Ello! This is chapter 7! I’m so excited about this one too! You know how I keep saying, “You ain’t seen nothing”? Well, prepare to see something! 😀 More chapters are on their way! 😀 Enjoy!
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to say it. What had just happened to me. I couldn’t explain it. How would you react if you came face to face with someone who had so much power, they could snap their fingers and you’d be gone. How would you react if the person you thought you were getting to know, had glowing eyes and had the power to take out the thing that could kill you. I had came face to face with death. I could clarify and I knew what a demon was but…..Hazel? I didn’t know. Is she a demon turned good? Is she human? Is she even alive? Thoughts swarmed in my head. Hazel could tell I was getting worked up. I opened my mouth about to ask the question. Hazel sighed.
“No I’m not a demon and yes I’m alive.” She said. She looked at me. “And no, I can’t read minds.”
I closed my mouth. Oh you can’t read minds? So good to know. Talk about creepy I thought. I was about to ask when we would stop, but the campsite came into view.
“Finally!” Hazel and I said together. We gave each other a glance. Huh…… Guess she was tired of walking too. Hazel and I ran to the campsite. It looked the same as I had left it. Nothing new had appeared. Unless… I ran to my tent and reached under my sleeping bag. Nothing was there. I sighed with relief and stood up. Last time I was in there, I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t even know Hazel existed. I put my hand in my sleeping bag. It was warm inside. It made me want to crawl in and never come out. Hazel stood at the entrance of my tent. I could hear her chuckling from behind me. She must’ve seen how I was longing for some rest, because her next words were the best words I’d heard all day.
“You know what? You can go to sleep if you want. I’ll keep watch and make sure no one sneaks up on us.” Hazel said. I almost leapt at that sentence. The thought of sleep comforted me. I smiled and was about to crawl into my sleeping bag, when I thought of Hazel and I realized something. She hasn’t eaten since we’ve met. She hasn’t drunk anything either. She hasn’t slowed down and she hasn’t slept. I felt guilty. What am I doing? I’m a boy and she’s a girl. I should take first watch. After all, she’s the one who saved my life….twice. Hazel had turned around and was messing with a fire she made. I walked up to her.
“Hazel,” I began, “How about you take a rest. I’ll take first watch.” She looked at me and smiled.
“Thanks but no thanks. I don’t like to sleep when I’m being hunted.”
“Hunted?” I asked.
“Hunted. Demons, remember?” She said.
“But you need to sleep.” I said, “You haven’t slept for at least 24 hours. I can stay up a little longer because I passed out. I already had a power nap today.” I reached for the stick she was using to poke the fire. She held a tight grip on it.
“Hazel” I said, “Go To SLEEP! You need it!” I gently pried her fingers from the stick. I sat down on the dirt next to the fire. She got up and slowly walked towards the tent. I watched her go, just to make sure she went to bed. She turned around at the entrance of the tent. I could see her smile in the dark. She backed up a little. She was eyeing a tree just to the right of me. I saw her search for a certain branch. When she spotted it, she smiled bigger. I started to get up but I didn’t get a chance. She ran forward at top speed. She was heading straight for a tree. Halfway there, she jumped. She grabbed onto the nearest branch and hoisted herself up. Once she was balanced on the branch, she jumped from limb to limb, racing towards her target. She made one final jump into the air, and landed on the certain branch. She got down on her knees and reclined back, with her back against the body of the tree and her face barely lit up by the fire. She waved a little and settled back a little more.
“Show off!” I yelled.
“What? You can’t do that?” She joked. I shook my head and stared back at the fire. Well, at least she has a birds-eye view I thought. I poked the fire with stick. Like I said before, it was weird being there. Yesterday morning, everything was fine. I looked at the damp log. I slowly got up and walked over to it. My feet were inches from where I once sat. I remembered the innocence I had just sitting there. The wind nipped at my neck and I pulled my coat closer. I shivered and went back to the fire. I was removing my hands from my jacket pocket to warm them, but I stopped. My hands. They were different. They were scratched up and scared from the clawing I had done. My finger-nails were dirty and bloody. I touched the side of my finger. It stung so bad I almost yelled. I tried to forget about them and warmed them over the fire. As I sat down once more, I looked up at the moon. It was full. Well, just as long as there aren’t any vampires or werewolf’s in this forest, then I’ll be alright.
The world shook. I was running from something. Tree branches swept past me. I didn’t know where I was going and I really didn’t care. I heard the tree I had just ran past, being snapped in half. Oh, no! I thought It’s coming! I jumped over a log and ducked underneath a tree branch. The forest was enclosing me. The tree’s were moving towards me, making a very thin path to follow. The tree next to me lashed out with it’s spiky branch. I barely dodged it and kept running. I started to regain my senses. It was cold and my hair was wet. My feet were sore. I looked down briefly to study my attire. I was still wearing my C.O.D shirt but my jacket was gone. My jeans were ripped up and my hiking boots were muddy and were falling apart. I looked back to see if the thing was still chasing me. Judging by the tree damage, it had stopped following me about three tree’s ago. But turning my head the other way was a grave mistake. I stumbled over a tree stump. My body was flung forward and the straight path had suddenly morphed into a hill as I was tumbling down. I managed to avoid the tree’s in my way. I finally rolled to a stop at the bottom of the hill. With my back to the ground, I laid there. I started up at the sky. Big white clouds filled the sky with creation. I was pulled out of my day dream when I heard something huge clamoring down the hill. That’s my cue! I started to get up but I felt a sharp pain in my leg. I yelled out in pain as I rolled up my jeans to look. My leg was torn up and covered with scars but the biggest one was bleeding. I groaned and let my pant leg fall loose from my grip. As the fabric fell over my wound, it stung. I limped to the path and started to half run half walk away. The path was getting thinner. Either that or the tree’s were getting bigger. The thing was getting closer. I could hear it’s roar echoing in the forest, ringing in my ears. I had to stop and cover them, knowing that another roar was soon to follow. So there I was, limping/running away from an unknown beast with my hands over my ears. I must’ve looked like a lunatic. I sure felt like one. I continued my weird pose up one hill and down another. But with each step, the beast felt closer and closer and closer. I had to stop running, I had to stop and face the fear of the beast. I came to a halt next to a large oak tree. I leaned against it. I could feel the beasts breath against my neck. It was hot and sticky. I gathered enough breath and mustered enough courage to turn around slowly. I stood there face to face with the beast. It’s green eyes were enormous. It’s mouth was as big as me. It’s teeth were yellow and sharp enough to cut me without force. It’s body was shaped like an elephant’s body. It’s head was shaped like a dragon’s head. It’s arms were long and moved around freely like a snake’s body. It’s legs were that of a lion’s. It’s skin was charred black. It had scales that were shaped and patterned like diamonds. It had wings as tall as the oak tree I was leaning against, which was an estimated 25 foot tall tree. The wings were as wide as the body of the beast. They were colored a dark, shimmering red. It was hideous to look at and yet….. you couldn’t stop staring at it. The horror of that beast was terrifying but the amount of fear could never out-weigh the amount of wonder it had. And that was it’s deadliest weapon. It captured it’s victims by enchanting it in it’s terrifying beauty and then finishes you off while you are under it’s weird spell. In a way, it’s actually being kind. While looking at it, you feel no pain. Tell me that’s not at least a little bit nice…and creepy. After staring at it for a while, I noticed my leg didn’t hurt anymore. I felt like all of my cuts and bruises were gone. I wanted to stay there in it’s gaze forever, but I knew what it was doing. I had to find a way to avert my eyes from the beast. So much for facing my fear. I tried to look away but all that was doing was tiring me out. I blinked and that is when my master plan came into action. Blinking! Of course! I waited until my eyes started to water up and then took my chance. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a disc. I blinked and kept my eyes closed. It worked, my pain was returning and my leg was burning with pain. I almost looked back at the beast to make the pain go away, but I didn’t. I limped away from the beast as fast as I could. I knew why the beast wasn’t chasing after me. I had left a little present for it. After I had averted my eyes, I propped up the disc I had in my pocket on a nearby branch. The beast was caught in it’s own image and it would stay there for eternity. When I had gotten far enough away, I stopped again. Where did I get that disc? How did I even get here? I was poking the fire and then…. My body started vibrating. I jumped and reached into another pocket. I pulled out my dad’s phone. It was ringing. Guess what it said. Yep, unknown number. Just what I need. Another mysterious phone call. I answered it.
“Hello?” I asked
“Hello again Johnny.” The familiar voice rang through my ears. Andrew Coniby. I thought with disgust.
“What do you want?”
“Oh I was just checking in on you. Making sure nothing has happened to you.”
“Ok, sorry to break it to you, but you’re extremely creepy and that is not what I need right now.” I said.
“Do you mean you are already dealing with something creepy? Tell me about it.” He said.
“See? Right there! That is creepy.”
“Calm down Johnny, I’m just trying to make your life easier. No one deserves pressure like that. So tell me.” He said in a therapist type voice. I hated that voice. It sounded calm and welcoming but coming from Coniby, it sounded like a death threat.
“Stop calling me. My dad is not here right now, he’s still hunting. My mom isn’t available and neither is my sister. From now on, I’m not available either, so stop calling. We will arrive home soon. Good-bye.” I hung up. How did he reach me in the middle of the forest….twice! I looked at the phone. It said it had no service. I opened it up and scrolled through the contacts. If Coniby was my dad’s friend and co-worker, he would atleast have him listed. Nope. No Andrew Coniby in his contacts. Figures, Dad wouldn’t want any creepy guy as his friend….well other than Uncle Jobe, that guy is pretty creepy. I shut off the phone and put it in my pocket. My whole world shook. I was shaking from side to side. I didn’t know why so I fought it. I ran as fast as I could and noticed my limp was gone. All of a sudden I heard a crashing. I was on the ground moaning and I sat up. I had just crashed through a glass wall. I looked through the hole I had made. There was the forest. I looked around the room I had crashed into. It was an apartment. I looked down at my clothes. I was wearing a black shirt and some comfortable blue jeans. I was barefoot and felt relaxed. A girl walked up to me and pulled my arm. She was about 3 or 4 and had a little fluffy, pink dress on. He curly brown hair was bouncing up and down. Her little blue eyes were shining with delight.
“Come on Daddy! Come on! Come on! We’re gonna miss it!” She said in a squeaky voice.
“Miss what? I’m not your dad!” I said still shocked.
“”We’re gonna miss the show! The show about your adventures! Come on Daddy! Come on!” She pulled me to the living room and sat me down on an old tan couch. She jumped in my lap and stared at the T.V. Dramatic music started playing and a guy in an adventuring suit came on the screen.
“Hello there, I’m Johnny Krisk, skilled adventurer and fighter.” Said the man on the television in an English accent. He tipped his fake cowboy hat cheesily and turned away from the camera to point to a map.
“We’ll be exploring the vast open forests of Tangana and we’ll be seeing a new species called the Merkinseen.” A picture came up on the screen of the creature I had escaped from. It was still staring at the disc. I looked down at the little girl. Might as well play along. It could get me out of here.
“Sweetie” I said, “Daddy has to take care of some things. You keep watching the show.” I said, lifting her off my lap and setting her on the couch.
“Ok Daddy.” She replied never taking her eyes off of the screen. I found my way to the front door and opened it. A musty glass pane stood in my way. I realized what I needed to do. Wonderful, if I wanted to do this, I would’ve taken that ‘how to be a stunt guy’ class. in school I backed up and ran right for the opened door. The glass shattered and I felt myself falling. I landed with a big thump. I was on my back, staring up at a decorated ceiling. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling. They shimmered gold in the candle lit room. I got up and tilted my head. I could barely make out the couch through the door. But I could see enough to know that the girl was still watching T.V. Must really like that show! I thought as I studied the new rom around me. There were people all around and they were dressed up really fancy. I heard classical music playing somewhere. I was standing in front of the invitation guy and I had my invitation in my hand. He was saying something.
“Have a good evening” He finished. I looked above me at the door. Little glass shards were still falling from the door but no one really minded. No one seemed to mind that I had literally crashed their party. I looked down at what I was wearing. I was wearing a tuxedo and a bowtie. I had black slacks and those uncomfortable black shoes. I went around the ballroom trying to find a mirror. When I finally found one, I groaned. I looked like a teenage spy. My hair was combed to perfection and I smelt like cologne. I felt like I should have a gun in my pocket. I had a watch that seemed to say: ‘ I am super rich and powerful and I am important ’. I felt out of place. I turned to examine the people. Most of the women were wearing big poofy dresses. The men all wore the same tuxedo as me. A few teens were there but they were mostly boys. Maids were seen at every corner of the room. They wandered throughout the invited party, aimless and looking for a mess to clean up. They had their hair tied up and their faces were a blank. Their outfit consisted of one black shirt with a white apron over it. They had little black gloves and pilgrim type shoes. An apron over their original apron was colored red and added just for style. I walked up to the nearest maid.
“So, what town am I in exactly?” I asked. She looked at me like she had been answering that question all evening.
“Brookington Seems, Alabama. This is the grand party of the ages. It is celebrated once every fifteen years. You’ll probably come back fifteen years from now reliving memories.”
“Right, so who all is invited to this party?” I asked.
“How much punch have you had?” She asked with a surprising look. I shrugged apologetically. She chuckled.
“Everyone is invited, so long as they pay the 15,000 dollar fee for coming. If you don’t want to pay that, then you have to get an invitation from the very top.”
“Who is at the very top?”
“Mr. Andrew Coniby of course!” She said as she reached for my invitation. She took it and studied it. “Yes, you were invited from Mr. Andrew. This is hand-written and that means you are V.I.P, so have fun.” She gave the invitation back and walked away.
“Wonderful party don’t you think? Though the catering could’ve been better. I expected sushi caviar and instead I got caviar sushi. Most people can’t taste the difference but I surely can. A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. So tell me, how is your pool coming?” I shivered. That voice did that to me now. I turned around and looked at the group nearest to me. There was a man standing in the middle of the group. He had sleek blond hair. He had no facial hair to make him look younger. His eyes were dark blonde. His tuxedo had golden lace added to it. His laugh seemed cheery but it was darker than the Demon kings. His voice was quiet and caring. He looked like a supermodel but I knew better than to think of him as a ‘good guy’. Because standing right there was Andrew Coniby.