I drove past downtown into what the humans called the “ghetto”. I could see why. Buildings were abandoned. Some of them just shells of what they used to be. It was obvious the street was never cleaned.
I broke a few traffic laws to get to Lainie.
I pulled into the parking lot and sent her an “I’m here” text. I got out my car and walked towards the sliding doors. Lainie, carrying two plastic bags, walked out with a man. I scrunched up my eyebrows.
“I thought your name was Sarah,” the man slurred. He was wearing dirty, baggy clothes. His face was full of scraggly, untrimmed facial hair.
I came up to them and squeezed myself in the middle. I grabbed Lainie’s elbow and led her to the car.
“Ooh, you have a friend.” The man smelled heavily of alcohol. “Wait, where you ladies going?”
“Please leave us alone,” I said.
“Now, I was just being polite.” He grabbed my other arm and I responded by swiftly kicking him in the groins. He doubled over. “You bitch.” Abruptly, he stood up and grabbed Lainie’s hair. She yelped in pain and fell, dropping her bags.
I helped her up, vision blurring. “Lainie, go get in the car,” I said through clenched teeth.
She nervously looked at me. “Amy . . .”
As I watched her go, my vision darkened. And then I was not myself.
The human took a swing at me. I effortlessly dodged it. I punched him hard in the face. Blood spewed out of his mouth and I liked the sight of it and wanted to see more. I punched him again, my fist crushing his nose. The sound of the cartilage crunching delighted me. I socked him in the stomach. He fell this time. I crouched over him and hit him again and again.
My head snapped up at the sound of a voice. I didn’t recognize the human girl.
“What the hell are you doing?” She came up to me and shook my shoulders. Whoever she was, she was terrified.
Things started making sense again the more she shook me. I looked down at the bloody, unconscious man-
It happened again. And then I was back in my body.
“Lainie . . . I-I don’t know.” I realized my wings were out. I tucked them away quickly and got off of the man.
“It happened again. Like last year on Enceladus. Your eyes were black. Even passed your contacts.” She had that same look of fear on her face as last year. Afraid of me.
The man regained consciousness and scattered backward. “What the-what the hell are you?”
I took the man’s arms and made him look into my eyes. “You will leave and never harass another girl ever again. You will get sober. You won’t remember what happened here today. Do you understand?”
“I understand.” He got up and walked away.
“Did you use your mind control on him?” Lainie asked.
I nodded and shivered. I felt wind on my back where my wings had ripped my shirt.
I could’ve killed that man. In this parking lot. In front of Lainie.
Lainie offered to drive us home. While in the car I noticed that there was blood on my knuckles and shirt. I clenched my fists. I needed to get in control of my dark powers or else one day I’d really hurt someone I cared about.
We got home and I showered. When I got out, Lainie was sitting on my bed.
“Lainie, I am so sorry.”
I had a feeling I knew where this was going. “I understand if you—if you need some time. Away from me.” I toed the dark purple rug on the ground.
“What? No, that’s nonsense. I don’t need time. I need you.”
“Oh.” I blinked. “Okay, good.”
She pulled me closer with the edge of my towel.
“Aren’t you afraid of me?”
Her face said yes. Her mouth said, “I know you would never hurt me. I love you.”
I swallowed the hurt, shoved away the frustration and doubts and said, “Ü mïð zü.”
The next morning before class I decided to email Lynx and see if he could find any research or legends about my ability. The one that no one else had. The ability to take people’s life essence. Last year, I accidentally used it on almost the entire population of Enceladus. I even did it to my siblings. Lainie was the one who witnessed it. She told me how my eyes had gone black and how there was a white-ish mist coming out of everyone’s mouth and going into mine. Caelum had called it energy sourcing.
When I was beating up that man yesterday, I felt my energy sourcing bubble up. I was close to taking from him. Lainie snapped me out of it.
I needed to learn how to control it. I needed to know what triggered it. I thought back to that night on Enceladus. It started as soon as Lynx was stabbed. This time it happened after the man pulled Lainie’s hair. It seemed to be triggered by my loved ones getting hurt. But when my eyes went black, I forgot everything. I could be the one hurting my loved ones. It made no sense. It was contradictory.
I also told Lynx to ask Cal how he knew what my power was called.
I checked the clock. Late. I was supposed to meet Lainie at a coffee shop on campus. Last night, after my shower, Lainie had me drop her off at her dorm. She came clean and said she had to get my birthday plans in order. I was still surprised I hadn’t scared her enough to make her break up with me. Of course I was grateful. I loved her. I was just a little uneasy about it. Any human in their right mind would run far, far away. Wouldn’t they?
I hurried to my car and drove to Ohio State University. Now I was late for class and way late for breakfast with Lainie. I shot her a quick text, explaining myself and ran to the building my statistics class was in.
An hour and a half later, class was over and my phone was beeping. I assumed it was from Lainie, seeing as how she didn’t text me back this morning. When I checked, I found that it was an email from Lynx. I glanced at a clock on the wall in the cafeteria. I had twenty minutes before psych. I opened the email. Lynx had written;
Amelia, I asked Caelum how he knew. He answered but I’d rather let him explain. So this is him typing--
Hi, Amelia. How are you? I knew the name of your ability because of father. Before you were born, he took me to the library with him. He needed to get some books for some research. While there, I conversed with the scribe. He told me a story. A story of how a beautiful angel would mate with the Devil. He said the child of these opposite natures would be a hybrid. Born with both dark and light natures. He told me the child would have an ability none of the known planets have encountered. The power to suck people’s life right out of their body. I didn’t believe him because I was a grown man but the legend stuck with me. I’m not saying you’re this child. I’m just telling how I knew what your ability was called. I’m sorry I can’t offer more.
An angel and a devil. In her letter, my mother Vela had said that in order to create me, she made a deal with the Devil. I was that child. That child from the legend. I was right after I read my mother’s letter; I was the daughter of the Devil. I just wished I had just a few minutes with my mother. Just to know what she was thinking, making sacrifices and praying to the “gods”.
Psych was about to start soon. I gathered my stuff and walked, heavy-hearted to class.
I looked across the courtyard and saw Lainie running to me. I had just finished psych. “Hey.”
She cocked her head. “What’s wrong?”
I shook my head and kissed her cheek. If I told her now, it would put a damper on her birthday plans for me. And it was time for bio.
“Okay, so. Thursday. Your birthday. You’re going to hang out in my dorm room all day. You can go to class but do not, under any circumstances, come home. And then around six, you and I will go to dinner.”
“Got it.” I kissed her on the lips, savoring the peace it gave me.