A Monster's Centre

Introduction

A year ago

My surprise party had started out so amazingly. I walked into the house to find everyone from school there to welcome me.

"Happy Birthday sis." I gave my brother a squeeze when he got near enough.

"Paul, how did you plan this?" he shrugged, modesty showing on his face.

"Had a little help." Thats when I saw a familiar backwards baseball cap in the crowd pushing towards us.

"Aaron?" he sidled up and gave me a peck on the cheek.

"Yes, I did take time to plan something as great as this." he pointed at a guy I didn't notice was behind a DJ booth. "Start it up!" Coldplay blasted through the stereos and I could feel the vibrations through the floor. I hugged Aaron, forgetting why I hadn't talked to him all week. He took my hand and led me upstairs into my room, closing the door behind us. "Look Keelie, I didn't want to hurt you and seem all distant and stuff but-"

"I know what you were doing now, planning the party, so I forgive you." He did that thing where he adjusted his cap when he felt agitated. "That's why you've pushed me away right?" His face didn't show any signs of saying yes. I wanted my birthday to be perfect, I wanted us to kiss and laugh and dance, but..."You won't trust me with this mysterious secret, fine." I walked out and went down to where the music was loudest.

"Keelie! Baby, come back, please!" After a while I couldn't hear him as I started dancing with my friends. In hindsight, I remember seeing Paul go upstairs to talk to Aaron, but then I lost sight of them being whisked outside to the pool.

While trying to keep dry I heard loud shouting coming from the house later on. I turned to see Aaron and Paul shoving each other. I walked up and yelled for them to stop, but they ignored me.

"Tell her!" Paul yelled, "She needs to know!"

"It's to dangerous for her to know, you know that! I don't want to hurt her!" I stepped in the middle to try to get them to stop shoving each other, but I didn't notice the difference in the brawl the guys were having. Aaron's hand lashed out and I felt a searing pain in my shoulder. I thought I saw claws on Aaron's hand as my vision blurred and I fell to the ground. I thought I heard growls as Paul and Aaron still yelled at one another. Something red was flowing from my shoulder and it stung like acid. "I never meant to hurt you Keelie, I'm so sorry, I never..." Aaron and Paul seemed to disappear into the woods and then my vision went black.

The present

That was the last time I saw the two, at my birthday. I went to the hospital and got stitches for the wound they said looked like a claw mark. As days went by I worried about Paul, and my dad went on a rampage hassling police so that we could find him, with no luck. Now my dad barely smiles anymore, and I get nightmares about how that night might have played out if I lived in a horror movie.

I try hard to forget Aaron, and what people told me he did. I didn't want to blame him for lashing out and getting angry, but the upcoming week to my birthday, Aaron was being distant and got angry every time I'd asked him what was up. He didn't hurt me, but he did seem to not be himself I guess.

Getting back to some sort of normalcy was hard, but Devon's been helping me. We started dating after a while and we're happy. He knows what I'm like, what I prefer and what I love doing. We were friends before and now were more than friends which is okay for me I guess. I doubt that anything awkward will happen anyway.

When I turned 17, I got a job at a teen club/restaurant/youth club place called Teen Stop. My friend Charity and I work there after school every other day and Sundays. It's quite fun actually because we get open mike days and video game competitions, it's a scene we feel comfortable in. The boss is really nice and doesn't get easily annoyed. Unlike me sometimes nowadays.


The Story

8:30 p.m

The club and restaurant part of Teen Stop were bustling with activity. Charity and I were fully busy with our sections as people came in on dates or as party guests wanting food. At this time of night is when our tips are greatest. I was at the register when I saw a new guy walk in, on his own weirdly enough. He walked straight up to me while, I would say, nervously fixing his quiff.

"Can I help you?"

"I came about the job." That's when Charity walked over to deposit some money.

"Marty, our boss," she explained, "Isn't here as of now but you can shadow us today if you want."

"Wait," he looked at both us for a minute,"No interview?"

"To be honest," I smiled as I said this,"Marty said to give the job to anyone who walked in the door wanting it. You get a trial period, if he doesn't like how you work then we go from there."

"Oh, okay."

"Marty's awesome," I nodded agreeing with Charity, "He'll be nice."

"What's your name?"

"Jasper."

"Well I'm Keelie and this is Charity."

"Nice to meet you." That's when Devon walked in, waving at me with his blonde hair hiding his beautiful blue eyes. "Charity will show you around."

"Yeah while she flirts with her boyfriend." I playfully hit her making Jasper laugh. I walked up and gave Devon a short kiss.

"My shift isn't over yet Dev."

"Yeah, well...I missed you."

"It's been half an hour since I last saw you." We both laughed and he hugged me.

"I just wanted to tell you the good news." Two pieces of paper appeared before me. I looked closer and squealed.

"You got the tickets!" I hugged him and jumped at the same time. "Charity!" She and Jasper, plus a few others looked at me with a 'WTH' face. "He got tickets to see Beyonce in concert!"

"In England." he whispered.

"In Eng...land?" I turned back to him, questioning look on my face. "Wouldn't that involve us going on a plane, away, together?" he nodded. I looked at my feet feeling uncomfortable.

"We'll be staying with my Uncle who lives outside London."

"I don't know if I can actually go away with you. I don't think I'm really ready-" he put a finger on my lips to stop me.

"I tried to get tickets for here but they were sold out, these were the only ones I could get thanks to my Uncle. Just think about it, okay?" he kissed my forehead, gave a little wave to Charity and walked out.

"England with Devon?" I walked away from her in deep thought, while doing my section.

11:30 p.m

Finishing my shift, I walked the 15 minutes it took to get to my house. Unlocking the door I called fo my dad.

"I brought some pizza from work because Ernie was in a giving mood. Gave one to everyone actually-" I dropped my bag and looked around. He would usually be watching Big Bang Theory reruns by now. "Dad?" Something fell in the kitchen so I opened the door. My dad was on the floor, and I couldn't tell if he was still breathing. Crouched over him was someone...in a baseball cap. "No.." I said at first whispering to myself. He looked at me with a feral grin on his face.

"Hey baby, I was just asking your dad where I could find you." He stood and walked over to me. I turned around to open the door, but he grabbed my hand and twisted me around. He wrapped his arms tight around my waist and put his face in my neck. He inhaled deeply. "You smell like strawberries...and chocolate." I tried pushing him away but he had an iron grip. "I missed you so much baby. They told me to wait, but I couldn't wait to see your face again." He held me slightly away from him and I could see his face. His eyes, green as I remember, tinged with a strange yellow that scared me. I wriggled and squirmed. "Aren't you happy to see me?" he half yelled. I tried harder.

"What did you do to my dad?" He pushed me away and crouched, cocking his head in an animal typeway.

"Don't you want to know how I am? Where I've been? You're always asking questions."

I rushed for my dad, but his hand swiped across my abdomen, drawing blood.

"Aaron!" I said in a gasp. He seemed to growl and straddle me.

"I wanted this reunion to be perfect." I struggled but he grabbed my arms. "I thought we could be together like we used to be."

"Go away!" I screamed. A crash came from the back door and someone walked in, I couldn't see who.

"Your not supposed to be here."

"I couldn't wait."

"Well you need to, let's go." At first Aaron wouldn't move. "Get up and go now." Aaron trembled, but got off of me. Both of them disappeared. I crawled to my dad, pain in my stomach. I dug out my cell phone and dialed 911.