Home > Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(5)

Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(5)
Author: Morgan Rice

Caitlin let out a primal roar that surprised and scared even her. As the first kid approached her and laid his beefy hand on her wrist, she watched as her hand reacted on its own, grabbing hold of her attacker’s wrist and twisting it backwards at a right angle. The kid’s face contorted in shock as his wrist, and then arm, were snapped in two.

He dropped to his knees, screaming.

The three other boys’ eyes opened wide in surprise.

The largest of the three charged right at her.

“You fuc—”

Before he could finish, she had jumped up in the air and planted her two feet squarely in his chest, sending him flying back about ten feet and slamming into a stack of metal garbage cans.

He lay there, not moving.

The other two kids looked at each other, shocked. And truly scared.

Caitlin stepped up and, feeling an inhuman strength course through her, and heard herself snarl as she picked up the two kids (each twice her size), hoisting each several feet off the ground with a single hand.

As they hung dangling in the air, she swung them back, then swung them together, crushing each into the other with an incredible force. They both collapsed to the ground.

Caitlin stood there, breathing, foaming with rage.

All four boys were not moving.

She didn’t feel relieved. On the contrary, she wanted more. More kids to fight. More bodies to throw.

And she wanted something else.

She suddenly had crystal clear vision, and was able to zoom in on their necks, exposed. She could see down to the tenth of an inch, and she could see, from where she stood, the veins pulsing in each. She wanted to bite. To feed.

Not understanding what was happening to her, she tossed her head back and let out an unearthly shriek, echoing off the buildings and down the block. It was a primal shriek of victory, and of unfulfilled rage.

It was the shriek of an animal that wanted more.

Chapter Two

Caitlin stood before the door to her new apartment, staring, and suddenly realized where she was. She had no idea how she got there. The last thing she remembered, she’d been in the alley. Somehow, she’d got herself back home.

She remembered, though, every second of what happened in that alleyway. She tried to erase it from her mind, but couldn’t. She looked down at her arms and hands, expecting to see them look different—but they were normal. Just as they had always been. The rage had swept through her, transforming her, then had just as quickly left.

But the after-effects remained: she felt hollowed out, for one. Numb. And she felt something else. She couldn’t quite figure it. Images kept flashing through her mind, images of those bullies’ exposed necks. Of their heartbeat pulsing. And she felt a hunger. A craving.

Caitlin really didn’t want to return home. She didn’t want to deal with her Mom, especially today, didn’t want to deal with a new place, with unpacking. If it weren’t for Sam being in there, she may have just turned around and left. Where she’d go, she had no idea—but at least she’d be walking.

She took a deep breath and reached out and placed her hand on the knob. Either the knob was warm, or her hand was as cold as ice.

Caitlin entered the too-bright apartment. She could smell food on the stove—or probably, in the microwave. Sam. He always got home early and made himself dinner. Her Mom wouldn’t be home for hours.

“That doesn’t look like a good first day.”

Caitlin turned, shocked at the sound of her Mom’s voice. She sat there, on the couch, smoking a cigarette, already looking Caitlin up and down with scorn.

“What did ya, ruin that sweater already?”

Caitlin looked down and noticed for the first time the dirt stains; probably from hitting the cement.

“Why are you home so early?” Caitlin asked.

“First day for me, too, ya know,” she snapped. “You’re not the only one. Light workload. Boss sent me home early.”

Caitlin couldn’t take her Mom’s nasty tone. Not tonight. She was always being snotty towards her, and tonight, Caitlin had enough. She decided to give her a taste of her own medicine.

“Great,” Caitlin snapped back. “Does that mean we’re moving again?”

Her Mom suddenly jumped to her feet. “You watch that fresh mouth of yours!” she screamed.

Caitlin knew her Mom had just been waiting for an excuse to yell at her. She figured it was best to just bait her and get it over with.

“You shouldn’t smoke around Sam,” Caitlin answered coldly, then entered her tiny bedroom and slammed the door behind her, locking it.

Immediately, her Mom banged at the door.

“You come out here, you little brat! What kind of way is that to talk to your mother!? Who puts bread on your table….”

On this night, Caitlin, so distracted, was able to drown out her Mom’s voice. Instead, she replayed in her mind the day’s events. The sound of those kids’ laughter. The sound of her own heart pounding in her ears. The sound of her own roar.

What exactly had happened? How did she get such strength? Was it just an adrenaline rush? A part of her wished it was. But another part of her knew it wasn’t. What was she?

The banging on her door continued, but Caitlin barely heard it. Her cell sat on her desk, vibrating like crazy, lighting up with IMs, texts, emails, Facebook chats—but she barely heard that, too.

She moved to her tiny window and looked down at the corner of Amsterdam Ave, and a new sound rose in her mind. It was the sound of Jonah’s voice. The image of his smile. A low, deep, soothing voice. She recalled how delicate he was, how fragile he seemed. Then she saw him lying on the ground, bloody, his precious instrument in pieces. A fresh wave of anger arose.

Her anger morphed into worry—worry if he was all right, if he’d walked away, if he made it home. She imagined him calling to her. Caitlin. Caitlin.

“Caitlin?”

A new voice was outside her door. A boy’s voice.

Confused, she snapped out of it.

“It’s Sam. Let me in.”

She went to her door and leaned her head against it.

“Mom’s gone,” said the voice on the other side. “Went down for cigarettes. Come on, let me in.”

She opened the door.

Sam stood there, staring back, concern etched on his face. At 15, he looked older than his age. He’d grown early, to almost six feet, but he hadn’t filled out yet, and he was awkward and gangly. With black hair and brown eyes, his coloring was similar to hers. They definitely looked related. She could see the concern on his face. He loved her more than anything.

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