These characters are all my own, and the plot is totally mine…
I've lost who I am,
and I can't understand
Why my heart is so broken, rejecting your love, without,
Love gone wrong; lifeless words carry on
But I know, all I know's that the end's beginning…
Who I am from the start,
Take me home to my heart,
go and I will run,
I will not be silent,
All this time spent in vain; wasted years wasted gain
All is lost but hope remains
And this war's not over…
Shattered by Trading Yesterday
It wasn't supposed to be this way….
None of it had gone according to plan. We were just supposed to go skiing; the four of us, for the day, then come home. That's it; nothing special, or dangerous. So why was one of us laying in the snowing, dying?
That's what we all asked as we tried to keep his heart beating, tried to get help, tried to stay sane, and tried to keep our secret.
Today was the day that the world stopped, and then restarted, spiraling dangerously; sending me, and my friends, into a deadly war with ancient powers and modern weapons. Perhaps it was the afterlife. We had all died and were now fighting in a world that could not make sense to our suburban lives.
But, it was not that. It could not be. The pain I felt was too real, far too real and it was the only thing keeping me alive, keeping me moving….
But, perhaps this is jumping ahead too much. Let me go back to earlier in the day, back to the morning that it all changed…
You see, I live in a fairly small town. Well, not small enough to know everyone, but not large enough to only know your landlord. And we also get snow, a lot of it. It had been the second year for us to get nearly four feet everywhere. So, of course school was canceled for the last two days before Christmas Break. And what did my friends and I decide to do? Oh, that's right, go skiing.
It had been a normal morning, and I'm still wondering where it went wrong. At six in the morning I headed into town and picked up my friend, Sophie. I've only known her for a couple years, but we kind of became skiing/boarding buddies last year. Her Hispanic heritage is extremely obvious in her face, hair color, and voice as well. Grabbing her small pink board, I tossed it the back of my pickup next to my skis.
Climbing back into the Dodge truck, I started its V8 engine, which grumbled slightly at the chill in the air. Gunning the truck, it shot through the snow plowed onto the edge of the road, the back end sliding on the slick road. Laughing, I caught the truck and straightened it out. She giggled at my antics as she reached for the radio volume. Cranking up the sound, we listened to country the whole way up to the Pass Ski Area.
After parking the truck, we grabbed our gear and headed up to buy passes for the day. Walking into the lower level of the ski lodge, we traded jeans and sweaters for snow pants and turtlenecks. Whipping out my phone, I punched several digits into it.
The dial tone sounded for a time, and then connected. A rough voice answered at the other end.
"Hey Jarred, we're here. Where are you guys?" I paused for a moment. "Okay, we'll see you two in a few."
Sophie looked up at me, "So, Cole's with him again?"
"Yep. But it was fun with him last time."
She snorted at that. Last time he had come, he spent most of the time digging her out of the snow piles she flipped herself into. It actually was quite funny and sweet.
"Well, it was funny for Jarred and I, at least…" I started.
"Yeah, well, this time I am going to make it through the jumps, without crashing."
"You mean you're not going to come out head first and upside down? Gasp! Where's the fun in that for me?"
"Shut up. It wasn't that funny," she said rolling her eyes.
"But, you didn't get to see it," I insisted.
"Didn't get to see what?" I turned around. My crush was here, Jarred. But no one knew about that. He was the guy at our small school that everyone loved. Basically, guys wanted to be him and girls wanted to be with him. He was very country too; you could see it in his walk, his talk, and especially his truck. It was an old Chevy that I would die to drive for a day. Standing just under six feet, he had a mop of blonde hair, gray-green eyes, and tan skin. And, he had a smile that could melt the snow.
Catching my breath, I finally responded. "I was reminding Sophie of her marvelous jump exit from last year."
"Oh, that," he chuckled as Sophie slapped him. "What? It was very funny."
The short girl frowned at this statement. It was right then that Cole, Jarred's younger brother walked in. He looked nearly identical to Jarred, only he was paler with darker hair. And his eyes were blue, not gray-green. But he had the same lean body style and height. Bounding up to his brother, he grabbed his shirt and shoved a fist sized pile of snow down it. Jarred proceeded to then yelp and pounce on his brother, revenge in mind.
Laughing at the two boys, we waited while they suited up to go boarding. Heading outside, we all grabbed our 'ride' of choice, me being the only one with skis. Reaching the top of the mountain, we headed off on our first course. Everything was going fine, until we headed to one of the runs on the back of the mountain.
I don't know if you even could call it a run. It was basically a slope so steep and tree filled that no one went down it and no one carved tracks on it at all. But it wasn't off course; we weren't heading off the ski area or anything like that. We were just standing on the edge of insanity and about to go down it.
The four of us stood at the edge, looking down at the dust speck size people milling down at the lodge below. None of us were willing to go, but no one wanted to back down.
"So," I chuckled nervously. "Who wants to go first?"
"Well," Jarred started. "This was Cole's idea. Maybe he should go first…"
"Sure. If you old people are too scared, I'll sacrifice myself and go first," he said, holding his fist to his chest, a stupid look on his face. And with that, he pushed off and started gliding down the slope.
"I'll race you guys to the jump!" Cole yelled out and he zipped further downwards.
With a challenge set, the three of us set off after him, laughing and spraying each other with snow. The jump that the boy had spoken of was a large packed ridge that was infamous at the ski area. Many others had looked for it, but Jarred had discovered it the previous year.
Reaching it, Cole went over it first, executing a perfect spin and landing gracefully on the other side. I followed, grabbing my skis as I went over. Sophie went over next, doing a simple jump but staying up after her landing, a great improvement.
"Hey, you guys might want to stand back," Jarred yelled over the snow pile. "I'm going to try a new jump!"
Sliding back, we shouted encouragements over the bank. Grinning, Jarred set off at the jump. As I watched him lift off of it, time seemed to stop. I saw the tremor go through the board, the slight quiver that set him off balance and caused him to crash back onto the earth.
"Jarred!" I screamed the sound tearing at my throat. I had seen how he landed, and it was not good in the least. Unclipping my boots from the skis, and raced up the slope to him, Sophie and Cole not too far behind.
As I turned him over, it felt like someone had punched me in the gut. A long line ran from the top of his head, across his temple to his ear. Blood ran freely from the opening. The board must have caught his head, I thought. Running completely on adrenaline, I somehow knew what to do as I cradled his head in my arms.
"Cole," I called out to the boy, the panic in my voice meeting that in his eyes. "You have to get to the bottom of the slope and get help. Go as fast as you can."
Nodding, determination filled his face as the boy fastened himself back onto his board and headed off for help. Opening up my jacket, I pulled off my turtleneck, cold hitting my skin, but going unnoticed. Holding the fabric in one hand, I dug in Jarred's pockets for his knife. Cutting the shirt into several strips, I motioned for Sophie.
"Come over here. Can you take a pulse?" She nodded in affirmance. "Okay, keep track of his pulse while I try to stop the blood flow."
Elevating his head, I began wrapping the strips of cloth around his head wound. He groaned slightly, a good sign of life. Finishing the wrapping, I looked at Sophie, she was keeping count of his pulse, and her eyes closed in concentration.
Turning my body slightly, I watched his eye lids flutter. While I was no medic, I knew that I needed to wake him up, and quick. Un-gloving one hand, I slapped him hard, across the cheek.
"Damn it, Jarred. Wake up!" Letting out a groan, he looked up at me through slightly closed eyes.
"Hmmm. What…is it…Mackenzie? I….just want…to sleep…." He whispered.
"Yes, I know. But you have to stay here. Stay with me," I said, my green-gold eyes glaring into his.
He mumbled intelligibly, moving his head slightly.
"Mackenzie," Sophie said, startling me. "His pulse, it's fading…" Fear and sadness filled her eyes.
"He's not leaving us, not yet," I growled out. I as spoke, I could feel my fangs lengthening.
There was still one way to save him, and I was willing to do anything to keep him alive; even if it meant showing my most hidden secret.
I could feel the heart of the pack, the heat of the fight, and the freedom of the fur filling me. My breathing and heart rates were increasing, rapidly. Closing my eyes, I tried to focus the power and hold it back in a way I had never done so before.
When I reopened my eyes, they were a shade of gold few had ever seen on a human before. But it didn't matter to me. All that mattered was saving the boy laying in front on me. In the back of my mind, the part still functioning like a human, I could hear the rescue helicopter and the shouts of search crews. I had to hurry.
Reaching down, I lifted his lifeless head and moved my mouth to his neck. As my teeth broke his skin, a buzzing filled my ears as white light filled my sight. It was then that I lost consciousness.
Sophie was still holding Jarred's wrist as Mackenzie lowered her mouth to his neck. Her eyes widened as she saw what her friend was doing, but somehow she knew it was what needed to be done. 'Please hurry, Cole,' she willed the younger boy.
Looking back at Mackenzie, she saw the girl pull her head back from Jarred's neck. Wincing, she raised her fingers to her temple. Her eyes turned toward Sophie, golden orbs slowly fading to green, while she blinked. Groaning slightly, the girl fell to the side.
"Mackenzie," Sophie shouted, crawling over to her friend. As she checked her, she found her pulse to still be beating strongly, almost too quickly.
As she fussed over her friend, she heard a soft sigh behind her. Turning, she spotted Jarred sitting upright, touching his wounded head. As she watched, several weeks of healing moved across his skull, stopping the bleeding and reforming skin over the previously deadly cut.
"…Sophie, what the…hell happened…to me," he asked, wincing.
The small Mexican blinked several times, her mouth open, before answering. "I have no idea…"
"Where's Cole…and…Mackenzie…" he asked, glancing around the slope. His eyes widened as he spotted the blonde teen lying in the snow, only feet from him.
"Oh, shit. What happened," he questioned, scrambling over.
"She…saved your life. Then she just passed out." Jarred frowned at the girl's words. Reaching out his long fingers, he checked Mackenzie's pulse and breathing rates. His frown only deepened as his medical knowledge registered what he found.
"I know," Sophie said, cutting off his thoughts. "Her rates are way up, but stable."
"Yeah, why would that be?"
"…Because, I don't think she's human…"
"I…" Just as the girl was about to respond, Cole returned with a group of Red Cross personal.
"Jarred, I thought….Mackenzie…what," the young boy stammered as he unclipped his board. As he stepped forward, his eyes were latched on Jarred; he had thought he was going to lose his brother. But he was fine now, even if Cole could not understand how.
"Don't worry, Cole," Jarred said as he stood. "We have no idea what's going on."
The trio of friends stood back while the blonde girl was loaded onto a stretcher. Each had a million questions running through their heads, among which was who or what was Mackenzie?