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The Other Side
Here we go again. I thought, annoyed as my father and I started to drive into the podunk, little town of Leetown, West Virginia. We’ve moved five times in the last two years and I’m tired of starting over. Every school I go to ends up the same: I hate everyone there, withdraw myself from the school, keep only to myself, and then leave altogether because my father gets another job opportunity. I love my father but doing the same thing over and over again gets to be really boring.
He pulled our little yellow Mishibishi Eclipse into the driveway of our little house; my dad buys a house everywhere we move. I think we should just get an apartment, it is cheaper, but he say no he wants a house in case we stay there for a long period of time, yeah right, like that’ll happen. We go into the house and I go up to what I chose to be my bedroom.
“So how do you like it,” my dad said to me right behind me.
“Holy crap, you scared the heck outta me”, I said,” I guess its ok.” I started over to my bed, not even bothering to unpack.” How long are we gonna be here this time?”
“Antonio, please. I know we’ve moved around a lot but please trust me. I have a good feeling about this place.”
“Yeah? Well I don’t.” I said under my breath. Then louder I said,” Fine I will tolerate this stupid place but you have to promise that after this, if it doesn’t work out, that we are going back to New York.”
“Deal. I just know you will love it here, so we don’t have to worry about going back yet.” You could tell that he was ecstatic about me doing this.” I’ve already enrolled you in the school here.”
“Dad I thought we went over this. We weren’t putting me through public school again until I found a place that I wanted to go to school.”
“Yeah, we did say that, but I thought that you would never want to go back, plus this new job is going to keep me very busy. I will have a lot of work to do. Just try and make some new friends.”
‘”Fine, but you know that my, uh, abilities will make that hard.” I said as he started to walk down the stairs.
Ever since I was little I had these gifts that I could create things out of thin air. This is one of the main reason that I haven’t fit in anywhere but New York. I had friends there that had similar gifts. I got out my phone and just as I was about to text a friend and my phone rang. It was Jen. “How did you know I was about to text you? I thought that you couldn’t read minds, Firegirl.” I laughed.
“Oh.” she said,” I didn’t know you were gonna call.”
“Well, actually I was gonna text you but oh well. So how the peeps in New York?”
“Um, well they are kinda right here. You’re kinda on speaker phone. Sorry I know you hate being on speaker but everyone wanted to here from you.”
“It’s alright. I’m really glad this time actually I miss you guys. I wish I was back in New York with you but I am going to be. Dad promised that if this didn’t work out that we are going to go back.”
“We wish we could help you get out of there but-“
“No, I need to be here for my dad.”
“I think your right, Tony. It is better if you stay there anyway. You need to support your dad in this. He does love you. I know that for sure.”
“Yeah you’re right, like always. Thanks.”
“Antonio will you come here please I need to give you something.” My dad called from downstairs.
“Hey I hate to go, but my dad wants to give me something.”
“Okay. Hey call me sometime okay?” Jen said just as I was about to hang up.
I put the phone to my ear and said, ”Yeah, sure,” just before I hung up.
I went downstairs to see what my dad got me, half excited because he never gets me anything and half pissed because he knows I hate surprises. So I rushed downstairs wondering what he got me. But when I got there I couldn’t find him.
“I’m outside,” I heard him call from the other side of the drive way. “Come on out.
I went out side and saw him standing in front of the garage door.
“What’s up dad?” Then he gave me a small silver object, and upon closer instruction I noticed it was a car key. It was small and it had a button that made the key come out from the main compartment like a switch-blade knife. ”What is this for?” I asked wondering what the occasion was.
“It is for your new car. Happy birthday.” He said with a smile. Most kids look forward to their birth day, but since I was adopted, and my real parents gave me up the day I was born, I loathe my birthday even though my dad never told me when it was and he always switches the date that I have a party, (which never happens because of the way I hated my last party almost seven years ago, thank God) or get my present. ”Happy sixteenth birthday, son.”
“Wait you got me a car? But I don’t even have my license yet.”
“Well you are kind of emancipated now. I know how you hate being dragged around with me all over the country, having to start all over all the time.”
“Dad you don’t have to do this. I’m gonna stay with you ‘till I’m eighteen anyway. So when do I start school?” I saw the smile that lit his face. In truth I really do love my dad, and I love to make him happy. He always shows that smile when he is absolutely excited.
“O.K. so you start tomorrow. I knew you’d give this place an honest try.” His smile faltered a little. “And son? Try to make some new friends this time around. And join a sport I now how you like soccer.” His smile returned and he almost skipped into the house to unpack. Then all of a sudden I feel someone watching me. I turn around and there is a little girl staring at me from across the street.
Her lips parted and then something weird happened. Her shadow got black as death and started to form a word. It said “Leave.” Then I looked up and the girl was gone. I almost had myself believe I imagined it. Almost.
I rushed into the house, feeling kind of sick. I went upstairs to lie down hoping to feel better. I lied down on my bed and put my earphones to my IPod in, hoping that I can block out all the noise and the memory with it. I relaxed and then without my knowing it.
“Where am I?” I asked a man in the middle of the field. He just stood there. I asked again “Where am I?” then the man turned. Is face was wrong. He looked as though he was scared.
“Leave this place. It isn’t safe for you here. They will find you.” At that moment I was scared for my life, and I had no idea why. Then I looked back at the man. He was gone.
“Hello? Hello. Where did you go?” OK now I was really scared. I started to run. Then there were footsteps behind me. This time it was a different man. He was wearing a nice suit with black shoes. He looked like a college dean. The out of nowhere he lunged for me.
I awoke in a cold sweat. That was the most vivid dream I had ever experienced. It was almost like it was real, but it couldn’t have been, could it? Anyway I got up, got dressed and only then did I look at my clock and realize it was three o’clock. I groaned but went downstairs anyway. Then standing at the bottom of the stairs there was a dark figure.
“Who are you” I asked in a groggy, tired tone which in all actuality came out sounding completely different than I thought it would. I really wanted it to sound frightening. For some reason though the figure jumped two feet in the air and disappeared.
I looked around for something that was missing. Instead of finding something missing, I found something that wasn’t there before. It was a small box with a note attached to it. The box was elegantly made and in the shape of an octagon with a key on the side going in it. I touched the key and it was surprisingly warm for such a cold night.
Then I looked at the note with it. The note was written in elegant writing that fit the box perfectly. The note read:
We have been watching you for the past few days and we believe you are one of us and can help us with a little problem. In your time here we believe you will be attacked by beings that are not from the world you think you know. If you sense one of these beings close to you take the box accompanied with this letter and turn the key THREE times no more, no less. This will bring you to our domain. We hope to see you soon. Then again we hope you don’t run into the problem we have told you about.
“This place is getting a little too weird for my taste.” I said still scared so stiff that I couldn’t even put the piece of (strangely enough) old-time parchment down. I summoned up enough self-control to put the piece of parchment down. I went upstairs and lay down on my bed. “There is no way I will be able to get to sleep now.” I said. I was so scared that I tired to turn on all the lights in my room. None of them even flickered. “Must be the storm” I said as I went for my flashlight. I tried to turn that on too but it wouldn’t work. “HA. Must be the batteries, to bad I don’t have any left.” So I was here, all alone (well dad was asleep so that’s as good as being alone), with no lights, and a creepy box and note implying that I’m going to get attacked by, what demons?
Then all of a sudden I heard something in my closet. I thought to myself, Yeah real mature a monster in my closet, that’s not childish at all. Yeah. Heh. Ok so now I was nervous as I thought about what was on that note, “you will be attacked by beings that are not from the world you think you know.” It said. Now I was starting to freak out.
I walked to the closet an opened it slowly. Then something came out at me. I don’t know what it was but I ran. I wish I had enough control over my powers to summon up a sword out or something. I heard the thing getting closer and I didn’t dare to look back at it. It was getting closer and closer. The air began to smell of sulfur and my eyes started to water because of it, but I kept going. I made it outside but there was a wall there. I ran up against it and turned around ready to defend myself.
The thing was thin and about five foot eight in height. As a matter of fact it resembled a sixteen year-old girl. But all of a sudden it was in my face. It spoke in a strange dialect that I’ve never heard before, but I understood it perfectly.
“We know what you are and we know you can see us and we know you have been contacted by our relatives. We don’t want to hurt you. We want you to side with us.” It gave me another small box with a key, but this was surprisingly intricate with Celtic knots all over it. The material that surrounded it seemed to be pulsing with what seemed like a dark aura. The box was colored scarlet red and pitch black. It was a very dark feeling coming from this box but it somehow felt… right?” What we want is for you to help kill the king of the Unknown. Take the box and when you feel their presence touch the top center of the box.” Then it was gone.
“What are you doing out here?” Dad said coming across the lawn. ”You should know it is very dangerous at night son.” I thought I saw something in his eyes but I couldn’t be sure. I walked up to my room and fell asleep.
I awoke to the sound of the car. Aw Hell, I thought. Dad must be ready to go. I hurried up and got dressed, brushed my teeth, and put deodorant on. Then I ran downstairs and got in the car. He was just about to pull out when a girl was standing in the driveway. She was just standing there with her little head cocked to the side. Then she started walking towards us and I know that I’ve seen her somewhere. It was like a string pulling on my consciousness, but I couldn’t remember. She look around, nervously but when she got to the car, she ask in a very high soprano voice,” Can I have a ride please? My dad’s car is in the shop.”
My dad agreed and she got in. It was a silent ride to the school. When we got there my father took me into the office to get me my schedule. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something and I had no idea what it was. I turned to look at it. It was a monstrous thing. It had dead-looking skin and what seemed like a tail. At that moment my world turned upside-down. Things like this didn’t exist. Then he turned to me. I saw his eyes, they were without even a spec of color in the foggy whiteness of the holes that seemed to suck you right in. Then he saw that I was looking at him. I turned to my dad, and was about to turn back to the thing when out of nowhere I hear a voice.
“Hello, how may I help you?” said the man in the exact spot that the beast was just standing in.
“Yes.” said my father. “We need Antonio’s class schedule.”
“Ah, yes Mr. Antonio Mancini. Good morning.” He said. Something was off about this guy. He acted like something was wrong with me. Anyway he was kind of creepy. He had a receding hair-line. He seemed fairly middle aged and was the kind of guy that if you saw him on the street you would think, Wow this guy is a loser. Then out of thin air he pulled out my file. We were in the middle of the room and he didn’t move an inch and he just pulled it from behind his back. Ok, this guy is a creep. Then he was shaking my hand.
“It is nice to finally make your acquaintance. I am Mr. Smith. People around town have been talking about you. You are, as you young people would say, all the rage.” Then he laughed this really creepy almost evil laugh. I had a feeling that this guy was going to be the creepiest principal I ever had. All I wanted to do at that moment was to go home and go back to sleep.
“It is nice to meet you too, sir.” I said. He looked at me with piercing eyes that seemed to say,” I will be keeping a close eye on you.” Then he laughed that almost evil laugh gestured for us to follow his into the hallway.
“All of your classes will be on this floor. Don’t worry I know that you are new and it might feel awkward for the first few weeks. So we have made it to where you stay in the same general area. If you need anything,” he gave me my schedule,” just come see me in my office.” Then he walked out.
I just noticed that we had walked from his office to the lobby. I looked around and saw that right outside was that girl from the night before. She was looking at me with eyes that seemed tortured. Her voice echoed in my head,” Take the box and when you feel their presence touch the top center of the box.” Then her voice was inside my head again, but this time it was not a memory. “You have already felt them. You have already seen Him. He is the king. Be careful.” Just saying those few choppy sentences in my head seemed to cause her great distress. At that moment I knew that as long as she was living with Him around, she would grow weaker. However He didn’t seem to feel the same way.” They are feeding off of us. They are killing us. They will kill you too.” She started to fade into nothingness.” It is time for me to return. Kill Him and you will kill all of them.” Then she disappeared.
I felt terrible, she was hurting and there was nothing I could do. I looked for my first class and resumed the day. Throughout the entire day I was thinking about that grotesque girl that seemed to look like she was bereft of life. Her eyes, the lightest blue I’ve ever seen. She worried me very much throughout the day. Then it was finally last period. All of a sudden the intercom came on and called me to the office. I walked to the door of the principal’s office and looked in the window. I saw it again that huge beast with the horns and the tail. Then out of nowhere the little box with the Celtic knots on it was in my pocket weighing it down. I ignored it for the moment and walked into the office. Once again, in the split second that I was paying attention to the door opening the creature was replaced by the principal and I knew that something was wrong with him.
“Come in, lad.” Said the principal. He was once again staring at me with those strange accusing eyes.” Please have a seat.” He said. I sat down and waited for him to start yelling or nagging or something but he just sat there and looked at me. Then out of nowhere he said,” How was your first day?” I was shocked I hadn’t known that this was where the conversation would turn.
“Um fine, I guess?” I said. I was very confused. Then he shimmered and out of nowhere the beast was sitting on his desk right where he had been. It stared at me with its colorless eyes once again.” Um sir, why do you keep staring at me?” I said, hoping that he would think that I couldn’t see him in this form.
Then as if he were already like that, he was poised to attack me. The box in my pocket started to vibrate and hum loudly. I fumbled it out of my pocket. Then Mr. Smith leaped at me just as I pushed at the middle top of the box.
I found myself in a dark room that seemed almost endless. It was almost pitch black, save for a small light straight in front of me. He light seemed to be moving away so I chased after it. I had just caught up to it when it disappeared. I kept walking, hoping that I would find someone in this labyrinth. I walked for about what I thought was an hour when all of a sudden I fell.
When I got back up, I was in a smaller room. The light seemed to be coming from everywhere, and it made the room look like it was completely black and red. At the far end of the room was a humongous chair. On the chair was a person. It was looking at me with its head on its hand. It looked completely and utterly bored, either that or it was too weak to have any emotion on its face. It was really hard to tell because it looked so frail but it still had an heir of nobility.
It lifted its head to look at me and I saw that it was weak, or weaker than it was used to I guessed that it had a lot of its energy drained from it. I saw in its eyes the history of what it has gone through it was very weak, and I knew the cause. It tried to get up but it just fell tiredly back into its throne. I wanted to help it but just then huge things just like it came out of thin air to help it get up. I got up and started to walk toward the weak king.
We walked until we came together in the middle. He was a head taller than me and his skin was a sickly gray with cracks as black as night. As I looked into the darkness that looked like there was nothing inside I noticed that they were growing. The growth rate was so small that it would take a while to be significant, but I knew that it must have caused him tremendous pain.
“I smell our race upon you, human who are you?” He said in a raspy voice, breaking me out of my trance.
“I am Antonio and I think one of your people came to me and that is why I have your scent on me. What is this place, and who are you?” I asked worried that he would take my questions the wrong way.
“How dare you, a mere weakling human interrogate me? I am the king of this place and you think you can come to my kingdom and ask me questions.” I could tell that he took personal offence to my being here and my questioning.
“Sir I mean no disrespect but I have never even known that something like this was possible. I am just discountenanced in this subject. I am new to this town and I have been seeing things and how do I know that I’m not hallucinating?”
“Leave him be. He is my guest, I invited him here.” A new voice echoed from behind me. The king and his guards kneeled and bowed their heads.
I turned around and saw something that I didn’t expect. She was beautiful beyond words and power seemed to flow off her. She looked and me with beautiful blue eyes, the color of the night. This new person seemed very familiar to me and all I could do was stare at her with what I knew was a dumbfounded expression.