Glowing Eyes

When the person you love's life is hanging in the balance, how far would you go to save them?

Tori Pearson and Zack Martinez had been best friends since third grade. Now Juniors in high school, their friendship still shines strong...until Mandy moves to town. Amanda Blair, Thornton High's newest queen bee is seemingly beautiful, smart and charming, thought Tori can see something is off about her. Amanda's eyes glow, and Tori knows that nobody else can see it but her.

With a monster for a rival, and her whole life hanging off a single promise, will Tori be able to sustain her friendship with Zack and save Little Thornton? Or will it all crumble with rest of her life?

Note: Used to be called '30 Things A Guy Should Do'

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6. The Bone Knife

The following days, I was still sick as ever.

My stomach constantly churned, my head banged with a menacing migraine and every now and then I'd had to run to the bathroom to receive a little visit from my lunch.

When Dad and I visited the doctor's office yesterday, I was feeling a lot better though the headache was still present.

"Well, nothing seems too out of order," Doctor May surveyed, as he checked my health stats. He was quite an old man, age hadn't treated him too well as he had many wrinkles covering his sun-tanned face, with a fluffy patch of grey hair atop his balding head. He pushed up his glasses as he turned to face Dad "It seems to me that she's had a case of bird flu - quite common, as I'm sure you know, Mr. Pearson."

Dad nodded as he took this in.

"When do you think she'll be okay to go back to school?" he asked, his voice toned and level. I glanced at the stack of papers to my left with my name on the top of the first sheet. I realized it was just my details and quickly lost interest.

"She seems to be recuperating very rapidly," he began, his eyes flicking between the records that he'd seen me peeking through and had quickly taken off me and my pale stallor and dark under-eye shadows. "My guess is that she'll be good to go back to school in approximately two days." He turned to face me. "Victoria, if you experience any nausea or if the migraines continue then be excused for the day, all right? It would be most unfortunate if anybody else caught the flu."

"I will," I replied, trying for a small smile. Bird flu....yay. On the plus side, I'd get back to school; it had been driving me stir-crazy having to stay inside my house and do absolutely nothing all day and I needed to be out and about, be active, even if that meant school. I'd also get to see Zack again. It had only been a few days but it had felt like a lifetime without him and I was really missing him. A part of me was also a little worried about him too, though. Normally he would call me every day that we weren't together, or at least text - maybe even drop a visit - but I hadn't heard a thing from him. He hadn't replied to my texts and he hadn't returned any of my calls.

"Well thank you, Doctor May," my father said before exchanging goodbyes with the doctor and ushering me into the waiting room. "See, Tori? I told you you'd be fine."

"I never said I wouldn't be," I replied around a large yawn. "And anyway I'm feeling a lot better today. I mean, I don't actually feel like I'm going to barf if I see any food today, which is good."

"My poor little daughter's still away with the birdie's, though," he sighed, hugging me with one of his long monkey arms.

"Dad, I think it's 'away with the fairies,'"

"You don't have fairy flu too, do you? Hey, promise me you won't vomit in here - I think those nurses over there would use you as a meal." He pointed to a cluster of middle-aged women in baggy blue scrubs and black croc shoes, talking next to an assortment of cleaning brands, brushes and mops.

The doctor's building was immaculate; all white walls, shiny marble floors and interesting art that hung dead straight. It wasn't that big, though from the outside it looked huge, with an average sized waiting room dotted with chairs and two-year-old magazines, a long corridor with each GP's office behind large, locked oak doors. I could bet you everything I owned that I wouldn't find any dust if I ran a finger across any of the tables.

When my father and I ventured out the door, the sun hit me hard, temporarily blinding me as I traipsed along to the car. As I shielded my eyes from the blaring light, my chest hit something hard and knocked the wind out of my chest - more out of surprise than actual pain. Scrambling to get my balance back, my vision finally adjusted to the outdoors and I saw my mother standing before me, her smile a little too wide.

"Mom?" I cried, puzzled. "What are you doing here?" I shook my head to clear the dizziness and noticed something shiny at her wrist.

"Rose?" said Dad, his face set in a deep frown, his hands brushing her luscious blonde hair out of her eyes. "What's wrong?"

"David," Rose said, grinning. "Why, what are you two doing here?" Her makeup was smudged, her eyes wide and unseeing, even her clothes were crumpled and uneven. I glanced over at my father who looked just as confused as I felt; it wasn't  the fact that she was here, at the doctors', that was weird, it was how she was acting. She didn't seem herself, just as she hadn't the other day, when I'd seen her staring out of the window like something possessed. Her eyes had always been big, but never this big, she'd always zoned out in her little daydreams, but never this often, her smile had always been veering to the side of maniacal, but never actually reached that limit. Something was wrong, and my dad and I both knew it. My eyes found hers, which were fixed on my face. Her head was slightly cocked to the side. She was looking at me differently, too, not like how she always did - that I was her only daughter and that no matter how angry she was, there was always love underneath - but now her gaze was like boiling water; when it first touches your skin, it feels freezing cold before turning into a dangerously hot, burning sensation. Rose's features seemed warm and friendly, though underneath you could sense her hatred. It was weird...it was uncomfortable...

It was completely and utterly alien.

As my father tried to coax her into going back home, she ignored his comments and pleas, narrowing her eyes at me. I glanced around to see if there were any witnesses around, when something bright caught my attention for just a fleeting second.

Blonde hair. Blue eyes that glowed.

Amanda frickin' Blair.

Why did everyone seem to go so crazy whenever she was around? The cheerleaders, Zack and now my mom? What does it all mean? I thought, my head aching with the words that filled my brain. Could it all be connected or is it just a coincidence...?

But I am Tori Pearson and I do not believe in coincidence.

Suddenly an inhuman yell rang out and my head spun in the direction of my crazed mother, who was now wrestling her way out of Dad's grip, her hand grasped to something that glinted off the sun...

A knife.

My mom is aiming a real weapon at my chest, my mind screamed. I tried to move but I was frozen in shock, the words feeling foreign and unusual in the depths of my mind. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion then. First I saw my mother running towards me, yelling, the knife at the ready, then I saw my dad scream "No!" and lunge at her, narrowly missing her and falling to the floor with a loud crunch. I hoped he'd landed on a plastic bottle. The knife was inches away from me now and was forever growing, but suddenly I felt something awaken inside me, something that I'd never felt before, and I wasn't frozen anymore. I knitted my brows and met her halfway, running towards her armed hand and trying to grab the metal from it but she was too fast, ducking out of my reach before I could realize what was going on. Adrenaline kicked in and I fought for the knife, kicking and punching, without much real contact but eventually I managed to pin Ashley Pearson to the floor and wrestle the weapon from her iron grip.

"Tori!" Dad cried, running to my side, clutching his rib. He'd clearly been injured. "Are you alright?"

"Yes, Dad," I said through gritted teeth, throwing the knife to the ground. It skittered off the tarmac and landed next to David's foot. Mom was still trying to wrench herself free, but I'd put all my weight on her and she couldn't move unless I wanted her to. Dad came over and stared at his wife, his eyes as wide as saucers, his expression resembling that of seeing an alien; never in his life had he expected Ashley Pearson of all people to attack her own daughter. Remembering his martial arts skills, he bent down and squeezed her temples, instantly knocking her out. I stayed put for a few minutes before rising to my feet when I was absolutely certain she was out cold, and peering round to see if any prying eyes had found the scene. The parking lot was empty of living things, with only a few cars dotted around here and there, there were no pedestrians at the moment, save a dog walker who was too busy engrossed in his phone and music to have seen or heard anything out of the ordinary. I glanced up at the offices, thanking the Lord that all the windows were made of privacy glass and the blinds were shut to keep out the morning sun which seemed to be shining a lot brighter than usual. "Nobody saw..."

My voice shook as the last of my adrenaline was drained from my veins, leaving me on the edge of tears as fear set in. What had made my mother do that? It made absolutely no sense to me, and to be honest I didn't think it ever would, even if I thought about for one hundred years straight. My father and I stared at each other for a while, silently asking the other what to do next, when finally he grabbed my mother in his arms, found some rope in his car and, binding her wrists, he carefully placed her on the backseat. She was out cold.

My hands found the blade, that lay on the hot tarmac, and I studied it closely. It was beautiful for a knife; a shiny curved blade so sharp that it looked like it could cut through moving silk, and a bone handle with a skull molded into the hilt, red jewels for eyes. Something about it seemed so familiar, like I'd seen it before somehow, but I couldn't place why. Holding the dagger with both hands, my head tilted up to the shadows in front of me, only to have my gaze meet something startling.

There in the trees were two glowing blue eyes, a flash of golden hair and a deadly smirk.

 

•♥•

 

The following Monday I was well enough to go back to school.

I didn't want to as the images of my mother trying to attack me were still fresh in my mind, but I knew I had to to keep things under wraps. When we'd got home, we were unsure of what to do, though after about an hour of thinking, we decided to lock my mom down in the basement...it wasn't as bad as it seemed though; we made her a comfy bed, there was plenty of food, even a small bathroom, so it wasn't like we were being all that cruel, it's just that Dad wouldn't risk her coming after me again.

"We should take her to the cops," Dad had said, when we'd first returned. "Then we can decide what to do."

"The cops?" I snapped, narrowing my eyes. "No way, they'd put her in jail."

"She tried to kill you, Victoria!" he yelled, making me jump.

"She wouldn't have done it, though and you know it. She didn't mean to-"

"But what if she did?" he asked, angrily, looking me in the eyes. "I can't risk your life by keeping her here, Tori." I thought long and hard about what he said, taking my next answer into careful consideration. I figured that there had to be a link somehow; that Amanda had to have something to do with it all. It had started off as just a jealous school-girl obsession, but now it was out of control. I knew she was up to something.

"I don't think she was doing it, Dad." His puzzled expression meant for me to explain myself. "Something's not right. Ever since that Amanda girl moved here, things have been going crazy! First Zack, and now Mom - who's next?" I saw his eyes widen in disbelief.

"Zack attacked you?" he cried, stunned. "Just you wait until I get my hands on him-" He started towards the door.

"Woah, Dad, no!" I blocked his path. "I didn't mean it like that - Zack hasn't done anything! I mean..." I paused. "When we were driving home the other day, Zack zoned out - well, no, 'zoned out' isn't the right phrase, it was more like he fell asleep whilst still awake - and even though he seemed normal, he drove the wrong way and almost took me all the way to the church. Then he started acting all weird; like it was him but at the same time...it wasn't. I can't explain it. Anyway, five second later he seemed fine. I don't know, maybe I'm just a little freaked about something, I mean they're probably just coincidental..."

I saw my father ponder over this thought. I could almost see the wheels turning in his head, could almost hear his thoughts. Was he thinking I was reading too much into things? I'm pretty renowned for that... No, he knew me too well. I wouldn't be making such a fuss over the whole scenario if I didn't think it was necessary.

"I see..." he said, slowly. "I want to meet this Amanda girl, just in case. Are you friends?" I snorted.

"Friends?" I laughed, sarcastically. "Yeah right, Dad, good one." I raised my voice a notch. "She tried to get me kicked off the cheer squad - of course we aren't!" He stared at me for a few long seconds before speaking.

"I'll take that as a no, then," he said, his voice quiet.

"You bet we're not," I mumbled, anxiety slowly creeping into my system. I knew there was a reason behind my paranoia, and I knew that it was right under my nose, on the tip of my tongue. Something had been different since Amanda came that I had noticed, maybe even subconsciously, that had buried fear deep into my bones. Now what was it...

All of a sudden it hit me.

The air.

Ever since the day Amanda had shown up the air had smelled different. Clouded, murky, like if you went to the center of an extremely polluted city - say, Victorian London, perhaps - with hardly any fresh air to breathe. The change had been so subtle, though now that I thought of it it seemed so clear, I'd smelled that horrible stench before, though like before, the memory was there but I couldn't engage with it, no matter how hard I tried. Even the thought of going outside, or even opening a window made me feel sick, like the atmosphere would poison me the more I breathed it in.

Now, of course, it could have all just been a big misunderstanding - a coincidence - however I'm Tori Pearson and coincidence isn't a word in my dictionary. Plus, I had a reason to think things were up, I mean how many girls do you know that have glow-in-the-frickin'-dark eyes? Exactly. Even if it was just my imagination there was still the possibility that somehow it was all real, and that nobody else seemed to notice it. It left me alone in a world full of impossibilities made possible as opposed to leading a normal life without ever really knowing why Amanda's eyes had glowed. I didn't know which was scarier.

Suddenly feeling weak and incredibly tired, I dismissed myself to bed, ordering my father to leave Rose in the basement. Once upstairs, I found that I couldn't sleep. My brain was too wired, too alive with all the scary, magical, impossible things happening around me that left me exhausted but at the same time exhilarated and excited. Say it was all real, what would that mean? That it was possible to make your eyes glow? I knew some girls who would kill for that... But at the same time, what if it wasn't? Would that mean I was going mentally insane? Anything was possible.

Lost in my conflicted thoughts, my head tilted of its own accord to my bedside table, eyes adjusting to the darkness of the room, the only light a sliver of white from the sparkling moon outside that slanted neatly on to the floor, illuminating the dark pile of clothes that lay there. In the middle of my gaze stood the picture frame Zack had given me, with the me of the past staring straight back, watching me, her face happiness personified, and there stood Zack by her side, his arm around her shoulders, yelling with victory. It had been only a year since the photo had been taken, so why did the people in it look so different to the ones in the present?

It wasn't the appearance, it was the soul.

With that last thought echoing through my head, my eyes drooped low and I finally succumbed to sleep.

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