Zoe - The Search For Paradise
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In a world where wolf Transeids are believed to be extinct by most people, one young Transeid is living hidden among humans. Three Transeids and a man band together in search of an old legend, a fairytale: Paradise. Zoe is one of the Transeids in this group, as the last member of her birth pack she roams Arokhia in search of a dream she'll soon start to believe in her heart. (This is the new version of my old story called Zoe - the last member alive. Transeid is a kind of shapeshifter in the story)
Zoe opened her eyes, she just laid there on her mattress calming her breath and listening to the silence. Nick was still asleep. She silently turned over and got up and noticed that it was still dark outside when she glanced out the window. She wouldn't be able to sleep again for a while, these nightmares had been there for years, she didn't have them as often as when she was a kid but still too often for her liking. She didn't need to remember what happened and just wanted to put it all behind her.
She looked around her room; at the mattress on the floor that was her bed, the empty walls with peeling wallpaper, and then the window that shouldn't be opened, because she would most likely never be able to shut it again. If she even managed to open it at all in the first place.
She carefully opens the door leading out of the room, cringing as it emitted a loud screeching creak. So much for being quiet. She stops and listens but can't hear anything suggesting that Nick had woken up from the noise, so she moves slowly towards the kitchen.
In the kitchen she went straight to the cupboard over the sink —the third to the right of the door— to get a bottle of water. She opens it up and takes a sip, then leans over the sink, pours a bit of water into her hand and splashes her face with it.
"Was it another nightmare?" She straightens up fast when she hears his voice, almost hitting her head up against the cupboards on the wall, water still dripping from her face. She hadn't even heard him come into the kitchen, or that he was out of bed at all.
She turns around and blankly stares at Nick. She runs a hand through her hair, the same hand she used to splash the water into her face. Her short dark brown hair gets slightly messier, not quite falling back in place.
She nodded slowly, still just looking at him, leaning on the sink. Nick, leaning into the wall to the left of the door, just looked right back at her with his arms crossed. He slowly closed his eyes and sighed.
"I'm fine", Zoe said sharp. "You don't have to baby me, I'm not a kid anymore." She looked away while talking, her dark brown eyes appearing almost black. "I don't need you to comfort me."
Nick sighed again. "Zoe," he said calmly, "you need to talk about this shit sometime, process whatever it was that happened." She glanced at him, clearly not pleased with what he's trying to say.
"No," she growls, looking him straight in the eye, "I need to forget what happened!" She takes another sip from the water bottle, which was now half empty.
He walked over to the window on the wall opposite Zoe and leans on the sill, looking out on the street. "Wanna go for a walk," he asked. Zoe just raised a brow at his back, knowing full well that he can't see her but her silence tells him everything he needs to know. "I was gonna meet up with Karma tonight," he continues, running his hand through his hair as he turns around to look at her again.
"Karma," Zoe exclaimed, "are you insane? Guy's going to get you killed, bro!" Leaning forward, gripping the edge of the kitchen counter so hard her hands were shaking, she continued, "Guy himself is worse poison than the stuff he sells!" She stares at Nick with big eyes, her misshapen cat-like pupil widening slightly with her change of mood.
"You gonna come with or not," he asked just looking at her, as if her little 'outburst' didn't happen at all. "Karma's my buddy. I'm not just gonna leave a buddy, you know that. And I'm not gonna die. Karma wouldn't do that to me," he raises his head slightly, looking at her, waiting for her to talk back at him or say he's wrong about his friend.
Zoe didn't say anything for a little while, then just nods. "I'm coming with," she said confidently. "No way I'll let you go to that guy alone when you're asking me to come with you." She takes a couple steps towards Nick, asking "so, when are we going?"
"Now," he replied, walking away from the window and grabs her by the arm as he passes her, gently dragging her along to the door.
The door itself was sealed off with boards nailed to the frame and a solid padlock. Next to the door was a hole into the wall, covered with a metal plate that didn't look like it could be moved until you actually tried. That was the way in and out.
Nick crawled through, with Zoe following right after. As soon as he was out, he started leading the way, without even looking back to see if Zoe was following, he knew very well she could easily keep up with him.
Zoe knew Nick wouldn't want to talk while leading the way there, at least not while out at night, during the day he could be as talkative as ever, just not at the night.
They walked for a good ten minutes, then saw the man they were supposed to meet: Karma Ayluru, he had his long hair in the usual ponytail and was standing at the corner of an old factory building.
"Hey buddy," Nick said excited, walking quickly to meet his friend. "Sorry, I'm not alone this time..." he trailed off and looked away.
"That's alright, man. She still sayin' bad stuff 'bout me?" Karma looked at Zoe, smiling slightly, barely more than a smirk. Being a Transeid himself, he knew very well what Zoe was. "Hey girl," he remarked, "I'm not some traitorous dog."
"And what is that supposed to mean," she snapped at him while raising her head, giving him a challenging look. Something about the way he said the word 'dog' didn't sit right with her, as if it had an undertone that she wasn't 100% sure about yet. He could be referring to being a Transeid, but it could also mean something else. "Now, how do you plan on trying to get us killed this time," she asked him with a bit of a sneer.
Karma raised his eyebrows at the last question. "Woah, girl," he exclaimed, "calm down. I'm not gonna get ya killed! And if ya do get into trouble, I'm not gunna run away with my tail between my legs, I'd die for my friends!" As he took a step forward, challenging Zoe with a fierce stare, almost threatening her, he snarled "that's more than you would do, and that's a fact and you know it! You are a filthy traitor!" The look on his face said he was angry, but the glint in his eye said he was only playing.
The words had barely passed his lips and Zoe lunged at Karma, ready to rip him to pieces with her bare hands. "You take that back," she screamed, "I am not a traitor! You know nothing about me!" Nick grabbed her and held her back.
Karma laughed, but Nick gave him an angry look while holding Zoe back. “Shut up, both of you,” Nick yelled, “I know you don’t like each other, but stop picking unnecessary fights!”
Karma raised his arms in defeat, and Zoe stopped trying to break out of Nick's grip, they were both clearly shocked by his outburst.
Karma quickly regained his composure, and as he ran his fingers through his ponytail, he calmly said “well, anyways.” He suddenly seemed a lot more serious. “There’s someone ya gotta meet.”
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