Authors: Aoife Metcalfe
It all seems
“Katy, are you okay?” He asks, looking concerned.
“Em, yeah,” I can hardly speak.
Seeing his fears gave me an awful feeling about his past. I can tell it was hard.
Angelica and Daniel arrive beside us at this point.
s worst and only fear is Rejon.
s only fear is being buried alive. He regularly has nightmares about it.
Even the mere mention of the word ‘coffin’ would make him want to run away.
I am completely freaking out internally. There is a major information overload going on in my head.
I feel like I’m invading people’s privacy and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I don’t want to know these things about people. Fears are so personal, so dark.
“Hi guys,” Angelica says brightly.
She invites Greg to come and dance with her. Tanya told her that he’s a good dancer and she wants to see for herself.
It is very clear to me that what she
I don’t say anything.
Before they leave she suggests, seemingly innocently, that he should get a haircut.
He stiffens slightly at this.
She did it on purpose.
I can almost see his fear in the air.
I don’t want to absorb it but it’s just so tempting, like having a lovely meal put in front of you.
In the end I give in, but only when Greg is already gone with Angelica.
My first Arachne meal tastes great. I really wish it didn’t.
“I feel like a terrible person,” I say solemnly to Daniel.
He laughs, “It’s Angelica who should feel horrible, you were just a bystander. Your new powers are kicking in I see . . . It’s a bit overwhelming, isn’t it? You should do something to take your mind off of it.”
“Like what?” I sincerely hope he has a good answer.
He grins and holds out his hand, “Come dance with me.”
That is a good one.
I grin as I take his hand.
I may just be able to get through all this with him by my side
He leads me out to the dance floor.
I focus on him. This helps to keep all the various human’s fears from invading my brain.
We slow dance to the vaguely romantic song that is currently being played.
I love how close he is holding me.
He looks like sin. A perfect kind of sin.
It is quite difficult to think, never mind to say anything.
“You’re awfully quiet,” he comments in that lovely voice of his.
I look down at the ground for a second and smile, “Oh, I’m just thinking. . .”
He asks, trying to catching my eyes.
“Perfection,” I meet his eyes as I answer.
He wants to kiss me.
I know because there is a sudden fear in his mind that I’ll slap him if he does.
“You should never be afraid to take a chance on something,” I say, giving him a pretty big hint.
“I don’t know,” he answers. “This one time . . .”
He launches into some story.
I interrupt, “Daniel, shut up and kiss me!”
He looks amused. His voice goes incredibly low and sexy once again, “You are a rather special girl, aren’t you?”
He finally leans in and kisses me.
I instantly know that this is more than an ordinary kiss.
It is unlike any other I’ve experienced.
It ignites something in me that I’ve never felt before. The feeling that I want as much of him as possible, as much as he can give, if not more.
This sudden feeling is so strong
that it takes me completely by surprise.
the feeling that Daniel Knight
has awoken me somehow.
He is mine now. I am his.
We both know it.
I wake up the ne
xt morning. Everything is good.
I have a boyfriend.
It is a Saturday so there are no official classes.
There is just a pile of homework waiting to be done. That can wait until later.
I turn over.
Angelica suddenly shakes me violently, “Katy, get up! It’s time for breakfast!”
“We don’t have to get up today,” I moan, unmoving.
We were up until four last
night. I have no idea how she is so full of energy.
She explains. We
are getting up now because Nate
just messaged her.
A few people are down at breakfast
planning a trip for the day. They want us to come.
I wonder why we
can’t go at a later time.
Angelica threatens to throw cold water on me if I don’t move.
She isn’t bluffing; this is Angelica we’re talking about.
I move slowly to minimise the pain and discomfort that is ‘getting up’ today.
It takes me a long time
to get ready.
Angelica throws more darts at Rejon’s name as she waits for me.
I think about Daniel. He doesn’t seem half as angry at Rejon as she does. It’s no wonder she suspects her brother when you think about it.
I don’t suspect Daniel, not for a minute. I think his lack of anger comes down to the fact that he’s just a more forgiving person. Angelica would
be a lot happier if she looked
on the whole situation a little more like he does.
Eventually I am ready. The two of us are about to leave when I remember something important.
Mom left me a message to ring her yesterday and I never did. Between my change and the dance I was completely distracted.
I tell Angelica
I have to make a call. She doesn’t seem to mind.
She begins writing on a notepad. The title of her piece is ‘Plan for Revenge on Rejon’.
I find my phone, which had dropped down the side of my bed, and dial my Mom’s number.
It rings for longer than usual.
I am taken
back when a male voice answers, “Hi. This is Susan Orwin’s phone. Can I help you?”
I recognise the voice. It’s my Uncle Riley.
in the background
. He obviously took the phone from her, joking around.
I don’t like the sound of this.
Just what is
he doing in my house at eight o’
clock in the morning?
“Hi Riley. This is Katy,” I say.
There is silence at the end of the phone now. Then he answers, quite speedily, “I’ll hand you to your Mom.”
He sounds far too guilty.
I have to sit down.
They are together.
She never told me.
“Hi, Katy honey,” she says, sounding a bit more serious now.
I don’t know why but I feel betrayed.
I can’t say anything.
She talks but I don’t really hear anything. She tells me everything, just a little too late.
“Goodbye Mom. I’ll call again soon,” It is the last and first thing I say.
t really thinking straight. It’s like I’m
in my own little vortex of shock.
I always knew that she’d probably move on from my Dad eventually. I just didn’
t think it would be with his
I leave for breakfast with Angelica.
She tells me of her awesome plan for revenge on Rejon.
It is a ten step plan.
Step ten of the plan is ‘kill him’.
I have to say
Angelica is a great person to have around when you need to be distracted from a problem.
A group of us are going to the zoo for the day.
Nate came up with the idea because he would ‘rather die’ than spend his day off ‘in this dump’. He has died his curly black hair purple. He has quite an odd appearance now, in truth. Still I respect him for what he has done for Daniel.
Daniel is gone all
shy and nervous around
me. I don’t think he’s used to having a girlfriend. Every time our eyes meet he looks away bashfully.
It’s kind of cute really.
Tanya is not pleased that we are together.
She is sitting at a different
, a little away,
and keeps giving me awful looks.
I try to ignore them as I
eat my egg and toast. The chef
here is rather good. She is obviously part of the school
s striving for ‘ex
cellence’. I don’t know how she and her team manage to feed us all every day
There are so many of us.
The mess hall itself is very large.
It has a platform on which our Principal
if he feels the need to. The wooden tables are all new
and varnished to the point of being shiny. Various school sayings have been painted on the wall in pink.
These include ‘Don’t look down on anyone. Just improve yourself.’ and my personal favourite ‘Being brilliant is a choice, not a destiny. Work for it.’
A newspaper is being handed around the table as I read these sayings.
Daniel is the first one who actually stops to read today’s news.
His fear spikes suddenly. It completely goes from zero to a hundred in a second.
I look to him as I sense
his sudden spiral of fear, so does Angelica.
He is almost shaking
as he hands the paper to Angelica, “I am so sorry I saw that. Take it away.”
Now I am interested.
On the front page there is a story about a recent murder.
The man was buried alive in a coffin and left to die.
I remember this is one of Daniel’s fears. That explains his reaction to the piece.
The fear hasn’t left him yet. A
few of the Arachne
s are feeding on it now. I am hungry but I don’t join in. I will never feed on Daniel’s fear.
The police still haven’t found the murderer in this case. They are appealing for the public’s help in a case where a man was given ‘a completely terrifying death.’
I think about it. Daniel’s fear isn’t a ridiculous one.
I can’t imagine being left to die like that, confined. The police are right. The man must have been terrified.
I hope they catch whoever did this.
Angelica gets Nate’s attention when she announces that she thinks an Arachne did it. The amount of fear the perpetrator would have absorbed from the man would’ve kept one of our kind full for months.
“Don’t be silly,” Nate says. “We don’t do things like that.”
Angelica sits back, her words challenge him, “The Cezers do.”
A few of the group look uncomfortable at this.
Nate asks Angelica to have a p
rivate chat with him outside
. It is obvious that she is going to get rebuked for bringing up these ‘Cezers’.
When she is gone I ask Daniel, quietly, who they are.
He tells me that they are a group,
led by Rejon, who believe in
killing people in order to extract their fear. Putting someone in mortal danger is, after all, a great way of terrifying them. The Cezers live by the philosophy that ‘all is fair’ when it comes to meals and look on humans as a ‘weak’ species that don’t matter.
They are the complete opposite to
Nate’s group, in other words.
I can’t believe Rejon and his followers could be so heartless.
“That’s awful,” I say.
I am beginning to think that Angelica’s views on Rejon are not all that irrational.
I am so glad that I am part of this group.
otices my interest in the Cezer
s and tells me more.
They have their own plantation w
here they live. A commune that
Rejon protects with his magic so that humans can’t find it.
They worship Rejon there. If humans knew about it they’d describe it as a ‘cult’.
Daniel once met a guy
there, after being held pri
soner. He said that the Cezers
are cannibals. The sick and the weak among them are the ones who are eaten. The one who eats their flesh will usually absorb their powers.