I knew those eyes well…they were Val`s eyes…
It was a bitterly, ice cold day in the middle of the harshest winter I had ever known. The dismal, grey sky up above me was more than a little depressing, I longed to see the bright orange sun, but it just wasn`t happening. The freezing cold wind blows through the bare tree branches, blowing about the damp, rotting leaves that had once hung from the now spooky looking branches. I shiver and pull my simple black and red hoodie around me tighter, pulling the slightly worn sleeves down and over my almost numb fingers. It was eerily quiet, no little birds cheerily chirping away without a care in the world, the only noise was the quiet whispers of the bare, familiar trees.
I knew that I shouldn`t be here, it was no longer safe to be anywhere near the forest, it never had been. Ever since Val`s tragic death that I was to blame for, my parents had warned me to never go near the forest again, fearing loosing me as well. But I just could not help it, there was just something about this forest, it had captivated me ever since my early childhood. I know how stupid this sounds, but it almost felt as though it was calling me, that I belonged here, in amongst the trees somehow. And nearly every day without fail since the death of my younger sister, I had found myself become even more drawn to the forest, where she had lost her life. I hadn`t dared to venture deep into the shadowy, different coloured world, but I often sat on the outskirts of it, sometimes writing in my battered, silver notebook.
It was pleasant just sitting here on the ground, doodling aimlessly, admiring the scenery, dead looking as it may be at this chilly time of year. It was much better than sitting bored and alone at home anyway. It was the school holidays now, and it would be Christmas in three days, our first ever without Val. None of my family was in the festive mood. We had not even bothered to put up the lights this December, or get a tree to decorate with brightly coloured tinsel and baubles. That had always been her favourite part of the holiday, apart from getting presents of course and it just didn`t seem right to do it without her.
I do not know how long I sit there, lost in thought, ignoring the chilly, persistent wind that was blowing strongly against my little body, but when the last little bit of the lights goes, I know that I had better return home. Mother and Father did not know that I still went to the forest; I would have been in huge trouble if they did. I kept making up lies, like studying at the library, or I was at a friend’s house or shopping in one of the few, small shops there were. And they believed me, I think it was because they just didn`t want to ask. Getting to my converse clad feet I check for any mud or twigs on my clothes and begin making my way back home, glancing back sadly over my shoulder at the tragically beautiful forest that had claimed my poor sisters life.
I knew that there was something up as soon as I trudged down the driveway. Dad`s bright blue, almost brand new estate car was not there. Someone else`s was, a sleek, shiny black jaguar that I had never seen before in my life, that must have cost a fortune. I push open the front door and kick of my shoes, sling my hoodie over the door and enter the living room, where I could hear the faint whispering of my Dad, who didn`t sound too happy about something.
“Frank, is that you back from the library?”My mom asks me in a strange voice I had never heard her use before. When I see her my stomach sinks. Her pretty, youthful face was stained with tears; her eyes were puffy and red, her makeup smudged all across the pale, clear skin.
“Ma…what is it?” I ask her, voice shaking with fear.
“Frank we would like for you to meet some people.” Dad gets to his boot clad feet and points with one hand to the small group of strangers who I presumed owned the fancy car that was parked outside.
The group was of mixed age. A woman who I guessed was around thirty had long fair hair with expensive looking highlights, wore designer jeans and a tee shirt and was on the larger side. A teenage boy with a lip ring was wearing green converse was stood between her and an older man, who had thinning hair and had a mean, sleazy look to him. He was stood next to another teen, who looked a little miserable. The final member of the group was stood a little behind them, and had one purple iPod earphone in and a bored look on her petty young face.
“This is Corrine Taylor, Cian O'Connor, Bliss Monroe, Luke Toye and his daughter Emily.” Each of them nod when their name is said, Bliss smirking widely as she was introduced, as was Emily`s father and the first woman. Emily and Cian wore blank expressions.
I nod, frowning in confusion, wondering who these strangers were, not trusting them.
“Not to sound rude but what are they doing here and why has mom been crying?”
He sighs, while the five strangers stand there, different expression on their faces. One of them, the one I think was called Emily was shuffling her feet awkwardly, giving off the impression that she didn`t want to be here, as was the boy wearing the emerald green converse.
“They called us the other day, telling us that it was important that we met.” I narrow my eyes, still not understanding and he continues. “They have news of Val.”
I feel anger well up inn me before i can stop it and scream at them, not caring if it was rude. “No they don`t, she is dead, I saw it!”
He sighs and shakes his head. “No, we thought so too, but…well there is no easy way to tell toy this Frank but…” he takes a deep breath and mom puts one shaking hand on his shoulder to comfort him. “She is still alive.”
“That isn`t true! LIAR!” I yell, blinding hot tears falling from my eyes as I kick out at him.
“She is Frank.” One of the strangers, Bliss, the girl that had a lip ring and had black and golden hair tells me in an almost bitter, angry tone of voice that worries and confuses me. “She is no longer normal though, she is no longer human.”
I blink once, waiting for someone to laugh and tell me that this was all a stupid, unfunny joke. How could Val not be a human? Anyway, she was dead, and it was all my fault.
Bliss nods, seeing my disbelief. “It is true, I know this sounds crazy, but she has been cursed to live an evil life. You saw her attack by wolves am I correct?”
I nod, scowling up at the girl. “Well she was, but they were no ordinary wolves. They were werewolves.”
She turns to one of the others, who hands her a crumpled up image of an animal I recognise instantly. A wolf. A lanky wolf, with silky looking dark fur, and brown eyes that had green rings around the iris. Eyes that were too intelligent to belong to an animal, too human like. I knew those eyes well…they were Val`s eyes…