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AVIAN

By Essy Pach All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Scifi

Blurb

Anna Winter moves to a small town with her parents and little brother whose path is greater but that's another story. The classic small town big secrets nonsense kicks in and for someone who has been gravely bored with the normalcy of life like most of us authors are... insanity knocks on her door and a whole world opens up. Slowly unraveling a really cute guy's ... umm.... 'condition' (he is an avian).... for those who don't know what Avians are (and I am guessing everyone) its a fictional creature with like chakra wings that come out of their backs, and since they are formed by the concentration of energy, you can physically use them and touch them and they can be drawn back (I tried to be logical here lol). And then obviously it would be not fun without a villain to cause some mayhem. Basically, a world she was destined to be in unravels before her leading her into a dangerous path filled with earth shattering love, peace, battle, loss, sometimes victory and most of all the dreadful thing we all secretly wish for adventure.

Sebastian

AVIAN

PREFACE

“He is dying,” sweat beading out of his forehead… She tenderly wiped it away, worried like she had never been before. The only son she had known was fading in her arms, “ahh,” she pulled her hand away… burnt… he began to fit, “Luke!” she called out.

The door burst open, as Luke Flamel in an age old blanket suit swiftly glided to the son at a beyond human pace. Trying to hold him down and relieve some of his burden… the sweat sensation of power filling his soul, new born explosive power, energy livening his ancient bones. Waking up to the greed inside him… the endlessly starving monster of his existence woke. He took a lot this time… “Stop!” Sue, Susan Flamel, his wife yelled and he snapped back to reality. His back smashing against a wall opposite to the bed and he sinking to the floor he panted.

His son calm once more.

“It’s getting harder to stop,” he swallowed heavy, “His humanity can’t take much more of his power,” he took a deep breath, “we need to do something, before they find him.”

“It’s this bad?!” Barrie who has only just gotten to the door from the living room stood there panting leaning against the door, “Dear Lillian what have you gotten me into?” he sighed.

“We have to turn him,” Sue said without considering Barrie's presence, “now before we lose him forever.”

“His humanity… I can’t take that from him.”

“Luke, you know just as I do that his purpose is greater than his humanity.”

“Barrie,” Luke turned to the more than shocked man, “return to your home. Never come back or search for him.”

“But…” Barrie tried to resist.

“Listen, brother in purpose, what Lillian intended for you has come to an end. It’s for the best.” Without another word, he glanced at Jack nearly lifeless on the bed, whispered a goodbye. He took a light bow and left the room never to turn back.

Flamel reached for a syringe and drew some of his own blood. He handed it to Sue, who filled the rest with her own, “now he is truly ours,” she murmured melancholic-ally as she had wished to preserve his humanity for a lot longer.

Flamel took the syringe back and struck it into Jack’s heart with ease. He groaned in response then fell a deathly silent…

Background blurred, her hazel eyes looked right through him. He felt her glow… her tender hand grazed his hand…

He snapped awake … 1903

1. SEBASTIAN

The world is not as it seems, shackled by our minds which are coded to survive and burdened by our souls which long to live… I scribbled …we are easily broken easily manipulated, so far from true freedom, we are subjects to ourselves

“Here we are,” mom said as I got out of the minivan we had traveled in. We were moving to a different state all together, to some small town that I barely knew the name of. We had lived in Zimbabwe, all my life, well, since I could remember. All my memories were of living in Southern Africa with my grandmother, best years of my life...

All my friends were there, at home. I think the only reason they were moving us here is because they were trying to escape their bosses and thought that they had grown old, so they needed to go somewhere quiet and boring, another explanation is that they had both been abducted by aliens and had been brain washed. I was extremely excited for them but not a fan of moving. I had it all, a small yet peaceful life, something I did not ask for, life was slow and safe.

It was slow, I had the normal parents that were now discovering the outdoors and they had to drag me along by moving to an extremely small town. It was so small it could fit in my pocket. How on earth was I to enjoy a small town only famous for its bird watching, in summer and spring? I am so bored with my life my only escape are the oceans of adventurous books I drown myself in. I feel bored with life and its normalcy, but others seem to enjoy it just as it is. Did I mention that we were moving to a small town!?

This small town, had huge ever green forests that turned to the oranges and yellows and browns, it was beautiful, mouth-watering, made me think of my dad’s roast chicken. The fresh air here could get you drunk or high. It had all seasons and at each season its beauty was magnified, a shape shifting beauty that is more breath-taking as it shifts, Mother Nature’s grace.

As I walked out of the car ... My mom’s description was an understatement. On this particular day the wind blew softly as autumn was just around the corner, even though the sky was still cloudless.

Bored out of my mind but oddly happy. Hungering for something I never understood. My silly mind always hungering for more. Adventure long gone, grand ma used to say “the true adventure is life, don’t let it fade past you”. I sort of begged to differ. The same routine every day… wake up, eat and sleep... nothing ever happened, nothing weird, nothing fun, exciting or new at least, how in the slightest is that adventure?

Everyone did the same thing get born, go to school, get a job, get married, get kids then live a fed up middle life where all there is to life is the next pay check unless of course you get rich, then you still live a fed up higher life with millions of divorces and responsibilities. The prospect of life as society had set it out to be, was horrible. I eventually just concluded that she meant to make the most of the horrible reality, and enjoy every bit of life I can.

I opened the front door to the huge house my parents, Jacob, my little brother, and I were to live in. The house was huge from the outside. It was painted a beige colour on the outside to match the ever green trees, it was still summer but I felt a chill down my spine, odd. “Make way, dad coming through,” dad said while carrying some boxes. I gazed at the wonderful house’s deco, touching anything I could. I had to give mom credit she had out done herself here, with the deco.

I ran upstairs to check out my room and as soon as I opened the cloud white door, it was just as I had left it a week ago when the major things like beds and shelves where moved here. This was my cave, my Neverland, my bedroom a secret land which I could escape and in my younger years would have been whatever I imagined it to be that day. This side the outside seemed to wreak of adventure, it was beautiful as if it only existed in my mind. This place stank of mystery. I like mystery. I was just so mesmerized with it. It was so intriguing, beautiful and dream like. Out of this world.

I took a step outside and took in the fresh air, a deep full breath as I could feel it run through my lungs and through my blood, my undying hunger for something more to life screaming louder than before. I sighed, walking down the drive way I noticed a shadow in the trees. Why do I put myself up to this all the time expect something to happen and always get disappointed when it’s nothing? I sighed. I froze undecided, do I volunteer to be the stupid person in the movies who walks to the potentially deadly sound or stand there and let a potential nothing pass me by. The wind began to blow viscously, with a sudden burst of air a bird flew right past me almost hitting me.

“Anna!” my dad called from inside the house, heart-racing, remembering to breathe; “Do you want something to eat.” It’s nothing but a stupid bird, just a stupid bird. As I looked in the direction the bird had escaped and it had disappeared in the cloudless sky.

“Yeah dad, coming,” I yelled back at him.

The last day before school… sigh… I wonder what it’s going to be like. I created multiple fictional situations in my head while admiring the view from my window with the setting sun in the far background. Who I would meet, in my younger years I had found New hard to process. There was so much off it now, new town, new life, and new room, everything. I took a deep inward breath. Tomorrow will be great, I tell myself.

I sat on my bed that was in the center of my room with a small one-sitter sofa on the right side of the large window that was framed with a pearl white frame, and on the opposite side of it was a glass round table. I walked to the window, to get a better view of the outside. A black fork tailed bird landed on my window frame. Odd, I thought. Its head had all these wild strands standing up but what caught me the most was its eyes. Those eyes were almost as green as the trees that surrounded us, they were so drawing, almost hypnotic. It’s like the bird had me in its palms, or should I say claws, as it gazed at me curious.

“Anna!” mom called, “come help me unpack Jacob’s stuff.” I broke off the gaze and walked toward the door. When I reached for the door knob there was a sudden whoosh of air and before me stood a boy about my age. His hair was like he had just got out of bed scruffy but it fell perfectly, his almost pale skin flawless, his lips peachy red and those piercing eyes remaining as hypnotic as before, bewildered. In his eyes I saw comfort. He did not say a word. He took my hand, the one I had stretched out for the door knob. Then vanished. The brief contact echoed on my skin, then my brain butted in…

My mom yelled again “yeah, mom I’m coming,” as I unlocked the door.

What had I just seen? Had I even seen anything? I almost burnt a hole through the carpet, pacing, trying to make sense of the… well… it was… was… nothing… nothing logical… magic, but that isn’t real, right?! Maybe it was just my imagination playing tricks on me, all the fresh air messing with my mind.

I had to believe something…

My eyes flashed open at the sound of an annoying beeping sound that felt as if it had been going off forever, I am late, on the first day honestly! I rushed out, no time for anything not even breakfast. I would regret not eating breakfast later, I just knew I would.

New school, late on first day, it was mad...really mad. I could hear the bus revving and taking off only meters from me no amount of shouting out for it to stop could help now. Its loud rumbling of the aged rusted century old bus that was probably older than my great grandmother, drowned out every sound for miles.

I stood there for a moment to gather my thoughts. How do I get to school now? Someone cleared their throat, “Need a lift?” I looked up in reaction to the voice.

He wore a dark helmet, all dark down to his shoes. He wore a black leather jacket which had its collar up. He held out another helmet and all I could say was, “Thanks” as he rode. I should have been more careful getting on a stranger’s bike but he seemed harmless enough, I should have thought a little more before deciding to get on this bike. Panicking slightly. I really should have thought this through.

I looked around for the view but instead I only saw a blare, a wall of green and small hints of red, orange and yellow colours of the leaves at the moment. We shouldn’t have been moving at this speed but I liked it… it was exhilarating, and refreshing. I wasn’t even sure where we were going, streets appeared with people in them and the school a distance away.

Lessons had not yet started. It was a windy autumn day. I got off the bike and said, “Thanks again.”

He just replied in a quiet strained voice, “no problem” still with his helmet on. I turned to see who he was as I walked to the admin office. There he was… there was a momentary awkward glare between us, as if he knew… there were so many stories in his eyes, stories I wanted to hear… I smiled and he turned away.

My earlier encounter, the weird wild haired being I had seen earlier. The bell rang and had to rush to the administration offices. The school was beautifully made simple but complex. It had multiple separate blocks, all rounded into a square. I walked into the admin and at the reception I saw a tall figure with long golden hair turn to me and say, “Morning, what can I do for you?”

“Hi, my name is Anna Winter. I‘m the transfer student,” I took a short quick breath, “from Harare.”

“Ahh!” she said as she handed me a paper, “here’s your receipt and the subjects you signed for. You should be able to find your way to your class rooms.” The paper had the classroom numbers.

In no time, I got to my first class and entered just before the teacher did in this lesson; a voice called from behind me, “Hey.” then someone taped my shoulder. “I’m Jill, Jill Mantis?” she said it in a manner that required a self-introductory response.

“I’m Anna Winter,” I said in a calm voice, at least I think it was calm. She just went off, talking a whole lot.

Jill had an Eddie Murphy motor mouth on steroids. She had a short red head curled bob, her skin was milky white and she had a few freckles on her rosy cheeks. She assisted me with getting to the right classes. I wished not to bump in to that familiar face I that made me feel as if I was lose my mind. I had a question burning into my brain and slowly sinking to my heart, was it real?

As she talked continuously, he walked in casually. I took a deep nervous breath. He was just taking a seat and then the teacher entered and began to talk, giving us the autobiography of William Blake. Could I trust my mind? I looked at him for a moment. I am psychic and have super powers that made me see him in advance because I was thinking of school. I looked away when I saw him turn to me.

I looked across the room and I saw a different face that gave me a different kind of chill right through every bone in my body. His face pale, white hair, he was definitely trying to make a statement with his fashion. It seemed like “I don’t care and I will kill you.” He looked right at me, with a cold glare and a smug evil smirk. I turned away and kept my eyes on my teacher and my ears on the long lecture at hand.

Mr Miller, hip-looking-dude, he looked like the guy who would have bongo drums close by, who had been forced into a suit. “Auguries of innocence’ by William Blake… pair up and be done with the first three stanzas before the next lesson.” Everyone seemed to have their own match up. Most wanted to mix with the “new-girl” but teams seemed to have been set before I came to the school. The scary dude stood up he still had his literary killer glare on me, my blood ran cold.

“Quickly get settled,” Mr Miller spoke he glared awkwardly at Crowe for a brief moment. I might be imagining things. Stupid fresh air. “Flamel, help the new girl,” he spoke as he sat on his chair and put his feet up on the teacher’s desk, and I spotted his brown leather sandals that looked awkward with a suit. Almost everyone was tackling the teachers request in their usual pairs.

“Sure,” he didn’t sound awfully optimistic about it, he sat next to me and the creep backed away. This made things horrible, fighting my gut to just blurt out “I saw you in my room, like a bird then a ghost or human, I don’t know” like that would not entirely embarrass me and make me the crazy outcast.

I just skipped to the only option I had analyse the literature before me and so I started my rambling, “the title obviously suggests…” and at some moments he would interject with multiple interesting perspectives, that were intelligently phrased.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

“The first stanza is a choice,” he said, “how we see the world and the,” he smiled, “human,” he emphasised the word oddly when he spoke and I took note, “power over the time we have, learn to use it wisely and we have eternity…” I could have listened to him for hours.

“Innocence a major concern of the whole poem, a child’s perspective. To imagine more than what is there, see the beauty in everything, the rare-odd-untamed.” I said.

“The immortality of innocence,” he said, “love,” he was right, “humanity.”

And so on and so on… …

The poetic piece of literature is one of my favourites as it dwells so deeply into issues of politics and society. Very well written with its form complimenting its meaning. I completely forgot about the incident as we discussed the question at hand. Part of me felt the heavy burden of a killer stare. I swear it was drilling holes in the back of my head.

For a moment only a moment I glanced back to the creep.

“What’s wrong with him,” I meant the creep and he knew.

“It’s not what’s wrong with William Blake, it’s more what’s wrong with the rest of the world, with what society has become,” that meant he would not answer but he knew, “there’s always conflict, one dominating over the other oppressing the disadvantaged, evil amongst the good. The rotten fish that ruins the rest… make you wonder if there is any real good left.”

“In humanity,” I asked. I had a feeling he was talking about something else. He might have been answering my question after all.

“Yeah, humanity,” he said with half smile and a light chuckle.

The timer on Mr Miller’s desk went off and he stood up with a slight startle, “well, I want well written essays on that bit tomorrow, now get out of my class room,” he spoke as he struggled to shut it off. He was a really odd teacher.

“What’s your next lesson?” Jill came over and dragged me off before I could say any more to him.

“Math, do you have a clue where the classroom is?” I asked as I was totally lost.

“I am on my way there, I’ll walk you there.” She was doing the same order of subjects as I was so we met in every class after that. She seemed to have a problem with keeping quiet. So did I… sometimes.

As lunch came about, we were the best of friends. We sat down facing each other on the table and as I bit into my apple I noticed a familiar face. This had to stop, my mind coming up with conspiracy theories. Stop I ordered my brain. A girl sitting close to him, smiled and he glanced at me. His essence was too oddly drawing, and his energy was loud to me. My eyes stayed focused on him as he sat at the opposite side of the cafeteria. I should stop, this would never end well. Jill noticed that I was staring at him so she proceeded, “that’s Sebastian J. Flamel, Anna. They are kind of out of bounds. They hardly ever talk to anyone. You are very lucky you got to talk to him in class.”

“What do you mean by ‘they’?”

“The Flamel’s and Crowe and his gang over there,” she paused to see my reaction, and then continued, “In total they are eight. They are like the royal families and creeps of the school, what they say goes, technically, but they never say much just creep mostly everyone out. Three of them are the Flamel’s, Sebastian, sitting on the opposite side of the table. Then there’s William, the brunet on the left.”

I turned to see and saw an almost flawless being with the heroic square jaw, he looked like a Greek god. I did not get to see his eyes but I’m sure they were as captivating as his demi-god like face.

I then looked at Sebastian and I grew oddly concerned, the depth in his eyes... secrets to uncover. His dark wild hair reflecting off some light from the cafeteria roof, he had a black leather jacket as before and a deep navy blue long sleeve shirt with its sleeves peeking out from the sleeves of the leather jacket. All the buttons of this shirt were unfastened and in side was a white shirt his hands were tossing around an apple. It was turning out to be an eventful first day, I was already stalker-ish-ly investigating people, who my brain had insanely fictionalised. He seemed completely normal in class, he spoke human as well.

I noticed a girl sitting next to William, “who’s she?”

Jill hesitated to answer then continued, “Lilly.”

She seemed really annoyed by Lilly she did not seem as terrible as the tone of her voice had put her out to be. Once again I was stuck observing her flawless yet gentle features, her wavy short dark brown hair that brought out the colour of her golden-brown eyes. She was slowly ringing the top of her bottle that contained orange juice. Nothing about them was ordinary. There was something about them that was just weird. It kept picking at my brain.

“What of their families, parents?” I asked.

“No one really knows that, except that they live a bit distance from the town no one of the student body except them has seen their house, because it is shadowed in trees.” But then I wondered isn’t every house down here shadowed in trees, like that’s mysterious.

Jill continued speaking and I listened to her less, “the Flamel’s claim they are distant family to Mr and Mrs Flamel,” Sebastian as they call him glared at me for a moment frustrated, for a long frustrated moment, then he looked past me and I followed his glare. He was staring at an overly washed someone; he looked so cold same as his posse. The same creepy someone I had seen in class. He smiled evilly. I turned away looked down, then Lilly nudged Sebastian and he turned away. More frustrated by me it seemed.

All of a sudden a boy came and sat next to Jill, his hair was a light copper colour; it was slightly long reaching his flamboyant jaw line. He had blue piercing eyes that could be seen across the room, his skin tone was exactly like Jill’s. He wore a pair of slightly faded blue jeans and black sweater. His huge smile flashed a great set of milk white teeth. Jill punched him on the shoulder trying to push him away.

She then said, “Mark, Anna and Anna, Mark.” As she introduced us Mark Lundy reached out his bear-size hand for a hand shake, as he said, “Hi, pleased to meet you,” he spoke with the same huge grin on his face.

As my eyes stayed fixed on them, I turned to observe the one they called Sebastian, I recognized the wild dark hair then suddenly he laid his eyes on me. In embarrassment I turned away and looked to the table and I fiddled with my food and then Jill said, “Sebastian Flamel is looking at us.” As soon as she finished saying that she flushed red, she turned away and she had a huge grin on, even if you were on the moon you could see her blushing. Mark interrupted her blush, “ah come on. Then you blame us for crushing over his sister.” It seemed a bit rehearsed, odd.

All I will say is sparks were flying everywhere they were together, it was ridiculous. Jill and Mark. It seemed almost like an act but I chose to believe otherwise.

I was still quite creped out about the ghost-bird-event. Ignoring it had just become impossible, I was trying to and failing. Was it possible that I had seen him before and had just thought of him secretly, in a non-creepy way, and that is what had caused the illusion? Had I become psychic? Had I become crazy? My money was on psychic. Was it even to do with me or was it something to do with ‘them’.

That’s it, I’m being paranoid. No thinking about this; No thinking about this; it didn’t happen; it didn’t happen!

After school as we walked to the car park, Jill and I, I asked, “You only told me about the Flamel’s, what about Crowe?”

She replied with a very animated face, “Well there’s a question. Where do I begin?

“Well, Crowe, his I’ll say the creepiest of them all.” and that’s how she began, as she was opening her car door, at the driver side she unlocked the passenger side, and I got in and then she said, “We have been talking all day but I forgot to ask. Which part of Small Town do you live in?” well, she’s been talking the whole day, I’ve just been pretending to be listening most of the time.

“Sugar Lump Street, fifth house.” I said while I read from a paper where I had written the address of the house we had just recently moved to.

“Shut up,” I was not talking anymore, “that’s just next door to where I live.” There was no way to see the houses that were next door because of the trees, its ridiculous right.

“What were you saying about Crowe?”

“The freaky one always wearing black and white. He also seems to hold some sort of power over the others.” She seemed to be directing a lot of anger towards him when she spoke.

“Like he-is-a-creep sort of power”

“Don’t speak like that… Like the rest of them are scared of him,” seemed more like she was scared of him, “or he’s the king of the world.” Then again who isn’t creped out by Crowe, I didn’t even know him but he scared the poop out of me. “He only goes along with his own.” it seemed like her hair would start steaming any time soon. She seemed oddly emotional about the whole ‘Crowe’ situation.

She took a deep breath like she was going for a marathon talk, as she calmed herself and then began again, “Crowe is the one with the long bleach blonde hair and blue eyes,” I knew that he murdered me a million times in his mind with those cold eyes during the literature lesson today. “He is terrible. On his right hand side is Raven, no one has ever seen the right half her face. She always has her charcoal black hair over it. She can give you goose bumps on your goose bumps, if she ever looks at you; I swear... ‘If looks could kill.’

“People say her touch is as cold as ice and if she ever touches you, you would die instantly. Her voice might sound beautiful but know her mouth is full of venom. To tell you the full truth, there have been myths that she is Hera the evil Greek goddess.” I laughed, but she was still serious. This town seemed interesting after all.

“The myths are probably wrong I think she is more like the devil shape shifted to a female form and come to kill everyone who dares cross her/his path. It’s just people making things up. Then there is Dove her twin sister, she is totally the opposite of Raven, people claim her to be an angel sent down from heaven. I wonder why she even hangs around those people; she can do much better than that.

“She has everyone doing things for her and she is too much of a miss goodie too shoes. She never does anything wrong, it’s just too much.”

I looked out the window and recognized the trees that covered the drive way, all covered in green with slight hints of brown, dead leaves. As Jill drove by the leaves were lifted by the speed of her car. The seats were of grey leather, it smelt of freshly baked cookies. There was a very welcoming smell and feel to her car. Her car was a bright yellow, like the sun on a summer’s day that matched her personality perfectly. I still prefer walking though, it is a little more interesting.

She turned the radio on, then said, “We were talking Dove Cooper!”

“Dove Cooper,” I asked.

“Yep, the rest of them are not as interesting as these three and their names are James and Zachariah, but everyone just calls him Zack.”

I had just discovered the schools gossip queen; she was royalty just in the wrong genre. We said our goodbyes and I watched her leave. This had just become a little more interesting than I had expected. I needed to go to the library because I had an essay on Romeo and Juliet for extra credit and the William Blake one as well.

“Hi Mom do you, by any chance, know where the library here is?” I used to spend most of my free time at the neighbourhood library back home, the only place I could live the greatest adventures yet be seated the whole time.

“Mom?” she was taking forever to answer me.

“Two blocks from the school.” She sounded distracted.

I changed my jacket and grabbed my back pack and was about to run out the door when my mom called for me while she was in the kitchen, Dad had come back from his work as head of police investigations. “Honey, we need to talk to you,” I instantly thought that I was in trouble for something.

“Yeah?” I asked wanting to get it over with.

“We are going camping this weekend. Do you want to come?” camping now?

“Nope, how can you go camping in autumn?” it would be cold-ish and there will not be much to see.

“Come on you will have a lot of fun, there’s going to be a lot of bird watching.” I thought most birds would have flown south.

“Maybe next time, mom and dad I am just kind of busy at the moment, school work overload and stuff,” translation: busy with the ghost-bird-Sebastian.

“So will you come?”

“I will think about it, bye.” I dashed through the door and headed for the trees.

I thought I would cut through the trees at my right to get to Jill’s house. My gut kept screaming at me, like someone was watching or following me. I slowly became dangerously close to claustrophobic the trees overwhelming, feeling enclosed. I turned and saw a shadow in the trees. I thought, Crowe! My mind went through a mini panic. So I continued walking forward as calmly and fast as I could. I was not going to volunteer for trouble like those stupid people in the movies that walk towards the classic bush noises then die, then a bird burst out from the bushes like before.

There was a resident crazy bird in these trees apparently.

Only thing different was that this bird was a crow with a fork tailed drongo chasing after it. Crows and fork-tailed-drongos fight all the time it’s nature. Think nothing of it, think nothing of it… it’s not Flamel or Crowe… think nothing of it. Brain stop! It’s nothing!

When I looked ahead, away from the forest thick. I had reached the next door neighbours, Jill’s house. I observed the unpainted house, the intricate red brick walls covering the exterior of the house bringing warmth to it. I walked up to the red front door, caught my breath a bit. Stared at the trees for a brief moment, then knocked.

The door was immediately answered by a slightly overweight woman, with a few freckles like Jill so I figured it was her mother. Her hair was short and she was a red head. She wore a black skirt and a red long sleeved blouse that complimented her hair. Her eyes were blue and seemed friendly. As soon as the door had been opened I smelt freshly baked cookies, to be exact chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies. I could taste them by the smell alone. Now I know where the smell in her car came from. Then she spoke in a sweet voice that matched her face.

“Hi what can I do for you honey?”

“Hi I’m Anna Winter. I just moved in next door and I just met Jill at school today. Is she here?” she turned her head behind the door and shouted, “JILL, DOOR!” I was slightly startled by how loud her voice could get. I heard Jill stomping her feat as she came down the stairs.

She came and stood next to her mother and she said, “Yes, mom?!” having a teenage moment.

“Your friend,” She said as she walked way.

“Hi,” she said with her very animated face.

“Hi, do you mind taking me to the library? I’ll pay for the fuel.” I bribed her.

She grabbed her coat and said, “Make sure you do pay for fuel.” She took a deep breath then said to her mom, “Mom we are leaving. I’m just going to the library.” I swear I heard her mom say since when does she go to the library.’

She walked in to her car and I followed her when we were in the car, she said, “What do you want to do at the library.”

“To get Romeo and Juliet remember we have an essay on it due next week” she seemed to be ignoring that matter.

“I already read that one.” She spoke.

“So have I, just needed to catch up on some parts of it?” I assured her though she still had her mind on something else.

“Want to go shopping this weekend?” she asked.

“I can’t, parents are going camping.” I had always been the responsible one and I was not planning on changing that anytime now.

“Camping in autumn?” she was sort of shocked and in disbelief as she thought I just wanted to avoid her or something.

“I know, it’s weird...” it would be cold, less bugs but still very unusual.

“But I still don’t get why you can’t come”

“I have some work to do, I will come by if I get free time.” Classic me avoiding people… having grown up with three brothers, solitude was nice.

The work I was talking about was researching on what ‘he’ was maybe I would figure it out. It was really bugging me. Only if I had more clues I would probably be able to figure it out, so I would spend the entire weekend buried in books and glued to a computer screen hoping to find something on the net. I had to find some truth, because whatever he was had to do with Crowe and Crowe looked dangerous. I now felt like Veronica Mars or like I was stuck in an Agatha Christie novel. I really shouldn’t be doing this though. A part of me, thought that I was seriously losing my mind and should drop this before I get worse and another part held on. This was something I had to know. I can’t be going crazy.

I also needed a few more books for entertainment purposes. As Jill got out of her car still annoyed thinking that I had made up some lame excuse not to hang out with her this weekend. I looked at the small library expecting a lot more from it.

I walked into the library slowly instantly noticing its shelves that scraped the ceiling and they were all stuffed with books. There were thin corridors between the shelves and a dusty draft blowing between them. I walked through them slowly tracing the books on the shelves with my figure tips, looking for those I had come for; Jill was still at the reception trying to ignore me. I found myself stuck in towers of shelves I was now encircled by. I began to feel like a mouse in a maze of endless corridors searching for the way out.

I could barely breathe as everything began to close up on me. The air was coming in too fast and leaving too slow; everything around me began to spin as if I was in an unstable dream, I felt power, unstable, nuclear. My instincts lead me to run to where there are others. I ran on forward hopefully towards humanity, where ever my feet where leading me, trying to find a way out but the corridors of the shelves. I bumped into someone coming to a halt, a warm someone and my books fell to the ground. I instantly looked down to pick them up and a tender hand touched mine briefly as we were both trying to gather my three books. A touch my skin had tasted before. I looked up and there he was as he whispered, “Sorry, I should have watched where I was going.” His voice had the tone of lifetimes...

I whispered back, “it was my fault.”

“Yeah you shouldn’t run like that in the library.”

“Shhh!” we suddenly heard from the ancestrally ancient librarian, who had wrinkles on her wrinkles. She startled us both. He handed me the four books and smiled naughtily, sending my heart in flutters, “are you going to tell me.” I knew there was something. His smile faded my curiosity flooded in as I was beyond desperate now to know. I should not have just said that.

“You wouldn’t understand.” There was something, I was not crazy...

“Is that not my choice?” he was different. He remained silent as he walked away.

I heard Jill say, “Ready to go.” Anyways it’s not like Clark Kent would ever tell just anyone that he is Superman. I should not have just shoved my foot in my mouth like that.

I replied, my mind somewhere else, “Yeah.” What had he meant when he said I wouldn’t understand? I slowly checked out the books as Jill now stood impatiently at the exit. There was a forth book I couldn’t check out. A book the librarian insisted was mine.

“I have no time for your teenage confusion,” she dismissed me, I left without another word. Glancing back at the library I walked toward Jill and into her car.

The odd addition to my pile was covered in an old fashioned brown leather. I lightly brushed it with my thumb and then slowly opened it and there was its heading written a unique print with in that had long wedded with the paper, ’Peter Pan’ this was my child hood favourite. I figured who’s it was almost instantly. It was his…

I slightly flushed red, smiled knowing I had probably found a clue. Why was I so quick to trust him?

Then Jill said as a deliberate question and reminder, “you still need to pay for gas?”

I swore I saw him a couple of times outside the car windows but it was probably just hallucinations again. I shouldn’t be calm about seeing things but I was. She stopped the car at a service-station and said, “do you need a ride to school so long as you pay for fuel I won’t mind picking you up.”

I thought for a while it did beat the school bus or the Sebastian express. I paid for her fuel like I had promised at least now I had a ride to school, technically. She then continued, “Does silence mean that it is a deal or you already have a ride.” Now all my pocket money was going to end up in this.

“So long as you pay half,” I said this trying to negotiate.

“Fine,” she replied in a slight mumble and a sigh as I handed her some money and she went to pay the tall and skinny guy that had served her car.

I read the story but there was nothing new. Just a book he had dropped and probably wanted back. For the next few days he did not even glance toward me in class or at lunch… odd silence. I just want to know that’s all, maybe I shouldn’t.

I understand why not. For example no one knows if vampires exist or not, or if the Japanese dragons exist or if Never-land exists, all because if they knew they would be all gone. Humanity built to destroy what they build.

Every clue I thought I found was just my over-imaginative mind trying to mix fiction and reality. It was already Friday morning, at least I had a long relaxing weekend ahead of me. Jill and I had truly become great friends, her mom was only happy because I dragged her to the library every so often. It had only been a week but it felt like we had known each other all our lives. At least I knew her, she had told me so much about herself.

It was just a normal Peter Pan book, looked antique but normal. The thought kept popping up. I felt like I was walking in an endless maze and I didn’t mean the school lockers. My mind kept holding on to the possibility that there was something else. I needed a distraction. Where Jacob and his annoying little brother stuff when you needed him.

Jill had gone for an early weekend to her aunt’s house in another town, so it was quiet. I had to catch the bus this morning what a site... running... not one of my talents.

With Jill gone I was bored and full of thoughts.

There was a great whoosh and I found myself standing with you know who. His green eyes were dark and serious, he spoke in that addictive voice of his, “go camping with your parents this weekend.”

I asked in a hesitant voice, “why?” how did he know about that?

“Trust me,” a lot to demand from someone I barely knew… or something.

He was gone before I could respond. The look in his eyes, superglued itself to my mind. There was something bigger going on. I hated him for giving me riddles that had no answers or a million possible answers. This I was sure I had seen. He was fast very fast and the bird thing I didn’t get, yet. What was he? Oddly, I trusted him. There was something about him, a good that was screaming to live.

Now I was to deal with bugs for the weekend... my parents are going to be psyched.

I could just not go. Would it really matter? How on earth did he know that they were going camping? I just needed to ask, it really was annoying all this weird stuff. Fear settled, the warning in his eyes earlier… his warmth. I felt lighter, my hands got shaky, and an odd strength was rising from the pit of my stomach.

The bell went off and it was lunch time. I missed Jill’s endless talk. The student body was so small that I could recite the inter student body names but none of them were as good a friend as Jill, they were all just class mates and people to say ‘hello’ to, strangers. I took an apple and as I walked away from the lunch lady talking to herself over the irresponsibility of the students I noticed a familiar stare without looking back at him I walked away like I had no idea who he was, which was more true than false.

For that short moment that his eyes had met mine he looked like he knew what I desperately was trying to find out. I wanted to ask but I thought it hopeless he would probably pretend that nothing had happened. He avoided the questions he knew I would eventually ask him.

I felt confined and trapped by an unbreakable force as I was walking through the school path ways. Walking past the science lab. Brain being compounded and squished... I saw Crowe across the court yard and I stared back at him. He had a death stare that ran chills down my spine. He smirked, the world blurred. He was doing this to me. How?
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