To read Midnight Metamorphosis Chapter 3 click here.
Ana and I exited our 2nd period Biology classroom talking about the subject of the term papers we were going to have to write. Unlike in English class, Ana showed a real enthusiasm for this subject, talking rapidly with a lot of enthusiasm. I rolled my eyes, it was not my favorite subject, but nodded agreeably when she looked at me for a reaction. Ana looked so pretty and unlike the kind of plain girl I had first met, that I looked more closely and noticed the added color in her face. Movement on her arm had me glancing down at it in surprise. I could’ve sworn that the freckles I had noticed this morning were gone and she had a peach tint to her skin that really contrasted nicely with her brown hair. She was actually quite beautiful. I noticed a guy walking down the hall stare at her, and just about walk into a pole. I nudged Ana and laughed. I thought she’d laugh too, but she looked really uncomfortable. Then I noticed a kind of crazy thing; the freckles that had disappeared came back, and seemed to swirl slightly. The peach tone to her skin disappeared, and turned a normal beige tone. She was still sweet looking, but not a knockout like she was two minutes ago.
“Ana, what the heck just happened to you? It’s like looking at two different people!” I realized something strange had just happened, but couldn’t quite figure it out.
“Hurry, up, we’re going to be late to meet up with Summer.” She brushed off my question and picked up her speed. She was leading the way to the cafeteria, following another one of those stripes of black running along the wall of the building. As we got closer to the cafeteria we joined up with another hallway that had a red stripe running along its walls. The black stripe and the red stripe led into a large room that was the cafeteria. The red stripe on the right, the black stripe on the left, until they joined together on the wall facing the door we had entered through in a wave of black and red. Dover High Fighting Lions was scrolled around the wave, with a picture of a snarling Mountain Lion painted in the center.
“Avery, over here!” My attention jerked away from the snarling lion on the wall. I looked around and saw Summer waving to us from the front of the food line. Ana and I looked around. We saw a small table out of the way and went over to take a seat. She and I had both brought our lunches and didn’t need to stand in line to get hot food. I glanced over at Summer and waved at her to come join us when she was done.
As Summer walked towards us, I noticed that her stride was very athletic and even though every student she walked past tried to catch her attention, she ignored them all, carrying an overloaded tray and dodging and weaving through people like it was an obstacle course.
“Let’s go eat outside,” she said, as she headed past us through the doors we just came through. The cafeteria opened directly out onto the center quad. There were tables scattered around, and a few large trees, providing shade to sit in. She headed towards one of the trees on the other side of the quad. As she sat down on the grass, I looked at the tray of food she carried.
“Hungry much?” I said. Her tray was full of what looked to be every food item served inside. There was a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, a turkey sandwich, some chips, an apple, and a large brownie. This was not a plate of food that you thought you’d see a tall, blonde Amazon girl with the perfect body eat.
“I’ve got practice later,” she said as she reached for half a sandwich. Ana had told me earlier that Summer was the star forward on the Dover High girls’ soccer team. “So, what’s your story?” she said to me as she took a bite. I repeated the same two sentences I had told my first period English class. Summer swallowed her bite and look over at Ana. She frowned slightly and asked, “Are you new, too?”
“No.” Ana looked mildly frustrated. “Summer, you and I have gone to school together since you moved here a few years ago.”
“Really. Well, that’s just strange.” Summer glanced back at me and shrugged. “So, you’re living with your aunt, right? Where are your parents?”
As I was about to answer, the cute boy from home room walked up, his hands shoved into the pockets of his blue hoodie. Next to him was another boy I hadn’t seen before. He was just a little bit taller than myself, with blonde hair and green eyes. His hair had gel in it to create little spikes around his head. He had a huge grin on his face.
I looked back over at hoodie boy. “Hey,” he said.
Summer looked somewhat surprised to see them both standing there, but shrugged, turning to me, “Sugar, these boys are Cole,” she nodded at the boy in the blue sweatshirt, “and Ben.” She smiled up at Ben and patted the ground beside her. Ben sat down and reached over for the other half of her sandwich. “Hey!” She swatted at his hand.
Cole still stood there looking down at me. Summer said, “Well, have a seat! Avery was just about to tell us how she ended up at Dover and why she was living with her aunt.” Cole took his hands out of his pockets and sat down on the ground next to me. Uncomfortable, I noticed he hadn’t brought any food to eat.
I opened up my lunch bag and glanced inside at a wrapped sandwich, some chips and a couple of sugar cookies. I wanted to avoid their eyes while I thought about what to tell them. Talking about my mom’s death was really hard, but I knew people would find out some way or another, so it might as well be from me. “Well, my mom died in a car accident a few days ago.” I choked up as I said the words and Ana reached over and touched my hand.
“I’m so sorry Avery, that’s rough.” She said softly. I glanced down at her hand, which was still lightly touching mine. Her freckles swirled and then disappeared. I noticed her hand was turning a soothing yellow color. She noticed me glance down, and quickly removed her hand from my arm. There was definitely something different about this girl, I thought.
“Thanks,” I said, my eyes starting to tear up a little. I didn’t want to become emotional so I took my sandwich out of the bag. It was cut in half so I offered the other half to Cole, “It’s just turkey and Swiss, but I’m not really hungry if you want half.” He smiled slightly and took half of my sandwich. When he looked down at the sandwich to take a bite, I snuck a look at the piercing in his eyebrow. It was a silver bar with some Celtic scrollwork in the shape of a shield. He caught me checking out the piercing and raised his brow at me again.
Embarrassed to be caught staring again, I quickly looked away and continued, “She left me a letter saying I had an aunt in Dover, and so I hopped on a bus and got into town yesterday. I didn’t even know I had an aunt. My mom never talked about her, but she seems pretty cool. She has this shop off Main that sells tea and stuff.” I stopped speaking because Summer and Ana gave each other a look, and then looked back at me quickly.
“Your aunt is Brenna Cameron?” Summer asked. She looked like she was about to say more but Cole gave Summer a direct look and she said instead, “She and my mom know each other. Anyway, let’s get back to what happened this morning in first period.” Summer looked at Ben, “did Cole fill you in?”
“I’m sorry I missed it. I was in the Nurse’s office this morning. The season starts next week and I needed to pass the physical.” He shuddered comically and continued, “So, everyone was in slow motion? How’d you do that?” He looked directly at me while grabbing Summer’s apple and taking a bite out of it.
She smacked him in the arm again and said, “Hey, I have practice later!”
At the same time I reacted in shock, “Me? I didn’t do anything! I was just standing there and then the room just slowed down. Well, except for the four of us and did you notice we were all lit up like a spotlight was on us, too?” It was weird, I agree, but why would they think I did anything, I thought.
I noticed Cole checking out the gold ring on my right hand. “I saw you twisting that ring around your finger when it happened, can I see it?” I tried to tug the ring off my finger, but it wouldn’t come loose and I gave up tugging on it.
“Sorry, I can’t get it off my finger.” I told them about my mom giving me the ring a few weeks ago, and when I mentioned that it had been my grandmother’s, Cole sat up a bit and reached for my hand. When he touched it, I felt that small shock again and it turned loosely on my finger, and he pulled it off. “Weird,” I said, “I haven’t been able to get that off since I put it on.”
“What does the GC stand for?” he asked.
“I’m not sure, I think it’s someone’s initials, but she wouldn’t tell me whose.” I said and held out my hand for him to drop the ring back into it. “It’s nice to have something of my mom’s. We didn’t have a lot.” I could feel myself tense up against the tears that were welling and rushed to put the ring back on my finger. There was a flash of light and small bolts of electricity flew out and zapped the four of them. I jumped in astonishment, wondering what the hell had happened!
Ana gave a small squeak, scooting back on the grass, and Summer said, “What the heck?”
Cole shrugged it off, looked at Ben and said, “Cool.” Ben agreed with a nod to Cole saying, “Awesome!”
I didn’t know what to say and thankfully the bell rang for fourth period.