Chapter VIII

Ava was lying on the bed.

Smilingly,she lifted her finger and started tracing it in the air. Little by little, golden shapes appeared out of nowhere.

„I see you’re in a good mood“

Ava turned her head towards the door. Standing in the doorway with hands full of books was Lilly.

Ava smiled- „Did you find something interesting“

„Sort of“- she said and threw the books in the air with one swift motion where they floated lazily as if hanged on a string.

„You’re ruining my masterpiece“- Ava smirked towards a book breaking a part of her drawing.

***

„I’m ‘elling you man,it’sh like she’sh out of thish world“- Milo mumbled , his mouth full of food

„I believe you.“- Kali laughed,patting his friend on the back as he was about to choke and handing him a paper napkin.

„Thanks. No,but really. We had such a good time. She even talked about that quiet girl you were so interested in.“

„Ava? „

„Yeah,’er“- Milo said,stuffing another piece of bagel in his mouth

„Not that I want to know that badly,but what did she say?“ Kali figured it was best not to mention the pool incident to his friend and to brush the whole thing off as a silly prank.

„Well,’othing shpechial weawy“- he swallowed : „Just that she is not very sociable and that she spends more time with her books than with people. That’s all.“

Kali shrugged and liften hig backpack on one shoulder. „I better get going,I don’t want to be late.“

Milo waved, still very preoccupied with finishing his breakfast.

This was the only class Kali did not attend with Milo, so he assumed it was going to be a very long one.

As he got there, he noticed that there was just one person he knew from before. The curly haired girl that usually attended the same classes as he did. She wore a dark red printed dress with a cutout on the back and her hands were full of different types of jewelry.

Not the crazy types Lilly wore-Milo thought , but more matching ones.

„Hi“-  the girl smiled,pulling up a chair next to her

„Oh hi.“- he said,slightly confused. He hoped his hair looked a bit better than he thought it did.

„I’m India. You’re Kali,Milo’s friend,right?“

He nodded,shaking her hand,her bracelets dropping on her wrist.

„So,how do you like this little town so far?“- she asked him,constant smile on her face.

„Well,to be honest, at first I thought that it was going to be very plain and peaceful,but I reeeeally got mistaken“ – he smirked,thinking about almost drowning in the student pool

„I know what you mean. The parties here can get a little too crazy. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen you at the Jetters’ yesterday.“

„Well,I was there but I left earlier. I…wasn’t feeling that well.“

„Oh,that’s a shame“- she shifted her head full of curly locks,revealing her left ear. It was full of unusual earrings; arrows, triangles, little monkeys hanging off the top of her ear.

„You like them?“-she asked him, a flirty smile playing around the corners of her mouth

„Sorry?“- he blinked-„Oh,the earrings? Yeah, they are very…unique.“

„Thank you. My mom is a vet, but her hobby is jewel making so she constantly sends me different kinds of these“- she pointed at her wrists and ears

„That is really nice of her“- said Kali with an awkward smile

„What does your mom do?“

„She,ahm… She passed away a few years ago…“

„Oh my God, I am so sorry. Me and my big mouth.“-she waved her hands in front of her

„It’s not a problem,really. I live with my dad most of the time.“

„I see. Really,so sorry. I am so embarassed right now.“-she said hiding her face in her hands

„Don’t be. It’s no big deal.“- Kali tried to sound convincing, pulling her fingers off her face

„I’m such an idiot. How about I treat you with coffee later. Would that be okay?“

„You don’t need to. But since you’ve offered…“-he smiled,nudging her in the shoulder.

***

„You do know that it is very mean what you are doing to that poor boy?“ Lilly asked jokingly while positioning herself next to Ava

 

 

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Mr.Twig

(This is a story that I wrote in Croatian when I was younger,so I present you-with a few corrections and a translation- Mr.Twig)

It all started on the day when it snowed.

It was sunday.

The day before,my mother got a call from her old school friend that she has not seen in a while. Apparently she moved into a neighbouring town and my mother was excited to see her.

„And she’s got a lovely little daughter to keep you company, Cass.“- she exclaimed happily when discussing the plans over breakfast this morning. I really disliked children. Noisy, and rude, touching everything with their sticky fingers,jumping on the furniture, turning things over…

Anyway, we planned a visit to mother’s friend in the late afternoon.  I had to wear a burgundy corduroy dress and put my hair up in a neat bun. We drove for almost two hours because of the storm. By the time we arrived, the whole ground was covered with a thick layer of pure white snow.

Their house was slightly larger than ours,  with big windows facing the road.

The woman who opened the door yelled happily when she saw my mother and father, convincing them that they haven’t aged a bit. She shook my hand and embraced me tightly with excessive use of the word „darling“.

As we entered, I noticed that everything in the house was either white,pink or red. And that it was very warm.

We met her husband and some other guests that have also been invited for the late afternoon tea.

They sat us at the round table near one of the windows overlooking the yard behind the house. It looked quite dreary in comparison with the house.

I got more bored by the minute as the adults started to talk about work and family, wanting to catch up with each other.

„Oh Cassandra dear, this is Nelly“- mother’s friend pulled me by my elbow suddenly , to introduce me to her daughter. She wore a very pink dress and had her hair styled in tight neat curls that framed her round face. She shook my hand but did not say a word.

„Oh,she’s a little shy, you see. She is in that age when all she does is play with her toys and makes some silly stories…Anyway,you can join her, I am sure you are not too big to play yet.“ – she smiled and left me with her daughter staring at her toys.

„Ahm… Do you want me to play with you? We could build a castle with your blocks.“

She lifted her golden head and shook it.

„Ookay then.“- I said and got up to fetch some magazines from the coffee table near by.

„ … will play with me.“- Nelly said very quietly

„What did you say?- I asked,as I did not hear the name

„Mr. Twig.“

I shrugged and went to get some sandwiches from the table where adults were talking very animatedly.

„Oh,Nelly would not play with you? „- her mother asked when she saw me

„Well… She mentioned some mister Tee to-„

„Oh,that’s Mr.Twig. Her imaginary friend. Don’t worry,I am sure she will grow fond of you eventually.“- she interrupted me

I shrugged and put a few sandwiches on pink dotted napkin, turned around to go and offer Nelly some. She talked happily as though playing with someone while putting her colourful blocks one atop the other.

As I walked closer and closer I noticed something unusual. I could not see „who“ Nelly was talking to (I thought it was just her imagination) because of the sofa but now that I got closer, I could definitely see some messy brown hair peeking below the edge of the sofa.

„Oh,you came to play with Nelly t-„- I froze.

The thing Nelly was talking to wasn’t human.

It had a man’s face,but it was horribly contorted. The face was very elongated with bloodshot eyes and droopy long nose. Its skin was grey and sickly looking. But the most disturbing thing was a thin line it had for a mouth. It looked like it was carved in its face and was curved upwards in a weird smile that reached its small stunted ears. The humanoid creature’s head was attached to a long greyish neck and a small body from which protruded the limbs. The limbs were very thin and five times the length of normal human limbs. They appeared to have only one joint in which they were bent so that the „elbows“ were sticking into the air as it sat on the floor next to Nelly.

I couldn’t speak. The creature looked at Nelly as she laughed and played with her toys.

I clutched the napkin firmly in my hand and went to sit at the table with the adults. I could not force myself to look at where Nelly was sitting so I stared fixedly in a clock in front of me.

I felt a tug on my dress and I instinctively turned to see Nelly. She held the hem of my dress in her small hand and smiled broadly. „Mr.Twig wants to play with you too.“- she said

„Aww,see Cass? She likes you. Go and play with her“- my mother gave me a significant look

I swallowed.

The creature was standing behind Nelly,still looking at her.

I nodded.

It was hard for me to get out of the chair,my legs felt like noodles and my fingers were shaking violently.

Apparently,no adult could see it. Or so I concluded.

When I sat on the rug , I felt a cold,rotten breath on my right cheek. I clenched my teeth tightly to stop myself from vomiting. I could not bear to look at it,so I played with Nelly’s blocks for the rest of the afternoon until her mother called her to go to bed.

I was still too petrified to look and got up only when my parents decided it was quite late and that we should head home.

I slept in my parents room that night.

The next day I went to school as usual. I still could not shake the feeling of fear but I felt a lot better surrounded with my friends and concentrating on my school work.

I had completely forgot about it all till the end of the day as I happily walked home.

My mother was on the phone again and she waved to me signalling that lunch was on the table.

As I put a lot of mash potatoes and meat on my plate,my mother came and sat next to me. „Nelly stopped by with her mother this morning.“

„Oh?“- I said,not really paying any attention to what she was saying

„She’s such a sweet child and it seems that she likes you very much. She left you a drawing and some of her blocks so you could play with them“- my mother laughed

I put the fork down.

„Where is it?“- I asked seriously

„Oh,I put it in your bedroom. It’s on your desk. But eat now.“

I ignored her and got up and rushed up the stairs to my bedroom.

On my desk there were some colourful blocks and a drawing.

twig I felt a cold breath on the back of my neck.

Moon marriage -part 1

After finding out that her boyfriend of 7 years has been cheating on her, Rose packed her things and headed straight to the airport.

She could not deal with the stress of many missed calls from worried relatives and friends who „could not believe he would do such a thing,a young man like him…“. Their overly convincing voices played over and over in her head.

She did think something was suspicious even before they moved in together,but whatever it was, she decided to ignore it when they found a perfect flat with the view of the big green park in the centre of the city.

Of course, her parents were always happy with him,coming from a respected family, well mannered and highly educated with bright future ahead of him.

They spent her last year in university away from each other. He got internship straight after college and had to move away to a different country. „Not a problem,we will still talk every day and I will visit every month or two“ He was always convincing and quick to brush off her jealousy as a „thing that women learn in silly magazines and not something a modern independant woman should feel in a serious relationship“.  Even though he had a wondering eye, even though he never mentioned any of his ‘good female friends from college’ until their names popped up on caller ID and even though he never left his laptop unattended, she believed him. Believed his charming smile, well thought out sentences and unbeatable rationality.

All that had an expiration date apparently, for when she decided to visit him in his workplace one day, Rose got a mental slap in the face.

You see,she wanted to surprise him with his favourite writers unpublished new novel. A very thoughtful and clever idea, at the time. She had to pull many strings to get her hands on that book and just in time for the day when he was about to get a promotion.

She put on an expensive short dress with thin straps in the back, made entirely out of fine silk, in the colour of deep burgundy. His gift for her last birthday. He really liked all shades of red, so she thought this would be a perfect thing to put on (and off,mind you) when he gets promoted.

She packed his gift in lovely black velvet box and wrote a sweet note that she tucked in between the creases.

Rose felt a bit nervous because it was her first time entering his workplace but it was a good kind of nervous,the one that warms your heart with anticipation.

With the entering card in hand, which she got from a nice doorman who recognised her name, she slowly opened the door of the corridor which led to his office.

It was lunch time so no one was there. Rose slowly walked on the carpet which muffled her steps until she got to the door with his name on it. She opened it slowly and found herself in a corridor like waiting room. Then she used the card to quietly open the office door.

And there he was.

Leaning over a red haired bombshell.

Now when she rolled her suitcase furiously, the scenes that happened a few hours ago were blurred and overlapping. Her hair that she previously curled and pinned to one side so carefully, was messy and fell freely on her back. The makeup was now smudged and half gone with the help of a few wet wipes. The red silky dress had a slight tear on the side.

She took the first ticked available. The destination did not really matter to her, just a quick getaway.

Ireland.

Once in the airplane,she wrote a message to her mother not to call or disturb her, that she went away on a little vacation.

The flight was not long,but to Rose it felt like days. All alone, not being able to pace or scream to a wall made her,if possible, even more nervous.

But finally she did arrive.

Ireland is a gorgeous country and Dublin could probably offer her a great deal of fun and exploration, but since she wanted something more quiet, she rented a beautiful modern cottage in the nature. The cottage was built on the cliffs, away from the city,people and noise. It was made of out wood,with big windows overlooking the sea. It had a big gorgeous front porch that reminded her of sitting there with him, drinking hot chocolate and wriggling her fingers in fluffy socks. The thought made her sick in her stomach.

She left her suitcase half unpacked in the master bedroom on the top floor, plaited her hair in a long plait and changed in leggings and baggy tunic.

And then she poured herself a glass of wine.

She had never usually drunk alcohol before. Not even on parties. A virgin mojito was her staple drink.

But now she needed something to help her sleep.

The next morning,she had a glass of white wine for breakfast with a pear on the side.

For lunch, she had a red wine and some chocolate.

She entirely skipped dinner and went straight to bed.

Same with the day after and the day after that.

All that time, her phone was off. She did wonder if he had called her or worried about her,but that kind of thoughts just made her angry and ended up in her burning the red silky dress.

A week has passed.

The weather got worse as it started to rain heavily and the temperatures got lower. Winter was coming slowly.

One cold and rainy evening when she,again, had a bit too much to drink,Rose heard a knock on the door.

It was strange for someone to be knocking at that hour,but her fuzzy brain did not think so at the time.

In her baggy clothing,with her hair in a messy plait, she dragged herself to the door.

On her wet,slippery porch, there was a tall figure ducking under its arms to protect itself from the rain.

It was a young man,holding a weekend bag.

His hair was on the short side,windswept and sprayed with tiny drops of rain. And it was snowy white.

Rose looked at him in confusion as he towered over her. He said something about rain and being lost so she let him in.

Even in her alcoholic daze,she noticed that he was beautiful. Piercing blue eyes, softly chiseled facial features and plump lips looked slightly disproportional to his height.

She let him stay in the guest bedroom downstairs.

The pounding in her head woke her up the next day. She got up and went down to drink some water and take some painkillers.

As she drank the water,she noticed the brown leather bag in the corner of the living room.

Her brows furrowed.

And then she remembered the man from the night before.

In the surprise of her own stupidity and lack of caution, she dropped the glass and it shattered on the wooden floor.

Rose crouched carefully,so she could collect the pieces of glass when she heard a gentle voice.

„Did I hear a glass shatter? Do you need help?“

She flinched and rose up so quickly that she did not notice pricking her finger on a shard.

The man quickly crossed the room and took a paper napkin to stop the bleeding.

Rose could not stop staring at his eyes.

„Who are you?“- she said in a hoarse voice

„My name is Sebastian.“- he smiled – „Thank you for letting me stay here. I was nearly doomed yesterday“

„I’m Grey“- she muttered,still very serious. She did not want to give him her real name,out of caution and this was the first thing she thought of -„Silly“.

They talked briefly how he had a reservation in a hotel not far from here,but it somehow got cancelled and how his taxi was already gone and how he had to walk in the rain before seeing the cottage lights in the distance.

He helped her collect the pieces and as she realised what she looked(and probably smelled like),she ran to the bathroom,locked the door of the bedroom twice and took a shower.

She let Sebastian stay even though her brain told her to call him a cab and send him away.

Somehow,his presence calmed her. He told her funny stories about his family and how he got to be where he was. She told him about her internship and about her hobbies. He did not mention what exactly his job was and she thought it was rude to ask.

Apparently,he was 25. That made him two years older than her.

They talked into the night and ended up falling asleep half seated on the couch.

As Rose woke up and realised that she was sleeping close to him,she blushed. It was such a funny reaction that she smiled to herself. After a while, she called for some food to be delivered and after Sebastian woke up,they enjoyed a warm breakfast.

Rose realised this was the first real food she had in a week.

„So,if you don’t mind me asking,why would you come here all alone? „- he asked her while munching on a piece of toast

„Um… I just needed some quiet time. That’s all.“

„I see“- he smiled. He had an unusual, crooked smile. It  made his face even more interesting.

„Grey?“

„Hm?“

„Why don’t you wear your hair down?“- he lifted her heavy,dark braid

The question left her flustered a bit as she mumbled- „It’s just more practical like this“.

He shrugged.

That afternoon it finally stopped raining so they went to explore the surrounding nature. The sound of sea clashing to stones could be heard as the wind grazed their cheeks.

Rose tucked herself a bit more in her light jacket.

Sebastian looked at her for a moment and then took off his big scarf and wrapped it around her.
“H-hey“-she protested

„Oh calm down. Did you not know where you were going when you packed or something? That thing “-he pinched her sleeve- „will not keep you warm“.

„So what are you suggesting?“- she raised her voice, annoyed that he reminded her why she was there in the first place.

And suddenly, he lifted her into his arms and ran towards the cottage.

To her surprise, she laughed wholeheartedly as he carried her.

Once they were inside, Rose made some excuse and went to her bedroom. Her cheeks were flushed and she felt hot in her chest.

„Why was she feeling like this“ -she shook her head. And as she did it,her hair unplaited itself and fell loosely down her back.

She walked towards the big mirror in the bedroom.

In the reflection there was a pale girl standing sheepishly with her dark hair almost reaching her bellybutton. She caught herself thinking about Sebastian standing behind her and hugging her from the back. She imagined his light hair grazing her cheeks as he bends over to kiss her neck.

Rose noticed her red face in the mirror and quickly turned around.

After she changed her clothes,she went downstairs.

„Ha! Your hair,I like it“- he flashed a toothy smile

Rose realised that she had left her hair unplaited by accident.

As the evening grew darker and colder, they tucked themselves into big warm blankets and talked about their lives and previous journeys.

Rose found herself liking this odd, white haired stranger whom she knew nothing about.

They ate some liquor chocolates that she had previously bought and laughed to each other’s stories.

„You have a little-„ – Sebastian smiled and reached out his hand.

Softly, he touched her upper lip.

His warm touch sent a chill down her spine that made her whole body shudder.

She moved a little bit closer to Sebastian, unconsciously wanting to feel his touch again.

He looked Rose deep in the eyes and responded by coming closer to her.

They were inches from each other and he could feel her breath quicken. Sebastian touched her hair with his left hand and removed a few lost strands from her face.

He felt her hesitantly reducing the distance between them more and more until he felt her tender lips on his own.

CHAPTER VII

Kali lifted his head and saw a blurry shape sitting on the diving board. He rubbed his red eyes so he could see better but by the time he looked again,no one was there.

His feet were slippery and cold as he climbed out of the pool. The towel he brought with him was lying wet on the floor next to his slippers. A shiver went down his spine.

He collected his things and started to walk towards the corridor.

The campus was very quiet. All he could hear was the sound of squeaky footsteps and drips of water from his wet body that made a loud sound on the marble floor.

By the time he got to his room,he was shivering frantically, his lips have turned blue and he could feel the hair stand up on the back of his neck.

„Why is it so cold?“

Kali entered his room and started to search frantically for a dry towel or a blanket. But when he opened the closet,all his clothes, blankets, towels and bedding were dripping wet. He kicked his slippers angrily into a wall .

„W-what the…“-he stuttered and rushed to open Milo’s closet.

Same thing happend there. Everything he could put on or wrap himself with was wet. His footsteps made horrible sloshing sound as he walked on the damp carpet towards the door. As he opened them,he heard a laugh in the end of the corridor. He ran towards the sound,breathing heavily as the air grew colder every second. Sprinting and stumbling slightly he crossed doors after doors trying to catch whoever was laughing.

But as he went on,the laughter just grew further and further.

Kali ran faster and faster. He turned around the corner and just as he was about to speed up again,he bumped into Milo.

„Woah,what’s up with you? You’re ice cold! Wh-what’s with the…“- he muttered,pointing at Kali’s swimming shorts

„This. All wet. Whole bedroom. Wet. Cold.“- he said in the strained voice

„Whaaat? The bedroom got flooded? Aw man…“- Milo said annoyed-„Come on then,hurry!“

Kali looked at the back of his friend running towards their bedroom and started to walk ,his chest still burning from the sudden sprint. His head was in a kind of daze, the thoughts that rushed through his head were accusing, blaming and condemning. Someone. A single person who could be held responsible. But now he has a proof,a whole room of it,actually. He laughed maniacally.

„Man,you scared me! What was with that? Not a good joke“- Milo yelled

„What?“ He hurried into the room.

Everything was completely dry and in its place. Even the temperature went up.

Nothing made sense in Kali’s head and as he prepared to sit down on his chair,he noticed something unusual.

The wet towel he brought with him and the slippers were not there.

Chapter VI

„Here,try this!“- Milo tossed another shirt to Kali for him to try on

„Still too big.“-murmured Kali, taking the shirt off

„I don’t know man,you’ll just have to go in a t-shirt. I don’t have anything smaller“

„It’s okay,nevermind. Thanks anyway. I think I have a nice black one somewhere…“- his voice trailed off while he rummaged through the closet drawers

Milo stood in front of the mirror,looking impeccable in dark denim. He pulled the sleeves of his shirt up to his elbows and started fixing his hair by making little twirls, as though he wanted to accentuate the sunkissed ends in his bush of ash brown hair.

„How about this“- the voice came behind Milo and he turned around

Kali finally decided to wear dark jeans and a black polo shirt.

Milo put his thumbs up- „I like it. We goin’?“

„Yeah,just a second to comb my hair“
Milo laughed-„Yeah,you could try.“

Kali squeezed his eyes slightly at Milo’s remark.

When he finally gave up on combing his hair,they left the dormitory and got out of the campus grounds.

There was a taxi waiting for them at the university gates.

„Jetters house is a bit further away from town“- Milo whispered as they got in the car.

While he explained the direction to the driver,Kali looked around to see if anyone else is coming with them,but apparently they all left earlier. „Probably because no one would wait this long for this dimwit to get ready“- he rolled his eyes

„Ready,Kali my boy?“- his eyes flashed with excitement

„Yeah… It’s just a party…You do know that,don’t you?“

„Ah… So young and innocent… It’s THE party. Something good always happens there“

Leaving Kali to think about what „good“ actually meant in his dictionary,Milo checked the scenery through the taxi window. He could never get bored by this gorgeous view. The long shore, stars just barely mirrored in the evening darkening sea and the old lighthouse…
“Did you hear from Penelope?“- Milos thoughts got interrupted

„Um… No. Not really. But she’ll be there. „

They drove for another few minutes and then came to a stop in front of a tall wrought fence.

„Just leave us here,thank you.“- Milo said and payed the driver

They passed the gates and started walking towards the house. Tall green hedge blocked the actual view of the house, but Kali knew that they were heading the right way because the music got lounder as they walked.

The lights grew brighter as they approached the party. Dozens of people danced to the beats of very loud dubstep music.

Kali saw some of his classmates,including Jace doing acrobatic jumps into the water to impress  the girls sitting at the edge of the pool.

„Mental.“- said Kali,glancing at the huge piles of beer and spirits.

„You virgin.“- laughed Milo- „Look up there. Those are the Jetters- Kylie and Avery“

On the terrace behind the pool stood two identical girls. One was blonde however,and the other had jet black hair. They were really pretty and both dressed in tight, red bodycon dresses.

But Kalis eyes shifted to a tall girl in a golden bathing suit. Her long strawberry blonde hair was half braided and collected into a thick ponytail and she embellished her pale arms with temporary golden tattoos of different patterns. She was laughing with some of her friends who Kali didn’t recognise.

„Shall we say hi?“- said Milo and not waiting for an answer strolled across the lawn towards Lilly

„Hey you two“- she said cheerfully as they approached

Kali noticed she had pierced her left ear on several places, putting in them numerous earings of sun and stars.

„Have you had any drinks yet?“

„No… Any recommendations?“- Milo smiled- „Btw,where is Ava? I can’t seem to see her…“

„Oh she didn’t come after all.“- Lilly rolled her eyes -„ She didn’t feel like hanging out tonight. Anyway, you should reeeally try these. They are amazing“ – she said in a melodical voice as she took Milo under her arm

Kali watched as the two walked away,wondering what on Earth will he be doing all night. He sat on one of the garden chairs and  took out his phone. Then he typed a message to Penelope to meet him near the pool.

But even an hour later he didn’t get a response. Milo was having fun with Lilly in the pool,so Kali felt bad to interrupt them. He got up and called a taxi to bring him back to the dorms.

Once there,Kali felt unusually lonely. It was 11 pm and the dormitory was deserted. It seemed like everyone went to the party. He rummaged trough the drawer of his desk and found some papers miss Moss gave him earlier that week. Among them,there was a brochure about college sports and different activities. His eyes stopped at the picture of an olympic pool. The brochure said that the college pool was opened every day except Sundays, from 8 am to 3 pm.

Kali found his old swimming shorts buried deep in the closet,put a towel over his shoulder and headed out.

As he followed the map and walked through empty building, he noticed the light shining through one of the slightly ajar doors in a distant hallway. Little grey tile was perched on the top of the arc that said : FEMALE DORMITORY

He knew that it could be anyone’s bedroom,but the feeling in his gut that it could be Ava’s made him walk forward. His flip flops made a loud sound on the stone floor as he cautiously approached the light and clutched his towel tightly.

Kali knocked on the door.

No one answered.

As he knocked again, a slight shiver went through his spine. It made him turn around in panic.

He slowly opened the door.

There was no one there.

He entered the room,biting his lip knowing that he could get in serious trouble if he was found lurking around girls dormitories in the middle of the night.

The room was very tidy,almost as thought no one lived there.

A book was left open on the desk.

He picked it up and read the title. It was some sort of historical romance novel that would never interest Kali.

He put the book back as it has been before and, despite his better judgement, he opened the desk drawer.

Inside the drawer were some notebooks and a pencil case.

Then he opened the closet and again found nothing out of the ordinary. He felt stupid. What was he thinking he could find? A potion book? Dead rats?

He left the bedroom,leaving the door slightly ajar and headed towards the pool.

***

The water was cold and refreshing. He thought about Milo and Lilly probably very drunk by now. The thought of it made him laugh.

He did a few laps and leaned on the edge of the pool.

Mental note. Buy another swim shorts.“- Kali thought to himself as his old shorts squeezed him uncomfortabely.

He released the end of the pool and made a move as to start swimming again, when he noticed a shadow growing behind him.

Kali tried to turn around in panic but something pulled him underwater. He waved his arms frantically,wanting to emerge to the surface but the thing that was pulling him grew stronger. He opened his eyes and looked towards his legs but nothing was there. As though water itself pulled him to the bottom of the pool.

Suddenly, he felt very light and dived on the surface.

He coughed the water out of his lungs when he heard a soft voice – „ You should reaaally stop spying on people,you know. „

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CHAPTER V

Kali woke up the next day with the sound of birds chirping outside his window. The sun was shining through the half open blinds making unusual shapes on the wall. His roommates soft snoring filled the room.

He slowly sat up in his bed thinking about everything what happened. He was trying to explain what happened in the library rationally,but he couldn’t find a logical reason of why books would float mid-air.

She’s a witch.“- the thought went through his head unintentionally -„Such a strange thing to be thinking aboutCould she really be one? What else could’ve explain it?“

His brows furrowed from frustration. He didn’t even notice than the snores died away and that Milo had woken up.

„Ahoy,witch hunter!“- he shouted happily, looking over Kali’s bed rails. The exclamation made Kali jump and hit his head on the ceiling. Rubbing the spot on the head which pulsated with pain,he quietly murmured good morning.

„Oh c’mon, it’s not that bad!“- laughed Milo, looking at Kali’s sulking face

„Yeah,I’m a’right“- said Kali

„That’s the spirit“- Milo said smilingly while buttoning up his shirt- „I’m off to get some breakfast,we don’t have classes today so we should go and try that thing we talked about yesterday…“- he winked and got out of the room,leaving the door slightly opened

Kali slowly got out of his bed and headed to the bathroom.

As he brushed his teeth, he tried to get his hair a bit less messy with one hand,but it just wouldn’t stay in place.

Great. Bedhead.“ -he spat the foamy toothpaste into the sink.

He washed his face with cold water,got dressed and left his room,heading to the college cafeteria.

As he arrived,he realized that the cafeteria was closed and decided to walk around and find Milo. Sure enough,Milo was not far away,eating a sandwich on a nearby bench in the college yard.

„Not working today?“- asked Kali in a strained voice

„Nope.“- said Milo,chewing his sandwich- „Here“- he added and outstretched his arm – „I figured you’d need one“.

„Thanks“- Kali said smilingly

„Soo…Are we goint to the party tonight?“

„You mean, at the Jetters sisters ?… Oh God,is this tuna? „ – asked Kali,unwrapping his sandwich

„Yeah. And no,ham and cheese“

„We could. Penelope surely wants us there. Oh good,I like ham. Do you think everyone will be there?“

„Well,they should,at least if they care enough about their social life.“-Milo chuckled

„Hmm… I don’t know,I’m not in the mood to be surrounded with lots of people… Ah well… Let’s get some coffee“

Kali stood up and shaked down the bread crumbs that had been piling on his shirt.

They walked near the shore and enjoyed soaking up the sun.

„Hey,look there“- Milo smirked to Kali and nudged his head

„A coffee shop? You want to go there? Looks o…kay…“- Kali realised what Milo was showing him

At one of the beechwood tables decorated with red and yellow flowers sat Ava. She was laughing at something her friend said and waving her hands as though signalling her to stop.

Ava’s friend was a pretty girl around their age. Her hair was long,strawberry blonde and she had one thick braid, loosely hanging on one side. She seemed pretty tall to Kali as she gestured wildly to Ava,revealing her ivory hands embellished with temporary golden tattoos. Tears of laughter were running down her freckled cheeks as she now stood up to visualise her story better.

„We should join them“- Milo winked

„What?! No! Milo-wait!“-  Kali yelled in panic,but it was too late. Milo’s big footsteps already got him half way to the terrace Ava was sitting at.

„You two surely know how to have a good time“- Milo interrupted Ava’s friend in her story,handing her a paper handkerchief

„Oh-thank-you“- the blonde girl said,trying to surpress her laughter

„Milo“- he offered his hand

„Lilly“ – the girl said,shaking his hand and wiping her face.

Kali was standing awkwardly behind him and fidgeted with his keys.

„You’re the Frost guy right?“- said Ava abruptly

Kali looked up,suddenly frozen.-„Y-yeah. Frost. Kali. H-how did you know that?“ The scene from the library flashed in his brain and he tried hard not to think about it,fearing that she could read minds.

„Oh,I help miss Moss with the files. And we’re in the same class,I believe“- she looked at him curiously,the ends of her lips slightly forming a shy smile

„Yeah,that’s right“- he exhaled

„Are you okay? Do you need some water?“ – asked the blonde girl

Kali noticed she had beautiful ice blue eyes and really faint,light eyebrows as she looked at him.

„Oh,no. Thanks.“
“Are you sure? You’ve gone awfully pale there“- she examined his face

„I’m fine,really.“- he waved his hands in front of him

„Okay then“- Lilly said cheerfully.

„So… I know we’ve just met,but could I maybe ask you to get a coffee with me? „- Milo asked Lilly with the brightest smile he could muster

„Oh,so sweet. Ava,isn’t he sweet?“- giggled Lilly -„ How about we meet at a party? You surely are going tonight“

„Yeah,we are. How about you? „- he turned to Ava – „Are you going too?“

„She is“- said Lilly,putting her hand on top of Ava’s as though wanting to stop her from protesting

„See you there then.“- Milo winked and walked away leaving Kali to say awkward goodbye and run after him

„What-are-you-doing?“- whispered Kali,even though the coffee shop could not be seen anymore behing them

„Well,this is your chance to get to know something about her! And I wouldn’t really mind getting to know the blonde better either!“- he laughed,punching the air above him

CHAPTER IV

The door slammed loudly behind Kali as he ran into his bedroom.

„Dude,what the -?  Why are you so….pale? And what happened to my coffee?- Milo looked puzzled

I-I went into…the library“-Kali gasped for air while clenching his painful sides – „ And…that girl,brown haired girl from class was there“

„Which one? You have to be a bit more specific“-Milo smirked

„The one you said that behaves awkward or odd or something“

Milo sat up straight-„ Oh,you mean Ava? Yeah I think I’ve seen her there myself a few times.“

Kali began to pace up and down the room.

„But did you see her doing anything weird?“

„You mean,except from reading lots of books that aren’t even obligatory literature?“

„I’m being serious. Anything that is not normal?“

„I don’t know,maybe. I really know the point you’re trying to make“

„I saw her…“- he thought for a second- „ levitating a book“- he breathed out

Milo burst out laughing. -„Oh my God,you sounded so serious,I really thought she was burning books in there or something“

„I am not joking.“

„Of course you’re not joking,hahah,she was just levitating books in the library. Hahah,was there a ghost that had his neck half chopped off too?“
“Ha-ha,funny. You don’t have to believe me.“

„Well next time you see some hocus pocus around here,please do take a photo“- he continued to laugh

Kali rolled his eyes,took his backpack and went out.

***

„Did you hear about the Jetters sisters party?… Kali! What’s gotten into you today?“

„Huh?“-said Kali absent mindedly,biting the top of his pencil

„Are you even listening? What are you looking at anyway?“- Penelope streched out so she could see better

„Ah,nothing. Just revising a little bit. So the party,you said? „- he looked away and stared at Penelope

„Yes…“- said Penelope suspiciously

„Well,I think we should go. The whole class will be there too,right? „

„Hm,I guess so.“-Kali thought she still looked at him a bit funny

„Thinking about that Ava girl again?“- someone whispered in his ear

He jumped in his seat.

„I thought about it and maybe we should follow her around for a  bit. You want to confirm your story and it’s not like we have something better to do so early in the semester anyway.“-said Milo,leaning very closely

„Right,okay. We’ll just be two creeps stalking someone. What’s the worst thing that could happen? „