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“Wait up Kamryn!” someone yelled across the campus too me. I turned to see my best friend, Alex, running across the mostly dead front lawn of Albany High School, his light coffee colored afro bouncing as he ran. It was the last day of our freshman year, at long last. At least the teasing handed out daily by the seniors about my best friend being a boy was over. For this year, anyway.
The school was mostly cleared out of people, teachers included. All of the teachers at Albany High were older, crankier people who longed for summer as much as the students did, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to me. It felt like summer too, with no trace of a cool breeze and a blazing sun in the mid-afternoon sky.
Alex caught up to me, panting as hot sweat poured down his dark skin.
“You finally ready to go?” I asked teasingly.
“Very funny Kam,” he replied. “How do you get out of the school so fast anyways?”
“Magic!” I said mysteriously with a slight grin upon my face. We both laughed as we piled into my mom’s car.
“Hey guys, how was your last day of school?” my mother asked as she pulled out of the parking lot.
“It was great Mrs. Azalea!” Alex exclaimed. “I got to throw a pie at that mean old lunch lady that everyone called Snaggletooth because of her razor-sharp fangs.” He said proudly, and snarled, intimidating her. What could I say, he wasn’t wrong.
“But there wasn’t even a pie throwing contest…,” I stated, suddenly confused.
Alex grinned mischievously, “I know.” My mother chuckled. She knew Alex could be troublesome at times, but deep down he was a very sweet, caring, good kid.
“Well, how was your last day of school Kam? Was it as exciting as Alex’s?”
“It was alright I guess. Definitely not as exciting as his, no.”
We pulled up to the house, and I saw my dad out front tending to the flowers carefully, making sure each one is perfectly in line like it should be. He called it a hobby, I called it OCD.
Alex and I said our greetings then ran inside quickly, both of us starving. We raided the pantry, each of us grabbing at least five different snacks and running up to my room, ready to hang out for the rest of the night, glad to finally be free of the responsibilities of school, homework, and stress for three months.
As the day grew tired and the night awoke, Alex and I did various activities. Monopoly, Uno, running to the park, playing with the dog, video games, and whatever else we could find that would entertain us. It certainly didn’t take much.
Once we couldn’t hold our eyelids open any longer, we decided to get ready for bed. Forgetting about brushing our teeth, or taking off makeup in my case, we only threw on pajamas and laid down in blissful silence, like normal. Just as I felt myself falling asleep, I heard a whisper next to me, his voice soft and sleep filled.
“What would your biggest regret be if you died tonight?”
“What?” I responded sleepily, “Why would you ask that?”
“I don’t know, but I want to know your answer.”
“Okay…,” I said hesitantly. “I guess it would just be not sticking up for myself against those stupid seniors.”
“Really? That’s it?” The astonishment in his voice was confusing to me. I was 15. What else would I regret. Not turning in late assignments? Being mean to that one kid back in fourth grade? I hadn’t even lived yet, and it seemed like such a stupid question to me.
“You know, I’m really tired, let’s just get some sleep,” I said more angrily then I meant.
I didn’t receive a response until a few minutes later when I heard light snoring, indicating he was asleep. And in no time, I was also fast asleep.
My feet pounded against hard rock, the color reminding me of blood from a fresh wound. My lungs were burning from my heavy breathing, and my legs felt as if they were going collapse. But I kept running. I couldn’t stop. Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think. What could I do? I heard a far-off scream from behind me, and it seemed so familiar, like a faraway fantasy land that I had created for myself. It terrified me, and I kept running, as if running away from it. From everything. I saw about a hundred feet ahead of me the cliff cut off abruptly, a sharp fall waiting for me below. I tried to make my legs quit, but they would not listen to my begging commands. I screamed as they took me to the edge, never slowing down for a second, and I fell into the black abyss of souls below, feeling a tingling sensation as the darkness consumed me.
Dark. The world was incredibly dark. I could tell I was conscious, but I couldn’t force my eyes open. What was going on?
It’s probably just Alex pulling a joke on me, I figured. But then I realized, how could he keep my whole body from being able to move? I began to panic. Where was I? Heaven? Hell? Six feet underground, buried alive? Why couldn’t I move? I began to try, but just moving my arm slightly was like trying to lift a hundred weights, so I gave up. I waited for about fifteen minutes, panicked thoughts swirling through my head, until I heard a door open, and saw through my eyelids a light flickered on, very bright in contrast to the pitch black that I was used too.
“Will she be okay?” a hesitant voice asked, as if intimidated by whoever he was talking too.
“She’s fine,” a harsh voice answered back, “she’ll be up soon.”
I heard the door close, and I tried to open my eyes again. It was a success. My panic began to recede as I looked around the room. The wall was a pattern of white tiles; the floor a checkerboard. There were many books thrown hastily upon the many bookshelves lining the walls. I couldn’t read the titles because it was in a completely different language that I couldn’t even begin to interpret, so I didn’t bother. I didn’t have time to react before the door began to open again, and I waited in anticipation for what seemed like forever as the door slowly cracked open.
The woman walked in first, and then I started to wonder if the dream had ever ended.
The strong voice I heard earlier belonged to a tall woman with dark blue hair, like the deepest part of the ocean, cascading down her shoulders and reaching her waist. She had lime colored skin and a tight black suit that made her look menacing. Her eyes were a turquoise sea foam color rimed with a beautiful shade of gold. Even though her eyes could be described as gorgeous, they were also hard and unforgiving. And the boy next to her looked at me with the same eyes, but softer, and more curious and mischievous. He had a darker hue of green to his skin, but almost the exact same outfit, just to match his body type more, which was small and skinny, but agile with a fair amount of muscle. His short, purple hair was peaked at the front, but flat everywhere else on his head. And he had the most perfect grin on his face, the one that tells a thousand words with just a simple smile.
“See,” the woman began, “I told you she would be fine Locan.” She glanced at me with a neutral expression on her face.
“It’s not every day we get a human around here.”
“Yeah, true,” noticing me, he turned, “Oh, hi! I’m Locan! That’s Camielle,” he leaned close to me, “everybody is afraid of her, it’s okay, I saw the look in your eyes,” I smiled slightly as he went back, “Welcome to Logobia! It’s a planet- “
“Alright, enough,” the woman, Camielle, interrupted. Locan wore a defeated look on his face.
“We don’t have time to explain your method of transportation to our planet, or anything else related to that topic, and I apologize for that, but the situation is very dire. We’re being attacked, and we need your help.”
Flustered, I asked, “What am I supposed to do? I don’t even know where I am? What do think I’m capable of?”
Locan looked at me with fear. Maybe I shouldn’t have come off as strong as I did, I thought to myself. But her response was calm and controlled.
“You’re capable of saving us Kamryn. Saving us from another planet called the DarkSphere. They want to take over our world and make it their own, wiping out every single Logobian. Their leader, Lord Knight, has a grudge against us that dates back thousands of years ago, but we don’t know what it is, since he has made sure that all documents pertaining the incident, or whatever it was, were erased,” she paused to look at me for a reaction. I was still shocked, but I tried my best to hide it and wear a neutral look on my face.
“It doesn’t matter now. What matters is that he does not succeed,” she turned to Locan. “Anything to add that I missed?”
“Umm…they’re scary…” I was amused by his attempt, however Camielle was not. She turned back toward me with a disgusted look on her face. It was clear that she did not want to be around Locan any longer than she had too.
“Again, what do you expect me to do?” I sat up, trying not to be scared by her undermining stare, “I’m only human. You guys are, different. Aliens.”
Locan turned to look at Camielle with a knowing look, but she just shook her head in response. “It’s difficult to explain, and we really don’t have much time, but basically you are a descendant of a Logobian who went to Earth thousands of years ago and decided to have a child with a human. Our blood combined with human blood gave the child and all of its children, and so on and so forth, a special ability. First of all, we’re not speaking English right now. We are speaking our native language, Ozmtfztv. But you can understand us.”
I gaped at her in astonishment. Should I believe her? Was she just trying to fool me? I looked at her again, her green skin the color of the freshest grass in the beginning of spring, her long rich blue hair. No, this is real.
After I didn’t respond, she continued.
“In addition to that, your dreams are also prophetic. Have you had any dreams recently?”
I was cut off by the sound of an alarm slicing through the air, a loud noise accompanying it.
“What’s happening?” I yelled in panic.
Locan grabbed my hand as he shouted back, “We have to go, now! They know you’re here to stop them, and they’ve come to take you.”
I stopped, terrified, when suddenly I was racing in the hallways of wherever we were, being dragged quickly by Locan. I was glad to have him pulling me as we raced through a maze of black and white tiled floors and beige wallpaper, chipping at the sides. All the while the alarm was still ringing in my ear, loud enough to the point where I figured I would be deaf when it stopped.
Locan pushed through a large door, and I could see light, and feel wind on my face, only it was harsh wind, and I felt as if I was being slapped multiple times by the air. I dared to look up to see a helicopter above me, and Camielle already inside, at the wheel. She was yelling something, but I couldn’t tell what she was saying over the roar of the blades.
We clambered inside, and Camielle took off, the plan going at lightning speed through the galaxy. I watched in amazement, forgetting about my troubles for a minute, until Locan patted me on the shoulder lightly as not to alarm me.
“You should probably get some rest, it’s going to be about a day before we get there,” seeing the look on my face he added, “I’ll make sure to wake you up an hour before we get there so you can watch the stars.”
I smiled my first genuine smile since I had been there, and he returned it. “Let me show you where you can rest.”
He led me to a back room a couple feet away, and opened the door. It was an extremely small room, with only a twin bed inside, occupying the entire space.
“Umm, what’s that thing you say when people go to sleep? Sweet moon? Wait no, not moon. Night? Sweet night?”
“It’s good night,” I chuckled.
“Oh right, well goodnight Kamryn. Hope you sleep well.” He turned and walked away while I climbed into the small bed, falling asleep quickly, exhausted from the day.
BANG! I was startled awake by being thrown against my door. I groaned and tried to stand, when I realized I couldn’t. We were plummeting downward, and gravity was pulling me toward the door. Frantically, I tried to find the button to open the door. It took me a few seconds, which felt like hours of struggle, and I fell through the door, crashing into the other side of the ship. I yelped in alarm, and I heard Locan do the same. Then with another loud thud, the ship stood still, eerily quiet, like the deadly calm after a storm.
I rose shakily and watched as Camielle opened the spaceship door, walking out into wherever we were, Locan following. I forced my legs to be steady as I followed them out.
We had landed on a cliff, made of pure black rock, smooth and level, and when I looked over the edge I couldn’t help but gasp.
“Whoa,” I breathed.
The whole city below us looked almost like Times Square of New York, except it was carved out of black, from the shuttles racing thought the streets to the tall skyscrapers rising up into the atmosphere. The only light was purple, leaking out of the windows and adorning the streets and buildings. No other color was to be seen.
I watched as a creature emerged from its shuttle. It was about seven feet tall, practically blending in to all of its surroundings by its pitch-black color. Its eyes were a deep red color, and I shuddered.
“Well…,” Locan started softly, “At least we made it, right?”
“Yeah, we made it,” Camielle responded mindlessly, obviously intrigued in something else. I followed her gaze to a large, spiked castle, looming over the city, as if threatening it with its power and strength. She pointed to the castle solemnly.
“We need to get there,” she stated.
Locan gulped his response. From what I knew, there was no time to argue. We had to go. Now.
“How are we going to do that?” I asked. “We could try to get a shuttle, but it looks too small to fit all three of us.”
“We’ll go on foot around the city. It should only take us a half hour at the most, in your time units,” she stopped to think, then continued, “While we’re headed there, I guess I should tell you the truth.
And with that she began to walk, and explain everything.
We reached the castle within the time frame that Camielle had predicted, and my stomach was turning from what she had told me. How was I supposed to pull this off? She seemed to have a lot of confidence in me, which seemed honorary, but I was still nervous.
She led us behind a large enough rock to hide the three of us, and peaked over the top.
“Okay,” she whispered after she crouched down again, “there are only about four guards out front. I guess he assumed that we would not retaliate on his own soil, so we have an advantage. Are you ready Kamryn?”
I swallowed down my fear. “As ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.”
Locan gave me a reassuring smile, and I tried to return it, but it turned into more of an awkward grimace.
“Once we distract the guards, you go in and follow the instructions I gave you,” she paused, then added, “Thank you Kamryn. We will forever be in your debt.”
I nodded, not knowing what else to do. Camielle and Locan sprang up and began to attack, and I went to the large carefully carved doors and pushed them open easily, to my surprise. I knew I didn’t have time to look around as I ran through the castle, but I couldn’t help but notice the large spikes adorning the purple carpet up to a throne of pure black, with one of the creatures sitting upon it, but much larger. Much more terrifying. He rose and began to chase me as I ran up the ebony steps, making sure to do at least two at a time.
The action reminded me of a simpler time when Alex and I would talk during passing period about anything and everything, and how we would always be late. We always used to race up the stairs, two at a time, trying desperately to get to class before each other more than the bell itself.
The thought of Alex made my stomach twist in a knot as I continued to climb the never-ending stairs. If only I had had the chance to tell him how I really felt. I never would now. “STOP!” a bellowing voice reverberated throughout the staircase, forcing me out of my thoughts. He was gaining on me, and I forced myself to run faster, despite knowing the pain that was about to come.
I finally reached the top and ran through the long hallway to the maroon door at the very end and threw it open in a frenzy. If he caught me, it would be over, and Logobia would never had a chance. I saw the red rock form in front of me, and I began to feel the burning sensation in my lungs.
“Your dream predicted how you would save us,” Camielle had told me. “If your dream ended in light, you will live, otherwise…” she had trailed off.
“I saw a flashing light after I jumped off the rock,” I lied to her. It was more for myself than her, but now that the moment was upon me, I couldn’t help but realize the cold, harsh truth.
I was going to die.
I felt my legs start to control themselves, propelling me forward, as if with a mind of its own. Lord Knight following in close pursuit, desperate to stop my sacrifice, but we both knew there was no stopping fate. He had lost.
The last thing I heard was his scream of rage as I fell over the edge, letting the darkness consume me yet again, my soul the sacrifice to destroy his planet.