~~I turned 20 years old today. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. Little did I know today was going to change everything.
I winced and cringed away from the sprite-like green haired girl beside me. Laughing she enveloped me in a big hug and jumped around a couple of times. Adequately jostled I scrambled out of her grasp dizzy. The culprit was my best friend of 13 years, Lilian Zandir. Or Lily for short. She’s 19 years old, a couple months younger than me. She’s tall, but curvy and seems to have a natural grace about her even though she can be a bit of a klutz. She also has bright mint green hair that melted into coal black tips. Her skin is very pale like porcelain and her eyes are a contrasting bright sky blue. Today she was decked out in fitted skinny jeans that slipped into her favorite purple high top converse. She was also sporting her favorite t-shirt, a bright neon-colored Paramore fan shirt.
“Thank you, thank you, now stop jumping around damnit!” I quipped. She looked at me with a mischievous glint in her bright blue eyes. Feigning innocence she just shrugged and flopped down on the raggedy brown couch next to us.
“Jeez, Raynee, you’re no fun. You’d think you would become more lax with age,” Kate piped up from the counter sarcastically.
I whipped around shooting the sassy brunette perched upon my kitchen counter an evil glare. Katelyn Snow, or Kate. She has also been with me for 13 years. Kate is a little shorter than Lily, closer to my height. She has warm hazel eyes that almost glow gold in certain lighting. She also has beautiful long curly hair that starts as a sultry brown and ombrés out to golden tips. Her skin is also fair in tone, but she is not as pale as Lily. She also is 19 years old, the youngest of us. Kate’s style is a little bit more modern than Lily’s ‘alternative’ look. Kate is wearing a simple pair of strategically ripped jeans that hug her curves and flare a little at the bottoms to slightly cover her black ballet flats. She also had on an earthy styled tank top that hugged her curves as she leisurely lounged on the counter.
“Yeah man, what gives?” Lily remarked grinning up at me. I raised my hands in exasperation and plopped down in the chair next to the counter.
“I’m only 20 now guys. Hardly a huge milestone.” I said with a sigh.
“No,no you’re right. The fact that you are no longer a teenager is just…rubbish,” Kate said as she straightened her posture and tossed her hair. Lily snickered and I rolled my eyes dramatically.
“Oh here we go,” I said.
“Or how about the fact that you’re one year closer to the almighty golden age of 21? Pish-posh. Nothing fazes our dear Raynee. Legal alcohol? Ha! Tis for fools, that is!” Kate announced with a pompous sniff of disdain. Lily giggled into her hand and I gave Kate a look.
“What?” She asked innocently. I shook my head smiling as she collapsed into giggles herself.
“You weirdos,” I said laughing, “can’t take anything seriously can you?”
Lily and Kate, who had slowly calmed down to minor chuckles, simply glanced at each other and then back at me with blank expressions.
“I am fully capable of taking things seriously.” Kate replied with a smirk. Lily nodded while she turned on the cushion to tuck her legs under herself. I nodded too and rolled my eyes.
“You know, now that I’m 20 I am an adult. For real. A good fourth of my life is over and what do I have to say for it?” I asked dramatically rising from my chair. It was Kate’s turn to roll her eyes as Lily face palmed.
“Fricken nothing at all.” I concluded with a sweep of my arm over the table that sent our homework papers flying. Lily scoffed at my display.
“Bull shit! You have had a great time I think. A fourth of your life over? Please. And why the hell did you have to scramble my Geography papers for?” She barked at me as she got up from the couch to go retrieve her papers. I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair, a nervous gesture.
“Ah, I don’t know. I was just in the moment,” I said laughing. Lily shot me a look and Kate smiled.
“Hey, look at the bright side, the Blue Moon Eclipse is tonight! And we get to see it in the coolest spot ever,” she said. Lily nodded in agreement as she gently set her papers back in the table.
“Well, ya I guess. Doesn’t it only come around every 1,000 years or so?” I asked frowning in thought. Kate jumped down from the counter and stretched her arms above her.
“Sure does. Aren’t you a lucky son of a bitch? Get to have an awesome eclipse that only comes around every 1,000 years on your birthday?” she said smiling.
“Right! That’s awesome. And we get to hit the club so doubly great!” Lily said excitedly. Her baby blue eyes lit up and she gracefully swept her bright mint green hair up into a ponytail.
“Ya, you guys are right,” I conceded starting to be infected by Lily’s obvious enthusiasm. Kate grinned flashing her pearly white teeth. Her sharp canines stood out in her smile seeing as they were slightly abnormally large naturally which gave the impression of her having a ‘wolfish’ smile.
“Of course we are,” Lily stated as if it were incredibly obvious. I rolled my eyes again and we all laughed. Then we heard the dull thud of footsteps coming down the stairs. Just as I turned to look I saw my older brother, Ian come around the corner.
Ian was a decently tall guy at about 6 feet 2 inches tall. He was also pretty leanly built, but with a bit of muscle definition because of his hard labor at his roofing job. His skin was similar to mine being slightly tan. His eyes were a molten amber color that most girls craved. His hair in contrast was pitch black and he let it grow only long enough to slightly curl at the edges. I had been told by multiple girls throughout High School how ‘hot’ my brother was. I still have no idea what they are talking about. Now he was wearing some worn out jeans with a plain white t-shirt. The shirt clung to him, I noticed, he must have got more muscle. Ian, I know, is self-conscious by nature so his sense of ‘fashion’ is very simple and plain. He hates anything that makes him stand out. Now he was standing there with his hands in his pockets looking at us as if we were up to no good.
“I heard a commotion down here. Are you guys breaking things again?” he asked lightly with narrowed eyes in my direction. I pursed my lips and cocked my head to one side.
“Why brother, would we do that?” I asked mockingly. Ian lowered his brows and gaze me an exasperated look.
“Yes. Yes you would.” He said. Lily, who was still adjusting her papers on the table, gaze a small gasp. I saw Ian’s gaze slide to her and quickly look away. Turning I saw Lily holding her finger up to her lips.
“Oops, haha. Papercut,” she said smiling. Kate and I sighed. Lily is known to be quite accident prone.
“Need a Band-Aid?” I asked.
“Mmmm. No, I don’t think so.” She mumbled distractedly as she inspected her wound.
“I’ll get her some Neosporin,” Ian said. She turned towards him about to object, but he was already going up the stairs.
“Always jumpin the gun and doing whatever he wants, that one…” I grumbled. I looked over at Kate and saw that she was watching the stairs with an unreadable expression on her face.
“Hey, Kate,” I said. She quickly blinked as if snapping out of a daydream and looked at me her usual sarcastic face on.
“What time are we going to PiPs?” I asked. Lily was holding her finger to her lips still and I fleetingly wondered if the taste of blood bothered her. That was a weird thought…
“Probably anytime around 7. The Eclipse is supposed to happen around 10 and I want to get in plenty of dancing time before that birthday girl,” she said with a wink.
“I second that!” Lily remarked excitedly.
“Ok, ok,” I said smiling. I walked over to our mini fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. After taking a drink I allowed my mind to wander.
I noticed that though I had a lot of excitement about tonight I also felt a sense of unease. Like there was something I was missing. I glanced out the window that led to the backyard and looked at the sky. It was a beautiful day out. I like the way the treetops swayed with the wind. A couple of birds flitted about on the telephone wires and I sighed. I had always admired birds. They were the very symbol of the freedom no human possessed. They were not bound by the land. They could fly. Ever since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of flying far away…to a distant place…just out of reach…
-Moonlight streamed over the empty field of swaying lilies. The breeze was frigid and I felt goose bumps rise along my flesh.-
I gasped aloud as my vision returned to normal and I could see the same backyard before me.
“Rayne?” I heard Kate’s voice like an echo in my head.
-A conch horn sounded in the distance and I felt dread fill the pit of my stomach threatening to overtake me. Heavy footsteps could be felt through the ground beneath my feet. Thousands of them. Coming for me.-
“Agh!” I gasped as my hand seized around my water bottle causing it to explode out of the top. A cold sweat had formed on me and I struggled for air.
“Rayne?!” Lily exclaimed as she steadied me and took the crushed bottle from my hands. I looked up at her with wide eyes, but my vision was so blurry I had a hard time making her out. Confused I blinked and tears fell down my cheeks. Lily and Kate stood around me with concerned expressions also looking as confused as I felt.
I lifted a shaking hand and swiped the tears from my face stunned. Why am I crying? What the hell was that?
“Rayne, what’s happening? What’s wrong?” Lily asked gently. They helped me get to the couch and slowly sit down. I still felt extremely tense and my heart was racing.
“I-I don’t know,” I whispered. I couldn’t stop trembling, but at least I had stopped crying. Kate and Lily were beside me each looking at me worried. Suddenly I felt really self-conscious. I never cry in front of them. Blushing, I slowly forced myself to relax.
“I-I’m sorry. It must have been a panic attack or something,” I said reassuringly. They didn’t look convinced, but I didn’t want to tell them that I was having some freakish vision or something. I don’t know what that was, but I seem to be fine now. Kate’s expression suddenly softened and she gently wrapped her arm around my shoulder.
“Rayne…is this about your mom?” She asked quietly. Lily averted her gaze and I felt the tense atmosphere shift to one of sadness. I looked at the ground and felt a knot form in my throat.
“Yeah, that probably triggered it. It’s always rough around this time of year,” I said fighting tears again. Kate hugged me closer and I allowed myself to rest against her, grateful for the support. Lily wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tight as well. Within their embrace I felt a great appreciation for them.
Though we have our moments of silly quarrels, these girls are always there for me and me for them. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such great friends. They were practically the sisters I never had. It’s only ever just been me and Ian. I am always incredibly grateful.
“Hey I got th-“ Ian’s voice traveled down the stairs and abruptly cut off as he saw us. I didn’t have to see him to know he understood what was happening. He knew all too well. He quietly came over and set the first aid supplies down on the table. Then as he turned to leave he gently patted my head like he used to when we were kids. I felt the knot in my throat grow even larger and I reached a hand out to him. He took it and gave it a comforting squeeze letting me know that he was there for me to.
He left us and we separated our hug. I wiped the remaining tears from my face and laughed lightly at how ridiculously serious this had gotten so fast. Lily and Kate smiled, but the light atmosphere was mostly gone.
“Ok come on guys. I’m 20 years old. Let’s go be crazy so I don’t have to have another depressing birthday,” I said lightly as I sniffed and jumped up from the couch. They exchanged glances and stood up as well.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” Lily asked. On the inside I acknowledged that no, I was not.
Instead I said, “Yep. Good as ever.”
“Okay, well we have about 4 hours until time so what are we gonna do till then?” Lily asked. I looked at Kate and she smiled her wolfish grin.
“Why, get ready of course!”
Now you might think 4 hours for getting ready would be an exaggeration, but when it comes to Kate, sadly, it is not. Kate considers herself to be a bit of a fashionista. She’s not afraid to be incredibly honest with you regarding your wardrobe choices and she always knows the best clothes to wear for any occasion. Lily too is incredibly gifted when it comes to hair and make-up so combined they make a great team. I on the other hand am…not so gifted.
“Rayne! Oh no. No no no no no no! You are not going to the club like that. On your birthday,” Kate exclaimed shaking her head at me. Lily tried to hide a smile and I scowled at her. Kate tsked at me and I crossed my arms defiantly.
“And what, pray tell, is wrong with this outfit?” I demanded. Lily laughed and turned back to the mirror working on her own elaborate make-up. Kate stalked over to me and slowly circled me, much like a predator about to tear me down.
“Well. First off, bright metallic silver leggings do not go with that old dress thing. At all. I do not know how you convinced yourself that was a good idea,” She remarked with a wave of her hand. I glanced down at myself and frowned.
“Secondly, why in the world haven’t you got rid of that dress thing? You’ve had it for years, dude. Years! It’s even got little holes in it and the color is all faded!” She said.
“I think it’s still fine,” I said haughtily. Kate shook her head and continued,
“Thirdly, why on earth are you wearing a black cardigan over it?” she asked pausing in front of me and giving me an incredulous expression.
“Well…I don’t know…it made sense at the time,” I mumbled looking myself over.
“Ooooook. Well, finally your shoes. Rayne. Your shoes. Are those tennis shoes?” She asked.
“Ok, I can see how that was a slight misjudgment on my part,” I said.
“Slight?” Kate replied with a raised brow.
“Slight,” I agreed giving her a look. She shrugged and looked away.
“Ok. Ok. You’ve made your point. Again. Please help a hopeless girl who has no sense of fashion?” I asked smiling sweetly.
“Of course I will. Free of charge because it’s your birthday,” Kate said. Lily scoffed and we both laughed.
Kate spent the next hour making me try on many different outfits until she found one she loved. Then I was sent to Lily’s station where my hair and make-up were painstakingly done over and over again. Ian popped into the room at one point to offer us some dinner, but had to make a quick escape after seeing all the preparations that were happening. I couldn’t blame him. Had he stayed Kate would’ve made him offer his opinion on everything.
“Gah! Am I done yet? I literally cannot feel the bottom half of my body,” I complained as Lily flurried around me in a cloud of eyeshadows and glittery powders.
“Just about…” she said quietly. I glanced up at her and saw her face completely serious. Lily gets super focused when she’s got a brush in her hands.
“Alright, whatcha think?” Kate asked as she stepped out of the bathroom. Lily paused and we both turned to look at her. I had to admit that Kate and Lily’s skills were worthy of some serious respect.
Kate had decided to go with a floral mini dress with a brown studded belt around the waist. She paired it with bold bangles on her wrists and a band around her arm. She had on a pair of brown boots that rose a little above her ankle and had a three inch heel on them. Her long hair flowed beautifully down her back and shoulders. Her make-up was a bit more subtle with more earthy tones and natural colors. She did a little twirl and winked at us as we proceeded to do catcalls and the like.
After much laughter Lily finally finished my makeup and I was released as she went to find her own outfit. Soon she came back and dramatically sauntered into the room like she was on a runway.
Lily’s look was more punk/scene as was her style. She was wearing a sleek black dress with thin off the shoulder straps. It had a deep blue corset that hugged her waist, and it tapered off into a black petticoat. Her long legs were covered in fishnet stockings and ended in a pair of black Mary Janes. Her bright mint hair swept gracefully across her open back and bare shoulders. It was mildly teased so that it gave more of a scene like appearance. Her make-up was a stunning mix of greens, blues, and blacks that gave her a very exotic look. She was also adorning a vivid pendant that resembled a single teardrop. It hung from a delicate silver chain around her neck.
Me and Kate applauded her and erupted into laughter as she attempted to do a sexy dance, but instead fell onto the floor. Again, accident prone. I was almost dreading looking at myself, but I got dressed and slowly entered the room. Kate and Lily both smiled from ear to ear looking very satisfied with themselves. Nervous I walked to the mirror and gasped as I looked at my reflection.
The dress I was in was at least a long sleeved one. But it clung to every curve I had. It made me look really shapely almost like a dancer. It was a glimmering black material, almost sheer, though dark enough to not be seen through. The dress ran to about mid thigh. I also had on a pair of sexy sleek black pumps. Though relatively simple in comparison to the other girl’s outfits, mine managed to be both incredibly mysterious and beautiful in a seductive way. My hair flowed down my back in black waves. It was shiny and soft to the touch. My make-up was very dramatic smoky eye and shockingly deep red lipstick. My already exotic looking features like my slanted eyes, big lips, and tan complexion looked even more so due to Lily’s handiwork.
I was stunned as I stood there looking at someone I did not recognize in the mirror. Someone came up behind me and quickly slipped something around my neck. Momentarily alarmed I raised my hand to it and felt a small pendant of my own hanging on a silver chain. I looked at it in the mirror and saw a silver crescent moon winking back at me. It seemed to be glowing slightly as I stared at it with mixed emotions. I turned around and saw Ian standing behind me with a small smile on his face. Touching the pendant I smiled back at him.
“It’s beautiful, Ian. Thank you,” I said with a shaky voice. Ian rolled his eyes and picked me up in a tight hug.
“You don’t need to thank me, idiot. It’s your birthday. Don’t even think about crying either,” he said chuckling. I laughed and he set me down.
“Thanks anyway,” I said. Ian nodded and turned to leave bumping into Lily in the process. She immediately tipped backwards, but Ian quickly caught her around the waist stopping her fall. He held onto her while she regained her balance, and she blushed a deep crimson color. Then without a word he released her and left the room. Lily looked at me with a sheepish expression and a shrug cursing her clumsiness. Kate was on her phone preoccupied. I frowned feeling like I had missed something important.
“Well what do you think?” Lily asked. I blinked looked around.
“Your look of course,” she said. I turned back to the mirror and felt heat climb up my face.
“It’s kinda…suggestive don’t you think?” I asked. Kate laughed and stood up from her perch on the bed.
“You look hoooot!” She grinned. I looked away embarrassed and Lily shook her head.
“Shall we?” She asked gesturing towards the door. I took one last look in the mirror and saw my crescent shimmering back at me like a beacon. A sign. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to happen. Something big.
We all hopped into Kate’s small navy blue Escalade. PiPs is a new night club that had opened a couple of months ago and we had all been dying to go there. Kate and I are kind of crazy when it comes to dancing sometimes, Lily also enjoys it. It is very modern fashioned so I have no idea what to expect when we get there.
As we neared our destination the traffic began to thicken to claustrophobic levels making me grip my seatbelt tightly. I hate driving, always have. I cannot stand it when there are so many cars parked along the sides of the street and people are walking about freely. Just an accident waiting to happen I say. I glanced around the car while absent mindedly running my hand along the velvety interior. Kate was completely focused in the front seat and Lily was humming to “Sparks Fly” that was playing on the radio. Turning my gaze back to the outdoors, I watched nervously as we cruised by streets packed with cars and people. The streetlamps positioned along the road cast an eerie orange glow that I found more intimidating than comforting. Something about tonight was making everything look menacing.
“Rayne?” Lily piped up from the front seat. Snapping back to reality I looked at her through the rearview mirror.
“Are you excite?” She asked with a cock of her eyebrow.
“So excite,” I replied grinning.
“You’d better be because we are here, bitches!” Kate announced triumphantly as she pulled into an open space along the sidewalk.
Kate wasted no time jumping out of the car and filling up the meter as Lily and I slowly exited the vehicle. A cool gust of wind brushed across us raising goose bumps along my flesh. I rubbed my arms and looked around. There were a couple of groups of people walking around, but otherwise our area seemed pretty deserted. The building next to us was an old vacant building made of brick. It looked pretty run down and I stared at the torn sign posted along the window that read They’re Coming.
My heart thudded heavily in my chest and I blinked stunned. But when I opened my eyes the sign said For Sale.
“What?” I asked aloud to myself.
“What? What’s wrong?” Lily asked. I stared at the sign, but it never changed. Looking at Lily wide-eyed I just shrugged. I could tell by her expression that she was concerned about me. Especially with what happened earlier today. I can’t blame her; I would like to know what is wrong with me as well.
As we made our way across the street towards the sound of blaring bass rhythms, I looked up at the sky and caught a glimpse of the moon peering between some clouds. There are still hours until the eclipse, but I could already see a blue-ish tinge to it. Perhaps it was my imagination. It looked rather large in the sky tonight, so much so that I could just make out the craters and holes that marred its surface.
“Ready for this?” Kate asked me with a grin. I could almost see the vibrations of anticipation and excitement coursing off of her and Lily.
“Always,” I replied.
“Good, get your IDs out,” she said as we neared the entrance.
PiPs nightclub loomed over us in a very flashy, but post-modern fashion. The building itself was rather unremarkable in architecture, but made up for its basic foundation with many neon signs, flashing lights, and bright fixtures. The bright neon sign that read PiPs cast a purple glow over our surroundings driving us into a surreal experience as soon as we entered. Though we were at the entrance I could already feel the incredibly loud music thrumming beneath our feet and in the air around us. The bouncer that stood between us and the doors leading into the club looked very stereotypical. I wonder if that’s just part of the job description.
He stood at least 6”5 high making us feel tiny in comparison. His arms and torso resembled that of someone who lived and breathed at their local gym, all muscles and brawn. He was bald and was wearing all black; black muscle shirt, black cargo pants, black shoes, and even sunglasses though it was nighttime. As we approached he appeared to look us over in a no-nonsense way that made me feel like a small child up to no good.
“IDs,” he barked at us. Even his voice befits his job all low and gravely. We quickly passed over our IDs. He glanced over them briskly and then gave them back with a grunt he said, “Stamps.”
We each gave him our hands in turn and he stamped them with a little blue image of the clubs logo, PiPs. Then he waved us on as if we were little bugs he was shooing away. We all exchanged sardonic looks, but made no comment as we proceeded into the club. Once we were through the entrance we walked down a narrow hallway that was relatively unadorned other than the occasional flash of neon lights. Slightly disoriented, we came into a bigger room that I could only assume was the lounge.
It had a bar located just left of the entrance. The bar was alit in bright hues of yellow and it was very posh modern looking. The bartender was equally as professional in a casual suit and sleek demeanor as he flew about the bar concocting up drinks for the patrons. He was an older gentleman, maybe about mid 30s and I acknowledged that he was quite handsome, resembling a younger George Clooney.
Pulling my gaze away from him I saw that the lounge was well furnished. It had many very comfortable looking loveseats that were placed around each other in such a way that it promoted a social and relaxed atmosphere. The floor was a very attractive deep shade of hardwood that glimmered well-polished beneath the lights above. The room was multicolored through different sections being lit in different hues all very calm and relaxing shades.
By this point the music had grown even louder so that I could obviously make out the lyrics to Ariana Grandes’ hit song “Problem”. Kate led us towards a curtain that was on the opposite side of the lounge. As we followed her I quickly became aware of the wandering eyes that were following our movements. I self-consciously walked a little faster to escape their looks, and beat Kate to the curtain. Once drawn back it exposed a whole other section of the club. We had entered onto the top of a railed in balcony that was connected to a wide winding staircase that led down to a huge dance floor.
There were so many people. I followed Kate and Lily slowly down the steps, distantly hoping that I would not fall. Once we reached the bottom we saw a mass of moving bodies dancing in front of us and I felt a little bit silly at the fact that we were really here. At a nightclub. And I am 20 years old. The DJ’s station was towards the far right of the room and it was very sleek and smooth in build. A lot of metal and dark tones. But connected to it were dozens of lights that shown out across the room in random pulsating patterns and colors in time to the music. People of all kinds were here. Older guys and girls as well as barely legal adolescents. I glanced down at my stamp smiling; I will be legal this time next year and won’t have to be stamped.
“This is awesome!” Lily exclaimed into my ear. I understood what she said, but the music was so loud I knew that I was going to have a headache later. Kate motioned for us to follow her and she deftly led us to an open spot on the dance floor. Wasting no time we all immediately began to dance.
I was mildly concerned with the thought of dancing in heels, not something I’m used to, but it actually proved to be a lot easier than I anticipated. We danced through songs that I knew and some that I didn’t. We wiggled, jumped, and jived to any tune that came over the speakers along with the other club goers. After several songs Lily breathlessly told us she needed a drink. Laughing, Kate and I trailed after her through the mass of sweating bodies. In the back of my mind, I contemplated that clubs are actually kind of gross, but you have so much fun dancing it doesn’t bother you.
We walked carefully back up the stairs and went back through the curtain. Lily branched off and went up to the bar to request some ‘legal’ refreshments while Kate and I collapsed onto one of the loveseats. Giggling we tried valiantly to catch our breath as we fanned ourselves.
“It’s so fricken hot!” Kate complained as she lifted her hair away from her neck. I nodded in agreement sweeping my hair to one side. I quickly cursed myself for not bringing a ponytail.
“What was with those moves out there?” I asked loudly. Kate doubled over laughing.
“I-I don’t know. I just let the music move me!” She said while trying to catch her breath. I laughed with her and Lily came teetering over to us. She was carrying three glasses of water and I gratefully took one of them from her.
“Don’t drink it too fast or you’ll make yourself sick,” she chided as I downed my glass.
“Too late,” Kate mumbled as she set down her empty glass onto the coffee table in front of us. Lily rolled her eyes and continued to drink hers more slowly. Feeling a bit more refreshed I took in our surroundings again. It was a little less crowded than it had been before, but there were still more people than I cared for. I accidently made eye contact with an older gent who was staring at us from his seat at the bar. I immediately looked away feeling my face flame, but it was too late and he unsteadily rose from his feet and made his way over to us. I felt uncomfortable and fiddled with my glass.
Kate noticed him and then sighed. He was a short fellow, with short cropped hair and a rather unremarkable appearance.
“Hey ladies, would any of you like a drink?” he asked slimily, and then he added with a sly grin,”On me of course.”
“Um…no thank you,” I said blushing from embarrassment. I always get this way when I talk to any guy, it’s rather ridiculous.
“Surely if it’s for free you would not deny it?” he asked again persistently. Yeesh, apparently he doesn’t understand that no means no. Kate and Lily exchanged looks and then looked at me. Put on the spot I felt annoyed with the man.
“No thank you sir. We have drinks already,” I said politely giving him a hard look. The man smiled slowly and met my gaze with a hungry one of his own. I saw something dark flow behind his eyes and drew back from him unintentionally startled.
This motion made me lose my balance on the seat and as I realized I was falling backwards, a pair of strong hands grabbed me under my arms and lifted me back onto the chair. The hand’s contact sent jolts through me and I gasped.
“I believe the lady said no,” a low voice said behind me. The voice was a deep timbre that I felt vibrate through the person at my back making shivers run down my spine. Stunned I swiveled in my seat and looked up at him.
The owner of the voice stood very tall from my vantage point, maybe 6”3. He was dressed in plain black jeans and a black shirt that was covered by a leather jacket. His face was very defined and his jaw line had a hint of stubble on it. I couldn’t see his eyes but his hair was also pitch black as the night and was long enough to be worn slightly disheveled. Taken aback, I sat there motionless as Lily and Kate gawked at him as well.
The short man backed off a step, but then quipped up, “She can speak for herself, you asshole. I wasn’t trying to start anything.”
The new guy in leather just smirked at him. Fuming, the short one stormed off out of the club. Once he was gone I saw tension leave the guys stance as he became more relaxed. He looked down at me and I saw his eyes. They were a deep emerald green that seemed to look right through mine like I was an open book that he was reading. His expression became almost confused for a second before settling into an unreadable mask. I felt my face heat up with the sudden vulnerability and I quickly downcast my eyes. Then I realized none of us had said anything.
“Oh! Um…thank you-“
“No thanks are necessary. I didn’t do that to help you,” he said with a wave of his hand.
I stared at him for a second stunned.
“I can’t stand guys like him,” the guy continued as if I hadn’t spoken at all. “Although,” he remarked while slowly looking over me from head to toe, “dressed like that, I suppose his behavior was warranted.”
I felt, more than saw, Lily and Kate’s mouths drop open. In an instant any gratification or admiration I felt for the guy was zapped into rage.
“Excuse me?” I snapped angrily. The guy smirked and raised his hands in a helpless pose.
“I’m just telling you like it is, sweetheart. If you’re going to come to a club dressed like that,” he said gesturing to my body, “then you should be prepared for the consequences.”
I stood up and glared up at him with as much bravado as I could muster.
“You don’t know anything about me!” I hissed at him. He met my eyes with the same smirk playing over his lips. I could tell my anger amused him and I just wanted to hit him square in his mouth.
“Maybe that’s true, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that you are…well, a bit promiscuous.”
I blushed a bright crimson and scoffed at him, “I suppose you would know all about that wouldn’t you?”
“Actually, I would. See, it does look rather nice on you,” he remarked offhandedly. I stood back a little confused by the compliment.
“You look exactly like the type of girl I would like to take home, strip down, and-“
“Jesus Christ, stop it will you?!” I snapped at him blushing furiously. He shrugged unfazed and stepped back from me. Seething I glared at him and he chuckled to himself.
“Alright, alright, look. That may have been a little rude of me,” he started.
“A little?” I growled.
“Well, I mean come on. I was only being honest. I’ve come across your type a lot in these parts,” he continued.
I scoffed at him incredulously.
“And I was just forewarning you. My name is Kyllian, and whom have I had the pleasure of insulting tonight?” he asked with a wicked grin. I stared at him shaking my head.
“Really? I wonder, do you think you’re incredibly charming or do you acknowledge that you’re a sexist bastard?” I asked sarcastically.
“A bit of both, love,” he remarked with a wink in Lily’s direction. Beyond agitated, I just huffed in exasperation and turned my back to him.
“You guys ready to go? The Eclipse will be starting shortly,” I said to Kate and Lily. Both of them had been watching our argument with amused expressions. They nodded and I turned back to Kyllian. He was bent back a little with his head cocked to the side and he grinned at me.
“Looks nice from the back too.”
“Sexist, rude, and a pervert. My how your list is growing,” I said angrily. I self-consciously crossed my arms in front of myself and his grin grew as he straightened up.
“A little pervasion never hurt anybody,” he said innocently.
“Come on, guys, let’s go,” I said to the girls. Kyllian just shrugged and moved to the side so we could pass him.
“Ladies, it has been such a pleasure,” he said with a dramatic bow. Lily and Kate fought back smiles as they walked past him. I was almost through when he suddenly reached out and grabbed my arm making me stop. His touch was cool against the thin material on my arm and it felt like there was an undercurrent of energy humming between us. He stood up and was pressed right next to me so that I could even feel the heat radiating off of him. I glared up at him, daring him to try something.
“Until next time, love,” he said quiet enough so only I could hear. I tugged my arm from his grasp and gave him my best death stare.
“My names not love, it’s Rayne,” I snapped at him. He paused for a moment and then grinned at me backing off. I turned away from him and quickly followed the girls back through the curtain.
Once we had descended the spiral staircase we headed for the double doors that led out into the ‘backyard’ of the club. Kate and Lily kept shooting me inquisitive looks that I ignored until we were exiting the room. Once through the doors we were cast into a fenced in balcony of sorts. The set up was similar to the lounge only with furniture that was better suited for outdoors. It also had the natural lighting of the moon shining down on us. I walked over to the fence and peered though. Below us was a mild drop off that led to a mini highway bustling with night traffic.
Kate nabbed us a booth near the fence to avoid the other couples that were shamelessly making out under the moonlight. I rolled my eyes at this and Lily laughed.
“Get a room!” She said loudly before I clamped my hand over her mouth. Some of the couples gave us rude looks, but then continued on with their PDA. We all sat down and I finally felt myself relax a little.
“Soooooo?” Kate asked slyly. I knew that tone of voice and sighed heavily.
“You don’t even know what I was going to say,” she pouted sarcastically. I raised my brow at her.
“You were going to make some remark about mister pervert in the leather back there,” I challenged.
“Actually, his name’s Kyllian. That’s a weird name, never heard it before…” she said distracted. I groaned and covered my face with my hands.
“What’s your point?” Lily asked curiously. I shook my head, knowing exactly what her point was. Kate shrugged and grinned at me.
“All I’m saying is he was totally hitting on you back there. Shoulda tapped that,” she said nonchalantly. I turned on her in a rush.
“Did you not notice how incredibly vulgar, and rude he was to me? He was baiting me, Kate. Not to mention dissing the outfit you put me in, remember?” I said. Kate rolled her eyes and waved her hand at me.
“Details, details. He was hot though.” She said. Lily whistled in agreement and I just shook my head.
“Oh hey, look!” Lily said nudging me roughly in my side. I followed her gaze and looked up at the sky. The moon looked even bigger now. And it was definitely tinged blue.
“Awesome,” Kate said wonderingly. Looking at the moon above us I felt something stir inside me. It was a little tug at my conscious that seemed to be warning me of something. Frowning, I dragged my eyes away from the moon and looked at Lily. She had an equally puzzled look on her face and I noticed Kate did as well.
“What-“ I started to ask, but then a bunch of people came pouring out of the club laughing and screaming. We all turned and looked at them as they stumbled into the open balcony.
“Hey!” A girl yelled at us. She was really short and dressed in a red mini dress that was too small for her frame, seeing as her breasts were currently trying to bust out of the top. She came our direction unsteadily, reminding me briefly of a baby deer as she tripped in her heels. She was giggling like a maniac and waving her arms around.
“You guys see the moon? Do you see it? It’s an eclipse bitches!” She shouted at us. A boy, I assumed was her boyfriend, grabbed her and helped steady her giving us an apologetic look. As he led her away I was disturbed by her maniacal laugh.
“Aw man, that drunken bitch spilled shit everywhere,” Kate groaned. I looked down and saw that there was a growing puddle of alcohol near Kate’s feet. She immediately lifted her feet into the air to save her shoes, while Lily searched for some napkins. We couldn’t find any nearby so as I was rising to go get some, I felt a cool hand on my shoulder. At the touch I immediately felt all the warmth leave my body as a shock of fear shot through me. My heart throbbed in my chest and I jerked away from the hand with a gasp.
“I’m sorry, I did not mean to startle you,” said the owner of the hand in a smooth low tone. I gaped at him as several different emotions waged war inside me, the strongest ones being fear and an intense rage. The man stood at about 6’4 and towered over me. He was older, maybe early 40s, but kept a strong physique that made him appear younger. He was dressed in a sleek silver suit that looked both casual and professional. He had a strong jaw and prominent cheekbones making his features more sharp and angular. He had a light tan complexion and his hair was jet black with the occasional fleck of grey. His eyes were a dark brown. So dark they almost seemed completely black as they bore through me in a withering stare. I looked up at him confused by my feelings. There was something wrong here. Very, very wrong.
“Excuse me, my name is Chancellor. I saw your unfortunate predicament,” he said coolly as he turned his gaze on Kate. Once his eyes were off of me I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I had been holding. A small tremor shook me and I tried to get a grip on my emotions fruitlessly.
“I thought you could use some of these,” he said while bringing out a roll of paper towels. I frowned at him. He didn’t have those a second ago…
Kate smiled at him and accepted the towels gratefully.
“Not a problem. I hope you girls have a lovely evening,” he said with a small smile. His gaze shift between the three of us, and ultimately came to rest on me. I tensed and stood rigid under his gaze. Why am I acting like this? I’ve never met this guy before. His expression became slightly clouded as if he were listening to something far away. Then without warning, he spun around and exited into the club.
I felt the tension leave my body as I slowly sagged back down onto the seat beside Lily. I felt nauseous inside and I rubbed my arms trying to get rid of the chill that man had brought on.
“That was fricken weird,” I said aloud. Lily looked at me and I could tell she, too, had felt something. Her eyes were wide and slightly dilated, her expression guarded.
“I know what you mean.”
“Well, I don’t. What are we talking about?” Kate asked while mopping up the mess on the ground with her freshly acquired paper towels. Lily and I looked at each other and then at her.
“You didn’t feel that?” Lily asked incredulously. Kate frowned at us in confusion.
“Feel what?” she asked.
“That man…” I said quietly, “There was something off about him.”
“Something off?” Kate repeated unconvinced. Lily and I nodded.
“He was just a nice guy offering us some help. I don’t really see what you guys are saying,” she said frowning at us.
“He gave me the creeps,” Lily said looking off into the distance.
“There was something…I felt it. Something wrong with him,” I said quietly.
“Well, he didn’t do anything to warrant these feelings of yours,” Kate said with a dismissive wave of her hand. “But OK. Whatevers, let’s forget about him. The eclipse is going to start any minute now.”
We all glanced up and sure enough the moon was darkening above us. I slowly stood up and strained to see it. Lily and Kate stood as well and a collective quiet had fallen upon everyone on the balcony.
“Lovely isn’t it?” A voice said beside me. With an uncharacteristic yelp I sidestepped into Lily, earning me two startled looks.
“Jesus-“ I hissed exasperatedly. “Ash, what the hell are you doing here?!”
The tall guy beside me laughed aloud and I punched him in the shoulder. He was also tall, about 6’1, and was very lean. His soft shaggy brown hair, Hollywood worthy good-looks, and deep blue eyes had gained him many admirers back in our High School days much like my brother Ian. However, to us he was just Ash, Kate’s big brother. We all called him Ash, but his actual name was Alistair Snow. Tonight he was dressed in some casual black slacks, with a button down short sleeve white shirt.
“Man, you are too easy to scare, Rayne,” Ash said chuckling to himself. I glared at him for a moment and then laughed.
“Damnit, Ash! It’s Rayne’s birthday and you just had to crash it didn’t you?” Kate demanded.
“Aw, come on sis. I couldn’t let you guys have all the fun now could I?” he asked innocently.
“When did you even get here?” Lily asked crossing her arms.
“Um…” he said glancing around puzzled. “Bout 30 minutes ago?”
“Why are you here?” Kate asked annoyed.
“Well…” he hummed biding his time. Then he turned to me and grinned. “I couldn’t miss Rayne’s birthday.”
He grabbed a hold of me and swept me into a large hug making me laugh and Kate huff in exasperation. He spun me around a little making me slightly dizzy before placing me back onto the ground. Then he leaned in and whispered into my ear, “Happy birthday.”
I laughed and punched him in the chest making him back up a step. Grinning he took on a wounded look grabbing the spot I had hit him at as if he were about to die. Kate rolled her eyes, and Lily couldn’t help laughing at us.
“Ash, would you stop. Rayne has been harassed enough tonight without your efforts,” Kate said. Ash immediately got a concerned look on his face as he met my eyes.
“Someone harassed you?”
“I don’t think I would be complaining if Kyllian had harassed me,” Lily said teasingly. Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. Kate laughed and Ash held up his hand.
“Wait, wait, wait. Who’s Kyllian?” He demanded.
“Rayne’s secret admirer,” Kate said mysteriously. Ash’s expression soured and he shook his head.
“I would like to meet this Kyllian…” he said menacingly. Lily and Kate laughed while I nudged Ash in the ribs.
“He’s just another pervert who lingers around clubs too much,” I said smiling. Ash relaxed and grinned back at me.
“Is that so?”
“Hey, look guys! The eclipse is starting!” Kate said pointing towards the sky. We all stopped joking around and looked up as a giant shadow slowly descended over us.
“This is awesome!” Ash said excitedly. Kate shushed him and we all stood silently watching as a giant dark orb slowly covered the moon.
Inch by inch, it went painstakingly slow, but it was beautiful. A radiating blue glow surrounded the moon in a soft haze that became even more prominent as the dark orb covered it. The orb finally covered the moon completely and all you could see was the blue aura pulsing around the darkness like a halo. That was when time stood still. Something inside of me clicked into place and I was taken back to the dark field that had been in my ‘vision’ earlier that night.
---Staring around confused, I shivered against the cool breeze that flowed through the clearing. The lilies swayed gently in the breeze, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of an impending evil. Something was coming. Coming for me.
The conch horn sounded in the distance and I once again felt the drumming of a thousand footsteps through the ground. I turned around straining to see and hear the oncoming army. What was it?
All I could see around in me in all directions was the field and the distant silhouette of forests bordering it. I was all alone in the field and I hugged my arms around myself. Except then I wasn’t. I heard the clink of metal beside me and I turned to face the intruder.
Lily stood there beside me, but something was wrong. She was dressed in some weird armor that glistened in opalish shades like that of the inside of a shell from the ocean. Her hair was no longer green, but a brilliant ombre of lilac, sky blue, and silver. The only similarity she adorned was a single teardrop necklace identical to the one she always wore. Her expression was grim and she wasn’t looking at me, but straight ahead into the distance.
“Lily?” I asked, but no sound escaped my lips. She slowly drew a crystalline long bow from her shoulder and I stepped back as she notched a glowing blue arrow from her quiver.
“Lily?!” I cried frantically, but to no avail for I couldn’t speak. She stood there with bow ready, as if she were awaiting her enemies. I glanced back at the direction she was facing. There was nothing there, but the thrumming beneath our feet was growing stronger.
“Lillian,” a voice said to my left. I jumped away from the voice and was stunned to see Kate stride up to us. She too was decked out in armor though hers was drastically different from Lily’s. Her armor resembled that of a vampire hunter I had once seen in the movie Van Helsing. She had on brown trousers with wicked looking knives strapped around her thighs. A black leather corset wrapped around her waist tightly and she had a white empire styled blouse that hung off of her shoulders on under her corset. It gave off a vaguely pirate like vibe and I stood speechless. What’s going on?
I noted that, other than the knives I did not see any other weapon on her.
“Is everything prepared?” she asked Lily.
“Wait, what’s going on? What’s happening?” I asked her. But she couldn’t hear me.
“Yes,” Lily said calmly. They both wore very serious expressions looking towards the tree line.
“Lily? Kate? Please, somebody tell me what’s going on!” I pleaded helplessly. My cries went unheard as Lily and Kate ignored my presence completely.
“Where is she?” Kate asked in a frustrated tone. Lily’s eyes grew troubled and she sighed.
“I don’t know. But do not fear, Lupa. She will be here just as she promised,” Lily said.
“Lupa?” I asked aloud confused. Kate/Lupa scowled and scanned the field with a piercing look that made me flinch.
“And what of the others? Where are they? His army is fast approaching and we cannot afford to face them alone,” Kate/Lupa said.
“I know,” Lily said concern etching her features. “But, we can only trust they will be here. Have faith, Lupa. We are not alone in this war, despite what you may have previously believed.”
“Faith, huh? Fat lot of good that’s done us thus far,” Kate/Lupa remarked haughtily. Lily gave her a look and she quickly became contrite.
“Once she gets here, everything will be as it is supposed to,” Lily announced cryptically.
“Who? Who’s coming?” I asked desperately. Kate/Lupa growled and started pacing around our area on the field.
“How do we even know this plan will work?” she asked.
Lily, ever diligent, scanned the field while replying, “Because, Lupa, we have faith in her. She will do as she was destined and bring an end to this bloody war.”
“Right, right. Okay,” Kate/Lupa snapped as she angrily kicked at one of the lilies. Lily winced and gave her a withering look.
“I do wish you wouldn’t take your anger out on innocent objects and lifeforms,” she remarked. Kate sighed and crossed her arms over her chest.
“I’m not patient by nature, Lillian. We need to attack. To kill them all,” she said growing more and more agitated. Lily sighed again and slowly lowered her bow.
“I know your nature very well, Lupa. But your typical strategies regarding matters such as these will not work. It would only result in bigger bloodshed. Sacrifices that would otherwise not have to be made,” she said. Kate/Lupa scowled at the ground and sighed in defeat which I noted was probably something she was not used to.
“Fine, Lillian. I will abide by your words. I will place my faith in her,” she said.
“Who?” I asked again. Lily turned back towards the far side of the field.
“We all must,” she said quietly. “For should she fail…everyone will die.”
I stood there stunned as I watched Lily and Kate. What? What does that mean?
Suddenly the edges of my vision began to grown dark and I fell to my knees.
“What? What’s happening?” I asked aloud. I started shaking and my vision grew darker. The field was gradually beginning to fade away. As were Lily and Kate.
“Something’s not right,” Lily said suddenly. I saw her and Kate turn towards the opposite side of the field and Lily exclaimed in surprise.
“Lily! Kate!” I tried to call to them but I was being dragged farther and farther away. The last thing I saw was the shock and horror on their faces.---
And then everything went black.