I wait anxiously under the stair well for the janitor to turn the lights off signifying the end of his shift. I've been under the stairs leading the to girls dormitory for about half an hour. Luckily for me I'm still in the isolation unit, meaning I have my own room. No roommate to worry about my absence. That's how I've looked at this whole ridiculous task. What's the worst that will happen to me if I get caught? A slap in the wrist from the headmaster, maybe. But no real precautions, no parents to worry over my behavior.
I look for ways to pass time I braid strands of my hair. Entwining the blonde with the unnatural black streaks. I doodle with a sharpie on the tip of my converses. Turns out I'm quite the artist. I chalk it up to nerves though. My night vision is flawless. I start to wonder what exactly has been pumped into my blood stream in the lab.
When the lights finally do go off I take off my shoes and leave them under the stair well so I can pad through the halls soundlessly. I approach the surveillance room. I make out the door knob and key hole in the dark. I insert the key and twist the knob. The door opens. My heart pounds under my rib cage. The lights in the surveillance room are still on. Two people, a boy and a girl are seated at a desk in front of a television. The room smells of Lysol.
“Are you sure you want to see this again?” The girl asks.
“Yes, I need to.” The boy replies.
At first I fear that they've found the footage of Aleka pouring peroxide in Abbera's shampoo. The girl press play, the video starts and that's not the case. My worries seem petty in comparison to what is being shown. The footage is loud and disturbing. The people sitting down don't notice my presence right away. I know I should turn away and sneak out while I have the chance, but I can't tear my gaze away from the video. I watch astonished as a creature comes across the screen. I strain to make out the detail of the strange being. The creature is massive, ten feet at least tall. His eyes are read and he has claw like formations where his fingers should have been, and on those claws are blood. I focus on it as it terrorizes citizens in it's wake, shedding blood and leaving a trail of destruction at the scene.
The boy let's his head fall into his hands. “I still can't believe I did that.” his voice comes out muffled.
The girl shakes her head. “You didn't do that Shadow. The creature you turned into did that. As you can see it's not human. It's strictly predatory. You, I mean it, doesn't have human emotions only animal instinct.”
“I'm a...a demon.” He says to the girl.
I can feel the blood drain from my face as I witness the conversation. I turn to leave and in my haste back into a stand up fan, causing it to fall to the floor.
The boy turns to face me and the girl jumps and reaches for the remote to pause the footage. They turn their full attention on me. They both stare at me with equally shocked expressions. Their eyes grow wide as if they were caught imposing as well. I turn quickly to escape the room. The girl is up on her feet in no time. Her hand closes over my wrist. I try to relinquish her hold on me, she's too strong. All I can do is glare at her.
“What are you doing in here?!” She demands.
I shake my head. “I could ask you the same question, especially since your holed up in here with him.” I shoot daggers at the boy next to her, then add, “I heard what he said. He's a demon.” The boy's hands coil into fists as he becomes defensive.
The girl glances over to the boy, her grip on my wrist never falters. “Shadow.” She warns. I eye up the girl. I recognize her red hair and her voice sounds familiar. I think I've seen her in the lab before. I grow even more wary of the situation, I try to shake her off. “Let go lady.” I snarl through gritted teeth.
The girl simply presses her finger to her lips. “Shh!” She says. She closes her eyes, in what looks like concentration. “You're scared. It's alright, we're not going to hurt you.”
I catch the girl's eye. I feel a tingly sensation in my head. Quickly I draw the conclusion that she's reading my mind. “How dare you?!” I yell at her. “Have you ever heard of boundaries?” I shove at her with my free hand. The boy she called Shadow steps forward. His eyes bore into mine. They're a curious shade of black. I notice as a strand falls into his face, his hair too is dark black streaked with red. He's pale and sickly looking. Even in poor health he comes across as intimidating. His words come out slow but threatening, “Don't speak to her like that. She is trying to help. She can't read your thoughts only your emotions. She is trying to calm you down. I wouldn't advise yelling at her again. What's your name?”
“Sera.” I say trying to keep my voice calm. He's in my face. Our noses are mere inches apart and I can't manage a lie under his gaze.
“Well Sera this is Jas, you will do better to treat her with respect from now on.”
Jas clears her throat, “Shadow please calm down that's not necessary.”
Shadow doesn't say anything he simply sits down and kicks out an extra chair for me. Jas leads me to the chair. I have no choice but to sit down and listen to the girl.
“Sera aka subject x1220.” Jas says smiling at her own cleverness. She reads my confusion as I wonder, how she she's entitled to that information? What is a student doing observing others in the lab? She doesn't offer any insight to my questions.
“The creature you see on the screen is somewhat of an alternative personality for Shadow. His dark side if you will.”
I shake my head. “So this is his nice side?” I eye up the boy who returns my angry stare.
Jas ignores my comment. “Much like you Sera, Shadow can't recall the events of his past-
“How convenient for him,” I interrupt.
“Convenience has nothing to do with it Sera and his memory is not selective. It has been erased.”
I try not to let my pity show on my face as I'm suddenly overwhelmed with empathy. I can't help but wonder if someone had footage of my past would I be like Shadow? Uncontrollable? Horrid even? I try not to dwell on it.
“Like you, Shadow is on house arrest until they can figure out the means of his condition. In the mean time he is going to start to attend classes. Perhaps you could help me show him around the school. You two have a lot in common.”
I glance over at Shadow, he looks about as happy as I am with the arrangement. I cross my arms. I'm aware the gesture is defiant and juvenile. Of all the things that could have gone wrong with the outcome of this night, this was the furthest thing from my mind.