Keeper

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Chapter 6

The next morning, Cassidie awoke to a strange feeling in her chest. She always had feelings like this, telling her something was amiss. It helped her figure out if someone was lying, cheating, or doing something they shouldn’t. She wasn’t sure what could be causing the sensation now, though.

Unless she investigated, she wouldn't know what was going on, but there shouldn't have been anything wrong. It was seven in the evening; most of Midnight Haven should have been waking up. That hardly allowed for time to stir trouble.

"It's too early for this," she grumbled aloud, padding to the shower. Stripping down, she stepped into the steamy water and went about scrubbing the sleep from her body. It could be Gabby again, Cassidie thought as she washed her hair. She might have come down with something since yesterday. Wouldn't be the first time she got sick overnight.

Cassidie stepped from the shower and quickly dried off. If it was her best fiend, then she wanted to check before she headed to school. Wrapping the towel around herself, she made her way to her room.

A brief search through her closet later found Cassidie perched on the edge of her bed. As she dragged a brush through her wet hair, her free hand dialed her best fiend.

Everything after this point is unedited and not yet proofread.

“Hello?” asked a high-pitched voice.

“Hey Gabbs,” Cassidie replied, her voice masking the concern she felt. “What-?”

“Cassi?” Gabriella shouted from the other end. “Ay Diosa mio, chica. You gave me a scare last night, and not the killer kind. I thought something had happened to you. Why didn’t you show up?”

“Uh,” Cassidie searched her mind for a lie, unable to understand why she only remembered the dream she’d had. “The City Council wanted to talk to me about some secret business. What’s up with your voice? Are you sick?”

“Whoa, talkin’ a bit puffball there, aren’t you Cassi?” Gabriella said questioningly.

“Yeah,” Cassidie answered quietly. “Just a bit worried is all. So, what’s black?”

“Nothing. My bandages are clean and my fangs are brushed. How about you?”

Cassidie took the cell phone away from her ear and quirked an eyebrow at it before putting it on speakerphone. “Bandages?” Cassidie inquired worriedly. “Were you in an accident?”

“No, I changed last night about the time you got off work. Does that mean you’ve found the book?”

Cassidie stared at the phone, unmoving. “H-how did you know about that?” she stuttered.

“Everyone knows!” Gabriella exclaimed making Cassidie’s stomach twist uncomfortably. “It’s the gruesomest thing ever; you’ve finally found it. The whole city’s been wondering when you’d get it. So what does it look like?”

Cassidie stayed silent for a few moments, musing the new info over. So everyone knew and no one told me? Wait, why do I care? This is all a dream, totally fake. Cassidie sighed. “Gabby, why don’t we meet up at the Maul? Call Mike and I’ll see you over there in a mini-monster second.”

“Killer. Ok see you there.”

Cassidie hung up and put her head in her hands. Taking a deep breath, the Goth girl glanced up at the loose ceiling tile. It couldn’t have been real. She thought determinedly. But just to make sure… Cassidie stood on her bed and removed the tile. Feeling around, Cassidie froze when her hand encountered the sharp edge of bookbinding. Pulling the book from the hiding place, Cassidie stared at it in horror.

Sinking onto her bed, Cassidie began hyperventilating as the truth gripped her. “No.” she whispered. “It didn’t happen. It did not happen!” Cassidie took a deep breath and said, “Maybe Gabby will know what’s going on.”

Cassidie sighed and replaced the book. Grabbing her Goth High purse off the bureau, Cassidie checked her make-up one last time before heading out the door. Walking down the street, Cassidie noticed that the people she saw on a daily basis had changed.

Mr. and Mrs. Gruesome, the couple that owned the supermarket called Gruesome’s Groceries, had turned into drooling, snarling, hairy werewolves. They waved to Cassidie and gave her a free sample of their new meat as she passed. Cassidie gave them a nod in thanks and continued on. Ms. Coffin, the young woman that stood outside V-Mart selling different sweets had changed into a mix between a vampire and some sort of sea creature, complete with blue skin and scales.

“Cassidie!” Ms. Coffin exclaimed as Cassidie passed. “Wicked work on finding the book. I do hope you have it in a safe, secret place. Here have a few free blood-flavored licorices.”

Cassidie accepted the candy politely and continued on. Shaking her head, Cassidie glanced at Mauler’s Mall and was in awe of the various mixes of monsters she saw. Oddly enough, she could still tell who her friends were. Many of them called out to her by using the term Mistress and Cassidie didn’t know how to respond until they walked up to her and bowed. She gave each of them a head nod and quickly made her way to the food court.

Looking around, Cassidie quickly spotted Gabriella sitting in a booth near Los Vampiros. Strolling over, Cassidie took a seat next to her BMF and checked her over. Gabriella’s hair was still the same, as was almost everything else. Her eyes glowed red and bandages covered most of her body. Cassidie began comparing the bandages to different things: the bandages around Gabriella’s forearms looked like gauntlets, the ones around her ankles looked like chains, and around her waist and stomach like a wounded soldier. Other than that, her body was covered in a fine layer of fur and her ears were pointed.

“So you’re a mummy… werewolf?” Cassidie asked slowly.

“Yeah,” Gabriella replied with a wide smile, showing off yellowish fangs. “And Mike’s a zombie-vampire. We’re lucky; some kids get mixed with three or more monsters. So what’s black with you, Mistress?”

“What?” Cassidie said in confusion.

“I said, what’s black with you?”

“No, you called me ‘Mistress’. What was that all about?”

Gabriella tapped her chin in thought for a moment. “Well,” she started slowly. “You’re a descendant of the leader of the most powerful coven of vampires and the alpha of the fiercest pack of werewolves and since every monster is mixed with one or both of those two then they all worship you.” Cassidie stared at Gabriella in utter confusion as the brunette hummed softly. “The only thing is,” Gabriella continued. “No one knows whether or not you’re mixed with anything else.”

Cassidie sighed and said, “Spill the black olives. What’s going on with everyone?”

“What do you mean?” Gabriella quirked an eyebrow and Cassidie put a hand to her forehead.

“Start from the beginning and fill me in.” commanded the frustrated blonde.

Gabriella nodded, but before she could say anything, both girls heard footsteps coming their way. Turning to look, Cassidie momentarily forgot about the stories. Walking toward them was the hottest Goth guy on the planet: Mike Washington. Mike didn’t look much different; he still had his large muscles, his wavy black hair, and his gleaming smile now complete with fangs. But his creamy skin was now pale white and his left leg seemed dead. Nonetheless, he walked smoothly and slid across from Gabriella.

“So,” he said in his rich, deep voice. “What’s up?”

Cassidie looked him up and down, noting his changes. While she did that, Gabriella spoke up. “Cassi wants us to tell her the old legends we heard so she knows what’s going on.”

Mike nodded and said, “Let’s begin.”

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