ceremony and didn't understand my own. Actually, I didn't really understand Conrad's either. During his, he stuck his hands in the water and there was a flash of bright light and that was it. It didn't really help me understand what the test is supposed to do.
Draco stepped forward and stuck his hands in the water. He seemed to get slightly pale and I remember how cold the water was. Then his hands start to glow. They glowed the icy-blue and icy-green colors of his eyes. That's also the color of his aura.
Unlike Conrad, Draco didn't seem at all surprised or concerned that his hands were bathed in color. Maybe this happened to him a lot.
"Yes, Gordon, I'm D," Draco said, his pale eyes flashing up to look into Gordon's dark ones. "Now am I done with your little test?" Gordon actually looked disoriented for a minute, a frown creasing his forehead. Then he scowled.
"Are we done here?" Draco asked. Karen threw a nervous look at Gordon and nodded quickly. The blond girl quietly led Draco out of the pit. The rest of us followed in varying states of uneasiness.
"Desdemona!" a voice called warmly. I looked up and saw the Eleven girl, Marie. I looked away, wary of her strange dark red and purple eyes. They were unnerving and unnatural.
The blond girl smiled. Her pale eyes, identical to Draco's, lit up and the effect was to turn her from vaguely pretty to gorgeous. I blinked.
"Marie!" the girl beamed. "I didn't think you would be here yet."
"Karen asked me to come early. She seemed to think Ashlyn might be a handful."
Desdemona laughed. "And is she?"
"She's a model leader," Marie said solemnly, winking at Ashlyn. Ashlyn looked up warily and gave a little smile, but she looked worried.
"Do you want to go and catch up while the others show Draco around?" Marie continued questioningly.
"Uh..." Desdemona hesitated.
"Go ahead," Draco tells her. Her eyes flash briefly but she nods. She and Marie walked off, Desdemona looking briefly over her shoulder.
"What first? How about the gym and armory?" Draco suggested.
. . .
Okay, so now that we were going to the armory, I had to take the time to tell you about my first experience here.
It was yesterday morning, my second day here. After about a minute of watching Ashlyn and Anastasia spar, Brad had rolled his eyes and told me to follow him. I did so, reluctantly tearing my eyes off of Ashlyn. Brad led me through a locked door and into the armory, where rows of weapons, mostly swords and spears, hung on racks.
"You need a weapon and it needs to 'speak' to you. Do you know what I mean?" Brad asked me. I nodded even though I wasn't sure.
"Good. Find one," he said with a sweep of his hand.
Curiously, I roamed up and down the rows. I stopped in front of a pair of dark blades with dark red symbols scratched on them, but something about them felt very wrong and I stepped back quickly, tripped over my own feet, and crashed into a rack.
Unfortunately, I seemed to have chosen the weakest rack to crash into. It didn't fall over, but instead wobbled precariously and sent several sharp weapons tumbling down. A spear dropped past my head, a dagger stuck in the floor right beside my knee, and a thin, silver weapon slammed down right between my thumb and pointer finger.
Hesitantly, since I wasn't sure what it was, I picked the weapon up and held it in my hand. It was short with a sharp tip. And it felt somehow right. I closed my fingers around it.
"A silver stake?" asked Brad incredulously. "We're not vampire hunters."
"It feels right," I said.
Brad looked at me for a moment, his expression unreadable.
"Are you sure, Beau?" I nodded.
Brad sighed. "Then I will talk to a...friend...of mine about getting you some proper training with that...thing."
I said, "Okay," and we went back and joined the others. Well, I joined the others. Brad wandered off after a few minutes, looking distracted. I still didn't know who the "friend" was.
When we went in, Ashlyn and Anna went to do some exercises on yoga mats and talk quietly. Brad frowned at them. Not for the first time, I wondered what it was that made him and Anna dislike each other so much. Maybe I could ask later.
Conrad went to the other side of the gym and lifted weights while Carolyn glared at him and spoke angrily. I hoped we weren't going to work with them. I liked working with Ashlyn better. Conrad was just so grumpy and irritable all of the time.
But it turned out that we didn't work with either of them. We just ended up showing Draco around, though honestly he seemed to know the place better than I did. Draco might not have had darkness in his aura, but he was starting to make me worry. He knew too much. It was unnerving. I sighed and tried to shake off my confused thoughts.
We ended up going back to the boys' dormitory. It was a large room with twelve beds set against the walls and another bed in an alcove off to the side. Each bed had a trunk at the foot and was neatly made, though obviously it wouldn't be so neat after more people come and slept here. It had already become messier since Conrad I had arrived.
"Where do I sleep?" Draco asked, glancing around. It wasn't that hard to figure out though. I slept on the first bed, which was currently sloppily made. Conrad slept on the next bed, on which the sheets and blanket were completely tangled and hung off the sides of the bed. I assumed that Draco would sleep on the third bed in the row.
"Third one," Brad said, confirming my theory.
Draco walked over to it and opened the trunk. I know what he saw. Inside of each trunk were neatly folded clothes. We each had a couple things that were already ours, which was nice but made me wonder if they'd broken into my house. Everything else was part of the plain black uniform that Twelves apparently wear.
"Almost everything is black," Draco said, surprised. "I thought it was gray..." He trailed off when he saw me staring at him.
"The Ones wear white, the Twelves wear black, and everyone in between wears a shade somewhere in the middle," Brad said.
"That explains it," Draco said, his expression relaxing. Again I looked at him in surprise. He just shrugged. I looked away and frowned at the ground. Something about Draco felt off. I squinted to see his aura but Brad's voice jerked me back to the present.
"Why don't you two stay here a while and get to know each other?" He gave us what might be a smile and walked out of the room.
"So…hi," I said finally, when the silence began to feel awkward.
"Hey," Draco said, nodding at me. Then he went back to sifting through the contents of his trunk. A look of surprise crossed his face.
"What?" I asked curiously.
"I… It's nothing," he said, shaking his head. He stuffed an object back into the trunk, although not before I caught a glimpse of something that was the same green as his green eye.
"I'm going to go walk around and try and find my way around this place," Draco said. "Want to come?" he asked. It sounded like an afterthought and I suspected he didn't actually want me to.
"No thanks," I said, deciding to leave him alone for now.
"Oh, okay then. See you around, Beau," he said easily, leaving the dormitory.
I sat quietly on my bed for a little while, reading a book that I had found in my trunk. Eventually it was dinnertime and I walked out.
. . .
Ellen was very small and pale. She had long blond hair that fell to her waist from a head that came to about my chin. She was thin as a twig and pale as a ghost. Her large, anxious eyes were pink and orange and looked around frantically like she was a trapped animal and looking for an escape. She folded her arms across her chest like she was cold.
Ashlyn was the first to speak. "Hi, Ellen," she said cautiously.
The small girl gazed up at her. "Hi." Her voice was quiet but surprisingly steady, considering how nervous she looked. I heard Conrad snort and I glared at him.
"I'm Ashlyn. This is Anna, Beau, Brad, Conrad, Carolyn, Draco, and Desdemona." Ellen's eyes moved from person to person and she nodded.
"This is Esther." Ellen gestured to the standing next to her. This girl had black hair with orange highlights and smooth, sort of pale skin. I noticed that her eyes weren't as similar to Ellen's as everyone else's' mentors' eyes were to theirs. Esther's eyes were bright pink and yellow-orange. Ellen's were only a dull pink and an almost brownish-orange.
"Hello," Esther said. It seemed that both of them were quiet.
"Is it true that we're supposed to fight the Creatures?" Ellen asked.
"Probably not. I don't think there are a lot of them left," Ashlyn told her reassuringly.
"Oh," Ellen said. She sounded almost disappointed. But no, that can't be right.
"Oh," Conrad mimicked in a high voice. I glared at him.
"Conrad?" Ellen asked hesitantly. I'm surprised she remembered his name.
"What?" Conrad asked in the same high voice. "You look like a child," he said in a coolly.
"Oh," Ellen said very quietly. Her cheeks went pink and she looked at the ground. I found myself disliking Conrad even more than I already had.
There was an awkward silence for a while. Finally Ashlyn said that she was going to show Ellen the dormitory. The two of them walked out quietly. A moment later, Anna and Esther walked out too, talking in hushed tones.
"What's wrong with you?" I snapped at Conrad as soon as they're out of earshot.
"Defending the little girl, are you?" Conrad sneered.
"Couldn't you see that she was nervous? Why'd you have to give her a hard time?" I asked, scowling.
"I'll take care of Conrad, Beau," Carolyn said, the angry expression on her face leaving no doubt that she would. They walked out, Desdemona going with them, though she kept glancing back as though worried about Draco.
"They said that we're supposed to work together," I said furiously. "But how are we supposed to work with someone like him?"
"I don't know. But I'm sure it will get easier," Draco replied, though he looked a bit doubtful.
. . .
"Beau…" Ashlyn trailed off helplessly.
"Ash, just tell me what's bothering you." I felt a pang of frustration.
"It's nothing. I just need some time to think," Ashlyn muttered, but I knew she was lying. I might have only known Ashlyn a few days, but this wasn't like her.
"Seriously, Ashlyn, I don't know what it is that's bothering you, but it's obviously not nothing."
"Just leave me alone for a while, Beau," she whispered. Then she turned and walked away, slamming the door to the girls' dormitory shut behind her. I stared at helplessly at that door with no idea what I had done wrong.
I stood there for a long time.
It was dark and I was slumped against the wall and half-asleep when I was awoken by a noise. It was two people talking and one of them was Ashlyn.
"…hard. Why is it so hard?"
"I'm sorry, Ash. I can't explain it because I don't know why either."
"I barely know him, Anna. Why do I care so much?"
"I told you, it always happens to A and B."
Anna sounded sad, pain obvious in her voice. And Ashyln sounded the same.
"Is it…still hard?"
Anna took her time in replying. I wasn't quite sure what they were talking about, but I knew I shouldn't have been eavesdropping. But I couldn't make myself move.
"Sometimes, it feels impossible to stay away from him," Anna said quietly. "But I have Zandt, even if I don't…feel that way about him. But now that I'm seeing him again after months of being apart, with Zandt not here yet…I don't know how I stand it. Sometimes I think I'll go crazy."
I definitely should not have been listening to that. It sounded personal and I doubted either of them wanted me to hear it. But I still couldn't force myself to get to my feet. I didn't know why, but I couldn't. It was like I was compelled to listen.
Anna sighed sadly. "I hope it's different for you. Maybe, since you're a Twelve, you won't have the same compulsion with Z."
"No, it'll be stronger." My heart twisted at Ashlyn's voice, so full of pain and defeat.
"You're strong, Ash, stronger than me. You can fight it," Anna's said firmly.
"I hope so," Ashlyn said, softly and uncertainly.
. . .
"Ashlyn," I called out hesitantly. She stopped and turned around slowly, something unreadable in her eyes.
"Can we talk?"
"Please," I said, and she nods reluctantly. I followed her to a little-used storage room, where she sat down on the floor and hugged her knees to her chest. A lock of long, silky blond hair fell in her face. Her green and gold eyes stared pensively at the floor. She looks like a leader, I realized with a start. It's not something I could explain, just something that I felt deep in me.
"What do you want to talk about?" Ashlyn asked, and I realize that I've been staring at her with my mouth slightly open.
"Um," I said, not really sure. She raised an eyebrow at me, faint amusement gleaming in her eyes.
"I heard you talking to Anna last night," I burst out. Any hint of amusement immediately drained from Ashlyn's face, and she looked almost…scared.
"What did you hear?" she demanded.
"Something is hurting you that happened to Anna too. And I think it has to do with us, but I'm not sure…" I trailed off.
Ashlyn closed her eyes and takes her time before speaking. "Yes," she said finally. "Something happens – always happens – to A and B."
She opened and closed her mouth several times and her eyes get in expression that is suddenly not pain, but awkwardness. "Well," she said, then stopped.
"Ash, what is it?" I stared into her eyes rather helplessly, but was distracted by her aura. The green and gold glow brighter than I'd ever seen it, pulsing swirling around her. Its warmth and radiance caught me off guard, and I stared, mesmerized.
"Beau?" Ashlyn asked, looking a little uncomfortable at my staring.
"Your aura is so bright," I said, before I could stop myself.
"I can see auras. I mean, if I look. Can't you?"
Ashlyn looked surprised and weary, but not disbelieving. "I've never tried."
"Try then," I suggested. "Just kind of…squint." She raised her eyebrows, but didn't comment. Instead, she took on a look of deep concentration.
"Blue," she said, "silver – power. White that's almost…pink – love, warmth," she continued, gently laying one hand on my chest, just above my heart. "Angry red – pain." She touched the scar on my knee from when I was ten. Her eyes opened and she blushed.
"Uh…I think you can see more than I can," I said awkwardly.
"I can see more than that," she said heavily, laying her head on my shoulder. Her voice came out slightly muffled. "It's the whole leader thing, I guess. But I don't know how I never noticed that before." She sighed.
"Hey, it'll be okay. It just takes some getting used to," I told her, awkwardly patting her head.
"This is all so…surreal," she said. "And…hard. I'm supposed to be leader, yet I have no idea how, or what to do. I have these powers, but I don't know why or what I'm supposed to do with them. I don't understand all this about days of power and the creatures and units. I miss my family, but they've probably forgotten me, and even if they haven't, I'm supposed to forget them. And I'm only 15! I can't handle this!"
I put my arm around her, wishing I could say something to help. "We're here for you. I'm here for you. It'll all get better, I promise."
"Don't say that. All the stuff about A and B…I couldn't stand it…" To my alarm, she started to cry softly. What are you supposed to do when a girl starts crying?
I patted her back awkwardly. "What do you mean?" I asked warily, scared of freaking her out more.
She took a deep breath, sat up, wiped her eyes, and met my gaze sadly. "They say…. They say that A and B always fall in love, but then Y and Z come along and one of them always breaks the others heart, because they have to…they're compelled to love Y or Z."
Well that was awkward. "What do you mean, 'compelled'?" I ask, not commenting on the first part.
"Okay, so this sounds really stupid but…if you assigned each letter of the alphabet a number – A is one, B is two, etcetera – then…you feel a…I don't know, feeling or something for the person whose number added to yours adds up to the number 27. If they're of the same gender, you end up being close friends, if they're of a different gender…it's like love at first sight. Anything you felt for someone before…it doesn't matter anymore. That's why Anna broke Brad's heart. She loved him, but then Zandt came along and she was powerless to do anything. Actually, they say there is a sort of similar compulsion to follow your leader and second but…I don't know. I don't know anything, really, just heard all of this from Anna…Natalie…Marie…" she trailed off, sounding sad and scared.
It took a moment to digest that. And thinking about it weird, because the whole compulsion thing kind of creeped me out. But it did raise a few questions in my mind.
"Is that how they got us here? I mean they came to my house and told me to come, so I just…had to."
"I think so. That's part of how they guessed I was leader, actually. I was able to fight off some of the compulsion." Even as she said this, she watched me closely, as though waiting to see how I react to her previous statement. Then she frowned suddenly.
"When they picked me up, it was Natalie and a an called Mr. Smith. I wonder who the man was. I haven't seen him since."
I was glad to have an answer for her. "He was in a unit when he was younger. The leaders call on him occasionally if they need an adult to get access to some of the kids. According to Brad, there are a bunch of adults like that. People who don't have powers anymore, but who still help out by doing odd jobs for the leaders, helping with transportation, or helping in the laboratories."
"Oh, that's smart," Ashlyn said thoughtfully. "It's probably easier to be inconspicuous that way. I guess people just think this is some kind of school or something." I nodded. We were both silent for a moment.
"Beau…" Ashlyn sighed suddenly.
"What is it?"
"What are we supposed to do?" She put her head on my shoulder again, mumbling, "I don't know what to do. I can't help myself."
"I don't know either. We're just going to have to wait and see what happens," I said. I kissed her forehead and she sighed.
Then I hear a thud. We both started. I heard a hiss.
"What is that?" Ashlyn whispered, her hand going to the saber at her waist.
Then the creature leapt to her feet, hissing furiously. I know it's a 'she' because she looks human, except with scaly blue skin, long nails, and red eyes. I drew my stake.
"Die, humansss!" the creature hissed.
Ellen! Get help! Ashlyn shouted suddenly, her voice coming out strange and distorted. And the creature didn't seem to hear her. I had the strangest feeling that she had shouted with her mind, but before I could ponder that, the creature lunged.