Read The Guardian Chronicles 2: Dark Horizon Online

Authors: Matthew Burkey

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban, #Teen & Young Adult

The Guardian Chronicles 2: Dark Horizon

BOOK: The Guardian Chronicles 2: Dark Horizon
8.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The Guardian Chronicles: Dark Horizon

Matthew Burkey


Published by
Matthew Burkey at Smashwords


Copyright 2013 Matthew Burkey


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The early morning sunlight peeked through the curtains of the Gabriel James’s room, landing squarely on the face of an already annoyed teenager. Gabriel groaned loudly, smacking the annoying device that was making an obscene amount of noise. Once the infernal machine had been silenced Gabriel sat up and stretched. He rolled his neck, working the kinks out before swinging his legs over the side of the bed and heading toward the bathroom.

Gabriel was sixteen years old and a sophomore. He wished that there was something remarkable about him but as much as he wanted there to be and as much as he looked for it, he could never find it. In fact the only thing about himself that was remotely remarkable were his eyes, which were a vibrant blue. The rest of him was average in every sense of the word. He was of average height, weight, and build. He had average dark blonde hair, although not usually styled in any way.

He wandered into the bathroom and showered, brushed his teeth, and then got dressed. He wasn’t looking forward to school, ever since he came out of the closet it was one nightmare after the other.

Gabriel attended Highland Academy.  It was one of the most prestigious and finest institutions in the state. Most of the graduates went off to do something spectacular, like go to Harvard or Yale and become doctors, lawyers, and politicians. None of which interested Gabriel, at least not completely. The thought of being involved in medicine some way wasn’t a total turn off but he doubted that he would have the intelligence to make it as a docto

“You up sleepy head?” Sean asked, sticking his head in the doorway to his room.

Sean was Gabriel’s younger brother, though at fourteen he almost looked like the elder brother. He had short brown hair, brown eyes, and a solid athletic build. Sean was into gymnastics and he excelled at it. He was good enough as a freshmen that getting a college scholarship was a serious possibility.

“I hate school,” Gabriel sighed, grabbing his backpack.

“It can’t be that bad,” Sean said, from the doorway. “And it’s a whole new year, we haven’t even been in school a week...”

“Because everyone likes you!” Gabriel snapped.

“Calm down there big bro,” Sean warned. “Look, I know that it hasn’t been easy since you came out and all but there are some cool people at your school, I mean not everyone can be a total jerk, right?”

“So far they’ve proven that theory wrong,” Gabriel huffed. “I still don’t see why mom and dad won’t do the whole homeschooling thing.”

“Because we’re not a weird family,” Sean frowned. “Ok, you’re right before you even say anything that was insensitive but come on, do you really want to spend all your days cooped up in here surrounded by your books?”

“I like reading.”

“Yes, I know,” Sean stated, rolling his eyes. “But you also need friends, social interaction, you know that stuff. You can’t be a hermit and live out the rest of your life not talking to people.”

“Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I think that’s a very viable possibility.”

“I’ll talk to you when I get home from school.”

“Later,” Gabriel waved.

Gabriel attended Highland Academy, whereas Sean went to one of the local public schools, it was his choice and honestly, given the amount of money that it cost to go to Highland Academy, made life easier on the entire family. And Sean’s chosen sport; gymnastics wasn’t sponsored at Highland Academy.

Gabriel grabbed his backpack and bolted down the stairs. Highland Academy would have sent a bus to his house to pick him up if his parents requested it but Gabriel made it clear that he didn’t want that. Instead, he took the city bus. His mom protested a lot at first but his dad had managed to talk her into it. At least on the city bus he wouldn’t have to suffer the name calling, jokes, or hassling that he knew would be present on the school bus.

Gabriel managed to make it to the bus stop with barely a minute to spare. He took a seat near the back and pulled out his headphones. The ride would take about twenty minutes; actually the ride was one of Gabriel’s favorite parts of the day. It let him sit back and think and allowed his mind to wander. The ride was over entirely too quickly and soon enough they were pulling up to Highland Academy.

Gabriel pulled out his headphones and got off the bus, starting a brisk three block walk to where the school was, like the ride he actually liked the walk. It wasn’t so long that you got cold in the winter, at least Gabriel didn’t, but it was long enough that you could psyche yourself up for the day head.

Gabriel looked ahead and could see the school towering over the surrounding

The school was a large three story brick building that sat on the top of a hill. With inset windows and high walls, it reminded Gabriel of some sort of medieval fort. And of course there was always a battle going on inside the those walls, kids jockeying for quarterback, prom king, student council president, and the like.

Gabriel took a deep breath and started up the steps.

“That’s him,” someone whispered.

“God, he’s so weird.”

“Is it true that he likes guys?”

“I could never be friends with him; he’d always be checking you out.”

Gabriel didn’t know if they thought that he couldn’t hear them, though he suspected that they didn’t really care. It wasn’t news, ever since he came out at the end of last year things had been happening like that. Still, he would have thought in a school the size of Highland that they would have found someone else to pick on.

Gabriel eased through the doors and started toward his locker. He caught a brief glimpse of Teddy Martin, someone he had known since he was three years old. Last year when, he came out Teddy seemed to take it rather hard, though he insisted that they were still friends. His texts became less and less frequent and by the middle of the summer he quit calling or texting entirely.

“Hey Teddy,” he called out.

Teddy turned and walked away, fading into a group of students heading down the hall. Gabriel knew it was a lost cause but he still tried every day that he came to school and saw Teddy. Gabriel resisted the urge to follow after him, he was long past the point of wanting to cry but the rejection still stung.

He went to his locker and grabbed his books for his first class, history with Mr. Brown. Gabriel actually didn’t mind history; he thought that at least most of it was interesting, even if everyone else couldn’t see the value in it. He started his walk down the hall and caught site of David Bass. David looked like he had walked right out of a teenage fashion magazine, wearing tight clothing to leave nothing to the imagination. He always had tanned skin, short buzzed blonde hair, and blue eyes.

But he was a jerk, good looking, but a jerk nonetheless.

At the moment he and his gang was harassing Cody O’Brien, a new student that had come to their school this year. The first thing that you noticed about Cody was his accent, which was decidedly Irish.

Cody was shorter than Gabriel, although that could just be the impression that he gave off since he was always shying and slinking away from everyone. He had long red hair, blue eyes, and always wore clothes that were at least two sizes too big. Cody could have been a bean pole for all Gabriel knew; with all that extra clothes you could never tell what his actual shape was.

They had taken Cody’s lunch and back pack and were tossing it to each other, pushing Cody down the moment that he even got close to grabbing hold of it. It was a pretty disgusting display and something inside Gabriel just snapped. He had been picked on by David and his goons numerous times and now, watching it happen to someone else, he realized that he couldn’t stand idly by anymore.

Setting his jaw he took off toward the scuffle. Halfway there he realized that he really had no idea what it was that he was going to say to them; aside from stop. He wished that he had thought the process through a lot more thoroughly as he approached.

He walked right up behind David and cleared his throat.

Nothing happened.

It was if that they didn’t even hear him, although with the dull roar of the hallway that could have been a possibility. Taking a deep breath, Gabriel physically and mentally braced himself for what was to come following his next action.

“Leave him alone David.”

Now, that got their attention. Jake, David’s best friend and fellow jerk, shoved Cody to the ground and turned to look at Gabriel. As a matter of fact, everyone was looking at him now. Gabriel forced himself to remain calm, when in reality his mind was already screaming at him: Run you idiot! You know this isn’t going to end well!

But Gabriel had already set events in motion. He looked past David and Jake to see that Cody had recovered his lunch and backpack and had now scrambled away, leaving Gabriel alone to deal with the situation. He sort of hoped that Cody would have at least stood his ground and helped him out; although given the circumstances he couldn’t really blame him.

“Are you talking to us?” David asked.

“Um…yeah,” Gabriel said, trying to project more confidence into his voice that he felt. The way that David, Jake, and the other boys didn’t move made him realize that it hadn’t worked. At least his voice didn’t crack and make him sound completely desperate.

“You think you got the balls to stand up to me?” David growled. “You are nothing, you little puke.”

Gabriel forgot how menacing David looked standing up close and person.

“Put him down, David.”

The voice that cut into the conversation belonged to none other than Ethan Blackburn. He was a sophomore like Gabriel but was well liked by all the grades. He had a bit of bad boy rep and given his athletic build, most people tended not to challenge him. Ethan had short black hair and granite gray eyes.

“Really, you think that you could find something more entertaining to do?”

That comment came from Ryan Cloud, another sophomore at Highland. He was on the average side of height but had a powerful muscular build. Ryan’s brown hair was usually cut short and gelled. He had deep brown eyes.

“What do you want Ethan?” David asked, letting go of Gabriel.

“I want you to put him down,” Ethan responded. “I’d think it was a simple request.”

“I think he understands simple, right?”

That came from Tony Rawlins, another one of the guys that hung around Ethan. Tony was by far the shortest one in the group, although just as muscular as the other two. He had shaggy brown hair and light green eyes, even as a sophomore he was on the varsity baseball team, something that had earned him a date with more than one senior girl.

“Look, I was just having a conversation with him, that’s all.”

“Right,” Ryan nodded. “Because I routinely hold someone I am talking to up against the wall. How dumb do you think that we are?”

“Apparently very.”

Gabriel didn’t recognize that voice as it came from the other side of the ring of students that had gathered. Everett Magnus had dark skin, dark green eyes, a shaved head, and a lean and athletic build.

“Last chance before we do something nasty,” Ethan warned.

David turned to walk away but stopped and leaned in close to Gabriel. “They won’t be around to protect you forever.”

Gabriel swallowed hard and watched them walk away. He took a deep breath and wiped his sweating palms on his thighs. He actually couldn’t believe what just happened, he had no idea that Ethan and his friends even knew that he existed.

“Um...thanks,” Gabriel said, taking the offered hand of Ryan.

“You’re welcome man,” Ryan said, patting Gabriel’s shoulder. “Sorry we couldn’t have helped Cody, was he ok?”

“Um...thanks,” Gabriel said, taking the offered hand of Ryan.

“You’re welcome man,” Ryan said, patting Gabriel’s shoulder. “Sorry we couldn’t have helped Cody, was he ok?”

Gabriel just stood there like an idiot.

Moron! Say something!

“Yeah, at least I think he is.”

“We have to get going,” Ryan said, looking at his watch. “Take care of yourself man.”

Gabriel only nodded and watched them all walk away.

The day seemed to drag on and on, with the events of that morning staying fresh in Gabriel’s mind. He made his way to the cafeteria, trying to avoid the looks and whispers. By now the altercation with David had spread like wildfire and he was getting even more sideways looks and reactions then he did before. Still, he kept his head down and entered the large and busy lunchroom.

It was amazing how large a space it was and yet there was never any place for him sit. He tried a table full of freshmen and they looked at like he had the plague. He tried another table of junior boys, most of who would have been classified as geeks, and was not so subtly told to get lost. So, he ended up outside on the football field, sitting on the bleachers like usual.

He didn’t mind it out there really; it was calm and allowed him time to think. He bit into his apple and was surprised to see another figure approach him. It was Cody, all hunched over and shuffling along.

“Um…thanks for earlier,” Cody said.

“No problem,” Gabriel shrugged. “I mean I didn’t really do anything.”

BOOK: The Guardian Chronicles 2: Dark Horizon
8.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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