Angels: Moon and Sun
The next morning, Hekate awoke to her alarm going off right by her ear. Reaching over, she slammed her hand down to make the noise stop before sitting up. The memory of the night before slowly returned as she looked around the room. There was no evidence of the night before, only her memory of it.
It wasn’t until she walked into the bathroom that she realized there was evidence. In the mirror, she could see that her eyes were still bloodshot. Leaning closer, she peeled her eyes open further to better inspect them.
Although it was impressive, it was reckless.
Moro’s image appeared in the mirror beside Hekate. Her reflection was lying across the bathroom counter, even though she wasn’t there when Hekate looked down. Ignoring the wolf staring back at her through the mirror, Hekate began to strip and climb into the shower. “Did you want to keep that stupid journal?”
No. I would have taken it to Selene. We could have learned more.
Hekate thought about this as she scrubbed the shampoo into her chocolate brown hair. She was halfway through washing the conditioner when the thought she might have done the wrong thing crossed her mind. “So what now?”
Now…now we hope there won’t be side effects to what you’ve done.
When Hekate had finished, she stepped from the shower with a towel wrapped around her body. Moro mentioning side effects made her remember her wings. Mentally preparing for the pain, Hekate summoned her wings. The feeling of skin ripping and muscles cracking to adjust to the new bones never sounded pleasant, but she was beginning to adjust to the pain of summoning them.
In the mirror, she looked at them, and so did Moro. They were darker than before. Specks of ash covered nearly every inch of the wings, taking away from their original beauty. They were no longer new. They were war-torn, tainted by the deeds she had done since receiving them. Small lines of red broke through the ash, lining some of the feathers down her wingspan.
You absorbed it.
“You sound surprised,” Hekate commented as she evaluated the new stains.
Hekate pulled her towel off to squeeze the excess of water in her hair, waiting for Moro to say more. When she didn’t, Hekate pressed her, “Why?”
That book contained the blood of demons and trapped souls. Something like that isn’t easily destroyed, let alone absorbed. Most humans would have been killed by that amount of energy.
Her words caused Hekate to look down at the mark that was still burned into her chest. She pointed towards it as she reached for her black polo shirt, and her red plaid uniform skirt.
Possibly, Moro agreed.
As Hekate hid her wings again and began to dry her hair, Moro simply stared at the mark, unable to look away. The mark was the only explanation Hekate could come up with that would explain how she was still alive. Ironically, Death wanted her alive. He had made it clear that killing her would have only been a gift.
When she was done, she set the hair dryer down. She stared at Moro until their eyes met. “One way or another, I was able to absorb the energy. The most it seems to have done is change the color of my wings and make it look like I haven’t slept in days. How about we try to have a normal day, one that doesn’t involve a threat to my life? We can fret about it later.”
Reluctantly, Moro nodded in agreement before disappearing. Hekate took that as a minor victory before heading downstairs. Her mother was busy in the kitchen making coffee when she glanced up. “What happened to you? I thought you went to bed early?”
“Turns out, it isn’t healthy for me to get too much sleep,” Hekate joked.
Her mother pointed to a plate with scrambled eggs on the counter. “I made you breakfast. Eat up. You have to leave for school in a few minutes, and I have to leave for work.”
She leaned in to kiss Hekate’s cheek as she started to rush out the door. “Don’t forget to run by the grocery store on your way home! The list is on the fridge!”
“Okay, Mom!” Hekate yelled.
Scarfing down her breakfast, she tossed the plate into the sink before quickly grabbing her bag and the list from the fridge. She drove to school in silence, enjoying the temporary peace. By the time she had parked in the school’s parking lot, she had almost forgotten the entire incident. The slight burning sensation on her chest inhibited her from casting it to the side completely.
Marcia was already in the room when Hekate arrived for her first class. She was talking to one of their classmates, Branden. They both wore the standard uniforms the school required us to wear. They had both chosen a white polo shirt. But Branden stood out right away. His skin contrasted the white so greatly, it was as though his shirt was a beacon. Just like a beacon, his smile lit up the room whenever he grinned.
His smile was alight again when he noticed Hekate walk into the room. He quickly waved her over. She wasn’t sure what he’d be excited about. Bible class was one of their most boring classes of the day. Moving closer, Hekate sat her bag into the chair next to Marcia.
Marcia turned and grinned. “Hey chica. How was your night?”
Glaring at her friend, Hekate fell into her chair before turning to join their conversation. “Nothing special.”
Marcia narrowed her eyes, taking in the broken blood vessels in Hekate’s. “I see.”
Thankfully, Branden didn’t notice the exchange as he pulled their attention back to him. “Apparently we’re getting a new guy in our class today. I think he came from public school down south or something.”
“We are in the south,” Marcia jested.
Branden rolled his eyes. “We’re teetering that line. I mean from a state that is in the south with no arguments.”
For a small Baptist school, it was rare for them to ever get a new student. It became a game for everyone to find out as much as they can about the new student. As if coming from public school immediately made them an oddity. Hekate had experienced this when she entered middle school. Only Marcia seemed brave enough to be her friend from the beginning.
Before any more could be said on the subject, the bell rang and the teacher, Mr. Brown entered the room. Behind him trailed a boy with short blond hair. He was taller than Mr. Brown only by a hair, but his back was broad, and stature strong. He stood confidently next to the teacher, not showing an ounce of nerves for being in a new school. His jet black eyes met Hekate’s for a split second and for only a moment, they felt familiar.
Mr. Brown pulled their attention back towards him, “Good Morning class. We have a new student who will be joining us this morning. Caleb, would you like to introduce yourself?”
Caleb stepped forward to wave, while his other hand stayed in the pocket of his khaki pants. “Hey, guys. I’m Caleb Fields and my family recently moved here from Fairfax.”
Hekate glanced back at Branden who met her confused expression. He simply shrugged, admitting that he had been wrong. Looking around the room, she noticed the majority of the girls were doe-eyed as they stared at Caleb. Even Marcia seemed enamored by his presence. Erik didn’t seem pleased.
Mr. Brown’s hand fell to the desk. Although he tried to make it look casual, the loud noise was enough to get the class’s attention again. “Very good. Take a seat and we can begin today’s lesson.”
As Caleb began to walk past Hekate, he glanced down to give her a crooked smile. It was enough of a move to cause Hekate’s stomach to flip. Her only reaction was to form a smile of her own. The only difference was her smile was forced, and thin. She wanted to kick herself for feeling so awkward all of a sudden.
By the time they were on their way to lunch, Hekate was relieved. Caleb was only in a couple of her classes, but it was still enough to set her on edge. A few times, Moro had chimed in to ask if she were all right. She didn’t want to explain that it was her nerves that were making her feel like an idiot.
Caleb was already sitting next Branden towards the back of the cafeteria when she walked in. The rest of the girls from her class were already surrounding their table. Even from the doorway, Hekate could feel Caleb’s infectious laughter. Taking her bagged lunch, she moved to the table closest to the door. Marcia was already sitting with Erik, her back towards the laughter.
“I’m surprised you’re not sitting next to the new meat,” Hekate joked.
Erik narrowed his eyes at Hekate, but Marcia merely giggled. “Oh, I think he’s already focused on someone else. Besides, I don’t need new meat. I’m good.”
She glanced between the two of them, trying to gather their meaning. “What’re you talking about?”
Erik chuckled. “Caleb has been stealing glances at you all day. You haven’t noticed?”
“Unlike you, I’m trying to pay attention in class. You must have quite the crush on him to grab your attention like that,” Hekate grinned.
Marcia laughed and leaned into Erik. “He’s just looking out for you apparently.”
“Oh yeah? How’s that?” she asked, taking a bit out of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“During our last study hall, he kept asking random questions about you. Specifically you,” he said. Although he tried to make it sound like no big deal, there was a harshness in his voice as he said it.
Hekate could only blush and tilt her head down towards her food. Marcia noticed and grinned immediately. “Ahh, so our little Hekate is growing up. Are you going to live up to your namesake and cast a spell to gain his affections?”
“Shut up,” Hekate grumbled. The fact that her mother had given her such a strange name bothered her enough as it was. When she was old enough to ask about her name, her mother said she hoped the name would give her confidence and strength. When in reality, all it did was cause her to be embarrassed by her own name.
When the lunch bell rang, Hekate felt relieved that the topic could be dropped. Without turning around, she turned to leave. Marcia and Erik quickly caught up. Before Hekate and Marcia could walk into the room, Erik grabbed her arm. “Can I talk to you real quick?”
“Sure,” Hekate said.
Marcia glared at Hekate for a split second before turning to go into the classroom. Following Erik, they took a few steps away from the door. “I just wanted to ask you something real quick.”
“What’s up?” Hekate asked.
Before beginning, he took a deep breath. “Okay. You know Marcia the best. Does she really like me? Or do you think it’s just a game or something?”
Hekate’s eyebrow cocked. “A game?”
“You know what I mean,” he groaned.
“Of course she likes you, you moron. I’ve been waiting months for the two of you to get it together and just date. For crying out loud,” Hekate chuckled. The two of them had been playing chicken long enough.
“Hey Erik!” a voice called from behind.
Caleb came up from behind Hekate. She felt her entire body stiffen at the sound of his voice. Erik didn’t seem to notice him at first. My confirmation of Marcia was enough to cloud his earlier hostility towards Caleb. He looked up and grinned. “Hey, Caleb! I have to go talk to Marcia. Sorry!”
And just like that, Erik had bolted, leaving Hekate and Caleb alone in the hallway. Hekate turned to look up at him. His grin was crooked and confident. “Hi. You’re Hekate, right? I’m Caleb.”
Her face was expressionless. She didn’t trust herself. “Yeah. Nice to meet you. How’re you liking the school?”
He shrugged. “Seems all right. Everyone here seems pretty nice. I expected more questions and judgment considering I came from a public school.”
Hekate couldn’t help but laugh. “You just happened to luck out then. They scrutinized me pretty hard when I first arrived.”
“When did you start here?” he asked curiously.
“A few years ago, in middle school. It was only last year when people started to warm up to me,” she said dryly.
“Well, uh,” he began, “I have to go to my next class. But I was wondering if you wanted to get some coffee tomorrow night? Just to hang out?”
Her eyes widened only slightly when she met his jet black eyes. Her stomach was flipping again, but his eyes were comforting. He was asking her out. “Sure. I guess that would be cool.”
His smile had infected her, causing her to match it. “Great! I’ll see you then!”
Hekate nodded as he walked past to rush towards his classroom on the other side of the hallway. She had to take a few minutes to calm her nerves before walking into her own class. When she opened the door, Marcia practically jumped her. “Hekate! I owe you big time!”
It took Hekate a moment to mentally catch up. “What? What did I do?”
“You talked to Erik for me,” she exclaimed, “We have a date Wednesday night!”
You’ll have to disappoint her.
“Why?” Hekate whispered, low enough for Marcia not to notice.
That is when she will finish receiving her powers. It cannot be postponed. The faster she can use her power, the better. Not only will you have help, but maybe we can try and figure out what to do with the mark.
Her eyes darkened, causing Marcia to pause. “What? What is it?”
“You’re going to need to postpone your date,” she said.
“What?” Marcia was practically a fronted by the idea.
Hekate swallowed hard before looking up. “We need to complete the process of giving you your power. Moro said Diana will be ready for you then.”
Although she wouldn’t say it out loud, Hekate allowed the shadowed thoughts overtake her mind. Hekate might not survive the month, whether it was from the mark or the demons. And even though the idea of having Marcia’s help was meant to be a positive one, Hekate now wondered if they were moving forward to prepare her. Because one way or another, Hekate wouldn’t last.
Angels Moon and Sun: Chapter Eight Coming Soon…