Piercing Chill

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Chapter 11

Being grounded sucked, especially for no reason. I had never seen dad angry like last night before. He was usually calm and allowed everyone to speak their thoughts before dismissing them. What I didn’t understand is why he shouted at Jason and said something about 'his kind'. What was different between Jason and I. We were both humans living on earth. I had hoped that dad would like him. Could it be because dad caught me kissing him in front of the porch? I didn’t even know what to think anymore.

I closed the book I was reading. I didn’t even remember what I was reading or the page I was at. I have read this book a thousand times but this one time I wasn’t enjoying it. I looked at the screen of my phone and waited for it to light up as I furiously clicked the home button. It didn’t respond. I walked towards the charger that was lying on the floor. I connected the phone and the screen immediately lighted up showing that the battery was low.

I sighed in frustration and stomped downstairs. I looked in the fridge for something to eat. Nothing grabbed my eyes. I looked in the food cabinet, nothing there either. I went back to the fridge again and took out the bottle of milk and poured all of the milk in one of the mugs that were sitting on the benchtop. I placed the mug in the microwave to heat up the milk. I hated drinking cold milk. Let’s just say my stomach couldn’t hold it in.

I looked in the food cabinet for something to make the milk better. Milo, I quickly grabbed it and waited until the microwave made a ding sound. When I opened the microwave door, my anger skyrocketed to the roof. The milk I thought was fresh was actually fermented. I groaned as I poured the fermented milk down the sink, rinsing the mug soon after. Could my day get any worse?

First, I was grounded, second dad forbid me to go shopping with Tina. Third, my snack was ruined. Fourth, both he and mum went out. I could have sneaked out but they didn’t tell me when they were returning and I couldn’t risk having my grounding extended to another month. I sighed and put the milo back in the food cabinet. I decided to eat dry cereal.

I munched on the cereal as I marched up the stairs. I passed by dad's office. The door was ajar. Curiosity suddenly hit me. My feet involuntarily dragged me towards the door. I pushed the door further and poked my head through the opening. No one was there. Of course no one was in there. I was the only one in the house.

I stepped into dad's office and my heartbeat picked up. I didn’t know why I felt the edge to do this. I had never felt the verge to violate anyone's property before. The room smelt like old books and a hint of dad's cologne. I walked towards his desk and placed my cereal bowl on top of the desk. The desk was pretty clean to be honest, better than mine.

Now, where to start? I looked through the papers that where on the table. Transaction records from his bank account and flight schedules. I quickly dropped them where they were. I didn’t know what I was looking for but I just felt like there was something he was hiding.

An open book on the desk caught my attention. Dad must have been reading it.

The title “Vampires and Angels, why they should never cross paths” was bold and big on the top of the page. I read the first two paragraph curious as why dad was reading such a book.

“For eons, angels have been given up as sacrifice in the Vampire world. Every millennium about three angels somewhere in the world are acquired by vampires, through a love spell. Though it is a difficult situation to swallow, it is the only way the Vampire world can continue to aspire. The blood of an angel is able to sustain the Vampire world for at least two centuries. The stronger or the higher the status of the angel, the longer the Vampire world and leaders are sustained. A new vampire individual aspiring to become the leader of the vampire coterie must obtain an angel of high status to prove his/her strength and power and sacrifice them to the Gods in order to effectively protect his coterie.

For the Gods to accept the sacrifice an angel must willingly surrender him or herself. This is achieved when the angel has fallen for a vampire. They are blinded by love that they are willing to become sacrifice for their love. However, many of these angels who are able to succumb to this are of low status and do not provide the vampires with enough blood to live on. Hence the reason why, a high status angel is the best option. On top of making the high status angel fall in love with them, the vampires usually put the angel under a spell when they are unaware. Drain them without their knowledge and burn their bodies. In this case the angels neither agree nor disagree to the sacrifice.”

I scoffed at how pathetic this folklore sounded. I disregarded the book and continued on my search for a clue.

I opened one of the drawers on the desk. There were a bunch of papers stacked together. I lifted the papers and saw something white peeking from under the papers. I hesitantly lifted the papers and saw that it was a feather. Not just an average bird or hen feather. It was longer than my hand and as wide as my palm. It must have belonged to a really big bird. I lifted the feather up to my face. It was a snow coloured feather with a few strands of silver. It felt heavy in my palm. I had never seen such a beautiful thing before. Despite its heaviness in my palm, it was really soft. Words could not describe how soft it was. Even the stuffed animal I had when I was young was not as soft as this.

"Hello Mary." I quickly whirled my body towards the door. Dad stood there eyeing me unconcernedly. I didn’t even hear him come into the house. He walked into the office, smiling. I quickly hid the feather behind me even though it was no use. I had been caught already.

"I, uh." I stammered.

"It's fine for you to look through." Dad paused placing his bag on the desk. "I totally understand, especially after what happened two nights ago."

He took a seat on his chair. "So how has your day been?" Dad questioned looking at me with his golden brown eyes. Eyes I wished I had possessed but I got stuck with dark brown eyes that almost looked black when the light was dim.

"Good." I replied, suddenly my feet were more interesting than facing dad.

"That's good, because I was thinking we could go hiking."

I lifted my head and looked at him confused. "Now?" He nodded his head.

"Now, go and get ready." I nodded my head and walked towards the door quickly.

"Are you forgetting something?" Dad asked pointing at the bowl on the desk, while smiling.

I smiled and quickly picked up my bowl. I took my other hand and was about to place the feather on the table when dad said, "It's fine, you can keep it."

I nodded before exiting the room. I sighed in relief after closing my bedroom door. I expected dad to scold me for entering his office without permission. I looked at the white feather in my palm and smiled to myself. I placed it next to my lamp. I quickly walked towards my closet and took out some comfortable pants and a shirt.

You must be wondering why I wasn’t complaining or wondering why dad was doing this all of a sudden. We always do this when he is home. He always said that it was good for my stamina. I didn’t know why and how I was going to use this in the future but he persisted that it was good for my brain.

When I was done, I jogged down the stairs towards the kitchen. Dad was already at the door holding two water bottles and jackets. He helped me put my jacket on.

"Let's go." Dad declared, opening the kitchen door that led to the backyard.

Behind our house there was a forest and it led to one of the Amoris mountains, named after the first man to climb all of the mountains in twenty-four hours. I followed closely behind dad. This was going to be interesting. I hadn’t hiked for more than three months. Dad left me instructions to hike at least two times a week when he was away but I didn’t step a foot near the mountains.

"How long do you think we will take to get to the top this time?" Dad asked looking at me raising his left eyebrow.

"About twenty minutes?" I asked.

"Are you serious? We should at least aim for fifteen minutes. After all you’ve been practicing while I was away."

I fake smiled, knowing sure enough it was a lie. We started up the mountain. It was a bit steep, but manageable to walk up. As we walked I could feel myself getting tired with every step I took. When we were about halfway I collapsed onto the ground, breathing hard.

"Come on honey." Dad said walking back towards me.

"I'm so tired." I said moving myself into a sitting position.

"I will carry you." He said crouching down for me to go on his back like he used to do when I was small.

"No, dad." I said waving him off. "I'm not a child anymore."

"But you are tired."

"I will manage." I assured him laughing a little.

"Good." Dad stood laughing as well.

We continued up the mountain and finally we made it. I sighed heavily as I sat down on the ground. Legs aching from the buildup of lactic acid.

"Good job kiddo. Exactly fifteen minutes." Dad said patting me on the back, while sitting next to me.

"Thanks." I replied before chugging mouthful after mouthful of water.

Why was dad being all nice to me today? Because that night he looked like he was about to rip someone's throat off.

"Dad?"

"Mhmm." He hummed as he chugged down some water next to me.

"Why did you do what you did Friday night?" I queried.

I watched as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He sighed and then turned his head towards me.

"You will understand soon enough." He said lazily.

"What do you mean soon enough? I want to know now." I demanded. "You didn’t even give him a chance.”

"I will tell you the truth soon honey. Right now we need to just enjoy this time together." He continued. “Just promise me that you’ll stay away from that boy.” I didn’t reply to this, I just poked at the grass next to me.

“Since when did you start having those gold swirls on your shoulders?” Dad questioned next to me without looking my way. I snapped my head at him, shocked he had noticed them. How had he noticed? I had hidden them very well for a month and no one had questioned them.

“About a month ago.” I replied, unsure of myself.

“It’s happening earlier than I thought.” Dad whispered more to himself than me.

“What’s happening?” I questioned turning on the grass to face dad. He was staring into the distance, obviously lost in thought. His eyes were tired, dull and full of pain.

“You must be careful. Do you remember what I taught you last month?” I nodded my head. “Let’s try it now and see if you are still good at it.”

I nodded my head again and eyed him. He turned his gaze towards mine, drilling me into the ground. I felt a warm and familiar sensation twist into my brain. I could feel its warmness trying to pry into my thoughts. I thought of a brick wall, rising up to the sky, blocking the warm sensation. I held the image there until the sensation slipped away.

“Excellent.” Dad clapped his hands, “Much better. Please remember whenever you feel that sensation, it may be cold or warm, block it out so that no one can manipulate what you think.”

“But dad, why must I learn this and is it even real?” I questioned. Despite having learnt this trick only four months ago, I didn’t understand the reason why he taught me this and why I was able to feel what he was talking about. I was human and not some kind of special creature that my father always told me I was. Since I could remember, he had always reminded me that I was special.

“It is all real and soon you’re going to encounter a specific event in your life that I can’t stop. No one can, except you.” Dad paused but not long enough for me to interrogate him, “let’s go before it gets too dark.”

He stood up before I could protest. Crickets were already chirping in the background. We descended the mountain in silence and I was glad when we reached the backyard. When we entered the house, mum was already there waiting for us. She didn’t venture with us during hiking. She always refused saying she was scared of heights.

"Hello you two." Mum greeted us in a casual blue and black polka dot dress.

"Hi mum." I returned her smile before giving her a kiss on the cheek. I continued down the kitchen before informing my parents, "I'm going to take a shower. I will see you guys soon."

"Ok." Mum and dad chorused.

I walked to my room and gathered fresh clothes, this time not forgetting my underwear, before heading to the bathroom. I took the shower as quick as possible. I was very hungry and needed food in my stomach. I quickly dried myself and put on the fresh clothes. I walked into my room with the dirty clothes in my hands. I looked at myself in the mirror, my eyes looked tired and my skin looked flaky. I quickly got some face moisturiser. I slapped some onto my face just before hearing a light tap on my window. I froze and slowly turned my head towards the window. Was that figure from under the tree knocking on the window? The tapping sounded again. I gasped.

I grabbed my brush from my dressing table and hung onto it as if it was a knife. I slowly made my way towards the window. I was shaking and I could hear my heart pounding very fast. I should have called my parents. However, my pretentious demeanor was back again. I picked up one of my deodorant cans as well, to use just in case I needed a stronger weapon. I slowly opened the curtain, still shaking. What I saw made me want to jump and touch the sky in happiness. I quickly dropped the weapons onto the floor and opened the window.

"Can I come in?" Jason whispered.

"Of course." I replied, moving away from the window so he could get in.

"What are you doi–?" I didn't get to finish my sentence because Jason's lips were crushing mine.

I felt him pull me closer to him, and warmth spread through my body. This made me realise how much I had missed him, even though it had been two days only. I could feel my heartbeat thumbing against my chest. I clutched his shirt and pulled him close to me. After our lips disengaged, we were both breathing heavily. I rested my forehead on his and whispered, "I missed you."

"I missed you too." Jason replied kissing the tip of my nose. I looked up at Jason and smiled really big. I was so happy to see him. I hugged him with all my might.

"James, get Mary when you come down for dinner." I heard mum’s voice from downstairs.

I looked at Jason in panic. I heard a knock on the door followed by dad's voice. "Are you coming Mary?"

I quickly looked at Jason and whispered, "Hide." I heard the door opening and looked at Jason worriedly. I turned around to face my dad, scared to know what will happen. I closed my eyes and prepared for the worst.

"You coming?" My dad spoke and I quickly opened my eyes.

"Huh?" I asked looking at my dad’s head poking through the opening.

"Dinner is ready." He retorted and I nodded and walked towards him. I quickly looked behind me as I closed the door. Jason wasn’t in sight.

I took a seat in my usual spot at the table still wondering where Jason could possibly be hiding. "Let's say grace." Dad informed when we were all seated. He quickly said grace and we all dug in. I quickly grabbed the bowl full of rice before everyone else and scooped some onto my plate. I grabbed the chicken and gravy and a few vegetables. I started eating, folk full after folk full.

Mum looked at me weirdly and hissed, "Mary, eat properly."

"Let her be." Dad defended me. I smiled at his thoughtfulness. I continued eating fast. When I was done, I excused myself from the table and dropped my plate in the sink.

I heard my mum say, "What has gotten into her?"

"I'm going to bed." I squeaked.

"But it's still seven." Mum said wiping her lips with a napkin.

"I know. I'm really tired. That hike did something to me." I yawned.

"Ok then honey. Sleep well." Mum said continuing eating.

"Good night sweetie." Dad chimed in, but I could sense that he didn’t buy it.

I sprinted up the stairs into my room and locked it behind me. "Jason?" I whispered turning the light on.

I felt a hand cover my mouth. I stifled a scream and then heard Jason laugh behind me. I punched his chest playfully

"Sorry Kate." He said laughing a little. Jason walked towards me and wrapped his hands around my waist. I saw him leaning in. I quickly covered my mouth with my hand. "What's wrong?" Jason asked.

"I just ate and my mouth probably stinks." I said with my hand still covering my mouth. I got out of Jason's grip and walked towards my bathroom. I quickly brushed my teeth and walked back into my room.

I saw Jason looking at some of my books on my book shelf.

"You like reading a lot, don't you?" Jason asked looking at me while holding one of the books in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Claire. I couldn’t make out which one it was.

"Yes." I replied before wrapping my arms around his waist, "Now you can kiss me."

"Nah, can't be bothered." Jason shrugged walking away from me.

"Are you serious?" I asked crossing my arms on top of my chest.

"Yup." Jason said sitting on my bed opening the book.

"Fine." I stomped into the bathroom and quickly changed into my pyjamas. When I walked back into my room Jason was still there but lying on my bed, holding the feather that I took from dad’s office.

"This is an interesting feather." Jason praised, “Is it yours? It suits you well. So pure and beautiful. I wonder if your wings looked like this.” I quickly walked towards my lamp and turned it on, ignoring Jason who was watching my every move. I had no idea what he was bubbling out. I walked to the main light switch and turned it off. "Where did you get it from?" I continued to ignore him.

I walked towards my bed and went into the covers, pushing Jason to the other side. I could see him smirking. I pulled the covers over my head to hide my smile. "Oh come on." Jason said just behind me. "I was just kidding.” I didn’t reply.

"Kate." I heard Jason say again just above my ear. "I'm going to tickle you." I continued to ignore him. Then I felt his hands tickling my stomach above the covers. I tried to hold it in but I couldn't. I started giggling uncontrollably.

"Stop, Jason." I warned in between giggles.

"No." He continued tickling me.

Then a knock sounded on my door. I quickly turned my head at Jason and shooed him away. I quickly turned off the lamp and held my breath.

"She isn’t replying. I think she is already sleeping." I heard my mum saying behind the door, probably talking to dad.

"But I swear I heard some noise." Dad’s voice sounded after a few seconds of silence.

"Maybe you are just tired too honey." I heard my mum saying before her footsteps retreated from the door. I waited a little until I heard them closing their own bedroom door. I quickly sprang out of bed and whispered, "Jason."

"I'm here." Jason whispered back and the lamp light illuminated.

"I think you should go." I whispered at Jason who was looking at me clearly enjoying this.

"You want me to go already?" Jason said smirking, "But we were just getting started."

"I'm serious." I said with a serious tone.

"Fine." Jason groaned. He paused at the edge of my bed and spoke, “Come with me to a club downtown.”

“Club, as in alcohol and dancing?” I questioned, “I’m underage.”

“It doesn’t matter, you have me.” He winked. I knew that Jason was over eighteen and could go in but I still had three months before reaching the magic number. “The Bouncer is my friend.”

“My parents won’t allow me.” I whined because we both knew this was true.

“Sneak out,” Jason shrugged his shoulders. “Just make sure they don’t hear you though and don’t use the window. I would rather you got caught than break your sexy legs.” I didn’t know if it was such a good idea. I was already grounded. “Sleep on it.” He suggested walking with me towards the window.

He spun his head towards me. "Can I get a kiss?" Jason pleaded. I smiled and kissed him on the cheek. "What? Is that all?" Jason asked pouting his lips.

"What else were you expecting?" I teased him with a smirk on my lips. "Now go."

"Fine." I watched as he climbed out of the window and jumped onto the ground, landing gracefully on his feet.

I waved at him and watched him jog towards his car. I quickly closed the window and went back into the covers. I smiled to myself as I drifted off to sleep. I was glad I got to see Jason.

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