"Come on Tay don't be such a stick in the mud!"
Taya broke her concentration and sighed as she slammed her math text shut. " I told you Gaia today is Pi day. I'm supposed to meet up with the other mathletes on my free period."
Gaia rolled her eyes. " Yes well your nerd herd will still be there when uou get back and pi will still be 3.16 when you get back. Your not missing anything."
Taya resisted the urge to correct her although the numbers 3.14 rang out into her mind like a bad omen. One week as a mathlete and she truly was becoming a nerd. Yech. "Fine but this better be worth it!"
Gaia jumped up from her desk at the sound of the bell ringing. Excitedly she grasped Taya's arm with the strength of an iron vise. The two friends snuck out of the school with ease amongst the bustling crowd of students. Gaia's car was a compact blue Volkswagen, with a custom made hot pink interior that offered the ambiance of a cupcake. Taya cringed as they tore out of the student parking lot.
Since the night of her eighteenth birthday Gaia had been hell bent on getting a tattoo and dragging Taya with her even though Taya was a full year younger and couldn't get one for herself. A half hour later they arrived at a sketchy looking store front, settled between a music shop and porn shop. Taya got of the car and wrinkled her nose as the ashy smell of the city burned into her lungs. Gaia looked out of place too with her bleach blonde curls and manicured nails."I'm scared Tay. Are you scared for me?"
Taya patted her friends shoulder and feigned concern, though in all reality the only thing she was scared of was being grounded for eternity if her mother found out. They proceeded into the tattoo parlor. Gaia rambled nervously as the tattoo artist took her personal information. He was a large, well inked man wearing an annoyed expression.After watching him ready the needles Taya grew antsy and in spite of Gaia's protests excused herself for fresh air.
She had meant to go outside but turned her attention towards the odd and morbid artwork that lined the walls of the hallway. She found herself wandering down a long corridor. The doors were numbered possibly apartments inside this grotesque building.Taya read the white numbered doors on the right side of the hall. 308, 310,312...Thenext door was open. How odd, she thought. She could hear a feint jazz ballad drifting from the open door, but no voices.
Taya knocked gently on the frame. When nobody answered she called into the small hallway. " You left your door open!" Again no answer. Before Taya realized it her feet where taking her inside. She hadn't meant to enter the apartment. As far as her father, the sheriff, was concerned it was a felony but than again he was over dramatic about these things.Taya told herself she would simply peer out around the corner of the hallway, nothing more. But things escalated.
It started with the bloody handprints on the wall. Taya let out a piercing scream as she saw the source of those prints. A man twitching on the floor, covered in that same blood. Taya reached for her cell and dialed the ambulance. She told them the quick version of her story and ended the call when the operator said the dispatcher was on his way. Taya knelt down next to the dyeing man and whispered what she hoped was reassuring words. He couldn't speak only point and shake.He shook his finger accusingly at a broom closest in the small messy kitchen. Taya walked over cautiously. Surely the man was unstable. She pulled open the broom closet door. Everything seemed as it should be. Just as Taya turned back to face the man she felt something sharp and metallic latch itself into the back of her neck. Taya swatted her neck and let out a tiny yelp as mechanic claws grazed the skin on her neck. A second later sharp blades tore through flesh. Taya screamed. It was a blood curdling sound that rivaled the screams of the man on the floor.
Her body felt as if it were on fire. Her fingers, oddly felt the most pain. Taya trembled and a cold sweat crept down her spine. And than it happened. A transformation that brought her to her knees. She placed her palms on the floor in front of her.
What was this?
Why was it happening to her?
Something sharp tore its way through the tips of her fingers. The pain became surreal. It was all she could manage to breathe through it. Then finally it stopped. The pain was over. Taya felt as if she would throw up. Now she truly needed the fresh air.
A new set of instincts clicked on in her brain. Taya jumped up on her feet. She needed to get out of here. Away from the human. Wait, what was she thinking? She WAS a human! Taya ran to the back of the cramped living room and pulled open the window. Somehow she tore the screen out with her...claws and climbed out onto the fire escape. ESCAPE, she knew she had to.