The Further Adventures of A. Teague: Prologue
Disclaimer: I do not, nor have I ever owned any part of the book, "Blood and Chocolate," by Annette Curtis Klause. I do, however, love her characters, and I hope she doesn't mind me writing a story about them. It should also be noted that the locations described in this story are fictionalized versions of real places. The city of La Mesa, NM exists, but it is not the city that I am writing about. Thank you, and enjoy.
One dark and sinister midnight, Aiden Teague's entire world was shattered. In one fell swoop, he learned that there were monsters in the world, that they liked killing people, generally, and that at least one of them wanted to kill him, specifically. The tall, terrifying man/wolf had snarled at him, eyes still red with hell's fire. Its threat had chilled him to his very soul, a cold shiver running up his spine and a warm trickle down his leg. He'd run home that night, dignity forgotten in the overwhelming desire to stay alive.
Weeks passed, months even. Aiden barely left his room. His parents could not understand this sudden change, and the switch to haranguing him to go out was a radical change from the usual pestering him to stay home. His father even found himself in the awkward position of supporting Aiden's friendship with the Amoeba, otherwise known as, "those damned hooligans." Nothing helped; Aiden withdrew from the world, and after the first six months, everyone despaired of his ever coming back.
Then, one March day, a thick envelope arrived from La Mesa University, a small school in the middle of the desert southwest. Unbeknownst to all, Aiden Teague had concocted a scheme. He'd emerged from the fog of his all-consuming terror and for almost the first time in his life, he'd felt a purpose. He began paying attention in class, he stopped doodling in his notebook margins, and he started getting decent grades. He'd wake up every morning, dress, eat, get to school with homework finished and exams prepared for. Then, when free time came to him, he would retreat to the internet and search for colleges that were as far away from tall trees and dark forests as was possible.
He found several. La Mesa was the first to respond.
Aiden Teague eyed the envelope with grim satisfaction, then walked downstairs to tell his parents the news.
Aiden Teague was going to college.