When Dylan and Jono find their classmate Noah traumatised by a young girl with black eyes, they find themselves thrown into a new supernatural dilemma that terrifies the entire pack. They're restricted from even discussing it, as their conversations are being spied on by an unknown troll. Freddie reaches breaking point, assuming his relationship with Yasmin is over.
With Yasmin back for good, she immediately begins to assist Dylan in figuring out what the black-eyed girl is. However, they realise it could be too late. Meanwhile, Drew enlists Jono to help find a way around the troll's tactics, enrolling him in a new skill in the mean time.
1: Privacy Written by MarthaJonesFan
Staying late at school always drained Noah. The amount of revision he had to do for his end-of-year exams was off the scale, and he was making as much use of the school library as he could. Only a few other students were around this late, and it was eerily quiet beyond the hoovers used by the cleaners. His focus of the night was English. He hated it more than any other subject – the ins and outs of Shakespeare couldn’t have been less interesting if they tried. What’s more was that he was dyslexic – reading regular English words was a challenge, let alone Shakespearean crap. He slammed his textbook shut. That was enough for one night. He didn’t know nor care about Romeo & Juliet. It was highly unrealistic anyway. Nobody had love stories that went like theirs. Not that he had much experience in the love department anyway. He’d briefly had both boyfriends and girlfriends, but nothing substantial. He shoved all of his equipment into her bag and rushed out of the library. He couldn’t wait to feel the comfort of his bed. Perhaps he would stop off and grab some snacks to reward himself on the way home. He speed-walked through the eerily dark corridors, with the exit in sight, when a young girl stepped out of the shadows. She looked much too young to be in high school, her straight dark hair tied into pigtail plaits, and her eyes were closed.
“Hey, are you lost?” Noah put on his kindest voice. He wanted to get home soon, but he couldn’t ignore a young kid like that. There was no response, she simply opened her eyes. Nothing but blackness filled the entire eye – no pupil or any other detail was present. A terrified Noah allowed his reflexes to take over, sprinting in the opposite direction, anxious for his life…
Walking to school was always something Dylan loved. It was a little bit of “me” time every day, where he would listen to Jono’s playlist through his earphones. The playlist was pretty incredible. It was packed with summer tunes – “Happy Now” by Zedd and Elley Duhé, and “Talk” by Why Don’t We being two of his favourites. However, things had been a little different for the past three months. Dylan now walked into school with Josh, his new foster brother. Caroline had fostered him, with some persuading from Dylan, when the authorities were planning to relocate him down town, meaning a new family, a new school and new people to get to know. Despite their history, Dylan had grown fond of Josh – he was brave and resilient, and a vital member of his pack. In addition, he made Jono happy, which would win anyone brownie points in Dylan’s eyes. That said, it was making private time with Jono almost impossible round at Dylan’s house. They usually hung out in Jono’s treehouse instead now – somewhere they certainly wouldn’t be disturbed.
“I’m sure I interrupted a private moment between them the other day” Josh revealed.
“No way, I don’t need to hear this, she’s my mom” Dylan blocked his ears. That was another difference about home life – Sheriff Taylor had recently moved in. He made Dylan’s mum happy, but having Josh made their romance much more tolerable. He wasn’t the third wheel, and had someone his own age that he could bitch with for the first time in his life. Also, the Sheriff was insisting that Dylan called him by his first name, Ed, instead of his title. It was difficult to train himself out of that habit, but it made sense.
“Tongues and all” Josh continued.
“Please stop” Dylan awkwardly laughed. He didn’t need those mental images. They finally approached the school, and joined their bench, where Jono and Lily were already perched.
“Morning” Jono greeted with a beaming smile, planting a kiss on Dylan’s lips, “How’s my favourite person?”
“Good thank you” Lily interjected, winking.
“Unbelievable” Jono laughed, “Sensibly though, Dyl, how are things?”
“Not bad. Not sure I’ve had any peace and quiet in weeks though” Dylan half joked. His house was now a hive of activity – which was both good and bad. He still hadn’t spoken to his mum about his secret – although things had gone quiet since Mr. Forsyth was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Sheriff had rounded as many of the other hunters up as he could, so Dylan prayed they were safe. However, Drew hadn’t wasted any time in letting Dylan know that a new alpha was big news. In one way or another, word would get out, and someone, or something, would notice. For now, though, he wanted to enjoy the normality. Although, normality for Dylan currently involved revising for exams without Yasmin’s help. He almost hoped something would come and distract him.
Freddie hadn’t felt the same for a while. School was never the same without Yasmin being around. They weren’t dating for long, but as soon as Freddie thought he’d found something good, he lost it. He understood her reasons for leaving, and quite frankly, he knew he’d do the same in her situation, but it didn’t make it any less difficult. Yasmin told him they could keep in touch – long-distance relationships can and have worked – but she was so busy with her new school that they were talking less and less. It was as good as over. He skulked into first lesson – maths, one of his favourites – but he wasn’t prepared to learn. Mr. Larson was already harping on about integration, but the questions on the board made little sense. Jono sat next to him, as always, and had completed the first six of ten questions.
“Come on dude. You can’t dwell forever” Jono knew the problem instantly and tried to encourage Freddie. He knew what Jono was saying was true, but it was easier said than done.
“It’s just shit. We’re barely even talking. It’s been three months now, and you’d think we’d have some sort of routine or arrangement, but nope” Freddie vented. He wasn’t very good at talking about his feelings normally, but Jono was the perfect person to open up to.
“You’ll work it out. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be” Jono optimistically reminded, “As the great Bebe Rexha once said.” He giggled at his own joke. Freddie let a small smile slip out too. He couldn’t resist Jono’s hysterically bad jokes.
“Anything to share with the class, Mr. Chadwick and Mr. Ruben?” Mr. Larson interrupted.
“No sir” Jono replied sheepishly. Freddie avoided eye contact, choosing to peak out of the classroom door instead. He saw something unusual through the little window – a young girl, who must have been seven or eight years old, walking through the corridor. She was only in sight for a few seconds thanks to the tiny window. Freddie blinked, unsure if his mind was playing tricks on him. Nothing was there. Maybe he was just tired. He glanced around the classroom – nobody else seemed to have taken notice; just bored by the integration questions. Must have been nothing.
Enjoying the peace and tranquillity behind the main school building, Dylan was waiting on Jono so they could spend some time on their own at lunchtime. Jono’s birthday was approaching, so Dylan was hoping to suss out some gift ideas. He hated gift buying. The end result of bringing joy to someone he loved was always great, but finding that special something was difficult work. Nobody seemed to be specific when questioned over what they’d like, either. Yasmin was always irritatingly vague. Thankfully, Caroline had a better gift-buying eye and excelled in helping him find nice surprise.
“Here you are” Drew popped out from around the corner. Dylan was startled, not expecting him.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Dylan abruptly questioned.
“Looking for you” Drew replied, “And thanks for such a warm warning, dear alpha.”
“Careful, you’re almost developing a sense of humour” Dylan calmed down.
“You’d be lucky” Drew remarked, “Look, you know how I’ve said about keeping alert?”
“I don’t need another pep talk” Dylan sighed.
“Shut up and let me finish, dimwit” Drew sank back to his old ways. Dylan almost laughed as he was scolded. It had been a while since Drew spoke to him like that, “I just found this stuck to the bunker door.” Dylan took what looked like a regular post-it-note off Drew’s finger and read it. In thick black pen, it read “the children are coming.”
“What the heck does that mean? Who wrote it?” Dylan was dumbfounded.
“I don’t know, but I think we have every reason to be on red alert” Drew suggested. As he spoke, Dylan heard a rustle nearby.
“Did you hear that?” Dylan whispered.
“Hear what?” Drew looked baffled. It rustled again.
“That” Dylan replied. Drew nodded, and scanned the area. Dylan tried to follow his ears, walking towards an alleyway between two parts of the building, generally used to store trash. Peeping cautiously around the corner Dylan braced himself. What was there? One of these supposed children? He focused, and saw a young lad crouched down. He had soft, auburn hair, shaggy and unkept but stylish. Dylan recognised him even without seeing his face.
“Hey Noah, is everything alright?” Dylan called out, concerned for his classmate.
Unusually, the bench was quiet at lunchtime. Lily was sat there with George, but nobody else had joined them. Normally, it was much too small to accommodate everybody and they often spilled over onto the adjacent bench as well, but the sole bench felt unusually big for a change. However, it was nice to have a moment just with George. She still hadn’t gotten totally used to him being her boyfriend, and they had been together for three months. That said, they had been friends for much longer, and that always felt like the default. While many people might see that as a negative, Lily saw it as a benefit – her history of relationships was a state, but none of them had the friendship foundations like she had with George. A little change was doing the world of good.
“I got a couple of vouchers for the cinema, anything you wanna see later?” George offered.
“I don’t mind, as long as I’m with you” Lily enjoyed being soppy and romantic from time to time.
“Cute, but doesn’t solve my dilemma” George jested. Lily giggled.
“I don’t care, honestly. You choose” Lily replied. It had been ages since her last cinema trip so she was looking forward to it. She was hoping for a more positive experience than the last one, when Josh tried to slit her throat. Not her finest moment. Her phone buzzed. Probably another meme sent by Jono in the group chat. She unlocked her phone and saw a text from a private number. “I’m coming.” How strange. Probably a wrong number, someone trying to let their friend know they were on their way. Then the phone buzzed again and another text came through. “Coming for you, Lily Chadwick.” Alright, that was creepy.
“Hey, look at this” she held the conversation out to George, who was also glancing at his phone. He skim-read the screen.
“Okay, that’s pretty terrifying. Look at this” George held his phone out in return. An almost identical conversation displayed in his text app, only replacing Lily’s name with his own.
“We gotta tell Dylan” Lily decided, officially spooked out.
Sitting down next to Noah, Dylan was feeling intrigued. He could sense his fear – not the fear you experience when you forget your homework, either. Something had obviously spooked him on a high level. He was shaken, his head buried in his hands. Drew watched on, as did Jono who had finally arrived. Looked like Dylan’s gift-buying idea was shelved for the time being.
“What’s happened, Noah? Talk to me” Dylan gently encouraged.
“You wouldn’t believe me” Noah muttered, keeping his head down.
“You’d be surprised at what I’d believe” Dylan added. He was trying to channel his inner Yasmin, judiciously considering every single word.
“There was this girl, last night, in the school corridor. She was like, seven years old” Noah revealed, “Her eyes, oh my god.”
“What about her eyes?” Dylan urged. The fact he was talking about a child concerned him after the note Drew found.
“They were black. The whole way across, pitch black” he revealed. Noah didn’t look up once, still refusing to make eye contact. However, the fear in his voice spoke volumes.
“It’s okay. She’s not here anymore. You’re safe” Dylan comforted.
“She didn’t say anything, but the eyes, they were like black holes. Sucking me in” Noah continued, his voice getting shakier and shakier.
“Where did she go?” Drew interjected.
“I don’t know. She’s still out there” Noah looked up, his tears leading a trail down his cheek. Dylan hugged him, trying to calm his eyes. He made eye contact with Jono, his concerned look matching Dylan’s.
Watching on, Jono felt rather concerned. Perhaps Noah’s eyes were playing tricks on him – he knew he always stayed late at school, he could have been tired. That said, he looked genuinely horrified. Something really bad must have happened to provoke a reaction like that. Maybe there was some truth to it.
“What do you think it is?” Jono whispered to Drew.
“Search me. I’m no expert” Drew replied as honestly as he could. Jono sighed. He knew he’d have to do some research. His phone buzzed. He glanced at the message preview on the lock screen. He heard Dylan’s ringtone sound too, then Drew’s.
“I think someone’s trying to send us a message” Jono noted, reading the disturbing text: “Coming for you, Jono Chadwick.”
“What the heck?” Drew was just as baffled.
“Come on, let’s get out of here” Dylan stood up and lent Noah a hand.
“What are we doing with him?” Drew bluntly queried.
“He’s coming with us. He knows more about this kid than any of us” Dylan decided.
“I’m quite happy for it to stay that way” Jono remarked, feeling uneasy about everything that had happened in the preceding ten minutes.
Walking out of the main school building and towards the bench, Freddie had just picked up his lunch rom the canteen. Josh was by his side, just like old times when they were joint at the hip. Maybe he wasn’t faking it the first time after all? Either way, he had nothing to hide now, and it meant a lot to Freddie to know he had his friend back. The old gang of him, Josh and Jono was back on. As they got nearer to the bench, Freddie saw his brother’s worried facial expression. George wasn’t much of a worrier. He dealt with issues head on, and didn’t allow himself to worry about the inevitable. When he looked concerned, it was ever without reason.
“What’s up? Why the long face?” Freddie tried to sound light-hearted as he approached.
“Have you looked at your phone yet?” George nudged.
“Huh?” Freddie was baffled. He shot Josh a confused look, as if he were an emoji. George remained serious. Freddie dug his phone out of his pocket. It had been on silent all day, like every school day – he’d had it confiscated by Mrs. Johnson once before for ringing in class, he was keen not to repeat it. He saw a couple of texts had come through from an unknown number. Both of which creeped Freddie the fuck out.
“Alright, whose practical joke is that?” Freddie was sceptical of its sincerity.
amateur, no?” Josh added.
“I goddamn wish it was a joke” Lily sighed. George’s face remained deadly serious. This was no joke.
“Who the fuck would do this?” Freddie’s bemusement turned to worry.
“Someone who knows about us” Freddie spun round as he heard Dylan speak. Drew and Jono were with him. Strangely, Noah from their year group had joined them too.
“Who?” Lily pondered.
“I don’t know. We need to go somewhere to talk” Dylan suggested. All of a sudden, everyone’s phones buzzed at the same time. A chorus of ringtones and vibrations sounded. Freddie’s heart sank with concern. He opened up the message on his own phone – “There is nowhere safe to talk. I can hear you everywhere.” Freddie saw the anger building in Dylan’s face. He understood it too. Nobody should be allowed to feel like that. He glanced around. Nobody was acting shifty, but it was hard to tell when most of the school were outside.
“What do we do?” Lily asked desperately.
“Act normal. Watch what you say, don’t give them anything. When they least expect it, we’re coming for their ass. Let’s show them who’s boss” Dylan replied. Freddie wanted to applaud. If he could take one positive from this, it was that they were all in it together.
The rest of the night was uneasy for Dylan. He felt like he was being watched in his every move. Even in his bedroom, with his curtains shut, he didn’t feel safe. What if there was a microphone planted in there? Something filming him? It was startling to say the least. It felt almost like Big Brother, except it wasn’t voluntary and he wouldn’t win $500,000 for winning it. To make matters worse, they had to figure out the deal with a strange and spooky kid. There was no guarantee she was anything out of the ordinary – perhaps she was a missing child who spooked Noah in some dodgy lighting. It was something to mention to Ed – as Sheriff, he surely knew any missing child case. He ushered him into the kitchen to get some intel.
“What’s the big secret?” Ed queried.
“Do you know of any missing child reports recently?” Dylan probed.
“We got a few, anything more specific” Ed looked baffled.
“A young girl, maybe seven or eight years old. Brunette” Dylan kept it vague. He had no idea who might have been listening.
“Don’t think so. Why do you ask? Am I allowed to know?” Ed questioned. He and Dylan had agreed to keep the werewolf secret safe, on the basis that Ed didn’t know the details. He didn’t want to have to lie to Caroline about Dylan’s whereabouts on any occasion, which was fair enough in Dylan’s eyes.
“Maybe. Need to know only” Dylan kept his lips sealed.
“Alright. Just make sure you stay safe” Ed was very good at looking out for Dylan and Josh. Sure, he was more of a father figure in Josh’s eyes, as he’d never really had someone like that, and Dylan kept his dad close to his heart. He knew he’d never forget him, but equally, he knew his dad would approve of someone as kind-hearted as Ed to keep an eye on him and his mum.
The night had been rough for Jono, too. He had planned to spend it revising, but he couldn’t focus at all. Lily was struggling too – they had barely sad a word to one another, too scared for what other people would hear. He knew he had to think of a way for them to communicate securely. Their phones were too risky – if this person had their phone numbers, god knows what else they could be in possession of, considering technology these days. Now he was alone in the school newsroom. Feeling paranoid, he had stuck a tiny piece of blu-tack over the laptop’s webcam. He was praying that he could crack on with some work for the newspaper. He was sorting through a list of all of the exam dates, organising it by year group, while Dylan was supposed to be working on study skills now that Yasmin wasn’t around. He couldn’t deny the impact Yasmin had on Dylan, and he seemed to be a little bit lost without her. As he daydreamed, Jono glanced at the door, jumping back in fright when he saw what was visible through the window in the centre. A little girl was peering through, albeit with her eyes closed. She reached her hand out to push the door handle down. Jono jumped out of the chair and picked it up to arm himself as the door bashed open. The girl stood in the doorway, blocking any chance of an exit. Jono looked at the window behind, but it couldn’t open far enough for him to escape. He took a good look, making mental notes. Whether they would make any sense later was another matter, his brain felt like jelly.
“What are you?” Jono asked. The girl didn’t reply, but her eyelids twitched. Those black-hole eyes were about to come into view. Jono primed the chair, ready to fight back if necessary.
“Jono?” Dylan’s dulcet tones filled his eardrums. He blinked, catching Dylan in the doorway, but no sign of the girl, “What are you doing?”
“Err” Jono put the chair down and collapsed back onto it. He was baffled. Where had she gone?
“You saw her, didn’t you?” Dylan presumed.
“She just vanished. As soon as I heard you” Jono described. Dylan pulled him in for a hug. Jono had never appreciated it so much, he was absolutely horrified.
Spending a lesson in the library, Lily was looking around in all directions. It was such a huge open space, which meant any number of people could have been watching her. George was next to her, browsing chemistry revision topics on the computer. She knew he was worried, but he was doing an impressive job of not showing it.
“How are you so calm?” Lily interrogated.
“Like Dylan said. Keep going. Maybe they’ll get bored?” George looked on the bright side. Perhaps it was true, but Lily wasn’t so sure. They knew about werewolves. Why they were doing it was the bigger question. Nevertheless, George and Dylan were right. They had to push on and keep going. Lily opened google and began to browse revision sites when an email popped through. She didn’t recognise the address, but it said all she needed to know: firstname.lastname@example.org. She instantly clicked on the message.
“I won’t get bored. Not ever” Lily read the email aloud to George.
“Okay, they can hear us. Maybe I should give them a little piece of my mind” George threatened.
“How will that solve anything?” Lily scolded. She stood up and turned around to the rest of the class, “Whoever keeps sending me messages, the joke’s over.” The class all shared the same baffled expression, as if she’d gone crazy. Lily sat back down sheepishly. Someone was playing a horrible game, and she knew she had to find out who.
Sitting on the step just outside the main entrance to the school, Dylan was calming Jono down. A bit of fresh air never went amiss, and he knew Jono wouldn’t leave his side if the tables were turned.
“I saw her, I promise, she was there as clear as day” Jono panicked.
“I know, I believe you” Dylan rubbed his hand gently up and down Jono’s back, consoling him as best as he could.
“I panicked so bad. What is she? I felt terrified the second I saw her” Jono confessed.
“I don’t know. I really wish I did. It’d make life a bit easier” Dylan sighed. The unknown terrified him more than anything. At least he’d be able to prepare himself if he knew what he was up against.
“Do you think we can stop it?” Jono wondered.
“I think we can try. That’s all we can do” Dylan admitted.
“There’s gotta be a reason for it though. Things don’t just exist to scare the shit out of teenagers” Jono reasoned. He had a point. The girl must have wanted something. Then a lightbulb sparked up in Dylan’s head. Maybe they weren’t without help after all?
“I think I know someone who could have an idea” Dylan considered. As he finished the sentence, he noticed Jono sobbing discreetly. Impulsively, Dylan pulled him in for a hug. He hated seeing Jono upset, and making Jono happy may as well have been part of his DNA. He whispered softly in his ear, “It’s okay. I’m here for you.” A tear slipped from Dylan’s own eye. He felt at a loss.
“Come on. We’ve got a job to do” Dylan decisively motivated. Sulking wouldn’t solve anything. He had to be proactive.
It was unlike Drew to be startled by anything. He was made of strong stuff and ensured he stayed one step ahead of everything, so it took a lot to bring him down. God knew how many hunters had tried. However, even he was jumping at every phone vibration. Freddie and Josh sat opposite him in biology, and they looked even more anxious than he did. Drew preferred it when his enemy showed itself, as opposed to hiding behind a screen and being cowardly. If somebody had a problem, he’d rather be told face-to-face. He had basketball practice after school, but somehow, this situation was killing his enthusiasm. If motivating himself, as the team captain, was tough, how could he motivate a whole team?
“Are we awake, Mr. Marsden?” he heard Mrs. Johnson bark. As helpful as she had been, he still couldn’t stomach her lessons. Drew nodded begrudgingly. As he did so, Dylan and Jono burst through the door.
“Boys, why are we late?” Mrs. Johnson immediately interrogated.
“Miss, there’s a fight in the corridor” Jono announced. Drew rolled his eyes as he heard pens clink onto the table and chairs scrape against the floor all over the classroom. Everyone wanted to see the fight. Typical humans. None of them had even seen a real fight. He caught Dylan winking at him. There wasn’t a fight. They wanted a confidential chat with her.
“Sit down” Mrs. Johnson commanded to the entire class, an order that was received with disappointed groans and muttering. She marched out of the room after Jono and Dylan. Drew wanted to be involved, but if even one person ran outside, the rest would follow, desperate to see the non-existent fight. He had to set the precedent.
“So, where’s the fight?” Mrs. Johnson wondered, looking around the empty corridors. Dylan knew telling a white lie to Mrs. Johnson was a risky tactic, but he hoped she would understand their reasons.
“Err, there isn’t one” Jono owned up, “We just needed you on your own.”
“I’m trying to take a class, you need to learn the concept of the right time and the right place” Mrs. Johnson reprimanded, “That’s a class you’re both meant to be in, by the way.”
“I don’t mean to be rude but this is a little more important than plant cells” Jono apologised in a roundabout way. While Jono spoke, Dylan scribbled a sentence on a whiteboard he had borrowed from maths. He held it up to her when finished, watching Mrs. Johnson read the note: “Don’t say anything aloud. We need help about a kid with black eyes.” Mrs. Johnson grabbed the whiteboard and pen out of Dylan’s hands, rubbed it out and wrote a response: “I assume there’s something more going on here. I have no idea I’m afraid.” The back and forth continued:
“OK. We’re desperate, it’s haunting the school.”
“I’ll keep an eye out. What’s with the secrecy?”
“Long story. Someone’s onto us.”
“Stay alert and look after yourself. Now get in my classroom.” Dylan giggled, taking the whiteboard back and regretfully skulking back inside the class. On the bright side, he’d killed a bit of lesson time, but still no closer to solving the mystery.
Shutting the front door behind him, Dylan was glad to be home. Although the confines of his house were less safe than usual, he still felt a lot more at ease within those walls than he did outside. He had his mum to protect him, as well as Ed and Josh. Although Ed was at work, he was looking forward to enjoying his “mom time”, now with added Josh.
“How are my two favourite boys in the world?” Caroline beamed as they both strolled into the living room and flung their bags onto the floor.
Dylan replied, collapsing onto the sofa.
“You’re too young to be tired, where’s all that energy?” Caroline teased.
“Used on Jono probably” Josh lowered the tone. Oh dear. A downside to having a brother of sorts was the lack of privacy. Even his sex life wasn’t immune.
“Hey, watch that tongue” Caroline kept up the stern mum act, but was visibly tickled. Another downside: he was the butt of all jokes.
“I’ll get some drinks, want anything, Caroline?” Josh offered.
“Oh, go on, I’ll have a coffee please” Caroline smiled. She acted like Josh had talked her into it, but she never said no to a coffee.
“Just a coke for me please” Dylan added. Josh gave a thumbs-up and casually sauntered out of the room.
“How are you finding things? You know, with everything changing” Caroline whispered, “I know change isn’t your forte.”
“It’s good” Dylan whispered back, being well aware that Josh could listen in if he wanted to, “I think I’m more used to it now, especially considering how long I pestered you to foster Josh.”
chuckled, “I was wondering what you thought about making this a more permanent
“You mean, adopting Josh?” Dylan kept his voice as quiet as possible.
“If he wants that. If you want that. Ed and I have talked through it” Caroline detailed.
“Sure, I’d love it” Dylan felt excited to have an actual brother at last. He always wanted one when he was younger. It was a no brainer. He and Josh were closer than ever. Just as he gave his approval, Josh ambled back in with a tray of drinks and the biscuit tin.
“Ready?” Caroline snapped out of secretive mode within a split second. Josh looked oblivious, thankfully.
“Yup” Josh grinned, slumping down on the other side of Caroline. At least Dylan had something to be positive about.
The mood was less calm and jovial at Freddie’s house. George was out at work, so he was home alone – the last thing he wanted to be. He was afraid to do anything – even looking out of the windows in case he saw her there. In fact, he was trying his best not to take his eyes off the TV even for a second. He hadn’t eaten dinner, and was quite happy not going into the kitchen, at least until George was around. At least he’d have a numbers advantage then. Heck, he hadn’t even seen this girl face-to-face, yet somehow, her mere presence outside the maths classroom was enough to send chills down his spine. Nothing normal could do that. That said, he was hardly “normal” himself. He had to keep his identity a secret to most people, and even that was at risk of exposure. Why did he have no control over his life? Maybe it was time to take control back. Brave the kitchen. He psyched himself up, thinking about what Yasmin would do. She wouldn’t let her life be dictated by anyone else. He strolled into the kitchen, putting on a confident façade to hide his terror. He approached the fridge, picked up his plate, turned around, and immediately dropped it. It smashed as soon as it collided with the floor, shards decorating the laminate flooring. She was there. Facing him, in his kitchen. Her eyes were closed, but he didn’t have to see the eyes to be able to picture what they looked like.
“Please don’t hurt me” Freddie begged. His fear was rising as she stepped closer, and closer, and closer, until…
“Freddie?” came a voice from the door. The voice rang a bell in Freddie’s mind, but he couldn’t place it. His mind was already doing overtime. The girl froze, as if she had been paused by a remote control.
“Anyone home?” the voice sounded again. It was female. It sounded like…could it be? Surely not. The lock on the door clicked open, “Sorry, the door was open. Have you missed me?” A startled Freddie watched as the girl faded away as if she were never there, just as Yasmin walked in. Never had he felt such a mix of emotions in one minute, leaving him staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at his favourite person in the world.
2: Demons Written by MarthaJonesFan
Yasmin couldn’t wait to return home. It had been three months since she last stepped foot in Crystalshaw, and her life was flipped upside down. She needed a detox. Memories of her dad were everywhere, and she wanted to wipe the slate clean in order to move on from him. However, she missed her friends dearly. Dylan tried Skype calling her for homework help, but it wasn’t the same, and although she tried her best to keep up with Freddie, it turned out she didn’t realise how challenging a long-distance relationship used to be. She had school to think of, and the level of homework was off the scale, while her mum wanted to make up for lost time. However, she was a slave to her job. At least until two weeks ago, where she quit. Quite why, Yasmin never found out, but it must have been something drastic for her to have left the job she worked so hard at for years. That was the turning point for Yasmin. She knew that had to go back to Crystalshaw. Back to her life, to confront her demons and giver her mum a fresh, less hectic start. They had booked into a bed and breakfast for a few nights before their new house was ready, but first, she had someone to see, and she couldn’t wait. The familiar street where Freddie’s house was situated was such a glorious sight. Her mum stopped the car just outside the house; it had barely ground to a halt before Yasmin leapt out of it. The front door felt weirdly comforting, the familiar sight warmed her heart.
“Freddie?” she called out. The lights were on, so someone must have been home. However, there was no response.
“Anyone home?” she called again. Still nothing. Perhaps they couldn’t hear her. She tried the door handle. Surprisingly, it opened with no difficulty. As she stepped inside, the familiar scent of the hallway immediately filled her nostrils. It felt homely, and she had missed it like crazy. She kept on into the kitchen, announcing her arrival, “Sorry, the door was open. Have you missed me?” Freddie’s gorgeous face came into view, but he looked startled. In front of him, with her back to Yasmin, was a little girl. Before she got to ask who it was, the girl simply faded away. She met eyes with Freddie.
“What the hell was that?” Yasmin was gobsmacked.
Bolting awake, Dylan was startled. Why wasn’t he sleeping still? What had woken him up? He looked to his bedside table – his phone was buzzing like crazy. Oh shit. He dreaded to think what sort of messages they were. He pressed the home button, the screen illuminating the room and blinding Dylan’s eyes. He was used to the beautiful darkness of his actually quite productive sleep. His eyes took a few moments to adjust before he could read the screen, but when he could, he saw seven missed calls from Freddie. This couldn’t be good news. He called him back immediately, fearing the worst.
“Hey, what’s up?” Dylan answered, slurring his words slightly. His mouth obviously hadn’t woken up yet, and considering it was half past two in the morning, he could hardly blame it.
“You’ve got to get here. Now” Freddie commanded.
“Is there something up?” Dylan asked as he clambered out of bed, grabbing for the nearest t-shirt he could get from the laundry pile.
“Yes and no. It’ll make sense when you get here” Freddie kept it annoyingly vague, then the call ended. Dylan finished getting dressed, shoving his messy, untamed bed hair into a ponytail as he couldn’t be bothered to style it. Now he had to summon Jono – his personal chauffeur. He vowed he’d learn to drive one day, but he hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Nevertheless, above all else, it was a reason to see Jono. As if he needed an excuse.
Completely shell-shocked, Freddie couldn’t believe that Yasmin was stood in front of him. He had so many questions. Why was she back? Why did she arrive so early in the morning? Why did the creepy little girl disappear? It was a lot to comprehend. He had just one priority though. He was beyond pleased to see Yasmin again and had to make the most of it.
“What are you doing here?” he started at the top.
“It’s a long story” Yasmin sighed, “Looks like I got here in the nick of time. No offence, but you look a state.” She wasn’t wrong. Freddie caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection of the window, He looked shattered.
“We’ve, uh, got a little problem. Long story” Freddie repeated back to her.
“Alright, I’ll go first” Yasmin decided, clicking the kettle on, “My mom’s job fell through. We’re back for good.”
“Really?” Freddie’s mood immediately lifted, “Where are you staying?”
“The B&B for a couple of nights, our flat’s not ready yet” Yasmin revealed, “I’ll only be down the road though.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Freddie pondered.
“Am I Not allowed to surprise you? I wanted to make up for being a shit girlfriend” Yasmin confessed.
“Can’t argue with that. It was a lovely surprise” Freddie smiled, “I was kinda worried. We weren’t talking much.”
“I’m so sorry. It sounds absurd to say I didn’t have the time, but it was so hectic, and my mom…” Yasmin tailed off.
“What about her?” Freddie enquired.
“She’s waiting in the car. I should go and update her” Yasmin explained.
“Invite her in if you want” Freddie offered. He was nervous about it, but he wanted to meet her nonetheless. It wouldn’t take much for her to beat Yasmin’s other parent after all.
“Thanks, but she’s very tired. I said I’d only be quick” Yasmin justified, “Let me tell her to head on. I’ll spend the night here, if that’s okay?” Never had Freddie heard such a silly question.
It felt great to be back. Yasmin knew that she missed all her usual home comforts, but now she was actually in Crystalshaw again, it all became clear – she didn’t want to leave again. However, she had a dilemma on her hands. She had to shoo her mum away, without letting on about who Freddie was. She still hadn’t told her mum about having a boyfriend, and she was ashamed to tell Freddie that. Yasmin was never someone to hide who she was. She wouldn’t study so much around school if she cared like that. However, home life was another matter. Her father had a vision for her, an ideal that she always felt pressured to meet. How did she know her mum wasn’t the same? She had barely seen her mum for the past three years, and even when she thought she knew her dad, it turned out she didn’t. She tapped on the window, and her mum whizzed it downwards. Despite it being night time, she was still rocking her trademark sunglasses, and her hair was styled immaculately.
“Ready to go, baby?” her mum greeted.
“You go on, I’m gonna stop here for a bit” Yasmin vaguely informed.
“Oh, deserting me already?” her mum sighed.
“If you feel that strongly about it…” Yasmin groaned.
“I’m kidding honey, have a nice time. See you in the morning. Remember, we’ve got a meeting at your school at ten” she said, blowing a kiss and rolling the window back up. As Yasmin turned around to go back inside, she noticed a couple of familiar faces approaching from several metres up the street. Dylan and Jono. A smile formed on her face, uncontrollably beaming from ear-to-ear. She couldn’t wait any longer to see Dylan. Her legs transported her closer without a second thought, sprinting as fast as she could, until she landed in his arms. The comfort he brought with him was unlike anyone else.
Amazed, Dylan clung to Yasmin like a little kid. He couldn’t believe what was happening, and he had so many questions, but none of them mattered. He had his friend back, and for that moment, he wanted to embrace it. She had left such a gaping hole in his life. Their gossiping about hot celebrities, their shared love of ridiculous jokes, and her place in the pack too. Dylan found it odd to think he had a pack, but that was part of being an alpha. He was still adjusting, albeit slowly.
“What are you doing here?” Dylan was curious as Yasmin let go of him and hugged Jono.
“I’ll tell you inside, but I’m here for good. God, I am so happy to see you both” Yasmin was smiling so brightly.
“Care to introduce me?” a voice came from the car parked up outside the house. Sighing, Yasmin led them over. Dylan saw a stylish lady who looked mid-thirties, but suspected was likely older. Her hair was styled beautifully and her outfit – what he could see of it – was so glamorous.
“I thought you were about to go. Mom, this is Dylan. Dylan, this is my mom” Yasmin introduced.
“Ah, so this is the famous Dylan” she commented.
“Nice to meet you Ms. Forsyth” Dylan politely and nervously greeted. He hadn’t heard a great deal about Yasmin’s mum, other than how distant she had become, but she looked exactly as he’d pictured from Yasmin’s description.
“Please, call me Autumn. I love your manners though Dylan, he’d be ideal for you Yasmin” Autumn suggested. Yasmin sighed while Dylan tried not to laugh. Obviously, she hadn’t told her every single detail about him, “Who’s your other friend?”
“This is Jono” Dylan introduced, “My boyfriend.” That should clear up any confusion.
“Ah” Autumn realised her presumption, “Pleased to meet you both. Time for me to get my beauty sleep I think. Night y’all.” The window zoomed upwards and the headlights flashed on as the car shot off out of sight. All three of them burst into laughter simultaneously.
“Sorry” Yasmin apologised through her chuckles. It felt so good to have her back.
Feeling the deliciously warm fumes of her cup of tea against her hands, Yasmin was cuddling up to Freddie on the sofa. It had turned into some sort of couples’ night with Dylan and Jono in a similar position on the opposite sofa, but she wasn’t complaining. Seeing Dylan’s face light up when she told him she was back for good was everything. Finally, she was feeling much more optimistic about Crystalshaw. No matter what she felt about her dad, she knew her friends would help her overcome it.
“Wait, your mom just quit?” Dylan reacted to her explanation, “You said she loved her job?”
“She did, which is what I’m confused about. She won’t tell me anything more” Yasmin detailed, “Anyway, enough about me. What’s this about some little girl who disappears into thin air?”
“Wait, you’ve seen her too?” Jono perked up.
“She vanished as soon as I arrived here” Yasmin answered. The whole situation still made little sense to her.
“She was coming for me” Freddie revealed, “Like it knew I was home alone.”
“What is it though? How much harm can a little girl do?” Yasmin queried.
“We don’t know. That’s the problem” Dylan explained, “Noah said she had black eyes, and he’s been shaken like crazy ever since.”
“Wait, black eyes?” a bell rang in Yasmin’s brain.
“You’ve seen it before?” Freddie was intrigued.
“I read about it. People have reported sightings of black-eyed kids before. The reports were dismissed as scaremongering but I love reading these supernatural phenomena” Yasmin explained, allowing her geekiness to shine through.
“Beings don’t just exist to scare people though” Jono reasoned. Yasmin knew he was right. Living creatures existed to reproduce and prosper. This black-eyed girl showed nothing beyond an existence of terror.
“Maybe I know someone who could help” Yasmin regretfully suggested. She kept tight-lipped on the details, partly because she didn’t even want to say it aloud.
“Careful what you say. You never know who’s listening” Dylan reminded.
“Wait, am I missing something else?” Yasmin was confused once again. Freddie took his phone out and started tapping a message in the notes application: “Someone listening, trolling us. Be careful.” Eek. Yasmin nodded in acknowledgement, as her brain immediately began thinking of a solution. No time to waste.
Seeing the email Lily received, Drew was getting more and more furious. He wanted to yell at whoever this troll was, perhaps show him he’s messed with the wrong person. This person was great at covering their tracks, though. He had to keep a positive outlook on life – it worked for Dylan, after all. This person must have bene human. It would have made no sense for anything else. Humans made mistakes, easily too. Everyone always said how nobody was perfect, but that was only because humans were too incapable of focusing fully. They simply couldn’t. Technically, that gave Drew the upper hand. However, h saw no way to suss this person out. The texts were from an unknown number and emails couldn’t be tracked so easily. He was stuck.
“We can’t beat them, can we?” Lily pessimistically thought. Her phone buzzed almost immediately after – the word “no” simply sent from the same unknown number. No texts came through overnight, although this person couldn’t be awake twenty-four-seven. Unless t wasn’t just one person. He had to consider every outcome.
“We can. We will” Drew confidently stated. He wasn’t giving in. He kept glancing at the email, as if a huge clue was going to reveal itself. It was almost too perfect. An email address created especially for the purpose of trolling. The numbers on the end must have had a meaning. Nobody used random digits like that – they must have signified something. Some sort of date? Not possible, on second thoughts, considering the digits were 1812. There was no eighteenth month. He knew he’d keep thinking about it throughout the day, but more importantly, he had an idea to speak to Dylan and the others without interruptions.
Dylan couldn’t believe what he was about to go through with. He had hoped never to see his face again, but he was ready and waiting in the visiting area. Yasmin was next to him, clenching his hand tightly. He wanted to provide as much comfort as he could, but he wasn’t convinced anything would make this more tolerable for her. She was about to confront her demons. One particular demon, at that. The amount of courage she had was admirable. Dylan glanced at his reflection in the glass opposite. He saw the face of someone nowhere near as courageous. What’s more is that he hadn’t looked at his own reflection in a while, as if he were scared he’d see something different about it. Like being an alpha had changed him. It felt weird looking at his dace and seeing how he looked barely any different to the year before. His life back then was unrecognisable, and in some ways, he missed it. The calm and the ease of everything. Now he had tons of uncertainty, but also a load of friends that he’d made since. Dylan felt a lot of pressure being the alpha, but immense pride for each of his pack. Especially Yasmin, after everything she had been through. A buzzer sounded and prisoners began to flood in. The bright orange overalls filled the other side of the glass barrier, worn by men of all shapes and sizes as they came to greet their loved ones. Then Dylan spotted him, skulking along the back. He lost focus of his reflection, seeing nothing but Mr. Forsyth’s terrifying eyes for the first time in three months.
“Hello darling” he directed at Yasmin. She scoffed at the word “darling” being used.
“I’d say long time no see, but it hasn’t been long enough” Yasmin responded fiercely.
“There’s no need to be like that” Mr. Forsyth pleaded. Even after being locked up for three months, he still had the same level of arrogance as always. It made Dylan sick.
“Do I have to list everything you did to me?” Yasmin retaliated.
“You’re the one who came to see me. Can we cut to the case?” Mr. Forsyth moaned. Yasmin shot a look of despair to Dylan, summing up his feelings entirely without uttering a word. His temerity was off the scale. This guy hadn’t changed at all.
“We need…” Yasmin struggled to get the right words out, “…your help.”
“Say it again. I just want to make sure I heard right” Mr. Forsyth antagonised. Yasmin groaned. She obviously felt exceedingly uncomfortable.
“We need your help” Dylan repeated on her behalf. He had to support her in any way he could.
“Why would I help the werewolf that messed up my family?” Mr. Forsyth was being deliberately difficult.
“You’d be doing it for your daughter” Dylan retained composure and responded calmly and with class. Mr. Forsyth was obviously considering his response, pausing as if he were on a reality show revealing the winner.
“Okay. I’ll do it” Mr. Forsyth announced, much to both their relief, “But on one conclusion.” Immediately, Dylan’s stomach dropped. He should have known there would be a catch.
For a reason still unknown to him, Jono had been summoned to the boys’ changing rooms by Drew. He was far from being a sports fan, and tended to stay as far away from the “laddy” sportsmen of his year group as possible. The arrogance almost put him off the sight of their six-packs. No harm in some eye candy. He tried his best to hide his thirsty glances as he speed-walked to the shower area. Drew was stood almost naked with his back to Jono, soaking himself with the water that calmly flowed out of the shower head.
“Take your t-shirt and trousers off” Drew commanded without looking round.
“Sorry, I’m taken” Jono replied. He was confused, so used humour to detract from the situation.
“Shut it, idiot” Drew was his usual humourless self. Jono rolled his eyes and obliged, awkwardly slipping down to his underwear only.
“Can I have an explanation?” Jono enquired.
“It’s a trial I’m doing” Drew detailed, “To see whether we can be heard now.”
“You think there are microphones on our clothes?” Jono tried to process the information.
“Our clothes, our bags, anything” Drew pondered, “get a shirt from over there and we’ll try it outside.”
“I hope you’re not expecting me to take part” Jono remarked.
“We’re three players down. You’re cheap labour” Drew irritatingly commented, “Let’s go.” Jono sighed. He followed the team of boys who all had at least double the amount of muscle strength as him out onto the field. This was the first time he had even considered playing sport since he was about four years old. He wasn’t sure if this was preferable to being spied on or not.
“You want what?” Yasmin was aghast. Her father’s audacity never failed to amaze her. She was opening to bargaining with him, but he was taking the biscuit.
“I need to get out of here” Mr. Forsyth reiterated. She was spellbound by his request.
“We’re not breaking you out” Dylan immediately affirmed.
“I’m not asking that of you” he confusingly stated, “There are other, more overt ways.”
“It still sounds stupid” Dylan grunted. He was right, but they had to hear him out – they hadn’t gotten what they wanted yet, after all.
“The bite Josh gave me changed me” he whispered, “I’m not a werewolf, I don’t know what I am, but people are noticing. I got a beating, and healed within hours.” Yasmin felt little sympathy, even if the conditions inside prisons like that horrified her.
“Tell us what you want” Yasmin demanded, trying to cut to the chase.
“There’s an institute on the other side of Crystalshaw. It’s a mental health facility, but what people don’t know is that they specialise in…” he trailed off, as if he were struggling to finish the sentence, “…the supernatural.”
“How do we do it?” Yasmin queried as Dylan shot her a baffled glance.
“Plead insanity for me. If they agree, they’ll look to relocate me” Mr. Forsyth suggested. Yasmin looked to Dylan, hoping he would agree. All they had to do was make a suggestion to the prison and he would give them the intel they needed. Dylan rolled his eyes before nodding. A regretful yes.
“Okay. We’ll do it, but you need to co-operate with us” Yasmin bargained.
“What do you want to know?” Mr. Forsyth questioned. Finally, they were making progress.
Never had Jono felt more out of place more anywhere than he did in the basketball court at school. His lack of muscles felt incredibly apparent, and he was notably smaller than the rest of the players too. Drew had urged him to get involved, but he didn’t know how. How could he snatch the ball from someone double his size? He’d be flattened and become a rug.
“When are we testing this plan out?” he impatiently whispered to Drew.
“Now. Keep talking. If I’m right, we’ll have no new messages when we go back in” Drew revealed.
“Alright, so you think you know who it is?” Jono enquired.
“No, but this gives us the upper hand. They might not be as strong as they think” Drew pondered.
“So every time we need to discuss something, we’ve got to strip and play basketball?” Jono summarised. He was trying to keep his good humour in tow.
“Basically, yeah” Drew realised, “Next step is narrowing it down. There must be something on either our clothes, bags or shoes.”
“And placed by somebody devious enough to know to do that” Jono noted.
“That’s ninety-nine percent of the school ruled out” Drew jested. Jono chuckled – he wasn’t wrong. The coach blew the whistle, and Drew immediately shifted into captain mode
“Come on” Jono groaned. He jogged to the centre of the field, trying to stay as far away from everyone else as he could whilst staying within hearing range. This was going to be a long hour.
Talking to Mr. Forsyth was like getting blood out of a stone. He wasn’t the easiest nut to crack, but Dylan felt like they were making progress. His terms were outlandish, and he was amazed Yasmin agreed so readily to them. However, he trusted her, and knew he had to go along with it. Now it was time for them to reap the benefits.
“Do you know anything about a black-eyed girl?” Yasmin interrogated. Mr. Forsyth looked visibly startled when he heard Yasmin’s question.
“Have you been reading Wikipedia again?” Mr. Forsyth seemed hopeful with his question.
“We’ve seen one. She’s haunting us” Yasmin lowered her voice.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t say that” Mr. Forsyth acted worried. Dylan didn’t believe it for a second, but he had to hold his tongue, “The black-eyed people are scaremongers. They act as pilot fish, like the smaller fish before the bigger fish.”
“So there’s something bigger to come?” Dylan processed. This didn’t feel good.
“Yes. In this case, the black-eyed kid is like the gateway for something bigger. They create fear, and when they’ve fed on enough fear, the gate opens” Mr. Forsyth chillingly explained.
“What is it?” Dylan needed to know.
“I have no idea. The legend doesn’t say. Nobody’s ever let it through before” Mr. Forsyth informed.
“So how can we prevent it?” Dylan instinctively questioned.
“We have to be fearless, I assume” Yasmin realised. Mr. Forsyth nodded.
“Channel the fear. Use it as adrenaline to escape. They fade after a while according to the old myth, but only if they don’t succeed” Mr. Forsyth suggested.
“We’ve gotta tell the others” Yasmin decided. She was right, and they had to do it fast. Nobody knew when the girl would appear again, but it surely wouldn’t take long.
Attempting to get stuck in on the action, Jono wasn’t doing very well. He had been passed the ball briefly, and tried to shoot, but the ball made it less than a metre from him thanks to a terrible aim. His teammates looked at him with such disapproval. So much for team morale. Drew was still encouraging him though. At least one person had his back. The ball was bouncing in his direction once again. He wanted to dodge out of the way, but this could have been his moment of glory. Drew chucked it towards him as players of both practice teams flooded around him. He was near the hoop, but was it worth the risky shot? He caught the ball perfectly, and his moment had arrived. Jono spotted a gap in the crowd and dribbled the ball towards it, ending up directly in front of the hoop. Jono raised the tough orange ball above his head and without further thought, eh launched his shot. Anxiously he closed his eyes, waiting for the racket of the ball rebounding off the side of the net and whacking onto the ground. If it even got that far. As he waited, every second seemed to elongate itself. It was excruciating. Then he heard the ball bounce back down to the floor with a thud, followed by rapturous applause from his teammates. He looked up, opening his eyes, He’d done it. Scored. Drew gave him a high-five and shot him a proud smile. Perhaps the first time he’d ever seen Drew smile. He looked around the basketball court and noticed Dylan and Yasmin watching from the side. Both of them were applauding too, and Dylan beamed from ear-to-ear. Maybe there could be more to this basketball malarkey than Jono thought.
Impressed, Dylan had no idea that Jono had a sporty side to him. They always avoided any sporting event on television and Jono couldn’t stand most of the basketball team. The arrogance and the heteronormativity of them all repulsed them both. That said, it would be pretty cool if Jono was to lead the way in stamping all of that out. There he was, playing a part in Drew’s team and actually scoring. He felt an immense sense of pride watching him smash it. Dylan was almost envious. He didn’t have a sporty bone in his body, and it would’ve been cool to have such a skill, but his interest in sport was low anyway. In fact, it couldn’t have gotten lower if it tried. However, Dylan knew he would be one-hundred percent behind Jono’s venture. He jogged over, looking tired and sweaty, yet still as hot as always. Perhaps even hotter in his sporting shirt, exposing his cute, vaguely toned arms.
“I didn’t see you there” Jono mentioned as he arrived.
“We only just got here” Dylan replied, “I didn’t know you liked basketball.”
“Me neither. I still don’t” Jono laughed, “Drew was desperate.”
“You’re a natural” Dylan complimented.
“If you say so” Jono lacked any sort of self-confidence.
“I do say so” Dylan reiterated. Jono blushed. He looked incredibly cute when he blushed.
“Have you seen the others?” Yasmin changed the subject, getting down to business.
“Aren’t they at the bench? I’ve not seen them” Jono responded, “Is something up?”
“We know what the little girl is” Yasmin answered, “It’s fear. She causes fear, which in turn makes a gateway to allow something else, something worse, into our world.”
“We’d better tell Noah too” Jono pointed out, “He was the most scared of us all.”
“Oh shit” Dylan hadn’t remembered Noah. He hadn’t seen him all day. Out of sight, out of mind. However, it rang alarm bells. The girl hadn’t been seen all day either, “We’d better find him.”
Dylan’s heart was racing for the entire journey to Noah’s house. Yasmin had gone to fill the others in on their findings, while Jono led the way in his car. He said he’d been to Noah’s house once before for a group project, so he vaguely knew the way. Dylan was getting increasingly worried though. None of them had seen Noah nor the girl all day, so either it was terrorising other people and he had been keeping a low profile, or their paths had crossed again. Why specifically him? Dylan understood it fed on fear, but how did it know Noah would be so terrified? As the car ground to a halt, Dylan leapt out and started knocking ferociously on the door. Nobody answered, but the lights were on inside. Somebody must have been home. Dylan tried the door handle.
“What if it’s his mom in there?” Jono worried.
“It’s not, I can smell Noah’s scent” Dylan justified. He pushed against the door, and it jolted open, almost causing Dylan to collapse to the floor. He composed himself and sprinted into the light in the living room. Dylan was aghast as he saw Noah looking terrified for his life. The girl was opposite him, with its back to Dylan and Jono. They were too late.
“Don’t look into her eyes” Noah commanded, his voice quivering in a way Dylan had never heard before. Dylan kept his distance, but he had to make sure Noah was okay.
“Noah, it wants you to be scared. That’s what it does. It can’t hurt you if you show it who’s boss” Dylan motivated in the best way he could.
“I can’t” Noah sobbed into his pillow. As soon as he finished his sentence, a black gas-like substance began to flow out of the girl’s mouth. It flowed in the air and shot outside in an instant. As Dylan looked back, the girl had vanished. Immediately, he went to check on Noah.
“Are you okay?” he comforted.
“What the hell was that?” Noah worriedly asked.
“We don’t know” Dylan answered honestly. That alone terrified him the most.