Aquila awoke. The blanket felt a lot heavier than usual. It was difficult to move but she managed to struggle the blanket away. She looked at it but it looked just as usual. Wondering which time it was she turned to her clock and looked at it. It said 3am, but that wasn't possible. It wasn't dark enough. She decided to get up but her legs didn't reach the floor. She looked at them, slowly realising that they weren't her legs. They were a cat's legs. Her arms didn't look like her arms either, and turning her head she slowly realized it: She was a cat. But, of course, she couldn't be a cat, right? So she was dreaming. It was the only way she could be a cat. For some time she walked and jumped in her room, and she even tried to open the door, but she didn't manage to pull the handle. After some time she decided to go back and sleep again. If sleeping in a dream was possible. She laid down on her bed and closed her eyes.
Aquila awoke. She was on the top of her blanket, and the clock said it was 7am. She decided to get up and started a usual day, not remembering her dream.
Aquila was walking through the forest. She loved the silence and the nature, but most of the time she was far too lazy to go outside for a walk. Although she exactly new that she'd like it the moment she started. But this time wasn't only special because she was on a walk, but also because she was doing it without permission. It was a winter’s day, and everything was covered in snow. She had asked her parents for permission to walk through the forest, but they didn't give it, saying it was far too dangerous with all the snow. So Aquila had promised them not to leave the city. She hated to lie to her parents, but she couldn't wait to see what the forest would look like.
Suddenly she heard a squeak in front of her. Carefully she approached the bush it seemed to come from. There were some wild piglets, playing. While she was still watching them she heard another sound from behind her. Something like a snuffle. She slowly turned, looking at a fully grown wild boar. "You're probably the mother" she mumbled, slowly trying to get out of the mothers way to her children, knowing that boars are pretty dangerous animals (in fact she had been warned about them as early as in kindergarten). The boar started to run towards her and Aquila turned and fled. While she was running she could here the boar approach. Therefore not watching the way, she suddenly lost the ground under her feet. She had run into an abyss washed out by a river flowing at it's ground. Still in the air she desperately waved her arms, "but of course I'll die", she thought, when suddenly...
Aquila felt the air under her arms, felt the pressure of it growing bigger and bigger, and then she stopped falling and started gliding. Too afraid to do anything she didn't move until she reached the rivers shore. Then everything faded in black.
Aquila awoke. She was lying on the shore of the river, remembering a flight. "I must have hit my head", she thought. "Nothing of this was real, obviously. Well, it's a long way home." Aquila started walking, and of course she didn't tell anyone what had happened. Firstly, because she was walking through the forest without permission, and secondly, because she wasn't hurt at all, a huge luck, making the visit of a doctor unnecessary.
Aquila walked through the forest again. Spring had come and melted the snow, so she wasn't afraid of slipping and falling anymore. "I'll go and see this abyss" she decided, and went to see it. Filled with all the melted snow the river on its ground was a lot bigger than she remembered it to be, and a lot faster. It had overflooded its shore, now filling the whole abyss. "Lucky I didn't fall in spring" she thought and walked on.
Aquila was already on her way back when she heard something sounding like a fight. She carefully looked around the corner. A group of strange people (strange mainly because all of them had something special like uncommon clothing, or coloured hair) fought each other, throwing burning balls (or so it seemed), using knives and swords, guns and crossbows, hand and feet. Although she didn't know what was happening, Aquila decided not to go this way. Those people were obviously crazy.
She already wanted to turn around and leave, when a guy, in the middle of the fight, saw her. He shouted and pointed at her, but, being surrounded by fighting people, he'd need some time to get out of this. Realizing that he'd try to catch her (although she wasn't too sure why), Aquila turned and started to run, back into the forest, away from the streets which didn't offer a place to hide. But the forest, too, didn't offer many hideouts. The trees hadn't grown leaves, yet, and there were no fallen trees to hide behind. And Aquila somehow wasn't too sure about simply standing behind a tree. But there was not much of an opportunity, so she went on, searching for a tree as big as possible. Actually she found one, and when she ran around it, she saw a fox-hole, digged between it's roots. "But it's too small, I'll never fit-" Aquila heard someone, at the other side of the tree. And, without thinking about it any longer, she crawled into the fox-hole.
"This fox-hole is a lot bigger than it looks" she thought, curling up inside it. She heard some steps, and then saw a pair of shoes in front of the hole. Aquila held her breath, but he walked past the hole. Slowly relaxing, she looked around, in order to see her surroundings. Maybe she just needed something to do until she was sure that he was gone, maybe she was just curious, but looking around, she saw a fox's tail. First she was sure that there'd be a fox in here, in the same hole she was sitting in. But her perspective didn't fit. Seeing the tail like this, the fox would have to sit on her, and she was sure that she'd have noticed it.
Turning her head she managed to see more of the fox's body, but not hers. It still took her some seconds to realize that she was the fox. Then she remembered the fall that wasn't a fall, the time she thought she'd hit her head. She remembered, finally. And still, she couldn't believe it. But -not enough air to breathe/hit head crawling into this hole-> hallucinations, dreaming, going mad- non of her explanations did really work. "I'll just not think about it" she decided. And, not remembering to check if the man had left, she left the fox-hole.
"I knew you'd come out within 5 minutes." The voice of the man sounded like he'd smile. Aquila turned, stumbled across her own legs and fell on her belly.
The man was sitting on one of the tree's roots, smiling. "So, you're a shape shifter? I don't know many of your kind." he said and jumped down to her.
Aquila tried to say something, but whimpered instead. "Trying to talk? You should change back to human, you know?" "Like I'd know how to do-" Aquila stopped in the middle of her sentence, realizing that she was human again. "This?" he finished her sentence, a worried expression on his face. "Don't tell me you don't know." "Erm..." He sighed. "You don't know since you just discovered you're magic, right?" "That's what I wanted to say, but how...?"
"Did I know it? I'm magic, too." "And all those crazy ones, fighting on that street?" "Too." "So..." "What's next?" "How do you..." "I'm able to see the future." "But..." "That's impossible? Nope. I think I already proofed it." Aquila tried to look angry, but she was far too curious to manage it properly.
"So, what's your name?" she asked "And why were you fighting? “. "I won't tell you my real name. All magic people have three names: The given one, the chosen one and the real one. The given one is the name your parents gave you. It's dangerous to give that one away. The chosen one is the one each of us chooses to protect the given one." "And the real one?" "Most people don't now their real name and will never know it. It's even more dangerous than the given one." "Why?" "I might explain this later. First we should get out of the forest. It'll start raining." It was only then Aquila realized that she was still sitting. She stood up and started following the man.
"So, with given and real name being dangerous, what's your chosen name?" "My chosen name's Israel Elysium." "Israel, like the country?" "You have no idea how often I have to answer this question." Aquila grinned, but decided to be quiet for a bit.
This one is a (belated) wedding-gift for Kallista and Dragona. Enjoy!
They walked back to the city and entered a small restaurant, just before the rain started. "You were right." Aquila said. "Of course." "So... what's next?" Israel started counting backwards:"5 4 3 2 1..." The door bell rang and a group of crazy looking people came in. It took Aquila some moments to realize that they were the same people who had fought on the street. "That..." "I know." "But..." "No, they aren't dangerous." "But..." "Just trust me." Aquila raised an eyebrow, but shut up. She then turned her head back to watch the group. They all looked young, none older than about 25 or 30. And they were loud. Pretty loud. "Look at Israel!" a man, looking about 20, said. "He said he'd have something to check, but I bet he just wanted to stay dry!" "Why didn't you tell us about the rain?" a small girl with long, crimson hair asked. "I'm sure he had good reasons, right?" This girl looked about 16. "I hope he did. We're wet to the bones!" another 16 year old, with long, soft brown hair said, and yet another 16 year old, but with black hair, standing beside her, nodded. A lot of ’Yes’s and 'He'd better have good reasons’s echoed through the crowded restaurant. Aquila saw a waitress, backing away slowly to the kitchens door. She looked at Israel again, but before she could say anything he just said: „I know." Then he turned to the others. "You'd better calm down, be quieter and sit down, or the waitress you just shooed away will call the police within 3 minutes." he said. The group stared at him for about 3 seconds, and then they decided to do as he said. Aquila sat down next to Israel, the 20 year old, the three 16 year olds and the small girl sitting at the same table, looking at her. "Who's that?" the man asked Israel. "She's what I had to check." he answered. "Is there something you want to tell us?" the guy asked. To Aquila he sounded kind of aggressive. She noticed that 16-year-old-one kicked him under the table, before she said: "We'd really like to know what happened." The others nodded. Israel sighed, but told them how he had found the girl next to him. After he finished, everyone stared at Aquila, making her feel very uncomfortable. Suddenly the table was a lot bigger. Aquila had changed to a cat. "She's really a shape shifter!" the blond girl said. "So am I!" the small girl laughed, and then another cat jumped to the place next to Aquila. Aquila looked at her in shock, then jumped on Israel’s shoulder and tried not to fall down again. But the other cat followed her and she fell. Landing on the floor she changed back to human and "Ouch." she mumbled. Now she was sitting between the chairs and the table. The cat jumped to the floor, turned back to a small girl and giggled. "She's not a very experienced one, though." she said, trying not to laugh. Aquila sighed and sat back on her chair. "So, since you know who I am: Who are you and why were you fighting on this street?" she asked, trying to change the topic. 16-year-old-one smiled. "I'm Kallista. This" she pointed at the guy who had asked the questions "is Dragona, they" brown and black haired ones "are Rosella and Nyx. And this" the small girl "is March or just Mar. And you already know Israel." she finished, still smiling. "But why were you fighting?" Aquila asked again. "Well, I just married Kallista and we were fighting for fun. After the dancing. And the marriage itself. And the food." "Ok..." Aquila looked from Dragona to Kallista and back again. "...but... aren't you a bit young to marry him?" she asked looking at Kallista again. March laughed. "How old do you think I am?" she asked. "About... 10? Not older than 13. “, Aquila answered. “I'm 65." March said. "None of us is as old as we look." Aquila turned to Israel. He nodded. Aquila sighed and decided to ignore all the other confusing things. She'd just look stupid anyway. Whilst they had been talking, the waitresses, there were two of them, had started to take orders and bring food, and soon everyone was
talking, eating and laughing.
"It's time for me to go home." Aquila had just looked at her watch. It was about 7pm - quite a long time for taking a walk. Any longer, and her parents might become worried. “You can't go already. We barely had time to talk!" Kallista said. Aquila tried not to grin: they had talked for more than two hours by now. But, since the others around the table nodded, she gave in. "Ok, I'll stay a bit longer. But I'll have to call my parents." She took her mobile and dialled. After a short time someone answered the call. "Hallo Mama! Du, ich komm erst in so ein oder zwei Stunden heim. Nur dass du dir keine Sorgen machst." Listening to her mothers answer, Aquila looked around the table. Most of them looked pretty surprised. "Ja, ich dich auch. Bis nachher!" She hung up the phone. Everyone was looking at her. "What language was that?" Kallista asked. "German." Aquila answered. "You're a German, right? I already wondered about your accent." Mar said, and Aquila smiled. "Yes, I'm a German. Did you really expect to meet an Anglophone non-German in Germany? By chance?" "We're in Germany?" Dragona said. "But the waitresses spoke English and the menus were in English, too." "They surely heard you talking when you came in. So they already knew that you speak English and therefore talked English and brought you an English menu." Aquila said, before realizing something else." Hey, wait a sec... How comes you don't know which country you're in?" she asked.
They were just about to answer her question when someone ran into the restaurant. Aquila was pretty sure that this 14 year old (looking) girl with dark, brown hair was part of their group, too.
"Zombies!" she shouted, "A lot of them! They followed me. We only have one or two minutes!" Aquila looked at Israel. "Zombies. She's joking, right?" "I'm afraid she's serious." he said, before calling over to her: "How many, Darkane?" "Enough for me to run back to you lot instead of counting them!" Darkane called back. By now, the restaurant was a chaos. People were preparing weapons, smiling, joking. No one looked worried. "This'll be fun!" she heard Dragona. And everyone seemed to share this opinion. Even Darkane, who seemed worried when she came in was now grinning. "Why do you like Zombies hunting?" Aquila asked, seriously confused. "Because we like killing them." Dragona answered, and the others around her table smiled and nodded. Aquila just shook her head. "They like killing Zombies." she thought "I just hope that their other hobbies are a bit less dangerous." She sighed, but no one noticed.
"They're here!" someone said. By the time it was quite difficult to say who, since everyone was standing at the windows or the door, head outside. Except for Aquila, of course. She still couldn't believe it: Zombies! And the others were actually happy about it! Now everyone was leaving the restaurant to hunt zombies. After the others had left, Aquila walked slowly to the door, looking out of it. The fight had already started. It reminded her of the first time she saw them. They were fighting with about every kind of weapon she could think of, some were even fighting without using any weapon at all. They were laughing, joking, shouting, killing. Zombies were cut, shot, ripped to pieces, they were drowned, burned, blown away. Heads, skin, blood, pieces of things she didn't want to know what they were flew through the air.
It was like seeing snapshots, all she realized were pictures. A sword, piercing through a body. Drops of blood, flying through the air. An exploding head, people, laughing whilst killing... Aquila felt sick. Suddenly, the impression was gone. Everything returned to normal speed, and the sounds came back. Explosions, shots, crackling fire, screams, shouts, laughter. She heard someone swear and looked around. Dragona’s guns seemed to have no munition left. He swore and turned around. Seeing her, standing in the restaurants door, he called over to her. "My swords are leaned against my chair, go and bring them to me!" Then he continued fighting, this time with his bare hands. Aquila turned around and ran back to their table. The swords were quite easy to find, she took both of them and ran back. And, taking a deep breath, she went outside and ran towards Dragona.
Everything around her was a chaos. She tried her best to evade blood and pieces, but she was covered in dirt within seconds. Luckily Dragona was only about 10m away. But even 10m seemed to be very far with all the fighting around her. Kallista jumped over her, landing on her right and punching a zombie. Its head fell off. Rosella and Nyx were fighting side by side, one distracting a zombie, the other one killing it. They seemed to have a nice chat whilst fighting. Aquila watched Mar, walking towards one of the Zombies distracted by them. She hit it on it's head, it turned around, Mar run away and Nyx killed it with a single blow. Darkane balanced on a fence, using her sword like a scythe, mowing zombie heads like grass. Israel seemed to dance with his opponents: every time they tried to get him, he was already gone. Killing whole groups of them with his guns, which seemed to knock the Zombies over with blue waves of light, he had small hills of bodies lying around him. He wasn't the only one. Most of them already had their own hills. So, Aquila had to walk around bodies, trying not to fall on the ground, which was slippery from blood.
By the time she reached Dragona, she was really worried. As far as she knew, those people wanted to keep magic a secret. But here they were, shouting, laughing, exploding things, additionally to the streetlights lighting this alarming scenery with fire from their hands. They were leaving parts and whole bodies on the bloody street.
She reached Dragona, he gave her a short smile, took his swords and continued fighting. Aquila sighed and returned to the restaurant. But she didn't enter it. Seeing her covered in blood, the waitresses would probably call the police. Assumed they hadn't done it already. She tried not to think about what was bound to happen, but failed. "There's got to be a solution!" she thought. And, suddenly, she had an idea.
Twenty minutes later, the last Zombie was killed. Aquila used the short moment and started clapping. The waitresses, the cook, and the two guests who had been in the restaurant, standing next to her, looked at her for a short moment, then they, too, started clapping. By now everybody had turned to them, most looked worried. Aquila gave them a smile, then turned to the others. "Sie sind gut, nicht?" she said. The others nodded and smiled. "Wirklich." answered the cook, and one of the guests asked: "Wann kommt der Film ins Kino?" "Wenn alles gut läuft: nächstes Jahr." Aquila answer, and added: "Jetzt gibt’s eigentlich nichts mehr zu sehen, wir räumen nur noch auf." "Dann geh' ich mal wieder rein." the cook said, the others agreed and followed him inside. When they were gone, Aquila turned to the others, who were still looking at her, in obvious confusion.
"Good fight. And now: clean this mess!" she said, and pointed at some dead Zombies.
"There is no way I am cleaning THAT up!" Nyx said, staring at the mess of zombies. Aquila sighed. "Listen. I barely managed to keep the police away. They were just about to come when I called them, and it took me a lot to first convince them that we're just making a movie and second to explain, how horribly sorry I am that no one warned them and that we didn't ask for permission. Not to mention that I hate to lie. Then I had to calm those people in the restaurant down, and to convince them, too. And I even managed to keep the police from making us pay a fee... but only if this street returns to his old looking until 5 next morning." A lot of 'but's and 'won't's answered her. She just arched an eyebrow at them and said: "There are five people in this restaurant who saw you and are able to describe you. And there's the police who'll check if this mess is gone tomorrow in the morning. And they'll surely notice that that" she pointed at some zombie parts "is no decoration. So they'll try everything to hunt you down. Plus their investigations might reveal the existence of magic." And with that she just turned around and left. Now it was up to them, she just wanted to get out of those blood-soaked clothes and get a shower.
Aquila awoke. By now she was back to her usual life for a whole week... well, her usual life plus trying not to change into something. But her daily life wasn't surprising or dangerous enough to make her change uncontrolled. Late at night she had started to learn how to change purposely.
And slowly but surely she was becoming better at it.