New beginnings | Teen Ink

New beginnings

November 19, 2021
By Ranger50, Star, Idaho
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Ranger50, Star, Idaho
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Author's note:

this is a short story I wrote as a sequel to a book I`m working on.

I packed the last box in my car. I was finally moving. I was going far away from here, I had gotten a house in LA. I got in the driver's seat and started my car. It was early in the morning, I wanted to leave before anyone knew I was awake. I pulled out of the drive and started my journey. It was going to take nine hours to get there. I wanted to leave now so I had time in the day to get settled. I didn't have much with me, but I still wanted time in the day. I turned onto the interstate. My journey had begun. 

Nine hours later…

I turned into the driveway of my new house. It was blue, with a lot of windows. I pulled into the two car garage. I got out of my car and started bringing my boxes in. I didn't have a bed yet, but I was going to buy one today. After I was done bringing in the boxes, I got back in my car. I put on a black face mask to hide my fangs. I was a vampire, I didn't know how the people here would appreciate that. I pulled up to the mattress store and walked in. one of the employees greeted me. 

“How can I help you today sir?” She asked. 

“I need a full tempurpedic bed set.” I replied. I only slept on tempurpedic beds. 

“Sure thing.” She led me over to the tempurpedic beds. I tried each of them until I found one that I liked. I bought it and set up a delivery time. I couldn't transport it in my car. I went back to my house. When I got there, there was someone standing in my driveway. They were dressed in dark clothes and were wearing a mask like mine. I slowly pulled into my garage. The person followed me in. I pressed the button to close the garage so that the person`s only escape was through my house. I stayed in my car. The person walked up to my window. They signaled for me to roll it down. I rolled it down a small crack. The person took off their mask. In the dim light, I could see a pair of fangs like mine. Another vampire. 

“I need to talk to you.” The vampire said. I could tell they were female.

“Why?” I asked. I took off my mask. There was no point in keeping it on. I was in the dark and with another vampire who obviously knew what I was. 

“Don`t ask questions. Just come.” The female vampire put her mask back on and went inside my house. I got out of the car and followed. There were two other people in the house. A giant man and a slim woman. I put my mask back on. I hadn`t gotten curtains up yet. The sun was shining through the many windows. 

“Hasn't he got any furniture?” The large man grumbled.

“I just moved in today, I haven't bought any yet.” I retorted. 

“You didn't bring the furniture from your old house?” The man began to laugh.

“I just moved out from a foster house, I didn't own that furniture.” I growled. 

“Oblëk, calm down.” The female vampire said. “Sorry about him. Oblëk is an ogre, they`re naturally grumpy.” she gestured towards the slim woman. “That's Minerva. She's a half dragon.” Minerva held two fingers up and rotated her wrist sideways in greeting. “I`m Delwyn. You already know I'm a vampire.” She looked at me. “We`ve told you ours, now you tell us yours.”

“Mica. I'm a vampire too.” I said. “Now, you can tell me why you broke into my house before I call the police.” I pulled out my phone and unlocked it to show them I wasn't kidding. Oblëk began to laugh. 

“He's got spunk!” He said. Delwyn ignored him. 

“We've come to recruit you.” She said, over Oblëk`s laughter. 

“Recruit me for what?” I asked. 

“The CIA.”

“Why?” Delwyn sighed.

“Because we need you.” she said. I was tempted to ask her why again, but I could tell she found it annoying. Instead, I reworded it.

“What's so bad the CIA can't handle it without me?” 

“There`s a demon on the loose, and we hear you have experience with them.” That was true, I had defeated demons when I was 15, but I had help. My friend, Marlee Stormcatcher, had helped me. 

“I didn't do that by myself. I had help.” 

“The division we want you part of is for inhumans only.”

“The person who helped me has powers.”

“She`s a human born under rare circumstances. Inhumans are creatures like us. Vampires, ogres, half dragons, and other creatures like us.” 

“Why me? I was just the vampire sidekick who was truly useful at night.” 

“You`re a shapeshifter, right?” Minerva said. I was surprised to find she was british.  

“Yeah.” I said. 

“You're useful.”

“I`m not joining the CIA just because you think I'm useful, you have no right to use me like that!” Delwyn sighed.

“Give it a night, think it over.” She said.

“Fine, but you`ll find my answer hasn`t changed.” I said. “Now, get out of my house!” They all left. I sighed and went into the kitchen to make lunch. Then I remembered I had no food. I sighed and went out to my car. I would buy lunch then go to the store to buy food. I got into my car and went to the Vampire`s Cauldron, my favorite place to eat. It served normal human food, but I liked the name, being a vampire myself. After eating, I went to V-mart to get some food so I didn't have to eat out for every meal. I also bought things to cook with since I didn't have any of my own. Before I knew it, my first day in LA was over. After eating a dinner of ramen noodles and cherry kool aid, I settled in my sleeping bag to sleep. I had installed blackout curtains on every window in the house to keep the sun out. My room alone had five windows. I had to buy a lot of curtains, so the cashier had looked at me funny when I came to check out.  

The next morning I woke up to someone pounding on my door. I got up with a groan. Sleeping on the floor was not easy. I didn't have time to get dressed so I put on my mask and opened the door in A red long sleeved t-shirt and black lounge pants. I ducked behind the door so I wouldn't get burnt by the sun. It was Delwyn.

“Hurry and come in.” I said. She came in and I closed the door behind her. She looked me up and down.

“You look like you just got out of bed.” She said. 

“I did. I was asleep until you came pounding on my door.” I grumbled. “Where are the others?”

“They're at base. I 've come to get your answer.” Oh, right, I was supposed to think about it. 

“I don't know.” I said. “Where would I be working?” I took off my mask, there was no point in it now, the door was closed. Delwyn took off her mask. For the first time I could see her face. She was pretty. I mentally kicked myself. She could be your coworker, Get it together!  I told myself. 

“You would be working locally for the most part, there might be some traveling involved.”

“Is it just you three in the division?”

“There are more beings in the division, but you`ll be working with us mostly.”

“What's the pay like, I `ve got bills to pay.” It felt funny saying that when you heard it so much in songs and movies. 

“Well enough that you won't have to worry about running out of money after paying your bills.” I smiled.

“Alright, I`m in.” I said.

“Good, get dressed.” I went back to my room and grabbed a black t-shirt and skinny jeans. I grabbed my gloves and hoodie. I was going to need protection from the sun. I put them on and went back out. I found Delwyn in my freshly stocked fridge. She pulled out the kool Aid I made last night. She looked at me.

“Where do you keep your cups?” She asked. I pulled a cup out of the cupboard on the right side of the stove. I handed it to her and she poured herself a glass. She put the kool aid back in the fridge. She drained the glass and put it in the sink.

“Let's go.” She said. She walked out the front door. 

“Shouldn't we take my car?” I asked.

“Your car doesn't have the proper clearance to get into the base.” Delwyn said. I followed her out the door. I locked it behind me and made sure I had my keys. Delwyn unlocked a black sedan. She looked at me. 

“Get in.” She said. I got into the passenger seat. She started the car and headed out of town. We drove for an hour before she turned off the road. I didn't see the door inbetween two boulders until we were right in front of it. She pushed a button on the console of the car and the door opened. She pulled up to a speaker like the ones in a drive thru. There was a gate blocking our way.

“Code?” A voice said through the speaker.

“A76-cb879-546.” Delwyn said. The gate opened and Delwyn drove through. “You`ll get your own code after we get you in the system.” We pulled into a parking space and got out of the car. We walked up to a door with a scanner. Delwyn pulled an ID card out of her pocket and scanned it. The door unlocked. We walked through and up a long set of stairs. Delwyn led me to an office. She knocked on the door. 

“Enter.” A voice on the other side said. Delwyn went inside. I followed. There was a giant man sitting at a desk. He was bigger than Oblëk. He looked at me. 

“Who`s this?” He asked. 

“The recruit.” Delwyn answered. The man stood up and came over to me. He looked me over. 

“How big are your fangs?” he asked. I took off my mask and showed him. 

“How old are you?” 

“18.” I said. 

“How tall?” 

“6 foot 5.” 

“Your name?”

“Mica Shoemaker.” The man nodded thoughtfully. He pulled out several pieces of paperwork out of a filing cabinet. He handed it to me.

“Fill this out.” He said. I looked at the paperwork. It was a thick stack. I read through it all thoroughly to make sure I knew everything that I was agreeing to. I checked for fine print too. I signed all the papers and handed them to the man. He shook my hand.

“Welcome to the division, I`m Jērik.” Jērik smiled at me. “You'll be in the system by tomorrow.” He looked over at Delwyn. 

“Take him to the training room, the others are there.” Delwyn nodded. She led me out of the office and down several hallways. We arrived in a room with exercising equipment. Oblëk and Minerva were working at a bench press. There were humans there too. They looked at us as we walked by. 

“Great, another vampire.” I heard someone grumble. As we approached, Oblëk and Minerva stopped working. Oblëk looked at me.

“Look who decided to join!” He said dramatically. “Care for a go?” He stepped aside so I could get at the bench press. I had nothing better to do so I put 300 pounds on the bar. I had used one before back in Arizona. I never had any trouble with the weights. I laid down and grabbed the bar.

“What sort of demon are we trying to get rid of?” I asked as I benched. The 300 pounds was easy. That was because vampires had super strength. 

“We're not sure.” Delwyn said. “We know nothing about him.” I stopped benching, holding the bar up in the air. I put it on the rack and sat up. 

“You know nothing about him other than he's a demon?” I said. What did I just get myself into? “That's nothing to go on. When I fought the demons three years ago, I knew what they were, what kinds they were, how to fight them, and most importantly, what they could do.” 

“We know that.” Minerva said. 

“You failed to mention it when you came to convince me to join you guys.” I sighed. I had made a mistake. I could feel my anger boiling up. I stood up. 

“If you know nothing about this demon, then why did you bug me? I can't work with a demon I know nothing about.” I said. “I ve got boxes at home to unpack and furniture to buy. This is wasting my time.” I shifted into a falcon and flew out an open window. I flew home and shifted back. I unlocked my door and set to work on my boxes. Then I bought two couches and a recliner.

The next morning someone was pounding on my door again. I ignored it. It was probably Delwyn again. The pounding got more intense. I groaned and got up. I looked through the peephole in my door. It wasn't just Delwyn. It was Oblëk and Minerva too. I sighed and opened the door, stepping behind it to hide from the sun. They came in and I closed the door. 

“What are you doing here?” I asked, exasperated. 

“You`re a member of the CIA, whether you like it or not. You signed the paperwork.” Delwyn said. “Besides, we have a lead.”

“Have you found out more about him?” I asked.

“We learned he can change his form into anything and anyone.” Minerva said. 

“How do I know he's not pretending to be one of you?” I said. I walked into my kitchen and grabbed a bowl for cereal. I poured some cereal into the bowl and put milk over it. I grabbed a spoon and began to eat. I didn't have a table yet, but I was going to get that today, hopefully.  When I turned around, I found that they had followed me.

“Just come and help us.” Delwyn said. 

“Let me eat. Yesterday you dragged me out of the house before I even got to eat.”

“That's why you were so grumpy.” Oblëk said. “You were hangry!” He began to laugh. 

“Not funny,” I growled. “If you continue, I will bite you. I haven't had blood in a long time.” Oblëk fell silent. “Thank you.” I almost hoped he would keep laughing. I finished my cereal and put the bowl and spoon in the dishwasher. Then I went to my room and got dressed. I came back out and found them in the living room.

“Still no furniture.” Oblëk said.

“There`s some on the way.” I snapped. I put on my hoodie and gloves. “Let's go.” We went outside. I put on my mask as we did then locked the front door. There was a black SUV in place of the sedan Delwyn drove yesterday. It made sense. The car had to fit Oblëk. 

“Let me guess, we have a SUV today because Oblëk is so large.” I snickered. Oblëk grumbled. “I`m sorry, what was that?” I sniggered. Delwyn gave me a look that clearly told me to stop, but I wasn't going to. I didn't feel like it. We all got into the car and headed to base. I pestered Oblëk the whole way. 

When we got there, we went to Jērik`s office. I needed to get my ID card and code. We also needed to register my car to get the proper clearance so Delwyn didn't have to pick me up every day. Once we were done with that, we went to a conference room where Jērik debriefed us about our mission. 

“This demon can change into anything he wants. We don't know where he came from.” Jērik scratched his chin. “I realize that's not much to go on, but I know you can handle it. For now, don't engage, just observe.”

“Observing is boring, there`s nothing to punch!” Oblëk said. I rolled my eyes. 

“Sometimes you've just got to observe, you can't punch things all the time.” I said. Oblëk glared at me. I gave him my vampiric stone eyes. 

“Good luck.” Jērik left us by ourselves. I looked at the clock and realized we had been here for several hours. My stomach growled. Really loud. Oblëk looked at me. 

“Was that your stomach?” He asked. 

“So what?” I said. “Bet yours isn't quiet either.” 

“It's about time for lunch.” Minerva said. I rolled my eyes. 

“Duh.” I muttered under my breath. 

“Let's go to the cafeteria.” Delwyn stood up and went out the door. The rest of us followed. 

The cafeteria was large. We went through a line. When I got to the counter, I grabbed a whole pile of food, I was starving. Normally I got a larger breakfast than I did. Oblëk looked at the food on my tray.

“You sure you're gonna be able to eat that?”' He asked. 

“Watch me.” I snapped, narrowing my eyes at him. I sat down and began to shovel food in my mouth. I did this until the food was gone. I gave Oblëk an I told you so look before I put my tray away. I wanted to go to the training room, but I didn't know where it was. Luckily, there was a map by the door of the cafeteria. I looked at it to find the training room, then went to it. When I got there, no one was there. Good. I went over to a set of barbells and began to work on my arms. I may have super strength, but it didn't show. I could make it show by using weights though. The door opened.  I looked over. It was Jērik. 

“Ah, Mica.” He said. “Did you eat?” I nodded.

“Yes sir.” I said. I continued to lift. Jērik came over to me. 

“Don't vampires have super strength?” he asked.

“Yes, but I want it to show.” I replied. I set the berbells down and looked at Jērik.  

“Where are your teammates?” 

“I think they're still at the cafeteria.” I stood up and went over to the Bench press. I put 400 pounds on the bar this time and began to bench. Jērik gave me a knowing look. 

“It's not easy being new, isn't it?” he said. 

“I'm fine.” I said. I set the bar on the rack and added 100 more pounds to it. I picked it back up and began to bench it. 

“Anyway, I came to tell you that we have a lead on the location of the demon. I will tell the others, go to the gear room and gear up with a bullet proof vest and weapons.” I set the bar down and looked at the map by the door to find that gear room. I geared up like Jērik had told me too. I didn't know how to use guns, but to my suprise, there weren't any. There were all sorts of strange weapons. I didn't know what any of them were, let alone how to use them. Delwyn and the others walked in. They all seemed to know what the weapons were. Oblëk looked at me.

“Here,” He said, handing me a staff-like weapon. “It`ll turn into any weapon, it's good for rookies like you.” He snickered. I wasn't mad, I used to fight with a weapon like this one. I looked around, then grabbed a second one. I was used to fighting with two. I grabbed holsters for the weapons. When Oblëk saw that I had two of his “joke” weapon, he smirked. He thought I had believed him. I would wipe that smirk right off his face when I fought with these. Delwyn grabbed a couple strange vials off a shelf and put them in her pocket. We headed out and piled in the SUV we had ridden in earlier. Delwyn put in the coordinates that Jērik had given us. We followed them for several hours. Oblëk sighed loudly. I looked at him. He was sitting in the very back.

“We've  been in this car for hours!” He complained. 

“Jērik never said this was going to be easy.” I said. I myself was getting a little hot from wearing my hoodie and a vest for so long. I couldn't take it off though. I would burn. I began to crave blood. I did that when I felt restricted. Normally I went and killed an animal and drank their blood, but I was on a mission. I would have to ignore it. I didn't know what would happen. I began to sweat.  Oblëk grumbled. 

“How close are we?” He asked. I looked at the screen. 

“It's going to be another couple of hours.” I said. 

“Let's make a rest stop.” Minerva said. Delwyn agreed. We pulled over. I was the first out of the car. 

“I`ll be back.” I said. There were woods nearby. I slipped into them and killed a deer. I bit its neck and began to drink big gulps of its blood. I heard someone come over to me. I ignored them.

“What are you doing?” It was Oblëk. I looked at him. 

“I'm a vampire, What do you think?” I said. I went back to the deer. I had to make a new bite because I couldn't bite in the same place, the bite wound clotted as soon as my fangs left the wound, and the clots were poisonous to me. Oblëk moved on. I finished with the deer and licked the blood off my face. I felt full. I went back to Minerva and Delwyn. Only Oblëk knew what I had done. I got back in the car. I wished I could take off my hoodie. I was really hot, but I`d rather be hot, than burnt. Oblëk came back and we continued. When we finally got there, there was no sign of our demon. We looked everywhere. There was just nothing. We got back into the SUV and went back to base. I felt disappointed. I had been looking forward to showing the others, especially Oblëk, what I could do. We put our gear back and Delwyn took me home. I bought my table, made dinner and went to bed.

No one was pounding on my door when I woke up. I got out of bed. I was sore from sleeping on the floor. My bed was coming tomorrow. I couldn't wait. I got breakfast then got dressed. Then I went to base. I met the others in the conference room. Jērik was there too. I sat down at the table. 

“Yesterday was not very successful, I understand.” Jērik said. “The demon disappeared, and left no sign.” We all nodded. I thought back to three years ago. There had been a demon that could change shape and disappear without a trace. Could it be the same?

“Three years ago, my friend and I fought a demon who could change form and disappear as this one did. They could be the same kind.” I said. Jērik scratched his chin thoughtfully. 

“They could.” He said. “For now keep observing. We have several locations for you to check today. The coordinates are already in the SUV you took yesterday.” We geared up and went out to the SUV and got in it. Delwyn set a course for the first set of coordinates. We drove for an hour. When we got  to the location, there was no sign of the demon. I looked around. We were by a beach. I walked out on the beach. When I did, I stepped on something hard. I looked down. There was a scale that didn't belong to any other creature than the demon I had fought three years ago. I picked it up. It was fresh. I went over to the others.

“He's been here.” I said, showing them the scale. “I found it on the beach.” I looked out onto the beach. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary. As I turned back to the others, something attacked me. I put my arms up to protect my face. Something sharp was tearing through my hoodie, exposing and injuring my skin, which burned. I heard a dull thud and the attack stopped. I looked up. A large bird was flying away from me. Oblëk was standing over me. He had hit the demon to get it to stop attacking me. I went over to the SUV and got in it to get out of the sun. I looked at the burns on my arms. They stung. A couple had blisters. There were severe wounds on them as well. We went back to base. I went to the infirmary to have my burns and wounds treated. Afterwards, I had bandages all over my arms. The doctor had smeared an ointment on my arms, then bandaged them. I went to the conference room where we were told to go when we got back. I didn't have my hoodie anymore. The demon had destroyed it. 

“It's been confirmed that this is the same demon that Mica has fought before.” Jērik was saying. The scale was sitting on the table. When I came in, everyone looked over at me. 

“Mica, How are your arms?” Jērik asked.

“They're fine right now.” I said. I knew I was in for a world of pain. I saw Delwyn nodding understandingly. I sat down at the table. I didn't put my arms up on it, nor did I put them on the arms of my chair. It would hurt. I put them in my lap instead. 

“Now that we know what it is, What`s our plan?” Minerva asked. 

“When I fought the demon three years ago, We had to force it into its true form. If you hold it, it can't disappear.” I said. “To get it into its true form, we had to stab it with something. Like a needle.” 

“All we have to do is catch it, then.” Delwyn said. 

“It's really smart, you have to trick it to catch it.” I said. “It has to be confused.” Jērik nodded. 

“When it's confused, Oblëk you grab it. Mica you confuse it. I don't care how you do it. Delwyn you help Oblëk. Minerva, you stab and capture the demon.” he said. We all nodded. “Come back here tomorrow and we`ll go over the plan again before you head out.” We left. I had no idea how I was going to get home, I would be exposed to the sun, my hoodie was gone. I went to my car. Delwyn was there.

“Here.” She handed me a hoodie. “It was my ex`s. I don't use it.” 

“Thank you.” I took the hoodie and put it on. Then I got in my car.

“See you tomorrow.” I said to Delwyn. 

“See you.” I drove home. I made a large dinner, I never got lunch, then I went to bed. 

When I woke up the next morning, My arms felt like they were being burnt by the sun again. I groaned. I looked at them. They had swelled to twice their size. I couldn't move them. I groaned again. Someone knocked on my door. I couldn't get it. I heard it open.

“Mica?” It was Delwyn. 

“Bedroom.” I said. She came in and saw my arms. She gasped. 

“Get ice.” I said. “There`s some in the freezer.” Delwyn nodded and went to go get the ice. She came back with two gallon bags of ice. She put them on my arms. After an hour, the swelling had gone down some. I could move my arms again. I got out of bed and took some pain meds for the pain and inflammation in my arms. I got dressed and got something to eat. Then I went with Delwyn to base. I couldn't drive because of my arms. They were still a little swollen. We arrived at base. When we got to the conference room, my arms flared with pain. I groaned and sank to the floor. Delwyn looked at me. She got me to my feet and took me to the infirmary. The doctor rubbed more of the ointment on my arms, along with something that felt cool as soon as it touched my burned skin. She bandaged them back up. Delwyn and I went back to the conference room. We went inside. Jērik looked at us. 

“You're late.” he said.

“My arms were hurting, so we went to the infirmary.” I said. 

“Very well.” Jērik addressed all of us.  “Today we`ll take care of this demon. Mica, you confuse it, Oblëk and Delwyn, you hold it so Minerva can catch it.” We all nodded, then geared up and went to the car. I struggled with the vest, I could barely move my arms. Delwyn helped me. She also had to help me get the holsters for my weapons on. When we got to the car, I went to grab the handle, but my arm seized up and flared with intense pain. I passed out. 

I woke up in the infirmary. My head was bandaged. I guessed I hit my head hard enough that it did some damage. My arms were numb. The doctor must have numbed them. I slowly sat up. No one was around. Then I realized what my passing out had done. I had delayed capturing the demon. I groaned. The doctor came over to my bed. She checked my bandages before clearing me to leave. I walked down the hall. I didn't know what the others had done after I passed out. Had they continued without me? I went to the training room first. They weren't there. I went out to the parking garage to see if the SUV was still there. It was, along with a dried puddle of my blood. I went back inside. It wasn't lunch time yet. I went to Jērik`s office. No one was there. I decided to just go home. No one was here. I shifted into a falcon again and flew home. I went inside. I discovered that my bed had been set up, which made me wonder how long I was unconscious. I laid down on my bed to just relax. I fell asleep. 

“Mica, wake up!” I groaned and opened my eyes. Delwyn was standing over my bed. 

“What?” I asked, sitting up. I looked at the clock on the wall. It was 8:00 am. I had slept all day and all night. 

“We need to go.” Delwyn threw clean clothes at me. “Hurry.” I went into the bathroom and got dressed as fast as I could. I came out and found Delwyn by the front door. I made sure I had my keys, gloves and mask. We went out the door. The SUV was parked by the curb. I got in the passenger seat and Delwyn got in the driver's seat. We went to the beach. It was deserted. No one was there. We walked out onto the beach. As soon as we did, something buried itself in my back. I grunted and fell to my knees. I could feel it trying to pull itself out, but it was stuck. I could hear the others working. After a bit the thing in my back was gone. All sounds and light faded away as I slowly passed out. 

I woke up in the infirmary again. Delwyn was there. 

“What happened?” I asked, rubbing my face. 

“The demon attacked you. It got stuck, which allowed us to catch it.” Delwyn explained. “Getting stuck confused it.” 

“Good.” I slowly sat up. My back ached. I looked at Delwyn. “How long was I unconscious?” I asked.

“18 hours.” Delwyn took my hand. “You were in terrible condition for the first twelve. The demon had injected you with some kind of poison. We managed to make an antidote just in time, you nearly died.” We stared into each other's eyes for a while, then we leaned forward and kissed. It was interesting how nearly dying can make you realize your feelings for someone.

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