Stuck Together

Chapter One: Strange Happenings

Sweat was pouring down my forehead. My legs were aching but I can't stop running. They nearly caught up to me. I shudder to think what will happen if they catch me. Jason and his gang are the most ruthless bullies I've ever had, and I've had a few. I guess that's just one of the joys of being Samuel Wakelin.

Quickly, I took a turn and narrowly avoided banging into a big tree. Jason decided to chase me through the school parking lot and into the woods behind the school.

One of Jason's thugs yelled: "You better make sure we don't catch you!"

I recognised that voice immediately. It's Brett. He's even more brutal than Jason, their self-proclaimed leader.

I turned to look back for a second. Big mistake. Jason managed to grab my collar.

"Got em" He said smugly. I tried my best to break free of his grasp but he's much stronger than I am. I'm not physically fit. I'm just a short, skinny nerd with brown hair and brown eyes.

"Thought you could escape us, huh?" Brad, Jason's other goon, asked with a wicked grin.

Jason shoved me against a tree.

"Brad would you do the honours?" Jason asked, stepping aside.

"Love to" He replied, cracking his knuckles.

The part that came next wasn't fun. They took turns using me as a punching bag. After getting hit 34 times, I counted, they left me bruised and bloodied on the ground. My nose was bleeding. My lip was swollen. I'm sure my whole chest and stomach is bruised. I just laid there sobbing. What did I ever do to deserve this? I feel so pitiful and weak. Worst of all is that I let them do it. I let them hurt me. A few minutes of painful sobbing went by.

A bright, colourful light appeared out of nowhere. I shut my eyes. I could smell freshly mown grass. The pain started fading until it was utterly gone. Before I could think any further, darkness descended on me. I passed out, cold.

Meanwhile, at a penthouse in Las Vegas

A redheaded woman sat on the white sofa and stared at the city through her glass wall. A Japanese man stepped out of the elevator with a blonde woman following.

"A million pardons for the disturbance, master" The Japanese man said.

"Speak" The redheaded woman said, not bothering to spare them a glance.

"We have successfully brought another soldier through the veil" The Japanese man said, pointing to the blonde woman.

"Leave us" The redhead ordered. A Scottish accent clung to her words.

The Japanese man walked back to the elevator. The second it whirred to life and begun moving, the redhead stood from her seat.

"Do you know who I am?" She asked the nervous looking blonde.

"Of course. There is not a single entity back home that has not heard the name Laverna" The blonde stated matter-of-factly.

"Yet I am a perfect stranger in this realm" Laverna commented.

"Is that not why we are here? To ensure our dominion spreads through these humans?" The blonde asked.

Laverna chuckled. "You're a rather curious one, aren't you Asella?"

The blonde's eyes widened.

"How… how do you… know my name?"

"I have lived long enough to learn a lot about auras, including determining the name of their owners" Laverna replied coldly.

Laverna turned her attention back to the city. Asella stood quietly and awkwardly, staring at Laverna. Asella felt her body's original owner fighting for control. Sweat started pouring from her forehead. Her breathing started deepening.

"That will cease once your powers start returning" Laverna commented, still staring out the thick glass.

"Does your vessel still fight you?" Asella asked.

Laverna looked at the girl.

"No" She had a smug smile. "Poor Meredith Brown has been in stasis for a full year" She added, putting her right hand on her chest.

"How did…"

"Never mind that. I have a job for you, to test your skills" Laverna said, silencing the girl.

The girl gave a small nod.

"I sense that an old associate of mine has just taken a vessel. Bring him to me, preferably dead" Laverna said with a cold expression.

Back in the woods…

The darkness finally receded and my mind snapped into consciousness. I picked myself off of the ground. What just happened? My mind was searching for the memories. I remember walking through the school parking lot. I remember Jason's gang chasing me into the woods and beating me into a pulp. But then… nothing. Just then, a realisation dawned on me…

I'm not in pain. I touched my previously swollen lip only to find it normal. My nose wasn't bleeding either. In fact, there was no blood at all. I placed a hand on my chest. No bruises either?

What just happened? I looked at my watch. Oh my God! It's eight already. I've been passed out for six hours. I rushed home, putting this strange day at the back of my mind. Luckily I live nearby. It took me ten minutes to get home.

Oh no. Mom's car is in the driveway. She's probably been worried sick. I walked to the door but before I reached it, it opened.

A tall brunette woman in a bathrobe and slippers was standing in the doorway with her arms folded.

"Hi mom" I said, gulping.

"Where have you been?" She asked, furrowing her brows.

"Um… the library" I replied, looking past her. Andrew, my 8 year old brother, was staring at me in silence.

"Why didn't you call?" Mom asked.

"My… my cellphone died" I replied shrugging.

"Your dinner is in the fridge" She said, turning and walking back into the house.

"Hi Sammy" Andrew said, with a big smile.

"Hey Andy" I replied, running past him and up the stairs to my room.

My room door slammed shut. And I collapsed onto the bed.

Not a second later, I heard it open again. I turned my head and saw Andy walk in with a frown.

"You said you were going to help me build my helicopter" He said.

"Look, I'm sorry buddy. I'll help you tomorrow" I said, sitting up.

"You said that yesterday" He stated with a sigh. He turned and walked out of my room, closing the door behind him. I walked towards my desk to get started on my homework. I bent down to pick up my backpack but stopped when the door opened.

"I promise I'll help you tom…" I froze when I saw a blonde woman staring at me. She was dressed in a suit. Obviously a business woman. My eyes shot down to the golden dagger in her right hand. She had an emotionless expression.

She took a step forward and I instinctively took one back. She slowly started approaching. I was completely frozen in place. A name popped into my head.

"Asella" I whispered.

The blonde woman stopped in her tracks when she heard me speak. Her face was that of confusion. She quickly overcame her stun and charged forward. I raised my hands to my face and closed my eyes. Suddenly the sound of a crash filled the air. A metallic taste spread through my mouth. I opened my eyes and lowered my hands, only to see the blonde woman lying unconscious in the hallway outside my door. I glanced my reflection in the cracked mirror hanging by the blonde woman. My eyes were glowing! It was a sliver colour. I looked back but my eyes were normal again. Am I going crazy?

"What the hell?!" I heard mom yell. She bent down over the blonde woman. I couldn't see what she was doing.

"She's still alive. What happened?"

"She attacked me and…" I hesitated. What actually happened? My eyes were closed.

"And?" Mom asked.

"I… I pushed her" I replied.

"I'm calling the police. Make sure she doesn't wake up" Mom went back down stairs?

I saw the knife lying next to her. It was weird… Like it was… calling to me. I picked it up and felt a strange but oddly satisfying feeling. The blade had a symbol on it. A sun with a crescent moon inside it. The knife started glowing then dissipated into thin air.

I heard mom coming back up the stairs. "…get here as fast as you can!" She said, and hung up.

She walked over to me and hugged me.

"Are you alright, Sammy?" She asked, holding me tight in her arms.

"I'm fine. She didn't touch me" I replied.

"The police are on their way. I'm going to check on Andy" Mom said, releasing me and going to the door with the big cowboy sticker on it.

What is going on?! Why has this day been so strange?!

A high pitched frequency pulled me from my thoughts. The woman's chest started glowing red. It was even shining through here clothes. I stumbled back and pressed my back against the wall next to my door. A crimson humanoid made from nothing but light escaped the woman's body. Is that her soul? It can't be. Her chest was still lightly rising and falling, the way it does when you breathe. The thing just hovered above the unconscious woman, silently staring at me. It then turned around and disappeared through the wall. With its disappearance, the sound disappeared too…