Nothing but Ash

Ashton sat in his dark room,  IV drip in his shoulder filled with thick, red liquid. His homework was scattered around him on the floor, drawings coating the margins. The computer was on, with random videos playing from YouTube. He laid with his head pressed against the wall lost in thought. A tear rolled down his cheek, and fell down under the collar of his shirt where it disappeared. It had been two years since his parents had died by the hands of humans and the pain was still raw. He made a vow when that he would kill the people who were responsible for his parent’s death.

He walked along the hallway with his head down low, trying to block out the whispers he always received from his peers. He pulled his leather jacket tight around his torso starting to pick up his pace, wanting to get out of the prying eyes of his peers. Ignoring the books that resided in his locker, he walked into his first period class with nothing but his bag. He walked to his seat in the back of the class, plopping down he began to pull out his math notebook and pencil. When the teacher began to talk, he zoned out ignoring the world around him.

The whole school day passed in a blurr for Ashton. Anytime he walked in the hallway people would bump into him harshly, laughing as they walked away. He let it happen not wanting to do anything about it. After all he had more important things to worry about than what people thought of him. He walked out into the sun with his shiny gold belt, walking hurriedly across the parking lot. It wasn’t long before he heard car’s horn blare across the parking lot. Looking in the direction of the noise, he saw a car moving faster than the speed limit allowed. Ashton would have paid no attention to it and would have turned around if it was not for the boy who was about to walk into the speeding car.

Ashton muttered a curse under his breath, really not in the mood for idiotic humans. The guy looked up just as the car was about to hit him. Everyone could see that he was frozen in his place. There were the high pitch yells of the blonde cheerleaders and the yells of some guys telling him to ‘book it.’ Ashton dropped his bag onto the ground and using his speed, he ran into the guy, pushing both himself and the guy out of harm's way. The driver yelled a curse out of the window and drove away, ignoring the fact that he has almost killed a guy.

The surrounding people who watched the whole ordeal started to clap. There were a few whistles and yells from the students, shouting decent words for once. He winced as he felt a hard slap landing on his shoulder. He turned only to face the most popular person in school, Christopher Laywood. He gave Ashton a smile saying, “Thanks for saving my life bro, I owe ya.” With that he turned and ran into his friends giving them high fives. It wasn’t long before they began to call Ashton over. They started to talk with him and for the first time in years, Ashton thought that things might be going his way.

He left the group of guys not long after they had called him to them. He made up some lame excuse just looking for a way to leave. They let him go with no fuss, simply saying goodbye, before they too, went their way. It was evident that Ashton was glad when they left, for his shoulders relaxed and he let out a breath.

He turned back, grabbed his bag from where he had dropped it moments before, and continued on his way. He had only managed to leave the school behind before he picked up the sound of someone following him about five feet away. Not in the mood for wanting to talk with anyone else, he picked up his pace, annoyance already evident on his face.

The wind was knocked out of his lungs and he felt a strong grip dragging him off into the surrounding woods. He was forcefully shoved onto the hard ground, groaning in pain.

“Pathetic,” A woman’s voice said. “Are you sure you want him?”

“Eve.” A male’s voice said in a threatening tone.

Ashton gave a groan before turning around to face a man with pale skin. There was a girl near him, the same girl who had pushed him onto the ground. The girl who had knocked him down had black hair and cold, calculating eyes, and surprisingly tan skin. She took a few steps away from him, going to stand next to the guy.

“What kind of vampire can’t even defend themselves?” Eve questioned the man.

“He saved someone’s life, Eve.”

“Not when the life saved belonged to a idiotic human.”

He let out a sigh before they began to quietly converse in front of him. Eventually Eve walked toward him and offered a hand to help Ashton off of the ground. He took it, still weary of Eve. She pulled Ashton up with force, pulling him a few inches off of the ground, grinning as she did so. The man gave Eve a glare, wiping the smile off of her face.

“I’m Casper,” The man said. “Eve and I are part of the Moonlight Society, a select group of vampires, and others, who protect others of their kind. One of our spies noticed your act of bravery, and even though it was not one of our own you saved, contacted us immediately. We want you to join.” 

Ashton glanced at them in shock. “Why me? I’m sure there are hundreds of others who would be more fit for the position that you are offering me.”

Eve rolled her eyes, annoyed at Ashton. “Most people beg us for a position in this Society,” She said taking slow steps until Ashton could feel her hot breath on his face. “So the fact that you aren’t taking it, you’re making the worst mistake of your pathetic life.” She growled before backing away from Ashton.

“It’s completely your choice, Ashton. If you don’t want this position, I’m sure we’ll come across someone new eventually. It could be weeks, months, maybe a whole century will pass before we find someone new. I’m certainly sure that crime and issues will wait until we find more suitable people. But it’s completely your choice, no one else's.” He said giving him a smile that never reached his eyes.

Ashton looked between Eve and Casper. “I don’t think you’re giving me much of a choice.” Casper’s smiled widened and Ashton rolled his eyes. “ I’ll join.”

Ashton saw Eve smile, “Finally someone is making the right choices.” Eve grabbed onto Ashton and Caspers arms and together all three of them disappeared out of the afternoon sun.

***

Ashton walked through the halls, girls giving him flirtatious looks and guys calling him over. He straightened out his leather jacket and ignored them. He had changed a lot from the fifteen year old boy he once was. He had gotten more muscle, abs, good looking hair, everything a girl ever dreamed of. Some things however never change. Ashton still kept people at a distance, not wanting to get close to humans.

As Ashton was putting his books in his locker he noticed a girl with glamorous red hair. His eyes widened and his heart started to beat out of his chest. Ashton quickly turned around covering his face hoping no one could see the blush that decorated his features. He went back to grabbing his other books when he felt a touch on his shoulder. He froze and started to slowly turn around. Standing right in front of him was the girl with the gorgeous red hair.

“Do you know where room 127 is?” She asked him twirling a necklace in between her fingers.

“I’ll show you, I’m heading there now.” He respond looking at her face.

He walked down the hallway with his head down thinking of her. There was something about her made his heart beat rapidly, giving him butterflies in his stomach.   

“So what's your name?” She questioned him as they walked down the hallways.

“My name is Ashton Stone but people call me Ash for short.”

“Jordan Starlight.” She responded looking down at something on her phone.

When Ashton and Jordan walked into the class he sat in the way back staring out the window. She sat in the front looking back at him a couple of times when the teacher wasn’t looking. As class ended he was the first one out of the class, eager for the day to be over.

“Casper.” He shouted the second he entered the abandoned mansion that served as the Society's headquarters.

“Woah dude calm down. What’s wrong mate?” He asked seeming to appear out of nowhere. 

“I don’t know what is happening,” Ashton said. Rushing to the point where some of his words began to slur together. “I saw this girl in school. My started to race and my hands became sweaty. I couldn’t focus on anything but her her beauty.”

Casper  placed his hands on Ashton’s shoulders and began to shake him violently, a huge smile blooming on his features. “Dude you found your mate.”  

“My mate?” Ashton questioned. “Meaning the person I was meant to be with?” A smile was now starting to bloom on his face as well.  

“Congrats man,” Casper said. “I hope she’ll make you happy.”

Ashton smiled. “She will.”

The next day Ashton was in chemistry admiring Jordan from his desk until the teacher announced they were having a project and need a partner. The teacher called out everyone's names one by one as they decided who they would choose as a partner.  

“Alright Miss Starlight who will you choose?” The teacher asked.

Jordan stood up looking around thinking of who she would choose then she said, “I’ll pick Ash.”

Everyone looked up and looked at Ashton. Ashton faced turned bright red. The class sat by their partners and discussed about their ideas.

“I was thinking we do this at my house I have most of the supplies.” She said already jotting a few ideas in her notebook.

“What day do you want me to come over?” Ashton asked.

“Today after school?” She questioned him, looking at him for a response.

Ashton eyes went wide and his heart started to beat out of his chest once again. “Sure sound good to me.”  

The bell rang and the two parted ways heading to their next classes.

Ashton headed down the street, hands in his pockets, scouting out where Jordan’s house was. He rang the doorbell and Jordan opened the door. She was wearing shorts and a tank top, with a black hand towel draped over her shoulder.

“Hey Ash.” She said taking the towel off of her shoulder and beginning to dry her hair.

“Hey Jordan, nice house.” He replied looking into the house over her shoulder.

“Thanks. Please come in it looks like it’s going to pour soon.” She said taking a glance at the grey sky behind him.

Ashton walks in and looks around eying everything. It was so shiny and bright. Jordan began to walk up the stairs, which Ashton following her. As they reached her room, upbeat songs could be heard playing on her radio. Ashton looked on the floor seeing paper scattered everywhere, reminding him of his room.

“Wow your room’s a mess” He said giving a small chuckle.

“Thanks.” She said punching his shoulder lightly.    

As they started working on the project, they were dancing stupidly in Jordan's bedroom, listening to the music that was playing. For in a long time Ashton was smiling and fill with joy. He hasn't smiled since that day his parents died. As they worked on the project some more, a slow sad song came onto the radio. The smile on both of their faces were turned into frowns. 

Jordan quickly ran to the radio and shut it off, but not before Ashton looked over to see Jordan wiping a stray tear from her eye.  

“Hey you okay?” He said as he moved closer to Jordan.

“Um yeah, this song just reminds me of my parents,” She said not looking at him. “Sad music was their favorite. They said it made them able to relive old moments when they were younger.”

“Yeah same here,” Ash said. “It used to be their favorite song.”

They fell into an uncomfortable silence, not a single word spoken between the two of them. It wasn’t long before Jordan broke the silence.

“My parents, they were murdered.” Ashton looked over at her with wide eyes. “They left suddenly early one morning and they never came back. It wasn’t until my aunt came to tell me the news a few hours later. The police had found their bodies torn open in a park.”

“Similar here. My parents just disappeared one day and I never saw them again.” Ashton said, no longer in the happy mood he was in before.

Jordan was silent for a few moments before she asked, “Do you remember the date they left?”

“April 18th.” Ashton replied wondering why she was asking that question.

She was silent for a few moments before she stood up, making eye contact with Ashton. Her eyes turned cold. “I want you out of this house now.” She told him.

Ashton stood up. “What?” He asked confused by her outburst.

“Did I stutter?” She asked him. “Leave.” 

Grabbing his bags, Ashton bolted out of the room, not wanting Jordan to yell at him again. He crashed through her doors, finding himself outside in the pouring rain. As he started heading towards his house someone behind him put a bag over his face. He struggled to break free, but the person was too strong.

“Hey let me go.” Ash shouted, struggling to break free.

The person finally took the bag off of Ashton’s face. He was tied up in a chair in a dark room with no windows. “Hey where am I?” He questioned into thin air.

He heard the clang of metal and saw the faint outline of a person coming out of a doorway. It was known other than Casper.

“Casper! Oh my god I’m so happy to see you. Someone took me here and tied me up.”  He said. Casper let out a sigh before he began to un-tie Ashton letting him slip out of the ropes that previously held him to the chair.

Ashton brushed himself off and went over to Casper before he let a  swing at Ashton, punching him in the eye. Ashton fell to the ground then gets back up and swings at Casper. The two start throwing punches and kicking at each other. Then the door opens again with Eve running in, trying to break up the boys. Having enough of their nonsense, she uses her powers to split the two boys up.

“Casper I thought you were my friend?” He cried, trying to break out of whatever spell Eve had them in.

“I was until I found out your mate was a human, Ash you know the rules.” Casper cried

Eve looked at Ash. “In love with a human? I told you ever since the first day he wasn’t worthy enough.” She growled.

Casper sighed rubbing his forehead.“Ashton I’m making you choose, the ‘Moonlight Society’ or Jordan.”

“I can't believe that my best friend is making me choose between my mate and my family.” He said tears starting to spring into his eyes.

“Choose now Ashton.” Casper said his voice cold.

“I choose Jordan.” He walked passed Casper and Eve, walking towards the door. Once out, he wiped the tears that were coming down his face, heading towards his old home.      

The next day at school Ashton looked around trying to find Jordan.  Everyone stared at his black eye and whispered to one another. He spotted her after looking for a few minutes. He went to her locker and waved.

“What happened to your eye?” She questioned causally.

“I got beat up by my friend because he didn't want me hanging out with you any more.” He said, shuffling from side to side unable to stand still.

She frowned and went back putting stuff in her locker. There was another awkward silence until Ash finally spoke. “Hey, I’m sorry if I did anything to upset you yesterday,” She ignored him. “Jordan?” He repeated hoping for a response.

She slammed her locker shut and turned to look him in the eyes. “Come towards me one more time and see what happens.”

She turned on her heel, walking away from Ashton. He casted his eyes down to the ground wondering what he had done wrong. He began walking down the halls, shoulders slumped, the confidence he once had fading away. Walking into chemistry, he saw Jordan already there talking with some other people. He took his seat next to her not saying a word, not wishing make her angry at him again.

The day went by in a blur. Ashton but his headphones on and turned the volume all the way up. People waved to him but he just ignored them. At the end of the day Ashton was at his locker throwing books into his back when he saw Jordan walking past him. He waved and said hi but she kept walking. Ashton ran up to catch her.

“Jordan wait up.” He shouted  

She stopped and looked back and started to walk a little when she saw it was him. She picked up her pace a little until Ashton finally caught up to her and grabbed her shoulder.

“What do you want Ashton.” She hissed at him, trying to get out of his strong grip.

Ashton turned her around to face him and look straight into his red eyes. “Can you come over to my house?” He pleaded with her.

She looked confused and shook her head. “What?”

He rolled his eyes. “Come over to my house we need to talk”   

She gave a sigh. “Fine I’ll be at your house at sunset.”

She started to walk off. Ashton smiled and quickly rushed home.

Ashton stood by his door, checking his watch every few minutes, tapping his foot impationaly on the ground. It wasn’t long before there was a knock at his door. He waited a few seconds before he opened the door to revel Jordan, her hair down up in a ponytail. She brushed past him, not waiting for an invitation to enter.

“Come right on in, I guess.” He muttered under his breath.

She took a quick glance around his house, looking at everything but him. “What was so important that I had to be here?”

“Why are you so set on ignoring me?” He asked, his gaze filled with sadness.

“Why not.” She said shrugging her shoulders. “I don’t talk to people whom I don’t trust.”

Ashton opened and closed his mouth not knowing the right words to say. “What did I do?”

“It’s not about what you did, Ashton. It’s about what your parents did to me.” She growled at him.

His eyes went wide, confusion written on his features. “What do my parents have to do with anything?”

“Your such an idiot,” She yelled her voice booming off of Ashton’s walls. “Your parents are the reason why mine are dead. Here I was thinking you were a decent guy and I find out that you aren’t who you say you are. Your a monster.” She took a few steps closer to Ashton and he backed away from her.

Ashton began to get annoyed. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m a hunter, Ashton, and so were my parents. They were killed by your parents. It’s honestly not that hard to understand.” Jordan said her voice void of any emotion.

He didn’t have time to process what was going on before he was slammed against a wall, the force doing nothing but winding him. He sat there in shock staring at Jordan to surprised and hurt to say anything to her. She towered over him, a wooden stake gripped in one of her hands. His eyes went wide and out of instinct, he kicked her away from him. She traveled halfway across the room. It didn’t take long for guilt to start clawing at Ashton.

He stood up on shaky legs, approaching Jordan cautiously. She bolted up from the floor charging at Ashton. He easily stepped to the side watching Jordan rush past him. She turned back to face him. She charged once more at him, but this time Ashton caught both of her wrists, the stake sliding across the tiles of the kitchen floor. Ashton watched as she fought against his hold, pain filling his expression.

“Jordan please stop,” He said pain lanced in his voice. “Stop trying to kill me.”

He let go of her wrists which sent her stumbling back a few steps. “Why should I listen to you?” She growled.

“Because I love you,” He shouted at her. “I’ve loved you since the moment I laid eyes on you.”

Jordan stood there shocked before her face turned cold. “That’s depressing, because I don’t.”

In the blink of an eye Jordan had picked up the stake from where it laid on the floor, and hurdled it at Ashton. It landed in his chest, directly impaling his heart. His face went from horror to pain to sadness. He collapsed onto the ground unmoving. Jordan went over and kicked his body, making sure that he was really dead. Satisfied she moved away from the body and taking a match from her pocket, lighted it and dropped it onto Ashton’s body. She threw another lighted match at the wall paper, watching as it was slowly eaten by the flames.

She walked out of the house and stood in the driveway, watching the house. It took awhile, but the house finally erupted in flames. She could see the flames licking from the windows and she watched it all happen in could satisfaction. When she heard sirens in the distance, she took that as her cue to leave. She walked down the gravel driveway, leaving the house to become nothing but ash.

 


Photographer  (A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.)  

MHSN2021

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