Chapter 1 - A Walk In The Woods
"YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST DO WHAT YOU WANT?! HMMM? WHAT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY?!"
"HEY! I'M TRYING! YOU JUST WON'T STOP NAGGING! YOU DON'T EVEN APPRECIATE ALL THE SMALL THINGS I DO!"
I give a heavy sigh as I lie down on my bed in my room. I've been hearing my parents fight for nights on end; things have gotten bad ever since Dad quit his job.
They've been arguing so much I bet they didn't even notice I turn 17 in a week..., I think sadly to myself.
Now would be a good time to have siblings; at least they could go through this with me... but no, I'm a single child. I look at my cell phone. My first instinct is to call Brandy, my best friend, but then I remember she's at some sort of teen camp mentor thing this summer. I think about it for a while and realize all my friends are either on vacation somewhere else, going to camp, or working this summer. I give another loud sigh as the arguing keeps going on downstairs.
"YOU'RE JUST A CONTROL FREAK! AND PARANOID TO BOOT! EVERYDAY YOU HAVE SOMETHING NEW TO ACCUSE ME WITH!"
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I DO NO SUCH THING! AND WHY SHOULDN'T I? COMING HOME SO EARLY IN THE MORNING!"
With one more forced sigh I decide that I have had enough of this noise. My house is located at the edge of the small town near the woods surrounding it. I put on some jeans, a t-shirt, socks, sneakers, and a hooded sweater. I go out my window from the second floor, take a few quiet steps on the roof, and climb down the oak tree near the gutters of the house.
The night air hits me with a soft breeze and I begin my walk into the woods. The grass is silent as I walk, humming to myself, looking up at the sky... at those stars and full moon. I've been daydreaming as I walk and just notice suddenly that I hear a slight noise—something is crying. I walk towards the sound, trying to find my way through the many bushes and trees. As I get closer to the sound I hear a rattling of a chain. I soon come to a clearing and there lies a grey wolf with its leg stuck in a metal hunters trap.
"Oh you poor thing!" I say to the wolf, who looks up at me with sad eyes that tell me he won't hurt me. I lift the trap and the wolf quickly escapes into the woods. I feel warm inside from my good dead and slowly start to raise up from the ground I was kneeling on.
Just as I had gotten on my knees, I am grabbed from behind and shoved a ways off to the ground.
"Damn you girl! Do you know what you have cost me?!", a coarse voice yells at me.
I am kicked once in the stomach and the air let's out of my lungs fast. The stranger lifts me up and punches me in the face before I can catch a glance at him. The hit makes me stumble backwards and into a bush.
The man who attacked me takes a step towards me, only to be tackled himself by a creature I soon recognize as the wolf I rescued. The wolf lunges at the man's neck as I watch half terrified. Should I help? Should I run?
"GET OUT OF HERE!" I turn to the direction of the voice, which is coming from the scuffle between the man and wolf.
"I said GO! You need to run so you can't get hurt!"
Yes it was definite by this time... the wolf talked. I freak out slightly, but quickly recover and decide to take the wolf's advice and run for it.
I keep running, slightly confused about what's going on. I hear a high pitched yelp behind me and somehow manage to run even faster. I hear footsteps that are not my own gaining on me more and more. I panic and stumble a few times. Out of nowhere I feel something blunt hit the back of my head. I fall to the ground. The last thing I hear is a deep voice cursing. The last thing I feel is a cloud beneath my body...
I wake up, surprised to be in a bed, and look out the window and see it is still night. I am about to get out of bed when I feel something pressed up against my side. I turn and look down and see a small orange kitten curled up, purring and sleeping. It's the cutest kitten I've ever seen and I pet it gently, trying not to wake it up. My expectations backfire and the kitten slowly opens its eyes.
I'm again freaked out, but before I can say or scream anything to respond, the kitten leaps off the bed and transforms into a man. He turns back around towards me and I see he is about 5'7", tan skin, looks around 19, has green shaggy hair and maroon eyes?! I scream scared out of my wits and make a run for the door.
"Wait! Hold on!", the green haired man calls after me.
I run out of the room and into a long hallway. I turn a corner and suddenly fall back and hit the floor with a thud. I look up to see what I hit and see another man.
Although I am on the floor I see he is clearly at least 6 feet tall, with a demeanor that makes me believe he is older than the 21 years he looks, extremely pale, with long white hair and yellow-gold eyes. I let out another scream and he does too, revealing a pair of fangs.
I dash up as fast as I can and run in the opposite direction. I come to a flight of stairs I passed earlier and decide to run downstairs, leaving my pursuers upstairs. I go down the winding staircase and turn the first corner I see. I am going down a long hallway with a light at the end of it. I am disappointed it is not the exit I expected, but I see ahead a man with short brown hair and fair skin.
He looks normal, I quickly think to myself.
I decide to call for his help, but my words are stopped as the back of his hands and forehead begin to glow. I watch curiously and then see pots and pans flying around the room the man was in.
THIS HOUSE IS FULL OF FREAKS!!, I scream in my head.
As if hearing my thought, the man with the brown hair snaps his head towards me and I flee in the opposite direction I came from. I go back and find myself in the little room where the staircase is and see the white-haired man rushing down it. I see a raven swoop down from the upstairs opening and transform into the green-haired youth as it lands. The brown-hair man, who I now see looks about my age, a little taller than the green-hair man, and who has midnight blue eyes, has caught up with me and I am surrounded on all sides. The situation overwhelms me and I faint.
I wake up in the same room I originally woke up in, now noticing how well decorated it is. My blanket seems to be made of some warm, but faux white fur and the sheets beneath me feel like satin. The walls are painted a dark royal purple with light silver edges for the door and window and corners. My bed is queen sized with posts that hold up silk silver curtains. I step onto the floor and notice it is plush white carpet. In the room is a couch, a large dresser, a bookshelf and a small desk with a chair. While I admire the setting, a thought hits me.
I have to get out of here!
I open the door slowly, hoping there is no one guarding it on the other side. There isn't and I slip out silently. I decide to try to find the entrance this time and creep downstairs. When I get downstairs, I hear voices coming from a close-by room. My curiosity gets the best of me and I sneak over to the door.
I place my ear to the door and listen:
"YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO TAKE HER BACK!"
"I couldn't take her back! He would go after her!" This voice I recognize as the green-haired boy's voice.
"I have to agree with Chimer... we don't have much of a choice..." a gentle voice says.
"Yeah! She can't go home! She has no choice!" the one I assume is Chimer says.
Why can't I go home? I think to myself.
Suddenly, there is a death-like quiet and I press my ear more to the door.
Then the door suddenly opens and I see the three of them staring in my direction from across the room.
"Come in, miss... I think you deserve an explanation..." the brown-haired, gentle voiced one says.
I wanted to just run and go home... but I realized I wanted answers too. The green-haired lad, which by now I have identified as Chimer, takes my hand and eagerly leads me to a sofa by the fireplace. As I sit I realize I am in an enormous round library with books going as high as the ceiling.
The boy talking to me earlier gives a slight clearing of his throat to get my attention.
"My name is Jikken (pronounced Gee-Ken), and this is Chimer (pronounced Key-mare) and Aubron (pronounced Ah-brawn)", he points to Chimer and the white-haired man respectively.
He continues. "As you may have noticed... we are not exactly... normal".
Ya think?, I scoff in my head.
"Yes.. I do... think...", he responds.
My mouths flies slightly open and he continues to explain. "I am... more or less... human, but I have... with the lack of a better word... psychic powers."
I nod my head, signaling them that I understand. Jikken looks to Chimer and Chimer gets up and starts to flex... exaggeratedly.
"My name's Chimer... I'm... does super hero pose a shape shifter!" I laugh at his silly act. "Well, technically, I'm an animal shape shifting demon... but we prefer to be called shape shifters. Nice to meet ya, toots!", he offers his hand to me and I shake it.
"It's nice to meet you too", I say half chuckling. Chimer looks in Aubron's direction, Aubron gruffs, and Chimer speaks for him.
"That grunt means 'My name is Aubron, and I'm a vampire...'" I see a small smirk grow on Chimer's face and he continues, "...And he wet the bed until he was like 175!"
"NO I DIDN'T! THAT'S NOT TRUE! YOU IDIOT!" Aubron gets up, grabs Chimer, and throws him across the room. He then looks down at me and I can feel his eyes trying to intimidate me. I stare sheepishly back and he finally sighs heavily and sits back down.
"Well then... now that that's done... I should keep going...", Jikken says quietly. "You may be wondering why you can't go home..." I nod my head, anticipating the answer. "Well... now that you've seen us... he'll be after you too."
"Who is 'he'?", I question. Jikken unexpectedly goes quiet and Chimer pats him on the shoulder and continues for him.
"His name is Xavier, but he's most known as X. He's a government paid scientist who has been after us for a while because of who were are... because we aren't normal. He wants to dissect us and see what makes us tick and all that jazz. But he was after Jikken first..." He finishes his last sentence ubruptly, as if he let something slip that shouldn't have.
I look in Jikken's direction and see he is staring at the floor, obviously distressed. I am about to ask why, but advise myself from it.
Aubron stands up and speaks. "I think that's enough information for now. You, girl. I think you should clean up for dinner."
"My name is Cystell", I say half annoyed, "And I don't have to do anything you say."
"Then I suppose you would rather go home and have X capture you? You don't have much of a choice, girl. You are stuck with us. Whether you, or I for that matter, like it or not." I am about to lash back, but my stomach growls and I feel like I haven't eaten in days.
"Here, let me show you to the bathroom," Chimer tells me. Before I know it, I'm being gently shoved out of the library. Chimer leads me up the stairs and down the hall leading to my room.
He stops at a door. "Here you are. And don't mind Aubron. He's just like that... He doesn't mean half the things he says."
"Thank you," I tell Chimer.
"Your room is that way," he points to the left, "there are some women's clothes in the dresser, although they aren't exactly 'casual Friday'. We'll call you for dinner. Until then, my lady..."
He gives a deep, exaggerated bow and kisses the back of my hand. I blush lightly as he walks away and I go to take a bath. The water is warm and I soak for a bit.
After 15 minutes I get out of my bath and walk down the hall to my room. I dry myself off and look to see what there is to wear. I am astounded to see three beautiful dresses hanging in the dresser closet with matching shoes, but also disappointed to find nothing less formal to wear.
Guess Chimer wasn't kidding, I think to myself.
I pick one set of dress and shoes and fix my hair. Just as I finish I hear a gentle knocking at the door.
"Cystell, it's time for dinner."
I tell Jikken that I'll be down in a minute and hear him walk back down the hall. I step out of the room and make my way to the staircase. The guys are waiting at the bottom and as they hear my shoes, they all turn to see me. Chimer's mouth drops to the floor and he starts mumbling to himself. I laugh at this and next look to Jikken. He too has a gaped mouth, but quickly turns away blushing. Aubron, at first, doesn't seem to notice me because he is glaring at the floor. But I eventually catch his eye and he stares at me in shock, and glares back at the floor before anyone else can notice.
"Whoo! Hot mama! howl," Chimer responds this way to my appearance and transforms into a wolf and howls with his head high, purposely drooling.
I giggle and thank him. Jikken gives me a quiet compliment that sounds like "beautiful" that I can barely hear. Even though I don't know exactly what he says, I still thank him and he turns away blushing even harder. The two boys make their way down the hall towards the kitchen and I am about to follow.
But then Aubron comes from behind and shoves past me. I give him a mean look as he looks back at me, but notice he isn't glaring back. He seems to admire me for a few seconds and then turns back around.
"Come on, girl. You move too slow."
Insulted I walk behind him and follow him into a door to the right of kitchen door. I see a beautifully decorated dining room, with a large round table, with silverware that could blind anyone. I pick a seat near the kitchen and before I can sit down, Chimer comes out of nowhere and pulls out my chair for me. I thank him and he puts on a wide smile as he takes a seat to my right. Across from me I see Aubron roll his eyes and he begins to roll-tap his fingers.
Jikken comes out of the kitchen by this time and carries out a tray with four dinner plates on them. He gives Aubron a very raw steak with a glass of what I guess at first is red wine. I remind myself of what he is a second later and look away, half disgusted. Chimer's plate consists surprisingly of a huge salad, overrun with croutons. While he begins to stuff his face I think of that Teen Titans show and how Beastboy didn't eat meat.
Yes, it's true. He doesn't eat meat because he turns into them. The Beastboy stereotype is correct.
I hear Jikken's voice in my mind and am only a little surprised to find out yet another power of his. He smiles at me as I look his way and hands me my plate— A cooked lobster with a side of liquid butter and along with a small salad and some bread. Jikken has made himself some glazed ham with fried rice on the side. I am starving as I stare at the food and taste the lobster first. It tastes so good I almost choke! I declare out loud that it is the best thing I have ever tasted and thank Jikken. He gives an uber-blush and looks away shyly. He says a small, barely audible 'thank you' and glances at me quickly before looking away again. Without even looking I can feel Aubron roll his eyes again and hear him mutter a quiet 'oh, please...'.
We all finish more or less at the same time and I offer to wash the dishes. Jikken tells me he can handle it as he walks towards the kitchen with a line of plates and glasses floating behind him. I tell them all goodnight and go up to my room and go immediately to sleep.
I wake up and notice it's actually daytime, and sunny at that.
At least I won't have to deal with Aubron this morning, I think to myself.
I take my morning shower and come back to my room, dreading having to wear yet another formal dress. I open the dresser and there are normal party and casual dresses. I open the drawers and find jeans and jackets and sweaters and shirts and socks and even underwear.
Inside I find a small note:
I hope you enjoy your new clothes. I had to guess what size you were so please don't be too disappointed.
How sweet..., I think and put on some jeans and a nice shirt.
I already figured that I'm going to have to stay in the house for a while and decide to do some exploring. I start with the hallway, looking at some extravagant paintings along the walls. I reach the end of the hall and find myself near a rounded off wall.
I guess the library is beneath this, I think.
I wonder if the library has a second floor and go follow the wall to the right until I find two glass doors. I open the doors and am blinded momentarily by white light. When my eyes adjust, before me lies a beautiful garden with a pond in the middle. The ceiling is made of glass and there are only windows as walls (besides the wall facing the house). I suppose there must be every kind of flower in that garden and make my way to the pond in the middle. It was more like a mini ocean because the water was clear near the sands and deep and darker in the center. I wave my hand over the water and little colorful fish come up to greet me.
My peaceful moment is then disturbed by a shadow I see moving out of the corner of my eye. There are a few trees and columns in the garden room, and I figure whatever it is hid behind one of them. I hear another dash behind me and get spooked out.
"Hello?", I call out, "who's there?"
Not a thing sounds and I get even more scared. The garden is silent except for the sounds of the fish playing in the water. I decide it's time to leave and walk slowly backwards towards the doors.
Suddenly a figure grabs me from behind and, before I can scream, clamps a hand over my mouth. I feel the man take in a breath by my ear, ready to speak, and he says...
End Chapter One
Words from the Writer:
For all my old fans from Quizilla, thanks for making the effort of finding me on my new writing site and re-reading my old story, before named "A Psychic, Shapeshifter, And Vampire... Oh My!"
To new readers who have happened to stumble onto my story, I welcome you and hope you enjoy this grand 35 chapter long story that happens to be my first attempt at writing publicly.
Stay tuned for more chapters... I am currently editing all of them from second person/"you" format to first person/"I" format as described in the story posting guidelines.