LITRIA LAY ON HER BED, staring at the ceiling, listening to her music. Lately, spending
most of her life in her room was all she had wanted to do. Except for her brother
Conan, she had no interest in talking to her family members. They didn’t get her,
and they never would.
She licked her lips and cleared her throat. A glass of water would be nice, but it
meant she’d have to leave her room to go get it.
With her ability as an Zxxtergin to visualize a room without actually being in it,
she saw that the kitchen was clear and her family members were in the living room
watching a TV show. If she teleported to the kitchen and back to her bedroom, she
could get the water without having to talk to any of them.
A few seconds later, Litria stood in front of the kitchen sink. She took a glass
out of the cabinet and turned on the faucet. But as soon as she brought the glass
to her lips, Mira rushed in.
“My God! You’ve done it again. It’s all over the news!”
Soon Ida, Conan and Malcolm were in the kitchen too, all with surprised looks on
“What? What’s the big deal?” Litria continued to drink her water. She knew what her
mother was talking about; she knew why everyone was looking frantic, but it was fun
to pretend that she was clueless.
“The girl they found dead on the ground near the river!” Malcolm said. “We’ve already
talked to you numerous times about this. How could you leave her like that? Does
nothing we say to you make an impact? You know all bodies are disposed of here at
“I guess I just didn’t feel like it this time.”
Malcolm looked at Mira and shook his head. “When it comes to raising Litria, you’ve
failed. Plain and simple.”
Ida pointed her finger at Malcolm. “Now you know that’s not nice.”
“Why didn’t you just dump the body here, Litria? Now you’re gonna get in trouble,”
“Dude, I didn’t feel like it this time. Okay? Back off.”
Malcolm laughed. “‘This time,’ Litria? There’s been far too many incidents like this.”
When Vito walked in, there was a sudden silence.
Litria placed her water down and gazed at Conan who smiled at her sympathetically.
The nerves in her body tingled at the stern look on her father’s face. She was in
for a lecture. That was clear.
“By leaving the girl by the river, you’ve put us in further danger,” Vito said.
“We must leave no evidence of our feed.”
Litria slowly turned her back on her father, and on the rest of her family, to stare
out of the window in front of her. Turning her back on her father was a brave move,
but she just didn’t care anymore.
Vito rushed up to Litria, so close that he touched her body. “Look at me!”
Litria turned around quickly. As Vito’s yellow eyes stared into hers, her body went
numb. But she took a deep breath and stood a little taller. It had taken a long time,
but her courage was stronger.
“What do you have to say for yourself?” Vito asked.
“I don’t give a shit anymore.”
The slap came with such force that she fell to the floor. She rolled herself into
a fetal position and covered her face.
Vito knelt in front of Litria, breathing so hard his every inhale and exhale filled
the room. “Into the Dark Room you will go. We will feed you ourselves.”
Litria’s heart pounded, and each cell in her body exploded. She raised her head and
looked into her father’s eyes. “No way! I’m not going in there, and I’m not eating
mice or dogs or any of that shit you’ll try to give me.”
Vito grabbed Litria by the hair. “You don’t deserve humans! You will take the punishment
we shell out!”
Mira rushed over to Vito and Litria. “Please, Vito! Don’t hurt her!”
Vito looked at Mira and released his grip. Litria scrambled across the floor like
a spider, past the others, and right for the kitchen door.
But Vito, with the speed of an Zxxtergin, swooped Litria up.
Mira screamed and covered her eyes, and then, Vito and Litria were gone.