We are the fallen.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is my most recent novella, it isn't quite finished but I like (:

Submitted: November 11, 2012

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Submitted: November 11, 2012

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Prologue

“I’m not in the mood for your idiocy!” he spat throwing off Demeticus’s arm. “Do you not see what is happening here?”

“Err….” stammered Dmitri, startled by Lucifer’s anger, “Our father is creating a new world?”

“No.”

“I don’t know then.”

“We’re being replaced by those pitiful humans!”

“What?” said Demeticus in shock.

“Your childlike innocence never ceases to amaze me. Don’t you see, he already has us, why would he need them? He has already given them reign over all the other animals and he gave them speech and the capacity to think and he loves them more than the others I can tell. They are like unremarkable versions of ourselves, weak of mind and body. They are not worthy of his love, I am sure.”

“What treason is this that falls from your lips Lucifer? Repent, quickly, and you will be forgiven yet!”

“I do not need advice from a fool like you” With that he turned with a flash of his hair and was gone, leaving Demeticus to gape in disbelief at his wake.

“What madness is this that has come over you my friend?”

Lucifer loved the Father, but only the Father. His love for him had become an obsession. His plot was to show God the unworthiness of the human creation by manipulating them into committing sin and so, he thought, the Father would destroy them.

He fell to earth, disguised himself as a snake and convinced the woman Eve to eat from the tree of life, she in turn convinced Adam to eat from the same tree. For their sin they were banished from the Garden of Eden and the woman was cursed for all eternity.

Lucifer was then called before God to face his crimes. God sat in his throne as a crowd of angels filled the pavilion, some even standing on the great golden arches to watch the trial, as nothing like this had ever happened in the kingdom of heaven before. Lucifer entered the pavilion and silence fell over the crowd and he kneeled before the God in the customary fashion, right knee, right fist and eyes to the ground.

“EXPLAIN YOURSELF!” his voice boomed across the heavens like crashing waves, the fury in his voice chilling the bones of all who heard.

“Father, I just wished to show you that those humans are not worthy of your love. Look at how easily they strayed from your word my Lord, I…..”

“WHO ARE YOU TO DECIDE WHO IS WORTHY!”

“I….I thought you would be glad that I exposed them before they……They are vermin my Lord…..my love for you …”

“ENOUGH! HENCEFORTH YOU ARE EXILED FROM THIS KINGDOM….”

“But my Lord… You must understand….I did it all because I love you, my…”

“YOU WILL FALL FROM GRACE AND LIVE BENEATH THE EARTH…”

“My Lord!” he said boldly looking up into his face with pleading eyes.

“YOUR LACK OF EMPATHY FOR THOSE OF LESSER POWER AND YOUR WILLINGNESS TO MANIPULATE AND ENSNARE ARE THE REASONS FOR YOUR EXILE…”

“MY LORD!” said Lucifer, rising to his feet, fear and desperation rising in his voice.

“YOU DARE TO CALL YOUR SELFISHNESS LOVE? YOUR SO CALLED LOVE IS NONE BUT AN OBSESSION. YOUR ‘LOVE’ HAS LEAD YOU TO COMMIT EVIL AGAINST ME. THEREFORE YOU WILL BE THE FATHER OF ALL EVIL AND YOU WILL AWAIT YOUR PUNISHENT THAT WILL COME AT THE END OF TIME.”

At this Lucifer dropped to his hands and knees in desperation, looking up at God in disbelief as the final sentence was brought down upon him.

“AND SO IT SHALL BE”

And the angels and archangels answered in unison, “AMEN!”

Lucifer spun on the spot looking around with wide frightened eyes and flailing his arms. “Micheal.... Raphael..... Gabe.....” He shouted out to his friends and comrades, “You know I am right, we are being replaced! I only did it to show you….” He said turning his gaze back toward God, pleading to no avail.

With nowhere to run Lucifer could only watch as two Cherubim came forward, fearsome creatures that towered high above the other angels of heaven. Each had four faces; one of a man, one of an ox, one of an eagle and one of a lion, and four conjoined wings. The cherubim had the body of a man but the feet of a calf and with every slow stride their hooves made a deafening boom, slowly and ominously approaching. Each took hold of one of Lucifer’s wings and tore them from his back. Lucifer released a bloodcurdling scream of pain and fury that echoed across the heavenly assembly.

The Cherubim backed away and Lucifer crumpled on the ground a circle of light appeared on the floor where he was huddled. The ground within the circle crumbled away and he began to fall. He looked around at his former brethren surrounding him, not one would step forward to help him or plead for him. His desperate gaze turned cold as his soul filled with hate and wrath.

Demeticus stood amidst the crowd in silence, fear and sadness ringing through his body. For just an instant, Lucifer’s wondering eyes met his and his gaze chilled him to his core, as if he wished to tear right through him, and just like that he was gone.

 

Chapter 1

The year 2015

Aiden Dorr sat on the sill of the large arched window that stared out onto the grounds from his bedroom on the third story of the mansion. The setting sun cast a red glow into his room and was reflected on the posters that covered his walls. The sheets on his bed formed a giant nest into which Aiden would pour his tired body every night and roll out of every morning. Patches of ivory carpet peeped out from underneath the jungle of clothing strewn across the floor that continued up his overflowing chest of drawers like a multicolored spider web.

Aiden gazed out across the vast grounds at his foster father, Dmitri, who was talking and gesticulating enthusiastically to the grounds-man, with the usual jovial expression on his face. Aiden wondered to himself what he could be up to this time, because with Dmitri Evans things were never as they appeared to be.

He adopted Aiden at the age of eight, a year after his parents died in a bizarre fire. Ten years later Aiden still found Dmitri difficult to read, as was evidenced by his latest scheme; providing scholarships to random kids from around the world to study at Broman’s Academy, the elite university in the heart of Pennsylvania that Aiden would start attending this fall. To make things worse these unknowns were to take up room and board at their home.

“Why’s he doing this?” Aiden wondered aloud. “I hope this isn’t another attempt to get me to be more social.”

When Aiden was younger Dmitri, who was quite eccentric, had gone as far as to create an after school ‘fun’ club at their house to which he invited all of Aiden’s classmates as well as the classes below and above him. Aiden, not to be easily defeated, spent the entire afternoon in his room reading a book where Dmitri, otherwise preoccupied with a hoard of screaming children, couldn’t get to him.

Letting an exasperated sigh escape his lips he slipped sideways off the sill and ran his fingers through his dark sleek curls. Aiden glanced up at his mirror to see his hazel eyes peering back at him and his brown skin glowing red in the setting sun. In high school Aiden had always attracted the attention of several giggling, blushing girls and the company of cocky boys whose only interest was to incessantly talk about the less elegant parts of those giggling girls. If he had to hear another ‘boob’ joke his head might implode, which might be a welcomed occurrence if he must be subjected to four more years of such stupidity. Subsequently, for most of the time, Aiden found himself alone, but he preferred things that way.

He was not particularly looking forward to the start of college; it would probably turn out to be as boring as his years at high school. All throughout high school he felt superior to his peers as he was a straight ‘A’ student, and a talented soccer player, both feats he achieved without much effort. He knew that no one at his high school could challenge his intellect and he felt that this would continue throughout his college career. A conceited notion but being a little stuck up never hurt anyone…..right? However, the worst part about starting college was the fact that soon he must share his home and his personal space with strangers. Who were these people and why was Dmitri doing this?

“What the hell is he doing? He’s such a dumbass,” he said in frustration.

“A dumbass? Your insults get more sophisticated every day.”

Aiden wheeled around to see Dmitri standing behind him chuckling, wearing one of his crushed velvet jackets and waist coats. Aiden wasn’t sure if Dmitri thought he was a Victorian Englishman or a 60’s pimp, but his clothing was always prehistoric and extremely embarrassing.

“Why the hell don’t you ever knock first? And please explain to me again why there are going to be random people living here for the next four years!”

“Well someone’s got their panties in a twist this morning,” he said brushing a sock onto the floor and sitting on Aiden’s bed.

“Get off my bed.”

“Well as I told you before,” he said, putting his feet up on the bed. “We need to give back. It feels good doing a good deed you should try it sometime and maybe you won’t be so uptight.”

“Bullshit. I know you, you’re up to something, and get your feet off my bed!”

“Why is everything a conspiracy with you? Just go with it for once,” he said with that sparkle in his eye that always meant trouble, “And you might like what you find.” Swinging his legs off the bed Dmitri bounded toward the door through the mess, “By the way,” he said over his shoulder, “Pull the stick out of your butt.”

“Ass” Aiden mumbled to himself as Dmitri’s booming laughter trailed behind him through the halls.

That night the students began arriving. The first was a tall Caucasian boy with platinum blonde hair and sharp electric blue eyes. His skin was pale, almost iridescent and he seemed to wince in the bright afternoon sun. He was a tall, stately young man who carried himself with an air of authority giving him an intimidating aura. He looked well put together making Aiden feel a little self-conscious about his own dismal appearance, as he hadn’t even bother to brush his hair far less put on something more impressive than a t-shirt and some jeans. As he stood watching from the parlour window Aiden had already decided he probably wouldn’t like him.

He walked to the front door from the taxi where Dmitri greeted him and they both walked inside. In a manner of seconds they were in the parlour.

“Aiden, this is Leucetius” said Dmitri.

“You can just call me Leu” he said in a deep eastern European accent, shaking Aiden’s hand and cracking a wide, mischievous grin immediately contradicting his intimidating demeanour.

“I’m Aiden” Aiden mumbled, a little perturbed by the new comer’s eager friendliness, “So where are you from?”

“Russia,” replied Leu, “and you?”

“I live here, I’m from Pennsylvania,” said Aiden.

“Why don’t you show Leu to his room,” Dmitri said.

Wondering how he got stuck with this job Aiden helped the boy heave his luggage up the stairs and led him to a bedroom on the third floor on the far side from his own room. The room, like most in the house was plush and extravagant with a large arched window covered in deep red drapes that matched the fluffy rug and bed sheets. The furnishings were all dark mahogany and the wallpaper and carpet were a faint ivory.

Aiden dumped the boy’s bag on the rug and turned around to see him frozen at the door looking around the room with his eyebrows slightly raised.

“Sorry, Dmitri’s a little over-the-top,” said Aiden.

“Yeah? I hadn’t noticed,” said Leu, with a little smirk.

Aiden felt his right eye twitch and decided that it was a good time to head back downstairs. The mahogany staircase unfolded from the top floor into the marble foyer below where Dmitri sat in one of the ivory love seats that were on either side of the arched double doors. As Aiden trotted down the stairs he let his hand glide along the polished mahogany railing that was held up by wrought iron pillars. Dmitri was peering at him now over the top of his newspaper.

“That was quick,” he said. “Have you given up on entertaining our guest?”

“You know I’m not good at that kind of thing,” said Aiden sitting opposite him. “Besides, he seems a little obnoxious.”

“And you’re a little stand-offish and awkward, we all have our flaws,” Dmitri said with a chuckle as Aiden scowled. “I think you’ll like him, your personalities are exactly opposite.”

“How do you know his personality?” said Aiden. “I got to know him a little when I went to Russia to interview him for this scholarship,” Dmitri said looking back down into his paper.

“When did you go to Russia? Geez, you don’t tell me anything,” said Aiden.

“It was last summer I told you I was going to Europe for business, so I did the interview while I was over there.”

“Russia’s in Asia,” Aiden said rolling his eyes.

“To-may-to, to-mah-to,” said Dmitri.

There was a crunch of tires over the gravel as another car pulled into the driveway. This time a girl climbed from the back of the car. She had toffee skin and dark hair, which was pulled back into a hair tie and exploded at the back of her head in a giant puff of bushy pandemonium, bouncing playfully as she walked. She was dressed simply in blue skinny jeans, a white fitted tee, strappy flat sandals and a long thin silver chain with a sapphire colored teardrop pendant at the end. Dmitri opened up the doors as she approached.

“Welcome!” he said, “You must be Isleen.”

“Yes, hello,” she said shaking Dmitri’s hand as she walked into the foyer. Her bright green eyes darted around the room in awe as her pink lips curled into a smile. Her eyes then fell on Aiden.

“Hey, I’m Aiden” he said. “Do you need help with your bags?”

“Yes please,” she said with a gentle tropical accent.

“Um…so where are you from?” asked Aiden, heaving one of the girl’s heavy suitcases up the stairs.

“Grenada,” said Isleen.

“I bet it’s really nice there,” said Aiden.

“Yea it is,” she replied.

And scene, thought Aiden. The silence was deafening. It was kind of pitiful that Aiden couldn't think of anything else to ask the girl. Instead he turned his attention to back to getting her two ton suitcase up the last few steps.

It took two trips to get her huge suitcases from the foyer to a room down the hall from Aiden’s. Like Leu’s room it was adorned with dark furniture and ivory and maroon decorations. Isleen’s mouth was slightly open as she looked around the room mouthing wow.

“Did you need help with anything else?” Aiden asked.

“Not right now, but thank you for helping me with my bags,” she said with a smile. Aiden left the room and found Dmitri at the top of the stairs.

“What are you smiling about?” he asked, eyebrow raised.

“Nothing,” said Aiden. “So is that it?”

“That’s it for tonight but there’ll be two more tomorrow,” Dmitri replied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

With a loud crack the burning straw roof of a nearby cottage collapsed inwards with a whirl of crimson and gold. The village was destroyed. Flames danced against the night sky, crackling and popping in a musical tune, but Aiden did not notice them. His eyes were instead fixated on the black lifeless bodies strewn across the ground. Confused and alone in the midst of a burning village, Aiden looked around in panic for an escape from the inferno.

Suddenly, a movement in the distance caught his eye. Looking up Aiden saw a form rise up from among the dead bodies. Black against the flames, the figure began moving toward him, its black, waist length hair swinging back and forth with every step. Paralysed with fear Aiden found that he could no longer move. Finally, a man came into view, limping as he walked, his clothes torn and tattered. Suddenly, he looked up through his curtain of dirty, black hair to reveal a pair of glowing red eyes and Aiden woke, shooting upright in his bed.

Wiping the sweat off his brow, Aiden slowly crawled out of bed, still shaken by his dream. Moving toward his chest of drawers, Aiden heard a loud thud just outside his bedroom door that made him jump.

“Oh darn!” said a high pitched female voice. After some rustling Aiden could hear her receding footsteps going down the stairs. Aiden stood confused, looking at the door with one hand in his top drawer. Who the hell? Thought Aiden, wondering why a woman was in his house. Dmitri? He thought….No way. After a couple minutes of pondering the previous night flooding back into his mind.

Simultaneously sighing in relief and cursing Dmitri in his mind for the hundredth time, Aiden picked a pair of jeans from his drawer and pulled them on. He sifted through some t-shirts in a pile on the floor in search of a clean one when he heard banging and grunting coming from the staircase. Each bang got louder as it came nearer, bang, huff, bang, humph, BANG, aaarghhh. 27 bangs in all before the noise subsided. Aiden went back to sifting through the mass of clothing on his floor when he came upon a maroon t-shirt that looked potentially clean and raised it to his face to sniff it when there was some rustling and then another loud bang right outside his bedroom door followed by a loud whimper that then turned into a stream of squeaky French.

Aiden rose to his feet, abandoning the maroon shirt. Slowly and silently he opened the door ever so slightly and peered through the crack. There he found a girl with sun-kissed skin and blonde curly hair that fell to her shoulders, violently stuffing clothes that had apparently exploded all over the hallway, back into an already overstuffed suitcase.

It was a comical sight watching the furious damsel, whose face was flushed red, repeatedly punching her clothing into her suitcase to no avail. Her oversized pink t-shirt slipped off of one shoulder and her white sneakers and high socks kicked up behind her as she punched away in fury. Aiden’s conscience, however, soon got the better of him.

 

 

“Do you need some help?” he said. The girl shrieked, jumped to her feet and wheeled around, spraying clothes everywhere. Clearly startled the girl took a breath to say something when her eyes shot downwards from Aiden’s face to his chest and Aiden realized he didn’t have a shirt on. “Just a second,” said Aiden retreating into his room. He snatched the maroon shirt from the ground and raked it on over his head irritated. He then snatched an empty duffel bag from his closet.

“Here,” he said emerging from his room and handing her the duffel bag, “You can use this.”

She took the bag and smiled at him gratefully. “Here, I’ll help you,” said Aiden smiling back with the forced smiled he always gave.

“Thanks, I’m, Fae,” she said, extending her hand. “What’s your name?”

“Aiden…”

“Aiden! That’s a nice name! I’m from France, I just got in this morning, it was such a long flight, but I’m really excited! Where are you from?”

Fae’s clear blue eyes widened with every word she said. Her energy bounced off the walls and danced around her making her curls stand on end.

“I grew up here in Pennsylvania,” said Aiden dropping to his knees to help her put the remainder of her clothing into his duffel bag.

“Wow that’s cool. You probably know everything about this place huh, I’ve never been to the United States so I’m kinda scared but I’m really excited.

“I can tell,” said Aiden with a fake laugh, the girl’s childlike excitement was exhausting.

“Oh no, am I babbling? My friends tell me I babble when I’m nervous!” she said.

“No it’s fine but you sure do have a lot of clothes here,” Aiden continued.

“Yea,” she giggled,” I guess I should have brought another bag.”

“Alright, so which room did you get?” asked Aiden straightening up and slinging the duffel bag over his shoulder.

“The one second from the end,” she said pointing at the room right next to Leu’s and pulling up the handle on her trolley bag. Perfect, thought Aiden. Living within earshot of this one would have been torture.

“Well here we are,” Aiden said lazily, as he put the duffel bag onto the floor of her room and turning toward the door. “It was nice to meet you, I guess I’ll be seeing you around,” he said.

“Thank you so much for your help,” she said

“No problem,” said Aiden smiling sweetly.

 

Finally Aiden managed to get himself dressed and went downstairs. The new girl Fae made three. There should be one more coming, I wonder when. Aiden thought to himself. When he rounded the corner and entered the kitchen he saw Leu sitting at the table shovelling cereal into his mouth, while Isleen stood at the stove frying eggs in a thick awkward silence.

Aiden strode toward the fridge, smiling a meek greeting when the others looked up. “Good morning everyone,” came Dmitri’s loud, voice from the doorway, “I want to introduce you all too…….where is Fae? Aiden where is she?”

“She just got into her room?” Aiden said with a sigh.

They stood staring at each other from across the room in silence for a minute. Leu and Isleen looked back and forth between them not knowing how to react.

“Soooo, do you want to go get her for me,” said Dmitri with that bright, cheerful smile that annoyed Aiden so much.

“Get her yourself, I just got down here,” Aiden fired back. Dmitri and Aiden stood staring at each other for another few seconds in silence.

“So, are you going to go get her then?” asked Dmitri.

“Fine,” said Aiden in an exasperated voice grabbing a protein shake from the fridge and storming past Dmitri up the stairs. Knocking on Fae’s bedroom door, Aiden informed her that Dmitri wanted them all in the kitchen before he quickly scurried away before she could wrap him up in another long conversation.

“Great we’re all here,” said Dmitri once everyone had arrived in the kitchen, “I want to introduce you all to Fae Martin, she’s from France and she’s another scholarship winner. Make her feel at home everyone! Mingle and be friendly!” With that Dmitri bounced from the room leaving everyone staring at Fae.

“It’s nice to meet all of you,” said Fae brightly.

“It’s nice to meet you to,” said Isleen sweetly while Leu nodded in agreement, “Have you had breakfast yet?” continued Isleen in her slow, deliberate drawl.

Fae bounced over to where Isleen was standing and began bombarding her with a barrage of questions and waving her hands enthusiastically. Isleen, who seemed to find her comical, laughed heartily as she spoke.

“Is orientation today?” Aiden heard Fae ask as he sat down at the kitchen counter to eat some cereal.

“Is there anyone else coming?” asked Leu taking the seat next to Aiden.

“Yea one more,” Aiden replied curtly.

“Whoever it is, is gonna miss all the orientation stuff,” said Leu oblivious to Aiden’s irritation.

“Oh well,” Aiden replied.

“So are we all going over to orientation together? Dmitri said you would show us the way.”

“Wha…?” Aiden started, “I suppose.”

After breakfast the four students travelled together to campus to begin their week long orientation process. There were campus tours, registering for classes, activities and long drawn out seminars where various student organizations pitched themselves to the incoming freshmen.

That day Aiden found himself nodding off during a particularly weak pitch for the Society of Composers made by a sour looking girl who said her name was Jessica when a misaimed nudge landed in his ribs heaving him violently from his sleep.

“Wake up,” whispered Leu, “So, I was thinking of joining the football team. Were you going to join any sports teams?”

“Football?” said Aiden sceptically. “You seem a little small for football.”

Leu looked down at his slender frame with his brow furrowed, but then seemed to comprehend, “Oh, it’s called soccer over here,” he said with a laugh. “I’d probably die trying to play American football. So are you signing up for any sports teams?”

“I don’t know,” Aiden replied as Leu shrugged and turned his attention back to the front of the room. Aiden was actually really good at both soccer and basketball. He liked to be active but was never really fond of team sports. Plus being on a team with Leu wasn’t really a selling point.

“You should do it,” said Leu looking sideways at Aiden.

“Maybe. We’ll see,” Aiden replied.

 “Oh Aiden can I have a word,” Dmitri said popping his head into the kitchen.

Apprehensively, Aiden shuffled out of the room into the hall.

“You’re going into Philadelphia tomorrow aren’t you,” said Dmitri.

“Yea, I need to run some errands.”

“Great, our last student is coming into the airport at 1:00pm. Pick him up for me would you.” “I can’t, I’ll be busy!”

“Picking up your passport won’t take that long.”

“I wish you would stop going through my phone, you’re like a crazy girlfriend.”

“Touché”

“It’s a total intrusion of privacy.”

“I already told him you were coming to pick him up…..and I sent him your picture,” Dmitri added with a pout.

“What! What’s wrong with you? You can’t just do those kinds of things without….”

“So 1:00 O.K. His name is Brahma, here’s his picture,” Dmitri said his face springing back into a smile.

“Fine!”

“Do you want company? Take Leu. Leu my boy,” he said as Leu passed by, ignoring Aiden’s obvious facial objections. “How would you like to take a trip into Philadelphia, with Aiden?”

“Sure,” said Leu eagerly.

“Great! Have fun boys,” said Dmitri hurrying away.

The silence was deafening, for all of one minute before Aiden’s ears were pleading for mercy as they had never experienced such trauma before.

If I don’t say anything back he’s got to stop eventually, thought Aiden, but they were already 15 minutes in and Leu didn’t show any signs of slowing down. Eventually Aiden just gave in.

“What?” said Aiden in disbelief after a particularly ridiculous story.

“It’s true,” said Leu with a shrug. “I landed in a giant weeping willow and the parachute never even got half opened.”

Despite himself Aiden laughed heartily while Leu grinned back at him.

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“That’s the dumbest thing you ever heard? That won’t last long now that you’ve met me,” said Leu chuckling.

Driving for an hour with someone he didn’t know would normally be equivalent to a death sentence for Aiden. His plan for an hour-long vow of silence had been foiled by the loquacious Leu, who didn’t need responses to carry on a full-blown conversation, Aiden might as well have been a brick wall.

Leu had already listing the things he hoped to do while in Pennsylvania, which included sampling an authentic Philly cheesesteak and climbing to the top of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, to which Aiden suggested that they just get the cheesesteak that day and skip the bridge as Aiden didn’t think he would do well in prison.

Soon Aiden found himself loosening up and joining the conversation, which might have made Leu much more comfortable than Aiden had intended. He launched him into a detailed description of exactly how he planned to scale the bridge. The plan included a grappling hook, wing-suit and Aiden’s help to collect photographic evidence.

Leu then moved on to giving Aiden a play-by-play of every dumb stunt he pulled in his childhood, including one where he decided to strap a parachute, which he ordered online with his father’s credit card, to his back and jump off of his three story home.

“What did your parents say,” asked Aiden. Out of the corner of his eye Aiden could see Leu’s smile fade a little.

“My dad works a lot, he wasn’t around much and my mom basically let me do whatever I wanted,” he said with a hollow laugh. “I’d pull stunts like that all the time.”

“You sound like Dmitri,” said Aiden, sensing that he had stumbled onto a sensitive topic, “He does crazy shit all the time too. He bought a jetpack once and crashed it into the neighbour’s yard......It was epic.” Leu heaved with laughter.

Aiden pulled into the airport and followed the signs to “Arrivals.”

“Keep a look out for this guy,” said Aiden handing Leu the picture he got from Dmitri.

“Seriously?” said Leu raising his eyebrow, “Why do you have his picture?”

“It’s…..umm……Dmitri……never mind, just look.”

Driving slowly past the terminal Aiden’s eyes scanned the sidewalk filled with bustling passengers and then out of the corner of his eye Aiden noticed the sliding glass doors open and an Indian boy in a dark grey long sleeved fleece, simple denim jeans and black sneakers shuffled slowly out onto the pavement and looked around at the noisy crowd with a bored expression.

“Is that him?” asked Leu holding up the picture to compare.

“I think it is,” said Aiden pulling up to the curb, “Brahma?” Aiden called out as the car pulled up alongside him.

“Aiden?” said Brahma in an English accent.

“Yea,” said Aiden. Both boys emerged from the car to introduce themselves and help Brahma with his two large suitcases.

“We’re going to Philly for a little while if you don’t mind,” said Aiden.

“No problem,” replied Brahma.

The boys headed to the city and after Aiden turned in his papers for his passport they decided to get something to eat in the heart of downtown Philadelphia where Aiden stopped at his favourite Philly cheesesteak joint.

“I was born in India but my parents and I moved to England when I was one year old,” explained Brahma as the boys sat stuffing their faces with cheesesteak and garlic fries.

A silver crucifix gleamed in the sun as it hung from Brahma’s neck.

“You’re a Christian?” asked Leu, pointing straight at Brahma’s chest.

“Yea, even though my parents were raised in India they were raised Christian,” Brahma continued to explain in a bored voice, completely unfazed by Leu’s lack of tact. “So where are you from? And how long have you been here?” asked Brahma looking back and forth between the two.

“Got here a few days ago and he’s from here. His dad’s our sponsor,” said Leu answering before Aiden could.

“Oh,” said Brahma shortly, raising his eyebrows at Aiden.

“So how come you missed orientation?” asked Aiden directing the attention from himself.

Brahma paused for a second looking at Aiden with lazy eyes, “My mother got sick, so I couldn’t leave right away,” he drawled.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Aiden feeling awkward.

“She’s better now, so everything’s fine,” Brahma replied stuffing a fry into his mouth. A thick silence fell over the group broken only by monotonous chewing.

“Well this is awkward,” said Leu, who had been looking back and forth between the two.

“Thanks captain obvious,” said Aiden rolling his eyes as Brahma chuckled.

“You just say whatever’s on your mind don’t you,” asked Brahma an intrigued look coming across his sleepy face.

“Holding back is for puss-…”said Leu.

“Case in point,” Aiden interrupted.

The ride back seemed to fly by as the three boys laughed an talked, Leu doing most of the talking and joking while Brahma fired back with a dry sarcasm suited to his laid back attitude. Laughing along and chiming in every once in a while, Aiden felt himself opening up and relaxing a little, maybe for the first time in his life.

As the school year began and the weeks progressed Aiden wondered if he would ever become accustomed to the eclectic mix of personalities around him.

Brahma and Aiden turned out to be pursuing the same chemical engineering major and as a result, they were in most of the same classes. There was something about a professor’s voice, no matter the professor, that made Brahma instantly fall asleep and remain in a deep coma until Aiden woke him up at the end of every class. Consequently, Aiden came to the conclusion that Brahma would probably be failing…. everything. However, when the first test scores came back and Brahma was announced as having the top score in the class, it was an announcement he missed because once again he was asleep.

“I hate you Brahma, you’re messing up the curve,” said Aiden one day as they left their chemistry lecture. That day Brahma had received yet another perfect score on yet another quiz, out shining Aiden’s 92%.

“Why do you even come to class?” asked Aiden, smiling weakly as he watched Brahma laugh.

“Attendance points mate.” he replied chuckling as Aiden shook his head. The two boys strolled into the cobblestoned courtyard that sat at the centre of the four main campus buildings when suddenly Brahma went silent and threw out his arm to stop Aiden mid-stride.

“Wha…” said Aiden looking around, but his question was instantly answered when his eyes landed on Fae sitting at one of the many stone tables and energetically babbling away to Leu who sat across from her, clearly not listening and wearing nothing but a bright, blue Speedo and a sullen expression.

“I don’t even know if I want to know,” said Aiden to Brahma as he rolled his eyes. Leu, was already making a name for himself as an avid prankster and the so-called life of the party on campus. His latest getup, while totally inappropriate, was not surprising in the least.

“So…..what’s up?” said Brahma pointedly as they reached the table.

“Hiiiiii,” said Fae in her high-pitched bubbly voice, as if she hadn’t seen them in years, while Leu only released a dramatic sigh.

“Hey Fae. What’s wrong with you?” said Aiden turning to Leu.

“Me?” said Leu.

“Yea you, where are your clothes man?” asked Aiden.

“I gave a presentation on global warming today,” said Leu, sighing dramatically, “And my professor gave me a C.”

“Oooook…”

“Are you kidding? This is an A+ body!”

“Oh please,” said Aiden as Brahma groaned and Fae giggled.

“Wadyamean!?!” said Leu, the corners of his mouth twitching upward.

“Why would you give a presentation without your clothes on?” said Aiden.

“Because it was about global warming,” replied Leu as if the answer should have been obvious.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Aiden concluded.

“Wait, was this the same presentation you told me you were just gonna wing because your professor thinks you’re hot?” asked Brahma.

“Yea,” said Leu, now laughing too.

“Not so hot now huh,” said Brahma and the group burst into laughter.

“That’s low Brahma,” said Leu with a chuckle.

“Wait didn’t you tell me that our creative writing professor thinks you’re hot too?” said Aiden.

“Uh….yeah,” replied Leu in his “duh” voice as the others shook their heads.

“I gotta get to class guys; see you later,” said Fae collecting her books, jumping up, her blonde curls bouncing behind her and stepping away from the table. Just then, a beautiful girl with fiery red hair who was talking rapidly on her cell phone bumped into Fae’s shoulder as she passed sending Fae’s armful of books flying.

“Watch where you’re going!” the girl snapped, rolling her eyes and stalking away. Fae looked on as she walked away with a stoic expression.

“Sorry,” Fae said stooping down to collect her books.

“Don’t apologize,” Aiden said as he crouched down with the other boys to help her, “She bumped into you!”

“It was my fault,” she said, her bright smile back on her face. “I should have been looking.”

Wasn’t that, Emily Bosworth?” asked Leu as Fae rushed away with her armful of books in tow.

“How is it that you know everyone on campus already?” asked Brahma in disbelief.

“This is a tiny campus! There are only, what, 1000 students. Plus everyone knows about Emily. I heard she’s a raging bitch,” said Leu.

“Well, I’m not surprised after seeing that,” said Aiden.

“She’s pretty hot though,” said Leu.

“Yeeeeeaaaa,” said Brahma nodding.

“What are you guys staring at?” said a deep slow voice behind them, breaking the silence that had fallen over the group.

“Hey Isleen,” said Aiden, turning around, the hairs on the back of his neck prickled slightly.

“Have you guys eaten yet?” asked Leu.

“Where are your clothes?” said Isleen, in shock.

“Long story,” laughed Leu throwing his arm around her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

“Are we going or what!!!” Leu yelled up the stairs. “Aiden! Come ON!!!”

Good God he’s loud, thought Aiden as he struggled to remove the pomade that Leu convinced him to buy yesterday from his short curls. So technically, the fact that Aiden was taking so long could all be blamed on Leu.

“What are you doing? Even the girls got ready faster than you!” Leu continued to yell.

“Shut up!” Aiden yelled back. “I’ll be down in a second!”

Aiden had waited till the last minute to start getting ready to go to the fraternity party that Leu had been talking about all week. When he decided to try out the pomade, disaster struck. After applying a healthy glob to his hair he realized that he looked like an extra from the movie “Grease.” When Aiden finally made it down stairs, Leu was standing in the foyer impatiently tapping his foot while the others were excitedly talking among themselves.

Leu opened his mouth irritably to say something when he caught sight on Aiden’s hair and a mischievous grin spread across his face instead. “Is that the pomade?” he asked.

“Yea, it’s the stupid pomade. I knew I shouldn’t have used it,” said Aiden.

“No. It looks good,” said Leu, his grin widening as Aiden shook his head.

“Can’t wait to get a drink tonight, I need to relieve my stress,” said Brahma as the group left the house and walked toward the car.

“What stress?” said Isleen. “I’m shocked you’re even awake for this.”

“I’m awake for the important stuff, ok,” he replied.

The five kids piled into the vintage Jeep that Dmitri allowed Aiden to drive. The Jeep was a part of Dmitri’s prized collection of old cars. There were over 20, from a cherry red vintage Ford Mustang to an old Crossley from the 1920s and even a medieval horse drawn carriage, where he got it Aiden had no idea. Consequently Dmitri instructed the new comers in their first week of something Aiden had known since the day Dmitri adopted him, never touch his cars at the risk of instant death, he suspected that the only reason he was allowed to use the Jeep was because Dmitri didn’t like it very much.

“What’s the name of the place we’re going to?” asked Aiden as he climbed behind the wheel.

“Club Sting, and someone on Facebook is saying that Wiz Khalifa might be performing,” said Leu, looking at his phone.

“Really,” said Fae excitedly.

“Psh, please. Wiz Khalifa is not performing at this crusty frat party,” said Brahma.

“That’s the word on the street,” said Leu.

After about fifteen minutes Aiden pulled onto campus and drove around looking for a parking spot, finally finding one a couple blocks from their destination. It was a short walk but the group was severely slowed by the two girls wobbling slowly on sky high heels.

“Oh no, look at that line,” said Fae. Club Sting was an underground club in the heart of downtown Philadelphia located just below the Spyder bar. A cobblestoned staircase with wrought iron railings led downwards from the street to the entrance of the underground club and a line of people filled the steps and curled out onto the sidewalk. An oval sign hung above the door with the words ‘Club Sting’ written in red over the outline of a black spider. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night it was filled to capacity with hormonal, gyrating college students.

The group entered the line behind a group of hyper, intoxicated guys, already shouting and cat calling at passer-by.

“Hey girl, you looking fresh tonight,” said one of the guys who wore a yellow t-shirt that said “Don’t taze me dude!” He turned haphazardly to face Isleen.

“Thank you,” said Isleen sweetly.

“So do you wa…”

“I’m good,” said Isleen, curtly cutting him off.

“Geez,” said the guy, caught off guard for a brief moment before returning to his friends.

After what seemed like a decade of Brahma sighing impatiently and Leu joining in with the pack of ruffians for some resounding catcalling and all around harassment, the group finally got in.

The air inside the club was stifling. The stone walls seemed to sweat like hot flesh. The bar was a deep mahogany wood with a thin film of alcohol that covered its top at all times. Black, wrought-iron high stools and tables sat at intervals against the walls while the abyss between the far wall and the bar was used as the dance floor. The multicolour strobe lights overhead pulsated and ricochet off sequins and gemstones, lighting up the skin of hundreds of bodies pressed together in the animalistic, ritual college kids refer to as dancing.

As soon as they got inside Fae hit the dance floor, she jerked and twirled to the sound of the pulsating bass and it wasn’t long before there were hoards of boys circling her like a pack of blood thirsty hounds. Brahma, immediately hit the bar with a liveliness the likes of which he fails to exhibit in his everyday life, Leu, of course following suit.

 


© Copyright 2017 ShortySmith1996. All rights reserved.

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