Draik's Story

1 - Introduction

            He bit his lip, continuously glancing upwards to the notes on the board as the Social teacher steadily droned on in a monotonous tone that bored all except for the extremely avid student.

            It had been more difficult than he had thought it would be, slipping into the role of an average sixteen-year-old sophomore, but he felt he had handled it rather well. He did after all, have many years of experience in the art of deceit.

            They had all accepted him and his story from day one, the teachers and students. He had already made several friends and acquaintances in the past five weeks he had been attending Russel High School, and those who might not had accepted him for one reason or another were forced to once he joined the Senior Volleyball Team.

            Volleyball was the 'in' sport at Russel High and anyone on a volleyball team was automatically deemed popular.

            The most challenging thing about school though, was to not let on that he knew much more than he was saying. It was especially hard during social class. Draik had lived through half of the events the teacher, Mr. Pierson was lecturing on and found it extremely wearisome not to correct the teacher's mistakes.

            "Wha?" he asked as he realized Mr. Pierson was talking to him specifically.

            "I was just saying Mr. Mulwray, that you would be receiving better marks in this class if you paid more attention to me."

            The class started laughing but were stopped short as Mr. Pierson gave them the evil eye and returned to his long speech.

            "Looks like Pierson's on a rampage, huh Brian?"" Trish Martell commented casually form the seat beside him.

            "Yeah," he quickly agreed. Brian Mulwray was the alias he had given the school when he registered. The young-looking vampire did not want Shelby Tirna to have an easy time hunting him down.

            Why the witch queen even hated Draik was still a mystery. In over 300 years, Draik had never killed a mortal or witch. The only time he had ever killed was after he had been changed in 16th century England. Inexperienced as he had been, Draik had drained his victim, a young man, before he even realized it.

            Still, he had not killed since then and had gone on to live a peaceful life, more or less underneath the radar of the witches.. Not willing to kill and unable to wipe memories from mortal minds, Draik had lived off of willing humans and blood he occasionally 'borrowed' from the hospital. On rare occasions when there was no human blood to drink, Draik found he could sustain himself on pig's or cow blood.

            Of course he wasn't very powerful or able to shapechange at those times.

            Draik had been on the run for a few months now and hoped to settle down for awhile in the small town of Russel. Shelby would be expecting him to try and hide in a large city. She wouldn't even begin to suspect towns like Russel until he was long gone. Perhaps back to England.

            That said and Social class done with, Draik headed off to the last class of the day. Phys. Ed, gym, physical education, and Maconahay's Class of Torture were all names that Miss Maconahay's students liked to call the class. Especially during this particular week of school, when they were forced to prance around with the female class.

            "Who's up for some dancing?" Miss Maconahay asked the nineteen young men in front of her after they had all gotten changed. A collective mass of groans rose from the small crowd. Offhand she noticed that Brian seemed to be the only one without a disgusted look smeared across his face.

            She smiled cheerfully. Her eyes lighting up like twin pinball machines. This was the only time of the year that she got to have any fun watching her students make utter and complete fools out of themselves. Clearing her throat, she announced, "Mr. Cambell's class should be out anytime soon. Then we'll place you in groups of two and proceed to show you how to dance."

            As if on cue, an uproar of giggles resounded their way through the large gymnasium as a group of girls filtered out of the change room.

            More moans were audible from the miserable boys, although a few of the girls didn't seem too happy about the upcoming dance lessons either. Most of them didn't have any grace or skill, which was the reason they wanted to skip the gym class, but only one of them, Erin Hammet, had any good reason to not want to dance.

            The tall, popular grade ten student did not wish to dance with the boys because then she would most likely have to dance with Brian Mulwray. Unlike most of the female population at Russel High, Erin wasn't drooling on the backend of Brian's heels.

            During lunch period, the only things she would normally hear would be her best friend Shay March, regale the crowd with stories of her first block Science class with the illustrious Brian. Then her other friends, namely Angel Parker and Reagan Liam, would start up their own tribute to the wonderful Brian through the use of song, chant, and praise. The whole business made Erin sick. The last thing she needed to hear during lunch was how nice Brian's ass was. Her friends all knew of her dislike for Brian, and only provoked her as friends frequently do, more often than not unknowingly.

            And on top of that, Erin was on the Senior Girl's volleyball team while Brian was on the boys. Because they normally traveled to their weekend tournaments together, both teams used the cramped school bus. Somewhere during the first two weeks, both teams had decided that Brian and Erin would be a perfect couple, and subsequently, their teammates/matchmakers made them sit together. Every single weekend.

            It wasn't that Brian was annoying. He was actually a very nice and athletic young man once you got down to it. Erin also had to admit that there was a special quality about him, one she just couldn't put her finger on.

            But after her friends and teammates had all fallen head over heels for Brian and decided she should too, her stubborn streak had kicked in.

            She has subsequently decided not to like him, which in truth wasn't very hard after she saw him snub Shay when Shay asked him out. In fact, he declined all the girl's offers to go out with him. He seemed indifferent to girls and dating. Or he just doesn't want to get close, Erin thought. It made sense. She herself was not a very social person when it came to dating and getting close to a guy. There just seemed to be an invisible barrier around herself. But if she didn't want to go out with anybody and Brian didn't want to go out with anybody, why was everybody trying to hook them up?

            "Will you all stand on the line?" Miss Maconahay asked politely. "I'll start picking groups and we'll begin with the waltz."

            Erin sighed with relief when she saw she wasn't dancing with Brian. Only four more days to go.

            "How was dancing with Brian?"  Shay March asked with an envious tone as the pair walked home from school. Even after his rejection, the poor girl still had an unhealthy obsession with him.

            Erin sighed. "I didn't dance with him Shay," she informed in a slightly haughty voice.

            "Well then, what did you guys do?" she inquired. Shay had gym class, and consequently Social dance, the next semester.

            "It's just a bit of ballroom dancing. We learned the basic steps for the waltz and jive."

            "Did you do anything else?" Shay asked curiously.

            Erin laughed. "Miss Maconahay taught us how to do the Charleston and the locomotion." Shay grabbed Erin's shoulders and started to do the well-known line dance, whipping her flame-red hair around her shoulders as she went.

            "Everybody's doing the LOCOMOTION! Come on Baby! Do the Locomotion!" she yelled in a high key tone, seriously off of the tune. Then she began kicking her feet out in time with her offbeat singing, eventually knocking Erin off balance and falling on top of her.

            "Having fun now, aren't we?" commented Shane Westlock, a junior who was in some of Shay and Erin's advanced classes.

               "Of course," Shay replied halfheartedly. "Don't we always?" The tall football player shot her a cheeky grin. "Come on, you're not too old that you can't have some fun with us!"

            Shane balked, but Shay was already pushing him behind Erin and grabbing his shoulders, indicating he should grab Erin's. When he reluctantly obliged, she started singing giddily and kicking out her legs again.

            "That's enough," Erin said firmly after about half a minute of bouncing around like jackrabbits. "I actually need to get home to do my math homework, and I'm sure Shane probably has some homework of his own."

            Shane nodded absently, his mind lost on some other pilgrimage. Erin noticed him stealing glances at Shay out of the corner of her eye. She smiled as the trio headed off toward the houses near the Town Park, which was actually a historic monument. Russel's only historic monument. In the center of the park was a fountain, with a statue of the man who had founded Russel, Jonathan Russel. Russel had started out as a lumber town, but the cutting of trees had stopped roughly 80 or so years ago, when oil was discovered a few miles away. Now most of the inhabitants of Russel worked for the local Oil Company.

            Once they reached the park, Erin bid Shay and Shay farewell and walked into her house as Shay and Shane began the rest of the journey to their homes, a few blocks past the park.

            Draik finished his Social essay within twenty minutes of beginning it. 'The History of Russel' was the title on his paper, and he had finished it quickly because he knew every detail about the history of Russel. He had wanted to live in a town with a less than spectacular history and no witches, so he had been compelled to learn all there was to learn about Russel. He was satisfied with what he had come up with. No witches had ever lived within the vicinity of Russel, so he wouldn't need to worry about that. A few shapechangers had lived in the woods surrounding the town when it had first been founded, but quickly left when the woods were being torn down for lumber. That was the only thing Draik had been able to come up with, and since it was obvious that no one from his world lived there name one, he had settled into his current dwelling.

            The one person he had known in town from his own world, lived on an isolated acreage and worked at the hospital; his source when he needed to get blood.

            Draik got up and stretched, laughing at the memory of his dance class. Most of the students had been extremely klutzy, and he had found it rather hard to keep in the peels of laughter during class. Instead he had wooed his partners with his grace and dance skills. He had taken a ballroom dance class late in the 18th century, when he had been posing as a young aristocrat.

            He wondered if any of the young noblemen and women he had known during that decade would have ever partaken in the sport of volleyball if it had existed in that time. He chuckled to himself, imagining noblewoman trying to hit a ball with their perfectly manicured hands and restraining dresses. The idea of a group of men playing in tuxedos seemed even more amusing to his mind.

            Draik was looking forward to the weekend, when the volleyball teams would be taking a trip to Salem for a tournament.

            Walking over to the window, he gazed outside, taking in the splendor of the tranquil town during the evening hours. Sudden restlessness for the feeling of freedom overtook him and he decided to go out for while.

            Moments later, a hawk departed the open windowsill and flew off into the open night sky.