~Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.~
If you were to take one look at Haven Drive you would not think that something surreal would be happening at the moment.
These words do not fit well what is happening.
The shortly trimmed lawns and manicured brushes do not scream bizarre. The quaint neighborhood is asleep under the dark sky as the moonbeams down giving some light to this dark cruel world.
No nocturnal creature dares to step onto this street, just like the humans, they know whoever resides here must not be disturbed.
No one wants to be in the crossfire of this being.
All is quiet and peaceful but that is not true for the residents of 5181 Haven Drive. The towns’ people of Charles know everything, down to the last shoebox filled with unappropriated pictures hidden behind the darkest corner of your closet. Charles’ is a town where if you sneezed the people down the block would know about it.
Sounds peachy, doesn’t it?
Every house in the block has its curtains pulled closed, every single room filled with absolute darkness. For you see, a spirit lives amongst these mere humans and they know not to trust or get close to it.
5181 is completely dark just like the other houses.
Beth Fierce tries her best to blend in with the rest of the townspeople, Cassie makes it impossible.
Unlike the rest of the houses, there is activity stirring within this home.
“Cassie, please!” Beth steps back away from her daughter. Her chest tight from the fear that fills her body.
Her flesh and blood.
It is her worst nightmare.
The warmth should make me feel safe. Feel as if I were home with nothing to worry about. The warmth fills my entire body as I shiver in disgust.
This is not supposed to happen to me. I have never done anything to deserve this.
There has to be a mistake.
It has to be.
Or perhaps I am the mistake.
There is so much happening and all I want it to be is a dream—a dream that I can wake up from.
The darkness is a welcomed sight. Everyone can hide in the darkness.
The silence is deafening as my breathing completely stops.
My eyelids are shut so tightly that it would probably relieve a headache if I open them but I rather suffer than see what is happening.
“Cassie, stop!" She shrieks, her throat raw with emotion. "For the love of God!” Her broken cries make my chest ache. The tears run down my cheeks as I fight my war.
She doesn't understand, no one does.
For the life of me, I don’t know how to stop it.
The intensity of the air makes it hard to breathe. I try to slow my breathing and calm my trembling body. The dull thumping in my ears makes me wince as my own body appears to reject my actions.
The temperature is rising steadily.
My breathing slows as my concentration focuses on one thing...
This is how drowning must feel like.
My mother should get out of here before I hurt her.
There is a numbing pain that radiates from the pit of my stomach.
“Get out of here,” clenching my jaw I keep myself from shouting. Grinding my teeth I breathe through my nose.
I just want it all to stop.
Why can’t I make this stop?
There needs to be an end to this.
The heavy footsteps against the wooden floor echo in my ears and the door slams behind her.
Left all alone in my bedroom my breath gushes out in relief. Relief that she is okay. For the moment being at least.
The only person left in my life is running away from me.
This is what I deserve.
I know it is for the better but she is my mother.
The only being left in my life is terrified of me.
I am used to being left behind by everyone else but my mother that is a more painful type of pain.
I cannot have it both ways, I know this. She needs to leave me so she can live. Live to see another day.
My back pressed against the hot wall I let my body slide down to the floor with all the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am slowly losing myself into the pain. I pull my knees to my chest as if this is going to hold me together since I feel like I am bursting at the seams. Burying my face into my knees and wait to get myself under control.
If I can.
Life was not always this bad.
We had it all back when I was just an average teenager.
I crave the days of me being your normal run of the mill girl.
School took up most of my time. Friends, I was never one to have many friends but I had some. Average grades. Nothing to make anyone take a second glance at.
My parents had the house of their dreams and the jobs that they loved. We were one happy family.
Paul, my little brother, would always be so happy to see me as I got home from school.
Sundays were the best days. Those were the days that we spent the entire day together. My mother and I would make breakfast for the family and then we would go out to shop or somewhere. Paul’s favorite place was Sycamore Park. We would enjoy the small amount of time we had with no worries or pressures.
My mother and I moved away to keep my little brother safe.
Safe, from me.
The thought that my little ten-year-old brother lives in fear that I will hurt him breaks me on so many levels. He lost his sister, best friend, and playmate all in one night.
My mother is living a miserable life stuck here with her dangerous and freak of a daughter. I know deep down that she hates being here and not with her family. I feel myself losing it again and I brace myself for another round of torture.
The sound of the second’s hand on my watch still ticks loudly in my ears.
Tick, one, tick, two, tick, three, tick four, tick, five.
Oh, the irony! I pass the time by keeping track of the time.
Time is the only thing that has remained constant in my life. No matter how good or bad life is time will never seize.
Tick, one thousand twenty one give or take a few.
It has been a while since my mother left my room. I have not felt anything in some time. The kink in my neck tells me it is time to lift my head to make sure that nothing is happening around me.
My fingers and toes are numb.
Taking a moment I listen hard for any sign that I am not in full control of myself. There is just silence. The cramp in my foot tingles painfully as I push myself off the hard floor and get to my feet.
My room is pitch black but that does not detour me since I know it well enough not to need the light. I grab hold of the doorknob, it is warm against my skin, twisting and pulling it open gently.
I walk into the living room and my mother is sitting on the recliner, her face buried in her hands.
She has been in this position so many times before.
Beth Fierce was once a woman that no one wanted to mess with. Strong-willed and so stubborn that no one dared to challenge her.
Looking at her she is reduced to this small and fragile woman that jumps at the smallest of sounds.
Her breathing is labored as she sobs into her hands.
This is the position of a person that is at the end of their rope and they are thinking about tying a knot or just letting go.
I know she wants to do the latter.
This is too much for her but does she think it is a cakewalk for me?
I am living in this hell as well.
“Mom,” a whisper leaves my lips as I approach her slowly. “Mom,” I put my hand on her shoulder and she flinches away from my touch.
A lump forms in my throat as it always does when this happens. My mother wants space from me she does not feel safe with me being close to her.
“Okay,” I breathe and walk over to the coat rack by the door and grab my jacket. The thin and thoroughly used jacket slides on easily since I lost a lot of weight since buying it. My bare feet slip into my shoes next to the door.
“I’ll be back soon,” I say and she does not respond. Pulling the front door open I walk out without saying another word.
The street is dark and lonely but I have grown used to it. I have been walking this street late at night at least once a week since I turned sixteen five months ago when my life turned into the hell I know now.
Being the predictable person that I am my mind can be thousands of miles away from me but my legs know exactly where I am heading. The park even in its gloomy darkness is a welcoming sight for me. My legs wander straight to the swing set and like a child, I sit down.
My hair moves freely with the air, my breath evaporating in front of me, and sniffling nose lets my mind know that it is cold out but my body doesn’t feel it, it's numb to everything at the moment. I sit on the swing and pump my legs, pushing myself to go higher and higher with every pump.
I look towards a cluster of trees up ahead that was our favorite spot. That was where Paul loved to lay and stare at the clouds as we would tell each other what the clouds formed. I can feel the emptiness in my chest my brother is the only one that could fill it. I spent my last ‘normal’ day with him here.
His laughter filling the air as we played hide-in-seek when our only worries were that my parents bought a white cake instead of chocolate. That day was an early birthday surprise. That was nothing compared to what I woke up at midnight on March 23. I remember it as if it was yesterday.
“Cassie! Wake up,” my father screams at me through his coughing fit.
Startled I open my eyes wide and my room is engulfed in smoke. I jump out of my bed and run to the door where my father is leaning on my door frame for support as he tries to breathe.
“Dad!” I look back at my room burning to ashes in front of me. The floor feels hot on my bare feet. I look back at my father and his eyes are wide.
“What happened to your eyes?” He takes a step back.
“Dad, you need to get out, where’s Paul?” I look down the hall and Paul’s bedroom door is wide open.
“He’s with your mother, let’s go,” he grabs my arm and drags me downstairs. We barely make it to the front door when the sirens are in front of our house. My dad pulls the door open and runs to the front yard with me in tow. My father didn’t look well, he couldn’t balance himself.
“Are you okay?” He falls to the floor as soon as the words leave my lips.
“Move, get out the way,” a paramedic pushes me out of the way as he runs to examine my father.
“Is he going to be okay?” The paramedic pays no attention to me, “Mom? Paul?” I scream as worry fills me. What if they didn't make it out?
I scan the front yard. The front of our fence is packed with neighbors all of which were there staring at me.
I spot my mother and Paul at the gate.
“Mom,” I walk towards her but she flinches back and pulls Paul behind her as if I was a monster.
I stop in my tracks as the look of terror in her eyes begs me not to take a step closer to her. Her eyes could only stay on me for a few seconds before she turns her face away from me. My mouth falls open and I look at Paul.
He is peeking from the side of my mother looking at me with his eyebrows furrowed. I take a step back.
“She’s one of them,” Mrs. Barkley says with a shaky finger pointing at me. Mrs. Barkley has been our neighbors for years and she knew me well. I loved her like a grandmother, like a grandmother I never knew, “She set fire to her own house!”
If she turned her back on me the other neighbors wouldn’t think twice about it. She walks over to my mother and wraps her arm around her comforting her as she sobs into her shoulder.
I shake my head I would never do that. There is a wave of hush voices between the people on the other side of the fence.
“Look at her eyes! They’re black when just yesterday they were green. As fate might have it today is her sixteenth birthday!” She yells so that everyone could hear her. If people weren’t looking at me before, they sure were looking at me now. I feel like an animal at the zoo, on display for everyone to look at.
I shake my head. “I’m not one of them. Mom?”
I urge her to believe me but she moves away from Mrs. Barkley and I look at her as she turns around and wraps her arms around Paul and buries her face to the side of his neck as he looks at me with fear in his eyes.
“Paul, don’t believe them, I won’t hurt you.”
“Get away from us,” Paul’s words rip through my heart, no. “Just leave Cassie, haven’t you done enough already!” He holds on to our mother, he looks much older than his ten years of existence.
“Your kind is dangerous and not welcome here,” Mrs. Barkley seethes.
Her words echo in my mind your kind, dangerous, and not welcomed!
My phone vibrations bring me out of my thoughts. I pat around and my phone is in the pocket of my jacket.
It is my alarm stating that it is two in the morning I turn it off and look up at the star-filled sky.
I wonder if I am the only one truly left from The Gifted. It sure feels like I am—all alone.
Pushing myself I jump off the swing and walk slowly back to my house. Hopefully, my mother is asleep. I open the door and the flickering light in the living room tells me that my mother is watching television she hasn’t been able to sleep.
Well, that makes two of us.
I tiptoe to my bedroom and close the door gently and flip the light switch. This time I manage not to burn much there is a dark mark in the middle of the floor where I was standing, but that is it. The place I sat has no damage.
My mattress lays on the ground and a dresser in the corner is all I have in my bedroom.
I left everything I owned at my father’s house I only grabbed my clothes and I was out of there. We had a two-story house that was restored to its glory after I left. Now my mother and I are stuck in a box of a house that seems more like a cage with a person that wants to stay away from me.
I walk to my closet and kick in my shoes as I close the door the body length mirror that hangs from the door catches my attention. I look at my reflection and I look normal, all except for the black eyes burning back at me.
This is what gives me away.
From when I was born to the day before the sixteenth birthday I had green eyes that had a hint of gold in them.
People admired them. They were the only thing that I loved about myself.
Now I have these black bottomless pits that people fear and flinch away from.
I close my eyes and slam my hand at the light switch making my room as black as my eyes. I walk to my bed and throw my body onto it. I try to get as much sleep as I can before I have to wake up tomorrow and endure another day of hell with the people that despise me.
My classmates make me this person that bottles everything in and lets it all out at night. Hence the no sleeping until after midnight.
The more exhausted I am the less chance there is of burning the place down. If I am exhausted I won’t have an ‘episode’.
That’s what my mother calls them.
My eyes flutter shut. Hopefully, I wake up to a whole room in the morning.
I am uploading this chapter for the time being. I will work on this once I am done with The Mark of an Alpha. If you enjoyed what you have read so far please let me know. I hope that you have a great day/night!