I could see the flashing lights of the club, reflected in the window of a car. I looked at the building behind me and smiled. Over the past few years, twenty-four7 had become my home away from home. The club was always filled with good bands and cool people. Sure, I might've been underage, but if you're a part of the band no one really cares.
I started playing at the club two years ago, when I was fourteen. Artie (her real name is Artemis, but no one calls her that) had seen me play in the Battle of the Bands at my high school. My group didn't win, but, in a way, I did. After the show, she came up to me and asked if I wanted to play at a club a few nights a week. At that point, she hadn't realized that I was fourteen. I'll admit that I looked older, I always have. I was 5' 8 with green eyes and mousy brown hair. By sixteen, my face had thinned out and I grew two more inches. No luck with the hair, though.
I started playing with the band a night or two a week, but that soon increased. I'd spend my weekends there, and some weeknights. I became the lead singer of the band, playing a piano every so often, and was pretty close with the group. But while they were being paid in drinks, I was being paid in gift cards and chocolate milk. Yes, I know, it's embarrassing.
I had reached the corner of the block when someone called my name. "Olivia! Liv!" I turned to see Artie running towards me. "You're leaving already?" she asked. A wry smile on my face, I sighed dramatically. "Yes, unfortunately. I have to go to this awful thing called school."
She rolled her eyes at my sarcasm, saying "Gotta ride? If you wait an hour, I can drive you." She had her hands on her hips and was looking at me expectantly. For someone considerably shorter than me, she was sort of scary. On most days, I'd accept the ride immediately, but today our audience wanted an encore. And I had a half hour until curfew. Oh, the perks of being a carless (and license-less) sixteen year old. "I'll be fine walking, it's not too far" I said with a wave of my hand.
She didn't look too happy, but she nodded anyways. "Just text me when you get home, alright? That way I'll know if I need to have your death on my conscience." I grinned, and with one last wave, I started to walk home. It wasn't as if this neighborhood was bad, or anything (the worst that ever happened was a robbery), but all of the scenarios start with a young girl walking home at night. Such a cliché.
Ten minute later, I still wasn't home- not that it was far, but I had no energy that night. I figured taking a shortcut wouldn't be too bad. Instead of walking around the block, I took a right turn to cut through an alleyway. (I'm lazy, I know.) My first alarm should have been that there was a man just standing in the middle of the walkway. I pushed it out of my mind, though, and had it all planned out: I would walk right by him as quickly as I could, and not slow down until I was out of the alley. Of course, this plan was shot to hell when he started to talk to me.
"Do you know the way to the nearest gas station? My car ran out of gas over there"- he gestured to the side of the alley I wanted to get to- "and, well, that's the story." He had this sort of sad smile on his face, and his voice was pleasant to the ears. It was smooth and husky, and, all in all, I could hear him talk all day if that was possible. He had reached his hand out to touch my arm, and I instantly recoiled. The hand was freezing and pale as snow. His face was attractive, to say the least. Hit by the ugly stick, he was not.
The second alarm should've been that he had a thick, woolen cloak on. After all, who wears a cloak in May? No one normal, that's who. But I didn't pay attention, I just rambled off directions. "It's, um, down this road and at the first light, you need to go to the left. After that, it should be right in front of you. You shouldn't mi-" a hand covered my mouth, and I felt my eyes widen. As I was struggling against the hand on my mouth, the person behind me wrapped their arm across my shoulders. I tried to scream, but there was no use.
With the arm across my shoulders, I couldn't break free. The more I tried, the tighter the grip on me got. I went limp, seeing if I could fall out of their grip, but they still held me. I could hear the blood pounding in my ears and could feel my heart pounding faster. I was aware of everything around me, it was surreal.
"Oh, Felix, let the poor girl go" mused a voice from behind me- this voice was even nicer than the first, it was like voice porn. (If that's even a thing.) The grip slackened, but I was still being held on to. I tried to turn to see the people behind me, but all I could see was floppy brown hair and a pair of blood red eyes. In no way was this situation good… if only I could get free for a moment.
The voice porn guy had made his in front of me and I couldn't help but let out a small gasp when I saw him. He was enchanting, utterly and entirely beautiful- except for the eyes, the eyes were a bit creepy. He was taller than me, which was a change, and his face looked like marble. Perfect cheekbones, a smirk on his face, and for Pete's sake, I needed to stop obsessing over what people look like. It's not healthy, and it's what's on the inside that counts. So if his blood and bones were nice, could I complain about his outward appearance?
Mr. Unhealthily Beautiful was staring at me, his arms across his chest. It was unnerving how he didn't blink, but I was trying not to look away. Maybe the braver I looked, the less they'd hurt me? Well, I wouldn't make a bet on that- inwardly, I was terrified. I wanted to scream and cry, to punch and kick, but (besides the 'trying to be brave') I was scared out of my wits.
And then back came the voice porn. "She's pretty…" he trailed off, looking me up and down. I was waiting to hear the 'for a…' bit, but it never came. I guess I'd take a compliment when I got one. "Felix, did you hear me before? I said let her go" his eyes were narrowed, looking venomous. Ignoring the fact that it wasn't directed towards me, it was still terrifying to see.
"But what if she runs?" my captive said, sounding sort of thick. A smile grew on Mr. UB's face. "Felix," he said slowly, "she wouldn't make it two seconds." There was a pause and the person slowly released me from his hold. I gasped in a deep breath and shot the big, muscly guy a glare. Girl with a stick frame versus a guy who looked like the incredible hulk- it's easy to see who would win.
Mr. UB walked around me, and I tried to keep his gaze as he did. It was really disconcerting to have someone, a stranger, looking at me like I was a piece of meat. Thinking about it, I suppose all three of the people were, but that's even creepier.
I took a step forward, just to see what their reactions would be. Nothing, they stayed calm… and all I needed was a second. Heart- still pounding. Heart- still terrified, too. Mind- still determined to run away. Another step, they just glanced at me. If I wanted to go through with my plan, it would have had to be then. A third step, and I started sprinting, praying that my plan would work. Laughs echoed through the alley, but I had the upper hand.
Internally, I cheered as I felt the vertigo sensations overtake my body. I had never done it willingly, but when I opened my eyes, I was on the other side of the town. I suppose that I didn't mention that I could teleport? It's not something that I could do on a whim, more so when I was scared or hurt. It had never worked when I wanted to before, but I guess fate was on my side that day.
I had found out about it when I was six. I was in the toy store, and when I turned around, my mom wasn't there. Panicking, I shut my eyes and started to shake. I heard someone call my name, and when they opened, I was in the shoe store in front of my mother. It has happened sporadically, far and few in between. I can't really explain it more than I have; it's just something that I can do it.
I ran the rest of the way home, making it home four minutes after 11:00. "Next time, no band for a month," my mother said as I walked inside, breathlessly. Standing in front of her, she looked at me. "Are you alright?" I nodded, before running up the steps. I slammed my bedroom door shut, eliciting a shout from my mom, to look in the mirror on the back. There were bruises on my jaw and around my mouth. I pulled my shirt down slightly to reveal a black and blue bruise in the shape of an arm across my collar bone.
This would be awfully hard to explain in the morning.
Months had passed since that awful night, but I still had dreams of Mr. Unhealthily Beautiful and his gang of male models. The more I tried to push him out of my mind, the more he filled it. Just my luck, right?
I had gotten up early to find my house empty. No sister, no mother… at least my cat was there. They were probably planning my birthday scavenger hunt. As much as I told them to stop with the nonsense, the more nonsensical it got. There were riddles and clues to lead me where I needed to go. And it always was the day before my birthday- which made no sense at all to me. I fell back to my pillow, knowing they'd set some alarm to wake me up.
The alarm was set for ten, and I had to drag myself out of bed. I took a look in the bathroom mirror, staring at my reflection. Frizzy bed head, dark circles under my eyes, smeared makeup. I was gorgeous. Kidding, kidding.
The first envelope was on the bathroom sink. I pulled out the envelope, sighing, before reading the clue:
You must go to the place you hate the most, the one that might be haunted by a ghost.
That's what you get when you let a seven year old write clues. But they were sending me to my school. Just fabulous.
It was seven o'clock and pitch black when I reached the final clue. They'd sent me to the local ice cream parlor, the park, twenty-four7, and a dozen other places. The last clue was probably the vaguest:
If you make a left not right by the dock, and find a place with some colored socks,
Two steps to the left, and one to the right, the place you want is colored in light.
They were sending me across town, and I wasn't going to walk. I pulled out my phone, and found the number for the taxi- I could get the money from my mom when I arrived. The taxi pulled up in front of me, and I gave the driver the address. Figuring a few minutes of sleep wouldn't hurt, I closed my eyes. "Miss, miss" I heard the driver calling me. "There's someone knocking on the window" I turned my head and my heart leapt into my throat.
The figure broke the glass of the taxi and pulled the door off. It grabbed me out of the car and throwing me onto the ground. Head hitting the ground, I went unconscious for a few moments. Blinking myself awake, I heard a scream come from the cab but couldn't comprehend who it was or what was happening. Mr. Unhealthily Beautiful was standing in front of me and he pulled me to my feet. I wobbled, stumbling- the only thing keeping me upright was Mr. UB's grip. I just stared, uncomprehending, as he leant down towards me. The only thing I felt was when he bit my neck. Pain seared my whole body, and I wanted to cry. I had no control over myself and felt weak, useless.
I screamed before succumbing to the pain.
So, I don't know whether to like this or not.
Give me your opinions?