Chapter One- The Living Stream
Syruss stared at the stream running smoothly at her feet. The water was different than normal water. It was so clean, and it sparkled and glowed. Not with sunlight, but by itself. Syruss smiled at her reflection. Then reached forward and touched her index and middle fingers to the surface of the water. It didn't feel like normal water. It felt more like something thicker. Like liquid soap or shampoo.
Syruss was now drawn to the strange water. She didn't know why, but she had to swim in it. It was crucial that she swam in this stream. So, Syruss slid off her black flip flops and put her feet in the water. She unbuttoned her skirt and pulled it off, then pulled her shirt off over her head. Syruss lowered herself into the water, holding her breath.
The way she floated there was unnatural, and she knew it. Syruss looked up, but couldn't see anything. Even the sun was obscured from her view. Somehow, she couldn't move anything. She tried to scream, tried to pull herself up, but nothing would happen. Finally a strong hand pulled her up out of the strange water and set her on the ground.
Syruss felt very strange. She felt her limbs stretch painfully, and everything suddenly came into view. Everything was more vivid than usual. Syruss could smell every smell. She could hear every sound. Syruss felt hands holding her sides. For some reason, she wanted to attack her savior. Syruss felt an extreme need to bite him. To feel her teeth sink into his soft tan skin.
She felt both warm and cold at the same time. The hands she felt holding her readjusted their grip. Syruss's vision became obscured again. She couldn't see her savior's face anymore. Everything suddenly turned black, and she became very very cold. Syruss curled up against the man's chest. He was warm. Warmer than she ever imagined anyone could possibly be. It was almost strange, how warm he was.
Syruss suddenly felt nothing. Not her own coldness, and not his warmth. She fell unconscious.
Syruss woke up in a warm bed. She stretched and sat up. The first thing she noticed was that she was completely naked. She gasped, stood up, and wrapped the warm olive green comforter around her nude body. Syruss looked around the room she stood in. The walls were peach. There was one window in the room, and the bright sun shone through. A dresser sat against the wall opposite the big bed. A closet door sat in the wall beside the dresser. The door to exit the room was set against the wall opposite the singular window.
Syruss crossed the room to the door and touched the doorknob, ready to turn it. The door suddenly burst open and she was thrown back with the force of it. A tall teenage boy with dark hair stood in the doorway. He held a tray with a pitcher of lemonade and two glasses on it.
The boy helped Syruss up from her spot on the floor. "I'm sorry, Syruss. I didn't mean to knock you over."
"Who are you? How do you know my name?" asked Syruss. She covered herself more fully with the comforter.
"I'm Cramen. Uh, Margus knew your name. He's the one who saved you from the Living Stream," explained the boy. He poured a glass of lemonade and handed it to Syruss. She carefully took it and downed the whole glass right away.
"What's the Living Stream?"
"I'm sorry, but I'm not really the one to tell you about that. Margus is. Do you want to go to him or should I bring him here?" asked Cramen.
"Uh, I'll go to him. Just tell me where to go and get me some clothes."
Cramen pointed to the closet door. "There are dresses hanging up in the closet. They're really beautiful dresses. If you like to move freely, though, there's jeans and t-shirts in the dresser. Margus should be in the garden. Be careful not to look in any mirrors."
"Trust me. That's the last thing you want to do. Margus will fill you in on everything. I have to go." The window opened by itself, and Cramen jumped through it. Syruss watched as his slender form glided through the air. What the hell was going on here?
Syruss dropped the comforter away from her body and kicked it away. She opened the closet and looked at the many dresses. She decided on one that had a yellow floral pattern on it. Syruss slipped on the dress and headed for the garden. She walked through the many halls of this strange building. There were portraits of strange-looking people hanging everywhere. Syruss eventually found the back door and stepped outside. She headed for the fenced-off portion of the yard that held various flowers and other plants Syruss had never seen before.
At first, Syruss didn't see Margus watering the flowers. That was because he was standing behind a giant bush. Syruss looked behind the bush and found him. He had short black hair and a thick goatee. His skin was tan, and he was shirtless. There was very little hair on his chest, and his build was somewhere between chubby and muscular.
Margus looked up at Syruss walked closer. He put his hands in the pockets of his blue jeans and smiled. "Good evening, Syruss."
Syruss tried to smile, but she was confused. "Same to you, Margus. What happened to me?"
"Oh, anxious, are we?"
"Yes we are. Please, tell me what happened."
Margus let out a breath he had been holding in for the longest time. "That stream you approached was the Living Stream. The Living Stream holds Sweet Water. The Sweet Water of the Living Stream changes regular humans. It makes them different, depending on their appearance and overall biological make-up. It usually keeps you under until you become a fragment of a spirit, but I saved you. The Water only had time to change you into a She-Wolf."
"She-Wolf. Like a female werewolf, but able to shift shape on command. Did Cramen tell you about mirrors?"
"Yes, but he just said not to look into them," remembered Syruss.
"People affected by Sweet Water can't look into mirrors because it turns them into their inhuman form for eternity. You'll be immortal, but you'll be a wolf."
"How do I--"
"Do your hair and make-up? Trust me, you'll learn."
"So what are you?" asked Syruss, after an uncomfortable silence passed.
Margus sighed. "Dead. Technically. I'm actually something called a Partsman. You don't wanna hear about it. It's actually a pretty gruesome description."
"I do want to hear about it actually."
"Are you sure?"
Syruss smiled and nodded her head.
Margus sighed again. "Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you. My wife and I were walking through the forest one day when we found a stream that was all-too clean. My wife kneeled down beside it to take a drink, and she felt compelled to swim in it. She did, and she couldn't come back up. I wanted to help her, and I tried, but I was shot and killed before I could do anything of use.
"I woke up in a laboratory, but it wasn't really me. My brain and my heart were merely hooked up to a computer. The scientist that saved me took other dead people's body parts and put them together to create a new body for me. He implanted my heart and brain in the new body, and so I was born again. But, to complete me, he had to dip me in the Living Stream. He did just that.
"When I came back out of the stream, I had the small portion of my wife's spirit that was left with me, and the scientist was nowhere to be found. You see, I'm actually seventeen different people. He helped me out as much as he could with everything. He made me tall, gave me a great build, and my other parts are very...developed too. I never even found out his name."
"That's a sad story. What happened to your wife's spirit?"
"I kept it in a preservation tank. I've been searching for the scientist so he may make a body for her too. It's a long shot though. I think you have to have the person's brain and heart," explained Margus. The sad look on his face was soon replaced with a big smile.
"So I'm a werewolf and you're...Frankenstein?" asked Syruss.
"What does that make Cramen? A vampire?"
Margus smiled and nodded his head slowly. Syruss couldn't believe it. "Are you kidding me? I was just trying to make a joke."
"But it's true."
Margus and Syruss laughed together. Margus stepped closer to Syruss. She set her hands on his warm chest and looked into his deep brown eyes. Margus smiled. Syruss stepped back again. "I'm sorry, Margus."
"No, it's okay," said Margus.
Syruss bit her lip. "You're married."
"To a spirit. She's been a spirit for seven years, Syruss."
"Well you have to want to save her. To want to find the man that made your body for you. You can't give all that up for me, someone you barely know," explained Syruss.
Margus sighed and left a big pause. "It's fine. We have to be out of here by sunset."
"What? Why?" Syruss asked. She looked at Margus with her big brown eyes. Margus set his watering can on the ground and looked up at Syruss. "It's hard not to be attracted to you when you look like that. We have to leave by sunset because this house was only temporary. Cramen and I were watching over the Living Stream, to make sure no one was attacked by it. Sadly, you were. But at least we have another companion. Now we have to move to another house to investigate something unnatural that's been going on there."
"Oh. Well, where's it at?"
"Florida," answered Margus. "Have you ever been there?"
"No, so I'm glad I'm finally going." Syruss smiled, mostly to herself. "Let me take a wild guess and say that our Florida house is a beach house."
"You know, you might be a precog. We're going to have to test that later."
"You can see or know the future by touching something of importance to that future event or even by talking about anything significant to the future," explained Margus. Syruss bit her lip once more. "What if I do have that power? Do you think I could learn to use it at will?"
"I'm not sure. I don't know any precogs. I'm the only telepath I know, and the only telekin I know is Cramen. I can read minds and he can move things with his mind."
Syruss smiled brightly at Margus. He smiled too. "You really have to stop that."
Syruss smiled impossibly brighter.