Perfect Enemy

by Xina Balandran

"Leya! Leya! Where are you? Leya!" her mother's voice echoed through her ears. She tried to call out but her lungs were burning from the smoke. Every time she tried to shout she'd end up coughing harshly. She attempted to crawl out of the closer, but her leg was trapped under a fallen shelf.

"Leya!" her voice seemed right beside her. Leya looked up and saw her mother in the doorway. She had a cut across her forehead and her face was spotted black. She ran to her and lifted the board off her leg. Leya could hear her mother panting.

"Your leg is bleeding but I think you'll be okay."

She winced as her mother lifted her into her arms.

"Where's daddy?" she looked at her mother with pleading eyes.

"He's looking for your brother honey. Don't worry everything will be fine."

The surroundings felt hot and blazing. Fire engulfed the kitchen, and the ceiling caved in revealing a second story room. Right as her mother reached the front door; a curtain fell and blocked the way. Her mother stopped short, but only for a few seconds. She took Leya to the dining room and stood her against the wall. She then took a chair and smashed the dining room window. The flames seemed to explode to a higher fierceness and made the heat unbearable. Her mother then lifted her again and scurried to the window. She looked down with a determined face.

"I'm gonna have to jump down, it's only about three feet."

Leya just nodded her head. The landing was a little rough. A sharp pain shot up her injured leg but Leya silenced it by biting her bottom lip. She could taste blood in her mouth. Her mother took her to a tree in the front yard and set her down. Leya thought she saw a dark figure standing near her house, but she dismissed it as a mere illusion.

"Okay, I'm going to go back in to help your father."

Leya quickly grabbed her mother's arm.

"Mommy no! You can't, I'm scared!"

She bent down and put strong holds on both of her shoulders. "Leya, I need you to listen to me. No matter what happens, you have to stay strong. Do you understand me? You stay here and don't you dare go anywhere near the house!"

She looked over Leah's face as if trying to memorize every single detail.

"I love you."

Then she ran to the window and jumped back inside. It wasn't until then Leya really saw the house. It was smothered in red, orange, and gray. She didn't know what to think or what to do. Everything seemed too unreal. She felt helpless as she watched her home become nothing but a pile of rubble. A crackling noise like a tree falling snapped her mind back to reality. She frantically looked back and fourth for the source. Then she realized it was the house. It began to cave in at the roof. No, she mouthed.

"no"no"No".NO!"

The whole house then collapsed.

"No! Mommy! Dad! Bobby!"

She quickly stood up and tried to run to the house, but she fell hard to the ground. She looked down at her leg that was covered in blood, then back up at the house. She began to cry uncontrollably, stretching her hand to the house. "Mommy!....No"..Daddy! Mommy!"

Leya shot up from her bed panting heavily. She wiped her damp hair away from her face. She closed her eyes and released a heavy sigh. She slowly got up and got dressed then headed downstairs. The smell of burning pancakes filled the air. In the kitchen was Jace. Besides the apron, you could just tell that he wasn't the cooking type. His thick brown hair had a way of bringing out his black, but soft eyes. The cut-off t-shirt didn't make any effort to hide his muscular body. Leya let out a soft chuckle as he was dancing to the radio. She walked over and shut it off. He stopped and turned to give her a smile that could melt through anything.

"Not to be rude or anything Leya, but you look like crap."

She gave him a quick glare.

"It's that same dream that I keep on having. It's happening more often now. It feels more real every time."

He followed her as she went to sit at the table.

"I know it's not really my place but, shouldn't you try letting it go? I mean, it's been 12 years since it happened." She shot a glance at him then looked back down. "I know. I've tried but. . .," She didn't know what to say.

"Well!" he said. "I've got just the thing to cheer you up!"

Jace jogged to the kitchen to return with what looked like a black pile of coal on a plate.

"Is that supposed to be appetizing?" she asked as she studied it.

He looked slightly offended. "Hey, sorry I'm no Martha Stewart alright?"

He began to walk away then turned.

"Anyway, eat a bowl of cereal or something then, because Eon is expecting us at the lab soon. Gear up real good too, cuz I got a feeling tonight's gig is gonna be big."

After eating she went upstairs to get changed. Before leaving she looked at herself in the mirror. Her black boots came up to her knees, just a few inches under her black highs. Her shorts were curtained in the back by a layered wrap. A laced corset was covered by a matching black and red velvet jacket. Her black hair hung low waving in natural ways around her face. She put on her last effects. A belt around her waist to hold her sword, a gun and dagger on her right thigh, and a simple black mask that covered her face around her eyes. She studied her eyes. Right now they were violet. Nobody has been able to explain it, but ever since the fire, her eyes changed color. They usually change according to her mood, although every once in a while they'll look like a rainbow is residing within them.

Not long after, Jace and Leya were driving though rebel and debris. Leya looked with sad eyes at what once was the great city of Giddium, her hometown. It hadn't always been like this of course. The city used to thrive with life. Children ran around playing games, adults walked to and from work. Basically, the average city. Then, not long after the house fire, chaos broke loose. The underworld of warlocks and demons found a way to the human world and began to kill numerous amounts of people. Fires spread, turning the blue sky gray. Main street lit with flames. Buildings crumbled. Cars abandoned and crashed littered the streets. To the present day you would find dried blood everywhere, and lifeless bodies left behind from satisfied demons. Leya looked away in disgust and pretended to pick her nails. Jace sensed she was uneasy.

"You okay?"

Leya looked up at him and pasted a fake smile on her face.

"Yeah, I'm fine just keep driving."

He looked away unsatisfied. He wanted her to be open with him, but something seemed to be holding back. She always seemed to be hiding something. Maybe that's what draws him to her. After about 10 minutes of silence, they reached their destination. The building was four stories high, and looked like it had been abandoned for years. They walked inside. The air was filled with dust and the ground was covered by burnt furniture and paper. They reached the back room. On the floor was a rug about the size of a twin bed. It wasn't anything fancy, just a modern design in the middle. Jace lifted the rug to reveal a door with a latch. Leya lifted it and walked down a rickety staircase. Jace followed after shutting the door. The only source of light was a flickering light bulb, dimly lighting up another door. This door was made of metal, and had bolts on its sides. Leya knocked on the door and then pressed a button on the wall.

"Agramon."

The door opened to let them pass. The room was the size of a classroom. The only things that were not white were the equipment, experiments, and computer screens. A small explosion made Leya and Jace jump. Smoke filled the far end of the room. A shadow appeared in the smoke as it walked closer to them. Then a man wearing a white lab coat and slacks appeared. He wore glasses under his goggles, which were now slightly black along with his face. Another thing to go with his lab was his hair. It's massive spikiness would well enough grab your attention, but the color of it was something else. His hair was mainly white, and had random black streaks. This became a permanent feature when he fell and a chemical tube had spilled on his head.

"You are late," he said as he lifted his goggles off his head.

"Nice to see you too, Eon," Jace replied.

"Sorry about that, I've just created a new serum to put in your bullets Jace, and as you can see they're quite destructive. No demon can survive one of these in their body," Eon said in a confident tone.

"Nice!"

Jace quickly went to the table like a child running to get a new toy.

"And as for you miss Leya,"

Eon walked over to a table with a case on it.

"I thought a change of blades would be good."

He opened the case to reveal two silver daggers. Leya smiled as she lifted them, creating an echoing sound of metal. The handles were embroidered with gold.

"I love them."

Eon then waved them both over to a computer that had multiple screens on it.

"I have been monitoring these areas of Giddium for some time, and from the data I've collected I believe it may lead us to the leader of the demons, Dracon."

"Alright, so where is this place again?" Leya asked as she loaded her gun.

Jace made a right turn and gained speed.

"Where the Sunnydale neighborhood used to be," he chuckled to himself, "I should've guessed Dracon would choose the classiest place in Giddium." She shoved her gun back to its place.

"Yeah, but that's if he's there."

Of what was left of the neighborhood, you could tell that it was once top class. Road signs hung from their posts, and lawns were lit by small fires. Deserted mansions lined the streets. All of them had had their own unique proud life to them, but now they stood weak, crumbled, and the same.

Jace ran his fingers through his hair and sighed.

"Aw, great, well we're gonna have a great time looking through this whole place."

Leya gave him a mysterious smile.

"Jace, one thing you need to learn is that you don't always have to be the one to find them. Sometimes you have to make them come find you."

She pulled out her gun and aimed at a car down the street.

"Boom." She whispered.

As soon as the gun fired the car exploded, breaking the silence. They waited but nothing happened.

"Fine then," she said, "How about a little more?"

She shot two more cars. Three orange and red clouds now covered the end of the street. From the smoke a group of figures began to emerge. As they stalked closer you could begin to see their form. Their feet were big, and their claws were long. The light shimmered off their skin, clearly showing they had a slimy coating. The eyes were pitch black like their teeth that were rotting away. There were twenty of them circling around Leya and Face. They were back to back, weapons ready for action. Jace turned his head to the side and smiled.

"Lets get this party started."

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