My eyes dart open. I’m not hurt which is a surprise. I just feel stiff. Like my joints had been locked in the same position for such a long time, they had set that way. The ground is soft but the grass is making my skin itchy. I suck in a breath and push myself onto my forearms and have my first look around. It seems dull and gloomy. Nothing like home but exactly how my parents had described it to me. I am surrounded by trees but they don’t make me feel safe. The forests back home are where I spend most of my time. They are secluded but welcoming. This forest that I find myself in feels dirty and neglected. I hear a rustle coming from a nearby bush and I hug my knees close to my chest. My once sparkling white dress is now dusty and has lost its vibrancy. Now I understand why my parents had told me to change before I left. I keep my eyes on the bush until it falls still again. I look up at the sky. The sky. I gasp in amazement. How different it looks from the one I am used to gazing at. It is dark and little twinkling lights shimmer across it like the gems on my mother’s dresses. Stars. I had heard about them. I had learnt a lot about here. It’s mandatory to take classes before you descend. It’s to make sure that we can fit in with the humans and take to our job easier.
I get to my feet and spin around. All I can see are trees. But ahead of me I see a clearing. My bare feet trudge across the prickly grass. The ground changes. What I’m now stood on is cold and grey. It’s shaped like a river running through the trees but it’s hard and there are white dashes through the middle of it. I go to cross to the other side and continue through the forest but a light blinds me. I throw my hands up to cover my eyes. I peek through my fingers and see two huge, bright eyes gaining on me. What type of beast is this? I’m frozen in fear. There’s a screech and the beast stops a few metres in front of me. A creak follows.
A voice calls from behind the light. A human voice. My heart thumps. My first contact with a human. I drop my hands and move slightly to the side until the light doesn’t sting my eyes and I can see clearly. What I thought was a beast is nothing of the sort. And what I thought were eyes are not. It was a car. Humans use them to travel around like how we use a horse and carriage. One of the doors to the car is open and a man has his forearms leant on the top of it. He’s looking at me and I’m frozen with fear. As I study him, I can almost see the symbols of the words that had left his mouth and I attempt to shape the sentence above his head. I select the word that left his mouth to the symbols of my language and in seconds I understand.
“What the hell are you doing?” he repeats.
But this sentence confuses me. It doesn’t make sense so I stay silent.
His hair is blowing in the soft breeze. It’s hard to see his face.
“Are you lost?”
This sentence I do understand. I shake my head. I know where I am. I’m on Earth.
“You’re in the middle of nowhere, love. Can I take you home?”
“No. You can’t take me home.” I squint through the darkness
“Then, where are you heading? I can take you there. You can’t stay out here dressed like that. You’ll catch your death.”
Catch my death? I was told that humans talk strangely. I thought I had mastered their language. I was sadly mistaken.
“Do you know Kayden Sharp?”
He pauses. “No. Why?”
“Because that’s where I’m heading.”
He pauses. “If you tell me where he lives, I can take you to him.”
“I don’t know where he lives.”
We tend to get sent close to our Wagers but we have a tendency to fall a little off course.
“I’m sorry. I can’t take you without an address.”
I think hard. “Do you know where Oaksbridge High school is?”
“Can you take me there?”
“Yes. Hurry up and get in the car before you freeze.”
I nod and approach the car. I get in and close the door. He sits behind the wheel and closes his. My teeth are chattering and my body is shaking profusely. He studies me wearily and shrugs off his jacket.
“Here.” He wraps it around my shoulders.
“T-thank you,” I reply.
He smiles. This is the first time I see his face. It is hard for me to distinguish how old he is because I’ve heard that human’s age differently to us. But he has no wrinkles which are a cause of age on Earth. We don’t get wrinkles. Our skin is always soft and radiant like silk. His hair flicks passed his ears and is a scruffy mess because he ran his hands through it. It’s blonde but not as blonde as mine. His eyes are like emeralds. Their shine makes me feel safe.
“Can I ask why you want to go to a school at-” he looks down at his forearm, “-twenty past midnight?”
“I know someone who works there.”
His eyebrow rises. “And you are going to wait for them?”
He looks at me curiously but then he faces ahead. He does something which makes the car judder then it moves. I stare ahead at the white dashes that disappear under us.
“My name’s Josh by the way.”
I smile. “My name’s Amethyst.”
“Thank you.” I feel a warmth spread across my chest.
“So who is this Kayden guy?” he asks.
“I was sent to help him.”
“Help him with what?”
My eyebrows furrow. Rule number one: Don’t reveal who you are and what you are here for. He glances at me and sees my expression.
“I’m sorry, that’s none of my business.” He blushes a little then turns back ahead.
“Its okay.” I smile making his lips curve at the edges.
We get to the high school very quickly. He stops the car outside the gates and looks down at his forearm.
“It’s one in the morning. Are you sure you want me to drop you here?” He looks concerned.
“It’s great. Thank you so much.”
A worry line creases his forehead. “My pleasure.”
I step out of the car and push the door closed but something stops it. I turn and see Josh’s hand pressed against it. He’s looking at me.
“It was nice to meet you, Amethyst.”
I smile. “It was nice to meet you too. Oh, your jacket-” I go to shrug it off.
“No. Keep it.”
I look back at him. “Are you sure?”
“Yes I’m sure, I can’t let you freeze.”
“Thank you.” I smile, “Farewell.”
He nods. “Farewell.”
He shuts the door and drives off. I watch him disappear behind a corner and scan my surroundings. No one’s around. I place my hand on the lock of the gate, murmur the spell under my breath and hear it click open. I step in and lock it back up behind me. Buildings have alarms. I can’t wait inside the school so I sit on the front step and huddle myself in front of the door. I took my feet under the mud-covered tail of my dress to hopefully sooth the pain caused by the cold air.
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