At Monmash High School for Humans and Creatures (a ‘mix’ school) the biggest event every year is the Masquerade on New Year’s Eve. Parents were allowed to come and the entire school was always made into a more classical environment for such an occasion. The masquerade was the theme that everyone had fun forming to a unique mold every year. It was always the more popular event to attend than the proms.
Remi Wiccatal was jittery in her small corner, wearing a deep set pale blue fanasy like dress that almost shimmered as she walked, and ending almost like long leaves sewn at the waist cascading down to a little past her knees, making the small slits in the sides show more or less skin from moment to moment. There were pants underneath that the splits in the skirt could not reach, so no one suspected that she had more than underwear on. Her soft white shoulders were bare and sparkling as if she were an ore of brilliant quality encased in and on human flesh. Her mask was of a custom-made soft leather, of a deep cerulean that had small pebbles, sequins, and shells set in it while similar decorations were entwined in her hair.
Her outfit was that of a water nymph, simple enough. Some attending the party that were reading their Greek Mythology wondered if she was going for Aphrodite after coming out of the sea. The compliments were not a comfort; they only put her more on edge and kept her in her own little corner like a timid wallflower. Of course, she wasn’t known for looking this nice on any occasion, and she was not accustomed to it.
The crowded room was teeming with conversations, some attendees arriving in generic costumes and some in handmade, but the effect of the costumes was the same. One could easily blend in and hide amongst the rabble.
Demitrius had his long hair simply pulled back into a low pony tail, the eye smarting red of his cape covering it with gold and silver threaded into many a design of destruction and chaos, a mask of a skulled messenger covering from the top lip up and ending half in his hair. His fangs poked below his bottom lip since he had fed before he came.
Demitrius Temperal III, Demitrius’ father, had suggested the Red Death costume after his son and Remi got into an argument over how and what they would attend as. Of course, his father was checking out a reference to Edgar Allen Poe made by a particular Phantom. Only the words on the cape were missing.
Remi saw the figure in red, slowly and gracefully making the rounds, the people around pulling back when the figure got close. Her nerves jumped another level, her stomach writhing. She already knew it was Demitrius. Carefully, she moved to the doors, suddenly embarrassed with her choice of costume.
A moment of sea blue caught Demitrius’ attention, his reddish-brown eyes watching as a thin figure with shimmery shoulders wove through the party goers. Quickly, before the image he had fixed his gaze on was lost by the mass of people there, he began to follow in a manner that made everyone think there were hostilities between the Nymph and the Sickness. No one would stand in the way of either.
Remi was glad she wore soft shoes to the party; it was easier than trying to hide with loud clicking heels. This was so similar to the dance freshman year, the only difference was that she was in no condition to be stable minded while the other time she had a childish fantasy shattered with a single cold look. So why was she so afraid now?
Demitrius was glad not many people were in the halls, his step quickening after the sound of Remi’s footsteps. The cape spread out on either side of him, flowing in the wind created by his speedy pass like demonic wings as it seemed to engulf the entire hallway.
Remi made it to one of the courtyards in the school grounds, the clouds covering a new moon. The sound of the door closing behind her made her sigh with relief until a voice of soft caution met her ears.
“Does this vision of Death scare you so much, little Water Child? Enough to run into the open air to freeze?”
As if on command by Demitrius’ words, a strong sharp gust of wind ripped through the courtyard. Remi hugged herself with a small squeak in surprise, the fabric worn on her thin frame holding no warmth to her. She didn’t turn to him, as far as she knew it was just the two of them. The cold wind made her snap back to her senses.
“Death is not frightening, it’s only natural,” was her reply through chattered teeth. Natural could also mean unexplainable, and even the Gods ran from that occasionally.
“And yet you ran from something natural,” was the cold reply, the double meaning in his words clear.
She turned to him, mask still in place on both of their faces, her pale skin starting to pinken from the exposure of the wind and the December chill. It was only a half turn, from the waist up twisting to face him as he held out his hand.
“It’s just us Remi, it’s alright.”
She nodded, walking swiftly and rather stiffly over to him. The vampire took the human into its embrace, arms holding protectively while the cape shielded the neck down from the wind.
Demitrius’ head bent down a little, a look on his face Remi couldn’t see with her cheek to his chest. He had unknowingly found the imp sprite he saw once a few years ago, only she had grown and matured. He supposed he had, but with being a vampire he had no idea since he really hadn’t cared about such things. “First time I saw you was at another dance about freshman year. You looked stricken in a land of boundless smiles. Then you disappeared.”
“I ran away and locked myself in the upstairs boys bathroom,” was the grumbled response below his shoulder.
Demitrius blinked and began to laugh, holding her tighter as he did in reflex. Remi began to giggle as well, snuggling closer in his cape as the moments passed. She had noted some time ago that Demitrius was always warm after he fed.
“I’m glad we’re friends, Demitrius,” she said while looking up at him.
His reaction was hidden under the mask, his lip becoming a warm smile. Remi was seeing that fanged smile more and more lately, and not in the predatorial way most vampires grinned in.
“Remi, my father likes you so much he almost considers you family, as do the others in my home. You don’t always have to use my full first name.”
“Yes but I promised you I would only call you ‘Demi’ if I could do it in the teasing way Lauraine does it,” she said, reaching up and gently pinching his cheek with a small pull, “Silly Demi-Wemi.”
Demitrius sighed upon the mention of his stepmother but quirked a brow under the mask at the pinching. A few months ago, since they were force to ‘go out’ on a bet, he would have smacked her hand away. However, he had gotten used to it and he was no longer disturbed by her fondness for touching. Especially his hair, her fingers were almost always toying with strands and braiding and such.
“Careful, little girl, people might think we’re making out in this courtyard,” he teased, Remi pulling back so she could look up at him without straining her neck so much. He was a foot taller then her average height of five foot four, so the stepping back to look up was normal.
“I think that’s the show we’ve been putting on the past few weeks. Or have you forgotten?”
“No, but we shouldn’t get too caught up in our show. Runs the risk of not being a show anymore,” was his reply as he led her back inside with an arm around her shoulders.
“True…friendship always lasts longer than romance,” Remi agreed with a nod, her arm around his waist as they walked to the party. The two were a good set of partners in this act.
Everyone looked at the two when they emerged back into the view of the party, stopping in their dances a good half of them. Demitrius grinned while pulling Remi closer too him. She smiled shyly, the red cheeks from the wind outside simulating almost a flushed and embarrassed young lady.
The rest of the night passed as it would, Demitrius and Remi dancing only to the slow songs and resting during most of the up beat songs. Of course, Remi made Demitrius do the Time Warp when it was on, laughing as he fumbled through the steps. At the end, or the end of the year (the party was known to carry on till the wee hours of the morning), the attention of the school’s student body was called for. Remi’s mother was up at the podium, and was one of the reasons the school continued this little tradition.
“This year, the hidden theme is Balance. Life and Death, Light and Dark; all that jazz. The winners are Remi Wiccatal and Demitrius Temperal IV. Red Death and the Water Nymph are the ultimate complimenting opposites at this masquerade!” The whole school cheered. Remi’s mother was never biased at these competitions.
This time Demitrius had to drag Remi up to the stage to get the holly and mistletoe crowns as well as the seedpod scepters for the coming of new things in the upcoming year. The holly went to Demitrius, the mistletoe to Remi. Her face was a lovely shade of pink as Demitrius put the crown on her then got on his one knee so she could place the red berried head peace upon his own. Positioned carefully, he rose and the cheers commenced.
“And now…the New Year comes in half an hour, let’s party!!!” Remi’s mother called out as she indicated the live band to begin and the D.J. to take a break. The live band started a quick tempo as the pair left the stage, laughing as they stuck close to each other.
I-Angle came up with his now dyed blonde hair and wolf ears out, wearing a spoofed Nazi youth camp outfit.
“Yo Schro,” Remi greeted, laughing slightly.
“Diana left with Dorian. Both were none too happy about this,” was the werewolf’s news, a huge grin splitting his mischievous face.
“Honestly, I don’t give a damn about them. They’re not what’s important,” Remi shrugged, though a small smile was on her face.
“Why’s that?” the young lupine asked, his head cocked to one side.
“Because we’re ahead of them. We have something they can’t have. Friendship,” Demitrius responded, smiling. I-Angle was seeing it the more he saw Remi and Demitrius hanging out together.
“Just friendship?” I-Angle asked confused.
“Just friendship, too soon to tell other wise and we don’t honestly want to know otherwise right now. Darin is going to have a hard time making us decide on any other choice,” was the explanation Demitrius and Remi gave I-Angle in turns. Demitrius shrugged, “But Remi and I are getting along, so anything’s possible at this point.”
“And to think a Tennis Ball was what started all this and is the reason we’re friends,” Remi chimed in, making Demitrius face fault and almost blush at the memory of her wailing a Tennis Ball at his face. Remi laughed at him, then the three went with I-Angle to join the twin vampires Darin and Jareth and her older twin Gina. At midnight, after the custom of removing the masks at midnight Demitrius swept Remi into his arms and kissed her for show. Masquerades didn’t stop because the masks were gone.