The story so far:
The Dunamis household sat against the backdrop of a light forest at the end of a long cul-de-sac. The exterior was a pale, off-white finish and a red shingle roof. The lawn was moderately kept with a garden that showed evidence of attentive nourishment. The inside would also prove to be modest; the design was not elaborate but not lacking in sophistication and a sense of style. The hardwood floors in the hallways were complemented by tasteful rugs and clean carpeting made the living room a place to gather. The walls were adorned with eloquent paintings and portraits of the family which show a boy slowly growing through the years with each photograph. A man was featured in only half of the portraits. A lady sat by herself in the living room on an old wooden chair with a glass of wine. She was watching the amber sunset which had now sunk beneath the horizon, leaving the neighborhood in a bleak dusk. She sat in silence, pondering the events that had transpired up until this point. She sipped from her glass, letting the dark liquid numb her senses. The expression on her face was solemn, reflecting on the past always brought conflict to her mind. She knew this day would come eventually.
She was about to nod off when she heard a car pull into the driveway. It was Micheal. “Micheal? Already? Oh dammit...dinner.” She had lost track of time in her thoughts, now she had a few moments before her son came through the door and realized everything was not alright with his mother. “Just enough time.” She mused, thinking out loud. She raised her hand in the air, palm open. Objects rattled in the kitchen and two dinner plates found themselves on the table. Knives and forks followed. She started to clench her palm inwards to make a fist, the oven heated faster than usual and the food on the stove made its way to the plates. The wine in her glass started to lift itself out its glass into a dark red blob. The water and cubes of ice had found themselves into glasses and onto the table seconds before the door open.
“Oh, hey Mom.” Micheal said, smiling because he could smell something delicious wafting from the dinning room.
“Hey dear, how was class today?”
“Wasn't too bad, got to show up another idiot in Western History, felt pretty great.”
“The arrogance is obvious yet not surprising.” Micheal's mother chuckled.
“Whatever.” Micheal left to go upstairs, not noticing his mother held a glass of suspended wine in her hand.
“You'll have to forgive me the steak's gonna take just a while longer to finish.” His mother yelled, turning her attention to the kitchen.
They sat down for dinner as they had for the past eight birthdays. Micheal always enjoyed this tradition, he felt like it kept him and his mother close. However, tonight he could tell something was bothering her. She seemed distracted, only coming out of her daze for a bite of her food and a large gulp of her wine. He'd only seen her like this once when he was younger, and it made him curious. He was about to say something when he felt this surging feeling in his stomach. It was similar to what he felt in the parking lot but different somehow. His fingertips burned faintly.
The doorbell rang. “Who's that? Wow your friends want you drunk early don't they?” Micheal watched his mother go to the front door. At the door was a man, dressed in a dark shirt and purple tie.
“Hello Charlotte.” Said the man.
“Charlie? I didn't know you were coming over, you should have called I would have made you a plate.”
“It's fine Charlotte, although dinner made with one hand does make for a spectacular dish.” Said Charles, smiling at Charlotte. Charlotte glanced at Micheal to see if he overheard. He angered her sometimes, the only way a brother would know how. “How's my nephew on this fine day?” He took off his jacket and walked into the house to greet Micheal.
“Uncle Charles! It's good to see you.” Said Micheal as they shook hands.
“Good seeing you as well young man, happy birthday. Sorry I couldn't be here sooner but I didn't come empty handed to greet the boy coming of age into manhood.” He produced a black bag with a bottle of scotch. “Johnny Walker, Green Label. Drink on a rainy day, or the morning after you-”
“Alright Charlie.” Charlotte interrupted. “I guess you're 21 so it doesn't matter. What do you say?”
“Thanks Uncle Charlie, although I'm not sure if I'm much of scotch drinker.” Micheal admitted. Charles laughed to himself.
“You will be, you will be son.”
Micheal's phone beeped. It was Leonard. His text message read “Almost at ur house bro, let's get rolling.” Micheal took a look at his mother. She was still beaming at her brother. “Well Lenny's almost here, guess I'll be going now. Thanks for dinner mom. I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer Uncle Charlie.”
“Oh that's quite alright, I have business in the area so I have feeling you'll be seeing me again. Have fun.” They shook hands again and Micheal left through the door.
“I figured you'd be here sooner or later, Charles.” Charlotte closed the door and walked past Charles and returned to the dinning room. She took a seat and poured herself some of the scotch from Micheal's bottle. A chair moved off the table and Charles took a seat. He smiled at Charlotte; he knew what she was thinking even if he wasn't capable of taking a peek into the mind of his twin sister.
“How has he been? Has he shown any of his talents since the moon is approaching?” Charles inquired nonchalantly, also drinking some of the scotch Micheal had left behind.
“Not that I've seen, and he hasn't said anything. But I feel it Charlie, it is with him. I think he sensed you when you arrived.”
“I see. Well, only time will show us what the boy is capable of. How much time we have left is a different issue, the Great Moon is upon us.” Charles put his hand in his sister's.
“He's just a kid Charlie, he has plans, a future. I can't just let him go. Too many people have died already Charlie, this circle of violence just needs to stop.” Charlotte said, slightly sobbing.
“ I know. Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of having a choice in this matter. People will come to kill him and us Charlotte. Fact. The future you imagine will be irrelevant if we don't make it out alive this time. And for us to do that, we all need to fight. We must.” Charles' face was stern and serious. Charlotte knew he was right but it did not make her feel any better.
* * *
Leonard and Micheal pulled up to a densely inhabited parking lot in a popular place in the city. They were not even out of the car when Leonard turned around and produced a flask.”Pregame before the pregame to the pregame fool!” Micheal sighed and laughed.
“Christ Lenny, alright man but you're picking up my drunk **** off the sidewalk.” Micheal took a swig from the flask. The vodka was chilled so it was not as rough as Micheal thought it would be.
“Negative sir they'll be picking us both up, I'm getting so sloshed.” They each took one more swig form the flask and moved onto the bar. Walking in they would find Turner, a slew of other friends and Adriana. She was engaged in a conversation with a guy Micheal did not recognize. He sat down to be greeted by a group of friends, each more eager to buy him some alcoholic concoction than the next. Time went on, and the merriment continued and increased as the drinks started to take hold of the patrons. Micheal felt happy this many people came out to celebrate, mostly because he had not paid for a single drink since he sat down. A short man with a beard came over to greet Micheal. His face was red and flush.
“What's up Jefferey? I heard you were back from tour, good to see you man, thanks for coming out. Means a lot to me.” Micheal shouted over the music.
“Hey man! No problem bro. How's it going? Weird how a year and half goes by huh?” Said Jefferey. “Shots on me buddy! I'll show you how Marines get drunk, Samantha.” Jefferey had a habit of calling Micheal by some random female name. 'Little sister' he would sometimes call him. It was around the fifth Jager bomb they took when Adriana came over and touched Micheal on the shoulder.
“Hey, can we talk?” She shouted over the loud music and groups of people. The guy she was talking to earlier seemed to have left.
“Yeah, sure.” He shouted back. She grabbed his hand, pulled him from the bar and he followed her to a smoking area outside. The vodka and red bulls made it somewhat difficult for him to keep up with her. They came to a stop right outside the door, facing an alleyway. She turned around to face him with a smile Micheal attributed to the drinks she must have had.
“You're kinda special Mike..” She said softly, giggling. She ran her fingers over his face. “I've always noticed you looking at me, I don't know why you never said anything. Good thing you didn't drink any of the scotch before you got here, otherwise we might not have made it out here.” She said jokingly.
“I was too scared I guess, I've never been one to make bold moves.” His heart started to race. She was staring into his eyes. She reached in and closed her eyes. Micheal did the same, but something stopped him right before they kissed. He moved away, looking puzzled. “Adriana. I never told anyone I got a bottle of scotch for my birthday, how did you...?” Adriana looked at him, somewhat startled. She was about to answer when Turner bumped outside with a cigarette in his mouth.
“Don't mind me young ones” He said drunkenly, laughing to himself. He slouched against the wall, lighting his smoke. Adriana's expression changed. She did not seem even the slightest bit tipsy anymore. She looked at Micheal, then Turner as if deciding something in her head. Micheal heard that same, faint voice again in his mind, saying “Witnesses..can't afford this to go south.” Adriana shrugged and sighed.
“**** it.” She waved her hand at Turner. The cigarette fell out of his mouth and evaporated. Micheal's eyes widened. Before Turner could muster a word his neck snapped like a crunchy granola bar. Micheal's face turned to straight horror at the sound. He was backing into the bar to get away from her when he realized he was immobilized. Turner's body slumped over, lifeless.
“Life's too short to be scared Mike. You gotta take opportunities when they present themselves. Like I'm doing right now.” Micheal could not comprehend what was going on. He could not get his eyes off Turner, who only a second ago was laughing like the loveable drunk idiot he always was. That feeling he had in the parking lot earlier came rushing back but more intense. Thinking back he realized it was not the strange man he saw in the parking lot, but Adriana who was the strange one causing these cold feelings. His body involuntarily walked itself against the wall. “See? I'm going to take care of a problem my employer had for a long, long, long time. Your young, stupid, ****. I was going to give you a nice painless kiss but your buddy here gave you the ultimate cock-block.” She said, completely sober with a grin. A force started to press down on Micheal's throat.
“What? What the **** are you talking about? You....You've been following me? Why? You just... you killed..” Fear started to mount in Micheal's throat. Adriana laughed cruelly.
“You didn't really think I was here because I wanna bang you did you? For a smart kid you can't be this dense. You let me into your little shindig so easily, you were honestly the easiest mark I've ever had. They told me to be weary of your inherent powers, given the Rising of the Great Moon and all, but you seem to have no juice.” She chuckled to herself, much like how psychopaths laugh as they kill their victims. He was wondering why she had not simply snapped his neck like Turner's, now he understood. She was enjoying this. She wanted this to last as long as possible. “So much for the glorious Dunamis name, right? ” She resumed her cruel laughing.
He realized his feet were no longer touching the asphalt. He was suspended about half a foot above the ground. Adriana stretched her hand out, and something pressed against Micheal's throat so hard it was impossible to talk any further. Adriana held her hand the in air, palm open, slowly clenching in to make a fist. He could swear her eyes gleamed with a purplish tint. Her outstretched right arm revealed a tattoo bearing a Latin phrase Micheal was incapable of reading at the present moment. The pain increased, causing Micheal to scream and muster a shout for help. “Just be quiet Dunamis...You'll be dead soon enough. Whoever is on the other side of this life will answer all your pathetic questions.” Adriana’s ghostly grip strengthened around Micheal's neck. It felt as though something was about to break. The pain consumed him. Micheal was sure he was on the verge of losing consciousness. He feared what came next after the lights were out. Adriana stood poised while her hand slowly closed inwards, smirking as she felt the life leave her target. As Micheal was fading in and out, he could hear her laughing manically in his mind. His eyes closed.