The Archaic Knowledge – Book One: Post-Human
Time was moving very slow for seventeen-year-old Whitford Winchester as he waited patiently for the last half an hour of the AS English Literature exam to come to a finish. Whitford, mostly known by family and friends as Whit, had finished with unusual haste, he had studied every book needed for the exam, he memorized every quote, knew who spoke them and what chapter they were said. He had dashed through the exam booklet which alarmed the examiners scattered around the gym hall where all examinations were being held.
Whit had, possibly, the best seat in the hall for once the exam is over he can just turn around, grab his back and leave the hall without any obstruction, probably within three to four minutes. From here, Whit saw the back of his best friend’s head a couple rows ahead of him, his head bent down, scribbling quickly; Adrian Porter hadn’t revised as thoroughly as Whit had done, he mostly just winged it during exams and wrote whatever he thought at the time. Most of the time, the answer he would write would actually turn out to be correct or a teacher would ask him to explain why he wrote it down Adrian would just blab his way out of answering the question. But this time, he was struggling, beads of sweat rolled down his neck and soaked his shirt, Adrian looked at the huge clock that ticking very loudly all of a sudden and was going extremely slow. Adrian closed his eyes, breathed and felt that someone was watching him, slyly he turned his head to see Whit looking at him. Their eyes met and they smirked at each other.
“Head down!” snapped an examiner.
Adrian swiftly put his head back down before any of the surrounding students could look up to see who was brave enough to glance at a friend. Whit had noticed that Kaitlyn hadn’t looked up from her paper, he could see her hand sliding across the page as she wrote quickly; her short black hair gleaming in the hall light. Kaitlyn was one of Whit’s best friends that he had known since he was small, for all of their parents had been friends since university. Kaitlyn Cruise was sixteen and was the only girl in her family besides her mother, Caroline. She had two older twin brothers, Hector and Finn, who were told to look after her at school, but didn’t really pay attention to anything their mum or dad had said.
Stupid Adrian, Kaitlyn thought to herself as she wrote, always getting himself caught. Whit doesn’t really help either, Kaitlyn sniggered to herself as she thought this, she wanted to look over her right shoulder to watch Whit, who she predicted was finished by now, but she told herself not to turn around and look at him in his glory of finishing so quickly, she did however glance at the clock displayed on the wall and sighed very heavily.
The last half hour passed. There were scraping of chairs as one by one each row of students were dismissed by the five examiners who were circling in unison around the seated students, Whit noticed that Mr Fry and Ms Tanner had entered the hall ten minutes before the exam ended, both looked flustered and Ms Tanner had to adjust her glasses on her face. Most of the students in the hall were Sixth Formers and can tell when teachers were dating either secretly or publicly, Mr Fry and Ms Tanner were doing it secretly, and doing very poorly, besides Ms Tanner’s glasses, but the bottom of Mr Fry’s polka dot shirt was protruding from in between his pants, through the exposed zipper; students noticed and chattered had started which caused Mr Fry eyebrows to furrow and demand silence.
“I am the Deputy Principal and I demand silence,” he called.
“I bet you do,” Whit muttered, the girl on his left heard and chuckled.
Thankfully Whit was on the third row of students that meant he could wait for Adrian and Kaitlyn in the corridor, his row was told to leave and Whit spun, grabbed his bag and left the hall before April Highsmith could smile at him, but she tried again in the corridor.
“Hi, Whit,” she said quietly, waving and joining her two friends, Bianca Drake and Aaron Lowecroft, Whit smiled back and said, “Hi, April,” Whit looked after April then he heard Adrian walking towards him.
“Better stop that before Kaitlyn comes,” he joked.
“I don’t get why you always say stuff like that, Aid,” Whit said, thumping Adrian on the shoulder.
“And you never will,” Adrian muttered.
“How did you find the exam?” Whit asked.
Adrian was about to answer when Kaitlyn came up from behind them and answered, “It was brilliant, wasn’t it? I found Part A much more interesting that Part B, but Part B had more analytical questions, don’t you think?”
Adrian and Whit both rolled their eyes at each other.
“Yeah, that’s how I felt too,” Whit joked.
Kaitlyn had folded her arms and watched him. “Seriously?”
“Seriously, no,” Whit said, “I finished the exam half an hour early,”
“Of course you did,” Adrian said, and he lead them through the corridor and into the maze like corridors of Sacred Academy. “I found it very difficult, I couldn’t remember anything, so I made up some stuff,”
“Adrian, you can’t do that in an exam!” Kaitlyn hissed.
“Yes I can,” Adrian said, “you’re not my mum, you know. Forget about the exam, did you see Mr Fry and Ms Tanner?”
Their journey back to their Sixth Form was filled with conversation about their teacher’s secret, but public relationship and sloppy they were at concealing it from the students and staff.
“But I feel sorry for Mr Torres, don’t you?” Whit asked, as his eyes found the school’s one of two Spanish teachers in the cafeteria. “He and Ms Tanner were together for months before she hooked up with Fry,”
“I wonder how he’s taking it,” Kaitlyn mused.
“He’ll bounce back,” Adrian said, “you might have a chance now Kaitlyn, seeing as though you fancied him for the past year,”
Kaitlyn whacked Adrian around the head and flushed; Adrian and Whit laughed and pushed the doors open into the Sixth Form. Hoards of students were milling around, chatting, spread gossip or just fooling around, no one was revising for today was the last day of exams, last day of Sixth Form until September that was two months away.
“I think we need to do something to celebrate,” Whit suggested.
“Like what?” Adrian asked.
“Go out into town,” Whit mentioned.
“Whit, none of us are eighteen yet,” Kaitlyn said, “Yes, I know that you two will be soon and that I have to wait all the way until March, but we can’t,”
“Are thirteen year old girls?” Whit chastised.
“Sexist,” Kaitlyn muttered, stung.
“We’ll just do that, then,” Adrian suggested.
They had made arrangements to meet at Adrian’s for nine that evening, and that they would sleep around his as well, but that was plan was put on hold as Adrian overheard a nearby conversation, the three of them looked over to see that Aaron, Bianca and April were also talking about ways to celebrate the end of exams and Sixth Form.
“What are you three planning to do?” Aaron asked.
“Movie night,” Whit said with hardly any enthusiasm.
“Don’t say it like that,” Kaitlyn moaned, “say it with excitement at least,”
Whit rolled his eyes.
“I suggested to do that,” April piped up, “but these two turned it down,”
“We’re going out,” Bianca stated boldly.
“But how you’re not eighteen yet – or are you?” Kaitlyn asked.
“We aren’t, but my brother has done these Ids for us,” Aaron said, “I can get him to do some more for you three if you’re interested?”
“Yeah, of course,” Whit said at once before either Adrian or Kaitlyn to say anything. “Where should we meet you?”
“Argh, great,” moaned Bianca in hushed voice, “look who is it?”
Together they turned their heads to see a thin boy roughly around sixteen walking towards them with a grin on his face which was also thin and long.
“Hi, Cooper,” said Kaitlyn.
“Hi,” Cooper replied, “I couldn’t help but over hear that you’re doing something to celebrate the end of exams,”
“I bet you couldn’t help it,” Adrian muttered, Kaitlyn whacked him in the stomach with her elbow.
“I was just wondering if I could go with you,” Cooper enquired.
Whit was about to answer with a defiant, “No!”, but obviously, Kaitlyn beat him to it, “Of course you can come, Cooper,” Kaitlyn didn’t register the looks on the five people around her, so she added cheerfully, “the more the merrier,”
“Thanks, what time and where exactly are we going?”
Aaron opened his mouth, but Whit didn’t want Cooper The Oddball with him on the night out so he told a boldfaced lie to Cooper, “We are getting into town for eleven and meet us outside Oceanic, the new nightclub,”
Cooper smiled and said he will meet them there and he walked off.
“Whit, why did you do that?” Kaitlyn asked.
“He’s odd, Kait,” Whit replied. “I don’t want him to come with us tonight,”
“He’s right, Kaitlyn,” Bianca mentioned, “he doesn’t have any friends here, and he freaks people out,”
“Shouldn’t we befriend him instead of making him feel more secluded from everyone?” Kaitlyn asked.
“You be his friend then,” Adrian suggested, “it would give Whit and I a break,”
Aaron, Whit, Bianca and April all laughed while Kaitlyn folded her arms and scowled at Adrian. They had decided to meet at Polaris nightclub for ten o’clock instead of meeting Cooper at eleven outside Oceanic. Whit, Adrian and Kaitlyn all decided to leave school at that point and made their way home.
“How are we going to tell our parents?” Kaitlyn asked.
“We’ll just say we’re staying at yours,” Whit suggested.
“Er – no,”
“Why not?” Adrian asked.
“I don’t want to be the one that gets into more trouble than you two,” Kaitlin replied, “let’s use Adrian’s house instead,”
“I don’t know,” Adrian mused, “my parents don’t mind me going downstairs at bizarre hours at night, I’ll see,”
“Make it quick, all right,” Whit said, “So Kaitlyn and I will tell our parents that we are staying at yours and you can say that you’re staying at mine or something,”
“We better hope that our parents don’t phone Adrian’s to speak to us,” Kaitlyn stated.
“We’ll just say to call our mobiles instead,” Whit added quickly.
One by one they all went home, first Adrian, who waved at them goodbye and left Whit and Kaitlyn by themselves.
“So, er – I see that April likes you,” Kaitlyn spoke quietly, as they walked to her house.
“Does she? I didn’t notice,” Whit lied.
“Do you like her?”
“She’s …” Whit was looking for the right word to say, but all he could come up with was, “all right,”
Kaitlyn scoffed loudly at that.
“Whit, you can’t say a girl is just ‘all right’. You have to say that she’s beautiful or has nice eyes or something like that,”
“She has nice hands,” Whit replied, “better?”
Kaitlyn rolled her eyes at him, and smiled.
“Girls,” Whit said louder. “You lot are more hard work than us guys, believe me,”
“I don’t think so,” Kaitlyn said, “boys are just programmed to do two thing and that’s it,”
“Oh yeah, what’s that then?”
“Eat loads of food and break wind,” Kaitlyn answered.
Whit laughed hard at that, “You’re not wrong about that, Kait,”
“Why do you feel that you need to go out tonight, Whit?”
Whit watched Kaitlyn, she was looking at him seriously, and Whit was amazed that she didn’t say his full name when she was being serious.
“I don’t know, people seem to enjoy going out into town and I want to experience it,”
“But why can’t you wait until we’re all eighteen?”
“I don’t know,” Whit said, “I feel we need to, that’s all,”
“Does it have something to do with your Dad?” Kaitlyn asked.
Whit froze at her words; he looked at her. Whit’s father had died twelve years ago, he had decided to take it upon himself to help out a guy that was being mugged from two others who had a gun, and somehow during the struggle, Whit’s father, Sean, had been shot – twice – in the chest.
“No,” Whit said, “it hasn’t got anything to do with him”
“S-Sorry, Whit,” Kaitlyn said, her voice filled with emotion, “I didn’t think, I -,”
“No, you didn’t, did you,” Whit whispered, and he left Kaitlyn at the corner of her street as he watched home.
Whit had arrived home earlier than usual despite it being not a school day, he turned his key in the front door and heard noises coming from the kitchen and the living room; most likely than his mother, Miranda was busying herself in there, cleaning and wiping down the counter tops while his only brother, Declan, laid – not sat – across the large four seated sofa.
Whit deposited his bag, jacket and shoes beneath the coat rack and entered the living room. The TV was on showing one of the popular programmes during the day which Declan loved but annoyed Whit, as he had guessed Declan was sprawled across the sofa, one foot resting the top of the sofa while the remote was on his stomach.
“You haven’t moved all day have you?” Whit asked.
“Only when I need to piss, bro,” was his only reply.
Whit sighed and walked towards the kitchen where his mum was on the phone, talking animatedly, waving her hands in the air.
“No, Mum, you can’t come down – Yes, I know that now Dad is gone you feel lonely, but you can’t come down every weekend, Mum!” Miranda said loudly.
Whit waved to grab her attention, Miranda raised her index finger indicating that she was going to bring the phone call to an end pretty soon.
“Mum, Whit just came home – You can’t talk to him, he’s got loads of revision to do,” Miranda said down the phone, putting the kettle on, “I got to go now, Mum, I will give him and Decky your love. Bye Mum,”
Miranda clicked the phone off. Ever since Whit’s grandfather had died four years ago, his grandmother had taken it upon herself to become a burden upon the only family that she has left. It wasn’t as though Whit didn’t mind her visiting, he would frequently get twenty pound notes off her, but it was only a week ago that she left and she was eager to come back.
“Is Gran all right?” Whit asked.
“She’s fine,” Miranda replied, “she still misses Granddad, Whit,”
“Like you miss Dad?”
Miranda watched Whit, and smiled, “Yeah, like I how miss Sean,”
Whit hugged his mum tightly.
“So, how do you think you did?”
“Excellent, eh? Did you rush?”
“You always rush things,” Miranda said, fixing three cups of tea. “I always told you to take your time,”
“I know, I know,” Whit mentioned. “Listen, Mum, seeing as though today was the last day of exams I was wondering if I could go and sleep over Adrian’s tonight?”
“I was going to suggest for all of us – that includes you as Declan!” Miranda added, raising her voice.
“What you on about, Mum!” was Declan’s reply.
“Like I was saying, I was going to suggest for all of us to go and stay with Gran for a couple of days , you know as a surprise,” Miranda continued, “what do you think?”
“But Mum I had planned this ages ago,” Whit moaned.
“Fine, we can do it anytime,” Miranda said, “seeing as though you and Dec are now free from school,”
Whit stepped forward and kissed his mum on the cheek.
“I hope Adrian had sorted with Alexa and George first,”
“He has, don’t worry,” Whit said, walking away with a smile. He passed Declan and ruffled his hair which annoyed him and he tried to take a playful punch as Whit’s leg, who jumped aside and whacked behind the neck. Declan flailed, both legs in the air and arms going round like windmills as he fell to the floor with a loud thump.
“Declan! I hope you haven’t broken anything!” Miranda shouted from the kitchen.
“It was Whit’s fault!”
“No it wasn’t,”
“I don’t care, stop messing around,”
Whit left the living room and ran upstairs and straight into his bedroom which was the second to the left of his mum’s. Whit’s bedroom was neat and tidy, all of his books – for there were plenty of them – were all organised by series on the shelves around the room, Whit didn’t have a wardrobe but instead had a clothing rack like the ones in clothes shops, there was a desk with his laptop on and a open book, which he had just started last night, and numerous amount of posters mostly of films and TV shows that he enjoyed watching. Whit looked around to find a large duffel bag that can hold two change of clothes, one for tonight and the other for the following morning. He had decided not to go too flash for going out and ended up putting a casual t-shirt, black jeans and black boots in the bag, along with aftershave, toothbrush, brush and underwear.
Whit checked his phone and found that Kaitlyn had texted him, she had said that she was sorry for upsetting him earlier and that everything was going to plan. Adrian had told her that they were to come round at half seven, have dinner, watch some TV and then go upstairs to get changed. Whit had texted back saying that he will meet her there and that everything was fine.
For the next three hours, Whit had watched some TV downstairs with Declan and their mum, had several packets of crisp, “I’m eating at Adrian’s later,”, had a taken two of many twenty pound notes from his safe place for hiding money so Declan couldn’t come and find it, then got ready to leave.
“Whit,” Miranda called, “Don’t be -,”
“Don’t be rude, remember to thank you, I do know, Mum, you’ve told me and Declan thousands of times before, we won’t forget,”
“I will call there soon,”
“No, don’t – I mean, call my phone, OK,” Whit said, in a panic.
“OK, eat well, see you tomorrow,”
Miranda waved him off and closed the door behind him. Whit had put his earphones in and just let the music play as his feet took him down the usual path to Adrian’s house which was a half an hour walk from his, but only a ten minute walk from Kaitlyn’s.
Whit had stayed at Adrian’s many times before, with or without Kaitlyn around them, Whit couldn’t imagine his life without his best friend, he was sure he would have suffered under Kaitlyn’s chastising him about every little thing. Whit had climbed over the little brick wall and walked on the grass and knocked the door.
Adrian’s dad, George Porter, had opened the door. George, like his only son, was tall and thick set, he had brown hair and greying brown hair. Whit saw the double-take that George would always do when his fell upon Whit, for anyone that knew Sean Winchester would say that Whit was the splitting replica of his father.
“Hiya, Whit, come on in,” George said with his deep voice.
“Hi, Mr Porter,”
“What have I told you and Kaitlyn, call me George,” George said, clapping him on the shoulder, “I’ve known you kids all your lives, been there through thick and thin, it’s time you started calling me George,”
Whit nodded and he passed the wall where Alexa had designated for pictures of the family; he saw photos of Alexa and George laughing in a park, Alexa laying across George’s legs; another picture of their wedding day – Whit’s heart skipped a beat for a moment as he saw his parents in the picture as well – there were photos of Adrian as well, grinning toothlessly at the camera, one of him with six year old Whit and five year old Kaitlyn, and there were pictures of a young girl who had long black hair and distinctive purple eyes, she sat with Adrian in a couple, some she was with Alexa, and only five was she with George. Sage, Whit thought as he looked the most recent of all pictures. Sage was laughing at some long forgotten joke, she was beautiful even in this old picture, her facial features were sharp and regal looking, still her eyes pierced the photo that would always draw people in.
Sage was Alexa and George’s only daughter, she was the first child of their circle of friends to be born, she was special for Alexa had given birth to her in their home – Whit remembered what Kaitlyn’s grandmother had said about those who were born in a house would always have a deep connection with it, and that was true with Sage. Anyone who walked by or even looked at her would stop and just stare and say what a beautiful girl she was, it got worse as she got older, boys were starting to notice her which alarmed George as he had to pick her up from school every day. Then, she had gotten ill and very quickly she had died. That was six years ago. Whit was sure that both Alexa and George hadn’t gotten over that, even Adrian to some extent, just like Miranda hadn’t gotten over the loss of Sean.
“Whit! Mate, come on!” Adrian called from the living room.
Whit glanced once more the pictures and entered the living room to find that Kaitlyn was sitting in the armchair, legs tucked beneath her.
“Hi, Whit,” she said, waving. Whit nodded.
“Whit!” Alexa cried, she had appeared out of nowhere and hugged Whit. “Are you all right? You hungry? I bet you are – No, I’m not saying that Randi doesn’t feed you, of course,”
“Lexi, be quiet and let the boy breath,” George ordered.
Alexa released Whit, and he looked at her eyes and found that they were the same dazzling purple like Sage’s were, he wondered why didn’t Adrian get those eyes as well.
“I’m fine, Mrs Porter,”
“Alexa, Whit, call me by my proper name if you please,” Alexa said, “Right, let me get dinner started,” Alexa left the living room and sped towards the kitchen.
“That’s my cue to head towards my study, to leave my son and Godchildren in their own company,” George added, “see you at dinner,”
George left the living room. Whit saw that Kaitlyn had grabbed the TV remote and made the volume rise slightly, he knew that it was a signal that something had happened and that Kaitlyn wanted it out in the air.
“Tell him, Adrian,”
“Tell me, what?”
Adrian looked embarrassed and a little ashamed as Whit looked at him. “What is it?”
“Fine, I will tell him -,” Kaitlyn started.
“I saw her again,” Adrian muttered quietly.
“What was that?” Kaitlyn said, “I didn’t hear you,”
“I saw the girl again,” Adrian said a little too loud.
“Oh, really? Again?” Whit asked, not surprised at the news. Whit couldn’t remember when exactly Adrian had told him and Kaitlyn about his little gift, but it was only like a year or two ago that he told them he can see ghosts or apparitions. At first, Whit had laughed himself hoarse which didn’t help matters at all, Adrian had clammed up and didn’t bring up the conversation again, not until Kaitlyn forced it on them and Adrian told them he kept on seeing a teenage girl around fourteen or fifteen, who kept visiting him first at night then during the day. Adrian hadn’t told his parents this just in case they thought their son was going crazy and would put him in a mental institute.
“Oh? Oh? Is that all you got to say?” Kaitlyn snapped. “Adrian hasn’t seen the girl for almost five weeks and all of a sudden she comes back,”
“I didn’t just see her this time,” Adrian added, “I’ve begun to see whole heaps of people now, they just waft in and out, a few stay and follow people,”
“Do they talk to you?” Whit asked.
Adrian shook his head.
“That’s a good thing. As long as they don’t talk to you or harm you in anyway, you’ll be fine,” Whit said, cheerfully, “Now, can we change it from this show the storyline is taking far too long to end,”
Fifteen minutes later, they ate dinner, a delicious concoction of split pea soup with pieces of cornmeal dumpling and vegetables; Whit and Adrian had asked for three more bowls, Kaitlyn politely declined a second one.
“I’m always happy when you two come and sleep over,” Alexa said, “I love it when the house if filled with laughter,”
“Lexi, I will help you clear up,” George grabbed his and Adrian’s bowls and headed to the kitchen.
“All right, Kaitlyn, you should go up first and start getting ready,” Whit suggested.
“Why? Oh, let me guess – it’s because I’m a girl and I take ages to get ready?”
“That’s about right,” Adrian replied. “Off you go,”
Kaitlyn rolled her eyes at Adrian and left. Whit had checked his phone, the time displayed on the screen shown seven fifty, that meant they only had two hours and ten minutes to get ready. However, their plan was going smoothly, Alexa and George had sat down to watch a show on how to lose weight and gave advise on certain exercises to gain muscle, then they said they were going upstairs.
“Where’s Kaitlyn?” Alexa asked.
“She’s having a shower,” Adrian replied.
“A bit early, don’t you think?”
“Mum, you know how girls are,” Adrian answered.
Alexa chuckled, kissed Adrian on the head and ruffled Whit’s hair and followed her husband up the stairs.
“All right, we should head up,” Adrian suggested, “I can play some music for a little while for they usually go to sleep around nine fifteen,”
“How are we going to get there?”
“I will phone a taxi for half past,” Adrian added quickly.
They headed upstairs and went to Adrian’s room, thankfully there were two bedrooms between his and his parent’s rooms that meant they wouldn’t hear much noise. They entered just as Kaitlyn had started to straighten her hair.
“What if I was naked?”
“Now that would of been a grime sight,” Adrian said, laughing.
“Why are you straightening your hair? Isn’t it naturally straight?” Whit asked.
“If I don’t it would become too frizzy and bushy and I don’t want to go out in public with bushy hair,” Kaitlyn answered. “You better hurry up,”
Adrian decided to go and have a shower and get changed in there, that meant he would just put on his underwear, come back in his room and try to make Kaitlyn feel uncomfortable, which wouldn’t phase her at all. Adrian came back, while Whit left to have a shower and get completely changed in the bathroom, where he brushed his teeth and brushed his hair. By the time he re-entered Adrian’s bedroom, Kaitlyn and Adrian were both dressed and ready. Kaitlyn was wearing a figure hugging dress of dark red, had studded high heels on and carried a red handbag; Whit looked at her face and was surprised to see that she was wearing makeup, her eyes had a smoky affect around, the edges were caked in black eyeliner. Adrian just had on black jeans, high top boots and a t-shirt with a logo.
“What time is the taxi coming?” Whit had asked.
“It’s coming in five minutes which gives us plenty of time to meet Aaron, Bianca and April,” Adrian replied.
Whit checked his phone and the time gleamed nine twenty-seven. “We should head downstairs, it will be hear soon,”
Quietly and stealthily they took the stairs one at a time, “I hope you told the driver not to beep his horn,” Kaitlyn whispered.
“They said they will send a text,” Adrian replied even more quietly.
They had reached the bottom step and headed towards the door when a deep voice came from behind them, “Where do you think you’re going?”
Whit, Adrian and Kaitlyn slowly turned around to find George standing there in his dressing gown and a glass of water in hand.
“We were – erm -,” Adrian started.
“We’re not going to lie to you, Mr – George,” Kaitlyn said, “we were wondering the best way to celebrate the end of exams and of Sixth Form, and we decided on a night out. It will just be the one night, until we are all eighteen,”
George looked at them with a stern expression, then it was gone and replaced with a smile, he nodded as he said, “I understand, I won’t tell Alexa anything, but don’t use the front door when you come back. Be back by one, OK,”
“One? Dad, come on -,”
“One o’clock,” George said, sternly, “don’t be late. I will be waiting for you,” George walked up the stairs and they heard the bedroom close. They quickly opened the front door and waited for the taxi; a few minutes later Adrian’s phone vibrated just as the taxi arrived.
“That was a waste of a text,” Adrian moaned, “telling us our taxi has arrived when it arrives itself,|”
Whit checked the clock in the taxi and it read nine forty-two, the journey into the town centre was long, but it felt as if it would take ages for them to reach the taxi rank; Kaitlyn paid the driver and they got out.
All around them were loud, laughing and stumbling people; mostly teenagers or middle-aged women, Adrian openly laughed and pointed at them, which Whit nudged him and told him not to draw attention to them, but it was as if all the people around here knew that there were three youngsters here, every eye was drawn to them, but they kept their heads straight and headed for Polaris. Soon they heard a girl call their names, they found April, Bianca and Aaron waiting near the queue.
“Hey, guys,” Aaron said, “I thought you lot had chickened out,”
“We wouldn’t chicken out of anything,” Whit said.
“Here’s the IDs my brother made for you,”
“How did you get the pictures?” Kaitlyn asked.
“Facebook,” Bianca answered.
The queue for Polaris slowly started to dwindle down until it came for the time for Whit and his group to test the fake IDs. The bouncers inspected them closely, first Whit was allowed in, then April and Kaitlyn, a little hesitation with Adrian, then Bianca and Aaron had to be searched, but was allowed in.
“Right, let’s get and dance,” suggested Adrian, and before anyone could say anything he had grabbed Bianca and started to dance very awkwardly, it was as though someone was playing with his strings, for he was just flailing his arms and thrusting his hips while Bianca stood there watching him oddly, then she just flung her arms in the air and joined in. They watched as people slowly started to step away from them, Aaron joined them, Whit, Kaitlyn and April close behind. They were dancing for ages when Adrian stopped and stared around him, only Kaitlyn and Whit noticed it, Adrian’s face went pale and beads of sweat appeared on his forehead, he then swayed on the spot, Whit grabbed his arm and lead him to a seat.
“What’s wrong with Adrian?” Bianca asked.
“It’s the way he was dancing,” Whit answered, “it drained him of his energy,”
“Come on, girls, let’s go and dance again,” Aaron suggested, “Whit and Kaitlyn have it under control,”
Bianca and April followed Aaron back on the dance floor. Kaitlyn knelt in front of Adrian, concern on her face. “Did it happen again?”
Adrian nodded, his hand started to shake slightly.
“I saw more people this time,” Adrian muttered. “The most I’ve ever seen at one time were five, there were at least twenty-two ghosts here tonight,”
Whit started to look around at that point. “Are they still here?”
Adrian nodded, he couldn’t describe them to Whit and Kaitlyn, but two ghost girls passed by, both with sombre expression and left a trail of smoke wafting behind them; there was a big burly man standing in the corner with an axe protruding from his head staring at a group of dancing girls. Adrian gasped and clutched his hand.
“We’ll get you some water, Aid,” Kaitlyn said, “stay here,”
She and Whit made their way to the bar, nudging into people as they walked. They reached the bar, there were several bartenders serving people, they had to wait a little for one to serve them.
“Oh, hello, again,” said the bartender looking at Kaitlyn. She turned to look over her shoulder to see who the bartender guy was talking to, “I’m speaking to you,”
“Oh,” Kaitlyn said, “what do you mean ‘again’? This is the first time I’ve been here,”
“What you on about? You were here last night,”
“You must of suffered a blow to the head, my love. I served you last night, and tipped me very well,”
“Well, that wasn’t me,” Kaitlyn answered.
“Now, I think about it you might be true,” said the bartender, “you had a more accented voice,”
“OK, that’s all nice to know but can we get some drinks please,” Whit said.
“Of course, what would you like?”
“Three cokes please,” Kaitlyn ordered.
“Just like last night,” the bartender, “but you had a triple shot of vodka in it,”
“Just plain cokes tonight, please,” Kaitlyn stated firmly.
Whit watched Kaitlyn closely and saw that she had a shocked expression on her face.
“Not now, Whit. Not now,” she muttered.
“It’s getting worse,”
“Whit! Not now!” Kaitlyn snapped, and she grabbed two tall glasses of coke and stormed off, Whit thanked the bartender and followed Kaitlyn, who was already kneeling in front of Adrian who drained the glass in one swift gulp.
“Aid, you feeling all right, mate?”
Adrian nodded. “Can we go please?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m not feeling it right now,”
“Fine,” Whit said, “what time is it?”
“Ten past twelve,” Kaitlyn replied.
“OK, Kaitlyn go and tell Aaron, April and Bianca that we’re leaving,” Whit suggested.
“Why do I – You know what, I don’t care” Kaitlyn said, she walked off to find Aaron and the girls.
“What’s wrong, Whit?” Adrian asked.
“I don’t know, I just feel this isn’t my scene,” Whit answered, “plus I feel bad for what I’ve done to Cooper,”
“Why don’t you go and find Cooper and apologise to him, Kait and I will find a taxi and wait for you,” Adrian mentioned. “It wouldn’t take too long, should it?”
“Are you sure?”
Adrian nodded, and Whit left. “Text me when you find a taxi,”
Whit passed the queue of people waiting to enter Polaris and headed for Oceanic. Whit noticed that Cooper wasn’t there, he thought that Cooper had decided to leave and go home, so Whit decided to go back to Polaris. He walked passed a slim alleyway, he had glanced at it and noticed three people there; one of them had another against the wall. Whit walked forward and from the night light he recognised Cooper was the one being pinned against the wall; Whit quietly walked towards them, he overheard the words that the person holding Cooper were saying.
“We know The One is here,” the man hissed, “for she wouldn’t have sent you to this World,”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Cooper gasped.
“Don’t play with me,” spat the man, “The Queen sent you to find The One. But we knew of her plans and we’re going to find The One before you do,”
“Don’t play dumb, Elf!” snarled a female voice. “We can skin you alive and deliver your body to the Kingdom gates before you couldn’t say your full name, Cooper,”
Whit couldn’t comprehend what they saying – Elf? Elf? What is going on here? And who is this One that these two people are looking for?
“Why don’t we just kill this little weasel of an Elf now,” suggested the woman.
“Now, now, Callisto, we mustn’t antagonise the Elves even further,” soothed the man.
“You’re right, Iago,” Callisto said. “But can we just hurt him a little?”
Whit couldn’t hide anymore, he jumped from behind the bins and shouted with enough courage that he can find, “Leave my friend alone!”
Callisto and Iago turned to look at Whit, they had confused looks on their faces, but Iago’s was a mixture of confusion and recognition; Whit saw his mouth move inaudibly.
“How can this Human see us?” Callisto asked.
“I don’t know,” Iago mused, “unless …” he looked at Cooper, who whimpered and shook his head, “he is!” Iago exclaimed, “The One we’ve been looking for … Callisto wait!”
Callisto had started forward towards Whit who was frozen in place, then he felt rough hands around his throat which lifted him off his feet, Whit gasped and started grabbing the woman’s large hands, but there was no give. Whit had wished that he could just get away from here, he then heard Callisto gasp in surprise as Whit literally went through her clutching hands and land on the ground. Then Callisto lunged at him again, this time Whit rolled to the left and raised his right hand, a beam of pure white energy sprang from his palm and struck Callisto in the shoulder which flipped her over in mid-air and she landed hard on the ground. Whit scrambled to his feet and watched as the giant form of Callisto rose again, heading for him, this time Whit, without knowing why but it felt natural, flicked his head up and Callisto was sent flying in the air by some invisible force; she landed hard on her back, but again she kept on coming at him.
Whit started to throw black bags at Callisto which she whacked aside or she burnt to ash with her hands, Callisto swiped the air between herself and Whit, every time he would dodge and sidestep, but Callisto had managed to get a few swipes in, Whit moaned in pain as her fists thumped twice against his ribs, he fell onto a pile of black bags. He heard Callisto laughing near him, he heard Cooper whimpering and struggling against Iago’s grip; Whit saw Callisto loom over him and then she jumped at him.
Without realising what he was doing, but again it came naturally to him, Whit raised both his hands and did a motion as if he was flicking off water from his hands. He heard a loud bang and saw a large ripple of red energy and sparks ignite the air between himself and Callisto, whose eyes opened wide and was thrown backwards and slammed extremely hard against the opposite wall. Whit heard Iago shout and dropped Cooper as he ran towards his fallen comrade, he turned Callisto over and they all saw a charred hole in her chest, it was still smoking. Iago glared at Whit and Cooper who had scurried over to him.
“You will pay for what did tonight, Winchester,” Iago snarled darkly, “We know where you live. Mark my words, you will pay for this,” Iago raised his hand, and Whit felt himself being pulled forward and slammed hard against the wall, Whit’s vision blurred slightly, but he waved his arm and Iago was sent flying deeper into the alleyway. He spun around and disappeared into the darkness.
“Whit, I’m so sorry, but I didn’t want you to find out like this,” Cooper began, he looked closely at Whit, “Whit, are you all right?”
Whit ignored Cooper and felt his phone vibrate, his hands fumbled towards his pocket and saw that Kaitlyn had texted him saying that they are waiting for him in a taxi near McDonald’s. Whit tried to get up, but his head swam, he felt hands on him and then he saw Cooper’s face.
“Don’t worry, I will take you to them,”
“W-what happened?” Whit asked.
“Whit, I will explain everything very soon, I promise you,” Cooper replied.
“Who w-were those p-people?”
“Archangels,” Cooper answered, “seriously, Whit, I can’t explain it like this, but now that they’ve found you, you’ve been marked,”
“Marked? W-what -,”
“I will tell you tomorrow, OK,” Cooper said, “your mum and brother has to be there as well, they will need to be told as well. For now, Whit, just relax and close your eyes, it will help,”
“You’re an Elf?”
Whit felt Cooper chuckle softly. “Yes, I am. Now, close your eyes,”
Whit’s eyes closed momentarily and he felt his legs wobble beneath him and felt himself moving awkwardly as Cooper helped him to the taxi rank. Whit heard shouts of familiar voices and felt himself slip into a deep sleep.
Whit could feel himself wrapped in warm covers and a soft pillow was beneath his head. He gingerly opened his eyes to see that he was Adrian’s bedroom. How did I get back here? Whit thought to himself, looked down and saw Kaitlyn on the floor, a little quilt covering her body, then Whit heard deep breathing from his left and saw Adrian, who was awake and looking at the ceiling, he felt Whit move and looked at him.
“Whit,” Adrian whispered, “don’t speak too loud, don’t want to wake up, Kait,”
“Whit, happened to you? Cooper told us from his view, but I want you to tell me,” Adrian said at once.
“Before all that,” Whit whispered, “what happened after I passed out?”
“Cooper and I got you into the taxi, Kait got into the front and pleaded to driver to drive, but Cooper had whispered something into his ear and the driver took off like a shot; he even gave the drive free of charge,” Adrian explained, “as he promised my dad waited up for us, he was going to have a go but when he saw you he took upstairs, Kait and I were going to thank Cooper but he disappeared,”
“Great, I’m sure in the morning my Mum will call,” Whit said, “what did you tell your Dad?”
“I just said that you had felt ill and just collapsed, the best thing I could think of,”
Whit felt Adrian turn to look at him, he pushed himself up and winced as his ribs ached, then he coughed and his throat ached painfully; Whit put a hand to his throat and felt swollen skin beneath his fingers.
“It was a good thing that Dad didn’t put the light on when he put you on the bed,” Adrian mentioned, “What happened, Whit?”
Whit took a deep breath, he was still debating on whether telling Adrian the whole truth or to make a story, he settled upon the latter. “I went to look for Cooper as you suggested,” he began, “I waited outside Oceanic for a while then thought he had gone home or something,” Whit gulped, “then I passed the alleyway between Oceanic and the other club, and I saw Cooper being threatened by two other guys. I yelled at them, one came at me and we fought,” Whit paused, “I think I came off quite lightly compared to the other guy,” Adrian chuckled. “Apparently he had gotten a good blow to my head as I’m sure you could tell by the way I passed out,”
Adrian didn’t say anything at first then he said, “Kaitlyn was frantic when she saw you, she thought you were dead,”
“Why would she be frantic for?” Whit asked, “Kaitlyn can be such a girl sometimes,”
Adrian chucked, but came to a stop when a voice came from the ground.
“So, sorry to disappoint you, Whitford, but I am a girl all the time,”
Kaitlyn’s head rose from the dark ground and she stared at them both. “So you couldn’t wait until morning to have this conversation?”
Neither Whit or Adrian replied.
“Whit, have you asked how Adrian is doing at all since you woke up?” Kaitlyn asked.
Whit had completely forgot that Adrian had another wondering-ghost spell in Polaris just a few hours ago.
“Aid, I’m sorry -,” Whit began.
“Whit, it’s fine, there’s no need,” Adrian said.
“See, Whit, you just care for yourself and no one else -,”
“Excuse me, Kaitlyn, didn’t you hear what I done for Cooper a while ago? And you’re calling me selfish? Have you told Adrian about the bartender yet or were you keeping that to yourself as usual?”
Whit and Kaitlyn glared at each other for a second, then Kaitlyn looked away.
“What happened with the bartender? Did he make a pass at you, Kait?” Adrian enquired.
“No, he did not,” Kaitlyn muttered, “he said that I was in Polaris yesterday night,”
“But you couldn’t have been, you were at home -,”
“Of course I was at home, Aid,” Kaitlyn said.
Then Adrian understood what had happened.
“Oh, he mistake you for being the person that looks like you,” Adrian said, “now that sounded confusing,”
“He was positive I was there, he told me what I drank as well when I ordered the drinks,” Kaitlyn added, “it’s getting worse,”
“What do you mean?” Whit asked.
“When I went off to tell Aaron, Bianca and April that we were leaving, a guy called me darling and that he was glad to see me back, and a group of girls waved at me and called me over, but I ignored them,”
“Oh,” Whit muttered.
Ever since Kaitlyn had turned thirteen people started to notice Kaitlyn more prominently than any other person in Sacred Falls. Random people would say hello and how you doing to her which made Kaitlyn confused and scared, she would tell her parents about it, but they would just say they must of thought she was someone else. It got progressively worse as she got older, but tonight had freaked Kaitlyn out a bit.
“I’m not going back to Polaris ever again,” Kaitlyn mentioned, “or any other nightclub in fact,”
“I’m definitely not going back there,” Adrian said, “I will continue seeing more and more ghosts there,”
“I don’t think I will be doing that for a while either,” Whit said, “it’s not my scene,”
“Yeah right,” Kaitlyn laughed, “you were the one that wanted us to go, and look what’s happened – Adrian saw ghosts and people were mistaking for another person – if a third thing had happened I would think we are all cursed or something,”
“OK, it’s ten to five in the morning,” Adrian said, “we are all tired, let’s get some sleep and let’s pray tomorrow is back to normal,”
Adrian and Kaitlyn said night and went back to sleep, Whit muttered it as he tried to make sleep come to him. He wondered why did he tell Kaitlyn and Adrian, his two best and close friends in the world, what had truly happened in that alleyway. That Cooper was an Elf, that there were people searching for him.
Why were they looking for him? Or why were they calling him The One? These thoughts swirled around Whit’s head as he laid on Adrian’s bed and stared at the ceiling. Unknown to him, sleep had taken him in its arms and pulled him into the comfy clouds of softness as Whit finally fell asleep.