I never liked tight spaces. Even elevators - they always seemed to give me the creeps. I was in a narrow hallway and was being chased by a guy in a black cape. I had nowhere to run. Looking around frantically, I realised the corridor was a dead end and I had to fight this guy until the end and if I didn’t, I would be dead meat. The guy in the cape was not what he seemed - nothing ever was - he was a vampire, ready to eat me. With fear and adrenaline running through my veins, I grabbed my silver dagger I had strapped to my thigh and held it out to kill him but he countered it by baring his fangs. Smiling, his teeth sunk excruciatingly into my neck and then I screamed.
Suddenly, I woke up with cold beads of sweat trickling down my forehead. Surveying the room, I looked around to see if my gang were still alive and well. It was instinct. Ever since the nuns of the Little Sister’s Orphanage had let us witness a vampire burning, we’d always learnt to look out for each other no matter what. None of us had any family, so we became each others. We’d been on the run from vampires ever since the vampires got revenge and burnt the orphanage down. It was seven years, ever since I was nine. Jake and Charlie were the oldest, so they were the most authoritative of the group and being on the run had aged us all horribly. Instead of being nearly seventeen and rebellious, they were more mature than some adults and instead of being nine and annoying, little Tegan was quiet and logical... Then there’s me - sixteen years old and a total badass. Okay, that was a lie... I really wasn’t that much of a badass, but hey, as far as orphans went, I was pretty up there. They were all safe and sound, sleeping peacefully. Unfortunately for a bunch of werewolf kids like us, we couldn’t stay long. Oh, did I forget to mention that? We were bitten by a cloaked stranger’s husky back at the orphanage and ever since then, every full moon, we would turn into wolves and while we were wolves, we had no control over our senses. It was our instinct to kill vampires; that’s what we did on the full moon and we would destroy anyone who got in our way of a perfect kill and that included innocent humans. It was just inevitable. We’d learnt recently that we could control it, but we had no idea how. Luckily, Tegan wasn’t old enough to experience the virus of lycanthropy but she knew what it did and dreaded the day that it would hit her. It would destroy her. None of them were disturbed from their well-deserved slumber and it was probably just as well. We couldn’t stay in one place for too long. It was too dangerous for us. At six, the older kids woke up and Charlie got up first, her long, curly brown hair in a tangled mess, covering her azure eyes.
“Morning, Avril,” she smiled, yawning, “Would you mind waking Tegan for me, while I get breakfast?” I nodded - yeah, good idea; make me get the kid up because I can handle Tegan’s non-morning-personality. Thanks buddy! I guessed facing Tegan in the mornings wasn’t so bad... at least she wouldn’t be on the receiving end of me. I was not a morning person and everyone knew that. Here’s how it goes: you wake me up in the morning, I eat you alive. Trust me; the pack learnt that the hard way. I shook little Tegan awake,
“Tee, come on,” I began in my normal voice. What can I say? I wasn’t exactly the maternal and sensitive type - that was more Charlie’s forte. Charlie, Jake and I pretty much raised Tegan ourselves because she was bitten when she was just three years old - hence her fear husky dogs. Tegan got up and rubbed her eyes sleepily, followed by Jake, who gave her a big hug. I looked around and found myself thanking God for Charlie because of her fantastic people skills. She somehow conned the owners of this big, white, three-storey estate into lending it to us for a week, while they went on holiday. If I were in her position, I probably wouldn’t have been able to cope. I probably would have used blackmail and a couple of fist throws here and there, but who says I’m violent?
“It’s time for Breakfast!” Charlie called happily and Tegan skipped to the kitchen and Jake followed, yawning like nobody’s business. Of course, I thought I’d better get dressed before I ate breakfast, so I would sneak into the shower before... “Don’t even think about it, Avril.” Charlie exclaimed; she was amazing. She couldn’t hear me talk about music but somehow, she always heard me when I went to sneak a shower before her. I sighed and went out to have breakfast with my family. Tegan looked really worried about something and when she was worried, that was definitely a cause for alarm. Instantly, Charlie stopped eating her omelette and looked at her, “What’s the matter, Hun?” All of our eyes fell on her and she swallowed,
“It’s a full moon tonight,” she stated. This was news to me, but then I never knew when it was a full moon until it actually happened,
“Oh, and we need to leave because the owners of this place are coming back tonight, just saying.” I added, probably not helping Tegan’s worry. Charlie and Jake were staring intensely into each other’s eyes and Tegan and I knew what that meant, ‘mental convo. Do not disturb.’ They weren’t mind readers - they just knew each other so well that they could practically read each other’s thoughts. Tegan and I exchanged looks and rolled our eyes. I finished my omelette, thanking Charlie who was oblivious to the world around her and then I slunk off to have a shower but then like a lightning bolt, Charlie had stopped her mental convo and was blocking the bathroom door.
“I called dibs, sorry, Avril,” she smiled and I rolled my eyes at her,
“Yeah, good idea - you stink the most.” I muttered, half hoping she would hear me but also half hoping she wouldn’t.
“I heard that.” As she went in, she laughed and closed the door on my face. I went into our room and Jake was leaning against the window.
“Avril,” he whispered, “why me? Why didn’t you guys pick Patrick?” We used to have this conversation a lot before we got to London; before Tegan’s ten year old brother was violently dismembered by a vampire. Patrick was another guy who was bitten around the same time, but we never saw him afterwards. I always gave Jake a different answer.
“Because you’re a lucky son of a bitch, aren’t you?” I smiled happily, patting him on the shoulder. He was tall and ripped and very pale. His hair was scruffy, brown and his eyes, a crystal azure and they always looked troubled. Tegan entered the room and she was smiling that little girl smile she had and she ran to us, wrapping both Jake and I in a tight hug. Neither of us wanted to let go - this was how it used to be before the vampires killed Tegan’s brother and began chasing us. Of course, that moment had to end and that wasn’t just because Charlie walked in. It was something far more distracting - that hot shower was calling my name. Gathering my favourite clothes - my black jeans, my black t-shirt and my Dock Martins - I smiled. When the hot water ran through my blonde and black hair, it was Heaven. You’ve got to learn to appreciate the little things. Especially when you’re a werewolf because most of the time, you’re killing, being killed or running. By the time I got out, everyone was packed and ready to go. We didn’t have much because a) we’re orphans, b) imagine how heavy it would be carrying around a suitcase when you’re running around on all fours at midnight and c) well, that’s just how we roll. Tegan had a shower next but other than that, she was ready as well. Charlie had specifically instructed that we all have nice hot showers so that we could do yet more running. We were always running. Was it wrong of me to like running away? Not having a routine, not knowing whether I would live or die... yeah, it was kind of cool but it had its downsides too. Tegan sprung to mind. Sighing, I packed my stuff, while Charlie and Jake spoke,
“They’ll find us,” Charlie murmured worriedly but Jake just smiled and lowered his voice,
“Maybe it’s best they find us before the... bloodsuckers.” Wait a second... they weren’t talking about vampires? Then who were they talking about?
“Guys, will someone please tell me what’s going on?” If there’s one type of person I hate more than a liar, it’s someone who tries to sugar-coat the truth with bullshit just to make you feel better because that only makes it hurt that much more. The two knew that and so they just came out with it. Charlie grimaced,
“When we were bitten, Sister Elise contacted somebody...” She was struggling for a way to put it bluntly and so Jake jumped in and saved her,
“Elise called some Russian dude whose head of an academy for lycanthropes like us,” Charlie nodded and then finished,
“It was against the Code of the Sisters to allow such an unnatural beast to roam the earth, but Sister Elise had come to think of us as her children.” I looked at the pair of them blankly - how did they know all of this stuff? Elise couldn’t tell them because a) she’s dead and b) oh, yeah, she’s dead. So, how did they find out? Knowing them, they probably eavesdropped on the very phone call. Charlie smiled, “We overheard it, okay?” She was so scarily like a mind reader sometimes - it was unnerving.
“So, what’s so bad about this school again?” I asked, not seeing the harm in the question. Jake looked at Charlie and then sighed,
“They’ll train us to kill bloodsuckers,” there was definitely more to it than that. Yep, there definitely was. “But that’s not all. The bloodsuckers - they heard there was a school for lycanthropes and have been trying to get into it for years because they thought we might be there. If we let them capture us, we’ll be falling into their hands and then... they’ll have what they want.” I looked at him quizzically and he clarified, “They want Tegan to join them.” He whispered softly to me, trying to comfort Charlie who was sobbing into him. Those two had pretty much raised little Tegan. They were very wise beyond their years. So, the bloodsuckers wanted my baby sister, huh? Hell no; that’s not gonna happen - not on my watch. Speaking of watches...Tegan was taking an awfully long time in the shower. I left the room to check on her. Walking down the white wallpapered hallway, I found the bathroom and knocked on the door,
“Tee, are you okay?” I asked but no answer. I tried again, but still nothing. I twisted the door handle slowly and entered the bathroom. The water was still running, the mirror fogging up with steam but there was no sign of Tegan. A note was left on the corner of the bathtub. It read:
Charlease, we had hoped you would visit sooner rather than later as we cannot help you at the age of eighteen. We have Tegan Braithwaite. You know where to find us.
I looked at the paper, “son of a bitch,” I muttered as I read the note about four times, especially the bit that said we have Tegan Braithwaite. Shoving the piece of paper in my pocket, I ran into the bedroom, where Jake and Charlie were. “He took her; the Russian dude.” Jake looked at Charlie and then at me.
“Son of a bitch,” He yelled, slamming his fist hard into the wall, creating a large hole in the almost perfect wall. Showing Charlie the note, I whispered softly to Jake,
“That’s what I said.” Charlie clasped her hand to her face and murmured that we prepare because seriously, these guys were like RWNs - Russian-Wolf-Ninjas - and we had to be at the top of our game.