Chapter One - Square One a.k.a The BeginningEdit
When you find the amulet, do whatever it takes to destroy it. It causes nothing but chaos. You have to fight the feeling of power. Sure it's great, but it will destroy you. Completely. What does it do? If I told you, you'd only want to keep it. But don't worry, they'll teach you. This may all sound so strange, but it will make sense soon. Believe me. But you've got to find it before The Curse grows stronger and kills us off. What's this all about? Well, it started when I was in your position. Just a nobody teenaged boy. In a nowhere town. Where nothing interesting happens. I can't remember anything before that, but what do remember......
I woke with a start. I jumped out of bed and rapidly pulled on my shorts. I grabbed my swim bag and checked the clock on my stereo. 9:34. Sh*t. I ravaged my desk for my car keys. I was going to be late for work. Again. I strapped on my Cons and ripped my iPod Touch from the charging dock. I sprinted through the living room, where my roommates, Kelli, Sean, Sean's boyfriend Justin and Ezra, my best friend, were eating breakfast and watching the news. Kelli rolled her brown eyes. Justin looked at her quizzically. Sean mouthed the word, Late. Ezra walked over to where I was frantically packing my swim bag and pointed to the calendar.
"It's saturday, genius." He stared at me. He wore a white muscle shirt with a hole in it beside the neck and red Simpsons boxers. His dark coffee coloured skin was dry and his deep green eyes were bloodshot. He shuffled back over to his comfy chair.
"What?" I asked breathlessly. Kelli huffed.
"Remember? You took the day off to go see your parents?" She untied her long black hair and re-tied it into a messy bun. She was Korean, so she had beautiful almond shaped eyes. She walked into the kitchen and started cleaning up her dishes. I plopped my bag down beside the couch and slumped between Sean and Justin. I ruffled my brown hair and Justin sat there, sipping his coffee.
"Are you okay, Neil?" Sean sympathized. He crossed his legs beside me. His tight blue jeans crinkled. "Do you need a ride downtown? I have to take Justin to his office. We could get a coffee?" Justin nodded. His black hair was buzzed to a centimeter long. Sean played with his shaggy blonde hair and got up from the couch.
The phone rang and Ezra answered. He looked up at me. "Dude, it's for you." He tossed me the phone and I pressed it to my ear.
"Niel?" My mother's voice sounded from the other end. "Hon, meet us at the café. Now. We have to talk." She hung up abruptly. I looked around at my friends, who were off doing their own things: Kelli was cleaning up in the kitchen and getting her dance gear ready for her dance class. Ezra was still sitting in his chair, typing up his essay on The Anatomy of the Common Cat for College Biology. Sean and Justin were in the kitchen helping Kelli with the dishes and trying to get her to talk about her new boyfriend, Geoff from Physics. I gazed at my car keys. I decided to get going before my parents got pissed.
I was inches out the door when Kelli called from the kitchen in mid-laughter, "Neil!" She walked out of the kitchen, where Justin and Sean were stifling laughs. "Someone dropped this off for you." She handed me a black envelope with a red wax seal in the shape of a skull. Weird. She smiled and walked back, yelling at Sean in Korean, who just giggled even more.
I trudged down the stairs. I opened the letter. The writing was cursive and in silver metallic ink. Great. It seemed like this was some cruel joke. Like the person who sent it knew I had dyslexia. Typical. It read:
Dear Mr. Holt,
We are happy to tell you that you have been accepted into The Morderston School of Element Magic. We will be waiting for your reply of acceptance! We hope to see you soon!
~ Headmaster Winston MacKlain
What the f***? I slumped down the last flight of stairs to our apartment building lobby and I almost screamed like a little girl. In front of me, was an eight foot tall giant made of mud. His eyes were a sickening green and he had grass growing out of his head like a Chia Pet. It turned around and bellowed at me. And so, like a brave warrior, I bolted through the door and ran for my life.
Chapter 2 - I Find Out I'm HumanEdit
I bolted for the door, ducking my head when the giant mud-man swung his arm at me. I ran down Randall Street and jumped behind a dumpster. A seriously stoned guy was laughing at the pigeons on the ground and for some reason the song "Posoning Pigeons in the Park" by John Lehrer flashed in my mind,. Ezra had sat watching the video for hours one summer afternoon and it drove us all insane. A homeless man was sorting through his shopping cart full of junk and then tried to get money from me. Then, I heard a rumble. I had no choice but to jump into the dumpster. The rumbling got worse, although the stink of the dumpster almost made me pass out. I heard a low grunt outside.
"Whoa," said a muffled voice from the other side, "That thing is huge!" I guesses the stoner dude was having the time of his life, even though it was probablyabout to end. Then, there was a growl and a burst of heat almost baked me inside the metal dumpster, making the stench worse. When there was no sound, I emerged from the dumpster.
There in front of me was a tall muscular Latino guy, holding a bronze sword. His moth was covered with a black scarf thing, like a germ mask that they wore at hospitals. He looked like a genie in black robes, pointed boots and arm band around his huge bicep. His curly brown hair whipped in the wind. Around him, the ground was burnt and the scent of burning asphalt and dead grass filled the air.
"You are Neil Halton?" He glared at me. Then, I noticed that his eyes were pure black. No pupil, no irises, just black. His hair whipped even more, exposing his pointed ears. One was pierced with a gold ring way up on the tip. He removed his mask, revealing his pointed canine teeth. Okay, I thought, Creepy Vampire-Latino-Genie dude with a sword, knows my name.
"Come on, Niel! We have not much time before the portal closes! There will be more Eathkins!" He sheathed his bronze scrimitar. He grabbed my arm and pulled me down the street, to the park. We stopped by an old stone archway. I remember my mom taking me here when I was little. A bronze plaque said:
Sir Reginald Quincy Vidrickson, Founder of Vidrickson, discovered the town at this very spot. He built the archway to welcome new-comers.
The Latino Vampire guy walked around the stone pillars for two minutes, examining every single crack, chip and bit of erosion in the bricks. Then, he took out his scrimitar and mumbled: "Incar, Anemus, Tolinem!" Then, there was blast of white light. I couldn't hear or see anything. The vampire guy was in front of me, yelling random stuff. Then there was a blast of air and I opened my eyes. And we were standing in the middle of a Middle Eastern market place.
Old women shuffled by me in multicoloured saris, carrying baskets of fruit and cloth and other various items. The weird vampire guy, looked around at the crumbling stone buildings and homes and the archways and the dirt and cobblestone paths. An old man with withered brown-ish skin and balding grey hair tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and he was holding a beautiful vase in my face, shouting random things at me.
"क्या आप यह फूलदान खरीदना चाहते हैं? इस गुलदस्ते खरीदने कृपया!" He smiled with a warm smile and held up four fingers, then three then four again.
The vampire dude mumbled behind me to the old man, "हम खरीदारी के लिए कोई समय नहीं है, सर. धन्यवाद." Then he pulled my arm towards a secluded shop with a red cloth draped over it. A pretty young Indian girl stood behind the cart. She had enchanting trinkets of little jade elephants, a case of dishes and bottles of different coloured liquids.
She looked up to the latino vampire guy and nodded. He pulled me behind the cart as the girl draped the curtain over the entire cart, casting a red glow over everything. The guy pulled me down a flight of wooden steps leading down to a dark and damp cellar.
He sat down on a wooden chair as the young girl followed and sat on the bottom steps. She wore a dark blue sari with the cloth draped onto her head. She has cute dark brown eyes and luscious brown hair braided down her back.
The latino guy leaned forward. "So," he spoke up, "Neal is it? I hope I didn't gab the wrong guy again." The girl giggled. "But that's a different story. I'm Dominico Rosaria. This lovely desert flower" -he pointed to he girl- " is Indira Rajesh." The girl, Indira, bowed like she was a performer. Dominico stood up and offered his hand to me.
"Where are we?! What is this?!" I blurted.
Dominico just nodded. "We're in Delhi. Actually, south of Delhi. We were sent by your parents to bring you to Corianthis, our hometown. The Citadel. It's also the only safe palce for people like us."
"Whoa..." I stood up from slumping on the stone wall. "'People like us'?"
"Yes." He smiled, showing off his incisors.
"So, I'm a creepy vampire like you?" My stomach did a flip.
The dude, (Domino, was it?) laughed. "No, no..." Indira smiled-- she obviously heard this comment before. "I'm a magician. My kind was mistaken throigh the ages as elves, trolls and yes, vampires. We are called nymphias. I am a Nymphi, male Nymphias. But you, Niel, are somethign different. A Sondrialicus. Human, if you will."