Anthony Carr was an awkward sixteen-year-old boy, this being painfully obvious to every student in the first period, eleventh grade American history class that he had walked into on October 31, 2012. His green uniform shirt pulled out the gold flecks in his eyes and his blonde hair was nearly as gold as those flecks. Mr. Peterson, the teacher, motioned for him to sit in an empty seat near the back of the room.
Anthony nodded and sat in front of a girl with short brown hair and red, cat eyed glasses. She was engrossed in a book, mouthing the words quickly, laughing occasionally. The sight made him smile.
"Hello," he whispered. "What's your name?"
The girl looked up from her book for a second before answering, "Maria." She stuck out a small hand in his general direction.
"I'm Anthony Carr." His rather large hand enveloped her's as he shook it politely.
Maria blinked a couple times, retrieved her hand, closed the book, and walked up to Mr. Peterson. The two exchanged tense whispers, until finally Maria smirked in triumph and walked out of the classroom.
Quickly, she scurried down the hallway, and turned into the bathroom.
Taylor, she thought, we may have a problem.
Not even a second later, Taylor appeared in front of Maria, her eyebrows furrowed and lips set in a hard line. "What's wrong?" She asked, perched on the bathroom sink.
"Please tell me that you weren't in class just now." Maria hunched over and scanned the underneath of each stall. Once she deemed the area clear she rounded on the blonde in front of her.
Taylor rolled her eyes at the brunette's frustration. "Calm down, I have a hall pass." She swung the wooden plate in front of her friend mockingly, "and I made sure not to let anybody see me. Now, for the love of all things supernatural what is wrong?"
"What did you say your brother's name was?" Maria batted the offending wood away before placing her hands on her hips.
"Anthony." Taylor's head cocked to the side in confusion.
Maria closed her eyes and began to massage her temples in slow, even circles. There was no way that this could end well for anyone. "Does he have blonde hair and green eyes?" She could see the gears turning inside the blonde girl's head.
Taylor blinked twice. "Yeah, why- He's here isn't he?" Her eyes traveled to the pristine tile floor that lay below her dangling feet.
Maria nodded. "He's in my class." She reached out a comforting hand.
Taylor didn't respond for a minute, but an impish grin soon adorned her cat like features. "I want to see him!"
Maria's eyes widened in horror. "No, no, no, no. Bad idea. Really bad idea."
Taylor's smile faltered a little. "Why is it a bad idea?"
"You're dead, Tay. As in, not living." When the only response Maria received was silence, she sighed, "If he sees you he's going to think that he's gone insane."
Taylor pouted. "Oh, right. Sorry."
Maria let out a sigh of relief. "It's fine, just don't do anything stupid." With a roll of her shoulders, Maria set off for class once again. "Oh yeah, walk like a normal person so you don't give anyone a heart attack."
"Yeah, yeah, I came here for a reason though." Maria shook her head. Man her friends were weird, supernatural aside.
Once back in her classroom Maria had to listen to Audrey, the leader of the only girls-only "non-violent" gang in the city, giggling in Anthony's direction. Anthony could practically feel Maria roll her eyes and sent her a questioning glance. She shrugged and motioned for him to pay attention.
During the climax of the lecture Audrey leaned across the aisle and breathed into the boy's ear, "You know you don't have to talk to her, right?" She nodded back at Maria. "She talks to herself. Don't believe a word she says."
Anthony could feel his skin crawl at the sound of her voice and shrugged her away. Soon Audrey's speech dissolved into a fit of giggles as she turned her attention back to Mr. Peterson.
Maria shook her head. Audrey was out to sabotage all of her potential relationships, again. Anthony shook his head and turned around to look at Maria. He smiled quickly before returning his attention back to the teacher. Maria stared at the back of his head in disbelief, and, slowly, a grin began spread across her face. Maybe Audrey wouldn't keep her from making a new friend this time.
Suddenly everything stopped, all sound, all movement, everything. Maria jumped to her feet and spun around in confusion. "What the..." she whispered.
Taylor appeared next to Anthony's desk. "He looks so... tired. Do you think he's been sleeping?" She doubled over and put a hand to his forehead. "He feels warm; do you have a thermometer with you?" She shook her head and mumbled about finding one herself, before placing a hand on his cheek.
Maria stared blankly at her. "Please tell me that you had nothing to do with this."
"Hmm?" She looked around as if she hadn't even noticed everything else. "Mmm... Nope, this isn't my doing. I can't freeze time." She paused. "Why do you ask?" Another impish grin spread across her face, "Will I be able to?"
Maria rolled her eyes. "That isn't imp- What's the date?"
Audrey answered. "Halloween. Yes, there's a council meeting here. Today." Her mocking smile was maddening, "Did your parents not tell you?" Her bright eyes began to glow in the darkness as her canines grew in length.
Maria growled lightly. "Shut up, dog. Don't forget who you work for."
Audrey snarled and took a step toward Maria, her stance hostile. A tan hand found its way onto Audrey's exposed shoulder, causing her to turn around and look questioningly at her beta, Lacy.
The girl shook her head in exasperation. "It's not worth it, Aud. We should just get to the meeting."
She nodded. "Of course." Audrey grabbed Lacy's hand before they walked side by side out of the classroom.
Taylor watched them leave with curiosity lighting in her bright blue eyes. "Do we have to go to that meeting? They're always so boring… and who will keep an eye on Anthony?"
Maria rolled her eyes and stood up. "Yes, you drama queen, we do have to go." She grabbed the protesting ghost by her arm and dragged her away from her brother. "It's probably in the cafeteria." She let go and marched out of the room.
Silently, Taylor followed Maria. They walked a short way down the hall and when they walked outside both shuddered, the late October air chilled them quickly. The girls proceeded to jog quickly to the cafeteria in order to escape the cold. Sighing in relief, the doors of the warm building closed behind them.
A rather large man cleared his throat upon the intrusion. Maria turned to smile sheepishly at the council leader, Gael Robert. Gael was his title.
The Gael stared down at them before shaking his head in amusement. "We are just glad to see that the two of you finally decided to join us."
Maria flushed in embarrassment. Her father was going to pay dearly for this. "Taylor and I are sorry, sir. We weren't aware that the meeting was today. My father failed to tell me," Maria explained, not meeting his eyes.
The Gael raised an eyebrow, but chose not to comment on the obvious anger that followed her last statement. "Now," he began, "if there are no more interrupt-"
The doors slammed open once again as a boy with shaggy brown hair, wearing a navy blue blazer, a gray vest, a white dress shirt, a navy blue and green tie, and white and green plaid-on-navy blue pants, ran through them.
The Gael's eyebrows shot up. "Alex? I didn't think you were in the country." He smiled slightly at the boy.
Alex tried catching his breath as he hunched over. "Got... back... last night." He coughed a bit at the end and stood up.
Taylor looked at Maria who shook her head in reply to the silent question. She hadn't seen this boy before. Which wasn't all that surprising- their grade had nearly three hundred students in it. She couldn't know everybody.
One of the council members lightly banged his gavel against one of the lunch tables. Everybody turned to look at him. He was an elderly werewolf; permanently stuck between phases, fur unevenly covering his body, and his yellow eyes pale with blindness.
The Gael smiled at him, his fangs showing and startling Taylor in the process. All this unnecessary smiling was giving her the creeps. "What's wrong, Councilman?" The Gael asked calmly, urging the old man to speak his mind.
"There's a rogue in the school," he rasped.
The accusation sent initial gasps over the crowd like a tidal wave. A tense silence, in contrast to the initial reaction, swept over the council members as they sat in shock. A few people began to whisper rapidly in their native languages, human and supernatural alike. The Gael quickly pulled himself together and quieted them down.
"What do you mean a rogue? Vampire?" The Gael asked, confusion and anger rolling off him in waves.
"Yes. He is after the boy." The elder murmured to the crowd.
"What boy?" Taylor asked, earning her a stern look from the rest of the council. She didn't care, only one thing had changed that day and she was praying to whatever God or Gods there were she wasn't right.
He turned toward her voice slowly, as his aging ears tracked down its source. He smiled, sharp teeth gleaming in the electric lighting of the cafeteria. The sight made Taylor shudder, wishing she hadn't asked her question.
"The boy? Why, you knew him quite well, I should say. He is the boy, your brother." His voice lowered to a whisper. "Better hurry if you want to save him."
The boy who had ran in stared blankly at a far wall, avoiding looking at her.
Taylor immediately ran out of the building. Mara turned to follow her, but the Gael put a hand on her shoulder. "You can't stop fate, Maria," he whispered, trying to be comforting.
Maria glanced back at him, who knows where Taylor would go if she didn't find her first. "What do you mean?" Her eyes were narrowed accusingly.
The blind councilman cackled softly. "Prophecy, young one."
Alex turned to gape at the elder. Why was he mentioning anything to do with prophecy? Unless... No that's stupid, he's a werewolf... But maybe...
Maria grimaced. "Werewolves don't believe in prophecy, Critius." She shrugged off The Gael's hand and ran after Taylor.
As Maria left the cafeteria, Critius shook his head. "You don't know how much these things have changed, young one." He turned to Alex, who straightened up, looking apprehensively at the old werewolf. "Watch over them, boy. They'll need it. They'll find the boy in the fifth warehouse on Main Street." He coughed into a clawed hand and motioned for the boy to leave. "I pray you won't be too late."
Alex nodded and left to find the girls muttering one phrase, "That girl..."
Taylor skidded to a halt at the door to the classroom. She looked to where Anthony had been sitting and immediately teared up. "Gone... he's gone...," she whimpered. It was too late.
Maria placed a hand on Taylor's shoulder, startling her. Taylor turned around. They hugged as the boy sent with them quietly padded up from behind. Taylor's shoulders were shaking and soft sobs escaped her mouth.
"I couldn't save him. I couldn't. I was too late," Taylor sobbed, the words coming out in gasps.
Maria rubbed a hand up and down her back, trying to soothe her. "It's okay. We'll find him." Her own eyes were tearing up at the sight of her best friend.
Taylor sobbed harder and began to hiccup in her hysteria. "You-don't even-know where-he is!"
"I do." Both girls jumped and turned to face the speaker. Alex kept his face void of any emotion, lest they think he was helping because he wanted to. Even if the sight of a hysterical sister was saddening to any person bearing a heart. He still didn't want to help.
"Where is he?" Taylor asked, practically throwing herself at Alex, holding on desperately to his shoulders.
Alex's eyes widened and he pushed her away. "Okay, one: don't do that again. Two: he's in a warehouse on Main Street." He turned quickly to avoid showing any emotions.
Maria's eyes narrowed. "How do you know that?" It was practically a growl.
"No time to explain." He walked toward the door that led outside. "Come on, I'll drive you."
The girls shared a worried look before following after him. Something about him felt wrong. The ride was awkward and silent, even with Taylor almost vibrating with excitement in her seat. Every so often Alex would glance in her general direction and smirk in amusement. "You should buckle up."
"Nah, I don't have to anymore." She smiled blindly out the window, not caring to elaborate the very broad statement. His brows furrowed and he glanced at her again and opened his mouth to speak, but thought better of it.
Alex parked the car in front of the warehouse and Taylor bolted to the door. She pushed it open and stopped dead in her tracks.
The warehouse was a maze of boxes and crates stacked to the ceiling. Taylor looked around, momentarily dumbfounded before she cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, "Anthony!"
Maria and Alex ran into the warehouse and each grabbed one of Taylor's arms. One of them clamped a hand over her mouth. "Shh, Taylor. You may be putting us in more danger than we're already in," Maria whispered.
Taylor tried to respond, but a large crash interrupted her. All three looked up and standing in front of them was the boy they were searching for. He was staring at them with a blank expression, almost as if he was looking right through them.
Taylor's eyes widened and she threw her into escaping their hold. Her friends tightened their hold and pulled her back a little.
Anthony stepped forward and cocked his head to the side. "Tay? Is that you?"
Taylor nodded and bit the hand keeping her from speaking. Alex muttered a curse and something about sharp teeth. "Yeah, Anthony, it's me."
"You... smell good." His green eyes swirled into a black abyss.
The ghost blinked in confusion, had her brother really just commented on her… scent? "What?"
Anthony grinned, fangs glinting in the sunlight pouring through the open doors, and lunged forward.