THE ONES IN THE SHADOWS
I was in my room reading when I heard a knock on the door. "Terry!" I exclaimed as I opened it. "What are you doing here?" "Can I come in?" he asked with a strange expression on his face. "Um, sure," I said and stepped to the side so that he could come in. "Thanks," he said with a smile. A smile I had not seem him use before. It scared me.
"Um is there something wrong or anything?" "No, everything is fine now," he said with a devilish grin. He locked the door. "What are you doing?" I asked, suddenly afraid. "Promise not to scream," he said as he grabbed my arms tightly.
"Terry, what are you doing!?" I yelled, terrified. He just looked at me and then opened his mouth. His teeth grew into fangs and his eyes changed to those of an animal. "No!" I screamed, but it was too late. He sunk those sharp teeth into my flesh and started to suck my blood.
I woke up screaming. I was in my room. I checked my clock. It was 0335 hours. I had fallen asleep reading. I went out to check on my mother. She was in her room, sleeping. I checked on Tim. He was sleeping, too. I had just had a nightmare. A terrible nightmare.
That afternoon after school I went over to Terry's quarters. They weren't too hard to find since everyone's room was in the database. He was right next to the garden. For some reason I thought he wouldn't be there but when I rang his bell he answered. I had just walked into the den of the lion.
As I stepped in the first thing I noticed were all the books! There were books everywhere! Most were really old, some more newer. Books on witches and demons and vampires. Books about the supernatural and the fantasy world. It was an amazing collection that dwarfed my own. It was intense.
"Wow, I've never seen so many books before," I said in awe. I went over and saw an Alex Shawn book. "You have Alex Shawn! I love his books. They're so romantic in a gruesome way. They are so hard to find now a days. Any book now a days," I said picking up The Dark Night.
I looked up to find Terry just staring at me. It was weird. He had this strange look on his face. It almost scared me. "Would you like something to drink?" he offered. "No, that's all right. I not that thirsty," I said a little nervous. If he was a murderer he might try to poison my drink. No, I thought to myself, he's not a murderer. Don't believe rumors, Aim. Live what you preach.
"Are you sure? I just stocked up on food and stuff," he said nervously. "You know, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to be nice," I pointed out to him. "Well," was all he said. That's when I noticed the antique swords and weapons he had hung up on his walls. I got a little nervous.
I walked over and looked at his collection. As I was studying a sword and dagger I noticed a book that was out on this little petacil. It was very old, maybe hundreds, and for some reason it struck a cord in me. It felt so familiar. Almost like something out of a dream. "What is this," I asked as I started to open it. "No," he yelled as he took it away from me, "It's nothing that you would be interested in." He set it down so that he would be between me and the book.
"So are we going to study or what," he said. We took a seat on his couch. It was very comfortable. I set down my books on the coffee table and suggested, "I thought we might start with Astro-physics." "Whatever," was all he replied. And for a half hour we studied.
That is until I couldn't take it any more and I cracked. "I'm sorry. I just um Are you a murderer," I blabbed. When I realized what I had just done I could have killed myself. "Oh, shit. I did not mean to ask you that. I told myself not to believe in rumors and for some reason ," I trailed as I tried to cover myself and apologize. "It's fine. I'm not surprised that you heard that rumor. It's really okay," he said, totally breaking his coldness.
"No, it's not. Really, I don't actually think that you might be a murderer. I just I don't know. I'm just into guys who are a mystery and you are a mystery to me," I stumbled. I looked into his eyes and for once they were full of life. He just stared at me and his eyes sort of hypnotized me. They were so intense.
"I know you have a secret. That's why you always keep people away from you. That's why you always tried to get away from me," I said, "We all have secrets. Dark secrets that we keep from the world." "And what's your secret," he asked. "I asked you first," I answered.
"I'm not a murderer," he said in a calm voice. He sounded so genuine. I knew at once it was the truth. "Are you a vampire?" I asked. I hadn't meant to ask but for some reason I did. It was such a stupid question and I had just blurted it out.
He looked disarrayed and confused. He looked shocked and I knew that it had struck him deeply. Then he looked into my eyes and said, "Would you believe me if I said yes?" "I don't know," I said truthfully. "Would you be afraid?" "Of you? No," I answered.
For a while we just sat there and watched each other. Just staring into each other's eyes. His eyes were all that I thought they might be, kind and thoughtful, but they had a sadness to them. A sadness that ran deep. Something had happened to him long ago that cut him and he hasn't let it go. He can never let it go.
Suddenly, for some reason I touched him. I leaned over and put my hand on his face. I stroked his cheek and then I kissed his forehead. And then I turned and started to study like nothing had happened. For a minute I felt him stare at me and then he turned and joined me.
I was in my room, reading my book. My mother was out working and Tim was out all ready, doing who knows what. He was doing that a lot lately. Going out and not coming back until late. Mother was getting pretty uptight about it but he kept on doing it. He didn't have any sense.
Suddenly there was a rap on the door. I got up and opened the door. "Terry!" I exclaimed, surprised that he was at my door. "Can I come in?" he asked. "Sure," I said right away. I stepped aside so that he could come in. He walked in and I noticed that he seemed to be acting strangely, like he was a different person.
"Is there something wrong?" I asked. "No, nothing. I just wanted to see you," he said. Then he grabbed me by the arms and kissed me. "I love you," he said to me. I held him to me and kissed him passionately.
Then I woke up. I was in my room, my book on my lap. It was 02000. A dream, it was just a dream. A wonderful dream.
The next day at school was like any other only the feel was different. I went to my classes and I got bored but I didn't think about fantasy or superstitions or about rumors. Just about Terry and our encounter the previous night. Not to mention my dream.
At lunch I sat by my friends but for once I didn't talk. I just thought of
Terry and ever so often I would look over to his spot to see if he was there.
"Aim? Aim? Aim, you okay?" asked Sarah for what must have been the tenth time. "Yah, I'm fine," I said as I started to eat my lunch. "Really? You just seem distracted. I mean you're hardly saying anything and you never not talk. What's up?" she pursued. "Nothing. I'm just thinking, that's all," I said.
I couldn't tell her about Terry and what happened last night. She's my best friend but I'm sure she wouldn't understand. She feared Terry and she would never understand my feelings about him. Never.
She's different than I am. She's rich and she thinks so differently than I do. She never excepts anyone unless they have a good personality or if their rich and of same rank as she. She'd never except Terry and she would only look down upon me. It's bad for your social life to be friends with someone that everyone fears and hates. If I told her about Terry, she'd stop being my friend in public if not in reality. That's just the way she is. Just the way everyone here is.
How I wanted to talk to Terry.
It wasn't until two days later that I finally saw him. He seemed to be avoiding me and then suddenly I just bumped into him. What was weird was right before I did that I almost felt him. It wasn't that I actually felt him, it was more like there had been that comfortable feeling like when you're snuggled up in a blanket and then that feeling had gone when Terry was gone and when Terry showed up again it was back.
I was just walking down the hall and then when I turned the corner he was there and I felt as though my blanket had returned and wrapped itself around me. I also felt like my heart had lept into my throat.
"Hey, Terry," I said softly. He looked up and then stopped in his tracks. For an instant he just stood there open mouthed, not sure of what to say. Then his eyes turned cold again and he started to walk by me. "Hey, Amy," was all he said. I turned around and followed him.
"What's up?" I asked. "Nothing that concerns you," he said. Then I got mad. I don't know why or how I just felt so angry. I grabbed his arm and threw him against the wall. He looked shocked. "What's going on Terry?" I practically yelled, "What's up with you?" He looked around but there was no one in the halls at all. They wouldn't be there, they would be catching the soonest tram to the Port.
"Amy," Terry said as he grabbed my shoulders, "There is nothing going on." His eyes were like they were when we were alone in his quarters. "Why are you avoiding me?" I demanded. "I'm not trying to avoid you, it's just it's just that I can't be around people right now," he said very vaguely.
"What do you mean?" I asked. He looked around again and then took me into a lab that no one was using. "There have been murders and I have been suspected of them. The police have no authority to arrest me but the students and the people might gang up on me and deal with it on their own. I've felt the tension and I know the rumors. I need to stay out of sight for a while, just until they find the real murderer," he said.
"You fear for your life," I said. "No, I fear for your safety and the safety of the people around me. If I stir up to much trouble there will be people who notice that I don't want to notice," Terry said. "Are you in some trouble, Terry? Are you in trouble with the Mafia or something?" I asked, suddenly so worried.
"No. No," he laughed, "It's not the Mafia, but it is some people who can hurt people when they want to. I think that they might be the ones behind the disappearances." I had had no idea that he was on the run from whoever. I placed my hand on his cheek again. I grabbed it. "No, don't pity me. Don't feel sorry for me. I'm fine now. For a long time I wasn't but now I am," he said with a smile. Then he went into the hallway and walked away.