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Zoe the Zombie
Author's note: My friends inspired me to write this story. The bond between us all is very special and they have taught me that it isn't blood that makes a family. It's love, thanks guys.
Zoe’s lead lids fluttered apart and her bold ebony lashes tickled her plump cheeks as her emerald eyes drained in the golden sunlight the sparkled throughout her room. Her body weighed a ton as she slowly sat up like the monster from Mary Shellen’s Frankenstein, her alarm clock pounding in her ear as she grudged over and gently tapped on the snooze button then she crashed back into the pillows, the warm fluffiness of the bed simply irresistible. Just five more minutes of sweet serenity before she had to go to that wretched hell hole they called school! Once her time was up the alarm clock screamed, refusing to be ignored. She rocketed it to its tragic doom across her room where it slowly tumbled down the wall and whimpered until the glowing digital numbers faded in the calm twilight of early morning in her messy room strung about with her collection of hats. Zoe’s jelly legs almost buckled underneath her as she leaned on the wall towards the bathroom to the shower.
Funny how you really don’t want to do something but then once you start you don’t wanna stop she thought to herself.
I didn’t wanna go to bed last night and stay up and watch youtube videos, but this morning I didn’t wanna get up. Now I don’t wanna get a shower and then I won’t wanna get out of it. When I see my ex-boyfriend today I won’t wanna suck his soul out but then when I start, I won’t wanna stop.
After she was finished with the same routine she fought through every single day, she made her way to the kitchen and searched for something she could survive off of until she got to school. She anchored into the chair across from her mother and father.
“You alright? You look like a Zombie.” Her mother cooed to her.
Yeah, good morning to you too, mom she whispered in her mind.
That’s funny, BECAUSE I AM A ZOMBIE!
As crazy as it sounded, she was a member of the undead. Down to her core, if she didn’t suck souls her skin turned a neonish green and began to crack as her eyes fell under the empire of black darkness and she got cranky, very cranky. She hated to drain the life out of people she used to love, but then again people weren’t use to seeing a girl with rotten skin crawling around moaning for flesh. With all the Walking Dead fans out there, she’d end up with a shovel lodged in her brain. After breakfast, Zoe found time soared by and before she knew it she was walking up the steps to the school. The day she became a zombie was like yesterday. It all started in third grade, when this boy had a crush on her. She couldn’t remember his name, but he was very-VERY weird. He had pitch black hair, always wore starch white clothes, smelled sweet like baby power. Beyond all his weirdness he was a pretty sweet guy. He had a huge crush on her ever since kindergarten. He would make her bracelets, draw her pictures and sometimes even kiss her cheek. He was kinda cute underneath all that black hair, but she never liked him. Instead she’d liked her best friend Lyan and started dating him in the Sixth grade, and when the heart-broken boy found out he invited Zoe to the farthest part of the playground and then he sank his perfect teeth deep into her tender neck and as she was squealing in pain he leaned down and whispered in her ear, with a voice creaky like a madman’s lullaby…
“If I can’t have you, then nobody can.”
After that, Zoe watched him walk away as she slipped into the realm of darkness, and she never saw him ever again. If her childhood wasn’t creepy, she didn’t even know what creepy was. Zoe closed her eyes; it felt like someone had super glued her hourglass to the table. The innocence and energy of childhood was like a superpower, Lyan and she had recently broken up of course and she didn’t miss that at all. But what she did miss was being human, the feel of warmth. To feel emotion, not being numb and cold just…normal.Zoe could feel the thick, hardening blood sludging in her veins like molasses. How long had it been since she sucked someone’s soul? She slunched over against the wall and tried to remember. Two months, no three…maybe four? Uhhh….Oh god. It’d been 5 and a half. Lyan broke up with her and she decided to take advantage of him and turn him into a human snack pack and suck him dry. He moved away and she hadn’t seen him in forever either. Zoe screwed her eyes shut once again and peeled herself from the wall and began to struggle down the barren hallway, unaware to the world around her.
“I’m dead insi-” Zoe moaned to herself. Before she was knocked over by a flash of mahogany lightning and was struggling for balance.
“Hiiii!!!” Ali squealed, imprisoning Zoe in a snug pink, fluffy vice-like hug.
“Uurrrghh-Hey..” She wheezed, choked by her wiry petite arms. She was really strong for such a tiny little runt.
Zoe’s suffering was ceased and the world around her stopped spinning as she sensed Ali’s soul deep down practically electrocute her. Ali had a hyper, lively soul full of energy. Zoe had never reached into her friend’s bodies to their souls but she was so weak her sixth sense was amped up to high, she couldn’t help herself. Looking up from Ali’s jungle of chocolate brown curly hair she sensed two more souls, a vibrant beautiful one that left her in awe and an easy mellow one that calmed Zoe down and soothed her like a baby’s lullaby. Hale and Erinah were making their way down the hall towards her. Zoe could even see they’re auras glowing, torturing her. It was like dangling a Happy Meal in front of a starving refugee child. Zoe was released from Ali’s grip as she greeted Erinah the same way, Hale was lucky enough to escape. Zoe couldn’t live without her friends. Hale and Erinah had always been her friends ever since Elementary school. Hale was always sweet and generous and gave everyone all she had and Erinah was always there for everyone though every problem, cheering them up even if sometimes she needed the same thing and then there was Ali; zipping off the walls with an unlimited sense of humor and very random but she loved all her friends like family. The group grew more and more, Zoe browsed all the different juicy souls ripe for the picking. Bella, Ivan and Jade appeared around the corner. Ivan flung his satchel on the floor and was hugged by Ali-and then released when both Erinah and Ali noticed Jade’s presence, but more importantly his ashy blonde locks along with him.
“JAAAADEEEHH!!!” They both yelped in unison.
“ALLLEEE! EERHHREEENAAAH!!” He mocked them, making Zoe giggle. His impression of their squeaky excited voices was ignored, as always. And his bouncy crown of ashy blonde curls was arrested by their hands. It was always like this for poor Jade-Every morning!
He finally escaped the groping, and took refuge against the wall hiding behind Zoe, who was feeling a little more awake strangely.
“Dude, you could work at a Petting Zoo.” She grinned.
He laughed and she giggled so hard her spleen ached.She straightened herself and waited for something interesting he would say, Jade was always very entertaining. But an invisible hand smacked her across the face when she noticed his expression. His bright neon green eyes were shimmering like stars in the midnight sky and his face was soft and warm like a summer’s sunset on the beach. Zoe’s cheeks were set aflame, why was he looking at her like that? Did she have something on her face? She reached for her nose when all of a sudden a loud cruel explosion of fiery pain exploded in her chest, she nearly fainted but luckily Jade caught her as she teetered over.
“Woah! Are you okay?” He asked, his dopey face replaced by shock.
“Yeah-yeah I’m fine…urgh, uh…I just need to go to the…ba-bathroom…” The words escaped from her mouth through clenched teeth.
She stampeded through the crowd of booming teenagers in the hallways like a runaway double-decker bus. Knocking two prissy girls on their phones over to the floor. When she finally got to the bathroom that seemed miles away, she crawled to the full view mirror. The young curvy, blonde tomboy stared right back at her…But through eyes of an ebony Abyss.
“Noooo, not yet. Please...” She whimpered, collapsing and sliding down the bathroom door. The first symptom, her natural pigments were swapped with those of the virus.
The virus had started to spike her blood, next would be green skin and peeling flesh. Then she screamed and felt the boom of pain again, through watery eyes she saw her irises blend to a gorgeous deep forest green from deep pungent purple. The pain throbbed on and on, Zoe clenched her chest. It was like some demon had drilled their fist through her ribs and was squelching her heart into mush. She slid her hand up her shirt and over the cold, clammy skin she felt unfamiliar warmth, and then gasped as a force like something inside her kicked met her palm. Then another and another, soon the kicks birthed into a steady yet weak beat…thump…thump…thump…
Zoe bit her lip as salty tears fell like rain from her thick black lashes as she recognized the thumps as her own heart beat. She was turning human again…But how? Zoe’s eyes shot wide open-Jade! She always felt strange around him. Jade was slowly bringing her back to life…How?! She hadn’t even touched his soul-But maybe he was so powerful she didn’t even need to; if she ate his soul she could be fully human again? Zoe felt a mountain of concrete fall down upon her, how could she possibly ever kill Jade? How? He’d been her friend ever since middle school. She clenched her fists; she’d have to do it, anything to be a human again...
Slowly she towered up and lurched back to first period. She bumped into someone, another stupid stuck-up girl on her phone! She was ready to chew the primmy out for not watching where she was going, when she saw a veil of wavy red hair flip and the heart shaped face she loved soo much pulled up in a smile. Juli, thank god! She could use a best friend right now more than anything! Zoe almost fell in tears but fought them back with a smile and waited for Juli to recover.
“Hey, sorry I’m just shaky this morning.” She mumbled.
“Oh it’s okay; I came to look for you. Jade seemed really worried about you.” She cooed, Zoe’s blood sparked at the mention of his name.
The bell rang and Zoe made her way to First period. She slid in her seat next to Jade, and listened to Mr.Jeroloman ramble on about Urban Cities.
“Now don’t answer this okay? I’m serious, do not answer at all. I will send you out in the hallway if you do. So DO NOT answer. All right now think, what does a civilization need to grow into a city, to stay in one place? Think-
“Agriculture!” Ali beamed in the most innocent voice.
“I TOLD YOU NOT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION!!” He roared and threw his book on the floor, scaring Ali soo hard her baby blue eyes bulged out of her skull.
Zoe giggled; Ali really knew how to press his buttons. She looked over to Jade and her heart almost jumped out of her mouth. Her looked over and smiled,
“Are you all right?” He asked, his voice laced with worry.
“Yeah-I’m fine haha, just really really tired.” Whew finally, she felt like herself again.
The rest of the day flew by until second period, which was draggy since Mr. King had thought it was funny to prank them by nearly blowing them all up by shaking a box of Sodium because when he’d asked how storms were made they answered ‘When a mommy storm and daddy storm love eachother they very much, they get together and make-‘and then they all screamed in terror when he sent a metal incased box of very reactive Sodium cubes towards the wall, which to everyone’s relief didn’t explode since the box had actually been empty. The class had been pretty boring since then; when the bell finally rang Zoe hung out in the hallway outside Third period. Jade slowly walked up and joined the rest of them. Erinah, Hale and Ali were running up and down the hallway fighting over something.
“Hey bro, sup?” She smiled.
“Nothing much...Ummm soo uhhh I like you a lot, and I was wondering-would you go out with me?” He mumbled his face as red as a wild cherry.
“I’ll go out with your mom!” she laughed, and joined in on the fight over what she now knew was a giant lollipop. Erinah won when she had spider monkey jumped on Zoe and stole the rainbow swirly prize of sugar on a stick.
She made her way back to Jade, Which was looking like he’d been hammered in the gut. Oh…he was serious…well, hell.
“Umm, wait, you like me?” She asked, she had no idea he felt this way! To be honest, Jade was in the 99th level of the Friendzone.
“Yeah, I mean. I just thought I’d ask…you know-get it off my chest” He mumbled, his face was carved from sandstone and screaming red.
Zoe’s mind froze, and then clamped shut when she was tackled by Erinah. Who had pulped her to the floor. Oh wow, what did she say? This was a situation that required some best friend advice. Dr.Juli would know what to do. The bell rang again and the class made their way to lunch. Zoe found Juli and crept on her, she’d know what to say! She always had the best advice! Juli had been her best friend forever as long as she could remember. Zoe marched through the lunch line and picked what seemed edible to eat on her tray and sat down at the table her friends ALWAYS sat at. She poked Juli, who smiled then motioned her to lean in and she whispered in her ear.
“Dude, I’ve got a big problem...” She confessed.
“Oh, what’s wrong?” She said, her face worried now.
“Well-ugh…Jade asked me out-“ Before she could get anymore out of her mouth Juli bounced up like someone kicked her in the butt.
“Really?! Say yes!” She smiled.
“But-what if we mess things up and we aren’t friends anymore? What will I do?” Zoe whined.
“Just listen to your heart, Jade has never had a girlfriend before and he must think your special and he wants you. Just give him a chance.” Juli said, calmly and full of wisdom.
Zoe looked into her lap, listen to her heart? Her heart was beating now because of Jade. WAIT! She forgot! Her plan to eat Jade’s soul and become human-Yes! This worked out perfectly! She would get close to him and fill him full of emotion and then he would give up his soul and she would be human forever! Zoe’s thoughts were interrupted when her phone earth quaked in her pocket.
She pulled it out and flipped it open
NEW MESSAGE- Jade.
‘Hey-Sorry I don’t know what I was thinking.’
Zoe felt her skin crawl; no you’re not getting away that easily!
‘No it’s ok; to be honest I kinda like you too.’
‘Really? Does that mean yes?’
Zoe chuckled, hook-line-and sinker! He might as well serve himself up on a silver platter. Zoe looked up from her phone and shoveled a mouth full of what appeared to be Spaghetti in her mouth. She chewed and looked around the table; Hale and Ali were staring at her in shock like someone had just slapped them both.
“What?” She asked, mumbling through the pile of fake meat and gooey noodles.
Ali and Hale jumped back then looked at eachother
“Nothing!-Just uhhh, you gotta lil’ somen riiight-“Ali played.
“Yeah-Yeah! Sauce on your face-haha!” Hale grinned.
What he hell? Were they hiding something? Zoe noticed Erinah sit down and Ali looked at her, which in turn Erinah shared the same exact face Ali and Hale had sported earlier. What was going on? It was like they were all telepathic or something!
“Let’s go!” The lunch cashier said, announcing for all of them to get out so they could wash the tables.
Zoe dumped her tray and hauled butt for the stairs to Mrs.Workman’s room. She came around the corner when she noticed Jade loitering Infront of the door.
“Hey…” he mumbled.
“Hi…” she replied.
Zoe felt bats flop around in her stomach, wow-you could actually reach out and feel the awkward. Her heart zoomed inside her-How did he make her feel this way? It was unexplainable. Zoe felt a little better now and more awake, feeling energy zipping through her as she let her Gir Bag hit the floor and she slumped into her seat and rested her chin on her palms as she watched her fellow students’ presentations for their Prezis they made for Mrs.Workman. Mickey ended his presentation on how to escape a moving car and her new boyfriend Jade made his way and plopped down into the computer chair as he pulled up his presentation. She felt like a flower was blooming inside her as her lips lifted in a half smile as she daydreamed about him. He stood back up and took his place next to the board, he smiled at her and tapped the board and the title slide flew to the classes eyes. Everyone around Sara chuckled as she felt her mouth cave open and cold chills kidnapped her frail body when she read the title over and over again ‘How to survive in a zombie apocalypse’
Oh, god I’m gonna throw up she felt like her stomach was gonna fall out of her butt.
“So my Prezi is about how to survive a zombie apocalypse!” He proclaimed.
You don’t say…Zoe thought.
He tapped the board and the next slide zoomed over.
“Now before I show you all the steps, you gotta understand that zombies aren’t real people. Like say your Grandma becomes a Zombie she’s not gonna remember that one day you guys baked cookies together. So don’t feel bad when you kill a zombie.”
Nope, nope, nope, nope-do not wants…Her mind raced; I need to get outa here!
“Now-How to kill a zombie!” Jade went on. Zoe felt seriously sick as her blood began to retreat from her brain.
“Some zombies aren’t always whole, you know they’re gonna have legs and arms missing sometimes. But the most important thing is to sever the head from the body!”
A pictogram of a headless, mulched zombie took over the screen. Zoe’s heart was throwing back flips against her ribcage.
“Or better yet, you could burn the Zombie! Really doesn’t matter. As long as they’re dead, but always remember they’re not who they are anymore…they’re monsters…monsters…monsters…”
That’s not true…I’m not a monster…am I? Everything echoed and boomed around her as she slumped out of her desk hugged the floor, she looked up to see everyone surrounding her. Juli and Hale were gaping at her, while Ali poked her over and over with a pencil like she was already a dead body she was about to reach out and slap her until she saw Jade’s face, who was looking at her in shock, his eyes as big as baseballs and shiny like two big twinkling Christmas tree ornaments as his face slumped in a frown and her friends and everything around her faded into a fuzzy black slush and ice washed throughout her body as she left the world of consciousness.
She woke up on the nurse’s couch; everything came to view in a hazy light fog. She made out three lumps in front of her one looked like it had a bush on top of it, wait!-was she outside?! Oh no, that was Jade. His best feature was a mess of curls on top of his head and Juli twiddled her thumbs over and over again in little circles.
“Hey guys…Am I dead?” She mumbled through plastic trays, who in the hell decided to leave her retainer in?!
“No, thank god!” Juli said as she zoomed to her side like Zoe had a redhead magnet lodged in her body somewhere.
“Are you okay? You passed out!” Juli gasped. Jade slowly making his way to her hovering over Juli.
Zoe smiled “Yeah, I’m alright bro” She said, reaching out and gently wiping off the fiery waterfall of red hair that was covering her chest making it look like she had a beard.
Juli swished her hair that fell perfectly over her shoulder.
“We were worried about you…” Jade mumbled, he seemed distant.
Zoe opened her mouth to say something before the door flung open and Erinah and Ali waltzed in carrying a bag of ice and Ali had yet again chased down another member of the school marching band and bought all the suckers they had that they were selling as a fundraiser, probably scaring the hell out of the poor band geek. She got like that around candy, freaking crazy.
“Here suck on this!” She jeered, popping a big ball of bright green solid sugar on a stick in her mouth.
The artificial flavor of green apple invaded Zoe’s tongue.
“I’m sorry; I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t have posted a picture that gory in front of everyone. I would’ve expected a preppy girl to get sick, but not you. I should have thought more. I’m sorry.” Jade sulked and sat down in the stitched chair next to her like there were invisible arms anchoring him down.
“No-no! I liked it, I mean who doesn’t love zombies and gory stuff, I’ve just had nothing to eat today is all, haha.” Zoe tried to comfort him
“I thought zombies should be portrayed as they: are dead-rotten cannibals! All bloody and falling apart.” He beamed, looking a little better.
Zoe felt like there was a squirrel inside her, ripping up her guts and burrowing deep in her flesh. How could she ever tell him she was a member of the walking undead who leached off human souls, especially souls who loved her? He’d runaway screaming from her. She looked around the whole room. Hell, they’d all runaway screaming. Maybe except Erinah, Eri loved horror movies and zombies. But even if she had Erinah left over, she’d still feel like a plastic bag adrift on the wind. But did it make it any better that she was planning to eat one of them to be human?! No! Zoe felt tears fighting through her eyeballs. She was a monster, but she never wanted to be one.
“Hahaha…yeah…” She whimpered.
A little rap on the wooden door signaled somebody wanted in, the handle turned as Hale popped her gorgeous face into the room.
“Hey, Zoe! Are you feeling any better?” She smiled.
“Yeah, thanks guys. How long was I out?” she asked.
“AHHHLLL DAY!!” Ali shouted, two suckers shoved in her squirrel cheeks.
“The last bell is gonna ring in 10 minutes.” Jade mumbled.
“What do we do for 10 minutes?” Zoe Asked.
“Never have I ever!” Ali and Erinah yelped.
“Yeah!” Said Hale
“Sounds fun to me, no pervy stuff!” Juli said with sarcasm lining her voice.
Zoe sat up, never have I ever was pretty fun. Ali and Ivan were usually out first, which by the way where was Iva-oh, asleep in the corner. But not for long. Erinah stalked up on Ivan, then slapped a book against the wall making the Brit jump and franticly fall onto the floor, laughing with everyone else around him. Ivan was a serious guy most of the time, but he had a great sense of humor. You just had to love ‘em. Jade bent over and helped Ivan up on his feet, only to be pounced on and hooded by Ali. Then they all gathered in what resembled a circle, as they put out 10 fingers and each listed something that they’ve never done that somebody else might have. The Never have I ever game. Classic, everybody says something they’ve never done and whoever has done it had to put their finger down. Whoever was left with fingers won.
“Hmmm…Never have I ever ridden a wheely chair down the road!” Erinah gushed.
“NO fair!!” Ali yelped. And put down her thumb.
They all giggled and the game carried on. Zoë won, and in reward she was prized with all the suckers Ali had. The bell rang and a herd of wild teenagers made a mad dash for the door. Zoe almost forgot today they were gonna stay after and paint in Mr.Jeroloman’s room. Zoe grabbed her bag and followed Ali,Hale and Erinah up the stairs. She wished Juli could stay but she had a soccer game with Christian to catch.
“Hey” Mr.Jeroloman, gruffed throwing his bag over his shoulder.
“You’re not staying?” Zoe asked.
“No-I have a meeting. With my couch. Bye girls.”
“Woo-hhooo. PARTY!” Ali yelled, dancing on top of a desk.
“YOU! Behave yourself, and DO NOT hide my stuff!” He barked at Ali.
Ali plopped down and rested her chin on her palms and gave her cutest face.
“I promise I won’t” She snickered.
Mr.Jeroloman walked backwards out the door, squinting at Ali before slamming the door and leaving for good.
“Haha! Ain’t I a stinker?” Ali bragged, ripping off Mr.Jeroloman’s Keyboard keys and hiding them in the ceiling tiles.
Zoe laughed and opened the cabinet to where they kept the paint brushes, but Hale grabbed her hand and gently closed the cabinet door.
“You won’t need those.” Hale spat. Zoe nearly jumped, she’d never heard Hale sound so commanding before.
“Come here” She barked to Ali, who gladly obeyed.
What?! Ali was a rebel she never listened to anyone!
“What’s going on?!” Zoe yelped.
“We know what you are.” Ali smiled with raised brows.
Zoe felt like she’d been hit by a train.
“We all have secrets.” Said Erinah, trailing up behind her she smiled and a pair of long white fangs shone bright in the glistening light.
Was Zoe living in a horror movie? A vampire?! Erinah was a vampire…
“Yes, I am.” Erinah said her voice smooth like silk.
Zoe turned around to Hale and Ali, great! Were they hiding something too?
“Well-yes…we are Shewolves.” Ali mumbled.
Zoe nearly choked on bubbling laughter, Really? She thought You expect me to believe you two petite adorable girls are suppose to be 10 feet tall, drooling growling wolf monst-
Zoe fell to her knees as Ali and Hale both exploded into two muscled masses of raven black and brown mahogany fur. Their now pointy ears nearly grazing the ceiling, growls as deep as thunder raging from jaws like bear-traps, filled with dagger-like fangs. Then as soon as it began it was over, Ali and Hale shrank back to 5 feet and human faces. Their clothes stretched and tattered.
“It’s alright; being a monster isn’t so bad.” Hale beamed with confidence.
Zoe felt like she was going to faint again, her whole world had just been flipped upside down. She felt her heart lodge in her throat.
“T-this isn’t…right-It can’t be! How…how?!” She screeched in confusion.
“Zoe-Hey! Calm down.” Hale barked, suddenly Zoe rose to her feet and was perfectly serene. Just something in Hale’s voice made her silently obey without question.
She looked at the mess around her, eager to pick up the pieces. Ali hugged herself, her eyes tracing the floor. Erinah chewed her lip and began to shutter, this wasn’t fair. They trusted her and showed her their dirty little secrets and she freaked out.
Suddenly Erinah spoke up, her voice gaggy.
“It hurt to hide it from you, but we were only trying to keep you safe.”
“Because we love you…you still love us-right?” Ali croaked.
Zoe was torn. Crap-she was gonna cry. Ali never ever cried. Ever.
“…Right?” Ali gulped, a tear surfing down her cheek.
“Of course I still love you guys, Stop crying. Why are you crying?” She said lurking forward with caution and pulling Ali into a deep hug, squeezing her gently.
“Because I’m afraid to lose you, I never chose to be this way.” She muttered the tears drying up already with a few adorable sniffles.
“Neither did I.” Zoe rubbed her back.
“None of us did, but we are what we are-so we might as well make the most of it.” Erinah said, joining in on the hug.
“Welcome to our little messed up family.” Hale whispered. All of them a giant pile of mixed female emotion.
“Aliright enough of Dr.Phil, soo…how are you guys like this?” She asked, intrigued. Now that she thought about it, it kinda made sense. The way Erinah always drank ‘Cranberry’ juice when she brought her lunch to school. How Ali and Hale would be missing at least 2 days of school every week for ‘Orthodontist’ appointments.
‘I was just born this way, it’s a Cherokee curse. I’ll tell you all about it one day.” Hale smiled.
Zoe frowned, why not right now?
“I’ve been a Witch since I was little.” Bella spilled, finally saying something.
K-So theres those two. Now whata bout-Oh…
Ali and Erinah both looked so uncomfortable. Erinah’s eyes were wide and wild while Ali just rubbed her hands and swayed her feet.
“Well-we were both mauled by werewolves.” Erinah spoke up after a long silence.
“I was walking around in the woods, it was getting dark and I got lost. Then I was attacked by a werewolf and he bit me, but he didn’t kill me because I scared him with my gun, I shot him in the eye. The saliva bacteria sat in and before I knew it I was a Shewolf. You wouldn’t believe how many clothes I’ve ruined.” Ali said, the whole time not looking them in the eye.
“I was mauled too, but a very long time ago in London. A vampire found me and turned me and I was a slave for fifty years until slayers killed him, the slayers were hung for murder and I escaped with the persecuted to America. I always get A’s on my history tests.” Erinah bragged.
Zoe froze in awe and wondered how old Erinah really was.
“What ‘bout you?” Ali smiled.
Zoe froze. “Well I was cursed, by some weird boy in sixth grade.”
“A Warlock?!” Bella yelped.
“Uh-sure…” Sara said, actually unsure.
“He cursed you; a warlock is a male witch.” Bella said.
“Woah! A dude witch is a Wizard.” Erinah shouted, standing up for her fandom.
“Shutup you Harry Potter nerd!” Bella fired back.
“Shoothup yer hurry pooter narhd!!” Erinah mocked.
“I’ll make you scream” Bella growled, clawing out her hands blue fire shooting from her palms an invisible breeze swished her hair and her eyes glowed a bright neon blue. Zoe jumped back, her back smacking the floor knocking the wind out of her lungs.
“Oh, Really? Like I made your mom screamed last night?!” Erinah laughed.
Zoe felt better and laughed a little, Erinah was always great with the Your Mom jokes.
“They are some rules though.” Hale interrupted.
Zoe’s eyes snapped to the beauty in the middle of the room, her raven hair shining like moonlight on a raven’s glossy wings. You didn’t need an explanation to know she was obviously an Alpha wolf and Ali was her Beta
“Rule one, no turning in public. Rule two, no abusing your power and rule three never let anyone else know who you are.” Hale listed.
“What are your powers anyway?” Erinah asked.
“Eating brains?” Zoe mumbled sarcastically, she didn’t know how brains tasted but souls were yummy. “I have no powers.” She rolled eyes disappointedly.
“You have to do something special?!” Ali bounced, protesting her self-doubt.
“Well what can you guys do?” she asked.
“I have super speed, and also hightened senses. I could hear a pin drop in another room. I also hear people talk ‘bout me all the time, as if I care what they say.” Ali rolled her eyes and popped one of her punky half smiles.
“Super strength and smarts, kinda like Spiderman but you know not as lame.” Hale puffed, she was a Batman girl.
“Casting spells, and spells can practically do any super power I guess.” Bella suggested.
“Super strength, hightened senses-Oh! We all read minds.” Erinah blurted.
“That explains a lot, well I guess I can sense and read souls.” Zoe pushed out her hidden talents.
Ali dashed to her “That is soo cool!” She yipped.
Zoë’s skin spiked, afraid Ali would popcorn into Fluffy on steroids again.
“So what’s up with this whole werewolf thing?” Zoe asked.
“Well, you change-completely. However a turned werewolf is different from a bred werewolf. We can control our urges. Ali however makes a mess of everything. Have you seen her yard? Holes everywhere! It’s like Swiss cheese,” Hale yelled, Ali giggled.
“As I was saying-You change. Your mind changes, your body changes. You get thinner and more muscled, more stamina and speed. You get smarter and the relationships you have with people are strengthened. Your friends and family become a part of you.” She continued.
“Yo guys, we better get some work done!” Ali bossed, already smearing paint on the wall.
“Sorry, I’ve got some Mason County girls to rock. See you tomorrow guys.” Hale walked out the door.
“Good luck!!!” Ali called, sad to see her go.
“Like I’ll need it.” Hale snickered. She was one of the best players on the team, soccer was her life.
“I’ll be right back, I left some paint in my locker.” Zoe headed for the Sophmore hallway.
She stomped down the stairs and retrieved the paint from her locker, when someone shut the door.
“Hey! Who do you think you ar-Oh my goohhd….” Zoe drooled.
Infront of her stood a six foot tall, dark and very, very handsome guy with charcoal hair that swifted his brow and milky skin with the coolest silver eyes. If she didn’t have a boyfriend she’d be all over him like white on rice on a paper plate in a snowstorm.
“Hello-Zoe.” He said, his voice! It was like rainbows flew from his lips!
“Uhhh oh, hey-how do you know my name?” She stuttered.
“You don’t remember me?” the boy frowned.
“I’m sure I’d remember a guy like you?” she whined.
“Oh here let me remind you.” He placed his other hand on the other side of locker, slamming it down. “Sixth grade, Lylan, Me, you. Chomp!” He taunted, clashing his teeth together.
Zoe went cold…
“Cat got your tongue? Zoe.” He laughed.
“You cold-hearted, creepy, little emo freak!” She roared.
“That’s MISTER-Cold hearted, creepy, little emo freak. But you may address me as Zane, and if I were I’d show some respect.” He growled, his eyes shooting through her like lazers.
She wasn’t scared. “Why should I respect you?”
“Because I can do this!” He raised his hand and squeezed and invisible mass.
“Big whoop you ca-Ahh! Oh god! Urggghh-hahh!” She collapsed to the floor on all fours, clutching her chest. He’d made it stop beating! Her heart, after she tried so hard with Jade, he stopped it again!
“Get up!” He barked. Pulling her by her blonde pony tail and slamming her against the wall.
“I need a soul, not just any soul. A powerful one. You-you eat souls and your own soul is the most powerful I’ve ever seen and it’s mine. I made you this way; I brought you into this world so now I’m taking you out.” He got up in her face; she could smell his breath clouding her in the fragrance of redwood and dead leaves.
“And why should I do that?” she hissed and spat at him, a loogie landed on his cheek.
Zane froze, the deepest insult baring no invasion to his will power,
“Because…I’ll show everyone what you really are.” He smiled.
Zoe’s mind froze over.
“Friday, the Halloween Bash. Meet me at the school during the dance and your safe, unharmed. Got it?”
Zoe raised her chin. “Fine.”
“Good,” he let her go and she fell to the floor, gasping for air. “Oh and if you try to find another way…” shhhheeeeenk! He made a knife cutting sound, dragging his thumb across his neck.
Zoe flipped him off and growled as he laughed sauntering down the hallway. She got up and brushed the dirt off her shorts. Friday, that’s tomorrow! How could she ever forget about Halloween, the awesomest holiday ever?!
Idiot! She slapped herself.
She was in huge trouble, being human again didn’t even matter anymore. EVERYONE would find out, and then she’d be totally screwed. The government would probably swat in and kidnap her for tests and experiments. She forgot about helping Ali paint and made way for the parking lot to wait on her mom to come pick her up.
What am I gonna do? My soul, he wants my soul. But why me? My souls not very powerful I’ve only eaten one soul in my whole life. Then again I don’t know anything about witchcraft, ugh. Maybe Bella would kno-HEY!
Zoe fell to the floor as somebody crashed into her. She was seriously freaking tired of being ran over, she couldn’t see anything because the fall had freed her bangs from her messy ponytail, a veil of blonde hair sheathed her eyes as she stood and pulled back her fist.
“I am tired of you stupid girls on your phones! Watch where you’re going!!” She roared and drilled her punch forward.
Jade reached out and snatched her forearm, then chuckled. “You’re cute when you’re angry.”
“What...” Zoe flipped her hair out of her face. “Oh it’s you, I’m sorry.” Her face felt red hot. That may have been the least awkward thing he had ever said, wow. She always thought she was scary when she was mad.
“I’m sorry I knocked you over, Ms.Martin told me to come help the percussion section drag out all their equipment.”
Oh yeah, she almost forgot Jade was the bassist in the school band. She didn’t really need to remember anything about him? I mean that was like saying a cheeseburger likes to glue puzzles in its sparetime. She frowned at the thought of comparing him to food, but basically that’s what he was.
Zoe looked around; thank god her telepathic friends weren’t around to hear that.
“So I was wondering…” Jade muttered, interrupting her sick thoughts. “Do you wanna go to the Halloween Bash? You know with me, I mean since we’re dating and uhhh…yeah it would be fun I guess. I mean I don’t dance much; basically dances are training for prom. But I’ll dance for you! I mean, I can learn.” He went on and on and on
Why have boyfriends who can flirt you out of your skirt when you can have Jade seduce you with his awkwardness? She rolled her eyes. She was on a roll today-Okay stop!
“Yeah why not? We can die in the corner or something.” She said sarcastically.
“Death in a corner being choked by a tie sounds fun.” He laughed.
“Better than slow dancing.” She groaned.
“Hah, yeah I guess…” He smiled, then reached out and slowly pulled her in to a hug.
“Bye.” He said after grudgingly letting her go.
Zoe went outside and waited for her mom, who pulled up the school gateway almost as soon as she sat on the bench outside. She opened the door and sunk into the seat.
“How was school?” she smiled.
“Awesome-just awesome.” Zoe lied.
It was a very long, very exhausting, very weird day, indeed. She found the virus was setting in, but had been backfired by Jade. Who was now her new boyfriend, whom she was planning to murder then it turns out her best friends are all monsters. And Zane was back in black and wanting her soul to become an all powerful wizard who possibly wanted to obtain world domination and she was asked to go the Halloween Bash. HALLOWEEN BASH??! Could this week get any worse?! She didn’t have a dress! Crap, well she can just wear the little black dress she wore for Hale’s birthday party. Black goes with everything. Zoe fell back against the head rest and prayed the car showed up into the driveway soon. She needed a plan.Zoe threw herself on her bed and pulled out a notebook and some paper from her school bag. Her brain already throbbed from all that freaking biology homework and the cold shower she just got out of didn’t help. Zoe rubbed her temples and began to dive deep into her mind. What she knew was that Zane was a wizard or warlock whatever, because he’d cursed her turning Zoe into a member of the walking undead. Bella was a witch cat thing which meant that she knows something about Zane that and sometimes Ali rambled on about magecraft, did Ali practice witchcraft? Or magecraft?! What was magecraft...Google! Zoe pulled out her tablet from her backpack and clicked the Google app and then typed in magecraft. Apparently which was an assortment of rituals and ceremonies practiced by Native Americans by aligning the elements together with spiritual power…Seems legit. Wait! Hale said she’d been cursed too! A Cherokee curse, and Cherokee was a native tribe. Researching this whole voodoo juju stuff was confusing and tiring, she’d come up with something tomorrow. Zoe fell back on her bed, the pillows cupping her in a soft hug like she was snuggling in a mommy kangaroo’s pouch. She missed her mommy kangaroo. Zoe closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. Z thrashed and pulled at he chains lined with spikes holding back her hands and feet, but the bondage held tight. She roared in fury, her claustrophobic side setting in as the spikes bit into her skin, tears of blood beading from her wrists and ankles.
“Stop fighting, you’ll only make things worse.” A raspy voice from the shadows called out to her.
Foot steps rang out from the darkness and slowly, sickenly Zane stepped into the light. He was dressed in a black pinstriped suit and purple tie. His hair swooped messily around his brow, he looked unbelievably, devilishly handsome. Zoe looked around her; she was in the school gym tied to a cross that had been shifted against the wall. The walls were littered with bright green and orange balloons that danced up and down in the air tight with helium, skeletons and cobwebs hung from the ceiling as in the background she recognized the song “Sail” by Awolnation swimming through her ears.
“Comfortable? Do you like the scenery? Or is the music too unfitting? I for one adore this song, its soo…deep. Don’t you think?” he cooed, his perfect lips rising in a half smile.
“The only thing that will be deep is my fist down your throat if you don’t let me go right now.” She growled.
“Mreooww. Nice kitty.” He laughed-mocking her, trailing his forefinger up her cheek.
That’s it! She’d had enough; she snapped out and nipped his finger like a stray dog.
She yelped in pain, it was like biting into a disco ball! He was made of glass? Well, that would explain that chiseled figure.
“Oh, you’ll regret that.” He laughed. Shaking his finger like he’d just been bitten by only a mosquito,
“You see Zoe, I’ve come here to make you a deal.” He walked to the black clothed table lined with orange cupcakes, black homemade candy and a chocolate fountain that rained everything in a blanket of deep mahogany glaze. He picked up the top chalice from the tower, flowing with a red syrupy waterfall that resmbled blood.
“Can I interest you in a drink? After all, you’re my guest of honor.” He smiled, prowling towards her swinging the chalice in a tight circle, the drink inside spinning in a deep crimson whirlpool.
“Go suck on a railroad spike.” She spat.
He stomped on her naked foot with his snake skin kicker that was cleated with spike litted stone heels; pain exploded through Zoe’s bones as three of her toes were crushed into a heap of blood and mangled flesh. She gasped in pain as he splashed the elixir into her gaping mouth.
“It’s rude to deny any refreshment from your host, don’t you know that?” He laughed.
Zoe almost passed out it hurt so badly, her wrists burned as the spikes dug deeper into her skin and her foot mauled by his viscous boot was on fire as the flesh was exposed to open air.
“I can make the pain and suffering stop, Zoe. Just give me your soul. Your life feels lost, just back down, Give up…” He whispered into her ear.
“No, you can’t have my soul! I’ll fight against all costs, I’ll never back down, and I’ll NEVER GIVE IN!!” She roared, her rage built up flooding through gritted teeth.
“Funny…” He said, shrugging his shoulders. “That’s what they said!” he bursted out in a chaos of laughter.
Zoe’s eyes bulged out of her head as the purple spotlights snapped to the middle of the dance floor, there in a mountain of tattered flesh, splattered blood and crumpled bones were what Zoe’s nightmares were made of. Juli, Erinah, Bella, Ali, Ivan, Hale...Jade-all dead. Thrown on top of eachother like they were all useless garbage.
“How the others died is obvious. Juli, so wise, I made her brain hemorrhage. Erinah, so sweet, I gave her a taste of evil. Bella, so put together, so I torn her apart. Ali, so brave, so I let her fear crush down upon her. Ivan, guiding, so I let him drown in his own sorrow. But Jade, quite a mystery don’t you think? Yet I had nothing to do with it. What do you think Zoe?” Zane smirked.
“Liar! You killed them all! Jade would never hurt himself, he’s not weak like you!” Zoe roared, hanging from her restraints. If he teased anymore the chains were gonna rip her hands off.
“No. I agree he’s not weak, quite a fighter. They all are fighters, especially the wolves. But I and dear Jade both had something in common, Zoe.” His insanity fading to seriousness and sorrow.
His eyes grew dark. “We both love you, Zoe…” he whispered.
Zoe cringed; Zane had a sick, twisted definition of love.
“But unlike Jade, I don’t have a heart to give you…so he gave you his.” He growled, his eyes shining a bright amethyst.
Zoe was drowning in her own tears as she glanced at Jade’s crumpled body in the middle of the dancefloor he lied on his back with a crater in the middle of his chest and in his hand his own heart, still beating. Zane broke out into a howl of psychotic laughter, his joy in seeing Zoe’s friends dead singed her ears like sirens. Zoe screamed, because that’s all she could do now. Just scream and pray somebody would save her, save her from herself.
Zoe sat up in her bed, drenched in sweat. It was a dream? But it was so real! She could feel Zane touching her, she see the dead bodies of her friends, and she could feel the pain. The pain…of losing Jade. What was she feeling?! What is this? It’s like somebody was filling her up with hot air. She rushed to the bathroom and splashed hot water on her face, looking up to her reflection in the mirror. Her green eyes were turning into deep neon purple. The virus was permanently setting in, fighting past the effect Jade put on her. She gripped the sides of the sink so hard her knuckles turned white, she really was a monster. How could she do that somebody? She needed to change…
Zoe stumbled back to her room, threw on whatever she found lying around and did her best to tame her blonde beach waves up in a bun and waited at the kitchen table for her mom to drive her to school. Digging in her bag she salvaged a pair of purple aviators and put them on. She stumbled into the kitchen stashing her keys into her purse. Then smiled and looked up at Zoe.
“Ready to g-Why are you wearing sunglasses?” she asked, confused.
“My eyes look like crap.” She groaned.
“Rough night?” her mom asked, resting a hand on her back.
“You have no idea.” Zoe retorted.
Her mother gave her a weird look, “Well, cheer up. Today’s the Halloween Bash! You can-you know. Bust a move, mm mm!” She said, setting herself a beat to dance to, trying to do the cat daddy.
“Mom.Door.Now.” Zoe ordered.
“Alright, alright I’m going.” She laughed.
The drive to school was so slow, dreadful even. Zoe could hardly stay awake, she was gonna need to duct tape her eyelids open if she wanted to learn anything today. The car cruised up to the school main doors and Zoe clutched the door handle and was about jump out when her mom grabbed her arm.
“Zoe, wait!” she barked, crap, she was gonna ask her to take off her glasses.
“Have a good day.” She smiled.
Zoe’s face softened and she smiled back. “Yeah ok, thanks mom.”
She let go of her and Zoe began slugging towards the door, feeling like a soldier marching into battle. She took a deep breath before pushing on the safety bar, then urged forward and made her way to the library. Zoe sat her books on her desk then went to hang out in the hallway, when she heard laughter coming from Mr.Jeroloman’s room. She had no idea why, but something pulled her in. She peeped in and almost fell in tears.
“Hi Zoe!” Ali squeaked, bouncing up and down. All of her friends turned around and smiled at her. It was like they knew what happened last night.
They’re all here, they’re ok…
She slowly drudged towards them and sat on an empty desk. Juli wrapped her arms around her, and she watched them all laugh and smile as Mr.Jeroloman told jokes.
And they’re happy…
“You ok?” Juli asked, she could hear the concern and love Juli had for her soar from her liquid voice. Zoe clutched Juli’s hand.
But was she happy?
And in that moment she realized Juli, her best friend, never knew her biggest secret. Yet all her other friends did, and she wondered if that made her a bad person too. Apart from her plan to kill Jade tonight. Would Juli still love her if she knew she was a monster? Then she remembered that this was what Ali, Erinah and Hale were feeling when they told Zoe her secret, that they were was Lycans and Vampires cursed to devour any one in their path. What would they do if they were forced to maul someone they cared about? She’d have to ask her that. But what Erinah had said that day stuck in her like a push pin, leaving shivers up her spine. She never chose to be a monster…
“None of us did, but we are what we are-so we might as well make the most of it”…
And that’s when Zoe knew, if she wanted the people she loved to love her back then she had to accept her flaws and love herself.
Zoe smiled and ran her thumb in circles over Juli’s hand, “Yeah, I’m ok.”
Just then the bell rang, the chimes almost mocking her Zoe’s eyelids fell like the sun in the dusky sky, she’d hear that bell eight times today and the last time it rang would be her last day of school.Despite the static excitement zipping through the air over the Halloween Bash, each one of classes seemed to slug on for a hundred years, even third period. Which flew by like five seconds thanks to her friends, but even their hilarious, unique personalities that spiced up the mix of an ordinary boring day couldn’t even make her smile. At the screaming of the seventh bell, Zoe snailed her way to sixth period AKA land of the lost, as in land of lost idiots who had no business in a regular history class and should be banished to something easier for them to understand. Like kindergarten. Her body felt like jelly as she anchored into her chilled chair. Claustrophobia sat in as the wraparound desk held her in a tight steel hug. Zoe couldn’t take it anymore; a soldier can only march on for so long. Zoe surrendered and threw her head onto the desk in the crook of her arms. Just like that, sleep claimed her numb body and carried her away to a land of serenity and tranquility. The final bell stabbed her ears, dragging a knife up her spine. Even with the chilled fright of the chimes through the intercom and the mosh of teenage deliquants eager to get home and get ready for the biggest party of the year at Retsnom High Zoe still needed a crowbar to pry her eyes apart. Fatigue, thank you virus! She threw her Gir bag on through her shoulders and punched the floor with each converse to get to the bus that almost left without her. She sighed and facplanted the fake leather coated seats, burying her headphones deep into her mind soothing herself at the beat of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Zoe couldn’t even remember the ride home, let alone ending up in her room. Short term memory loss, once again because of the virus.
Finally after starving herself she couldn’t fight it anymore, the virus was beginning to work its way deep into her system changing her inside and out. Even a freezing shower, with artic bullets that should bite with frosty heat, felt like feathers kissing her numb skin. After she dried off she tamed her blonde mane and twisted her unmanageable beast upon her head into a crown of golden ringlets that bounced with each step took. Her little black dress was much too plain and boring, but it would have to do. She didn’t want to drive Jade TOO crazy, just a little. She was adorning her purple skull print stilettos and practiced walking in them looking like a T-rex when her father opened her door and popped his face inside.
“Your friends are here, sweetie.” His smile 10 miles wide across his face.
“Thanks, Dad.” She warmed, it must be hard to see your little girl growing up. Zoe looked around the room when she heard pitter pattering steps.
“You look very bea-“he couldn’t get out another word before he was blown aside.
“BEAUTIFUL!!” Ali exploded inside in a pop of silver and brown curls.
“Oops…sorry.” She smiled innocently to Zoe’s dad who was now sprawled on the floor.
“Nah, nah I’m alright. Ahem, I’ll just let you ladies get ready.” He brushed himself off and disappeared after Juli, Hale and Erinah filed in.
Leave it to them to make a Halloween Bash…well-Smashing. Erinah flowed in a mermaid red and black dress that hugged her figure, her light blonde hair curled and set to one side of her face. Very vampireish and Erinah pulled it off stunningly. Juli was sporting a pastel green high low dress with leaves for the bodice with her hair pinned up in metal brass twigs, her heels were brown pumps branches sprouting from the ankles and wrapping around her calves. Ali was dressed in a ripped yet tastefully tattered silver dress with a pair of high heels that had claws that stuck out from the toes and on the mountain of rich mahogany swirls swiveled a pair of chocolate brown…uhh wolf ears? Wow, they looked so real! Zoe reached out and ran a finger up the lining of one of the furry points and to her astonishment they flipped back and Ali jumped-startled.
“Oh! You wanna pet me? Go ahead-I won’t bite…hard.” She winked; Zoe seized both ears into her palms and gave them a rough squeeze and pinch, even a tug.
“OWW!” Ali yelped.
“Sorry...uhh they’re real?” Zoe mumbled
“No, Zoe. I’m half wolf but I went to the costume store and wasted my money on fake ears.” Ali’s blue luminescent eyes rolled as she huffed in frustration.
“Ali, give her a break. How was she supposed to know we can control our appearance?” Hale gruffed, her own set of raven ears pointed forward and flicked as Erinah coughed. Hale may have been the most beautiful, her bodice was a sea of sequin jewels and the skirt that flowed around her slim legs shone a deep midnight blue.
“Guys…uhh party?” Erinah shoved in, setting them on track.
“Yeah, I gotta see Christian! He’ll be showing up any time soon so get Zoe’s butt ready!” Juli flared her flowing set of straight fiery hair warning of her snappy personality.
“Huh?! But I am ready?” Zoe whined confusion lining her tone.
“Not yeeet.” Erinah sang, “theres something missing…” she hinted.
“What?” Zoe asked, looking down at herself wondering what possibly she could’ve left out.
“A smile.” Ali grinned, pulling a purple cladded box topped with a puffy bow from behind her back.
Zoe hated surprises but if it was from her friends, then let it be so. She pulled on the satin lavender bow and the top of the box sprung forward. Zoe froze, deep down in the cardboard pit beamed a sparkly, fluffily cute, deep purple dress that looked like Lady Gaga threw up on it. Two black hands carved from lace crossed over eachother brandished an upside down cross served as the bodice as a sash binded them together and a waterfall of three different shades of purple; Lavender, Amethyst and Violet swirled around served as the skirt of dress an explosion of glitter thrown here and there. And in the back a wall of feathers on each side teethed together over her back, she was speechless.Ali was absolutely right, despite being dead, the corner of Zoe’s lips were pulled from ear to ear. Zoe’s adorable skully purple stillies punched each step as she made her way down the stairs. She shined at Juli, Ali, Erinah and Hale who were clapping and blushed at her mother and father who were close to tears, could there be anything to make this night perfect?
“Oh, one more thing!” Hale giggled.
The ghouls stepped to the side and in between them was Jade in a three piece suit that matched her dress perfectly. A sick combination of dead green and midnight purple binded together with Frankenstein stitches and skull buttons that glitted in the light. Zoe’s skin crawled in shivering excitement, but her heart stayed silent. Not even a thump. Zoe screamed inside but she still smiled, happy to see Jade alive and handsome. If her parents weren’t here she’d probably tackle him to the floor.
“Ready to eat your heart out?” Ali asked, barely containable with excitement.
“Can you just pull this thing off already? I’m getting claustrophobic.” He whined, tugging at the black blindfold that hugged his eyes.
“You might just go blind after seeing this.” Juli beamed, in one swoop of flying black the blindfold was off.
Zoe had never seen Jade without his glasses, she was breathless as his bright neon green eyes widened at the sight of her.
“Uhh…you look…uhh-ohh god...” he muttered, tongue tied.
Zoe giggled at his lost for words, but recoiled when she saw her father tower over behind him and set his hand on his shoulder.
“I believe the word your looking for is respectfully beautiful, son. Try to keep your hands to yourself tonight.” He whispered, Jade nearly jumped out of his skin.
“Yes sir.” He sank deep down trying to hide from him.
“Alright you crazy kids, let’s party!” Ali squealed, jumping for the door. Christian finally showed up and escorted his ball of fire outside as Hale and Erinah followed.
Jade watched them, and looked back up at Zoe his cheeks were as red as Juli’s hair.
“You just gonna stand there with your mouth wide open or are you gonna get me outa here and drag me to hell already?” She raised her brows, the party might not be that fun but she was with him and that’s all that mattered.
“Would you like fries with your damnation?” He smiled, holding out his hand.
She laughed and placed her palm in his as he helped her down the stairs and into Christian’s country carriage.
By the time they got to the school they were packed tighter than a can of tuna in the bed of the blacked out lifted diesel, Juli nearly passed out. Typical country girl, fascinated by trucks. Ali was holding on to head of the cab, her puffy brown hair flagging in the wind and her ears flat against her head as her tail whipped back and forth.
“Weeeeeeee!!” she screamed.
Hale reached out and yanked her back by her fluffy chocolate tail.
“Would you cut it out?! You’re gonna ruin your hair!” Hale barked, her adorable ebony ears flopping in the wind.
“Okay mom…” She rolled her eyes again and flipped her curls out of her face.
“Remind me when we’re older never to go out drinking with her.” Zoe whispered in Jade’s mound of ash curls.
“She’s sober?!” he laughed.
“Not for long!” Ali yelped over the rush of the traffic, waving a flask of Vodka in her hand then slipped back in her sash, everybody’s eyes popped open wide like she’d pulled a gun out.
“You’re gonna spike the punch?!” Zoe gawked in disbelief.
“What fun would a party full of teenagers be without a lil’ Russian blood?” Ali shrugged, Hale facepalmed.
She had a point; it was going to be one interesting night Zoe thought as they pulled up to the driveway of the school. All the popular kids’ jaws dropped as they basked in the glory of Christian’s truck who gave his keys to the superintendent to park.
Juli caressed the diesel’s front tire, “Goodbye sweet, sweet truck.”
Hale tugged at Juli’s waist. “Jules, C’mon! Party. Fun. Dancing. Christian.”
“No! NO! You can’t keep me away from my precious!” Juli protested As Hale and Christian dragged her away and past the two front doors draped in spider webs and purple glitter.
Zoe was left in awe; the gym was a Wicked Wonderland. An army of purple, black, orange, green and silver balloons held back by twisted orange, purple and black streamers hung in the ceiling from which a sparkling silver moon gleamed and threw shadows of diamond rays across the gym. Cobwebs and spiders were hung everywhere, a graveyard of sugar zombies and candy coffins littered the stage while a very realistic fur cladded blood matted paper machete werewolf crouched in the corner. Under purple, green and orange lights that streamed in synchronized beat with the blaring bass of the music was a sea of sweating teenagers in suit and ties and puffy dresses.
“Woah…” Zoe mouthed. Retsnom High may be full of stupid stuck up brats, but they damn well knew how to throw a sick, twisted party.
“Miss Zoe, good evening.” A deep masculine voice called over the music.
Zoe’s sludgy blood nearly left her body. Crap. She slowly turned around and came face to face with Zane, who was the exact copy of himself in her dream. Every teenage girl’s temptation in a purple pinstriped suit. He reached forward and captured her hand and layed a kiss on her knuckle. Jade’s brow sank and his eyes fell in a deep pool of possessiveness. He practicly had mine written across his forehead; Zoe flushed a bit flattered at his jealousy.
“I hope you don’t mind, Jade. I and Zoe have some business to discuss.” Zane’s tone was cool and calm, not intimidated by Jade’s silent threat.
Zane lead Zoe to the dancefloor and guarded her in his arm, trapping her in his cage.
“Have you come to a decision?” He asked twirling her around the dance floor, her dress’s train swirling around her legs.
“Go to hell.” Zoe spat.
“Too late, it’s practicly hell seeing you so beautiful and yet knowing you don’t belong to me.” He growled, and threw Zoe into a dip.
“By the end of the night, I will have your soul.” He whispered.
Zoe couldn’t feel much emotion due the Virus, but her stomach churned in knots and she was sure that she was feeling something right about now, pure fear.
She nearly head butted Zane when she felt something grab her wrist, Ali came to her rescue pulling her out from under his imprisonment.
“Pull another move like that and by the end of the night the only thing you’ll have is my heel up your butt, pretty boy. Back off Zoe, she’s happily taken.” Ali growled, her red lips pulled back and fangs glistened in the purple spotlight, Zoe thought she’d be much safer with the wizard who wanted her soul than Ali protecting her one of her loved friends.
“My my, a Shewolf huh?” Zane chuckled, tickling Ali’s chin. “Who’s your friend, Zoe?”
Ali shook like she had Pakorsins as a deep guttural grow slipped from her clenched teeth and her ears laid flat against her hair. She was going to turn, one more wrong move and she was gonna explode and rip everyone apart, even Zoe.
“Your worst nightmare.” Ali roared and lunged forward, her claws ready to sink deep into Zane’s flesh.
Zane reached out and grabbed Ali by the nape of her neck like she was a puppy ripping her away from Zoe making her stumble. He stared deep into Ali’s sapphire eyes and she went limp like rag doll, shuffling deep into her sash he swapped her silver flask with one from his waist coat and winked at Zoe, then like nothing happened he snapped his fingers and Ali came back to life, she cocked her fist back and sucker punched Zane deep. Zoe was horrified as Ali’s fist lodged deep into Zane’s concaved cheek, she pulled out and a black crater ruined his perfect face cracks running from the deep hole. He was frozen, staring at her from under black bangs.
“Your going to highly regret that.” He growled.
“I’m so scared.” Ali huffed, shaking her bloody hand that was lodged with shards of Zane’s glass skin.
She snatched Zoe and led her back to the safety of Jade.
If Zane could overpower one of the strongest Shewolves that ever lived, then how am I gonna make it through the night?
“What happened?!” Jade gasped, his eyes widening at Ali’s hand.
“That pretty boy got too fresh and I popped ‘em one.” She muttered in frustration, picking out the pieces from her flash with her teeth and spitting them out.
“He touched you?!” Jade asked, his face flaming. Mine, Mine, Mine. He was like the seagulls off Nemo.
“Hey-I’m okay.” She whispered, grabbing his head between her palms. His face softened immediately. Jade broke down and he pulled Zoe in, nearly squeezing the breath out of her.
“Please don’t leave me…” he choked out.
Zoe almost fainted, Jade NEVER got emotional at all, well except that one time the amp to his bass was without power at the half time show during homecoming and he almost smashed the thing across the football field. But this was serious, even Ali was shocked her ears swiveling to catch anymore confessions of a lonely band geek.
Zoe took a deep breath and did the only thing she could do, she hugged him back.
“I’m not going anywhere.” She cooed, squishing him a little. Opening her eyes for Ali to give her thumbs up, yet she was nowhere to be seen.
“Over there.” Jade’s tone was flat as they watched Ali pour the concoction of the flask in the giant cauldron punch bowl, giggling with outlaw laughter.
Zoe grinned a little, but her joy was sliced short when she spotted Zane smiling behind her at the DJ’s table, completely healed. Oh no, what’s he planning? Zoe thought as he slipped on a pair of headphones and began to fool with the laptop, the music flowing from the speakers was cut short and the bodies all stopped and looked around in confusion.
Zane clutched the mic and smiled. “Is every having a good time?!” his voice filling the gym, the crowd roaring in agreement.
“Aww, C’mon! I can’t hear you! Now, I said is everyone having a good time?!!” He boomed.
The army of teenagers howled and screamed soo loud the mic in Zane’s hand shrieked, sending shivers up Zoe’s spine.
“That’s what I thought; every year Restnom High has an Annual Halloween Bash to celebrate our town’s history Hallow’s Eve and how our town was famous for convicting people for witches, or vampires…even werewolves.” He mumbled, everyone laughing as Hale glared at him and Ali raised a middle finger.
“Every year the villagers would imprison monsters then burn them at the stake at the midnight of every Halloween, and to celebrate this tradition each year we pick out the most beautiful girl to be our monster and be seared at the stake as we count down to midnight!” Everyone cheered, the stuck up girls squealed thinking they’d get to be burned at the stake, Zoe wished they could make their dream come true.
“This year’s monster is…Zoe Horrorland!” Zane cried out, the crowd cheers dying down to whispers.
Zoe face was red hot, as she slowly stepped forward towards the stage where a fog machine created smoke and a fan blew red and orange streamers that looked like fire lapped at the crucifix that stood in the middle of the stage. A group of six tall figures in black robes lifted her up and carried her to the sacrificial pit as Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller” began to leak through the gym; Zoe’s eyes were paralyzed with fear as she saw Zane grinning from ear to ear and banging his head to the beat. The six men dressed in robes lifted her up and strapped her to the cross, the wooden beam cold against her shoulder blades. They pulled her arms taut across the head beam and strapped her legs and arms in what looked like barbed wire. Zoe’s eyes popped out of skull as she realized she was living the scene from her nightmare.
“What’s going on?” Erinah asked Hale.
“Zoe was crowned Monster.” Hale chimed, not taking her eyes off of Zoe.
“I don’t like this…” Ali whimpered, rubbing her arms.
“Hey guys!” Bella smiled, holding hands with her new boyfriend, Adam. “What did we miss?” She asked.
“Zoe’s getting burned at the stake.” Erinah pointed
Bella looked around her confused then she jumped, “What?!” She yelped.
“What’s wrong?” Hale asked, recognizing fear in her tone.
“Get her down from there! Before it’s too late!” Bella yelled, glaring at Zane was now dancing to the beat.
“What’s the matter? Micheal Jackson isn’t so bad.” Ali shrugged.
“No, that’s Zane Lucifern! He’s a powerful wizard I know. He specializes in black magic! He can resurrect the dead or make alive people undead!” She whined.
“How?” Erinah asked confused.
“All he needs is the virus inside whomever he wants to turn then all he has to do is recite the spell of the Thriller’s Night.” Bella shouted, distress ranging her voice.
“The spell of Thriller’s Night?” Ali tilted her head in curiosity.
“Micheal Jackson was a powerful wizard; he created the Thriller’s Night spell. It turns anybody who consumes the virus into a member of the walking undead and they obey to whoever casts the spell.”
Everyone raised brows at Bella in disbelief.
“What? I’m not lying, how do you think Micheal Jackson could defy gravity?” She threw her hands up and everybody muttered in agreement.
“Hopefully we have nothing to worry about; the only way EVERYONE could be infected is if someone messed with the punch luckily nobodies dumb enough to do that.” Bella cooled in relief.
“Oops…” Ali whimpered.
“You’re joking right?!” Bella yelped.
“Sorry…” Ali shrugged, her tail tucked between her legs as she held the flask open upside down a little drop escaping and then leaving it empty.
“Oh my god! It’s going to be a Zombie Apocalypse!” Bella yelled.
The beat of the music picked up and a raspy chilling voice sank deep in Zoe’s ears as everyone began the countdown and the men in black robes dance to the beat and the countdown closed in.
‘The foulest stenches in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no immortal can resist
The evil of the…Thriller’
Zoe slammed her eyes shut as an explosion of green smoke puffed and blocked her vision from her friends and Zane. She coughed when everything cleared up, the men in the black robes were gone and everyone around the gym lied sprawled all over the floor, across the hall stood Zane smiling in satisfaction.
Zoe pulled at her ties, to her friends who stood in the middle of the heap of bodies.
“Zoe!” Hale cried.
Zoe looked down at herself; her worst nightmare had come true. Her skin was peeling in an oozing cascade of green rotten flesh with the aroma of death in the air. Her eyes were pits of deep black, and her body was soo numb she couldn’t feel the barb wire dig into her skin as she struggled to get to her friends.
The bodies around them began to rise to their feet, moaning and staggering. The lively bodies changed to reanimated corpses bloodthirsty for live flesh.
“Zoe Horrorland!” Zane cried, Zoe snapping her attention to him. “Surrender your Soul!”
Hale kicked away a dead hand that grabbed her ankle, and snarled at the Wizard.
“You want her soul?” She growled.
Hale reached back and undead the zipper of her dress, throwing it across the room as Ali did the same. They both transformed in unison becoming humongous, towering Shewolves snarling and ready to devour his insides.
“Then come and get it.” Hale snarled her voice handicapped with a muzzle full of knives.
Behind her Bella blazed with blue fire her eyes glowing a shocking white, Erinah hissed her fangs shooting from her gums, Jade collapsed in fear as he began to hyperventilate.
“Very well then!” Zane smiled, His eyes glowing into deep moons as purple fire shot out from his hands. “Go forth my army! Bring me the soul of Zoe Horrorland.”
The zombies moaned and began to crawl towards her.
“No you don’t!” Bella yelled, and threw a blue fireball from her hand towards the zombies, who sizzled and squealed from her vicious attack.
“Bella! YOU IDIOT! They’re still human!” Hale growled, throwing three zombies across the room like paper dolls.
Erinah ran through the gym tossing them about as Ali ran wild bulldozing them over like straws.
“Then what do we do?!” Erinah screamed, punching a zombie sending it flying across the room.
“Kill Zane!” Bella shouted, throwing Zane a fireball who deflected it with a barrier.
Hale reached in to telepathy so Zane wouldn’t hear their plan.
“Keep them off, they may be easy to throw around but they have super strength!” Bella yelled over the moans of her attackers.
‘Ali, can you hear me?’
‘We need to protect Zoe, I’m going after Zane. Cover me!’
‘Got it!’ Ali barked and fell to all fours and started to ram zombies to the wall.
Hale galloped forward like a freight train towards Zane, building up speed in her haunches she was ready to lunge forward but then a zombie reached out and grabbed her around the chest as more dead bodies latched on and began to squeeze her. Hale cried out in extreme pain as her rib cage began to collapse under the storm of dead strength.
‘Hale!’ Ali cried, ramming forward and tackling the zombies sending them sliding across the court floor.
Hale fell and began to flop around like a fish out of water.
‘Hale get up!’ Ali whined, nuzzling her nose deep into the fur on Hale’s neck.
‘Ali, keep fighting, I’ll be ok…” Hale tried to reassure her, but Ali wasn’t stupid.
‘Hale, please! Please!’ Ali whimpered ‘Get up…’ she reached out and nipped Hale’s ear, pulling her up but Hale whimpered and fell over, too weak to stand up.
“Ali! Look out!” Bella screamed, running forward and pulling them all into a barrier as Zane’s fireball attack bounced off and evaporated into the air.
“Aww did the puppy get hurt?” Zane mocked, a half smile brimming across his perfect Cupid’s bow lips.
“I’ll show you hurt!” Bella yelled at him, concentrating hard she sent the snack table flying at him, Zane’s body wrapped around the table as he was shoved against the wall chocolate sauce and cookies sticking to his hair.
“GUYS! A little help here!” Zoe cried out, zombies reaching out for her legs.
Erinah shot forward and sent them all flaying to the floor like a set of dominoes.
“Get away from her!” she screamed, grabbing one by the neck and punching it out cold.
A dead boy reached out and put Erinah in a choke hold, thrashing her around.
“Ahhh! Let me go you disgusting freak!” She cried out, but her voice was drowned out as more zombies crowded over her.
Jade gawked in terror at the mess around him; he was living in a horror movie. Hale was motionless on the cold floor, twitching as Ali cried and chomped at the dead bodies that tried to finish Hale off but an overweight rotten girl flew forward and wrapped her arms around Ali’s neck as Ali clawed and thrashed around more zombies came in and began to sink their slimy teeth deep into her fur. Ali cried out in pain and stared helplessly at Jade as if to apologize for her failure to protect him as more zombies swarmed in and dragged her deeper into the deadly dog pile. Bella fought back and fourth with Zane, their powers clashing together. Zane roared and punched the gym floor, a crack spread across the floor swelling into a crater as it swallowed Bella who clawed at the floor for dear life, zombies gathered around and stomped on her arms, pushing her down. Jade looked up at Zoe, who was sobbing, her mascara running down her face. Jade got to his feet and ran to her.
“Jade!” she gasped, “Don’t look at me…” She recoiled and tried to hide her face.
Jade ignored her and began to pull at the wire that held her feet and hands in place, the barbs ripping his skin and the blood made his hands slippery as he undid the bindings and Zoe fell forward and he caught her in his arms. She was shaking so hard and crying uncontrollably, Jade clutched her to his chest.
“Why did you save me...why?” she cried into is chest.
“Because you’re my girlfriend, Zoe. Stop crying, it’s gonna be okay.” He wasn’t so sure about that, he honestly thought this was the end.
Zoe could feel Jade’s soul ripple deep down below his thumping heart, so close she could almost taste it…just one taste, and humanity would forever be hers. Zoe swallowed, she couldn’t bring herself to do it…she was a monster, but she realized deep down…she loved Jade.
“No I’m not…I’m a monster…” She choked looking up at him from under lashes, tears running down her face.
Jade didn’t know what to say, deep down she was still Zoe. Jade felt cold, clammy hands reach out and pull him apart from Zoe and drag him off the stage, no. He wasn’t afraid of dying, but if he was gonna die he was gonna die with Zoe. He head butted the zombie trying to bite him and pulled forward.
“NOO! Let him go!” Zoe cried out.
Jade felt tears brimming from his lashes.
“Take me…” Zoe mumbled.
“I’m sorry! What was that, Zoe?” Zane laughed, cupping his hand to his ear.
“I said take me!” Zoe stood up, nearly falling over. “Take my soul…kill me, just please don’t hurt Jade, please…”
“No!” Jade Roared.
Zane’s eyes snapped to Jade.
“Don’t listen to her, take me instead!” Jade screamed, tears flowing down his cheeks.
Zane raised his hand, the zombies let go of Jade and released Ali and Erinah. Bella Climbed up out of the cavern and fell in exhaustion.
Jade raced to Zoe and hid her behind him. “Take my soul, if that’s what you want. Then go ahead and just take it. Leave Zoe alone.” He barked.
“What are you doing? Just Shutup you idiot, you’ll die if you let him take your soul.” Zoe whimpered.
“I don’t care.” He whispered.
“What?” Zoe gasped; she didn’t want her nightmare to come true.
“Zoe, I don’t care. I’ll give up my soul for you…I love you and if I can’t spend the rest of my life with you then he can go ahead and take it!” Jade reached out and clutched Zoe to his chest like the world was ending, then he looked in her eyes that were as black as the new moon sky and leaned down and pressed his lips to hers.
Zoe nearly jumped, but she closed her eyes and kissed him back. Zoe felt unbearably cold, her wrists and ankles began to sting. Then she felt his arms wrapped around her, squeezing her so hard she could hardly breathe as her lungs began to pump air throughout her body setting her skin on fire, that was now a flushed pink her now emerald eyes shot open and she felt something deep, deep down in the cage of her ribs kick and blood ran through her veins like water over a creek in the springtime. Far below the dead flesh, against all odds…was the beat that was the sweetest sound she could ever hear…her heart.
Zoe began to cry all over again, feeling the warmth of her tears down her cheek. Jade pulled back and looked down at her as she smiled up at him. In the end she got what she wanted and what she needed. Jade had brought her back to life and turned her human again.
Zoe crushed Jade against her chest and smiled so hard her cheeks ached and she laughed.
“You’re my hero…I love you.” She whimpered and looked up at him and smiled, Jade smiled back and hugged her again then picked her up and swung her around.
Zoe laughed and felt a light, airy heat in her chest…was this happiness? Zoe smiled again, she liked being happy.
“NOOOO!!!” Zane roared, Zoe whipped her head at him and Jade growled.
“This wasn’t supposed to happen! Your suppose to be mine!” he howled in anger. His eyes shone a deep bright white as his hands clutched together and fire shot from all around him.
“You will be mine, Zoe! I swear it! You will belong to me, Zane Lucifern! The greatest wizard who ever lived!!” he cried out as the halo of fire around him grew more and more.
Jade grabbed Zoe and closed his eyes in fear, this was it. This was it, he was going to die, but at least he’d die with Zoe.
A Dixie horn rang out through the gym; the main wall behind Zane crumbled down as the giant black lifted diesel charged through and swallowed Zane under the tires. Zoe peered out from Jade’s chest, the headlights of the humungous truck nearly blinding her. The sun roof opened up and Juli’s head popped out.
“I hated that guy!” she roared.
Zoe broke out in laughter, she finally felt like herself full of energy and hyper without the virus pulling her down. Jade stepped down from the stage and helped Zoe down; Zane’s zombie army fell back into their normal selves. Confused and dazed, but all safe and sound. Erinah rose up and shaked off the dust from her dress, bella finally got to her feet panting from the fight of climbing out of the pit. They were all okay…No, Wait!
“Hale-Ali!” Zoe cried out, running towards the crowd surrounding them.
Ali was still in her boy shorts and tank, holding Hale who was also half naked with a bustier and petticoat under her sobbing as she thrashed around.
“Get off of me, I’m okay! I heal fast remember?” Hale yelled at Ali through a mouth full of her chocolate curls. Her ribs began to inflate like someone was pumping her up like a balloon, a few bruises here and there with a dribble of blood drying from her glamorous lips. Thank god the internal bleeding had stopped before she drowned in her own blood.
Ali choked, “Shutup! I was worried about you!” the bites on her pale skin began to slowly fade. Hale gruffed and let Ali cry into her neck for a little longer then shoved her off.
Erinah came forward with their shoes and dresses “Cover up, dude.” She said. Ali and Hale slipped back into their dresses before any of the exzombie students seen too much of them. Zoe hugged them both, glad they were okay.
“Ahem.” A strong firm voice coughed out.
They all looked behind them slowly fearing the worst.
Principal Diablo stood firmly with his hands on his hips. “I believe a very long line of detentions are in order…” They all flinched, relieved that he didn’t see any of them as monsters. They would rather take detention than live the rest of their lives in a testing lab with the FBI.
“Ms.Leaf, next time control yourself, please! It’s going to take forever to assess these damages and I expect a lot of help on construction from you young lady! But for now, let’s just finish this party.” He blew out, and then looked around for Zane.
Juli innocently shoved the rest of his body under the truck with her foot, “Where’s the DJ?!” Mr. Diablo barked.
“Right here!” Zoe proudly exclaimed, picking up Zane’s signature skull headphones and pulling them over her head. She layed a record on the turn table and begin to spin a remix of Evanescence’s “Bring me to Life” her body bopping as she was head banging to the beat, her blonde curls swishing all around like a sunshine tornado. Everybody around shrugged, ignoring the gaping hole in the wall with a Duramax Ebony diesel staring at them all and began to dance, the night wasn’t over yet.
“I had no Idea Zoe was Disc Jockey…” Jade scratched his head.
“Only the greatest that ever lived!” Ali shouted over the music mocking Zane’s last words as she grinded with Erinah who both punched their fists into the air and threw their hair around.
Jade smirked, “I’m a lucky guy.” He tilted his head back and shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned against the wall behind him.
The party soon ended and everyone left to go home, except for Zoe and her friends who were hanging out on the football field. Zoe rotated the headphones in her hands as they reflected the light.
“Those are pretty cool.” Jade said, smiling at her.
“Yeah, I guess.” She grinned, she kinda missed Zane. Bella left earlier to burn his body so he wouldn’t be revived. She missed who he used to be more than who he was.
Hale reached out and poked Zoe.
“Hey, the other day Ali and I thought we heard you thinking about stealing Jade’s soul…” Hale whispered, Zoe looked down in guilt.
“What made you change your mind?” Hale asked, curious.
“Let’s just say I finally realized who I was…and I decided to make the most of it.” She said smiling, the stars glinting in her emerald eyes as she held Jade’s hand and gazed up at the full moon shining overhead.
The council of elders sat at the round table, impatiently awaiting their guest of honor to arrive. He finally broke the seal of the two french doors, bringing the autumn chill with him. His long black robe trailed behind him as he trotted forward, throwing the evidence on the table. Denali jumped wildly glancing to Evalies who reached out with a firm, veiny hand gently poking the pictures before plucking them away as if they didn’t exist, as if this was too good to be true. He shuffled the photos over eachother, a toothy evil smile spread across his face. This was all he needed, photographs of Allibelle and Halennah, Lycans of the Darkmourn pack. The evidence was apparent as his spy had perfectly caught them transforming to mythical creatures that should only belong in story books from seemingly normal teenage girls. Denali’s eyes sat forward sinking under his furrowed brow; he wanted so desperately to rip Evalies apart.
“Well done.” Evalies said in a low guttural voice, flowing from his throat like honey. “Now that we are certain of our targets, your first mission is to learn more about them. Are you ready, young slayer?” he asked, challenging the boy’s spirit.
The young boy in the black robe threw back his hood, his eyes glinting in the firelight.
“Yes, master.” Ivan retorted.