I could hear someone call me but it was faint. In the midst of the darkness, I could see a faint light, slowly that light grew wider until it covered my sight. My vision became clearer then I saw Mum and Luke by my bedside, waiting anxiously.
"Mum? What are you doing here?" I asked sluggishly, as I tried to sit up and stretch my body.
"Astrid called me and I rushed here as soon as I could,” she replied with a sigh of relief. She was seating on my right side very close to the bed with Luke right next to her. Her hands rested gently on my shoulder supporting me as I sat up.
"Don't you have work? Rather why is he here?" my eyes were fixed on Luke, who I knew shouldn't be here but rather in school.
"He had a similar situation in his high school about the same time but it was wasn’t serious. When I heard about you I didn't have time to drop him off and took him with me," she explained but I couldn't believe it. It was abnormal for me and him to have seizures at the same time. Usually all the health problems would come from him only but he been known to fake it before just to get out of school.
"Mum are you sure he didn't fake it,” I accused.
"Of-of course not, why would I fake a seizure when I get those all the time anyway,” argued Luke, raising his voice to counter my accusation. "Besides..." Mum stopped him and turned to me to look me in the eye.
"Anna I know when my children are faking and do I look someone who'd just been pranked?" The look in her eyes was share grief and shock there was no doubt in her eyes.
"I'm sorry Mum," I said realizing my mistake, I also gave Luke a silent apology. I don't know what got into me, I suddenly felt the urge to prove him wrong, to make my opinion obsolete.
"You two are my treasures, don't forget that. The nurse said you can go, I'll be waiting in the car,” I called Luke back when Mum had gone and asked him about what happened to him. What he narrated was almost the same thing that happened to me, it stunned me how similar our stories were, even the dream minus the girl chained to wall part. After we were done I packed my stuff and we went outside and it was already dusk. I had spent half of the day on a hospital bed. What a way to spend your birthday, I thought.
"With everything that had happened I decided to do your birthday at your workplace, if that's okay with you,” Mum said to me as we drove home.
"Yeah that's fine,” I yelled, urgently. "Let's go there now,” I wasn't going to allow some unknown force spoil the once in a lifetime birthday.
"There's no need to rush, your boss still has customers to attend to but he said he'll close early, when it's time we'll go,” she said, liking my new enthusiasm. I looked to Luke, there were no complaints there.
We got home soon after and I went straight to my room to pick out the dress I was going to wear, I had to keep my mind occupied so it wouldn't wander. After several minutes of endless searching I decided on an aqua blue short silk dress Mum had been bothering me to wear and a simple black flat. She was always telling me how the dress would bring out my eyes, staring at it the mirror, I guess she was right. The bright blue shade fitted comfortably on my brown skin and bringing out brilliantly my dark brown eyes. I quickly pushed up my curls, dabbling as little makeup as I could, at least I had to look presentable.
By the time I came down everyone was set and ready to go. Mum rushed to me the minute she saw me, overwhelmed by the dress. She kept admiring the dress, telling me how good I looked in it.
"Mum we need to get going don't we?" I reminded her before she finally came back to herself and stepped out to get the car running. Luke didn't look half bad either; with his ash grey skinny jeans coupled with his white T-shirt and black jacket.
"You invited her didn't you,” I said as I came close to him, I could tell he was in high spirits.
"What if I did? She’s just a friend," he began,
"It doesn't matter, it is our birthday isn't it?" I chuckled and winked at him, after which we joined Mum in the car together.
The drive was short but the felt way longer to me. On the way I thought I caught a glimpse of the guy with the red eyes in the distance as we drove by, standing on the roof of a house. My mind must been seeing things again, no one would be that creepy. I had planned not to let anything spoil tonight so I let it pass. I'll call the precinct tomorrow but tonight I'm not going allow anyone to spoil it. We got to the restaurant minutes later and I could see Astrid and Hunter waiting for us at the entrance. Astrid couldn't stop screaming at the sight of my dress, she didn't let any part of the dress go without comment.
She and Mum were like twins when it came to things like this, they'd just go giggling about stuff amongst themselves. Hunter looked so shocked to see me at first but complimented me on my dress then gave me his killer smile. All the ways I thought to apologize were of little importance, the look on his face was enough to tell it was all in the past. We got inside and the tables were already set in the centre of the restaurant for eight people. Bradley and Donna were also there waiting for us.
"Happy birthday, Anna,” Donna said as she walked up to me and hugged me, "Happy birthday, Luke".
"Happy birthday you two,” Bradley grabbed us in a big hug almost crushing us in the process.
"If you don't want to kill them, you should let them go Bradley,” Mum commented as she passed by us. Bradley was still in his work clothes so I'm sure he had just left the precinct. The gun holster was still on his belt, something he was trying but failing to hide. Mum had scolded him many times about it when hr came to the house but I guess it was an occupational habit.
"Yes ma'am,” He said, putting us down.
Andre stood by the counter and waved a glass of wine at me but didn't seat with us. When I saw the cake he did for me and Luke, it was perfect. It was chocolate-vanilla cake with strawberry prickles on top coupled with some jelly and raisins in it. I said a silent thank you to him and he nodded his head in compliance. Luke's ‘date’ didn't arrive until later but we had already started eating, she greeted everyone and took her seat next to him beside me.
"Happy Birthday, Anna, Luke,” she said holding mine and Luke's hands.
"Thanks,” I managed to let out. Around her I always get a strange vibe I'm never comfortable with. I gently slipped my hand away, looked to the other end of the table and caught Hunter staring at me. He didn't even turn his eyes away but just stared into mine. I didn't know why but I couldn't take my eyes away from him either, his gaze was serious and oh so telling.
The ‘obvious secret’ that I and everyone else knew for a long time between me and Hunter was now as plain as day but this time no one noticed. I couldn't stop a smile from spreading across my face, like I was answering every question he was asking. A warm, fuzzy feeling was whelming up inside me but I tried not to show it, I chuckled and moved my face away to the window.
In the distance I could see something coming, it was fuzzy and I couldn’t make it out. I squinted my eyes to focus; the fuzzy black thing turned out to be something big and black with huge grey eyes. My eyes widen in disbelief. The warm feeling from a moment ago vanished and all that was left was that cold, piercing feeling creeping up in my chest. As it came closer the street light revealed it; it was a big wolf-looking beast heading this way with full speed. I jumped from my seat the moment I made eye contact.
"Anna, what's wrong-" Mum began,
"Run...Everyone... RU-" Before I could I finish something crashed through the front door, throwing everyone across the room. When the dust cleared, it was standing right in the middle of the room. Searching and growling it's huge, sabre-toothed like teeth at something. Its fur standing on end like spikes on its back. It suddenly set its eyes set on me and fear had gripped me from my waist down. I couldn't even move an inch as it came closer.
Bradley brought out his gun and shot at it but nothing affected it, instead it changed direction to him and charged at him. It used its huge teeth to stab and grab his waist, tossing him to the other side of the room. Mum ran to his side but it looked like he was bleeding heavily. Luke tried to run to him but it caught him and tossed him too, tearing off a chunk of his arm along with it.
"Luke!!" I screamed as it resumed its original course. Astrid and Donna laid there unconscious, Bradley and Luke were bleeding out and there was nothing I could do. When it got in front of me, it looked it was about to go for the kill when Hunter smashed a chair at the back of its head and took a broken part of it and stabbed it. Its eyes suddenly glowed from ash grey to violet and it stood on its two back feet and walked towards Hunter.
"RUN!" he screamed before it used its long claws to slash his chest along with the table he was holding. I removed my shoes and picked myself up and ran as fast as my legs could carry me without looking back but I could still hear the sound of its feet chasing me. I ran into a dark and empty street, I called out but there was no one there.
Just when my legs wanted to give out I heard a crash behind me. I turned and saw the guy from earlier fighting it. At first I wanted to tell him to run away but he fought with such speed and strength I had never seen before, tossing it like was a piece of paper across the road. He instantly got on its back and snapped its neck before it had a chance to resist.
I couldn't believe it was dead but just when I relaxed another one jumped me from my side. I didn't even see it coming, it dragged me a few meters ahead then stopped. When he tried to get to me three of those things blocked his way. I used my hands to hold it back but it was too powerful to stop and the strength in my hands was fading. Slowly I could feel its enlarged canine crush into my neck and my collarbone, the pain was excruciating like a hundred pound dog was top of me crushing my ribs and lungs along with it. I cried out but I could not muster strength to get my voice out. Then someone knocked it away from me, yanking its teeth from deep inside of my shoulder and neck.
My body started to feel numb and cold soon I couldn't even feel my fingers anymore. My vision became blurred and I was coughing out blood. I could see the blood running out into the road, lots of it, and I thought, it was like what I saw in my dream. I felt something thick and wet touch my lips and drop in my mouth but I didn't know what was, I just swallowed it, a lot of it.
"Anna! Anna! Shit! Stay with me,” I could hear a voice scream beside me but I couldn't see anything anymore, it was black. "No...the poison is too far gone...Shit! Don't die on me,” slowly that person's voice too faded and it was just silence and nothing else and I thought, Is this how I'm going to die?. I suddenly felt very sleepy and closed my eyes.