Our Father
CHAPTER
1
Not Human
The noise of the New York coffee shop and the busy streets combined drowned out the music that was blasting through Evie’s ear buds. This was not helped by 9-year-old sister Abigail pulling them both out.
“Aww, come on, Evie! It’s your birthday! We’re having a girl’s day, remember!” She whined.
“Funny. I never thought of Kae as a girl,” remarked my other sister, a sassy 11-year-old.
“Ha, ha, Rebecca. Hilarious.” Grumbled Kae, my best friend. He ran a hand through the messy black hair that didn’t look like it belonged at all with his dark blue eyes and smattering of freckles. It looked like his biological parents had snuck into the gene pool and pulled from all the different parts. Kae’s adopted parents, the Phanuels, were die-hard priests, and would’ve probably named their son Joseph if their last name hadn’t stopped them. Joseph Phanuel sounded a little weird. Not to mention the fact that his name was already Kae.
The fact that I had to babysit my two younger sisters had put a bit of a damper on my birthday, but Kae had gotten them under his thumb since the moment we’d met him eleven years ago when we’d first moved to NYC. Of course, Abigail wasn’t born then, and Rebecca only just, so it didn’t really count.
My sisters and I looked pretty much the same. We all had ginger hair and blue eyes, although Abigail’s hair was a little lighter.
Kae found us a booth and went off to go buy drinks and scones. When he returned with the four vanilla bean scones and gave me the one with a tiny birthday candle on top, Abigail grabbed hers and giggled,
“oooooh! Evie, he loooooooooves you!” Rebecca banged her head against the table, causing several people to look our direction.
“God, Abigail—“ I swear I could see Kae flinch from where he was across the room getting our drinks. His parents had raised him to believe that saying “Oh, God” was just as scandalous as swearing. It was sort of strange, because he actually swore a lot, mostly to annoy his parents, I think, but the “Oh, God” thing still got on his nerves. I generally got pretty annoyed at Kae’s parents, too. In addition to making Kae go to three church services a day, they were also germaphobes and just extremely overprotective in general. They almost didn’t let him come here today because there was a rock concert happening down the street. They thought it would scar him. All those people jumping around in black leather and tattoos.
Kae brought the drinks back to our booth and Rebecca slapped her hand across Abigail’s mouth to stop her from saying anything that would impede me from having a non-awkward birthday. It got her some strange looks, the girl who had just slammed her head on the table covering up her sister’s mouth. Rebecca glanced at Kae apologetically.
“I’m sorry, but it turns out that Abigail here has to go to the bathroom. Isn’t that right Abigail?” Abigail nodded, her eyes streaming with tears of laughter. Kae gave them a suspicious look but let Rebecca drag my 9-year-old sister off to the bathroom.
Suddenly, I got the odd feeling that someone was staring at me. I turned around and found a girl with long, wavy black hair and grey eyes practically breathing down the back of my neck. I nearly jumped out of my skin. So did Kae. But he wasn’t looking at the girl, he was looking at me. I tried to pretend that this wasn’t weird. Maybe Kae stared at me all the time but a just never noticed. Out of the blue, the girl spoke.
“Excuse me, may I sit here?” Her voice was the sound of a fire crackling inside an old fashioned stove, warm and comforting, but barely containing the flames.
“Sorry, there are only seats for four, and my little sisters are in the bathroom.” I said, not wanting this strange girl anywhere near us. She sat down anyway. I shot Kae a questioning look that he did not return. It’s like he wasn’t staring at me but into me. It sort of scared me. Suddenly, the girl started to speak again.
“My name’s Cassandra. I was wondering, could you do me a favor?” Her jet-black curls kept falling in her face but she just kept pushing them back behind her ears.
“What is it?”
Cassandra began to do something with her eyes the “something” soon became apparent. She was taking out contact lenses. Without warning, she turned on me. Her eyes were a bright, flaming red.
“Come with me, Evangeline Lorde. Come to die.”
Cassandra sprang at me. I screamed and jumped out of my seat. Ducking underneath another table and upending a couple kissing over their double-strawed drink, I heard Kae yell,
“Revela!” I had no idea what language that was, but it must’ve done something, for Cassandra suddenly grew wings, huge, black, feathery wings. Out of her coccyx grew a long, barbed, black tail and the black leather that she had been wearing before was transformed into a knee length black dress. Her skin was eerily pale and I could see webbs of veins that were not the usual colors of red, blue and the occasional green. They were black. And I could see every one of them.
I fought the urge to throw up as Cassandra roared—yes, roared—in a voice that sounded as if the doors of the old fashioned stove had opened up and had burned the house down. Her wings began to beat wildly as she soared into the air. The poor, cheaply built New York coffee hut was no match for the whirlwind that Cassandra’s wings caused as my hair whipped around my face.
“MY FATHER HAS BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU FOR A VERY LONG TIME, EVANGELINE LORDE! IT SEEMS YOUR FIFTEENTH BIRTHDAY HAS ATTRACTED HIS NOTICE.”
Kae, who by this time was at my side, helping me up, shouted above the thundering turrets of air in that same language,
“PELLAT!” I could’ve sworn I’d heard that language before, but I didn’t have time to think about it. Cassandra gave a bloodcurdling shriek before disappearing in a whirlwind of black feathers, leaving nothing but one on the ground. I went over, picked it up and put it in my pocket. A reminder that today was actually real.
I suddenly noticed a distressed Rebecca trying to comfort a frightened, sobbing Abigail. I tried to move over to them but Kae stopped me.
“Kae!” I gasped. My own eyes starting to stream from the shock of what had just happened. “What—what was that? Why was it here! Kae, Kae, what’s wrong?” Kae was staring at me like he didn’t know me. He shook his head and stared into my wild eyes.
“Evie. Evie, calm down.” My breathing began to slow. “I want you to run. Don’t worry about where, because you already know. I’ll take care of Rebecca and Abigail. Just go.” I tried to push past him again. But Kae grabbed my shoulders, looked deep into my eyes, sapphire meeting aquamarine.
“Evie. You’re not human.”
I ran.
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