“Hazelnut, this is your dad. I shouldn’t have to call you every morning. Now get your butt out of bed! You have class this morning.” Beep! Reaching over, I picked up my iPhone and smiled at the handsome picture of Dad on the screen. Leave it to him to start my day off right. Yawning, I pushed myself up from the twin-size mattress and frowned at the threadbare curtains barely keeping the morning light out. I hate Thursdays. I hate how they come around and just ruin a good week while giving me no apology whatsoever in return. Wait… I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s go back. Way back . . . to the beginning . . . well not the beginning but . . . I think you get what I’m trying to say.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Corriander Felicia Brennaur and I am nobody. At least that's what everyone whispered behind my back when I walk pass them. I wasn't what you'd call a popular person. Hell, I wasn't even known to the student population. I've never tried out for any after school activities and none of my teachers told me I was special. So yeah, I guess to them I was nobody.
Taking my iPhone in hand I scrolled through to my Dad’s number. Pressing send I cradled the phone between my shoulder and ear as I climbed out of bed.
“You’re up!” My dad exclaimed on the other end. Smiling at his voice I wandered over to my window and pulled the curtains back letting the morning sunlight in.
“I’ve been up for a while just thinking about life.” I said heading back to my bed plopping back onto the mattress.
“As long as you’re awake and out of bed I’m happy.” He said. Sitting up slowly from the bed I pushed off the mattress once again.
“Yep, that’s me… out of bed… well remember I won’t be over tonight because we have the carnival but I will be by this weekend.” I said trying not to sound guilty.
“Yes, I remember. Have fun and don’t scare them too badly Hazelnut, we don’t want a repeat of middle school.” My dad said. The images of kids running from the classroom screaming their heads off popped up in my mind. Yeah… let’s not have a repeat of middle school.
“Gotcha, I love you daddy.” I said.
“Back at you Hazelnut, bye.” He said before hanging up. Tossing my phone back on my bed I sighed at the ceiling. As much as I love my father the stench of Thursday still lingered in the air.
“I hate Thursdays.” I muttered to myself. In all fairness I don’t hate the actual day it’s just what the day brings. Growing up the way I did school was never easy for me. If it wasn’t for my family I probably would have given up a long time ago. It took a while for me to accept that I wasn’t like everyone else.
So by the time I stop trying to be like the masses and started to be myself graduation day was here. I was happy to finally be rid of them but like most things in my life there was a little hiccup involved. When it was time to march into the ceremony where was I? Well… I over slept. I was supposed to me meet my dad there but ended up missing the entire thing which prompted me having to go back the following week to Abern High to pick my diploma up. I would have liked to march in with my cap and gown, to sit in the crowd listening to a not so great commencement speech but apparently it wasn’t in the cards for me. Really at that point it didn't matter to me anymore; I mean I had no good memories of the place or the students, why go and pretend to miss them? The only thing that mattered was I graduated… barely.
Now I’m a freshman at Peachtree City Community College in Atlanta, Georgia. Mind you it was the only college that would accept me due to my nonexistent extra-curricular activities and recommendation letters. I packed my meager belongings and made the trek over to the college campus like the rest of the freshmen eager to start the new phase of their lives. My dad kept taking pictures like he’d never see me again all the while trying not to cry. With one last rib bruising hug he kissed my forehead and left me to my own devices. I thought maybe this was my chance to blend in. You know, to be one of the crowd, to be like everyone else. To just be normal… let’s just say things aren’t working out as planned. Now when mornings come I lie in bed encased in my broom closet size dorm room and watch the sun fight through my hand–me-down curtains dreading what’s to come.
It wasn’t that bad in the beginning. Sure I was being ignored by everyone but I was okay with that. It wasn’t until she showed up did everything and I mean everything change. Now instead of disliking Thursdays I hate them… with a passion. Though I only had two classes today, it still sucked royally. First up on this day of horror was Applied Economics. After two and a half hours of mind numbing torture brought on by Professor Dunton’s labored breathing no doubt from the cheap cigars he smokes and a lack of exercise men of his age desperately need I’m released into the wild to go to my second class, Theories. I loved the concept of discussing the unknown in the world. There is so much in the universe that can’t be explained or packaged up in boxes with pretty little red ribbons.
It’s the only reason why I signed up for this class. No subject was taboo, no idea too controversial to talk about. The conversations between my classmates and I were epic. Then she showed up and it's been hell ever since. My happiness is now non-existent and I'm stuck in a stuffy classroom with Miss. Prissy Einstein who conveniently seems to only rain on my parade. And I'm not talking about some sprinkles here or there, I'm talking about electrical storms. Full fledge tsunamis with no survivors. She’s all smiles and unicorns in the beginning then she turns into the she-devil, thus making Thursday the most hated day of the week for me.
Besides being stuck in a class with the devil’s advocate I have this unnerving feeling someone is watching me. No matter where I go or what I do I can’t shake the feeling I’m being followed. Because of this I’ve taken measures to secure myself at night with the help from my recent purchases at Whithall’s Wicca Emporium. Now I know what you’re thinking Wicca Emporium? Yes, I meant what I said. Being a wiccan myself it would make sense for me to shop at said establishment. It’s not a known fact about me but an interesting one. Closing my eyes I took hold of the green and gold crystal necklace I’d purchased earlier this week. I could feel its energy pulsing between my fingers. I didn't feel any negative vibes in the room or in the hall so I decided it was safe to get on with my day. Stretching my arms over my head and went to my closet and pulled back the eggshell colored shutter doors.
'Today is going to be a good day.' I thought to myself as I sorted through my clothing.
‘Despite what she says or does she will not destroy my good mood.’ I vowed. I kept repeating that over and over until it was ingrained in my memory. Despite being Thursday today was untouchable. Today is my favorite holiday of the year All Hollows Eve or Halloween as it's now called. All the leaves turn from their glossy greens to their brilliant oranges and shimmering reds. The smell of harvest is in the air and the crisp chill of autumn turns everything into magic.
After pulling on my destroyed red skinny jeans and my ‘Zombies were People too’ hoodie I packed my shoulder bag with my books and notebooks. Kneeling on the floor I reached under my bed for my custom black converse. There in a circle lie jasmine, lily, rosemary and lavender. The ingredients of a protection spell my Aunt Tuny taught me when I was younger. Satisfied it was still in place I laced my chucks up and stood. Looking at myself in the mirror I smiled at my reflection. Pushing my shoulder length ebony tresses from my mocha latte face I stared into my hazel brown eyes.
"Ready as you'll ever be freak." I chuckled.
Before you assume I’m degrading myself I’m not. The term freak is an endearment that my fellow classmates from Theories class have bestowed upon me or at least that’s how I chose see it. I went from being nobody in high school to a supernatural freak in college. What were the odds of that happening? Even though they meant the word freak to hurt me it only confirmed for me what I already knew. I am a freak. I couldn't help but feel the tingle in the palms of my hands as it slowly climbed my arms to spread along the rest of my body. They thought I was a supernatural freak because I believed in unseen forces. What they didn’t know is how right they were. Grabbing my bag off the bed I snatched up my keys and was out the door.
As I shuffled my way across the quads; I took special care to make it to Applied Economics a bit earlier. The quicker I got there the longer I would have to practice my oral presentation for Theories. And practice was the key. Crossing the threshold I greeted Professor Dunton with a half-hearted good morning. He on the other hand didn't even look up from his morning newspaper to speak to me. His balding scalp gleamed under the flickering fluorescent lights while the smell of morning mint and stale cigars wafted into my nostrils. Just that alone confirmed that today’s lesson in Applied Economics would be as boring as usual. After my first week of school was over I spent the weekend at home with my dad catching up. He loved hearing about my classes and professors. I was trying to explain to him that it wasn’t as awesome as it seemed but he wouldn’t hear it any other way.
“Don’t be so judgmental. He’s probably a really nice guy once you get to know him.” My dad said after I gave him a full description of my first encounter with Professor Dunton.
“Nice guy? Seriously daddy I can’t see him being a nice guy. I don’t think the word nice is even in his vocabulary. On the first day he gave us a quiz to see what we know. I answered every question correctly and you know what grade he gave me? A seventy! When I asked him about it he said he deducted points because he didn’t like my penmanship, if that’s Professor Dunton’s way of being a nice guy then I hate to see him being mean.” I said into my plate of spaghetti. My dad did his best to cheer me up but the fact still remained. Professor Dunton was a crabby old man.
Making it to my seat in the back of the class I sat down and started to pull out my work. In this area of the class I sat alone because no one really wanted to sit by me. Word had spread around campus that I was weird. They thought by sitting next to me my weirdness would somehow rub off on them. If they only knew how weird they were without my help they’d beg for my friendship. Placing my assignments on the desk top near the outer edges of the class room ring I plugged my ears with my ear buds and press play on my mp3 player. A song from one of my favorite bands Evolution of Days started blaring through the tiny headset. As I started nodding my head to the music and mouthing the words I took my Theories paper in hand. Taking a deep breath I closed my eyes and cleared my mind almost meditating. There was only one shot for me to get this out there and I had to be ready. As the song finished I opened my eyes and looked to the paper in my hands.
'Today is going to be a good day.'
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I could feel beads of sweat rolling down the curve of my spine despite the cool air from the A/C blowing at full blast. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. There was only one chance to get it out there before they shut me down completely. Even with all my practice I was still nervous. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach bumping into one another clumsily. There was a slight tremor running through me causing my paper to tremble in my hands. Instead of delivering an oral presentation it felt like I was standing in front of a firing squad. Clearing my throat I threw my shoulders back and stood tall. Here goes nothing.
"The supernatural has always existed whether we want to believe in it or not. There has always been unexplained --" I wasn't even finished with my opening paragraph before Miss. Prissy Einstein raised her hand and interrupted me. Her emerald like pupils raked over me with boredom before she turned to her left.
"Um... Professor Rotham is this going to be another ranting lecture about how the boogey man and the mummy do exist and how we humans are just too ignorant to understand?" She asked in a condescending voice. When I saw the small smile appeared at the corners of her mouth I wanted to slap it right off her face. There are no words to describe how much I hated this girl. It took everything I had inside me to stay where I was. I stood there staring at her with the heat of a thousand suns as she sat there staring back at me all calm and sweet like.
Though she looked as innocent as a daisy there was something in her eyes that told a different story, Miss. Prissy Einstein could be nice but apparently only nice to anyone that wasn’t me. Clearing his throat Professor Rotham leaned his hips against his desk crossing his arms over his chest. He was a forty something year old hippie, wearing a tie dye shirt and too short khaki pants. His feet were wedged in a pair of sandals two sizes too small and they seemed to be cutting off his circulation. The exposed soles of his feet were crusted with mud like he'd been walking through the nearby woods and never bothered to wash afterward. Besides his nasty feet and disheveled appearance his unkempt hair suspiciously smelled of marijuana.
"That's a good question. So Ms. Brennaur, is this another report about utter nonsense?" He asked. Professor Rotham was the only professor for Theories and he himself didn't believe in angels, but could bore you to death about his alien abductions. I stood there with my report in my hand, ready to get my A+ for this outstanding work. All my careful research and fact checking for a solid month and a half destroyed in one breath by this girl who had to be the daughter of the devil. Did I mention I really hated this girl?
"No, I have reliable sources and--" I started to defend my paper. There were tons of doctors who dedicated their lives to the study of the supernatural but again she interrupts me, her voice heavy with sarcasm.
"The homeless guy that calls everyone heathens as they walk by and the woman who says the world is about to end aren’t people I would count as reliable." Miss. Prissy Einstein chuckled. It was like we were on a sitcom stage and someone pressed the laugh track button. The entire lecture hall erupted into unison laughter so much so it echoed off the walls; they were yet again laughing at my expense. I bit my tongue and quickly fought the wave of embarrassment that was consuming me. It was like high school all over again. What was the point to this? Why did I keep doing this to myself? Was I the only one excited about the possibilities of supernatural forces at work? I didn't waste time trying to defend my report any longer; I knew they wouldn't listen now. Many of them were still laughing, tears rolling down their faces.
I did the only thing I could in this situation. Without another word I headed for my chair while crumbling my paper in my hand. Slumping into the cushion I waited for class to be over. I truly hated Thursdays. We never talked about anything but logic. What is the purpose of having a theory if you’re going to destroy it with logic? After I was safely tucked away in my corner Miss. Prissy Einstein quieted down and allowed some other students to actually get through their presentations. Once time was up Professor Rotham released us and I made haste my escape through the back door of the classroom. Once the sunlight hit my skin I felt the shackles of Theories fall right off of me.
I had to remember today was a good day. Today was All Hollows Eve. Miss. Prissy Einstein couldn't ruin this for me. I was determined to have a good day. Taking a deep breath I cleared my head and focused on the fun I’d have later.
To support the local schools and community the college sponsored a carnival every year. This year I'd been chosen for the fortune teller's booth. Usually they don’t allow freshmen to take on such large responsibilities alone but no one else was up for it so it’s all mine. I was more than excited. Not only was the fortune teller's booth the most popular booth, it would allow me the chance to show off what I can really do. Ever since I could remember I've been able to see and feel things. I’m not talking about seeing a leaf move in the wind and feeling it blow against my skin. I’m talking about something that can only be classified as supernatural.
I keep that to myself mostly because people already think I'm weird, I mean why add fuel to the fire? I don't want to totally alienate them. I still have three more years at this school. Grinning to myself I couldn't help but think that's exactly what's going to happen when my predictions come true. Some will fear me, some won't believe and others will be utterly confused by the whole thing. Hopefully everyone will be confused and think I’m just a good actress. I just hoped Miss. Prissy Einstein comes by so I can shut her up for the rest of her life and then some.
"She started on the supernatural again. I don't think I can keep her quiet for much longer." Antonette said tossing her bag on the table, taking a seat by the desk she closed her eyes and frowned.
"Did she have anything?" Anton asked while putting the finishing touches on Antonette’s composition essay.
"I read most of it before she trashed it. She figured out the most ancient three bloodlines and that all three uses specific hierarchies. She wrote about the rules and traditions that are followed by some of the supernatural species and that we all are mortal enemies, or at least we were. And might I add she’s exhausting to listen to." Antonette said rubbing her temples. Looking up from the essay Anton blinked then grinned.
"Wow....do you really think it's her? I mean we've been searching for her over three hundred years." Anton chuckled catching a glimpse of Antonette’s tired face. Yawning Nicholette rolled across the bed and stretched her body before relaxing back into the full size mattress.
"I believe we aren't the only ones who believe she is the one." Nicholette yawned again.
"What do you mean?" Antonette asked opening her eyes.
"She believes someone is following her. She went to Whithall and purchased protection amulets and dried herbs to put in her dorm room. She's even has one around her neck." Nicholette explained. Grinning Anton reared back in his chair amazed at the events happening when a thoughtful look appeared on his face.
"Are they working?" He asked. Sitting up from the other side of the bed, Nicholi let out a low whistle while shaking his head slowly.
"Are they working? She meant for the herbs to protect her and her dorm room. Instead it’s protecting the entire building, while the amulet around her neck protects anyone with in a twenty feet radius of her. Not even a semi-gifted wiccan could produce such an amount of power before ascending." Nicholi said in an awe-struck whisper. Nodding Anton stood and passed the finished essay to Antonette.
"It has to be her. It's too much evidence stating it's her." Anton stated matter-a-factly. Both Antonette and Nicholette nodded in agreement. Sitting in the corner of the room, Dominic glared at his fists.
"No, its mere chance that it seems like her. The carnival is tonight. If and only if she uses the gift of sight will we take action not before then; we won't have a repeat of Italy." He said glaring at each of them in turn to make sure they caught his meaning. Lying on the floor next to Dominic DeAnni smiled.
"I must concur with my brother. We see the evidence and it is as you say Anton overwhelming but we must have undeniable facts before we do anything rash. For all we know she's a practicing wiccan and is just beyond gifted. Then again she could be whom we seek. We've waited this long what is another hour or so?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I sat at the small wooden table watching as everything was set up around the tent for tonight’s carnival.
"You sure you’re up for this?" Manny asked me for the third time in a ten minute time span. Rolling my eyes, I gave him a long suffering sigh then marched over to the trunk containing various costumes and began pulling out some of the printed scarves to wrap around my ebony hair like a turban.
"Yeah Manny, I got this in the bag." I said my words laden with sarcasm.
"I mean are you sure because if not--" He started hesitantly. Letting the trunk go I turned to Manny and glared at him with hostile hazel eyes.
"I told you yes. I am absolutely sure so stop asking me am I sure because the answer isn't gonna change." I ground out as nicely as I possibly could. Manny stood there staring at me before he turned back to the other workers putting the last bits and pieces in place. Once he was satisfied everything was in its proper place Manny turned to me.
"Okay, don't be cryptic and don't be obvious. They’re paying good money to have their futures told. Oh yeah, please try not to scare them." He said. Grinning I remember the advice my dad gave me just this morning. Pulling the trunk open again I pulled out an extra scarf and I tied it around my waist to hide my jeans from view. What fortune teller you know wears skinny jeans?
"I will try my best." I said fixing my scarves around my slender waist. After finally getting the scarves where I wanted them I looked up to see Manny holding a box in his hands.
"Here." He said. Peering at it I took the box then shook it softly to hear noise rattling from inside.
"What's this?" I asked curiously. Going through the papers on his clipboard, Manny began scribbling then paused as if he was in deep thought.
"Um...some tarot cards processed chicken bones, and a standard magic crystal ball. It even clouds when you wave your hands over the sensors." He said somewhat excited. Placing the box on the table I shook my head in confusion.
"I don't need these." I said offended. Pointing towards the box Manny frowned.
"How else are you gonna tell them fake fortunes?" He asked. Taking a seat at the table I placed the box on the floor.
"To be honest I won’t tell them fake fortunes. Anything I have to tell them will be true. I’ll have them lay their hands on the table palms up then I'll put my hands over theirs and--" Manny began to shake his head causing his dreadlocks to whipping about his face.
"No physical contact." He said taking the wind right out of my sails.
"How am I going to tell them their fortunes then?" I huffed. Motioning towards the box on the ground Manny looked at me like I was a freaking idiot.
"By using the crystal ball and other crap in that box right there." He said slowly like I had a learning disability. Now this was total bull shit.
"A glass ball that smokes up isn't going to tell me anything I mean--" Grabbing his forehead, Manny sighed.
"You want this gig?" He asked his voice a little less patient sounding. Looking down at the box and my tools of my trade I bit into my bottom lip.
"Yes." I mumbled. Nodding, Manny reached over and picked the box up placing it back on the table.
"Then follow the rules." He stated a bit like a teacher to a problem student.
"But--" Turning his back to me Manny started for the flaps of the tent.
"No if, ands or buts about it." He called back over his shoulder. I watched as the last of the tech guys left the tent. Glaring at the box I rolled my eyes.
"Great." I muttered.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
DeAnni stood next to the entrance of the carnival with her arm linked with Nicholette watching the comers and goers roam the campus. Next Antonette and Anton appeared each holding their own cotton candy cone in hand as Dominic and Nicholi brought up the rear.
"Wow, these people really love Halloween." Anton chuckled as he pointed to a bunch of girls dressed up as prison inmates.
"This reminds me of home." DeAnni sighed. Grinning, Nicholette pointed to a group of children dressed as flower sprites.
"Aren't they adorable?" She cooed. Giving them an annoyed look, Dominic closed his eyes and shook his head.
"Enough, where's the booth?" Dominic hissed. Ignoring his sour attitude, Antonette pointed in the general direction.
"It’s in the far corner down that path to the right. They wanted it to look spooky." She said eating the last of her cotton candy. Grinning Anton waved at some small super heroes passing by.
"They get an 'A' for effort." He chuckled. Turning in the direction of the fortune teller's tent, Dominic let his eyes sweep the area slowly noting each shadow spot or lingering figure.
"It's clean." DeAnni said as she watched more children passing. Looking over his shoulders, Dominic's eyes narrowed.
"Be serious. We have a mission here. Nick, Lette and Ton spread out, Anni to her dorm room, Nette with me. I don't have an easy feeling about this." Dominic said. Giving each other a slight nod they each disappeared heading down the paths created by tents and booths covering the grounds of the quad.
“Nervous much?" Antonette whispered as Dominic led the way to the fortune teller's tent. Shrugging his shoulders a bit, Dominic kept his eyes forward trying to calm his nerves.
"You don't have to be, you'll love her." Antonette whispered again. A corner of Dominic's mouth lifted a bit.
"Let's meet her first then see where it goes."
“Welcome my friends please join me inside." I said in my regular voice. I'd attempted a fake accent but it sounded super cheesy. After hearing me attempt it for the fourth time Manny suggested that I just keep it light. No need to ham it up. As the tent flaps were pushed back I felt my heart rate doubled. Miss. Prissy Einstein strolled in all super cool with a look of suspicion on her face. I was glad she’d come to see me in action. I was so caught up in my head thinking of ways I could freak her out I almost didn’t see him walked in.
This guy could only be described as absolutely beautiful. I knew for a fact I’d never seen him on campus before. He looked maybe twenty five or so. He wore his dark hair cropped low. It set off his chiseled jaw line and perfectly sculpted lips. The combination of his straight nose, flawless skin and sparkling green eyes made him number one on my bucket list. When of course I realized I was drooling over him I cut my eyes back to Miss. Prissy Einstein. She stood there with a smug smile on her face. Rolling my eyes I tried to regain my cool. Of course she would have a boyfriend who looked like him. The world wouldn’t be right if she didn’t have a model-esque boyfriend. There goes my theory she was a spinster living in a house full of cats. Moving to the chair in the center of the tent she stood slightly behind it while Adonis stopped just inside the tent.
"How did you know we we're coming?" She asked. Chuckling to myself I smiled at Miss. Prissy Einstein then her boyfriend.
"Arthur is set up outside. When someone approaches the tent he buzzes the light panel up there." I explained. Pointing to the small light box in the corner I wiggled my brows.
"I thought you were supposed to be physic." She said snidely. Here we go with the Miss. Prissy Einstein attitude.
"Yeah well, we all get disappointed now and then." I mumbled. Motioning to the chair I picked up my box of tools and began placing the items on the table.
"What's your poison? What tool would you like me to use to ‘see’ your future?" I asked bitterly. Taking a seat in the chair slowly she stared at the table and all my goodies.
"Tool?" She asked. Nodding I grimaced at the thought of telling her a fake fortune when I knew I could really blow her mind. Squashing down those thoughts I tried to paste a smile on my face.
"I have an assortment of goodies for you to choose from. I could use tarot cards that I don't know how to read or what they mean. I could try my hand at throwing bones but don't get your hopes up on that one either. Lastly I could use my always cloudy crystal ball. Tell you the truth I could rub a pair of sticks together and have better luck." I said. Though he didn't look interested in what we were doing, apparently Adonis was listening.
"You don't sound happy." He muttered. Sighing I glared at the table and all its useless junk.
"Oh, I'm not. I couldn’t tell you shit from those things even if my life depended on it. Of course I can tell you your future but its policy that no carnival workers have physical contact with any customers." I explained. Laughing Miss. Prissy Einstein shook her head tossing her wavy auburn hair side to side. I couldn’t tell if she was laughing at the rules or me for thinking I could actually read her fortune. Adonis stood at the flaps gazing out now ignoring me again as Miss. Prissy Einstein sat there looking like Miss America. Between the two of them I had to admit defeat. They looked like a great couple. They were probably junior high school sweethearts who lived in the same neighborhood. He probably threw pebbles at her window and sent her secret notes saying how much he loved her. She probably wore his jersey number and was at every football game watching him play. And here I was hoping he’d just give me a look, even for a second. How sad is my life?
"Well I just paid to have my fortune read and it will be read. Screw policy." She said. Did she just say what I think she said?
"Are you willing to let me place the palms of my hands on yours?" I asked anxiously. Looking back she gave Adonis a brief smile.
"That's it, we hold hands?" She asked. Adonis stood there in the same spot as before, but had turned slightly to have a better view of the table. The look of indifference was no longer there, it was replaced with a look of apprehension. I didn’t understand the sudden chill that swept over me. It felt like he would intervene at any moment if I moved too suddenly. Was he scared I’d do her harm or something? Well technically I did want to slap her earlier so maybe his suspicions weren’t that far off.
"Pretty much." I said. Taking her clutch purse from under her arm she held it out for Adonis.
"Here hold this." She said to her boyfriend.
"Are you sure you want her to do this?" He asked. Wow...even her boyfriend was a snob. I could feel my temper flaring even with the tense moments that had just passed.
"I paid five dollars to have my fortune read and I want every penny of it. Besides I have hand sanitizer in my purse." She said. I had to turn my head away to keep them from seeing me roll my eyes. Hand sanitizer? Really is that necessary? As if I was carrying around some kind of disease.
"Place your hands on the table palms up. Relax your body and your mind. Take a deep breath and hold it for a minute then exhale, now ask me one question?" I said before I did something I’d regret… like actually slap her. She sat there in the chair for a moment with a perfect pout on her face as if I’d asked her the square root of two point five billion. After another minute of silence she glanced over her shoulder to Adonis and gave him a wink. Turning back to me she cleared her throat then gave me a little smile.
"How old will I be before I find love?" She asked. Raising my brow slowly I fought to keep my smart remarks behind my teeth. Like mama said if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. Placing my palms over hers I let them hover. Forcing yet another smile I let my eyes flicker to Adonis who stood there watching us intently, before I closed them for the last time.
"Are you sure?" I asked. I felt her nodding her head as I lowered my hands allowing our skin to touch I noticed it immediately. Her skin didn't feel like normal skin. I mean it felt like skin but there was no heat to it. It was like her body was no warmer than room temperature. Maybe she’d been outside too long… or maybe she was actually made of ice. Pushing the naughty thoughts from my head I took one final breath and opened my mind to her. As soon as I had full contact the temperature of her skin no longer mattered. It felt like an electrical current was running lose through my body. I’d done this plenty of times to know that what I was feeling right now wasn’t normal.
I wasn’t being brought into her thoughts I was being electrocuted. I flashed through her mind, houses and fields came into view. Men and women dressed in mid-seventeenth century clothing were huddled together in groups across the fields. The look of horror and manic excitement turned their features into sinister looking masks. I could feel the cold creeping into my bones. Whatever happened it wasn’t good. To my left torches were being lit, men dressed in long woolen coats stomped their way through the crowds until they reached the front where two pyres stood. I knew then this wasn't her future I was seeing but somehow I’d locked into her past memories.
Suddenly without warning fire erupted all around me. The acrid smoke began to clog my lungs burning my chest. The heat and pain from the fire bit at my flesh. Wave after wave it built until I felt the sting of tears in my eyes. I could feel myself starting to panic. I needed to get out of there but I couldn’t let go. I was still locked into her memories. Turning to the right I fought through the smog of fumes trying to get to clean air but the more I ran the darker and dense the smoke became. It wasn’t until I tripped over my own feet did I hear the sound of a beating heart. It echoed through my head getting louder and louder until suddenly it stopped. Once there was silence I could feel myself being pushed out of the memory. There was a sizzle of pain as I pulled my hands away. Blinking my eyes I tried to bring them back into focus but it took a longer than I’d expected. Once I could see the outline of the tent I focused my eyes on Miss. Prissy Einstein. As her face came more and more into focus I could see astonishment on her face.
"How'd you--" She stuttered. Her eyes kept flickering between my flushed face and her burning palms. I shook my head hard trying to clear my mind but the images were still there, the young man with a set of long white glistening fangs who leaned over her dying body. The way he caressed her hair as she pleaded with him for help. The pressure she felt when his teeth bit through her skin and the sudden numbness from it. Even with all that playing in my head I was still able to form simple sentences.
"You have no heartbeat!" I gasped. I couldn't catch my breath. It felt like I was still running from the smoke. The more I tried to inhale the less oxygen I seemed to get in. I watched Miss. Prissy Einstein’s face change to a guilty one within seconds of the statement being said. My mind kept jumping from detail to detail over what I’d witnessed. I needed her to say it out loud, to confirm that I wasn’t crazy not even a little bit.
"What are you talking about?" She asked innocently. Even when I’ve caught her red handed she still wouldn’t giving up the innocent act. Was she really trying to make this seem like a part of my imagination? I narrowed my eyes on her and sat forward a bit.
"You died in the year of sixteen forty-three. You were burned… alive. They tied you to an altar in the middle of your own fields and set you on fire...they thought you were infected but really you’re a-" It was right at that moment did I finally realize what I was about to say. Even though my education with Aunt Tuny had been extensive I’d never met any other supernatural being except for Aunt Tuny herself. The thought I had just met one was a bit overwhelming. I could feel my words dying on my lips as she stood and leaned over the table. With every inch Miss. Prissy Einstein leaned forward I leaned back. The innocent Miss. Prissy Einstein was no longer here. Before me stood another; someone way more dangerous than Miss. Prissy Einstein ever could be.
"I’m really a what?" I heard her say. I couldn't get pass the look of hatred in her executer's eyes. He sauntered his way to the front of the group. I could see the permanent sneer etched on his haggard face. Holding the torch up high he gave a toothless grin and tossed the open flames into the pile of hay gathered at the bottom of the pyre. The flames caught immediately eating up the dry hay spreading like wild fire.
"A vampire." I whispered. I was too shaken up by the fear to speak any louder.
"And what do you think I am?" She asked her voice a bit softer. The profound silence I heard after the memory gave me the answer I was looking for even if I didn’t want it to be true.
"A vampire." I repeated a little more forcefully trying to shake off the fear.
"Why do you say that?" She asked curiously. Blinking I let my eyes focus on her. The angelic face she’d worn before had a hardness to it now. Her sassy emerald green eyes were gone her pupils now shown a gold tint. She looked more like a predator of the weak than the sacrificial lamb she made you believe
Publisher: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG
Text: Copyright 2014 by Jennifer Denise Freeman All rights reserved. The characters or events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to any real or fake persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Images: Cover Picture Copyright 2008 By Quavondo. No part of this publication can be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form by any means or stored in a database or retrieval system without the prior permission of the publisher or author.
Publication Date: 07-06-2010
All Rights Reserved
I would like to dedicate this book to my family, those here and those gone. Without them I wouldn’t be here today. Thank you for everything. I would also like to dedicate this book to Dink. I love you for loving me the way I am. Don’t ever change.