I wake to the sound of hushed voices from the hall, groaning, I turn and pull the covers over my head. There is a knock at my door, I groan once more, loud enough for my dad to hear. “Wake up sleepy head.” I hear my dad say happily, almost in an excited way. I peek through the covers to see my dad, older brother and younger sister stood smiling down at me. Dad holds a large cake in his hands, a 16 candle placed on top with a flame flickering.
“Do I have to get up?” I moan annoyingly, I sit up a little. Birthdays have never been my good spot; I find them pointless and boring. Though not being a fan of birthdays my dad did say to me the other day that my 16th was extra special. It got me thinking why, and then I came to the conclusion that it was just the number and nothing special would really happen.
My dad brings the cake to my face and allows me to blow out the candle; I watch the smoke rise before his facial expression turns serious. He places the cake on my bed side table carefully and then he turns to my sister, Mary, and says, “Why don’t you go and watch some TV? Greg and I need to speak to Harriet.” At that I sit up eagerly.
Once Mary has left dad closes the door. Both dad and Greg simultaneously turn to me. It is quiet and I feel like there is an eerie air to the room all of a sudden. “Has someone died?” I joke; my dad laughs creepily and then shakes his head, returning to his stern facial expression.
I stare at my dad with a bored expression.“Dad let’s get to the point.” Greg says sitting down on my desk chair with a creek, I laugh as he looks like an evil villain. Dad sighs and glances to me, Greg also sighs but just to speed dad up as his patience is running low, Greg has always been an impatient person, it’s something he needs to work on.
“Harriet, you are part of a long line of hunters.” My dad blurts out quickly; I am only just able to catch his words. You and hunter are the two that stand out. I stare blankly at my dad before bursting out in laughing.
“Hunters of what? Demons? Werewolves? Vampires?” I say sarcastically to my father but his face stays in his straight expression which makes me realize that he isn’t joking; he is telling me the truth. I am a...hunter? I turn to my brother to see him nodding at me. “This is true and not just some joke?” I ask struck with shock all of a sudden.
My dad stands. “We don’t hunt werewolves and vampires. Demons yes and shape shifters, who can disguise themselves as anything, including werewolves and vampires.” Greg nods to agree with my dad’s statement.
Dad drops his eyes to meet my gaze and speaks a few words I don’t really want to hear, “Today is your last day at school before you leave so I suggest you say goodbye to your...” I stop him mid sentence.
“What if I don’t want to go?” My dad’s face goes stern and I sink back in the bed, regretting my comment. By his expression there is no question whether or not I am going. I just don’t know if I want to be a hunter, I mean it sounds dangerous and painful.
“It will be dangerous if you do not go.” Greg chirps in, almost like he read my mind and in this moment I think I wouldn’t be surprised if he could, creeped out, yes, but surprised, no. Greg and I hold a stare until my dad makes a noise of agreement, so it’s decided, against my will I am going to be attending a training school for six months to become something I don’t want to be.
“Why?” I argue, annoyed at the fact that there is the two of them against me. Then I wondered if mum was a hunter, not wanting to upset dad or Greg I shook the thought from my mind and didn’t mention it.
My dad sighs and then jabs his hands out as a gesture of being annoyed at me for arguing over the point. “Harriet listen, it is important for you to do the training or they will find you and you will not be prepared.” Greg snaps at me furiously, it is clear he thinks I am being stubborn towards the situation but I am just being questioning, the curiosity taking over me. Greg grabs dad and pulls him before the room before I could add to the discussion.
I throw myself back down to the bed with a large sigh, the feeling of leaving all of my friends behind will be heartbreaking as I have quite a good school like, it would have been easier for my brother as he kept quiet in school and had few friends. Me? I am a part of the popular crowd at school and even have a boyfriend of which I will be sorry to leave, Brody is his name and he is quite hot and muscular, with a small bush of curly light brown hair. It always looks messy and sexy, I’m glad to call him mine.
Greg pulls up to school and kills the engine, due to him moving away for 6 months he had to repeat a year, I guess I will end up repeating a year as well seeing as I’m leaving too. As soon as I step out of the car Brody spots me immediately and approaches the car, Greg steps next to me to greet Brody like he always does on a morning. The two of them don’t like each other but Greg likes to keep the fear fresh in him, Greg has been quite protective over me since he got back from his trip and now I understand why.
Brody throws his arm around me casually and gives me a light kiss, Greg coughs seizing the romantic moment. Brody smiles at me before turning to my brother, as he does I notice that today Brody is wearing a yellow Lakers jersey, his favourite top to wear. “Morning Greg.” Brody says with a hint of bitterness to it.
“Greg do you think I could go to Brody’s after school.” Then I mutter something to Greg about, “to say goodbye.”Greg contemplates his answer before sighing and nodding at me, before he walks away he pulls me to the side away from Brody.
“My advice is to just go with the whole boarding school thing, it’s the easiest way.” Greg says, and then he glances over at Brody. “Oh and don’t do anything you regret.”Greg said signalling over to Brody who was still stood behind him; I could feel his eyes boring into the back of my head.
“Greg I’m not an idiot.” I say joking with him, pushing him back a little. Greg laughs in return then waves at Brody. Turning to find his friends he leaves me trying to think of a way to say goodbye carefully and try not to hurt anyone.
Brody taps my shoulder and I turn on my heels, smile already prepared. He leans in and plants a light kiss on my forehead, that’s how I know he loves me. The way he doesn’t always rush into big passionate teenage hormone filled kisses, he just gives me light kisses when we are in public places and sometimes when at home. It’s the type of kiss that you try to savour. Brody smiles at me and links his fingers between mine as we approach the rest of our friends who are stood in the smoking corner. Personally I have never liked smoking, never done it, but today I was stressed about telling everyone I was leaving for a bit. “Anna can I have your smoke for a minute?” Everyone turns to me, in shock; I just keep my eyes focused on Anna until she hands it over.
“What are you doing Harriet?” Brody asks taking the smoke from my fingers before it can touch my lips, I frown at him. I realize my hands are shaking and pull them to my sides, once at my side I clench my fists into balls and suddenly walk away from my friends.
I sit at my desk, I had walked to my locker and then straight into this class after getting a little angry that Brody had taken the smoke away from me. The class begins to fill up slowly and I pray that Brody doesn’t take the seat next to and that someone else will. When he steps into the classroom the seat next to me is still free so I sigh, then before Brody can reach it a boy I have never seen before in my life takes the seat. Brody sighs before taking the one in front of the boy.
I turn to the stranger and hold out my hand for him to take. I think of a plan to introduce myself and tell Brody I was moving at the same time. “Name’s Harriet and I am moving away today.” I say in the hope that Brody hears me; the boy turns to me and takes my hand gently. As I thought Brody snaps his head around and stares at me wide-eyed.
“You’re what now?” Brody basically screams to the whole class, the teacher coughs to quieten the murmurs. “You are kidding me right?” Brody says in disbelief. I shake my head cautiously; Brody slams his fist to the desk which grabs the attention of the whole class.
“Mr Johnson please would you wait to argue with people until my class is over?” The teachers says in a dreary tone, I wish he hadn’t because Brody would now not be able to control his anger. Brody jumps up and swiftly exits the room; I grab my bag and sling it over my shoulder before pulled Brody’s out the classroom with me.
I stare down the hallway to see a shadow just leave the main doors to the school, I follow. The hallway is empty so I can hear my every footstep on the hard laminated floors. I open the door and step outside to hear only silence; I place the bags on a bench before looking around. “Brody.” I say, and then I say it again but louder and only stop when I hear something from around the corner.
Turning the corner I see Brody and towered above him is large, dirty and red thing. There was no way to describe it without sounding like an idiot. Its skin is red, like a deep blood kind of colour and it doesn’t look like paint. Out of nowhere another two like the red once appear but they are green instead of red.
Brody is on the ground cowering and I see blood dripping from his face and onto the floor. “Hey!” I shout foolishly at the three things. Their heads snap to stare at me and they begin sprinting towards me, I don’t know what to do. They’ll kill me, what am I doing? I wouldn’t be able to move in time and I feared that I would be beaten to a pulp but as one reached me at full speed I all of a sudden pull my fist back and with a force punch the thing square in the nose.
I watch the first one fly backwards and hits the ground as the other green thing runs at me from the side I turn and kick the second one in the ribs with a powerful force that winds it, what is coming over me? I want to know how I am able to do this. I am not even controlling it.
I guess the red one is the leader and is more powerful but as it runs at me I know exactly what to do and how to do it. I place my hands on his shoulders and flip over him, once my feet are on the ground I watch it turn. As it does I punch its ribs a few times and then kick its legs until he is swept under by its own legs. I know in a moment they will be back up I turn to walk to Brody but then I feel a pull on my shoulders as I am punched repeatedly in my stomach, I fall to the floor. As the thing tries to hit me again I hear a shot and it falls to reveal Greg with a silver handgun. He glances my way before pulling out a knife and slicing the two green things throats. I watch in shock as the red one begins to disappear and then the two green ones. All that remains is a battered Brody, a lethal Greg and a damaged me.
“What were those?” I manage through my state of shock. Greg scowls at me.
“Are you an absolute idiot?” Greg says sarcastically, I do not reply. “They were demons Harriet and they were after you.” He wipes his knife on the side of his jeans and then slips it in its holder, and then he slips the gun in another holder before pulling his t-shirt over the belt to hide the weapons.
“Brody, Brody are you okay?” I run over to the almost unconscious Brody, he smiles up at me.
“That was badass Harriet.” My eyebrows lower in confusion. Greg helps me wedge Brody between us and he limps until we reach the bench and place him down to sit.
“What did you exactly do Harriet?” Greg asks and then adds, “They were pretty beaten up when I arrived.” I shrug.
“One came at it and I punched it, I don’t even know how I did it just...happened. Then one tried to get me from the side and I turned and kicked it like they do in the films and then it gets weirder, I’ve never done a flip in my life but I flipped over the red one and landed on my feet in time to punch the shit out of it.” Greg’s mouth had opened while I had been talking and now he looks like he is shocked beyond compare.
“We better get him home.”I nod.
Dad ran and hugged me as I walk through the open door, I suspect it is because I am in one piece, Greg would have probably rang him while I was saying goodbye to Brody. Greg and I dropped Brody home; luckily his parent weren’t home so we didn’t have to give an explanation. Greg gave us a few minutes to say goodbye, it was sweet and I shed a few tears but it wasn’t as bad as Brody who was hysterical with tears. I ended it by kissing him gently, in a longingly way, almost promising like I would be back for him.
“We are sending you tonight, go and pack your bags.” Dad says urgently and this time I don’t argue, my body aches from the fight and I just want to get out of this town. I now realize that Greg was right this morning when saying it was dangerous if I didn’t leave and learn, as the demons attacking me had taught me. He had said they would track me down and it seems they did. “Greg will be attending with you as he is needs to learn how to train. I have decided on this.” My dad says as I am halfway up the stairs, I stop and turn to look at him, my heart pounding. What if they know where I live?
“What about you?” I ask caringly. My dad shakes his head and then ushers me to leave him alone in the living room.
Greg helps me pack all the essentials. “There is a place called ‘The Patch’ where you can buy clothes and other essentials so don’t worry, you don’t need to pack loads.”
After I had done I packed the remaining items and took a step to the mirror to look at myself I am looking nice, in my opinion, in my comfy clothes for the plane. I make my way downstairs to see Greg packing the car, dad smiles at me and I sit on his lap like I did as a child. “I love you daddy.”
“I love you too sweetie.” Dad walks me to the car and hands Greg my suitcase.
I climb into the car and look at my dad through the window, I don’t want to say goodbye to him because I feel like I am saying goodbye forever. Only because deep down I know something is going to happen to him while I am gone and I just hope that he uses his hunter skills, if he has any.
As Greg pulls out of the drive I wave vigorously at my dad who is still stood in the drive waving back, I wipe a tear from my eye and smile, I can’t worry about dad because I believe the first rule of being a hunter is only worry about you. I don’t even know how I know that, it’s like it’s burnt into my brain.
I lean my head to the window and stare out at the road signs going by, already dark I am tired so I close my eyes and listen to the little purr of the engine as we travel and before I know it I am sleeping. And I wish that my sleep could last forever because then I wouldn’t have to face the real world.
The real world.