Broken Nightmare

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Chapter 9

After all the introductions were through, Stephan continued on to explain the ‘plan of action’, as he put it. He was going to send Claire and I back to school, along with the rest of the other Shape Shifters who needed to complete their education. In the meanwhile, he said we would both be put to the test, maximizing and exercising our abilities. Because I have used my ability for a while, I pretty much know how it works. However, they all insisted I learn more and try to do more to bring out all of my possible abilities.

Claire, however, will be gone for about a week before I get to see her. The full moon is tomorrow night, and that would be her first shift. The hardest, apparently. That, and she will be only animal. She can change into whatever she wants, but she won’t be herself. After this transformation, she will become herself the more and more she shifts, which will be whenever she wants after tomorrow. So now, they are teaching her to control her fire. How to reign it in, push it out, what amount to give, not go give, etc.

Now, however, they want me to start practicing me to fight. Just in case none of them are there to help me. “I have experience, trust me. My older brother was even more paranoid than you guys. I know I can defend myself in the need comes,” I warned the Shape Shifters as soon as they mentioned it.

“And that’s good,” Nathan butted in. “But Supernatural people are not the same to fight with. You will need to be stronger, faster, and more clever than you are now to be able to beat one of them.”

I scoffed. “You guys are acting like I am about to go into battle.”

The room fell silent as I spoke those words. “Wait, I’m not going to actually be fighting anybody, will I?” I pushed, now more worried I will have to exercise these techniques I swore to myself I would never use.

“Spencer, will you please train Elana and give her all the . . . routines . . .” Stephan chose his words carefully.

The man to my right nodded and stood, heading to a door I never saw at the end of the family room.

“Wait, now?” I asked, still cold from my run earlier.

Spencer turned with the door open for me. “After you,” he said while gesturing to the door.

I stood and walked over to the door, seeing some stairs leading down to another level. Looking back, I caught Hyene’s eye. She had an unsure look, but then nodded when she noticed I was looking at her. I’m not quite sure why that comforted me enough to head down those stairs, but my feet descended one by one.

Once downstairs, I heard Spencer coming behind me. The basement opens up to another family room, but this one is smaller, a somewhat normal size. And this time, there are doors all around the room, two on the right, two in the middle, and one on the left. Moving me aside, Spencer goes to the left of the room and pulls open another door, but this time, I don’t hesitate to follow him.

Looking inside, the room is a little larger than the first family room I saw; the room inside covered with mats. Like a mental asylum, only they are blue. Along the back wall was a bookcase filled with boxing gloves, mouth guards, sparring gear, various dart guns, and some bandages. On the right side, there was a line of punching bags, awaiting their next use.

I realized Spencer was still holding the door for me and scurried inside. He followed me and stepped off to the side, taking off his jacket as he crossed the room. Under his jacket was a black short sleeve tanktop, exposing all the tattoos on his arms. He headed over to the far corner, kicking off his shoes then peeling off his black socks after.

“I don’t know what your brother has or hasn’t taught you, so I want to start with a test to see how much experience you have.

I turned around and pulled off my socks as well and threw them against the outside wall. “What do you mean?” I asked as I turned around.

I see Spencer run out of the corner of the room and head straight for me. Oh, I get it now. I get into a stance as I wait for Spencer to reach me. When I see he isn’t going to slow down, I move out of the way. He runs next to me and pivots, turning to face me. I duck and swing my legs out, trying to knock him off-balance. He anticipates my move and grabs my leg, pulling me towards him. I let him pull me and then swing my arm out and hit him in the gut. He doubles over, trying to catch his breath, and loosens his grip on my leg. I jerk back and jump up, preparing myself for another attack.

“Not bad!” Spencer beams, surprise in his dark eyes.

Spencer straightens up and smirks at me before slowly walking towards me again. I stand my ground and wait until he gets close. He spins around, swinging his leg out and hits the back of my calves. I fly backwards and land on the hard mat. Despite the pain, this gives me the momentum I need. I reach my hands back behind me and swing my feet out, kicking him in the chest. As he falls backward, I kick my feet up and over my head, before straightening up and facing Spencer, who is still on the ground.

“Wow, you really do have training. I thought you were just trying not to come across childish and defenseless,” Spencer’s pride shone brightly in his face, creepy coming from somebody who looked as dark as he did. He stood up slowly, looking defeated, and slumped back over to the pile of his belongings he haphazardly threw in the corner. I turned and did the same.

I didn’t have much time to prepare before I hear the sound of someone landing behind me. I turn around just in time to see a fist coming straight for my face. I duck at the last second and kick my foot out, connecting with Spencer’s shins. He staggers backwards, but remains standing. This totally was not a fair fight. He swings another punch towards me, so I put my arm up to block the attack. I wince as his arm connects with mine. That is going to leave a bruise. I swing up my foot to kick him in the face, but he grabs my leg and throws me across the room. I twist my body, so I can land on my feet. Ten years of gymnastics is proving to be useful.

I decide to try and incorporate more of the moves I had learned. It’s been over two years, so I hope I’m not too rusty. I get a running start and jump, bring my hands forward and over my head, connecting with the mat, giving myself enough momentum to swing my feet up before coming to a stop in the front of Spencer. He stares at me surprised, giving me enough time to swing around and kick him in the gut, same spot as I just did a little bit ago. When he falls to the ground, I jump on top of him, placing my knees on both sides of his thighs, and hold down his arms. I know that he is strong enough to push me off, but he doesn’t.

My heavy breathing becomes apparent as Spencer stares at me in wonder. I pant, having trouble getting air into my lungs as an applause erupts behind me. Turning around, I see the whole group standing there, clapping. Thankfully, I’m not sweating so much, seeing that I didn’t put deodorant on. My heart, which was already beating fast from the exercise, increases as I look as Nathan’s face. He is the only one not clapping, but the admiration shining in his eyes mirrors the pride Spencer just had. Blushing, I push myself off of Spencer and offer him my hand to help him stand up.

“Maybe you don’t need to do as much training as we originally thought,” Stephan stepped forward, the only one still clapping. “Granted, I didn’t try my best, but you still might stand a chance in the real world,” he tries to defend his actions for getting beat by a girl.

I felt myself blushing again as I sat against the wall to put my socks on again. If only they knew how much I freaked in an actual situation, I told myself, but didn’t say anything. If they needed to have faith in me for something, I was glad it was something I didn’t disappoint them in.

The rest of the day went by smoothly, consisting of mainly me asking the ‘pack’ a lot of questions. Apparently, Dr. Jackson was a scientist who has been after the supernatural population for years. He’s part of a group called the Keepers. He got a hold of whomever he could, making them experiments and his own personal slaves, bent on only doing his work. Only few actually survived through the experiments to become his slaves, though. Unfortunately, there was a whole society of these people called Keepers, but Dr. Jackson was the most well-known.

The two men who were after me were trying to get Claire for the Keeper’s experiments. They didn’t recognize me as a foreseer, apparently, but they still did come to get the Shape Shifter, for their boss. Let’s just say I’m grateful for this group finding me when they did, even if I still don’t know any of them that well.

Dinner came fast and everybody settled themselves into the chairs they were in earlier, all except for Trysten and Claire. Now that I think of it, I haven’t seen Trysten all day.

“He’s trying to help Claire control her fire right now,” Hyene leaned over to whisper in my ear. I turned to look at her. Stop reading my thoughts.

Nathan turned to us and gave Hyene a stern look, but she just laughed lightly and focused her attention back on dinner.

I leaned over close to Hyene. “How come you are the only one not immune to my, uh,” What do I call this? “Condition?”

Hyene smiled, probably hearing my internal battle. “Because I’m part foreseer, that rule doesn’t apply to me. That was the main reason why the Keepers used me so much.”

I looked at Hyene and saw more pain in her eyes as she remembered her time in the prison she was forced into. I grabbed her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, hoping it would do something to comfort her.

The table was set with square bowls, a light brown center turning into a black on the edges. There were matching cups, and two sets of spoons. Without delay, Lydia came into the kitchen with the largest pot known to mankind. The size resembled that of a witch’s, but the silver outline set it apart. Setting the pot on a hot pad in the middle of the table, she took her seat at the foot of the table.

Everybody reached into the pot to grab some white soup. Hyene grabbed my bowl and plopped some in, placing it back on my mat. “It’s potato and bacon soup. You allergic?”

I shook my head and picked up a spoon. I never realized I hadn’t eaten anything all day until now. Taking a spoonful, I blew on the hot liquid and stuffed it into my mouth. The flavors erupted and the warmth slid down my throat with ease, making me shovel more into my mouth.

“It’s good, hah? Lydia is the best cook in the world,” Hyene boasted, looking at the end towards Lydia. Lydia blushed, crimson crawling up to her cheeks, then continued eating like the rest of us.

I slowed down a little to ask my question. “So, is this the whole group?” I asked, eyeing the empty chair to Hyene’s left.

“No, Trysten, Jules, and Claire aren’t here. We have more chairs in the basement, for when people come,” Hyene explained, then put another spoonful of heavenly soup in her mouth.

“How often do new people come?”

“To this house? You two are the first.”

Dinner ended rather quickly, having no leftovers. Either Shifters eat a lot, or they hadn’t eaten all day, either.

After cleaning everything up, everybody disperse to do their own thing. Nathan and Junto headed to the downstairs gym, Blake, Stephan, and Lydia ran upstairs, and Spencer turned on the TV in the downstairs family room.

“You want to try something?” Hyene offered. I didn’t know what she usually did after dinner, and I didn’t know if she was just taking pity on me, or if she really wanted me to hang out with her.

Not wanting to be the first, I answered, “No, I’m going to take a shower, I’m getting tired.”

I excused myself and sprung up the stairs before she could protest. Rounding the stairs quietly, I realized I felt movement underneath me. Once again, I don’t know how to describe it, other than I can feel it. I stopped mid-stair and turned around. There was nobody there. But I still felt it. Lower.

Coming back down the steps, I inched to the family room at the end of the room and slowly walked to the door at the end of the room, leading to the basement. Walking down the stairs the same pace, I slowed when I saw Spencer watching his show on TV.

What are you doing?! I yelled at myself.

“Hey, Blondie. What’s up?” Spencer noticed me from the stairs and pushed pause on his show. Darnit.

Finishing the final steps, I stopped at the end of the staircase. “Hey, Spencer,” I shyly answered.

“Whacha doin down here?” He asked me as the feeling increased. It was in the gym doors, where Nathan and Junto went.

What was I doing? “Sorry I didn’t mean to bother you, I just . . .” I what? What was I doing, following a strange feeling I had? That was stupid.

“Yeah?” Spencer pushed.

“Hey, can you tell me whose is in there?” I surprised myself, pointing to the matted room.

Spencer pushed play on his show again and the sound of gunshots echoed in the room. “Nathan and Junto are wrestling. They’re the best fighters in the group, and all they seem to do is beat the crap out of each other.”

What? What if one of them get hurt? I asked myself, not understanding why I was so worried about a couple of guys I just met, even one that was easily annoyed with me. Maybe I will just go over there and look, no harm in that.

I crossed the room and made it to the door when a voice stopped me. “I wouldn’t if I were you,” Spencer warned, taking a sip of a Red Bull sitting on the coffee table between him and the television.

“Why not?”

“It’s not a pretty sight to see them fight. As I said, they’re the best. They never hold back. If you wanna watch someone get beat up, go ahead, but if not? Well, just don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Spencer advised.

I dropped my hand from the knob and just stare at the door instead. The movement from behind the door increased and my heart sped up at the same time. I could feel one of the figures behind the solid door, dodging and throwing punches at the same time. The movement sped up and they moved onto the mat, wrestling and trying to get on top of the other for a solid pinning. Finally, the movement ceased. I could still feel his movements, though. He stood and offered his hand to his opponent, calling a defeat. The second he did, however, the other one jumped back up and started throwing some more punches, connecting with a few more times.

“What’s wrong?” Spencer asked as he paused his show again. I jumped at the sound of someone’s voice, coming out of my trance, no longer able to feel the movement of someone in the room.

I turned around to see Spencer looking at me, chewing on one of his lip piercings. “What? Oh, n-nothing, sorry,” I stuttered, crossing back to the stairs.

I heard the movie on the television turn on again as gun sounds boomed in the basement. Taking the stairs two at a time, I reached the family room and leaped right onto the next staircase, desperate to reach my room.

I closed my door harder than needed, but didn’t really care. I leaned against my door and closed my eyes while taking a deep breath. What is happening to me? Stephan or Hyene never mentioned for me to be able to feel where someone is. Is this normal?

My mind spun as I opened my eyes again. My bed was no longer a piled mess sitting on a mattress. The blankets were smoothed out and layered nicely in my bed, the pillows no longer messed up from my rest last night. If you can call it that.

I walked over to the dresser next to the window against the wall, hoping I would be able to find something for me to change into so I can sleep. I opened the bottom drawer to find my own comfy pajama bottoms. Confused, I opened the drawer above it and found my pajama shirts, placed in the exact order I had them at home.

How did these get here? I asked myself. I didn’t bring them.

I’ll ask in the morning, I decided, feeling my eyelids beginning to fail on me.

Pulling out some pajamas, I walked over to the door and pulled, revealing the hallway once again. Going two doors down, I stepped into the bathroom and turned the water on full again, waiting for it to get warm before stepping in.

After my shower, I stepped back into my room. My hair was still damp, but my bed looked comforting as I approached my room. Not having the strength to resist, I fell into my bead, and felt myself lose to sleep.


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