Jilāya was the monster and she knew it. She knew that she was the creature that parents told their children about a night. She knew how they would tell children about how she hide under the beds and in the closets; and because of these tales, children were scared enough so that she could hide in the minds of the ones who were taught to fear her. She scared everyone and everything, and this includes herself. Jilāya did not look the part of a monster; if anything, she would have been seen as an angel in her sister's new town. They would have been struck with awe when seeing the twisting horns protruding from her skull and hearing her tales that were seen through her empty, white eyes.
Jilāya had only been a monster for a few weeks in the eyes of her old town because they had never knew of her secret until the day that she almost could not control a prediction. In her eyes though, she was a monster from the start, it was only an important fact when the people of her town deemed it with their violent outbursts and harsh behavior towards Jilāya and her sister.
It had happened when Jilāya was making her way through the farmer's market looking for the last few things on her grocery list, when a strange new itching erupted where the Tanzanite jewels caged the three fingers on her right hand. She had ignored the feeling until it began to throb because of the new heat that was emitted from the ring. Jilāya, after having looked down at her hand to take the burning ring off, tripped over an empty crate, crashing into pedestrians and cutting her ankle on the freshly broken wood. Ignoring the pain, Jilāya had run straight home.
After barging into her shared house and almost knocking down her sister, Jilāya made it to her bedroom in the basement and started to pull out her large variety of gemstones and spilled them across her bedroom floor. She picked up a handful of the jewels and felt to see which one would grow hot when it came into contact with her skin. Jilāya would then write down their names haphazardly on her forearm: Bloodstone for healing, Dalmatian Jasper for playfulness, Labradorite for protection, Onyx for protection, Obsidian for looking into the past, present, and future. Jilāya sighed, she was almost exposed just to predict someone having a good day. After placing everything back into her old, leather drawstring bag and setting that on top of her fireplace's shelf, Jilāya flopped down on her bed and tried to sleep off her newly found migraine.
The next day, Jilāya's ankle was better; the puncture holes were closed but slightly scarred, but there was an infection that festered from under the skin that Jilāya did not know about. She thought that it had closed and was still healing, so she ignored it, not caring much because the local hospital did not seem to care as well.
"Jilāya! Are you going back to the market today?" Her sister called out from the kitchen in the back of the room.
"I need you to get me some Pomelo from Mr. An-Toan for me, please?"
"Yup!" was her response before she trotted out of the house and down the cobblestone streets.
Bark. Bark. Bark.
Jilāya tried to ignore a sting that followed the trail of sapphire gems that were spun up and around her arm, across the back of her neck, and down the other arm as she passed the canines of the neighborhood. As she grew closer to the house, it only seemed to grow worse, and the barking louder.
BaRk. bArK. BArK.
The pain spread from her jaw to her ears and chest, and changed from a sting to a white-hot burn that seemed to make her crawl out of her throat. Her knees buckled and the joints in her hands itched and tightened until she could not unclench them as they drew blood from her palms. Her ribs felt as if they were shifting and her spine curved as if a point chisel was cutting all the nerves. Jilāya screamed in pain on the cobblestone sidewalk that she lay on. She screamed and screamed until the owner of the dogs came running out of their house to help. The four dogs ran ahead of their owners, making their way to Jilāya as well.
When the dogs reached Jilāya, she killed them. She did not remember how or why, she just remembers her eyes opening to see the bloody mangled bodies of four dogs, and only being happy about the pain being gone.
The dogs' owners, on the other hand, was mad. They were furious at Jilāya. They insisted that she and her sister pay for the killing of their dogs and they did, $30,000 to be exact. Right after the "incident," Jilāya and her sister, Dinah, left their little town and moved to Chesapeake, Virginia.
Jilāya was the monster. She was the creature that parents tell their children about a night. She hides under the bed, in the closet, and in the minds of the ones who were scared of her. She scares everyone, everything, herself included. Jilāya did not look the part of an angel; if anything, she would have been seen as a monster by her old town. Jilāya's new town is different, strange even. The people are different too, with pointed ears, dog-like noses, and elongated K-9 teeth. Jilāya fits in, but now, her sister is the monster.