Tessa has been kidnapped by her boyfriend. If only she had known he was not what he seems.
She had been feeling slightly tired, but no more than a hunter’s daughter would feel, as she trained day in and day out to vanquish the life suckers off this planet. She had found out what she was, and what she was surrounded by, in kindergarten. Her teacher, Miss Belle, touched the heads of every child in the room, and Tessa saw little sparks of yellow light leaving the children. The children instantly fell asleep. In her fear, she pretended to be asleep, and the teacher bypassed her completely. Later, her mother told her the truth.
“Tessa, you have the empathic gift of your grandmother and can see emotions. That was a Narcissist, an emotion sucking vampire. She was sucking the joy from the children, to make them sleepy. Darling, you must never forget that we are surrounded by such beings, and that they hide behind ordinary disguises. Anyone can be one of them. The only way to tell them apart is by the ring of gold or silver in their eyes. Never forget that.”
Tessa had forgotten it. She never checked James’s eyes for the ring but surely, she would have noticed it from staring into his bright brown eyes before, right? Her father would have noticed! He was a skilled hunter! It doesn’t matter, right now I am their captive. Who knows, what they are going to do to me? She shifted slightly, so that the uneven, cold stone floor was not digging into her stomach and sat to her knees. Her hands were fastened with metal twine behind her back and her ankles. Smart. She took inventory of her hidden weapons and noticed with disdain that all had been taken from her, except for the metal that kept her hair up. She left it, it was useless at this point, and if she needed it later, it was still hidden from view.
She concentrated, instead, on the steps drawing nearer. A dilapidated wooden door faced her back, so she turned her body to face it keeping her back to the wall, as James came through. His wavy blonde hair was pulled back, in a short ponytail. He was wearing the brown cardigan that matched his eyes, a pair of blue jeans, and biker boots. She looked into his eyes and for the first time noticed the slight ring of gold around the brown of his eyes. Now that she was looking for it, she could distinguish it. Are his eyes darker or is it just the light?
“I’m sorry for the lack of accommodations, sweetheart.”
“Stay away from me, you vile soul sucking leech!”
He grinned. “You won’t see me that way soon enough, Tessa.”
Her eyes widened.
James pointed to the door. “Our species needs more Narcissists…especially women. We found a way to ‘make’ others, like us.”
“I don’t want anything to do with you!”
His grinned. “That’s not what you were saying last night. I think it was more along the lines of, ‘stay with me forever James’…now we can be together, without your father trying to kill me at every moment. It was damn hard, hiding my nature from him and all your hunter family.”
She shivered. “How did you manage to hide from my father?”
“By acting out of my nature for one, contacts for another.”
“You don’t have bright brown eyes?”
“Nope, they’re more mahogany. I had to hide the ring somehow.” He walked a little closer and she backed up farther along the wall. He laughed. “It’s funny, Tessa. I didn’t think I could feel anything, but I was wrong. You make me feel, and I don’t have to feed off of you to feel. You’re a perfect candidate for this. We’ve never had an empath, converted before. This will be interesting.”
Tessa shivered violently. “W-what are you going to do to me, James?”
“Nothing, if you revoke your emotions fast enough.”
“You want me to revoke my emotions? What makes me Tessa?”
“They’re unnecessary when you can take them from others.”
“Please James, let me go and I promise I won’t tell my father about this. I can’t become empty inside! I can’t I’m an empath! I need to feel, really feel, to live!”
James furrowed his eyebrows. “I already told you, why I won’t let you go, Tessa.” He looked at his wrist watch and grinned, walked over to her, and picked her up. He held her close like he had the night before, and it disgusted her now that she knew what he was! “Time to get this show on the road.”
Tessa squirmed in his arms.
“Let me go James! I don’t want to become like you! Let me go!”
He laughed. “Sorry, sweetie. You’ll change your mind, soon enough.”
He shifted her weight slightly to open the door and led her out into a cobbled stone hallway. She was caught between thoughts of what her family would think of her if she became a Narcissist. Nothing pretty. I must escape! Somehow!
“Is that Tessa?” She turned to face her cousin, Richard. He was dressed in a long flowing robe of white. His eyes were ringed in silver, that matched the blue grey of his eyes.
“I told you I had a surprise, buddy.”
“Yeah, but Tessa is an empath.”
“Giving up emotions might convert her into the worst of our kind.”
“Just do it, Richard! We’ll deal with the fall out as they come.”
Tessa turned her head to Richard. “The worst of your kind?”
“There are things about us that hunters don’t know, like the fact that we don’t need, to suck emotions all the time. We retain what we, take for a while.”
“How long,” she asked.
“Weeks tops…we’re also born…mostly male. Some, like Richie here, decided to transform to be with their partner.”
“I love Eliza.”
“Don’t kid yourself. You gave that up, remember?”
Richard grinned. “I don’t think it ever went away. For some of us, things are different. You can tell the degree of sociopathy, in the rings around our eyes. The brighter the ring, the less we feel.”
“Yours is pretty bright right now, Richard.”
“I just fed.”
James scrunched his nose. “Off an animal I suppose?”.
“Hey, do you want this done or not James?”
“Ok, Ok, where do I set her?”
“Inside the huge white circle. Be warned, many have come to see the conversion, human and Narcissist, both.”
James nodded and carried Tessa over to another door prying it open. There were all sorts of people. Some were wearing the long flowing robes that Richard wore and like he said, there were regulars and Narcissists in the giant stone room. Her empathic sight could distinguish the regulars by the multitude of colors they gave off. Narcissists were a blank slate unless they had fed, which several were currently doing. She was carried to an altar where a giant white ring was drawn with salt. James set her down and then, to her surprise, he untwined her wrists and ankles.
She elbowed him and shot up to her feet. Her ankles were sore, but she could still run. Several men tackled her to the ground, and one pulled her shoulder length honey blonde hair out of its updo, releasing the metal sticks. She scrambled for one and managed to grab hold of it, nearly taking out one Narcissist’s eye with it. She screamed and kicked one off her, but there were too many. Narcissists were stronger than normal if they had fed, which these seemed to have been doing from the crowd. They hoisted her up and chained her to the floor.
“I don’t want this,” she cried, tears streaming down her bruised and dirty face. She had not made it easy for the Narcissists. There were some limping away from the altar.
“Shh, it will all be over soon Tessa. Just hang on to your emotions,” whispered a male as he chained her left hand to the floor. She looked up to meet light grey eyes with a band of gold around the pupil. Odd, shouldn’t it be around the iris? The man winked and pulled his hood closer over his head. From this angle she could see, slight curly brown hair falling from his hood.
“How can I hang on to my emotions?”
The man turned to her, his eyes gleaming. “Be strong, little empath. Be strong and defy them through the pain.”
Tessa gulped and nodded, but inside she doubted. Can I be strong? Can I stand up to the pain that is sure to come? The man began to stand.
“Wait, what is your name?”
“To you, I’m just a Ghost passing by.”
Then he jumped off the altar like stage and got lost in the crowd leaving Tessa with a little courage.
Richard approached the altar, a big book in his hands. He set it upon the dais and turned around to speak to the large gathering of people in the room.
“Brothers and sisters, today, we shall attempt to convert an empath. It has never been done, before and has some unusual results. This is not what will happen upon your transformation, so do not worry. I repeat, this will not happen to you upon transforming. Enjoy the show.”
He turned to Tessa and winked. “Ok, cousin, time to scream a little. It’ll pass by quicker if you give in faster.”
Tessa scowled. “I’ll never give in!”
Richard sighed. “Is that your final answer?”
“Cousin, you’ve just made this harder on yourself.”
Then he opened the book and began to read from it.
“Un nuevo dia se estrena para aqulla que no disculpa.
“Que ella no sienta mas”
“Que ella no se fastide mas con los sentimientos”
Tessa gave a loud yell.
It was as if something was trying to tear her in two! She cried again as another pulse ran through her.
“Revocas las emociones, el amor?”
“I don’t understand you!”
The pulse became tongues of flame in her veins. She screamed and writhed around. The chains bounding her to the floor rustled against the stone floor from her movements.
Richard sighed. “Do you revoke your love?”
Tessa sobbed. “I-I can’t!”
The flames became a pull once again, and Tessa rolled into a ball hoping the worst was over, but then currents of electricity struck her body over and over. She nearly convulsed. Her spine bent backward, and she felt the pulling sensation digging it’s claws deep and pulling at something inside her. Something vital, something that made her Tessa.
“No,” she screamed rolling once more into a fetal ball and digging with her own nails at her chest.
“Out! Get out!” She scratched at her chest frantically tearing through her clothes and into her skin, trying in vain to rid herself of whatever was trying to convert her to a Narcissist.
“I don’t want this! Out!”
The pulling began once more, and she began to scream again.
In the public, he saw the resistance the girl was putting forth. She’s a fighter, but I should get her out of there before they succeed completely. I, out of all people, know how much she must be hurting. He turned to the nearly comatose girl.
“Hold on,” he whispered walking into the middle of the crowd, pulling out a small pistol, and shooting it in the air, disrupting the ritual halfway.
“Under the name of the Ghost, this celebration is over,” he shrugged. “Sorry party’s over.” Several men in robes, pulled out guns and pointed them at him. He extended his hand, and streams of yellow light poured from them and into him, knocking the men unconscious.
He licked his lips.” Thanks for the meal.”
“Did he just…”
“He ate Narcissists!”
“How did he…”
“Run...its the Ghost!”
There was a stampede of Narcissists and humans, trying to flee the Ghost. None of them wanted to be eaten. The Ghost just calmly crossed his arms and stared into Richard’s eyes.
“Release the girl.”
Quaking, Richard did as he was told, and undid the chains around Tessa, who was too delirious to even notice strong arms going around her.
“Shh, now, no more. No one will hurt you like that again, Tessa, you have my promise.”
Tessa’s eyes closed and she slumped, a weight taken off her shoulders, as she was carried off by the Ghost.
James stood in front of the doorway. “You are not taking Tessa!”
The Ghost’s grey eyes narrowed. “After what you two put her through, you’re lucky I don’t eat you.”
James stood his ground, and the Ghost sighed raising one arm. A stream of light came from James, and he fainted. The Ghost burped and turned around to face Richard and the few brave souls who had managed to stay. “Anyone else?”
Richard shook his head. “She’s all yours. We failed anyway.”
No, you just made a different sort of monster.
Several years later
A green-eyed woman dressed in a simple t-shirt and jeans strolled across the park when she spots a hurt little boy. She licks her lips and walks, over to the crying boy.
“What’s the matter, sweetie?”
“I fell! I have an owie!”
The woman grins and extends her hand. A small stream of yellow begins to fill her with energy, while the boy begins to feel drowsy.
The woman looks up to meet another woman with hazel eyes, and honey blonde hair. The strange thing was, she had a band of gold around the pupil. She smiles and approaches the worried woman.
Another snack! Her hand connects with the hazel eyed woman’s hand and she begins to draw sparks of yellow from her.
“You must be the mother.”
The woman nods letting go of her hand and turning to the drowsy boy. “Yes. Dennis is quite the handful.” The woman picks up the sleepy boy and begins to walk away but turns around again, surprising the woman.
“Take a bit of your own medicine.”
The hazel eyed woman extends her arm and bright yellow beams fly into her. She licks her lips. “Thanks for the meal, soul sucker. Dennis you taste off buddy, what’s wrong?”
Dennis opens his grey eyes. They too had a gold ring around the pupil “I got an owie when I play fell.”
“Here, let me see.”
Dennis shows her the wound. It is red, with dried blood, around the corners. The woman places her hand over his wound, and sends the energy she just got, healing the wound.
“There. Now you’re all healed.”
“Let’s go meet your father now.”
A tall man with curly brown hair and light grey eyes, with a band of gold around the pupil, walks around the bend in the trees. “Tessa!”
Tessa smiles at Dennis. “Looks like he found us.” She picks Dennis up, and walks over to the man, leaving the woman on the park ground.