(1) THE BEGINNING
L y s a n d e r
The rain patters against the cement, my feet taking me as fast as humanly possible, quickly trying to race away as far from the police sirens as I possibly can. I’m panting, choking on completely nothing, my lungs screaming for more air. The rain beats down harder onto my head, dampening my clothes so they stick to my skin uncomfortably. My throat feels on fire, my lungs feeling as if I can’t get enough air the faster I run, my limbs aching. I run faster, hoping the police don’t see me, but part of me knows they already have.
Take out the car, I think to myself, growing angry at the inability to make rash decisions.
I whip around in the middle of the street, thrusting my hand towards the squad car that’s speeding towards me, and fire shoots from my hands. My eyes widen, still surprised, and mesmerized by my newly found abilities. Screams erupt from the sidewalk, people running in fear of me. At this moment I’m truly grateful for the wet hood over my head to hide my face from any witnesses. The flaming car comes to a stop a few feet in front of me, some people whipping out phones to take photos or videos, others running for their lives. My chest heaves, my no longer fiery hands falling to my sides, and my legs completely freeze in place. Citizens watch me from crouched positions on the ground as if I’m an extinct animal, or as if I’m the first human being to have powers.
You are the first human being with powers, I have to remind myself.
I look around me, children crying in fear, adults hiding behind cars, or running completely horrified. They’re all scared of me, they think I’m a monster. That’s what I am now, a monster.
I take off running down the street, running as fast as I can to get away from all the New Yorkers, my heart pounding against my ribs as I turn on another street. Cold water splashes at my ankles almost stabbing at my burning skin once I run through a puddle, sirens all I hear. Something collides into me, a sudden pain shooting throughout my side, hitting the wet cement with enough force to knock the breath out of me. My vision blurs, my limbs throbbing, and I don’t know if I want to move. I suck in cold air, the sudden action freezing my fiery lungs, and I’m instantly regretting it. Panic shoots through me like a bullet, along with pain, and I quickly sit upright.
All I can see are stars dancing in my vision, a shadowy figure standing right before me, but my stupid eyes won’t allow me to make out their features, or who they are.
“Are you hurt?” The female figure asks in a worried tone, her voice sounding soft, breathy.
One, two, three, four.
I’m losing control. Everything’s louder, the sirens, the screaming children, the honking horns, beating hearts. My head pounds, and I’m quick to cover my ears with my almost too warm hands in an attempt to drown out the ear piercing sounds, but it doesn’t work. I force my eyes closed, ignoring the figure in front of me to the best of my advantage, but again, I fail.
“Get away from me!” I scream, my eyes still slammed shut.
Warm liquid drizzles down the side of my face from my ears, everything completely painful, every sound completely deafening. I scream out in pain, the voices growing lower, the sounds rising rapidly.
“Focus.” The girl’s voice whispers, her soft voice nearly being drowned out by the rain. “Focus on your heart beat.”
I do the one thing I never thought I would ever do, I trust a total stranger. Focusing on my heartbeat, I breathe in and out steadily, slowly beginning to drown out all the other sounds. I’m deafened by the roaring of my heart, and I couldn’t be more grateful to not listen to the blaring traffic noises, and car alarms.
Five, six, seven, eight.
I pry my hands from the side of my head, bright crimson liquid on my palms from my bleeding ears, and I have to force myself to open my eyes.
A girl with long, damp black hair, her eyes just about as green as bright emeralds. She looks exotic, almost as if she’s nowhere near close to being human, and I can’t help but drink in the sight of her. But the moment doesn’t last, suddenly I’m aware of my surrounds, and it instantly sends dread, and complete fear throughout my being. I jump to my feet, readying myself to start running again, but she stops me.
“Come with me, Lysander.” She says softly, stuffing her hands in her jacket pockets.
I’m taken aback by her words, hardly able to fully process what she just said. I feel paralyzed to the cold, wet cement, and for some reason I’m unable to move.
“H-how do you know my name?” I stammer, my eyebrows furrowing in confusion.
“I know a lot more than just your name.” She replies, watching me with her deep emerald eyes.
Slowly, my patience begins to slip away as I stand in the pouring rain, holding eye contact with the emerald eyed girl. I’m considering running in the opposite direction of her, but the idea seems to fade away the minute she grips my wrist with a powerful strength. I stifle a gasp, trying to pull my arm from her grasp, but somehow and someway she’s too strong.
“Let me go.” I demand, anger drowning my senses.
My self control is hanging by a very thin thread, and soon enough the swelling heat inside of me will burn the leash holding the demon inside me back.
“No,” She shakes her head “You need to follow me.”
Just as she speaks more police sirens fill the air, and the sudden sound has me tugging my arm out of her grip harder. But she doesn’t budge. I huff out angrily, willing the burning heat inside me to surface, to burn her, to get her to let go. If I don’t get out of this alley soon the police will find me, I’ll be their human science experiment.
I’ll die a lab rat.
“Lysander,” The girl pauses, her emerald eyes pleading. “Please, trust me.”
I don’t know what it is about her, but I force the burning flame down, hiding it deep within me, and the only evidence of my ability is the heat of my skin.
“I don’t know you.” I fight back, my voice gruff.
“Eden.” She points to herself, then me. “Lysander. Glad we got this covered, now can we go before the police get closer?”
I’m shocked, and she takes this moment to run, pulling me behind her. For some odd reason I don’t fight back, for some odd reason I let her guide me down another alley way.
Everything that has happened today is nothing but odd.
“Hurry.” The girl I now know as Eden commands, coming to a quick stop before a rusted fire escape.
“Climb.” Eden pushes me forward.
I’m wide eyed when I look down at her, shaking my head frantically, and the action cause my wet blond hair to fall over my forehead. She grips my heated hands, forcing them on the rusted ladder.
“Climb, or I’ll leave you for dead.” She hisses in my ear.
I shudder, not thinking twice, and I do just what she told me.
I climb higher and higher until I’m sitting on top of the roof of a building, waiting for Eden to follow up. Rain beats harder down onto me, cooling my always burning skin, and the feeling in all honesty is nothing like any other. I collapse back onto the roof, panting and gasping and hoping the rain will drown this sorry shit I’ve become.
“Up.” Eden demands another one worded demand, and I either listen, or be caught by the police.
I scramble to my feet, rubble digging into the tender skin on the palms of my hands. Everything seems so much smaller from up here, much more distant, and I can barely hear the sirens anymore, I can barely hear the chaos I’ve caused.
“Where are we going?” I somehow grow the courage to ask, and all she does is point to another building in response.
I sigh, pinching the bridge of my nose.
“We jump.” She says, looking at the other building.
She must be kidding, right?
“Excuse me?” I follow her to the edge of the roof.
How the hell are we supposed to jump across from building to building? I’m not built for something as athletic as that.
“You heard me,” She says, not looking in my direction. “Don’t look down if you’re afraid to fall.”
With that, she jumps.
“Fucking hell.” I whisper harshly, slamming my eyes shut, and following after her.