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Reality and Fiction

Chapter One

"I'M OVERTHROWING YOU ANYA!" Vasta roared to the leader.

"We'll see about that!" Anya exclaimed.

The two gargoyles stood in the center of the circle, facing each other. The others looked on from the sidelines.

Eyes flashing a crimson red, Vasta lunged at Anya. Anya quickly leaped to the side and her attacker landed on the ground. She got up immediately, whipped her tail across the ground, and knocked Anya down. She then landed on her, pinning her arms, legs, tail, and both wing sets to the floor. Vasta leaned toward Anya's face. "I'm the leader now. You follow me," Vasta growled.

Anya burst from her stone sleep and looked around wildly. She saw the clan's four human friends and her six clan members. Sighing softly, Anya realized that is was just a dream, as it always has been for the past seven weeks. It started about two weeks after Vasta had been banished. That was when the dream began. And every week the details got clearer. First, the action going on, then the dialogue, color added to the dream and finally the feeling she feels when she wakes up.

"Anya, are you all right?"

Looking down, Anya saw a face full of concern looking up at her. Smiling at the human, she said, "I'm fine Clara. It was just a dream." To herself, Anya murmured, "At least, I hope it was just a dream."

Across from the hills in a rundown house in Algiers, Vasta smiled with evil satisfaction. After two months of banishment, she would take her rightful place in the clan. Fighting Anya for the role of leader was stupid, she admitted that much. "But now I have the one thing I didn't have two months ago: Magic! And the spells I need are right in this book." Flipping through the pages, she looked at the list of ingredients necessary. Vasta's smile faded abruptly and she slammed a fist down onto the table. The force of the impact sent the book clattering to the floor.

"Dam it! I have to wait until the full moon to use these two spells! That's two weeks away! How can I wait TWO WEEKS!" Vasta's anger was obvious. But she had no choice. If her plan was to succeed, she had to wait. For now, she had other details, to work out in her plan, such as where to use the spells and to make sure her plan does not fail. Not even after she succeeds.

Gliding over the city, Vasta started searching for an appropriate place to ambush the clan for phase on of her plan two weeks from now. She saw a clearing in the forest with bushes around it. It was perfect. The clan came to this spot to spend time together. And away from the leader too. That was the most important detail. Now, all that was left was to wait.

A week passed. Anya's dream became clearer. Her reaction when she woke up at sunset became more alarmed. Arana hoped their leader wasn't ill. Maybe she should ask if anything's wrong.

"I've been having this terrible dream for the past eight weeks now," Anya admitted when her second asked if anything was wrong.

"Tell me," she requested.

"Yes, tell us," echoed Arana's sister. The rest of the clan gathered before their leader, waiting for her to relay her dream.

"Well, it starts out with Vasta saying she's going to overthrow me."

"And the two of you fight," Miranda interrupted.

"And you win," Jerrica finished.

Anya shook her head. "I lost. Vasta became the leader."

Stunned silence met this imaginary event. The four humans looked at each other confused.

"Who's Vasta?" Charlie asked.

"Vasta was a member of our clan. She was banished for trying to attempt treason."

"Oh. But why? Anya's a great leader."

"Vasta wanted to kill all female humans so that your kind would eventually die out."

Four pairs of horror strickened eyes stared at the clan, too shocked to say anything. Could one gargoyle truly be so evil?

"But," Anya soothed. "we won't let that happen. The clan will protect this city from Vasta's desire to end humanity. Now, why don't you four go on home? It's almost dawn."

"Okay Anya. See you guys tonight." The clan turned to stone as their friends headed for Algiers.

Another week passes. The night was pleasantly warm compared to how hot it was during the day. Terrace looked up at the sky and watched as a clear white full moon rose above the twinkling stars that hung in the sky like lanterns. The clan told their friends last night that it was a free night and that everyone could do what they felt like doing. Everyone would see each other again the next night.

With a sigh, Terrace stood up from the porch of his house, stretched his arms and legs, and went inside his house for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow, he, Charlie, Sonya, and Clara were going to go shopping in the marketplace.

It was that time of month again. Time when the clan got to spend time away from the leader. This only happened twice a month. Once during the full moon and once on the last night of every month. Anya established this routine because she believed that clan members needed to have a time when they were by themselves and talk freely with one another. Another reason Anya established this time alone was because the clan they came from had a leader who believed that all gargoyles were to be with the leader unless instructed to do something else. Anya and the others didn't like this and declared that they were going to live by themselves.

The leader was angered by their declaration and banished them from the clan. They didn't care. The eight gargoyles left their clan in Zaire and established a new home in Algiers. Though, they hated their former clan, they felt a strong tie to Africa so they stayed in Algiers.

These were the thoughts that ran through Arana's mind as she and the others glided toward their special spot. 'It has been two years since we left the clan,' she thought. These have been the best two years of Arana's life as well as the rest of the clan's. Spending time with her clan members away from Anya. They weren't complaining, though. Anya was a great leader. She supported everyone's view, no matter what that view was. Except Vasta's, of course.

Anya stood at the cave's entrance, watching her clan members grow smaller and smaller as they got further away. When she could no longer see them, she turned and headed for the back of the cave. The members' time away from her was her time away from them. And she was going to use this time to read some of the books their human friends lend them. Little did Anya and her clan know that this night was going to change their lives possibly forever.

Chapter Two

Touching down in the clearing of their special place, Michelle admired the beauty and nature of this place. The area was surrounded by tall green trees and lush bushes. A small brook bubbled nearby, breaking the silence of the woods.

Looking at her fellow members, Michelle and the others giggled. Being away from their butter-fly winged leader always caused them to giggle. It was a way of releasing tension of clan togetherness. The only one who didn't giggle though was Katz. She didn't understand why the others were laughing, which made sense since she was a doggoyle.

"Now that that's done with," Tara said once the laughter subsided. "Let's start talking."

"Isn't the full moon beautiful tonight?" Michelle spoke up. The others looked up at the round white object hanging in the clear night sky.

"You're right Michelle. It is beautiful," Miranda whispered, sighing.

Everyone was so busy staring at the full moon that none of them heard Vasta land behind them in some bushes. It was finally the full moon's first night of three and phase one was about to begin.

"Those fools won't know what hit them," she smirked to herself. Looking down at the spell to be used first, she smiled. It was a simple Latin spell, but Vasta knew what it was supposed to do. Standing in her hiding place, she pointed a single talon at her clan members' backs and chanted, "Nu Sciencium! Fulminous benite!"

A green glow surrounded the clan just as they turned around. Obviously, they heard Vasta chanting, but now it was too late. The spell had been spoken. The glow disappeared after a few more seconds. There was a brief pause as the clan looked at Vasta, confusion in their eyes.

"Vasta?" Arana spoke first. "We thought you were back at our home. Aren't we supposed to be having time away from you?"

'Yes!' Vasta cheered silently. 'The spell worked! They forgot about Anya and think I'm the leader.'

"I changed my mind about staying home and had decided to pick some nuts and berries. When I got back home, I saw a strange gargoyle at the entrance. She has claimed the cave as her own. She told me that she'll kill any other gargoyles that dare to enter her cave. That was when I decided to come here and gather you together to get her out of our home," Vasta fibbed.

Shouts of "That's our home!" and "She can't do that!" came from the clan members.

Arana said, "Howe are we going to deal with her, exactly?"

"I might use a spell or two."

"Cool. And we don't care what kind of spells you use on her, just as long as we can claim our home once more."

"One of the spells I have is a memory loss spell. I can make her forget that she ever found our home."

Everyone nodded and Vasta motioned for them to follow her. As they glided, Vasta thought, 'This is too cool. I've made the clan believe that I'm the leader and now I'm about to put Anya out of the picture.

Anya was in the back of the cave. She was sitting on the floor, her back against the wall. A fire was going, helping her read the book A Simple Lust by Dennis Brutus. It was quiet in the cave so Anya was able to concentrate on the book's contents and really get into it. In fact, Anya was so into the book, she almost didn't hear the sound of wings whoosing past ore the thump of a gargoyle landing.

The olive green leader looked up from the book. The clan was back already? Usually, they would spend all night by themselves. Curious, Anya marked her place and headed for the entrance. Who she saw at the doorway shocked her.

"Vasta! What are you doing here? You were ordered to never return!"

"That's true. However, try telling them that." Vasta moved aside to reveal the clan, eyes glowing in different colors of red, white, and violet.

"What have you done to them?" the leader demanded.

"Nothing. They just believe that I'm the leader and that you are a trespasser in our home. Arana, Katz. Attack her!"

The two females obeyed and leaped at their true leader. Anya leaped away from her members. The other gargoyles joined the scene. Anya was forced into fighting them, but she tried not to hurt them. The fray ended when Katz pinned her from behind. Miranda and Michelle picked Anya up and held her by the arms.

"What do you want with me, you traitor?" Anya spat at the white haired female.

"Nothing much. Just putting you out of the picture."

"You'll have a tough time trying to do that."

"Oh really?" Vasta took as piece of paper out of the belt around her waist. She unfolded it and looked it over to be sure it was the right one.

"You'll never get away with this!" Anya declared.

Looking at her with exasperation, Vasta said, "Why do people like you always say things like that?" She didn't let Anya reply because she raised one hand and began to make a swirling motion with it. Calmly and in an almost dead tone she chanted, "Sinae dubio instan tartum, nurio et intervania."

As she spoke the last word, she released a green fireball that had appeared around her hand, at Anya. Miranda and Michelle moved out of the way to avoid getting caught in the spell.

Anya screamed in pain as the fireball engulfed her. The pain shot through her wings and tail mostly. She didn't know what kind of spell Vasta had cast, but as soon as she was free of it, she would attack her and get her to release the others.

As the spell's agony increased, the magic began to take effect. Her wings grew shorter until they were absorbed into her back as did her tail. Her claws spilt into five and became fingers. Her feet shrunk in size, became flat footed, and her claws became toes. Her fangs and ears became rounder and smaller. Her olive green skin and chestnut hair turned the color of cocoa. It took Anya a few moments to realize that she was a human. That was her last conscious thought before she felt a blow connect with the back of her head.

Anya's eyes fluttered open and as she sat up, she saw that she was in an alley. The strange thing was that she didn't remember anything except her name. Maybe someone in the marketplace knew her and her past(author's note: Familiar, isn't it? Just like the 20th Century Fox movie "Anastasia".). Dusting off her dress(the gargoyles wore clothing like the humans except no cloth on the back where the wings are at. The tail was under the clothes), she stepped out into the bright, crowded marketplace. The sun was warm and beautiful. Why was it that she felt as if she was seeing the sun for the first time?

Sonya, Clara, Charlie, and Terrace weaved their way through the crowds. It was a beautiful day and spending it outside was a smart idea. They drifted from stand to stand admiring and even buying a few items. They bought a battery powered laptop for Jerrica, a nature kit for Michelle, and some jewelry for the others. Charlie and Terrace didn't really look at jewelry as much as the girls, but they were interested in the electronics that were nearby.

"I can't wait to see our friends tonight!" Clara exclaimed to her friends as they walked through the trading center of their city. Luckily, the marketplace was so noisy that no one, except her friends, heard her.

"We all can't wait," Charlie corrected. "You know, I can't seem to stop thinking about their former clan member."

"You mean Vasta? Me, too. I wonder what she looks like."

"Well, we'll never meet her. And if we do see her, she'll kill us in ten seconds flat."

The four of them were so deep in conversation that they didn't see Anya who was amazed by the sights of the marketplace and of the people. She still felt as if this was her first time seeing this place, yet she had seen this place not too long ago. The five of them bumped into each other. Anya stepped back after their collision, embarrassed to not be paying attention.

"I-I'm so sorry. I-I-I wasn't watching where I was going," she stuttered.

"It's okay. We weren't watching where we're going either," Terrace replied.

Anya paused, looking at the four youths. "Do I know you?"

"Maybe. What's your name?"

"My name's Anya."

"Anya what?"

I don't think I have a last name. I don't think I 'm even human."

Chapter Three

"What makes you think you're not really human?" Clara asked quietly.

The human Anya paused. "I don't know. Something inside me is saying that I'm not human. That I was born as something else."

The four teenagers looked at each other and Sonya excused themselves for a private conversation. They huddled together and began whispering.

"What do you guys think?" Sonya asked.

"I think she's crazy," Terrace commented.

"Well, I think she's serious."

"Oh, come on. A human who thinks she's not human?"

"Terrace, I've got a theory. I think she's our gargoyle friend, Anya. (Author's note: She picks up on this pretty quick don't you think?)"

"Yeah. Sure. Where did you get that idea?"

"She looks familiar. Maybe someone cast a spell on her."

"Sonya, you're crazy. Spells?"

"Like I said. Maybe."

"Well, we can at least take her home."

"Or I could take her to my home if she doesn't have one."

The four teenagers turned back around and Sonya stepped forward. "Can we take you home?"

Anya shook her head. "I don't have a home."

"Then you can come home with me."

"Thank you, um..."

"Sonya. And these are my friends, Terrace, Charlie, and Clara."

"It's almost time for us to head back to our families."

"Okay. See you guys later."

"Sonya," Charlie whispered. "Maybe the three of us should go check on our friends tonight. I mean, I think your theory is correct and the clan must be worried about Anya."

"Alright," Sonya whispered back. The tall female watched her friends walk into the crowd and disappear from view. She turned to Anya.

"Come on. I'll take you to my home."

"Are you sure I can stay with you?"

"Mom won't mind. She loves company, no matter how long they stay."

"Do you have any siblings?"

"Twin girls. They're nine."

Sonya and Anya talked as they headed for Sonya's home. They talked about Sonya's family. Anya learned that the twins' names were Jacqueline and Alyaa. Sonya mentioned the classes she took at school during the past year. Anya, of course, never heard of school, and asked what it was like.

"Well, school is a place where kids learn the skills they need for life. Skills that they wouldn't learn in everyday life. The teachers, people who give the kids the skills they need, give us some extra work of what we learned that day to take home with us."

"I do not think I like"

"It's not really that bad."

Sonya opened the door to her house and walked inside. Anya followed her. The two of them were greeted by two little girls dressed in knee-length dresses. One of them wore her hair down to her waist and the other wore her hair stopping just below her shoulders.

"Hi Sonya," the short-haired girl said.

"Hi, Jacqueline. Hi Alyaa."

"Who's your friend?"

"This is Anya. Anya these are my sisters, Jacqueline and Alyaa."

"Hi," Anya said.

"Hello." the twins chorused.

"Where's Mom?" Sonya questioned.

"In the kitchen."

"Thanks." The teenager led Anya to the kitchen where a slim woman was there, cutting up vegetables.

"Hi, Mom. I'm back. And I have a friend who would like to spend a few days with us."

The woman turned around and smiled when she saw Sonya and Anya. Extending her hand, she said, "Welcome. I'm Sonya's mother, but you can call me Margaret. And who might you be?"

Shaking her hand, the former gargoyle said, "Anya."

"That's a beautiful name."

"Thank you."

'Anya seems to have learned a lot of human customs from watching us,' her friend thought. Just then, she saw Alyaa run in and grab Anya's hand.

"Come on. I want you to see my nature kit. It has butterflies, leaves, and sticks of different kinds."

Anya allowed herself to be led out of the kitchen, up the stairs, and into the first room on the left. It was obviously Alyaa's room. There was a one person bed against one wall, posters of endangered species covered the walls, a desk and chair was in the room as well as a closet and a spacious window. Alyaa led Anya to her desk and began to show her the nature kit.

As Anya watched Alyaa show the samples in her kit and what she learned, her mind began to wander. Alyaa reminded her of someone she knew. Someone who also loved nature and showed it in her personality. She just didn't know exactly who this person was.

The full moon shone it's brightness down upon the world. In the hills, three dark figures climbed its rocky terrain, their destination was clear: a partially concealed cave hidden in the hilly range.

"I wonder if that human really is Anya," Clara mused to herself and to her friends.

"I say it's a coincidence that she shares the same name as the leader," Terrace announced.

"Well, I think Sonya's right," Charlie put in. "I mean, how many people do you know are named Anya?"

"Including the one we met today," Terrace grinned in the dark. "One."

Clara and Charlie rolled their eyes at Terrace's reply as they approached their friends' home. It was dark except for the light of a fire coming from the back of the cave. As they walked toward the light, their shoes made a shuffling sound against the rough ground. Sounds of talking could be heard as they got closer, but it stopped abruptly when they heard the shuffling.

When they reached the rear end of the cave, they saw the clan around the fire with a gargoyle they had never seen before. They saw that she had white hair and skin the color of the sun at sunset. Clara liked the way her hair was tied back in a thick ponytail, but nevertheless she and the guys were cautious because they were certain that their friends were sitting with humanity's enemy, Vasta!

"Clara! Terrace! Charlie! How nice to see you," Jerrica exclaimed running over to the humans.

Vasta narrowed her eyes at the humans as the rest of the clan went to greet them. "Clan! What are you doing? They are humans! They're the enemy."

"That's not what you said two months ago," Arana protested.

'Two months ago?' Vasta thought. 'Anya made friends with these humans shortly after I left?'

"Well, now I'm saying humans are evil. I've seen the proof. They can't share their homes without fighting. One human country wages war with another."

"But, they're just teenagers, Vasta," Tara pointed out.

At that point, Charlie asked, "Where's Anya?"

The clan looked at him, confused. "Who's Anya?"

"You see?" Vasta snarled. "They're telling lies to confuse you. Attack them! Kill them!"

Six sets of glowing eyes turned to the teenagers. Clara, Terrace, and Charlie stared at the clan, horrified. They were actually listening to Vasta as if she were the leader. The clan leaped for them.

Chapter Four

Sonya and Anya gazed at the stars and the full moon shining in the sky. Anya thought, 'I wish I was among those stars, high above Algiers. Just gliding...Gliding? Don't I mean flying?'

"Anya?" Sonya looked at her friend. "You okay?"

Anya shook her head to clear her thoughts. "I'm fine Sonya. I was just thinking."

"About what?"

"How much your sister Alyaa reminds of someone I know. Someone I can't quite remember," Anya said, concealing her true thoughts.

"Oh, you mean Michelle," Sonya said casually. She froze. Did she say something that might make Anya lose more than just her gargoyle existence? Like her general knowledge?

She saw Anya blink twice, then shake her head again more slowly than before. She heard her murmur, "Michelle. The clan!" Anya's head snapped up. Suddenly it all came rushing back to her. Vasta having the clan believe she was the leader, being turned into a human, and Vasta obviously giving her amnesia, too. Looking at Sonya with alarm, she asked, "Where are the others?"

"Anya? Are you alright?"

"I am now. I remember everything. Vasta was trying to become the leader, so she gave the clan amnesia, making them think she's in charge. Then she changed me into a human and made me forget I was a gargoyle. That's why I need to know where our friends are."

"They were planning on asking the clan if they were worried about you."

"We've got to save them." Anya and Sonya jumped off the porch and headed for the cave. Sonya hoped they would get there in time.

The clan was leaping at them, aiming for their hearts. Clara had hoped they would tire of leaping at them every time they turned and ran to a different part of the cave. Now, they were backed into a corner and there seemed to be no way out. 'We're going to die,' she thought in despair.

Michelle slashed at them. The teens ducked and her claws cut into the rock.

Mentally asking Michelle for forgiveness, Charlie hit her in the midsection. The female doubled over in pain, giving Clara, Charlie, and Terrace an opening to escape through. They ran through the opening and toward the entrance. Suddenly, Vasta jumped in front of them, her eyes blood red.

"I should have known that if I want something done right, I should do it myself! Now, I will. Say hello to death, humans!"

"VASTA!" a voice yelled from behind her. Whirling around, Vasta saw Anya and another female human standing there.

"You! But you have amnesia!" the evil gargoyle exclaimed.

"I did. But I had several reminders that helped me remember what I truly am." Anya tackled Vasta and the two rolled on the ground, tugging and tussling at each other.

"You fool. You're human. You're no match for me."

"I have friends, Vasta. They'll help me defeat you."

Sonya's friends were backed into a wall by the other gargoyles. One wrong move could mean death. This time there definitely seemed to be no way out. Just then, an idea hit Sonya.

"Remind of something they know to break the spell!" she called to them.

"Like what?" Terrace replied.

"The gargoyle way," Anya answered who was still fighting with Vasta.

Looking at their friends, Charlie said, "Don't you remember the gargoyle way? You protect innocent humans, you don't kill them. The only humans you do frighten are criminals. Remember, please remember."

The six gargoyles closed their eyes and shook their heads. When they opened their eyes, they weren't glowing. The spell was broken.

"What were we doing?" cried Miranda. "We almost killed our friends!"

"Vasta must have used a spell on us," Michelle said.

"Yes and we helped her turn Anya into a human," Jerrica added.

"We've got to help her," Arana told the clan. Heading for the fight, they grabbed their former clan member and pulled her away from Anya. Arana stood in front of her.

"Remove the spell you placed on Anya," the second-in-command demanded.

"I don't have a counter spell."

"You can't mean that. Anya can't be stuck as a human," Tara denied.

"Wait," Sonya said. Walking up to Vasta, she pulled two parchments from the gargoyle's belt. Looking at the illustrations, Sonya smiled.

"It says the spells can only be used during a full moon. So, that could mean that a full moon can break the transformation spell."

"What do I have to do?" Anya asked, knowing she would do just about anything to regain her gargoyle form.

"All you have to do is stand in the moon's light."

"And the light's shining on the entrance," Tara said.

Giving their leader a slight push, Arana said, "Go, before it leaves that spot."

Anya stepped into the light and waited. She felt a warm sensation spread throughout her body. Looking down, she saw olive green skin and four claws on each hand. She was a gargoyle again. As she stepped back inside, she saw a smile on everyone's face, except Vasta's of course.

"What do we do with this traitor?" Michelle asked, growling at the word traitor.

"May I see the parchments, Sonya?" Anya asked.

Vasta's eyes widened as Anya held the pages. "No, you can't do this!"

"Give it to her, Anya," Jerrica cheered.

"Yeah," everyone echoed.

"No," Anya said. "If we did, we'll be no better than her. But, we can call on a fay to help with a punishment I have in mind."

"A fay? What's a fay?" the humans asked.

"They are fairies, elves, shapeshifters, whatever you humans call them," Tara answered.

Looking at the spell on the parchment, Anya began to recite it. Moments after it was spoken, there was a flash of green light and when it passed, a woman with a purple dress stood there. Her white hair looked silver in the moonlight and her ocean-blue eyes stood out in her features.

"Kaameeleah, at your service," the fay said with a curtsy. "How may I be of assistance?"

"We have a traitorous gargoyle who has attempted treason two months ago and has now had the nerve to actually succeed in her mission. Naturally, everything's back to normal, but I want to punish her for her crime."

"How specifically do you want to punish her?"

"To make sure she never comes near this cave again."

Smiling, Kaameeleah replied, "That I can definitely help with." Floating above the ground and Vasta, she began to chant:

"Fearsome creature of the night By the magic of my light Should you come near this cave, A different path shall you pave."

A flash of green light flooded the room. When it was over, Vasta was nowhere in sight and so was Kaameeleah.

Meanwhile, Vasta had reappeared in her home. "Blast! My plan was foiled. I achieved my goal, but it didn't last forever. Those cursed humans caused my plan to fail. Next time, I try this, it will be when all the humans of Algiers are gone!" Vasta's macanical laughter echoed throughout the house.

The End

A New Beginning.

First Time.

Day of Humanity.

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