"There are people in this world who are born with extraordinary abilities....Humans call us vampires. That's what we used to call ourselves until the humans began to turn us into monsters in their stories. So we decided to make a name for ourselves. We like to say we're Specials."
Part 1: Avorie
“We took all the tests for what could be causing this, Mrs. Staleson, but we found nothing…” the doctor hesitated and looked over at the girl in the hospital bed. She was glaring at the light blue sheets, obviously annoyed that she had to be there. She didn’t seem to be paying attention. ”Except…” he said cautiously, stopping again as the girl looked up at him, her eyes filled with panic.
The doctor stared at her eyes, as if they were hypnotizing him. He couldn’t take his eyes away from hers. Her pupils would dilate then shrink back down to normal size; again and again they would repeat the process. Growing, shrinking, growing, and shrinking again. Her eyes seemed to change color slightly as well, from dark blue to indigo and back again. But maybe it only seemed that way because he was holding his breath as he stared into her eyes.
“Except…?” Mrs. Staleson pressed, growing uncomfortable at the doctor staring at her daughter that way.
“Well,” the doctor said, finally allowing himself to turn away from the girl and take a deep breath. “Her DNA tests showed something…abnormal.” That was an understatement.
“Abnormal?” the girl spoke for the first time. She didn’t seem frightened any more. She seemed angry. Her eye color changed again, this time to a deeper purple. She gritted her teeth, jaw flexing as she glared at the doctor. “So, what, I’m a freak?”
The doctor’s eyebrows furrowed as he thought about what he’d said. He tried his best to keep his star away from her penetrating, ever changing eyes. “Perhaps that was the wrong choice of words,” he allowed.
“No,” the girl disagreed icily. “It was the perfect choice of words.” Her lip quivered slightly and she bit down on it with rows of perfect, pearly white teeth. She breathed in slowly and then spoke again. “So, I’m a freak. Who’s gonna fix me?”
“You’re not a freak Avorie,” said Mrs. Staleson. Her voice was full of authority, like she was scolding a child who had just drawn all over the walls with crayon.
“Yeah, Mom, of course I’m not,” said Avorie, not caring about what her mother had to say. She continued to stare at the doctor, looking for an answer from him, not her mother. It was his profession, after all.
The doctor looked at her, her eyes were filled with panic again. Questions. Anger. Sadness. Worry. Then, for one short moment, an inconceivable joy lit up her expression. It was quickly shaded over by panic. Her emotions seemed to fluctuate with her temperature…and her eyes…and her heart rate.
Perhaps she’s bipolar, the doctor thought to himself, attempting to make some sort of joke in his mind about this family’s personal catastrophe. He did this to make it easier on himself while the family spilled their tears, but neither the mother nor the daughter cried. They just stared at him, obviously wondering why his lips curved into a slight smile.
“You said there was something abnormal about her DNA, what exactly?” asked Mrs. Staleson. She seemed to be searching for something specific. She stared at the charts in the doctor’s hand as if she wanted to snatch them from him and take a look at the papers herself.
“The adenine in her DNA has been replaced with…” the doctor tried to find the words. This was the absolutely strangest thing he’d seen in his fifty years in the medical field. Yet again, an understatement. “It was replaced with an unidentifiable substance. We’re thinking it’s something close to a metal, but we aren’t sure. This is, obviously, something we have never seen before.”
Avorie tried to trace through her biology class she’d taken last year. DNA consisted of four bases, she couldn’t remember all of them, but she did recall adenine and cytosine. She remembered that DNA was made up of these bases. How could someone even live without one of the bases interacting perfectly together? How could they function properly? She remembered then, she didn’t function the way everyone else did. She sighed warily.
“What can you do?” asked Mrs. Staleson.
Was she acting? The doctor always knew he’d had a knack for telling when someone was honest, and, though her voice and expression showed she was worried, there was something there, beyond the surface. He formed his answer carefully. “As of right now….Nothing. There isn’t anything we can do.” Well, nothing legal, he corrected mentally.
Mrs. Staleson stared at her daughter, a strange expression on her face.
The doctor mistook it for a look of sadness, the glisten in her eye looked like tears. He attempted to comfort them. “Well, she’s gotten along fine so far, I’m sure she’ll be able to continue on the way she did before.”
Mrs. Staleson pulled her eyes away from Avorie’s face and looked at the doctor. “Alright.” She seemed to have gotten the information she was interested in.
Avorie looked to the doctor. “Can we leave now? Please.”
“Yes, of course. I’ll let them know you have gone, so you won’t stay in our admitted patient database.”
Avorie got up from her bed, picking up the flowers her father had brought her from some of her friends from school.
“Where’d Dad go?” she asked her mother as they walked down the halls of the hospital.
“He was getting us lunch,” Mrs. Staleson said as she pulled out her phone and dialed Greg Staleson’s cell phone number.
“Patricia, is everything OK?” he asked, his voice worried.
“Yes, we’re walking to the car now. We’ll meet you at home for lunch, I hope you haven’t eaten yet.” she chose her words carefully, yet effortlessly. She couldn’t let Avorie know where her father really was. She’d been lying to her daughter for seventeen years, and she’d gotten very, very good at it.
“Ah, okay, Trish. I’ll meet you at home. Love you.”
“You too. ‘Bye.” she said, and she snapped the phone shut.