So welcome to Chapter 8! So freaked out about posting this! “Why?” you ask? Because, this is where it starts to get really, really, really, really, really, really mysterious and complicated. So you might want to read the end of chapter 7 before going on to this one. Have fun and DON’T SKIP A LINE! I have written this book in such a way, that if you skip a single sentence, you will miss the entire plot. So don’t skip anything! -_- Enjoy! 🙂
You know when you finally meet someone you’ve been talking to for a long time and you think, “Wow, I didn’t expect you to look this way”? I expected him to look exactly like that. The face of evil. I wanted to go over there and bombard him with questions but I needed to get out of there. I searched for the door. The giant gold doors were hard to miss. They were lined with rubies and diamonds. The two huge doors were directly in front of Coniby’s line of vision. If I was going to make it out of there, I had to let Coniby see me. Well, he hasn’t seen me before, maybe he won’t notice me. I casually walked towards the doors.
“Hey! Krisk? Is that you? You look marvelous!” Coniby said as his group turned towards me. “Come over here and talk with us! We’d love to hear about how your life is going!” The groups reply was a jumble of enthusiastic “yeah”s and “of course we do”s. They moved like an ocean towards me. I just waved at them.
“Sorry Mr. Coniby, I need to go. Fantastic party!” I said as I turned away once more to leave. I had not gotten far when I heard Coniby excuse himself. I could hear his heavy dress shoes clicking on the tile floor as they gained speed towards my direction. As soon as I heard that, I raced for the door. I could feel Coniby’s hands trying to grab my jacket, which made me run even faster. Unfortunately for me, the doors were guarded by two guards. Coniby must’ve given some sort of signal because the guards pulled out their guns and were pointing them at me. Luckily for me, I was so pumped because of adrenaline, being pointed at with a weapon didn’t phase me. I kept running. One guard started to bounce his heels like he didn’t want to stand his ground. He looked at me. In a split second the world froze. I could see his eyes were full of fear. The fear wasn’t caused by Coniby but it was caused by me. He was scared to hurt some random kid even if his boss thought it was important. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something. A girl, wearing a shimmering blue dress. Her hair was a darkish brown color. Her face seemed kind and her eyes were blue and beautiful. Even though time had stopped she was walking like it hadn’t affected her. Her eyes scanned the room until they fell on me. She stopped walking and stared at me. She walked towards me slowly. When she was 5 feet away, she stopped. I couldn’t move but she was as free as a bird. She tilted her head to one side and smiled.
“Well, look at you.” She said, “You’re enjoying this aren’t you?” And with that, she walked away. A second later, the event was over. The guard looked at the other guard. The other guard looked fierce and was ready to pull the trigger. I kept running. I couldn’t stop. I was about to slam into the door when the fearful guard opened it for me. I crashed into the glass wall and stumbled into another room. I looked back to see Coniby yelling at the guard who helped me. The guard was yelling back but he was losing the fight. He was pulled away by two other guards and Coniby was smiling quite satisfied. He straightened his tie and walked back to his little group. I turned around and examined the room. I was in a park. I could see little kids running everywhere, swinging on swings jumping over rocks and doing anything that made them smile. A little girl ran past me, her hair in the wind and her laugh sparking a smile on everyone who saw her. My outfit had changed yet again and I liked that one the best. I had a grey shirt on. My hair wasn’t combed and I didn’t have the smell of cologne following me. Instead, my hair was a little messier than usual and I smelt like a tree. I had on my favorite pair of worn-down jeans. My feet felt comfortable in the sneakers I had. So, where’s the exit? I wondered as I looked around for a door. Of course there’s no door, this is an outside park! I groaned slightly and moved towards a small brick building. I sighed with relief when I saw a metal door on the side of the building.
Staff Only. No One Is Allowed Past This Point Without A Staff Member.
I stared at the sign in front of me. Yeah, right. Like a sign is going to stop me. I reached for the knob. As my hand came into contact with the hard steel knob, I got a shiver up my spine. Maybe I’m not supposed to open this door. Maybe this is the wrong one. I thought about backing away. Nah! I thought to myself. I turned the knob and swung open the door. I could feel cold air coming from the hazy glass in front of me. I slowly backed up and ran into the glass. This time, I landed on my feet, prepared to fight anything that came at me. I raised my head and my fists ready to fight. I lowered my fists and stared at the hazy glass in front of me. Another one? Huh…Weird. I broke through that one, only to find another one behind it. Aww come on! I broke through three more. This is getting old. I backed up through the six doors I had crashed through. What if it’s a never ending chain of doors? What if I can’t get out? I need to find someone to talk to! I turned around. Empty. The park once filled with children’s laughter was now filled with the hushed whisper of the wind. A heavy mist covered the ground. I walked deeper into the park. Leaves spun in the wind, circling around my head. I searched the mist in the distance for some cars but I saw nothing. I felt like I was a ghost. Actually, I expected one to pop out at me. I continued walking towards the road. When I got there, I thought about continuing my journey down the road. But, it was so misty, it was scary. I could barely see where I was going on the road. I decided to head back to the park. When I got there I sat down on a bench and thought about my situation.
*SNAP* A stick cracked underneath something in the mist. I stood up and grabbed a nearby stick. I was ready to beat the crap out of whatever came at me.
“Julia!? Where are you? JULIA?” I heard a voice calling out.
“Hello???” I called out.
“OH! HELLO! UH, WHERE ARE YOU?” A girl answered.
“I THINK I’M A COUPLE YARDS IN FRONT OF YOU! TRY COMING CLOSER!” I replied. The girl stumbled towards me. She almost fell but held onto my arm for balance.
“Whoa! Sorry, I didn’t mean to fall on you.” She said, “I’m not very good with first impressions.” She smiled sheepishly. She had long dark brown hair that was put up in a ponytail. She had a plain brown shirt with blue shorts. Her knees were bruised from falling in the mist and when she stood up straight, she looked about my age.
“It’s fine. Where is everyone?” I asked her.
“I don’t know, I turned my back for just a second and then poof! Everyone disappeared!” She replied, scratching her head.
“Who’s Julia?” I asked. She looked at me with sad and worried eyes.
“Julie is my little sister…. Hey! Maybe you’ve seen her! She has short curly blonde hair. She was wearing a pink shirt that said ‘I am a big girl’ and she had on dark blue shorts.” I stopped and looked at her, trying to remember. THE GIRL! The girl that ran past me earlier!
“Yes! Yes I have! I’ve seen her!” I said. She looked at me with surprised eyes and then she jumped up and down.
“Yay! Where was she?” She asked.
“She ran past me a few minutes ago! I don’t know where she ran from there.” I said.
“Oh. Ok thank you for trying to help…. So…. got a name?” She asked, tilting her head to one side.
“Johnny.” I replied
“Hazel.” She said, shaking my hand. I stopped and stared at her. What the? Hazel? Coincidence? I think NOT!
“Your name is Hazel?” I asked her. She looked at me uneasily.
“Yeaaaahh.” She answered, “Why?”
“Oh, uh no reason. I have a friend who’s name is Hazel also.” I said, trying to smile off the fact of the coincidence. We decided to look for Hazel’s little sister. We took turns calling her name. While on the outside, I tried to look as calm as possible, I was freaking out inside. Hazel? Really? Could this be her from a different reality? Is this a different reality? Probably is but Hazel? Hazel?! She couldn’t have been named Mary or Payton or something like that? Ok, let me try and sort this out. This must be a different reality and since I spent all of that time watching different reality movies, I know there has to be a different me. I hope I don’t run into me though, I would never believe myself if I told me. We had stopped walking. Hazel was standing in the middle of the park.
“JULIA! WHERE ARE YOU!” she screamed. She held her hand close to her chest and held something. I watched in horror as she dropped to her knees and started to cry. I rushed over to her. I didn’t really know what to do, so I just put my hand on her shoulder. I knelt down and sat next to her. I looked in her hands and I saw a little pink bow. Hazel’s tears for her sister made me think about Annie. I felt like crying myself. I couldn’t find my family and neither could she. She looked at me through wet eyes.
“I know what you’re going through. I can’t find my family either. We can look for them together.” I said encouragingly. She stared at me and then burst back into tears. She wrapped herself around me and cried into my shoulder. I just sat there, awkwardly patting her shoulder.
“We can’t find them. They’re gone forever.” She said, her voice muffled by my sleeve.
“They’re not gone forever. We will find them!” I said, “We just need some more time.”
“You don’t understand. I was lying when I said I turned away and everyone disappeared. I saw them vanish.” She pulled her head back out of my arm and stared at me. I looked at her with that look that said ‘Explain’. She sighed, unwrapped herself from me, and looked me in the eye.
“I was talking to my friend Jenny. We were talking about how bad this girl was at school. I saw my sister a few feet away playing with Jenny’s sister, who was named Christa. They looked like they were having a lot of fun. But Christa ran behind a tree. I never saw her like that again. Julia was calling her name. Me and Jenny had started to notice… Christa’s leg was the only thing that was showing. It was limp. I held Julia back from the tree and Jenny looked behind it. She screamed. I told Julia to keep back and ran towards Jenny, who was crying. I looked to see Christa sprawled out in an unnatural position. It hurt to look at her, like spikes were clawing at your eyes. I told Julia, who was creeping forward, to stay back. She was that type of sister that didn’t really obey. I pulled Jenny away from the tree and looked for the nearest adult. No one was around. The park was empty. I looked at Jenny and she looked at me. We were freaking out. We went back to the tree where Christa was to find Julia but…” Hazel stopped. She was speaking through waves of tears.
“Uh, she wasn’t there.” She wiped her eyes, “Neither was Christa. Jenny and I thought it was some big elaborate prank, you know, to scare us? Well, we started to chuckle a little and were completely convinced… Until the fog came. It was easy to explain at first, fog machines what else? But then it started to grow. We heard no noise of the ‘fog machines’ we believed were responsible for making all of this smoke.” She said as she raised her hands in the air, spreading them far and wide to illustrate the fog.
“We ran away from that tree and tried to outrun the fog. We knew it was real because how much it expanded. Normal fog doesn’t do that, at least not the way this fog did. Anyway, Jenny and I were trying to escape the fog but it was everywhere. We found a small patch of grass that was clear of fog. We ran to it and stood in the middle. The fog circled us. I don’t know why we were so scared of the fog, I guess the reason I ran from it was because I didn’t want to disappear. So there we were, Jenny and I, facing off against fog. Jenny reached for my hand and I did the same to hers. We looked at each other and knew what each other was thinking. ‘If I die, I’ll die with you.” We repeated. It was our favorite saying because we knew it was true.” She sniffled. “Anyway, the fog had reached our feet and it was closest to Jenny. We just stared at each other, only talking with our eyes. We were replaying happy memories and chuckling to ourselves. With my eyes fixed on Jenny, I smiled. She smiled back. And then. She vanished.” Hazel finished her story.
“How do you mean, ‘vanished’?” I asked her.
“Ever see Lord Of The Rings?” She asked.
“Of course! Who hasn’t! It’s one of the best movies ever.” I said enthusiastically.
“You know when Frodo would put the ring on and he would literally disappear? That’s what she did. She disappeared.” Hazel replied. I looked around, trying to find a door. I knew Hazel would need comfort and wouldn’t want me to go but, I needed to get back to my reality. I got up from the ground and looked around. All I could make out in the fog was the little brick building. I rushed towards it and Hazel followed. The metal door wasn’t opened. I opened it and found the hazy glass. I sighed and looked at Hazel.
“Hazel. You will find your family. You just need to keep looking.” I said.
“How do you know? What if their dead? What if they’re never coming back?” She asked. I faced her and stared into those big blue eyes. You have no idea how much I know what you’re going through. I thought.
“I was saying the same thing a couple of days ago.” I said smiling.
“Why aren’t you now?” She asked.
“My friend assured me that together we would find my family. And I trust her with my life. I’m asking you to trust me. You will find your family.” And with that, I gave a little wave, backed up and ran into the glass, ready for my next reality.