He's Back

A boy from the past and a scar just explained. What's in store for Anila when her childhood friend with a dark past comes back in town?

"Anila, Tarynn is back in town" she sounded frightened. "He wanted to see you" I had no idea who she was talking about

"Mom who's Tarynn?" she gulped and put the vase she was holding down. As she did I noticed her hands shaking uncontrollably.

"Of course you wouldn't remember him, you were so young." she said more to herself than to me.

"Mom who is he?"

"Ah yes sorry. They used to live next door when you were younger. His parents had a condition..." a flash of an adorable blonde boy popped into mind and then it shifted to a man with fangs and claws.  I looked down at the pale scar on my forearm.  I glanced up at mom; she nodded and looked like she was about burst into tears.

"Why would he want to see me?"

Mom shook her head and collapsed onto the kitchen chair head in hands. "He just called and left a message asking to see you." I nodded and looked at the vase.

"What's the vase for?"

"In case you wanted to go over."

"Why would I want to go see a boy whose parents tried to...?” I trailed off as my mom started to cry. I knelt beside her and let the tears stream down my cheeks as I remembered the day I nearly died because of my best friend’s parents.

It was a hot summer day and I was about 5 years old. So was Tarynn. We were the best of friends, always together. We were always in a different world but still together. I didn’t call him Tarynn back then. His name depended on what world we were in. He was only Tarynn when we deigned to be in the world of everyone else (which wasn’t often). Our parents were pretty close until that summer. Then his parents refused to see anyone, even their neighbours whom they've known for years. We were next door neighbours so Tarynn stayed with us a lot that summer and it was only on the last day that I found out why.

We were playing wizards in the forest that both of our parents owned a part of. When we were in the forest, nothing else mattered, or even existed besides us and the plants and animals that were a part of both worlds. It was full of beautiful plants of every colour imaginable with mystical powers and animals that were our guides and allies in this new world of ours. The forest was home to epic battles and quests, always us against the world. It was safe from the powers of the outside world. Then everything changed when we went inside his house for a drink and snack.

 I didn’t know why his parents were shunning the rest of the neighbourhood, but I had known them for most of my life so I didn’t think they would do anything to harm me. As we walked in we called out a greeting to his parents, wherever they were, and headed into the kitchen for some food. His parents were already there, but they didn’t look quite right. They looked feral, eyes bloodshot and skin pale. Their mouths were curled like exposing fangs. They reminded me of sick wolves, even more when they spoke.

“Honey, go back outside.” She sounded tense, like she was trying to control the urge to stab him with the knife that was in her hand.

“Okay mommy. We can go to your house for a break.” He said this last part to me. His mom whirled around, knife raised. The feral look in her eyes intensified, they widened exposing even more of whites of her eyes, which were more red than white now.

“NO! Leave the girl, but you get out now!”  She raised the knife as he jumped in front of me. He started to push me back trying to protect me from his mom’s knife.

“Tarynn get out now or else.” It was the first time his father spoke. He sounded drained, like he was tired of trying to control himself. His back was to us and he was clutching the countertop, holding on to what was left of his sanity. They were starting to scare me and I didn’t want Tarynn to die. I was smart enough to know that this wasn’t one of our pretend games and he wouldn’t just fall holding a stick to his heart, if his mom used that knife he wouldn’t get up laughing ready to go get cookies and juice. I pushed Tarynn behind me and started to run as fast as my 5 year old legs could carry me. Unfortunately, the adult’s legs were longer and more muscular than my chubby, short ones. His mom lunged and slashed my right forearm with the knife while his dad scooped me up like he has when I was chasing Tarynn and I needed to go home, but his time instead of holding me just enough so that I wouldn’t fall, his grip was vice-like and so tight that it felt like he was crushing my ribs.  

                “Not time for you to leave yet sweetie.” He said, squeezing tighter, pressing all the air from my lungs.

                “WHERE IS IT?” his mom screeched, holding the knife higher. I had no idea what she was talking about and couldn’t answer her if I wanted to. “WHERE IS THE SYMBOL?” I was crying so hard and couldn’t breathe that I started to pass out. My eyes closed and I was gasping for air but the arms around my stomach never let up. Through my fear all I could hear was shouting in the background but I couldn’t make out any words. Then he was shaking me and I heard a door open and my mom screaming. Tarynn’s dad dropped me to the ground and I took in a shaky breath. I scrambled up and ran blindly towards the door. I ran straight into my mom’s legs and she knelt down and held me, much like the way we were sitting now.

The End

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