I’ve always wanted to explore the stars, see the universe, if there’s life on other worlds & now we come to this. I can’t explain what exactly is happening or how I’m doing it, but I’m so close. Close to what I’ve always wanted! I can feel it, ripples running through my skin and flashes of comic light. And with each flash, the opening grows. So close…I won’t let anyone stop me! And ofcourse, here come the memories…
It’s early in the day and a damn surprise thunderstorm has made me late. Getting off the train, I have to decide, do I run through the rain and arrive at work soaking wet or wait for it to pass and arrive there later, but drier? Fuck it; I’m off running. The waters like ice running down my back and I can hear my heart thundering in my ears. “Why didn’t I start exercising like I said I would? Damn, almost knocked that guy down, but no time to wait. I’m almost there.” Turn the corner & there it is, the drabbest four story building on the block. Thankfully someone coming out saves me the time of searching for my passcard and I slip through.
Now, I’ve just got to get to the top, explain that the storm caused delays and then slip to the bathroom where I’ll figure something out. “Damn elevator’s taking too long. Fuck it; been meaning to exercise anyway.” So, I take the stairs two at a time and finally reach the damn door. “Just a minute to catch my breath.” And I’m through, but what the hell…Martin Bushick, the damn shmuck is infront of the door, waiting it seems for me.
He unfolds his arms and smiles. “Dav, my man!”
“My damn name’s David & I’m certainly not his friend.”
“What can I do for you boss?”
“Look, I can see you’re tired. God alone knows what it took for you to get here. But remember what I said last time?”
“Of course you do. Whatever you do, don’t come late three times in a row again… We’re going to have to let you go Dav…don’t worry though, since you’ve been a good friend, I’ll put the word out for you. I’m sure you’ll get something in no time!”
“Nothing to say?… Well, all the best, Dav, my man.”
Then thumbs up and with that stupid lopsided grin, he backs up and closes the door. “Fuuuuuuuccccckkkk meeee.” Taking off the damn tie, I twist it and throw it at the door where it sticks. “Well, at least now, I’m free. Hooray…” With a deep breath, I turn, press the button & wait. The old doors creak open and I step inside, only to hear the office door opening and a voice shouting, “Wait. David, hold on!”
A beautiful hand stops the doors from closing at the last moment and as they open I see before me, the ever lovely Maiara Donoma. Hair still frizzled and glasses slightly askew. A small smile appears on my face at her appearance. “Maiara! I’d hug you goodbye, but you’d probably end up soaking wet.”
She laughs and my heart flutters, but then she stops abruptly and glances away. “I heard what he did…I’m sorry Dav.”
“Nothing to worry about Maia. I’ll figure something out.”
“Listen, there’s something I have to tell you. This is all sort of my fault…” And she glances away again. “I think I’ll need some more time to explain. Can we meet later? Say your place, around 3?”
“Your fault…Sure, yeah we can meet! Um, I don’t have a pen or anything to write my address, but…”
“That’s okay Dav. I know it already.” As she removes her hand from the door and it begins to close, I hear her whisper, “Don’t forget! Three PM. I think my times about up here too.” The doors slam shut and the descent begins, with me pacing.
I exit out the building and it’s still pouring, but I don’t care much. There’s a park nearby, where I used to love to go and it also has the perfect little spot that few know about, where I can stay safe from the rain. I stop at the corner store, get a bottle of coconut water with some wet dollars and I’m off. “Drinking water in the rain. What the hell was I thinking? Then again, I wasn’t thinking, especially after seeing Maia. But, what did she mean, it was her fault? In fact, how does she even know where I live? Wait, I’m here. Well, here we go.”
It takes a few more minutes and some curses, but I finally make. Small and slightly rough, but filled with an abundance of dragon’s gold or so we heard it called when we were children. Thick and widespread luminous moss; “How I missed this place.” Taking off my shirt, I squeeze out as much water as I can, roll it into a ball and lay it down. “What the hell am I doing? I should just head home…it’s just one job. It’ll be easy to get another one again, right? Damn, but I’m tired of this. Tired of doing shit I don’t like just to survive. Damn it all!”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” My screams fade into the sound of thunder and after a while, I take off my pants, fling it to the side and sit down. “Just tired of it all.” Laying down, I run my hands on the cave’s wall and the beams of light reflecting off of it. “Memories. Good for only a moment, but perhaps a moment is all I need.”
I wake to a thunderous boom in the night sky and some of the moss strangely wrapped around me. Gently prying it off, I shake my head slightly. “How long have I been out for?” My watch doesn’t seem to be working aaaaannnd of course, my pants and shirt are missing. “Just my day. But my skin, it feels…strange.” On my chest, hands, back and legs are these weird dark markings and I swear I can sometimes see a flash of green light. “Nah, couldn’t be. It’s just the moss. But now, how the hell am I supposed to get back to the apartment in just my underwear?”
Another boom echoes in the sky followed by a weird screeching sound and then nothing. Looking out, I stare at the sky. “Less rain, but at this rate, it’s probably still got an hour or two to go. Shit, what to do?” Something thumps against the cave wall and I spin around, peering into the darkness. A few steps away lay my pants, a little dirty but otherwise good. Looking around, I walk slowly towards it. When nothing jumps out, I laugh slightly. “Just old dreams or the wind and trees. Mmmm, but this is surprisingly dry. Oh well, something to be thankful for.”
Pulling my pants on, I then look around for my shirt. “Your shirt’s gone.”
Goosebumps pop all over my body and I leap back near the entrance of the cave. “Hel…Hello?” Nothing. “Must’ve been my imagination, right? That was a good rest though. I fell asleep there, so my shirt should be somewhere here…maybe I’ll have to come back when the sun’s up to look for it and to visit this place. Forgot how magical and wonderful it could feel.”
“Yes, come back, but only after you’ve seen what’s out there. We may have much to talk about.” A voice, deep and powerful reaches into my depths and I am frozen in place. Ripples of light move faster along the wall and smoke figures seem to be dancing among the lights. In the back of the cave two bright and big eyes, green as the light from the moss appear. “Just don’t bore me David. I hate boredom. Your friend always told good stories, but then you’ll meet him again I’m sure.” And in a flash of lightning, scales set in a large face with tendrils that seem to go on forever, are revealed. “What the hell…the cave, it doesn’t end.”
And I turn and run. The sound of laughter echoes. “Yes, run Dav. It’s waiting for you, they’re coming for it and she’s almost there. Run and come back with good stories! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!”
I don’t see where I’m running, but I’ve got to get away from whatever that was. Get away. Branches break as I run blindly into the night, my feet sucking in and out of the mud. Suddenly another flash of lightning strikes, but this time it seems to freeze when it touches the ground. Aaaand I can’t move. The lightning suddenly coalesces into a ball and streams of colourful light suddenly strike at it from different angles. As I float into the night sky, my eyes wide, the now multicoloured orb rises to meet me, a voice gently floating from it. “Don’t be scared. We…I’ve been waiting. It said you’d come. They’re so close & I’m sorry, but I need your help.”
With that, it rushes at me and as it enters, I scream in agony. My body twists, seeking to break free of whatever holds it, as all around me lightening flashes in rapid succession. Till finally, it stops and I’m on my knees. My breathing is rapid and I’m looking around at the now quiet park. “What the hell is happenning!”
“Michael, we have to move. We both have someplace we need to be.”
Twiting and turning, I search for the sound of the voice. “Inside me, it’s inside me! What the hell is going on?” Suddenly another loud boom echoes, this time followed by bright lights in the sky. Four lights shoot down, two infront and two at the back and as they clear, figures dressed in blue and red with matching masks can be seen.
“It’s okay. We know what it did. Just come to us and we’ll help you.”
“Who are you? What…what are you?”
“David, behind you!” As I spin, the one infront with its hand raised, shouts “No! LET HIM BE.” Its voice temporarily stops the other who is a few inches away from me, hands raised, but only for a few seconds, as its hands comes crashing down. Raising both my hands into an x formataion, I block the strike, then push it away. Reaching forward, I grab it by its head and bursts of colours start to spread along it body, as it shivers uncontrollably.
“Stop!” This time, I echo the other beings voice and whatever’s in me listens. As the one I’m holding falls to the ground, it’s suit dissolves followed by it’s legs and what’s left is a muscular man curled up and screaming in pain.
“That shouldn’t have happened.” Turning to the original speak, my breath coming in rapid spurts, I see she has removed her mask. Tall, blond with eyes that seem to flash blue in the night. “Listen to me. It’s going to be okay. He’s going to be okay.” Her voice is very calming. “What you did was an accident. Just come to us and we will help.”
“Okay.” Breathing slowly, I walk towards her. Till suddenly a bright light flashes in my eyes and I see her standing over me talking to someone else. This person is tochuring me! “Pain, so much pain and the keep prodding and taking notes. It just goes on and on & she’s standing there, smiling.” The light clears and I see her standing a few feet away, smiling, hand open and raised. “No.” And I step back.
Sighing, she looks to her left. “Okay then, we do this the hard way.” The figure to her left steps forward and its suit seems to ripple and then it begins to change, groing in size as colourful smoe starts pouring out.
“David, run.” That damn inner voice again, but this time I listen and sprint to the right, the woman’s voice shouting behind me; “Shit, stupid! You were supposed to split and go to his side. Call backup, now! We’ll go after him.”
My speed increases even though I have no idea where I’m headed. Behind me, I can hear the trees rustling as big and smokey seems to be following. “What the hell’s going on!”
“I’ll explain everything David, but we’ve got to escape!” Flashes of light keep dropping down around me, with figures appearing from them, but I move past most before they even appear. Two suddenly leap out infront of me, only for me to freeze midair, hands outstretched with two bright beams of light shaped like fists flying from them, blasting the two figures out above the trees and into the sky. And I’m off again.
“To the right, David.” I narrowly dodge a massive fist slamming through the branches ahead and the voice speaks again; ” We’re almost complete David, so I should be able to…hold your hands up.” As I do, colourful smoke pours out of them and I plunge into their depths, eyes wide, coming to a rolling stop on my apartment floor.
Breathing rapidly, I get up and look around. “What the hell, what the hell, what the hell!” The voice whispers, “The answers will come. But we’ve got one more thing to do.”
“Shit, shit, shit. It sounds like me now!” Heading to the windows, I look out and see the same lights in the sky a few blocks away searching and slowly drawing closer. “Shit, shit, shit. What do I do?” Thunder booms and I can hear people in the apartment next door. Taking in deep slow breaths, I look around the room. Ans as my mind calms, I hear a whisper in my mind telling me what to do and some of what’s out there and where we’re gonna go. Then, when we arrive, the answers will flow.
Wide eyed, I fall to my knees. “Should I do this; is this real? It’s what I’ve wanted, what if I’m crazy.” And the lights have finally reached my block, slightly hidden in the dark clouds. I can hear footsteps coming closer, from the floors below. “Fuck it!”
And here we are. Me, with my arms outstretched, colours flowing through my skin and what seems to be a rift in the universe opening in between them. The footsteps have stopped though and whoever or whatever it was, is now at my door, jiggling the handle. The rifts widening. I can hear the flashes of light from the clouds and my heart begins to race. It’s wide enough for me to pass through, and breathing slowly, I look around. “Should I just leave it all?”
The door bursts open. “Fuck.” I turn and speak the words I need to speak. As I’m pulled into the rift, I hear a voice shoutting my name. “David, wait! Dav!” Turning, I see Maiara running towards me. Through the shattered doorway, I can see two blue masked figures leaping up to my floor. As she leaps towards me, the rift pulls at us both and with a flash of light, everything else fades.