The cafeteria is filled up with supernatural’s by the time I arrive. I expect the room to be exploding with noise but everyone is quiet or speaking in hushed tones. Tension is hovering over the room like a thick blanket.
I spot Nat standing across the room by one of the tables so I travel over towards her. Her arms are folded over her chest protectively, her eyes are flashing a dark red every few seconds; she’s a vampire. My feet stop me and my hand unconsciously moves to the pocket inside my jacket flap. Katie’s glasses sit inside. I take a deep breath and continue walking towards her. If she was dangerous, she wouldn’t be here and Cala most definitely wouldn’t trust her.
“What’s going on.” I ask, once I reach her.
“Reid called a code 1. It means there are people in the tunnels, they’re coming this way.” she replies, hiding her nervousness miserably.
I look around the room at the panicked faces. “Shouldn’t we be hiding or something then? Why is everyone just standing here?”
“Candace has got it handled; you’ll see. We just have to stay very quiet once she casts the enchantment.” She speaks quickly. Her fingers are digging sharply into her arms and eyes are now more red than their usual brown.
“Your eyes are flashing, Nat. Are you okay?”
“They are?” she reaches up and rubs over her eyelids. “I promise I’m not hungry -I fed on a pig just a few hours ago- it’s just the stress.”
The only thing I can do is nod my head. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of her.
She squeezes her eyes shut tightly, smoothing out the front of her floral button up shirt. When her eyes open the red is still hinting in the corner of her irises, but she smiles at me as if everything is normal.
A hush goes over the already pretty quiet crowd as a girl with shaggy brown hair and a Lolli pop sticking out of her lips enters the room. She’s holding a gray heavy laptop in her hands.
Her focused eyes look around the room before landing on Candance, who is holding her brother’s hand tightly. I can feel the power coursing out of her.
“Thirty seconds.” The girl says, a rasp in her voice telling me that she barely uses it. She clicks a button on her laptop and the lights in the room dim until they are completely off.
Candace nods her head and steps forward. Everyone pushes to get behind her so I follow along, not really sure what’s going on. No one seems particularly worried except for the red headed girl ahead of us.
I see her take a deep breath before lowering her head. Her hands raise, palms up in front of her. A ring of gold and blue light encircles them.
“Thine eyes are mine, you blink for me, see only what I want you to see. See only what I want you to see.” She repeats the last line a few more times than clasps her hands together, like she’s holding a stick in front of her. A burst of light explodes from within her and goes over the tops of our heads. The light resembles a golden, yet clear umbrella.
Just as the light solidifies the door begins to clang loudly. The girl with the laptop presses a single button, allowing the wheel on the door to turn easily. It slams open in a matter of seconds, revealing four men in construction gear and hard hats.
“Whoa,” the tallest of the few says, looking around in amazement. “This most definitely wasn’t in the plans.”
“Looks like this place has been abandoned for- for- for I don’t even know how long.” Another one says and I tense as he looks straight at me, or should I say through me.
The other men look straight at us as well, none of them actually seeing what they’re actually looking at. Candace must have said an invisibility spell to keep them from seeing us. It’s kind of freaky watching them completely avoid us without even realizing that they are.
“Just wait till Fisher hears about this. He might just have a conniption.”
“You think we’ll have to tear all this out?”
“Yeah, that or renovate this place.” They converse loudly with each other.
I look around frantically wondering what we’re supposed to do. If they come know about this place then that means that we’ll have to leave. Candace looks like she’s barely holding herself together, so I don’t think she would be able to do this frequently.
Just as I feel my heart rate begin to accelerate past redemption, Carter catches my eye. A glow has started to surround him as well, getting gradually brighter before he disappears before my eyes with a pop. He reappears seconds later but he’s no longer hidden by our protective circle. Instead he appears behind one of the men who’s gradually getting closer to us. With a mischievous smirk he leans forward and whispers something into the man’s ear. The workers arms go limp and a murky glow glosses over his eyes.
Carter travels around the room doing the same thing to each of the men. Each of them responding the exact same way.
“These tunnels sure are dark.” One of them says, his voice monotone.
“Yeah, we should head back.” Another one responds, matching the tone of his comrade. “There’s nothing down here for us.”
All the others nod in agreement before turning in unison and heading towards the door. There feet all seem to drag, making their exit the longest I’ve ever encountered.
Finally, after an eternity, the room is cleared and Carter rushes to shut and lock the door.
Candace takes in a large intake of breath and lowers her hands. The umbrella of invisibility around us descends and the lights in the room come back on. The Red-headed witch sways in her standing position. I feel the urge to run forward and catch her but before I can, her brother appears at her side, holding her exhausted form.
Everyone in the room begins to chatter quietly, relief wafts through the room unanimously.
“Great job, guardians.” Miri speaks over the hushed voices. “Yet another success at keeping our little secret, secret. Carter take your sister back to her room so she can rest. When she wakes, tell her she can have any desert she pleases.”
He only nods and picks her up bridal style, then exits the room swiftly.
“I’ll put us on lockdown for a few hours until I’m certain it’s clear.” The girl with the laptop who’s name I still don’t know says.
“I don’t think we’ll be seeing anyone else anytime soon, Reid.” Miri says, finally giving me her name. Nat had said that she’s the one who called the code 1.
She instructs everyone to leave the room, telling us to get some rest before dinner.
Everyone disperses from the room quickly. I squeeze through the crowd and make my way towards Miri, who is now talking with both Cala and Nat.
“-need to tomorrow.” I catch the end of Cala’s sentence; her arms are folded over her chest and wings are hidden within her back.
“That should work, Candace will be back to normal by then.” Miri says in agreement. “You two can go start getting ready now. Go on.”
I watch as the two girls immediately follow orders and travel down separate tunnels. When I look back at Miri, she’s half way across the room about to leave. I run after her calling out her name as I go. She doesn’t stop walking, but luckily, I catch up to her.
“Can I talk with you for a moment?” I say, still walking speedily so I can keep up with her.
“Now isn’t the greatest of times.”
“It’s really important.”
“Are you sure it can’t wait until- “
“I saw the woman again.” I blurt out. Miri stops mid-step and I nearly crash into her back. Her snake-like eyes study the fear that I know is shining through my own.
“Interesting.” Is all she says before she takes my arms and drags me along down the hall.