A/N: Hey, this is WritingKnightmare. How shall I ramble today? Kidding. This isn't my first time writing a story, nor is it my first time letting others read it, but it is my first time publishing a story online. (Big shocker)... I'm very confident in my writing skills, but I know I make mistakes. I mean, who doesn't? I've caught on other's people mistakes before, but then again, I have a knack for it. :) Um, so yeah...
This story is called Changelings and though there are controversies as to what a Changeling is, I've decided for my idea and the sake of fun and all that is sane in my mind, I've decided to make a my changelings shapeshifters(don't worry, I'm not an idiot, I just didn't know there was a direct term for what a changeling really is, I've just decided they are shapeshifters[don't hate me] in my mind). Shapeshifters is a pretty bland name for them and I definitely don't want to constantly say shapeshifters in my story allllll the time so I called them Changelings(much cooler). There is of course Romance, but I'm hopefully going to make it a little more oriented towards the struggle between Skye's morals/feelings and her battle with the changelings. If that makes any sense what-so-ever. Also, there are different times of day stated during the story, so fair warning if you've read my A/N.
First person POV in Skye's eyes. So far as I've been writing, it doesn't change. If it does, I'll say so during the chapter. If anything is too confusing, or if you have comments or suggestions, Review or PM me, please! I absolutely DO NOT tolerate direct flames at me or my writing, but I do welcome constructive criticism.
I digress. Enjoy!
Summary: Skye Heatherwood isn't your normal student on a swimming scholership. In fact, she's far from normal. She's a Hunter, a group unknown by unsuspecting humans. Their whole existance is to hunt down rogue changelings or changelings that pose a threat to humans or exposing themselves to humans. Together with her little brother and two best friends, she must defend her territory; her school campus. This means protecting a boy, Bradley, that she has mixed feelings about. And what about when she falls for a changeling? And on top of that, another type of changeling wants her for his bride. What's a girl to do?
It was almost like gliding. Like gliding over the earth; through the air, then landing. This was basically the opposite. The bodies moved through the water; glided through the water. It was mesmerizing and I couldn't even join them. I wasn't allowed.
But then again, when did I ever obey my elders?
They said that I wasn't allowed to swim when others were in the water. I wasn't allowed to watch. I wasn't allowed to… blah, blah, blah. I tuned out after that. What did I do to deserve this, again?
Oh yeah… I didn't do anything. Except maybe punching someone who totally deserved it. I just had to do wait a few more days.
"Skye… You know you aren't supposed to be here."
I turned to see Mr. Hatch, arms folded across his chest.
"Yeah. I was just leaving."
Mr. Hatch was sceptical. Most people didn't believe me. He had a right to. I ran off in the general direction of the dorms. When out of sight, I turned into the woods.
There were two sections of this lake-like place; Heaven's Above and Bottom Dweller. They were connected by a waterfall. Heaven's Above had the stronger current, seeing as it hosted the waterfall. It wasn't anything spectacular, loud, but pretty none the less. Bottom Dweller, had next to no current, but the water wasn't still. It was a little hard to swim against the waves the waterfall created. I personally called the waterfall Stairway to Hell. From the very top of Stairway to Hell, the drop was maybe 70 feet? There are other drop ledges that you could sit on, but no ever did. I was the only one that did.
Our school was renowned for swimming. The point of using the lakes when we could was the current. Heaven's Above was where the expert swimmers, and the boys—pretty much only the boys with the exception of one or two girls, myself included— practiced and Bottom Dweller was where the beginners practiced. The current helped make our swimmers stronger and faster. And though we did have swimming pools on campus, we used the lakes as soon as we could, which was fun but very, very cold. During the winter months, we used the pools.
Thankfully though, Bottom Dweller was a hell of a lot deeper than Heaven's Above. Because I was an idiot when I first found out. When I arrived on campus, I found an approximately 3 or 4 story drop ledge and jumped, screaming bloody murder all the way. Each time I found it was more and more fun, and even with my training, I was a wimp at first. But as I got used to it, the more and more flips and tricks I did.
Hopping as I stripped off my shoes and socks, then again as I removed my shorts. My shirt was easier to remove and I ran full out towards the water. My black bikini, which no one ever saw and hopefully never will, blended in with the surrounding rocks easily. Now this was the dangerous, but also fun, part.
I found my usual flat rocky spot and just jumped. I plummeted towards the water below and I let out a yell of joy. No one ever attempted it, maybe I shouldn't have either, but it still seemed like a fun idea. On this particular jump, I did at least 3 flips, if not more, before diving into the ultra cold water. I went deep enough that the pulse of the waterfall was next to nothing as I swam under it to the hidden side. The caves were another story which I wasn't ready to ever begin.
I found this place a few weeks after I'd gotten suspended from swimming. It was surprisingly beautiful. I want to keep this place mine.
I got pelted by the mist but it made me happy. The thundering water had a sort of beat for me. I started to sway as the "music" called my name.
"What the–" A voice seemed louder that the falls themselves. "Skye?"
"Bradley?" My surprised voice echoed his. "What the hell are you doing here?" I suddenly felt exposed, standing in front of him in my swimsuit. I turned my back to him.
"I could ask the same of you. You know you aren't supposed to be swimming."
"I wasn't." I shot back. But we both knew it wasn't true.
"Have you ever explored back there?" He asked. I turned towards him suddenly. He ran a hand through his tousled dirty blond hair. His steely grey eyes were locked on my dark amber ones. He was taller than me, maybe a good 5 inches and well built. Not too much to be considered a muscle head but enough to be a major head turner.
I didn't want to seem like a wimp, which I am. I put up this tough girl exterior but really, I'm a total scaredy-cat. The only time I'm not is when I'm personally going to scare myself into the next dimension. I answered as boldly as I could.
"Liar." Bradley murmured.
"I did!" I wanted to hit him. I couldn't though, because I knew he was right. He knew it too.
"C'mon wimp." He said and pushed me ahead of him into the darkness.
"Hey!" I cried. "What the hell, Bradley! Let me go!" I turned to run but his arms stopped me. He might not have expected my strength when I was afraid. He picked me up and slung me over his shoulder. "Let go, asshole!"
"No." Bradley stopped for a moment before releasing me basically stuff me into a crevice. "Keep moving. You're almost there."
"Almost where?" I screamed. Tears blurred my vision. "Please, take me out of here…"
"No. I said keep moving, your almost there." His hand went to the small of my back and began to push lightly. I grabbed his arm and moved forward slowly, eyes closed tight.
We squeezed through the crevice, which widened out after a bit, and the sound of the waterfall began to fade. It was slow progress, but Bradley didn't seem to mind. He said nothing other than the occasional "watch your head" or "step over (insert object here)". I didn't mind much but I would prefer if he was more like his rude self.
After what seemed like an eternity, he told me to stop and open my eyes.
"Really, Skye? You trust me enough to take you this far into the caves but you don't trust me enough to open your eyes." His laughter filled the space. "What a wimp."
"You want to call me that again?" I demanded angrily, advancing on him. He'd taken his shirt off and I looked away quickly.
"It got you to open your eyes." He stated mundanely. I looked back at him but he wasn't looking at me, but at whatever was in front of us. I finally decided to take a chance and look at whatever there was to look at.
"Holy crap! It's like a forest," I gasped. In front of us were huge stalactites and stalagmites that went from floor to ceiling and you could only tell which they were if you look closely. They were that big. I couldn't believe it.
"Yeah. It's insane."
Bradley's voice seemed much more distant than before. I looked over to where I thought he was and it was almost like he disappeared. An arm wrapped around my wrist and began to pull me through the rock forest. Suddenly, he stopped and I almost ran by him, but Bradley's grip on my wrist never faltered as he pulled me to a stop beside him.
"This is what I wanted to show you."
A cerulean blue mini-lake lay in front of us. Which was impossible for where we were but somehow it was possible. "Incroyable!" I whispered as low as I possibly could. I didn't want Bradley to hear any of what I just said.
"What did you say?" Bradley demanded. I shook my head for denial of saying anything. "I heard you. What did you say?" Bradley spun me towards him and clamped his giant hands around my upper arms. I dug my thumbnail into his wrist and forced him release me. I ducked under his grabbing arms to stand behind him. He turned to keep me always in his line of sight.
"I said: Go on in."
"What? No, you said something else." Before I said anything else, I pushed him into the water. He came spluttering up within seconds and I was already on the ground laughing my head off. "That's not funny."
"Yeah…. It…. Was….!" I shrieked between the pain in my ribs, the breathlessness from laughing and the attempt to talk normally. My shrieking with laughter turned into screams as Bradley grabbed my ankle and pulled me in with him. I pulled him under as I went down. Then I released him and continued to swim down. It took less than 15 seconds to reach the bottom (deeper than I had originally believed), granted it was Bradley, who just happened to want to follow me, who pulled me down. I looked up to find a dark grey ceiling.
It was so odd. When looking down at the water, it was a brilliant shade of blue. But when I looked up, it was grey. This kind of thing you'd have to experience in order to believe it. That I found was an anomaly in itself. Bradley pulled at my wrist and pointed up. I pushed up from the floor of the water and emerged seconds later.
"Seriously, what did you say?" Bradley asked as he trapped me against the side of the pool. I knew I couldn't get out of this as easily as I would have if it were any other guy. I knew for a fact that Bradley was stronger than me (his muscles proved that), and he would catch me if I tried to run.
"Persistent aren't you?" I demanded. He smiled. "If you really want to know, I said 'incredible'."
"No you did–"
"Yes I did."
"You said 'in crayon'? Or something like that." Bradley said.
"Incroyable." I whispered.
"Yeah, that. What does it mean? What language?"
I rolled my eyes and sighed. I slid out of the water and sat in front of him. I looked at him with what I hope looked like I thought he was an idiot. "It's French and I told you what it meant already, dipshit. You must have failed French class."
He laughed. When I was about to tell him to stop, he interrupted me. "I never heard you swear or call anyone a name."
I laughed like I knew he'd say that all along. This is the most irritating thing about Bradley. He acts like an asshole one minute, to being an okay guy that just drives me insane.
I ran behind the white wolf as she found the scent we'd been tracking since last year. This changeling was good. It kept finding ways to escape. But this trail today was especially warm.
Faolan slowed, as did I. Through the trees, 5 wolves hid. They looked like they were in a meeting. One of them changed. It was a man. His wolf form had a scar across one eye that translated into his human form, a wanted changeling. Good, they were easier to kill this way. I brought an arrow to its notch and let it fly. Now the changelings know a Hunter was near. I moved silently and killed another, a black wolf with no tail, yet another changeling on the wanted list. The last turned in my direction. It growled. I stepped out of my hiding place and had another arrow ready to go if one attacked. He moved to protect the other two. They were clearly younger. Faolan ran from behind the three of them and bared her teeth at the smallest wolf. The largest advanced on me.
I was clothed in all black. My face was covered by a black scarf. I didn't want any of the creatures to recognize me if they got away. I circled with the creature before he had me pinned. I was off my game. I couldn't concentrate as well as usual. This wasn't the creature we'd been tracking and I couldn't bring it in myself to kill it. Partly because it wasn't part of Hunter code to kill one without reason. Maybe it was because this pack was wolves. Faolan was a wolf and very close to my heart. I hoped to Harvest that that was the reason. This creature's eyes were intriguing.
"Why did you murder them?" This wolf changed halfway so his voice was understandable.
"It's not murder if it's justice." I replied. Faolan cried out in pain and I kicked the changeling off to help her. I could only hope that Faolan hadn't initiated the fight. She lay on her side and whimpered. I jumped on the back of one of the smaller wolves, a knife at its throat. "Away from the white wolf or I will kill this one."
His voice was still understandable as he said the next thing. "You attacked us. It's only fair that we kill it. It's justice." His taunting voice reminded me of someone but I couldn't name who.
"Your kind attacked the Hunters first, we retaliated. Though technically I didn't attack you, I attacked the Rogue's we'd been tracking." The half changed changeling growled and the other remaining wolf, and he or she ran. "Are you part of the Pack?"
The changeling gave an awkward bob of his head. "You did me a favour with those other two." He came closer to me, slowly. I got up off the younger one and watched him run the same way the other one did. I backed away from this changeling's advancing figure.
"I thought as much. Come." I said to Faolan. She struggled to get up. "Shit," I whispered. I started to go to help her but the changeling beat me to it. To my relief, my reflexes brought my bow up with an arrow ready to fly. Before he touched Faolan he noticed the arrow aimed at his heart.
"I kill her; you'll probably kill me in 2 seconds. I can carry her for you."
"I'm stronger than I look. I can carry my partner myself." I slid the arrow back into the sheath and put the bow on my back before advancing towards Faolan. "Besides, you kill me, Faolan will certainly run then hunt you down like the pest you are and kill you. She won't care if you are Pack or not." I lifted my wolf into my arms and cradled her like the baby that she was to me. She seemed a little heavier than usual.
"I guess you're too afraid to let me help."
I was tempted to kill him, but I had to help my baby. I didn't reply and walked the way we came and changed my direction to go towards the dorms. It still surprised me that they gave us each our own little cottage, to an extent. There was a half living room of sorts (ironic if you die in the living room… bad joke), a bedroom and a walk-in closet. I converted the closet so that half was for my clothes and the other half was for Faolan. I wanted my partner close to me and I wanted her safe.
I unlocked the door and kicked it closed. I carried her quickly to her place in the walk-in. I ran to lock the door and close the shutters. It wasn't odd for people to find me up this late; I just didn't want them to find Faolan while she was injured like this.
I found my first aid kit for her and began the tedious work of cleaning and bandaging Faolan's wounds. All the while I spoke calming words and spoke to her like she was human instead of the one-word commands I would normally give. She may have been trained to listen to those words and obey, but I wasn't' like the other hunters. I treated my partner like my sister. Quite frankly, she was more of a sister than that of my blood.
The job of healing took much longer than I had originally thought. Damn, that little changeling was good at inflicting wounds. The oldest must have been teaching the other two. When I was finally done, I changed into an old t-shirt and shorts and got into my bed. I was just about to totally go under when a knocking on the door woke me. I ruffed up my hair a little and acted like I just woke up.
Unlocking the door, I opened it to find Bradley leaning against the doorframe.
"It's 4:30 in the morning." I said. "Come back when I'm awake."
"Then you'll dream of me. Why dream when the real thing is right in front of you." He went back to the familiar Asshole role that I was used to. "Why is there blood on the carpet?"
"Huh? Oh, I cut my foot on my way in. I forgot to clean it up." I lied smoothly. I took pride in my lying ability when I'm in Hunter mode. It's what makes me such a great Hunter. I can switch from the blissfully unaware girl that doesn't know of this type of thing that also can't lie and the Hunter that I really am.
"I'll help you clean."
"Nah, I'm fine. Good night, err, good morning, Bradley."
"Morning, Skye." With that, I locked the door in Bradley's face and went back to bed. Faolan was there staring at me from the closet door.
"C'mon, Baby; under the covers. Let's have us a good sleep." Faolan cuddled up to me and we slept, totally unaware of the terror that the night can hold.
A/N: So that was Chapter 1 of Changelings! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Um... yeah... Not much to say... Well, other than to please Review! And any confusions I'll try to clear up. Comments or suggestions... REVIEW! It'll be much appreciated.