Just something I wrote at the beginning of nineth grade. I thought it'd be fun to put on here. Split into chapters to get a better feel for the story, but they're fairly short.


Part I

The minute hand on the clock seemed to move ever slowly, and as Cleo stared at it, the second hand began to tick at the agonizing pace of a snail. Last period never seemed to end- especially in Mr. Stephan Hannah's seventh period history.

"The French Revolution…" he droned on, never taking his beady eyes away from his seven-pound teacher's edition textbook. Cleo had stopped listening a long time ago. At that moment, she was far more interested in his concrete solid comb-over than she was in the French Revolution. And by the rising buzz in the room, it was apparent that Mr. Hannah had accumulated very little attention from any of her classmates either.

The sun bleached brunette moved her bangs from her face, letting her blue-gray eyes wander around the room. As usual, they came to rest on the only thing in the room worth looking at- her best friend Thomas. He sat across from her, only slightly out of her line of vision. She had only recently realized how…gorgeous he was. With his short, dark curls and the amazing way his green eyes reflected the always dim sunlight, he was a thousand times more interesting than old Stephan could ever be. She could look at him for hours, but she would never tell him that.

"Hey shortage." Cleo looked up at the rough, pubescent voice with a start, her shock quickly melting into annoyance. A boy her own age was tapping her in the back with a pencil, a wide grin on his lank features.

She scowled at him, crossing her arms. "You're not much taller, David." she said, giving him a sharp glare.

This was a fairly routine incident for them. She and Thomas had been friends since elementary, and David had stepped in when they entered middle school to proclaim Thomas his 'best friend'. Deep down, Cleo had never forgiven him.

Unconsciously, her gaze wandered back to Thomas as she made up her mind to ignore the pest behind her. She couldn't help but wonder what he was talking about…

Abruptly, Thomas looked up, his glorious green eyes looking at her like she was nuts. "What?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. "Is there something on my face?"

She felt her face grow hot, but she forced a smile. "Just your gigantic nose." she said, smiling at him. He blinked; at first not understanding it, then threw his head back in laughter.

"Retard." he scoffed. He held his hand up to stop her response, turning back to his previous conversation.

There were two people at Thomas' table she hadn't even noticed before. One had his hair long, back in a low ponytail, while the other had his black locks cropped in an army cut. They were buff, their muscles showing through their logo-branded shirts, though clearly Indian. This wasn't anything special: there were a lot of Indians in Rainwall. The town had been home to the same tribe for hundreds of years. This tribe was said to have originally been Cherokee, but broke off from the usual traditions of that group. The Rainwall Indians were known for their legends- it was part of what attracted newcomers to the city. They were unorthodox, sometimes frightening, but the perfect way to spice an otherwise boring existence.

By the look on her friend's face, Cleo guessed that these two boys were telling one of their famous legends. For as long as she could remember, Thomas had loved the insane stories of the Rainwall Indians. Sometimes he purposefully sought out anyone in the school who even looked Native American, just to beg for a retelling. Knowing she wouldn't get his attention any other way, she poked him in the back. Hard. "What are you talking about?" she asked, leaning towards him.

He looked back at her in annoyance, giving her a face that clearly asked 'why are you talking to me now'. "Zack and Aaron are telling me a ghost story." he said, smirking just slightly. He looked at the boy with a ponytail, gesturing something to him. "Hey, Aaron, you should tell Cleo too. This is awesome."

The muscled boy, Aaron, rolled his eyes. "You're making me start all over? God."

The other one, Zack, chuckled. "You're just complaining because you're too lazy to say an extra two sentences."

Aaron made a face at his friend, then reluctantly looked back at Cleo. "My grandfather used to tell me this every Halloween. The legend of the Blood wolf…" he started, his voice as dramatic as he could make it. "They say that long ago, ancient wolves appeared in the forest surrounding this town. The wolves roamed in a large pack, nearly twenty at one time. By far they were the most ferocious beasts in the forest, and they claimed whatever was in those trees as theirs. Our ancestors did everything they could to keep away from these beasts, knowing that one could easily slaughter the entire tribe.

"But soon the wolves had eaten everything worth eating in the forest, and began to come after the tribe's cattle. Every night they would come and eat more than their fill, leaving nothing but blood and fur where they had come. Before long, the tribe was in danger of starving. With few options, the chief called together the strongest men in the tribe. He told them 'the first of you to kill off the wolf pack, can have my daughter as his wife'. The chief's daughter, White Rose, was the most beautiful girl in the land- so of course all of the men made their greatest effort.

"Though most of the men ran blindly into battle, there was one man that thought better of it. His name was Young Ox, the oldest of the men called to the chief. He was also the most brilliant and skilled archer in the tribe. White men had recently begun to move into the hills, and Young Ox had seen their 'fire sticks', or, duh, guns. He knew if he could have one of those guns, he could easily wipe out the entire pack. Immediately he went to work, studying these white men. Soon he found out the best way to use these strange weapons, even how to properly equip them. One night, after darkness had fallen, he slipped into a white man's camp and stole his gun and everything needed to use it.

"He wasted no time in going taking his victory. The very next night, he used a couple of sheep to lure the wolves deep into the forest. When they began to feast, he jumped out from behind the trees and shot the gun into the sky. As the pack sat stunned by the shot, he used his arrows the pierce the hearts of nineteen wolves. There was only one left. He was the largest of them, with a coat as dark as the night. Young Ox had shot him near the heart, and the wolf lay bleeding on the ground. The young man tried to walk away, but found himself bewitched by the yellow eyes of the dying animal. The wolf gave a great howl, then jumped right onto Young Ox."

Cleo didn't usually have the patience for stories- often she found them beyond dull. But this one kept her on the edge of her seat. Her eyes were wide, and she blinked, realizing that Aaron had stopped talking. "What happened then?" she asked breathlessly.

He grinned, leaning back in his chair to look at her. "At least someone was paying attention." he commented, looking over at Zack. The boy had his head on the desk, his mouth open as he pretended to snore.

Aaron rolled his eyes, laughing. He looked back at Cleo's row, two chairs away from her, at another boy. "Hey, Akira!" he said, grinning. "Why don't you finish it? You know it better than I do."

Cleo had to look over at the boy to see whom Aaron was referring to. It wasn't easy for her to put names with faces, but she was surprised she couldn't remember this one. The boy seemed Native American, but his black eyes had a more almond shape to them. His dark hair fell over his angular face, giving his already mysterious features a strange edge. She had seen him around school- his face wasn't easily forgotten.

Akira looked down at his folded hands, shrugging. "I'd rather not." he said quietly. He had a soft voice, not quite matured. When he noticed Cleo looking at him, his cheeks turned a soft pink, and he gently turned away.

"Oh, come on." Zack prodded, suddenly aroused from his mocking snooze. "You're waaay better at it than Aaron."

The boy looked at his hands again, shaking his head as he gave another shrug. "You're not allowed to laugh." he stated calmly.

Thomas looked up suddenly, as if waking up from his own slumber. "Someone finish it!" he whined. It was easy to tell he was growing impatient.

He smiled slightly, crossing his arms over his chest. Akira closed his eyes, rocking back in his chair, as he seemed to think about it. "The wolf…jumped on Young Ox…but didn't attack him. The animal seemed to turn transparent right before contact, and Young Ox never felt the impact. It was as if the wolf had jumped through him. It was then the moon appeared from behind the rain clouds. The man felt himself being torn apart from the inside, and lost consciousness.

"When he awoke, he was standing over the body of his wife to be, her blood on his clothes. He cried out to the heavens, then ran into the forest. The people of the village said that as he ran, his body changed into that of a wolf- and he was never seen again.

"From that day on, every harvest moon, a giant black wolf reappears in the forest; his eyes red with blood. And every harvest moon, he must take the life of at least one human being, or never return to his true form. That is the fate the wolves bestowed upon Young Ox."

Cleo found she didn't move at all during Akira's quiet telling. She had been entirely entranced by his voice…it seemed to make everything he said into a soft song. "That's…sad," she whispered.

"That's freaking AWESOME!" Thomas shouted, grinning widely. Unfortunately, shouting was one of the very few things that would attract Mr. Hannah's notice. He looked up from his thick textbook, trying to locate the source of the disruption.

"That's quite enough, Mr. Rentz." he said, looking down at the boy from over his wide-rimmed spectacles. Thomas shrank back with a sheepish smile. Satisfied, the teacher returned to his book.

Once Mr. Hannah's drone had returned to its usual tempo, Thomas leaned back towards Cleo. A sudden spark of inspiration was in his eyes, and he grinned at her with effortless charm. "We should go trick-or-treating tonight," he whispered. "You, me, and David."

Her eyes lit up with countless emotions, some of them included fear- others anticipation. In Rainwall, Halloween was rarely celebrated with candy. For as long as anyone could remember, at least two children disappeared on Halloween night. It was never on the same street twice. Because of the parent's paranoia, trick-or-treating had become a dare sport for deranged teenagers- making it all the more fun.

"But, with David…?" she almost whined, casting an annoyed glance back at the pest. Him she could do without. Oblivious, David was having a pencil war with one of the kids next to him, his grin as intelligent as an inbred donkey.

"Pick you up at six." Thomas smiled, scooting back up to his desk. She tried to argue, but only got a raised hand in response. Defeated, she sat back in her chair, shaking her head.

Halloween…she thought, looking up blankly at her history teacher. At least it would be interesting.