• "Thunder" chapter one

    Winter always seems so cold when you're alone. As if you're trapped in an ice sculpture of yourself, waiting anxiously for that special someone everybody always talks about to hold you until the end. Until all of the pain goes away and the ice finally melts. But that would never happen for me. I’ve lost all my reasons to live. Ever since that day, I can barely stand this hellish little town. "the dance of the dead" its called. its what makes this town so hellish. and so hard for people. Every year, death visits our wretched town and challenges a person to fight through the night, or to the death. if they last through the night, nothing happens except for people being scarred. if death wins, the person is taken away forever. and if they refuse to fight, death...
    "Adrian, since you seem so focused, I need you to take these to the bookstore for me." my mother said as I was forced back into reality." I want a refund for them."
    "Why? You wanted these because that day is coming up." the day of the dead. Mom always bought books and tried so hard to figure out more about that day. I know its for my sake, but it’s a lost cause. there’s no way to reverse what happened to me.
    "They all had a bunch of information that I didn’t need." She said
    I sighed, "Mom, why do you keep trying? You cant reverse death's curse on me."
    "There has to be something. Some way to turn it around, honey. I'm your mother. If there's something we can do to fix it, then we will." she said as she kissed my cheek.
    I wiped my cheek, and grabbed the books, "fine, but I really don’t think you'll find anything." I closed the door and headed for the bookstore/
    The streets were empty as usual. What people were out today couldn’t even spare a glance at me, as usual. The people working at the bookstore were the only people nice to me besides my mom. But, mom was mom. She had to take care of me, or so she said. I never doubted that was the reason my father left this town. Come to think of it, why did he leave? He couldn’t have had problems with mom. She was the most agreeable person in this town. Maybe I could ask her after I take care of these books.
    "hey, Jessie. I got some more refunds for you." I said as I walked into the bookstore.
    "What's wrong with these?" she asked in reply, sighing. this was the third time this week I've had to return books.
    "Useless information. She already knows about all the stuff that these books are talking about." I answered, "I still wonder why she tries to lift this curse."
    "Well, you're her son, Adrian. You can't possibly expect a woman like her to just ignore her only son, do u?" She had a point. I was her only son, and, as I said, mom was the most agreeable person in this town. So, of course, she wouldn't leave her only child to suffer a terrible curse. At least, not alone,
    She refunded the books and handed me the money and some new ones, "what are these for?" I asked.
    "You might make some use out of them. they've been cluttering my storage closet for a good year nom." she said as she began shelving a set of encyclopedias.
    "So, you're just giving me these?"
    "I told you, they've been cluttering up my storage closet. What does that mean to you?" she looked at me inquisitively.
    I sighed calmly, "Fine, I don’t mind free stuff"
    She looked back at me as I left and waved, "see you at school."
    I waved back as I left, "See you then," and left.
    An uneventful walk home later, I found that mom was busy making a new friend. It must've been some new family, the way they were talking. It was basically a girl and her father. the father seemed to like the place so far, but the girl was holding her coat close to her face. Either she was really cold, or really shy. She caught my eye as I caught hers. I waved, but she blushed and looked away. Definitely shy, I thought to myself. I walked up to give mom the money.
    "well, I think you'll love the neighborhood, despite the weird things." she was telling the father.
    "By now, we're used to weird. I definitely think we're gonna like this place. Everybody seems so nice, as well."
    "mom, here's the money for the books." I said as I handed her the money.
    "Oh, honey meet the new neighbors. this is Mr. Daniels and his daughter, Maria."
    The shy little girl, "Hello, Adrian Reynolds, Pleasure to meet you" I held out my hand. the father took it and introduced himself but Maria blushed and hid in her coat again.
    "You'll have to excuse her. She's very shy." her father stated simply but kindly.
    "Oh, that's fine," mom stopped me, "Adrian loves shy girls."
    "Is that so?" Mr. Daniels stood protectively in front of his daughter.
    I smiled, and made a calming gesture, "Don't worry, Mr. Daniels. Nobody in this town my age is like that."
    "Your age." He said sternly. I could tell he had been through enough in life. Enough to want to keep his daughter out of harm's way.
    I peeked my head over to look at his daughter, her head still tucked into her coat. we looked each other in the eyes and smiled. I held out my hand, "Adrian Reynolds." I waited patiently for her to take it.
    "Maria Daniels. it’s a pleasure to meet you." She was hesitant, but gave me her hand. I, being either a gentleman, or a total dumbass, kissed it softly, bowing to her as I did.
    "I really am an idiot." I said aloud as I stood up.
    "Not an idiot," she said as she took her hand back, "just a gentleman." her eyes lit up as she looked at me. We continued to look at each other, as if there was something there that we just had to keep an eye on.
    "Well, let's get out of this cold weather before someone gets sick." My mother said as we both were forced back into reality. We both looked away blushing
    "I think my moms right. Besides, we have fresh baked cookies in there." I said cheerily. "Come on, let's go get some." I led everybody into the living room. They all began talking as I went into the kitchen and got a plate of cookies that I’d left out to cool as well as a few fresh glasses of milk. and carried them carefully into the living room.
    "They smell delicious." Maria complimented me as I passed out the milk. "wait, they're not oatmeal, are they?" She asked cautiously.
    "She has an allergic reaction to oatmeal." Her father specified.
    "Oh, no. These are peanut butter cookies, my specialty." I stated proudly
    Mom chimed in, "They're his specialty because that's ALL he knows how to bake." everybody laughed hysterically. Talk about support...
    Maria took one, dipped it in her milk, and took a bite, "I love them. Thank you very much." She said as she took another bite. I sat down next to her and everyone grabbed a cookie and started eating. a lot of time seemed to pass quickly. When I checked the clock, it was almost 6:30 p.m.
    "Wow. it doesn’t feel like 6:30." I said. Maria peeked over my shoulder to look.
    "Oopsies, we spoiled dinner." She said, giggling.
    "You mean YOU spoiled dinner. You ate more than any of us."
    "Hey, you made them, I just enjoyed them." She continued giggling as my mom took the plate and cups into the kitchen. She gestured Mr. Daniels into the kitchen. Probably some "adult talk" as mom called it. Suddenly, I felt two fingers go into my sides. I I jumped, then turned around. Maria was trying to look innocent. I poked her back, and she retaliated. We passed another hour having a poke-fight. My mom and her dad walked through the kitchen door. "Maria, it's time to go." Her father said to her.
    She took my hand, pulled out a pen, and wrote a phone number on it. "Call me, and Don't be late about it." she told me
    "Im thought you were shy." I said and looked intently at her.
    "I am, but you aren't." she said as she winked, then put her stuff on and she and her father left.
    Both me and my mom laid back on the sofa. she took the books that Jessie gave me and threw them on my lap, "these really will be useful, but you also need to learn what powers the curse has.
    "I know, mom. The mighty angel of death, who cursed me with his bones. He's coming back soon."
    "are you afraid?" she asked.
    Like all men, I wanted to say no. but my mother could break through any of my deceptions, large and small. "I am afraid, but not for myself."
    "then who?" she asked next. that motherly concern in her eyes.
    "that girl." I answered. I was afraid for maria. what would she think if she saw all of this? death, the dance of the dead, and what I had gotten for refusing.
    "she'll be fine, sweetie. I can see im her heart that she has a special ability that most people don’t have. she can see through people to see the real person within that flesh and bone. well, you should go and study up on these books. if Jessie says they're useful, then you'd better believe it."
    "I will, mom. I said. then I hugged her and went up to my room to study