The lions and the bears are at war and Jamie is in the middle of it.
| I shivered into the real world. My dreams were forgotten almost instantly. The only thing that lingered in my mind was the image of a beautiful baby boy laying in a bush.
The night went on and I just couldn’t bring myself to forget about that baby. His soft cries were in my nightmares, and his fragile skin broke under my cruel mind’s games. Who could this child be? Was it me? Was it someone else important to me? Was he in danger?
I rolled out of bed after my spurt of questions. I hit the ground hard and held my aching head, trying to stop what felt like profuse bleeding.
This headache didn’t come from the fall, and it wasn’t random. It came from the questions I asked myself. Every time I tried to find an answer to something, my brain went over every possibility in less than two breaths. This… system of thinking, it crashed my brain and caused migraines that could shatter any previous thought, and turn me into my primal state. The state of survival.
I crawled across the floor, seeing blood drop out of my nose to form a trail on the pretty white carpet. When I arrived in the bathroom, I rose to my feet, leaning on the sink for support. My legs wobbled under me, threatening to collapse, and my fingers shook.
My face sure was a sight. The bleeding had stopped, but there were still the remains of trails of blood coming from my eyes, ears, and nose. One trail even came from the corner of my mouth, and I spat out at the sink, turning it a vicious red color.
“Mom!” I screamed, pulling myself back together as the migraine faded. I touched my eyes tenderly, though it didn’t hurt, and prayed that this wouldn’t happen again. I felt a tear come down to wash away the blood.
My mom, of course, screamed when she came in. At first she looked like she wanted to step on me like a spider, then she caught me in a tight hug and sobbed on my shoulder. We’d both been through this before.
My father was the second to come in, he was stern and serious when he told me that he was taking me to the hospital this time. I surely wouldn’t disagree, because tears still ran down my cheeks, making little lines through the blood.
The hospital was crowded, as usual, and we had to sit in the back of the waiting room. We waited a total of three hours beside a coughing man and an irritating baby that wouldn’t stop crying. My patience was running thin when they finally called me back. There was another hour of waiting in a smaller room, then I was taken into an open area that was blocked off by large white curtains. I was put in a small square of curtains, where there was a bed and a chair, along with a back wall and a window. I couldn’t see anyone and they couldn’t see me.
“We’ll take her in for an MRI in a few hours,” the doctor said quietly, writing something on my chart before he put it at the end of my bed. “It’s best that you let her rest for now.”
My mother and father protested, but eventually they were sweet talked out of my room.
I spent the next three hours bored out of my mind. I had no computer, I had nothing but the TV, and all the channels were in Spanish.
“It seems that the machine has had some trouble,” the doctor had just pulled me out of the MRI machine, and now he was explaining the results to my parents. I just stared at him in shock. “Her skull is… thicker than most.”
“How does that affect such a powerful machine?” My father protested with a passion, like he actually cared.
“I’m not exactly sure Mr. Fault, no images were taken. I’m bringing in some specialists to help you, they should be here in a few days,” he said that as he was dialing into his cell phone. “You can take her home for now, but keep her under close observation.”
“Will do,” my father looked like he wanted to salute the doctor, but he didn’t. I rolled my eyes, looking off in the other direction. I was so tired of my dad.
It’s not like I don’t have a good life or anything. It’s just that my dad is more of a drunk than a sane person. He likes the down several bottles of the worst kind of alcohol, then beat me senseless. If he wasn’t stronger than me, he’d be dead by now…
It was school the next day that the next odd thing in my life happened. It wasn’t like the migraine odd, more like having a thick skull odd. I was walking down the hallway, all my books in my arms, when Linda approached me. She pushed through all the other kids and met me at my locker.
“Jameson is going to ask you out!” Linda blurted, covering her mouth right after she got it out.
I dropped my books, half of them slamming down on my feet. I hit the ground after one hit my shin, and I stared up at Linda. “What? He already did three times this week!”
“He’s a senior, and so cute, just go out with him,” Linda pushed, then galloped off. “See you in class!”
I sighed, gathering up my books in my arms. I tried to get up and they all slid away from me again.
Then something insane happened.
He had to have been a senior, or a graduate. He looked in his very early twenties, and as he kneeled to pick up all my books, I saw the muscles under his shirt flex, revealing how strong he was. He balanced every book on his knee, then in his arms. As he stood, I got into a crouch, preparing to stand. But then his hand gripped my upper arm and yanked me to me feet.
“You seem to be having some trouble,” he said quietly, his voice deep and strong.
“Yeah… I’m clumsy,” I looked at my shoes, then back up at his stone-carved face. His features looked chiseled, and his face seemed smooth like polished stone.
“I’m Walker,” he released my arm and held out his hand to me.
“I’m Jamie,” I said, shaking his hand. Not only was he incredibly handsome, with his thick black hair and beautiful, baby blue eyes, but his hand was rough from working hard.
“It’s nice to finally meet you,” he gave a little nod and looked around him as the bell rung. “I must be going, maybe I will see you again someday Jamie Fault.”
As he handed me my books and walked away, I stared after him. How did he know my last name?
I hit the ground suddenly, my head banging into the cold tiles.
“Jamie!” I heard a scream, then something picked me up off the ground. My head lolled back and I struggled to keep my eyes closed. The pain was immense, and I just wanted to open my mouth up and scream to the high heavens, but I couldn’t do that, it would be too embarrassing.
I hit a soft bed and I relaxed just a little. I could feel something rip open my shirt, and I felt something warm on my chest, right over my heart. I could feel it’s sporadic beating as the pain increased.
“Breathe for me Jamie, breathe,” that’s when I heard Walker’s voice through the pain. But why was he here?
The pain increased as I asked myself questions about Walker. I did let out a scream as my brain threatened to explode and splatter all over everything. Could it be possible that I was dying? So young?
The pain got even worse due to my internal questions, and I let out another scorching scream.
Suddenly there was something in my mouth, I felt it vividly. It was a small round pill. I swallowed it eagerly, hoping it would stop this pain.
The relief shot through my body like a stray bullet. My whole body cooled to the maximum, and I relaxed. My heart slowly started making a pattern with its beats again, and I sighed happily, opening my eyes.
“Jamie, I have to take you away from here,” Walker was looking down on me, standing beside my small bed in the nurse’s office.
“W-what?” I asked groggily, my eyes fluttering. I could barely stay awake.
“I’m going to take you somewhere safe, you’re not the only one who’s felt this way, I can fix it.”
“You can, fix it?” I could barely get my voice out now, and his face was becoming a blur.
“When you wake up, you will be safe,” he grabbed my arm.
Suddenly I was wide awake, and terrified. I jammed my fist into his eye and pushed him back, running for the door. He jumped in front of me, shutting the door as I tried to open it. “It’s for your own good!”
“What do you want from me?” I started backing toward the window, leaning against it and secretly unlocking it with my fingers.
“I want your safety, nothing else Jamie.”
“Then let me go,” a strange kind of growl slipped through my throat, and I felt a powerful rush of energy. I yanked the window open and leapt through it, gasping when Walker grabbed my ankle. I now hung from the second story of my school, staring down at the flat ground below me.
“Grab my hand Jamie!” Walker sounded rather desperate now. He held onto my ankle with both hands.
I felt that strange power rush through me again, and I turned myself over, using all my strength to lean up and grab his hand. He tried to pull me up, but I leaned further and bit him right on the wrist, clenching my teeth as hard as I could manage.
He dropped me then, letting me fall. I turned over and over, then crunched on the ground like a crash dummy. I blacked out for just a second, then scrambled to my feet.
Walker landed behind me, stumbling. I took that to my advantage and pushed him over, avoiding his grabbing hand. I turned and darted into the forest, running faster than I’d ever run in my life. Every stride was coursing with an unknown power, and the trees just became blurs.
It started raining after a moment of running, and I gasped for breath. My foot hit a root and I tripped, face planting in the mud of a small stream. I didn’t get back up, I just laid there and hoped the mud would kill me before Walker got here.
That’s when the billionth weird thing happened to me. I could barely pull my head out of the mud, and as I looked around, the forest had grown to massive heights and bulks. The leaves below me were almost as big as me, and the little stream had turned into a massive, raging river. The giant boulders where rolling with the water’s current, and everything was really clear. Could I have fell down the rabbit hole?
Nothing happened when I thought like that, and I actually grinned to myself. My tongue lolled against my teeth, and I found that they were incredibly sharp, though my tongue wasn’t cut. I felt three extra appendages, like a ghost’s touch, and something kept making a loud mewling noise.
I screamed for help, battling against the loud mewling. I couldn’t get up, and I couldn’t really feel my arms, I did need help, but not from Walker, whoever he was.
Suddenly I heard a loud intake of air, and several snaps and crackles. There was a short grunt, and something picked me up. I felt sharp things pricking my sides, and there was a heated wind blowing around me occasionally. I felt like whatever had picked me up, I was in its mouth.
I screamed louder now, desperately hoping that Walker would come. Maybe he could battle off this massive beast, who I suspected was going to eat me.
There was a long growl and I shut up instantly, though the mewling went on. I shivered on one side, while the other side was covered in the creature’s hot breath.
“Walker!” I heard a deep voice ring through the forest, and then there was a monster in front of me.
I’d seen this before… it was a lion, like in Africa. It was definitely male, judging by its dark-tinted mane and its regal face. But what was a giant lion doing here? But then again… this was a massive forest, of course the lion would be giant.
“Roger, where is Brenan?” Walker’s voice vibrated around me, making me squirm. “Jamie stop squirming!”
I froze, turning my head as far as I could. All I could see was a massive lion head and a giant, baby blue eye. It stared at me intently.
“Walker?” I asked, the mewling growing louder.
“Yes, I am Walker,” he said, his jaws moving a bit around me. “I will explain all of this when you are safe again.”
“Brenan is back at the house with Joan and Jonathan,” Roger, the massive lion, said, interrupting what I was going to say. “Should Cole and I remain to look for the bears?”
“If that is what you wish,” Walker nodded, throwing me up and down in his mouth. I felt a little growl rise through my chest, and it came out sounding like a baby’s growl.
“She’s adorable,” Roger said quietly, turning and walking off. His regal stride made me shiver. I wondered why they hadn’t eaten me yet.
“Who was that?” I wondered as Walker went on.
“My brother, Roger,” Walker said, his breath warming me again. “Brenan, Jonathan, and Cole are all part of our pride.”
“So tell me, how exactly did you get your voice to go into this lion?” I demanded, knowing I wanted the answer, but fearing it at the same time.
He gave a little laugh. “I didn’t put my voice inside the lion, I am the lion Jamie.”
“Yeah, okay,” I rolled my eyes.
“I’ll explain it to you tonight, I promise."