It hadn’t been a particularly hot spring that year, but anything above freezing was well welcomed. I had been packing up all my stuff preparing to move all winter. I had a new job, across the country. I have always been an East Coast native. I liked the ocean, calming, vast, and entertaining.
My new job, as a manager was in California. Nothing bad about California, but I have absolutely no family over there. I had spent about a month before packing debating my two choices. Applying onto the unemployed line, but with my family. Or being a manager for a large corporate business, and being alone. It was a hard choice, but this was a great deal they offered.
In California, I would have to find my own lodging. But all my expenses we’re being paid for by the business. Moving, water, gas, etc. I wasn’t going to miss anything, other than my family. But I could always call home. I had also made arrangements for my parents to possibly visit me in California.
Anyways, my lodging was all set up. I had found a old high school friend who luckily lived close enough to my work. Anthony Biggens. Nothing stunning about him other than his eyes. His sapphire blue eyes glistened in the light dramatically. Anthony, was the average American. 5’8” in height. Not fat, however he wasn’t exactly muscular. His frame had a bit of muscle to it. His black hair, wasn’t cut to impress anyone. It was medium length and straight as an arrow.
Anthony owed me one from high school, when I helped him realize he was gay. I helped him through the process of coming out to his parents and friends. He was scared at first but once he came to terms with his true identity, he became very proud of his sexual orientation.
He was planning to meet me at the airport when I arrived. The official plan was to send the moving truck over that way as I cut through and caught a plane there. I would bring a suitcase of my own clothes. That way I would wear something as I waited for the moving truck. This would be a long journey. All the way from the eastern part of Delaware, all the way to San Francisco.
This was the turning point in my life. My life would change forever. Sure I was going to sell paper to people but, I was going to be a manager.
It wasn’t the most desirable plane ride. Sure there were no stops, but I sat in economy. I managed to get pinned. In front of me, the gentlemen decided to put his chair in full recline, 5 minutes after take off. To my right sat an obese man. I have nothing against obesity, however when your rolls, roll over to my seat thats a whole new scenario. To my left sat a mother and her baby. The baby stunk, signaling the mother that he had just gone number two. But this rambunctious mother listened to rap music the entire time. Extremely loud. And to top it off directly behind me was a 10 year old boy. Who had serious ADHD, repeatedly he kicked my chair. But his father was sick with the cold so he sneezed the entire time. On me.
When the plane stopped on the ground I wasted no time springing out of my seat and hurrying out of the plane. I didn’t have a carry on, just 2 bags of clothes that would be waiting for me. I pushed past a lot of people. I was in no mood to be around the walmarters. Yes walmarters. These people belong there.
I ran to the baggage claim and waited, with no patience. I spotted one of my bags, and I reached out to grab the first bag. This bag contained shoes, socks, and hygiene products. My other bag, contained underwear, pants, shirts, and a hoodie.
My other bag slugged down the line when I spotted it. It slowly reached me and I sighed with relief. I reached to grab it but hand stopped me as he grabbed it too. I started to speak as I turned around. “Is this your bag? I think its mi—” I paused. It was thankfully Anthony. He grinned.
“Enjoyed the flight I see?” He said as he reached out to hug me, arms outreached. “Come here.”
I accepted his offer and embraced him. I was taller than him. I was 6’0” even. However I was definitely more muscular. I had blonde hair, with light green eyes. “No I hated it but can we just go home? I am exhausted from all that shit I dealt with.”
“Alright just grab your bags and we will head out. Its a 30 minute drive or so.” He smiled and took one of my bags, he started off and I followed close, I didn’t want to get lost. I hated being lost. And well, being on the opposite side of the country, in a city that was extremely busy, was no help…
When we got to his house I was surprised. He had a nice large house, it faced the Pacific ocean as a bonus. I knew he had a large house, but I had no idea. It was a Victorian style high ceiling house. 12 feet above the floor. All the furniture inside was kept proper, it looked expensive. He talked about how secure the place was, due to the furniture.
“Okay well if you follow me I’ll show you where your room is.” He gestured me to follow him deeper into the mansion.
“Two questions come to my mind.” I said following Anthony, but I kept admiring the decor. “First other than me you live here alone? And second, how could you afford all this stuff?”
“I do live here alone, except for you. I like the silence. And, my dad..” He trailed off a bit, his rich father passed away a while back. “He left his business in my hands I am CEO.”
I knew it was painful for him to talk about his father, so I remained silent for a while. He broke the silence. “If your job as that manager doesn’t entirely work out I can offer you a job.” He looked at me and smiled.
We reached the stairs and we headed up. “I might take that job.” I chuckled. “It beats selling paper, and I don’t even remember what the business is.”
“Weightlifting equipment.” We reached the top of the stairs. He led me down a hall with doors on both sides. He stopped at a door. The door was white, framing a deep red. “And here is your room!” He swung open the door revealing the large bedroom.
The bedroom was large. It was L shaped. He led me into it more. Inside it was pretty empty for the time being. The only notable thing was the air mattress on the floor. Already inflated and already made. “This is your closet.” He pointed at a door similar to the door to the entrance to the bedroom. “And this is your bathroom.”
The bathroom was luxurious. The bathroom was big, the shower in the corner was big enough to fit 5 men. The toilet in the corner adjacent was large too. The vanity, was best described as a piece of artwork. The large rounded bowl of the sink was definitely marble.
As I admired the bathroom I suddenly felt light headed. I started to fall but Anthony rushed to my side. “Dude whats wrong?”
“I don’t know I just felt lightheaded all the sudden. I think I should sleep.” I struggled a smile and pulled my weight along, all the while Anthony was at my side. “Maybe it’s just illness from the plane. There was a terribly ill man behind me”
“I don’t think that’s it but oh well.” He set me down on the air mattress. “Ugh you look bad.”
“I kinda can tell, but if I look as bad as I feel all the sudden, I must be one hella ugly man.”
“Can you keep secrets?” He asked out of the blue.
“Of course. you’re my friend, besides you’re letting me sleep here.” I stretched out my arms for extra emphasis.
He smiled grimly. “I am a verwandeln.” He sighs heavily. “I know it sounds weird, but I’m telling the truth.”
I had to hold myself back, I was about ready to cry from tears. “What is that?” I managed choking back many giggles. Anthony was known for some weird shit, but this by far was one of the weirdest. “Van-war-dan? What does that even mean?”
He got up and knit his brows, meaning he was either very confused or angry. “You don’t believe me? God. A VERWANDELN is a transformer.” He got a bit angrier but somewhere deep down it probably felt good to get this out? “And before your smart ass self gets you into trouble. No I am not a robot.”
I laughed at that, but it was a laugh harder than what I wanted, all the pent up laugh burst like a dam. “So what is this got to do anything with this?”
“Well I am.” He looked up and obviously asked for forgiveness from somebody. “I can perform real magic, not that phony street magic. Actually music like turning people into frogs, curses, and spells.” At this he started rolling up the sleeve of his tee-shirt upwards.
“What’s on his arm?” I thought. When the sleeve was all the way up, there was a tattoo clearly visible. It resembled the halo of the sun from the popular oldie horror game. The more I looked the more details I saw writing in a different languages, zodiac symbols, and circles that were somehow exactly the same size.
“I can do things most people can’t do.” He turned and stared with his intense blue eyes, almost directly into my own soul. “Tell anyone and I will have to kill you. Promise you won’t tell a soul.”
“Alright I promise. But what does this have to do with me being sick?” That was one of many questions that sprung to mind. “And why tell me now after so many years?”
“I’ve seen this in other people. It is a viral disease. It can kill in a few hours. For some reason its not contagious unless you’re at the right height. The disease is more of a magical virus. Mortals don’t contract it most of the time how ever, it’s not impossible.” He got up. “One second I’ll go get my book.”
As he left the room he left me in complete shock. “Deadly? Shouldn’t he call an ambulance then? Why would he leave me alone if I was about to die from a disease I suddenly contracted from an airplane?” I frantically tried to answer any question I could thinking in my head.
When he came back into the room, he had a large leather book. He sat down on the bed next to me, he undid the brass buckle and flipped through the pages faster than light itself. How he read anything like that was beyond me, but he apparently found what he was looking for. In Latin he chanted:
Amicus meus male,
Necesse est, ut melius.
Nunc hoc melius amicus.
Somno melior sublevabis cum eo.
I began to feel tired, my eyelids got heavy and I starting drifting off to sleep. All the while Anthony comforted me. “You’ll get better in a while. How long, is how fast your body normally heals.” He grabbed my hand and squeezed tight. I wanted to stay awake and ask him what the hell had just happened.
From the time I got to his house I had learned a lot. Magic was incredibly real. Anthony was now friendlier than before. he also might possibly be in some sort of cult. Also there was a good chance I was about to die, in my sleep.