A Hotheaded Ghoul's Salvation
A Hotheaded Ghoul's Salvation
Author: thyatira kaupa

The Cure to Grouch Fever.

     On a vast landmass divided into four Districts, ghouls lived amongst humans blending into society; wolves in sheep’s clothing.

For year’s ghouls formed clans to create strong fronts against humans and humans maximised production to extinguish the ghouls, creating a task force known as the Anti-ghoul.

In a world ghouls lived amongst humans, peace was undoubtedly questioned. The ghouls made their presence known centuries ago to the humans. They ate, slept, surfed the internet, and pooped; basically capable of doing everything a human does. The only thing different about them was that they needed human flesh to survive.

Most humans saw ghouls as parasites, most ghouls saw humans as walking live stock; the usual. The ghouls were exactly like the humans internally and externally so they hid in plain sight, some even being so passive that they lived just like the humans did, devouring off dead flesh instead. Those were known as the pacifist ghouls.

All ghouls possessed enhanced strength, regeneration and speed, their eyes morphing into a ravenous red when they transform, allowing their ghoulish nature to be dominant.

A union between ghoul and humankind was unorthodox, it seemed unnatural. The prey could not coexist in union with the so called predator. That is, until our story began. This tale tells of an unlikely pair; a hot-headed dangerous ghoul, and a sweet natured human.

Our story begins in Orshore, the capital of the Southern District. It begins in a small café known as the Auxilia Café, it was a small establishment that was enjoined with the Auxilia hotel that towered by three floors behind the small café. It wasn’t a fancy establishment, but it was homey and Caitlynn Nocella knew everyone who worked there, as she had been going there for as long as she could remember.

The afternoon sun hid behind lazy drifting clouds and the breeze that swept by, stirring fallen leaves and cooling her skin, made her welcome the warmth of the quaint café as she walked in. She took her usual seat by the window, which was closest to the staff entrance door.

The café was busy around this time but thankfully her favourite spot wasn’t taken. She plopped down and placed her school bag beside her. She always had a big cup of hot cocoa and cookies every Friday afternoon with a good book.

The café was the perfect place since it was on a hill and the window overlooked the city. There was, however, another reason she was a frequent customer.

“I thought you’d be here eventually.” A soft voice caught her attention.

Caitlynn turned and saw Etsu. Etsu had been working at the café for as long as Caitlynn could remember.

Etsu’s chocolate brown eyes were warm and her dark hair was pulled back into its usual neat bun. She was a soft hearted woman of forty-three and Caitlynn loved her for her maternal nature; she was like a second mom to Caitlynn.

“Hey, Etsu.” Caitlynn grinned. “You know I can’t break tradition, even on a busy day such as this.”

“Ahh, yes, we’ve had a busy day since word got out that we had a special order going for the week only.” Etsu responded, wiping her brow exhaustedly.

“Oooh, what has Monti whipped up this time?” Caitlynn asked curiously.

Monti was the cook and he was the best at it as far as Caitlynn was concerned. He could make yesterday’s meal taste like a five star dish. Apart from his love for food, he had a strict body fitness regime.

If anything he looked more like a fitness instructor than a cook. That and the fact that whether he was indoors or outdoors you’d always find him wearing dark reflectors.

Caitlynn thought it made him look iconic.

“Pineapple custard tart.”

A fat balding man on the other side of the room waved a hand, calling service.

Etsu turned to Caitlynn. “I’ll bring you your usual?”

Caitlynn beamed up at her. “Thanks, could you bring the custard tart too? I wanna taste what the fuss is all about.”

“Sure thing, sweetie. I’ll bring it right up.”

“Thanks Etsu.”

“No problem, kiddo. And the tarts on the house.”

As Etsu walked over to serve the other guy Caitlynn reached into her bag and pulled out her book.

For today it was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. She turned to her bookmark, slipped it out and began reading from page 193.

Her gaze swept across the pages, dark brown eyes drinking in every word in the tale told by Death. She loved this book because the characters intrigued her, most specifically the main protagonist, Liesel.

So much so that she didn’t notice when Etsu dropped off her cookies, hot steaming cup of cocoa and a tart. Her undivided attention was given to the book.

For his first few days in the basement, Liesel had nothing to do with him. She denied his existence. His rustling hair, his-

The distinctive sound of a bell chiming from the staff’s entrance caught her attention just as she reached page 216.

She glanced up lazily. What her eyes caught sight of made her harden her grip on the novel involuntarily.

Here we have the other not so mysterious reason why Auxilia café had been her favourite recreational hangout spot since she was ten; Blaize Jacobson.

The world buzzed around her in what felt like a slow motion effect. Caitlynn wouldn’t exactly call her intrigue for Blaize love; maybe affection, probably fascinations but definitely not love. All she knew was that for as long as she could remember, he was the centre of her solar system. Not in a sappy romance kind of way, but in a factual sense. He always seemed to grab her attention instantaneously.

Shamefully, recently it was partially because of his staggering good looks.

Even at the age of fifteen he towered over adults at the height of five foot nine. He wore a black sweatshirt and dark blue jeans and combat boots.

His short silver scruffy hair swept over his clear blue orbs. His gaze was blank as he stopped by the counter and glanced around, boredom written all over his face.

Caitlynn quickly darted her gaze back to her book to look busy, her cheeks hot at the prospect of getting caught staring. She tried focusing on the words but much to her chagrin she lost the last sentence. She quickly scanned through and found it.

-His rustling hair, his….

Somehow her eyes refused to register what the next word was, which left her gaping at her book for the next two minutes.

She blinked repeatedly and sighed in annoyance, giving in to her curiosity. She looked back up and saw him talking to Etsu. His back was facing her.

Like her, he was fifteen. Unlike her, both his parents were dead; they died a few years ago, a car crash. Cliché, yes, but tragic nonetheless.

He didn’t work at the café, his parents were the owners of Auxilia; both the café and hotel. After their death the ownership fell to his uncle; Tobias Jacobson. She had heard stories of him but she’d never met him.

Blaize Jacobson, like his name would suggest, was a hothead, his personality was like a blazing fire. Never once had she seen him smile or so much as snicker. So she made it her personal suicide mission to try making him smile at least once before she dies. It was even on her bucket list.

Her name was Caitlynn, meaning pure joy. She would be failing her grandmother who named her so if she did nothing to cure Mr Grouchy. Caitlynn considered herself a hero, fifteen year old bookworm by day, joy spreader by night, saving one grouchy hothead at a time.

It wasn’t just that, she was intrigued by him. There was an air of authority that surrounded him, despite being fifteen. His blank blue eyes seemed to harbour so much rage and pain for a regular fifteen year old boy.

Caitlynn wasn’t sure how someone could be so grouchy at such a young age. Maybe it was teenage angst overloaded but he’d been this way since he was ten. She did ponder over the fact that he had lost his parents, but comparing his demeanour against his twin sister, Mia’s, would be a huge comparison.

He turned and made his way back the way he came. Consequently by doing so he had to walk by Caitlynn’s seat. His blue eyes met with hers halfway.

“Well if it isn’t Mr. Grouchy.” She beamed.

“Who let the farrel cat in?” He pinched the bridge of his nose in annoyance. His nickname for her was cat because of her name being Caitlynn.

His blue orbs were blank, as always.

“No one did. The cat let herself in.” Caitlynn replied smoothly.

“Swallow any more books and your head is gonna turn square shaped.” Blaise scowled.

“In fact I’m starting to see some symptoms.”

“I call myth.”

Blaise rolled his eyes. “Whatever, nerd.”

“Cookies?” Caitlynn asked cheerfully as she tilted her head, brown orbs glimmering with hope that the grouchy silver haired boy would accept this time.

“Still think I have an incurable disease known as Grouch Fever?”

“Depends, you gonna refuse my prescription of cookies?” She offered him the cookie with a goofy grin.

“Of course.” Blaise replied without hesitation.

He didn’t so much as glance at the cookie, his electric orbs were trained on her the entire time. It would be unnerving but she had known him for years so she was used to it.

“They say denial is the first step into accepting that you have a problem.” Caitlynn said grimly, dramatically sighing in contempt.

“The only problem I have is that you won’t stop smiling. You might smile your cheeks off.” Blaise glared at her.

“Also a myth. I’m flattered you’re concerned about me smiling my cheeks off though. Show’s you care.” Caitlynn pointed out with a sly smirk.

Blaise narrowed his eyes.

“I don’t.” He said sharply.

“Denial.” The chesnut haired girl sang teasingly.

“Also a river in Egypt or something.”

“Sounds like the cliché response when someone is in-”

“Don’t you dare say-“

“Deeeniaaal.”

“If anyone is in denial it’s you.” He hissed.

“Whatever you say, Mr. Grouchy.” Caitlynn shrugged nonchalantly, smiling cutely at him.

“Gawd, do to you ever get tired of being this annoying?”

“Not for my friends, no.”

“Idiot, we’re not friends and we never will be.”

“We will be. You’ll see.” Caitlynn said with determination.

“No we won’t.”

“Give it time. You won’t be able to resist my charms.”

“It’s non-existent.” He said blankly.

“Like your joy box?”

“What the hell is a joy box?”

“Oh you wouldn’t know, you seem to not have it. It’s the thing inside you that makes you happy. Yours seems to have run out, not to fret, Caitlynn’s the name, curing your incurable Grouchy fever’s the game.”

He muttered something incoherent under his breath and rubbed his temple in slow circles, eyes closed stressfully.

Caitlynn chuckled.

Attempting to make him smile was a fun challenge since she usually ended up annoying him and annoying him was fun. At least when he was annoyed he showed signs that he could be something apart from cold and uncaring.

Blaise sighed and, without a word, walked towards the exit.

“Bye Blaise!” Caitlynn waved ecstatically.

He slammed the door. Caitlynn stared down at, yet another, rejected cookie.

“He didn’t mean it.” She comforted the rejected cookie.                               

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