Moonlight Hills-Book One: Lycanthrope

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History Repeats Itself

The air was so gloomy around the yard of Mayor’s house. He was there, standing on the podium with a microphone in front of his face. He usually used that for a ceremony or something like that. But that day, it was different.

In front of him, some people who knew about the truth gathered and sat in those prepared seats. They were listening to what the Mayor said. Most of them were founder families, including Damons. But some humans, vampires, and fairies attended too. The sky was quite dark, as gloomy as their heart was. The breeze blew some dried leaves around there. No smile could be seen. Every face was mourning. Some women shed a tear without a sound. All people were in black.

“This is one of the darkest days we have ever faced. We’re lucky that we still can save this town. But, we have to pay with a very high price for that,” the Mayor said. He paused again, cleared his throat before he spoke again, “This is our great loss. It’s even worse than what happened 10 years ago. We lost our parents, spouses, siblings and children. We lost a family. I…I lost my daughter. She was my only daughter and she’s gone. I’m sure, for those who lost a family, you can understand my feeling,” he paused again when he saw his wife began to cry on her seat. He sighed, “This happens because of hatred. From now on, I beg you, my brothers and sisters. Please, don’t grow hatred in your heart. Moonlight Hills is known as a place where all races can live in peace. We have to prove that this town is a peaceful place where every single person in here can respect and love each other. We don’t want to something like this happens again in the future. We don’t want to history repeats itself. We will build this town with mercy and love, just like it was built from the beginning,” the Mayor finished his speech.

All of them were still quiet as the Mayor stopped talking. They looked down. Some of them were praying.

Meanwhile, in a very back row of the seats, Frank sat alone on the very right. He looked at the empty seat on his left. It wasn’t actually empty. Angelica Brownwood sat there. She looked at his parents with sad eyes.

Angelica sighed, “I can’t stand to see my mother like that,” she said.

“Do you want me to tell them that you’re here?” Frank offered. Angelica shook her head. The Mayor left the podium, and then he sat next to his crying wife and embraced her. Another man from the founder family switched his position on the podium and began to deliver another speech. It was like a confession actually.

Angelica got up from the seat and walked away. She said that she couldn’t take that anymore. Frank got up too and after her. He chased Angelica who was running to the other side of the mansion.

“Hey, what happens with you?” Frank asked. He saw Angelica was sobbing.

Angelica took a breath, realizing that she couldn’t shed a tear even though she really wanted to. “I’m just sad. Can’t a ghost be sad?” she asked.

“Of course you can,” Frank replied.

“Can you help me one thing, Frank?” she asked. Frank nodded. He always said that he could offer any favor to her. She took a deep breath again. She felt a little doubt at first but she finally could speak that out, “I…I really want to find my door,” she said.

Frank was a little bit startled to hear that. It was so sudden. He kept quiet for a while, studying Angelica’s face. What’s happening with her, he thought.

Angelica spoke that again, “You can help me, can’t you?” she insisted.

Frank was thinking for a while. She knew Angelica demanded him to answer that soon. But he felt that the question was not easy to be answered.

“I don’t know actually, Angelica,” he said, “It doesn’t mean that I don’t want you to find your peace, but…this is so fast. I mean…you said you still want to be here,” he added.

Angelica sighed, “It’s right. But after all of this, I…I’m sick of it. I’m afraid to see more bloods, more victims! I hate to see people cry. I hate when I see my parents cry. Is there any way that I will find my door and leave this cruel world?” she begged.

Once again, Frank couldn’t answer that immediately. He was just staring at the sorrow in Angelica’s face.

“You said that a wandering spirit is a spirit who has an unfinished business. So I won’t find my door before my business is finished, right?” Angelica said. She saw Frank nodded. “So, what do you think my unfinished business is, Frank?” she asked.

Does she think I’m a fortune-teller? I’m even not a witch. I’m just a vampire, he thought. But he didn’t want to say that to not hurt her feeling. Yet, the question was so hard to answer. Frank could only hum for awhile. But Angelica looked at him like she was waiting for his answer.

Frank cleared his throat, trying to figure out what the best words to tell her. “Actually, Angelica…” he paused. He then scratched his head, signing that he was confused, “Actually…your question is quite difficult. Maybe this will help. Your unfinished business might be your deepest wish or some desires…or perhaps there is something you want to happen,” he said.

“Do you really want to help me, Frank?” Angelica asked.

“Anything,” Frank replied.

Angelica looked at Frank in the eyes. She stared at them for several second, “All I really want now is to see Ino Rays dies. There’s nothing will make me happier. Can you kill him for me, Frank? He’s in his weakest condition now,” she then sighed, “I wish I could do it with these hands,” she said while looking at her palms.

Frank gulped. He felt that Angelica was so serious about that. He really wished that he could take back his words then.

My eyes were a little bit sore. I really didn’t want to open it. I was so tired. It felt like I wanted to sleep all day long. The dream was very bad. It was like real and I thought it was very long.

I was still sleepy and lazy. I just stretched my body and it felt so good. I didn’t remember whether it was a weekend or not. But I didn’t really care about that. Usually, my mother would yell at me if I was late. There was no sign that she was yelling then.

Perhaps it’s still in the early morning, I thought.

I tried to open my eyes finally, and I blinked rigidly. I yawned and then took a very deep breath. I got up and looked at the window. The sun was already bright. Maybe it’s weekend, I told myself.

Later, I lazily got off from my bed and walked out of my room. I rubbed my eyes while standing in front of my room’s door. It was a little bit quiet there. I continued my step and began to approach the stairs.

But when I reached the stairs, I stopped.

Am I still dreaming, I asked myself. I remembered in my dream that my living room was quite a mess. My parents and Ben hid in the basement and locked themselves. When I got home and screamed out their name, they finally got out from their hideout and cried out loud. They told me that they didn’t know anything about what happened. They just heard some people screaming outside the house. It was very frightening. Until finally, they heard people began to order everybody to hide inside their house and protect themselves. They chose to hide in the basement and locked it very tight.

I came home with Frank and Norah. But then Frank compelled them, making them forget about what happened and thought in something else.

Right then, I saw my living room in the same condition. Am I still dreaming, I asked myself again. I pinched my cheek. I still didn’t know whether I was still dreaming or not.

I heard some people approaching from behind the main door. I walked down the stairs and saw the door was opened. It was my father bringing some layers of plywood. My mother and Ben came with some utensils and cans of paint.

“For God’s sake, Fender, why are you so lazy?” Dad complained, “Now pick some woods outside and bring them inside!” he ordered.

“That pig always sleeps all the time,” Ben mocked me.

I actually really want to smacked that little bastard’s head right then, but I was still confused. “Wh-what happened?” I asked.

“Don’t play innocent, Fender!” then it was Mom who yelled at me, “You know last night we got hit by a hurricane!” she sighed, “I’m confused that some rooms are just fine.”

Dad leaned the plywood against the wall and took a breath, “We’re still lucky. You know Emerson family? Their house is destroyed. Oh, God, this is the worst disaster ever!” he said.

Hurricane? It’s impossible! There’s no history of hurricane in Moonlight Hills, I thought. I was thinking again and again, and then I finally realized. That was not a dream. It was real. Frank compelled them to think that the town was hit by the hurricane. My legs were suddenly weak. I felt like I couldn’t stand up any longer.

Mom quickly put her belongings on the floor and approached me. She looked at me in the face and asked, “Are you okay, Fender?” she was still studying me and then put her backhand on my forehead, “Are you sick? You look so pale,” she said.

“Ah, he’s just pretending, Mom,” the annoying brat Ben commented.

I didn’t speak anything. I’m still thinking about what happened. Mom and Dad wrinkled their forehead. They seemed confused and anxious.

“Should we take him to the doctor, Emmet?” Mom asked to Dad.

Dad was thinking first. He fixed the position of his glasses, “Does he have a fever?” he asked.

“I don’t think so, but he’s so pale,” Mom looked at me again, “Do you feel dizzy, Fender? What happened? It’s so sudden.”

“I’m okay, Mom,” I said, “I think I just need more rest.”

Ben was suddenly moaning. He said that his stomach was suddenly in pain. Mom knew that he was just pretending. She kept telling him to help bring some things from the car. He shouted madly, telling that Mom was unfair. But he still walked outside to pick the things he was ordered to. I really want to laugh but it wasn’t the right time to do that.

I told my mother that I would go upstairs again to my room. She nodded and told me to lie on bed immediately. She said she would prepare me a hot soup later.

I finally reached my room and closed the door. I quickly took my cell phone and called Frank.

“I bet you have just woken up, Fender,” he said.

“I thought it was a dream,” I told him. He paused for a while. He might be confused about what I said. He asked me about what I was talking about. “I don’t know why I thought it was a dream. The werewolves’ invasion? Moonstone? Ino Rays dying? Is it really real? Please tell me it was a dream, Frank! Please…just compel me!” I said desperately.

I heard he sighed, “Fender, you’re just tired. Now, took a deep breath and exhaled slowly,” he said. I did what he said to me. “Feeling okay now?” he asked. I said yes. I still inhaled and exhaled slowly. Somehow I was a little bit calmer. “Now tell me what’s going on?” he asked again.

“I don’t know, Frank. I’m desperate. I can’t take this burden anymore. Sometimes I really want to escape. I want to wake up and finally realize that it’s only a dream,” I told him.

“But it’s not a dream, Fender,” he reminded me.

I threw myself on the bed and sighed, “I know. Where are you now?” I asked. He told me that he was in the Mayor’s house. There were some boring speeches from the founder families. I was glad I didn’t attend that. “Do you know what happens now?” I asked him again.

“The town is under control. All innocent people have already been compelled. The news was not spread out to the outside. Just like when it happened ten years ago, we can manage to make this okay,” he explained, “But I don’t want to talk about the lost we are having now,” he said.

“I don’t want to talk about that, too,” I replied, “By the way, do you know about Ino’s current condition?” I asked.

“Not yet,” he answered, “Why don’t you go and see by yourself?” he suggested.

It didn’t cross my mind at all. I was actually curious, but I didn’t know if visiting Ino was a good idea. The fact that I was the one who made him like that frightened me a lot. I bet Sergey was there and to think that he was very upset to me, it could be quite a problem. I told him it wasn’t good for my health and he just let me to decide what was best to myself.

Frank suddenly told me that he got a phone call from Hope. He cut the connection then and I sighed, looking at the ceiling of my room. I spread my arms on the bed. My mind was flying around. There were so many problems in my life, problems that a teenager should not bear in his shoulders.

Sergey screamed out, calling Ino’s name. He quickly approached him and hugged him like he didn’t meet him for the rest of his life. Ino sat on his couch, reading his book and he didn’t imagine that Sergey would act too much like that. He’s crying that his little brother was alive. Lyon did the same. But Sergey was too much.

Ino sighed. He couldn’t move with those two hugging him tightly.

“Stop being an idiot, both of you!” Ino muttered. He never thought how they would be in just days Ino didn’t see them. What if I truly die, he thought. But it seemed that they won’t stop hugging him. He sighed then, “Guys, it hurts!” he said.

Lyon quickly let go off his hug and pulled Sergey away from him. Still, it was like he was stuck with Ino that he wouldn’t let go off him. “Big brother, you’re hurting master!” he said.

With only Sergey adhered to him like a leech, Ino pushed Sergey’s face with his palm, “Go away, you moron!”

Sergey was finally detached. He sighed with a gloomy face, “That’s very rude of you, Ino. Don’t you understand that I was very worried about you?” he complained.

“I’m not dead, Sergey. Don’t you see I’m still breathing now?” Ino complained back.

Lyon raised his right hand. Somehow I remembered how I always did that when I asked for attention. Ino and Sergey looked at his innocent face.

Lyon looked back at them without saying anything. Then he realized that he was the one who asked for their attention. “Master…” he hummed, “Why don’t you tell us that you’re awake?” he asked. Actually, he still felt a little bit scared when he was asking Ino.

Ino giggled, looking at how funny Lyon act in front of him, “You’re still acting like I want to eat you alive, Lyon,” he saw Lyon chuckled, but it was still rigid. He stopped his laugh and said, “I was awake last night. I still remember about the chaos inside this hospital. Everybody was panic. One of the nurses, he was a mage, told me that everything had already been under control. The order came with reinforcements,” he explained.

His condition was still quite bad. He might be healed, but to be in this state now is truly amazing. It’s so fast. Is it a miracle? I don’t know, Sergey thought. He cleared his throat, “So you know about the werewolves attack last night?” he asked. Ino nodded. “I and your uncle fought the alpha brothers from Grayson family.”

Ino winced, “Leo’s here?”

“Yes,” Sergey nodded, “But I don’t know where he is now. I bet you don’t want to know also. I killed one of them, the elder one. But his brother escaped with…” he paused. He looked at Ino’s eyes without saying anything. Ino could guess the rest of the words. He said it bluntly, the moonstone. Sergey nodded. He didn’t want to talk about that anymore. He felt so damn guilty.

“So, how’s the town now?” Ino asked.

Sergey sighed, “Almost destroyed. They said that it was worse than ten years ago. We’re really through a lot,” he said.

Ino chuckled, “That’s why I didn’t tell you about my condition because I knew you both need rest. You’re trying to save the world in my absence,” he explained. He winced when Sergey cut his words by saying but. He looked at his eyes and felt like there’s something that he was thinking about. “But what?” he asked.

“I’m really glad of it. I swear! But…you’re healing process is beyond normal. I’m just…curious,” Sergey said.

“Last night, the nurse mage told me something when I was awake,” Ino replied, “It wasn’t only about the situation, but he also told me about someone who came into my room.”

“Who’s that, Master?” Lyon finally asked again.

Ino looked at Sergey, even thought it was Lyon who explicitly asked to him. They stared at each other seriously. Sergey was waiting for In to continue.

“Who?” Sergey repeated the question.

Ino put his book right next to him. His hands held onto each other like someone’s praying and he put his chin on those hands. He took a breath, “He said it was a witch. I think a very powerful witch. He came into my room because he saw a woman got out from here. I was awake not long after that.”

A witch that can heal Ino’s severe wound is not an ordinary witch. I think she can complete the healing spell that was put in Ino’s body. For having such power, she must be a necromancer, Sergey thought. He remembered that some people were talking about some powerful entities that helped them in the previous fray. Those entities were soulless, that was what they said. Sergey was thinking if the two things had any connection between each other.

“Why are so confused, Big brother? Master is awake and everything is fine, right?” Lyon asked.

Sergey looked at that innocent face. He doesn’t know anything about my anxiety, he thought. But he kept smiling then. He rubbed Lyon’s head and said, “You’re right, Lyon. There’s nothing to worry about.” But deep in his heart, he was quite worried. A necromancer? Powerful entities? A woman? I’m afraid it was her. And if it’s really her, what does she want here in Moonlight Hills, Sergey thought.

The three of them looked at the door quickly when the door was suddenly opened. Lyon actually could sense that someone was approaching.

Sergey sighed, “You?”

I tried to smile even though it was obvious that I was trembled in fear. I didn’t have any guts to step in, so I kept standing there. Ino asked me to come in, not in a quite polite way actually.

I was still had my doubt. Somehow I regretted that I came by. But my deepest heart told me that I should go and meet Ino. I was already there and it was impossible for suddenly bailed out from what I was doing. It was quite relieving when I saw Ino was awake and healthy.

Ino called me again, and I tried pushing myself to step in. I finally did so and closed the door again. The vampire kid suddenly approached me and took my hand. He told me that there was nothing to be afraid of and quickly took me closer.

I hummed, looked at Ino and Sergey who stared at me sharply. Please just give me a smile and it will chill me a bit, I talked in mind. “I’m sorry,” I said in a very low voice. It was like whispering.

“We didn’t hear you, Fender. Perhaps Lyon did, but we didn’t,” Sergey tried to cornered me with his words.

I looked at Ino’s eyes again, “I’m sorry,” I said a little bit louder. Sergey gave me a harsh sentence again, saying that my apology was meaningless. But I was quite surprised that Ino suddenly told him to shut up. He defended me.

Ino looked at me again, “Is that all?” he asked.

I quickly shook my head, “No, no, it’s not all. I…I…want you to know that I was regretful. I’m truly sorry. If…if I wasn’t that selfish…”

“Honestly, it can’t change anything. But I appreciate that, Fender,” Ino said.

“You should not only apologize to Ino, but also to all the people in this town, Fender! They died because of you. If only Ino was there in the battlefield, the casualties might be small,” Sergey said. He wasn’t wrong at all. I did realize that I was the one who deserved to be blamed. It was all because of me. That’s why I really wanted to wake up and thought that it was a dream. But it wasn’t a dream just like Frank said to me.

Ino sighed, “He also had a quite hard time, Sergey. No need to be harsh. Even if I kill him now, it won’t change a thing,” he said. I gulped just to hear he mention about killing me. But I began to think that he wasn’t bad at all.

I didn’t know if it was my imagination or not, but how Ino treated me was a little too kind. It wasn’t like it’s because I was a close friend of Frank and how much he treasured Frank’s family. I didn’t know what happened. I just felt that Ino was too kind for me. It was weird, but I thought that there was another reason.

But I didn’t want to ask about that explicitly. I was just very glad to be that way.

“I…also what to thank you for everything,” I said.

But he suddenly chuckled even though there was nothing funny, “Thanks for everything? You’re ridiculous, Fender! I’ve done nothing for you. I think your gratitude is a little bit premature. Save it until we can retrieve the stone. Grayson still has it,” he said.

I cast down my eyes, “I know. But you are helping me, Ino. At least I should say thanks for that,” and then I looked at him again, “Ino, may I ask you something?” I asked. He nodded slowly. “We’re not close. I mean…you used to hate me a lot. You even want to kill me. But why are you helping me now?” I asked.

He suddenly laughed again. I didn’t think that the conversation was funny. I was so damn serious. It was a little bit annoying for him to laugh like that.

“Let me put something straight on you. I actually don’t hate you, so don’t get the wrong idea. I just do what I have to do,” he explained, “And this time…just consider you’re lucky.”

It actually didn’t give me an answer but whatever he said. I sighed and smiled, “I’m glad that you’re okay now. I really am,” I said, “I think I should go now. See you later, all of you,” I waved my hand and got out of the room.

They didn’t speak anything and just stared at each other, until…

“I think he’s already far,” Lyon said by sensing on the sound of my steps.

“He began to wonder why you help him, Ino,” Sergey commented, “I actually hate to think that he’s destined to be someone so great in the future,” he suddenly looked at Lyon, “I hope the future you see on him is different now.”

Lyon shook his head, “No, Big Bro. I still see the greatness in him,” he explained.

Sergey sighed, “Let’s just hope that he won’t be any burden to us!”

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