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Running. Out of breath. Burning in my lungs. I stop by an old dead tree to catch my breath. I look up to find nothing but black skies, while the lightning crackles overhead. It’s everywhere. When the lightning flashed again, I was up and running. All of this began to feel like a blur. Time had slowed down to a crawl as if it had no meaning. I suddenly trip on a burning root of a tree. I fell and bashed my head off a rock so hard I started seeing stars. At first, I thought I was hearing things. But as soon as my head cleared, I realized it was a girl’s terrified screams. Suddenly, another crash of lightning hits a tree, causing it to catch flames and fall. I muster all of my strength, which isn’t much at this point, and I race towards the voice. All I hear are the girl’s terrified screams off to the left. Stumbling, trying to find her, I snag myself and slit my arm on a sharp branch. I stop to wrap my wounds and then race off to find her. More screams. More terrible agony. That is, until I find her, stuck underneath a tree and other debris. Her face is covered with caked on blood, sweat, and leaves. Tears are streaking down her face. “Help! Help me out! Please, don’t let it get me!” she screams at the top of her lungs. At first, I don’t understand one bit of what she is saying until I see the solid wall of fire coming straight for us.
It was coming towards us in a fluid motion, almost as if it was made of water. As it passed over the wasteland, I saw it engulf everything in its path. It’s, frankly, bigger than Noah’s Ark. It was huge. In a matter of minutes, it would be upon us. I was sprinting to get her out from underneath the rubble, struggling underneath the debris. Almost there, just a couple more rocks, I think to myself. But as I was dragging her out from underneath the rubble, the ground split open and gave way. “OH S***!” I scream as I fall with her into nothing but black, nothingness.
Bzzzt,bzzzt,bzzzt. I pound on my alarm clock until it shuts off. “Ugh, Mondays” I say as I walk to get my clothes for school. I’m definitely NOT a morning OR a Monday person. I’m also not the preppy type, so the first thing I grab is the thing I wear for the day. Today, it’s black shirt, black pants, and my black hand-me-down Nikes. As I put on my shoes after I embarrassingly tied the laces together, I head down to breakfast to get some toast for school. Suddenly, there’s a vibration in my pants. Get your head out of the gutter; it’s just my cell phone. As it happened to be, it was my friend, Kendra Mayrite. “Chem. Test l8r 2day. Don’t 4get!” the text said. On some days, she’s a total smart ass but at times like these, she’s a good friend to have around. She’s the type where she can help you or make your life a living hell. Good thing I’m on her good side. “THX, Ur the best, say hi 2 D 4 me” I text back. If you are wondering about who “D” is, his name is Derik Lyon, who is Kendra’s boyfriend. He’s the quarterback for my school’s team the West Hill Colts. Kendra says he’s her little ducky. Little? HA that’s funny. He’s bigger than me and her combined. Anyway, I finish my breakfast and head off to school. I live within walking distance of West Hill High but it still takes me about 35 minutes to get there. Since we now have time, let me start by describing myself. The name is Chris Cayman. I’m slightly obese and about 5’ 11”. I wear glasses and, in a nutshell, I’m a nerd. I like computers and comics. What’s wrong with that? Now for info ‘bout my friend Kendra. She’s a curly blonde and, obviously, she has her moments. I hate to say it but she’s also the most creative person I’ve known. I’ll give her that to make up for her being a smart ass. She’s a talented writer. Ok. By now, I’m at school just as the breakfast bell rings. From there, I run to my locker, cram everything into it, and head off to the classroom table I sit at with Derik and Kendra.
1st period is my favorite class of the day. It’s called Contemporary American Thought or CAT class. It’s sort of like debate class with suggestive and tender topics. Today’s topic, Mary Jane. Not the girl kind, the pot you smoke kind. The “woo hoo smoke this s***” drug. I really don’t hold a position on this subject, but if you would ask me, I would say go for it. Make it legalized for medical purposes. Right at this very moment, Kendra’s up at the podium debating with some guy I barely know. He goes by the name of Mitch Bailey. He’s sort of like me in a way, the way he likes computers and stuff like that. He is a real know-it-all though. Kendra and him, I swear, have been archenemies since the 2nd grade. Well anyways, he losses the debate to Kendra and is sent back to his seat. Mrs. Greyback shouts “Derik and Chris, to your podiums!” She’s the teacher. Well duh! She’s short, blonde, and the nicest person you will ever meet. That doesn’t mean you can skip out on doing your homework. But, today I moan as I start for the podium. “Today’s topic, GUNS!” Great. I have to argue to a guy about guns that own about thirty of them and can shoot me in the face from 100 yards away! Derik is up first to the podium. And, as luck would have it, he gets away with being the positive side of this argument while I’m stuck with the negative side. After another ten minutes, he raps up his speech with the ever-so-corny phrase “Guns don’t kill people, bullets and people who use them kill people.” He then slowly walks back to his seat, feeling as though he has already won. Yeah, that may be true, but I’m going to give him a run for his money. As I was walking to the podium I stop. I got a queasy, sick feeling going on in my gut. It then passed. I figured it was just my nerves getting to me, so I continue for the podium. Finally I reach it and start the negative debate. “Guns are used in many cases, such as hunting and millenarian uses. But they are being abused. How many neighborhoods do you know of that uses them for drive…” I then get the feeling back. Only its magnified 100 times over. It was literally like an explosion of nausea that has attacked me. Right after that I double over. Then I feel nothing. Everything begins to slip away. The room begins to blur. Everything blurs until it’s a mass of swirling colors. Then I get the feeling of floating as things begin to clear up. Finally, as this crazy merry-go-round stops, I throw up for about 10 minutes straight. “My god, what the hell happened?” I say to myself. I start to look up as a sound blares behind me. The sound, as I had come to see, had come from a bank the looked strangely like the bank in downtown Cincinnati. Just then, a guy in tights runs out of the bank with 2 great big bags of cash as another person in en route. I must have hit my head because I thought the first guy had a flaming skull and a wicked looking bow and arrow. The other guy looked just like Mitch, only in red and yellow tights with more muscles and a deeper voice. “Get back here!” Mitch had said but the other guy was about 5 meters away from him. I must be dreaming. How in the HELL could this be real. I think back to before school and say to myself “Did I OD on that Advil before CAT class?” this may have been a dream but I still had my definition of right and wrong so I ran after the skull dude. Once I got close to him, I shouted”Hey, Death called. He wants his skull back!” Unfortunately, it worked.
“Who dares speak to me in that manner?” skull dude said. He spoke as if his vocal cords were on fire. Just then, Mitch comes out of nowhere and tackles the skull dude. I bet the NFL were envying that moment right now. But the skull dude sent a blast of fire away from him, sending Mitch to the ground. Of course he would be out cold. Guess I’m on my own. Great……………. Well skull dude is getting back up and coming toward me. “Your mine now Chris!” he wheezed. I did the only logical thing. I kneeled at his feet and prepared to die. He raised his hands, forming a great fireball. He lets it fly. I wait for the flash of heat and pain, but it never comes. There’s a shadow of a person in front of me. He had long, gaunt features, wore robes of gray wool but ended in sand as if it itself was hardened sand. He had the most severe case of bedhead that I’ve ever seen. It looked like the Afro from hell. He turned to face me and his face was scarred in the shape of a giant star in the middle of his forehead. “Chris, if you would get your ass up that would help a great deal” he said in an almost dreamy voice.
“Um dude? What the hell do you expect me to do?” I shouted at the guy. Well who the hell does he think he is? My mother?
“Get up and do something, anything. I can’t hold him much longer!” shouts the dreamy dude. So guess what? I get up and tackle skull guy into a trash can. Not the smartest move but it bought me some time. I ran over to the bank, unwrapped the water hose, and sprayed him out. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…………………………………….” He said. Wow, talk about anti-climactic. Just then I started getting that queasy feeling again, this time it was like a soft tug. “I’ll see you later Chris.” Said the creepy, sleepy guy. Then he disappeared as if blown away by sand. The scene started to spin, blurring into nothing. I found myself awake in the nurses office at school. HOLY S***!
I come to with a total of 5 faces. Those of which consisted of Derik, Mrs. Grey, Kendra, Mitch, and Mrs. Lewinsky, the nurse. “My,my,my. You took a mighty fall, you did.” Mrs. Lewinsky said. She's this little old lady who is part Irish and speaks in a weird accent all the time. “dude what happened?” says derik. “I don't f*ing know dude! I must've had some bad cheerios or something.” I said. God what do they think happened? I passed out and had the most f*ed up dream in human history. “don't cuss in front of me young man,” Mrs. Grey said, “I’m holding out on giving you a detention because of your accident but don’t think I wont do it next time.” “OK could someone explain to me what the HELL just happened?” I said. “language young man” Mrs. Grey said. “sorry” I said. “you went up to the podium....” Kendra started. “stuttered and tripped,” said Mitch. “and then you were out cold.” Derik said. “awwwwwww, SHI................” I had started just as Mrs. Grey interrupted with an “AHEM!” “sorry. What period is it?” “none, the day is over. We called your dad and mom. Neither answered. Do you want a ride?” Mrs. Grey said. “naw. I can manage.” I said as I had walked away. Technically my dad is my step dad and he's a lawyer so kudos for him. He's never home any way so I don’t really care. As I walk home, in the rain I might add, nobody ever calls me or gives me a lift. i thought my mom would have enough courtesy to get up and get me but you see how that turned out. And guess what happens when I get home? I get screamed at. “WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM? ITS RAINING AND YOU DECIDE TO WALK HOME! RIGHT AFTER YOU GOT SICK!!! ARE YOU FRIGGING STUPID?!?!?!?!?” screamed my mom. “i didn’t see you coming to get me any time soon.” and with those lovely parting words, I left to my room and totally passed out. When I decide to get up the next morning I happened to find out it wasn’t the morning at all. It was 12:30 in the afternoon! I look over at the clock and find that my mother is standing there with the cord to it in her hands. “come here and eat something, we need to talk.” “mom, yell at me later, I’m frigging LATE!” “i know. I made you sleep in. your gonna need it for what I have to say” she then suddenly grabbed my hand fiercely and literally drug me down to the kitchen table. “Chris, do you remember anything about your dad?” she says. She's looking totally scared. I mean, if she's scared, I’m scared. “no why?” I ask. “well........how do I put things into terms you can understand? He............made a bet with a person.” “and.............?” I said “whats the point?” “the point is the bet was about you! This stranger and your father made a bet that if your father could do his job better, then he could have anything his heart desires. Well he lost.” she had sat down and started wring her hands in worry. “mom, your scaring me. Whats going on. What did Dad lose?” I said. “HE LOST YOU!!!!! the other part of the bet was that from then on, ALL of his children would have to be his and they would be imbued with different........................abilities. You think your an only child..........but your not. Your the youngest of 7. you are one of the Keepers of the Mind. You ARE DREAM REINCARNATE!”
I sit there frozen, not knowing what to do. My dad actually TRADED me? What could've been more important then his kids? It feels like all of the oxygen is leaving the room but suddenly re-entering causing me to breath heavy.
“where are all of my other brothers and sisters?” I asked
“we had them all thrown out of the city. We hoped you’d be different. But you weren't. Your just like those freaks. When your father gets home,start packing your s***. You aren’t living here under my roof and causing me to lose my mind just like your sister.”
turns out, my “DAD” came home at around 6:00 and so I started packing. I was in tears. I had just been told I was traded off due to a bet,that I had some weird powers, and that I was a freak BY MY OWN MOTHER! Who needed that b**** anyway? I didn't. I left at 5:00. Everything I had brought was in a plastic duffel bag. I was officially on my own. And so I went to the only place I could think of to go. “Westchester Park”. As soon as I got there, I threw my stuff on the ground and I cried. And cried and cried.
“you know, crying never solved anything.” said an old voice. Then I saw the oldest guy I have ever seen. Yet, he smiled and he had a full set of teeth. “hello, brother.”
“your not my brother. Your like 160 years old. Go away.”
“I AM your brother. Whether you like it or not. My name is Lance, but the others call me Fate. And you little Christopher, you are Dream, Master of all dreams, and one of the Keepers of the Mind.”
“Holy s***! Keep away from me!” I screamed. This guy was scaring me shitless.
“you must want to know more? The others will tell you there stories. I’m sure they will tell you how to control your powers as well. They will transform into deadly abilities if you can't control them.” said the old man. That had made me shut up and turn around.
“and you said your my brother?” I asked.
“come,come with me and meet your other siblings.” said Lance. And we went to this grove in the park that looked like any other group of trees. “one of my abilities I have gotten from our gracious father is the power to make dimensional rifts. Always handy if you want to stay hidden.”
and there I met the only people I will live with again.
If you have ever been to a freak show, this is how I felt as soon as I walked through the portal that Lance had made. You had a bipolar guy in a corner getting mad at a computer because it froze up. You had a crazy chick on the ground,scooting around on her but as if she had worms. And quite a few others.
“are you sure that I am really related to all of you people?”
“definitely” Lance said as he steered me to this woman in ALL black with extremely long hair with it covering one half of her face. “Chris, this is your sister, Death.”
really? Death has been a chick all along? And SHES MY SISTER?
“hey, Chris. What's up.” she said in a somewhat cheery monotone voice. I mean, how is that even possible? I then noticed that she was wearing a solid gold chain around her neck with a weird looking talisman. But then I saw that it was an Ankh, the Egyptian symbol for life. Inlaid the top hoop was a giant ruby.
“and these are your other siblings. Despair, Delirium, Rage, and Desire.” Lance said, as he pointed out who was who. “they are also known as Cinthya, Kari, Doug, and Michele.” Ok, so now im going to describe my “siblings”. Cinthya was FAT! She had more rolls than a fully stocked Dunkin Donuts. And her attitude, man, and I thought I was negative! I could instantly feel how much hatred and hopelessness she felt by just standing near her.
I found out who the crazy one is. That’s Kari. She had come up to me and was talking in a “hundred-mile-a-minute” tone of voice. “hilittlebrotherWhatdoyouwanttodoIlikeplayingDoyouliketoplayPlaywithMe!”
“huh?” I asked. She has no color coordination what-so-ever. She wore clothes from the 80’s along with the whole trashy, torn fishnets look. Really, no lie, she looked like a high hooker.
Doug was the guy who was getting mad at the computer.
“DAMN YOU, YOU STUPID PIECE OS S***! I WILL ROAST YOU ALIVE!” He then summoned a fireball out of nowhere and torched the computer.
“Doug, that was the 5th one this week! Calm the HELL DOWN!” Michele said. I’ll get to her in a minute. Doug is a hobo. An actual, literal hobo. Complete with the tattered clothed and the hobo sack on a stick. And, guessing on his bipolar attitude, he was rage. Apparently he was listening to Yellowcard when his computer crashed. Well, that sucks.
Finally, there’s Michele. And if she wasn’t my sister, I wouldv’e lost it and asked her to go out with me. She’s just that sexy. Imagine the most preppy girl that is the hottest girl in school and times that by 1,000. Yeah. I know right.
“hey, I know im your sister but could you please stop looking at my goddamn breasts? I get enough of that at school.” She said. I haven’t even noticed that I was looking at that. Whoops.
“Chris, I know this must be a hard day for you. Why don’t you sleep for a while.” Lance said. And he pointed at a bed in a far corner of the room.
“Oh, thank god!” I yelled and I passed out right there.