in British Columbia
It was around 2:00 AM when I woke, panting and sweating. My childhood nightmares had returned, from when my brother came rushing to comfort me. Blaze, I thought, pain pounding across my chest. Red pills gleamed on my nightstand, barely visible in the darkness.
"Pills never truly make it go away, you know," he had told me one night, when I had suggested it. "If used, your body becomes weka and dependant." I whispered his words longingly, taking the handful of pills and tossing them into the trash bin.
I barely noticed the sunlight casting shadows in my room, absorbed in the leather bound book in my hand. Golden letters sprang out, glittering beautifully. The pages and the cover looked so fragile and old, a single thick string keeping them together.
The book had once belonged to my brother, whom read the stories to me whenever I had nightmares. They were quite beautiful stories, telling of the sun and the moon, how humans had been allies to animals before time. How creatures existed more powerful than humans, more frightening.
It also told of the greediness of humans and how their ways caused war. And the worst part was that they had won. I cast the book aside gently, getting up to dress, throwing on a blue T-shirt and jeans absentmindedly.
"Lyra, come down! Someone has come to see you," Aunt Silka coed from downstairs, and I, curious, made my way downstairs. On the walls hung paintings and pictures, each telling its own tale. Some were as colorful as sunshine and rainbows, and some were as dark as the blackest night.
My eyes scanned over each and every one, and I felt my eyes sting with wet tears. Shaking, I continued to make my way downstairs. However, before I entered, I wiped the tears with the back of my hand.
"Hey, amasiuncula!" Aunt rushed over and embraced me, then gestured to the living room. Then she stepped out of my way, grinning eerily, and I walked cautiously to the doorway.
A blond-haired boy sat on the blue sofa, examining a small hand-made statue of a faerie on the nearby table. He looked up as I entered, and our eyes met.
"Hey." He waved awkwardly, and I felt a strange urge to laugh. His eyes were the greenest of greens, as if you were staring at nature itself with trees and grass and-
He must have noticed my spacing out, because he was chuckling to himself while waving a hand in front of me. I flinched, snapped out of my trance, my mouth straining to form words. I had seen it inside him, as if he were nature. Eyes are the windows to the soul after all.
"Earth to girl-standing-in-front-of-me! You there?" he asked, laughing cheerfully. His laughter was contagious, and I couldn't help but laugh with him, a warm feeling bubbling in my chest. After we'd both had a good laugh, we stared at each other again. His eyes traced my silky hair and my golden eyes and my soft, soft lips, just as I was drawing his face in. He was broad shouldered and had bright red lips, a too-perfect skin and soft, silky blond hair which needed to be cut-
My phone rang, and we both snapped out of our trance with a violent jolt. I felt blood rush to my face as I took out my phone.
"Ly! Did you get to Moonbay safely?" It was my best friend's voice, Luna, whose voice I could recognize anywhere. The boy casually put his hands in his pants pockets, waiting patiently. I barely managed to respond to her:
"Ly, are you okay? You sound distracted." I could feel the grin wipe off her face, see her worried expression and furrowed brows as she spoke.
"I'm not distracted, just... tired." It wasn't exactly a lie; I WAS tired. I imagined her brown eyes narrow in suspicion.
"Alright, then. Take care, okay? I'm going to let you rest now." And she had hung up. I am distracted, I thought. By a stranger i don't even know the name of. As if he read my mind, the boy held out a hand. I replaced my phone in my pocket, then took it reluctantly.
"I apologize for my rudeness. I'm Jace. Jace Blackrose." We shook hands, and then it occurred to me i hadn't told him my name.
"Oh. I'm Lyra Panter." Something flashed across his expression, and it was gone just as soon as it had come. But it wasn't that that disturbed me, it was a certain thing in my brother's book. The last story had been about an elf prince whom had lost his parents to humans, therefore despising them and killing any he could find. His name was written in the same golden letters:
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