“Ace, I really don’t want to.” June whines at me with her eyes focused on the ground. She’s always been a self-conscious person, ever since middle school. How we became friends is an awkward story for both of us. Definitely a story we don’t talk about often. I give her a slight nudge with my elbow so she’ll look up at me.
“June, hun, no one but me is going to see. Plus, if you really hate it then I won’t make you do it ever again. You have to try it before you diss it.” She rolls her eyes and sticks her tongue at me, the blue of her eyes dancing. I finally cornered her into agreeing to switch into her pix form last week through making a bet with her. I bet her that she would not be able to run a mile under ten minutes. Obviously, she lost.
“You shook on it even. Come on, June. Please?”
She huffs angrily and glares at me for a moment before pulling her sweatshirt off. Underneath she’s wearing the skin tight, black jumpsuit specially made for the transition between forms. They’re created and enhanced by witches, who have no use for them, because a few centuries ago people became uncomfortable with being naked. With these special clothes, we don’t tear or stretch or shrink out of our clothes. Instead, the bewitched fabric just adjusts to the body as it changes. The fact June wore it tonight, meant she knew she would be transforming. I grinned and sat down in the sand as I watched my pixie friend close her eyes to begin the transformation. As always, the first step is the faint glow beneath the skin before the body’s size changes. Once the body is the right size, that’s when the colors morph and adjust.
June’s body shrinks, which is sad because she’s already six inches shorter than I, making her the size of a six year old, while her hair forms one long braid that just barely reaches her heels. The brown hair that I’m used to changes into a variation of blues. Her skin develops a sun like undertone, as though her skeleton is glowing. It takes me a moment to realize her wings, her transparent and unbelievably fast wings on her back. They seem to move right through her hair, but move the sand on the ground.
She looks at me with her disproportionately big blue eyes. I give her a smile.
“You’re cute. You should stay like this all the time so I can keep up the short jokes.” She flies into my face and flicks my nose. With her hands being so small, it shouldn’t sting so much. “That hurt.”
She giggles and sticks her tongue out at me. “Maybe you shouldn’t tease me when I’m so small then.”
Her voice is about an octave higher than usual and after each word I swear I hear bells. She gestures to me and flies back a little. “It’s your turn.”
I give her a grin and close my eyes, letting my body relax. The rush of warmth from my chest to the rest of my body signals the beginning of my transition. My legs stretch down and I feel my body become tall and curvy. My hair whips against my back as it grows until it’s far longer than my body. I open my eyes and glance down at myself. My skin is covered in black tattooed vines and flowers that contrasts against my pale, green-tinted skin.
Sparing a glance at June, I chuckle when I see her pouting. She’s always hated the height difference between us, and being in our race’s form just puts more emphasis on it. I sit down in front of her, noticing I’m still half a foot taller than her, and give her a small smile.
“At least you look all cute and bright as a pixie,” I comment, watching her cheeks flush red. She sticks her tongue out at me before flying around. I take a deep breath and relish in the rare moment of being in my fae form.
“Ace! Dude, you gotta save me!” Ylvon yells at me. He’s currently being dragged down the hall by Maza. I don’t do much and just watch, knowing Maza wouldn’t hurt Ylvon. He’s an unbelievably sweet soul. Ylvon’s sharp maroon eyes glare at me as he pouts and crosses his arms, his legs being tugged on by Maza. The wolf laughs before releasing the vampire’s legs and rushing towards us. June giggles as the unbelievably tall werewolf crouches behind her.
“Ace, you’re an arse.” Ylvon rubs his butt before plopping himself in front of me. I just shrug and watch all the students passing by. Then I see a new, unfamiliar face pass by. I couldn’t tell if he was a student or a teacher, but his sharp, attentive eyes hint at a seriousness that neither would have this early in the morning. His shocking yellow eyes catch mine and hold them before he turns a corner. “Damn, who owns that hot body?”
We all look at Ylvon with fed up looks as his flamboyant attitude overtakes the atmosphere. He shrugs at us with a lusty smile.
“We have a new neighbor and when we get home, I want you to take over the cookies I made for them,” Mother says as she weaves through the school parking lot. I don’t say anything because I’ll have to either way. She glances at me with her harsh blue eyes but doesn’t speak again as we pull into the driveway. The moment we enter the house, Mother is shoving a plate of baked goods into my arms before I have a chance to set my bag down.
“Hurry up! We don’t want to seem rude.” Mother pushes me out the door and I give up fighting. I glance at the house next to us, noticing the furniture and boxes spread all over the lawn. Walking through the grass and making my way to the front door, I take note of all the items on the lawn. Most of the furniture is antique and the few boxes are all labeled ‘Academy’ followed by books or clothes.
My knuckles lightly rap against the screen door that separates the outside from the empty house.
“Yes?” I jump a little, turning to see the kid from school. I take a moment to get past the intense eyes and the shock of not having had heard him.
“My mother made you cookies and we want to welcome you to the neighborhood.” One of his hardly noticeable eyebrows lifts curiously. I take a step back as he slowly opens the door and steps out of the house. I extend the plate of cold chocolate chip cookies, noticing as he gives me a slight smirk taking the plate from me.
“I didn’t catch your name,” he says as he goes in to quickly set the plate on a table and walks back out.
“I didn’t give it. Neither did you. So we’re even. I have to go home and start on homework.” I turn to walk away but a tight grip on my arm stops me. Instinctively I turn around with a kick to his groin area. He coughs slightly and releases his hold on me. “Yes?”
He looks up at me and tentatively straightens his body. “My name is Volukalonka. But, you can call me Voluka.”
“What a mouthful. I’m Acacia, but you can call me Ace. And sorry, not sorry for the kick.” He gives me another weird smirk.
“Well, you know, girls just randomly kick me all the time. It’s because of my hot looking stomach. They’re jealous. So, I understand.” I roll my eyes and turn around, waving as I walk away. The feeling of his eyes burning into me didn’t stop until I entered my home.
“Stolk! Do not ignore me! You know who they are. We both know what they want. We need a plan.” Mother’s voice echoes through the house and flutters into the backyard. Mother informed me this morning that I would be driving myself to school. She had also insinuated that I should go out back while she and Father have a talk.
Though, if I was to take a guess, Father wasn’t saying a word. I glance at the screen of my phone and stand up, dusting the dirt off my butt. I take a final look at my garden before tugging on my backpack and heading into the house. The yelling continues, but it fades away little by little as I hear their footsteps enter head towards their bedroom in the basement. The basement door slams shut just as I step into the driveway. I get in the car, start the engine and head to school.
“Oh my god. Why don’t you two just fuck already?!” Hollither yells at Ylvon and Maza. Both of them groan in disgust and glare at the witch.
“That’s soooooo disgusting. Wolves reek of mold and their tongues flap around...” Ylvon shudders and groans again. Maza grins evilly and starts panting with his tongue out in front of the vampire’s face. Right at that moment, Ylvon pushes Maza away and someone sits next to me. We all turn to look at him as though he is a vat of puke with a ribbon on top.
“What’s up?” Voluka says calmly.
“Uhm, are you lost little one? I think the normal kids sit at the tables.” Hollither’s comment makes the stranger laugh.
“Normal is not a word I would use to describe me. I mean, I did something to make this one kick me,” He says, jerking a thumb at me. Everyone looks at me with slight shock.
“He’s my new neighbor and he grabbed me. That’s all.” They all look back to the yellow eyed boy next to me with “you idiot” looks on their faces.
“Are you gay and single?” Ylvon’s voice cuts through the silence and all of us, except for Voluka, laugh.
Ylvon huffs and glares at him.
“It’s always the handsome ones who go for girls. This is so not fair.” Hollither pats Ylvon on the back.
“One day you’ll find someone willing to pop that cherry of yours. Well, we’re hoping.” I fight a laugh as his maroon eyes are covered by his hands and his tongue is stuck out to us all.