I'm no good with summaries or descriptions, so I hope they turned it well...
And for the...
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IMAGINE COMING HOME FROM A day out of the house to find some strange, but extremely hot, guy lounging on your couch. What would you do? I screamed, dropped my bag, and ran for the phone. Which is not the smartest thing to do. Because apparently this amazingly hot stranger is fast and strong.
I got pulled from behind, and literally lifted off the ground. “Lemme go!” I screamed at him, kicking and trying to claw his face with my long nails.
“Why? So you can call the
cops on me?” He asked, with a voice that could melt even the coldest of hearts. Immediately, I stopped thrashing about and just hung there like a rag doll. Curse my weak spot for irresistible guys!
“Who are you? How did you get into my house? Why are you in my house?” I asked, not sounding nearly as scary or threatening as I wanted.
“Let’s just say I’m... a friend. A friend that’s here to help. I’m just going to skip that second question… And I’m in your house to save your – and your species’ – lives,” He said matter-of-factly. His annoying attitude snapped me out of my trance, and I was wildly angry.
“You’re no friend of mine, you psycho! We’re the same species! We’re both humans, and I think it’s dang obvious there’s no freaking way to save this race! We’re all going to die, either of a nuclear war, or by running out of resources. Either way, most of us are headed to hell, including you! Now let. Me. go!” I screamed, kicking wildly. One of my kicks hit him in the chest, and I felt a surge of pride. Normally my blows hit anywhere except the target.
He let out a puff of air and let me go involuntarily. I ran for the phone and dialed 9-1-1. Or tried to. The power went out right then. I hadn’t noticed the storm start, but it was raging now. Great. My Mom’s going to be stuck at the office and the power’s out with me stuck in my house with a freaking psycho. Who thinks he can ‘save my species’. Or whatever this guy’s delusion is. I wasn’t even going to ask what else could go wrong. You never asked it, because then something would definitely go wrong.
“Dang it, Juliana! Listen to me!” The guy shouted, gasping for breath and clutching his chest. “And don’t kick me again!”
“How do you know my name?!” I screamed, silently cursing myself for letting my cell phone die.
“Calm down and I’ll answer all your questions. First, let’s get some light in here.” Well, he certainly recovered from that quickly. I heard him fumbling in a drawer and pull out a flashlight. He flipped it on. How does he know where we keep the flashlights? Has he been stalking me?! I wasn’t sure if I should feel flattered that he found me interesting, or scared out of my mind that I was being stalked. “Good, that’s better,” He said, going to lounge on my couch again. He was acting casual again. Does this happen often with him? If it does… I didn’t want to finish that thought. “Come. Sit down. I’ll explain this whole
“No way in hell am I going near you!” I shouted, throwing the nearest thing at him, which ended up being my cat’s favorite toy, a Leopard-spotted fish that squeaked when squeezed.
It squeaked, which meant he caught it. It then sounded as though he was tossing it up and batting at it, kind of like my cat always did. That’s it! My cat’s not very mean, but he doesn’t like strangers. I hoped he would attack this stranger, like he did with his toys. Or at least just scare him. “Felix!” I called. “Come here, kitty, kitty, kitty!” No cat. Huh, that’s odd. Usually he comes running.
“What do you want?” The guy asked, sounding annoyed.
“I wasn’t talking to you!” I snapped him, glaring through the dark. If only looks could kill.
“Well you’re calling for me, aren’t you?”
“Uhm, no, you idiot. I was calling my cat. I highly doubt you’re my cat, seeing as you’re a human.” For such a hot guy, he’s really stupid. Such a shame… I mentally shook myself. Stop it, Juliana! Pyscho! In your house! FOCUS!
“Oh, right. Hang on,” He said. I heard a faint pop, and a meow.
“Felix! You lazy fat cat, where’ve you been?” I asked the bengal-tabby mix that was purring against my legs, completely forgetting about the loon in my house. I picked him up and started stroking him under the chin. He purred louder. “Aw, you’re such a cute kitty!” I said, talking as though I were talking to a baby. I tend to get a little crazy around animals.
He meowed and looked down, which meant he was through. I put him down and stroked his striped back, letting my stress and anger wash away.
There was another small pop, and my hand was now on the head of the stranger, who was sitting cross-legged where my cat once was. I jumped back, screaming again. “What the hell are you?!” This is a dream. This is a crazy dream. This is an insane, crazy dream.
“I think I’m a shape shifter, but I can only change into a cat. Your cat. Oh, right, and calling ‘kitty, kitty, kitty’ bugs the crap out of me,” He said, talking casually.
“So where’s my cat?” I asked him, my eyes narrowing. This must be a dream. No other explanation for this madness.
“That’s been me the whole time,” He replied, and I saw his sillhoutte shrug. The lights came back on, and the first thing I did was look him up and down. Now that I got a good look at him, he did look kind of like my cat.
His hair was shaggy and longer than an average boy would keep it, and it was black with some faint silver streaks. It looked almost exactly like my cat’s fur. His skin was pale, but I didn’t know what a cat’s skin looked like, so I assumed it was about right. His eyes were what really gave it away, though. They seemed blue, but when the light shined on them a certain way, they gleamed green. Just like Felix.
“Oh. My. God,” I whispered. This must be a dream. There’s no way this is real, I repeated mentally. “So, if you’re really my cat, then why have you waited a whole year to tell me?” Just play along. You’ll wake up eventually.
He got up and, shrugging, walked over to the couch and flopped down. “I had no reason to,” He replied, as if that solved the whole matter.
“So you do now?” I responded, my eyes narrowing and voice cracking. This was getting more and more suspicious, even if it wasn’t real.
“Eh… kind of. I’m still not too sure yet,” He replied, grinning a little nervously. As if that would help.
“Yeah, sure. I’ll play along with whatever this insane dream is,” I muttered under my breath. “So what’s your real name? Is it Felix?”
“Nope, that’s my cat form’s name. We Shapeshifters tend to have different names for each shape,” He said, shrugging again. “I didn’t come up with the idea. I just go along with it.”
“Sure you didn’t,” I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes. And you didn’t answer my question, either.
“What, I didn’t! I’m not the only Shapeshifter around here! Most house pets are shapeshifters.” He was sounding a little bit desperate to be understood, but I was too angry and scared to care about his feelings.
“Eww, that’s creepy! Some little girl’s sleeping with her dog at night and it might be some creepy old man!” I shivered at the thought and tried not to think of all the times Felix had slept in my bed with me. He was a cat. He was just trying to keep warm.
“Alright, now that is creepy and wrong, but most of the time shapeshifters that decide to stay as house-hold pets age like the animal, and after a while actually become the animal. It’s very complicated. We have scientists trying to figure out the life span of us and how our animal forms change how long we live, and how time passes while we’re in different forms… But right now they’re thinking that whatever form you live your life longest as is your rate of growth. I guess it’s lucky for me I spend most of my time as a human. I’m only ever a cat when you or your mom is home.” He made it sound obvious and complicated at the same time. Stupid cute bastard.
Irk, now I’m also confused! “Answer my question, and no changing the subject this time!” I said, getting a bit of a headache. That happened when I tried to over think things that were too complicated. I pushed it to the back of my mind for now. “So, your real name? Seeing as you so cleverly changed the topic.”
“Oh, right. My real name’s Justin. It’s not really interesting, is it?” He asked, laughing. I tried not to let my heart melt. Pull it together! He’s a pyscho! And it’s just a dream, anyway. Dreams always fade…
“I think it’s fine, seeing as you’re a bit too interesting,” I replied, managing to make my tone cool and eyes stay narrowed.
“I’m going to take that as a compliment,” He said, grinning like the annoying idiot I knew he was.
“Even if it wasn’t meant to be?” I tried to keep my voice cool, but I was really curious. Hopefully it wasn’t too obvious.
“Well, yeah. If you twist it enough, anything can be made into a compliment.” He stopped and looked as though he was thinking about what he said. “Actually, almost anything. Some things are just too cruel to be twisted.”
“Ok, sure. Why not?” I muttered, shrugging a little. “Now, onto another thing that’s on my ‘Need To Know’ list. Why did you think now was a good time to tell me that the cute kitten that sleeps in my bed with me is really a Shapeshifter? I preferred thinking it was my cute cat I was cuddling with. Not… a human. Or someone who looks like a human.” Uhg, headache again. Ow…
“Well, okay then…” He said, looking kind of awkward. I guess I did say something awkward. “We have reason –“
“Wait, hang on. Who’s we?” I asked, getting suspicious once more.
“Oh, right. The Organization. That’s who most of us Shapeshifters work for. Actually, that’s who most of all us ‘fairy tale’ people work for,” Justin said, talking as if it were just another day’s conversation about the weather. Which bugged me a lot. “And they don’t really have that much of a name, either…” He looked a bit embarrassed about his work’s lame name.
“Alright, go on. You can explain more about this ‘Organization’ later,” I told him, waving my hand dismissively. No more getting off topic for you, Mr. Pyscho.
“No, it’s The Organization,” He corrected, sounding as if he just disproved a life-changing theory. He sounded quite smug about it, too.
“Don’t correct me. Just tell me why you showed yourself,” I snapped.
“Alright, well, The Organization has reason to believe you are a Faerie that hasn’t grown your wings yet.” He said it so calmly it was hilarious. I couldn’t help it. I laughed. Loudly. Which apparently bugged Justin. “Look, this isn’t a joke! It’s serious!” His mouth twitched a little.
“Ok, I know I said I’ll go along with this lunatic dream, but this is really too far. I mean, I know I’m short and all, but does it even look like I fly around granting wishes?”
His mouth twitched again. “That is what is believed to be a ‘fairy’. You are a ‘Faerie’. They’re shorter than the average human, and have their own certain powers. Usually healing. Not wish granting.”
I waved my hand again. “Psh, whatever. This’ll all go away when I wake up anyways, so I might as well have fun with it.” I took on a confident stance, ready for battle. “I want to see if you can prove it to me.”
“Okay, easy. Come here,” Justin replied, grinning again as if he hadn’t just twitched. Okay, this guy is getting creepier and creepier…
“Uhm… You know what? No thanks,” I said, getting a little bit nervous. I broke my stance and took small steps toward the phone. “I think I’ll just wait to wake up…”
“Oh, so you’re going to admit to being a Faerie without any proof?” He asked, his grin becoming a smirk. “Well, I guess that means I’m right.” He knew it would hit a nerve. And hit a nerve it did.
I glared at him and stalked over to the couch he was lounging on. I hated it when people used what I said against me. Especially when it was hot guys. Especially when the hot guy was a loon. “Alright, so what’re you going to do to me?” I asked, still a little nervous but determined not to let it show.
“This.” Roughly, he grabbed my left arm and put it palm up. He took our what looked like a broken claw and sliced my palm with it. I smacked him with my right hand, but I’m a leftie so it wasn’t that hard. “Don’t smack me. Look at your cut.” He rubbed his reddening cheek and pointed to my hand with the other. Guess it was harder than I thought. Good.
I looked, and was completely shocked. Already the blood had stopped, and even though it was a bad cut, it hadn’t bled very much. As I watched, my skin pulled itself together, and after a minute only a white scar remained. No way. This is just a mind trick…
“You’ll have that scar for a week maybe, but it’s a lot better than the normal amount of time. It was a pretty bad cut,” Justin said. “So, do you believe me now?” All I could manage was a tiny nod. I was still staring at my scar. Does that mean this is… real?
Of course this is real, Juliana. That voice… It didn’t sound like mine. But I was too tired to think straight.
Then I passed out. I kept coming to the brink of consciousness, and once I felt like I was being
Justin’s eyes widened and he face palmed himself when Juliana passed out. He was ashamed that he had forgotten just how much Healing took out of a Faerie. Especially if that Faerie happened to be brand new. He picked her up gently and carried her to her room.
He was just curling up in his cat basket, as a cat, when her mother arrived home. She was a real busy woman, since she had Juliana and work to take care of. She was the head accountant for a company. She didn’t like Felix.
He heard Juliana groan from her room, but it was soft, so he knew Mrs. Falcone couldn’t hear. It was the sound of Juliana waking up from her power drain. Justin meowed and ran into Juliana’s room, which wasn’t very far away from his bed.
Justin jumped up on her bed and changed back into a human with a popping noise. He quickly covered her mouth with his hand, since she might believe it was just a dream and would freak when she noticed him on her bed. She looked pretty close to it. “It wasn’t a dream,” Justin hissed quietly. “It was real. You even felt the pain and felt it heal. I know because of your expression. You aren’t very good at hiding your feelings.” He grinned, and in response she glared. “Promise to not scream when I uncover your mouth?” She nodded, and he slowly pulled his hand back, ready to cover it again if needed.
“What was that for?” Juliana demanded quietly, still glaring at Justin. “You didn’t have to cut my hand open! And I wouldn’t have screamed. Mom would’ve just told me it was a dream. She always thinks I exaggerate the littlest of things. Besides, I easily could have kicked your butt right now.”
Justin was stunned. She had recovered quite… well. “So, uh, about the passing out thing…” He decided it was safest to avoid the threat and not think about it. He’d seen what she could do to pillows when she got upset.
“Don’t ever bring it up again, Justin. I’m not a fainter, and I’m guessing I used energy I don’t have much of, right? So I passed out in order to revive that limited energy. I am not a fainter.” She emphasized the last sentence, eyes narrowing dangerously.
“Exactly,” Justin replied, bewildered. “Oh, but it’s not really that you have limited energy. You have an unlimited supply of it, but you’re not in touch with your Faerie side. You’ve only just learned. For all we know you could only be a half Faerie.” He raised his right hand. “And I shall never bring up the fact that you fainted.”
“So, who’s the Faerie in my family?” She asked, suddenly curious, her held tilting to one side like it always did when she wasn’t faking. “It’s got to be my dad, right? There’s no way Mom’s a Faerie. She’s too… normal.” Her face wrinkled, and Justin had to try hard not to chuckle. She was kind of adorable.
“Actually, it is your mom. We don’t know anything about your dad. And your mom used to work there, but then an… incident occurred. Neither of us were born yet, so I’ve only heard stories. Supposedly something went seriously wrong with a project they were working on, and your mom needed to have her memory modified to keep her from going insane. Which meant she had to forget everything and anything about Faeries,” He explained, watching Juliana’s fascinated expression the whole time. She was very interesting. “And it also meant she had to get her wings removed.” Her mouth fell open. Guess that was a little unexpected. “She’s a pure Faerie, and they always have wings.
“Your father easily could have been a full Faerie that had been in a nasty accident, or a complete human. Or maybe he had tainted Faerie blood.” Her face went from surprised to confused. “Tainted Faerie blood is extremely common. It’s what happens when there’s human blood mixed with Faerie blood. It prevents wings. Actually, any kind of blood that isn’t Faerie prevents wings, so there aren’t very many winged Faeries left in the world.”
“So basically, my mom had something happen, her mind was cleaned from everything Faerie related, met my dad, who may or may not’ve been a Faerie, and had me. Wait, you mentioned something about… tainted blood? So that prevents wings, right? So all non-Faerie blood is pretty much ‘tainted’ blood?” She asked, her head tilting again. Even if she was trying to hide it, she was extremely curious. But it did take her a while to understand some things. Even though Justin had tried to explain the whole ‘wings’ and ‘tainted blood’ thing, she didn’t really get it.
“Well, yes. Centuries and centuries ago, back when all Faeries were still Pure, there had been a huge disaster, and most of the Faeries were killed. To save their race, they began choosing… mates from other races or species. Thus creating other so-called ‘fairy-tale creatures’. You’re the first possible Half we’ve had in… a long time. Faeries have their own powers, but so do humans. Each is special in it’s own way… We have no idea what can happen,” Justin replied, thinking about what this could mean. Faeries are mainly Healers. Humans are mainly Destroyers. To have a Half… “Anything could happen…” He whispered, but Juliana didn’t seem to notice it.
I listened to Justin, taking in everything he said about my mom’s past and what I could possibly be. “So, you mean I may actually… belong somewhere?” I asked, really needing to know the answer. Maybe he isn’t as bad as I first thought.
He looked really shocked. “Of course. Well, sort of. No one knows who – or what – you really are, but once they hear who your mom is you’ll be treated… differently.” He said the last word a little softer and sadly. He seemed upset about something, but I could tell from his eyes he was thinking furiously, too. For a second a felt a little bad, then remembered he had nearly sliced my hand in two based on a guess.
“So you mean I’ll never fit in, anywhere?” I asked, swallowing back tears. For some reason people thought I was crazy, but I’ve never done anything to make people believe that. We moved from Ireland to England when people first started calling me crazy. My parents thought a new start was just what I needed. But for some reason, I was still thought insane. And then Dad had a heart attack and passed away. I loved it in England, even though it had only been a year and I was labeled ‘insane’ by every other person my age. But it was too painful for my mom, so we moved down here to Houston, Texas. Hottest place I’ve ever been to and ever want to be. I want to fit in somewhere… anywhere… Please…
Justin did something unexpected. He popped and curled up next to me, purring loudly. I knew he was doing it to make me feel better, but I pretended to not realize it. Smiling and furiously blinking back tears at the memories, I scratched behind his black and silver ears.
I continued to pet him until I fell into a deep, chaotic sleep.
I can faintly recall a pair of wings. They were a dark red-black, shimmering purple sometimes. There were clear films in some areas, so it looked as those the wings had silvery holes. It fit, because the edges of the wings looked a little frayed and battle-worn. But they still looked graceful somehow. It was a creepy graceful, but it was still graceful.
There were also trees, like in a forest. I didn’t know why I would have a dream in a forest, since I had never really been camping.
And there were some other people there, too, but I couldn’t make them out. It looked like there were six, in the front. In the back there were many more. Again, I had no idea why I would dream of a crowd. I never liked crowds, and crowds didn’t like me.