This may not at first seem like a fantasy story to you fantasy lovers but wait until about chapter 3.
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Plane Shifter Chronicles:
“The Prince of Blood”
Chapter 1 “A Day of Rain”
The sky despaired, pouring out its tear drops in the thousands, drenching the poor city in rain. Lights were on in some windows, early risers getting ready in the morning dark. But today wouldn’t get much brighter, the dark storm clouds created a blanket, covering the sky for many miles with no visible end.
Down, on the bottom floor of one of the numerous buildings Haunus stared out of his window. His mind harbored thoughts akin to the storm and he was temporarily lost in misery.
Haunus felt a slight contempt for the rain. He hated how it could make him feel so down, how it so quickly robbed him of joy. His thoughts were inward and he felt buried by the grief.
He shoved on his socks, completing his attire. Haunus was wearing black cargo pants, littered with zippers, and a dark green button-down shirt that was untucked and intentionally untidy. He ran his fingers back through his hair, ruffling it. He didn’t pay much attention to his hair, except for the small swath of white that cut its way across the reddish brown.
Haunus was about to stand up, ready for school when he felt a sharp pang of despair. It came suddenly and without warning hitting with the force of a wave, powerful initially and then flowing beyond and staying behind, letting Haunus linger in sorrow. As the wave withdrew it left its marks behind: emptiness, loss, and regret.
Evelyn sat at the forefront of his thought; she was beautiful, intelligent and vivacious. His feelings for her were strong and hurt so much to know that he had held her, only to slip and let her go. The pain was deep, the scarring beyond superficial, but he was slowly coming to realize that it was over and he couldn’t do much about it.
It had all started simply enough, and Haunus smiled as he recounted the memory. He remembered being bored one night and taking out his pocket pc (known as an I-Ball), a little silver ball with an on/off button on the very top. Various little sensors and light portals covered the outside but where so miniscule that you couldn’t see them. He booted the I-Ball up and waited for the starting programs to load. As he did Haunus searched through some papers and stumbled across a piece with a name scrawled on it. The paper was small and torn but the handwriting was legible. Staring hard for a second allowed Haunus to remember that the name was Evelyn’s chat name, he’d simply drawn a blank at first…which he was often apt to do it seemed a part of him to frequently succumb to absent-mindedness. Since he had her screen name at hand he decided to overcome his laziness and enter her on his friends list, pleasantly surprised to find that she was logged on at that time.
A comfortable chat ensued and Haunus became far from bored. He smiled as he typed replies and eagerly, like a child, awaited hers. He’d had a crush on her at one time but it had slowly diminished as he realized that she probably wouldn’t ever feel anything for him.
Still this did not bother Haunus and he continued to chat as the clock ticked by. Finally the conversation began to reach a lull, and Haunus who had been so involved was desperate to keep it alive. Haunus quickly sent some links to his poetry and Evelyn shared her praise.
Haunus never really liked compliments; he couldn’t ever seem to believe them. He remembered saying something along the lines of nobody caring, and the strangest part of the conversation began.
“I guess I’m no one then” she had typed in response. It was a surprisingly negative comment and Haunus felt a pang of guilt.
“I didn’t mean it that way” he sent to her, Haunus was trying to figure out how to rephrase and help her understand. He hadn’t meant that nobody cared; he just didn’t know at all what he was saying.
“I meant it differently” Haunus typed lamely, it was the only response he could think of. The conversation shot back and forth on the subject until one of Evelyn’s replies appeared on the screen, “Don’t you get it, I’m flirting with you!”.
Haunus had sat there, stunned he’d had this picture of roses in his mind when he thought of her, all the wonderful things associated with being together…with Evelyn. But he’d long before lost hope, and now that picture stopped fading, and surely it was coming back into focus.
“You’re kidding” was all his fingers could manage in the shock.
A second passed by before she replied with a simple, “No”.
“So if I ask you out…you have to say yes”.
“Will you go out with me next Friday?”.
It had been one of the happiest months that Haunus had ever known. And his face cracked a smile as he reminisced, he quickly wiped his eyes of the tears that were forming.
In the time that he and Evelyn were together he’d matured a little, had a first kiss, and had his first experience with the difficult feeling of love.
Haunus had always had a hard time defining love. After all what separated it from lust? He could name a number of girls in which he’d have no problem being with, but he knew it was hormones and the simple lust of a teenager. But wasn’t love steeped in lust, after all that’s how people first became attracted to one another before their cognitive reasoning kicked in. But Evelyn felt different, some voice inside him sang whenever she was at hand and he was always happy to be close. Haunus wanted to understand her, comfort her and make Evelyn feel warm. There was a void now, a yearning for her and he couldn’t move past it. Haunus stared out the window again…perhaps one day she’d feel the same way as him.
He’d thought it impossible that Evelyn would ever fall for him and yet she did. Nothing was set in stone, nothing was impossible and something surged within Haunus, a confidence that one day it would all work out and Evelyn would be by his side.
There was a last moment in which the dam within broke loose and he felt the mingled emotions of despair and joy, a chaotic mess of feelings that threatened to hold him back. But he had to get up and leave for school, and so he began to slowly stand up.
Walking to school took around forty minutes and he would have plenty of time to sort through his thoughts on the way there. At the moment he surveyed the room, assuring that he left nothing behind. Then, slinging his bag over his shoulder, Haunus strolled out of the room.
Houses were a thing of the past, cities dominated the world and the only way to sustain the population was through use of sky scraper apartments towers. The apartment that Haunus lived in was quite spacious, five large rooms including his and his parent’s bedrooms, a bathroom, family room, and kitchen/dining room combo. Haunus was also lucky that they were on the first floor as opposed to the thirtieth, no elevators to deal with and a single flight of stairs to the entrance doors. Haunus’ mother and father had already left, leaving Haunus the only one as he briskly made his way through the hall. It took him less than half a minute to reach the door which he locked and shut firmly behind him. His back to the door Haunus stared up at the ceiling, a dim light was cast by the lamps that lined the walls at regular intervals. Haunus watched the shadows flicker as the lights played tricks on his eyes, silently Haunus wondered why all of life wasn’t this simple, so beautiful and yet unnoticed. After a seconds hesitation he turned heel and made his way down the stairs.
Suddenly Haunus found himself on the precipice of a cliff. Before him was a vast plain that stretched out to the horizon. He wore armor made with wooden plates attached to some kind of hide. His fingers gripped the hilt of a sword and he left them crawl up to touch the blade.
There was a faint wind that chilled him slightly and stung his cheeks. Haunus squinted to protect his eyes, the sun was not bright as it was hidden behind clouds, but the wind began to increase just slightly, and that made it difficult to face the direction that he was in.
Haunus resigned himself to turning around, he had to get down the cliff anyway and continue across the plain that he had just viewed. He began at a brisk trot, thankful for his leather shoes that protected his feet from the rocks and twigs that littered the path. After a minute or so Haunus began to pick up speed; eventually breaking into a running jog.
It was as if he had run all his life and he found it tireless as his legs gracefully bounced across the terrain. He continued to speed up and at his speed the surroundings were quickly lost. Haunus dodged in and out of trees, leaped over boulders and side-stepped small holes that were scattered in his way.
He felt at peace in his run, his breathing became synchronized and his heart adjusted to a slower, steadier rhythm. He couldn’t feel anything anymore it was as if he had merged with the world around him. He had become the ground, he had become the wind, and somewhere in that he had found contentment.
In a flash he found himself drawn back to reality and there he stood outside the apartment complex under the overhang. Haunus shook his head; he couldn’t recall how he’d moved from the top of the stairs to his current location.
Haunus could have been shocked, but he wasn’t. As a matter of fact it had happened before. He could recall a handful of times in which he couldn’t account for being in certain places. He’d head towards a friends house and suddenly be there, or he’d walk to a class and suddenly find himself a couple of floors in the opposite direction.
What scared Haunus was the apparent randomness, what if next time he found himself in water, drowning. Or on the edge of a building, any number of places. It unnerved him but there was little he could do and Haunus shuddered to think how people would react to his bizarre ability.
Haunus shook the thoughts from his head as though thinking about the subject might actually provoke it. Making sure his bag was secure he headed out from under the overhang and onto the street.
In the second that he’s come out from under his protection Haunus was drenched. The rain was worse than it appeared and Haunus shivered, he tried wiping his face dry with his sleeve, but it being equally wet, Haunus only managed to push the water around. Water fell in front of his eyes, stinging a little, he opened his mouth to breath and found and found the rain water pouring into his mouth. Putting his head down he grunted and began walking again, avoiding puddles wherever he spotted them.
Streets in the city were bare, with pedestrians the only occupants. Cars hovered a good hundred feet above and the only purpose of the streets now was to serve as guiding paths to the cars above. However with the population of the cities they quickly filled up during the daylight hours, becoming the temporary home to millions of hurried feet.
Every step caused water to splash as his feet entered and left the inch of water with nowhere to go. Haunus typically enjoyed walking, but this experience was miserable and his thoughts drifted once again to Evelyn. Her smile lit up in his mind and he couldn’t help but smile in spite of himself.
His smile didn’t last however. Soon his mind wondered why she had lost interest in him. He kept thinking that perhaps he’d gone too fast, or maybe he’d been too negative. The question obsessed his mind; he felt that if he could get to the root of the problem then he could fix it. But as time progressed he slowly began to understand that there was nothing to fix, and it hurt him to realize that it was over. Haunus knew that he was foolish, but he couldn’t help it, he wanted Evelyn so badly.
Honestly! Girls were so confusing, Haunus had never ever considered giving up but he couldn’t understand Evelyn. He wondered what she thought about, was she scared, and why? Did she really lose all feeling for him? Or perhaps she was just being wishy-washy.
His arms yearned to hold her, to stroke her hair, to let her know how wonderful she was. Haunus could smell her, he could remember gazing into her eyes, recalling the moments spent by her side.
He was a sap and he knew it, he should have been thinking about other things. Homework for instance, he hadn’t actually touched any of his homework that he’d been assigned to last night. He had a physics lab that was due, he should have been writing a conclusion about her lips…no, the relationship between acceleration, force, and Evelyn…mass. Haunus hit himself in the head, he had to get her out of his head somehow, but he didn’t want to, it was almost a happy feeling just to randomly think of her, even if she was affecting his ability to concentrate.
Haunus continued walking and decided not to think for awhile. But the silence crept on him and soon he felt the clutch of loneliness start to take hold. At that moment his mind formed a song:
Under the stars I lay tonight,
Wrapped in you as my cover.
Somehow I know I’ll be alright,
Though you seem to leave forever.
And I can feel its hand,
As loneliness searches.
I now understand,
I must return to its midst.
The one thing I wanted was you,
And now the flame has flickered.
Captivated under the moon,
My weak heart has slowly withered.
(now) I realize no one was to blame,
but still I hear you in my mind.
I catch myself thinking your name,
I still see me by your side.
Haunus was satisfied, he enjoyed his ability to create lyrics and he wanted to get this one down on paper. It wasn’t one of his best but it wasn’t bad either, and recently he’d had to push through quite a bit of writers block.
Suddenly he found that half of his leg had disappeared into a puddle. He cringed as he withdrew it to find his pants from the knee down were drenched even more than before if it were possible. Luck wasn’t going his way and he silently prayed for strength.
Turning the corner he saw Ernie’s Market (among other stores in the same building, Ernie’s just happened to be better known to Haunus) and he knew that he was maybe five minutes away from the school. In a few minutes the school was in sight.
Haunus had never really liked school some of his teachers told him that he was a bright kid, but his grades didn’t show it. They weren’t horrible grades, Haunus simply refused to work hard enough for the As that he was capable of and so he was content with always barely missing honor roll, it was more interesting that way. He didn’t need to be a perfect student; he knew who he was and what his capabilities were.
He’d lacked confidence in himself for so long, listening to what others said and worrying over his grades. He failed himself and it was a source of deepest shame, there were times when he had honestly thought about suicide. Times when he wanted to just let it all go, cut himself, stab himself, it didn’t matter as long as he bled it all out, all the pain, the hatred, the lies…Haunus had learned not to listen to others, not to compare himself, and things had gotten better. Still, Haunus often relapsed into moody, negative scenarios and was still beyond being able to accept compliments.
Pride is supposed to be a deadly sin, but for Haunus it was the opposite. He was too modest, too humble. Something in the abuse he’d accumulated over the years had scarred him and he couldn’t recover. Even now when he told himself that they had been wrong, somewhere inside a part of him wondered if maybe they were right. What did they see that he didn’t, perhaps he was a fool after all.
Adding in nasty teachers and homework, school wasn’t attractive to Haunus and even now he could feel his pace slacken as he approached. Standing before him was a tall brick building many stories high, it served as the middle school/high school to the district. The building was shabby from years of use and minimal repair. It had weathered more rainy springs, humid summers, windy falls, and harsh winters than any other building in the area. Haunus laughed, the government said that education was a top priority. But all one had to do was look at the school to realize where the higher ups made their first cuts.
‘Right there’ Haunus thought, thinking about a spot to the right of the school entrance, it was where he and Evelyn had kissed for the first time.
Haunus shook his head and looked down; warm drops began to run down his cheeks and across his nose. Haunus knew that the rain wasn’t the only tear drops anymore. Slowly he approached the spot and with a short sigh of exasperation he sat down with his back to the wall. He pulled his knees up toward him and tried to remember the moment, letting the rain fall all around him.
"No one Understands..."