Papa embraces me tightly. I’m going to miss him. The smell of cinnamon and coffee on his coat, his white beard and jolly cheeks.
“I’ll see you in nine months. I love you, Beth.”
“I love you, too papa.” I look up at him with a few tears on my cheeks. He wipes them.
“It’s okay, my little princess. You can call me whenever you feel lonely. Okay, princess?” I nod.
“Okay.” I turn to the open door of the taxi and duck into the seat. “Wellspring Collage.” The taxi driver lifts an eyebrow. I lift up the letter I got from the collage a month ago. They nod. I watch from the back window as Papa waves at me as the Taxi starts and drives away. I watch as he fades into the fog. I turn forward and mess with my necklace, chewing on my lip. This was it. This was actually happening. I’m going to Wellspring Collage.
I pay the diver plus a tip. I get my bag out of the trunk and stare at the open field. The drivers eyes can be felt like a snake. Slithering up and down. I try not to shiver.
“You know how to get in, right?”
“Yes. I know how to get in.” I look for the two trees connected by one branch. This better work. If it doesn’t, I’ll look like a complete idiot. The taxi drives away and I stare at the two trees. I take a deep breath. I reach between them and feel something hard. My hand moves around for a second before I find the door knob. I twist it slowly and open the door. The inside of a large room was suddenly visible. The ceiling was stories high, detailed wooden railing spiraling all the way up. Rooms and small bookshelves spun with it. Walking in, the door shuts behind me. Hundreds of teens talk to each other. Lines to the front desk were growing longer as more students come through different doors with different places written on them. I hurry into a line. I see a group of boys and girls. When they laugh I see their fangs. Papa told me that short fangs with silver on the tips are werewolves. Long normal fangs are Vampires. Not seeing any silver on them, it’s the vampire group. I continue to look around. There were a lot of teens here. Some different colors. A few blue, some slightly red. It amazes me how so many different styles and looks can be in one room. Something drops from above me. I look at the ceiling. Pixies and Dragonborns hang from the chandeliers, one of which was scratching her head like a dog, scales falling. It looked like confetti was falling with all the different colors.
“B6!” A lady yelled. I look at my letter. Room: B7. Close. I look around again. I feel eyes on me. I didn’t want to look. But still, I look from the corner of my eye. Some boys and a few girls were staring at me. I pretend not to notice. I’ve delt with enough drama over the summer.
“B7!” I break out of my daze and hurry to the front. The lady looks at me from her clipboard.
“Ah, yes. Miss Beth. And... where is she?”
“Who?” Wind suddenly blows on me. I turn and there was the dragon born. The one that was scratching her head. Her wings shrink and fold into her shirt.
“I’m here! I’m here!” She said a bit out of breath.
“You better work on that. Being tardy is not going to have an easy punishment. Okay?” The dragon born girl nods quickly. “Here are your keys to your room. From now on you two will be roommates. Treat each other nicely.” She says as if we were in middle school.
“Yes, ma’am.” I answered. I pick up my key and the girl does too. I walk up the stairs as she flies right up to it. Second floor, seventh room. I know. I can shift into a hummingbird, but I don’t like shifting in front of people. It makes me nervous that I’ll mess it up and be a hummingbird with a cat face or something like that. I walk up to the already open door and walk in. I put my key in my pocket. The girl sits on the top bunk, unpacking. She sees me and smiles. She jumps down effortlessly.
“Hey! I’m so sorry I didn’t introduce myself earlier. I’m Tasha.” She lends me her hand.
“I’m Beth.” I shake her hand. “So, you’re a Dragonborn?” She nods.
“In the flesh. And you are..?”
“Oh! I’m a shapeshifter.” She suddenly looks excited.
“So you like can change into whatever you want?” I shrug.
“Anything that has a heart beat. Why are you so excited?”
“Why am I so excited? Oh, Beth you don’t even know the half of it!” Well, no considering that I just met you. “I’ve always wanted to meet a shapshifter! And now.. well here you are!” She embraced me suddenly. She pulls away quickly. “I’m sorry. We don’t really have personal space in my family. Someone is always trying to attack the others.” She looks down at my bag. “Do you need help unpacking?”
“What? Oh! No I don’t. Thanks though. I don’t have very many belongings packed.” She nods.
“Okay. You can have the bottom or top bunk. Just a fair warning, I kinda have nightmares if I’m not sleeping in a high place.”
“Okay. I’d rather sleep on the bottom bunk that let you have nightmares.” I smile. She smiles back.
“Okay. So, I’ll get back to unpacking.” I pick up my bag.
“Sounds good!” I take it to my bed and start to unpack it.
I look at my schedule. “Where is it again?”
“Oh! Gardening and herbs? I have that one too! It should be just down here. Follow me!” She starts to run to the classroom. I run after her. I feel eyes on me again. The snake runs up my body again. I shiver as I run.
“Hey, beautiful.” Hands grab my waist, making me stumble.
“Let go of me.” I say sternly. He better not think this hasn’t happened to me before.
“Oh, why should I, Love?” His breath is on my neck. I turn and slap him. Sudden panic fills me. This man was huge. He looks at me baring his teeth. Silver at the ends. Crap. “Oh, you shouldn’t have done that, love.” He growls. A girl stands next to him, smiling slyly. Silver is on her teeth. The one that hit on me flicks his wrist and his claws break through his nails. I start to back up slowly as he comes closer. I bump into something. Two more large men were behind me. Oh great. My first day of school, and I’m stuck in the middle of a pack of werewolves. “Come on, Love.” The two behind me grab my arms. I try to break away, but they hold me tighter, my arms throbbing. “Oh..” he clicks his toung a few times and walks up to me, leaning down to my height, “there’s no use, love. This is simple. You stand there and be my toy. Then maybe, we’ll let you go.”
“Let me go now! I want nothing to do with a dog like you!” I spit in his face. He looked shocked for a minute before wiping it off his cheek. He growls from in his chest.
“Now your gonna get it-,”
“Hey!” We both turn to a boy with a hood. He was rather tall, his pants ripped, his jacket a bit big on him. He walks between me and the werewolf gang. “Let her go, Flynn.”
“What will you do if I don’t? Call your daddy?” He laughs. He pulls something out of his sleeve. With a flick of his wrist, he had a scythe and swung it inches from his throat.
“Let me say that again. I said. Let. Her. Go.” I blink. What the heck just happened? Who is this guy? I suddenly get a small whiff of him. He had the smell of spice and sweat from behind. The werewolf named Finn looks at the two that held my arms. I pull my arms away and they let me go. Finn holds up his hands in surrender. The boy lowers his scythe. “Now leave.” He glares at him for a second then glares at me before nodding away from me, and his gang left with him. I watch as he turns around and looks at me. “What’s your next class?” I gape at him. That’s it? Do I thank him? Do I yell? He waves a hand in front of my face. “Hello?”
“What? Oh! I... um... my next class is Gardening and Herbs.” His scythe disappears.
“Follow me.” I watch as he starts to walk. People stare at me again. I hurry to catch up and try to stay non-weirdly close to stay safe.
Well, this couldn’t get any worse can it?