I soared above the treetops, appreciating the scenery as the wind ruffled my feathers. Flying had always helped me find my inner peace.
I lowered myself towards the forest floor. Greenery covered the ground, with large trees casting shadows across the vegetation. I let my instincts guide me as I navigated through them.
The leaves whistled in the wind, and the creek flowing nearby created a soothing melody. I landed on a branch by the stream and breathed in the wonders of nature. A deer and its fawn made their way over some rocks for a drink.
I watched them for a while, allowing my heartbeat to slow down before taking to the sky again. I followed the stream as the landscape opened up, giving way to a lake. The sun glittered peacefully on the surface. The heat created rising currents of air that I used to boost my height, making me feel weightless as I drifted effortlessly through the sky. I loved being in my crow form. Nothing beats the feeling of flying around, watching the world go by.
While gliding over the lake, a strange sensation entered my mind. An invisible force tugged at me, pushing its way through. My breathing became shallow as I fought against it. I scanned the area, scared that whoever caused it would imprison my mind. Dots clouded my vision as I fought to break free of its hold. But it only became stronger and more distressing. My heart rate sped up as dizziness engulfed me. I struggled to keep myself afloat and swiftly looked for a place to land. The force pushed me towards another location.
What’s going on? Wait... was I being summoned? The only person who could summon me was Nick. Several decades ago, he bound me to him to help me escape a hell dimension.
I relaxed my wings and allowed it to fully enter my mind. Why was Nick summoning me? He had never done it before. Something important must have happened. I hadn’t talked to him since his wife died.
Knowing that he may be in danger, I tuned into the force to locate where it came from. Without thinking, I teleported myself to his side, not completely sure where I would end up or what I would walk into. Only knowing that my best friend needed me.
I emerged in Nick’s old house. Still in my crow form, I instantly scanned the room and sent out my energy to determine if there were any imminent threats. When I didn’t sense any, I took a deep breath and let my body relax. Nick paced back and forth in the living room. He hadn’t even acknowledged me when I appeared.
I transformed back into my human form. A chill ran down my spine, causing a feeling of unease. I inspected my surroundings, trying to figure out why. The house had not changed much. The two leather sofas were still there facing the fireplace, as was the enormous bookcase that engulfed one entire wall. Even the Persian rug, which almost completely covered the wooden flooring, was still there. But something felt off. Different. I continued to scan the room, hoping to find a clue, when Nick cleared his throat.
Nick appeared to be in his early twenties, even though he was technically in his seventies. He had brown hair tied back in a bun, ice blue eyes and a sturdy build. No one would have guessed that I had a few centuries on him, but that’s the beauty of being immortal.
Nick sighed heavily before looking at me with a pained expression. “I’m sorry about summoning you like this, Jax. I realise how degrading it must be to be forced somewhere against your will, but I didn’t know any other way to reach you.”
I took a step towards him and met his gaze. “It’s okay. It caught me off guard as I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but it's fine. What’s going on?” I studied him more closely. He had dark circles under his eyes, which seemed to have lost their brightness. His beard was scruffy and unkempt and it looked like he hadn’t showered for days.
Nick evaded my gaze and took a seat on the sofa, gesturing for me to do the same. He stared into the fire and a momentary silence followed. I crossed my arms and uncrossed them, waiting for Nick to speak.
He took a deep breath but didn’t move. “I need a favour from you,” Nick said, his gaze still on the fire. A moment later he clasped his hands together in his lap and glanced over at me with watery eyes. “I never told you how Lily died.”
Nick broke eye contact and moved his gaze back to the fire. Silence followed. I pulled my hand through my hair not sure what to say. Immortal beings didn’t die easily so Lily’s death must have been tragic. The last time I saw Nick had been shortly after Lily had died. He hadn’t wanted to talk about it then, and I had respected his wishes, telling him I’d be around if he needed me.
“She was killed by a shadow demon.”
I raised an eyebrow. “A shadow demon? Do you know who made him?”
Nick clenched his fist. “If I did, he’d be dead already.” He shook his head. “The reason I need a favour is because I have a daughter and Lily… Lily died protecting her,” despair filled Nick’s voice.
I shifted in my seat. I hadn’t realised that they had a daughter together, but I hadn’t seen much of Nick since he married Lily. After she died, he went completely off the grid.
“Her name is Cassie. She lives in the human world.” He took another deep breath. “No one can know that she’s my daughter, not until I have killed every single one of them.” All the emotions drained from his voice.
My muscles tensed up. It was hard to hold on to our humanity and not let the demon inside take over. It was something I'd been fighting with my entire existence. Staying in my crow form made it easier. I observed Nick for a few moments. “What do you want me to do?”
“She’s turning seventeen soon,” Nick said absentmindedly, like he hadn’t even heard me. “She doesn’t know what she is. She doesn’t know about this world, she’s an easy target,” He continued to stare into the fire as he mumbled. “I need you to help her. I don’t trust anyone else.”
“What do you want me to do?” I asked again, watching the reflection of the flames in his blue eyes. My heart empathised with the grief and sorrow he must be feeling. Nick finally turned away from the fire and acknowledged me.
“I want you to keep her safe, watch her, befriend her if you must and help her understand her abilities. But most of all, make sure that no one gets to her.”
His hard eyes pierced into mine and I nodded in agreement, even though my thoughts were all muddled. I would have preferred to go back to the forest but Nick was like a brother to me. I owed him my life so I couldn’t exactly decline, besides how hard could it be?
We spent a couple of hours catching up before I said my goodbyes and tried to teleport away, but it didn’t work. I tried again, this time by closing my eyes and really concentrating on the task at hand. To my frustration I remained put.
Nick gave me a smirk. “It won’t work. We aren’t in the human realm anymore.”
I met his gaze. “Then where are we? Because last time I checked your house was still there.”
“Well, it’s in a hell dimension now,” he said with a wink.
My mouth went dry and I froze. Memories of my imprisonment swam before me. “What?”
How had I not realised it? That would explain why the house felt different.
“I’m sorry, Jax.” He placed a hand on my shoulder. “I didn’t think.”
I glared at him and pushed the memories aside. “Care to tell me why you would do something this stupid?”
Nick shrugged. “It’s a long story. The short version, I grew tired of being attacked. Everyone seemed to sense where I lived, almost like my emotions from losing Lily created a negative force that attracted all the demons that resided in the human world. It's easier this way, there is so much negativity around that no one even knows I’m here.”
I ran my hand through my hair. I hadn’t expected this. “So how do I get back?”
“Let me show you.” He gave me a smile and gestured towards the hallway.
I followed Nick to the front door. When he opened it I closed my eyes, expecting mayhem, but outside looked exactly like where Nick’s house used to be in the human world. In the middle of an English suburb with terrace houses made of brick and rounded front windows. I rubbed my chin and blinked a few times. “I don’t understand, it looks like the human realm.”
Nick chuckled, “That's because it is. The doorway is a portal. When you step through, you will no longer be in the hell dimension.” He gave me a smug smile. “See, I told you I’d always have your back.”
I gave him a pat on the shoulder. “Look after yourself.”
“As long as you make sure nothing happens to Cassie.”
“I will protect her with my life.”
Nick gave me a nod.
I stared at the door for a moment while running my hand through my hair. Here goes nothing. I took a deep breath as I stepped through the door. When I reached the other side, I turned around. Nick gave me a cheeky grin, as if to say ‘I told you so’ before he closed the door. I transformed into my crow form and flew off. I welcomed the flight as Nick had given me a lot to think about.
I walked up the stairs that led to the entrance of the sixth form college Cassie attended. With each step, my heart beat faster. It had been almost half a century since I’d last hung out around humans. Would the school be similar to how it was the last time I had masqueraded as a student? It was a good thing I still had my youthful look about me. I smoothed down my brown messy hair before continuing through the entrance. When I got inside I rubbed the back of my neck as I scanned the area. It was a big spacious hall with stairs in the back and doorways to the sides. A few students stood in groups talking, but they paid no attention to me. My eyes landed on the information desk to my right. I approached it, my stomach tightening. “Hey.” I gave the woman behind it a smile. “I’m new. I have a meeting with the head teacher. Would you mind telling me how to get there?” I didn’t get another chance to talk to Cassie that day. When school finished, I went house hunting. After several hours of flying around looking for houses, I saw one that looked promising. The large amount of untouched land that surrounded it, pulled me in. The house would be perfect, the forest providing the privacy I needed to come and go as a crow. I scanned the forest, and sensed that it belonged to a pack of shapeshifters. Having the wolves nearby wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as I stayed out of their territory. I turned back to my human form and approached the house. I passed a sales sign, and a car parked on the driveway. The house looked a bit run down, with a few cracked roof panels, flaking paint by the window sills and it could do with a new door. However, it wouldn’t be hard for me to fix. I rang the doorbell, hoping the owner would be
Forgotten memories Chapter 3: My New House
I didn’t get another chance to talk to Cassie that day. When school finished, I went house hunting. After several hours of flying around looking for houses, I saw one that looked promising. The large amount of untouched land that surrounded it, pulled me in. The house would be perfect, the forest providing the privacy I needed to come and go as a crow. I scanned the forest, and sensed that it belonged to a pack of shapeshifters. Having the wolves nearby wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as I stayed out of their territory. I turned back to my human form and approached the house. I passed a sales sign, and a car parked on the driveway. The house looked a bit run down, with a few cracked roof panels, flaking paint by the window sills and it could do with a new door. However, it wouldn’t be hard for me to fix. I rang the doorbell, hoping the owner would be
I woke up to the morning sun shining through my window. The clock on the bedside table showed that I had a couple of hours to spare. Too excited to continue sleeping, I got up and took a shower, humming to myself as I got ready for the day. Hopefully I would be able to talk more to Cassie today. I struggled to contain my excitement and even though there was still plenty of time before school started, I stepped outside. The warm breeze danced on my skin and a wide grin emerged on my face. I turned into a crow and flew around the neighbourhood before slowly making my way to school. I landed at the far end of the car park and transformed back to my human form behind the shelter of some trees. I made my way over to the building and walked over to my first class. A few students had already arrived, but none of them were Cassie. I scanned the classroom before sliding down in a chair with an empty seat next to i
I teleported to the forest where Freya lived. The shield around the area made it impossible to teleport directly to Freya’s cottage. For this reason, I had to make the journey the old fashion way, which involved several hours of flying. I enjoyed flying, so it didn’t bother me. During my childhood I had explored this area extensively, so I knew the ins and outs of the place and which parts allowed teleportation. The bright and colourful landscape gave the forest a magical glow, every shade of colour clearly visible. The seasons didn’t affect this place like they did in the human world. Even though the leaves on the trees changed colour, a warm breeze was always present. When in the mood, I would fly through the trees, enjoying the nature and wildlife. Sometimes I would even check in on the other magical beings th
The days went on and I tried my best to give Cassie space. I watched her from a distance, paying attention to anything suspicious. Nick hadn’t specified what may come after her. Maybe he didn’t know? Either way, I was on high alert, ready to step in and protect her if anything happened. She still hadn’t texted me, and when I saw her in school, she made no attempt to talk to me. Most of the time she sat on the other side of the classroom. Why was she avoiding me? I kept away from Mark as much as I could. The bullying got on my nerves. Why couldn’t he just leave me alone? Every time I saw him, he would slag me off or slam me into the lockers. It pissed me off. What did he have against me? When my anger boiled over, I clenched my fists and took a few deep breaths, reminding myself why I couldn’t stoop to his level and retaliate. An uncomfortable silence arose as I drove Cassie back to the house. My fingers tapped on the steering wheel as I tried to come up with something to say. I glanced over at Cassie. She looked out the window, absentmindedly fidgeting with the necklace. Maybe I should just let her digest everything I told her earlier. It confused me how she had handled everything in a calm manner. Why had she not freaked out? Did she already know about the supernatural world? Turning into Cassie’s driveway. I turned off the engine and got out of the car. Taking a deep breath, I made my way around the car to open the door for Cassie. She glanced up at me, parting her lips as if to say something. When I met her gaze, she looked away and climbed out. I gave her a smile and closed the door behind her, letting my hand rest on the car as I watched her walk up to the porch. “Cassie,” I
Forgotten memories Chapter 7: A coffee Shop
An uncomfortable silence arose as I drove Cassie back to the house. My fingers tapped on the steering wheel as I tried to come up with something to say. I glanced over at Cassie. She looked out the window, absentmindedly fidgeting with the necklace. Maybe I should just let her digest everything I told her earlier. It confused me how she had handled everything in a calm manner. Why had she not freaked out? Did she already know about the supernatural world? Turning into Cassie’s driveway. I turned off the engine and got out of the car. Taking a deep breath, I made my way around the car to open the door for Cassie. She glanced up at me, parting her lips as if to say something. When I met her gaze, she looked away and climbed out. I gave her a smile and closed the door behind her, letting my hand rest on the car as I watched her walk up to the porch. “Cassie,” I
After I got back from seeing Cassie, I walked around the house with a wide grin on my face.She seemed comfortable around me today. Maybe this was the first few steps of becoming friends. A strange feeling entered my body when I thought of Cassie. Nothing bad, just a feeling that I used to know her, but I couldn’t figure out why. Cassie had only just turned seventeen, so I would have remembered if I had met her before. I shook my head. It didn’t make sense. I thought about telling Nick how the week had gone. But he had told me to be careful and only get in contact if anything important happened, and he already knew Cassie was getting her powers so I didn’t think that qualified. Besides, he would probably have my head if he realised that I had feelings towards his daughter. Feeling restless, I turned into a crow. N
When Leah’s car disappeared in the distance, I transformed into a crow. Sensing her magic made me uneasy. Why could I feel Leah’s magic this time when I hadn’t been able to notice it before? I followed them. The clear sky improved my visibility, and the black mini was easy to spot from above, so I kept my distance, even though I knew they wouldn’t be able to recognise me. The trees gave way to buildings and eventually I was gliding over the rooftops. I landed in the tree next to the driveway as Leah parked up. Leah’s magical energy was easy to detect until they walked inside. Despite the protective barrier I had put up, I should still be able to detect it. But I couldn’t sense it anymore, only their personal energies. It worried me. In all my years, I had never encountered anything like this. Why did it happen? I