The next morning Emily got up early to get ready to say goodbye to Hannah. She decided that she would go to the mall afterwards so she grabbed her bright green handbag and ran out of the front door saying bye to her parents as she did so. Emily grabbed her bike and cycled down the street to Hannah’s which was only a few houses away.
Emily spotted Hannah packing the car with her parents outside there house. “Hannah,” Emily called out as she parked her bike and jumped off. She ran over to Hannah and gave her a big hug.
“I’m glad you came,” Hannah said as she wiped away a tear.
“Hey, now you are not allowed to cry,” Emily said. “We will see each other during breaks.”
Hannah laughed and shook her head to clear it. “Sorry. Yeah, your right.”
Her Father came out carrying a suitcase. “Are you all packed Hannah? Hey, Emily.”
Emily smiled. “Hello, Mr. Grieves.”
Hannah nodded. “Yeah, Dad everything’s packed.”
“Good. Then say your goodbyes and we can get going. I don’t want you to miss the plane.”
Mr. Grieves opened the driver side door and climbed in. Hannah rolled her eyes before turning back to Emily. “I’ll see you soon.” She said as she gave Emily one last hug before climbing into the passenger seat. Emily watched as the car pulled away from the house and drove down the street. She watched the road after the car had disappeared. Emily turned to her bike and rode off towards the mall.
Emily arrived outside the large, popular mall and parked her bike outside careful to padlock it so it wouldn’t get stolen by someone behind her back. Emily could see people her own age walking in and out with their friends holding shopping bags. She was about to walk in when Emily heard an unusual rustling sound coming from the dark tunnel parking near the mall. Emily ignored it and was about to walk into the mall when she heard her name being called from the tunnel. “Emily.”
Emily frowned and shook her head. ‘Did someone call my name just now?’ she looked towards the tunnel. ‘No, it must be my imagination.’
She turned away from the tunnel.
“Emily.” The voice called again. “Come to me.”
Emily turned back to the tunnel. ‘There it is again. It sounds like the voice is inside of me.’ She shook her head as it became fuzzy and dark. ‘What’s happening to me?’
‘I am inside your head. Come to me. Listen to my voice now. Do not be afraid. I will not hurt you. Trust in me. Walk towards me.’
All thought vanished from Emily as she thoughtlessly made her way to the underground lot. Emily did not remember why she wanted to go in there but she didn’t care. She was not in control of her body and mind at the moment but Emily didn’t mind.
‘That’s right. Do not think about it. You don’t need to think right now. Do not run away. This is your fate.’
Emily walked into the tunnel and looked around for what she had come here for. There were no cars parked in the large gloomy, dark space. She could feel someone watching her from the shadows.
“Hello?” Emily called out making her voice echo against the wall. “Who’s there?”
A sinister laugh echoed around Emily sending a chill up her spine. “We have you right where we want you.” A croaky voice said laughing.
“Yes.” Another voice said. “We have been waiting for this moment.”
“We should kill her now while she doesn’t know anything.” Another said.
'Kill me?!’ Emily thought as she looked around for the source of the voices.
“Who are you? Show yourselves.”
“She wants us to show her our faces.” Voice #1 said. “I suppose that we could show her who is going to kill her and her traitorous parents.”
Emily gasped. “You leave my parents alone.”
The voices cackled. “You shouldn’t be concerned about their wellbeing right now. You should be more worried about the danger you are now in.”
“Where….where are you?” Emily asked gulping.
Emily slowly turned and almost screamed at the terrifying thing standing behind her. Emily’s eyes widened at seeing the startling gigantic creature standing behind her. He was at least 3 feet taller than her than her five foot 3 inch frame. It’s skin was grey and clammy and it had tiny horn like thorns sticking out from its skin, it had terrifying yellow eyes and a flat bald head.
It smiled at Emily showing her it’s yellow, rotting teeth. Emily’s heart almost stopped when she gazed up at the terrifying beast.
Emily took a step away from the terrifying beast. “What are you?”
“You don’t need to know what we are Changeling.” An ugly voice said behind her. “You won’t be around long enough anyway.”
Emily turned to see 3 of the same creatures standing behind her. “Changeling?” she shook her head as her body shook in fright. “I-I’m not this Changeling person. You got the wrong girl. I’m not who you think I am.”
One of the monsters gave her a nasty grin and shook it’s head. “No, you are the one that we are searching for. We are here to kill you before you find your true potential.”
Emily shook her head. “No. You can’t.”
One of the monster’s rolled his eyes. “Enough. Kill her and get this over with.”
The monster standing behind her moved to Emily’s side and grabbed her by the neck lifting her high into the air. Emily fought to get him off her. He tightened his grip on her neck blocking any air from entering her lungs. Emily gasped for breath under the monster’s hold and tried to unlock his strong grip with her hands while her legs kicked the empty space beneath her. Her eyes widened as dark spots appeared in her vision as she struggled.
‘This is it.’ she thought weakly. ‘This is how I’m going to die.’
She looked at the monster as he chuckled. “It will all be over soon Changeling.” The monster said tightening his grip further.
‘Mum, Dad, Hannah.’ She thought as her eyes started to roll to the back of her head.
Suddenly the creature screamed in pain and turned to dust before Emily. Emily fell to the ground landing on her knees as the creature vanished.
She gasped deeply for air as her lungs slowly started working again. ‘I-I’m alive?’ she thought as she looked at the pile of ash next to her.
“Who did that?” the creatures asked looking around.
“That was a warning shot.” A new voice said around them. “Next time you all die.”
The monsters turned towards the entrance and let out a strangled cry. “Not him.” One of the monsters cried out.
"He is here for the girl as well.” Another said.
Emily looked to the entrance and saw a lone man standing there. She couldn’t see his face as it was dressed in shadows. “Kill her! Kill her before he can do anything to save her.” One of the monsters yelled as he ran over to her.
The man raised his hand to the monster that was running over to Emily. In a blink of an eye, the monster exploded right in front of Emily.
The man slowly made his way over to Emily and bent down next to her. “Are you alright? I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you sooner.”
Emily looked up at him and gasped in surprise. The man that was kneeling next to her was the same man that she saw in the restaurant the other day.
“It’s you. I’ve seen you before.”
The man nodded. “Yes.”
Emily looked him over and widened her eyes when she saw that his skin was glowing white and had flecks of black dots scattered around. “Who are you?”
The man shook his head as he stood pulling Emily up with him as he did so. “There is no time for that. Just for now call me J. You need to leave here and go home. Find your parents and get out. Do you understand?”
One of the monsters chuckled. “Do you really believe that we will let the girl escape? We can get inside her head with ease and control her.”
“It was them?” Emily gasped out. “They made me walk in here? They were inside my mind.”
“Emily get out while I fight them off,” J said as he faced the monsters.
The monsters laughed. “You might be powerful but you’re outnumbered.”
J smiled. “Never underestimate me.” He turned slightly. “Emily go! Now!”
Emily nodded as she ran out of the lot without looking back at the scene behind her. Emily heard them fighting but resisted looking behind her to look. She ran to her bike and quickly unchained it with shaking fingers. Emily climbed on and rode away from the mall.