Chapter 1
The Cold Encounter

It was no longer unusual for me to have people staring and pointing at my unusual eyes…I had eyes alright but not like everyone else.
No longer was a pain to get sub-zero stares from my…ex-friends at school or even from my family. Perhaps…people had found a way to punish me, and this--this rude attitude towards me that had driven me finally to prefer isolation over company--was their gesture of convincing me to be repentant of something I had no control on.

Good news was; I didn’t care much now…It was all behind me. I had begun to pick up my own pieces. For better or for worse.

Avoiding looking at my own reflection in the mirror, I brushed my hair facing the window – concentrating on the cold glass covered with fog. On the other side, it was minus 10 degrees. A chill matching the weather inside my room. It was 6:30 am in the morning which meant I had only few minutes to get dressed. I loosely tied my hair up and shoved my books in my bag. I needed to get out of the house before everyone woke up. So I hadn’t even bothered to change my blue jeans today.

I liked to stay rough. Always.

I studied at the Wise High school – 2 miles away from where we lived. School had always been just the right place for me. Though things weren’t the same—people weren’t good to me—at school as much as they were in the past. But yet, they were manageable. Besides, its not like I had a choice. The thing was simple.

I preferred isolation in school over home arrest.

I treaded down the stairs quietly, took my bicycle out—because dad had forbid me to drive my car after he realized he couldn’t trust his own daughter. I didn’t blame him. I didn’t blame anyone—and went outside through the backdoor. The day seemed awfully silent to me. 10 times silent than my own room. The only sound I could hear was of my own breathing. Strange,It was really the only and dominant sound in my ear.

I tried to concentrate on surroundings to catch some sort of noise.

Binary strange. My ears couldn’t tune in any other sound. Was it me or –

I looked up. Noticed the pack of birds, they were flying just regular—flapping their wings at a constant speed. But not a single minute sound of their movement reached my ears.

This was a great deal abnormal. Not a single noise this morning? Was I going deaf or God had turned this world’s volume down? Everything was dead mute. The birds, the trees, the wind…

I hopefully spun and looked in the direction where I knew, our neighbor Mrs. Norman would be getting her car out at her usual time. And there she was. But It was Shocking—even her or the car’s presence didn’t make any difference.

Something was very very wrong. Day was lifeless. Not the noise this time, rather lifeless horrible silence was becoming a horror.

Maybe I am dreaming. I told myself because it was all so dreamlike.

Yeah. It’s possible. Í am dreaming. It’s another nightmare of mine. I—I need to wake up. Now.

I pinched my half numb hand. My skin instantly felt the pain, my brain sensed it.

No! Í wasn’t dreaming… It wasn’t a nightmare… I wasn’t asleep.

Everything was real. Besides that it didn’t make any sense. Just a moment ago things were just fine. And now, they weren’t.

An uncomfortable feeling punched me on my chest, my heart beat became little higher. Perhaps I knew what was happening.

I could easily hear the frightened pumping of my heart—the frightened beating behind the wall of flesh and several layers of muscles—but no environmental sound in close proximity.

of course—Drugs.

 How could I forget I was a drug fanatic once. If it could make me loose 10 pounds in 6 months then why not loose my hearing power now.

The instant I realized it, something cracked inside my chest. And then the silence didn’t make any difference anymore.  

The drugs chapter in my life was closed 6 months ago--well practically 3 but the fact was my body wasn’t really healed up yet. So this could be…definitely some sort of after effect.

This answer gave me little comfort. At least, It explained the odd situation as normal.

With another feeling of a further burden on my chest, I got on my bicycle and hit the road. The journey was very peaceful. Every car I passed by was hushed. Every road that I crossed seemed more calm this morning—only if I even hadn’t my eyes fully functional, I wouldn’t have noticed I could get crushed down by a giant truck.

When I reached school, I was grieved to spot them this soon. Brenda and Neil were already there—apparently talking in the middle of the parking lot. Their manners of blocking the way hadn’t really changed. And why would they consider to change—no one in truth knew who they were in real—behind those misleading masksor what they did….After school.

But I knew.

I knew everything there was to know—about Neil, his girl friend Brenda and—the one they worshipped. Chris.

 A relief, he wasn’t among them at this moment.

I stopped right there and looked in the other direction towards my right, where normally out cast groups of students parked their cars and bikes. I wanted to park my bicycle there for today because I didn’t want to confront any of them and relive the agonizing history. To my surprise, it was fully jammed also.

This brought me to a very tensed situation. I had no other choice—but to silently walk there and park my ride. Besides, I was getting late for my class—Geography with Mr. Shrader—who kept a strict check on every student of his especially on me. Only if I could tell him to mind his own business and spare me some peace—my life at school would have been slightly better—if not entirely. But before that torture, I had to deal with this problem at hand.

The parking lot wasn’t even crowded this morning. All the students had gone to their classes inside that large white block building which stood just a yard away from me.

Unwillingly, like a ghost, I started walking towards the centre of the parking lot. Every space was occupied. I was only few paces away from Neil and Brenda, when I spotted a small gap between two cars.

I couldn’t exactly decide whether it was good news or bad. Though I was pretty sure I could easily park my bicycle there, it was a perfect spot. But those cars, both black shiny objects were the main problem.

They belonged to my enemies. Who, luckily hadn’t noticed me yet; standing there behind them. Perhaps, they had also gone deaf this morning—more—like me.

Oh! Realization of me being deaf today suddenly strike me back. How was I suppose to take classes today when I couldn’t even hear anything properly? Not that I paid full attention to the lectures but…yet…how was I going to—manage things.

The morning had apparently tripled my tribulations and done me severe damages. First the silence then this space shit and now even worse problem to be faced in class.

With frustration, I finally parked my car there, but accidently made a scratch on Jake’s car.

A Total ruin. I went freeze.

If my presence hadn’t make them notice me, the screeching sound—which they must have heard—certainly did. Because they instantly jerked their heads back and finally saw me standing there between their cars—perfectly still. And to their surprise stable. I Looked at them right in the eye.

Their outfits were as black as their hearts today. Somehow they looked even more dangerous to me.

Before I had come there and interrupted, they were busy in a confidential conversation—Again plotting. And  I uncomfortably wonder, what was their bait this time.

For a moment, Neil just stared at me and then his gaze moved towards his car door. A very annoyed emotion appeared on his face and by the looks, I knew he had located the scratch and obviously knew who did it. But I also knew, he wouldn’t make a scene and ignore it. Brenda, on the other hand, looked determined to get even. As far as I knew her, she was obviously pissed off on how I dare park my car there between those two royals.

This…this arrogance made me more stubborn to just stand there even though I couldn’t hear a sound but still—equally stare them back.

No. in fact that wasn’t it. It wasn’t just the stubbornness that could make me stick to my spot. It was—more—something more than that. Something that had suddenly weakened the sense of fear in me…or terror that I felt before, in front of Neil and Brenda. It was like watching a horror movie without – any sound!

Sound! Yes. The absence of sounds.

My mind began to rationalize it. The picture in front of me was dead silent. The situation as hushed as a dry river. Because No sound was there to make me sense the grave atmosphere, or the mood of my opponents. It was obvious to stay unaffected by the environment. How could terror penetrate me then?

It was all clear. No sound. No fear.

For the first time since morning, I had find a positive side to my impaired hearing.

Harsh, but acceptable at the moment.

As long as it helped me to survive I was willing to stay this way. But my happiness was short lived.

At the same time as Brenda opened her mouth and began saying something, the sounds were alive again. They came to me in one angry wave—gushing into my ears like a river, flooding in at rapid speed.

I held my head with my both hands. The sudden flood of sounds in my ears had given my brain a sharp nuisance. I felt dizzy. Brenda’s voice pierced my brain. And several other noises just attacked me.

Could drugs make one this much miserable?

I had no idea what was happening to me. I thought my brain would explode when the sounds slowly started to settle down. The pain didn’t stay for very long. It departed in the same rush as it had come. I could hear normal again. It all happened so fast I didn’t realize Brenda and Neil had moved away.

I looked in the direction of the school and there they were almost in.

I also put myself together and walked ahead.

I was 20 minutes late. Which meant a race to the class and cold encounter with Mr. Shrader.

Hell with that. I walked even more slower.

The distance to the class was covered thinking about the third one, who wasn’t with them as routine wise. As much as I was curious to know where he was this morning, I was also thankful to God that he wasn’t there. He was the most dangerous and violent one of them. With the face of an angel he was the demon in human form.

To others, he may be handsome but to me, his good face was no good anymore.. I could easily see his soul through his eyes, and that—that feared me the most. To see the evil side of him, had been the worst mistake of my life.

Just when I was almost there, I bumped into someone and pretending to read a book held in my hand I turned back and almost ran, but soon bumped into that someone. Chris.

I got down picking up my fallen stuff to avoid him. Chris knew this. He deliberately kept standing there. Shoving my book back into my bag I stood up and found him staring at me. He was exhibiting a new look today. His hair was black as usual but he was wearing them with gel at present. I couldn’t bear to look into his eyes. They gave me more reasons to stay isolated. Yet, I had every right to stare back. And so the silent exchange of coldness began. He didn’t move, nor did I.

‘Chris! C’mon man, we got to move.’ Neil shouting didn’t affect him. ‘Mr. Shrader is going to get us all in detention, man.  We have presentations today. Just get here.’

Neil had no idea it was me AGAIN that stood with his friend. I had put my hood on…my black hair hidden under it. To make Neil and Brenda realize it, I turned back. The smiling expression on Brenda’s face turned to stiffness. Her apparent beauty had nothing to do with her inner demon. I didn’t hate her for that rather pitied her… and Neil, Who looked surprised every time to see me -- as if…I was some Martian. That expression always …punched me.

When I turned back towards Chris, he had already moved from there and was walking towards the pack. Shedding them all out of my mind, I too moved from there and went to my class. Apparently, we were all late and Mr. Shrader was there already – waiting.

And so I was the last one to cross the threshold.

‘Rebecca Parker’, Mr. Shrader addressed me loudly just as I stepped in ‘ May I know why you were late?’

I looked at him and then at the faces of my class mates—Brenda and Neil were there too at the corner seats—they were so ready for a scene , that I wanted to disappoint them—but I couldn’t find my voice.

Instead, I just stared at Mr. Shrader. He walked closer to me—his figure very tall and hulking—he had very round bulging eyes and hell of a eye brows. Nothing about him was ordinary. And his stare—cold blooded stare—had been the cause of my distress for many days now ever since I got back to school. But it was my tragedy, I couldn’t complaint anywhere for that matter. He was the police, ordered on me—in case I—

‘Rebecca Parker’ A voice from behind me called my name. I surprisingly turned back.


‘You are called in the principal’s office!’ announced Mrs. Patrick.

Every eye in the room moved on me. My situation again was jeopardized.  Before me was Mr. Norman who I was sure – If I stayed—planned on torturing me with his non sense and cold stare. And on the other side was Principal’s office—not a pleasant place for me these days. Yet, The latter option was better, I decided.

Mr. Shrader as well had no other option but to excuse me. He only nodded his head.  

Like a bouncing ball, bounced by people here and there I took his signal and bounced my way to Principal’s office.

From time to time I’d wished I could become invisible and escape my own life. This time of the day, was one of them.

And if I hadn’t chosen to bounce my way to Principal’s office, Today’s English class was going to be a very long one. I didn’t know why the first class was always hard to get along with, perhaps because this was the only class that we shared, but one thing was as clear to me as crystal, Mr. Shrader kept an eye on me every day. He too held me responsible. He too looked at me strangely. My eyes gave away everything; unfortunately, except the part that I wished people knew. Sighing, I closed my eyes and covered my head with my arms. After a few minutes, a sudden and urgent voice startled me.

The walk from class to principal’s office seemed longer than it really was. The doorways were silent. I was glad no student was outside. Their judgmental eyes always said more than their lips could ever utter. Like Mr. Shrader’s eyes—eyes that always held me responsible. And theirs eyes especially, said deeper words; words of accusations—that had made things so much painful—and what made it almost unbearable was the memory that I called them—my friends, once.

To remember it, was truly a sting. But to even forget it, was out of my power.

A sigh escaped my lips.

At last I had reached the principal’s office. I prayed may he be alone in the office. gladly, he certainly was. No sound was coming. This was a good news.

With unsure hand, I knocked on the door glass.

A heavy voice answered from behind it.

‘Come in’. said Mr. Brandon, the principal.

Fretfully, I opened the door and stepped in the big brown walled office. His room was perfectly neat one. Mr. Brandon was standing by the window on my right, looking out across the football field, definitely scrutinizing something or someone outside. By the look on his face, he didn’t look pleased at all at what he was looking at.

I took a step closer to his table but didn’t take the seat. It was too cold in his room, I noticed. Because He had the window half opened, so the only noise in the room was of the wind, coming in slowly, bringing freezing waves in.

I unconsciously wrapped my arms around me.

I heard Mr. Brandon then, muttering something under his breath. He was cursing something outside. I could only recognize one word, ‘Outrageous’ I believe. Which , after a moment, was loudly on his tongue.

His temper didn’t worry me there, what worried me was why I was called in the office?

‘Take your seat Rebecca, I’ll be right back’, he said, rigidly, without looking at me and abruptly marched out of the office. I guessed—by his rigid tone—either he was mad at something he saw outside or that stiff pitch was meant for me.

Never mind. I had become used to it quite lately, but what bugged me next, was waiting. And Now I had to do exactly the same—wait  in the office and stare at the brown cold walls.

I put my bag right there on the small table beside the door and—just to pass my time there—began to observe the room. Mr. Brandon—though by his appearance may be was a untidy person—but by the look of his room he seemed a far better man—in terms of manners. His files and documents were perfectly placed on his wide glass table. There was no extra furniture in his office. Just a big square glass table in the middle with his chair—two seats for the visitors, one small table beside the door and a tall wooden bookshelf opposite the window. That’s it. Nothing else.

Somehow, in nature, his room looked similar to mine. Same coldness, same empty space. Good enough. I could spend my time here.

I roamed towards the bookshelf. There were dozens of books piled up. Mostly, literature. I picked one randomly without reading its title.

It was Romeo and Juliet.

Ugh. I disgustingly put it back—no wonder Mr. Brandon was weird.

Then picked another one. This time was a Russian literature.

After  awhile it was clear: Perhaps, looking at books wasn’t such a good idea. I lamely, took the seat confronting Mr. Banner’s table and comfortably lied back.

Stared at the ceiling for awhile, then at the wall picture of Mr. Brandon, and then…with nothing left to stare on, I concentrated my mind and eyes upon my own hands. My white pale hands…and purple finger tips. A painful memory flashed through my mind. I dropped my hands instantly.

The memory wasn’t good…

No. It was excruciating. I had to find something else to concentrate on.

I turned my gaze down to my right. There was something lying on the floor.

A book.

I got up from my seat and picked it up. Something on it captured my attention.

White Fangs by -----

Strange—how it was thrown down like this by the window—in Mr. Brandon office where everything else was right on place. I hadn’t read the novel—so a thought occurred to me—why not read it now?

I gladly opened it’s first page to begin—but instead—I found the page heavily speckled with color red—pure red—ink perhaps.

That was odd. Who would have done this?

I brought my face closer to the page and smelled it. As soon as I had it in my senses—something snapped inside me—awakening five months old memory back into my mind. Blurred images of black and grey wolves – piercing into my arms with their white fangs -- and human voices, dim human voices calling my name.

Rebecca… get up.

And I just lay there…surrounded by a pack of wolves….and a pool of—


I still remembered the cold salty smell of it. It was red thick human blood back then—and it was the same blood on this book here.

But not mine, this time. someone else’s.

The thought of finding human blood spattered on the book gave me chills. May be I was exaggerating. It couldn’t be—

But I was also sure about one thing; I hadn’t put the smell out of my mind. The smell that always seemed saltiest and flat to me. For It was all that I had smelled for an entire week—everyday—every night—on every part of my body. How could I have forgotten it then?

But, It seemed way odd to think this book be spattered with blood. I was curious though to make sure.

It took me seconds to weigh my options, whether to wait for Mr. Bradon and then ask for the book or simply slide it in. the latter option was obviously better. If Mr. Brandon needed the book, he hadn’t threw it away like this in the first place.

Perhaps keeping it quietly was best. I finally decided to keep the book with me.

The next moment, I wished, I could decide a bit quickly.

Before I could turn back to shove the book in my bag and carefully leave, someone had marched in and seen me.

“Wouldn’t that be stealing?” a swift matter-of-fact masculine voice from behind me caught me by surprise.  

I went freeze.

It was a sudden presence of another person in the room but it wasn’t Mr. Brandon. I couldn’t decide for awhile how to react. My reaction totally depended on what he had seen me doing. And that I wasn’t aware of. His ghostly appearance had mentally disoriented. Yet, whoever that was, I didn’t want to get into the culprit guilty scene so I quickly made a plan.

To pretend and exit safe.

I slowly turned myself back, not wanting to strengthen any suspicion, and looked him in the eye. Another surprise. He wasn’t staring and he wasn’t anyone I had seen before. Perhaps a new boy at school. And though He was standing far away from me near the opened door. Hardly, two steps inside the room, his  presence still somehow crushed me. He had his hands shoved inside his jeans pockets, and was acutely staring down at the floor with a composed face.

I stared at him.  I stared at him for his odd body language that equally matched his odd dressing puzzled me to a great height. Seeing Unkempt black hair with neat tie and shirt, I could describe him only as a statue of well-mannered untidiness.

I continued to watch him in amazement, not sure how to respond. Then as if he had sensed my eyes on him, he sharply looked my way.

I dropped my eyes at once. Guilty. Of being caught, first over book and then staring.

The next moment, I was the statue, and he was the spectator. He didn’t say, he didn’t move. He just stood there in his same gesture and held me captive.

“I was just leaving.” I mumbled after awhile and started to leave.

“Really! Don’t! – pretend.” He said in a voice that implied he was disgusted with me somehow. “Pretending is a dangerous game to play”.

I felt a surge of fear at his words. I had definitely made him angry. Yet I couldn’t understand why it would bother him. did he just wanted me to insult over the book?

Could this cold encounter with a creepy boy could trigger a possibility of making another enemy in school? I didn’t want that but I could also not let him have the pleasure of proving me a thief, the book was none of his business, I thought it best to politely pretend he is wrong and safely exit.

“Well, I don’t think Mr. Brandons I’ll be right back phrase is going to happen so I better – just…go.” I struggled to smile gently. “Besides, there’s nothing much to do here.” I implied

But his face didn’t show any emotion except his body went rigid. He pressed his fingers to his forehead as if he was disappointed at something and the next moment his gesture softened. Only a bit. From his manner, I got the impression he wasn’t sure about something.

I guess he hadn’t really saw me taking the book after all.

A sense of relief there.

But he surprised me with his inconsistent behavior, yet again.


It was a direct order. I gawked on him. confused. Wasn’t he calm with it a moment ago? Then why so rude all the sudden?

I gently shoved the book from my back. He was standing near the door. His eyes sharply watching me.

‘Leave’ , He implied again, trying to sound normal.

‘Excuse me?’ I blurted out But we both could feel it wasn’t really working out.

It seemed he was struggling to keep his voice supple. if not entirely polite. But his expressions weren’t really supporting. They suggested urgency and infuriation.

Hitherto, Despite the fact that this sudden appearance and behavior made no sense at all I was relieved he hadn’t seen me keeping the book. So I took his command as an opportunity to get the hell away from him as soon as possible.

It was such a cold encounter that in that moment, I wished to never see him again.