A Shadow of Myself

It takes all of energy and willpower to get out of bed and get dressed for school. Really what was the point of it? If I truly was a vampire prince, which I guess I kind of am, then why bother with school? All I want to do is lie in bed and just do nothing. Depression is quickly taking over, as if it was one of those diseases that I can never remember the name but kill you before you even know you're sick. I really just don't want to see the world right now. If I'm being honest, well I can't handle it.

How can I go on living as if I'm the same person if I'm not even human?

Eventually I manage to get out of bed however. Not because I want to, but because school is probably the only normal thing in my life at the moment and normal sounds good. Plus the fact that I'm already worrying my parents enough; if I stop showing any effort at all they'd probably lock me up or something.

I run down the stairs and decide to skip breakfast. Since the whole Sam incident yesterday food just doesn't sound good. Well I guess it technically does, but I'm too scared to eat it. Some part of me feels that if I eat it then eventually it will stop tasting good since it isn't blood. The foreign part of my mind tells me I'm being ridiculous and to stop being a drama queen. A valid point, but I'm not going to listen to the thing that's trying to take over, even if it technically is me.

Instead I decide since I'm up early, couldn't sleep…too many nightmares, I'd make breakfast. When I take out the pots to fry bacon and eggs a vision of me cooking soup in some foldable pot hits me and I almost drop the egg I'm cracking. These things are getting frickin annoying! Plus I don't understand why pots would fold.

Sensing my mood or something a dark blob appears on the shadow, actually the shadow of what seems to be a mosquito flying around. And I'm not sure how, but the insect shadow seems to take the food and cook it while I stay there paralyzed. Once finished it bows to me. Pissed off at the hallucination or whatever that was I feel my eyes change color and the pots start shaking from my angry energy.

I hear footsteps and instantly calm down. My eyes become green again and I sigh in relief as Mom and Dad enter the kitchen. Apparently I'm not allowed to get angry anymore without terrible consequences. Just one more thing I'm going to have to change about my life.

Dad frowns at me, "Since when do you cook breakfast?"

"Um I do cook a lot. I'm not very good at it but eggs and bacon is easy." Especially when it's only for four and not forty.
"Um Matt I don't think I've ever seen you cook in your life."

Right, memories taking over again I guess. "Well then surprise!"

Mom laughs uncomfortably to try and ease the tension, "And you positive we won't get food poisoning?"

Taking the hint I roll my eyes, "Yes Mom I'm not that incompetent, I'm not going to poison you." At least I won't, who knows about the person living in me or the mosquito that cooked it.

Awkwardly, we all make our way to the table and eat. Sarah comes running down the stairs and looks at me as if I've grown an extra head. Knowing my luck I did. I just push my food around, I don't feel like eating any more than when I woke up. As I grab my backpack and head to the door Mom calls my name and I turn towards her, "Matt where did you find Lilly exactly?"

"The park across town," I lie. "Why?"

"She just sounded weird when I talked to her yesterday."

"Why would you talk to her?"

"Be nice," she scowls, "and I was trying to reach your Aunt. Anyway she was asking weird questions about you and seemed to be worshipping you. Just wanted to make sure you didn't save her from real trouble."
"No Mom, unless you count swings and annoying children as danger." That and insane vampaneze.

"Maybe she thinks you're a vampire," Sarah suggests and I almost fall down out of shock. Instead an inhuman growl threatens to rip through my tightly closed lips and my eyes threaten to change. I already feel my anger rising and see a coat hanger about to stab her in the back.

"Don't be ridiculous Sarah, we don't want to even joke about your cousin's delusions," Dad tells her and a she glares at Dad I regain control and the coat hanger drops to the ground. I wave goodbye and run out of the door before it hits the ground, definitely moving faster than I should be able to.

The bus pulls away as soon as I reach the bus stop, leaving me stranded. Aggravated to the max I growl into the empty air. Octa appears at my feet and climbs up to my shoulder. I feel her eyes on me, carefully examining what move I'm going to make. Something in me stirs and suddenly it feels as if I'm flying.

Not literally, but I'm running so fast that it seems as if I am. Somehow I know that I'm not flitting, if I were I'd be at school in an instant. No, instead I'm running at a speed in between sprinting and flitting. I'm at school in eight minutes with Octa on my shoulder.

I'm still a little later than I thought though, apparently my bus was late too, so the bell rings as soon as I'm done with my locker and I begrudgingly head to biology with Ms. Tall. Dealing with her right now just isn't what I want to do. It's too soon. Not only do I have no idea how to treat my inhumanness, but I also don't want to hear her tell me about my destiny that I'm not positive about and tell me to be someone I am not.

Walking into the classroom I smile, Ms. Tall isn't here and instead on the chalkboard it says Mr. M. He's this beast sub we get once in a while who just lets us do whatever. My day just got a lot better. Or it did for a second until Madison leans over to me, "That sub is a lot hotter than the Mr. M I know."

Confused, I look to the door and have to do a double take at the sight I see. "Hello students," an amused voice says and the black haired tan guy stares at me in particular. Great, just great. "I am usually called your highness, but I will allow you all to call me Mr. M or Mr. March."

The class laughs and I groan, did he think he was funny?
"As you can tell I am, what's the word, subbing for your sub. Ms. Tall is out on other business and asked me to cover for her. We are close," he smirks and I get nauseated at what that means and I picture a baby. "and she left me these packets for you to do."

He hands out the packets before letting us work. Not able to concentrate with him staring at me I go over to his desk where he is looking at his hand. "What the hell are you doing here Vancha?"

"Protecting you of course," he smiles. "My skin looks so strange, does it not?"
"Vancha," I growl. "This is serious, how are you even here?"
"I got here before the sun rose and Evanna gave me a charm to change my hair and my skin color. Apparently humans don't take too kindly to green hair and red skin."

"Wait you can't read or write?"

"I learned," he shrugs. "Evanna's a good teacher when she wants to be."

"Where is she?"
"On business involving her father," he hisses. "Matt we really need you on our side. Harkat filled me in on what has occurred and it's best that you come with us away from here."

"This is my life Vancha, I can't just leave."

"Matt," Madison yells across the classroom and I shoot Vancha a dirty look before going over to my friend and help her with her work.

The rest of the morning goes relatively normal although I felt anything but normal. Gym was hard again. I'm so afraid that someone is going to trip and I'm going to wig out on them or something. Not very likely to happen, but I don't want to be a freak.

Dylan and I walk to lunch in silence, he doesn't want to talk to me and that's okay with me. He obviously doesn't know how to treat me after yesterday. I guess it's fine though. Definitely the better alternative than how he was asking to see my fangs yesterday. I mean come on it's hard enough that my nails are growing insanely fast and I have to use my teeth to keep them from growing so long that people notice. Holes in pockets are bad, holes in cheeks are way worse.

I feel as if I've had that thought before.

It's eerily quiet until my other three friends sit down. Anna sits next to me and I give her a quick kiss while Sam pretends to gag at us. Now that I think about it, I feel kind of bad for him since he is a fifth wheel and all; must be the guilt of eating him eating me. Kind of poetic if you think about it. All I know is that saying that I Dylan won't look at me and I won't look at Sam that this is going to be an awkward lunch hour.

Anna looks at me in with concern, "You didn't bring lunch?"

"Not hungry," I shrug and Dylan visibly relaxes a bit.

"When aren't you hungry?" Lindsay asks.

"He is hungry," Sam laughs and Dylan looks at me weirdly. "We just ate his entire house yesterday so he has no food anymore."
"Funny," I roll my eyes. "My parents were pissed that you ate my Mom's cheesecake she slaved over by the way."

"Least you can do after almost killing me," he says with mock terror.

Dylan chokes on his food and Lindsay eyes him weirdly, "What the hell is up with you? You've been acting even weirder than Matt has today."

I don't even bother letting that get to me since I have been acting weird. "I don't know. Guess I'm just a little freaked out," he looks straight at me for the first time.


"He's just afraid I'll beat him at our match today," Sam chuckles. "Speaking of which, guess what?"

We all just shake our heads and shrug. "It's about Bill, he got suspended yesterday."

"Oh my gosh," Anna exclaims.

"Why?" Dylan asks, clearly as interested as me. Octa seems to be to for her head perks up.

Anna and Lindsay squeal, "Oh my gosh Matt there's a spider on you. Kill it."

Octa doesn't like this and jumps onto their food to scare them. She opens her mouth, ready to attack and I close my eyes so that they don't see my strange eyes and command Octa to back off. She does and crawls under the table, clearly annoyed that I wouldn't let her hurt them.

As I open my eyes I feel that they are normal and Dylan is caught between laughing at me and staying afraid. "Sorry she's my new pet I guess. She's been following me all day."

Nobody comments and Sam clears his throat, "As I was saying, Bill's gone."

"The principal heard him talking before first period yesterday about wanting to tear someone's throat apart and drink his blood."
Dylan tries to look nonchalant and does a terrible job, "So he got suspended for that?"

"Dylan's right," Anna says. "The school wouldn't suspend someone for that."

"There's more, they did a locker search over the weekend and found instructions to murder someone," he adds. "And by someone I mean Matt."

My rage gets the best of me and the light fixtures above us explode. Everyone screams and hides under the table. There's no need though for an automatic force field appears around our table as a protective bubble. Security makes us leave and my friends walk to the quad for the remainder of lunch. I follow them even though I'd rather be alone. There's always the chance someone is going to piss me off and I'll hurt them, but I don't want to look suspicious.

As we sit down a thought pops into Lindsay's head and she smiles, "Did you guys see the guy teaching bio today? Can you say attractive?"

"Extremely," Anna agrees in a dreamy voice.

I can't help but laugh, "What's funny?"

"Nothing," I assure them and shake my head. "Um Madison said the same thing."

"Dylan and I have bio next," Sam reminds us. "What's so great about this guy?"

"Well Mr. M has this dark hair and soulful eyes and a body to kill for and his skin is perfect."
"Mr. M isn't attractive, he's just old. Hell I'm twenty times more hot than that."

Nobody comments on the last part, "Different Mr. M," I tell him. "This one's name is Mr. March and he's good friends with Ms. Tall," I say pointedly at Dylan.

"Seriously," he asks and I nod. "How the hell is that possible?"

"Don't ask me, I'm in the dark in case you forgot. Apparently he's here so I can talk to him though. You want to come after school?"

He looks hesitant but eventually nods while the rest of my friends look at us weirdly, "What the hell was that about?"

"Um he heard from Ms. Tall that I was the smartest student she's seen in a long time and wanted to see for himself. He wanted me to come after school to talk about some advanced class thing and Dyl always comes with me when I talk to Ms. Tall about that stuff for some reason."

They don't look as if they believe me but then Sam groans, "Damn it how hard did I fall yesterday because my knees been burning me but it looks healed?"

Dylan shuts down again and I purse my lips, "Um not that bad, but maybe it burns because we put some medicine on it."

That's when the bell rings and I get away from them before I am subjected to say more lies about yesterday. It unnerves me that he's still in pain though. I figured when the shadows or whatever miraculously healed him that he would be better. Guess I was wrong. Or did they do that on purpose?

And am I really talking about shadows as if they have feelings?

The second half of my day is pretty uneventful as well. News of Bill's suspension must have spread though for everyone stares at me shamelessly. My newfound super hearing allows me to hear everything people are saying about it and I now truly understand the saying ignorance is bliss.

Out of all the rumors I have to say that my favorite is that we're working together on a secret spy mission and one of us is a double agent. I would much rather be a super James Bond-esque spy than a resurrected half-vampire prince. And that's a lot better than the rumor that Bill and I are secretly married.

I have to say however that even though the rumor mill and school in general gave me a sense of normality it didn't fix anything. It was as if an alien took over my body for the day and it wasn't me anymore. I don't really belong in this world anymore. There's no way I can sit and learn algebra when I know the truth. But I also can't sit on a throne and go into battle like I'm expected to.

And I get the sense that this isn't the human me, the Matt I know and the past me arguing. I get the feeling that I've always had an issue with this. Must be a Halfling thing. All I know is that it's as if I'm floating in the world with no true sense of anything, being torn apart until there's nothing left of me. Kind of scary in a way.

A big part of me wants to skip seeing Vancha, but I know that won't work. He'd fine me someone will always find me. Part of me doesn't want to skip it either. That foreign part of me that isn't really foreign misses my friend and mentor and really wants to get to know him again. Over the course of a day it's insane how much the small voice has grown bigger and bigger. It must have something to do with the blood I ingested yesterday. But that terrifies me so I decide not to think about it.

Dyl and I meet up at his locker and walk silently into the biology classroom. I'm really going to have to talk to him because this elephant in the room between us is ridiculous. We're best friends and if my inhumanness is that big of an issue for him then he better just come out and say it before it makes people suspicious and pisses me off to the point of no return and the monster arises.

From what I remember I was never this angry or insane before. Wait that's wrong, I was a few times during the war when I wasn't depressed and when I died. The dream I had weeks ago, the first dream I had where I'm falling off of a cliff pops into my head and suddenly I don't want to remember that specific memory in too much detail. Thinking about your own death is a little creepy to say the least.

There's a note on the desk saying that he'll be back in a minute and my danger meter suddenly spikes. Vancha wouldn't do this, err I don't think anyway. Plus where would he go? There's no way he could be outside with the sun and all and where would he go in the school? I know there's no way he would be in the sewer. I specifically recall a time when we were looking for some vampaneze lord guy and he was forced to look in the sewers, promising afterwards that he would never do that again.

I couldn't agree more. From what I know I've seen a lot of terrible things in the sewer from my best friend hanging upside down to his death to seeing my ex best friend kill my mentor and father figure.

My head starts to hurt with all these memories and I drop to the floor, weak. This can't be a coincidence and I gesture Dylan to leave. He stands his ground though with a look of petrified fear in his eyes.

I turn to where he's looking and gulp, in front of me is the head of the vampaneze, the guy I know but don't, the guy who I know I have a long history with, the guy who wants to kill me…again.

And that's not the worst part. No, the worst part is that his eyes are glowing in the same way as mine do but in a much more sinister way. In them speak depths and all I see is fury towards me and hunger towards my best friend.