I am so…incredibly bored.
I checked the clock for what seemed like the hundredth time.
I wanted to get home from school as soon as possible. I’d heard news of the horse spring tournament coming around soon and I couldn’t wait to start training with Jupiter. And, quite obviously, school was preventing me from doing that.
I sighed and stared at the ceiling as the teacher droned on and on. I glanced at Erin, but she was fixated on the teacher. Her grades suck, but it doesn’t stop her from trying to listen in class.
“The assignment will be done in groups and it will be due tomorrow.”
As I glanced at Erin I happened to glance at Edmund and one of his buddies on the other side of the classroom. I suddenly had the overwhelming urge to melt even deeper into my chair.
Those three had never stopped bullying me. At first I really just shrugged it off, probably cause I had this really weird notion that Edmund might actually be a nice guy. For the last few years, I’ve been finally seeing him for the jerk he really is. And it seems that every day that passes by I just get angrier and angrier at them bullying me for their own dumb enjoyment.
“Which is why I will give you all the rest of the class period to go to library or wherever else you’d like to go to work on this. Now for the teams you’ll be assigned in groups of two-”
Edmund immediately protested. “Woah, woah ma’am! Assigned? Don’t we get to choose our own teams?”
The teacher slowly turned to face Edmund. He was a regular ‘interrupter’.
“No you do not, I will assign the teams. When I let you choose your own teams, work never gets done.” The teacher said, giving us all a creepy smile. “Now that’s cleared up here are the teams…”
I think the teacher has a serious grudge on me. No way that name picking random. I expected to be with some of the other boring kids in class who actually work hard, but no she had to team me up with the last person I wanted to team up with.
At least Erin got to be with one of the smart kids.
Goddamn it, Erin is probably done the assignment already. I’m stuck going to the library and working with the worst partner that ever walked these halls.
Maybe I can make some sort of run for it. I could plead being sick.
…Okay, I’m not that much of a coward.
I gave a quick nod to the librarian as I made my way through the numerous bookshelves till I found the ‘study area’.
Edmund was already there. He was leaning casually on the tables looking completely lost in thought.
It’s a weird sight to behold. I’m used to seeing his sneers and mocking expressions. With him comfortably leaning back with his eyes staring off into space and a pensive expression on his face…He doesn’t quite look like the same guy. Certainly not like the jerk I know he is.
He noticed me a few moments after and his pensive look changed into a glare.
“You’re late.” He grumbled. I admit, it might have taken me some courage gathering.
I ended up avoiding eye contact. It’s a natural habit. Whenever I used to glare back at him, him and his buddies would just become worse.
I decided it really wasn’t worth it to answer him so I took a seat at the table, already taking out the ‘educational tablet’ as the teachers called it.
I realize I’m actually a bit nervous. I’ve never actually been alone with him before. I’m a bit scared to know what’s going to happen. Are we actually going to do the assignment or is he going to find a way to bully me?
Edmund let out a loud sigh before sitting on his chair.
“Let’s just get this done as quick as possible okay?” He said, staring at his tablet as he waited for it to load.
A good sign I guess? Glancing at him nervously I turned my own tablet on with slightly shaking hands.
Get a grip Xa! It’s not like he’ll start beating you up in the library or something…right? I glanced around and wasn’t comforted by the fact that there was no one else in sight.
Just one hour of this. Just one hour. One hour of me making sure I don’t give him any reason to get on my case.
“Just this once,” Edmund began. I froze up, staring at him and waited for him to continue. A million possibilities of what the end of that phrase was going to be had the time to speed through my head before he continued. “We’re going to pretend we get along.”
I didn’t quite know what to respond to that.
He looked up from his tablet and glared at me. “Because I actually want to get this done. Got it? That means actually put some effort in this.” He warned.
“Okay.” I replied just as both tablets came to life.
The assignment wasn’t as bad as expected it to go. Once we got into it, it was like we were two temporary friends. You know, we were brainstorming like two strangers who were forced into a team because of a class assignment.
It was actually sort of pleasant, exchanging ideas with someone new. I even found myself wishing the assignment would take longer. I had a nagging feeling this was a one-time thing. Haha, I was right. This temporary ‘friendship’ ended almost as abruptly as it had started.
“You’re kidding, that doesn’t fit at all. We cannot end with something like that.” I said.
“Shut up, I’m serious. Look at this,” Edmund insisted as he opened up the web page on his tablet and showed me his proof. He pointed at it triumphantly and I looked at it.
“Yeah no. Look at this right here.” I argued pointing at my own proof. I was so quick to argue I bumped my hand into his.
He pulled his hand away so fast I almost thought the tablet had caught on fire. I was stunned into silence as he avoided my eyes. I wasn’t too sure what had just happened.
An awkward tension suddenly settled down around us and an alarming thought came to mind. Did he actually think I was coming on to him or something? (that will never happen by the way, not with a jerk like him) He does have this weird homophobia or something. (Didn’t think it’d be this intense though)
“Fine you’re right it doesn’t fit.” He eventually grumbled after a few seconds. The awkward tension stayed for the last few minutes of the assignment.
“Dragon what?” I asked again to clarify.
“Dragon-dreaming, or d-dreaming for short.” Mom replied.
I’d gotten caught. Not in the basement caught! God no! After all I’m sneaking down there when dad and mom are sleeping. Even if dad has eyes in the back of his head, he still won’t see me if he’s sleeping!
Anyway, mom and dad asked about the game. I tried to keep it a secret as long as I could!…but I ended up talking when they promised they wouldn’t punish me for keeping it a secret. Just now I’d told my parents all about how it was like playing the game and mom had suddenly announced I’d been dragon dreaming. Don’t ask me! I don’t know what that is either.
“I’ve never heard of it.” I told mom. She smiled.
“Dragon-dreaming was a talent unique to fairies.” Mom started to explain.
“You can do it too?” I exclaimed happily, but mom shook her head.
“No, I’m not powerful enough. Actually I doubt there are any fairies left powerful enough to dragon-dream, not with the gradual fall of the white-eyes. But just like you they could enter a sort of dreamscape inside people’s mind.”
“Why isn’t it called dreamscape then?” I interrupted.
“Well, first off that name was already taken, and second off every time the fairies dragon-dreamt there was a mythical creature present. Sometimes you’d see a mermaid in a painting or a phoenix statue, but more often than not it was a dragon.” Mom explained and I did my best to take in what she was saying.
“But…that kind of doesn’t make sense mom. Cause I’m a vampire not fairy.” I said, they might not have realized this.
Mom pointed at the weird pale tattoo on my wrist. It’s something I was born with. “Your father and I think this might have something to do with it.”
“Like you?” I asked with a grin. Mom had told me all about her tattoos! I really liked the Reaper one. Mom said it’s a tattoo to ask for the Reaper’s blessing and that she’s sure it’s this tattoo that caused her and dad’s meeting.
“Yes.” Mom replied glancing at dad. I could tell they were silently talking again. It was like they could have whole conversations without even moving their hands or talking! Mom looked back at me. “I used to have a tattoo on my stomach right here. It was dragon shaped and it disappeared when you were born. I think that’s why you have the tattoo on your wrist.”
“Does that mean I’m the only one who can play the game?” I asked. I really liked being special, but I guess I was sort of hoping someone else knew how to play. You know someone who could show me all the cool things I haven’t discovered yet.
“Probably.” Mom replied.
“Oh.” Well I guess that’s fine. I’ll just have to figure it out myself!
“Now you told us about it, but how about you show it off?” Mom asked with a grin.
“Ooh yes! You’ll see! It’s sooo much fun!” I exclaimed as I grabbed mom’s hand. I closed my eyes and concentrated on finding the right noise to enter the game…however there was no noise. Nothing. Nada! It was super silent! I let go of mom’s hand. “It’s not working…I don’t know why.”
I felt dad tap me on the shoulder and I turned around.
‘One of your mother’s tattoos protects her mind.’ Dad signed with his hands.
“I didn’t think it would affect dragon-dreaming…” Mom wondered out loud. “Oh well, you can show your dad instead.”
A smile spread across my face again. I wonder what dad’s version of the game is?
Dad actually looked kind of hesitant, but I think with both me and mom against him he didn’t really have any other choice!
He took my hands.
I didn’t need to open my eyes to know I already regretted this decision.
It’s ironic. I got into other people’s heads freely as if I was walking into my own home yet…I wouldn’t want to walk in my own head.
I almost refused Catarina’s proposal. If she hadn’t said people had to open the door for her to come in I wouldn’t have accepted. At least now I can decide whether my mind is…let’s just say acceptable for children.
But I can tell it isn’t. I felt it before I opened my eyes. This is a dark place. Where everything…bad I’ve done lurks.
I don’t want to get up from the bed. I’m not afraid, I just don’t want to deal with whatever is lurking behind the trees.
Victims I guess you could call them. All vampires. Every single one of them, because all I’ve ever killed are vampires…my own kind. But not really in a way.
I wonder if they’ve been waiting here in my mind to kill me? I laugh out loud and the sound reverberates in the small space.
This isn’t reality if my vocal cords are intact. Which means it’s ridiculous of me to think I could be killed in a place like this.
I sat up deciding to search for the door Catarina had talked about. I had an unexpected surprise.
A boy was standing at the side of my bed, staring at me as if I was the worst person in the world.
“You did everything wrong.” The boy muttered. The young fangless mute vampire dressed in the clothes he had worn at his grandmother’s funeral.
I refused to answer my past self. This was all a figment of my imagination. There was no point in taking this too seriously.
“You broke our promise.” He spoke again. “You broke all our promises.”
He looked so sad, so heartbroken as if I had betrayed him, that I couldn’t not respond at this point.
“I…” It was weird using my own voice which didn’t really exist. What I was hearing now was just what I thought I’d sound like. “I took care of the witch.”
“Not that one! Not that stupid one!” My past self practically yelled. “You forgot it too quickly.”
I swear he would’ve run off if I hadn’t stopped him. “What are you talking about?”
Didn’t I say I wouldn’t get too serious with this?
“Aliska. You forgot your own sister.” He grumbled. “And you abused when we said we wouldn’t.”
I laughed loudly. I couldn’t help it. That was so long ago and that point of view is so childish.
My past self mocked me by mimicking my laugh.
“Is this really funny to you?”
“I never forgot about Aliska and I had no choice but to abuse.” I replied. This is me talking to myself. I sighed and went to get up, but he pushed me back down with his small weak arms.
“We decided we would save Aliska, but instead you let yourself get infected by her corruption. And since, you’ve killed people. You’ve actually killed people even though we remember how horrible the deaths Carla caused were. And yet you sit there and laugh at me. So ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha.”
Irritated I struck out at what I knew wasn’t real, hell this whole place wasn’t real. My hand passed through his body like he was a ghost.
“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Isn’t it funny?” He said still laughing as he slowly started to dissipate into thin air.
God I must’ve been annoying as a kid.
I got up and registered the fact that there was no door of any kind, only a computer on the other side of the room.
This must be the ‘fake’ door. There’s probably a computer on Catarina’s side as well. I headed over with the full intention of telling my daughter to drop the game, I think I’d seen enough.
Apparently I wasn’t done being haunted though.
“How’s life treating you?” Carla’s sly voice asked. I groaned. I can deal with a version of myself still stuck on my mother’s teachings, but Carla? That’s one of the last people I want to see in my mind.
“Locking up your father did me a lot of good.” I harshly replied. Hopefully she’d disappear soon like my younger self had.
She chuckled. “I’m sure it did. Funny you didn’t kill him. He caused you loads of pain, but me? Why did you kill me?” She asked innocently.
I had a feeling this was coming.
“I don’t feel like doing this today, how about you come back another day?” I tried, but it didn’t work.
“What did I ever do to you? What did I do to deserve death?” She asked again as if she truly didn’t know.
“Apart from being on Velor’s side? Apart from ruining my elementary school by assassinating three kids? You threatened Xavier’s life.” I said, clenching my teeth as the anger from that memory came rushing back.
“Xavier? Who’s Xavier?” She asked with a squeaky voice. “There is a Xavier living in Legacy Island II, but…to everyone’s knowledge you both aren’t related.”
“I’m not discussing this with you.” I said, rolling my eyes and turning back to the computer.
“You aren’t discussing things with a lot of people. I thought you loved Kyxa?” She suddenly said out of the blue.
“Of course I do. Now if that’s all you wanted you can be on your merry way.” I snapped.
“But you’re keeping secrets from her. Doing things you know she wouldn’t approve of.” She said with a sneaky smile.
“It’s none of your business since you’re dead.”
“Look at you…you’re so much better than everyone else aren’t you?” She mocked.
I sighed. Wasn’t this supposed to be the inside of my mind? Shouldn’t I be the one to call the shots here? Because I’d rather not be lectured by someone whose stomach I ripped open.
I turned my back on her and went to sit in front of the computer.
The moment I did the screen flashed open to a texting screen. I noticed the desktop background had a dragon in it. Proof this is dragon-dremaing?
RayRay: Dad? Dad? Are you there? There’s no door only a computer!
Dad: I’m right here.
RayRay: Oh good! I thought I chose the wrong noise. It was really hard to find the right noise! I had a lot of trouble! It’s NEVER been that hard before. Is there a door on your side?
Dad: No there isn’t.
She was writing so fast I was having trouble keeping up.
RayRay: Okay well I guess we can just go back now. It won’t be a lot of fun if there’s no door.
Dad: Wait a bit, there’s something I want to talk to you about. It’s concerning your visits in the basement.
To that, there was no immediate reply.
Carla suddenly leaned on my head.
“Oh, you’re taking advantage of the fact mommy isn’t here.”
I angrily lashed out behind me and Carla laughed as my arm passed through her. Unfortunately she didn’t disappear.
RayRay: I’m sorry daddy, it won’t happen again!
Dad: It’s dangerous down there. Did you ever play the game with any of those four?
Obviously I knew the answer to that, but I wanted her to tell me.
And she did, for the next few minutes she told me all about the Weapon and William.
As she told every detail (as really only my daughter can), Carla sat on the desk and progressively started to fade away. She didn’t forget to continuously imput her thoughts though.
“It’s so unfortunate. You’re leading Catarina down the same road you’re on. Are you going to do the same to Benjamin?”
“I need them to be ready for anything. Whether it’s nothing at all, or taking my place as guard of those four.”
She sighed. “Oh well. Who am I to lecture you? I gave in to being a bloodthirsty vampire. Which reminds me…aren’t your kids real vampires?” And with those last words she vanished just like my younger self had.
RayRay: And that’s pretty much it. I’m tired of typing dad, can we go back now?
I know, the Xavier and Edmund scene was cliché, but too bad!
Also, the dragon-dreaming Kyxa was talking about, how older fairies could dragon-dream…well you’ve all already met such a fairy under the name of Anna Whitelight. She didn’t dragon-dream herself, but she sent Tarnowak and Rosahelminthe in their own dragon-dream in this very chapter , I just hadn’t found a name for it yet XD)