Authors: Aoife Metcalfe
The boy turned to his little girl and told her that everything would be great from now on.
Then he ran across the sand, down to the water, alongside his brother.
The mother began talking to her daughter.
They’d move out of the flat and into a big house, she promised. Her Daddy and Mommy would finally be married, she said.
The daughter had never seen her so happy.
Then came the screams from the water.
Sharks often attack surfers.
The boy’s leg was taken clean off.
He died before the ambulance could get there.
The future was gone.
The little girl would remember three things from that day.
The light leaving her Dad’s eyes.
The mother’s anguished screams for him to come back.
Tears are in my eyes as I finish recounting it.
There is a pain
I don’t let myself cry.
“Was Katy the little girl’s name
?” Daniel asks, rubbing his hand comfortingly through my hair.
I say it quietly, “Yes.”
The tears come rapidly now. I can’t help it.
My Dad’s name was Jamie. I still can’t say it out loud.
“You know what I think about that little girl?” Daniel says.
“What?” I am still blinded by tears.
“I think she’s stronger than she thinks . . . I think she may get a happy ending yet, despite what has happened to her.”
His words touch my heart.
In that moment I know that I am falling in love with him.
I wipe my tears
, with my free hand,
and try to compose myself.
My voice is sincere, “I think the same goes for the boy you told a story about.”
He gives me a meaningful look.
He re-adjusts his grip on my hand.
I hope he never lets go.
I put the finishing touches to my make-up.
Angelica just hung up a dartboard. She has written the name ‘Rejon’ on a piece of paper and pinned it to the middle of said board.
Every time she throws a dart she aims for the name.
Her anger is obvious.
I sit down on my desk chair as I put on my new shoes, bought a few days ago for this occasion.
She just keeps on throwing darts.
Eventually I ask, “Who is Rejon?”
The only thing
I know about him is that he changed her and Daniel. Besides that I know nothing. I want to be able to recognise him if he comes knocking on my door someday.
She turns to me; her voice stays steady when she tells me.
He could transform himself and take any shape. Disg
uise was kind of his thing.
No one could kill him because he could only die if killed in his
form. This is why he
howed his true form to anyone
He wants to kill Angelica. This is because she foiled him a few months ago when she managed to take the power of
She looks satisfied.
“You took his powers from him?” I am surprised, it doesn’t sound like an easy task.
She confirms this, turning to look at me, “It wasn’t easy. I nearly got myself killed. I didn’t care. He can’t transform anymore.”
She begins curling her hair, for the first time ever she seems girly to me.
“So, what did he really look like?” I am extremely curious now.
She takes a deep breath.
away before she could see his true form.
She will never stop trying to find him.
Until she finds him she can trust no one.
She doesn’t trust Nate. She doesn’t even trust Daniel anymore.
One of them could be him.
He could be anyone. She has to be so vigilant.
Suddenly she looks at me with an awful suspicion in her eyes, “How did you wake up from Nate’s spell anyway?”
ow I answer this question is extremely important.
I can tell from her eyes.
can say is, “I have no idea”
e way she looks at me now almost scares me
I begin blabbing. It is
n’t me. I didn’t even know that Rejon existed until today
It isn’t her brother either,
he was changed the same as her.
“Maybe that’s just what
wants me to think,” she says, her voice is low. “Rejon is a master of trickery after all. I don’t think you quite understand, Katy. I can’t trust
There is a deep sorrow in her eyes now.
She looks away now, obviously hoping that I won’t notice her sudden outbreak of emotion.
It must be hard to feel that alone, like you always have to look over your shoulder.
She must never be able to relax.
I realise now why she can be a
It’s time to change the subject.
I tell her about the ‘spider’ phase I went through during my transformation. I climbed up the walls and looked down on Daniel from the roof of our room. I shot actual spider webs from my shoulders and refused to come down. I was convinced that I lived there now. Poor Daniel couldn’t get me to come down
no matter what he tried.
I was so happy up there, waiting for a meal to wa
nder into my web.
What meal this would be, I have no idea
. My mind was gone a bit strange at the time.
hs after my story, now putting on
her own shoes.
She went through a spider phase too. It’s quite common in our species. The Greek Goddess our species spawned from was a goddess of spiders after all. A lot of our powers are related them, in one way or another.
Most Arachnes also happen to adore spiders.
I feel really hungry. I just ate food so I don’t know why.
Angelica senses this. She tells me
that I’ll need to ‘eat’ properly
soon. This will be easy at the dance, she says. There will be humans; they will be carrying around all their delicious fear
I’ll be able to see what these fears are, specific to each particular human.
I will have to draw this fear out of them, make them think of it.
All I need do is make a casual reference to the thing that frightens them, or better yet just make it appear.
will appear in the air. My skin will absorb it. I will be satisfied, full.
I gasp, “Wait. Did you just say I’d be able to make their worst fear
, from nowhere?”
She brushes off her dress,
“Well, really talented Arachne
s who practice a lot can. It will probably take a
newly changed person like your
self a while to get it. I’ll show you how tomorrow if you want.”
I don’t answer. Now I know why Daniel gave her that look in English class. She
the wasps and the spiders appear.
I suddenly don’t want to go to this dance anymore.
Being around humans could
bring out the
I don’t want to feed on any human
s fear. Not now, not ever.
For the first time I feel truly sorry that I’ve been changed.
I ask Angelica about what happens if we don’t feed.
We die, she tells me.
There is no way of getting out of it, then. I sigh.
Angelica sits down beside me and tells me to cheer up. I’ll get used to it, she promises. It’s only hard at first.
A knock comes on the door.
I jump up, “Daniel!”
he’d come back to collect me.
Angelica has a very amused look on her face now.
I make a note not to seem so joyous next time. She could tell him.
I open the door, sure enough it’s him.
He is wearing a suit now
, and hands me a bouquet of roses
. There are white and red ones
“Aw, thank you!” I stammer, once again wishing I could think of something better to say.
He tells me that I look very pretty tonight.
All the effort was completely worth it then.
Suddenly I feel a lot better about going to the dance.
“You’re not looking so bad yourself,” I smile at him.
Once again I forget everything else when I look into his eyes.
“Alright, Romeo and Juliet,” Angelica interrupts the moment when she comes to the door. “You can continue this sap-fest later . . . or when I’m away, preferably in a different country altogether . . . Right now it’s time to
sorry selves to the dance!”
She seems really
in the party mood all of a sudden.
Daniel laughs and three of us leave together.
I have a feeling
this will be a night to remember.
There is no doubt about it. People have noticed the change in my appearance.
A lot of people are asking Daniel who his date is. They don’t even recognise me as myself.
They’ve all been very surprised when he’s told them.
Greg recognises me when we meet by the punchbowl.
He does a double take upon seeing my new appearance, “Katy?”
I greet him.
“You . . . you look . . .”
ms quite overwhelmed as he tries
to find the right word
, “Different. . . . I mean your eyes, they’re a different colour!”
I lie and tell him
I’m using contacts for the effect.
I also tell him that I
dyed my hair.
He looks like he approves, “So you played at being sick today so
you could spend the time getti
ng ready? Little Katy Darkwood
breaking rules . . . I’m
proud of you!”
I almost laugh. I wouldn’t say I was playing at being sick. Going through the change isn’t exactly a time that anyone
would say they were
Still, I can’t tell Greg about this.
He tears his eyes away from me before glancing around.
Then he produces
a small bottle of alcohol from
I realise what he’s going to do, “Greg Harshaw do not spike that punch! You could get yourself expelled!”
He smiles knowingly, “There’s my old Katy back. Tell you what, you don’t tell on me and I won’t tell on you.”
He pours a great deal of alcohol into the punch before slipping the bottle back into his pocket.
I shake my head at him.
He offers me some punch, the same old mischief in his eyes.
Then my new senses begin to kick in
, just as a girl named
walks by us.
She is afraid of guns, motorcars and really enclosed spaces.
The information comes to me like a shot. It is the first time
that this has happened. I
t completely freaks me out.
I look back at Greg.
He is severely afraid of being abandoned completely.
He has a fear of needles. There is also a guy named ‘Jack’ who features in his fears.
Cut hair, just lying on the floor, freaks him out. This fear has something to do with his Mom.
Getting his hair cut is a huge ordeal for him.
These fears formed ages ago, when he was young.
I can’t see the details.