Hi, guys! A few months ago, in English class, our assignment was to write a short story about a character who does a bold action. Since I’m currently working on a sequel to that story, I’ve decided to share the story with all of you. I hope you all enjoy!
Tatum Anderson had never been more confused in her entire life. She had no idea where she was, or how she’d gotten there, or why she was alone. The air was foggy, and around her, it was eerily silent. The smell of death was thick in the air, overwhelming Tatum. The creepy surroundings were so strong that she didn’t notice the mysterious figure creeping slowly towards her. She didn’t feel the rope wrap around her neck until it was too late. She didn’t even have time to scream.
Tatum could feel her life seeping out of her, slowly. She could feel her knees give, and she could see her vision tunneling. This can’t be happening to me, she thought. Not now. She could feel her senses blurring, merging into one. After a minute, all she was aware of was the presence behind her.
The last thing she heard before everything went black, was “Surprise!”
Tatum shot up in bed, breathing heavily. She’d never had a dream that weird before, or a dream that creepy before.She sat in bed for a minute, reflecting on the dream. Eventually, she decided that the bizarre dream was only because of that yogurt she’d had last night. I guess that Kendall was right, Tatum thought. Dairy and sugar and all of that other crap really do cause bad dreams. Kendall Stevens, her best friend, was constantly telling Tatum things like this. Tatum never believed her, because it sounded like something a neurotic mom would say. Besides, Tatum had never really believed in anything influencing dreams. She had heard some pretty crazy things before. After this dream, Tatum thought that she would have to believe Kendall now.
After she’d sat in bed longer than necessary, Tatum got up, preparing for the school day. After she was dressed, she went downstairs, hoping that one of her fathers was still home, but no luck. One of them–probably Adam–had left her a note on the table. The note read, Hi Tatum! I’m sorry that Daddy and I had to leave so early. Tomorrow, I promise I’ll drive you to the bus stop. Have a good day at school, Tate. I’ll be here when you get home and you can tell me everything that happened. Love, Damian.
Tatum smiled. That’s so nice of him, she thought. Damian (who was technically her stepfather, but she didn’t care; he was like a father to her) didn’t usually leave her notes, Adam did. Whatever. It was nice of Damian to be parental for once.
Putting her thoughts of Damian aside, Tatum grabbed a granola bar and headed out. It was 6:55, and if she left the house any later, she’d miss the bus. As she walked down the street, she began to think about the eerie dream that she’d had. For some reason, she felt like it had happened on this street. Almost like it had happened near her house, or even in her house. As she pondered the dream the bus came, flashing its bright lights and effectively bringing Tatum out of her thoughts. She climbed on the bus and sat down across from Kendall, who was slumped down in her seat. “Hi, Kendall,” said Tatum. “What’s up?”
Kendall straightened up. “I’m fine, Tay. Just tired. What about you?”
Tatum told her about the dream she’d had. “What do you think it means?”
“I don’t know,” Kendall said. “Ask Danny, he’d offer you some sort of explanation. Although, knowing Danny, it’ll probably be 90% crap.” Daniel “Danny” Peters was one of Tatum and Kendall’s best friends. Kendall and Tatum loved Danny, but sometimes the most ridiculous things came out of his mouth. He was like a meme waiting to happen.
“He’s not that bad,” Tatum said automatically. Danny was like a brother to her. He might’ve been an idiot 90% of the time, but he was cool.
“Sweetie, just because you’ve got the hots for him does not mean that you have to defend him all the time. We all know he’s an idiot,” said Kendall.
“I do not have the hots for Danny,” Tatum said. “I can’t believe that you would say that.” That was a complete lie. Tatum had been crushing on Danny since they were in the fourth grade. Danny was the one who brought out Tatum’s dorky side.
“I can’t believe that you didn’t think I’d bring that up,” Kendall retorted. “Let’s face it, Tatum. You act like this sweet, innocent little girl, but all you really want to get in Danny’s pants.”
“For the last time, I am not introverted. I am an ambivert. Also, I do not have feelings for Danny!” Tatum exclaimed, trying to hide her blush. “Just…shut up about it, okay, Kendall?”
“Whatever,” Kendall said. “Deny it all you want, but you know that you’ve got it bad for him.”
“I don’t! Kendall, being with Danny would be like being with my brother,” said Tatum, wrinkling her nose. “Kissing him would make me want to barf.”
“Tatum, you don’t even have a brother,” Kendall said. “Don’t dwell on that analogy.”
“You never know,” Tatum replied. “I could have a brother.” Tatum had been adopted when she was two years old. Her genetic history was pretty much unknown to her and her fathers. She didn’t know where she had inherited her chestnut brown hair, or her heterochromia.
“You could, but it’s unlikely,” said Kendall as the bus neared their high school. “If you did, wouldn’t you know who he is?”
“Kendall, when Adam adopted me, he didn’t know anything about my family. Actually, he knew that my birth mom was a flake. But that’s pretty much it. Everything else he knew was about me, so I don’t know if I have any other family out there.” Adam didn’t have any family left; that was why he had adopted Tatum. Damian still had family, but he didn’t speak to them. For as long as Tatum could remember, it had just been the three of them, but she wouldn’t change it for the world. She loved Adam and Damian more than anything.
“If you do have a brother out there, and he’s like, really hot, can I get dibs?” Kendall inquired with a serious look on her face. “I mean, you said that kissing your brother would make you barf, plus you’re madly in love with Danny, so I kind of just need to to tell me that your possibly real brother is mine if he’s available.”
“Um, no,” Tatum said as she and Kendall got off of the bus. “Kendall, this is my hypothetical brother that we’re talking about. It would be so weird if you dated him. Besides, he probably doesn’t exist.”
“Duh, that’s why I said hypothetical,” said Kendall.
“No, you didn’t,” Tatum replied as they walked through the school’s double doors. “I said hypothetical. You just said possibly.”
“Whatever,” Kendall said. “I still think that I should get dibs. He may be hypothetical, but he’s hot.”
“Who’s hot?” Danny said from behind Kendall. He’d been walking behind Tatum and Kendall for five minutes, but neither of them had noticed. “John Karna?”
“No,” Kendall scoffed at the same time Tatum said, “Obviously.”
“I’m confused. Fill me in,” said Danny, falling into step with Kendall and Tatum. “I need to know. Kendall, why don’t you think John Karna’s not hot? Also, if we aren’t talking about John Karna, what hottie are we talking about?”
“John Karna has such a baby face,” Kendall said. “He looks like he’s eight years old.”
“We’re talking about my hypothetical brother,” Tatum said, coming to a stop at her locker. She continued to speak as she spun the locker dial. “Kendall has decided that if I were to have a brother out there, she wants dibs. But I say that’s kind of weird.”
“It’s not weird, I guess, but it’s not normal. I don’t think that you can call dibs on someone who may or may not exist,” Danny said. “But I think that since this brother is most likely made up, Kendall can get dibs.”
“Thank you, Danny,” said Kendall, slinging her arm around him. “Clearly you’re not as stupid as I previously thought.”
Tatum closed her locker, pulling her books closer to her chest. “Whatever, guys,” she said. “I’ll see you guys at lunch.” The Dynamic Trio (a nickname awarded to them by Danny) only had two classes together, both of them after lunch.
“Bye, Tatum,” Danny said as Tatum walked to her homeroom. “See ya later!”
Tatum didn’t reply as she walked into her homeroom. Her teacher, Ms. Green, smiled warmly at her. “Hi, Tatum,” Ms. Green said as Tatum slipped into her seat. “Did you have a nice weekend?”
“Yes, I did,” said Tatum, smiling up at her teacher. “What about you?” Ms. Green was one of Tatum’s favorite teachers, and not just because she was so friendly. Ms. Green was a close friend of Adam’s, and she had been like a mother to Tatum.
“I had a lovely weekend, thanks for asking,” Ms. Green said. The smile on her face disappeared slowly as she fiddled with one of the bracelets on her wrist. “Listen, Tatum, would you mind staying after school? I have something I need to tell you.”
“Um, sure,” Tatum said quietly. She spent the rest of the day thinking about Ms. Green’s request. She had probably heard three words all of her teachers had said. Her mind was racing too fast to process anything. When she told her friends about it, they just rolled their eyes. Kendall had said, “Tatum, I don’t see why you get so nervous about these things. I mean, Ms. Green is like, besties, with your dad. She probably just wants to talk to you about something he mentioned to her. Something good.”
Kendall’s words hadn’t done much to ease Tatum’s fears. After the bell rang, Tatum trudged back to Ms. Green’s classroom. “What do you have to tell me?” she asked.
“I honestly don’t know how to tell you this,” Ms. Green said. “It’s highly likely you won’t believe me, but it doesn’t matter. Tatum, you are the Chosen One.”
“What?” Tatum asked, full of disbelief. There was no way she could be the ‘chosen’ anything. She was just an average high school freshman. “The Chosen One? Me? Are you sure about that, Ms. Green?”
“Yes, you,” Ms. Green said. “You, Tatum, are destined to be a Slayer.” Slayers were teens (usually girls, but now being a Slayer was kind of a coed thing). Slayers lived among regular humans, but they existed to drive out the dark forces in the earth. In other words, a Slayer’s job was to kill the darkness of the earth. As important as they were, Tatum had always thought that Slayers weren’t real. Monsters weren’t real, so there was no need for Slayers.
“Yeah, right,” Tatum scoffed. She wasn’t even cut out for gym class. There was no way she was cut out to kill things–or even people. Besides, Slayers were just a legend. Right? “I am so not a Slayer.”
Ms. Green sighed. “Tatum, as of yesterday, you are a Slayer. It might be shocking to you, but it’s a real thing. Monsters and ghosts and vampires and demons are all real. Someone has to help get rid of them, and that someone is you, Tatum.”
“Well, how would you know that?” Tatum retorted. Her defensiveness was really just a front. In truth, she was actually a bit terrified of being a Slayer. “And what do you mean by ‘as of yesterday’? What happened yesterday?”
“I know that you are the next Slayer because it is my job to guide and train you. I’m kind of like your guardian angel. I trained the previous Slayer as well, but she was killed yesterday. Once she died, you took her place as a Slayer,” explained Ms. Green. Tatum knew little about Slayers, but she did know that there were multiple lines of Slayers across the world. Once one died, another was initiated. “Does that make any sense?”
“Well, yeah, but I still don’t get why I’m the Slayer. I don’t want to kill things, and I highly doubt that I would be good at it,” Tatum said. Now she was even more terrified about being a Slayer. If the other Slayer got killed, doesn’t that mean I could reach the same fate? I don’t want to die!
“You’re not killing ‘things’, Tatum. You’re going to be killing demons, and vampires. And I’ll start training you as soon as possible. But you might not need much training,” Ms. Green said.
“Ms. Green, I’ve never even killed a bug,” said Tatum. “How can I kill people?”
“They’re not people; they’re demons that have to die. Anyway, Tatum, as a Slayer you can do more than you could if you were a mere mortal. You can jump higher, run faster, and run faster. Unfortunately, immortality is not part of being a Slayer,” Ms. Green told Tatum.
“You don’t say,” said Tatum sarcastically. Thank you, Ms. Green, for bringing up the main source of my apprehension. That’s so helpful.
“This is no time for sarcasm! The fate of the world is literally resting in your hands, and you’re telling me that you don’t know how to kill people. That’s not acceptable. This is your destiny, Tatum, and you have to accept it if you want the world to thrive.”
“I’m not saying that I don’t want to accept it, Ms. Green, I just don’t know how,” Tatum said. “I don’t know how to fight, and I don’t know how to kill.”
“Tatum, you don’t have to,” Ms. Green said. “That’s what I’m here for. Just forget about what you know or don’t know right now. All you need to know right now is that you are the Slayer. That’s it.”
“Okay,” Tatum said. “What do I need to do, then?”
“Just be here tomorrow after school. I’ll drive you home afterwards,” said Ms. Green. She turned to her computer, indicating that the conversation was over. “Have a nice night, Tatum.”
Tatum and Ms. Green spent the next month training. As they trained, Kendall and Danny noticed a change in their introverted friend, but neither Kendall or Danny knew how or why Tatum was acting so differently. They both wanted to know why, but at the same time, they didn’t want to just ask. For a three and a half weeks, they didn’t. Tatum didn’t mention anything to them, either. Kendall and Danny were totally clueless about Tatum’s fate as a Slayer until Homecoming night.
After the dance that night, Kendall, Danny, and Tatum planned on walking to Danny’s house and staying there, instead of going to the afterparty thrown by Reyna Lewis, the most popular girl in their grade. They were almost at Danny’s house when Tatum noticed the vampiric presence on the sidewalk, mirroring her movements. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up, and she stopped briefly to look back at Kendall and Danny, who were lagging behind. “Come on, guys, let’s go,” Tatum said to her friends, trying to keep the fear out of her voice.
Kendall laughed. “Tatum, chill out,” she said. “We’re fine.”
How do I tell them that there is a vampire tailing us without telling them that I’m a Slayer? Tatum thought. It’s times like this I wish there was a How to be a Slayer manual or something. It’s not like I can just tell them that the vaguely pedophilic guy across the street is a vampire, and that it’s my job to kill him.
Discreetly, Tatum picked up her pace. But the vampire across the street noticed, and disappeared from view just as Tatum was canvassing the area for more vampires. Crap, she thought. I lost him. How is it possible to be this bad at slaying?
She returned to her normal pace, falling back into step with Kendall and Danny. “I just was getting a really weird vibe back there. It was kind of reminding me of this really creepy dream I had once. It’s not a big deal.”
Danny smiled, looking at her with his beautiful eyes. “That’s cute, Tay,” he said. “But we’ll be fine. I promise.”
For a moment, Tatum believed him. For a moment, they were fine, walking down the dark street in their evening wear. For a moment, it seemed like they were the only people on the street. It seemed like they were the only people in the entire world.
Then Kendall let out a bloodcurdling scream, and everything changed.
Tatum didn’t waste any time thinking. She turned around, and jumped on the back of the vampire that had bitten Kendall. However, the vampire was much stronger than Tatum, and he managed to send her flying through the air like a rag doll.
Tatum didn’t let being knocked to the ground stop her, and kicked him in the chest. Ms. Green had insisted that she wear heels, since it was unrealistic to carry around a wooden stake all night. The only useful weapon Tatum had was a vial of holy water, which she wore on a necklace. The high heels were somewhat useful, though. When the vampire tripped and fell backwards, Tatum quickly unclasped her necklace, and poured the contents over the spot where his heart would be. Standing back, she watched as the vampire’s remains disappeared. Now that she was sure that the vampire was dead, Tatum turned to Danny, who was holding Kendall’s limp body in his arms. His face was tear-streaked.
“Danny, is she…?” Tatum trailed off, not wanting to hear his response.
“I think so,” said Danny. His voice was hoarse, and he paused before speaking again. “Tatum, what just happened?”