Chapter 1: What the hell
“Lilly! Are you ready? We have to go see mom before I go to work.” I yelled from my bathroom, while I’m brushing my long black raven hair. I add a small amount of mascara to make my ocean blue eyes pop.
“Yes sissy. I’m coming!” Lilly screams running into our bathroom. She is like a spitting image of me. We both have black hair, but while I have ocean blue eyes, she has emerald green eyes.
I am 5‘6”, and 18 and Lilly is about 4‘2”, and 6. I know, we come from a very short family.
“Okay come on.”
We walk outside and get into my mom’s old ford pickup and head off to the hospital.
My mom has been in the hospital for about a month and a half now. She has kidney failure in both kidneys and is now on life support. She got put on life support about 3 days ago. And because we are poor, we can’t afford the surgery that she desperately needs. She told us that she should just be taken off life support but I couldn’t let her do that. She and Lilly are all that I have left. Our dad left us a couple months before Lilly was born. We don’t know why, but he was always a shallow person and probably left with some girl.
We arrived at the hospital and went up to the counter. “Hello Avery and Lilly. How are you girls?” Missy asked us. We have gotten to know each other because of how much time I spend here.
“We are good. Thankyou for asking.” I smiled before walking past her to see my mom.
We came across her room and I knocked before entering. “Hi girls.” My mom smiled and made room for both of us to climb into her bed.
“Hi mom.” I said weakly.
“Oh Avery.” She soothed rubbing my back.
“It’s okay sissy.” Lilly smiled at me before hugging me.
“Avery. You’re going to have to let me go soon. The bills will get to big.” My mom tried to reason with me.
“No.” I told her sternly. “Lilly and I need you. I’m not letting you go. I will pay off these bills and I will pay for that surgery you need.”
“Honey. It’s time.”
“No!” I cried and laid my head on her shoulder. “It’s not even close to that time. It will never be close to that time.” I cried harder.
“Don’t cry Avery.” Lilly cooed rubbing my arm and looking at me with her little emerald eyes.
I wiped my tears and nodded. “You’re right. I shouldn’t be crying. Because mommy will get all better and she will not be going anywhere.” I said determined and Lilly looked up at me proudly. “Right mommy?” I asked. I’m guessing she caught on to what I was getting at.
“Yes dear.” She smiled at me and pulled me in for another hung.
We’ve been sitting here for about an hour and I have to leave to go to work. “I got to go mom. I love you.”
“Love you too. Love you Lilly.” My mom said pulling my sister in for a hug.
“Love you too mommy.” Lilly held on for about a minute before walking out the door with me.
“Hello Avery.” Mrs. Odell pulled me in for a hug. “How’s the diner?”
I have to work 2 jobs to keep up with some of the bills. But Mrs. Odell helps me pay them. Even though I told her not too, she says she wants too and she will not take no for an answer. She’s a very good friend of my mothers. Mrs. Odell is my boss here at the library and I also work at Earl’s diner on Main Street.
“I’m good Mrs. Odell. Thankyou.” I replied hugging her back.
“Sweetie. I told you to call me Susie. Mrs. Odell sounds too old and that’s my mother-in-law’s name.”
She nodded in approval. “Lilly, we got new books for you.” She said pointing at one of the shelves.
“Thankyou.” She whispered and skipped over there.
“So what am I doing today Susie?” I asked turning towards her.
“Just organize these books right here.” She replied patting the books on the cart.
“Okay.” I smile and take the cart looking at the authors name to find out where it goes.
About 5 minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Hi um excuse me miss.” I turn around and see a black haired boy with bright chocolate brown eyes. He’s not bad looking, he actually looks rather hot.
“Yes sir. How can I help you?” I asked him snapping out of it.
“I’m David. I was wondering if you could help me find a book.”
“Sure. My name is Avery.”
“Nice to meet you.” He stuck out his hand for me to shake.
“You too.” I said shaking his hand. “Do you want like an anime book, action, adventure?”
“It’s not for me. It’s for my friend’s little sister. She finished reading her book, and she wants a new one.” He chuckled.
I laughed. I know how she feels. I rent out books from here all the time. If I could live in a library, I would. And a Starbucks built into it.
“Sure thing.” I smiled leading the way. “What is she into?”
“Umm…she loves fairies, princesses, adventures, and anything else girly.” He laughed.
I smiled and walked over to a perfect book for her. “Here you go. It has a fairy princess that gets captured and her prince has to save her.” I explained handing him the book.
“Thanks.” He replied taking it.
“Of course. Come on, I’ll check it out for you.”
We walked over to the counter and I check it out for him. “Oh, here’s the book she had from before.”
I gave him a thankful smile and he waved before walking out. I looked down at the book and saw it was about a werewolf princess. What little girl reads about werewolves? Well, it does have princesses in it. I smiled and put it in the box and continued putting away the books that were on the cart.
“Avery?” Susie called out to me.
“Yes?” I asked putting the cart back where it’s suppose to go.
“There is a really bad storm heading this way. You and Lilly should probably leave before it hits us.”
“Are you sure?” I asked looking at my watch. “My shift isn’t over yet.”
“I don’t care. I care more about your safety. I’ll pay you full for today.”
“No Avery.” She says sternly. “It’s a really bad storm. You and Lilly need to go home and be safe.”
I groaned but nodded knowing I won’t win this. “Okay. Be safe then.”
I walked around and looked for Lilly. “Avery. I found a book.” She smiled holding it up for me.
I looked at it, and of course, it had fairies. I shook my head smiling, and thought about how Lilly and that little girl would be perfect friends.
“You can get it. But Susie said we have to go. A really bad storm is heading this way.” She smiled and nodded.
After we checked out the book, we hopped in the truck and right as I started it, a crack of thunder sounded and the sky lit up with lightening.
“Damn it.” I cussed turning on the windshield wipers.
“Language!” Lilly scowled at me.
“Sorry.” I mumbled sticking my tongue out at her. She always hated hearing me cuss and I tried not to do it when she is around.
I put the car into drive and headed home. The ride home usually takes about 30 minutes because we live out in the country. Which is far away from town and we are surrounded by trees.
“Lilly, would you quit messing with the radio.” I laughed. “We are almost home.”
She stuck her tongue out at me and I turned to look at her laughing. “Avery!” She screamed and pointed to the road.
I turned to the road and slammed on the brakes dodging whatever was lying in the middle of the road. We slipped because of the wet pavement and landed in the ditch. “Lilly!” I screamed and unbuckled myself and her. “Are you okay? Oh my gosh. Please be okay.” I said crying.
“Avery? Why are you crying? I’m fine.” She said wiping my tears.
I pulled her into my lap and breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank God.”
“What was that back there?” She asked.
“I don’t know. But let’s get home. The rain is getting heavier.” I said. I was about to put the truck into reverse when Lilly stopped me.
“What if it was an animal?”
“Don’t Lilly me. Let’s go check it out, it could be hurt.”
“You know for a 6 year old, you’re pretty smart.” I laughed. “Fine, but put your hood up.” She nodded eagerly and jumped out of the truck.
We walked back to where the lump was and the light from the moon and lightning helped a little for us so we could see.
We got up to where it was at and I gasped in shock at what I was seeing. It was a…fox. “What the hell?” I whispered so Lilly wouldn’t hear.
“Avery. We have to take it home and help it.” Lilly cried.
I groaned but nodded. “Okay.” I took off my hoodie and picked up the fox, well more like dragged it and walked back to the truck.
“Hold him…or her.” I said placing the fox on Lilly’s lap. It was big, so it was mostly on the floor.
The entire ride there, she was stroking its fur and talking to it.
When we arrived at the house, we jumped out and ran inside and placed the fox in a basket. “Lilly, go get some old blankets and a couple of towels. And probably some shampoo too.” I said. The fox, it didn’t smell so good.
She nodded and I looked at the fox. It was better to see it because of the light. It was huge! I don’t know how I managed to carry it, but I always was dragging it sometimes too. But what really got me, was it’s eyes. The eyes were a glowing amber red color, and the fur was a shiny bright red. The fox’s stomach was white along with its paws, the tip of its tail, and its muzzle. “You’re gonna be okay.” I said as I petted it’s head.
The fox looked at me, and I swear it smiled. “Here you are Avery!” Lilly yelled and handed me everything.
“Sweet. Thankyou.” I took the fox into the bathroom and had Lilly carry the shampoo and towels. I cleaned the fox’s fur and dried it off before bringing it back into the kitchen. “I think we are gonna need something bigger.” I pointed to the fox in the basket. The fox’s head was hanging out, and so were its feet and and tail.
“I have a box in my room.” Lilly suggested before running upstairs.
She came back down a few minutes later and I smiled a thank you and took the everything into our room and set the fox down in the box. “There you are little guy.” Lilly said. It growled softly at us. “Are you a girl?”
It nodded. Wait…how did it nod? “How did you just nod and how did you understand us?” I asked myself confused.
“Thank you.” I heard a soft voice. I jumped and so did Lilly.
“Avery? Did you hear that?” She asked clutching my leg.
“Ya I heard that.” I replied holding onto her.
“It’s okay. I’m not gonna hurt you.” The voice said again. I looked at the fox and saw she was getting up. “Yes. It’s me the fox speaking.”
“H-how?” I asked putting Lilly behind me.
“I’m a fox spirit. The name’s Red.”
“I’m Avery. And this here is Lilly.” I replied cautiously.
“Nice to meet you guys. I would like to thank the both you for taking care of me. I now know who to go too.”
“What do you mean? And it was no big deal.”
“Like I said, I’m a spirit. I traveled trying to find a soul kind enough to take care of an injured and sick fox. So far I haven’t found anyone. The people would either pass me or try to shoot me because of my fur.”
“Ya. It was pretty brutal.” She or..Red laughed. “Thank you for letting me finally end my search.”
“Uh you’re welcome?” I asked unsure.
“It’s a good thing. Now what is about to happen, you can’t tell anyone.” Red turned to Lilly. “That means you too Lilly. Absolutely no one can know about this okay?” She asked us as we nodded in understanding. “Okay. Now Avery, with this, you will have heightened senses. More strength, better sense of smell, touch, and sight. Also better hand-eye coordination and balance. You’ll be more flexible and toe agility with increase greatly like speed.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked confused as too why she was telling me this.
“If you need any help, I will be right there with you. But just because I will be inside of you, we can talk and I can feel your feelings just like you will be able to feel mine.” What?
“And you will also be able to shift into a fox.”
“Red, you’re scaring me.”
“Don’t be.” She soothed. “Just relax, it’s a gift.” That’s all she said before she started to glow.
“Holy. Shit.” I whispered. I watched her start to glow brighter and the next thing I know, the glow got smaller and drifted towards me. It went through my chest and I collapsed on the floor and the darkness came over…