Haven Shorts – Chapter 4 – Episode 8 – A Stranger Magic

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on August 30, 2013. Posted in Haven Shorts Series

Haven: A Stranger Magic

Chapter 4 – Episode 8

Marcus Snider stood at the back of the small, litter-filled alleyway between Angelo’s Bakery and Coffman’s Sportswear smoking his last cigarette before going to school. The buildings were fairly new since the town square had recently been built, but the alleyway was still dark and dank. Large dumpsters were staggered from one another toward the rear of the stores.

Taking long measured drags, Marcus looked on from across the street as the school bells rang for both Junior High and Saginaw High School announcing that the last day of school had begun. The two campuses were across the street from one another.

Teenagers grouped in small cliques began to disband and file through the large metal doors, like oversized lab rats reacting to the bell.

Vernon Emerson and few of his band friends stopped at the crosswalk. They were standing in front of the bakery when they spotted Marcus in the alleyway. They were not fans of Marcus Snider, but no one really was. They were scared of him, just like every other student at Saginaw High was. Not because he was a big, overbearing athlete, hyped up on steroids, with a god complex. No, they were scared because he was crazy in the head, and capable of doing all the horrible things he was rumored to have done.

Vernon fiddled with his shirt and adjusted his collar, which suddenly felt tight on his neck. He was about to turn away when he noticed Marcus staring back at him. Built like a linebacker, Marcus was tall and muscular. He had greasy brown hair that was long and shaggy. His face was scarred with acne, and he had dark circles under his eyes.

“Um, hey Marcus, what’s going on?” Vernon asked, with a slight wave and an apprehensive smile.

Vernon was a tall, gangly kid. He had short black hair and wore thick black glasses that he was constantly pushing back up his nose. He had once seen Marcus fight after school. His opponent had been destroyed and Vernon wanted no part of that.

Marcus stared for a moment at the group. His eyes narrowed into small slits and he sucked on the end of his cigarette until the tip became a glowing orange.

With his lungs full, he pulled the cigarette from his mouth and blew a steady stream of gray smoke into the air.

“Does it matter?” he asked.

Vernon looked over at his friends anxiously, unsure how to reply when Mary Hemphill, a short redhead girl who was standing closest to Vernon whispered, “Let’s just go, Vernon. He’s a creep.”

Vernon looked at Mary and then back to Marcus, who flicked the lit cigarette in their direction.

He didn’t want to upset Marcus, and he certainly didn’t want Marcus to say anything that could embarrass him in front of his friends.

“Okay, sure …” he replied to Mary, then turned to Marcus and said, “Gotta go, we’re late, so see you later.”

Vernon turned just as the signal light changed indicating it was safe to cross. The small group quickly scurried across the street. They looked like a herd of frightened cattle running to safety.

Marcus grinned with satisfaction; he didn’t like Vernon, or any of his band friends for that matter. They were weak, spastic nerds that need to be stomped out like roaches as far as he was concerned.

Marcus dusted the cigarette ash off his black Punisher t-shirt and ran his hand through his hair. He started to walk toward the street light when he saw Sarah and Barry approaching the corner. Marcus grinned again and stepped back into the shadows.

“You go ahead and go. I need to wait for Sam. He didn’t make a lunch, and he’s going to need some money.”

Barry rolled his eyes, “What, why, Sarah? No, you need to walk in with your man on the last day of school. The two hottest people in school need to be seen together. It gives the dweebs something to aspire to over the summer,” he said, laughing at his own joke.

Sarah gave a half-hearted grin and replied, “You’ll be fine. I’m sure you’ll find someone to keep you company, just like you did Saturday night.”

Barry’s smile faded quickly and his cheeks flushed. He wasn’t sure if Sarah had heard what happened, or if she was just saying that to see if he would admit to something.

Sarah knew all about Saturday night, and even if she didn’t, the look on Barry’s face spoke a thousand words. None of which was good to hear.

“What does that mean?” Barry asked, playing along, as if he had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. But he knew the truth. He knew all too well what had happened at Mason Parker’s party. He had ended up kissing Brenda Jenson, whom, for the record, he thought wasn’t bad looking. In fact, she was the captain of the cheerleading squad. That automatically made her better looking in his book. Besides, she had always had a crush on Barry. But Sarah was his girlfriend now—at least she had been for the last year. Everyone thought that Sarah was hot, which was an understatement. Every guy wanted to be Sarah’s boyfriend, but she had chosen Barry. Although that had not happened until he made quarterback. It made Barry wonder if she was with him because she liked him, or because he was the quarterback of the varsity team. Sarah was known to have never dated anyone longer than a few months. But they had been together the entire school year, and Barry was proud of that record. No one in the history of Saginaw High had remotely come close to that with Sarah. Even though it took most of the previous summer of being nothing but nice and thoughtful to her—like inviting her to all the summer parties he had thrown, and stopping by just to see how her day was going. In the end it paid off and he was victorious. Sarah Dalcome had fallen victim to the Barry Rogers charm. So, if it happened to end today, he needed to be the one to end it. After all, he had a reputation to protect.

“It means I’ll be waiting for my brother like I said, that’s what it means,” Sarah said, her tone sharp and resolute.

The signal light changed again and the traffic came to a stop.

“You better go, Barry, your entourage is waiting.”

Barry looked up at the light and then across the street where his friends Matt, Jason, Aubrie, and Lisa were waving him on.

“Fine, whatever. Wait for your dork brother and his boyfriend,” he said smugly. Then he jogged across the street with his hand in the air, where he received a high-five from Matt and a pat on the back from Lisa.

**I will post one EPISODE each week, but there are 50 EPISODE, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just .99) the complete book and the rest of the HAVEN series (More Coming Soon) at Amazon.

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Like many who enjoy the fantasy genre, Akers started reading it as an adolescent. He was fascinated with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Bram Stoker's Dracula. He currently enjoys reading works by Dean Koontz, Heather Brewer, J.K. Rowling, and Rick Riordan. Akers enjoys creating a fantasy world with compelling storylines, while injecting humor and a touch of drama into the action as he did with his first book Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries, which has received rave reviews. "I start every story with this thought: Where can I take my audience now? To me it's about the journey, the escape into a world filled with the fantastic and the unexpected. There is nothing like an adventure that takes you further from reality with every turn of the page." D.C. Akers was born in Texas and after spending several years working in accounting, Akers began to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a writer.

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