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Author's note: I felt that this is the best I've ever written. After writing, I could not let go of one character in particular, and think of him to this day. The dreams in the story are actually accounts of dreams I have had in reality, by the way.
Name: Ivy Johnson
My alarm goes off with a loud beep. The electric blue letters tell me that it’s 5:45 on Monday. I have to go to the torture chamber. As I slip on a black blouse and skinny jeans, I think back to my dream. It was a flashback of an extremely important day: The day I met Cliff.
I am in fourth grade, and it is about 8:30 p.m. I sit on the ground and begin to play “Moonlight Sonata” on my keyboard. All is peaceful. Suddenly, without warning, I feel a gust of wind. Something, or someone, rams into my back. I jump, but don’t spin around.
“Who, or what, are you?” I ask.
“My name is Cliff, adventurer and legal Mephorian resident. I’m sorry for hurting you if I did, but I crashed,” The figure replies. It is a male, I can tell of about 15. His voice is mysterious and raspy. And for some odd reason, I am not scared of him. I jeep playing the piano, but I reply,
“Oh, that’s alright. My name’s Ivy.” Cliff gets up to leave. I stop him.
“Where exactly are you going?! It’s storming outside,” I ask. He shakes his head.
“I have to be on my way,” He replies. I grab his arm and force him into my purple beanbag chair.
“No, you’re not! It’s bad weather. And you have those terrible cuts on your arm! Please stay, it’s for your own good,” I exclaim, examining fresh cuts on his arm. Cliff winces in pain as I touch his arm, which is covered in blood. I run into the bathroom and grab some toilet paper to wrap around his arm (I was 9, okay?! What else could I do?!)
“Here, you can stay for the night. Or for as long as you want. You’re welcome here,” I smile at him, and he manages to smile back.
“Thanks,” He says. I look at him, curious.
“When you said you were a Mephorian, what did you mean? There’s not a city that sounds like that around here…”
That was two years ago. Cliff and I have been friends ever since. He tells me he’s from a foreign world (Mephoras), so I keep his existence from everyone else, like he tells me to. I pour my cereal and smile. Cliff also says that it was destiny for us to meet. That I have special powers, but either he doesn’t know or will not tell me all of them. The only one I know of is that, if I write a storyline or make up a character, it appears alive or happens in Cliff’s world.
He also tells me that Mephoras is ruled by a king, who is fourteen and pure evil, but will not tell me anything else on the subject of what goes on there. I shrug as I run upstairs to brush my hair and put on my makeup. Grabbing my mP3, I walk to the bus stop.
At the bus stop, everything goes normal, yet I can’t shake the feeling that I am being watched. I turn to look at the abandoned house behind me, and a great shock overcomes me. I see a flash of black, as is someone is running at supersonic speed, and then all is normal. I’m about to ask someone of the black flash when the bus comes. I shiver, and then step onto the cheese wagon for another day in “paradise”.
Name: Scourge Hedj’e
She looks around, and I run away. Right back into the house, through the back door into the house, across the hallway, and into the portal in the garage. I think it’s pretty convenient that right across from her house, there’s an abandoned one that can serve as a portal base. I appear in the castle basement, and then run upstairs and to the lab. Dr. Fin looks up.
“Scourge? You’re back already?” He asks. I then get a good look at him. His white hair is messed up like Albert Einstein’s, and his amber eyes crazed. It is easy to tell that he has been up all night working. I nod.
“Good, good. And? What information did you recover? Do you think it’s her?” He inquires. I reply,
“It’s definitely her. She’s the prophecy girl…” Then, my voice suddenly booms as a flash of thunder and lightning sound outside. “And, as king of Mephoras, I vow I’ll stop at nothing to bring Ivy Johnson here! The prophecy must be fulfilled, whether she wants to or not!” Dr. Fin smiles widely.
“Good. By the way, there’s a meeting for the League of Evil tonight here. Since you are the evil ruler of this very land, I think you should come,” He suggests. I nod, giving the indication that I will attend.
“But what about the girl? Wait, I’ve got it: I’ll visit her in her dreams tonight! She’s always paying great attention to them,” I reply. I see Dr. Fin did not hear me, for he is looking over paperwork. That old man needs to listen to my plans, or it will be the death of him.
Name: Ivy Johnson
I get home from Scholar’s Bowl at about five. All throughout, I wasn’t able to concentrate. All I could think about was that feeling I had this morning of being watched. And the black flash, what was that about, exactly? The scene is playing in my head over and over as I walk through the front door. I do not bother telling my parents how practice went, because more important things need to be done. Running upstairs and to my room, I burst in on two male Mephorians playing cards: Cliff and our other comrade, Cobra.
“Cliff, Cobra,” I yell, “Oh my gosh, you’ll never guess what happened this morning!” The boys exchange glances, and then shrug.
“Do tell, because we have no idea,” Cliff flatly says. After rolling my eyes at his un-enthusiasm, I exclaim,
“Okay, so this morning, I was at the bus stop, right? Yeah, so well, I felt like someone was watching me. I turned around, and I saw a black flash, like someone sped away!” Cobra drops his cards, allowing Cliff to see his entire deck. Cliff, however, does not seem to care for the opportunity to cheat. His expression dark, he crosses his arms and exclaims,
“A black flash? You felt like you were being watched?” I slowly nod, and he turns and mutters something that sounds like,
“Oh hell, they’ve found her…” Then Cliff turns back to me. I fix him with a quizzical look.
“Ivy,” His tone is ominous as he says, “You’re in danger. I want you to be very careful. Don’t get yourself into anything you can’t get out of. I’m going to investigate that area across the street, and I’ll return before you go to school tomorrow,” he says. All I can do is nod before he opens the window, jumps precariously onto the ledge, and slides down the tree next to it.
Name: Scourge Hedj’e
It is about ten at night when I walk into the lab. Dr. Fin is setting up a machine. He turns to me, exclaiming,
“It’s ready, Scourge! What type of dream do you think we should give her?” My lips turn up in an evil smirk as I muse,
“Something friendly. Something memorable. Almost… dramatic. Any suggestions on your part?” Dr. Fin gives a nod, then steps behind the machine to work with wires as I stand there tapping my foot. I hear him scream, and then he steps out from behind the machine. The way his hair is sticking out in all directions gives the impression that he was struck by lightning. Dr. Fin presses a button, and the machine begins to power up.
“Go now, Scourge. Go before it’s too late. Make sure she knows her destiny!” He yells dramatically. After rolling my eyes, I step into the machine. It is pitch black when I hear Dr. Fin pull a lever. There is a split second of agony ripping throughout my system. Then, I appear in Ivy’s dream.
It is sunset, and I am standing on a boardwalk. I am about to start looking when I see her walking along the pier and stopping to lean over the side rail, oblivious as to what’s about to happen. I decide that I’m going to go talk to her, or possibly do some harmless flirting. I’m 14, she’s almost 13, and I am very good looking, so it should work.
Silently, I walk over and stand behind her for a moment. She doesn’t seem to notice me, though I’m casting a shadow over her. I try to tap her shoulder and get her attention, still I get no reaction. Walking to stand beside her, I try to figure out what is on her mind. She is staring out at the ocean, completely lost in thought. Maybe, possibly, could my voice break her thoughts? I put my hands on her shoulders from behind and lean close next to her ear.
“Hey,” I whisper, voice dripping with seductive charm. That is enough to break her thoughts. It is enough to even make her swirl around suddenly, hitting me in the nose in the process. And she does just that.
“What do you want from me?!” Ivy demands, hostility strong in her voice. I snicker, because her response is so aggressive it is almost funny. Remembering that I need to make this moment dramatic, I place my hand on her shoulders again, lean close, and murmur,
“It is not what I want from you, it’s that I want you.” This does not get me the response I want. In fact, it gets me the exact opposite. Ivy pushes me away and takes off running down the boardwalk. And she’s pretty fast, too.
“Ivy, wait! Please!” I scream at her. She continues to run and doesn’t look back. Just before Ivy vanishes from sight, I shout,
“My name is Scourge!” She stops, spins around, and screams my name, mingled in with a few colorful words.
I failed, so I might as well head back to the lab, I suppose. Wait…I wonder… how am I supposed to get out? Oh God, this is going to be a long night.
Name: Ivy Johnson
My alarm goes off at 5:45, waking me from my strange dream. Today is Tuesday, and just like yesterday, my mind goes back to my dream. To my dismay, I do not smile this time. That guy, Scourge, what did he want from me? He was so intimidating, but yet so handsome. With his sandy hair and those piercing ice blue eyes, visible muscles of light bronze, it took everything in me to run away from him. Shaking my head, I decide to tell Cliff and walk down the stairs. He is reclining on the couch casually, as if he owned the place.
“Cliff,” I stammer, “I had a weird dream. Could you help me with it?” I ask.
“Do tell,” He replies, and I sit down next to him.
“Okay, so I was at this boardwalk place. This guy came up to me. I don’t know why, but he said he wanted me,” I say. Right away, Cliff asks who the guy was.
“Somehow he knew my name. His name was…Scourge?” Right away, Cliff gasps.
“Scourge?! His name was Scourge?! Ivy, never talk to him again! Don’t let him near you!” I nod,
“Okay, what’s so bad about-“
“Scourge is the evil king of Mephoras! You, you’re… a…. very important person, Ivy… So important Scourge would stop at nothing to get his hands on you!” He exclaims, interrupting me from my words. I start to turn and pour my cereal when Cliff grabs my shoulder.
“No way, girlie. You’re not going to school with that maniac after you!” Do you know how powerful he is? He could run over, kidnap you, and on one would be able to stop him! Yes, this is all about a 14 year old boy, but trust me; I know what I’m doing. Anyway, we’re skipping,” He explains, and I smile. Am I really skipping school with a hero from another dimension? Am I awake?! Apparently so, because my legs begin hurt as I dash up the stairs to get ready.
Cliff and I walk down the street to the neighborhood pool. His motorcycle is parked in one of the 8 parking spaces by the pool, due to the fact that his existence unknown to my parents. He hops on the front seat, I get on the back, and I wrap my arms around him. We simultaneously put our helmets on, and then take off without another thought.
We are really moving after a quick stop at Burger Hut for breakfast, and there we both agree that we will go see a movie to get all the danger off our minds. When we reach the theater, it is about seven in the morning. To our dismay, it is closed until nine, so we walk on. We’re about to go into a store when a black Pathfinder swerves dangerously around the corner at full speed and nearly hits us.
Instead, it stops right next to us. I look around. The mall is desolate, except for a few people, since it is so early in the morning. My mind snaps back to the scene in front, to the impending danger. The door of the car opens and slams shut. Cliff steps in front of mew protectively, and I gasp at the figure in front of us. With fohawked sandy blonde hair, ice blue eyes, and dressed in leather and studs, it is Scourge Hedj’e. By the look on his face, it is clear that this meeting is no accident.
“Well, if it isn’t the little truant and her guardian? By the way, I didn’t like the way I was treated last night, Ivy. But I’ll dismiss it,” He muses. I take a step back away from him, and Cliff grips my hand tightly.
“Come on now,” Scourge exclaims, “I wasn’t that bad last night, was I? Okay, fine, I’m sorry if I freaked you out. Would you like to go do something together, just you and me?” I don’t answer Scourge’s question, nor do I accept his apology. He continues,
“Wouldn’t you like to have a little adventure, a little fun in your life? Let’s go, angel,” He holds his hand out to me, and opens the car door with the other. “Come on, baby, get in.” I stare at the hand for a moment, considering the possibilities. Before I can respond, Cliff steps forward and brings his fist to Scourge’s jaw.
“Get away from her! She won’t join the dark side, or your forsaken league!” He growls. Scourge wipes the blood from his mouth. His face grows dark but his tone remains calm.
“Fine then, be that way. You’ll regret it though,” He says, then leans close to my face, “And you, my dear, just made a deadly mistake. If you want to undo it, then meet me in your dream at midnight tonight. Got it?” Scourge then steps back in the Pathfinder and drives away.
“What did he tell you?” Cliff demands once Scourge is gone. I tell him about the deadly mistake bit, but not about the meeting. I have a feeling this is a secret I will need to keep to myself.
The rest of the day goes by uneventfully. At 3:15, Cliff and I drive home so I could be there at about the same time the bus lets off. I lie, telling my mom I had a great day at “school”, then walk upstairs. Before I can get to my room, I hear Cliff shout,
“Ivy! Get your butt in here! It’s urgent!” I run ahead to my room. Cliff is standing in there with a piece of paper in his hand.
“Where’s Co…” But before I can finish, he hands me the paper. It reads:
“I told you, you’d regret your decision. Remember what I told you.
Name: Scourge Hedj’e
It was pretty easy to capture Cobra. He was just sitting down and not paying attention to me as I walked in the room. However, it is not easy to drag the sack with his unconscious body in it all the way into the portal and down the castle stairs. When I reach one of the prison cells, I can tell he is starting to regain consciousness. He wakes up when I take him out of the sack and push him in the cell.
“Where am I?! What happened?!” Cobra demands, then, realizing he’s in a cell, he asks, “What’d I do?!” I laugh and shake my head.
“You didn’t do anything, but your friend Ivy did. She’s the reason you’re here. And I’m afraid she’s the only way you can get out. Thank her, Cobra,” I say. The teenager clutches his long black jacket to him and, getting an idea, I smirk.
“By the way, nice jacket,” I say, then snatch the jacket from Cobra and hang it up on the wall across from his cell. This causes him to yell out in anger, and I suppose this is his prized possession. I laugh harder, and then start to rummage through the pockets of the jacket.
“I don’t have anything in the pockets!” Cobra quickly shouts. This is an obvious sign that there actually is something in there, so I continue to go through the pockets, despite his pleas. In the left pocket is a black leather wallet with studs that matches the jacket. I put it in my own jacket pocket, his expression remaining the same. Then I put my hand in the other pocket, and that’s when Cobra snaps.
“No, stop it! Don’t!” He yells, fists banging on the bars of the cell. I smirk and pull out the object anyway. It looks like a white piece of laminated paper, and then I flip it over. And what I see shocks me.
It’s a photo of Ivy. Not anyone or anything else, just Ivy in an elegant dress. Taped to it is a lock of dark brown hair: Ivy’s hair. An evil grin is slowly forming on my face as I turn to Cobra, one eyebrow raised.
“Is there a reason you have her picture with you?” He says nothing.
“Let’s play a guessing game, then. Tell me, did she give it to you?”
“No,” Cobra finally speaks up.
“Is it just a coincidence that it’s in your pocket?
“No,” I smirk. Now we’re getting somewhere.
“Did you put it in there purposely?”
“Does she know you have her picture with you?”
“No,” Cobra sighs.
“Do you have a reason for keeping this around with you?
“Yes.” I ask the final question, even though I know the answer.
“Do you love her, Cobra?” Cobra sighs and tells me,
“Yes. I love her.” The word “love” plays across my lips and dances around in my head. Deciding to use this knowledge against him, I wave the photo in front of Cobra’s face.
“Actually, I’m pretty fond of her as well. I think I’ll keep this,” I say, holding the photo against my chest and giving off a seductive growl. I start to walk up the staircase, but stop to say,
“And by the way Cobra, I have a date with her tonight. Sleep well,” And then I walk out to leave the 13 year old to groan. Little does he know, this “date” depends on whether he gets let out or not.
Name: Ivy Johnson
I put on my nightgown, turn off the lights, slip into bed, and then sleep overtakes me. I start out alone in a jungle, where, besides plants, I am the only living thing. I’m about to run and enjoy the scenery when I remember: I have to meet up with Scourge. I straighten myself up and keep going, ignoring all beauty around me.
I search what seems like the entire jungle, but I cannot find him. I am about to give up when I pass a cave that I did not know was there before. Cautiously, I walk a few feet in and call Scourge’s name. A figure walks barely out of the darkness, and its eyes gleam ice blue.
“You called, dear?” A familiar voice snickers.
“Come into the light where I can see you,” I softly command, and Scourge obeys. He’s dressed nicely, in a red button up under his black jacket, and black slacks. Wondering what he has up his sleeve, I arch an eyebrow. In response, I am handed an orchid.
“Okay, so what will it take to get Cobra released?” I ask. The seductive smile on Scourge’s face fades into a grimace.
“So, that’s the only thing you’re here for? You don’t care about what can benefit you?” My expression doesn’t change, and for a moment, I do not say anything. After a brief moment, I shake my head.
“No. Cobra’s my top priority right now. I won’t rest until he’s safe, nor will I play your games, Your Majesty!” Scourge begins to look surprised as I grow cross. “Now tell me what to do so I can do it and get on with my life!” I feel the anger in my throat as I speak. Then it seems like Scourge’s entire mood changes.
Name: Scourge Hedj’e
Ivy is obviously in a horrible mood. She clearly has come here exclusively for business talk, and apparently “won’t play my games”. My bribe-slash-distraction of an orchid is now on the ground, but that is not the one thing on my mind. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a slim figure watching us. With horrible realization, I know that the figure is Cobra. I remember telling him that this meeting between Ivy and I was a date, so I suppose I need to live up to my lie. But, how will Ivy react to my sudden change in emotion? Honestly and cruelly, I don’t care, so here goes nothing!
“Come here, baby,” I growl, then snake my arms around Ivy’s waist and neck. I push her up against the cave wall as my lips crash against hers. I can sense she’s surprised, but until Cobra leaves, she will just have to live with it. Although this is all fake, I am actually enjoying myself. Believe it or not, I begin to feel her kiss me back! Or is it an illusion, a dream inside a dream? After trying to bring my tongue into this, I hear Cobra sigh and walk away. Slowly (and regretfully) I break the contact.
I’d normally expect her to, like any other girl I have kissed, to pass out or demand more, or even tackle me to the ground, but no. Like always with Ivy, she has to be different. Her fist finds the place in my jaw where Cliff hit me earlier, and nails it hard.
“What the hell was that for?! Did you come to talk business, or did you come to make out?!” She screams, punching me in the jaw yet again. For the second time in twenty four hours, I wipe the blood from my mouth.
Name: Ivy Johnson
Scourge starts to say something, hopefully to apologize, but I cut him off.
“That wasn’t part of our deal! Tell me what exactly you need me for so I can do it, Cobra can get released, and you can get out of my life!” Scourge calms down a little, but I do not.
“What you need to do,” He sighs, “in order for Cobra’s release, is to come with me. Join the darkness, Ivy. Become evil, stay with me, and you’ll get whatever you seek.” Become evil, be with him? Heck to the no! And that’s what I tell Scourge before running off.
I decide to spend the remainder of my dreaming period relaxing. The first thing I need to do is get out of this jungle, so I start walking. Eventually, I come to a clearing with no luck on how to get out, so I end up standing there. I hear a rustle in the bushes and, thinking it is Scourge, I back off. Instead, Cobra steps into the clearing.
“Cobra!” I shout, “Am I glad to see you!” I start to run to him, but he doesn’t seem to want to embrace me. Instead, he narrows his eyes at me in a death-glare. His face is streaked with tears. Before turning away, he chokes out one word.