Annae

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young lady named Annae has had a harsh life. She has an ability that causes people to shun her, and she owes one young man her life after he saved her years ago. When a new boy attends school, she must find a way to keep her ability and feelings secret.

Submitted: November 22, 2011

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Submitted: November 22, 2011

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Seventeen-year-old Annaé sat in a desk at her school, listening to the new teacher’s long, monotonous lecture about any new policies that were created during the summer, which she knew about already. Her mind slowly wandered off to a time three years ago, when her parents were alive.

She wished she had her parents with her at that moment, missing the way they made her feel better after something went wrong. They had creatively made up her name, and she loved its uniqueness. Now that her parents were gone, she could only look for protection from the head of the school and her godfather, Mr. Monona.

Many children lived at the boarding school; half of them had a strange problem that they must keep secret at all times, Annaé included. The only ones who knew of this problem were each other and Mr. Monona, who also had this problem.

The school was two stories high, covering more than ten acres. The living quarters were downstairs, and mostly gender split—boys on one side, girls on the other. The classrooms were upstairs and were Co-ed. There was also a very strict curfew; at 5 o’clock p.m., everyone had to be in their rooms before the doors automatically closed and lock.

As Annaé was sitting there, her eyes wandered off to a window, seeing that the world was continuing on as if it could care less for her or any of the other people like her. She glanced around the classroom, trying to find some familiar faces, before her eyes landed upon a boy that was of the same age and grade, looking at her coldly. She looked up slightly, trying to avoid eye contact with him, for she knew that he was watching what she was doing.

I wish he’d stop… she thought. He makes me so paranoid when he watches me like that.

Then, the door opened, and Annaé looked to see a tall man enter in with a smile on his face. This was Mr. Monona. He had skin the color of faded gold, which was mostly covered by a simple tan suit. His eyes were the color of milk chocolate, and shown with content, as he brushed back his red-rose-colored hair from his face. On his face was also what could have been a red-rose goatee.

He smiled at the class, before looking at the teacher and said, “Please excuse me for interrupting, Mr. Duntz. I hope everything is going well.”

“Yes, sir, Mr. Monona,” the teacher said, sounding a little bit dreary.

Annaé looked at Mr. Monona, finding a strand of her hair getting in her way. After brushing it off to the side, the head looked at her, smiled, and said, “Could I please have Annaé help me?”

“Yes, of course.”

She stood, relieved to be getting out of class, away from the boy who was still watching her like a wolf watching its prey. Ignoring him as much as possible, she walked up to Mr. Monona’s side and out of the door, following him toward the stairs.

After a moment, Mr. Monona stopped at an empty classroom, and said, “In here for a moment, Annaé, if you don’t mind.”

She nodded, and entered the room, before looking at him. “What do you need help with, Uncle Adam?” she asked.

“I would like for you to give a tour to two young men that have just applied; both are in the same grade, though one is older than the other, and neither of them have what we have.”

“Just out of curiosity, why do you want me to help?”

“Well, for one thing, you’re the most trustworthy student in the school—I can trust you more than I could any other normal person. And I also figured that you could get a break from being around Jacob.”

She couldn’t help but to smile. “Thanks, by the way.”

“I’m just trying to help you out like I had promised your parents.”

Before he could say anything else, they heard from the PA system, “Mr. Monona, you are needed in your office.”

“That’s them,” he said, before looking at Annaé; she looked a tiny bit worried, and he offered her a smile. “You’ll be fine, Annaé; just be yourself.”

She nodded, and followed the head of the school out of the classroom, and to the office downstairs. Her thoughts ranged from what the two new students would be like, to, more importantly, how Jacob would react when he sees them. She figured that he wouldn’t take too kindly if he saw them with her, so she decided to act her meanest, just to keep the boys safe.

Mr. Monona and Annaé reached the office, and he opened the door, allowing her to enter first. The first thing her eyes focused on was the long grass that was along the walls of the office, along with potted trees. At first, you’d think you had stepped in a lion’s jungle, before you noticed the teacher’s desk, a computer, and three chairs. One chair was behind the desk; the other two were in front, and were occupied by two boys—the new students.

The student to Annaé’s left looked to be a well-rounded student; he wore a collared shirt, tucked into what looked to be a pair of jeans used for horseback riding and brown boots. His sandy brown hair was not too long, but long enough to where it swept passed his light brown eyes. The second student, however, looked to be a punk; he had a black mohawk with bright green tips, and emerald green eyes that looked as if they could glow. He wore a black leather jacket over a brown rock shirt, black jeans, and heavy black boots, along with many piercings.

Mr. Monona smiled at the boys, while Annaé just stood there, looking at them. “Welcome to our wonderful school!” he said. “I’m your head, Mr. Monona, and it’s my pleasure to have you both attend this place. Could I get your names, please?”

The first boy stood, and shook his hand. “My name’s Danny.” Annaé couldn’t stop looking at him—he looked so kind, so polite. However, when he looked at her, she looked away, thinking of Jacob.

The second boy just sat there, chewing on a toothpick. “Name’s Jeff.” Annaé stared at him, as well; he was awfully rude compared to Danny.

Mr. Monona, not seemed taken aback by Jeff’s rude greeting, smiled even more. “Well then, I hope you two will be fine additions to this school.” He looked at Annaé, noticing her lost in thought. “This is Annaé, one of your schoolmates; she’ll be giving you a tour.”

Jeff looked at her, but then looked shocked; Danny smiled, which made Annaé look at him. “Annaé? I never heard of that name.”

She looked away, forcing herself to ignore her pleasantness for once. “I-it’s a name my parents made up…” She looked at Mr. Monona, and he motioned for her to start. After sighing, she continued by saying, “If you both will follow me, I’ll start…”

Annaé and the boys left the office, and she began to walk toward the boys’ living quarters. Jeff asked, “Is he always like that?”

“Do you have a problem with Mr. Monona?” she asked in reply curtly.

“Oh no, of course not. Why would I have a problem with a man like him?”

Ignoring his sarcasm, she stopped at one room. “These are the living quarters.”

Jeff looked around. “There aren’t any windows, and they’re downstairs.”

“Why would you need a window for a room? Do you want people to see you changing clothes?”

“No, but…”

“Then stop complaining.” She opened the door of the room they were at, and said, “Well, this is your room.”

“What?! This room’s plain!” Jeff exclaimed.

“Why are you complaining? Didn’t I just tell you…?” She was already tired of Jeff

“There’s nothing here!”

“What do you mean? There are four beds, four desks, and four chairs. I wouldn’t say that there’s nothing here.”

“But…but the head’s place…it had trees!”

“What are you…a tree hugger?” Now it was her turn to be sarcastic.

“What the…? No, I’m not!”

“I think it’s fine,” Danny said, getting Annaé’s attention.

She looked at him, and when he smiled again, she looked away in worry. I hope Jacob doesn’t meet him…

 

After the tour, the three of them returned to Mr. Monona’s office. “Well? How do you like the school, boys?” he asked immediately.

“It’s great, sir,” Danny replied; Jeff just shrugged, and Annaé kept her eye contact away from the boys.

“That’s wonderful! Here we go…I’ve got your schedules…enjoy the year!”

Annaé glanced at their schedules; Danny was in all but one of her classes, and Jeff was in half. Great…just what I needed…

“Annaé, could you stay back, please?”

She gladly obeyed as the boys left for class. Once they were gone, she asked, “What do you need, Uncle Adam?”

“I noticed that you weren’t so happy…what’s wrong?”

She hesitated. “Jeff is suspicious of everything…he complained the entire time…I think we need to keep an eye on him.”

“That’s not what you’re worried about.” He smiled when he saw a somewhat shocked look on her face. “Come on, Annaé; do you really think that I’d just stick with that?”

She sighed. “It’s…it’s Danny…He…I think that I need to be careful around him…I can’t let anything like before happen again.”

“Now that’s what I was looking for…” He smiled even more, and gave Annaé a fatherly hug. “You know that if anything does happen, I’ll be there to help you out, right?”

“Yes I know.” A tear trickled down her face as she thought of her parents.

“Why don’t you get lunch? You’ve been excused from the other classes.”

“All right.” She left Mr. Monona’s office, and walked off to the cafeteria.

As she walked passed one spot, she heard, “Hey,” and she jumped, seeing Danny waiting for her.

“What are you doing?!” she asked angrily. “I thought someone was going to attack!” She wanted to be nice to him, to tell him kindly that he started her, but she wasn’t in a good mood, and she didn’t want Jacob to know about him.

“Oh, sorry; I thought you knew I was there. I didn’t mean to startle you, I swear.”

Hearing him apologize made her feel worse than she was forcing herself to be mean. She looked away, sighed, and said, “I…I guess I shouldn’t have snapped, either…This hasn’t been a really good first day for me.”

“I understand.” They began to head toward the cafeteria. “Mr. Monona seems to be really fond of you.”

“I…I guess you can say that…He tries not to, but it’s hard, since he knows me so well.”

“Is he of any importance to you?”

“Yes…He’s my…my godfather.”

“Really?”

She nodded. “He’s my father figure, if that’s a good way to put it.”

“Do you even know your own dad?”

She didn’t reply right away. “I…he…he’s gone…and so is my mom.”

Danny’s smile faded. “Oh…I’m so sorry, Annaé…I shouldn’t have…”

She only shook her head as she entered the kitchen, got her food, and sat with a group of students in a crowded area.

 

Later on that afternoon, Annaé had collected her things, and was heading out of the classroom, heading toward her room. She wasn’t looking where others were, and had bumped into Danny. When she looked up at him, she looked away. “Oh…I’m so sorry, Danny, I…”

“Don’t worry about it,” he replied, smiling again.

When she saw his smile, she ended up feeling one on her own face. But then, she heard the PA dinged and Mr. Monona’s voice was heard all over the school. “Attention, students, you have ten minutes to get to your rooms.”

Hearing this announcement, Annaé didn’t think about saying good-bye to Danny, and in-stead hurried down to the first floor, and to her room, closing the door behind her.

The room was gigantic, and had grass covering the floor, like in Mr. Monona’s office. There weren’t any trees, but there were dim lights and a small, hidden locker where she and other students put their books. In the room were four other girls; two of them were in the same grade as Annaé was, the other two in lower grades.

“Hello, girls,” she said as she put her things away.

One girl, the youngest out of the four, ran up to her happily after she turned around, and hugged her tightly. “Hi, Annaé!” the girl said.

“Hi, Sophie.” She looked at the second youngest girl, who was a tad older than Sophie. “Hi, Faith.” She looked around, seeing that one other person wasn’t there. “I’m surprised that…”

“Surprised that I just got here?” said a deep voice, and Annaé jumped, looking at the door to see Jacob looking at her coldly. He had pale skin that was whiter than Annaé, who looked as if she wasn’t outside for a long time. His hair was red, darker than Mr. Monona, and his cold eyes were the color of dried blood.

“J-Jacob, I…I was just wondering where…” Her voice quivered in her fear of him.

“Where were you the first half of class? What was Mr. Monona making you do?”

“I…was giving a tour to two new students…Mr. Monona is very busy, and…”

“Ha,” said the oldest girl out of the four, Jane. “I can’t believe that this school allows a lion be head…Didn’t they realize how dangerous it can be?”

“That’s why they have curfew, Jane,” replied the fourth girl, Allia.

Before anyone else could say anything, the clock struck five, and all six students fell to their knees. Fur grew all along their bodies, each of them becoming a different color. Their arms disappeared, but were replaced by hind legs, and their backs became horizontal, while their necks and faces grew longer. Tails grew from their developing hindquarters, and their hair grew much longer, hanging over to one side.

Over by Mr. Monona’s office, he hadn’t even gotten in, when he fell to his knees, as well, but gold fur appeared on his body, and he didn’t lose his arms, which instead became front legs and paws. His rose-red hair became a large, shaggy mane that surrounded his newly formed, cat-like face, while a long tail erupted from his own hindquarters.

This is the big problem that Annaé, Mr. Monona, and about half of the rest of the student body have. They are forced to become animals at night, at around five o’clock. This curse, as they call it, was slowly growing more and more common, for more people were born with it, and many normal people were getting the curse by kissing the cursed ones on the lips.

Annaé stood as a dark-yellow dun mare, with a star and skinny stripe, dark zebra stripes on her legs, and a dorsal stripe down her back. Her mane and tail were jet black, just like her normal hair color, and she still had her brilliant blue eyes. She looked around, not in control of her body, seeing the other students. Her first focus was on Allia, who was a black mare with a swirl for a snip, and two white hind legs. Her ears pinned back, for Allia was only two feet away, and Allia backed away, also without control of her body, respecting the lead mare’s space. Jacob, who became a red sorrel stallion without any markings, glared at Annaé, still, but he was in control (more about him later). Annaé took no notice of him, focusing more on Sophie and Faith, who were standing together as a Palomino filly (Faith) and a white filly with a dark mane, tail, legs, and nose (Sophie). Jane, who was a dark gray mare with a circular-shaped star and was also not in control, was walking over toward the girls, her ears slowly moving back. Enraged, Annaé ran out toward Jane, not wanting her anywhere near Faith or Sophie, and pinned her ears back even more. Once she was close enough, she reached out to bite Jane, who in turn jumped, and spun to kick out. Annaé moved out of the way from the kick, and moved the little girls out of the way before Jane reached out to bite her, as well.

Jacob snorted, and through his mind, he said, “Stop!” Allia and Jane backed away from Annaé, as she stood over the fillies. Once peace was somewhat restored, Jacob stood over by Annaé for the rest of the night.

 

When the clock read 5 a.m., everyone became human. Once Annaé was herself, she grabbed her things quickly, and ran out before Jacob could talk to her. I hope Danny doesn’t suspect anything… she thought.

She began to head toward the cafeteria, when he heard Jeff’s voice. “It was a huge lion, and it had a red mane!”

Oh no... she thought as she found someone she knew, and asked, “What’s he going on about, Melanie?”

“I…I think he saw Mr. Monona,” she replied quietly.

Then, Jeff spotted Annaé. “Hey, Tour-Girl!”

Annaé looked at him. “I do have a name…”

“Whatever…You saw it, didn’t you? Please tell me that you saw it!”

“Saw what?”

The lion! There was a lion walking around last night!”

“Really?” Mr. Monona appeared from the crowds behind Annaé. “I don’t think we have a lion here, Jeff.”

“But there was one Mr.…Head, sir…”

Mr. Monona laughed. “I think you just had a crazy dream. Now, all of you get to break-fast! We have a good menu this morning!”

Annaé stayed behind while everyone filed out toward the kitchen. When no one was in earshot, she looked at her godfather, and said, “Uncle, I hope he didn’t see you…”

“Annaé, don’t worry; if he saw me, then most of the students won’t believe him, or pretend that he saw nothing.” He smiled when he saw Annaé’s worried look. “Listen, Annaé, why don’t you get breakfast, and focus on keeping yourself safe? I’ll worry about myself.”

She obeyed, but not before saying, “I just don’t want someone else hurt, Uncle.”

When she was in the kitchen, she heard, “Hey, Annaé,” and she looked to see Danny.

“Oh…H-hi, Danny…” she replied, looking away guiltily.

“Are you all right?”

“I’m…sorry about last night…I just…”

“Last night? Oh, when you bumped into me, and then left without a word?” He smiled. “Don’t worry about it.”

She walked over to an empty table, with Danny following. She ate silently, until she eyed Jacob approaching her, and she gasped, forgetting that she had something in her mouth.

“Hello, Annaé,” Jacob said as Annaé coughed to get the water out from the wrong pipe.

“J-Jacob…I…I didn’t see…”

He glared at Danny. “Who is this?”

“O-oh…D-Danny, t-this is…this is Jacob, and…”

Danny stood, and held out his hand, waiting for a similar gesture. “It’s nice to meet you, Jacob…”

Jacob glared, but forced a small smile. “You must be one of the two new students little Annaé here gave a tour to.”

“Y-yes…are you a friend of hers?”

“You could say we’re…pretty close…” He returned his gaze to Annaé, who jumped when his brown eyes met with her blue ones. “I expect you to sit with us at lunch…do you understand?”

She nodded, looking at the table while Jacob left. When Danny noticed tears trickling down her face, he asked, “Annaé? Are you all right?”

Realizing that he was there, she brushed the tears away, and said, “I’m fine.”

“What was that about?”

“N-Nothing…It was nothing…don’t worry about it.”

“It didn’t sound like nothing.” He touched her shoulder, causing her to look at him. “You can tell me, you know.”

Before she could be allowed to say anything, Jeff appeared. “I can’t believe no one believes me!” He sat down and looked at Danny. “You believe me, don’t you, Danny-Boy?”

Danny looked at Annaé, and then smiled, saying, “I don’t know…I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a ­red-manned lion before…I think you’ve watched The Lion King a little too much.” This caused Annaé to smile slightly.

“Ha,” Jeff replied dryly. “I’m supposed to be making the jokes…But I will find out about the lion!”

 

However, Jeff couldn’t find out anything about this “red-manned lion,” for everyone kept quiet about the fact that it was Mr. Monona whom he saw. Soon, a few weeks passed, and everyone ignored him, which got him annoyed. He did, however, begin to suspect the half of the student body who would leave the halls right after the 10-minute warning Mr. Monona makes every evening. The one he suspected the most was Annaé because of her closeness to the head of the school, but he knew that she’d be hard to rat out.

In those few weeks, Danny began to grow more attracted to Annaé. However, unlike Jeff, he didn’t ask her why she disappeared at night. He also noticed how Jacob controlled her; she’d look at him in fear, and do whatever he told her, such as not sitting in any other place, or when to see him, and this was a major concern of his, especially when he found her with tears trickling down her face.

Annaé noticed how Danny was getting attracted to her, and she worried about him, and thought of what Jacob would do if he saw him with her more. She tried to avoid him as much as possible, but found it near impossible when he was in all but one class, and he’d find her out of coincidence in the hallways. In a way to get him less attracted, she tried to snap at him at every possible thing, but it never ended the way she wanted.

One day, Jeff found Danny in the hall, waiting for Annaé, and getting an idea, he pulled Danny aside.

“Jeff, what are you doing?” Danny asked.

“We need to talk,” was the reply.

“But…” Danny looked out longingly at the hall, seeing Annaé already gone.

“It’s about you Danny-Boy…I know how much you like Annaé, right?”

“Y-yeah, I do, but I don’t get…”

“Do you often wonder why she disappears every night once Mr. Monona gets on that P.A.?”

“Well, I try not to…”

“Do you, or don’t you?”

“I…yeah, sometimes, but…”

“Well, maybe I can be a little bit of help to find out…If we just…get her to stay back, maybe she’ll forget about that curfew, and…”

“W-what? No!” Danny got away from Jeff’s grip. “I don’t want to find out on purpose, Jeff.” He walked off, leaving Jeff furious.

 

Annaé was sitting by herself at lunch, eating something small, when Jacob appeared behind her. Feeling his presence behind her, she froze, and looked up quickly. “J-Jacob…I-I was…”

“I’ve noticed that you’ve been accidentally bumping into that boy…Daniel, is it?”

“Y-you mean…D-Danny?”

Jacob shivered when he heard the name. “I don’t want you to get too close to him, lest something should happen like before…” Annaé’s eyes widened and she looked away as her throat closed up. “You do remember what happened between us, don’t you?” She closed her eyes, and nodded, as a few tears trickled down her face. “Good; so with that in mind, you’ll stay away from him, before I accidentally let something slip about your existence.”

As Jacob left, Annaé continued to cry silently to herself. I don’t know what to do… she thought. He knows that I like Danny…I can’t not be nice to him…it’s practically impossible…

“I don’t know what to do…” she said to herself aloud.

“Annaé?” She looked up, and when she saw Danny, she turned away quickly, hiding her tears. “What happened?”

“N-nothing…” she replied quite defiantly, wiping her tears away. “I-it’s nothing, I swear…” She then began to cry some more.

“It’s not nothing…not like before.” He sat beside her. “I noticed that Jacob controls you… You can tell me, Annaé.”

After wiping her tears away a second time, she shook her head. “I-I can’t tell you…”

“Why not?”

“Because…because if you knew, you’d never speak to me again.”

“That’s not true…What can it be that would make me not speak to you?”

Again, she shook her head. “I’m…I’m sorry Danny, I just can’t tell you…” She got up, and rushed out of the cafeteria and to Mr. Monona’s Office, knowing that he would be in there.

“Annaé, what are you…?” he asked when she hurried in. When he saw tears trickling down her face again, he stood from his chair, and approached her. “What’s wrong?”

With a shaky voice, she told him Jacob’s warning and of how Danny’s gotten closer to her, and of how she was beginning to like him. “I-I…I do like him…I…It’s like a repeat of what happened before…but…Danny’s not like J-Jacob…He’s not forcing me to tell him…he’s…” A few more tears trickled down her face, and Mr. Monona offered her an embrace. “I don’t know what to do, Uncle Adam…”

 

It was soon nearing the end of the day; Annaé was in class, lost in thought. She mindlessly grabbed her things, oblivious to the sounds around her. I don’t know what to do… she thought, not paying attention to anything; she even missed Mr. Monona’s 10-minute warning.

Danny, who wasn’t in her last class, was walking passed the room, and seeing that she was still in there, he entered, and said, “Annaé? Are you all right?”

When she realized what the time was, she hastily got up, and said, “I’ll see you…” before the doors locked themselves shut. Her eyes widened in shock, and her heart pounded in fear.

Danny looked at the door, trying to open it, when it didn’t budge, he said, “What…? It’s locked from the inside?”

“Oh no…oh no….no…” Annaé said in fear as she threw her things into a drawer in the teacher’s desk.

“Annaé, what’s wrong?” he asked her as she backed away.

“Danny, you can’t be in here…It’s—” Before she could end her sentence, the clock struck five, and she fell to her knees.

“Annaé!” He began to hurry up to her, but then he saw the dark golden fur appear on her body, and he stopped, looking at her in shock.

Before Annaé lost her consciousness, she thought, He saw…he saw me…it’s all over, it’s… Then she lost control, and her transformation ended.

She stood, looking for Sophie and Faith. When she saw Danny, her ears pinned back, and she backed away.

“A-Annaé…?” He said, slowly approaching her.

But then she suddenly reared, stopping his movement abruptly. She kept her ears pinned flat against her head, and when she crashed down, she backed away some more, hitting a desk. That caused her to jump, and swerve around, glaring at the desks.

“Annaé, stop!” Danny said quickly. “You’re gonna get hurt!”

She turned back around, and then glared at him as he slowly began to approach again. That time, he stayed slow, and calmed himself down, so that he could get close enough to where he could touch her. “It’s okay…I won’t hurt you.”

Hearing his voice, Annaé suddenly gained consciousness and control over her body. Disoriented, she looked around again, wondering, Where am I? Wasn’t I with…? When she saw Danny, she froze in fear. No…no…not again…Not like last time… She backed away from him to the opposite side of the room; she hit desks again, and ended up getting her tail caught in between two of them. Why did Danny have to see me…?

“Annaé, it’s all right…it’s me,” he said.

She just looked at him, seeing how he was acting opposite of how she thought he’d act. He’s not…scared? He hasn’t…tried to run from me? In her curiosity, she tried to walk back up to him, not realizing that her tail was caught. When she felt a tug, she looked, and then turned back to face Danny. Would he help?

Also noticing the tail caught, Danny slowly approached, and grabbed the first desk. “Please don’t kick, Annaé,” he said as he pulled it quietly out of the way, freeing her tail.

She walked away and then turned right back to him. How could I have thought that Danny would be like Jacob? How could I not trust him? Her sorrow hit her hard, and when he approached, she got closer to him, and hung her head over his shoulder. I’m sorry, Danny…I’m so sorry for not telling you…

“Annaé?” he said, confused.

But then, Annaé heard a low growl outside of the classroom. Oh no…it’s Uncle Adam… she thought. He won’t be in control…if he hears us, then… Not wanting to think about what her godfather could do, she gently nudged Danny closer toward the teacher’s desk.

“What are you doing?” he asked. When he heard the growl again, he understood, and hid underneath the desk.

She walked over to the desk, standing right beside him; if Mr. Monona had somehow gotten in, then she would fight him off with a heavy heart. She knew that Danny had many questions, but they’d have to wait.

When she felt that it was safe, she left the area, and allowed Danny to get up. “Who was that?” he asked. She looked at him, before noticing the clock—it was already 11 hours past, and was just about to turn 5 o’clock.

When she was herself, she looked at him for the longest moment, unable to speak. Seeing that she was just standing there, Danny said, “A-Annaé? Are you all—?”

Tears trickled down her face, and she embraced him. “I’m sorry, Danny…I’m so sorry…” she said through a sob.

“You’re sorry? What for?”

“P-please…please don’t hate me…”

“Why would I hate you? How could you think…?”

They heard someone grab the handle on the door, and in her fear, Annaé backed away from Danny before noticing that it was Mr. Monona.

“Annaé? Danny? What are you…?” He looked at the clock, and his eyes widened. “Were you both in here last night?”

Both students nodded, and Annaé trembled. Thinking that she was in fear of getting in trouble, Danny said, “Sir, I…”

“No, not here, Danny…Come with me to my office.”

The three of them headed toward the office. Annaé looked at no one, her tears continued to trickle down her face, and every once in a while Danny would look at her.

When they reached the office, Mr. Monona offered them seats before sitting himself. “Now, please explain what happened.”

Danny told him everything; Annaé stayed dead silent, still not looking at anyone.

“The doors automatically close and lock on the inside because at five o’clock, what happened to Annaé will happen to about half of the rest of the student body,” Mr. Monona explained. “It’s to protect them from accidentally being out and about…where I might be out as well.”

“Wait…that low growl we heard…that was you?” Danny asked.

Mr. Monona nodded. “I have that…curse as well. What Jeff saw was me, but, lucky for him, I had control of my body, so nothing happened.” Knowing what Danny’s next question was going to be, he continued with, “We normally aren’t in control of our bodies except for once a month…every once in a while it’ll be at the same time, but generally, it’s on different days. From what you told me, Annaé must have gained control of her body when she knew that you were there…it was like you woke her up, because that’s kind of how we sleep, by losing our consciousness at night. I make that 10-minute announcement so that they have time to get into their rooms, and so that if I can’t make it to my own room,” he pointed to the back of his office, “then at least everyone is safe by being hidden from me.” He looked at Annaé, seeing that she kept her gaze away from both of them. “Annaé, please say something; you’ve been quiet this entire time.

Danny looked at her, as she muttered, “P-please d-don’t tell J-Jacob, Uncle Adam,” forgetting that Danny was there.

“Uncle Adam?” Danny said, confused.

“You know that I’m her godfather, right, Danny?” Mr. Monona replied. When he nodded, he said, “That’s what she normally calls me; I’ve been in her life ever since she was born.” He looked back at her and said, “Annaé…you know I’ll never tell Jacob.”

“Why did she ask to not let Jacob know? Did something happen?”

Mr. Monona hesitated. “Annaé, would you mind if I tell Danny?” She shook her head. “If it gets too much, just let me know, all right?” She nodded right afterward, and he returned to talking with Danny. “Jacob has known Annaé since elementary school, but he wasn’t cursed at that time. Like you, he was curious as to why she disappeared at night, but was very demanding so he wanted her to tell him.

“One day, I think it was a year after they met, he took her to some place and put her in this pen, am I right?” Annaé nodded. “He had her stay there, and demanded answers, but she refused to say anything. When the sun went down and she became a horse, Jacob ran off in fear, leaving her in that pen all night, though her parents found her and got her out not that long later. When they met the next day, he again demanded answers, and both she and her parents were kind of forced to explain what happened, before begging him to not tell anyone.

“For a while, though, things went well…Jacob understood that she had to leave early, and she didn’t think that anything would happen between them. She began to like him, but figured that they couldn’t be together since she was cursed and he wasn’t. But then he became very possessive of her, and didn’t want anyone else to be near her, beside myself and her parents. Annaé knew that with the way he was acting, something bad would happen, and so she tried to avoid him as much as possible. One day, the day before her parents were killed, Jacob stopped her from leaving school, and kissed her on the lips.”

“You say that as if it’s a bad thing.”

Annaé brought up some courage to speak. “W-when you k-kiss me…on the lips…you… you end up becoming cursed…”

Mr. Monona nodded. “When Jacob’s parents found out, they panicked and then wanted her dead. The next morning they went looking for her, but her parents protected her with their lives.”

“I…I ran…” Annaé said. “I ran as far as I could…b-but J-Jac… he found me, and told me that they were gone…I…I begged for him to save me, because I thought he felt the same for me…but…but he said he’d tell his parents that I was dead, too, if I...d-did everything he asked…I said yes, and…” More tears trickled down her face. “I-I tried to stop him…I t-told him not to kiss me…b-but he didn’t listen...and because of that Mom and Dad are gone…”

“I went looking for her, because I knew that she was still alive, and when I did find her, I brought her here, so that, I thought, she’d be safer, and away from Jacob. But then he came here, and now he tells her what to do…I want to do something…I really do…but…”

But then, they heard “ANNAÉ!” and she jumped in fear.

“O-oh no…” she muttered, as Jacob stormed into the office. She gripped the chair, feeling his cold stare sting her skin and thoughts.

“Mr. Monona, may I please see Annaé?” he asked through clenched teeth. Mr. Monona only sighed in sorrow, knowing he couldn’t do anything. Annaé hesitated, not wanting to be near Jacob. Danny looked at her, seeing the tears roll down her cheeks, as Jacob commanded, “Annaé, come here now!”

She slowly rose from her chair, and with her body shaking in fear, she began to approach Jacob. Danny got up, and gently touched her arm. “Annaé, you don’t have to…” But she gently took her arm away, and left with Jacob. He looked at Mr. Monona, and said, “Sir, why didn’t you…?”

“You see, Danny,” Mr. Monona said, sounding as if something hit his heart, “if she were to disobey him, or if anyone got into his way, then he will tell his parents, and they will kill her.”

Annaé followed Jacob several feet from the office, her head hung low so that she didn’t have to look at the one person that scared her. But she didn’t notice that he had stopped suddenly, and bumped into him. He turned to face her, and with a glare still on his face, he grabbed her, and threw her to a wall.

“Why didn’t you come to the room last night?!” he demanded.

“I-I didn’t h-hear the…the announcement, a-and…”

“How could you not hear the announcement?! You hear it every day!” Before he could let her answer, he said, “You were with him weren’t you?!” When she didn’t respond, he shook her. “Tell me!”

“Y-yes, but it never meant to happen! I wasn’t paying attention to the announcement, and I was still in class…he saw me, and asked me if…”

Jacob raised his hand, and slapped her with the back of it. A red mark appeared on her cheek, as she jumped. “Do you expect me to believe that?! I told you to stay away from him! You disobeyed me!”

“I-I never meant for it to happen, I swear, Jacob!” she cried. “P-please don’t tell your parents, please!”

“Why shouldn’t I?” He raised his hand again, and she cowered, fearing another hit on the face, but then a separate hand stopped it, and pushed Jacob away from Annaé.

It was Danny.

“You?!” Jacob said, glaring at him.

Annaé looked at him in shock. “D-Danny?”

“Don’t you dare hit her again,” Danny said, glaring at Jacob.

Jacob jerked his hand away in his anger. “Don’t tell me what to do with her; she’s simply paying off her debt to me. And you…” He glared at Annaé, who looked up at him. “Consider this your final warning: if you let him get too close, you will be known to my parents…they will find out about you.”

When Jacob left, Annaé said, “D-Danny, I…y-you didn’t need to…”

“Yes, I did,” he replied as he returned to her side. “I wasn’t about to let him torture you any more than he has.” He looked at the red mark on her face. “Oh Annaé…”

She looked away. “I-I’m…fine…” In her pain and sorrow, however, she buried her face into him and cried.

 

Since it was Saturday, there were no classes to miss. Mr. Monona had Annaé stay in the office to stay away from Jacob; if he was about to enter the office, she’d hide in his room until he left.

Danny returned to his room to rest, and Jeff jumped out at him, asking him about Annaé; he told Jeff nothing, for he knew that Annaé’s curse must be kept secret. This left Jeff infuriated, but then he thought of another plan…one that would possibly give him a new ally.

At lunch, Jeff grabbed a tray, and once it was piled with food, he sat in a chair with Jacob sitting in front of him.

“Can I help you?” Jacob asked, still not in a good mood.

“I…know that you and that girl…Annaé…are pretty close…am I right?” Jeff replied.

Jacob gave him a harsh glare. “You don’t like her, too, do…?”

“Oh no…on contraire! I wanna rat her out…I know what she is…Maybe you can help me…?” He pulled out a wallet, and showed Jacob a card of an organization that arrested/labeled the cursed people.

Jacob grinned. “I think I can help…Annaé isn’t…behaving like she should be…”

 

That evening, Annaé left Mr. Monona’s office to go to her room—she wasn’t about to get into any more trouble with Jacob. On her way, she bumped into Danny again. When she saw who it was, she said, “Danny…I’m sorry, I…”

He smiled, and said, “Don’t worry about it. Will you be all right, tonight? I mean, I could…”

She shook her head. “Thanks, but I don’t want to get into any more trouble, nor do I want you to be up all night again.”

“Well, if anything happens, then tell me, okay?”

She nodded, finally feeling a smile on her face. “Thank you again, Danny…you don’t know how much that means to me…” He smiled some more, and they went their separate ways. Annaé smiled for a few steps, but then frowned, wishing to have Danny with her again.

When she entered the room, she was surprised to see it empty; none of the girls were there, nor was Jacob, but she knew he’d come later.

“Allia?” she called out. “Jane? Faith? Sophie?Where are the girls? Did something…

“Well hello, Annaé,” said Jacob’s voice behind her. “I was wondering if you would be here tonight, since I couldn’t find you in the halls.”

“J-Jacob…I…” The door closed, and Jeff appeared. She jumped. “W-what’s he doing here?!”

Both boys smiled, and Jeff said, “Why…I came to see you, of course.”

Annaé began to tremble as the clock struck five. She fell to her knees along with Jacob, and, knowing that tonight was the night that she would have control of her body, she did what-ever she could to make the transformation go faster. No…Jeff’s watching…Jacob’s going to do


© Copyright 2017 JmStar. All rights reserved.

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