Alright guys, I’ve made some major headway on this book I’ve been writing! It’s a YA paranormal romance book, and I think I’ve finally made it exactly how I saw it in my mind, so bear with me here, there are still errors and things that need to be altered and fixed, but here is the first chapter. I’d truly love some feedback, advice, anything! thanks!!
Everything kind of just sucks when you’re on your own, let me tell you, especially when you’re alone in the middle of the night in a great big old house, and you hear a knock at your door. My first instinct is to freak out, what if something happened to dad while he was traveling? My dad’s always gone, being a journalist, he goes where the good stories are. I can’t blame him, we all have to make a living somehow, but being alone just sucks sometimes.
So here I am, 16 years old, raising myself in the lovely little town of Cooperstown, New York. It’s not so bad most of the time until you get to know the locals, then you might have some problems on your hands. There are a lot of strange things that happen here, so you probably won’t be very surprised when I tell you that absolutely nothing good comes from a knock on your door late at night, 1:32 a.m. to be precise.
I reluctantly rolled out of bed, after being startled away by the banging at the door, slid into my old worn-out red and black plaid slippers with holes in the sides from years of wear, and grabbed my fuzzy black robe off a hook on the back of my bedroom door and wrapped it around myself. I tried ever so hard to be as silent as I could as I crept down the creaking wooden stairs from my bedroom to the living room, and then to the front door. I wasn’t able to fully make out who was outside the door just from the tiny glimpse of color that I’d seen through the window at the top portion of the door, but I did recognize the colors or our local police uniforms, black and blue, and hurried to open the door a bit, trying to hide my bare legs from the blast of cool fall air that entered through the door upon my opening it.
“Good evening, Officer Evans, is everything alright?” Something had to have happened to dad, why else would he be here so late? “Good evening Evangeline, may I come in? We’ve just discovered some vandalism out at the high school that we believe you’ve had a part in.” How odd, wouldn’t they just come and talk to me while I was at school? Or even during the daytime? This doesn’t seem right at all. “Uh, officer, sir. It’s very late and I have work in the morning, and as I’m sure you know, I’ve lived in this town for sixteen and a half years and have never done a single thing to make anyone assume that I’m any sort of delinquent. If this is that big of a problem, you can call my father.” Something was off. I turned my head to the side just the slightest bit. Yep, that was it. “Officer Evans’” face faltered, glimmering just a bit, and swayed, allowing me to see beneath it to the foul scented, rotten grey-skinned, yellow fang wielding bloodsucker that was trying to impersonate him. Damn vampires. Can’t get a break from their consistent attempts to gain entry to save my life! The movies and stories might have been wrong in a lot of ways, but some things are still pretty accurate. Vampires can’t enter your home without permission, though they don’t fry in the sun or turn into a ball of glitter either, and they’re ugly. Really ugly. They’re super skinny like they’re extremely malnourished, their skin looks so frail and brittle that t might break off and just fall away at the slightest touch, their teeth are downright nasty like they haven’t brushed or flossed in 350 years, and don’t even get me started on their blood breath. Mighty smart of this sucker to throw on a glamour of a cop though, if it wasn’t almost 2 a.m., he might have actually gotten away with it. Tricky little shits. “I’m sorry Officer, call my father then. I need to be going back to bed”. I shut the door with a bit too much force, locked it, then proceeded to make sure all the windows were locked along with the other doors. Vampires might not be able to enter without permission, but they definitely have friends that could if they wanted to badly enough. I shut off all the lights and headed back up to my room, double-checking the window locks in my room, and even locking my bedroom door. I took my robe back off, along with my slippers, revealing my oversized t-shirt nightgown, and hopped back into bed. I promise this is just a typical night in Cooperstown. Some weird things go on here, and you’re probably wondering why the hell I could even see that nasty thing through his glamour too, I’m assuming. So, I’ll start over from the beginning.
My name is Evangeline Moore, but I just go by Eva most of the time. I have this weird sixth sense. I’m able to see paranormal creatures for what they really are when to the rest of the world, they are hidden by this thing they call a glamour. They can make themselves appear to be whoever they want to the basic human eye, to protect themselves from being discovered. For some reason, I can bypass that, like some sort of glitch, though i’ve never really understood why. This isn’t some new thing either. When I was younger I’d always notice strange things, pixies flying around, brownies hiding in closets in our house, even stranger things as well. My dad never believed me when I’d tell him of my discoveries, so I just left it at that and stopped telling him. He’d always comment on my “colorful imagination”. My mother, though, she fully supported me while she was still alive. She would always ask me details, tell me to tell her more, what I saw, where I saw them. She encouraged me to pay attention, and so I did, and continued to do so, even now. It’s saved me from a lot of dangerous situations, I might add. I truly thank her for that. She died when I was very young, only 8 years old, and now the only things I have to remember her by are the things she’s taught me and a beautiful pendant of the moon she’d given me a couple months before she’d died of cancer. My mother was, and always will be my favorite person. Thanks to mom, I was able to catch onto a few things around here. First of all, my town is currently a paranormal battleground. The paranormals are divided up into a few categories: the lights, the darks, and the neutrals. Somehow my homebase just so happens to be the heart of a eon long war that’s existed between the lights and darks. The normies aren’t aware of what happens at all, those lucky guys, but really, why would they be? Paranormal creatures don’t exist to them, and they shouldn’t exist to me either, but here I am, deflecting attempted vampire entries at nearly 2a.m., and not for the first time either. Cooperstown is just teeming with them, they’re everywhere. I even attend school with a couple of them, those ones are pretty cool though. There’s an air sprite named Jacob that’s in my class, the coolest dude if you can get past the fact that behind his glamour he only stands about 8 inches tall.
I tend to stick to myself a lot of the time. The pages of a book have always been able to give me much more satisfaction than any conversation with a kid my age. Not to mention, I’ve spent most of my life in books, I never really learned the patience that I wouldn need to deal with another person up my ass all the time. Friends and boyfriends are for later in life, in my opinion, after they’ve outgrown their stupid annoying kid phase. I’d much rather be friends with paranormals, they have a lot more wisdom and intelligence, mostly because nine times out of ten, they’re well over ten times my age. With dad being gone at least 5 days of the week, I’m by myself a lot, but it’s really great. I can do my own thing, I’m not being scolded for silly little childish things, I’m not being told what to do, I’m just doing my own thing. I greatly enjoy the solitude. I even have my own job, as most sixteen year olds do (the responsible ones, anyway), working at the local bookstore. It’s the perfect job. My boss doesn’t hover over me or talk all the time, she’s much like me in that sense, she’s a quiet older lady named Linda. Linda lets me do damn near anything I want, if I’m being honest. I drink coffee and sit in a corner in the store reading when there are no customers, I bring a pad of paper to work with me and write my own ideas down for books when I’m just sitting around, and I get paid quite decently for the work that I actually do. For me, work is my happy place, being surrounded by the smell of old, dusty books, and most often, complete silence.
Ah, yes, I got a bit off track there. Paranormals, vampires, werewolves, pixies, sprites, there are so many of them around here! They are all very real, and vampires specifically fall under the category of dark paranormals, those that are more malicious in nature, dangerous. They aren’t the smartest though, that definitely lowers the threat level. You’d think something that’s been alive for centuries or longer would have put some sort of energy into their education at some point throughout their years, but evidently, that’s not the case here. Vampires are much more worried about finding their next victim to suck dry, rather than improving their tactics so they’re not constantly failing. Idiots. The movies get it all wrong too. Vamps aren’t supposed to go out in the daylight right? Wrong. They don’t burst into flame, disintegrate into a pile of ashes, or sparkle like their skin is made from a billion diamonds. They get a sunburn. A mild sunburn, nothing some SPF 100 can’t prevent. I see these suckers on the regular, morning, evening, mid afternoon, and now at 2 a.m.. The only real reason that they tend to be out at night is that they aren’t as strong in the light, so their glamours falter every once in a while unintentionally and they could give up the secret of their existence if someone is looking at them at just the right time. Elementals though, those are a bit different. Most species are already part of either the lights or darks, and some just don’t give a shit at all and dont play into the war nonsense, but elementals choose which side they want to be a part of. That honestly makes them more dangerous than any of the others, they can gain intel, play each side against each other, do whatever they want. Those are the ones you have to look out for, this makes it so that until they choose a side, they’re not bound by any laws, free to do as they wish to whomever they’d like. Elementals are 90% of the reason that we have a 200% unsolved crime rate in a town with a population of 2,000. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
I woke up bright and early for work the next morning, groggy and irritated about my encounter with the asshole vampire that had to wake me up so late last night. I rolled out of bed reluctantly and hopped in the shower, hoping that I’d wake up at least a little bit more, but it still didn’t help much. I threw on my typical everyday outfit consisting of a long sleeve tan shirt that fit snugly against my slender body, and a baggy pair of black cargo pants, accompanied by my favorite pair of mid calf combat boots, and trudged down the stairs, grabbing a spoon from the silverware drawer and a mason jar of oats and fruit that I’d prepared the night before and threw them into my plain brown messenger bag that hung over my shoulder. The walk to work afterward was not pleasant. I’d only had about 3 ½ blocks to walk, but the temperature had dropped drastically since the day before. It was only in the mid 50s, and I’d arrived at work, thankful that the heat was already on and blasting through the store, warming the entire area, and flowing through a couple of books that had been left open near the table with a large heating vent underneath it, enhancing that glorious book smell. I dropped my bag off my shoulder and sat down at the counter after switching the open sign on, its neon lights blinding me for a moment. I grabbed my breakfast out of my bag and started eating, calling a muffled “Good morning Linda!” to my boss through a mouthful of oatmeal. The store was quiet today, and since I was finishing out my senior year of high school mostly online, I only had to be in school two days a week, meaning that all the other kids my age were currently still in school. I spent the better part of my eight hour shift reading the newest mystery novels that we’d gotten in stock, writing in my journal about last night’s encounter, and even napping for small portions of it, in between the occasional customer that would come in and ask if we had certain books in stock that we’d never seem to have available. Work was my happy place. It was so peaceful and quiet, I was left alone with my thoughts and paper. What more could I even ask for? It was turning out to be such a nice, typical day. There were no abnormalities this time, until he walked in.
I was only about a half hour away from finishing my shift and heading home when I heard the bell of the door clank as someone opened it. Without even putting my book down, I called out in my customer service voice, “Hello! If there’s anything you need help with don’t hesitate to ask!” Just as I was finishing my sentence I put my book down and my mouth dropped. Standing before me was quite possibly the most visually pleasing person I’d ever laid my eyes on. I turned my head slightly to the side for a second to see if I could detect a glamour. It was very seldom that I saw someone that attractive in this town. Not a human that’s that attractive, anyway. The stranger couldn’t have been older than 18 or 19 years old, and stood tall, at least 6’3”. He had such light blonde hair that it was almost white, complimenting his unbelievably emerald green eyes in a way that I couldn’t even find the words to describe. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that this man could have been the definition of gorgeous, itself. He opened his mouth to reveal perfectly aligned, snow white teeth and he smiled sweetly with a perfectly chiseled jawbone, “Hello! I’ve just moved here with my father to finish out the school year and was told that this was a good place to look for a new book!” Oh shit, and he reads? “Alright! What are you looking for, what genres? We just got a shipment of new mystery novels if you’re interested at all, I just finished reading this one, and I definitely recommend it” I said, grabbing the book off the counter in front of me. Without even looking at the cover of the book, he grabbed in from my hands gently, not breaking eye contact with me. “I’ll take it, thank you. I always find comfort in the pages of a book, and now it’s very needed.” He handed me a fifty dollar bill and turned to go, “Wait! You don’t want your change?” I exclaimed after him, but he just turned his head to the side a bit and smirked a devilish grin that would have a typical girl absolutely melting at this point. He shook his head, and continued on, “Oh, I’m Adryan, by the way, I’ll see you at school tomorrow, I’m assuming!” and was gone. Gosh, he sure was nice to look at though, muscular, perfectly messy hair. Whew. Thank god I have no interest in boys. I’d just have to keep reminding myself of that.
I finished my shift and headed back home, reluctant once again, to leave the warm building. The walk home was easier this time, I had that peculiar stranger in my thoughts the whole time. Who on earth moves to Cooperstown, of all places. It’s just so small and uninteresting. Hmm. I arrived home and threw some leftover pizza in the microwave from the evening before, ready to eat and head straight to bed so I wouldn’t be so tired in the morning when I woke up like I was this morning, but no matter how hard I tried to sleep, both my thoughts and dreams were riddled with Adryan’s face. I was definitely still going to be cranky in the morning.
I woke up and rolled out of bed again, grabbing a poptart to choke down while I grabbed my clean clothes out of the dryer and a towel to run upstairs and take a shower quickly. I finished just in time to leave for school, hair still damn, smelling of fresh coconut and in a tousled mess. I dressed in my usual outfit, adding in a black jacket today, remembering how chilly I was the day before, and headed out. I had almost completely forgotten that Adryan even existed, until I arrived at school and noticed him walking up the cafeteria steps right in front of me. I laughed as I noticed that almost every girl that attended the high school was staring. If I didn’t know better, I’d say at least half of them had a bit of drool hanging off their lip. This was definitely going to be an interesting day. One of the normies that I recognized came up to be as we walked inside, a girl named Alissa, “Hey, Eva!” I looked up from the ground, where my gaze typically lies, hoping to avoid confrontation by avoiding eye contact, but yet, here we are. “Hey Alissa, what’s up?” “Did you see the new kid?” “Yeah, yeah, he came into the bookstore yesterday. He seems okay, why?” Her mouth dropped, “Wait, you met him already?? What is he like? What’s his name? Do you think he would like me? He’s soooo dreamy!” I rolled my eyes, hoping she hadn’t noticed. “I’m not sure Alissa, I didn’t really talk to him at all.” Making her disappointment obvious, she walked away without saying another word. I laughed to myself again, at least maybe I wouldn’t be bothered anymore for a while. Everyone is going to be ogling over Adryan for the foreseeable future, I’m sure. At least, until he decides he likes one of them, then the rest will get mad at her, cause fights, the guys will get jealous, and it’ll be a whole fiasco. But you know what it won’t be? My problem.
To much surprise, Adryan approached me in between my first two classes, I had just finished english and was heading to history. He stepped in front of me right before I walked into my history class, gaining quite a few irritated glances from the other girls passing by. “Ah, you have 2nd hour history as well? Nice, I’ll know somebody in this class, is there assigned seating?” “Yeah, this is me too, and no, no assigned seating. What do you mean, you’ll know somebody in this class? Hasn’t the rest of the school gotten themselves acquainted with you yet? You’re fresh meat, you know. It’s very rare that we get new students, and when we do, the preexisting ones flock to them like deer to a pile of apples.” He laughed, “Deer to apples, huh? They’ve tried, but I’m not trying to make too many friends. I only have a few months left of school, what’s the point in making a bunch of friends that I’ll never talk to again? I just figured I’d stick with you. You don’t seem a whole bunch like the others. You’re more reserved, quiet, smarter. One good friend is better than 30 acquaintances, right?” I smiled back, “Oh, Adryan, you’re one of those guys, huh?” He shot me a puzzled look. “I mean the kind of guy to tip a girl $30 on a $20 purchase, and not even ask her name before you try to become friends with her!” We both laughed for a moment, “It’s Eva, by the way. Evangeline, nice to meet you.” He grasped my hand in his, and performed a very formal hand shake, “Pleasure you meet you, my lady” We laughed together and entered the classroom, choosing a table in the back of class, one that was never taken, and sat by each other. “So, Miss Evangeline, would you do me the honor of hanging out with me at the bookstore once again after school?” I shook my head up and down softly, trying not to turn my face in his direction and give any indication of the fact that my cheeks were blushing bright pink. People my age definitely don’t talk like that typically, this was wild, like something straight out of a book. “Good, meet me in the cafeteria after school, then I’ll be out by the doors.” Just then, the teacher announced, “Adryan, do you have something you’d like to share with the class? You seem to be mighty talkative back there.” “No, sir. Just reading out loud from my textbook, apologies.” The rest of the class started giggling among themselves. The rest of the class was a blur, I don’t think I absorbed a single word the teacher said, and I didn’t notice anyone else in the classroom aside from Adryan and myself. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that this boy made me blush. Me. If you remember from earlier, I’m not the sort to do that. I’m not the type to have any interest in boys, at all. So what was with this one? Maybe it was the fact that he was educated, or that he enjoyed reading, maybe just because he was wonderful to look at, maybe a combination of the three. I think what really set me off though, was the way he spoke to me. I’ve never paid enough attention to a human boy to even let them get to the point of conversing with me before, let alone agreed to hangout with any of them. This one’s tearing down some huge brick walls that took me years to build up already, and it’s only been a day. This can’t be good.
School seemed to last forever, every minute lasting five instead. The end of the school day bell couldn’t come soon enough. I found myself running different scenarios through my head; will I trip on my way into the cafeteria and make a fool of myself, will I have food on my sweater that dropped from my fork at lunch? I could even say something ridiculously stupid and make him lose interest in me. The world will never know, but I do know one thing for sure: I may act cocky and confident sometimes, but on the inside, I’m a disaster waiting to happen. I will screw up. As the last class of the day concluded, I became increasingly nervous. This was it, the moment that I decided if I was ever going to be okay with having any sort of a relationship with a boy, even the friend kind, this was the one that I’d want. I exited the classroom into the hallway, stopping by my locker to drop off some books before heading out, and made my way to the school cafeteria. As promised, Adryan stood, leaning against the wall nearest the doors out to the parking lot, awaiting my arrival, beautiful, striking, and looking as perfect as a statue. He looked up and noticed me, a huge toothy smile lighting up his face. Well shit, that’s a good sign, right? “Here waiting, already? You must have been in a hurry to see me.” He laughed and linked his arm through mine, “Do you need to stop anywhere on the way?” I shook my head side to side, “Good, let’s get to it then.” I’m sure it’s not often that people actually enjoy hanging out at work when they’re not on duty, but something about spending time in a bookstore just relaxes the heck out of me. Work is my happy place, for sure. We walked out of the cafeteria into the parking lot outside of the school, and straight to the nicest car in the lot. Seriously? This dude is literally driving around in a ‘67 Chevelle. I slid into the passenger seat quickly, trying not to let anyone see, but as soon as he started the engine, my efforts became an entirely lost cause, as I’m sure every student turned their heads to look. I wonder what he had to do to get a car this nice at this age, maybe it was something handed down to him from a family member. I’m not one to enjoy cars, but there are some older car models that I absolutely adore, this being one of them.
We arrived at the bookstore, parking behind the store to prevent any more attention-drawing from his car. That thing was stupidly excessive. To my surprise, Adryan got out of the car quickly and somehow was over on my side of the car before I could even manage to unbuckle my seat belt, opening my door for me and offering his hand to help me out. Damn, I’m soft. More pliable than clay, even, ready to be molded into whatever I needed to be to keep this up. I had a whole armada of butterflies armed with tickle guns flying around in my stomach as I took his hand and was pulled from the car gracefully and with ease. I don’t even know what to do. What the hell even is this feeling? Is this normal? How do I stop this? Can he tell? I bet it’s written all over my face. Might as well tape a poster to my back saying “Eva’s a week ass typical girl” and then maybe add in “kick me” for good measure.
I made no face as I stepped out of the car, and dropped his hand immediately, I wasn’t trying to clue him in on my thoughts. I shot a glance at his face as I did, just to see. Just as I suspected, he showed no sign of disappointment at my lack of swooning. I must just be overwhelmed. Besides, I don’t even know Adryan that well yet, of course I can’t like him yet! I wouldn’t even know what I was making such a big deal about. Just have to slow down a bit.
Adryan followed close behind as I made my way to the back door to the bookstore and walked through, I greeted Linda fondly, who was standing at the front counter, “Good afternoon! If you want to go take a break, I can handle it if anyone comes in! I’ll be here for a while!” Linda smiled back softy and thanked me, retreating to the back office with a book and a cup of coffee in hand. Adryan made his way over to the cozy corner by the coffee maker in the “Romance” section. “Coffee? How do you take yours?” I smiled sweetly and nodded, “Black, please!” He raised his eyebrows slightly, “Really? Black, huh? Most people our age water it down with cream so much you can barely taste the coffee itself!” Adryan smirked a bit and poured my cup first, handing it to me. I thanked him and took a sip, the hot steamy coffee scalding my tongue a bit. I was never one to let coffee cool, it’s always so much better hot. He poured himself a cup and sat down at a bench next to the table that held the coffee maker.
“So, Miss Evangeline, what’s your story?” Oh boy, here we go, the typical tell-me-who-you-are conversation. I could do without it, but here goes nothing. “I don’t really have much of a story I guess, I’m nothing special, I promise. I’ve lived in Cooperstown my whole life, I’ve never really traveled much either. Uh, I’m 16, I want to be a writer.” “Is that why you work here?” “Well, yes and no, I love reading, but it does help me grasp the concept of different sorts of writing styles and such. But you’ll almost never see me without a book of some sort in my hand or in my bag, whether it be a journal or a novel! I’m always testing the ambit of my mind, trying to see what more I could learn, and I almost never hangout with friends. I only have maybe 2 decent friends that I talk to at school between classes, nothing serious.” “Well now you’ve got three, huh?” I chuckled, “I suppose I do now. But you know, my life’s pretty average. My mom died when I was young, my dad is a journalist who is always traveling. I’m essentially raising myself, but I think I do a decent job at it.” I shrugged my shoulders, not knowing what else to add. Oh, and I see monsters! Probably not the greatest idea. For most people, that’d be a one way ticket to a permanent stay at the nut house, I’m sure. “What about you, what’s your story, Adryan?” “Well it doesn’t vary too much. My mom took off when I was younger, my dad’s raising me. We moved here from Michigan a few days ago, dad likes it more in small towns. I read to escape reality, I don’t make friends well. It takes a lot for me to find someone who seems like they’re worth the time.” “Oh, but you want to be friends with me? You barely know me!” “Ah, you’re right about that, but I feel like there’s something more to you. Even if I don’t find it right away, I have this strong feeling that it’ll be worth the effort.” Adryan stopped talking for a moment before we continued for hours it seemed until I realized that I had noticed something a bit off with him. You see, the people in this town, they’re gorgeous. The reason being their glamours. The average-looking people were the Normies. If you could make yourself look however you want, you’d make yourself look beautiful too. Adryan was glamour beautiful. I’m not sure how or why, but I should have been able to see through, see him.
I politely thanked Adryan for the ride, and told him I had to be heading home, that my father was supposed to be home tonight and that I’d walk home, we said our goodbyes, and I threw my jacket back on, running out the door to make it home before it got too dark out. I arrived home to an empty house once again. Great. I’d have all the time I wanted to think. So I went and lied in bed after eating, brushing my teeth and getting dressed in my nightgown, although much didn’t stick out from our talk, there was a story Adryan told me that he’d heard from a family member that wouldn’t stop running through my head.