Creature Seers

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Chapter Three, Part Two

The whole of the rest of the school day I felt like I was in that mobile slender game. I was paranoid about Mr De Santis appearing and lurking around.

Thankfully, Alisha’s lessons were nowhere near his classroom, but I had no other lessons with her either. Connie I noticed seemed to be quieter than usual when I saw her in English. She was always talking and asking questions, but today she seemed uninterested in learning about Of Mice and Men. Maybe he was making her like him as normal as he could while keeping her in a trance. The idea of him thinking and planning scared me.

I didn’t know how I hadn’t run away screaming from school after learning one of my teachers was a sex-crazed demon. I was betting a lot on this plan of Elsa’s to work, including my best friend. I didn’t want to have to tell her about me being a Creature Seer and that the world is full of mythical creatures, because I had not fully got it yet and telling her right now was not a good idea. I had a feeling I would have to; it is a mega thing to keep from your best friend. Like a blue whale sized thing.

It finally got to the end of the day. I texted Elsa and Alisha to see where they were. Elsa said she was driving to my school, and Alisha was on her way to Mr De Santis’ class. I told Alisha what I was going to say to him, and that my family’s friend who helped us was coming to vouch for me.

The school in the afternoon with the early autumn sun setting, slight chill in the still air, echoing footsteps from me and others in the school that became less and less as people left made the setting an eerie and spine-chilling one. When I got to Mr De Santis’ classroom, Alisha hadn’t got there yet, but I did see her history teacher in there, and they were lip-locking which made me gag and cringe in disgust. It took me a few seconds to work up the courage to knock on the door hoping he’d break from kissing her and ruining Mrs Javid’s marriage anymore.

“Oh, come in!” He called, Mrs Javid looked horrified and like she had just snapped out of a trance with confusion on her embarrassed face.

“Mr De Santis, I err, need to talk to you about my detention,” I stuttered.

“The sooner you start the work the sooner you can go home,” He began going over to his desk to get the stack of homework papers out.

“Sir, I need to talk about it. I have a reason why I didn’t get it done,” I explained as he ushered Mrs Javid out of his classroom.

“Does it involve a dog?” he huffed taking a seat.

“No, it involves a really important appointment I have that affects my mental health. If you give me until tomorrow, I’ll be here first thing tomorrow morning with all my homework done sir,” I asked desperately.

“And I’m supposed to take your word on this?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Mine and my brother’s Nanny Elsa is coming over with a doctor’s note with my next appointment and to tell you more.” That of course was a lie, and it felt weird to say I had a Nanny. Elsa didn’t have a note though. She said we did not need to forge one.

“Hmm, well, while we wait you can start your work,” He said gesturing to the pile. I nodded and let out a sigh at the fact the plan had started off good. I then got my work noticing him get up and walk swiftly over to the windows drawing the thin blinds. The lights above us made the room feel cold, and as I continued my first bits of homework about the heart. I saw on the sheet the part where I drew the cross was burnt off. I held up the paper then frowned at Mr De Santis.

“Sir, was there an accident with a Bunsen burner?” I asked seeing him now sat back in his chair leering at the door. He looked at me like my voice annoyed him and I shrunk back into my seat looking down in silence to continue my work.

“I left the papers out and a younger student thought it would be funny to burn some of them while we were doing an experiment in chemistry. Rest assured he will be in detention for the next week and when you have done that work, I will cut that bit away,” He explained looking at the door again like he was expecting it to open soon. “When is your Nanny getting here?” He demanded and started to do some work himself.

“Uh…she said she was on the way here, but I don’t know when she will get here,” I replied then took out my phone to check if she tried to call or text me. I then got a text saying she was outside. I grinned then looked up at the demon teacher, happy that he was oblivious to what was going to happen. The door opening though made my grin change to a look of panic.

“I’m here,” Alisha muttered clutching her books while she looked at the floor.

“Good evening, Alisha,” Mr De Santis warmly greeted smiling at her. “Pull up a stool and we can begin,” He gestured. As she took off her bag I stood up with my phone in my hand.

“She’s waiting for me outside. I need to get her,” I stuttered side-stepping while I pointed with a hand a few times. Alisha was frowning at me confused about who I was talking about, and Mr De Santis smirked sadistically.

“Good,” was all he said before I rushed off reluctantly seeing Alisha pick up a stool.

As soon as I got out of the classroom, I started speedily striding down the halls, texting Elsa that I was on the way and that Alisha was now in the class alone with him. I started to run through the school to the main entrance. There was a security guard on the door and I quickly stopped to tell them that my Nanny had a meeting with Mr De Santis.

When she came in the guard quickly examined what was in her brown leather bag. It had her purse, her phone, keys, a bottle of water, and the same bible she used at Eleanor’s house. I was surprised and worried that a bible was the only thing she brought to fight a demon. This wasn’t the ghost of an old granny!

“Could you please empty your pockets ma’am?” The guard asked. She had tissues and brown rosary beads with a small and a thin silver cross on it. “Thank you,” the guard huffed then went back to his small desk with cameras and a crossword. We then began to calmly walk away getting quicker and quicker as we got further away.

“Please tell me you have more to fight this thing, I really don’t want to lose my best friend,” I asked as we stood in a secluded part of the hall.

“Don’t worry, this is a book of prayers used to fight demons, and I have this,” She said handing me the book that looked like a bible on the outside then from the inside of her jacket she took out two blue velvet pouches. In one there was a brass crucifix, and in the other, there was a sharp shining silver dagger with a cross on the handle.

“Whoa,” I said awestruck at it.

“This has been covered in holy water, and this has holy water in it,” She told me holding up the water bottle. “Do you remember what I told you to do?” She asked me.

“To read from this when you tell me to,” I replied taking the rosary too.

“Yes, page seventeen and eighteen,” She told me then we continued to my class. “With luck, he will not have got very far with her,” She told me.

“And we’ll send him back to hell,” I added trying to sound cool and confident.

“You will keep Alisha safe and out of harm. If we can keep her away from this that is the best thing,” She told me. “I will deal with the demon,” She added seeing me pout and shoulders drop disappointed I wouldn’t get to fight a demon. “Ryder, remember to focus,” Elsa stressed as we stopped near the door.

“Okay,” I huffed then took in a deep breath trying to do just that while I rocked back and forward on my heels.

“AHHHH!” That focus was broken by a scream from in the classroom.

“ALISHA!” I shouted then burst open the door to see the demon holding her by the shoulders, and this time he looked like a demon. His hands had black claws dripping with some blood they spilt by digging into Alisha’s skin, his eyes were black and had black smoke rising out of them showing his blazing determination. His limbs had swollen larger so that shirt was splitting open showing his patches of black fur on his back and shoulders as well as his black skin that was spreading over his body like a plague. From his forehead, small horns were starting to grow and to grossly top everything he was pitching a tent in his pants. Alisha was trying to get free and crying. “Oh my god…”

“Ryder start the prayer,” Elsa said in Korean as she entered the room glaring at him. She shut the door behind her and quickly covered the door handle and doorway floor with the holy water.

“Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee-” I stopped when I heard the demon growl and looked up from the book to see that Alisha was now wrapped up in black chains. Elsa was holding up the cross to it and it began to prowl towards her. “Blessed art thou among women, and-”

“Occhi di demone,” He growled in Italian, then the stools and tables in the classroom all slide towards Alisha cornering her and making her scream in fear.

“The only demonic thing here is you!” Elsa seethed gripping the dagger. Ryder get to her but keep chanting!” Elsa called in Korean.

“And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus,” I carried on sidestepping towards Alisha feeling my limbs go all stiff. My hands were shaking while I read from the book. That was when Elsa lunged for the demon swinging her hand that held the dagger going for his side while her other hand held the crucifix up in front of her. The demon hissed and rolled to the side.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,” I carried on trying to pull a table out of the way, but an invisible force was keeping it still. Elsa shouted something in Polish, then the demon swiped down at her brandishing its claws. Elsa jumped back and he swiped up with his other hand swiftly making her go back again until she was up against one of the waist high cupboards lining the back wall. He gripped her wrists trying to push her down to the ground. A kick to the right shin followed by a hard knee to the gut from Elsa made him back off holding his stomach.

“And at the hour of our death. Amen,” I finished the prayer then he gripped his head.

“FREE HER NOW!” Elsa shouted at me then gripped the dagger handle with both hands. I nodded and began shoving the tables and stools out of my way to get to Alisha, who was fighting the chains. I smelt burning flesh and heard hissing. It made me realise the chains were burning her arms. She started pulling at them, and I did too when I got to her but when the chains became so hot, I screamed at the same time as the demon. He sounded much more furious. I dropped the prayer book and gripped my blistered hand seeing the red marks from the chains on my right palm.

“RYDER WATCH IT!” Alisha screamed and I turned around just in time to escape the demon and Elsa still scrapping, trying to kill each other. Elsa had claw marks on her cheeks, but she pinned him against one of the tables, trying to press the crucifix against his forehead; the dagger was in his shoulder which explained his scream.

“SECOND PRAYER!” Elsa shouted. I grabbed the prayer book then backed away from them now fighting on his desk knocking pens, his computer, and papers everywhere then turned to the page with the second prayer.

“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,” I began, rushing back to Alisha who had managed to free her arms and was now unchaining her legs. “Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil,” We scooted to the other side of the room as the demon broke free from Elsa shoving her back harshly to the ground.

“What the fuck is he?! What the hell is going on?!” Alisha demanded gripping my arm so hard it made me cringe and grit my teeth in pain.

“Now is not the time, you know that from all the movies we watch,” I hissed as the demon faced us. “May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do-” I was cut off by the demon growling slinking closer to us. His eyes were now like two pathways directly to the blazing pits of hell and he grew even large, more intimidating and more demonic. I stuttered a few times trying to continue the prayer holding up the rosary. He backhanded that out of my hand then he grabbed me by my neck with one hand and he started to squeeze.

“NO!” I heard Elsa shout as she swung a stool at his side, but the chair just broke into bits. He waved his other hand and Elsa was thrown back against the wall furthest away from us.

“You will watch me have the bitch!” The demon seethed at me while I was gagging and gasping for air. He then made more black chains appear out of nowhere, wrapped one end around my neck in replace of his hand making me scream at the burning feeling, then with the other end he wrapped it around my body making my clothing burn into my skin and making me scream more. All while he did it, he had a grin of a sadist on his face.

“Who you calling a bitch?!” I heard Alisha’s voice see the, but it sounded slightly deeper and scratchy. He let out a howl of pain caused by her stabbing not just the dagger but also the crucifix into his back. She kicked it down to its knees and I saw her eyes had gone a smoky grey colour. Her fists were clenched, and her heavy breaths caused her shoulders to rise and fall. She then grabbed the devil by the horns and dragged him away from me so Elsa, who now was free from the demon’s invisible force, could stumble over to help me.

Alisha stood in the same angry state with her back to us while she watched him flail about trying to get the two sharp things impaled in him making him ooze black liquid. Elsa was watching her as she helped get the chains off after quickly covering her hands in the holy water.

“ANSWER ME, YOU DEMON BASTARD!” Alisha screamed in the same tone.

“Could you move please Elsa?” I hissed in pain at her.

“How?” She stuttered in complete shock about Alisha making her move slowly.

“What do you mean?” I asked her whilst crying out in agony as the chains pulled some of my skin and clothing off with them.

“Her eyes, her resistance to his powers, her being able to see the demon-like this…it makes sense but, it is near impossible,” She added watching as the demon got the crucifix out of him with a hiss.

“What do you mean?! Tell me!” I begged as she began wiping holy water on my wounds soothing them slightly.

“Ryder your best friend is not human,” No shit, I thought. “She is a Cambion, and a Creature Seer!” When she said those words, Alisha jerked back to look at us with a frown. Her eyes were emitting a grey mist, but she didn’t look aggressive to us.

“What?!” She asked, her voice still sounded distorted. The demon then took the opportunity to knock her to the ground, but she grabbed it by the legs and yanked him back harshly making his chin hit the ground and some teeth to shatter. He growled in pain as Alisha got up, grabbed the crucifix, drove it through his back so he shrieked and he was now pinned down under her. She then pulled back his head by his horns and looked at me and Elsa expectantly.

“Ryder start the prayer again now!”

“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen,” I read quickly and clearly from the book, and right after Elsa began pouring all the holy water on his head and face making him scream and his skin boil and bubble like it was burning before it exploded getting black gunk everywhere. Alisha stood panting with the gunk from his horns and the top of his head all over her. I closed the book, put it down and was about to go to her to see if she was okay but Elsa grabbed me by the shoulder stopping me.

“Wait,” She said watching Alisha.

“What?!” I frowned at her.

“Have you ever seen her look like this before?” She asked me.

“No, I think I would remember my best friend doing that and looking like that,” I replied gesturing to the still furious looking girl.

“Then she is unsafe. Cambions have magical abilities they cannot control right away. She may be your best friend but like this, with demonic energy powering her, she is unpredictable. She could kill you,” Elsa warned.

“What do we do then?! I don’t wanna hurt her!” I cried.

“You won’t. Stay put,” She told me patting me twice before she turned to Alisha who was looking around frantically with gritted teeth. She was almost growling! “Alisha, my name is Elsa,” Alisha locked her grey eyes with Elsa’s hazel ones. “I know you are probably very confused, scared and feeling a lot of change and power inside you,” Elsa began speaking softly. “You were not seeing things just now. You are not going insane; you have not been drugged. That was a demon you just helped me kill. I saw it too,” The grey colour in Alisha’s eyes were starting to fade.

“How?” She whispered.

“Because I am a Creature Seer. I am a human with the ability to see demons and monsters and all kinds of things not part of the human world,” Elsa replied putting a hand on her chest to gesture to herself. Alisha frowned at me shaking her head.

“It’s real. I saw it too. I’m also a Creature Seer Alisha,” I told her.

“What?!” She exclaimed.

“Those hallucinations I had, a lot of them were creatures. It’s something a higher power gave to us. It’s crazy, but it is real,” her breathing got faster as she tried to process it, but when she grabbed her hair and started shaking her head, she looked like it was too much for her.

“It is okay to react however you want, try not to do anything harmful though,” Elsa added softly. Alisha’s eyes then went back to their normal brown colour, and I smiled thinking she was going to calm down, but then she let go of her hair and dropped to the floor.

“Shit!” I exclaimed then rushed to her side. “Alisha!” I called repetitively as Elsa quickly knelt at her other side.

“Give her air dear,” Elsa told me putting her into a position a paramedic once taught us in a special one-off class. “She is still breathing,” She added. “Alisha?” Elsa called but there was no response. I tried shaking her shoulder calling her name again but stopped when I heard a cracking noise from the door to the small storage room. The black gunk from the demon’s head as well as his body began to evaporate into black mist and that mist began to float towards the door that had a massive crack in it making a low whooshing sound as it passed through the dark jagged crack.

After it all vanished, the crack sealed up leaving the normal wooden door to the cupboard decorated by a colourful science poster. We then heard muffled shouts and crashes like someone was struggling. Elsa and I jumped up, she held the knife like she was ready to strike if she needed to, and I slowly grabbed the door handle, then after mouthing ‘one, two, three’ I opened it ready to punch whatever or whoever was on the other side of the door. We instead both dropped our hands and guards and instead both looked at each other in confusion.

“There are, two of him?!” I exclaimed pointing at the other panicked Mr De Santis lying on the floor with duck-tape over his mouth, a black scrap of material tied around his eyes as a blindfold, and his arms and legs had been tied up like a hog by boy scouts learning to tie inescapable knots.

“No, I don’t think so,” Elsa began turning on the light. She then got a stool to prop the door open and went to his side holding the crucifix. “Say the first prayer again,” She said in Korean before holding the crucifix up to him, then I got the prayer book and did just that. The other Mr De Santis frowned at me then Elsa and interrupted me by speaking all muffled because of the tape.

“Should we?” I asked pointing to my mouth talking about the tape. Elsa then peeled off the tape making him grit his teeth and groan in pain shouting a word in Italian that I guessed was a curse word.

“Why on earth are you praying?! I’ve been kept here by a demon woman for weeks!” He shouted, tears in his eyes.

“Is he a demon?” I asked Elsa in Korean as she stood up.

“No. He is human. A human that needs help,” She replied then went to get the ropes off him. “Sorry. There has been a lot happen. Who are you please?” She began as he rolled over so she could cut the ropes.

“Matteo De Santis. Weeks ago, I supposed to start work here as a science teacher, and the weekend before I met a woman in a bar. She started off beautiful and interested but when we got back to my house, she became a fucking demon! She made me more tired than I ever had been before, and she kept me in here in what felt like another realm!” He explained extravagantly.

“A woman demon?” I frowned as Elsa looked back at me unwrapping the rope from his wrists and ankles.

“It will be him as a Succubus,” She replied.

“A what?” The real Mr De Santis asked standing up. It was then I heard Alisha’s voice, now normal, call out. I rushed back to her and helped her sit up.

“Hey, welcome back,” I smiled as she rubbed her head.

“Tell me what the fuck happened, right now,” she demanded.

“I think we have to go to the shop,” Elsa said coming out with Mr De Santis. I nodded and helped Alisha stand up and made sure she knew where we were going. She made me promise to tell her what was going to happen before we walked out of the lab, which I promised. Elsa’s ride was an old four-door pickup truck that was slightly dusty and faded sky-blue colour. Dangling from the rear-view mirror was a small golden star of David and a plastic Polish flag keychain. It was clean on the inside and had grey coloured seats with some sky-blue coloured details.

On the ride over, I introduced her to Elsa and Elsa to Alisha. The two got to know each other a little, but neither of them talked about the Cambion thing. Alisha was resting her head against the window, her eyes heavy and shoulders slouched, and Elsa probably didn’t want to talk about this thing in front of Mr De Santis. He asked a few questions about what had happened, but Elsa told him that there were things at her shop that would help explain things to him. Both he and Alisha probably would have to sign blood promise notes. I dreaded to think how that would go.

“That is a nice-looking shop Elsa,” Mr De Santis complimented as we pulled up outside the shop.

“Thank you very much, Matteo,” Elsa replied as we got out. “Thank you for also agreeing to come here. This is something that is going to be difficult to believe let alone understand,” She added unlocking the door into the shop while I got out and jogged around the front of the truck to open the door on Alisha’s side.

“Hey, how you feeling?” I asked as she got out of the car looking at me with pure annoyance. “Stupid question?” I asked when the realisation hit me and she nodded. “Sorry, come on,” I said then opened the door letting the two of us in. Mr De Santis rested against the counter looking towards the kitchen where Elsa was. “You need help Elsa?” I called shutting the door behind me.

“Just come and lock the shop door for me, dear,” She replied while I heard her doing something in the kitchen. When I came through the curtain, I saw her making some tea for everyone.

“I’m surprised Mr De Santis didn’t ask for coffee,” I joked and she chuckled.

“Tea is better since we all need to calm down right now. I must tell you the legend of how coffee was discovered,” She told me putting the teacups on a tray. “Have some green tea dear,” She offered walking up to me with the tray. I took a cup and thanked her inhaling the herbal smell of it then sighed.

“Tea Alisha?” Elsa offered after she walked back into the shop. I noticed Kappa and Hanz at the top of the stairs and waved to them. Kappa nodded his head and Hanz started to come down the stairs backwards one step at a time like a typical little kid.

“No, bad idea guys,” I hissed shaking my head. Hanz then stopped and turned to look back at me at the same time Mr De Santis looked at me with a baffled frown. “Uh…” I stuttered but Elsa saved me by offering him a cup of tea with a smile.

“Thank you kindly,” He smiled then took a sip.

“Can I ask how you are now?” I asked Alisha walking back to her while Elsa put up a ‘be back soon sign’ in the shop window and locked the door again.

“My head doesn’t feel like I spent a whole day on a merry-go-round spinning at one-hundred miles an hour,” She told me, cradling the cup of tea.

“Come with me if you are ready for an answer,” Elsa said then opened the hidden door. “We are going to my study,” She added.

“Excellent, I hope there’s gonna be plenty of room for the four of us and seats,” Mr De Santis replied and I couldn’t help but smirk knowingly. He was about to get another big shock.

“Come on, you’re about to see something awesome,” I beckoned to Alisha and she followed with a small and intrigued frown.

“What is it you are going to show us in the little study?” Mr De Santis asked as Elsa opened the door into the study. He stopped, jerk his head back and say something in Italian with awe in his voice. “H-how?”

“Come this way and I will explain. Ryder, Alisha, you stay here please,” She then beckoned me over to her and I walked to her so she could be quieter. “If you want to learn more about Cambions, look under Religious Calamities and Demons for books. Some ladders in the storage area over there,” She told me pointing to the second on the right of the door. I nodded then looked at Alisha already wandering around the sections on the left of the door, specifically the Humanoid Creatures section.

“You up for that?” I asked Alisha and she shrugged. “Can I read it with her?” I asked Elsa.

“If she wants. You can tell her about Creature Seers if she wants to know, but as the Elder Seer, I must tell her about the note,” Elsa told me.

“Okay, I’ll go be a supportive friend and fellow Creature Seer I guess,” I replied. She then took Mr De Santis up to the top floor of the study where the sitting area was to explain things to him and probably to make him sign a blood promise note. I finished my tea, placed the cup on the table telling Alisha she could take a seat if she wanted, then went to get the tall wooden ladders. “So, err little warning. There are a couple of creatures in this place, but they’re harmless,” I began carrying the ladders over to the section with the title ‘Demons’ written in black writing on a white marble circle sign in stunning cursive.

On the shelf with the sign on the end were lots of books, and on the opposite side were all kinds of spooky artefacts, statues, and even a skull with horns coming out of it! I decided to stick to the books with a gulp, and after setting up the ladders climbed up so I could reach the top shelf. I began looking at the book titles trying to figure out which had information about the demons Elsa mentioned.

“Christian Demons, good start,” I took it out and carefully walked back down the steps.

“So, were you gonna tell me about this?” Alisha suddenly speaking right next to me made me jump and lose my balance. Me rocking around trying to get my balance while keeping hold of the book. The ladder stopped abruptly. I grabbed the ladder with both hands keeping my elbows close to me to cradle the book I picked. That didn’t work and it slid off my arms making me chant ‘no’ over and over. Alisha caught the book and looked up at me frowning with her eyes now slightly grey in colour again.

“Maybe I should tell Elsa you shouldn’t be trusted around ladders,” She then scoffed and carried the book over to the table. She was angry at me, but I think this meant that she was feeling a little better and that this whole thing was starting to sink in kind of.

“Uh, maybe,” I chuckled then looked at the books again seeing another book called ‘The worst demons of sex’. I guessed that would have more information, maybe. I saw another one called ‘Stories of demon spawn in the human world’ and thought that would have information on a Cambion for Alisha. It felt, incredibly strange to think about this and learning about this. I didn’t want to upset or offend her, but I also wanted to understand and help her with this whole magic demon abilities thing. I knew that this would be really difficult for her to talk about this and that there would be some hard truths for her around her parents. “Here’s some more books on what we might have, seen,” I began walking towards her.

“And about what I am?” she bluntly asked me with a sideways glance.

“Maybe,” I replied sitting down next to her with the books in my lap. I saw she hadn’t started looking at the book she caught, but it was on the edge of the table which made me think she was considering it.

“Did you know?” She asked me crossing her arms.

“I hadn’t even heard of a Cambion before today, and I didn’t know you were a Creature Seer. Heck, I’ve only known I was a Creature Seer myself for a few weeks,” I told her with a shrug before I put the two books on the table from my lap. “I’m still figuring it out,” I laughed weakly but she didn’t join in.

“That, thing, did some horrible shit to Mr De Santis didn’t it?” She asked looking up in the direction his and Elsa’s voices were faintly heard coming from. “And it was trying to do the same to me?” She asked and I nodded.

“Elsa told me that an Incubus lives to seduce virgins and make them non-virgins,” I told her then opened the book called ‘The worst demons of sex’.

“She’s your new friend, isn’t she?” Alisha asked me pointing lazily.

“Yep, that’s Elsa,” I nodded.

“And do your parents know that your friends with a strange Russian lady who has a secret library in her shop?” Alisha asked with a bitter pout.

“Are you mad I didn’t tell you about this?” I asked after a pause. I could see she was hurt, and rightly so. We’d always shared pretty much every problem, every win, and everything in between that happened with each other. Although I had a feeling I would tell her eventually, maybe even have to tell her given no other choice, I still felt really bad. She glanced sideways in the other way stubbornly not giving me an answer. I let out a heavy sigh and rubbed my eyes.

“Look, I had to tell my parents because the day I found out about all this, a demon tried to take Zack,” She immediately looked back to me with wide eyes and a parted mouth. “I also made a promise that I wouldn’t tell anyone unless I had no other choice. It’s what all Creature Seers have to do for the good of the human world,”

“How is forcing someone to keep a massive secret to their best friend good for, the human world you called it?” She demanded with a frown of disagreement.

“You really think people in this world would not panic and turn on each other after finding out that demons, dragons, ghosts and gods are all real and living among us?” I shrugged.

“Valid point,” She replied nodding while her eyes wandered to the book. She opened her mouth like she was about to speak but instead let out a heavy sigh and dragged her fingers through her thick hair. “I really need an explanation about what happened in that lab but at the same time I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to handle it or like what I’m gonna hear,” She began with an unsteady voice.

“Well, I think Mr De Santis, the one upstairs, had been seduced, used and abused by an Incubus in its female form called the Succubus,” I began looking in the book about sex demons at the contents page. “I think they like doing it a whole lot with virgins human women they seduce,” I then pushed the book open on the pages about the Incubus towards her.

“Eww,” She cringed glancing at the lewd sketch in the book of the demon. “Predatory Demons,” She added then gagged.

“Yeah…they do this to make babies too,” I replied then opened up the other book to find the page on Cambions. “And, I think this is what Elsa said you were,” I muttered hesitantly reading some of the information. The bits I saw said that Cambions had supernatural abilities, and I was pretty sure that is what I saw when she fought Incubus Mr De Santis.

When I put the book open gently on the table, she shot up out of her seat like I had put a dead cat in front of her. Her breath was jittery, her hands rubbing up her arms and she was shaking her head.

“No…No…” She stuttered as I stood up too.

“Alisha, it’s okay to feel like, well, however you want about this,” I comforted going over to give her a hug.

“HOW THE HELL DOES ANYONE REACT TO THIS RYDER?!” She screamed shoving me back with some force. I fell back on the ground and grunted in pain. Must be what it’s like to get knocked down by an MMA fighter.

“Ouch…” I hissed holding my side.

“I AM NOT SURE ABOUT ANYTHING IN MY WHOLE DAMN LIFE! I’M QUESTIONING EVERYTHING ABOUT MYSELF, WHO I AM, THE WORLD, MY PARENTS, EVEN YOU!” She went on. I could see from my level of sight Kappa and Hanz watching on from the door. “I don’t even wanna know what I am, how can we believe what some old lady and creepy book tell us?! Huh?!” She demanded intensely as I got back up.

“I believe it because of what happened to Zack. That demon, was no joke. And just like if some sicko tried to take him, I believed it to protect him. I believed that Incubus was not our teacher and tried to harm you and many others at our school, but most of all, I believe this because I’ve seen it with my own eyes Alisha,” I began seeing her breathing and nervous movements stop. “This whole thing I know is complicated, but that is the world we live in. The universe we live in. And I don’t know about you but I’m willing to learn a little more about being a Creature Seer if I can do something useful,” I could see her eyes were starting to flood with tears.

“I’m a demon, Ryder. That isn’t something that can’t be treated or changed or stopped! You saw what I was like with all that, that power!” She sobbed gesturing with her hands. “What’s gonna stop me from hurting people like that other demon at school wanted to do?! What’s gonna stop me from killing someone else?!” She demanded.

“I think, I have answers to that,” Elsa’s soft voice spoke as she strode silently down the steps towards us. Mr De Santis followed with a band-aid on his finger and a wary look aimed at Alisha.

“I will be going. Grazie for your help,” Mr De Santis said then began to walk towards the door making Kappa and Hanz vanish. Alisha watched him uncomfortably. She’d been like that a little since we left the lab. Mr De Santis picked up on her looking away quickly and he stopped the walked around the table to her. “Alisha. Although it was not the real me that tried to do truly evil things to you, I’m so sorry for whatever happened. And whatever it was you did, you did in self-defence. Not to be a cold killer,” He began and Alisha looked slowly towards him. “Let me also tell you as a true teacher, that knowledge is the light that banishes ignorance caused by not knowing, and it stops the wrong things caused by the fear of not understanding,” He wisely began then looked at me. “You both should learn as much about all of this as you can. I have a feeling it will help you with so much,” He added then said goodbye, and left with Elsa following him to let him out.

Alisha’s thoughts had been provoked in what I hope was a good way by his words. They had done the same to me, and I began to wonder what kinds of things being a Creature Seer and the knowledge it came with would help me with.

“He is going to get a cab,” Elsa said coming back into the study. Kappa came in with a tissue box in his hands. He strode up to Alisha who was now sat still in a sombre mood with tears streaking down her chubby cheeks. I cleared my throat getting her to look up and see him. She frowned and jerked her head back a little at him looking the small green creature up and down. Kappa then bowed and held out the tissues for her. I awed, but then pouted at how he was with her in comparison to me, which was kind. “Don’t worry Ryder, Kappas have quite a liking for women,” I frowned at Elsa wondering what that meant. “Do not worry. Kappa is not dirty like other Kappas. He knows that she is a Creature Seer too,” She told me while Alisha wiped her eyes.

“He a demon slave?” Alisha asked watching Kappa carefully.

“A yokai and a companion. From Japan,” Elsa replied then she pulled up a chair near the books. “Any other questions you have I will answer as best as I can,” she added lacing her fingers together to rest on the table. Alisha glanced at the book open on Cambions before she spoke eventually.

“How dangerous am I?” She asked.

“Well, Cambions on their own are said to be manipulative, chaotic, unpredictable, demonic. But some things point to you being a Creature Seer. You were able to see that demon despite him not showing his demonic form to all until he started to fight me and Ryder. Only we could see him then. You never fell under the spell of the Incubus when many others were doing so in seconds. You fought against him and not on his side,” Elsa began then her expression softened. “And another pointer of you being a Cambion is that your parents are not here,” Alisha turned away sharply. Elsa struck a nerve and I cringed with worry. The silence was tense, would she be like an unhinged demon again? “I mean not to upset you, dear. You do not need to answer that. You are not a bad person for being a Cambion or because of them,” She added soothingly.

“My mother I only know from a few pictures Daz kept. Before and after I was born, she had several massive break downs. She was called a danger and put in prison after assaulting someone. She had me in prison, and I was taken away to be raised by Daz, my godfather. My mother had no family where she was from, and my father…my father left after he found out she was having me. He never gave any help, or any kind of support or love to my mother and made her even worse,” Alisha had never told me all the details of her parents. Hearing them made me get up, walk over to her, and give her the biggest hug that she accepted after a moment of hesitation whilst sobbing some more. Elsa also got up getting the tissues and walked over rubbing her back tenderly.

“I’m sorry, but you are right when you say your father made her worse. He also was the thing that caused it and her death, because it’s what Incubus do when they have picked the one they want,” Elsa grimly explained.

“Does, does that mean the Incubus seduced a man as a Succubus to get…” I felt a little embarrassed to say the word to Elsa and made a wiggling gesture with my index finger. “Y’know, to make, Alisha?” I asked Elsa.

“And that man is probably dead too,” Elsa nodded.

“So, is the human man my father?” Alisha asked but Elsa shook her head.

“No dear. That man’s sperm will have been changed by the Incubus in its own body to make it demonic. That man was used nearly as much as your mother was,” Elsa explained. Alisha teared up.

“That’s so horrible,” Alisha sobbed then I got up, grabbed the tissues and gave her one. “Do, do you think she knew?” She asked dabbing her eyes.

“I would not unless I spoke to her. If she was reported by those who tried to help in the medical field to have been talking about a demon, or some kind of monster, then possibly. The Incubus that seduced her may have stayed in his human form, depending on its strategy and situation,” Elsa explained with a shrug. Alisha looked more and more upset, and Elsa picked up on this then stood up herself. “Now I know you must be worried about harming others, or worse. But, you are a Creature Seer too. And I think that part of you is a good balance to that side of you. If you were dangerous, you would not have helped us defeat that demon. You would have helped him do more harm since Cambions and Incubi are kin. You also did not fall for his advances. All Creature Seers do not fall for any kind of seduction, and when he was in his demon form you saw it like myself and Ryder did,”

“Yeah. You saved every one of those horny teens and teachers he seduced at our school, Alisha. That’s gotta count for something,” I encouraged. Alisha looked down at her hands, the memories of a few hours ago I could tell were on replay in her head.

“I can’t believe I killed something. I felt like I wasn’t in control and that another side of me took over. The Cambion side I guess,” She confessed.

“Have you never seen anything out of the ordinary with Alisha at all Ryder? You have known her for many years,” Elsa asked me. I thought for a few moments but then shook my head.

“She’s always just been my best friend. No horns, grey eyes, claws, attempts to bad things,” I replied.

“Again, that is unusual for Cambion. Their magical abilities emerge and they use them very soon after being born and continue throughout their lives. But the abilities you have as Creature Seer could have prevented that, and kept you more human and out of danger,” Elsa explained a little more cheerily.

“Well, that’s an unexpected benefit,” I said giving two thumbs up to her and a smile. Alisha wasn’t crying anymore but she was frowning in thought.

“Why am I only just discovering all these abilities now?” Alisha asked.

“All Creature Seers learn about that and who they at different times. You and Ryder are sixteen, I was ten-”

“Ten?!” I exclaimed wondering how crazy that must have been for her.

“Yes. My teacher was twenty. It is random, just like the choosing of who will be a Creature Seer. But you most definitely, are a first Alisha for Creature Seers, and I think you could be a great one if you choose to learn about our ways. But if you do not want to do that, it is fine. Either way, I need you to sign some things. I will get them, wait here,” Elsa replied then with one more warm smile she went up the stairs to get the signing stuff she used for me. Alisha and I sat back down again, and she started to read about Cambions again.

“How the hell am I gonna tell Daz about this?” Alisha sighed. I shrugged and scratched the back of my neck.

“I didn’t have that struggle as much, since they got dragged into it when Zack got put in danger by that demon from Japan,” I replied.

“What if he knows?” Alisha asked me.

“Then, that is one big secret to keep. You may not even have to tell him. Sometimes not telling regular humans about all this world of creatures is protecting them. What they don’t know can’t hurt them. I thought about doing the same for you if I’m honest but, that’s outta the question now,” I replied.

“Thanks, you’re a good friend?” She said, her words not entirely sure if that was a good thing or not.

“No problem,” I smiled. “Need a hug?” I asked and she nodded then we had a warm comforting hug. “No matter what you decide to do, I’ll still be here for you,” I told her after a few minutes of hugging.

“Me too dude,” she replied. Elsa then came down smiling with the signing stuff.

“I hate to break up a nice moment of friendship, but these need to be signed. This does not mean you have to make your mind up on if you want to learn about being a Creature Seer right now,” Elsa reassured.

“Well let’s get this over with so I can go think,” Alisha said rubbing her hands together than the three of us sat down and Elsa began to over things. Alisha gave me a whole lot of shocked and confused looks that I responded with by being reassuring. Elsa still acknowledged that it was extreme to make her sign something in blood. Alisha didn’t even flinch when Elsa cut her finger. After she signed everything and Elsa bandaged her up, they began to have some nice conversation while I sat reading about the demons we’d seen today. And that was something I did not expect would happen to me at sixteen.

“So, the stuff on the second floor, is it all real? Are all these books real?” She asked looking around with her elbows rested on the table.

“Yes. They are not toys though, and you will spend a long time studying everything in this big and complex world,” Elsa explained gesturing with her hands.

“And, that is, a helper creature?” Alisha asked pointing at Kappa who was watching her absentmindedly while he put some books away in one of the sections near us.

“Kappa. He is my companion that helps me here,” Elsa introduced glancing over at him with a fond smile. “I have offered to let him go back to Japan many times, but he like here. He has a nice pond and less competition for it. Some creatures choose to help us,” Elsa explained.

“Really? Like what?” Alisha asked sounding more and more interested.

“That is part of what you’d learn, if you choose to do so,” Elsa replied sounding a little mysterious. I could tell this was making Alisha making her annoyed as hell with curiosity.

“Well, that just makes me want to learn damn it,” Alisha huffed but she was grinning playfully. Elsa chuckled warmly then shrugged apologetically.

“Forgive me,” She said smiling herself. “If you want to come to ask me any questions before you make your choice you can,” Elsa told her.

“I may take you up on that, thank you,” Alisha replied. I looked at the time on my phone and saw it was getting close to four-thirty.

“Time is getting on, should, we get going? Don’t want our folks to be worrying,” I pointed out standing up while rubbing my thighs with my palms before I shook the bit of pins and needles out of my legs.

“I texted Daz saying that I was hanging out with you at your house until five so, we should probably get going,” She told me getting with while fixing her fluffy hair.

“Stay on the main roads when you walk. I will keep you in my prayers,” Elsa said getting up to lead us away out the study and back to the front door of the shop. “Have a good evening the two of you,” She added unlocking then opening the door.

“Thank you,” I smiled with a wave.

“Thanks, Elsa,” Alisha then glanced at Kappa who was stood with a couple of books in his webbed hands at the door to the study. “Bye Kappa,” She waved making him drop the book, squawk out in shock then pick it up, swiftly dust off the front of his shell and bow in response.

“Later Kappa!” I waved but just stiffly nodded his head slightly and went back to the study. “Yep. He’s got a soft spot for girls,” I huffed.

“He will grow to like you,” Elsa told me.

“If not, we accept he’s got good taste,” Alisha shrugged smugly while flipping her hair. Elsa burst out laughing for a second but she gasped and covered her mouth and apologised to me.

“Wow, I feel attacked,” I sarcastically replied but also laughed. “See you soon,” I said to Elsa then left the shop and started walking with Alisha.

“This has to be the most insane day of my whole life. I’m not completely human, monsters exist, me and my best friend can see them!” She exclaimed counting on her fingers.

“Yeah, pretty sure Elsa said that we’re rare as well as random too. I’m sure if there is only one new Seer at a time or not, but it’s nice to not be the only one,” I replied.

“The odds of being one are pretty stacked. I can’t imagine what the odds of being that and a Cambion. I feel really special, is that weird?” She asked me.

“What even is that anymore dude?” I shrugged.

“I don’t know that’s why I asked, but I got my own answer,” she replied. “Is there anything else you can tell me?” She asked and I thought for a second and came up with an idea then stopped looking serious.

“Yeah, but it is also a lot,” I replied making her stop and look at me a little afraid. I stayed silent for a few seconds before I finally spoke. “Elsa said Slenderman is real,”

“Oh god, RYDER! NO!” She groaned and I grinned. “I did not need to hear that crazy human string cheese is real! He’s not here, right?” She demanded paranoid.

“No, he is in a forest somewhere else and doesn’t leave it,” I laughed then she sighed in relief.

“Great, don’t tell me shit like that again please,” She said pushing me and I laughed more.

“Okay, c’mon let’s head back to mine,” I replied and she nodded smiling ever so slightly.

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