A/N: A new fic that I'm writing with the help of my best friend. Expect quicker updates than my previous fics. Tell me what you guys think.
A/N: A new fic that I'm writing with the help of my best friend. Expect quicker updates than my previous fics. Tell me what you guys think.
"Son, you're going through puberty."
"Like Mitch? Did Mitch get greys?
"No, not like Mitch."
"So... like Jenny and Katherine, then? Great."
"No, a different kind of a puberty. Look, I'm going to call your grandfather. He knows how to explain this better than I do. Stay here." Standing up, my mother shot out of the bathroom, hysterically mumbling to herself.
I turned miserably back to the mirror and scowled. Something was different. I couldn't for the life of me point out exactly what it was, but there definitely was something. After a few moments of scanning my face, I discovered that one of my pimples had disappeared. Odd... Upon closer inspection, I also found that my eyelashes had grown longer and thicker.
What the hell was going on? A different kind of puberty? Oh lords, I was an illegal experiment! My father was secretly a mad scientist and I was the experiment gone wrong! Oh gods, what if I was an alien? My mother had been abducted and impregnated with me! No wonder why I was so different from everyone. No, I don't want to be an alien, I thought mournfully. "Ok!" The loud word made me flinch, my body flicking around to face the door. My mother stood there, random stands of hair hanging from her otherwise neat bun. "Your grandfather and his grandfather are coming this afternoon. For now, you'll just have to tough it out at school."
I could have died right then. This sucked. "But I don't want to go to school!" I said, standing to protest. A large ripping sound echoed through the bathroom, my face draining of colour. "Definitely don't want to go to school." My shirt had ripped at the seams along my shoulders, the sleeves slipping down to my elbows. Oh hell. I was even growing taller! What kind of puberty made you grow an inch within a few minutes? I could see the amusement dancing around in my mother's eyes. This wasn't funny. This was scary! How dare she laugh at me during this kind of crisis?! I needed her love and support, and here she was, laughing it up like I was some kind of sideshow attraction.
"For now, you can borrow some of your brother's clothes. I'm sure he won't mind... much." Life couldn't have gotten any worse. Or at least, not in my mind. I was still fat, I was still ugly, I still had coke bottle glasses and here I was, in need of my older brother's clothing. Great. A few minutes ago, my clothes were too big for me, yet alone Mitch's. How embarrassing. I bet I'll have to borrow his stinking shoes too.
Too worried about my changing appearance, I stumbled my way out of the bathroom and down the hallway to Mitch's sign-littered door. It was better to ask forgiveness rather than permission. Chances were, he wasn't going to risk ripping his clothes just to get them off of my body. Score for me. Not. I pushed open the door, slipping in quietly so as not to be detected by the dictator who happens to share DNA with me.
His room was disgusting. There was dirty laundry scattered across the floor into what my mother described as a 'floordrobe'; dirty dishes scarring his desk and bed. And right there, like a beacon of light, was a pair of clean and neatly folded school clothes sitting amongst the chaos. Those suckers were mine for today. Quick as light, I stripped off my seemingly shrinking clothes and pulled on the uniform. It was a bit long around the ankles, but nothing that a little rolling couldn't fix. Besides, by the way I was growing, I wouldn't need to have them that way for long.
Now... What to do about shoes. Mine sure as hell wouldn't fit anymore. My toes would have been crammed into the ends. So, either take my brother's brand spanking new pair of DCs or his smelly, grease stained steel caps. Yeah, my choice was pretty much decided for me. I snatched up the disgusting pair of tan coloured steel caps, wrinkling my nose at the offensive odour that assaulted my nostrils. Gross. Didn't know that you could get toe fungus from smelly shoes like this? Better take a pair of his thick socks, just in case. It took me less than a minute to put them on before I carefully shuffled out of his room. It was really awkward walking in boots that weigh the same as my left forearm.
Finally dressed for school, I snatched up my backpack from the living room before flying through the kitchen to catch some toast before I was fleeing out the door and down the road. I thought I was clean away. But I'm not that lucky. Just as I was turning the corner to head to school, I bumped into my older brother. He looked at me, but didn't seem to recognise me. "Hey man, watch where you're going," he mumbled before stepping around me. Damn, I was almost as tall as him now.
"Oh yeah, Mitch, I borrowed your clothes. Hope you don't mind but even if you do, too bad. Bye!" I high-tailed out of there, leaving a very confused Mitch standing on the street corner. If I had had the guts, I would have called him a corner whore. But I didn't so I kept my mouth shut.
After a few hundred metres, I slowed down to an awkward waddle. It felt weird not having the insides of my thighs touching each other as I walked. Wait... what? Where did the fat go from my legs? I looked down, lifting a leg to run a hand down the inside of it. Damn. It almost felt muscular. It felt good! With a grin, I began to stroll, feeling sexy for the first time in my life.
That was until a leaf blew into my face. I spluttered and clawed at my face, trying to get the damned thing out of my eyes. I must of looked like an idiot because a pair of girls from my year walked past and giggled at my unfortunate struggle. At least, that's what went through my head at the time. This was why I hated autumn. The leaves always managed to attack me.
When I finally made it to the schoolyard, I slinked my way over to the mossy wall where I usually met my best friend in the mornings. People stared at me. I blushed. What was so freaking interesting? Besides my hair turning grey. But that wasn't the point. It took a few minutes, but Luke eventually arrived in his geekish glory, tripping over a raised block of pavement. He face planted into the school garden as he drooled at a group of cheerleaders.
I rushed over to the poor guy, gripping him by the arm. With a tug that was harder than I had intended, I jerked the scrawny guy to his feet. "Dude, you alright? I swear, you're about as observant as a goldfish." He brushed himself off, mumbling something. Turning around, Luke came face to face with my chest. This is ironic because I was always the shorter one. A grin crossed my face as he tilted his head back with wide eyes.
"K-Kaleb? Is that you? Damn man! Did you fall into a barrel of nuclear waste or something? You're as hot as Wonder Woman! Except... a guy version... y'know? In a non-gay kind of way." I laughed, shaking my head. It was good to see him again after the summer. He had gone to some science camp and ditched me for all the geeky chics.
"Luke, that is so lame. You know Cat Woman is way sexier." He opened his mouth to reply when the bell rang. Oh well, maybe next time. I slapped him on the shoulder, crouching down to quickly unroll my pants. Everyone scurried inside, hurrying to get to their class before they got in trouble for being late. I was close behind, darting into my Science class. Thank god Mr. Fitzsimmons wasn't in yet. He would have had my head for breakfast.
I took my usual seat next to my younger sister, dumping my backpack onto the floor next to me. Her head swivelled around to look at me, her eyes lighting up with a look that gave me nightmares for weeks. I thought she was going to leap onto me and start chewing on my face or something. "Well, hello there," she said, fluttering her thick eyelashes. I thought I was going to be sick.
"Er, hi, Kattie," I murmured, coughing awkwardly. How gross. My sister was hitting on me. Though, I do admit, I did look different compared to what I did the day before. Much different. She paused for a moment, blinking owlishly at me. I admit, that was funny.
"Kaleb? Aw, shit." Her face automatically buried itself into the palms of her hands. "Sorry, I didn't reco- You know steroids are bad for you, right? They make your wiener shrivel up. Trust me, I have seen the side effects." My face must have gone as white as a sheet, because I suddenly felt light-headed. Way too much information about my sister's love life.
Just then, Mr. Fitzsimmons entered with his usual air of wackiness. Today he wore a pink striped shirt tucked into a pair of fluro yellow board shorts. Talk about a weirdo. "Alright class, today we are starting a new topic! The anatomy of the Cane Toad. That's right, ladies. Slicing and dicing these slimy little buggers." He held up two cane toads in each hand, waving them around in front of himself like a crazy preacher. I swear I heard Kattie gag next to me. She hated frogs.
Let's just say that class didn't go well. With my sister being terrified of frogs (alive or dead) and my failure at anything to do with science, it was a failure waiting to happen. Let's just skip Science and Geometry to recess, two periods later. By this time, my toes were feeling a bit snug in the boots and I was starting to get a headache. I decided to go into the bathroom and take some aspirin after I relieved my bladder of the building pressure.
After I had finished my business (you know what I mean), I looked into the mirror and realised that it was nothing but a giant blur. Had my glasses fogged up? I took them off and instead of the usual haze, I saw as clearly as an eagle. Needless to say, I broke into song. "I can see clearly now the haze has gone! I can see all... of my face? Hang on, where the fuck did my pimples and freckles go?" I leaned closer to the mirror, my eyeballs practically touching the glass. This was... interesting. Not that I was complaining. I looked better than I had in... well, forever! But I did look like I was getting a whole bunch more of grey hairs.
The door opened to reveal Thomas, one of the guys from the grade above mine. He wasn't popular by any means, but certainly out of my league for friends. The air grew tense and I stuffed my glasses into one of the small pockets of my bag. Did I mention he was one of the guys who often beat me up for my lunch money? I know, it's cliché, but it does happen. I turned to leave, keeping my head down in hopes that he wouldn't recognise me.
Surprisingly, he moved out of my way, looking at me as if he had never seen me in his life before. I fled the bathrooms, holding my breath as I went. Damn, that was scary. I swear, he would have cornered and beaten me if he had known. I left the confines of the school's interior to go outside. The world seemed much more comforting right then, which was unusual for me considering I avoided the outdoors like the plague.
Something about the world had changed too. It was the same yet oddly different. It was like I had truly opened my eyes for the first time. Details leapt out at me, inviting me closer. I would have been freaked out if not for the fact that the sweet autumn air had seemed to have lulled my senses.
Collapsing onto a stone bench, I panted softly. A black dot in the back of my mind was screaming at me, telling me that something was very wrong with this. But I had grown weak; relaxed like I had been drugged with muscle relaxant. My vision began to play tricks on me at that point. As I looked about with a lazy sweep of my hazel eyes, I swear I saw a man standing by the school gates who looked like me, only with black hair. It was like seeing my father all over again. Stumbling to my feet, I staggered my way across the courtyard, hand outstretched as if he were a fading dream. Apparently, this wasn't a good thing because he unfolded his arms and took a step back. A car passed by and with its retreat, he disappeared from sight.
During third and fourth period, I toyed with the idea of this man. Who was he? Why did he seem so familiar? Where did he come from? What was he? How did I know him? When would I see him again, if ever? A few times, a teacher had to come and shake me from my daze, their eyes blazing with annoyance at my lack of attention. And more than a few times, I lost where we were in our work because of that mirage of a man.
Lunch was spent in the cafeteria, helping out the lunch lady. She was hitting on me the entire time, making lewd comments with the mac and cheese. Didn't she realize how young I was? I was wearing a school uniform, for crying out loud. It wasn't all that bad, though. A few of the girls skipped the lunch lady entirely to eat whatever disgusting food I was dishing out. I doubt any of them actually ate it. About halfway through, Mitch came past, staring at me with squinting eyes. I think he recognised me, albeit vaguely.
Finally, the torment of Lunch was over, only to fling me into Gym class. Joy. We were to play basketball. As I walked into the noisy locker room, I quietly slipped over to mine, shoving my bag inside. Oh shit, how was I going to play basketball in clothes too small for me? Well, possibly they were wide enough, just not long enough. I had a pair of long basketball shorts and a basketball shirt that was rather baggy on me. What I ended up doing was ripping the pants off of my shorts until they ended just above my knees and just left the shirt entirely. Though I did have to borrow a pair of spare sneakers as my old ones were just too small for me.
We all crowded out of the locker room like cattle from a corral, the guys in front of me sniggering and pointing when they spotted the girls' Gym class. I felt eyes on me when the group began to scatter, though I ignored the feeling as I followed my team as we went to retrieve our colour bands. By now, my hair was fully silver with the exception of a few remaining copper hairs. Not that I was paying any attention to that. I was more focussed on my washboard abs and toned arms.
We were the green team today and we were playing from the left hoop. As the whistle blew, we sprang into action, though everyone avoided me. That was really confusing. I was taller than most people and would have had a better chance at making a shot. And then suddenly, they were all running back towards me. One of the stockier guys bumped into me, sending me stumbling. Great, not only did they avoid me, but they were also knocking me around. However, it wasn't a foul.
A few hoops were had by both teams when I finally got the ball. I was close to the opposition's hoop and decided to go for a slam dunk. Pivoting on my left leg, I jumped and reached for the ring. A hand came out of nowhere, smacking me in the chin. My jaw went up and my now dramatically sharper teeth sliced into my lower lip. The ball slid through the basket's net and the taste of blood filled my mouth.
Coming back down to earth, a hand went to my face, wiping at the trail of red running down my chin. Damn, that hurt! Nobody noticed for a second until I turned around, my hands cupping the lower half of my face. Stripping off my shirt, I pressed it to my wound, glancing around the now quiet gym. I froze. The heck? Was this some kind of big deal? "What, you never seen blood before?" I muttered, slowly pulling the shirt away.
A group of girls who were sitting off side were whispering to each other. I could hear every word they said. "Oh my god, who is that?"
"I dunno, but he's hot."
"Do you think he's foreign?"
"Oh gosh, he's looking at us. Oh my god, oh my god."
"Shh, he'll hear you."
"Oh shit, is that... is that Kaleb?"
The coach butted in before I heard anymore. "You alright, Kaleb?" he asked, placing a hand on my shoulder. "The rest of you, get back to the game." I was led off of the court where the coach inspected my split lip. "Your grandfather called and said you might be experiencing a bit of a... change." He took the hat from his head and placed it on mine, making sure to tuck the tips of my ears in. I hadn't actually noticed how long they had grown until he had done that.
"I'd say it won't be too long now before you start winding down from the Change. You're pretty far along now." I didn't say anything, instead just staring at the borrowed sneakers on my feet. This was awkward. Almost like getting 'the talk' from my mom. It was pretty cut and dry after that. I finished the basketball game as centre and was soon walking home barefoot.
Mitch's shoes didn't fit and my pants were now ankle freezers. I even went so far as to take off the school shirt as well. It was getting too tight over my chest and shoulders. It was a very strange feeling to have a backpack strap rubbing against my naked shoulder. It initially took longer to get home than usual because girls from my school kept asking for my number. I ended up sprinting the rest of the way just to stop the embarrassment of telling them I didn't have one.
I was about to spring up onto porch when that man from Recess opened the door. I stopped dead in my tracks, gawking at him with wide eyes. "Oh," I said blankly. "So I wasn't hallucinating." I backed away from the porch a little, running my eyes over the stranger. He returned my gaze, something very old in the depths of his eyes. I brushed past him as I went inside, taking a seat in the lounge room next to my grandfather.
Now, let me tell you something about my grandfather. He's one of those old people who are just like recycled kids. They never grew up and out of their sense of humour. And he loved to share the odd dirty joke or talk about comic books and the like with me. But now, the way he slouched in the recliner, I finally realised just how old he looked. His thick glasses sitting on the end of his nose, the way his brow wrinkled, the wispy grey hair that fell around his eyes... Poor old man.
"So what's this all about, hm? Why am I suddenly a freak of nature?" I questioned, waving my hands at everyone around me. Thank god the others weren't home yet. The man who looked like me sat down next to my mother on the couch, staring at me intensely. It was rather unsettling.
"Well," my grandfather began, clearing his throat. "By now, you've probably realised that you're not like normal kids. Do you know what elves are, my boy?" he said, looking at me with an unusually serious expression. I wet my suddenly dry lips, turning it over in my head. What the fuck did elves have to do with this?
I nodded slowly, eyeing the stranger out of the corner of my eye. "Like Legolas? Yeah, I know what they are. What about them?" I questioned, frowning deeply. Now I really was going insane. Elves. What a laugh! Elves didn't exist! Not even the Christmas kind. Trust me, teenagers aren't naive.
"That's a derogatory term for us, Kaleb," the stranger said, his voice smooth. He reminded me of cinnamon coffee. I turned to him, leaning back a little.
"'Us'? What do you mean, 'us'?" I almost yelled, standing. I didn't know who this was. I didn't know what he meant or what he wanted! "Mother, who is this man? He's not Dad, is he? Why does he look so much like me?!" I didn't give shit that he was there and listening. I wanted to know what was going on! Nobody told me anything.
My mother had had enough. She stood up and slapped me in the face. "Kaleb Anthony McArthur! Sit down and behave yourself!" Sure, the slap stung, but what had me shocked was the fact that she had just full named me. She only ever did that when she was seriously stressed or annoyed. Slowly, I sat down, hand pressed to my cheek.
"I understand how stressful this must be for you. Let answer some of your questions and then hopefully, it'll make it easier." Again, his voice was so smooth. What was up with that? He should have a dark cloak and be named 'Dracula'.
"Who are you?" was my first question.
"My name is Kyon; Kevin in your world. I'm your Grandfather's grandfather."
I laughed at that. He seriously expected me to believe that he was older than my grandfather? He barely looked older than my mother, for crying out loud! Everyone else remained quiet, simply staring at me, waiting until I was finished.
"Ok, ok. Assuming you're telling me the truth, how is that possible?" I asked sceptically.
He smiled in a way that sent chills up my spine. "I am an 'elf', as humans would call us. In our language, we are the Leywa'len. It means 'Sky People'." Turning his head to one side, he brushed away his hair to reveal that he too had long, pointed ears. "And you, my great-great-grandson, are what we call a Da'Leywa. 'Turned Sky Person'."
I shook my head, covering my eyes with my hands. "So what you're saying is I'm some kind of mythical humanoid who lives in a forest, shooting a bow and arrow?" I asked, feeling frustrated and rather shocked. I was inclined to think this was all one big dream and that I'd wake up to my boring old life. Just a dream. That had to be it!
"Well, you can use a bow if you like, but I personally think you'd be better at the Arcane Arts. I myself was one of the finer arcane students." I swear I heard a bit of a smirk in there. Was he being a smartass?
"Alright," I said, puffing out my chest. "So what now? Do I go back to school like this or what? What's next, Great-great-grandfather?" he smiled again, holding up a hand with his middle finger and thumb touching. Yep, this was a dream and he was the weirdo of it.
"Right now." And then he snapped his fingers.