I could feel the tears sliding down my face when the police had come back. They told me that there was no sign of my dad anywhere, but they found his tent and equipment. My father had told and promised me he would be back by nightfall when he left yesterday. After coming back home from school to find that he wasn’t home yet had me worried, but I figured he was busy with something so I waited to see if he came home the next morning. When he never did I ended up calling the police. They looked for him the entire day, but after they came back telling me what they found they made the comment that he might have fallen off the nearby cliff.
I was only sixteen so I couldn’t stay at the house alone. So now my dad’s sister was coming by to help me finish packing up my things to go with her and live at her house. She was allowing me, although, to spend at least one more night in my house before we left for her home. The police didn’t stay long. They left later in the afternoon and I had gone up to my room.
An hour later I heard the door downstairs open and close. Sitting on my bed I waited for some voice or sound to let me know who it was that just came in. After a few minutes I heard someone moving downstairs before they began to head up the stair steps.
“Rayna?” A voice called out belonging to only one person.
Not long after calling my name, my aunt stepped into my doorway. She stood about 5’9” in her late thirties. Her auburn hair was cut to a short bob that barely ended at the bottom of her ears. Her dark brown eyes locked onto me before a smile slowly appeared on her too narrow of a face.
“Rayna, I’m so sorry about your father.” She said in a high little type of voice. “First your mother and now your father too.”
I watched her with blank cold eyes, but didn’t say anything back. I looked my aunt in the eyes and something in my eyes caused the big woman to flinch ever so slightly away from me. For a 250lb woman she could flitch and still look bulky and huge.
“I’m going to go lay down.” She stated before leaving me alone in my bedroom once more.
I was much smaller, compared to my aunt, standing at 5’3” and I was slim like my mother and father. Instead of the auburn hair my father and aunt possessed I had a thick mass raven colored hair with natural auburn highlights. I also possessed dark unnatural green eyes which might have been what caused my aunt to flinch.
My dad was always telling me that I looked like my mother since I possessed her black hair and unnerving eyes. I was only five though when she suddenly went missing while she was out rock climbing at the same place my father had now vanished from. I also seemed to have taken on my mothers pale complexion, but inherited my father’s and mother’s personalities. As I thought over my parents a male black cat suddenly jumped up on my bed and sat down looking at me with his startling grey eyes.
“Hey Damen.” I whispered to my little black cat.
I’ve had him as long as I could remember. His fur was a pure black except for his left paw. His left paw was an ashen color repetition. He had always been my best friend ever since I was little. I usually told him everything knowing he heard me and for some reason it felt like he understood me and answered back in his own way.
“You should stay away from her.” I whispered to him as I picked his slim body up. “You know how much she hates cats.”
“Meow.” was the only answer I would be getting as he curled up in my arms.
A sigh left my pale lips as I sat there looking at the wall across from me. I felt the hours slowly tick by before I finally decided to move Damen onto the nearby pillow and got up to go downstairs into the kitchen. I immediately headed to the fridge and grabbed a slice of pizza from the other night. Popping it into the microwave for about 40 seconds I headed back over to the fridge to get some milk.
The beeper from the microwave sounded loud in the silent house letting me know the pizza was done. Upon grabbing it I headed back up to my room. Closing the door quietly behind me I went back to my bed to sit back down next to Damen. Slowly eating my pizza and drinking the milk helped to further past the time by, but it wasn’t long until it was time to get ready for bed. Throwing the plate away in the waste basket in my room I headed over to my closet to get out a pair of pajamas. Picking randomly I grabbed dark green pajama bottoms and a black tank top.
Changing went by fast as well as I went back to my bed and went underneath the covers. Glancing at the alarm clock and seeing it was a 11pm did I suddenly feel tired. Curling up beside Damen I soon fell asleep.
The smell of my mother’s perfume filled the room as I laid there fast asleep. Not until a hand brushed my cheek, did I finally jump awake startled. As I looked at what had touched me I realized I was looking at my mother. She hadn’t changed much with the years that had gone by since I last saw her. She still carried the black straight mass of hair that I did, but now her hair was down around her knees like she hasn’t been able to cut it in years. She stood at about 5’5” and her skin seemed a little darker than its pale white it once had been.
“Rayna, my little kitten, I’ve missed you so much.” She whispered to me as she stroked my hair.
Little kitten had always been her nickname for me ever since I was little, but she would never tell me why she called me that.
“I can’t speak to you for long, but since your father has been taken you have become the last hope for our once peaceful land.”
“What are you talking about mom?” I asked out of confusion as I looked at her from where I lay in my bed.
“You’ll find out once you are able to get here. The portal is where both your father and I have been taken from. If you need guidance you can always look towards Damen.” She whispered quickly as if someone was coming from wherever she was at. “I must leave before he finds out that you are still alive and not dead.”
A door banged open and a man’s voice could be heard asking my mother who she was talking to before she suddenly disappeared.
Opening my eyes I found myself in my bedroom and still in my bed. The smell of my mother’s jasmine perfume still hung heavily in the air making me realize that the dream couldn’t have been just a dream. Looking over at my clock I saw it was only 1:00am meaning I’ve slept for only 2 hours. Looking over at Damen I saw him wide awake and sitting in front of me as if waiting.
“Fine we’ll go and see if the dream I just had was real or not. I’ve got nothing left to lose anyways.” I whispered to him before scratching him behind his ear.
“Meow.” was all I received besides the purring noise that began to leave his chest.
Getting up out of bed I headed over to my dresser and opened one of the many drawers to grab a jean mini skirt and a black bra from another drawer. Slipping the bra on underneath the black tank top was easy and slipping into my skirt after taking the bottoms off was even easier. Grabbing a pair of ankle socks and slipping those on as well as a pair of black skater shoes made it seem like 5 minutes went by, but really only two had gone by. I grabbed my gray jacket with the fuzzy on the inside and slipped that on before putting on a gray cap that looked like a newspaper boy back from the old days would have worn.
Nodding at myself in the reflection I quickly headed out of my room with Damen close to my heels. Sneaking down the stairs was and getting to the door was easy. I stood still listening for the loud snores of my aunt which took a few minutes, but making sure she was still asleep was important so that she didn’t catch me leaving. I put some of mid neck length bangs behind my left ear I silently opened the door and slipped out.
Heading over to my black convertible I quickly unlocked it and let Damen jump in on the driver side before I got inside myself. The engine was a quiet purr as I turned the car on and slipped out of the driveway. The street was completely empty and quiet. Leaving the little house behind was painful, but going to live with my aunt would have been much worse.
The spot where both my parents disappeared at wasn’t too far away from my home and I quickly headed there hoping the dream was just a dream. Damen sat in the passenger seat beside me and I swear I could feel his grey eyes looking into my side as if waiting for me to turn around and head back home. I didn’t though, instead I continued to drive to the cliff, and see what really happened to my father and mother.
Upon reaching the cliff I pulled up against the trees and turned off the headlights before a sigh escaped my lips once more. Glancing at Damen, I saw his ears twitch before he jumped into my lap and licked my hand before scratching at the door handle as if knowing what was going on.
“If you say so.” I whispered to him knowing he wouldn’t ever leave me after letting him out so often.
Opening the door for him and watching him jump out and heading over to the cliff made me curious. I slipped out of the car silently and closing the door behind me. I quickly followed Damen over to the beginning of the rock climb and the edge of the cliff. He jumped into my arms once I reached him and licked my cheek and began to rub against my neck before jumping back down. He walked with confidence to the edge of the cliff and the beginning of the rocks.
“Damen no…” I started, but he was suddenly gone as if he disappeared…but that couldn’t be.
Nothing can’t just disappear like that…not even if a poof was involved. Walking over to the spot he had just been at, I saw something weird and I reached out to touch it. I saw hand suddenly come out of it and grab my wrist before pulling me in as well.
A scream began to tear from my throat, but it never came as I felt my eyes close and my mind go suddenly blank. After that I just felt like I was falling and someone was there catching me.
“Rayna?…Rayna, can you hear me?”
This was the first thing I heard as I slowly began to wake up. A cold hand kept touching my head as if to check for a fever, but I didn’t feel sick. Actually I felt great for some odd reason. I could feel something soft and itchy underneath me as I slowly began to recall what had happened. Opening my eyes to fast caused everything to blur for a bit before my vision began to slowly clear.
The first thing I saw was a boy’s face. He seemed very concern for some reason even though I didn’t know who he was. His grey eyes were full of worry and fear as he watched my face. His raven black hair was short, but it still seemed it could be spiked or even become bed head.
“Are you okay?” His voice was not deep, but not to high like he hadn’t hit puberty yet. It was just the right kind of voice that very few males get.
“Um…yeah, but what happened?” I asked out of curiosity.
“You passed out after coming through and have been asleep for quiet some time.” He explained to me as if knowing that I wouldn’t understand.
Suddenly remembering the escape from my home and the drive to the cliff became clear in my mind. I remembered Damen and how he had been in my arms and than suddenly vanished. The hand that came out of thin air and grabbed my wrist made things seem very wrong.
“Where am I?” I asked as fear slowly creped into my voice.
“Your in a parallel dimension from the mortal world. This is Ateria your home and world.” He explained softly to me.
“What are you talking about and who are you?” I could feel the fear growing, but also anger was beginning to join it.
“I am Damen and I have been your guardian and protector for your entire life. This place is your original home world, but you had been taken to the mortal world by the king and queen to protect you as their only heir.” He tried to explain, but I just couldn’t believe it.
“Have you seen a black cat by chance that might be here?” I not remembered that Damen, my kitty, had disappeared as well.
“That is I.” He stated as he looked at me in a sincere way.
“No this can’t be right. There is no other dimension or no human being that can change from a cat to a human boy.” I growled at him as I sat up. “If you can’t tell me where Damen went I’ll find him myself.”
“Why when I’m right in front of you.” The boy who called himself Damen growled as he sat on his knees watching me still.
Looking around I realized I was in a forest and that this defiantly where I had grown up at. The trees here were huge and green as a pine smell wafted on a breeze.
“I just want to go home so if you don’t mind just leave.” I growled back as I continue to look at him unsure of him.
“Fine if you don’t believe me I’ll just prove it to you.” The boy growled as he suddenly closed his eyes and began to disappear.
After a few seconds my kitty, Damen, stood where the boy had once been. Shaking my head ever so slightly I began to scoot back as the cat began to walk towards me.
“This…this just can’t be real.” I muttered, but somewhere in my mind I knew it was and that I as meant to be here.
“Meow” was the cat’s reply before it suddenly changed back into the boy. “Rayna, everything will be fine. I’ll protect you and I’ll never leave you alone or by yourself.” He whispered as he held out a nice slim hand towards me.
“How do I know I can trust you?” I asked looking at his offered hand with uncertainty.
“I was appointed as your guardian no matter the situation and I will do my best to be there for you.” He stated and his startling grey eyes showed that he was speaking the truth.
After watching him for a bit I finally accepted his hand and let him pull me up, but I still didn’t trust him as I stood in front of him unsure. He seemed to be watching me waiting to see what my decision would be, but I really didn’t know. Staying with him though might be better since he knew this place better than I do and getting lost wouldn’t be the greatest thing.
“Come on we need to get you something to cover up better so your not recognized to easily.” He seemed to be still explaining things to me ike Iwas a little kid once more.
“You don’t need to keep explaining things to me. I’m not that dense or that young anymore.” I commented.
As I finished I could have sworn I saw a smirk appear on his lips and heard a chuckle, but it just seemed to odd. He seemed to shake his head for a bit as well before looking up at me with his startling eyes.
“I know you aren’t a child or dense, but since you don’t know this place I find it easier just to explain it to you. Unless you want to get lost and confused and not understand anything.” He stated looking at me and waited for an answer.
I just shook my head as a reply not feeling like getting into this argument with this person at the time being. It just seemed to much work and being here made everything seem a little harder. I glanced around us at the forest again out of some curiosity as Damen started to walk. I quickly followed in step behind him not wanting to fall behind or anything.
“Can everyone here change forms like you do?” I asked as I watched his back silently.
“For the most part, yes, but we do have the occasional vampire, and human, but that’s about it.” He answered.
“Are they all different?”
“Yes, they are. There are were-tigers, were-hyena’s, were-wolves, mainly were any animal for the most part. There are even dragons who can take on a human form, but they have to be really strong to do that.”
“Oh okay.” I muttered as I let everything he said sink in and I began to analyze it and remember it for later on.
We continued to walk on as I finally noticed it was night out. Looking up at the sky proved that to be right as the moon glowed and the stars shined from high above.
“So how come you’re a black kitten?” I ended up asking as the question popped in my mind.
“I’m not really a kitten I just took on that form while in the mortal world. I’m truly a panther that is ever so slightly bigger than the average sized panther.”
“Why do you call it the mortal world?”
“Because the humans there never accepted us as we are and decided to hunt us. We soon found this dimension where some of out kind had already gone a long tie ago and we joined them. The few humans who liked being with us came with us and now their ancestors live on in the current humans. Here we can be what we truly are instead of hiding in fear of being found out and killed.”
“Oh. That had to suck, but we never could accept something that didn’t seem to really exist except in books and fairytales.” I stated as continued to look at his back.
“Your not a human, Rayna, your like me or similar at least.” He explained and everything we quiet from there.
I let what he said sink in unsure if I really believed him or not. Being told your something after being something else for so long makes things complicated. I didn’t even understand how I was being so calm with being here instead of going crazy or being scared. Continuing to follow behind Damen I caught something in the corner of my eye that seemed to be out of place. When I looked it didn’t seem to be there any longer.
As I continued to look closer I could see a shadow move in the trees and standing there I began to feel the fear run through my body and enter my face and eyes. Damen was still walking and hadn’t seemed to noticed I stopped yet. As the shadow began to come towards me at a very fast pace did I suddenly tense up ready for the impact.
“Rayna you idiot.” Damen growled and was suddenly in front of me protecting me as the shadowed figure rammed into him.
I quickly backed away scared at the huge leopard that had Damen’s arm in a death grip. I didn’t know what to do, but when those dark brown cat eyes turned to me I felt myself freeze. Damen seemed to had thrown the big cat away from him, but his arms was a bloody mess. As I looked at his arm I felt something heavy enter the air before the dark haired boy before me slowly began to change.