14 years ago, Mystic, Connecticut…
Night time. The time where the sun is gone and darkness covers the land. Many people believed for many years that hellish creatures come out and terrorize the land. Today, that is somewhat true. Night is the time for criminals to come out and do their devilish deeds. When they see an innocent person by the road, they will take advantage of that person and steal from them. Many people have a natural fear of the darkness of night.
The boy inside his room in a house of Mystic is a perfect example. Every night he would go to his room to sleep, but would never fall asleep, feared that a monster would attack and eat him. Every little creak and click he would flinch. His everyday objects would look like terrifying creatures because of their shadows. The boy heard a strange bump and he clinched his blankets, eyes beginning to water.
"Mommy! Daddy!" He screamed over and over, tears pouring out of his eyes. The door opened swiftly, with a beautiful young woman racing to the boy's bed. She put the boy in her arms, stroking his head, telling him to hush with her soft voice.
"What's wrong, my dear? Did something scare you?" she asked her voice smooth as silk.
"The monster is going to get me! He wants to eat me!" said the boy, choking on his tears.
A man walked into the room and turned on the lights. The so called monster the boy was pointing at was actually his dresser. The man went over to the boy's bed, kneels down to his eyesight, and said in a harsh voice "There's no reason to be afraid of things that isn't there. There's no such thing as monsters. Nothing will hurt you in this house. Remember that Devin Knight. Nothing will hurt you… ever."
Mystic, Connecticut. Present Day
Devin Nathaniel Knight wakes up every day the same way. No need for an alarm clock, he wakes up at 6 o'clock on the dot every day. He gets up from his bed and high fives the lead singer of his favorite band from a poster on his wall that has his palm open in the poster. He then goes into his bathroom and does his daily morning routines; take a shower, brush his teeth, floss, and rinse his mouth with mouthwash. After he'd done all of his routines he glanced into the mirror for a couple minutes to see if he looks like the way he wants to for the day. He looked at his hair, which was long enough to cover his forehead. He was always confused of what his hair color was. People called it brown, but it was a very bright brown. It was as if someone mixed the color of a bright blond and brown and made it his hair color. It was just a very light brown color he decided, and brushed his hair so his bangs were combed to the side of his forehead. He then gazed into his eyes, which were such a unique color. It was green, but a sparkling green. His mother called it 'emerald green'. He has always liked his eye color. He then went back into his room and put on darken jeans and a t-shirt of a band no one probably ever heard of.
He then went downstairs to see his mother cooking breakfast. She was making homemade waffles today. She saw Devin come into the kitchen and smiled at him. She didn't look much different than she did when Devin was a little boy. She still had young looks but her red hair faded over the years. Devin went over to her and kissed his mother on the cheek.
"Is Dante up yet Devin?" She asked.
Devin smacked himself in the head. He totally forgot to wake up Dante, since he's a heavy sleeper and can't get up by his alarm clock alone. He quickly went upstairs to wake him up. Dante is not Devin's brother; but his father's Godson. Dante's parents died about six months ago and he started living at his house. He wasn't annoyed by it at all. Dante Karmichael was Devin's best friend. They've known each other since they were three years old, right when they both started karate. They've been best friends ever since.
Devin raced upstairs and walked toward Dante's room. He could hear the alarm clock beeping endlessly. He then opened the door and said "Wake up Picasso!"
Dante jolted out of his bed as if the room was on fire. He jolted so fast he knocked himself out of his bed. Devin snickered and said "Get dress, Mom's making waffles,"
"Hmmm…. Belgium waffles?" he groaned out.
"Nope, just plain old American waffles. Hurry up; I don't want my waffles getting cold because of you."
Devin then took a final look around Dante's room. Everywhere on the wall were sketches of Dante's drawings. Devin keeps forgetting that Dante puts up at least three new ones a night. Dante can never stop drawing, painting, and/or sketching. Devin looked at the one Dante was working on last night, which was on his drawing stand. It was a painting of a war going on. It was set in the medieval times, with white armored knights slashing at other knights that had black metal armor. It looked like something out of a museum. Hopefully one day Dante can make a name for him and become a famous artist, thought Devin. As long he doesn't get into any more trouble that is.
Dante went downstairs wearing darken jeans (stolen from Devin's room, no doubt), an interesting graphic t-shirt, and a carmine leather jacket that once belonged to his father. The two things he always brings with him were in his arms: a sketchbook and a drawing kit for the sketchbook. His backpack was already in the living room, homework finished and double checked. Dante ruffled with his dark hair, making it look messy and 'unique' he tells everyone, especially the cowlick on the right side of his forehead. Devin saw the mischievous look in Dante's honey brown eyes and said "Use a freaking comb for once!" Dante chuckled and tapped Devin on the shoulder with his fist.
"So you boys ready for the homecoming dance? You boys must be bringing someone, right?" asked Devin's Mom.
"I'm thinking about asking one of the girls in my art class to go with me, but Devin is too scared to ask a particular girl. Isn't that right Devin?" said Dante while chewing one of his waffle pieces.
"Shut up Dante!" Devin hissed at Dante and looked down at his waffles, eating them silently.
"Oh honey you shouldn't be afraid of asking anyone to a dance, handsome boy like yourself!" Devin's Mom said to encourage him.
"Yeah whatever…" muttered Devin before he took another bite of his waffle.
"Who is he afraid to ask out Dante?" whispered Devin's Mom to Dante.
"Mom!" snapped Devin.
Dante ignored him and said "Danielle Swifter. You remember her right? She came over here one time."
Devin's Mom face became ecstatic "Oh Devin you've known her for years! There's nothing wrong asking a beautiful girl like her! Although I think she needs to change her hair color. Why not..."
"Oh leave the boy alone Helen!" said a man coming into the kitchen. It was Devin's father (who likes to be called by Morgan for some reason). He was in his mechanic clothes on today. Morgan works at an auto sales workshop a couple blocks away. He's a mechanic during the week and a salesman on the weekend.
"Devin will ask her to the dance whenever he seems comfortable, right son?" asked Morgan.
"Yeah, sure Morgan…" said Devin looking down at his waffles, using his fork to fiddle with them.
"You boys better get going! You might hit traffic if you don't out of here soon."
Devin looked at the clock. It was forty-five minutes before they had to get to school. Why would Morgan think they would be late if we hit traffic for a twenty minute drive to school?
"Okay… let's go Dante; we don't want to be late." said Devin going along with Morgan.
Dante took one big piece of his waffle, got his backpack and headed out the door saying "Bye Helen! Bye Morgan! See you tonight!" on his way out. Devin grabbed his backpack and went over to his Mom and gave her a kiss goodbye and waved to Morgan. "See you tonight Morgan."
"Call me when you get out of school, got it young man?" instructed Morgan.
Devin nodded and was on his way out the door. Before he left Helen said Devin's name and went over to him, her soft hands touching Devin's face. "Devin sweetie… Don't be afraid to do anything that seems right to you okay? Don't be afraid of anything in general! Just be brave and not fear anything the world throws at you. Understand Devin?"
"Okay…?" Devin said confused wondering if she was talking about asking Danielle out or talking about life in general. Helen smiled and gave Devin a kiss on the forehead and told him "Goodbye Devin," and let him go out the door. Devin went over to Dante's old used Ford and got in his car, with Dante waiting to hit the road. "You okay? You look like someone gave a riddle you can't figure out."
"No, that's not it. My Mom went all 'life-lesson' on me. It was a little unexpected."
"Ah that's how Moms are! Now let's get to school so I can work on my painting before my class starts."
"What are you painting anyways? When I went to get you yesterday it looked like a fire or something." said Devin while Dante driving out into the road.
"I don't know… I'm just going with the flow. I just pictured something burning but I just got to the flames so far. Who knows what it will turn out to be when I'm finished?" Dante said with a laugh at the end.
Dante turned on the radio and punk rock music was blasting throughout the car. Dante turned down the volume and said "Jeez Devin, Who is these guys you are listening to?"
"They call themselves 'The Poet's Pen'. They are pretty good and might make it big one day."
"The Poet's Pen eh? Those guys must be gay. No straight guys would call themselves that."
"Really now? So what would straight guys call themselves then Dante?"
"I don't know… 'Bloody Knuckles' would be a great band name!"
"Yeah, 'cause straight guys have to call themselves something violent or perverted right? They call themselves that because that's what songwriters are: poets."
"Whatever. So tell me, how come it's so hard to ask Danielle, someone you've known for five years, to homecoming?"
Devin turned the music back up loudly, trying to ignore Dante's question. Dante turned down the music back down and said "Come on Devin it can't be that hard! You go up to her and start a conversation and say 'By the way, you want to go to Homecoming with me?' Simple as that."
Devin just shrugged and said "Fear of rejection? Fear of losing a friend and making things awkward? The list goes on and on dude."
Don't be afraid to do anything that seems right to you okay? Don't be afraid of anything in general! Just be brave and don't fear anything the world throws at you! Understand Devin?
"You know what Dante? You're right." said Devin with confidence.
Devin could see Dante's eyes widened. "Excuse me? Did you just say 'I'm right?' "
Devin nodded and said "Yeah, It is simple as that. All I got to do is ask her. It's not like it's going to be the end of the world if I don't ask her right?"
"That's what I've been telling you this whole time Bro! About time you listen to me." said Dante and sat back on the seat as they listened to The Poet's Pen. They made it to Mystic High School a couple minutes after Devin getting his self-esteem up. They parked in the middle of the parking lot. Just as Dante parked his car and a new pick-up truck came jolting in the spot next to them, with big buff guys whooping and yelling some kind of chant. Devin sighed. Not these guys again, thought Devin. Please let them not say anything to us…
Dante and Devin got out of the car and Devin pulled Dante closed to him. When his parents died a couple months ago people thought his parents were part of a cult when they found some kind of worship place in their basement, as if they were Satan worshippers. The driver who just parked next to them, the star quarterback of the Mystic Warriors is very religious to add gasoline to the fire.
The Quarterback went out of the truck and immediately saw Dante and said "Hey Devil-boy! Talked to a Nazi lately?"
Dante stopped in his tracks, his eyes starting to flare. "Just let them talked and we can talk about this with the teachers okay?" Devin whispered to Dante to calm him down. Dante nodded and continued to walk.
"So what did you parents do for a living? Daddy raped little girls and then your Mom slit their throats? Or was it Mommy stealing the kids and Daddy butchered them?" he yelled and his friends started to snicker at the comment. Dante then dropped his things, turned around, his face burning with rage, and sprinted after the boy. When Dante was at arm's length with the boy, the boy swung his fist at him. Dante expected this, so he ducked down did a swipe kick to his feet and the boy fell down to the ground. Dante quickly got up and put his foot on the boy's neck, immobilizing him from getting up.
One of the boy's teammates was about to attack Dante from the back but Devin was there to grab the teammate's arm and put him in a submission arm lock.
"You will not insult my parents anymore or I might just press my foot harder for you not to breathe… understand you piece of crap?" Dante threaten.
The boy nodded as best as he could, gagging at the same time. "That goes for all of you!" shouted Devin in the parking lot. They both let go of the jocks and walked back to their backpacks. The boy got up, massaging his neck. He saw all the people giggling at him, which made him angry. He then charged after Dante and Devin and was about to make a blow to Dante's head. Devin saw him coming when he gave Dante a pat on the back. Devin grabbed the boys arm and flipped him over with the flick of his wrist. The boy fell to the ground, the wind knocked out of him. Devin looked at Dante, who had his head turned to see what Devin did, and smirked mischievously. They both walked toward the school courtyard, waiting for the school doors to open since their fifteen minutes early. That's what happens when you mess with two fifth degree black-belts.
As they were waiting Dante was sitting down on a bench doing breathing exercises to calm him down. Ever since his parents died he has been getting into more and more fights. Before six months ago Dante barely used his fighting skills for his own personal gain. Now whenever Dante gets himself into trouble, Devin is right there backing him up, even when he shouldn't be. But he had to… Devin was Dante's only friend, so he had to be by his side no matter what. Devin and Dante have stuck together all their lives, and it will continue that way as long as they can.
Devin sat down next to him and was patted his back in comfort of calming down. "Forget those assholes. They just want a reaction from you, which you're doing a great job on that part by the way."
"What do you want me to do? Suck it up and take it? They're talking about my parents who haven't done a God damn thing to anyone! You of all people know that." said Dante through his teeth.
"That's right; you and I know that. As long as we know that, their names will remain untainted! What anyone else says is just a lie! You remember that, got it?"
Dante's breathing came down when Devin told him those words of acknowledgment. Dante nodded and said "Thanks man, you always had the philosophy in this friendship." and made a small quiet laugh. He looked over to the parking lot and grinned wildly. "Oh Devin…. I think I see your future homecoming date getting out of that car."
Devin looked at the direction Dante was looking and saw his 'friend' Danielle coming out of her father's SUV. Today Danielle was wearing a mild purple shirt with a band only she and Devin know, skinny blue jeans, and neon colored shoes. To Dante, Danielle was pretty strange to him just by what she was wearing, but to Devin she was a girl that made him freeze in his tracks due to her beauty. Not only that, but Danielle had such kindness and a heart of gold that made Devin freeze the most. He didn't know how he could compare to that. She fixed her brunette hair with blond highlights so it was swerving to the right. She then saw Devin and Dante, waved to them, and jogged over. Devin waved back with a big grin on his face, and Dante waved back with a not so excited face. She came over to Devin and gave him an affectionate hug. Devin hugged back and she said "Hey Devin! Did you listen to that CD I burned for you?"
"Yeah, The Bus Bench has such a unique sound! How did you find them?" Devin asked.
Danielle shrugged, put a big smile on and said "Would you believe I found their CD at the local guitar shop?"
Devin's jaw opened in astonishment and said "You're telling me these guys are a local band? I thought these guys were a huge hit on the internet or something! Wow."
Danielle let out a happy sigh and said "You love it that I have a great taste in music, don't you?"
Devin let out a nervous laugh and said "Of course,"
Dante made a purpose cough, and looked at Devin giving him a look that said 'ask her already!' Devin then took a deep breath and said "Listen Danielle…"
Danielle looked up to Devin, her eyes looking curious and giving an inviting smile to for him to ask the question. Devin didn't know what was making him choke on his words, but he had enough will power to say "The homecoming dance is in a few weeks, and I was wondering if we could… you know…"
Danielle then smiled very brightly, hugged Devin very tightly, kissed him on the cheek and said "I thought you would never ask. Of course I will go to homecoming with you!"
"Okay then, we'll talk more about the details later then?" said Devin, and as he did the bell rang. Danielle giggled joyfully and said "Sure, that work for me. See you in class Devin!" she then hugged and kissed him again on the cheek again and ran to her friends ready to give them the good news. Devin could feel his face frozen in astonishment. He looked down to Dante, and Dante just shrugged, raise his lip up a bit and said, "What did I say? All you got to do is ask! Now let's get to class and do some masterpieces."
"You're the talented artist; I'm the guy who can only draw stick figures."
Dante laughed not because Devin's joke was funny, but because what Devin said was true. Dante has always been a great artist ever since he could pick up a pencil. Some of his drawings look so real as if Dante seen it happened through his eyes.