Alyssa was my guardian angel, I couldn’t think of how I could repay her. A warmth spread through my weightless limbs as I slid off the navy blue cotton dress which was the mandatory outfit for female patients. For the first time in thirteen years I was wearing normal clothes though they were just a pair of jeans, a plain purple shirt and black dolly shoes, it was still better than the dress and white slippers.
“Ready to see the outside world?” Alyssa linked her arm with mine as she began leading me towards the exit. My knees began to shake as we drew closer to the wooden doors.
Green trees blew in the cool wind which whipped my hair across my face as I drew in a breath and caught a smell in the air which made my stomach call out for food, the smell was familiar but I couldn’t remember what it was but I wanted to find out.
“What is that smell?” I couldn’t help drinking in as much of the sights around me while Alyssa led me to a black car where a man waited hold the back door open.
“I know you have already eaten before I arrived, but I thought getting you something delicious to eat and drink on the journey home might be a good idea, besides I don’t know what the food portion sizes are or what type of food they give you in there but it must be quite horrendous” Alyssa slid into the backseat of the car, pulling me in beside her. In front of us was another set of seats which were facing our direction and on them was a big square box with a pizza on it, I knew I smelled that scent before; next to it was several cans of Dr Pepper. Alyssa gestured for me to start eating as the driver began driving us away from my old prison. On the pizza was pepperoni, chicken, bell peppers and ham, which was my favourite toppings as a child. They was still my first choice toppings.
We drove in silence as I ate the six slice pizza, watching the trees, buildings and people pass by in a blur with fascination.
“Alexi, there’s somethings you need to know about Starwood… things that are the reason our town remains ‘hidden’, as you would put it” Alyssa picked up a over the shoulder handbag which I hadn’t noticed was by her feet. She put it between us as I finished the last bite of pizza. “There is more to the world than what everyone thinks.”
“What are you talking about?” I didn’t like where this conversation was going. What could she possibly be talking about? A cult?
“You may not believe this, not until you see it for yourself, but there are myths and legends that have truth behind them.”
“What like supernatural beings? Vampires? Werewolves?” I snatched one of the cans from the seat in front of me and opened it with cold fingers.
Alyssa watched me take several mouthfuls of my drink before answering. “Yes, though they aren’t the most powerful beings there is” whenever Alyssa spoke she either spoke in a formal manner or an informal manner, switching between either way. “We have a system in Starwood, which has allowed us to build a safe haven for our kinds, though there are some glitches which we have our general disciplinary system for” she paused a moment to let the information sink in. “The town is split into districts or territories, which are run by either by us angels or those barbaric demons. I am leader of the angels and their territories, also known as the angel founder” Alyssa seemed to dislike the demons but wasn’t that how their relationships were in the bible?
“So angels and demons are on top of the hierarchy?” I guessed listening to Alyssa for now was the only choice I had.
“Correct, though we do have a council made up of leaders of each species who bring their problems and ideas to me and the demon founder, his name is Victor Mazer, to rule a final decision on” Alyssa rolled down her window slightly, the fresh air blasting in began blowing her golden curls around her head. “There is a power hierarchy or food chain in Starwood though harming other residents instead of going to your species designated food supplier is a felony the penalty ranged between severe torture or imprisonment to death depending on your species and if the victim is dead or how badly injured they are” my body shook with a sudden chill. “Angels and demons like to collect souls though there is a specific system for them to do this, which I will not explain as it is very complex, then there is the vampires who get supplied with blood from their blood bank, they can’t drink angel or demon blood as it is poisonous to them so we use it as weapons for punishment for them” Alyssa seemed completely in her element.
“So the humans living in the town have to give blood to feed the vampire population? Is there enough population ratio for that?” my curiosity was sparked and burning righter by the minute.
“We also get shipments of blood from all over the world, vampires can be picky about the type of blood they ingest whether it is from a certain nationality or gender.”
“Fussy eaters then.”
“Exactly, then there is the shapeshifters, there are many different kinds to list so we class them together and they can change whenever they want but have to change on the full moon, so when they do change or want to go hunting as a pack or on their own they have to go into the woods which is patrolled on the full moon by specially trained security.”
“To stop anyone from going in and getting mauled when there is a hunt going on” I wonder if when in human form the shapeshifters have flea or tick problems.
“Correct, Alexi you are getting the hang of this” Alyssa had a strange look in her eyes, I couldn’t tell what it was but from the small smile on her lips I guessed it was a good look. “There are also fae or fairy but they are very private and only reveal what they are to certain individuals, though they have to announce themselves and their species to us on the council. Some fairies do prey on humans and the rest prey on other things. Finally there are the humans, witches and wizards” I hadn’t noticed before but Alyssa’s skin had a slight glow to it which seemed to brighten a little. “Humans, witches and wizards are the same thing except the ability to use magic, you already know everything about that.”
“Ok, so anything else you need to explain to me?” I pretty much had the hierarchy mapped out in my head, I had a very good mind for stuff like that.
“There is plenty to explain but we are almost back in Starwood and I must prepare you before taking you to your new home.” I didn’t notice we had travelled so far in a short amount of time. “Three and a half hours though explaining stuff to you has made it seem shorter” Alyssa said as if reading my mind. “Here, this bag has your new mobile phone, purse with some money, your ID’s, bank card and details, keys to your new home and keys to your new job as well.”
“What job do I have?” I couldn’t stop the smile that spread across my face as I reached into the bag and pulled out my mobile phone. Alyssa had gotten me an Iphone 6 whatever that was.
“I have made you the manager of a bookstore, you will work during the opening hours which are with the rest of the information pack in your bag and will clean the store, organise books which have been returned from being borrowed or new stock which has been delivered and run the till. Part of your duties will be sorting through the old archives which are boxed away in the basement and catalogue them for me” Alyssa explained my role and told me about my co-worker, a girl named Jess who refused to look through the archives incase bugs or dirt got on her. “You will be living with four other people who are all around your age. There’s Dane Nichols who is a chef at one of the big restaurants in town, his girlfriend Steffi Briggs who is a teacher at the local primary school, Eric Dunne who works as a bartender and then there’s Andre Harwell one of the best hairdressers in town. They are expecting you and I have already had everything you would need brought and sent there.”
I couldn’t sit still as a lightness spread through my chest. I was looking forward to meeting my new housemates. I still had so many questions that need answers from Alyssa and a longer drive would have provided those answers but I still felt as if we couldn’t arrive at the house soon enough.