• Innocent

    I didn’t do it. I didn’t kill them. It was their fault, they did it. No matter how much I said it, the court and judge didn’t believe it. They believed only the ‘evidence’ that I had ‘left at the crime scene’. They sentenced me to a lifetime in the jail. The worst jail there is. Not Alcatraz, oh no, they closed that down decades ago. I was sentenced to Greyman’s Penitentiary for the Wicked. It didn’t sound that bad; it looked like an ordinary prison. The only strange thing about it to the public was that children were also sentenced to it, along with the adults.

    The only good thing was that I had no family or friends. Or at least, friends still alive, anyways. I was an orphan. They, the people at the orphanages, called me Rachel, but I knew that wasn’t my name. Rachel didn’t fit me at all. I called myself Jynx. It always fit. Whenever the lady at the orphanage said, “Oh, she wouldn’t do that at all, now would you Rachel?” to a new set of parents wanting to adopt me like I was some type of pet, I never responded. I started to see how long it would be until the new parents sent me back. I actually have a record of 1 day, 5 hours, 27 minutes. Don’t ask why I bothered counting. I always did what the lady had said that I wouldn’t do, jinxing her.

    Nobody said good-bye, nobody cared. There were a total of 19 people in the courthouse at my trial: the judge, the jury, the guy who writes down everything that’s said, me, my lawyer, the black-coat who supposedly ‘witnessed’ me murdering 3 people in cold blood, his lawyer, a representative from Greyman’s, and a police officer. As I listened to the judge ramble something about my sentence, I wondered how much Greyman had paid him to act as a ‘witness’. When the judge finished his meaningless ramblings, the police officer grabbed me and took me to the holding cells. I knew there was nothing I could do, so I went willingly.

    I stayed in the holding cell for a couple days. With my life, it was only a blink of an eye. I didn’t bother eating the food, stayed awake during the night, sleeping during the day. My usual habits. By the time it was Sunday, I wanted to get out and do what I usually did on Sunday: steal from the mall and pick pocket from the tourists. There was a surprisingly wide range of types of tourists out at night. Everybody loved Vegas, with its brightly-lit casinos and warm climate, 24-7. Who wouldn’t? Thinking of my Sunday activities, I unwillingly remembered what I was going to do time for.

    It was a Sunday, a week or two ago. I was doing my usual activities (see above) when everything started. I had just stolen a root beer flavored Slurpee and was looking out for some tourists that looked like they would be carrying cash. I eyed a man in a black suit, but had decided against it. Business men usually only had credit cards, hardly ever cash. I noticed a group of tourists taking pictures of everything. I slid in through the group, tossing ‘excuse me’ out whenever one of them eyed me. When I had gotten through, I took a tally of my loot. Four wallets, a gold bracelet, and two silver money clips filled with tens and twenties. Not too bad of a haul.

    I noticed a flash of silver. It was Shadow, a thieving friend of mine. He was wiggling his fingers so that the rings on his long fingers flashed like a silver minnow. I headed over. As I neared him, I noticed Jewl and Flame were there. I had no clue what any of their real names were, but I always called them what they called each other.

    I ran my fingers through little Flame’s red hair. Although he was only 9, he had white-silver streaks in his hair. “Each one marks my deals with Death,” he said when I had asked. It wouldn’t be surprising, especially since he was a Pyro. I waved at Jewl, who was watching the group of tourists I had just pick pocketed. Her sapphire eyes glittered as she turned them to me. I noted that she had a new necklace, silver with intricately-cut jade stones woven together, and several new ruby rings. I rose an eyebrow, but she didn’t grin. You could never get Jewl to grin.

    I waved a money clip stuffed with cash at Shadow. His black eyes stared at it as though hypnotized before turning away from it. His ever-moving eyes settled on my pockets for a couple seconds before darting around like the minnow-rings on his fingers. He focused on a tourist before melting into the shadows. Literally.

    Everyone in our little gang had a special ability. Flame was a Pyromancer, meaning he could summon Fyre at will and bend it to do his commands. He’s burned down several houses, each time while he was in them. He had died each time, but the little trickster always won a game of cards or something against Death, letting Death Mark him each time with streaks of silver hair. Apparently, he can’t have Death claim him when he dies in fire.

    Jewl was a Jewel Hound; she could scent out rubies and diamonds, opals and sapphires, and every other type of jewel. She has a stash of jewelry that measures to an equivalent of about 1.8 million. The cops could never find it; it was right under their noses. Jewl hides some of the gems under the earth of each cop’s house. She was as beautiful as the gems, and cold and hard as them, too. It was what gave her the name ‘Jewl’.

    Shadow could Meld into and tamper with the shadows, Marking him as a Shadow Tamer. He could be the perfect spy or thief. He chose to be the second. He could also send people into the Shadow Realm, where all they could see are either pitch-black darkness or nightmarish creatures thirsting for blood. It drives the person insane.

    As for me, I had all known abilities, Marking me as a Wild Card. I could Twist the plane of Reality, creating anything I wanted. The problem is, only I can clearly see and touch it, making it hard to be rich. I could take others and then they could see it, but it is extremely hard to do and usually knocks me out for a couple of nights.

    Also, I had found out at some point in my life that I was immortal. I never kept track of time, but some time ago I had remembered that I was born in the year 1874. So that made me, what, 130? 140? Somewhere around there. I have several other talents, but if I listed them all, it would be about 3 pages. All Wild Cards are this way. I’ve known about 3 other Wild Cards, but they’ve died by Hunters by now.
    Hunters. What are Hunters? Hunters look for all Specials; all Pyromancers, Jewel Hounds, Shadow Tamers, Reality Twisters, Wild Cards, Shifters, Elementals, and every single type of Special is hunted down and murdered. You could say that Greyman’s is a modern type of Hunter. All inmates I’ve seen thrown into Greyman’s were either Specials or hard-core human murderers. And I was being sent strait into Hunter territory.

    The black-suited business man I was eyeing earlier caught my eye again. He was at an ATM machine, pulling out 20’s and 50’s. Just as I was about to go pick pocket him, Shadow appeared right in front of me. I growled at him and shoved him out of the way. Whenever I saw big money, I became the perfect thief: silent, hidden, and not able to take any distractions. Flame, Jewl, and Shadow all noticed my mood shift, so they followed me to the business man.

    He walked off, going to the poorer side or town. We tailed him the whole way. Shadow tried to Meld into the shadows, but I grabbed him and signaled that this one was mine. I saw that my prey had gone into an abandoned warehouse, but the others didn’t. It wasn’t that surprising; they were too busy laughing at Shadow for being dominated by a girl. While they weren’t paying any attention to me, I Shifted, taking the form of a black owl. It was still dark, but Dawn was approaching swiftly. I had to hurry. Shadow had noticed me Shift, so he Melded with the shadows. Flame surrounded himself in the black-blue Night Fyre, making him blend perfectly into the shadows. Jewl was an expert at blending, no matter where or when, so she just seemed to vanish into the walls. Even with my owl eyes, I could barely see her outline. Knowing they would follow me, I headed strait for the warehouse.

    I dived into the warehouse, hiding behind a column. I Shifted back to a human form, save my eyes, which I kept owl. The business man was with a big group of men, almost all with big guns. The ‘business man’ gave the money to one of the unarmed men, who put it in his pocket without a glance. I raised an eyebrow. The business man was in the business of drug dealing? Probably, but there was no case of drugs. Weird.

    Then I noticed the Hounds. They weren’t regular dogs, these were Hunter’s Hounds. They were huge, black mutts, each one, when sitting, reaching their master’s shoulders. The business man wasn’t a drug dealer; he was a messenger for the Hunters!

    The doors to the warehouse shut with a huge clang! We were trapped.


    Immediately, I Shifted. I was scared out of my wits, so I Shifted into a small black kitten and hid in a corner. Shadow was so startled that he unMelded from the shadows and forgot to Meld back into them. Almost immediately, he was shot. I watched in horror as he received over ten clips of machine gun bullets the hard way.

    Jewl shrieked and darted towards him. As she did so, she, too, died by gunshot wounds. Flame had seen so many claims by Death that he wasn’t fazed at all by it; he went into offensive fighting mode. His Night Fyre changed and blazed up, creating a bright, gold-red inferno around him. Even from where I was, 15 feet away, I felt its fierce heat singe my fur.

    The heat awoke me from my fear. I Shifted to my offensive shape: a beautiful Wolfe. Not just any Wolfe though, oh no. I became a Daemon Wolfe; I had midnight-colored fur with blood-red splashed on my paws and around my neck and tail. I howled, and the blood-red fur on me abruptly burst into flame. I growled, and then we attacked.

    Flame hurled Fyre at our enemies, singeing their suits, catching them and burning their flesh. The smell of blood and burn flesh sent my Wolfe instincts into frenzy. I tore into the midst of bullets and Fyre, heedless of the danger. I bit and tore flesh, clawed and burned flimsy cloth suits. I was an unstoppable force, natural and unnatural, beautiful and terrible. I heard an ear-splitting screech and barely pulled myself out of the killing frenzy to seek the source.

    Flame, although surrounded my white-hot Fyre, had been shot. The bullet hadn’t melted like most of the others, but had been super-heated in the raging inferno to be both dreadfully painful and peacefully numbing at the same time. The bullet had hit its target truly. Blood seeped from between his fingers as Flame’s Fyre flickered and dimmed. He pulled his hand back from the flesh above his heart; wide awake and almost unconscious he fell to his knees. He screamed in horror. His Fyre flickered, and for a final time, went out. He collapsed to the concrete. Flame hadn’t died from his Fyre; he had died from a bullet. He wasn’t going to come back from Death.

    I sent out a slow, mournful howl to say farewell to his spirit as it went to Death.

    Turning back to the Hunters, I had realized they had stopped fighting. The leader, unharmed from any of the Fyre, bite wounds, or claw marks, came ahead to me. I growled as he advanced, my hackles rising.

    “Shift,” he commanded. Against my will, I felt my body complying with his order.

    ‘He didn’t say what to Shift into,’ I told myself. I turned into a giant viper. I hissed and lunged at him, fangs bared, but he merely sidestepped my attack. As he did so, he turned and smashed his boot onto my body. I felt a few bones crack.

    “Shift into a human,” he ordered. I turned into an 80-year old man. He frowned. “Don’t be difficult with me. Shift into your true form.” I Shifted into a column of smoke. “No true shape? Well, well, we’ve caught ourselves a Wild Card here, boys,” he called out. Laughter rose up all around me.

    I Shifted into a Daemon Wolfe again, ready to attack. I never got the chance. I got hit upside the head by the butt of a gun and was knocked unconscious.