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"Looks Can Be Deceiving" by Kendall Knowlton

Monsters weren’t legends in this world. They were the only thing inhabiting it. There was magic, there were fangs and claws and wings. There were the children of warlocks who turned into vampires or werewolves running around. In this legendary world, there was betrayal and kindness all at once. The myths, the legends and the stories weren’t lies to keep children out of their closets in the dark of night. They were the children peeking through the closet in the dead of night. In this world, vacations and school still existed. Werewolves, vampires, warlocks and witches alike went to school together, and met on vacations, too. A young warlock girl was on a family holiday, happier than she had been in a long time. The bright sun, the salty smell in the air, the loud music and the taste of mint were what she cherished so much when she went on vacation. Her glimmering green eyes brightened and her long blonde hair flowed in the breeze. She felt the warmth of the burning sun against her soft skin as she read the book about magic her father had given her last week. She found herself lost in the different hand motions and things she could do with her very own magic.

And so, the girl didn’t pay much attention to the man her mother was talking to who was loudly explaining that they were from the largest werewolf pack in Boston. She barely even looked up when a boy sat two lawn chairs over. The boy was the loud werewolf man’s son. His eyes were dark, his composure seemed stiff and his shirt was too bright for his demeanor. Her stomach suddenly dropped at the sight of the boy. It wasn’t a good feeling, though. Werewolves never seemed to give off this type of aura. Her stomach didn’t drop because he was cute, he really wasn’t. It was a bad feeling in her gut, the kind of butterflies that flew around her stomach as a warning sign rather than typical nervousness. The girl’s mind was racing now. She could tell that this boy wanted to talk, he wanted to be friends. His smile was even unsettling to her. Werewolves were usually known to be trusting and kind while warlocks were known to be cruel and deceiving. This situation was the exact opposite. She could tell that there was something off about the werewolf next to her, who spoke softly and smiled.But the stereotypes for warlocks were so far from wrong that she felt like she had to be kind.

“Hi,” the boy said shyly, like he was looking for her to start the conversation. She closed her book as gently as a butterfly would land on a leaf.

“Hi, I’m Kassie.”

“I’m Hugo.” His hands fidgeted with his shirt, clawing at the fabric.

“It’s nice to meet you, Hugo.”

“Wow, you’re so nice. I’ve never met a warlock like you.” Kassie snorted at the comment.

“Looks can be deceiving.”

“Yeah, they can.”

Kassie and Hugo spent the night dancing around because their parents wanted to enjoy the 90’s themed party. Kassie didn’t trust Hugo with a single hair on her head, but she danced alongside him anyway. His button up shirt and khaki shorts screamed ‘I’m a werewolf from Boston’. Kassie’s romper looked more like a super short dress with floral patterns as she twirled around with her sister, both girls using their magic to throw sparkles at their parents and Hugo’s family. The multi-colour lights flashed around them as if a rainbow had just exploded. Kassie’s smile was wide as she danced with her sister and did the Macarena. Hugo’s dark eyes watched their every move like a wolf might watch its prey. When the music stopped and drunk people shuffled out of the room, Hugo approached Kassie.

“Would you like to go watch the movie at the pool with some other kids and I?” Hugo asked ever so kindly. Kassie looked at her mother, unsure of what to say because she hadn’t explained how she felt about him to her parents yet.

“Go have some fun!” Her mother urged. Kassie went to an all-warlock school, so her parents wanted her to make friends outside of their community. She surrendered to her mother’s pushes and shoves, following behind Hugo out of the dance bar. Kassie tried to avoid conversation until they reached the dimly lit pool and met with some other kids. Two vampires (one of which was cute), one werewolf and another warlock. They all introduced themselves briefly and sat on the edge of the water, dipping their feet in the pool. She enjoyed the night, laughing at the vampires' bad puns, throwing glitter back and forth with the other warlock and chatting with the other werewolf. Hugo remained silent throughout the night. Kassie noticed his silence, but didn’t acknowledge it too much. She was busy watching the movie and having side conversations with the others. At the end of the night, they walked back to their rooms. Hugo paused before heading the other way to his room.

“Can I get your Monstagram?” he asked with a soft voice. Kassie hesitated, but figured he’d be like the kids at camp and never talk to her again.

“Sure, it’s kassie_lock.” Her lips formed a warm smile as she said goodbye. He did too, but with a lot more awkwardness.

That night, Kassie flopped onto her bed like a fish and curled up under the blankets that she had to pull up with her magic. She pondered over Hugo’s personality and why he could’ve been so closed off. The thoughts began to bore her, though, as she convinced herself that he wouldn’t become a major part of her life. He was a werewolf who was 300 miles away. She couldn’t see them talking much more after they left the vacation.

Little did she know, Hugo was about to teach her a lesson that would last a lifetime about the toxicity in their type of friendship. She knew that looks could be deceiving, she’d been reminded of that her whole life because every warlock was gorgeous and most of them were cruel. Except actions and magic always spoke louder than words. The friends she had didn’t cheat, but some were toxic. Kassie would wake up to realize that not just looks could be deceiving, but so could the word ‘friend’.

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