The boy was out of breath, trying to escape something. "You can run but you can't hide Denver!" The boy scurried over towards the corner of the room and began to cry. Clarissa couldn't help but wonder who he was. There was something peculiar about him. Her thoughts were broken by a whisper in her head. She couldn't read it clearly, but it didn't matter. The boy interrupted her silence and made eye contact.
“I didn’t realize I had company.” The boy said. “This part of the museum used to be empty. Did you come here recently?” He wiped his eyes with his sleeve. Clarissa wasn’t sure what to say. She tried to dig in the back of her mind for the voice, but it wasn’t there. “Do you speak?” he asked, as he admired her beautiful wings. Clarissa couldn’t get a word out and she was embarrassed at the admiration this boy had for her, compared to the other spectators. She blushed, but quickly took control of her situation. She wouldn’t show any emotions, until the voice gave her instructions.
“Maybe he will get bored and go away?” She thought. “My name is Denver.” He said casually. Looking down, he read the plaque that gave little to no details about this eccentric creature. “Oh? So you are a Fallen Angel? Sounds like something from an old video game of mine.” Clarissa tried to ignore him. She turned her back to him and leaned against the bars. Every word that passed his lips became more and more unbearable. She wanted to speak, but she couldn’t do it.
She was beginning to wonder if there was a disadvantage to this voice in her head. “Everything comes with a price. Something earned is something lost.” She remembered these words of her father. Because of the Fallen Angel’s great power, there was always a price to place balance in the world. But she couldn’t remember what she had gained and lost?
"Hey," I asked the Fallen Angel, "Are you alright?" I slipped my hands through the bars and brushed some hair out of the girl's face. Wow, she's beautiful... I shook that thought out of my head and pressed my forehead onto the bars, taking a closer look at the girl.
"Hey, please, wake up." I pleaded, shaking her gently. Please tell me this isn't my fault...
I slowly opened my eyes, my head pounding. I didn't want to move, didn't want to think, but a voice broke through the silence, shattering it and sending a wave of pain through my head. I blocked out the sound and drifted off to sleep, not caring about anything now that the voice had left me alone. I remembered the advice, it repeated through my mind a million times, "Don't try to escape, don't try to escape..." I quickly pushed it into a corner of my mind, wanting the silent blackness of the dream world to consume me. It didn't, so I opened my eyes, beating my wings against the bars, barely aware of this action.
"Are you okay?" I asked the girl. Before I could say anything else, a small group of boys burst into the room. I looked back to see the idiots staring at me, murder in their eyes.
"Denver! Get over here so I can kill you!" the largest and most idiotic one screamed at me. I gently laid the girl down and slid my hands out of the bars. "Sorry," I whispered, thinking that she collapsed because of me.
I stood up and ran through the idiots, pushing my way through those meat heads. I reached the exit and dashed away, with the idiots following close behind me. The lead meat head stayed behind to take a closer look at the fallen angel. "Hello there, angel." he said, smirking.
"I'm no angel," I said slowly, not putting my heart into my words, "You'd be surprised to hear all the thing's I've done." I rolled over to face the speaker. A flash of red blocked my vision, and I saw the boy, sprawled out and bleeding on a surface of stone, light shining on him. I shook my head to clear it and looked at the boy, knowing that would come to pass if I left the cage.
"So, you deserve to be in that cage?" He asked, a hint of cruelty in his voice.
"No one deserves to be in a cage."
"Are you human?"
"Are you an idiot?" The boy stepped back, glaring. He didn't say a word, he just glared at me. I continued, "Who was that boy you were chasing?"
"Why were you chasing him?"
"He's a loser. A waste of life."
"You plan to kill him?"
"Not really!" He shouted quickly, "That was just to scare him! I'm NOT a killer!"
"I'm a killer. It's the way I was raised."
"I was raised to be like my mom, she was nice."
"Then why aren't you?"
"I don't know."
"You like the feeling." I explained, standing and gripping the bars, "That feeling of absolute power over someone."
"No, I don't."
"We're very similar, boy."
"You're a bird."
"And I am also cruel, or at least, I can be. I can kill without remorse, I can fight to the death and come out without a scratch. I am a monster in every aspect." The boy's look of pure shock was priceless. I continued, "But I can also be a beautiful creature. A butterfly, instead of a falcon. A lover, a hater, I am both. You are just like me, if you take the time to look into your heart."
The boy stepped closer.
"Is that true?" I grabbed his shoulders and pulled him to the bars of the cage, kissing him with a passion which can only be mustered by a fallen angel, and which no human had experienced before.
"What am I doing?" Clarissa thought to herself. "I just want to prove myself, even if it's to one person in my entire life." Clarissa pushed her thoughts back. She could feel the sweat on the boy's brow and the intensity growing. He couldn't contain himself and Clarissa couldn't control it either. She wanted to run away, never be close to anyone again. As the boy got more violent, Clarissa was pushed against the wall. He caressed her cheek in a way that made her wings flutter and her body shiver. She supported herself against the bars as she realized she may have gone too far. She didn't allow herself to stop. She breathed heavily and then the room went dark.
"Love is in the air,
Germs are everywhere,
Of infections you can share."
Clarissa broke free of the boy as he fell backwards and into a nearby vase. In moments, he was laying on the floor covered in broken pieces. Clarissa racked her mind for the voice that was possibly in her head again, but it wasn't the goddess. "Ouch!" Clarissa heard him say, then a light hovered above him to reveal his situation. His hand pierced and bleeding, the dumbfounded expression on his face, Clarissa wanted to laugh, but contained herself at the sight of an unfamiliar being holding up the light.
"Get that flashlight out of my face!" the boy said.
"Mononucleosis is very popular this time of year. Shouldn't you be out getting high or mugging tourists? By the looks of it, it's the only thing you can afford. Now get out of my sight."
"Yes Ma'am." He grunted, stumbling to his feet. He looked perplexed, trying to repeat the word 'Mononucleosis' in a mumble.
"Besides, it's almost closing time. This is no way for me to start my shift."
The nightguard turned to Clarissa and winked.
"I much preffered the teen culture in the 1950's. Also known as the Silent Generation."
Not knowing how to respond, Clarissa just nodded.
"Don't instigate anything ,beautiful, then those sad puppies might leave you alone."
Turning to the boy, he blushed bright red, he could have glown in the dark. He scoffed and ran towards the door.
"Good thing your headlights are on. It's getting dark out there."
The boy yelled something back at the guard and disappeared.
"What was that for?" I shouted. Who was this human. HUMAN Not a superior to me, a Fallen Angel, to tear me away from this boy? I wasn't accustomed to this treatment, and I didn't like it. No human had power over me. Heck, no Fallen Angel had power over me. Who was this person to treat the princess, soon to be queen, of a powerful tribe of Fallen Angels like that? No one, that's who. But some idea of who I was dealing with would be useful, so I added, "And who are you?"
I walked through the museum, stopping every once in a while to look at a random piece of art. Who was that girl? Why'd she have wings? I could still hear her screaming questions at that nightguard. I sighed. I had to get back home, hopefully my father will be drunk so that I can talk my way out of one of his lectures on why I should be home by yadda, yadda, yadda.
I exited the museum, looking around to see if the bullies were gone - which they were. I walked down the path back to my house. I passed the old play ground. Soon, I found myself on one of the swings, remembering the times when my mother was still here and when my father wasn't a drunkard.
Julie was there too, my sister, she was the one pushing me on the swing set. When we were younger, she was much nicer, unlike now. Mom and dad were sitting on the bench, watching us, smiles on their faces.
I shook my head, burying my face in my hands. "I'm a messed up kid..." I said to myself.
The person turned and walked away without answering my questions. I rammed my body against the cage, but she didn't turn around. I screamed at the top of my lungs, but she didn't come back. I screamed even louder, shaking the bars of my cage. I didn't stop until someone ran in with a needle and stabbed my shoulder. He injected something into me, and I began to feel tired. I lay down and fell asleep.
When I woke up, I was surrounded by light that was filtered through white cloth. I looked around and found myself in a large nest made of sticks. I complained loudly about this, saying that my tribe treated their royalty better than this, and that I was used to silk, not sticks. I yelled until someone came with another needle. I smacked it out of his hands, careful not to let it poke me. I yelled in his face that this was no way to treat a lady, and that I would kill him if he didn't fix it. He ran away, hurrying to change it. He came back with pillows, soft cloth, clothes, and a few toys.
He dropped these things inside the cage and hurried to lock it, lowering the sheet so I couldn't see out. Had last night really brought this punishment upon me? I sorted through the clothes and changed into a pair of black pants and boots. I pulled at the threads of my dress until I could take the skirt off. The shirt barely reached my belly button, but I didn't care. I looked at the toys and began sorting through them. I picked them all up and carried them and the clothes to the nest.
I arranged them so I could be comfortable, and laid down on them. I spent the day drifting in and out of sleep, wondering idly between dreams why I was being hidden.
I woke up to see my sister sitting by my bed, watching me. Creepy. "Hi, Denver."
I turned away from her. "What are you doing here, Julie?"
"Aren't you happy to see you're sister?" she asked me, grinning. I glared back at her and sat up. "No." I replied. I walked out the room and took my backpack, ignoring my sister's other comments.
"I'm going to school." I said as I passed my drunk father. He looked at me then nodded, collapsing on the table right after. Walking out the door of my house, I started to think about that fallen angel again. I would want to go to see her, but that nightguard probably has her eyes on me now. I wonder what her name was? Guess I'll never know...
I always hated school. I never learn anything important. And those meat heads always get the best of me. It's my third beating today, no use running anymore. One of the idiots cracked his knuckles. "Hello, Denver." he said mockingly.
"Go ahead, kill me." I said, showing absolutely no sign of emotion. And then I felt one of them kick my stomach. Just another day in school, aye?
(I'm gonna step out of line for a sec. Don't kill me! sweatdrop)
Science was my least favorite class. After lunch, during which I received many bruises, and even a few cuts, which bled freely, seeing as I didn't have time to go see the school nurse before class. After my beating, I walked to the hot, stuffy room, people bumping into me and causing my cuts to hurt more.
In science, I sat by my friend Alex, who was the smartest in the class. She often let me copy her notes, taking pity on me because of my beatings. She smiled sadly as she saw my cuts, and took a few band-aids and a tube of ointment from her backpack. I thanked her for a millionth time for being so well-prepared. She nodded and began placing bandages over my cuts. I winced as the ointment stung, but the pain was gone in an instant.
Alex put the band-aids and ointment away when the teacher walked in, holding a cup of coffee and a bagel. He set these things down on his desk before beginning class.
"Alex, Denver, Charlette, Andrew, Jane, Chance, et cetera," he said, adressing the students of the front row in particular, "There shall be a field trip on Friday!" He waved his arms like a magician who had just performed a magic trick that made children cheer, "We shall go to the museum!" He turned his back on us and wrote MUSEUM in big letters in blue pen on the whiteboard. "Now I know what you're thinking,"
Ow... I thought.
"Mister J, we're in science class, not history!" not even close to what I was thinking, "But that is where you are wrong, my dears, for the museum is home to the History of Science!" He wrote that below MUSEUM. "May I remind you," we all groaned. 'May I remind you' was often followed by a long, boring lecture. "That man built Stonehenge..."
"I thought it was aliens!" someone shouted. Mister J glared at me, though the voice had come from the other side of the room.
"Man landed on the moon, launched sattelites, discovered dinosaurs, learned to fly, studied physics, discovered planets, brought us out of the dark ages, built skyscrapers, and brought us to today!" he said these all very quickly, not leaving us time to comment. I looked at the paper in Alex's notebook. She had somehow managed to write all that down. "So, my friends, we shall go to the museum on Friday. There's a new exhibit, also, which we will see. We shall spend all day there, so pack a lunch in a brown paper bag. Non-messy, of course." Again, Alex had this all written down. The teacher passed around permission slips, and Alex and I began filling it out. I decided to forge my dad's signature, since he'd most likely be too drunk to actually sign it, and I wanted to go, since no one would dare hurt me at a museum, under the watchful eye of the teacher, who sometimes saw me as Alex's boyfriend, and liked me, and sometimes saw me as a distraction to Alex, and hated me. He walked over to us and took Alex's permission slip. He walked to his desk and signed it.
"Alex, you're going on Friday! Congratulations!" People left muttering about "Teacher's pet" I smiled at Alex and whispered, "Guess being the teacher's daughter has its advantages."
Alex didn't stop writing in her notebook, but she took note of Denver's enthusiasm. She blushed a little, then drew her attention to the lesson. Denver wasn't paying much attention as usual, but his mind was traveling a different route this time. The girl with wings. The sadness in her eyes. Her plea for freedom. Yet, she remained strong and confident, like his sister. He shivered. If only he was more like Julie, he would have the intellect to avoid the bullies radar. He brushed the thought off and clenched his fist. Tick, Tick, Tick. The clock on the far wall grew louder at the sound of a hushed class. He didn't attempt to join the class in their reading assignment. Whats the point? He asked himself.
The bell rang and Denver didn't delay to hurry down to lunch. Swerving in and out of his classmates, he made it to his locker. Not a moment too soon, Alex didn't delay to catch up to him. "Are you alright? You seemed very distant in class." She held the permission slip in her hand, gently creasing the fold. Denver looked up at her but his attention was interrupted by the bullies and the gun show they were putting on. Hitting eachother into lockers, threatening Mason to fulfill his death wish and trying to impress the cheerleading squad. Nothing unusual, except the impossible color in Mason's hair that was sure to get a penalty.
Denver remembered being Mason's friend back in middle school, before he joined the football team. He was a nice guy, very smart too, until he took a turn for the worst. Every animal is subject to Natural Selection. Nature takes on a favorite trait and the animal with that trait is allowed the priviledge to adapt to different environments. Otherwise, the animals left behind were left to die or become extinct. Not Mason. He fought against being tortured, but he became bitter in the process. The dark makeup, his leather jacket, even the green highlights in his black hair. The only thing keeping this boy alive, was most likely the chip on his shoulder.
Alex looked over her shoulder to see what Denver was looking at. She swung her head back around, almost whipping Denver with her ponytail. "But Men are men; the best sometimes forget." She smiled. Shakespeare. Of course. She wants to be an English major, this sort of thing shouldn't surprise him, but it did. Alex was always full of surprises, not to mention the never ending bag she carried with her. She had this thing, where if someone asked her for something and she didn't have it, she would go home and put it in her bag just in case. "Come on. We don't want to be late for lunch." She said.
Alex handed me a mechanical pencil, which had been sharpened by rubbing it on paper. I poked my finger to test the sharpness, and then followed Alex to lunch. Only Alex was able to get both first and third lunches, seeing as she was the daughter of two teachers, and teacher's pet in every other class. She just flashed that sweet smile, and the iron will of the principal melted. She was also able to get her friends whatever they wanted. No one dared to pick on her, so hanging out with her pretty much guaranteed safety, it was only when I was alone that I was attacked.
I sat next to Alex and people-watched while she ate. I had forgotten my lunch, so Alex slipped five dollars into my hand and nodded at the kitchen. I smiled and speed-walked there.
I bought a ham sandwich, a bag of spicy chips, and a Sprite, my favorite soda. I walked back to the table and ate. I continued to people watch until I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked and saw that it was the boy, what's-his-face, who had chased me into the museum and attacked me today.
"I'm eating," I said, "Go away." Alex nodded in approval, and I looked at her.
"So, tryin'a pick up what I left bahind?" He snarled, nodding to Alex. Crap, I thought, she used to date him.
"N-n-n-no," I stammered.
"Good." he sat in between us.
"Good morrow, Benjamin," Alex greeted. So Ben was his name....
I finished my food and walked to the trash. I looked at Alex and saw that she was hugging Ben. She looked at me over his shoulder, fear for me painted across her face.
I walked back to the table and sat beside Alex (and away from Benjamin). The idiot looked at me coldly then continued to chat with Alex. How could she date an idiot like him? I asked myself, toying with a lone potato chip that was left on the table. And, as if on cue, the image of the fallen angel reappeared in my mind again. Her wings, how they changed colors, her terrible fainting episode. Why did she faint anyway? Should I speak to her again during the field trip? A million questions ran through my mind. I couldn't stop thinking about them. Until Alex pulled me back to reality,
"Hey, Denver. It's time to go." she said, tugging at my sleeve.
"Leave him." Ben suggested, grinning.
Alex glared at Ben. "NO." She tugged at my sleeve again. "Denver,"
"You go ahead." I said, not looking at Alex.