I saw the 'blind boy,' as so many called him, leaning against his black German Shepherd. The scene painfully reminded me of Gryphon and myself- before Gryphon died.
I walked up to the boy, holding my hand out for the dog to sniff. The dog growled.
"Hush, Violet," the boy said.
I smiled. "Azalia."
His sightless eyes narrowed. "You're the girl everyone's talking about, right? The one who talks in Latin?"
I sighed. "That's me. Never thought my strange habits would prevent me from meeting new people."
The boy chuckled. "I'm Shard."
"Nice to meet you, Shard. How are you doing in school?"
"My grades are all right- the students make Violet and I uncomfortable."
A silver Toyota Tundra drove up. The driver lowered the window. "Get in, you lazy excuse for a daughter!"
Let me at her, Ara growled.
Yes- I have a person in my head. Her name's Ara, and she calls herself my 'patron.'
No, I snapped mentally at Ara. We're not killing her.
Can I choke her?
I stood up. "Be seeing- er, if you know what I mean- you around, Shard. I have to go."
He smiled. "See you, Azalia."
"So. Little freak daughter made a little freak friend," Mother chuckled, shoving me into my room- pardon, prison.
"We're not freaks." I snapped.
"No dinner for a week," she snarled. "You do not talk to me in that way."
Please let me at her, Ara begged.
"Hey, Shard," I said, giving Violet a dog biscut. She accepted, looking at me out of the corner of her eye while she ate.
Shard's sightless eyes seemed to focus on me. "Hi, Azalia."
"It's like a little loser family!" Zacharias said, coming up to mock us.
"Isn't it enough that you mock me because of my Latin?" I asked, trying not to let Ara take over. "Must you really criticize my friend choices too?"
Zacharias smirked, kicking Violet in the side. Violet yelped, then bared her teeth. I felt my hands drift to my waist, where I had several daggers concealed.
Before I could grab one and hold it to the bully's throat, Shard's voice became louder, taking on a sort of aggravating tone. "I suggest you leave, Zacharias. We wouldn't want you scaling a building and then jumping off the top, would we, now? Or perhaps you'd like to explain to the authorities why you burned down the school?"
Ara stiffened. Another patron.
Shard was temporarily in control of his body as he hissed, "Shut up!"
"But of course. Would you like to admit to your parents that the reason you come home so late is because you go out to smoke with your cronies, then you get drunk?" Shard's patron chuckled mischieviously.
Ara had enough at that point. "Tace!" She said, taking me over.
Shard's patron clawed at the blind boy's lips.
"As my friend was saying, Zacharias, you may want to leave," Ara said pleasantly. "Good day to you."
Zacharias stiffly walked away.
Ara turned to Shard. "Dicere."
Shard looked at me. "What just happened?"
Move over, I told Ara. "Well, Shard, it appears you have what we call a patron. Mine's Ara, who caused you to shut up- she's what some would consider a witch. Yours is obnoxious, loud, rude, and apparently likes threatening people like Zacharias."
"My name's Dryniis," the patron said.
"And he says his name is Dryniis," Ara said thoughtfully.
"They can possess us," I explained, shoving Ara out of the way. "From what I know, there's more of us, but you're the only one I've ever met."
"Ah. What should I know about this... patron?"
"His personality will differ from yours- Ara's not really different, but she can get really irritating at times, and when you get angry, your patron possesses you. I think all of us have some sort of wings- I do, at lease. They're imprinted on my back, and I haven't figured out how to activate them yet."
"I don't get it," Shard said honestly.
The bell rang when I was about to respond.
"Well," I said, looking up as if to glare at the bell. "Someone's passive-aggressive today, cutting off my sentences." I smiled. "Talk to you later, Shard."