Nightmare

The next morning seemed normal at first to Alex, who had been a sleep maybe an hour ago, but as he walked from his room to the cafeteria he began to notice an underlying sense of unease. It seemed stranger than normal to him considering it was as if the whole tournament never happened. People quietly spoke to one another as he passed by. He was almost halfway to his destination before he saw the mass of people surrounding something. It had to be something interesting, since even after he approached no one paid any heed to his inquiries.

He was about ready to force his way through when a nauseous Loud Joe appeared. He was several shares paler and greener for that matter. Worried, Alex approached him.

“Hey Joe, what’s going on?” Joe looked up at him he seemed almost to disturbed for words. He took several deep breaths before responding to the inquiry.

“It’s Jamie… she’s dead. Her throat’s been torn out by something.” Alex didn’t react to his words at first. Surely he had been mistaken. It was one thing to lose someone in battle. Each person had prepared themselves for the possibility of that. But to lose someone in the safety of the campus… it was to much to bare. It wasn’t even that he knew her. It made the perceived safety of their home come into question. A perception that they had all fought hard to maintain.

“I’ve gotta go.”

~#~#~#~

A metallic scent permeated his senses as woke. His memory was a mess of incoherence and pain. All he knew was hunger and a primal need to hunt. His eyes opened to a blur, but crimson was all he saw. his room had been covered in blood. It looked like buckets of blood. Far more than one person could have. His taste buds were overwhelmed by the taste of iron. He rose from his bed and rushed to the connecting bathroom. Nausea took over as he vomited into the toilet. Soon he found himself dry heaving into the bowl.

Josh flushed the toilet. He took deep breaths trying to calm his nerves from the sight of his room which overpowered the rest of his thoughts. He suppressed the thoughts and the sudden urge to vomit again. Wordlessly his mind shifted to a dulled sense of reality as his mind switched to autopilot. He scalded himself as hot water washed away the dried sanguine material from his flesh.

After several minutes of scrubbing himself raw he left the shower clean but still felt filthy. Without realizing his actions any more the white aligned mage cast and removed the blood in his room from his sight and what he hoped out of his mind. Before he knew it he was gone from the room not ready for what he was going to hear next.

~#~#~#~

People were buzzing about at the news of the murders that took place the night before, and to make it stranger several dead animals were found mauled on the school grounds. Each one with its own bite marks. It gave a foreboding feeling to all that heard the news and knew any of the details. Sitting together in Alex’s lab Maytee, Peepers, Nick, and Alex himself were discussing things behind locked doors.

“Whad’dya think they’re talking about? ” Zach found himself asking Loud Joe, as he glanced over at the door for the 8th time. It was strange for all of them to lock themselves in one room and ignore other obligations. Joe glanced over at the red mage after hearing the profoundly dumb comment.

“What everyone else is talking about… The deaths. If it’s wild animals like it looks like, then Nick is in hot water. Since his pushing made them have predators placed in the forest.”

“But I thought the shields we placed would prevent that?”

“Only against directly damaging spells. A rabid animal can still pass through since no magic is involved. Why do you think we have to fight off so many shifters?”

“Oh…” The sealed door to the lab swung open and slammed shut loudly causing both mages to jump at the sudden noise. They turned to see Nick storming off from the room, with Alex following shortly after. After a few paces though he seems to think better of it and slows to a stop.

After several tense moments Zach mustered up the nerve first to ask. “What was that all about?”

~#~#~#~

The day had quickly passed into night. A figure hobbled through the open courtyard as the last rays of sunlight disappeared. His insides were burning. Sweat drenched his face in the cool night air. He felt a change, and snap inside of him. He didn’t know what to make of it. Uncontrolled fear took over as he fell. He felt immense pain as his spine extended forming a tail. Fur grew all over his body. His hands and feet became clawed, and his face extended to a ratlike appearance and his teeth sharpened to flesh tearing points. He was excited he got to hunt again tonight, and he was ready for another night of fun and terror.

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