The Worst Night Ever
As the Tokyo subway pulled into the station, the doors slid open, and a preppy teenage girl with a duffle bag in one hand stepped out onto the platform. As her feet reached the ground, she turned on her heels, her long ponytail of auburn hair whipped about her face. She smiled and her hazel eyes brightened as a young boy of similar age with a backpack exited the train, sliding a suitcase behind him. The boy’s raven hair was messy from the long trip. He rubbed the sleep out of his vibrant azure orbs as his vision came in contact with her greenish ones. “What’s with the smile?” The young man asked with a soft mix of a French and British accent, the French side winning every other word. “Because it’s been a long trip,” She said with an accent of her own as she stretched her arms above her head. Her oversized pink sweater lifted, revealing her plaid skirt, “but we’re finally here!” The boy, with his black hoodie and blue undershirt, pulled her closer to him so she was out of the way of pedestrians. “Careful, Emi.” “Oops,” She said, pulling in her arms close to her. “Sorry, Aaron. It’s really crowded here.” Aaron sighed and, taking her hand, he lead her to the exit. “Not even a minute in and you’re already being your clumsy self.” Emi gave him an apologetic smile.
As they walked up the steps to the over world, the teens were washed with the warmth of a street light. The sun had long ago set over the cityscape, but the artificial lights of the buildings burned bright in the darkness. Emi’s eyes lit up in excitement. “I’ve always wanted to come here ever since I was eight! Akihabara is even more beautiful than I imagined!” She admired the seemingly infinite anime billboards as she dragged Aaron through the crowded streets. Even this late at night, the sidewalk was overflowing with people. With her arm wrapped around his, she stopped both of them to stare in awe at the anime miniatures in a shop window. Aaron smiled at her childish wonder. “Come on, Em. We gotta get to the school.” The girl gave him a frown as she let him pull her to the curb to to call a cab. As a small yellow car pulled up beside them, Aaron pushed his suitcase and Emi’s duffle bag in the trunk, before getting in the backseat. He gave the driver the address in his best Japanese and sat back as the car began to move.
A few minutes later and they were standing in front of a large metal gate leading the campus entrance. Using the key cards they were given in the mail, Aaron and Emi passed the guards. Inside the gate was a path that lead to a large rectangular colonial building. On either side of the center building were bigger rectangular buildings that sat horizontally to each other. They followed the path to the heart of the campus and went inside, hoping it was the office building. To their delightful surprise, it was. The hallway was almost completely dark save for some light coming from an open door to their left. They stepped in the doorway, quietly as to not disturb the old lady humming to herself as she filed paperwork. When she didn’t notice them, the teens looked at each other. “Excuse me?” The humming stopped and she looked up at the tall boy with raven hair and striking blue eyes and the shorter girl with long brown hair and hazel eyes. She noticed their bags and smiled. “You must be new students.” The teens nodded. “Sorry we’re so late.” She pulled her drawer open. “No need for apologies. You get here when you get here.” The lady looked up at them. “Names?” “Emilia Riou.” Emi said with a smile. “Aaron Van Roosen.” The woman nodded and gave them both envelopes with their names on it. “So, you’re both British?” They nodded. “I’m French-English, but yes.” Aaron said. “I should’ve known. You’re accents are so particular. It compliments your Japanese very well.” Emi bowed in respect and Aaron followed. “Thank you.” The older women pointed to the wall next to them. “You’re room is the first building here on the left. Be sure you’re up for orientation tomorrow at 10. It’ll be in theater hall directly behind this building.” They both nodded. “Have a good night!” The lady nodded back. “You as well.”
They opened the door to their co-ed dorm to see two twin size beds on either wall and a small kitchen and table to the right corner. On the back wall was a sliding door to a small porch that looked over an ornate flower garden. Emi, dropping her bag, jumped on the first bed she saw, claiming it as her own. Aaron, instead of joining her, slid open the glass door to the balcony. He stared down at the oceans of roses and hydrangeas. “Ugh, I’m so tired.” Em mumbled from her bed. Aaron nodded out of sight of her. “At least we don’t have class until Monday. The only thing until then is orientation.” He could hear her groan. “But, it’s so early.” The boy turned to face the teenage girl, who buried herself in a pile of sheets and pillows. He narrowed his eyes at her laziness. “It’s at 10.” She poked her head out of her pillow fort. “That’s early for me!” Aaron rolled his eyes and stepped back into dorm room before walking towards the entrance. “Where are you going?” He opened the door before turning to address Emi. “For a walk. I want to get a closer look at the garden.” Now it was her turn to narrow her eyes. “Babe, it’s like the middle of the night. And we gotta get up tomorrow.” Aaron gave his girlfriend a smile. “But, unlike you, I don’t have a problem getting up in the morning. I’ll be back soon.” “Fine, whatever. Just don’t get lost.” “I won’t.” With that, the door between them closed.
After a long walk down from the seventh floor of the dorm, Aaron finally arrived in the small courtyard connecting the two facing boarding halls and the main office. The night was brisk as the cold wind swept through the campus. Shivering, the boy put up his hood and walked the stone path to the flower garden that was situated in the direct center of the landscape. He strolled past large buildings, which were bathed in the light of the street lamps. He listened as he did so; the only thing he could hear was the mating song of frogs and crickets, and his own footsteps. Everything else around him held a peaceful silence. Aaron finally stopped, after following the path for some time. He looked up. The first thing that hit his senses was the sweet smell of pollen that rode the soft, rolling wind. The second was the color. Breathtaking oceans of red, pink, and blue all danced together as one. It was a field of every flower Aaron had ever seen, and then some, as well as a dozen cherry trees that bordered the garden. As the wind picked up, turning into a mighty gale, the pale, pink blossoms of the trees were ripped from their branches, flying into the night. Aaron smiled. This was everything he’d hoped to see from the cherry blossoms of Japan during the spring season.
However, as Aaron lowered his vision back to the garden, his bright, sapphire eyes focused on a peculiar sight. A boy, who looked only a couple years older than him, was crouched next to a bed of flowers. Using his hands, he tore through the dirt, under one of the white buds. Curious, the foreigner approached the student. As he came closer, he could make out more of the boy’s features. He could tell that he was very tall, even when crouched over. He had dark brown or black hair. It was short, but his bangs hung over his eyes, forcing the boy to adjust them every couple of seconds. He had very pale skin, even paler than Aaron’s, which he thought was impossible. The last thing Aaron noticed was his uniform, most likely the school’s. It consisted of grey dress pants (which were now covered in dirt) and a dark blazer. He couldn’t make out anything else, due to the fact that the boy was facing away from him. Aaron was now only a few feet away from him. He was about to open his mouth, but the student beat him to it. “What do you want?” The sudden voice made him jump. The boy’s harsh tone didn’t help either. As he turned to face Aaron, he revealed his eyes that were so brown that they looked almost red in color. His stoic expression eased as he saw Aaron standing there. He clearly wasn’t the person he expected to see. “Sorry,” The boy said as he stood to his full height, a whole three inches taller than him. “I thought you were someone else.” He said in a softer, calmer voice, in attempt to ease the boy’s nerves. “Oh, no problem.” Aaron was put off by the student’s odd accent, that didn’t mix well with the Japanese he spoke. The taller man scanned his counterpart up and down. He seemed confused by his casual clothing and his European accent. Aaron, in return, skimmed the front of his dirt covered uniform. The edges of the collar and pockets of the dark blue blazer were trimmed with white. The left chest pocket of the jacket held a blue logo with the initials ‘VT’ for Verde-Trinity High School sewed in silver thread. His undershirt was also white and he wore a blue tie with thin black and white stripes.
“You seem new. Are you lost?” Aaron’s vision raised to the boy. He shrugged and put his cold fingers in his pockets. “No, I’m good. I was just taking a walk.” Suspicion flashed in the man’s amber eyes. “It’s rather late for a walk.” Aaron looked annoyed by his impression. “I just got off an eleven hour flight from England. I guess the jet lag is getting to me.” “You’re English? I wouldn’t’ve guessed from your accent.” “I have a French accent. Yes, I know.” Aaron dismissed the boy’s small talk and looked down to the white flower in his hand, which he was strangely trying to hide behind his back. “Can I ask why you were picking flowers at one in the morning?” He tried to get a better look at the flower bed behind him, but the student’s large stature blocked his view. “Well,” he paused, looking down at the flower. “This particular flower only blooms once a year during the middle of the night.” As he spoke, Aaron managed to side step the student and crouched to examine the bed of flowers. He seemed to be very protective of it. Aaron scooped the petals of the flower in his hands and gently directed them towards the light. “Careful!” The student warned and pulled his hands away from the prickly stem. “The thorns are poisonous.” The oceans of pure blue that were Aaron’s eyes looked up at his auburn orbs with heavy suspicion. “This is Belladonna, one of the most poisonous plants in the world. What are you doing with this?” His eyes lowered until they were slits. “Please tell me you’re not gonna smoke this.” The student sighed, “Of course not. Aaron, just step away from the flower.“The boy removed his hand from his shoulder as Aaron stood. From the look of shock and confusion, the student knew he misspoke. “How do you know my name?”
“It was a lucky guess,” he said, trying to mend the situation. “Let’s start over.” He sat on the wooden bench near the edge of the garden. Aaron followed, admiring the boy’s straight posture. His hands were clasped in front of him and his eyes were closed. A few moments later and he looked across the bench to his counterpart. “My name is Alexandru Tepes, but you can call me Alex. I’m a night student.” Contrast to Alex and his perfectly straight back, Aaron sat casually, one leg over the other, half turned to him, arm rested on the back of the bench. “Aaron Van Roosen, but you already knew that...somehow. My mom’s French and Father’s English.” Alex opened his mouth to reply, but the raven haired boy beat him to it. “Let me guess, you’re Romanian?” His reddish-brown eyes widened, he was genuinely impressed. “I’m surprised. Most people wouldn’t get that.” “It was a fifty-fifty between that and Ukrainian. It’s hard to tell those accents apart.” The dark haired boy gave Aaron a small smile, but his azure blue eyes quickly drifted to the ground in contemplation. After a minute of silence, his eyes rose again, locking gaze with the orbs of fiery amber. “Can I ask you something?” Alex thought up his response. “If you answer my question afterwards.” The boy shrugged, “Sure.”
“What were you actually planning to do with the Belladonna? ’Cause, I don’t buy that you were picking a poisonous plant simply because it was ‘pretty’ or whatever.” Alexandru Tepes tried to formulate a reasonable excuse, but he became distracted by a dark outline that flashed across the corner of his vision. His gaze drifted up towards the roof of the east building of the garden, that was nearly 12 meters (40 feet) away. Aaron followed his eyes. However, saw nothing but a shroud of darkness. Alex noticeably tensed. His eyes scanned his surroundings in small bursts of movement as not to look in anyway abnormal. Unfortunately, Aaron caught on to his shift in attitude. “Alex?” “I’m listening,” he said without taking his eyes off the roof. This time, he didn’t seen the figure that crossed his gaze just moments ago, but he preferred to be cautious. He frowned, the crystal blue eyes of the foreigner showed little enthusiasm. “Then maybe you should answer my question.” The student ripped his gaze away from the mid-century colonial building when he realized that he wasn’t paying attention. Alex looked down to the boy’s glare and gave him an apologetic smile. “Sorry, do you mind repeating what you just said?” Aaron’s glare sharpened. “Are you sure you’re not high?” He exhaled in a way that could be perceived as a laugh. “I promise I’m not. Now, what was your question?”
Aaron asked his question again. Alex tried to listen this time, but all his senses focused on something else. The dark figure appeared again from the corner of his vision. This time, it stood on the roof of the four story building. He kept his direct vision on the boy, as not to cause alarm, but even so, he could tell from his peripheral vision, that the figure was a person. Alex sat as still as he could; calm, collected. However, his instincts took over as a small object raced towards his head. Seconds before it connected with his temple, the boy moved his head, only slightly, causing the object to careen towards the ground. Aaron jumped backwards, his back hitting the arm rest, as a loud muffled thud rang out into the night. “What the hell was that?” He asked, looking around, but he couldn’t see much past the glare of the street lamp. Alex’s calm, stoic expression looked down to the flower bed at his feet. The boy that accompanied him followed his gaze. What he saw made his Mediterranean blue eyes widen. There, halfway submerged in dirt, was a silver knife with an ornate handle. Intrigued, Aaron crouched next to elaborate cutlery. “How did this get here?” He asked to the boy, who stood behind him, as he pulled the knife out of the ground. Instead of answering, Alex turned around, catching another silver knife out of the air. Aaron looked up at the sound of movement. He saw the student, identical knife in hand. Smoke escaped his fingertips and a sizzling sound was present, like acid eating away at flesh. “Alex?” He asked, concerned by what he saw. “Are you ok?” Alex dropped the knife as his reddish eyes locked with the figure that walked towards them from the darkness. The Englishman stood and followed his gaze. At first, he saw nothing. However, an outline of a woman soon emerged. Her giggle road on the cold, spring wind. “You’re reflexes are getting slow, Tepes.”
She was a tall, slender girl, around the age of 18 or so, with mid-length fiery red hair and glowing crimson eyes. Her face held a menacing smile. She wore an unidentifiable school uniform. White undershirt, black blazer with white trimming, a tie with red, black, and white plaid, and a small skirt with the same pattern. Over this, the woman wore a bright red trench coat that reached her ankles, the ends of which swayed in the breeze. Her clothes weren’t the strangest thing about her, however. The most terrifying thing, by far, was the ring of silver knives that circled around her in mid air. Shock and confusion froze Aaron’s body. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t think. All could do was ask, “who are you?...” His voice was barely a whisper. As if in response to his question, several pairs of glowing eyes appeared behind the woman. Four men joined her in the light of the street lamp. Nothing about them could be considered remarkable or distinguishable, other than their eyes. Alex immediately positioned himself in front of Aaron in a protective manner, blocking his view. He seemed to recognize the group. “Celeste, don’t you know this is a safe zone? We’re not supposed to cause trouble here.” The redhead known as Celeste laughed, as if what he said was in anyway funny. “You really think you could escape your fate by going to school?” She asked in a mocking tone. The girl raised her palm and the two silver knives that she had thrown earlier came flying back to her hand. This seemed to be her command to her militia to advance as the four men suddenly appeared surrounding Alex on all sides. Aaron stumbled backwards. “These guys aren’t human...” He whispered to himself. Celeste smiled in response to the boy’s terror, but otherwise ignored him. “Alexandru Tepes,” She let go of the knives in her hand, letting gravity claim them. However, before the handles even fully left her palm, they joined the circle of knives that danced around her. “My family has suffered for centuries under your rule. This torture must stop with you.” At this point, her smile faded. Replaced by a harsh glare of hatred. “For your crimes, I sentence you to death.” As she raised her hand again, the four men grabbed hold of Alex, preventing him from escaping. Celeste lowered her hand, palm facing the student. The circle dispersed and raced towards him in unison.
“Alex!” Aaron screamed out. It was all he could do. His feet was frozen to the ground, which kept him from helping or running away. Alex saw the barrage of silver weaponry that flew towards him. Even so, he kept a strong, focused stance. The man that held his left hand loosened his grip and the boy was able to break his grasp. Having only seconds to defend himself, he used his now free hand to pull the thug on the right in front of him. He screamed as twelve sterling blades pierced his back. The same smoke as when Alex touched the daggers floated up from his wounded form. The sound and smell of burning flesh lingered in the air. One last guttural screech and the man fell to the ground, motionless. The other three hissed, exposing sharp, jagged teeth. Alex turned back to the boy, whose eyes were dulled with shock. “Aaron, run!” His voice seemed to knock Aaron out of his trance as he turned on his heels and ran. “Not so fast,” Celeste smiled. She jumped into the air, way farther than any human was capable of. As her silhouette passed Alex overhead, the knives that were embedded into the man’s back gravitated towards her, circling her waist once again. Celeste landed in front of Aaron, halting him in his tracks. He turned around and attempted to change directions, but the redhead grabbed his wrist and pulled him back to her. Using his free arm, he tried to pry her hand off him. She simply grabbed hold of his other hand, locking him in place. At this point, it wasn’t even worth fighting, she was far stronger than him. Aaron stood, facing away from Celeste, her chest pressed against his back, his arms completely immobilized.
“Well, what do we have here?” She asked, loud enough so Alex could hear. She lowered her head until it rested on Aaron’s shoulder, which made him flinch. Celeste gazed at her enemy with haunting eyes and a sinister smile. “Is this your little pet?” She turned her head a little so her warm breath ran down his neck. He shivered from the sudden sensation. “Let him go, Celeste. He has nothing to do with me.” Her smile widened. she seemed to enjoy his begging. “He’s right,” the girl looked up at her victim. “We just met.” “Oh honey, I’m sure you did.” As she said this, Aaron could feel several sharp jabs that pierced through the back of his spine. An agonizing shriek escaped his mouth as he lost his balance, falling backwards into the woman who stabbed him. Celeste, however, caught him before his body hit the ground. The edges of his vision began to blur as the feverish, throbbing pain spread throughout him. Trying to focus on anything but the blood that ran down his back, he looked up to see her glowing crimson eyes. “Unfortunately for you, you were at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Celeste said as she forcefully grabbed his chin and pushed his head away from her, revealing his neck to the cold breeze. The last thing Aaron saw clearly was Celeste’s toothy grin. Similar to the thugs she brought with her, her canines were unusually long and sharp. As she brought her mouth closer to him, her teeth elongated even further until they were small blades. The boy’s eyes widened with fear and his heart began racing as the woman bit down on his jugular. He gasped from the piercing sensation. He felt like a row of tiny knives had punctured his throat. He felt something warm run down the front of his shirt as Celeste pushed down further.
“Celeste!” The woman looked up to see that Alex had taken care of the rest of her men. His eyes were now firmly glowing with red, hot anger. “I told you to let him go.” His voice began to shake, trying to contain his hatred. As he spoke, blood began to rise in the air from the bodies at his feet. She smiled at him, before returning her attention to Aaron, who was struggling to stay conscious. His breathing was labored, but he tried to keep it steady. Celeste submerged her teeth into his neck once again. She pushed down through the tissue until she came in contact with his trachea. Her teeth locked with the muscle, as she pulled backwards, tearing his entire throat open. Aaron tried to scream, but his vocal cords flooded with blood, and he ended up desperately choking for breath. Celeste giggled as the boy’s lungs drowned in the red liquid. She looked back to her enemy with a taunting grin, but her reflexes quickly took over as a pillar of condensed blood raced towards her head. She dodged the first attack and looked back to see several more needles of blood flying at her. She jumped in the air, holding the limp body of Aaron in one arm. She glared at Alex, when a sharp pain stabbed through her chest. She hissed, looking down, she saw a column of concentrated red liquid that formed from the bloodied body of Aaron sticking into her rip cage. Celeste let go of the human boy as she landed on her knees.
Consciousness had long passed Aaron’s form. Even so, he felt the warmth that surrounded him as Alex caught him from the air. His blue eyes opened as his back came in contact with the cold, wet earth. The only thing in his vision was the Romanian night student, staring down at him with vivid ruby orbs. The boy opened his mouth to say something, but the only thing that came out was violent coughing as he tried and failed to bring air into his lungs. The gasping and coughing inflamed his lungs. The spasms caused a domino effect of agony throughout his body. Alex tried to put pressure on Aaron’s slashed throat, but there wasn’t much he could do. The damage was already done. His lungs were already filling with blood and his body was losing oxygen. He looked down the boy, fighting for his life. He thought of his options and contemplated every consequence he could think of. This was a bad idea, a very bad idea. However, as Alex watched the light drain from those crystal eyes, he knew it was the choice he had to make. He took his hand off Aaron’s wound. Using his razor teeth, he ripped through the skin on his wrist. Quickly, before his injury healed, he hovered his arm over the human’s open mouth. A stream of Alex’s blood flooded the boy’s system, when new skin grew over the cut. The dark-haired boy rested his arm to his side and watched Aaron’s still form. He waited for anything to change. A few moments later, the boy’s eyes, who were now deathly still, twitched, just slightly. In addition to this, the bright hue began to darken to a purplish red. All indicators pointed to Aaron being dead. However, as Alex examined further, he saw his neck, which was slashed wide opened, started to heal itself. The student sighed, this would take awhile. He stood, taking the boy’s body in his arms. As he looked around, he noticed that Celeste had vanished, leaving only a trail of blood. It seemed the bodies of her men were gone as well. Alex knew this was something he needed to look into further. However, glancing down at the newly revived human, he knew he had more important matters at hand. Focusing on nothing but the child, Alexandru Tepes carried Aaron Van Roosen into the night.