“You really have no idea, do you?” she smirks at me, amused
by some private joke. “Are you really that stupid or are you
just pretending?” I’m going to throw the bitch out now but
just as I open my mouth she continues. “We don’t travel by
plane, Livia.” Now she’s lost me.
you didn’t go to Madagascar?” I’m aware that I’m really not
sounding too bright now. Ruth rolls her eyes at me in
mean, we don’t need a plane to get there or anywhere else by
the way.” I stare at her, my wet hair dripping all over the
floor. Ruth sighs heavily. “We’re no ordinary humans, Livia,
in fact, we’re not human at all. We ubilocate wherever we
want to go.” Ubi…what? And what about the Bentley? is my
first illogical thought. She has to be kidding, right?
Clearly one of us is raving mad, either me or this beautiful
girl who’s decided to make my life hell. Now she throws her
head back, laughing loudly. “You should see your face right
now!” she giggles. “Just tell me, didn’t you ever find us
weird in some way or other?” Of course, I want to shout in
her mocking face. But she hates me, she’d tell me anything
to scare me away. So I stubbornly shake my head, longing to
get rid of her, go to the airport and talk to Cassius as
soon as possible. Not human, my arse! I’ve felt him, smelled
him, he couldn’t have been more human! Ruth’s black eyes are
narrowed now, her lips curled in disgust. “You don’t believe
me?” she hisses angrily. “I’ll show you something!” She
grabs my wrist and I shiver, either from of fear or because
of her ice-cold hand, dragging me into Natalie’s bedroom.
“Natalie has been watching you for quite a long time because
she has the absurd notion that you should become one of us!”
she shrieks, pointing at the calendars that are still
scattered on the bed. My stomach is in knots, I already know
this, well, the watching part that is. “But it can never
happen because you’re just as cowardly and iffy as your
mother Rebecca was.” The name hits me like a truck.
mum? How can you know her?” I whisper hoarsely. She can’t
really because Rebecca died twenty years ago and Ruth was –
what? – about three – at the time.
yes, we certainly knew her very well,” Ruth confirms
mockingly, her eyes suddenly blazing with blue lights. “But
she wasn’t cut out to join us, always full of reservations
and unaccountable fears, just like you.” She laughs out loud
and I take a step back, my heart beating frantically.
Whatever she is, she’s certainly not normal! “Your
ridiculous fear of flowers! You’ll never be one of us!” With
two quick steps she’s at the window, the sunlight falling on
her. I wish with all my heart that she was a vampire, then
my problem would be solved. No, not really, I don’t believe
glance at the door, maybe I can escape somehow. “Don’t even
think about it, Livia!” she hisses as if reading my
thoughts. “Look at me! Can you see my shadow? No?” Ruth
laughs mockingly. “That’s because we Arash don’t have them.
Our shadow is our astral body, you see? That‘s why we don’t
have one when we show ourselves in our human form.” My mind
is reeling, I’m feeling very sick now. She definitely has no
shadow but I don’t understand a thing she says. Astral body?
Arash? I’ve never heard this word in my life before. I close
my eyes and hope to wake up from this nightmare, but when I
open them again Ruth is standing in front of me. I gasp,
stumbling back. “Don’t worry, Livia,” she smiles
condescendingly. “I don’t want to torture you anymore, on
the contrary, I want to release you from everything that’s
frightening you.” My breath hitches, the mad bitch wants to
kill me! But instead of coming for me she strides into
Natalie’s living room and takes the star-shaped mirror from
the wall. Quickly I follow her, from here I can maybe get to
the stairs and out of the house. “That’s your reflection,
how weird,” she murmurs, her brows knitted in worry, but
after an instant she whirls around, her face smooth again.
“You see this mirror, Livia? Its purpose is to erase your
memory. It’s very easy, I have to concentrate on you and you
have to look into this mirror, done!” Erase my memory? What
“Fuck off!” I scream at her, my voice finally returning.
Ruth smiles again, she seems to be really enjoying herself
“Calm down! I didn’t explain myself
very well. I won’t erase your whole memory, just the memory
of us and what you know about us. Your life will simply
return to the point before you met Natalie.” She takes
another step towards me. My thoughts are racing. Clearly my
brain refuses to believe one word she says but my gut
feeling disagrees. I’m somehow tempted to look into this
mirror, believe her story, and forget everything that’s
troubling me. But the thought of not remembering Cassius
jolts me awake. It would be bad enough if I lost him, but
not to remember him, his mouth caressing me, his hands, I
just couldn’t bear it. His soft words, ‘I love you’ resonate
in my ears.
“Never!” I cry out, enraged, as Ruth
comes to a halt in front of me. I can feel the cold
emanating from her body.
“Oh come on, don’t be such a
troublemaker! I’ll make you look anyway,” she sighs
exasperatedly, holding up the mirror. I take another step
back and feel the wall behind me. My heart is beating so
fast I’m afraid it might explode, the blood is roaring in my
ears. I’ve no idea what’s going on but it has to be
something terrible and I have to get away from Ruth. She
pushes towards me now, grabbing my wrist again and forcing
the mirror up to my face. I catch a glimpse of my smiling
reflection but I force myself to look away. My right hand is
in Ruth’s vicelike grip, her body pressing mine to the wall,
radiating iciness. My breath is shallow as I try to push her
away with my left hand, but she’s too strong. I avert my
eyes, taking in the chest of drawers to my left. Suddenly I
notice one of the red candles which Natalie has placed
everywhere in the room and a lighter and something stirs in
my brain. Instinctively I snatch the lighter from the chest,
thrusting the flame into Ruth’s face. She cries out,
terrified, as she did all those weeks ago at Cassius’ party.
She stumbles back, releasing my hand, and I snatch the
mirror from her, smashing it on the floor. The lighter slips
from my shaking hand but Ruth poses no danger anymore, she’s
gone, vanished from the room like a ghost. Breathing hard I
fall down on my knees, tears streaming down my face. I’ve no
idea what’s going on but Ruth certainly is no normal human
being. Neither is Natalie. Nor is Cassius or the rest of
them. Still shaking I glance at the fragments of the broken
mirror which are scattered on the floor and jump with
fright. Each of the eight shards shows a face: Ruth’s,
Natalie’s, Will’s, Cassius’, Rupert’s, Augustus’ and the
face of the tall man who I dreamed about recently. My heart
stops when I recognise my smiling face in the last one.
The next hours are a blur. I stumble
through the streets, at a loss where to go. I don’t have a
flat anymore and under no circumstances will I ask my
parents or Sophie for help. Who would have thought they were
right in their assumption that there was something strange
about my friends? I was obviously the only one who didn’t
notice it, or didn’t want to, to be more precise. I was so
happy in their company and now it feels like I’m on the run.
Will they come after me? Nervously I look around but they’re
not here. I’ve no idea how to go on, I just can’t cope. Like
my mum. She obviously didn’t get out in time and she died.
Maybe I do still have a chance if they can’t find me. Could
be that I wasn’t so drunk after all last night and my
decision was the right one. Anyhow it’s the only possible
way out, they won’t find me there. I’ll never forget, but I
have to move on.
Shortly afterwards I ring the bell.
Ralph, still in his pyjamas, opens the door, a big grin on
his face when he sees me. “Hi baby,” he murmurs, kissing me
on the mouth. “Welcome back!”