Remember this is an original novel written by Addis of ExR. This is not a translation.
Malakai (Kai) Deacon walked to his martial arts class in high spirits. Dressed in a light yellow long sleeved shirt and dark blue low rise jeans he hummed as he strolled down the brightly light hallway to the locker room. His blonde hair was highlighted with streaks of gold. He smiled at those who passed him, they looked away without meeting his gaze. His smile faltered but he continued to his assigned locker.
Kai was used to the people around his not meeting his gaze, he was used to everyone acting like he was different. He knew he was different, his mother always told him he was, his eyes told him so as well. His hands paused on the tumbler to his lock. Why couldn’t everyone just treat him like they did everyone else? Why couldn’t his mother tell him who his father was so that he could finally know what his mother whispered about in her sleep? Kai sighed and opened his locker.
Neatly stacked inside were his shoes and a towel, on the back of the locker was a black and white image of a pair of boxing gloves. Kai quickly dressed and breathed in deeply trying to calm his mind. No matter how much he ignored it he could feel his peers staring at him. He ached to be out practicing so that he could concentrate on something else. He smiled once more before shutting his locker and walking out.
“Alright, ladies and gentlemen,” Kai’s instructor yelled. Kai flexed his muscles once more before turning away from the mirror and watching his ancient instructor begin to tell the class what to do. Kai went through the practice without his thoughts wavering once. Some of the guys in his class resented him for his fluidity in his movements, most of them couldn’t match Kai’s pace and they held that against him. The girls though, they desired him for it.
There were those of both sexes that desired Kai for his beauty and for the way he moved as if unhindered by the world. To them, he was oxygen to flame, all they ever wanted. The fact that he was aloof and distant spiked their interests even more. Kai Deacon, to the female species, was an enigma. He held himself proudly even though he was scorned by others. He talked as if bells were within his voice box. The female species was enamored and the males hated the young man even more for it.
Kai sighed once class was finished and he was finally outside. The cool night air felt good on his overheated body and he welcomed it. He turned his face up to the moon and let its cold rays wash over him. At night Kai always felt more alive, as if the moon welcomed him and treated him like family. He opened his eyes and watched his peers leave one by one. None of them said anything to him as they walked by, Kai pushed away some of his negative thoughts and began to walk home.
“Mom, I’m home.” Kai called out when he stepped inside his apartment. The Deacon’s lived in a small, old apartment complex in the middle of a busy downtown district. Their apartment was on the fifth floor and because the building was old, there wasn’t an elevator so Kai had to walk up five flights of stairs to get home.
The apartment was silent except for a small buzz sounding from the TV in the living room. There was no denying the fact that Kai’s mother was home, her shoes and clothes were littered down the hallway. Kai sighed and picked up his mother’s belongings as he found his way in the dark.
Kristin Deacon was sitting on the living room couch in nothing but her bathrobe watching the muted television. Kristin had short brown hair and a lovely face, she was young but her green eyes showed nothing but wisdom and sorrow. She looked over at her son and grimaced.
“I didn’t hear you come in.” Kristin muttered before turning her gaze back to the TV. Kai ran a hand through his hair and sighed, loudly.
“You never hear me come in, Mom.” Kai told his mother. Kirstin cocked her head just slightly and pushed out her lower lip.
“Make me some dinner, won’t you?” Kirstin demanded as her son grumbled and threw his mother’s clothes into a hamper that sat next to the bathroom door. Kai closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“What do you want?” He asked with a slight edge in his voice. Kirstin smiled and rocked back and forth, clutching her knees with her arms.
“Whatever there is.” Kai rubbed his temples and walked into the kitchen. The kitchen was an absolute mess, dishes were scattered along the counter tops, the garbage was overflowing, pantry doors were halfway open and the table was littered with papers. Kai resisted the urge to scream; when he left that morning the kitchen was spotless. No doubt it was his mother’s doing.
When he opened the fridge, he noticed, to no surprise, that it was empty, so he moved to the freezer. It, too, was empty. Kai grumbled as he checked the pantries for food.
“Mother!” Kirstin looked up from where she was sitting comfortably on the couch. Kai was stomping out of the kitchen, his cheeks turning red. He pointed a finger at his mother. “What did you do today? Did you walk out that front door, act like you did something then came back home and ate everything in the goddamn house?! Were you fired again from your job? Did you even think about getting another one?”
Kirstin just smiled at her son, “You’ve got me pegged, but I still want dinner.”
Kai let out a frustrated scream, “Why the hell did I end up with a mother like you!”
Hurt flickered in Kirstin’s eyes before it faded, she sat perfectly still and watched her son run his hands through his hair angrily. Kirstin knew she couldn’t hold onto her son, she knew it was only a matter of time. Kai took a calming breath and stormed out of the living room intending to go take a walk to cool his anger.
Kirstin smiled sadly at the door Kai slammed shut. A single tear fell down her cheek. “Happy Birthday, Kai.”
“Stupid lazy ass mother, I’ll make you dinner. What the hell? It’s my birthday she should be making me dinner. Oh, wait, what am I thinking she hasn’t made me dinner in years.” Kai paused mid step down the stairs, he took a steady breath in and blew it out. “I’m good, yeah, I’m good. I’m not going to cry. Not going to cry.”
Still, he could feel his eyes burning behind his eyelids. He hated crying, it made his feel weak and vulnerable, it was even worse that only his mother could make him cry. It was only his mother, and he hated it.
Unconsciously his hand went through his hair again when he reached the street. It was almost nine o’clock at night, yet cars and people were still roaming the streets. Kai wanted to smile at the people he passed but he couldn’t with the thoughts that were running through his head. His smile would just come out as a frown instead. He let his feet take him to wherever; he didn’t care anymore as long as he got away from his mother.
Kai felt trapped in his mother’s presence, he felt like a slave. Kai, get me that; Kai, get me this. He couldn’t go anywhere without his mother’s voice following him. He loved his mom, he couldn’t deny it, but that didn’t mean he had to like his mom.
In front of him was a small park Kai used to frequent before his mother changed. It was a child’s park with four swings, a slide, and monkey bars. One time Kai broke his arm on those monkey bars, he smiled at the memory. At this time of night, the park was empty so Kai went and sat down on one of the small green swings. He pushed off the ground and tucked his legs at his knees.
Swinging came naturally and he laughed at the feeling of going through the night air with only the restriction of the swing. He could jump if he wanted and he knew he would land perfectly. Kai began to hum a song his mother used to sing to get him to go to sleep. With his eyes shut he didn’t notice a sleek form appear from the tree line in front of him. He continued to hum and when he finished and opened his eyes, he almost screamed.
The person who came from the trees was leaning against one of the giant pine trees. He just stood there, his arms folded across his chest, looking at Kai as if he were some sort of interesting sideshow attraction. Kai slowed and watched the guy extract himself from the tree and look at him. He stared back.
His eyes were the color of fire, liquid amber. He was tall, at least six foot, and Kai could see his lithe arms through the skin tight Under Armour he was wearing. In the light, his hair looked to be as dark as the night. His face was captivating enough, Kai thought as he criticized. It was a bold and strikingly beautiful face. Sharp jaw bones, cupid bow lips, dark eye lashes. Kai stared at him and the man stared back.
So this is him, the older man thought as he took another step forward. Kai’s spine stiffened and he narrowed his eyes. The man took another step.
“Who are you?” Kai demanded as sharply as he could. The man tilted his head to the side and looked at Kai without saying anything.
It was unnerving.
“Zee.” The man responded after a minute into their staring contest. Kai rolled his eyes.
“Well, gee Zee don’t go all creepy on me. Appearing out of trees without a sound and then just staring. It’s a little weird.” Zee’s lips flickered into a grin before it disappeared. Kai watched it disappear and felt his heart flutter at the unexpected uneasiness of such a simple action.
“You are an inimitable person, Malakai Airli Deacon.” Kai stared at Zee.
“Okay, maybe I phrased that wrong. Zee, who do you work for?” In a matter of seconds Zee was standing in front of Kai, his hands on the swing chain above Kai’s. He was close enough that Kai could count each individual different colored flake in his eyes. He counted them while Zee’s eyes roamed his face.
“Your eyes are beautiful, did you know that?” Zee asked, Kai smirked.
“Zee, how could you? Are you flirting with me? You don’t even know-” Kai paused then glared at Zee. “You’re evading my question. Who do you work for, and how do you know me?”
Zee lifted his finger and twined Kai’s hair around it. His lips twitched before he answered.
“I could because you are beautiful and I am flirting with you. I’m a flirt I can’t help it.” Kai’s eyes narrowed and he snatched Zee’s hand from his hair. When he tried to pull it away, the man held it tight. “I know you because everyone in my line of work knows you. As for who I work for, if I told you that then you would have to die.”
“That is the most clichéd line in the book, Zee.”
“It’s true though, I would.” Kai gasped as the man’s free arm wrapped around his waist and pulled him close to him. Kai wasn’t gay, but he suddenly felt his mind go blank as if he was a eighteen year old schoolgirl instead of a male. He felt the warmth radiating from the man’s skin and closed his eyes tight. Why hadn’t he thought of escaping before? The dude was a stranger; just because he gave you his name didn’t mean that he was a friend. Kai tried to keep his fear in check but he couldn’t help it, he could feel it burning beneath his skin like an itch.
Suddenly there was a strong wind that dislodged Kai from Zee. He was grateful, but before he could bathe in that feeling, he was screaming because he was falling; falling; falling.
Kai felt around him and found that he was lying on some sort of rock. He opened his eyes to find Zee walking towards him, Zee still frightened him. Kai stood up abruptly, noticing no pain when he did so.
“What the hell did you do to me, Zee?” Kai yelled through the wind. Zee looked up at the sky, his amber eyes glowing in the darkness, his pupils seemed to have elongated and turned into mere slivers of black. He flexed his fingers and created fire in the palm of his hand.
That was not normal.
“Look around Kai, and tell me what I did.”
Kai paused and let the wind blow his hair into his face and did as he was ordered. It was dark but his eyes were adjusting, what he saw made his gasp.
“You did not.” Kai whispered in denial. Around him were dark trees that reached out to the sky and walking around him were people. No, he corrected himself, souls of people, thousands of souls walking on the ground as if they still lived. Kai looked down at his hands, they were slightly transparent.
“You killed me?” He whispered to Zee. He was close enough now that when he reached out, he touched a finger to his skin. He felt real, but was he really? Zee watched Kai as he looked into his eyes then Zee smiled.
Enraged, Kai reached out, with all of his power and punched Zee, hard. Zee looked up from the pain that generated from his stomach, shocked.
“What’d you do that for?” Zee asked the question as if he hadn’t thought that Kai would retaliate in any way. Kai clenched his fists and stormed towards him.
“What do you mean that you didn’t exactly kill me!”
Zee’s anger now matched Kai’s own and they came nose to nose with each other.
“Just that! You aren’t dead, but you are! Anóito agóri! Koitazo gyro sas!” Somehow Kai knew what Zee was saying, he knew that he had called him a foolish boy and told him to look around but he was transfixed by the Greek. It was as if it triggered something somewhere in his brain; something in his DNA.
“Poios eimai?” Who am I? He whispered in the language of his ancestors.
Surrounded by the souls of the dead, Kai felt as if he no longer knew who he was. What exactly was he, to be able to keep his consciousness intact even after he had died. Kai looked at Zee, who was standing not far from him, a frown taking over his face as he stared at Kai. The souls were like bright lights decorating the darkness with their eternal glow. As he looked around, Kai’s two different colored eyes made contact with the moon. Hadn’t he always felt that he was different? Didn’t that light always call to some part of his soul?
Unconsciously Kai reached out to the moon. Zee noticed this and reached his own hand out, yelling, “No, Malakai, stop!”
But Kai could no longer hear or see anything around him but the bright moon that hung high in the sky. A small smile lifted his lips as the warmth of the moon caressed his soul.
Ah, he thought, this is mine.
Then he closed his eyes.
Zee watched as his target, Malakai Deacon’s soul flickered out of existence right before his very eyes.