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Authors: Thomas Grave

Dark Destiny (6 page)

BOOK: Dark Destiny
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Unlike most of the students in his class, Sebastian did not like Mr. Thompson. Before Mr. Thompson got married, he’d dated Sebastian’s mom. Of course, this was several years ago, and Sebastian hadn’t witnessed any part of their relationship because his mom kept her private life precisely that, even from him.

But he found some pictures of them while snooping. When he asked his mom about it, she got defensive and gave him her well-used speech about respecting her privacy. She gave him his privacy and she very well demanded the same from him.

“Uhhh . . .” Sebastian started.

“While as riveting as your answer has started out, it is not instilling much faith in me that you did the homework, Mr. Scott. Is this true?”

“Uhhh . . .” Sebastian repeated.

“If ignorance is bliss, you must be overjoyed! Let’s try again. Did you do the assigned reading?”

Sebastian stared at the desk as he spoke. “I did


Mr. Thompson cut him off, his tone sharp as a razor. “You look me in the
eyes
when you talk to me . . .”

 

. . . It was only slightly out of character for Mr. Thompson, reprimanding a student like that, but it was Sebastian, and he had been acting rather flighty lately. “Look me in the eyes,” he’d said.

And Sebastian did so. Only it was not the timid, nervous look Mr. Thompson had been expecting. The expression in Sebastian’s eye was dangerous, his smile dark and twisted, challenging. The gleam in his eye was that of a predator stalking his prey.

Oh, No . . . It can’t be.

Mr. Thompson gulped and took a step back. His breath came short. This was a look he had not seen in years. . .

 

. . . Another student, Grayson, came to Sebastian’s defense. “Mr. Thompson, relax. Something happened this past weekend. Chill out.”

Sebastian turned back and shot Grayson a curious look. What just happened? Did Grayson actually stick up for him?

In return, Grayson looked back with a small nod.

While Mr. Thompson was at the top of the chart as the most attractive male in the school, Grayson was probably in second place. Grayson’s black hair was always neat and flowing like he was ready to shoot a TV pilot. Hope had said, at one time, that Grayson had scorching, molten-blue eyes, whatever that meant. Apparently he was pure muscle and didn’t have an ounce of fat on him. On top of that, he was captain of the football team. He even wore skinny jeans. Starched and pressed. Jared once called him out on it, asking him why. Grayson simply replied, after several beats of silence to build up suspense, “I don’t wear skinny jeans. These are bootcut. My legs are just so muscular that all pants look like this on me.” And, of course, there was his favorite pick up line. It started with, “Hey, pretty face. Do you know the name of a good vet?” When asked why, his reply would be, “Because these pythons are sick!,” followed by him kissing his biceps.

While Sebastian found all that extremely humorous, that wasn’t the worst part. Grayson had tried to hook up with Sara when she first showed up at the school this year, but Sara had already, amazingly, set her sights on Sebastian. It was known that Sara had turned him down gently. Since then, Grayson had ignored both of them. This did not particularly sit well with Sebastian. It came across as, well, douchey.

Mr. Thompson, seemingly lost in a daze, turned to Grayson. “What is it Grayson?”

Grayson shifted in his seat. “Sara died Saturday night.”

“Oh,” Mr. Thompson said, lost in thought. “How did it happen?” He asked nobody in particular, but from his tone, he expected an answer.

“I heard on the news this morning it was some sort of gas explosion,” a female voice behind Sebastian said.

A gas explosion.

Oh, God. Sara . . . she’s . . .
He zoned out other questions and answers as the realization gradually inched its way in, the dawning of what had happened . . . actually happened.

Sara
was
dead.

His eyes went wide as he took a deep breath to calm himself. Slowly, without drawing attention to himself, he took several more deep breaths.

In and out, he forced himself.

Now was not the time to freak out. He would do that later in the privacy of his own room.
You’re okay
, he told himself.
Just breathe
. He needed to know what happened. His facts were too jumbled.

“I see,” Mr. Thompson replied, his tone neutral. “Take out your books and read Chapter Eight.”

Typical moans and groans erupted from the class. Some students made it a point to place their textbooks a little harder on their desks than usual.

Sebastian grabbed the book from his bag with a shaky hand, gently placed his book on his desk, and turned to the proper chapter.

 

Mr. Thompson shifted his eyes to the floor and as he walked back to his desk, his fingers rubbed his chiseled chin.
This doesn’t make sense. It couldn’t have happened yet. It’s too soon. It wasn’t supposed to happen until he was twenty-one! Sebastian was only seventeen years old. But, that look . . .

His hands were shaking.
Is he back? Could the death of the girl have triggered it? No, that’s impossible. Wasn’t it?

He opened his desk drawer and pulled out what appeared to be a small bell inscribed with strange characters, not of any human language. He carefully placed it on his desk hidden behind a book. If he was overreacting, he’d rather not put it out there just yet. But, again, he had to know.

He touched one of the characters and pulled away. The spot his finger had touched radiated. It glowed softly at first, then brighter until the light spread to the other symbols.

Also inside the drawer was a small iron rod inscribed with similar symbols. He picked it up discreetly, trying not to draw attention. All of his students seemed to be focused on their reading assignment. Relieved, he eyed the bell once more. All the symbols were lit. It was time for the test.

He tapped the bell once and waited.

Did he see it?

He tapped it again.

 

Sebastian turned the page of the science book, anything to occupy his mind with something other than . . .

He began reading about propulsion:
Jet propulsion is thrust produced by passing a jet of matter (typically air or water) in the opposite direction to the direction of motion—

The memory of a conversation he’d had with Sara one time occurred to him as he read. She’d been doing the homework assignment for Mr. Thompson’s class and had come across it. Sebastian grinned as he flipped the book to the page they’d been talking about. He found the first fact:

A roadrunner’s top speed is about 20 mph.

Uncontrollably, he flipped the pages searching for the next fact. Once on the correct page, he scanned with his finger until he found it:

A coyote’s top speed is about 43 mph.

Who knew?

He and Sara had laughed about that, and he grinned, remembering.

Then his smile faded. A sound of rushing water hit his ears. It remained for a moment, then faded into nothing. He immediately scanned the room. At first, he didn’t see anything. Mr. Thompson was looking over the students, making sure they were reading. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

He heard it again, louder this time. Something came toward him. It seemed like water. No. Not water. Air. The air rippled toward him. The air around him, from floor to ceiling became something it wasn’t, something like a haze of shimmering energy. From the center of the disturbance a white glow emerged, crackling with energy held by the light blue liquid shell.

Moving at a wild pace, it crashed into him. No, through him, and continued its journey across the room. The hairs on his arms stood as chills swept throughout his body. He whipped around as it continued its course. The wave dissipated as it went through the back wall.

The students remained slumped in their seats, reading about jet propulsion, but everything else had changed. The wave, somehow, had washed away the old classroom and replaced it with a twisted, haunted version. Everything was darker, yet brighter in some places. Sparks shot out from one of the lights in the ceiling. The shorting continued every few seconds, yet the light stayed on. The walls, which had been light green before, changed to a dull grey, and the stone walls were crumbling in places. Paint was peeling off the walls, revealing jagged openings that led to the hallway. Cracks spread over every surface as if an artistic spider had gone mad with its web. The desk he sat in turned into a metal skeleton of what it had been, the wooden desktop broken and crooked. The ruined floor was torn up in some places and in others, there were holes that seemed to lead into pure darkness.

Beyond the windows, most of which were missing glass or held broken shards, was a ghostly, skeletal city. Thunder boomed in the distance, and cracks of lightning slashed the sky, flickering eerie shadows over the classroom. The other students carried on with their bored sighs, twirling pencils and yawning, their bodies resting casually on the skeletal desks.

A moment later, the students faded away, leaving Sebastian alone. He gazed over the room, taking it all in.
What was happening . . .?

Another ripple emerged from the front of the classroom and roared toward him, exactly as the previous one had. Sebastian held his breath. This time, the real world, the world he knew, came back. The students were back. The desks returned to their normal appearance. No more creepy classroom.

A chair squeaked on some tile at the front of the class. Mr. Thompson must have bumped into it. As Sebastian was ready to gather his things, he noticed Mr. Thompson staring back at him with an expression of shock on his face.

This made Sebastian’s brow furrow.
Does he know something about what I just experienced?
Impossible.

Sebastian stood quickly, knocking his knees on his desk, and began gathering his things. He thrust them into his faded black messenger bag, jerked his eyes once more around the room, and then stormed out, leaving his fellow students immersed in Chapter Eight.

 

 

 

Monday, 8:21 am

 

The empty school hallway provided the kind of solitude he felt he needed as he took hard quick steps. Maybe this was his subconscious messed up way of dealing with Sara’s death. After all, they’d been together for months. She was the first girl he had ever loved. Still, he couldn’t have imagined that losing her would cause all these wild hallucinations.

He headed for his locker, shaking slightly from what he experienced. He knew it wasn’t real, but it had sure felt real at the time. Maybe Hope was right. Perhaps he shouldn’t have come to school after all.

“Sebastian, wait!” Mr. Thompson called from his classroom door.

“Sorry, Mr. Thompson,” shouted Sebastian over his shoulder. As he continued forward, his finger came inches from his ear, twirling it in a circular motion, the age-old sign for crazy. “No offense, but I’m not in the right frame of mind right now.”

The sound of the classroom door closing echoed throughout the hall. Then the stomping of Mr. Thompson’s alligator skin dress shoes got louder with each step.

“We need to talk,” Mr. Thompson said forcefully, catching up to Sebastian and grabbing his arm.

“I’m so not ready for this conversation,” Sebastian growled, jerking his arm free and continued forward. “I’m leaving.”

Mr. Thompson pleaded, “Sebastian, you’re going to


Sebastian turned around, arms wide apart. If this idiot teacher wanted a fight, he was going to get one. “She still thinks about you, you know.”

“There is something . . .” Mr. Thompson blinked. “Excuse me?”

Mr. Thompson obviously worked out regularly. His physique was cut like that of a middleweight, mixed martial arts fighter. Sebastian didn’t have nearly as much muscle, but he was just as tall and was not in the least intimidated. He stepped forward until his face was inches from Mr. Thompson’s face.

“Last year, I walked into her room to ask her something,” Sebastian said through gritted teeth. “I don’t remember what. She was crying. I saw her holding your picture. When I asked her what was wrong, she put it away and changed the subject.”

Mr. Thompson stepped back. “That was a mistake.”

“My mom was a mistake?” Sebastian snarled. “Nice.” He smirked with disdain and shook his head. He turned to go.

“That’s not what I mean,” Mr. Thompson said, his tone a pathetic attempt to be soothing, as he reached out to stop Sebastian.

Sebastian jerked his arm out of his reach again and glared at him. “I don’t care what you meant. It’s not a contest between you and my mother. She wins. Always.”

Mr. Thompson sighed loudly. “Sebastian, I


“You and I have
nothing
to talk about, and we never
will
,” Sebastian spat, exposing his teeth like a wild dog.

Mr. Thompson stood silent, shocked, perhaps even a bit frightened.

And with that, Sebastian turned and walked away.

BOOK: Dark Destiny
5.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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