This fanfiction is based on the urban fantasy novels, Shadow Falls. Everyone please beware that the characters inside are mostly based off of the original series, so only some of the characters come from me. And I do not own this series.
"What're you talking about?" Snow White asked his English teacher.
He waited eagerly for his answer. More than so, he wanted to get out of here.
"Do you see some weird patterns on people's foreheads when you squint your eyes?" Mr. Richards asked again.
He thought back to this morning when he was eating breakfast and saw those odd scribbles and lines on his mom's forehead. And again when he walked down the halls full of students. Every now and then he saw those images on their foreheads, but only thought he was losing his mind.
He nodded slowly. "Yeah, but what does that mean?"
Mr. Richards twitched his eyebrows at him. "Hm, it seems you're just coming into it. You haven't developed that far."
"What're you talking about?" he asked again, losing his patience.
His expression remained calm. "Have you experienced anything weird lately? Something you can't explain?"
He shook his head. "Not other than the weird patterns."
Mr. Richards sighed and didn't speak for a long minute.
"You know what, Snow? You'd think I'm crazy if I tell you this right now." He drew out a piece of paper and pen from his desk, and started writing. "I'm giving you my cellphone number. I want you to call me if anything else happens. Anything weird. Don't worry, you can trust me."
He held out the paper and flashed a gentle expression.
Snow had no clue what his English teacher was saying, but something about his face said he could trust him. He took the note and left without another word.
Man, Mr. Richards is weird, he thought.
His teacher was always kind and caring, and more patient than most teachers at school. Yesterday, Coach Jeffrey gave him a five-minute long speech about his lack of punctuality just because he didn't get to the swimming hall on time. And today, he was ten minutes late for English and Mr. Richards just said, "Glad you're here, Mr. White."
He had always thought of him as the replica of his dad. Both equally kind and patient, and harsh only in times of need. But today, he might have to even out the comparison a little bit.
"Hey, Snow!" Benny Jones - his best friend - appeared behind him and wrapped his long arm around his shoulder. That touch sent a tingling shiver down his shoulder and into his chest. He ignored it.
"So, what did Mr. Richards want?"
"Oh, nothing. Just wanted to discuss my grades."
Face it. His best friend would think he was crazy if he told him something about seeing weird shapes on people's foreheads.
I want you to call me if anything else happens. Anything weird. Don't worry, you can trust me.
Those words rang in his head.
What did he know?
"What? School's just started, and he's already degrading you? That dude's a wacko."
As much as he felt the same, he didn't want to hear it. "Cut him some slack, dude. He just wanted to discuss my grades from last term and give suggestions to up 'em again."
Benny snorted. "Dude, that man takes education way too seriously."
Then he changed the subject. "Hey, you feel like going to the new arcade? The team's going there after practice."
The rest of the day passed in a blur. Snow and his friends played basketball out on the field for a good five minutes before it started to snow again. Not that it was thick enough to throw snowballs. Perhaps not ever. January snow rarely stuck around long enough to make thick piles in Lake Jackson. That was why he took winter trips to northern Texas with his parents in the past. His late grandma Titania had left behind a house in Fort Worth, and his mom kept it for what she said to be 'personal reasons'. Snow couldn't remember her all that well; she passed away when he was two or three. But he remembered meeting her before she passed away. His blurry memories of the old lady included baking and strawberry-dipped cookies. His mom baked cookies for him, but the taste was never quite as good as grandma's, not that he was complaning.
When school ended, Snow and Benny arrived at the swimming pool with the team for practice.
"All right, everbody!" Coach Jeffrey said aloud. "We're to our first contest this year. And ya'll are gonna work your butts off until we get our hands on that National trophy like we did last year! Is that clear?"
"Yes, Coach!" everyone said aloud.
Snow fought a snort. He was the one who won that trophy for Coach Jeffrey last year and all he got in return was a simple congratulation. After that, he treated him like no one than the trump card he didn't want to use. He'd applied for the role of captain for the team when school started, but the job was given to Oscar Mavereaux.
"He's more experienced and he knows the drills better than you, White. Deal with it," Coach Jeffrey told him when he questioned him.
Snow had thought about resigning from the swim team and join glee club, but that would totally turn him into a geek. It wasn't that he didn't like music or found the glee club members geeky. In fact, he loved it. His mom taught him everything about music, and he had loved it since early childhood. But joining glee club would totally degrade his cool status quo, and he didn't want to become one of those kids whose heads got dunked in the toilet.
And other than music and swimming, there really wasn't any other club that piqued his interest.
So yeah, it was join glee and degrade his cool points or stay on the swim team and put up with an obnoxious jack-ass for a coach for the next three years.
After the basic warm-ups, everyone lined up as they prepared to dive. Coach blew his whistle and then Snow and Oscar jumped in. He swam with all the speed he could exert. He could feel Oscar's speed matching his, and in that moment wanted nothing more than to beat him. His arms and legs moved with the water, his body fluttered.
When he reached the other side of the pool, he flipped his body and swam back toward the other side.
He was swimming at a speed he'd never anticipated. And then, he realized he was doing it: he was beating Oscar Maveraux.
The first emotion that came to surface was astonishment; he had never swam so fast in his life.
A sudden shimmer underwater caught the corner of his sight. A shimmering image. He couldn't make out anything because he was still swimming. That was the last thing he remembered before something solid hard hit the top of his head and everything went black.
Pain was the first thing that came to his consciousness when he came to. Pain that bumped on the top of his head.
"I think he's waking up," someone said, though the voice sounded distant.
Disorientation reigned the rest of his mind, and it became hard to think. Then it finally came. He had hit his head. Hard. And during practice.
He pressed his hand to where the pain pounded like a swelling bruise combined with a jackhammer.
"You all right?" Benny asked.
He nodded, but it was a lie.
"What happened to you down there, White? You dropped your goggles or somethin'?" Coach asked rudely.
He was hurting too much to be annoyed, so he said, "Sorry, coach."
Something glimmered at the corner of his eye. He turned his gaze to the pool, and saw a glimmering figure move under the water. The speed and way it moved told him it wasn't a reflection of light, but he couldn't see what it was.
"What is that?" he said and pointed to the pool.
"What is what?" one of his teammates asked.
"That!" He pointed and turned to Benny, who looked confused at the water. Couldn't anyone see it?
"White, I think you hit your head a little too hard," Coach said. "Go home for the day."
"But it's right -" He glanced back at the pool, but now it had nothing. "I swear, I just saw a shimmer under the water. It was..." He trailed off.
"White, go home and take some rest."
Snow gazed back at his coach. Then he saw it again. Those weird patterns that swirled around his forehead. He turned to his teammates and gasped. Everyone had the similar patterns attached to their foreheads. It was like he was looking into their brains.
The light in the water caught his attention again.
Am I going crazy? he thought.
"I can't do it again," Snow told Mr. Richards.
He had taken Coach's advice and left the pool, but decided to go to Mr. Richards for answers.
"Are you sure?" he asked. "It's really simple. Just twitch your eyebrows and look."
He eyed at him suspiciously. "How do you know this?"
"I will explain, but let's try it first."
He huffed and relented. He twitched his eyebrows, and saw it. Mr. Richards's forehead showed a pattern. But unlike the ones he saw before, he had a different one. Something about the scribbles and lines in the pattern told him that Mr. Richards was no ordinary person.
"What do you see?" Mr. Richards asked.
"Um... some weird things on your forehead," he answered. "But yours is unlike the ones I saw."
He nodded as if it didn't bother him.
"What is this?"
He took in a deep breath, and didn't speak for a few long seconds. Finally, he did.
"It's a gift that only people like us have. It's used to help us recognize another species."
Silence reigned again. Snow didn't like it one bit.
"Supernaturals. Mythical beings that you only see in movies and hear in legends."
"Like... witches and angels and stuff?" he snorted. It sounded too crazy not to think of it as a joke.
Except his teacher didn't laugh, and then his own grin fell to the sides of his face.
"Yes. This brain pattern thing allows you to differentiate them. And only supernaturals can do that."
He raised his eyebrows. No way, these things don't exist, he thought.
"So, you're saying you're a supernatural being? And if I can see people's brain patterns, that means that..." He trailed off, and snorted again. "Oh, man, you're more wacko than Benny thinks."
His teacher snorted and looked down on the floor. "I'm not surprised that you react this way." He met his gaze again. "I met your parents on one of the parents meetings, and I saw their human patterns."
Snow shook his head in disbelief. "You are seriously messed up."
Mr. Richards came closer to him. "I can give you proof if you want."
"Okay, prove it."
He backed away a few steps without removing his glance from Snow. Then he hung both hands to his side.
That's when his desk at the wall and the bookshelf on the other side of the classroom started shuffling.