Women’s voices judging by their pitch and how they spoke. I could barely move, the pain shooting throughout my body made it impossible. Gingerly, I opened my eyes the best I could do, blinking. Two women silently argued above me. One, dressed in tan pants and a green tank top, had long wavy brown hair and blue eyes. The other was older with graying black hair in a bun and wore an expensive dress.
I groaned, using my one good arm to left me up since my other one was in a cast. The brunette woman’s face harden and she crossed over to the bed, pushing me down with both hands.
“Down Jayden. You have a broken arm, multiple broken ribs and a sprained ankle,” she said. “Rest up. I have a few tests that I need to run now that you’re awake.”
I gave her a confused expression. “W-who are you? Where am I and who’s Jayden?”
Older woman stepped forward, wearing a very stern expression. “The House of Hecate in Black-Hawk, New York. I’m headmistress Dean and this is Ms. Greaves, she’s our nurse and a witch.” She took a deep breath. “You were found by a student, which I don’t approve of students leaving school grounds.
“Headmistress,” Ms. Greaves said, “if you don’t leave right now then I can’t do my job. He’ll heal quicker this way.”
“Wait-I don’t.” Ms. Greaves cut me off by almost shoving me down. That was it I guess. Arguing with her won’t solve anything. Nothing made sense at this moment. What was the House of Hecate and who the hell am I? I never heard of anybody named Jayden. Well, my memory is gone so that wouldn’t really matter right now. Lolling back on the soft sheets, I started to quiver, Ms. Greaves filling out paper work at her desk, long hair tumbling over her chair. Still no clue to who I am.
Losing your memory is probably one of the worst and painful things ever.
Sitting up again, I clutched my ribcage. Ms. Greaves spun around. “You need to sleep Jayden. Moving right now won’t be good for healing. Tomorrow probably.” She got up to leave but I stopped her,
“Who saved me? And how long have I been here?”
“Yesterday. Alexander Ramirez found you in an alley next to the Corner Café and Stover Bookstore,” she said, studying herself in a tanned jacket. “He’s around the same age as you I suspect. Seventeen or eighteen. Be right back. Going out to get more herbs. Don’t move or let anybody in. If you do,” she continued, “I’ll hurt you for ruining my good work.” She scared me. A lot actually. “But if a hyper active Chinese girl comes, her medication is on my desk and don’t open the windows no matter what. Nathan’s in trouble no matter how he gets back inside.” Nathan and a hyperactive Chinese girl? She left without another word. My right arm was hanging in a black cloth for a sling. I actually got to study her office now that she won’t yell at me. Stone walls with various things nailed into it.
Two beautiful stained glass windows: the right one depicting a fairy kneeling to a dragon and the left one a werewolf. She had her desk between the two windows, papers and abundance of herbs and medical supplies scattered on it. Eight white beds in all: Four one side and four on the other. All had pastel green sheets and pillow cases.
I slowly got out of bed, limping to a gold trimmed mirror, pain violently shooting up my body at every step. I gasped.
Naked from the waist up, my torso and face had large gashes stitched up. About eighty percent of my body and face was covered in ugly, black bruises.
Luckily, my blond, long side bang covered an ugly black eye. My long pointed ears were the only thing that wasn’t injured or bruised. I poked at my bloody, plump lips. Is this place a school or what? I had my answer. A bell rang overhead, doors opened, teenage voices grew louder. I found a shirt, baggy, and threw it on before anybody could walk in. Things started quieting down then the second bell rang. The sound of wings fluttering and people racing quickly disappeared.
Peace and quiet. Curiosity eventually me. There was a pair of shoes next to Ms. Greaves desk, surprisingly my size.
The polished stone floors gleamed in the afternoon sun. More stained glass windows lined on the stone walls. Working through the pain isn’t as painful if you don’t think about it. I leaned on the wall for support, grimacing with every step. Loud yelling suddenly started, causing me to jump and trip over a box on the floor. Muscular arms caught me before I fell down. Whoever this is, they’re strong and very muscular. They steadied me and large, callused hands ruffled my hair.
The guy appeared to be a college student. He wore a black motorcycle jacket, unzipped, and an Aerosmith shirt. His dirty blond hair was matted, probably from a helmet. I saw something in his clear blue eyes. He toyed with a gold pocket watch hanging from one of the belt loops on his denim jeans. He flashed me a smile, sharp canine teeth like a predator showing.
“I don’t recommend falling down stairs,” he said, “not the most pleasant feeling in the world.” My cheeks burned, the parts that weren’t bruised were probably pink. “And who are you Little Elf?”
“Jayden something. I don’t know anything else. I woke up here just a couple minutes ago. It’s all really confusing right now,” I said. “And who might you be?”
“Nathan Green. You really shouldn’t be talking to strangers, especially one that has a record as long as his arm. You’re just asking for bad news right there,” Nathan said, flashing another smile. “So you must be the kid Alex found yesterday.”
I nodded, shifting. “Yeah. Everything’s a blank right now. Do you know where Alex is? I’d like to thank him for saving me.” Nathan’s gaze scanned my body, making it obvious that he was doing it. “So, you’re a student here? Ms. Greaves said not to let you in.”
“Speak up, you’re too quiet. Second year senior. Pretty proud that I made it this far since I started here,” Nathan said smirking. “Now I gotta get back to my room before Ms. Greaves comes back. She really hates me for something a couple years ago.” He pressed me against the stone walls. They dug into my already injured back. “Let’s make a deal. If you don’t tell Ms. Greaves that I’m here and I’ll show you around sometime.” I smiled and touched his arm.
“That’d be great but just…don’t get into trouble.”
“Not getting in trouble isn’t possible with me. Just ask everybody in this damn town,” Nathan said, twirling the chain of his pocket watch between his fingers. “Especially Detective Stone and my parole officer.” For some reason, that didn’t bother me. He gave the presence of somebody that goes to jail all the time. But I stayed calm being pressed against a wall by some guy I barely knew who went to jail who knows how many times for who knows what. Wow I must be a calm person.
“Before you go, can you help me back to the nurses?” I asked, using my good hand to take hold of his arm. “It hurts to walk long distances right now.”
“Sure Little Elf.” Nathan liked to talk about everything he saw and did in jail and how he got in there. Apparently he attacked a cop three different times in the past two years. He’s repeating his senior year because he was in jail for three months, missing a lot of school, resulting in failing it.
I limped inside her office, turning around to say thanks to Nathan. The space where he stood was empty, nothing but air.
Ms. Greaves came back just as I climbed into bed. She took my vitals, temperature, and checked on the stitches. She didn’t seem to realize I had left. Throughout the day, bells and voices grew louder and louder. Outside, darkness grew. The sun started setting behind the tall trees of Black-Hawk forest. You can’t even hear the town from here. Only the sound of wild animals and clamor of students. This castle had been built six miles north of town, Ms. Greaves said,hidden among the vast trees of Black-Hawk forest. The forest stretched on for twenty miles in every direction, wild animals made it their home.
Behind Hecate, witches, elves, werewolves, fairies, half human and half cat teens and children ran inside for dinner. Ms. Greaves’ office faced the court yard. The courtyard was large with a stone fountain, a statue of a man sitting into of it. I could smell the dragon’s blood Ms. Greaves used for a potion. She practically lived and breathed her work. Just from looking out a stain glass window, this castle was colossal. Even the nurses’ office was large Witches magic. Only people inside could look out. It protected the students from human eyes.
Sudden movement caught my eye in the fountain. Checking to see if Ms. Greaves was watching, I crossed to the window, waiting for my eyes to adjust to how dark it grew outside. A door opened UNDER the fountain. A girl slithered out. Wait, slithered? Yes. Her legs were that of a ten foot long snake tail, about three times her height. Her top half was that of a young girl, maybe younger than me, hair long enough to cover her breasts.
She moved silently across the courtyard, swaying back and forth just like a snake on a hunt. Her arms dragged on the stone floor.
I couldn’t believe it. “Hey Ms. Greaves are there any tunnels in this school.” My voice stayed calm. Maybe anybody else, they would have started screaming. I must be the calmest person ever.
“According to legend. Damon built a network of tunnels and entry ways, concealing them so nobody can get into it. He had three hundred tunnels laced throughout the walls, eighteen under the floors and eight in the ground outside,” she said continuing her work without stopping. “Also in this legend is that he hired a family of lamia to protect his students. Heavens knows why since they’re children eaters. What makes you ask?”
“I’m curious that’s all. Are there any other legends here?”
“Jayden, rest. Ask your questions later. You need to heal and I need to work.” Witches were always determined to finish their work before doing anything else. If I remember what our world was like, all I have to do is unlock the mysteries behind my past.