The Ever-Lasting War

An "Average" Day—Blizzard

I stood before my most hated and despised teacher, glaring angrily, my fists clenched like I was about to sock it to her. I really wanted to do just that—let me tell you right now!—but I somehow managed to refrain from such an act of violence. Lashing out and giving in to hidden and powerful impulses and emotions such as those can only lead to more of them, and getting into trouble, and causing strife and mayhem, and the "Dark Side of the Force", as I am constantly being told by my instructor, "Yoda", as I call her. My sister and myself have given her this nickname for her philosophical phrases, her unorthodox calm and control over anything and everything, and her very Yoda-like strength, patience, "modesty" (ability to hide her greatness as to not intimidate others with her awesomely mad skills) and the fact that she is my all-knowing instructor, mentor and teacher—not to mention my mother.

Yes, Yoda is my mother—and Vader is my father. Well, actually, that isn't far from the truth—when speaking of analogs, that is. My mother has the strength, the skill and the age of Yoda, not to mention the powers and self-control necessary to not squash all offenders of herself like the little bugs they are, compared to her. My father, on the other hand, well…we don't talk about him much. When he was a bit younger something happened to him, something my mother won't explain, except to say that it was bad, and it need not be repeated. When I was very little he up and left, and I haven't seen him since. I don't ask why, because I don't care, because I hate him for leaving my mother and me—the bastard.

My whole body shook, my teeth ground together, and I was only barely paying attention and registering whatever it was that evil, foul, despicable teacher was saying. I was so angry I wanted to kill her, and it was taking most of my strength and will-power to refrain from grabbing her throat and squeezing until her eyes bulged and I could see the pain and fear in her eyes…oh how sweet that would be…

With all the idiots, bastards and bitches in this world, how has my mom not killed the lot of them? Wait…has she, without telling me? I wouldn't be surprised, the big old hypocrite…

"…and I don't think that you should be allowed to remain in this school of this is going to become a habit, your regular behavior, because it is downright unacceptable. Are you listening to me, Anderssen?" Mrs. Kerri Cullins sneered, her voice as high-pitched and whiny as ever—sometimes I think her voice is half of the reason I hate her. It grates against my ears and tolerance, angering me by sound alone—it doesn't help that I connect the sound to her, the old hag…

I growled, but still managed to keep my temper in, no matter how close I was to exploding. "Yeah," I replied, sounding like a true New Yorker, born and bred.

She looked pinched, as if she had just gotten a whiff of something foul. Yeah, her own perfume… "Say it correctly, Anderssen."

"Say what correctly?" I rudely and defiantly demanded, taking pleasure in how difficult she found holding in and controlling her temper—same as I was.

"Reply in a proper and civil tone. Not 'Yeah' but instead 'Yes, Mrs. Cullins' or 'Of course, Mrs. Cullins.'"

This was just too much—but I had no choice. However much it pained me, I was forced to give in. I had trouble saying such sickly-sweet, obviously fake words, but I was finally able to grate out, "Y-Yes Mrs. C-C-Cullins." She smiled sourly.

"There now, that wasn't so hard, was it?"

I exited her Language Arts classroom, only just managing to hold in my temper. At her last words I had just about lost it, blow my cool and explode, but somehow I had managed to hold it all back. I stormed out of the classroom noisily and disruptively, not even attempting to hold in how I felt, acting violently to let out some of my seething hatred. She was smug and satisfied, I knew. She had got me stuck between a rock and a hard place, and there was no way for me to escape. I was completely and utterly trapped, unable to do a damn thing; I knew it, she knew it, I hated it, she loved it, we despised each other—she's lucky I didn't ring her neck.

Then again, she knew I wanted to, but couldn't, which undoubtedly pleased her all the more.

I frightened several students younger and older than me once I was let out; free to roam the halls, my anger trying to escape as much as it could. For the most part I was able to hold it in and control it, but I couldn't keep it all in and pretend like it wasn't there—it was too strong, it had been there too long, it couldn't be held in without eventual, major consequences. I handled myself violently, recklessly, throwing myself about and scattering students—it made me feel better.

I stopped in front of a water fountain. I stared down at the cool metal, gripping the edges tight. My breathing was a heavy panting from holding it all in, and I felt it rising, ready to burst out and be unleashed, to do massive damage to the world around me. I felt it, and I knew it would be bad, but at the same time I wanted it to happen—to let go and give the world what I know it deserves, what it should receive in payment and punishment from me…yes, how wonderful and pleasant that would be…so very, very free and refreshing…

"Yo," a soft, soothing, depressed, indifferent voice said, originating from right next to me. Upon hearing it I returned to my senses, just as I was about to lash out. Instead of allowing the energy I had stored up loose, I had to redirect it. I roared a deafening, destructive roar, which made several students jump and back off warily. As smooth as can be, and as quick and fluent as wasn't humanly possible, I pulled my arm back and punched the brick wall—hard. All of this occurred in the same breath, one after another, unpredictable and unstoppable, one after the other, in perfect timing, unison and flawless form. It hurt, but it scared others far more than it made my hand throb, and their fear made it all worth it. I laughed and straightened up, greeted by a deserted corridor.

Well, an almost deserted corridor.

Standing there to my right, leaning on the brick wall right beside the water-fountain alcove. I smiled upon seeing this particular familiar face. She was resting her head against the wall, a serene and passive (meaning emotionless and blank) expression upon her ambivalent features. This face belongs to my very best friend, with whom I grew up. She is a very paradoxical and strange person, her parents being so different in so many ways. She can be kind and sweet and smart and considerate, but also mean and crude and rude and violent and expressive. I have never met a more diverse, complex and confusing person—with the exception of myself, that is.

She has pale light green eyes that show her emotions by how they glint and sparkle and move and crease, and also by the feeling you get when looking into their depths. They can be warm or cold, inviting or foreboding, intelligent or idiotic, comforting or frightening—it all depends, as everything does with her. Her hair is short and stringy, light brown in color and dull in shine. Her skin is darker than mine, because she is black, while I am only half-Hispanic. Although it is nearing summer-time I have been unable to get out and build up a tan to rival her natural skin-color. She is wearing the school's uniform—with a few modifications—a feat I blatantly refuse to ever succumb to doing, Mrs. Kerri Cullins be damned!

"Hiya, Jamie," I said, teasing her. She smiled and shoved me, pretending to be all angry and menacing. Were I anyone else, she would be—she hates this nickname of hers, and will kill anyone who uses it. The last one (besides me) to even dare try was an idiot 7th grader some years back—he got out of the hospital recently and with some therapy he will be able to re-enter normal society.

"Ewwww, it's you, Reese," she retorted in a playfully disgusted voice. I laughed, and she did too, her features softening. I leaned against the other side of the wall, to the left of the alcove, facing my best friend and leaning as she leaned.

My name is Harrison Madalyn Anderssen and she is James Jameelah Curi—hence Reese and Jamie. We prefer, and really do insist, that you call us Ris and Jimmy—for your own health, safety and protection. We have been best friends since we were practically born, seeing as how our parents know each other so well. We grew up together, apart from all others our age, because we are different, and we delight in such strangeness. We could never be the same, we didn't want to fit in, and we would rather stay true to ourselves and to each other.

Plus, we love scaring and scaring the "normal people" all around us!

All our lives I have been surely convinced that we both have more than one personality, for our diversity and strangeness. We act in so many ways that we scare ourselves sometimes (who else could?). This gets us into trouble, but we really don't care, because we are far more special and smart than any of these dumb-asses could ever even hope to be—they're just jealous!

We don't have many friends, and the ones we do have aren't normal—who would want them to be?—and we don't see them often. Living where we do—as in, in this part of Human World—we are more or less cut off from such others, with only each other and our families to keep non-normal company.

I am half-Hispanic, and Jimmy is all-Black. My hair is short and extremely wavy in its not-so-new-founded freedom. It is dark brown in color, although it often appears black. My eyes are a dark rich brown and my skin can be anywhere from lightly-tanned to deeply bronze—it depends on my current location and the season and the amount of sun I have so far absorbed.

Jimmy and I were born here in North Carolina. We attend Carpe Diem High School, where we are now part of the 10th grade. We are 16 years old and far too advanced for such a class. (Carpe Diem High is one of several schools throughout the U.S. that are nearly identical in every way—there is one in most every state, even Alaska, only that one's pretty secretive. Most people don't know about it, and those who do are clueless to its whereabouts. Most people don't even know it exists or that it's even a part of this school system—only the founder and current owner knows all of that, and that person is truly impossible to locate).

The aforementioned school uniform consists of (for the girls) a dark gray, rumpled knee-length skirt over white underwear, underneath a light gray blouse and black vest with white knee-high socks and black, silver-buckled shoes. Jimmy wears this—while I, of course, do not—but she has modified it to fit her unique style. She wears a purple, red, black, gold and silver tie, dark ribbons over mini-pigtails in varying colors and blacks heels, as opposed to loafers. She gets in a bit of trouble for this, but that is nothing compared to me. I wear what I want, and they can't do anything. Drives most of my teachers absolutely mad! (That's half the reason I do it in the first place).

Today I am wearing a tight dark gray tank top over baggy black jeans, steel-toed boots and black leather gloves without fingers. My usual outfit is a variation of these basic elements, with a splash of a "forbidden" color added in every once in a while, just to spice things up. Today my color is in my hair—a shimmering silver headband, to match my gold hoop earrings.

Jimmy and I began walking down the still deserted corridor. I carried no books, leaning back as I walked, casual and unworried—as usual. Jimmy carried her navy blue book-bag, which was relatively empty, and a single faded light blue folder in the crook of her arm.

"What have you been up to?" Jimmy slyly inquired, turning and meeting my at-ease gaze, one eyebrow raised accusingly. My jaw dropped in mock insult, and my next words were breathless with pompous indignancy.

"What is that look for? And that tone? Are you inquiring that I, the extensively calm and most well-behaved young lady that I am, has done something wrong? Never, in all my years, have I ever suffered such shame!" I tried to seem convincing, at least playfully, but it's very hard to come off as a "proper young lady" when you are dressed like a New-York, back-alleyway street-punk. The sight of my acting as such made Jimmy bust out laughing, with me following close behind.

Once we had calmed ourselves and our laughter had subsided, we were standing outside the library, which was full of kids diligently and quietly studying and working under the strict and watchful eyes of the school librarian Mrs. Gawner. I looked in, saw her, and cursed. I had been hoping that the much nicer librarian was on duty today—I like Mrs. Patricia Ulrich a lot more than I like Mrs. Sarah Gawner. Blech!

Jimmy, on the other hand, sighed a sigh of relief. She likes Mrs. Ulrich a lot more as well, but she doesn't hate Mrs. Gawner like I do because she is ignored by that old bitch—especially if I'm around to avert her attention. She hates me. Jimmy adores Mrs. Ulrich as well, but she makes her uncomfortable, because with her around Jimmy can think of nothing else besides the fact that she has two sons, one a year younger (but in our grade) and one a year older than us (not in our grade). The older one is the one Jimmy hates thinking about—it distracts her from all else.

I sighed irritably at her relief. "Well, I know you're happy, but I'm not—and I have to go in too. This is gonna be hell…" I moaned.

Jimmy gave me a puzzled look, turning her gaze to me. "Why? You never go into the library, unless you're looking for a book to read for pleasure, and then you always wait for Mrs. Ulrich. I don't get it."

I grimaced, my neck prickled, as if I was being watched. A quick look told me that Mrs. Gawner was looking the other way—but still. "Ya know, despite what you and half the school thinks, I do care about school, I do actually do my homework and I do use the library!" I snapped angrily.

Jimmy nodded her head in submission and put a hand on my shoulder in apology. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to offend you. It's just that I never see you do homework, and I just assumed that you hardly ever act upon it, since you are—after all—you…"

I sighed and shook my head, letting her know she could stop. "It's okay," I assured her, shrugging her hand off my shoulder, "and I didn't mean to snap. I should expect it, with the way I act, and I shouldn't yell at you for only knowing what I let you know." She smiled weakly and relaxed.

"What do you need the library for today?" she asked, checking to see if anyone was watching us. Nobody was. We were—as of yet—still undetected.

"I have a report to do," I admitted. "And it's due tomorrow."

"The big Language Arts one?"

"Yup."

"Wasn't that assigned a month ago?"

"Yup."

"You haven't worked on it at all, have you?"

"Nope."

"Not being responsible, are we?"

"Nope."

"Well, tonight'll suck, but you brought it upon yourself," Jimmy sighed. There was not even a trace of pity in her voice, although it was dripping with sympathy and unspoken scorn. I deserved it and sighed. Tonight would suck, mom would yell at me when she found out, and tomorrow I'll be worse than usual—but I'll get it done. I should have learned by now, being so deep into High School, that procrastination never pays, and that I shouldn't, but I do it anyway. I'll never learn.

"Let's go," she said. I nodded. We pushed the double doors open and everybody turned.

Upon seeing us they quickly returned their gazes to their work—everybody but a shocked and sour Mrs. Gawner; a curious and puzzled Whitney; and a surprised and glowing Leeha.

Jimmy sighed—her good luck was cut short. Mine went into the negative.

Mrs. Gawner is an old, ugly woman, her rolls of fat bulging against her foul gray floral print dress. Her tan pantyhose was obviously straining against her bulk, so much so that I am shocked that it has not yet ripped and fallen to pieces. Her shoes are two sizes too small and I swear she has dentures, the nasty yellow things that they are. She has an odd habit of breathing down peoples necks as they are searching for a book (namely mine) which is most unpleasant, seeing as she has dog breath. This is actually very fitting, seeing as she has the squashed, ugly face of a bulldog and the short, rough hair of one too—ugly in every sense of the word.

And mean taboot.

Jimmy and I took deep breaths and walked in, our strides defiant and brave. We walked like we owned the place, with only the bitch (hahaha) to deny this claim—no one else would dare. We parted our separate ways, Mrs. Gawner following me, Whiney and Leeha tailing Jimmy.

I can't tell who got the worst deal.

I headed for the section on history. Mrs. Cullins and the rest of the English teachers in school had assigned a biographical sketch on a famous figure in history—each class and each grade got a different category and topic. For example, the 10th grade got European Wars (as in the people in them) and Mrs. Cullins got great generals and royalty. This essay was going to be exceptionally hard for me, because Mrs. Cullins is the absolute evilest LA teacher in school—all other classes had to do 5-7 pages, varying with the teacher. (The younger the pupils, the fewer the pages). And their criteria was much less. Mrs. Cullins is practically making us write everything about the people we were writing about—and that she assigned, no less!

And she hates me, so mine was going to be graded unfairly, unless it was perfection, which would be hard to accomplish.

I know her, and I know all of this—I have from the beginning. So why didn't I start this forever ago? I don't know—for a smart girl, I can be pretty stupid, and this is one of the few examples of a dumb-ass move done by me. There aren't many (according to me) but not even I can deny the stupidity of this (and I am a great denier).

I was looking for as many books on the French King Louis—all of them!

I got a whole stack of books going—higher than my head—and carefully tottered over to an empty table to deposit them—I had a total of sixteen so far, and I thought that was a good start. I took a seat and started reading, Mrs. Gawner still towering over me. My neck prickled and my skin got covered in goosebumps—her breath is seriously bad, I'm surprised that it's not literally green!—but I ignored her presence and got to work. It was only when I needed to jot something down that I realized I needed paper and a pencil.

I shot to my feet, relieved at having an excuse to leave, if only for a moment, and I looked around for Jimmy. Spotting her cornered by Whitney and Leeha, I practically sprinted over to her, leaving Mrs. Gawner growling at my un-library-ish behavior. She stayed standing there, waiting for me to return and continue my reading. I felt her eyes follow me, never moving elsewhere.

At last, I was free!

Whitney Armande and Leeha Nalin are two people that are absolutely obsessed with Jimmy—they worship her, and that's not over-exaggerating in the slightest. Without even trying Jimmy is pretty popular, just as I am feared (although I do try at least a little bit), but—unlike me—she hates this constant attention. Whitney and Leeha are practically her fan girls, which sounds creepy but is completely true. I pity her—Jimmy—I really do.

I came to a halt right behind the two girls, who were talking to Jimmy at such high speeds that she couldn't get a word in and their own individual words couldn't be heard even by them—not that they were saying anything even remotely worth listening to. Jimmy had noticed me, but the two girls were too busy to see me, wrapped up in Jimmy and their own words as they were.

I hate them too.

"Yo," I growled menacingly. That got their attention. They jumped and spun around, and Jimmy looked immensely relieved. My lips were tight and my gaze cold, hard and scary. They parted warily, allowing me to get to Jimmy. She looked so happy that I would not have been surprised if she had hugged me. Luckily, she did not.

"What do you want?" she asked, her voice shaky and full of unspeakable joy. I smiled, happy to be of service.

"I need paper and a pencil—I seem to have misplaced my own."

She laughed and nodded. Complying she reached into her folder, got out three sheets of college ruled notebook paper, and surrendered her orange mechanical pencil from behind her ear to my almighty self. I nodded my thanks and left her to practically dart across the library (she runs faster in heels) and leave Whitney and Leeha too dazed to follow.

I jogged back on over to my pile of awaiting books, ignoring the glare of Mrs. Gawner, and went back to work with a sigh—I had a lot to do, and I wasn't looking forward to it.

It was much later when I finally left the school library. I had gotten a lot of research done, using all of my free period, study hall and after school time. Of all of the books on the King Louis' in the library, I had only ten left to read, and they were all pretty thin. It was five-thirty—the time in which the school closes to students. I checked out the remaining books, gathered Jimmy, and left. We headed for our adjacent homes: Jimmy to eat and sleep and do stuff on the internet; me to do nothing but research, research, research—and a lot of writing.

I was stubbornly silent all the way home, dreading my mother's reaction, her anger, and the all-nighter I had to look forward to, searching, finding and writing. I already felt tired and drawn out, and it had barely even begun.

Jimmy respected how I felt and left me alone. Once we reached out houses she offered to come over, help me research and stay awake to finish my report. I declined—I didn't want to have her suffer with me, especially when it was my own damn fault. She promised that she would stop by in the morning to make sure I could go to school, and perhaps break something to excuse me from school. I smiled, said good-night, and went inside.

My mom greeted me warmly, happy in her ignorance, having no idea what I had to do. I decided to tell her right away—that proved to be a bad idea.

"YOU WHAT!?" she exploded, and I winced—too late now.

She did not take the news well. She ranted and raved and screamed and yelled and scolded and blamed and let loose scary amounts of rage and anger, cursing all the while. She paced and looked daggers at me. The screams could be heard all the way down the street, but I decided to hold my tongue about it—lest she cut it out. When she was finally finished she was red in the face and hoarse. I was belittled and she went to get a glass of water. I dragged my sorry carcass upstairs, deciding to avoid mother, do my work and punish myself with no food.

My mother was thinking along the same lines. She left me alone in my room and said not another word on the subject. She ate dinner alone and brought none up to me. It was to be expected. With what I had done I was lucky to escape unscathed—the only reason I had, actually, was because if she was to punish me fully I may get out of school the next day, and that would be a help, not a punishment. I knew I was going to get it, just after I had turned my work in. This was not comforting.

As my master (sensei) and my mother (sensei) Yoda (sensei) is strict, firm, unrelenting, unforgiving, tough, hard and cruel. Not to mention mean, angry, wrathful, un-allowing and often (seemingly) cold and unloving. That is not, however, so. She loves me as a pupil and a daughter; one of her teachings and one of her flesh. She wants me to learn and grow, which is why she is so strict and tough. I have to be ready for the cruel, cold, hard world—which is already far worse for me than for most any other adult.

Why? You may be wondering. I'll tell you why.

I am a protector. A savior. A warrior. I fight for good, against evil. From birth I was destined to save this earth from destruction, stop evil, weaken it, make it so that Our Guardians—the Chosen Ones—do not need to be reawakened in my life-time. I grew up learning about their great powers, the war which will never end, the leaders under which it all came to a standstill, the truth about mythology, and why I was born with the powers I have been given. I live and breathe to fight for good, and I must grow stronger—starting now—in order to be able to survive and keep on fighting. My mother elected to be my sensei, because of her great strength and powers. She also elected to teach Jimmy—another Protector, like me—but the Council (a group of stuck-up idiot snobs if I ever saw one) denied that. They said that one was enough and that's he mustn't split her attentions.

The truth is that those bastards and bitches are afraid of power when it is held by another. They restrict and limit the powers of people on their own side as much as possible—why do you think good has so many more rules? I swear, one of the requirements of being a Council Member is that you must be a paranoid power-monger. Then again, they elect their own, so it all makes perfect sense.

I hate them.

Jimmy hates them as well. She and I are special, and they hate us too. We have the potential to over-throw them and awaken the Chosen Ones—the tow things they want least. They act formal and kind to us, but it is strained, because they know the threat is growing. They are ignoring evil's steadily growing powers, which means that they are selfish idiots that deserve to be over-thrown. They know this—they fear this.

Years ago, back when the Council was still decent, seers made prophecies often. They were everywhere, predicting things. Seers were greatly and widely respected—each village either wanted one or had one. Most of them predicted little things—a birth, a death, a storm—stuff like that. Every once in a while they'd predict their own death or a natural disaster. However, among the many that once lived, a handful would be granted with exceptional powers—they were the ones that saw the big stuff. Once discovered, they were sent to the Council to be treated as royalty and See things for the rest of their lives. It was every seers dream.

One of these seers—perhaps the most powerful and well-known one, a woman by the name of Sylvani—foresaw the end, also know as the fall, of the Council. She saw that, one day sometime in the future, would lose its integrity and Divine Right. It was at that time that they should be removed from power. But they would by no means go quietly. They would not just lie down and allow themselves to be killed or thrown into exile. They would do everything they could to avoid leaving their seats of power—and considering that they are united, that would be a lot. A great force would be needed to end their reign.

This seer knew this. When asked what would have to be done, she told them. An awesome power would be born. Its sole purpose would be to kill every single council member and replace the oligarchy with a tyranny—a joint tyranny that could not be corrupted. The Chosen Ones would be renewed, it would cut evil down greatly, and that system would be permanently abolished as well. All of the old ways would be no more.

Instead, they who ended it would rule. This was the part of the tale few know. The ones (for there would be two) that stopped the Council and awoken the Chosen Ones (who agreed only because the Council no longer existed) would take over and establish a new rule. It would be one soul, two minds, three bodies and four spirits that would rule. The Council did not understand, but the seer continued—prophecies are only understood after they are fulfilled.

One great soul, two minds, three bodies and four spirits would be all that was needed. They would rule—and rule well. They would be the Chosen Ones, the Council and the Absolute Rulers. The seer saw all of this, and more, although none of it makes sense. Sylvani's prophecy was carefully recorded, word for word, to be categorized among the most important ones of all time.

However, before she could tell the very last of her vision, she died. The vastness of this great prophecy had worked against her. She could no longer take it, and she died where she stood.

What the last thing was, no one knows, and to this day they are in the dark.

The Council is scared. They believe that Jimmy and I will overthrow them. I doubt the truth in this—although I would love for it to be true. I want them to end, but Evil isn't growing in power as much as would be necessary for such drastic measures—we would know—so this prophecy will not be completed anytime soon. (Although it is close enough to happen in the next century or so—I probably won't be alive, unfortunately—people in my line of work aren't know for their long-lived lives). Pity; I would absolutely love to put these idiots in their place—or at least witness another doing it, and perhaps helping in some way. But as bad as they are, they aren't fully corrupt, so they will remain the Council.

For now.

They are, however, still fearful (hel-loh paranoia!). But, that is not a very pressing issue at this place and time—although it is far more interesting than my goddamned report. (Ten pages!) What I need to worry about now is my infernal essay. Personally, I'd rather have a few bouts with the Council that research the Louis' and write a C-paper for Mrs. Cullins. But, I don't have that choice, so I must continue!

What I wonder is why my training never deals with overcoming sucky mortal living!

It was near midnight and I was on the computer in my room. Alternating between about five research websites and a word document filled with all of the information I had gotten from the books, that's what I had to do. I wasn't looking all too good; my stomach was growling, my eyes were dark circles with bags beneath them, my jaw no longer worked properly—it was hanging open as if I was a corpse, and I was sore all over from sitting so long. I hadn't moved in hours, and there was no hint at a possible reprieve presenting itself anytime soon.

This is the last time I procrastinate, I swore to myself, yawning and stretching. I think things like that every time I make this same dumb-ass decision, but I never go through with them—I always end up pulling another all-nighter over it, no matter what I say.

I felt myself dozing off, and only sheer volume of willpower was keeping me from falling face-first into my keyboard. My vision was blurring and going all fuzzy, my head leaning farther and farther onto my hand, the computer completely faded from view and my chair creaked from tipping over…

Almost falling off my chair did the trick. I just barely caught myself, almost taking my whole desk down with me. I was then wide-awake, and I returned to my work. In some ways I wished I had fallen, because then at least I would be able to get some rest. But I couldn't fall asleep, I was only half-way done, and I was running out of time. Returning to work, I renewed with a vicious vigor and kept on typing…

That lasted about a total of five minutes. Then I felt myself getting sleepy and drowsy again, and I knew I wasn't going to make it. Maybe it would be best if I just fell down the steps, feinted an accident, and hoped for my mom to buy it…Naw, that wouldn't work. She knew about the project—this wouldn't be the first time I had faked injury to get out of going to school. Well, actually, it never quite was faking—what Jimmy said earlier was no joke. She had, actually, broken something of mine a few times to get me out of a tight spot. I got away with it at first, but then Yoda found out and there was hell to pay. Jimmy's break wouldn't be the only thing broken by the end of that little trick, I know that right now.

Suddenly I shot up, completely awake. I hadn't even remembered falling asleep, but apparently I had, because all of a sudden I was sitting up straight, my computer on the screensaver. I felt awake, my blood pumping adrenaline through my body. It took me a few minutes to figure out that I had heard something—that's why I was awake and alert and ready, all of a sudden. Eager for something to keep me occupied, away from my report and awake, I crept out of my room to investigate.

I stood at the top of the stairs, listening for the noise again. I knew it had come from below. All was still and silent. Curious and cautious, I worked my way down the stairs, moving slowly as stealth and surprise may work in my favor. All the way down the stairs everything was still. The only noise was my mom's deep, soothing breathing from in her room and my slightly ragged and excited gulping of air. There was no other noise all throughout the house.

I reached the bottom of the stairs and peaked around the corner, into the living room. Everything was dark and still. It took me a moment, but I eventually adjusted to the darkness and was able to make out the dark shapes of the TV, the sofa, the end tables, the coffee table and the three bookshelves. Not one thing out of place, nothing out of the ordinary.

I moved through the living room, still silent, still in the dark, and went into the dining room. Everything was just as dark and unchanged. Getting more anxious and annoyed, I moved into the back hall, leading into the kitchen, with branches off to the back door and the basement entrance. I stood in the hall, still too tired to really be able to think clearly, and tried to determine a plan of action.

I know I heard something—but what was it, where did it come from, and what made it?

It was then that I decided to check the kitchen first, it being the closest. Then the basement, and lastly—if I still hadn't found anything—the backyard. There had to be something, and I wasn't going to give up until I had found it.

The kitchen was the same, nothing had been touched. Starting to believe that it had either been my imagination, that sound, or a harmless something, I turned on the light. I half-expected something to be lurking, ready to pounce as soon as the light was on. Of course, that was nonsense, and such a silly notion left me as soon as I turned on the light. But something still didn't feel right—I didn't know what, but it there it was.

I decided to look around—just in case. Everything was just as my mom had left it. A few things had been thrown about haphazardly from the unorderly look of things—no doubt a side-effect of my mother's anger at me. The dishes hadn't been done, at least two plates had been shattered, and several forks and spoons were all bent out of shape and thrown away—or close to it, anyway. I noticed a smear of blood on the counter top, but upon closer inspection I realized it to be my mother's—she must've cut herself in her anger. Sure enough, in the sink I found a butcher knife with remnants of blood on the blade.

I heard another noise, louder this time, almost identical to the one that had pulled me away from my work. I jumped, almost cutting my own self on the butcher knife still grasped in my hand. Willing myself to calm down, and scolding my over-reacting, I walked quickly back into the hallway, to try and identify where it had come from.

The basement.

Without any further ado I galloped down the rickety, small wooden steps, as old at the brick house they are under, the butcher knife still in my hand. I ignored it and kept on going, eager to identify and deal with the noisemaker. I had training, I could deal with it. Of course, good sense says to go get Yoda, but I decided against it—if the noise turned out to be nothing my mom would get mad, and I would be better off tossed into an oversized blender, knowing her as I do.

I stopped at the bottom of the steps. And after all of that thinking and adrenaline I found…

…Absolutely nothing.

I swore and threw the knife, entering a fit of rage much like my mother's. The knife traveled quickly, sharply and expertly through the air, burying itself into the soft, crumbling mortar of the moist walls. I punched the wall and knocked some dust off the rafter by way of the after-shock. I ranted and raged silently—my mother may be a light sleeper, but letting go would wake her up, because she would be mentioned repeatedly—kicking and hitting things. Anybody would have been frightened, were they to have been faced with me like this. My anger boiled to the surface and most of it came out. I was angry for the report, my evil teacher, my mother and—most especially—myself. I let it all go.

Once I was done I was covered in bits of dirt and the crumblings of ancient wood and brick. Shaking from anger and disappointment, I sat down, a bit twitchy. Tears came of their own accord, more from the dust than anger—although that had a bit to do with it. I took deep, shaky breaths in an attempt to calm myself. It helped somewhat, but I still felt odd—giddy, lightheaded and unstable. If I had tried to stand I would have shaken and fallen down.

I looked up and saw the basement, well-lit and as normal as ever. Weapons hung from the walls, targets were painted and carved into the very wall, and boxes upon boxes were all over, varying in size and weight. Some held personal effects and belongings; some held first-aide essentials; some held herbs and magical spells, potions and necessary items. My basement is odd; no more odd than usual, I should say. I stood up and slowly made my way over to the main wall, the long one unhindered by the stairs. I stroked the cool metal blades, careful; not to cut myself on the razor sharp edges. My mom and I, and Jimmy and her dad, would often go out, hunting evil, for us to practice. Rarely were we allowed to use the advanced weapons—but when we were we kicked as much ass as our parents—a mystery, even to them, no matter how they try to pass it off.

I felt an odd presence at my back, and I realized that I hadn't been paying attention. I heard the noise for a third time, even louder than before. I spun around, heart racing again, ready to finally face the invading presence after all of that. I felt ready, and I hoped I would be quick enough, If I wasn't, ah well. I could live with dying like that—all good warriors must conquer than fear; and upon conquering death, you conquer the power it has over you, and all other fears fade away as well. But if I was ready, I would win, and that would be even better—preferable, really.

The presence was most disappointing. It looked harmless. Now, usually, assumptions can get you killed—but there is only so much that can be hidden from one such as me. This being was nowhere near even pretending to not be completely pathetic, weak and harmless—I could tell that right away. Being a hardened warrior—young or no—I was disappointed by this.

The "presence" was an over-grown faerie. Over-grown faeries are faerie-folk who have either been banished or sent away on a mission in which they need to be less…small. Although the transparent, gossamer wings don't disappear—only get larger—and the features stay the same, over-grown faeries are ideal for such missions. And, if they have been thrown into exile, stolen away or left of their own free will, they grow to fit the human world, although more precautions must be taken—although humans can't see the large-ones wings, other supernatural beings can, which proves a problem for those undercover.

The creature was male—I think. Most fairy's are sexless—they only become of one gender or another when they have proven themselves worthy to mate, which can't happen to one in exile, or to a large one, and those who change cannot be banished—only slain. But this one was more masculine than feminine, although even this was fuzzy, for all fairy-folk are dainty and graceful, so they are very feminine, even when they are male. The features were smooth and creamy, the eyes large, moist and blue, the hair long, flowing and silken blonde. I immediately disliked it—stereotypical blonde was written all over it.

It wore rags, which were in bad shape, even for rags. It's wings—which I can clearly see—were ripped and dripping with their translucent blood. It's smooth, pale legs were coated in dry blood, which is as blue as its eyes. It was huddled up submissively, and it looked as if it were about to cry. It looked up at me with sad, moistened eyes and looked about ready to die—I am scary, after all, even to non-normal beings. It whimpered and curled up tighter at my glare; I sneered, disgusted.

"What are you doing here, faerie?" I sneered, my voice dripping with scorn, a subtle growl originating from the back of my throat. The fallen fairy whimpered and backed away feebly from my wrath.

I waited impatiently fro an answer, and it finally provided one, its voice shaky and soft, from fear and weakness. "My name is Napaeae."

"I didn't ask your name, faerie," I snapped, causing it to whimper and cringe. "I asked why you were here, faerie." I wasn't in the mood.

Napaeae shivered and shook. This is the pathetic creature named for ancient gods of hills, wood and earth? "I-I am here t-to speak with M-M-Mistress M-M-Madalyn," it squeaked.

I sighed and shook my head, rolling me eyes. Of course it came for my mother. "Why do you need to speak with her?" I demanded, scorn and anger gone from my voice, leaving only an overcoming weariness—I was too tired for this.

"I can only speak to her about that," Napaeae whispered, it's voice steady but low.

I shook my head firmly, showing my stubborn streak. "No. She is not to be bothered. Tell me or tell no one."

Napaeae shook its head, afraid of my wrath, but holding fast.

"How did you come here? Was it you that made that noise before?" I asked, seeing as how I wasn't going to get the reason for the faerie's coming.

"I used my remaining magicks. What you heard was my appearing and disappearing. I couldn't be sure that other foul beasts would follow or be waiting for me. I popped in and out to hopefully attract Master Madalyn and avoid foul demons." Napaeae kept its face level with the floor, speaking only loud enough to be heard.

"Well, you can't speak with her, so go on—leave and find someone else." I turned to walk away.

"No!" Napaeae screeched, lifting its head and reaching out for me. It grabbed my ankle with an amazing amount of strength for one so dainty. It held fast and wouldn't let go. Its eyes were pleading and frightful. "I can't! You mustn't! Please, don't!"

I turned, a snarl on my lips, unable to break free. I was standing on one foot, thankful for my amazing sense of balance. "Explain why and I just might allow you to meet my mother."

It looked strained, as if unsure and afraid of repercussions, but it finally let go of my ankle and gave in, nodding submissively. "Start with why you are running here, and then move on to why my mother is so important."

It took a deep breath and began to talk, hardly even stopping for breath. "I was banished from my homeland recently for failure to complete a necessary task. Several fairies were injured—an older one even died. I was beaten bloody, my wings ripped, and then the real punishment began. I was to remain over-grown for the rest of my miserable life, hunted by demons, wanted by humans and ignored by my kinfolk. I ran and ran, and demons caught me and beat me just as bad as my brethren. I had heard about the great Lady Madalyn and rushed over to see her. I also picked up some news that may interest her, in exchange for her help."

"Continue," a warm, soft and kind voice said from behind me—a voice far too familiar to me. I turned around to see my mother, in a silver nightgown, standing on the steps, watching the pitiful creature with soft and sweet sympathy, listening intently. I swallowed and turned back to Napaeae, knowing that I would not receive the same mercy.

"Milady!" Napaeae exclaimed, looking up with relief and admiration. "It is you!"

Mother smiled and nodded, coming down the last of the steps, looking positively radiant and beautiful, like an earthen goddess. She always did have a way with supernatural beasts. It's all a falsehood, being that friendly, when I know how vicious she really and truly is—a truth few people know. "What is it that you wish to tell me?"

Napaeae gave me a wary look, and I grew tight-lipped and didn't budge. Mother waved me away, to symbolize that I was of no importance. "That is my daughter—pay her no mind; she has my permission to remain."

The faerie was at ease, for my darling mother said it was alright. I ignored it—I was mad at them both, but knew better than to egg on my mother. "Hero has been kidnapped."

My mother looked rigid and solemn, portraying no emotion other than total lack of it, which hide it, but left you knowing that she was, in fact, hiding something. I knew it was purposeful—that much was most obvious. She knew what that meant. Hero is a female member of the council—the last, at least partly-decent member still to hold place on the Council. I saw this as bad—Evil must be trying to speed up the fall of the Council before those that shall fall them come from their own side, and that's not good, but I wasn't all that worried. It's foul, but it's not the end of the world. My mother knew better. She knows the full prophecy—she knows a lot—she knows what this means, a thing few people can accomplish.

"There is more," the blonde spoke up quickly, recapturing my mother's attention. "They wish to speak with you; the Council, that is."

"Do you think they're trying to blame us?" I suggested, ignoring the possibility of my mother's anger towards me, too curious to care.

"I don't know. It's possible."

"Not only possible, probable," I corrected at a mutter. My mothers glare shut me up.

Mother turned to Napaeae. "Thank you, good faerie. Come—you may find shelter and care hear. Let me tend to those wounds. You deserve it."

She smiled sweetly.

Napaeae smiled with relief.

I growled.

My mother glared, and I shut up.

"Come—we must fetch Jimmy and Jamie—" she calls Jimmy Jamie because her father is also called Jimmy, but I call him Jamie "—Once we take care of Napaeae we must go directly to Council," my mother said to me as she started up the steps, the faerie on her arm.

"So soon? With them? What do you mean us?!" I said rapidly as thoughts came to my head.

She stopped abruptly and turned angrily, fire in her eye, her voice menacingly low. "You'd do best to obey, before I get angry. I'm still mad at you—you'd do best to remember that."

Once in the kitchen she began tending to the cuts and injuries afflicted upon Napaeae using herbs and salves of her own concoction, my mother did. The faerie winced and was comfortably calmed, depending on the current potion or powder being used on her tender flesh at that particular moment. I stood in the doorway which connected the kitchen to the den, which was on the left-hand side of the door. I just couldn't stay quiet—I had to speak up, the hell with consequences.

"Do I have to go?"

"Yes." My mother was softly neutral towards me, although I knew it wasn't sincere. She never looked up or even bothered to meet my eye.

"Am I not going to school?"

"No, you are not. In fact, if things go as I think they will, neither you nor Jamie will ever again return to school."

My heart did a summersault, but there had to be a catch—this was just too good. "Why, may I ask?"

"You may. But I will not answer. If all goes as I believe it will, school will be unnecessary. It would only get in the way of what you must do."

That made no sense, and it left me even more confuddled than before, but I let it go—only thing I could do, given the state of things. "Why are Jimmy and her dad coming as well?"

"Because it concerns them as well as us. Hand me the dried mermaid scales."

I walked over to the cupboard, saw mermaid scales—we had more dried than fresh. I got a jar and handed it over. "We need more fresh."

"I know."

"Why are we leaving so quickly?"

"Because it is a matter of life or death." That shut me up right quick.

A little while later, Napaeae was healed and we left the faerie to go, fetch the others, and then leave for Council. "We'll be back later," my mom promised as we opened to front door. "Stay here and make use of whatever you wish—we will be back before too long."

With that, we plunged ourselves into the cold, dark night, heading for the unknown, my report forgotten. I was feeling rather good—no school—but my mother wasn't.

I would've either, if I knew the cost of freedom.

(Stupid report! All of that for nothing! That's so not fair!)

Huh?: (1)-It would be one soul, two minds, three bodies and four spirits that would rule

Reference: Uniforms:

Girls: Everyday: dark gray, rumpled knee-length skirt; white underwear; light gray blouse; black vest; white knee-high socks; black, silver-buckled shoes

Gym: white underwear; black sports bra; dark gray over-sized sweater; (optional) overly-tight white T-shirt; white-and-gray sneakers

Boys: Everyday: dark gray, stiff-legged trouser pants; white boxer shorts; light gray dress shirt; black business jacket; white ankle socks; black, silver-buckled shoes

Gym: white shorts; white tank top; (optional) gray sweatshirt with hood; white-and-gray sneakers; black boxers

Staff: Male: black pants, white shirt, gray jacket

Female: black full-length skirt, white dress shirt, gray jacket-vest

I'm sorry if this is too speedy

Or not so good

But I have to update

And someday I'll fix it

But, for now, this should do just fine—no?