Winner, KidPub November 2012 Writing Contest
“No,” I whispered, terrified. The monster’s fiery red eyes bore into me and he smiled, revealing rows of crooked yellow teeth.
“Yes…” He laughed, and suddenly he pounced at me. I opened my mouth in horror to scream-
Br-ring! Br-ring! I flew out of my bed, the scream leaving my mouth. Panting, I wiped my sweaty forehead with my hand, and looked around frantically in the semi-darkness.
My desk stood happily next to my comfy queen-sized bed, while my bookshelf remained standing formally in the corner.
There was no monster. It was only a dream. I sighed in relief.
Br-ring! Br-ring! The sound persisted. I glanced at my white Iphone lying on my desk, vibrating crazily. Who would call at this time of the night? My stomach filled itself with ice as I realized who was calling…but no, it couldn’t be-Br-ring! Br-ring!
With a gulp, I picked up the phone and answered.
“GOODNESS, YOU’VE FINALLY ANSWERED!” A middle-aged man’s voice blared into my ears. My shoulders sagged sadly. It was Bobby, my boss.
“Um, okay,” I muttered.
“I don’t even know why I keep you on this job! Ever since the llama accident-“
“That won’t happen again, sir.” I said hurriedly. The llama accident...I shuddered with laughter and forced myself to keep a straight face.
“All right…” He sounded disappointed, as though expecting a fight, “Well, we need you right now! Room A1, on the double!”
I gasped. A1? That was the most carefully guarded room of the agency. Being a lower classed member, I had always been told to avoid it. Now he was telling me to go there-this was my chance for a raise, or even a promotion. I thought hopefully of some far away career, full of-
“HURRY UP! I know you’re dawdling!”
“Y-yes llama-er, sir,” I jumbled my words together clumsily.
“The key will be waiting under the doormat!” I rolled my eyes at the cliché hiding spot, “There isn’t much time! Go- and quickly! Quickly!” The phone went dead.
I shook off the last clinging remnants of sleep by quickly splashing water on my face. Shaking with excitement, I hurriedly pulled on my shoes and bolted out the door, still in my purple pajamas.
I unlocked my Mercedes with fumbling hands, and jumped inside, slamming the door behind me. I inserted the key and started the car without bothering to strap on my seat-belt, backing out of the driveway and driving down the road. Giggling madly with excitement, I saw speed limit signs flying past out of the corner of my eye. I let out a sheer scream of delight as I pushed the car to go even faster, the speedometer hitting the edge of the glass repeatedly.
Get there quickly? Yes, I was definitely doing that.
I screeched to a sudden halt, abruptly swerving onto the sidewalk. I jerked on the key, turning the car off, and bolted out of the car towards a gray building-the Agency.
Seven stories of intimidating steel stared down at me as I ran towards the building’s enormous double doors. Light shone out of the many windows, as well as the doors, like dozens of eyes glaring at a trespasser.
I gulped nervously as I saw the lone gargoyle above the doors, looking rather out of place on the modern structure. Even so, its shadowed eyes seemed to follow me angrily as I pushed open the door.
I stepped into the Agency, my heart racing as I braced myself for chaos. Only drab gray walls and cold brown tiles met my prying eyes
THUD. The door shut quietly behind me, the only sound in the empty lobby. I glanced around, surprised at the lack of life. I had expected dozens of anxious workers crammed into the lobby, sucking hurriedly on cups of coffee while they shuffled papers back and forth as they walked rapidly across the brown tile to unknown places.
Something was wrong. Maybe the creature inside room A1 had gotten out…I shuddered and shook my head at the thought.
All excitement gone, I edged nervously forwards, towards the elevator hidden in the shadows of a corner. Maybe everyone was just late…
C-crackle! The room was plunged into darkness, leaving me frozen as my finger hovered uncertainly over the “up” button of the elevator. Click! I vaguely heard the telltale sound of the door’s lock, shutting me off from the outside world. My eyes darted around in the darkness, and I whispered nervously,
“Hello?” I immediately reprimanded myself for speaking. Whoever had turned off the lights was certainly not friendly. Letting them know where I was positioned was like walking into the lion’s den-in other words, not a good thing.
I took a deep breath to calm myself, and pressed the “up” button on the elevator. I needed to start somewhere, and room A1 seemed the best place to go. If the creature inside really had escaped, tracking it from there was my best bet.
The elevator’s doors opened quickly, its small, single light bulb shining a rectangle of pure light into the darkness. I hurriedly bustled in and pushed “Level 7”, and then turned my back to its wall, facing its door and the mass of darkness outside of it. The doors slowly slid closed, and in the last sliver of darkness I could almost swear I had seen a flash of red eyes.
I took a deep breath to calm my heart. Inhale. Exhale. The creature in room A1 was only a hybrid. I had faced worst things. But maybe, whispered a cold voice in the back of my mind, it’s something more…I shuddered. It was in room A1, the most secret and heavily guarded room. It was obviously something dangerous, perhaps a hybrid gone wrong…
I shook my head and grimaced. This was going to be tough.
The elevator rolled to a stop, and a gentle Ting! rang through its hold. Its polished chrome doors slid open, and I stepped into the hall, the soft silver carpet cushioning my feet. The elevator doors closed behind me, and I could hear it whirring as it traveled back down, leaving me to my fate.
In the hallway, small pulsating white orbs of light hovered near the ceiling, spaced apart by a yard. They washed the hall in a warm yellow glow, revealing the white-washed doors aligned neatly on either wall. The padlocked doors shook repeatedly, as though an unseen force was battering against the back of it. In front of each trembling door lay a little blue mat, seemingly placed there for welcoming visitors. A gentle buzzing could be heard, like thousands of tiny invisible cameras simultaneously focusing.
With a deep breath, I started to walk down the hall.
Sounds from within the doors ravaged throughout the hall, unlike the eerily quiet lobby. As I passed the shaking doors of six to four, I could hear agitated snarling, fierce yowling, and the hoarse, occasional roar of fury. The sounds were most likely from large, headstrong beasts, hybrids with genetic mutations that caused them to be enormous and strangely fierce.
I continued along, passing the neighboring rooms of three and two. Both doors were still, only shaking slightly from the vibrations of the other doors. Creepy sounds floated into my ears, a strange, background noise of humming and rustling. It was like thousands of people had gathered together to whisper, only they were mourners, weeping as they continued their never ending melody. I gradually turned sad and gloomy, almost wanting to throw off those heavy padlocks and rush inside, to hug all those sad people. I shook my head roughly. No.
After all, that was exactly what the creatures wanted.
“Not today,” I muttered. The whispering faded away as I walked on, and I couldn’t help but feel happier, as though a great load had been lifted off my shoulders.
Finally, I reached the last door at the end of the hall, the door to room A1.
The door was a pale, dirty gray, dotted with ugly black marks, as though years of dark thoughts from the hybrid had corroded it, eating away at the door for decades. It was ajar, leading into a brightly lit cell with concrete floors and walls. I stepped inside, noting that the room was empty, besides a great black scorched mark alongside the wall, as well as a dark, eerie red liquid pooled in the middle of the floor. I knelt alongside the pool and sniffed. Its scent was tantalizingly sweet and sugary, with the vague outline of cherry. I grinned.
The agency has always kept up a constant flow of food to the creatures living inside. The creature, especially hybrids, loved blood, but obviously that wasn’t something we would supply to them. So instead, we gave them liquids that looked like blood, like Kool-Aid. Apparently, this hybrid was no different.
I smiled down at the Kool-Aid. This was just what I needed, a liquid to search with and find the hybrid.
I stirred the liquid with my finger, sending tiny ripples of crimson across its surface, and closed my eyes in concentration. I need to see the hybrid…I opened my eyes tentatively and looked down at the Kool-Aid
The surface of the liquid stilled, turning a murky gray. A gray, dull concrete room appeared where a woman was staring down at a murky pool of Kool-Aid. I frowned. I didn’t ask to see myself.
I want to see the hybrid. I repeated.
The water shifted slightly, and then showed the room I was in once more, revealing the woman, me, as I glared at the Kool-Aid.
Something was wrong…my powers always worked. I didn’t understand why the Kool-Aid ignored my request and merely showed where I was. Unless…
“Sorry, Angelica,” My head whipped towards the sound and I stared in confusion at a man situated at the door. The man, Bobby, smiled grimly at me through the doorway. He scratched his shiny bald head absently, like he had better things to do.
“We’ve been…well, watching you,” He grinned. “We had some suspicions, see, and they’ve been proved right after a quick investigation. Don’t take it hard, though, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of things to do to pass the time,”
My heart turned to ice, my face melting in horror as I realized what he meant. I was so shocked by the abrupt turn of events; I was frozen to the spot.
“But you know what they say,” He laughed, “Once a hybrid, always a hybrid.” I stood up shakily, whispering,
“No, no you wouldn’t…”
“I’m afraid so.” He smiled treacherously at me, ignoring my plea, and slammed the door on my scream. I bolted to the locked door, screaming uncontrollably. My fists banged the door to no avail, only turning scratched and bloody in the process.
Dejected, I slumped onto the floor and closed my eyes, starting to cry at what I would have to do. I didn’t want to…In fact, I hadn’t used my second form for years, as it was too unpredictably malicious. But he left me no choice…
Reluctantly, I took a deep breath, and did the only thing left to do.
I began to transform.