They didn’t know where she came from, or where she went when she disappeared. When she disappeared she had taken Christopher with her and from then on, Mary could never see again.
You can never trust a shapeshifter. This was the mantra that drove Mary’s life and yet she was unaware of the events that were about to happen. She strolled down the street heading toward Christopher’s house. She was in one of her moods. She already knew that she was going to find him and somehow she knew he was home. She and Christopher had been friends for a long time and every time she was in a mood she found herself walking toward him; no matter where he was she always ended up with him. It never seemed to bother him. He always chalked it up to her incredible intuition, though it had always sort of freaked her out. It only seemed to apply to him. Why would her intuition only apply to one person?
Mary pushed the thought from her mind now, trying not to stew. She had completely lost track of whether she had been angry, sad or just generally perturbed. She found she lost track of her emotions sometimes. Not in a bad way necessarily, rather in away that she would end up in a funk without really remembering why. Either way she ended up walking to clear her mind which is how she always ended up with him.
She noted that once again she was climbing the steps to his porch. Her hands, balled up into little fists, were stuffed in her sweatshirt pockets for warmth. The cold nipped at her hands as she pulled it from its cozy sweatshirt cradle to knock on the hunter green front door completely ignoring the knocker. The bonze lion gazed at her sadly as she waited for her friend. Hearing the clamoring behind the door as she waited, Mary very suddenly was hit with a wave of nausea as she remembered why she had been so perturbed.
Something was very, very off.
Christopher had been sitting at home watching tv. There was nothing particularly good on, but he wasn’t paying much mind to what was on the tv anyway. He had his laptop open in his lap. The cursor on the word processor blinked patiently waiting for more words to appear behind it as he stared at the glowing screen.
The light from the tv and the backlight from his laptop cast eerie shadows across his face making his features deformed. A complete contrast to the sharp defined lines that were there normally. He chewed his lip for a moment before sighing remembering the word that he had been looking for and continuing along in the would be novel he had been working on for the last three years or so. He glanced over at his phone. The device lay black and silent at his side and he tried to make a note to ask Mary to proof this copy before he moved on.
*knock, knock, knock*
Christopher looked up from his computer head snapping to the front door. The knocks were firm against the old wooden panels. He only knew one person that knocked in triplicates like that, but something felt off about her knocks. He always seemed to know she was there before she made herself known. Christopher shook his head brushing this off as focus instead of anything malicious and opened the door.
“Hey, Mar…whoa why are your eyes purple?” Christopher asked dumbfounded. Mary’s eyes were typically a soft honey brown, but her now her irises were a vibrant lavender.
“Hmm?” Mary tilted her head to the side looking adorably confused before laughing. “Oh! That? I forgot I got new contacts! Do you like them?”
“They’re cute, but you might want to be careful.” He warned her laughing. “People might think you are one of those shifters.”
He laughed heartily at the joke not noticing the faint look of horror that passed across her face. Regardless he motioned her into the living room where his computer sat open, cursor waiting patiently for his return.
“So what’s up?” He finally asked once she sat down. She shifted in her chair uncomfortably. She wasn’t sitting in her normal seat; the right side of the couch he had been sitting on. Normally she would lay down, legs curled over the side of the armrest and a pillow jammed against his side so she could lay next to him nosily reading as he typed. Instead now she sat in the armchair next to the empty fire place glancing nervously from him to the ash stained stones.
“I…well it’s kind of embarrassing.” She said shakily. There was something off kilter about her voice, but Christopher was having a hard time placing what was different.
“Oh come on. It can’t be that bad.” He encouraged. “You know I’m not going to push you though. You don’t have to tell me anything and we can just watch tv until you feel better.”
“Chris…” Mary shot out of her chair standing in front of him shaking slightly. She looked scared, like she wasn’t sure she should say what she had to. “I need you to come with me.”
“Okay,” He replied slowly scrunching his forehead up in confusion, “Where are we going?”
“We just…we need to go!” She urged fidgeting in front of him.
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“Chris, please!” She was growing more and more frantic.
“Whoa you never call me Chris. What’s going on?”
“I LOVE YOU!” She blurted out and then covered her mouth eyes wide. He snorted trying hard to stifle his laughter as tears were welling up in her eyes.
“Calm down, I didn’t mean anything by that. It was just funny that you would be scared to say something we both already knew.”
“You don’t understand!” Her nerves were getting the better of her and she was pacing back and forth in front of him.
“Of course I do. I love you too, you know tha-” Mary ran over to him planting a kiss firmly on his lips silencing him. He froze caught off guard. His muscles tensed for a moment before he softened into her kiss, stunned that it had actually happened. Mary pulled away looking at him desperately trying to get him on the same page as far as her concern went. He looked at her dumbfounded. “Okay…maybe I didn’t understand, but I do now…damn.”
“Chris, be serious we have to go!” She was looking between him and the window.
“Why? What’s wrong?” His concern finally matched hers. A small wave of relief washed over her.
“Christopher I think there is a shifter after you…and I think she is posing as me.”
“Are you su-” Christopher stopped short as there was a soft rapping at the door and he held his breath hoping that there would not be three.