Somewhere Under The Rainbow

February 25, 2013
Somewhere, over the rainbow, I was just a little girl, fighting off the monsters in my dreams. But somehow I got on the underside of the rainbow where I couldn't just wake up and have the monsters diminish into nothing as I came to. No, the monsters were real now as is the thrill and the pain. The dried blood on my shoulder and the swelling in my calf. The pounding in my head and the aching in my back. My boots dug into the hard, dry mud and my arms pumped powerfully at my side. The ground trembled from the weight of the thing that pursued me. It was terrifying, standing twenty feet into the air, it's eight, glowing red eyes trained on me, their infra-red sensors picking up my every move. My breath was coming fast and dust covered my skin in a fine layer of grit. My blond hair whipped into my eyes as I glanced back at the beast. As horrified as I was, I kept driving on. I had to lure the creature into the trap. All part of survival, tricking the trickster.

Giant walls of rock began to rise on both sides and the creature took to climbing and jumping. I kept my pace, not enjoying the feeling of being watched from the air. From up there, the monster had the advantage. I skidded around a corner in the gorge as the thing jumped to the opposite wall. Why is it chasing me? Well, wouldn't you chase me if I had your offspring in my book bag? "Come on, Maggie. Come on." I muttered, urging myself to go faster as the creature picked up speed. Finally, ahead of m eI could see the curly brown hair of Lauri and I picked up the pace.

"Come on, Mags! You can make it!" Lauri shouted over the thunder of the creature. My jaw was clenched, my eyes squinted against the pain and the effort. I had to keep pushing because once I pass the line of foliage, I'm safe. The sun beat down on my tan shoulders and sweat dripped down my forehead. I pumped my legs harder in the last stretch and then leaped over the line as a net of sticky vines was brought up and over the creature. I flipped my head up and stood, turning to admire our handy work."You're a pro at those traps." I said to Lauri, "Almost as good the trickster itself." He smiled, but his sea green eyes remained serious, locked on the wreathing creature. It let out an ear piercing wail and I cringed.

Welcome to the realm of the Necromancers. Necromancers are people with the ability to open this realm in their dreams, like Lauri and I. Some people can pull the monsters into the waking world. Fortunately, there are not many people who can do that. When I was eight, I was kidnapped by a Necromancer who was driven insane by the tortures of this world. It, as we refer to as the trickster, began to steal kids while they dreamed. That's how Lauri and I got here. Many of the people the trickster brought to and trapped here are mentally ill or dead. But there are the strong few that are still well and that out trick the trickster each day. Lauri and I happen to be two of the youngest and two of the best.

I'm Maggie Ann Payne. I was brought here eight years ago, I am now sixteen. Five years ago I met my best friend and partner Lawrence James Styles or Lauri. I believe I once had a sister and two brothers, all younger. Lauri says he has an older sister. We really don't remember much from our past lives. We basically only remember the monsters, the trickster, and each other. I'm a sixteen year old girl who stands at a short 5"2 and weighs about 109 pounds of all muscle. I have tan skin from constantly being under the watchful eye of the harsh sun. My blond hair is pulled back from my eyes by a black elastic band and my brown eyes are dark and cold, showing no emotion. I bear a black cut-off shirt, a black knife belt, and black shorts. Oh, and you can't forget my beat up, black leather boots. I'm a kick-butt, rebellious being who almost everyone underestimates because of my size and sex. The only one who doesn't look down on me is Lauri. And he's the only person I'll ever trust to have my back in combat.

Lauri is eighteen. He's 5"10, short for a boy his age, and he weighs a solid 180. He has curly brown hair and beautiful sea green eyes, plus a charming smile. He could be a real ladies man if we weren't stuck in the upside down world the trickster has manipulated for us. Here he only has me to impress, but it's not hard. He does it nearly everyday.

Lauri and I are the farthest along, we are also the bravest and strongest. Those factors are probably why we are the tricksters favorite game pieces. It was sending us little... gifts. Like the beast squirming in Lauri's trap. But we always get past them. It's our job to out trick the trickster and escape this world and if I die on the clock, I want to go down fighting.

I dragged my eyes off the creature and said, "We should get moving. The trickster will be here to collect it's pet and I really don't want to be here when it realizes we defeated yet another one of it's tricks." If there was one thing we feared, it was the trickster.

Lauri nodded and picked up his book bag. We started out at a light pace, but when a yell of pure anger sounded off behind us, we picked up speed. A wind storm picked up around us, caused by the tricksters dark magic and anger. Tree limbs lashed out at us, catching and ripping our clothing, scratching and pricking our bare skin. Rain began to fall from the now grey sky, but then the drops got larger and they fell faster and the sky was so grey it looked black. Thunder and wind shook the trees and my boots slipped in the mud underfoot. After stumbling and regaining my balance so many times, I finally tripped and fell to my knees in the rolling mud. Lauri rushed back and gripped my hand as tight as he could due to the rain before pulling me to my now soaked feet. We continued to stumble and, in some places, crawl our way through the forest until we reached a ravine. Before I could mention anything about the safety of dashing down such a steep slope, Lauri took off, sprinting and sliding down the slick surface. I tilted my head back and squinted up at the pitch black sky before taking off after him.

My vision was off and on. I could only see little flashes of Lauri streaking down the hill when the lightening flashed. My legs pumped effortlessly on the steep slope and it was extremely hard not to stumble. Just as I began to think I would go without tripping, my foot caught on something, perhaps a log. I went head first into a front roll. Mud caked onto my skin and hair. Not to mention my clothing. My eyes were shut against the dirt. I was rolling down the hill, almost completely encircled in mud, hitting sticks, logs, and rocks as I followed my path down the incline.

Suddenly, I hit something that was larger than any rock or log yet. It was Lauri. I hit his legs and he fell backwards onto me. We began to roll down the hill, one on top of the other. Like a ball of human and chocolate. Too bad the mud wasn't chocolate..

In all the trouble of the storm and chaos of falling down the hill, we had let our minds wander away from the trickster who was only minutes away from where we were and as we hit the bottom of the hill and I opened my eyes once again, it was standing there. Just standing there. You couldn't see the expression on it's face because whoever or whatever it was had covered itself from head to toe with black cloth and black soot. When it spook it was a deep rumbling sound, almost like a lion's purr, "Silly, silly children. Did you think you would run forever?"

My eyes were wide with fear and I looked to Lauri to see fear in his eyes, also. My hands gripped his shirt and he trembled and said, "What are you?"

This question seemed to talk the trickster off guard. It must not have expected him to ask such a simple question when his demise was in the palm of it's hands. "Why do you ask? Is it really that big of a problem that you need to know it before I finish you off?!" It's voice began to raise and it turned from a deep rumbling sound to a high pitched whistling sound. I covered my ears in agony and let out a little whimper. Lauri's arms found their way around my waist and he pulled me closer. I looked at him, waiting for his answer just as the trickster was. He simply nodded his head. The trickster sighed, but it sounded more like a growl. "Very well then..." it started, "I am human as much as you may not believe it. But, do you know what it's like to be alone here? No one to pull you back into the waking world and save you from the nightmarish creatures that make their homes here?" I was about to say yes and that it was its fault we knew, but it didn't allow me the time. "No!" it hissed, "You don't! You at least have each other to hold onto!" It gestured to my hands, which were gripping tightly onto Lauri's shirt. "I have no one!" It screamed. "No one! I have been alone for too long! People change when they are left alone for years... Their hearts grow cold and dark. Their happiness fades into anger. Nothing happy is truly happy to them. They become sick and twisted. They hate themselves. I am the perfect example of a lonely being gone terribly wrong. I grew cold and evil. I lurk in the shadows and cover myself in black and disguise my voice and use my new found powers to torture others. I ruined the lives of many people all for my own entertainment. But there was always you two. The youngest... the brightest. You were always filled with so much love and hope and it irked me. It made me envy you with a passion. It made me scream out in anger and irritation. It made me want to destroy something. I wanted to destroy something beautiful. And there was only one beautiful thing in this world: your love for each other. So I just had to kill one of you and it would all be over. The jealousy and the pain. The want and the need for human affection. I wouldn't have you two rubbing it my face, so I could just forget about it. But no! You two were too smart and too strong! You weaseled your way at of all of my tricks! I thought for sure I had the girl today. All alone in the meadow. Not expecting for the beast to jump out and attack her, but, again, no! She ran! She ran and ran and then the boy had to create his trap and trap my poor little pet!" It whimpered and it had seemed to forget we were there. Lauri started to move, thinking that we could possibly get away while it mumbled on about it's terrible, lonely life. But it flicked it's head towards us and sent a stream of purple light at Lauri, wrapping glowing purple rope around his hands. She began to pull him closer, "But the boy... We can keep him. He's fine. Not bad at all. Strong, smart... good looking." Lauri was shaking and I was slowly losing my grip on him. He looked at me with pleading eyes.

"Stop!" I shouted,"Just please stop!"

The trickster turned it's pitch black face towards me, "Why? Why does the girl say stop?"

I fumbled for words, "Y-you can't have him!"

"Foolish girl. Silly girl. Stupid girl. DO NOT DENY ME MY TREASURE!" It screeched.

"I pity you." I said clearly, surprising even myself with how even my voice sounded.

"What?" It asked, "Why?"

"You live your life hiding. Jealous of the happiness and love of everyone around you. You let your dark side get the best of you. Your good side is there somewhere. You just lost it in all your misery. You have too much self-pity and you're too selfish. If you would look past your defects and past the terrible things about this world and your life, you would find the good things. The beautiful things. The perfect things that are worth keeping beautiful. The things that are your very reason for living. If you have no one and nothing, why are you still alive? Why are you still here? You think you're still kept alive just to ruin others? Our reasons for living are always something good. Whether we can see it and know what is or not. We always have a good reason. Not everyone finds it, but it's always there. Like, my reasons for living: keep Lauri safe and get out of here and save the people that have had to spend their lives in here. So what's yours? You find that out and you won't be this lonely, incomplete person anymore." I said, not taking a breath till the end where I took a large gulp of air.

The trickster stayed quiet and then it lifted a black, gloved hand and removed it's mask. I gasped at her beauty. She was beautiful with fair skin and striking blue eyes. Her facial features were small and pixie-like. Her blond hair was long and silky. Her natural beauty was captivating. So much that I couldn't believe the trickster was the angelic figure before me, but when I looked into her eyes, I saw grief, envy, anger, and a deadly coldness. I shivered and a cold wind passed through the clearing at the base of the ravine, where we sat having this conversation. Lauri was still laying on the ground, his brown curls matted down with mud. His skin turned brown from the dirt and his green eyes standing out against the backdrop. The trickster looked between Lauri and I with sadness in her eyes. And then she didn't something I never expected. "Kill me." she whispered.

I was startled, "W-what?"

"Kill me." she repeated, holding my rich brown eyes with her blue ones. I didn't move a muscle, my fingers didn't twitch for my knife, nothing. "Kill me!" she screamed.

I grabbed my knife and walked slowly over to her. She kept her head level and her eyes open. She didn't make a move to get away or to save herself. She just nodded and I set my knife blade against her neck. Just as I was about to pull my blade clean through her skin, she flipped on me. She grabbed my wrists and forced me to the ground, straddling me. She ripped my knife from my hand and held it above her head with two hands. I closed my eyes waiting for the end to come, when suddenly the weight was lifted off my chest and I could breathe freely again. I opened my eyes to see Lauri standing to my left and the trickster dead beside him, my knife lodged in her side. Her once heavy blue eyes were now light and clear and empty as they stared blankly into the clear afternoon sky. Blood trickled from her lips and flowed from her side. I guess the good was too far gone to be pulled it back to the surface.

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