Darkness Defined

Episode 2 of the 500 Words Experiment.

  • Genre: Paranormal
  • Word Count: 499
  • Content Warning: language
  • Series: War on Darkness, Book One

Ten years ago, the Shadow War turned the supernatural community upside down. What’s more, events forced the entities known as Shadows Demons out of obscurity. Once thought to be nothing more than a scary story, they are faced with a level of distrust and hate that most have done nothing to earn.

Alexi wants nothing more than to be accepted for who he is, but all the community can see is what he is and what he might one day do. Despite the fear that seems to follow him everywhere, when Alexi receives an exclusive invitation to enroll at Arminius University to attend a new class for Shadow Demons, he can’t help but accept. Now he can’t wait to attend the premiere, secret supernatural school and forget all about his
manipulative ex. All that changes when he sees the striking Matt at orientation. When the fates smile on him and they’re paired as roommates, Alexi is convinced it’s destiny. Except Matt has zero interest in saying two words to him, let alone occupying the same
room.
Matt was abandoned at birth only to spend the next seventeen years getting passed around from one abusive situation to another. When he learns that he’s a demon, he can’t imagine how things can possibly get any more unbelievable. So what if he is some
super, powerful, rare kind, power doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to use it. Whisked away by a mysterious woman to another country, he finds himself in a strange school, surrounded by weird creatures, and a roommate that is entirely too
friendly for his liking. Matt’s new life goal? Get out without dying. Making friends wasn’t part of the plan, then again, neither was joining an underground fight club.

After spending more time on the streets than in a home, Matt’s trust issues are a mile long, but Alexi’s not giving up. At the end of the day, persistence and an ancient mystery might be just what it takes to find a way into Matt’s guarded heart.

Matt

A faded green door with age-spotted glass opened and the jerk that had hauled me out of the half-way house shoved me unceremoniously into an office.

“Administrator Smith will see you now.”

I ripped my arm free of the unnecessarily tight hold and glared at him as he retreated back out the way we had come. The door snicked shut and I turned my attention to the room’s occupant.

A portly man seated behind a modest, metal desk paused his perusal of open files to give me a once over. His thinning, gray hair was combed over in a vain attempt to hide the balding and the dark circles under his eyes spoke of persistent exhaustion. The rough edges of his coat suggested he cared more for his job than his appearance, maybe that was a plus and this wouldn’t be as bad as I feared. Still, his eyes were borderline vacant as he took in my bedraggled appearance.

“Matthew Duncan,” he said by way of greeting. “Have a seat.” He gestured at the lone chair across from him.

I did my best not to sneer back at him as I begrudgingly sat. I’d been off of the streets for a grand total of three hours, but stirring up trouble first thing with the guy in charge wouldn’t endear me to anyone and would virtually guarantee that I was put on a shit list. Superno House would be my eighth orphanage and I didn’t expect it to work out any better than the last seven. As for foster families, forget it, they always sent me back anyway. At this point, I was just waiting to turn legal so I could say screw the system and get out. I didn’t give two shits about this man or his “special orphanage”.

The administrator grunted at my lack of response and looked back down at the page before him. “I see you’ve had a rough go of things.”

Understatement of the year.

He lowered tiny, round spectacles that had been perched on his forehead and resumed his inspection of the folder. “Let’s see…numerous incidents, most involving physical violence. I guess we should be glad you’re not a fire demon with that sort of temper. Still, a demon is a demon.”

I waited for the half-hearted laugh to emphasize the sorry joke. It didn’t come. Instead, he went on as serious as he had started.

“You’ll need to understand that the things you’ve gotten away with in the past will not fly here. We run a strict campus. While yours might be the most enigmatic, I’ve dealt with tough cases before. Rest assured, we will determine what kind of demon you are, though without any physical manifestations to provide guidance, the discovery may be less than pleasant.”

I bristled, nearly forgetting his unusual choice of words. 

This guy is talking about me like I’m an entirely different species. I’d been called a lot of things over the years and honestly “demon” wasn’t new.

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