Chapter 3

Author's notes: I had to re-scrap and redo this chapter. The first few chapters is just setting the story. Then I got really busy with school and I couldn't do it. Hopefully, it'll get better. Long sections for both our main characters.

Tsuki felt trapped. He wanted to go back to the redwoods. He was released in the state of the Washington. He knew he would be in trouble with his mom. Trying to attack another human without any plausible threat or reason. What a mess. He needed to change back to a human boy so that he could ask his mom to take him home; however, Washington state is a bit too far for a practical drive from California. He couldn't tap his feet together and teleport back to Emerson. I wish... He tried to morph back into a human again, but it wasn't really working. Anything he tried was not working. He started to despair. He would be left in a state where he knew nobody and knew nothing about his surroundings. It was almost a death sentence to him. He is free, but imprisoned here. Think, what will make you transform back... think hard, Tsuki. He told himself as he focused.

He pondered for a while. A certain memory began to play in his mind with a concise clarity. Images were crisp and clear, as if they were happening in front of his eyes. He then started to have a flashback from his childhood:

"Come on Tooki!" The little girl exclaimed, "I want to show you something I can do!"

The little girl was pulling him along. She couldn't quite say "Tsuki" correctly. The little girl had this light, yet creamy complexion. Her body petite, her hair jet black, she had these dark interesting small almond eyes that were bright and vibrant, and her hair styled in a bob. She smiled at him and she walked him into the master's bedroom. She then entered a walking closet and showed him a sword. It was highly decorated, but it looked ancient. The gold sword gleamed as she reached for the light switch and was barely able to turn on the lights.

"Excalibur! LOOK! This is my best friend. Come and meet him!" She exclaimed again.

The sword shook, then an otherworldly glow emanated from the sword. A vibrant blue light, then a sudden flash. A figure appeared over the sword. It looked like a knight from the Medieval times. It's donned in full armor. It's face was covered as well, so there was no way of being able to identify it. It bowed at the little girl with the utmost piety. The little girl smiled back at the otherworldly being. He only stood there next to her, afraid.

"Hello, Mistress. How may I be of your service?" The otherworldly being (named "Excalibur" by the little girl) asked.

"Meet my best friend, Tooki! So don't hurt him, okay?" The little girl begged the being.

"Of course, as you wish, Mistress," It responded then bowed at her.

She turned to him,"I can call this man from a sword! Isn't that SO cool?!"

"I think it's kinda SCARY. He looks scary too," He responded weakly.

"Don't worry," She smiled sweetly, with such a childlike innocence, "I told him not to hurt you"

"Okay, if you say so," He answered, unsure.

"Don't tell my Daddy, okay? He didn't want me to touch it, but I wanted to see so I dragged it out of the bedroom while my Mommy and Daddy were gone. You promise not to tell anyone?" She begged him.

"Uh-huh! I pinky promise!" He smiled and then nodded as he made the promise.

The little girl turned to the being, "So remember, don't ever hurt him. He's my best friend."

She put her arm over his shoulders to emphasize that fact. He blushed and returned the gestured.

"Yeah, we're best friends!"

"Claire Belle! Where are you?!" A man's voice called.

"Okay Daddy! I'm coming!" The little girl answered.

She dragged him out the master's bedroom and came face-to-face with the little girl's father. The man was tall, with light hair, green gentle eyes, and a light complexion. He bent down in front of the little girl and said, "Tsuki needs to go home now."

"AWWWW! Can't he stay a little longer?" She whined.

" No," The father shook his head, "Sorry Claire Belle, but his Daddy wants to go home now. Their house is only two houses down the street."

The little girl pouted and responded, "Okay..."

"Why don't you say bye to Tsuki?"

She turned to him and gave him a hug, "Okay bye, Tooki! I'll see you at school tomorrow!"

"Uh-huh, I'll see you tomorrow."

He turned to see his father behind him, "Come on little man, your mom will be cranky if she finds out that we've been here for too long."

He then followed his own father and saw that his father gave the little girl's father a bro hug, "It was nice seeing you man!"

"Same here! Take care of yourself now."

He and his father left for their home. That little girl was one of his only friends...

The flashback ended and it left him gasping for breath. "Clara Chu..." He managed to say. He managed to regain his consciousness as well as his humanity. He had blacked out and he slowly began to remember where he was. He felt so far away for a while. He began to feel anxious. He was butt naked from head to toe. He didn't want to walk around like that. He made his way through the woods and found himself on an interstate. By chance a police car was near and was able to stop him.

"Sir, what are you doing here undressed?" The officer interrogated him.

"I don't know... I just found myself this way. I think I got jinxed... streaked." He responded, tired.

A month later...

The annoying buzz of the alarm had woken up the ever so drowsy Clara. It was August and school was starting again. 'Ugh, gimme a break...' she thought grumpily as she forced herself to wake from a deathly sleep. She hadn't liked the thought of going back to school. Summer ended the moment her alarm woke her up for the first day of her junior year. It had flown by so quickly that she herself couldn't seem to enjoy every last moment of summer vacation. It was time to wake up at 6:00 AM again. She hated the thought of it, waking up early all over again. She got up slowly and groggily out of bed, finally trying to get ready.

After waking up, she cleaned herself up, dressed, & grabbed her book bag. After 20 minutes, she ate breakfast with her mother that morning. She was dressed in scrubs, ready to go to work. Clara felt that these were one of the only few moments that she could do this. Her mother usually left early for work and rarely came home early. She had always been left all alone. Now she was sharing one of the only few meals she could with her mother. After years of eating alone, she wasn't all that lonely anymore. Their house had been lonely and lifeless for years, since... that time. She relished every moment of it.

"I'm surprised that you could wake up early enough for school," Her mother sarcastically joked.

"Thanks Mom. You're really the best," Clara responded back, with sarcasm.

"No, but really. You love sleeping so much," Her mother added.

"Yeah, but still, doesn't mean that I don't want to go to school on time," Clara shrugged.

Checking the time, her mother went on, "You better get going. You're going to be late; I better get going too."

She nodded, "Okay."

Her mother and her got up to leave. They took their things, put the plate in the sink, and left the house. Her mother got into the 2008 Chevy Impala and started the car while she walked towards the sidewalk. She was walking towards a bus stop that she had ridden for years. It was all just the same old routine, the school bus to Emerson High came to pick up students at the stop at 7:30 AM and left by 7:40 AM on weekdays. She arrived at the bus stop to see a crowd of teenagers from her high school. She saw her best friend, Trenton Estrella, at the stop. He wore his hair spiked, had this punk-goth style going. He didn't notice her right away until she greeted him.

"Hey, Claire! Good to see you. The morning was such a bitch. Waking up sucks ass," He greeted her.

"Hey, Trent. Yeah, felt like I woke up from the grave, you know? That was really brutal. Summer is really over," She continued, agreeing with him.

"Yeah, well, fuck school, I might as well just get a job." Trent went on.

"I think a job would be worse than the prison we call our school," She shook her head, " You might get one messed up boss that'll whip you up to shape. Then, OH NO! OUR LITTLE TRENTY BOO has decided to make a run for it."

Trent laughed at that, "Well played, Claire. Well played."

"Of course!" She laughed hysterically, " I know you can't handle pressure."

He scoffed, "You know me so well. Just like how you've been single and forever alone since who knows how long."

She laughed passively, "Whatever. I'm happy being single & alone. At least I'm not some stupid idiot who falls in love and starts doing stupid things. Being in love is like a disease. I just happen to be immune to it, unlike you."

"Pffffth, sorry if I'm in a relationship. Miss Lonely, you just don't give a fuck, is all. You say that they can all just go to hell. How do you know that one guy won't come along and break through all that tough shell of yours." Trent taunted her.

"AS if! Every guy at school avoids me like the Bubonic plague & I have made that clear for a reason. I have made most of the male population, excluding you, stay far away from me. Oh please." She scoffed indignantly.

"Nah, you're just scared of getting hurt, taking chances. No balls, Claire. That's what it is." He shook his head, mockingly, "Any guy would want you. Have you looked at yourself."

"No. I don't have the time. REALLY? Get yourself together," She laughed as she looked at her plain skinny jeans & plain tee-shirt, "Anyways, the bus is here. Hopefully Rinah, Liz, & Anna comes today."

"Yeah, hope so too." He quietly whispered. They rode the bus together along with the other Emerson High students. They took their seats in the back, continuing to talk. They talked until they all arrived to school and was dropped off.