Hey guys! Guess what? I'm in Chicago! Whoot! I'll be staying here till July with my cousin. Sweet huh?

Apparently a lot of people like my horrible way of writing(lol), so here's chapter 3. I'll try to start writing chapter 4 this week, and hopefully have it out soon. Don't forget to comment after you read this, and be sure to tell me of any typos or the sort? Kay?

Chapter 03 – Something to Remember

A heavy rain had begun a few minutes after we returned to the car and lightning continued to flash dangerously overhead. Every few seconds a flash would appear and I would take that time to glance worriedly at the raven. It didn't seem to be moving much, and I could barely hear its panting breaths over the constant drum of the rain and thunder.

When we arrived back home, Mom rushed to the kitchen and began to search through the cupboard drawers. I listened to her rummaging as I walked into the living room. As I entered, I tried to flick on the lights, but thanks to the storm it was a futile effort. The power must have been knocked out while we were gone. I scowled at this unfortunate event and gently placed the shoe box-contained raven on the coffee table before plopping on the sofa myself.

Today had turned out to be pretty annoying.

Every few minutes the lighting would illuminate the room, allowing me to get a glimpse of the black raven in the even blacker room. It was around this time that I noticed something shining in the box. I leaned over and tried to see what it was, but in the darkness it was futile. The raven seemed to sense my actions and tried to scoot to the far end of the box.


My ears perked at the sound of my name. "Yeah? What?"

"Could you come here for a sec? I'm trying to find a vet but I can't seem to find the phone book. "

I tried to peek at the shiny object again but the raven hid it from view. "Just a minute..."

With one hand I tried to reach under the raven and grab the mysterious object. The raven simply pecked at my hand with its sharp beak and I recoiled, muttering curse words and shaking my now injured hand.

I tried again, this time going slow and trying to show that I meant no harm. Once again, the raven attacked. I tried several times more, using both hands this time. The result was always the same.

'Stupid bird!'

"Ari! Hurry up!"

The sound of my mother's tone made me wince, "C-coming!"

I turned back to the raven. "This is it!"

By first using one hand as a distraction, I managed to shove the other under the bird, and then use the first hand to grab a magazine that happened to be conveniently nearby to use as a shield.

My fingers soon felt something cool, like metal, around one of the bird's legs. I wrapped my hand around the object and tried to gently pull it off. At this movement, the raven- which had remained unusually quiet since I found it- began to create a din and thrashed about furiously.

I quickly retracted my hand and fell back upon the couch. The now noisy raven squawked and attempted to climb its way out of the cardboard box. Its claws made loud scratching sounds against the material, and I watched with eyes wide as bloodied feathers began to cover the coffee table it had been placed on.

"Ari? What's going on?"

At the sound of my mother's voice I sprang up and scrambled over the side of the couch to the kitchen. "The raven's going nuts!" I exclaimed, "I saw something shiny and when I tried to see what it was it started going crazy!"

During the next few seconds, time seemed to slow down for me. The raven gave a final loud, "CAW!" before the windows flashed behind it, illuminating it's ruined figure in the center of the room. A bolt of lightning then crashed through the window and struck the table, causing the living room to explode with tremendous force as well as in light and sound. My mother grabbed me and threw me to the floor, yelling at me to cover my head as the scent of smoke began to fill the air. The house shook with the blast, violently rattling the windows and causing a few plates to fall to the ground from their places in the cabinets. The lights suddenly flickered to life for some reason and a heard my mom run towards a closet near the back of the kitchen. Fear gripped every inch of my body, and my right hand, which was clenched tightly on the top of my head, felt hot for some reason.

As the moment calmed down, I cautiously raised my head and looked around.

Debris rested everywhere. Pieces of furniture had been blown from our living room into the kitchen with the force of the blast. I saw my mom run past me into the living room and begin to put several small fires out with the fire extinguisher we kept in a nearby closet. All of the furniture had been destroyed. The only thing that remained were fragments that were burnt just like the walls and floor around them.

The coffee table-or what remained of it-was now nothing more than a smoldering pile of charcoal. There was no trace of the raven, except for maybe the few charred feathers that had survived the lightning strike.

"W-what was that, Mom?" I stared at the ruins of our living room from the doorway in disbelief. How could something go from perfectly normal one moment to absolute chaos the next?

She sighed as she put out the last few smoking piles, "I don't know, Ari. I'm just glad that neither of us were hurt. Too bad I can't say the same for that raven though..." Using her foot she nudged a few of the feathers in an attempt to illustrate her point. "Let's just get this mess cleaned up and head to bed. That sound good?"

I nodded slowly in response as I clutched the doorframe, shaken by a horrible realization I had made.

I could have died.

If I hadn't left the room a few seconds earlier, I would have been hit by that lightning too.

My whole body began to tremble. I let my hand slide down the paneling of the doorway and come to rest at my side as I took a nervous step back.

"H-hey, Mom? I-I need to d-do something real quick. Okay? Be right back!"

She stopped cleaning and turned to look at me but I had already run from the living room and up the stairs. I ran into my bedroom and slammed the door shut, leaning my back against the door as I did so.

My breathing was ragged and heavy and my eyes burned with tears as I slid down the door and rested my head on my knees.

I could have died.

Those words kept repeating themselves in my head. If I had stayed any longer…..

A small gasp escaped my lips as I heard the sounds of Mom's footsteps echoing on the wooden stairs as she came to my room.

I heard her knock and ask, "Ari? Are you alright?" in a concerned tone. The same tone she had used when I was a child after all sorts of accidents I had during those years.

The doorknob jiggled, "Is something wrong, Ari? Can I come in?"

I shook my head a few times in order to try to clear up my thoughts.

I could have died.

I could have died.

I could have died.

I could have…

I began to clear my head as the doorknob jiggled again.

"No Mom. I'll be fine. Head downstairs and keep cleaning. I'll help out in a few minutes. Promise."

There was a moment's pause. "Alright."

I let out a relieved sigh as I heard her turn around an begin her decent downstairs.

"But Ari," I turned my head slightly to listen to her voice from behind the door, "If you ever need help or to talk, please come and ask for my help." She let out a small sigh. "I know you're a teenager and don't want anyone's help with things most of the time, but please remember that I'm your mother, and that I care about you. So if there's anything you need help with, please don't be afraid to ask. Alright Dear?"

There was silence, but then I heard her start down the stairs again.

"'Mom…She really cares about me." I whispered to myself quietly. I soon stood up and tried to wipe my face with my hands to dry it, but when I touched it with my right hand, I had to pull away with a small, surprised hiss. It felt hot! Not like fire kind of hot, more like hot water from a shower kind of hot.

I looked at my clenched hand and slowly relaxed my fingers. A gasped slightly as I saw that sitting in the center of my palm was a shiny, gold ring. It wasn't complex or had any jewels. It was just a simple golden band. I slowly turned it around with my fingers and examined it. I stopped when something curious met my eye.

If I tilted it slightly and at the right angle while holding it up to the light, the words Riizo Halywin Alderam appeared.

I furrowed my brow in confusion. 'What does that mean?' I asked myself.

I shook my head and shoved the ring in my back pocket as I headed downstairs. I had too many questions now. So many things had happened today, and I didn't have any answers, but I still had to remember something important.

I could have died.

But I didn't.

I take constructive criticism not flame reviews! Please R & R and you get internet cookies! (Warning: flame reviews get burnt cookies :P )