Clare Hamilton



I walked up to the house with a sneer on my face, the smell wafting from it trickled up into my nose making it burn like vampire who just snorted garlic. Biting my fangs into my hand, I try to stifle the urge to puke. I knew I shouldn't have come to this little shin dig, but Tathar Cocoa was going to be there, and he's just the smexiest organism in the entire world.

So, just because he'll be there, I'll be there. Sucking in my last breath of half decent air, I enter the witch's house, trying, and most certainly failing, to look like a friendly and appreciative house guest. Ah, there's the bitch of a witch herself, holding up a cup of what I assume is the source of, or at least a cup of, the awful smell.

"Idril, you made it, I'm so glad."

"Of course Usha, how could I miss it?"

We smiled fakely at one another and went through the ritualistic hug-kiss deal. I swear, I was going to barf on her after getting so close to those fumes. Just the thought of Usha makes my skin crawl. Her purple skin, which isn't unusual at all considering her race, was highlighted by her pure yellow hair, not blond; yellow. She must've died it for tonight's party, ensuring that all eyes would be on her. I've been friends with this girl for almost ten years now, and we've only liked each other for two of them.

"What's that you've done with your hair? It looks. . . interesting."

"Isn't it beautiful? I found out that yellow was the compliment of purple on the color wheel, so I thought it'd look amazing and made a little potion. I also changed my eye color, did you notice? Not many people have so far. They used to be brown so far, you know? But, I mean, ew! Who wants brown eyes? So I changed them to amber, what do you think?"

Leaning in closer than I would've preferred, Usha placed her face right in front of mine. Her eyes had changed, but I don't know if amber would be the right description. Or maybe I just can't tell the difference because the color is so close to her hair. Either way, I lied.

"That's a great color, Usha, you should think about making it a permanent change."

She looks up and down at me, and turns that oh-so-fake smile into a grimace.

"Right, well you should really think about a new look yourself, Idril. The white hair thing is starting to look old. Or maybe I can brew you a skin lightening potion. You know, so you can wear lighter colored clothes or something. Your skin's so blue it's almost black! How dull, especially since you look exactly like the rest of your kind. Ugh, I'd hate that."

I had to take in a deep breath when she finally stopped talking to calm myself down, even though I almost gagged in the process. She always gets like this whenever we meet up. It's the main reason I never go to her parties, which are held practically weekly, but like I mentioned earlier—Tathar Cocoa.

"Maybe next time, Usha."

And then I left her and that obnoxious smelling thing she calls punch. The house looks as it always has, Gothic arches and doorways, cold stone floors and walls, high barrel vaulted ceilings, meant to make you feel inferior; all together, it was very uninviting. Except, that is, for the stained glass windows spaced evenly within the house, too bad it's so late so the beauty is all but gone, like someone—mainly Usha—sucked the happiness and color from them. I wouldn't put it past her. Soon I see two familiar faces and make my way over to them.

"Lilith, Willow, am I glad to see you."

Lilith hears me first and turns her almost dead gaze my way. Opening her mouth, inadvertently showing off her fangs, much longer than mine, she greets me while smacking Willow's side to get her attention.

"Hey, Idril, what are you doing here?"

"I could ask you the same thing. I thought you hated Usha."

Lilith's mouth curves into a smile, her pale lips stretching back over her fangs. I know that look, it happens when she's on the hunt for her special kind of prey. I would say poor unfortunate soul, but it's too much fun to watch.

"I'm just here because Willow dragged me along."

"That is so not true! You wanted to come just as much as me because your boo is here."

"Your boo? Tathar Cocoa?"

"What? No, Mundo."

I look over to where she is pointing and there he is, Lilith's boo, prey and crush rolled into one being. He's floating over by window, which explains why I didn't see him at first, I looked through him.

"Good one, Idril, Tathar Cocoa's such a cutie. That's why I'm here."

"Oh, my moon, you two are such stalkers."

Willow and I both laugh.

"You're the one following around a ghost, Lilith."

"Yeah, but at least we sort of know each other. Tathar Cocoa has no idea you two exist, you just watched him lay dodge-ball once."

"We played basketball with him, too."

Willow states. I think back to that day, it was definitely a success.

"Lilith, if you haven't even talked to your 'boo' yet, then you're in the same boat as us."

I say with a small laugh to which she just hisses in reply.

"Why don't you just go over and talk to him?"

"What? I can't do that!"

"Why not?"

"Well. . . for starters he's too close to Usha's punch, and it smells like garlic."

"I thought it smelled more like dead man's toe."

Willow adds, opening a gateway to a new topic that relieves Lilith of any more conversation about confronting her boo. Looking over to the snack table, where the punch is, and my nose shrivels up. Willow's probably right about the toe ingredient.

"That and she most likely added some pigeons blood for coloring."

"I would've thought that'd appeal to you, Idril. Don't you normally eat stuff like that?"

"Ugh, gross, no way. Guys, for the last time, I'm a dark elf, not a garbage disposal."

"Could've fooled me."

"Oh, haha Ms. Vamp. By the way, you're not off the hook for the Mundo thing."

Willow, who had been busy drinking from her bottled water, spit some out from giggling so hard.

"That was attractive, Willow."

Putting her purple hands on her hips, she looks straight at Lilith.

"Don't make me hex you. Maybe I'll place a dance spell on you to show everyone here how attractive you can be."

"Oh, bite me."

I laughed at the two of them when something caught my eye. Mr. Smexy Tathar Cocoa himself. Willow jabs me in my ribs.

"Dare you to go talk to him."

"Why me?"

"Cuz you're the only one of us that'll actually do it."

I think about this for a second, she has a good point.

"Whatever, wish me luck."

Turning back around, I wince, noticing he's gone to the snack table and is standing in between that noxious smelling punch and a cake resembling the face of Usha. I grit my teeth and make my way over to him, ready to get this, soon to be, awkward moment over with.

"Hey, you're Tathar Cocoa, right?"

He turns his gaze on me, and I have to stop myself from swooning. Those moss like green eyes make me feel like jello every time I see them. Smiling to me, he pulls his pale white lips over his teeth, except unlike Lilith or me there are no fangs in sight. Also, instead of looking pale-ishly dead, his skin has an ethereal glow to it. I wonder if that's because he's an elf, or if my eyes are just playing tricks on me.

"Yeah, do I know you? You kind of look familiar."

I swallow hard.

"Sort of, we played basketball together at the last moon games. I'm Idril, by the way."

I hold out my hand and he takes it, the contrast in our skin coloring is almost shocking. They don't call us dark elves for nothing, I guess.

"Oh, right! That was a good game, didn't a friend of yours practically dominate the game the entire time?"

"Irzey? Yeah, but I mean, he does have an advantage in b-ball, being a giant and all."

"That's a good point."

We stare awkwardly at each other for a few moments until my nose wrinkles in disgust.

"Ugh, how can you stand being so close to that?"

I ask, pointing to the bowl.

"Yeah, it's pretty bad. Usha's really outdone herself this time."

"Do you know what's in it?"

"I don't think I want to."

I laugh a bit and so does he. Tathar Cocoa looked like he was going to say something else, but then a nasally voice appeared beside us.

"Did someone say my name?"

"Usha! Wow, those are some ears you have. Actually we were just discussing your punch."

"Isn't it great Tathar Cocoa? It's my own brew, made it just this afternoon. Shall I pour you a cup?"

As all of this was being said, Usha slowly, and non-too kindly, started pushing me farther away from the two of them with her entire body. Taking a step back, I repress my fangs, instinctively wanting to bare themselves against any possible threat, no matter how trivial. Usha leans onto her back leg, allowing me to see Tathar Cocoa looking blankly at her. I calm a bit at the sight. Usha takes one step forward, towards the table, when splat! She tripped and took a hard face plant into her own face cake, causing the entire table to collapse under the force, spilling all its contents, and the nasty punch everywhere. Everyone went dead silent. My mouth dropped in complete awe, I look over to Willow and Lilith. Willow's hand is outstretched and her her fist is closed, she caused Usha to trip. The silence doesn't last, as soon Willow lowers her arm the entire room bursts into laughter, me especially.

Usha screams into the cake, finally getting up, frosting all over her face and hair. Everyone continues to laugh until she chucks the flattened cake out a window, rainbow shards mixing in the with the soiled punch. The sound of glass breaking drowns us all out temporarily, then silence ensues. Usha's breathing is harsh and shallow, her chest rising and falling too quickly for me to count, she looks like she wants to rip heads. I take a step back.

"Everyone out! Party's over!"

She screeches at us. No one has to be told twice. Quickly, I reunite with Willow and Lilith and we make our escape. Taking a sharp turn once we exit, the broken window soon comes within sight.

"Hey, Idril, wait up!"

I look back and can't believe it, Tathar Cocoa! We stop and he catches up with us, smiling. I swear he's glowing in the dark.

"Can I walk you home?"

"Of course!"

I answer a bit too enthusiastically, but I don't care, it's Tathar Cocoa! His smile widens and the four of us continue walking. A pile of mush is a little off in the distance. I realize it's the cake, almost all the way on the opposite side of the road. Willow whistles when she notices, and Tathar Cocoa laughs.

"Usha sure knows how to throw a party."