A black crow cawed above me as I walked through the crisp autumn air in the cemetery, heading back to the Underworld, as I had been asked to by Gerard.
It was Monday night, October 30th. I would turn 17 in just a few hours... and I was nervous as hell.
I had spent the morning in school, just like any other weekday, but this time it was totally different. I couldn't concentrate on anything except for the fact that the next day I would have super powers... could have super powers... might. Even my mother had noticed my nervous state, but thought it was because I was going out to meet a girl or something. She didn't ask too many questions, because she knew I hated it. I had no idea how she would react if I had told her I was going out and that I would probably spend the night in a place called the Underworld because it is, in fact, located "under the world", where I would wait until midnight when I'd hopefully get some kick-ass powers.
I shook my head in amusement as I imagined her face if I were to tell her just that.
When I finally turned right on the lane that would take me to their big stone building, I saw that all of the torches towards the end of the lane weren't lit. I stopped in my tracks, confused by the lack of light, but decided to continue anyways.
As I neared the end, I could see tiny flames of light, more or less where the table was. When I was about 10 feet away, I was greeted by a sudden shout of "Happy Birthday!"
I smiled as I saw the illuminated faces from the seventeen candles of the birthday cake. I stretched my arms out, trying to find the table. "You guys, you know my birthday is tomorrow."
"We thought it would be better to celebrate it now though, because tomorrow could be a bit hectic," Bob told me, while Ray shouted around for someone to light the torches up.
"This whole surprise would have worked better with electrical lighting. We could have yelled out little felicitation and then turned on the lights. It's pretty lame that we have to walk around in the dark trying not to break a leg while trying to light up the fucking torches," Kat said with her arms crossed in front of her, giving a knowing nod.
As I was saying, "Don't worry about it, Kat. I'm still impressed; I couldn't bake a cake to save my life," Ray was running around with Aileen lighting the torches on the walls.
"Neither can we, so Ray bought it. Kiss him if you find the need to thank someone," Kat said, throwing a smirk in his direction.
As the first torches were lit, I could finally see the cake. "Chocolate. My favorite!" I told them all, grinning.
Nodding, Bob said, "Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. You can't go wrong with that."
"Make a wish, Frankie, and make it a good one,"Gerard told me, with a grin plastered across his face.
I looked at him and thought about what I wanted to wish for. After a few seconds, I bent down and blew all the candles out with one blow, making them all erupt into applause and cheers.
Gerard handed me a knife to cut the cake with. We all sat around the table with our pieces of cake, joking around. I smiled as I looked at them all, the hall full of sounds of laughter, and finally understood what it was like to have real friends.
And I was happy.
"Its... its almost time," I whispered for some unknown reason.
"I feel like we're counting down the seconds until it's New Year's Day or something. Except without the confetti. Or the noisemakers," Kat deadpanned.
I tried to stifle a laugh. We were all still sitting around the wooden table, the delicious chocolate cake long gone, waiting for it to be midnight. Waiting for my birthday.
I fidgeted with everything and anything I could get my hands on. Unconsciously, I picked up the big knife I had used to cut the cake and began swirling it around.
Grabbing me by the wrist and smiling understandingly, Gerard took the knife out of my hand saying, "You're gonna stab someone with that, Frank. Just relax. Like I told you before, probably nothing is going to happen."
"Yeah, man. Your powers just don't appear all of a sudden the second its your birthday. It takes time," Ray told me, giving me a pat on the back.
I sighed. "Yeah, I know, I know. But I'm still nervous about it."
"Hey guys..." Aileen called out, looking at her watch, "it's midnight."
"Happy New Year!" Kat cried out.
In spite of my nervousness, I let out my high-pitched giggle, unable to help myself.
Everyone was looking at me, waiting to see if something would happen. But nothing did.
"Feel anything?" Aileen asked, doubtingly.
I shook my head, a bit disappointed. "My head hurts a little bit... does that count?"
"Maybe we should break your arm or something, to see if you can heal like Gerard... or throw you off a really tall building to see if you can fly... I know!" Kat said, as we all laughed, "how about we cut off your fingers to see if you can regenerate them?"
"I know you'd like to do all that to get rid of me, Kat," I told her playfully.
"Naw, I'll let you hang around a bit more, you're not so bad after all."
Feigning shock, I said, "Oh, well thank you!"
"Now who's being romantic, Kat?" Bob teased.
"Try not to get jealous, Bob, you know I'll be waiting for you tonight impatiently in my bed," she retorted, blowing him a kiss while he turned bright red.
We goofed around for about an hour more, and then I said I should get going home.
"You can't leave now, man! The ruins would totally jump you now that you've turned," Bob cried out, exaggerating a bit from my point of view.
"I can't just not go home, you know. And besides, I have class tomorrow."
"Stay here tonight, Frankie," Gerard asked me,"I'll lend you clothes or whatever for tomorrow. Will you?"
Oh my fucking god! I though exasperated. I could never say no to that guy...
"Okay, I'll stay. Just tonight. And I'll need clothes, yeah."
Smiling, pleased that he had won easily, Gerard told me, "We have a spare bedroom. Come on, I'll show you where it is."
Everyone said their goodnights and headed down the hallway in the building, each of them going to their respective rooms. Gerard lead me to one of the extra rooms they had, which was exactly like his, without the drawings. I looked around the windowless room... call me a pansy, but I found it pretty creepy.
"If you don't like it, we could always drag your bed to my room, its right across the hall. I didn't sleep at all my first nights here because it's pretty weird. It's okay once you get used to it, though."
I looked at him slightly embarrassed, but his smile made it go away. "I feel kind of cheesy saying this but... I would rather sleep in your room."
He let out a laugh. "Don't worry about it! Come on, help me with the bed."
After a few bumps against the wall, dropping the bed on my foot and falling into a giggle fit, we managed to get the bed into his room. We moved his bed to the side a little to leave room for mine, which ended up next to his with the nightstand separating the two. We smiled at each other triumphantly after we finished pushing the bed to get the headboard against the wall, like Gerard had his.
Not bothering to change or anything, Gerard kicked his old and rugged All Stars off, threw the covers back and got in bed. I would've pulled my shirt off or something, but for some reason was embarrassed to, so I did exactly the same as he did. I took my cell phone out of my pocket and set the alarm for the next day, and then placed it on the nightstand.
"Oh wait, forgot to turn the torch off," he said, jumping back out of bed and looking at the lit torch on the wall between the two beds. He grabbed a metallic cone type thing that was on the floor below it, and placed it on the torch, making the flame go out immediately. Without it, the room was pitch black and it was impossible to see anything. I heard him get back into his bed, the old mattress squeaking in protest as he moved around until he was laying comfortably on his side.
"Gee," I called.
"Mmm?" he murmured, already falling asleep.
"How long have you guys been down here? I mean, how long have you all lived down here?"
"A few weeks... this community has been here for ages, but I've been moving around the country with the gang for some time now, until ending up here."
"You mean... there are more Underworlds and people with powers?"
"Of course," he said through a yawn. "There are people with powers all over the place. We just aren't united for the same reason the rest of the world isn't... the few tiny differences always seem to interest everyone more than what we have in common."
"Oh," I stated simply. I had my eyes wide opened as I tried to look around the dark room and not seeing anything.
"But we will, though. One day."
"Mhm... one person... there is one person in the world that will unite us all. He or she will be a sort of leader and help us all... live in peace together..."
"That would be nice..." I whispered dreamily, closing my eyes and hugging the pillow as I turned on my side.
"Sleep now... you have to get up early tomorrow..."
"Goodnight, Frankie." I could hear a smile in his voice.
"Goodnight, Gee." I was sure he could hear the grin in mine as I happily closed my eyes.
Nothing really happens in this chapter - hope you all like it just the same. The next one will be much more... exciting =) If I'm able to write and transmit in writing what I see and feel in my head, of course.
Thanks again for the reviews, they are very helpful.
I don't know when I'll get the next chapter out because I'm having exams now, until February 4th. Wish me luck. Good luck to all who have/will/are suffering exams too, or anything else.
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