I growled a little as I stood up to walk the gauntlet of paper balls that were about to be thrown at me as the crappy beat down bus pulled up to my stop. The laughs and giggles the other kids got out of my torment did not truly bother me as much as what the little paper balls had written on them. Words like "Fatty", "Porky", "Miss Piggy's twin", "Daughter of the witch", and "Your mom's a whore." Those words about my mother bothered me the most. That is one of the only things that suck about living in a small town. Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows your business; if you are out of toilet paper you can bet your neighbor will be at the window offering you a square. Well, that is if they like you. My mom and I are kind of hated here in this town. From what everyone says, she showed up here one dark night scared, out of her wits, pregnant, and with a couple thousand dollars, which she used to buy our little beat down the house. They also call her a witch and say that she is crazy, always spouting off about monsters and such. But I think that they are just jelly. My mom is an awesome gardener. We have an acre of land and almost all of it is green, with different herbs, spices, veggies, fruit trees, and my favorite flowers. She is also a healer of sorts. She will mix just the right herbs and can fix anything from a stomach ache to foot fungus. Don't ask it was not for me, and not a pleasant site to see. I got off the bus leaving the laughing jerks and stepped onto the dry dusty roads that lead to my house. I hate living here the people treat us like crap and they are only somewhat nice when they get sick and need my mom to fix them. I once told my mother she needed to make poison and then hand them out when they come. She grounded me for a month for just saying something of the sort. In my defense I did not mean to kill them; I was thinking more along the lines of massive diarrhea for a week. By the way, in case you were wondering my name is Addison, I am 15 years old, and I live in the middle over nowhere in Arizona. We have dirt, more dirt, and cacti for our scenery. I like the sunsets sometimes though. I smiled to myself thankful that this was the last day of school and hoping that by the start of high school next year I would be seeing some big changes in my life. For starters, I am overweight, and no it is not because I sit in front of the TV and eat Twinkies all day either. Ever since I can remember my mom has taught me kendo, and almost every self-defense class you could think of. And about what I said earlier, maybe my mom is a little crazy...
When I walked through the gate I could hear her crying again. It used to only happen once a month but now it was almost every day for the past six months. I shut the gate and walked up the old wooden stairs, being careful of where I stepped so that my foot wouldn't go through them. I opened the rusted screen door and sat my bag on the couch. At one time I am sure all this furniture was new, but now it just looked like a second-hand showroom. The torn black leather chair, tattered red couch, and old wooden coffee table were the only furniture we had. We didn't have a TV, electricity, or hot water. My mom cooked everything on an old wood burning stove which was awesome in winter but truly made me suffer in summer. Our fridge ran off of a solar panel our neighbor Mr. Lawrence has set up. We each had a mattress on the floor of our rooms. The only thing I did have was an iPod, and a solar charger my mom bought for me when we last went into the city. I usually would go to my friend James' house to put music on it from his computer, but I haven't seen him in about four months. I used to go over there every day to see if I could see him. His mom, Mrs. Lawrence said he caught mono. I wondered how because, like me he, was an outcast in this town and no one wanted to kiss him. Not being mean but he was like an older brother to me. After a month of being told I couldn't see him I just stopped going over there. James was a pudgy kid with acne, and thick-rimmed glasses, and everyone called him a nerd, but me. He was the only one that supported me when I was upset that my mom cut my hair. It was long and a pretty reddish blond color. Mom chopped it all off so that I looked like a boy. I wandered down the hallway and opened mom's room. Just like I suspected she was hugging her knees and saying "they" were coming. I had no clue about who they were, and back then if I knew what I did now, I would have grabbed my mom and ran away to somewhere else. I did not know that these were my last moments of having a regular life. Well if you called it regular. But from that moment on, life got a lot more difficult. I sat down next to her and told her it was going to be okay. I gave her the belladonna sleeping mix she had made and went to start dinner. She didn't wake up for dinner, so I put hers in the fridge, and stared at my economic homework that laid on the rickety coffee table with disgust. My school had to be the only one that gave out summer homework, complete with lesson plans for each day, with Sunday being the only one off and that was just for mass. I finally crawled into bed around ten cursing my economics teacher for giving such a massive amount for the day. Here is another thing about small towns: no one ever locks their doors. Stupid I know.
I was jostled out of a dreamless sleep by my mom at 3 o'clock in the morning. She was in hysterics and pulled me off the mattress and into the living room.
"Mom, what's wrong?" I asked.
"Just get in here baby, and do not come out, whatever happens. Be quiet and do not come out until after sunrise!" she growled in a low whisper as she pushed the leather chair away and opened that hatch to the basement.
"Mom, come on this is crazy, let's go back to bed." I pleaded with her.
She grabbed me and pulled me into a tight hug, and whispered how much she loved me before shoving me in the dark basement and redoing the latch with a deafening echo. I was stunned. I have never seen my mother look more serious in her life. I sat there next to the swords and the knives we used for our practice. I was silent for what seemed to be an eternity until I heard the heavy footsteps from above. During training, my mom taught me that you can use your ears to tell the difference in a person's weight. James', dad Mr. Lawrence, for example, had much heavier footsteps compared to mine or mom's. Those steps were most definitely a guy. The slow, thunking noise they made across the floor sent chills up my spine, and not the good chills like when you see a really good-looking guy. I heard the second set of footsteps shortly after the first. And for the first time in my life, I got a really bad feeling. The type where it feels like a boulder is sitting in your stomach and trying to do summersaults.
"I know you're here Camilla," said a deep voice as he stepped above me.
"Yes, Malix. I knew you were coming," my mom said. I could tell she was trying to keep her voice from shaking.
"Where is our daughter?" The deep-voiced asked in a low tone
"I have a son, and he is on a trip with the church, they are in Disney world."
"The ultrasound showed a girl Camilla, don't jest with me." The man said sounding irritated.
Just then, a cell phone went off, and I heard my mom's fake laugh, the kind she used when she knew something wasn't funny; but was giggling to be polite.
"Look, there is a picture of Shamus now, riding the small world ride. He says he misses me, but he's having fun, he was telling me good night."
The man growled. It sounded almost primal.
"Camilla, so close to the changing and you send our kid off on a trip? You really expect me to believe that!?" The man's voice boomed, and I swear it seemed like a thin layer of frost covered the house.
"I had my father strip the child of all powers when he was born Malix. It is useless to go back to hell where you belong."
"Then it looks like I have to go to Florida huh? Well, there is no need to keep this going then." The man said with a tsk. "Take care of the rest Nicor," he said as I heard the footsteps walk away.
It was silent for a moment. I heard my rusty screen door slam, and then I heard my mom scream. Then there was a loud thud. I bit my finger so hard it bled to keep myself quiet as the tears streamed down my face. I heard the footsteps above and froze as the footsteps stopped by the hatch. It seemed like time stood still as the other person was up there, making sniffing sounds, and then walked out the door. I don't know how long I cried. I cried until it seemed like I had dried myself out of tears. When the sun finally rose, I expected to find the lifeless body of my mom. But when I crawled out of the basement there was nothing; just blood splattered on the wall.
I knew I couldn't stay there. I had no clue what powers they were talking about, or why mom said I was a boy. Who were Malix and Nicor? The thoughts swam around in my brain. So did the shame of just cowering in the corner of the basement while my mom took her last breath. I felt the icy feeling of rage welling up inside of me as I tossed my clothes into the black backpack. I went into mom's room to grab her Celtic knot cross necklace she always wore.
It was as if she knew I would come in here for it. It was sitting there on top of a folded piece of paper, along with a key to the garden shed. I picked up the necklace and clasped it around my neck. Then I sat on my mom's bed, and read what she had to say.
Addison, if you are reading this then that means I am gone. Please don't be sad or blame yourself. I lived without any regrets. Raising you was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I know you have a lot of questions, and that you probably heard more than you should have. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence are waiting for you at their place. The key to the garden shed is with this necklace, you'll find everything you need in there. I love you, baby, as do they. Do as they say and everything will be okay. And never forget that I love you more than the moon and stars.
The short hastily scrawled note sat crumpled in my hand as tears rolled down my face. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence are waiting for me? Does this mean they knew what would happen? I asked myself, feeling even more confused. I walked out of the house and sure enough, Mr. Lawrence was standing there. He looked like a giant standing next to the old blue Chevy with its faded paint. I guess it was blue once upon a time, but now I looked like a primer with flecks of dried up light blue paint. Mr. Lawrence looked sullen. The sun made the grey streaks in his hair light brown hair show more, and the faded overalls made him look like a pudgy linebacker. He didn't look like the intimidating giant of my memories. I mean he was still really tall, but he looked like a sad old man.
"Hey kiddo, I came to get ya. C'mon, let's go." He said sadly as he opened the passenger door to his faded Chevy truck.
I stood there, stuck somewhere between confusion and anger. It was unfortunate that anger won over the confusion.
"C'mon kiddo!? Is that all you can say!?" The words left my mouth before I could stop them. "You knew this was going to happen, and you did nothing! Now it's come on kiddo!? No... That's not how it's going to happen!" I yelled, and for the first time in my life, I saw that Mr. Lawrence had hurt in his big brown eyes. My words had stung him, and I didn't care. I wanted him to hurt as I did.
"Do you know I had to hear her scream as she died!?" I yelled clutching the necklace that hung loosely around my neck in my hand.
"Addison, you need to-"
I didn't get to hear the rest of his sentence. The pain was fierce as it was sudden. It felt like my whole body was on fire. I was pretty sure that if I was able to open my eyes, that I would have blisters all over my skin. My stomach felt like my intestines were moving around and being shuffled. I felt Mr. Lawrence grab me as I started to fall to my knees then finally, I fell into blissful darkness.