Hey y’all, so chapter starts off way before Niki and Ty have their little punch contest. Just keep that in mind as you start the chapter.
Warning : PG Mention of drugs and language
Emily, Maxwell’s friend, giggled as my uncle Alistair sped after me and Lucas, his feet splashing in the still wet grass. With his luck, he might slip and fall.
“Get back over here you two!” Alistair yelled angrily, making Lucas and I only grin.
Lucas and I ran like crazy towards the cemetery’s outer wall. This was all fun and games, but if Alistair caught us we were pretty much dead meat.
I looked behind me and smirked, waving the bag of pot at Alistair, which only seemed to make him angrier. Which of course was the entire of goal of stealing from his stash.
Close up, the wall seemed a lot higher than it should’ve.
Lucas, for whom this was actually only the third time he’d come to this cemetery, stopped running as he hit the wall. “Loved your running idea man, but now we’re kind of done for.” Lucas said, as he albeit attempted to climb over the wet slippery wall.
Alistair’s pace slowed down as he grew closer and very nearly slipped on the wet grass.
“Oh I’m going to skin you two alive when I catch you.” He threatened with a victorious smirk.
Yeah, no, not going to happen.
I gave Lucas a look. “Come on man, we do this all the time.”
I said, taking a few steps back. I dug my foot in the slippery grass, propelled myself forwards and jumped over onto the other side.
“You mean you do this all the time! I always climb the damn thing!” Lucas protested.
I landed on my feet on the other side, but the slippery ground caused me to slip on my ass.
“Thanks for abandoning me to the ruthless Alistair NIKO.” Lucas growled as the ruthless Alistair himself finally slipped on the grass and fell down. I laughed and kicked over a nearby log to step on so I could bend over the wall and help Lucas up.
Blushing with embarrassment, Alistair got up on his feet. But just as I was grasping Lucas’ hand, Alistair’s victorious smirk returned and I heard an ahem behind me.
I turned around just as the log I was standing on rolled, and I ended up back on my ass, as if it wasn’t wet enough by now.
“Game’s up kiddo.” Maxwell said with a triumphant smile.
Ah darn it.
“Ah!” Lucas let out as Alistair came up behind him, grabbed his arm and lifted it up behind his back.
“Give it up Niko.” Alistair growled and Maxwell extended his hand. I reluctantly got on my feet and handed over the stolen prize.
“Geez, such party poopers.” I grumbled, and Alistair let go of Lucas.
“Hey!” Alistair snapped. “I told you, if you want some get your own. I am not going to be held responsible.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” I shrugged.
“Anyway, shouldn’t you two be headed home now?” Maxwell asked, and I rolled my eyes.
“Yeah, git.” Alistair snapped. He slapped Lucas across the head.
“Hey!” Lucas tried to shove Alistair, but he only got shoved back.
“Whatever, we’ll get out of your mature business.” I said with a grimace. “Come on Lucas.”
“I don’t even-” Lucas gestured in exasperation at the still slippery wall. “Ah whatever, I’m taking the long way round.”
“Have fun with your adult stuff. I’m sure it’s a lot more fun than secret basements and ghost mysteries.” I said, and Maxwell got a little annoyed.
“You’re still on that? Grow up Niko.” He snapped.
“And be like you? No way.” I snarled.
“Just go home already.” He said, grabbing my shoulder and practically shoving me down the hill.
I’m sure you’ve guessed, but growing up hasn’t done Maxwell any good at all! He used to be really cool, I actually wanted to be like him. But now? He’s boring and a real party pooper.
And I started to realize it after we found the secret basement. We saw less and less of him, and every time I called him about the basement he’d always dismiss it as a wine cellar. He’d say I had an overactive imagination and that I should stop playing this stupid game. Overactive imagination?
I’ve been down there, to that locked door, countless times now.
If I stayed long enough, with my ear pressed against the door, I could sometimes hear these weird sounds…almost like snores or a weird growling.
There’s something there. More than aging wine bottles.
How after all this time? I don’t know. But I really doubt those sounds are the pipes.
And I’m pretty darn determined to figure out what’s hiding behind it.
A locked door means you need a key right? Well I couldn’t find the key anywhere, and I’ve searched, but I mean searched to the point where pa’ and da’ were really starting to wonder what was going on.
I tried doing some research. I taught myself how to pick a lock, but apparently this was the non-pickable type, cause no matter what technique I tried nothing worked, short of destroying the door. Which I couldn’t do without someone hearing.
After trying out every lock picking technique for every type of lock out there I was starting to wonder if the problem was magical…I mean the previous owner of the house was a werewolf.
Once I hit that dead-end I decided to try and get help elsewhere. Papa and dad were obviously not going to be my first choice, and Nikita didn’t really give much of a damn. I don’t think she even realized I’d just told her there was a secret basement.
So, all that was left, was my friends. Well uh…the people I hang out with. I didn’t really want to go around bragging about a secret basement, so I kept my story to having a locked door without the key. Unfortunately, no one thought up anything I hadn’t myself.
Well apart from Salandra.
“Did you try with magic?”
For all her airheadedness and lack of general intelligence, sometimes Salandra said obvious things that I just hadn’t really had the time to think about.
I was indeed, after all, a witch. And being a witch implied being able to cast spells. And if that lock really was sealed by magic or something…then I was wondering why I hadn’t thought of this sooner!
Probably because I actually suck at it. Okay, not as bad as Nikita though! She can’t even cast the simplest of spells, let alone let magic out on command! I’m more powerful than she is! But still horribly weak compared to dad. I can just barely sense other supernaturals, but him? I can sense really well. I can tell he’s got a whole lot of magic power. I can only dream of having that amount of control and power.
Even with the huge magical difference between us, dad still gladly helps me train every Sunday. He’s really patient with me even though it takes me weeks to learn a small spell.
I just don’t have a lot of magic in me, which I learned at some point is completely normal. That supernaturals were sort of dying out…so having magic at all was a special rarity.
I asked dad to teach me an unlocking spell. He agreed happily, but he didn’t seem to be fooled by my “To broaden my magical horizons!”. Probably cause both Niki and I don’t have that much of an interest in magic.
I learned the spell after nine long weeks, and on a week day when dad was working a little later at work, I decided to try it out on the door. As powerful as he is, dad totally feels it every time me or Niki use magic, so me trying out the spell while he was in the house wasn’t an option. I didn’t want to get caught. This was my discovery to make.
Unfortunately the spell didn’t work.
I don’t doubt I’ll find the solution eventually though. And then, then, I’ll finally figure out what’s lurking behind those double doors.
I narrowed my eyes as our dads talked with our aunt and our grandpa. I nudged Nikita.
“Who was she again?” I asked her, snapping her out of whatever daydream she was in. Probably something about that random guy she met downtown.
“Who?” She asked.
“The old woman who died. You know, the reason why we suddenly get a visit from the vampire side of our family.” I said quietly, gesturing at the group of talking adults.
“Yeah sure Aliska. I don’t think I’ve ever met her.”
“Nah you definitely did. She’s the great aunt with the premonition powers.” Nikita said. “Not that her premonitions were any good.”
“I think I’d remember if I’d met someone who could tell the future.” I said.
“You tend to be a little forgetful sometimes.” My sister teased. “But now that I think about it, it was a good few years ago. You were what? Four years old?”
“—Nikita’s won several dance competitions. And actually the one coming up this weekend is pretty important.” The moment my sister heard her name uttered in the conversation, she left me in my corner and sped off to join the adults.
“Ah there she is.” Papa smirked.
“I’ll take it from here dad.” Nikita smiled, and dad let her have her fun. “So yeah, there’s this huge competition coming up next weekend, and by huge I mean really important for my dance career. If I win this, and I will, it could very well be the entire turning point!–”
I’m not forgetful. I just throw away information that’s not important or interesting.
Though, if I’d known I had a great aunt that could tell the future, I would’ve asked for some fortune telling a long time ago. Maybe she’d be able to see where the key to the basement is.
My aunt Catarina brought her pregnant self over to me. “Look at you, all alone in your corner, what’s going on?” She asked with an amused smile.
“I’m just thinking.” I said.
“Not too hard I hope.” She joked, flicking at my bandana. “Anything I can do to help?”
“It’s just a problem I’m dealing with. I have a locked door and I can’t find the key.” I muttered.
“I don’t know about a key, but I have a special power that might help you out, some way or another.” She said with a smile. I narrowed my eyes at her, unsure of what she meant.
Okay, I do know about her and my grandpa and my uncle’s powers. Golden-eyed vampires with mind control powers. I’m just not sure how that’s going to help me though.
And if it was supposed to help me somehow, the person I’d have to ask would be grandpa. It’s the logical choice after all isn’t it? He’s crazy powerful!
I glanced at my grandpa’s back, the one who didn’t look any older than his own daughter. Like geez, his own son looks older than him. But that’s just how vampires are.
I know that’s just because he’s mute, but his silence is really intimidating sometimes. Even if he could help me find the key, I’m not even sure how I’d go about asking for help.
As if he could actually read my mind, his head tilted to the side and our eyes temporarily met.
I involuntarily gulped as a knowing smile appeared on his face. I broke eye contact and he went back to talking with my parents (well as much as talking goes for him).
Geez, does he know about the basement? Ugh really. The fact that he’s so powerful really freaks me out.
“Hellllooo?” Catarina said, snapping her fingers in front of my eyes.
“I don’t know how your mind-control is going to help me out here. I don’t even know where the key is.” I said.
“No silly, not mind-control.” She tapped her head. “Dragon-dreaming.”
“Do you want to play a game?” Catarina asked with a familiar smirk. I took a step back.
“Ah no! Not that again!” Her game. That horrible weird mind experience. Every time she came over it seems she always asked whether I wanted to play with her. When I was younger it felt like I had no choice, but to go along with it. It was kind of amusing at first, but after that it was annoying. It was all just so obviously fake. I feel a lot more comfortable in the real world.
Catarina shrugged. “Who knows, maybe you do know where the key is and you just need to look inside.” She waggled her eyebrows.
“Okay, now I’m sorry I brought this up.”
“We know the baby’s gender now.” Catarina announced, generously changing subjects.
“It’s going to be a little girl.” Catarina said with a smile.
“Any names yet?”
“Yeah, we already decided to call her Kristy. Which of course is short for-”
“Kristina, yeah I figured.” I said.
“Seems like she’s in a little bit of a kicking mood today. Want to feel?” Catarina asked, with a weird motherly glow about her.
I shrugged. “Sure.”
Almost immediately after I pressed my hand on her tummy I felt a small kick. I almost jumped back in surprise, making Catarina laugh.
“Do you know if she’s a vampire?” I asked.
“No, we can’t tell that yet.”
“Cause I swear that kick was really strong…” My voice trailed off as I felt another kick, but this time the pressure seemed constant, like that little girl pressing her foot directly into my palm. I frowned as I swore lights started to dance around my eyes.
My vision suddenly switched to black as if I’d closed my eyes, and light trails started to dance in the darkness.
That familiar surreal feeling overcame me, and when I opened my eyes (did I actually close them?), I wasn’t home anymore.
This place felt cold and alien.
Was this dragon-dreaming? It’s never been like this before.
I tried to regain my bearings, but this world kept fluctuating, often edging towards darkness, with only light these weird crystal plants.
“Cat? What’s going on here?” I tried to call out, but my words seemed to just dribble out of my mouth like molten lava.
What the hell?
I was done with this game. Hell, I’d be done with it the first time Catarina asked Want to play a game?
I sped through the odd wavering plants and headed straight towards where I knew had to be the door. It’s not like I saw it or anything, but I had the absolute certainty it was over there.
This room was really, really weird though. Normally when Catarina convinced me to play her game, it usually ended up with us either in her mind-room or in mine. And mine tended to be outdoors on the side of a cliff.
But I’d never seen this place before. Who’s mind-room was it? Was it even a mind-room?
The door appeared out of nowhere and I happily grasped the doorknob.
God the instability of this place is freaking me out here.
Just as I swung open the door, a stray thought popped into my head of how oddly familiar the door seemed…but the place was too wavery for me to confirm it.
Stepping outside, it felt like I’d just gotten a bucket of cold water tossed in my face. Hundreds of lifelines, of doors were swirling all around me, making my head spin uncontrollably. I reached out for something, anything, to stabilize myself under this sudden onslaught of possibilities, of information I couldn’t comprehend. The thing I grasped was a single red lifeline which I swore radiated the name Nikita. I pulled on it and all the other ones faded away instantly.
When I opened my eyes (I closed them again?), I was back in my house, with a worried Catarina leaning over me. The fact that everyone else was still happily chatting probably meant I hadn’t been out of it for that long.
“Geez Catarina! I told you I didn’t want to play!” I snapped angrily, my head still dizzy from the experience.
“It wasn’t me.” She exclaimed defensively.
“What was that place? Are your powers getting old or something?” I said, barely registering what she’d said before.
“It wasn’t me.”
Both our eyes drifted down to her belly.
“Nah, that’s ridiculous.” Catarina immediately said.
“It was her or you!”
“Have you had enough sleep lately?”
“Hey! I’ve played your games enough times to know what’s a dream and what’s…er whatever you called it.”
“Yeah that.” I grumbled. I really doubt it’s the baby though, so that just means Catarina is messing with me. Just because she enjoys completely detaching herself from reality and imprisoning yourself in your own mind doesn’t mean she needs to force others to as well.
Catarina playfully shoved my shoulder. “Stop frowning, you’re not going to get any of the ladies that way.”
I stuck my tongue out at her.
1 day left before Niki’s prom
Oh my god. Holy hell. I just got into a fight with Nikita about Tyzel. And then Nikita punched Tyzel and then, the best part. Tyzel actually punched her back.
What the hell.
I’m not even sure, but the whole thing felt kinda of awesome. Not that I liked the fact that someone hurt my sister…but the fact that it was Tyzel after she’s been such a bully to him kind of sort totally makes it okay?
“I still can’t believe you punched my sister.” I said, that weird uncontrollable smile tugging at my lips.
Tyzel shrugged, rubbing his face where Niki punched him. “Didn’t hit her that hard.”
“I guess apologies are in order.” Tyzel said, catching me by surprise.
“What for?” I’m the one who should apologize on my sister’s behalf! Because of her, now both she and Tyzel earned themselves detention after school.
“Well I did punch your sister. Sorry about that.” Tyzel said. Really, this guy sometimes.
“Nah its fine. She was being a b*tch anyway.”
“I still feel really bad now. I didn’t want you two to get in a fight, especially not because of me.”
“Dude! I’ve been meaning to call my sister out on her bullying for a while now. It was going to happen eventually.” I exclaimed.
“Okay cool, I get it.” Tyzel smirked, ruffling my hair. Being older than me, it sometimes felt like Tyzel treated me like a younger brother. “Instead I should say thanks for standing up for me. Is there anything I can do in return?”
“Unless you’ve got a key to open locked basements probably not.” I said.
I sighed. “Yeah, found a secret basement in my house, and I’ve been trying for months now to open it! But I can’t find the damn key.” I say secret, but at this point it didn’t feel like it mattered whether it was secret anymore or not.
Tyzel looked pensive, and hope of actual help started to build up. Maybe he knew someone…
“Okay.” Tyzel said, coming to a decision. “I’ll lend it to you.”
“I have a key. A really special key. One that can unlock any door.” Tyzel explained.
“Yes. Even your basement door.” Tyzel said.
“That’s…woah that actually exists?” Tyzel nodded. “But…are you sure you want to lend it to me? Something like that…aren’t you afraid I’ll lose it or something?”
“Nah it’s fine I trust you. And it’s not like I use it. What’s the good in having an everything key, if you’ve got no doors to unlock?” Tyzel said with a smirk.
“Wow…okay then, I’ll take it. I’ll bring it to you right after I open the door.” I said, excitement building up. Tyzel dug into one of his inner pockets in his jacket and pulled out a small silver key. He dropped it into my outstretched hand.
I stared at the tiny and shiny key, already visualizing myself turning it in the lock. Oh that god awful lock…the only thing separating me from the inside of that mysterious basement.
“Have fun Niko.”
I didn’t even wait for the day to end. Not like I was going to learn anything new today in history anyway.
I tapped my pocket, making sure the tiny key was still there.
Oh boy, I’d waited so long for this. Now I can finally solve that mystery.
Just as I was about to head on home however, I heard a familiar
Tack tack tack
“Wait for me Niko!” Salandra’s perky voice called out.
I spun around. “Nope. Go back inside. You actually need to learn stuff.” I said, shooing her away.
“Aww! Please! Let me come with! I want to see what’s in that basement you keep talking about too!” Salandra pleaded, batting her long black eyelashes at me.
“Hey! Who told you I was going to do that?”
“…he sure has a big mouth.” I grumbled.
“So can I come? Please?”
“If you do, you have to be quieter than a damn ant. My pa’s probably going to be home and he’s going to get pissed if he finds out I skipped my last class.”
“Oh that’s no problem.” Salandra said, beaming. “I can be as quiet as mouse.”
“Yeah not in those heels.” I grumbled.
“I’ll take them off when we get there!” She said.
“Alright fine then.” I said, turning around to head home.
“Yes!” Salandra whispered to herself, probably thinking I wouldn’t hear. “Thanks Niki!”
“Excuse me?” I turned around. “What did you say?”
Her face instantly flushed a deep red. “Nothing.”
“Oh, no, no, that wasn’t nothing, I clearly heard you.” I said.
I can’t believe sister decided to stick her nose in my business again.
“Jeesus! My sister doesn’t care for anyone does she!? I ask her to do a simple thing and she can’t even do that!” I growled.
“Hey! Don’t be like that! Your sister was just trying to help me out, because I couldn’t-” Her voice trailed off, but she kept an angry glare on me. Ah, the old Salandra had come out, you know the one before she decided to apologize for slapping me, and then decided she wanted to be friends with me.
Wait…does that mean Niki’s been pushing Salandra to be my friend since I caught her the first time? SERIOUSLY NIKI.
“Oh, I’m sure my sister had the absolute best intentions in trying to force you to be friends with me.” I said, shaking my head.
“But I really do want to be friends.” Salandra mumbled.
“It’s okay, I get it, my sister can be quite the manipulator sometimes.” I said with a frustrated sigh.
“Does this mean I can’t come see your basement?” She asked. Her glare had now been replaced by a pair of puppy eyes.
“Exactly.” I replied. Not wanting to look at her defeated appearance any longer, I headed off home.
Wow she didn’t need to look so sad.
I was doing her a favor.
This explains her weird behavior so much now.
This time I’ll make sure Niki gets the message.
But of course, first things first, opening that basement.
I made my way around house, peeked inside the windows to make sure my pa was in his study writing, and then made my way back to the front door. I opened it as quietly as I could, waited to hear of any sign of life, before I sneaked into the bathroom and down the trap door.
Excitement rippled through my veins as I pulled out the silver key and slipped it inside the keyhole.
The key is too small.
That simple realization made my gut sink…that is until I saw the key start to grow and change shape right in front of me.
Now the key fit just right.
Holding my breath, I turned the key until I heard and felt a click. And then with a groan, the door let itself be pushed open.
That low growling.
The opening of the door brought a foul smell to my nose, I blinked a few times as my eyes watered from the strength of it.
Hot stinky air suddenly flew to my face like a breath, and when I finally saw what was inside, what was facing me, I realized that that actually had been a breath.
My limbs froze and my eyes stared up at this huge thing as it breathed its nasty breath on me.
What was before me, what had been hiding behind that door all this time, what had fed my imagination with those ungodly noises…
Was nothing else than a monster.
A horrible terrifying monster with a mouth large enough to swallow me whole.
One chapter left y’all