I lay awake in my bed for several hours, just staring at the ceiling. The flat was silent; Reuben was fast asleep and the bright red digits on my alarm clock told me that it was a little after two in the morning. I couldn't stop thinking about the night's events, how close I had come to death, the way that man glared at me with blood-red eyes that seemed ready to burn me on the spot.
And what had caused him to curl up in pain? What had saved my life?
Something Reuben said tonight flashed unexpectedly through my mind: 'Speaking of, I have one at The Pig's Head.' I frowned. Hadn't the barman told us that there was no jobs going? Or that we wouldn't want to work there anyway? What had changed that so suddenly?
I kicked the duvet off me, hoping the air would help me to cool down but it didn't work. Then I knew why I was so restless. I had unfinished business to attend to.
Without really paying attention to what I was doing, I had thrown on a shirt and a pair of jeans and headed down the hallway, out the front door and into the night. It was cold, I shivered but continued nonetheless to the Pig's Head. Something had happened in that alleyway, the one where I was nearly murdered. Something had caused that man to feel intense pain, but what? Maybe if I looked around it would come to me.
I was nervous, taking cautious steps. It felt too much like deja vu, like someone was going to leap out of the shadows at me and attack me again. I lingered in the spot where it had happened, hoping to catch something out of the ordinary.
Suddenly and without warning I was transported back to earlier, just a few hours before. Only now I was viewing it through a completely new perspective, like someone who knew the secret, knew every little thing that was going on. The man's name was Adder, only he wasn't a man as such... I couldn't pick up on what he was exactly, only he wasn't normal. I saw myself looking absolutely terrified. My eyes were larger than normal, radiating nothing but pure fear. I was pressed up against the wall, trying to shrink back, trying to escape Adder but he was powerful. Then my eyes...they seemed to flash, and he doubled over in pain, clutching his head. His mouth was twisted into a vicious snarl, his eyes scrunched up. Then I was running.
I was brought back to the present with a shock. What had just happened? It was like an out of body experience. But I knew something. I knew that I had caused Adder's pain somehow.
I didn't know what the hell was going on, but I knew I had to find out. I ran out of the alleyway and straight through the doors of The Pig's Head. It seemed to be a lot busier at nighttime and with my newfound awareness I realized that a lot of the people in here weren't normal. There was something off about each and everyone of them, a tangible scent in the air that informed me humans were not alone in the world, not like we all thought.
My eyes scoured the darkness, searching for no one in particular until they rested on a familiar figure. The man from the first night, the one that had tried to bite me. Yes, he had tried to bite me. Almost like a...vampire.
I inhaled sharply, but forced myself to remain calm. I couldn't freak out now. Yes I had just discovered something, something quite dangerous but I couldn't let it show.
I casually took the seat at the table next to the man's and pretended to look scared. He obviously picked up on this as he set his glass down, his glass of red liquid and glanced over at me. He was just as I had remembered him: silver hair, leather jacket, blue jeans and fangs. Real, sharp fangs.
Breathe, you can do this. You did it once, you can do it again.
Just as I'd expected he stood up slowly and walked over to me.
'What do you mean?' It wasn't hard pretending to be scared, the fear was practically coursing through my veins. I wasn't even sure I could do this; if I couldn't I was definitely screwed.
'No brother to protect you this time?' he leaned closer and I had to stop myself from running. Instead I shifted slightly in my chair, turning to face him.
I did what I had done with Adder. I focussed, all of my mind on him in pain. At first, nothing happened and I was getting ready to run when he frowned slightly. Yes! I concentrated with all of my mind and all my willpower, just purely focussed. I pictured him in pain, doubled over like Adder.
'Argh!' he groaned, clutching his head and I almost cried in relief. He fell backwards off the chair, earning a few glances from people and I leapt off my stool and ran for the exit, back into the night and I didn't stop running. Not until I had safely reached the flat again.
So I now had powers. I had a million and one questions running through my mind: How had I gotten them? What was the extent of my powers? How could I control them? I was overwhelmed. I didn't know things like this existed, magic and monsters were the stuff I used to read about as a kid, and now I had found out that they were as real as anything. They had been real all along.
As cliche as it sounded, it felt as though my world had literally been turned upside down and I was left feeling confused, scared but powerful.