Sunday, 1 July 2012

#WriCha: The Hunted by Jessica Wentz


The Prompt:
You have just been turned into a werewolf/vampire/immortal; what is the first thing you do? Are you pleased with your new existence? Write about it.
Jessica wrote about Angels - which are immortal and, therefore, valid. Her story is 3,316 words.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments! :-)

 The Hunted

        Seeing her reflection in the window, Gwen Forrester sighed deeply at the sight of her brand new wings.  She had only been awake for a day since the change, and she still wasn’t sure how she felt about it.  She knew she was in Colorado, somewhere, but just didn’t know where.  
        How had she gotten here? Gwen thought confused, as she stared at her wings once more.  She didn’t remember much of what happened, but did remember walking to her sister’s apartment and then nothing.  It was a black hole in her memory.  Hearing a sound from behind her, she turned around slowly.
Michael.  She should have known he would be responsible for this.  
        Why oh why couldn’t he have left her alone? She thought looking away from him.  They had never actually been involved; the fact that he was an angel had always stopped her.  She knew people wouldn’t understand them being together.  Even one as beautiful as Michael was.  
       He had told her she had been asleep for five months.  That was such a long time, she thought miserably.  Was her family worried about her?  Where did they think she was?  Did they even know what had happened to her?  Seeing her wings in the reflection on the window made her more confused.  She should be happy having wings, but she wasn’t; she should be happy they were so beautiful, but she wasn’t.  She was angry.  She didn’t particularly care at the moment they were her two favorite colors.  Looking at them, she saw the soft pink at the top blended into the soft blue at the bottom.  At that moment, she hated them.  
       Sighing, she finally turned and looked at Michael; he hadn’t moved from the chair by her bed.  He was wearing a tight black t-shirt and faded blue jeans; his dark blonde hair fell over his forehead, and she almost went and brushed it back with her hand.  
       “What happened?” she asked, hoping he would tell her the truth.  
       “You don’t remember?” he asked her, with surprise in his voice.  His green eyes stared into hers with such intensity she had to look away.  Why did he think she would remember anything?  Why did he sound so surprised that she didn’t remember anything?  
        She watched as he got up from the chair beside the bed, his beautiful wings tucked tightly behind him.  She hadn’t noticed before that his wings were a different color underneath as they were on the outside.  They were a soft grey on the inside, and she ached to run her hand along them, just to feel the softness.  How had she forgotten how beautiful Michael was?  She thought looking into his green eyes.  How had she forgotten how completely drawn to him she was?  
       “Am I supposed to remember?” She asked him, looking at him through worried blue eyes.  She wasn’t surprised when she was met with silence.  
       Michael looked at her for a minute, and debated about telling her what had happened.  He decided against it, as he knew she wouldn’t be able to handle the truth right now.
She had always fascinated him.  Even after she had told him to stay away from her, he felt compelled to be near her.  
       For the past five months, he had sat at her side, wondering what it was about her that grabbed at him so much.  He still didn’t know the answer.  Changing her hadn’t been the plan, but there had been no other choice.  Seeing her being attacked by those bastard vampires was almost his undoing.  They would never touch her again; that he knew with grim certainty.    
       He knew he hadn’t been supposed to sit with her, but he knew the process was a painful one. The wings coming in were going to be excruciating for her, and he wanted to be there to make sure she would be ok.  To his amazement, she had gone through the whole change with minimal pain.  Everything about her amazed him.  
      “You’re going to have to learn to fly,” he said, instead of elaborating on what had happened to her.  He smiled when he saw the blood drain from her face. 
       “I am?  So soon?” she asked, clearly panicked.  Smiling, he got up from his chair, and walked towards her.  
       “You have wings now, Gwen.  You need to know how to use them,” he said to her gently.   Reaching up, he touched the side of her face.  It was the first time he had touched her since before her change, and he told himself it would be the last.  He couldn’t afford a distraction like this.  

       Staring into his green eyes, Gwen went still when he touched her cheek.  Looking at him, she allowed herself some time to really look at him.  His face was all angles; making him appear hard looking, but she knew it softened when he smiled.  And he had one hell of a smile.  She was trying not to focus on his mouth when what he said got through to her brain.
       She had to learn to fly?  Already?  She had only been an angel for a day, and he expected her to fly?  
 “Fly? Like a baby bird?  Just jump and hope for the best?” she asked, hoping to God she didn’t have to jump off a random ledge somewhere.  She saw him smile and shake his head slightly.  Was he laughing at her?
       “Something like that.  I’ll be with you through it all Gwen.  I won’t let anything happen to you,” he replied, taking her hand and squeezing it gently.  That made her feel marginally better, but not by much.  He was still expecting her to fly; like she had done it before in her lifetime.  How had this happened to her?  Was she cut out to be an angel?  She was just an ordinary girl, who looked in the mirror and saw someone extraordinary.  
What would be expected of her now?  Did she have to act a certain way now that she had wings?  Her back was killing her, but she didn’t know if she should say anything about it.  Would that make her look weak to Michael?  Would he think less of her?
       “What if I fall to my death?” she asked, starting to fidget.  Taking her hands in his, he stepped closer to her.
       “I won’t let you fall to your death, Gwen.  I’ll be right there with you,” he said, and walked with her out of the room.
  
       Her hand felt perfect in his, Michael thought as he took her out to the balcony on the back deck.  He knew he was rushing about her flying, but he couldn’t stop himself.  She had to learn it at some point, and he didn’t want her to stall in wanting to do it.  
       Flying, he knew, would make her back hurt more, but she had to learn.  The quicker she learned, the less it would hurt her, but he was wishing right now he could take that pain from her.  He understood though, that it was a pain that would be forgotten in a few days.  Once she was used to her new wings, the pain would subside.  At the moment, her body was getting used to not being human anymore.  
       “Michael, where are we going?” she asked him curiously.  He heard the slight tremor of fear in her voice, and smiled slightly.  He could still remember her standing up to the vampires that had chosen to attack her.  Her spirit was still intact, and that made him thankful.  
       “We are going to learn to fly,” He replied happily.
       “You were serious?” She asked, stopping in her tracks to look at him.  Michael turned to her and almost laughed at the expression of incredulity on her face.  Her light blue eyes were big and round, and she was shaking her head at him.
        “Yes, I was quite serious,” he said, and opened the door to the balcony.  He would never let her fall without him there to catch her.  “Alright, when you’re falling, spread your wings to catch the updraft.  I’ll be right here, so don’t worry,” he replied, and before she could protest anymore he pushed her off the ledge.  He wasn’t surprised when he heard her scream.  

Oh God, she was falling, she thought frantically.  He had pushed her right off the balcony without so much as a warning.  Focus Gwen, she told herself, and tried to calm down even though the ground was coming up fast.  Spread your wings, he had said to her to catch the updraft, she told herself and tried it.  
Spreading her wings out, Gwen attempted to do what he instructed.  
And screamed.
All she felt was searing pain in her back from the movement of her wings.  Catch the updraft, she thought, and attempted flapping her wings up and down to get momentum. They were heavy, but they were moving, but not fast enough.  
When she felt strong arms come around her waist, she looked back and saw Michael.  He hadn’t been kidding when he said he would not let her fall to her death.  Smiling, she felt herself fall a little in love with him at that point.  
She looked behind her, and nearly gasped out loud.  His wings spread out, took her breath away. Lifting her hand, she almost reached out and touched one, because the soft grey feathers looked like heaven to touch.  Not knowing how he would respond, she put her hand down.  
Suddenly, she wasn’t falling anymore.  She looked around and laughed out loud.  The wind was in her hair, and she felt glorious!  She felt free!  If this was how flying was going to be, she would keep trying and trying until she got better at it.  Throwing her arms out to her sides, she closed her eyes and allowed the feeling of absolute happiness overtake her.  

Michael didn’t know how to react to seeing Gwen’s reaction to flying for the first time.  He knew she wouldn’t be able to do it by herself for the first time, but he knew it was something she would have to learn.  He hadn’t expected to see such pure happiness on her face when he had started flying with her.  When he heard her scream, he had panicked and decided to catch her before she hurt herself.  The last thing he wanted was for her to be hurt.  
Looking at her with her arms out wide, and her eyes closed, she looked blissfully happy.  He couldn’t help but smile himself.  She was beautiful, with her long blonde hair blowing behind her, and the contented smile on her face.  Was it any wonder that he was fascinated by her? She was utterly mesmerizing to him, and he was have a hard time taking his eyes off of her.  
“Michael, this is amazing!” she exclaimed breathlessly, and he laughed at the utter joy in her voice.  “I’ve never felt like this before!”
“Wait until you learn to do it yourself; the feeling is so much better,” he said quietly in her ear.  
“I have to try again!” She exclaimed, looking at him hopefully.  Seeing the hope in her light blue eyes, was his undoing.  
“Fine, we’ll try again.  But if it hurts too much, we’ll leave it until tomorrow,” he said, and arching his back, maneuvered them around towards the balcony again.  Michael was determined to make sure she would not hurt herself again.  
“Thanks Michael.  This feels amazing!” She repeated, and he felt her disappointment as they approached the balcony.  He could sense her stubborn streak, and knew it was going to get her in trouble pretty quickly.  He just prayed that it wasn’t going to be too much trouble she found.

Gwen stood by the balcony doors, getting ready to make a running start to teach herself to fly.  Flying with Michael had been exhilarating for her, and she wanted to feel it again.  She wanted to be the one to cause that feeling, and would keep trying until she was able to do it.  She pushed her wings out a little bit before starting to run towards the balcony.  
“One, two, three,” she whispered, and leaped off the balcony, pushing her wings out fully as she jumped off.  Her back was screaming at her, but surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as when she had first gotten up.  The pain was starting to become more of an ache.  Her arms flung to her sides, her face turned up to the sky, and her beautiful wings fully out to her sides, she prayed she could do it this time.  She had to get this flying thing down, she thought stubbornly.  She didn’t want anyone to carry her around while she had wings on her back.  Dammit, she was going to fly, even if it killed her.
This time, she didn’t fall straight down like before.  Focusing on her wings this time, she pushed them out more to try and catch the wind.  She cried out happily when she felt herself being lifted up by the wind caught in her wings.  She had done it, Gwen thought overjoyed at herself, but soon her joy turned to fear, as her wings gave out all too quickly.  
It wasn’t surprising when she felt his arms come around her before she had a chance to fall very far.  
“Gwen, you’re going to have to take it easy on yourself.  Give your body some time to recover before any more flying attempts, alright?” Michael asked with a small chuckle.  
“I can do it!  I know I can,” she said stubbornly, and wasn’t surprised when he shook his head.
“Tomorrow is another day.  You have a long time to learn to fly,” Michael replied as they landed on the balcony again.  For a minute she looked at him, and thought about just jumping off again, but she realized that her wings were dragging on the floor.  That was obvious proof that her body was tiring before she was.  Who knew life as an angel was so tiring?  She asked herself and turned to walk into the house again.  
Michael watched as she walked back into his home with another word.  He saw the indecision on her face about jumping off the balcony again, and was prepared to go and get her again.  He had seen the brief moment she had started to fly on her own, and couldn’t help but feel proud of her.  This hadn’t been the first time someone had been changed into an angel, but it had been the first time a person had started flying so soon.  
Or had wanted to.  
Not that it had surprised him she had decided to, since her stubbornness had come to the surface rather quickly.  He had the feeling it was going to take a little bit to convince to take her time trying to fly.  She had gotten a taste of it, and he couldn’t blame her for wanting another one.  There was a freedom in it that few people knew about, but it was going to take a few more tries for her to get better at it.  
And he would be there every step of the way.
Hearing his cell phone ringing, he quickly grabbed it, as he had been wondering when this phone call was going to come.  
“Yes?”
“How is she?”  a deep voice asked seriously.
“She’s fine.  I told you she would be,” he said, walking into the house quietly.  Quickly looking down the hallway, he saw her bedroom door was closed and sighed with relief.
“Michael, I told you this was going to be risky,” Gabriel said, annoyance clear in his voice.
“I know, and I told you she would be fine,” Michael repeated, walking into his spacious kitchen.  
“Does she remember anything?” he asked curiously.
“No, and I’m not pushing her Gabriel,” Michael replied as he started to take out chicken for dinner.
“We have to know why they are after her.  There’s a reason she’s being hunted by them; from what I hear, they’ve been following her for awhile,” Gabriel replied quietly.  Michael swore hearing that, because it’s what he had feared.  The vampires didn’t hunt humans for sport; there was a reason they wanted her and he had to find out why.    
“I’m not pushing her Gabriel; If and when she remembers I’ll let you know,” he said and hung up the phone. Damn, he thought, as he cooking the chicken.  He knew this wasn’t going to be easy, and whatever the reason why they were hunting her down, it wasn’t going to be good. 

The next morning, Gwen found herself on the balcony alone.  She knew it was wrong to try and fly on her own, but she was determined.  She didn’t want Michael’s help for this.  She could do it herself, she thought stubbornly.  
“What do you think you’re doing?” Michael asked quietly from behind her.  Swearing inwardly, she turned around and looked at him.  Of course he would have known she was out here, the man had ears like a dog’s for Christ’s sake.  
“I’m going to fly.  I almost got it yesterday; I know I can do it today,” she replied, turning around to face the edge of the balcony.  She heard him sigh deeply and smiled to herself as he settled against the wall behind her.  The man was nothing, if not predictable.  
“You have a long time to learn how to fly, Gwen.  I want you to rest and take it easy,” he said from behind her.  
“I’ve been resting for five months Michael.  I’m done taking it easy,” she said, backing up to take a running start.  She would do it this time, she determined, and took off running.  She jumped off and flung her arms and wings out to the side like she had done the day before. This time things felt different, her wings took the air faster than yesterday, and they felt stronger as she pushed them farther out.  She was going to do it!   
She thought of how a bird flew, and thought it couldn’t be that hard to move her wings up and down.  She managed to do it once before her wings gave out on her and she started falling.  The pain in her back from her moving them up and down was almost too much for her.  When would it go away? She thought as Michael’s arms came around her quickly.  He was tense, she noticed, and knew he was angry with her.  
“Don’t be angry,” she said quietly.  
“I’m not angry”, he lied, as they landed back on the balcony.  “I understand you wanting to fly Gwen, but you must rest first.  Your wings aren’t strong enough yet,” he said, and walked into the house leaving her alone on the balcony.  

Michael closed the door behind him, fighting the urge not to smash it.  He was seething inside, and was fighting to not show it to her.  The last thing he wanted to do right now was scare her, but he was so angry she would put herself in harm’s way.  Did she not understand she had to rest?  Her wings wouldn’t be strong enough for at least another week.  He didn’t mind her stretching them out and practicing now and then to try and fly, but just showing up on the balcony by herself made him see red.  Didn’t she think of her safety at all?  What if she had fallen off that balcony?  There was no railing, and she had been alone.  
“Damn,” he muttered, stalking into his living room.  It was hard enough keeping her safe from whatever vampires were hunting her, but how could he keep her safe from herself?  He was beginning to think it was impossible.  

***

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5 comments:

  1. Very cool Jessica! I can't wait to read more! :)

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  2. That is a mean cliffhanger :) would be cool to find out what the vampires did to her and why he changed her. Well done!

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  3. This is to be my next book! Trust me... I could have written about 5000 more words about it, but I had to force myself to stop! This isn't the last of their story! There will be more to it!

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  4. Wonderful work, Jess! You should be quite proud of yourself. :)

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  5. Thanks Raine!! I think I ended it at the right time in the story... I'm giving myself a pat on the back for being able to push myself!

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