Today meant that summer was officially over. The beating sun would be traded for cloudy showers soon, but not at least for a few weeks. Leaves would no longer become brilliant emeralds, glistening under solar rays, and no more children playing in the street. Eurich didn’t mind the latter so much, but the rest of it, he’d miss—not that he was home to miss it.
He counted down the seconds until the sun peered over the horizon, then squinted as the light beamed through the blinds. He covered his face and sighed, moving from the window to the edge of his messy bed. This was the first sunrise of a new school year, the final school year—senior year. He couldn’t wait to be rid of his high school status. Just one more year.
He silenced the alarm the moment it rang by knocking it to the ground with a pillow, then sighed once more as he went to pick it up.
“Eurich, you up yet? Don’t want to be late on your first day of school!” His foster mother yelled from downstairs.
“I’m up!” He countered, slithering to the dresser next to his computer desk. A silver photo frame tumbled down as he manhandled the drawer open. He smiled upon viewing the picture.
It really has been twelve years today.
“Eurich!” His mother yelled again. “I don’t hear you moving up there!”
“I’m exiting my room as we speak.” He closed the drawer and shuffled down the hallway, yawning the entire way to the bathroom.
He was rejuvenated as the sultry waters hazed from the showerhead onto his auburn hair. Eurich huffed as he stood under the rinse and anguished at the thought of quizzes and tests ruling his life once again. After he turned off the steamy shower, he reached for a towel and quickly made his way back to the room.
He pulled back the blinds, then shirked away from the light, stumbling over clothes he was supposed to put away the night before.
I could have sworn I washed clothes…
The shirt he picked up was thick with grass stains and smelled of lingering summer rain. He went back to jostle his malfunctioning drawer and pulled out a blue t-shirt, along with a dark pair of jeans. He slid right into them. After taking a comb to his still dampened hair, he put on a pair of sneakers and flung his backpack over his shoulder. He placed the lanyard with his school I.D. over his neck and with a final glance to the photo he set atop his dresser, he left.
Eurich’s nostrils were invaded by a scent he’d grown accustomed to. Every morning during the school year, the aroma of eggs and bacon filled the air. Sometimes, it was French toast.
There, in the den, was Albert engaging in his usual morning ritual. His thick frames were always in a newspaper. The mahogany rocking chair he sat in was a new addition.
“Eurich!” Albert moved his glasses to the top of his head and set the paper down, smiling gingerly. “You’re up finally. Serra wanted me to go up there with a broom stick.”
“Ha!” Eurich cackled and scratched his head. “Very glad you decided against it…”
“So, Mr. Senior, how do you feel?” Albert asked.
“Like I’m about to start school again.”
Albert raised an eyebrow and put his glasses back on before burying his nose into the newspaper again.
“Albert, honey. Your coffee is almost ready,” Serra said from behind the kitchen counter.
“Thank you, Serra.”
“So, Eurich,” Albert continued. “Going to do anything new this year? Still planning on naming that prank after yourself?”
“Funny,” Eurich said. “You can’t hold that against me still!”
Albert chuckled, then rocked backwards in his chair.
“Well, then,” he said. “I’m glad you decided against it, too.”
“I’m almost eighteen. No time for stuff like that anymore.”
“Oh, right. You’re becoming a man. You have better things to do now.”
“I just wanna see Raine and Jason again. I feel good about today,” said Eurich.
“Raine, huh?” Albert raised his grey eyebrows once more and set his paper aside.
“I said Jason, too...” He twiddled his fingers, then sat down across from his foster father.
“If you say so,” Albert said, burying his face in the paper once more. “Just keep staying out of trouble.”
“You know me,” Eurich said, then slid his bag off his shoulders.
“Well, I second that,” Serra said as she walked out of the kitchen with plates. The bacon was cooked to a lovely crisp. There were chives on the eggs and the toast was that right shade of brown. “No more running down the hallways pretending to be a comic hero.” She walked back into the kitchen and returned with coffee in a mug with the phrase World’s First Warrior for Albert.
“Could you please let me live that stuff down?” Eurich shook his head and shrugged.
“I’m just saying I don’t want any phone calls,” she said.
“I promise. No phone calls,” he said leaning back on the chair’s hind legs. He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and turned the screen on. “Oh man!” He exclaimed, upon looking at the time. “I have to go!”
“Not before you finish breakfast,” Serra said.
“No time.” Eurich stood up and threw his backpack over his shoulder.
“There’s time,” Albert allowed. “Sit.” He wiped the coffee from his whiskers.
“Okay.” The remnants of the eggs were on one side of the plate with just a few crumbles of bacon. He grabbed the plate as he stood up and ate on the way to the kitchen sink.
“Done!” Eurich said with a mouthful. “Gotta go.” He flew toward the front door.
“Wait, your stone!” She sighed. “I swear you’re like the Bermuda Triangle.”
Eurich patted his jeans down and reached into the pockets of his hoodie.
“I have it,” Serra said when she met Eurich at the front door. “It slipped out while I was doing some of your clothes last night.”
“I don’t mean to keep forgetting it.” Eurich said.
“I know. So, I took the liberty and made it into a necklace for you.” Serra smiled as she draped it around his neck. “Now you’ll never lose it again!”
“Thanks, Mom,” He kissed her on the cheek, then held it in his palm. The stone was brilliant onyx and was cut like pristine quartz. It was aged, with jagged edges, and now rested inside a sterling silver, dragon-clawed frame. An amethyst smoke remained trapped in its midst.
“This stone has a legacy,” Serra said.
“I know...” Eurich rolled his eyes. “I promise I’ll keep a better eye on it.”
“You said that last time,” Albert added.
“Double teamed...” Eurich huffed, handling the knob at his backside. “I swear on my promise, okay?”
“Have a good day, son.” Albert said.
“Thanks dad. I love you, mom.”
“We love you too,” Serra said. “Now shoo before we have to take you to school.”
“Roger that.” Eurich opened the door and stepped out into the open blue. The sun was still rising. “And...” Eurich continued. “Happy Twelve!” He smiled as the glow on his mother’s face returned. She hadn’t smiled that wide since he wished her Happy Eleven.
“Thank you, son,” said Albert with a hefty grin. Now, go see Jason—I mean Raine.” He chuckled.
Eurich stretched as the brisk morning air annexed his nostrils. Leaves fell from their branches and crunched under his feet as he flew to the bus stop. He turned the corner, only to be knocked to the ground by a stiff blockade.
“Ouch...” Eurich covered his elbow with his hand as sharp pain throbbed through his arm. The fabric ripped and blood trickled down his fingers.
It felt like I hit a wall...
A man with a peculiar, black cloak stood above Eurich, extending his frail and veined hands.
“My apologies, young man,” he said with a crackling, deep voice. “I didn’t look where I was headed.”
“Nah, it was my fault for going too fast…I didn’t see you.” Eurich wondered where the man came from. He’d never seen anyone dressed that way in the neighborhood unless it was Halloween. The man’s face was masked by a darkness casted by the hood.
“Thank you,” said Eurich, standing with assistance from the cloaked man.
Rather than releasing Eurich’s hand, he held on tightly.
“Hmm...” The man mumbled.
“Let go!” Eurich boomed. With a swift jerk, he rescued his hand from the taut grip. He held his bruised wrist and narrowed his eyes on this frail figure.
“I’m sorry I ran into you, but I have to go now.” Eurich edged around the man, hovering his hand over his scraped elbow.
“What a nice hex you’ve got there!” said the cloaked man.
Eurich stopped and turned back. “Hex?”
He hunched over and moved slowly to Eurich as he backed away. “May I...touch your stone?” The man’s crypt keeper fingers twitched eagerly as he reached for the jewel at the center of Eurich’s chest.
“Listen!” Eurich shouted.
“Hush, boy,” the man lunged and grabbed Eurich’s arm, glancing over the scrape on his elbow. “Hmm...”
“Fate has sealed this day.” The cloaked man released Eurich’s arm and knocked him on the ground with a force from the palm of his hand.
“I think you should leave!” Eurich flung his bag over his shoulders once again and stood. The man was gone in a flash. Perplexed, he adjusted himself and continued down the road.
“What the hell was that about...?” Eurich rolled up his sleeves and wiped trace amounts of blood from his hands.
“Hey, Eurich!” A soft declaration came from not too far away.
Eurich turned, befuddled. It seemed like seconds ago, he was nowhere near the bus stop.
“Earth to Eurich.”
“Oh, Patricia!” Eurich smiled and shook his head.
“Everything alright?” She brushed her thick, mahogany hair behind her ears.
“Uh, yeah...kinda,” he replied, further rolling up his sleeve.
“Just some weirdo,” Eurich said, narrowing his eyebrows.
“Who isn’t weird these days?”
“And I just won’t ask you about the blood on your sleeve,” Patricia said with a grimace.
“Oh?” Eurich held up his elbow. “That man I was telling you about. I fell when I ran into him. Funny, I thought there was a scrape here.”
“Hmm, no scrape. Just be more careful.”
“Definitely.” He nodded. “Well get over here and give me a hug!”
“No touching…don’t think you wanna do that,” she said, shying away from him.
“Why not? You seem extra huggable today.”
“I’m sick.” She frowned, then covered her nose. “You think I would be wearing this to school?”
“Now that you mention it, those shorts are a little too short for dress code. You don’t look very sick.”
“Well, it’s rare. I’m not contagious, but mother doesn’t want to chance it and thinks I should be out of school for a while.”
“How long is a while?” Eurich asked.
“Hopefully not too long.”
“Why come out, then?”
“Cause,” she said, with wide, bright hazel eyes. “Maybe I wanted to see you off.”
“You coulda just texted me,” he laughed.
“Well, you coulda told me you had a phone,” she chuckled sparingly. “I would hug you, but…ya know.”
He smiled. “I haven’t been sick much these days. My superhero name should be Super Immune Man.”
She wailed with laughter and wiped her eyes. “Stick to Eurich.”
“Whatever. Well, I hope you get better soon, need me to walk you back home?”
“Nope, I’m good. Just wanted to catch you before you left…” She turned as the bus approached from down the street. “Well, have a good first day.”
“We’ll see how it goes. You sure you gonna be alright?”
“I won’t die on you, promise,” she said while locking her index and middle finger. I’ll send Raine a text and I’ll let Jason text me first for once.”
“The struggle.” He shook his head. “I’ll see you soon,” he said while boarding.
“Maybe.” She waved as the bus ticked with the engine.
Eurich grabbed a seat in the back of the bus and huffed.
What a morning...
Eurich arrived at Winbrook High with twenty-three minutes to spare. Before entering through the double doors, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath; the last breath he’d take before committing himself to another year of school. He slid across the freshly polished floors and grabbed onto one of the school’s gold and black banners to prevent a crash into a group of other students. Awkward stares were always better than altercation.
He waved to the onlookers and continued down the hall, shuffling through drones of students until he reached the cafeteria. Just as he expected, there, Raine was, sitting in the courtyard with Jason.
“Jay, Raine!” Eurich burst through the door with a wide smile. He ran to them and went to sit, but Jason stood and reached out for a handshake.
I should know better.
He reached out anyway.
“Still too slow.” Jason grabbed his arm and with a twist and turn, placed Eurich in a headlock.
“Hey, bully, let him go!” Raine said.
Jason released his grip when Raine hit him, and patted out the wrinkles in Eurich’s clothing.
“Thank you.” Eurich said, clearing his throat and fixing his hair. “Nice to see you too, Jason.”
“Likewise, my man.”
“So...we gonna talk about how y’all avoided me all summer?”
“Hold on now,” Raine began. “You were the one who went to Washington for that young student ambassador thing.”
“And,” Raine interrupted. “You didn’t have a phone nor did you provide an address to write you, so don’t blame us.”
“That’s fair,” Jason agreed, shrugging and nodding.
“Plus, we were all pretty busy while you were gone, too. Jason managed to help kill the planet for profit—”
“Hey now,” Jason said, nudging her on the arm. “My dad just has a few oil rigs and money is money. You know I love the planet.”
“Whatever you say, drill man.” She chuckled. “And I was mapping out my dream wedding, so yeah, pretty busy.”
“Dream wedding?” Eurich gulped and a cold shiver ran up his spine.
“You and Patricia still doing that hypothetical engagement?” Jason asked, laughing.
“Oh…that...” Eurich took an easy breath.
“Don’t ‘oh, that’ me. She has a better chance than both of you.” She flashed her emerald eyes to Eurich.
She’s looking at me...
Eurich’s eyes wandered the ground as he cleared his throat. “So...who else is excited this is the last year of school?”
“I am. I hate this dump,” Jason replied. “But don’t you wanna go out with more style?” He said, giving Eurich an awkward eye after sizing him up.
“What do you mean? We’re practically wearing the same thing.”
“That stone.” Jason pointed to it and a grin crossed his lips. “No matter how you wear it, a piece of junk will always be a piece of junk.”
“It never stops with you, does it?” Raine asked. “I think the new addition to your stone looks great.” She leaned over and punched Jason on the arm. “He’s just being a jerk, don’t listen to him.”
“Don’t worry, I never do,” said Eurich. “Well, I finally got a cell, so here’s my number: 540-555. Aren’t you gonna take it down, Jay?”
“I’ll get it off Raine.”
“Well alrighty...0621,” Eurich continued.
“Thank you,” Raine said.
“I think I’m gonna head to class a bit early. Good seats are always hard to find.”
“Wait, hold it right there!”
Eurich turned back to them as Jason’s boisterous voice called him back to the table.
“Huh?” Eurich shrugged.
“So you just gonna ignore the bi annual tradition like that?” Jason smirked and rolled up his right sleeve.
“So it’s a tradition now?” Eurich laughed. “You just want to make me look bad in front of all these girls, don’t you?”
“Let’s see how the summer has treated you.” Jason raised his arm and placed his elbow at the center of the table.
“Fine.” Eurich slid his bag off his shoulders and took a seat.
“Blood on the hoodie, nice touch,” said Jason.
“One sec.” Eurich removed his sweater and tossed it into a grated trash bin. Luckily, the blood didn’t spatter onto his grey undershirt.
“Two points!” Raine cheered.
“Ready now?” Jason asked, writhing the joints of his fingers.
“Here goes...” Eurich lined his elbow up with Jason’s, locked hands, and took a deep breath before locking into Jason’s auburn eyes.
“Geez,” Raine said, walking up to the table. “I can’t believe you two still do this. I personally think it’s unfair. Jason is an ox compared to you,” she said.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence, Raine.” Eurich rolled his eyes and focused his attention back to Jason. “I can’t believe this became rite of passage.” He snickered lowly.
“Yeah, yeah. Now if you two ladies are done talking, we could get this show on the road.” Jason’s eyebrows narrowed. He didn’t take his eyes off Eurich once.
“Fine, fine.” Raine placed her hands over their fists and steadied them out.
A small crowd invaded. Eurich shook his head and sighed as more people circled around.
“Don’t mind the watchers,” said Jason. His eyes were daunting.
“Dibs on Jason,” a tall, muscular, varsity jacket wearing student said. More and more people came to gawk at the match.
“Boys...” Raine muttered. She leaned in close to Eurich and placed her lips at his ears. “Dibs on Eurich,” she whispered.
Eurich tightened his grip and nodded to Raine. “Ready.”
Both of them returned a nod.
“GO!” Raine lifted her hand and the trial of might between two friends began.
Eurich shied away from Jason’s gaze as his arm drew closer to the table. Raine wanted him to win. He wanted to win; but facts were facts. Jason was bigger, stronger.
Jason had a comfortable smile on his face the entire time, while jocks rubbed his shoulders.
“Come on, Eurich,” Jason cheered as he came closer to pinning him down.
Eurich huffed as he called upon more strength.
He’s too strong...
“You can do it!” Raine shouted.
She was wrong, but, at least she cheered for him. Her optimism was infectious. Since hearing those merry words, he was able to get his wrist back into starting position. Perhaps, she could be right.
“Second wind?” asked Jason.
“Something like that.”
The crowd around them grew restless, probably wondering why Jason hadn’t won yet.
“Come on, Jason. Finish him off!” Another voice arose from the crowd.
Things were completely different seconds ago.
Jason hard pressed Eurich’s arms a few times with no sling. He ducked under the table and peered his head back up. “What gives?”
He’s letting me win...but why?
Eurich pushed harder and Jason’s arm moved rightward, toward the surface of the table. His grip tightened as he inched Jason’s arm down, little by little. He turned to Raine and smiled, then a harsh bump of the table led him back to his target.
It was too late. Eurich’s arm was already down by the time he got to look Jason in the eyes again.
“Looks like it’s my victory again,” Jason paraded. He stood up and stretched his shoulders and gave high fives to all his buddies.
Eurich lifted his bag from the ground, pitched it over his shoulder, and headed toward the door to let him back into the school hallway. As Eurich opened the door, Raine grabbed him by the hand.
“Eurich?” Raine pulled him back outside.
“I lose those matches all the time, anyway...” Eurich’s eyes wandered the ground, away from her emerald stare.
“You really had him going this time.”
“He was letting me think I could win.”
“I beg to differ,” she assured.
“Yeah...if you say so. Make sure you give Jason my number,” Eurich said, then opened the door once again.
Eurich walked down the hall and rested at his locker as drones of students swarmed the corridors.
“Where is first period again?” He pulled out a crumpled and folded piece of paper from his pocket. He glanced over it quickly. “Mr. Andrews, yes!” He smiled and rushed down the hall.
“Hey, Eurich. No running in the hallway,” Mr. Andrews said as he approached from behind.
“I was just heading to your class.”
“Oh, is that right?” Mr. Andrews walked beside him when Eurich slowed his pace. “You’ve had me all four years now.”
“I don’t like the other English teachers much, anyway.” Eurich snickered.
“Well it’s always good to hear that I’m an okay teacher.” He adjusted his colorful tie and slicked his long, black hair back into a band. “And I caught a glimpse of your arm wrestling match earlier.”
“Don’t you get tired of seeing me lose?”
“Something was different this time. Have you been lifting weights?”
“Well...I did get a new remote control,” Eurich said with a halfhearted chortle. “For a second there, I thought I was gonna win.”
“Champions are made, not born,” the teacher said. “Better luck next time.”
“We’re here,” Mr. Andrews said. “Take a seat and we’ll get started when the bell rings.”
“Alright.” He took a desk in the middle of the class and set his things beside him. The room hadn’t changed much from the previous year—only a few new faces ran through it.
“Hey, Eurich,” a dark eyed girl said as she sat down next to him.
“What’s up, Mara?” Eurich responded.
“Is it true you almost beat Jason?”
“Define almost,” he said, placing a green spiral notebook atop his desk.
The bell rang and the remaining students, standing, scurried to their seats.
“Take your seats, class,” Mr. Andrews said firmly with a welcoming smile. “I recognize a few of these faces, welcome back! Those of you who are new to my class...I will show no such mercy on your souls.”
A few students laughed while others looked around in comedic terror.
“Now, I know this is the first day, but can anyone who was in my class last year remember where we left off before summer break?”
“Fables and fantasy,” answered a classmate. He leaned back in his chair and tossed aside the chewing gum he had in his mouth.
“Dragons and wizards,” Eurich cut in, fervently.
“Hmm?” The teacher pointed to Eurich while holding a book with one hand as he walked through the columns of desks.
“Dragons and wizards,” Eurich said again, this time louder. “Magic, purity, and revolution.”
Mr. Andrews smiled. “Great job! Remembrance is the key, students.” He quickly slammed his book shut and woke up a few slackers. “Come on, guys. Class just started. No nodding off, it will only serve to keep you behind.” He walked back to his desk and pulled out a long cart filled with books.
“These are a class set, so remember to return them afterward,” Mr. Andrews said as he passed out books to each student. “Class set, Richie, you understand?”
“Uh huh,” Richie replied, slipping the book into his bag.
Mr. Andrews sighed and nodded his head from left to right, then walked back to his table. “Eurich, would you mind coming over here for a second?”
“Sure.” Scratching his elbow, he made his way over to the teacher’s desk.
“Everything okay?” asked Mr. Andrews.
“It’s nothing...I just fell earlier and could’ve sworn I had a scrape.”
“Really?” He pressed his fingers to his chin. “And it’s gone just like that?”
“I don’t know what to think of it.”
“Well, at least you’re okay,” assured the teacher. “And speaking of mysteriously vanished wounds, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something. Particularly about your interest in things fantasy.”
“That it? I thought I was in trouble or something.” Eurich relaxed his shoulders and let out a sigh of relief.
“It’s still just the first day,” he said, then reached into his messenger bag. “I want to give you something.”
“Last year, it was a detention,” Eurich grimaced.
“Nothing like that this time.” Out of the bag, Mr. Andrews set down a thick, dusty, archaic book on the table.
“What is it?”
“Between you and me…” The teacher leaned over his desk and curled his index finger. “It’s a book.” He smiled and then sat back down.
“Thanks?” Eurich scooped the book off the table and examine the edges. It had no picture on the front cover, but had bronze leaves and vines molded onto it. He opened the book up to a random page. It said something about manataurs.
What the hell is a manataur?
“What kind of mythology is this?” Eurich questioned. The photo depicted a blue-skinned beast with massive curved horns. There was a froth coming from its mouth and its eyes were glazed with red. Not a creature he’d seen before nor was it something he wanted to meet.
“Just make sure you read it. I’ll quiz you later,” said the teacher.
Chatter arose as Eurich walked back to his desk. Everyone’s eyes were glued on his newest entity.
“Unless the rest of you want to take the quiz too, I suggest you stop staring and focus on your own textbooks,” Mr. Andrews said, turning his back to write on the chalkboard.
The chatter stopped, but the envious faces remained.
Eurich sat down at his desk once again with a bright smile on his face. After he cleared the table of all other objects, he flipped through its pages and marveled at the fantastical content.
“I figured you’d dive right into it.”
The teacher’s quick approach startled Eurich. “Sorry...I’ve just never seen anything like this. What is it about? Who made it? Is it real? Where did you get it?”
“Settle down.” Mr. Andrews knelt with his right hand on Eurich’s desk. “I need you to study this book, understand?”
“Okay...” Eurich replied lowly. “But, why me?”
“This is a task for you especially.” He dropped his eyes to the stone around Eurich’s neck. “Think of what’s in this book as extra credit.”
“What kind of extra credit?”
“Surprise, dear boy.” Mr. Andrews groaned as he stood back up. “Free time until the end of the period. Just not too loud, guys and gals,” he said on the way back to his desk.
The class rejoiced as they all got out of their seats to socialize with their respective circles. Eurich sat there, staring at the manataur until the bell rang.
He tossed the book in his bag and proceeded to the door.
“Eurich,” Mr. Andrews called. “Don’t forget.”
“I won’t,” Eurich said, holding his stone.
The next few classes went by quickly. Before he knew it, the bell was ringing to release him to lunch. He rushed to the courtyard, eager to finally dive into the book with his friends. Raine was already there, moving her golden hair from her face each time it swayed with the breeze. Sunlight beamed onto her face and her emerald eyes shimmered like a sequence dress.
“Hey, guys!” Eurich shouted, when Jason entered from the other side with a group of his friends. He drifted over to them, trying not to nudge anyone in the mass attendance. “Man, you gotta check out this book I got from Mr. Andrews.”
“What kind of book is it?” asked Raine.
“I have no idea...didn’t have much time to look at it. I figured you’d wanna see it, too.”
“Well that’s good,” Raine said, lifting a book from atop her grey mini-skirt. “I gave this book a try and talk about disappointment. It’s called Starlight and it’s about this vampire—”
“I thought you hated vampires,” said a befuddled Eurich.
“Well...it’s about this century old vampire in DC who can shoot out beams during the moonlight.”
“Well I’ve heard enough,” Jason said, laughing.
“You don’t even wanna hear about the werewolf-vampire love triangle?”
“No thank you,” Jason replied.
Eurich took the book out his backpack and plopped it on the table.
“Ooooh.” Raine gently pressed her fingers against the bronzed vines on the cover of the book. “I wonder what’s inside...may I?”
“Go ahead,” Eurich allowed.
Raine opened the book up to the first page with her face just centimeters away. She read aloud:
“The divine blood marks the mana of the two worlds.”
“WOW!” Raine exclaimed. “What a first sentence. I think I’m in love.” She lifted the book to the sky, smoothing through the rough cracks before setting it down again. “And it smells nice, too.”
“Yeah?” Jason sniffed the book. “Smells like an old book to me.”
“What kind of book is it?” Raine asked, glancing at the back cover. “I’ve never heard of that word...mana before.”
“Me neither.” Eurich flipped the page from the other side of the table. He skimmed, stopping at pictures that caught his eye while skipping the words and descriptions.
The drawings were extremely detailed. There were images of creatures, small and large, as well as people with wings, armor, and pointed ears. His eyes widened at every turn, every flick of the page.
Why did he give me this book?
Raine took over the page turning while Jason peered at the book with the corner of his eyes.
“These drawings are amazing. Mr. Andrews had this book?” asked Raine.
“Mhm,” Eurich nodded. “And for some reason...he wanted me to have it. To study.”
“Why would you need to study this? Can’t get a good job in winged people knowledge,” Jason said as he pushed Eurich’s shoulder.
“Who knows...hold on Raine, stop!” Eurich took the book after she turned the worn page to a dark figure.
“What?” Raine asked with raised eyebrows.
“I gotta go...” He stuffed the book back into his bag and left the courtyard in a hurry.
Eurich stared at his bag during the final period of the day. The lesson was done and since the teacher was strict on noise, everyone was silent. He waited patiently until the only sound prevalent, was the ticking of the overhead clock.
“Come on...just three minutes left.” He rested his head on the desk and closed his eyes.