Five teenagers living in Colorado are cursed and they try to figure out why
| Part 1: Everything is not what it seems
The rain poured outside. A flash of lightning flickered somewhere among the gray clouds followed by a loud crack. The powerful beating of the raindrops hit the stony ceiling of the caves in a strange rhythm. Sitting at the mouth, a sense of emptiness and misery filled the enclosed space in my chest. The rain were my tears, I decided it would be, since I didn’t cry anymore. My eyes scanned the horizon; the clouds huddled together in a blanket of white like snow, covering the endless blue sky.
A sigh escaped my parted lips, as my mind slowly rocked away from reality. I closed my eyes at the sound of the rain itself. Each drop screamed a word, this word became a sentence, became a paragraph , became a story. At first everything had no significance to me, until it formed into something so familiar to me. So frightening it was, like a nightmare…
You’re the most hideous thing! Get out!
The words echoed itself in my mind, maybe as a reminder of just why I sat here in this cave. The memory of this scene still held strong in me- even through all these years. Never did this memory fade away like I’d wished for, it could not.
It happened so suddenly. I was perched on the bay window sill, peering out as the golden orange tinted sun dipped behind the mountains. I was just ten, and I lived with both of my parents. When the sun departed from the sky and night came to take its place-the departing sun had taken something else along with it.
I didn’t know how it had occurred, but it was excruciating. A burning and agonizing feeling suddenly shocked into my chest. It traveled down my arms and legs, increasing as the seconds ticked by. It gave me the sensation of a million needles piercing my flesh. I raised trembling hands to grasp the thin and delicate fabric of my black lace dress ;clamping my hands there. I tensed not knowing why this was happening to me. Lowering my head my gaze fell to the skirt of my dress, I focused on trying to control my breathing.
My throat tightened; breathing became difficult for me. My mind started spinning, and hurting unbearably. As if hammers were slamming against my skull, over and over again. I shut my eyes tightly, whilst slipping off the window’s plushy sill. I fell to the floor, landing in the fetal position. I heard my back make a popping sound that sent another shock of pain up and down my spine.
“Oh my god!” My mother shrieked.
I cried out, no longer could I hold in this pain in silent suffering, accompanied by my last breath before my whole world faded to black.
“Melanthe…” A deep and calm voice called me. A voice I knew well. It sunk into me, washing away those fears. Leaving a warm sensation lingering there.
This voice pulled me out of the deep recesses of my mind, bringing me back to the caves, back to the monster I had grown to become. I opened my eyes and refocused them to the sky. The sound of heavy rain ceased to a small almost silent pattering of light drizzle.
His hard calloused hand took hold of my shoulder.
“I’m fine now,” I whispered to him, keeping my gaze heaven wards.
We were all kept safely away from the small city of Glenwood Springs Colorado. As of now, we lived within the darkness of the caves, alone from the world but together with just us.
I watched the sky intensely, searching for the sign of our freedom. Time seemed to be moving slowly today and the others grew restless beneath the weight of all the waiting. Like me, wanting to just bolt. Especially Amy, who is only thirteen-she gets nervous when the air about us isn’t at peace.
In silence, almost but not quite, we sat waiting for the sun to come out so life could begin and move on.
If I hadn’t been paying so much attention to the sky, I would have never noticed the small rays of sun light that had sliced through the opening of the thick clouds. At that instant, adrenaline rushed my veins .
I pushed myself up to my feet, my muscles ached from being motionless for so long,. My joints popped as I walked out side. I felt the edges of my lips curve into a small smile. The feeling of the cool brisk morning air rushing at me was both calming and comforting...
“You’re smiling, I’d like to see that more often Meli,” came his voice.
I glanced back to see Delano trailing after me, behind him came Wesley, Amy and Galiena.
“It just feels nice,” I told him, catching eye contact with him.
I turned my head to look at the sky, “The air, “ I whispered, watching the clouds slowly disperse.
We were all sickening walking corpses who lived and breathed every night. The humans who ever saw us called us Zombies, yes we were almost like them, but not exactly. We resembled the likes of them, with the dark looking rotten skin, but we sort of look like gremlins but with long pointed human ears. We have fangs, and long bat-like wings. When we change they disappear remaining only as two dark small wings tattooed to our back. It's very cool, they glow and suddenly re-appear when they're in need.
Maybe we're half bat, but I really don't know. I love the light, it never bothers me. They say that bats are blind and hate the sun light. Well, I guess that doesn't include us. Maybe it's because we're only partially like them. Even so, it's real depressing to have to go through this change every night, I'm happiest most in the morning. There is a reason why we take into hiding at the caves instead of living in a normal house. We don’t want to be found by them or ridiculed anymore. Life was just easier that way.
I closed my eyes, the sun washed over our dreadful features, which slowly ebbed away at its contact. The rotting flesh crisped into black dust, as if burned away from our skin. Beneath our dreadful appearance was something precious.
Opening my eyes I felt refreshed. I brought my arms close to myself, wrapping them around my waist. I shook my head, my black hair swished about in the quick movement. Glancing back I saw the rest of my crew undergo their own rebirth.
Everyone looked normal, not one little flaw was left.
"Now we can finally breathe," I said, turning to face them. I let my arms drop from around me and rest idly at my sides. I peered at each and everyone one of the people here that I adored. There was Delano, an eighteen-year-old who found me seven years ago in the woods, Wesley, seventeen like me, he found us at a park, Galiena, she's sixteen and used to be very rich and when her parents found out about her curse, they left her like a forgotten broken toy; we found her walking alone on the street on a rainy day, and Amy; she's only thirteen. We found her running away from home.
Another breeze sprang up, whipping Delano's silver hair about wildly. The bangs masked over his ruby jewel like eyes, giving him an innocent look.
"Yeah, I agree," he said as he walked towards me.
"Can we go to the hot springs?" Amy asked, striding besides me at my left.
"Sure, that's where I was heading," I told her softly, taking a few strands of her ivory silken hair; letting it slip like water through my fingers.
She smiled warmly at me, "Today may be a new day," she squealed in her ever so chipper demeanor.
I looked at her for a moment, "Really? What makes you think that?" I asked.
"She's always so optimistic," I heard Galiena mutter.
"Like a small light in the dark," Wes said, giving me a knowing look.
We walked down the small path that lead to the springs below, they were always so inviting and warm.
"I don't know, it's just a feeling," Amy expressed, her eyes seeming to go off, staring at the misty air escaping the warm waters.
Everyone raced towards the springs, only I lingered. Watching them with a small smile on my face, this was my family. The one's I dearly cared for, and would do anything for. Even die if it were highly necessary.
As I walked along the rocky shore, I slipped my black ballet flats off my feet and dipped them into the water. The scent of these pure springs was intoxicating. I dropped the flats and stepped a few feet more into the water. I realized a bit too late that I had walked in the water. I paused just as the surface reached above my waist. I stopped, looking at the languid person staring back at me from the water. She stared at me, her head fell into a slight tilt, her face lost its glow she was staring back at me. Her hair fell in soft black spirals down her shoulders; streaming down my back. Now pooling into the water about me.
"Who are you? What have you become?" I asked her, my reflection mimicked me, peering longingly back.
Then the water rippled snapping me out of it. I looked up to see Wesley smiling playfully at me. His black shirt clung to his body like another skin.
"Uh, hey," I said, managing a small smile.
"How come every time you're alone you get all depressed?" he asked. His eyes met mine, searching for something.
I blinked a few times, trying to process this simple question in my mind. I knew the truth of my past, but it was too painful to even talk about. So I never did.
I wasn't about to now either.
I shook my head, "I'm fine, really," I lied. A sweet lie, one that didn't hurt anyone.
He took this in with a simple nod, his hazel eyes seeming to brighten at my smile. A mask I wore so well when I didn't want anyone to know what I felt.
We fooled around in the springs for what seemed like forever until someone complained of being hungry.
"Wendy's!" Amy chirped, squeezing out the excess water from her hair.
"Mc Donald's is better," Wesley said, pointing out that they had the best burgers.
"Wendy's is always fresh!" Amy shot at him.
"But Mickey D's has the best ice cream."
"Wendy's has frostee floats!"
I sighed, knowing that this debate was going to last a while.
"How about we just go to both, sounds good?" I asked, catching their attention.
"Well then, that's settled," Delano said in his quiet tone as he walked off. We all followed out in a small group to the city.
There are very cute, quaint, Western-looking shops here. It's decent-sized, but it's definitely not huge. There are cliffs and mountains riddled with caves up above the town. It’s a fairly small, quaint mountain town, a lot of mountain-and-Indian themed gift shops are almost found at every street. All for tourists I guess.
“Wendy’s first!” Amy told me, tugging at the sleeve cuff of my black shirt.
“Ok,” I told her, quickly.
“Ladies first after all, so don’t start,” Galiena said looking at him with a smirk. She brushed a few strands of her golden blond hair over her shoulder. The perfect wavy hair bounced about as she walked.
“I know that, you don’t have to remind me,” Wes said shaking his head.
“Wait a second, did you hear that?” Delano asked, taking a hand out of his pocket he had raised it to make everyone stop.
“Hear what Delano?” Amy asked curiously, she looked up at him.
“It’s coming from over here,” he said turning to the alley way.
We all followed, walking into the half enclosed space. There was a huge peeling green dumpster hugging the left wall. The ground was littered with paper, broken glass bottles and unnamable objects. Delano leaped up and dived into the dumpster.
“What the hell are you doing? Get out of there,” Galiena hissed, glancing around to see a couple wearing tourists attire walk by. They peered in at the noises he made rummaging through the trash.
“What are you kids doing there?” a fragile, gray-haired elderly lady questioned us, she and her husband were looking at us strangely.
“Delano lost his foot ball in there,” Wesley quickly answered, with a straight face. Beautiful liar.
“A foot ball?” the lady asked skeptical.
“Yeah, we were playing toss football and I threw it too high and it landed in there,” I explained.
“We can handle it, enjoy your stay,” Galiena said waving them off with her million-dollar-smile.
The couple walked away.
A wave of relief washed over us.
“Delano what are you looking for?” I asked turning back to him.
“Baby,” he muttered holding something small in his arms, he moved quickly and soon was standing right next to me. He showed me the infant who was crying.
“Oh, what…that’s a…” I looked at him appalled. It was a human baby with a weird deformed face. It was human of course and its skin was partially burned. A large potion of the infant's head was missing, as if it never was. Part of the brain was seen beneath the cover of the pink tattered blanket.
"I think I'm going to be sick!" Galiena whispered, she quickly looked away. Covering her trembling lips with her slender shaking hands.
"Poor thing," Amy said in a weak voice. She burst into tears, then buried her face in Wesley's shirt.
I stared up at Delano who looked at the baby, he grimaced. "She has Anencephaly, I don't think she'll live any longer," he murmured, "but we still have to take her to the hospital now." with that said, he walked around me and out of the alley way.
“But that’s a human baby Delano,” I told him, emphasizing on that one word. Human.
He paused in mid-stride, turned slightly to face me and nodded. “I know that Mel, and we have to save her,”
I shook my head not accepting this. I couldn’t help our own enemy, it'd be like shooting myself in the foot. The humans hated us, banished us from their world, treated us like nothing.
"Please Meli, we have to save here, we can't leave her here!" Amy sobbed, looking at me with bambi eyes.
"But, they..." I caught myself, I was about to reveal my well hidden secret. They knew the humans hated us, but they never knew why I absolutely abhorred them. They couldn't know.
I nodded giving in, and followed them quickly to the nearest hospital. As we arrived there I knew that even if the baby lived, it too will grow and learn and feel. Feel nothing but hatred to us, just like the rest of them.