Man, life just plain ain’t fair!” Branith thought to himself in disgust as he sat holding his busted ribs till they healed. He had taken refuge a corner behind the dumpster outside the Graetha High cafeteria.

Closing his eyes, he thought back over his long life and realized that his entire existence had pretty much sucked…

In his case literally, for his dad was a vampire and his mom was a werewolf…which had made him an outcast the moment he was born. And it hadn’t gotten any better.

Oh, he had seemed to be pretty much a normal mortal kid till the day of his sixteenth birthday…

When he had died and come back three days later…double whammied by both of his parents traits.

The only upside was that due to his mother being a werewolf, he could go out in the daytime. But he still had to sleep on earth from the family crypt far beneath the old ancestral mansion.

But what had made his life even more unbearable was the fact that not only had he been forced to actually have to wear glasses…they had been thick bi-focals! He had gotten cheated out of the supernaturally sharp vision from both of his parents.

He felt like a mortal geek, and he fit the stereotype oh so well…thick glasses, skinny, clumsy, shy, and man, forget about talking to females, mortal or immortal!

About the only thing he was good at was transforming. He could not only become a bat, mist or a wolf, he could become any other creature he wanted, which was about the only thing the other kids envied him for. And when he was a bat was the only time he didn’t bump into stuff and had even a semblance of grace.

He didn’t know how many times he had gone through high school, but he knew it was enough that he knew that no matter whether it was an upper class preppy school or a “wrong side of the tracks” barrio school, there was one thing they all had in common…snobs and bullies.

And that brought him to the present. Lethan and his group of vamps had jumped him just as he had regained his normal form after returning from a hunt.

He had not been aware of their even being around until they jumped him, due to the fact that the transient he had fed on had not only been extremely drunk, he had also evidently been on some form of mind altering substance, for even in bat form, Branith had had trouble staying focused.

And when they had jumped him, it had caused him to shift to his defense form, which just happened to be an anemic looking werewolf with patchy fur, and slightly bedraggled looking, huge bat wings sprouting from his back. It was the first time that Lethan and his group had ever seen Branith’s superna-form, and their reaction had been typical of their brain size…

They…every single one of them…had broken out in huge guffaws of hilarity at his humiliation.

Man, if these creeps weren’t already dead they would die laughing right this minute.” Branith had thought with bitter humor as he had shifted to his mortal form and started to turn and walk away.

Quick as a flash, the others had surrounded him and begun shoving him back and forth, the shoves getting rougher and rougher, taunting him, making him feel about the size of an atom of an atom.

And then something had snapped inside Branith, he had had enough.

One minute he had been fighting to keep his balance after a hard shove from Lethan, the next thing he had known, the others had been lying prostrate around him, and he had been sitting on Lethan, one razor sharp claw of his right hand dripping blood, as he had pulled it back from the deeply carved “R” that now, along with the letters “L-O-S-E” ran across Lethan’s forehead.

Shaking his head a little, he had gotten off of his main tormentor, and then simply stood gazing down at him for a few moments. He had seen the look of raw hate on Lethan’s face, but he had also seen the mark he had evidently placed there himself…a mark that even as he watched healed…but not completely.

For in every spot where Branith’s claw had carved into the skin, there now lay thick scar tissue.

Vamps could heal from just about everything without a mark…

Except for any place they were scratched enough to draw blood by a werewolf.

In short, Lethan’s true nature was now branded on his forehead for eternity.

Not saying a word, Branith had gone mist, then headed for the place in which he now found himself, where he had once more taken on mortal form. Then he had crept behind the dumpster to let his all too plainly broken ribs heal.

And as he sat there, his thoughts were rather grimly wry, for when you considered that superna’s who were born, not turned, did age, it was very, very slowly. They could pass for mortal till their sixteenth year, then their aging slowed to where one mortal year meant one hundred superna years.

Given the fact that it had only been thirty five mortal years since his sixteenth birthday, that meant a VERY long future of high school! And equally as many future encounters with possible snobs and bullies.

Branith gave a heavy sigh, his last thought as he once more went mist and headed for home was fatalistic, “Yup, no doubt about it, eternity sucks when you were a superna teenager!”




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