“Okay, in celebration of Founders day this week, today’s history lesson will be on the History of Willow Lake. So, who can tell me what year they built this town?” The history teacher, Mr. Walton, looked to the class through the top of his glasses.
“1973.” A long blonde-haired girl answered, “By the Lester brothers.”
“Correct. And how did they stumble across this place? Ms. Paxton? Have you brushed up on your town’s local knowledge since moving here?”
My eyes went wide as I cleared my throat, “They were hiking in the forest after celebrating the go-ahead to open up their architecture firm. They chose the forest to hike as they thought they might find suitable land for their first project.”
“Excellent, Ms. Paxton, nice to see a newcomer do her research. Okay, so next question, what did the brothers believe was on this land before the town?”
As Mr. Walton’s brown eyes looked to the other side of the room, I turned my head and mouthed a thank you to Mahala. She figured they’d make today’s history class about the town, so she gave me a brief low down on things.
“They believed it was a small village inhabited by Witches and Warlocks, sir.” Eric teased in a mocking tone, “I think it’s a load of rubbish. I think they made all those books up to get people to buy-in.”
“Thank you, Mr. Wallis, I asked for an answer, not your opinion. Contrary to what you may believe, your opinion isn’t a fact nor law, just a hypothesis.”
The whole class, myself included, turned to Eric and chuckled as Eric scoffed, folding his arms against his board chest.
I never wanted to use my powers against a human, nor hurt them, nor did I wish to get caught. However, right at that moment, I wanted to do something to freak him out.
Only something small, like to make his pencil fall off the desk, or maybe even roll back and forth on the spot for a second. But, I contained my desire and turned my attention back to Mr. Walton.
“So, Silver, believe in all this Witchy stuff? Is that what brought you to town?” Eric asked casually as he leaned against the lockers, his arms across his chest.
“My opinion is irrelevant, as Mr. Walton said, an opinion is just that. A view, something neither fact nor fiction, just the way you comprehend something and my theory will not change yours. Now, if you don’t mind, Masato is waiting for me. Saboten de jibunofakku.”
“Wait, what the hell does that mean?”
“She said go fuck yourself with a cactus, in Japanese, buddy.” Masato’s voice startled me, causing me to jump and turn around. “I was wondering what was keeping her, now I know. Just leave her alone, will you?”
“Yeah? What are you going to do about it?” Eric stood up straight, towering as he glared as Masato. Eric looked taller than usual, his six-foot self, mounting over Masato’s five-ten frame. It was unaided by the fact Eric had twice the muscle mass Masato did, too.
“Nothing, because I’m not a Mijukunadōkeshi.” Masato challenged, remaining unphased by Eric’s menacing stance, before turning to me. “Come on, baby.”
I smiled at Masato as I wrapped my arm around his waist, “Oh, that means immature baffoon, by the way. Bye, Eric.”
Eric rolled his eyes as he turned on his heel and stormed off in a temper like a child who’d just been told no.
“That guy is such a jackass.” Masato sighed as we got into his car.
“Yeah, but at least in two weeks, I’ll never have to look at him ever again.”
“And for that, I am thankful.” He leaned over, pressing a kiss to my lips. “Any more creepy stalker vibes?”
Since the cinema, I’d gotten the same feeling as I was waiting for Masato Monday just outside of campus. It was only when Masato pulled up in front of me with a broad smile on his face the feeling went.
“No, not since Monday. It’s like I told you, after the Wolves, I had the feeling for a while. It’s probably just a grief thing, my mind playing tricks on me, that’s all. I’m not concerned, nor should you be.”
Masato’s lips twisted into a cautious pout, “All right, if you’re sure. Let’s get you home. I got work in an hour.”
“Yeah, I’m going over to Mahala’s to make plans for the dance or something like that. Plus, as Alicia and Emmett are chasing one final lead and you’re working, figured it was better than sitting home alone.”
“Need me to drop you off on the way?”
“No, it’s okay; she’s two blocks away. I can walk, plus I think the fresh air will do me some good. She won’t be home until six either, so I’m okay walking.”
“Okay, but please, if you stay late, wait until I can pick you up?”
“Yes, sir.” I grinned.
I loved how protective he was of me, although he had no reason to be.
He shook his head as he chuckled before he started the car and drove off.
“You sure you’re going to be okay, walking home?” Mahala looked at me, her lips contorted in concern.
“Why is everyone on my back about me walking two blocks? I’ll be fine!” I rolled my eyes as I chuckled.
“It’s just because we love you. Text me when you’re home, okay? And remember, if you’re leaving so soon, we got to make this dance epic!”
“I will, and love you too. See you tomorrow at school.” I waved as I stepped out the front door.
“Bye!” Mahala grinned, and I headed down her path.
As my feet hit the bottom of the small hill my house was on top of, I felt a sudden cold chill in the air. It was mid-march, so the weather was reasonably warm in Arizona. Arizona was one of those places where it didn’t get all that cold.
I pulled Masato’s hoodie closer to my body, zipping it up, and stuck my hands in the front pockets as my feet kept walking.
A shadow of a small figure making a loud caw flew directly in front of me, causing me to squeal a little.
My eyes shot to it to see a Raven flying off into the distance, squawking away as it made its way to its nest.
My heart raced a little, as much as the weakened beat could as my hand gripped at my chest. The feeling of regret for not waiting for Masato to pick me up pricked at me.
In the forest, I’d be able to defend myself. But out here, I couldn’t risk being caught using any magic or letting my red eyes and fangs being seen. Although, as my eyes scanned the area with my ears focused on any unusual sounds, I found nothing out of the ordinary.
There were a couple of people off in the distance, talking between themselves but no one, or nothing else seemed to be around. People were at home, watching TV or in bed sleeping.
I took a deep breath as I composed myself. The house wasn’t much further, a four-minute walk up the hill at the most, I could make it three minutes if I moved my feet quick enough.
I hugged the warmth of the hoodie closer, another cold chill spread through me as I shuddered and began walking again, moving my feet a little faster than before.
Abruptly, a tall, board figure darted out in front of me from a hedge. I couldn’t restrain the shriek that escaped my lips as my heart rate elevated and pounded against my chest.
“Jesus fucking Christ, Eric!” I screeched, my breath heavy and out of cadence as I attempted to recover.
“Sorry, did I scare ya? What are you doing out walking alone at this time?”
“One, it’s only half nine. Two, I’m just coming back from Mahala’s. Now, if you please, I need to get home.”
“Need an escort? A pretty young thing like you shouldn’t be walking in the dark alone.” He looked at me with a smirk on his lips and a mischievous glint in his eyes.
Something about the way his eyes shone under the dull street lamp and the shadows on his face caused me to quiver. I hated the fact that during certain moments, his piercing gazes caused me to lose my composure and shrink under them.
“Oh, trust me, I’m capable of looking after myself. Any threat around here will be more scared of me than you. They’ll take one look at you and laugh, you’re not as tough or scary as you might like to think, now fuck off.”
“Ouch, you’re mean you are, Silver. You know, I’m getting to like your feisty side. I wish you’d let me show you what a real man would be like before you leave.”
“Know one then?” I retorted, my eyes narrowing at him.
“You think you’re so funny, don’t you? All right then, if you’re going to be like that, off you go. Be careful out here alone, Silver. The Witches might get you.” Eric winked as he moved to walk past me. “Wouldn’t want something bad to happen to such a pretty thing.”
I sighed as I heard his footsteps walk off into the distance before I quickly headed home before anything else could happen.