The image of the medieval king struck my iris and blurred Black and white images flashed across my mind of something that appeared to be a party, a group dancing on the dance floor, and the same king sitting on a throne. The images had barely ended when a name formed across my lips effortlessly.
“King Eric the third, of Windsor Castle, who was mainly famous for his unique style of fighting with his trusted dagger and rarely a sword,” I blabbered automatically, without even realizing what words escaped my mouth, it was as though someone had forced the words out of me. The entire class gazed at me in absolute shock, with their mouths wide open as though they had just discovered a horrifying alien lurking inside me.
“Brilliant!” cried Grey, giving me a wide smile as though Christmas had arrived a month early. “A round of applause for Miss Parkinson here, full marks!” he exclaimed, and the crowd smacked their hands together in a cold and uncaring manner.
“Brilliant!” cried Judy, in a mocking imitation of Grey's rigid voice, as we walked home from the bus stop. “Now somebody here actually did study for History, but didn’t bother enough to let her ‘friends’ know about it.
“Judy I didn’t!” I snapped, without looking her. She had bitten off my head with her sulking the entire bus ride and couldn’t stop now either. But more than her bickering the thing that was feasting my mind was the brief vision, and the answering spontaneously coming out of my mouth. My mind was so full of the incident that I turned a deaf ear to Judy's noise completely. The vision wasn't the only thing that ached my mind, but since the starting of the day, I felt as though someone or something was tailing me continuously. My intuitive feelings were alarming constantly that some sort of being was closer to me than my shadow, struggling desperately to engulf me. I dropped Judy at her house (we were neighbours), making no further attempts to reassure her and went home.
“So, how was school today princess?” asked dad, as we munched on our pot roast which mum had prepared as always, making it the juiciest dish ever. Dinner seemed rather a quiet affair today, as the euphoria of my birthday had evaporated like the morning's dew.
“It was okay dad, nothing great,” I responded, as I dug into my favourite lemon meringue pie. My mind was still filled with the day's bizarre events.
“Umm, has someone died?” inquired Jared, in a horribly sarcastic tone, causing James to snigger in his pie. “Why the hell in the world are we sitting as though attending a funeral dinner? Let’s have some dinner celebration it’s still Ellie's birthday,” saying that he rushed to pull a bottle of Lemon Basil Mojito from the refrigerator and uncorked it. The family sang a series of birthday songs, hugging me continuously and sipping on the icy drink. James turned on the stereo and the three of us danced to some hip hop music from the eighties while mum and dad cheered for us, lying on the sofa. Eventually, the party died out and the lights off, as mum ushered us to our rooms past midnight.
“Ellie, don't be nervous, you’ll do great!” assured Judy, as the crowd began howling across the gymnasium, waiting for my performance to begin. I had always been pathetic at gymnastics and had never achieved a single medal in it. However, I had been practicing thrice a week that whole year, to prove everyone that I wasn't just competent at swimming and possessed other substantial athleticism. Moreover, since it was my final year in school, I was more than ever determined to attain some sort of glory before passing out. Miss Hart, our gymnastics teacher nodded at me approvingly with an encouraging half-smile, and blew the whistle.
Instantaneously, I took a thunderous run, adrenaline gushing through my blood and placing my hands onto the smooth mat, performed a side handspring, followed by three lightning speed back handsprings and ended it with a quick backflip. The crowd roared with frenzy at the backflip and began chanting my name like that of a goddess'. My heart got overwhelmed with bliss at their craze, so many supporters and even my haters had a glimpse of approval on their otherwise sour faces. It was the last stunt that I had to perform, before the juries could arrive at a judgement. That's it Ellie, my mind, heart and soul kept repeating, one last run and the glory that you sought for so many years is finally yours. I closed my eyes, imagining the faces of mum, dad, James and Jared, as they were my source of strength, I was accustomed to picturing them, whenever I had to make a tough decision or when I was on the verge of any achievement. I opened my eyes, released the deep soothing breath that I had taken in, and with the deliration of a ravenous lioness ready to pounce on her prey, I zoomed forward like lightning. Performed three forward hand springs, followed by two back handsprings and with a massively ecstatic effort, sprung high into the air with three spinning backflips. My mind was in heaven, I couldn’t observe anything around me except stars and my ears had gone deaf, ready to land with jubilation, when suddenly, amidst my leap, my eyes travelled towards the far end of the gymnasium, and among the crowd, I noticed a black hooded figure whose face was concealed.
I would've assumed it to be a person when instantaneously it removed its hood….revealing a pale white bald face with pupil-less bloodshot eyes and razor-sharp vampire shaped teeth.
This scenario had an explosive effect on me as my pupils expanded in inexplicable terror, toppling my concentration, as I collapsed onto the ground and heard a cracking sound which mostly was something that I had broken. My vision turned blurry and limbs became unequivocally numb, and I couldn’t realize who was crowding around me or whose hands were holding me, all I knew was that I was falling into intense oblivion.