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"I came here in this island to find the fairies."
208 Years Later. . . . 7 OCTOBER 2004
CHAPTER 1: The Beginning Of The End
The scenery looked beautiful. No clouds appeared in the bright blue sky. A light breeze rustled the tall pine trees. Big and comforting mountains encircled a magnificent lake. To conclude, dazzling sunlight illuminated the natural haven. Everything seemed to be in perfect harmony with each other.
The peaceful atmosphere ceased with the arrival of two small kids. A boy and a girl came running. Barefoot, they laughed without any worries. The boy turned behind and showed the girl a paper boat.
"You are wasting your time, competing with me. You know I am the best."
She stuck her tongue out. "Dream on. My boat is more powerful than yours."
"Stop! We reached the lake!"
"Amazing!" The small girl exclaimed and made a perfect pirouette with her dotted frock. "I wish I could live here forever."
The boy nodded and touched her shoulder. His eyes sparked with excitement. "Are you ready?"
"Yes!" They bent down and placed their boats in position.
"You did not say steady."
"Okay. Let's do it again."
"Ready. Steady. Go!"
"Yeah," they both shouted when their creations moved. The boy gave her a hand, and they stood up to watch the race.
"Kyle ! The lake is too big. We won't see the boats reaching the other end."
"Yes, you are right. I did not think about this."
"What shall we do now?"
"Wait, I have an idea." He caught her wrist, and they scampered again.
"Where are we going?" She asked, raising her eyebrows.
He pointed in front of them. "Let's climb that cliff. We will know which boat has taken the lead."
"Wow, Kyle you are a genius!"
They did not notice the changes which started to occur. The light breeze evolved into a violent gust of winds. The weather altered and black clouds started to cover the sky. They attained the top after doing many efforts.
"Ah! Here they are!"
"Kyle. My boat is ahead. I will be the victor!"
He gave her a weak smile and conceded. "Yes, you will win."
She lifted her head and clasped her hands together. Kyle looked at his friend for a long moment and then crinkled his nose.
He walked backwards without a sound and stood directly behind her. The young boy raised his hands and leaned forward to push her.
However, sensing a cold vibe, she moved before he accomplished his aim. Her eyes became wide when she understood his intention.
"What are you doing?"
For a moment, she forgot her position and took a few steps backwards to put a safe distance between them. Her foot slipped, and she lost control of her balance.
He caught her right in time.
"Pull me up! I am scared!"
Kyle moved his lips into a mysterious smirk. "Why? You wanted to stay here forever! Right?"
"Please, stop joking!"
"I am not joking. I love to see you being so helpless."
"Ouch!" She yelled and stared at his hand. His grip became painful. The boy's fingernails grew and they soon changed into big black claws.
Lifting her head up, she shivered when a scar began to appear near his right cheek. Black alien orbs replaced his beautiful hazel eyes.
Kyle's innocent features disappeared. He transformed into a demon child.
At that moment he chose to smile at her. The terrifying sight paralysed her soul.
She saw two giants fangs piercing their way through his gums and blood dripped from his mouth.
A small amount of the red liquid fell on her face and she flinched in disgust.
He started to breathe loudly and let out hoarse sounds.
"I feel so much pain but everything will be better when I will get rid of you!
Loud thunders reasoned around them. She became more afraid. "Please don't do this. It will rain soon and my mother is waiting for me."
He did not show her any pity and his obscured eyes burned with a sinister fire.
When the first drop of water tapped her forehead, he cruelly let go of her fingers.
As she fell down in the abyss, her killer screamed with a ear-splitting voice.
The last thing which the girl saw was a giant black bird leaping towards the sky.
It flapped its large wings and covered her vision.
As she continued to fall, everything around her became dark.
Leonora Trima woke up with a loud gasp. She quickly sat upright and touched her throat.
"It's too dry.I need water."
She extended her arm and tried to reach out for her cup. Unfortunately, it slipped from her hand and crashed on the floor.
For a moment, Nora looked at the recipient with accusing eyes. Filled with reluctance, she bent down to pick it up.
"Ouch." A piece on the top was missing and the sharp end pricked her finger. The young teenager observed with a dark fascination when the blood started to come out. With the absence of light, the liquid appeared black.
She closed her eyes and waited for it to stop. The dream was still playing with vivid images inside her mind.
"It's like a distant memory."
Her heart started to thump with a rapid pace. The reverie was peaceful at the start but the death sequence terrified her wits.
"The vision seemed to be an indication. A bad omen is immersing inside my life."
She looked at her wound again.
The blood made her skin sticky. She got down from the bed and walked toward her cupboard to take the first aid box.
I am getting paranoid, "My existence has already taken a turn for the worse. I am not afraid of them anymore. They are wrong to assume that I will continue to stay quiet like this. This time I will fight back."
Four hours later, Nora stepped out in the hallway, ready to go to school.
She stopped near one of the rooms and placed her hand on the doorknob.
She wanted to speak with her sister. However, Nora understood that it was a bit early. Athanasia would not be in the mood to entertain anyone.
She retrieved her steps and walked away without turning back.
"It's hard to believe underneath such an innocent face you would find a scheming girl!"
Nora heard this when she penetrated into the premises of Lossell High.
They were talking about her.
As usual, the young girl looked down and started to walk towards the school building.
"He took this step because of her evil plot!"
"I don't think she should be allowed to study as the same school as us."
"People like her should die and rot in hell."
Nora used all her strength to appear unfazed. She wanted to move away from this island.
Yet another part of her longed to remain in Lossell. It was her birthplace, and it was there where she found the love of her life.
"Do you think she is thinking about Ethan? Right now?"
The students' voices became louder and more threatening. She increased her pace, without really paying attention to where she was going. Her body halted when she collided with someone.
The senses inside her froze because she recognized the person. Nora would know him anytime, anywhere and under any circumstances.
Kyle Forester. Her former childhood friend.
Her hand was resting on the upper side of his muscular chest. She could almost feel his heartbeats.
His lips were just above her right eyelid and it gave her a tingling sensation.
With a strong hesitance, she looked up to face him. A pair of hazel eyes met her gaze.
They used to share an adoring bond before but after a terrible incident their relationship became bitter. Kyle changed his behaviour and would often treat her with scorn.
She lifted her head. As she anticipated, he was glaring at her. Her heart skipped a beat. She was always nervous around him.
He took some steps backwards and growled with a rough voice, "Watch where you are going Trima!"
Nora took a deep breath and said, "Sorry."
She tried to walk past him, but he blocked her way.
He continued to eye her with disdain. "You shouldn't be here."
Clutching her books tightly to her chest, she replied, "It's my school."
Kyle did his best to control his resentment. "I mean you shouldn't be here today."
Nora looked around her, perplexed. People stared at them with curious eyes.
She pretended to be oblivious. Is there something special going on?"
"Something? Special?" Kyle heaved an exasperated sigh. "It's his death anniversary today!"
Nora opened her eyes wide. "I forgot," she lied with a soft tone.
"You are the origin of this misfortune, and you forgot about it?"
She stopped talking when she saw their history teacher approaching them.
"Mr. Forester? Miss Trima? Is there something wrong?"
"No, Mrs. Hale," they both replied.
"Then why are you attracting a mob?" They looked around them and could see that the students were enjoying their confrontation.
"Nora said she is sick, and she has to leave." Kyle responded with an innocent voice. He placed his fingers on her shoulder and gently pressed her tender skin. "Right?"
He was not hurting her. However, she could feel his intimidation dripping from his voice.
"Sick?" Mrs. Hale gave her a concerned look. "Is it serious? I remembered mentioning that no one should be absent today."
"Mrs. Hale!" He protested and immediately released his hold from Nora. "We are paying homage to Ethan today. Her presence here will ruin the service."
"Well, in that case she can wait in the class until the observance will end. Are you okay with this arrangement, Miss Trima?"
"Hmm, yes I can!" Nora gave her a grateful nod.
"Well, it's settled now." She looked at the onlookers. "The rest of you should be in the school yard in ten minutes."
"You have not changed." Kyle said as soon as Mrs. Hale left. "You still like to manipulate people to make things easier for you. I think, you deliberately want to attract attention to yourself."
His attitude hurt her feelings, but she didn't show it, "I don't care what you think about me Kyle. You don't control my life!"
"Who said that I want to control your life? Pin this in your damn little head! I am not going to fall in your fake innocent acts again."
Nora was about to answer back, but, she stopped when Kyle shifted his gaze away from her. All the resentment on his face dissapeared. She turned behind and cramped her fingers.
"Kyle?" A different female voice interrupted them.
It was Dyris Darcy, and she came with Mrs. Scott, Ethan's mother.
Kyle smiled at his girlfriend and placed his hand around her waist. She moved closer towards him and they exchanged a quick kiss.
Nora felt a tight knot on her heart when their lips touched. Dyris beamed at him and turned towards her.
"Hi, Nora, how are you?" She asked with a polite tone.
Nora clasped her fists tighter and answered, "I am fine. Thank you."
She gave Mrs. Scott a shy look and said with a softer tone, "Good morning."
The woman didn't reply her greeting. Instead, she granted Nora her best loathing look.
The young teenager understood her position. It was probably better for her to leave.
Nora took two steps forward but stopped when she heard someone uttering her name.
Don't look behind! Keep walking!
She took one step forward but changed her mind when the person continued to speak.
With a halfhearted will, she turned to face the woman.
It was Mrs. Scott who addressed her.
"Yes-." She felt something wet on her cheek.
Before she could react, the surrounding crowd started to take her pictures.
spat on her.
It happened too fast and Nora didn't have time to grasp her motive. Feeling numb at first, a strong feeling of shame penetrated her mind.
Kyle advanced towards her but he stopped moving when their eyes met.
He gave Nora a defiant glower and stood still.
Mrs. Scott let out heavy breaths. She looked like a fierce dragon.
"My son died because of you! You witch! You could at least stay at home today. I did not come here to see your cursed face."
Mack Holton a member of the basketball team started to clap and the rest of the students joined in.
Dyris came to her side and asked, "Oh my God. Are you okay? " She reached for her breast pocket. Here, take my hankie."
Nora did not accept it and pushed her hand. Instead, she ran away from them. She was going to the girl's bathroom.
"Dyris let her go." Kyle's voice rang loud and clear. "She deserves it."
Nora opened the tap of water with all her force. She pressed the hand wash dispenser and cleaned her face thoroughly. The spatter has stick on her like a repulsive disease.
She was feeling extremely vulnerable and very revolted. "It's not like I wanted to be here, it was them! They forced me to come. I never thought one day I would have to bear so much embarrassment in my life."
She looked in the mirror and a ghost stared back at her. Her face had lost all of its color and her eyes have transformed into two bright red cloaks.
"I won't cry. No I won't cry." She kept repeating it. Even though, her tears were already falling. They were hot at first, but they cooled down when they ran down on her face. She did not have the strength to fight anymore. Placing her hands against the wall, she slowly went down on the floor.
In only one year, her whole life has changed. The memories of her tortured past flashed in her mind. She remembered the screams, the blood on the ground and Ethan's dead body lying in front of her.
More tears started to fall, and she hid her face under her arms.
She lifted her head when the ceremony started. Mrs. Scott started to speak.
With, an unstable voice she thanked everyone for their support and reminded them that Ethan would forever live in their memories. After her turn, Kyle addressed the crowd.
He related their childhood antics and acknowledged Ethan, for being a great human being.
Dyris, the organizer of the event made the next speech.
Nora's guilt rose inside her again when she heard the cheerleader speak, "Forgive me Ethan. Please forgive me, I have wronged you but see I am already paying for my sins. I know it's not much, but I hope it helped to relieve your soul."
Before the observance ended Nora went to Mrs. Hale's class and waited for the others to come inside. She was placing her study materials on the table when suddenly her eyes fell on something.
There was a white puzzle piece glued on her desk.
She looked around her but there was no one in the class.
Seconds later, she heard some footsteps outside the room. She grabbed the puzzle piece and quickly placed it in her pencil case. Stella Fabianee and her new best friend Jenny Hickman were the first ones who came inside. Stella used to be one of Nora's closest friends, but it was not the case anymore.
The girls made some sneaky comments. Nora pinched her lips and chose to ignore them.
The classroom began to fill up and the last ones to enter were Kyle and Dyris. He sat behind Nora and Dyris took the seat beside her.
A way to form the perfect love triangle. Nora thought sarcastically.
Dyris mouthed, "Are you okay?"
Nora did not reply, instead, she narrowed her eyes and looked straight in front. Kyle was behind, glaring at her. At this rate he will pierce two holes inside my head.
Finally, Mrs. Hale arrived. Usually she was the most easy-going teacher of the school. But recently, Nora sensed a different aura around her.
Last week, she insisted that the whole class should be present or else she would cut off their marks.
"Okay kids, I know we are still emotional over Ethan's death anniversary. But you should accept that life moves on and right now you need to focus on your studies. I have already informed you. Your next assignment will be fifty percent of your final result."
"Did you say fifty percent?" Stella questioned with a loud voice. "But you told us it will be forty percent last week!"
"Well, young lady, I changed my mind. You will have to present a slide-show and write a research work which will contain four thousand words." She paused dramatically and added. "Handwritten."
"Write four thousand words!" Mack exclaimed, "Lord. Save me, I think I am going to die."
Several murmurs of protest spread among the students.
"I have not finished yet," Mrs. Hale continued. "You will do the project in pairs. Each partner would have to write two thousand words."
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The project suddendly seemed less harsh.
"Now stay quiet while I decide who will be your partners." She scanned the class and opened her drawer to take out a sheet of paper.
"You will be paired up with the person sitting behind you."
Nora and Kyle froze. Their reactions were immediate. They both raised their hands and asked, "Excuse me Mrs. Hale but I wish to change my teammate."
Mrs. Hale asked with an annoyed tone. "Do you have a valid reason?"
Kyle flared his nose "The reason is simple. She killed my best friend!"
"I didn't kill him," Nora barked. They stood up and started to stare at each other with a burning rage.
"Mrs. Hale? I don't mind being Kyle's partner." Dyris quickly intervened.
"And I don't mind being Nora's partner," William Lossell added. He was Kyle's cousin and was supposed to work with Dyris.
Kyle directed his hatred look at William when Nora gave him a grateful smile.
"Okay, we solved the matter. I hoped you won't have any more objections."
"Wait! Why those two are allowed to change? I want to switch mine too."
Stella slammed her hand on the table and nodded. "Yes, I agree with Mack. We should all get the same rights!"
Within a few minutes, a total chaos reigned inside the class. A girl yelled. "I am not going to work with him. He smells terrible!"
"Oh, yeah? Well, you have the most annoying voice in the world!" The guy snapped back.
Mack was still whining. "I don't want to hang with a loser like her I have to think about my reputation!"
"Reputation? Look who is talking! You are a loser yourself!" Rose Mayfair shouted. "You are the one, two-timing Stella with Jenny Hickman."
Ouch! Nora saw his coloured face. Well it serves him right!
"What?" Stella yelled with her best cheerleader voice. "Mack? How could you? Jenny you claim to be my friend! It turns out, you are only a backstabber!"
Jenny, Stella and Dyris formed part in the same clique.
Jenny's ears became red. "He told me it was over between you two."
"Save it. I don't want to listen to your pathetic excuse!"
Other students were voicing their displeasures, but Nora stopped paying attention.
She saw, Mrs. Hale, standing there and wasn't saying anything. The older woman was quiet, too quiet. She looked like a volcano, about to explode.
Kyle leaned forward and whispered. "She is angry."
"Damn angry," she agreed.
"That's enough!" Their teacher commanded, "Okay, no one will switch their partners!"
Everyone was shocked, "Why?"
She threw a deadly glare at them. "If you don't cooperate, I will reschedule the deadline for one week instead of three."
"No!" They all yelled.
They calmed down and didn't make any more noise. A sense of terror rang inside the room .
"Nora and Kyle you will remain with each other, whether you like it or not!"
Nora nodded like an obedient child while Kyle just shrugged and said, "Fine."
However, both Dyris and William had disappointing looks on their faces.
Nora turned to face him. "Come and meet me in the library after school ends."
"I have basketball practice." Kyle answered with a smug smile.
He did not waste any opportunity to hurt her. Nora used to play basketball before but she quit when she entered high school. Kyle knew she missed it and he boasted about this in front of her face.
"Basketball practice ends at four past thirty. The library is open up to six. You can come after you are done."
Mrs. Hale breathed a sigh of relief and then took her marker to write on the whiteboard.
"Here's your topic."
THE UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES OF LOSSELL
The school's cafeteria always transformed in a zoo during lunch time. Most of the students were noisy and acted as if they were starving for months.
The mixed smells of food and sweat were enough to make anyone nauseous.
A boy with a rude attitude came in front of Nora and she had to step back. Her elbow poked the person behind the line.
She turned to apologize, but stopped short, Kyle and William were standing right after her.
Both enemies glared at each other for a moment. Then they turned away without acknowledging each other's presence.
"Just my luck," she muttered with a dark tone. She shook her head and waited for her turn.
Kyle took a tray and started to talk with William. "Is your mother okay? She still appeared weak when I came to visit her this morning."
"I am not sure yet, but she said she needs more rest. However, my Dad has decided to contact overseas doctors, if her condition does not improve."
"The doctors in Lossell don't have any clue about her illness?"
"Not really, they still want to conduct more research."
Her hand shook when she paid attention to William's words. It reminded her of a painful memory.
She clutched her tray and compelled herself to remain calm.
The boys fell into an abrupt silent. She looked beside her and realized why it happened. Kyle was staring at her wrist.
Oh, no! He saw my weak spot!
Nora did not give him the chance to say anything. She paid for her meal and escaped him by mingling with the crowd.
Making her way outside the school, she walked towards a big tree and sat on the bench to eat her lunch.
"Nora, do you have a moment?"
She looked up and saw Rose coming in her direction.
"What are you doing here?" Nora asked, raising her voice.
"I witnessed what happened in the morning. The students' reactions are already posted on the school blog. I wanted to record your side of the story concerning this incident."
"Well, I don't have time for an interview. And I don't care about people's opinions about me."
Rose placed her bag in front and came to sit beside Nora. "You are not the sole responsible for what happened to Ethan, right?"
Nora straightened her back and shook her head. "What did you say?"
"I won't repeat myself. You understood what I meant."
"Rose. Even if you are the school journalist and I admit we were friends before. It does not give you the right to poke your nose in my personal matters."
Rose ignored her words and continued to talk. "You know the real culprit and you are trying to protect him. Who is the mysterious person? Is it Kyle?"
"Kyle and I have nothing to do with each other anymore."
"You can fool everyone, but not me. You always have strong feelings for him not for Ethan. What happened? Did you become blind in his love. Did he force you to do this?"
"Are you aware that you are playing with fire?"
"You still did not answer my question."
"And I don't plan to!" Nora replied with a strong insolence. "I will give you one advice. You will get burned if you don't stay away from this matter. You will invite your own doom."
"You can't hide it forever. People deserved to know the truth."
"Think what you want to think! I am not playing these games with you."
Nora grabbed her stuff and walked away from her former friend.
Rose was right about Ethan. Nora knew everything about his death, but the young journalist did not understand the real dangers. Evil shadows lurked in every corner of Lossell High.
They were venomous snakes, waiting for the right moment to sink their fangs into her skin.
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