|The Immortal Protectors
Author: nicolejuliah PM
You can't always escape death, can you? Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes? What happens to you when you die? I used to ask these questions, just like most people do. I never thought that they would actually be answered. At first, having an average life seemed to suck, but after strange events and near-death experiences, Rachel never thought she'd actually miss it.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Chapters: 6 - Words: 19,712 - Updated: 01-20-13 - Published: 01-03-13 - id: 3088891
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Again and again, the impossible decision is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made." –Dr. Robert Schuller
Problem solving is one of life's essentials. Without it we'd be so behind; so prehistoric. It's a skill some are born with, some learn over time, and some never obtain, unfortunately. Although, I find the previous statement to be a lie; I never thought I'd be problem solver, but when you're thrown out into a whole new kind of world, things start to happen. A different person takes over. Your brain goes into autopilot. Your actions are unpredictable. Sometimes, when you need to get to the bottom of something, you completely transform yourself, leaving a shell of what you used to be. This unbearable longing for the truth can eat out whatever is left of your sanity and your being, but what most don't realize is when you are forced into this kind of situation, there's a ladder that leads you back to what you used to be. When you finally overcome this obstacle, when you finally solve this puzzle, a brand new version of the old you blossoms. Relief washes over you. You can breathe again. And that's why I believe everyone is a problem solver in their own way; to achieve this kind of bliss is one of the most rewarding accomplishments, even if you hit a few bumps in the road along the way, for these bumps may even be the best things to happen, like becoming something you never thought you could possibly be. For me, it was becoming a Raven.
The Truth Stings
"The truck driver claims he fell into a trance," I exclaimed disgustedly. How could you say you "fell into a trance," after you've killed an innocent woman? She was 24 and was visiting her dad for the week. I bet she didn't even get the chance to react. You know like swerve out of the way or brake. I bet she didn't get to say goodbye to her loved ones. I mean a real goodbye. I can't imagine what they were going through then. At the same time I was angry. Furious. How could those boys do that? If my car was supposed to be hit, why did those boys stop it? By doing so someone else had to suffer a terrible fate. I read an article about how her boyfriend was thinking about proposing. He was looking at engagement rings when he got the call. Awful. Horrible. These words are weak in comparison to how horrendous the situation really was. "Can you believe it?" I murmured. Nate looked at me with sad eyes. He does this kind of "puppy dog" eyes thing, but it's the not the kind of look that begs for something; it's the kind of look that shows remorse. The kind that you know he is actually listening; that he actually cares. "Things like this happen every day unfortunately," he began. I turned away. I knew he was right though. Accidents do happen every day. People witness them and people are in them, but he wouldn't understand why I'm truly upset. It should have been us. It should have been me. "I know, you're right," I lamented. "But it's okay to be upset," he consoled. I was glad I had decided to meet up with Nate at Wilke's Coffee Shop on North Street; it was nice to be able to talk to him. The coffee shop is a good number of miles away from the dreaded intersection which was a good thing because I didn't want to go back there any time soon. The café was deader than usual, and we were probably the youngest ones there. I tried distracting myself by thinking about all the old couples who were drinking their coffee and eating their scones, but I couldn't help but think that maybe that could have been the woman and her boyfriend; making me feel worse. Suddenly, Nate snapped me back into reality. "You saw a lot more than you should have, but we can't change the past. We can only hope for a better future." He said, giving me a light smile while grabbing my hand. He always had the perfect thing to say. He was like my very own personal therapist. "You should be a therapist," I joked even though I actually meant it. "And you my friend should be Batman! I want a muffin, I'll be back." Batman? Sometimes he has the perfect things to say and sometimes I worry if he's on drugs or not.
"So why should I be Batman?" I asked after he inhaled his muffin. "Becauthe you louk," Speaking with his mouth full is definitely not one of his many talents. He swallowed. "Because you look like a Bruce." I cocked an eyebrow at him. "Wait, that didn't come out right. You're just very Bruce-like. You have a sense of Bruciness towards you. You're Brucezilla." My eyes whirled around like whirlpools in their sockets. "Brucezilla, really?" "Eh, it was the only thing I could come up with. Don't doubt my wisdom young grasshopper for one day it may be your only hope for survival." "Yeah, sure," I sarcastically exclaimed while messing up his hair. We didn't stay much longer at the coffee shop, so I got home 7-ish. My mom was eating a sandwich and reading some magazine when I arrived. "Hey Rachel," she greeted. "How was the coffee shop?" "Fine, they have good muffins," I answered innocently. "I'm surprised you haven't showered or gotten ready yet." "Yeah I know. I'm going to shower as soon as I finish this sandwich." My mom doesn't really have a set schedule for anything besides work. She "goes with the flow" for just about everything, but when it comes to her graveyard shift down at the police station she's on it. "Are you hungry? I'll make you a sandwich," she offered. "No, it's okay. Thanks anyways." I started to walk away, but then I hesitated. "Mom?" "Yes?" "If I were a boy what would you have named me?" "Hmm, I like Bruce. You could have easily been a Bruce." She answered. "Why?" "Oh, I was just wondering." And with that I left to my room. I guess I shouldn't doubt Nate and his "wisdom."
I didn't have any dreams that night which was awfully peculiar and school seemed to be more of a drag than any other day. Mrs. Reed gave us a pop quiz and the school lunch tasted like…well the words I'd use to describe it are very…crude. They served "chicken nuggets," if you could call them that. They tasted like dirt, felt like cottage cheese, and smelled awful. The smell was like an overpowering fume; no matter what you tried the smell forever loomed inside your nostril. It was like someone had hung up an air freshener that smelled like the school's chicken nuggets inside my nose. I can picture one of those car air fresheners shaped like trees releasing a ghastly smell and celebrating its victory by letting out more fumes. Sick. There also weren't any glow stick hand boy sightings nor did I see the other boy. I really needed to come up with a catchy nickname for him. It wasn't like I was in desperate need of finding them, but it would have been nice to get to the bottom of everything sooner. It was a pretty pointless day, that is, until Nate invited me to go with him to a new bookstore that opened up downtown. The weather was quite pleasant, so we decided to walk there.
"So what's so special about this book store anyways?" I asked, breaking the silence that lingered amongst us. "I don't know it just looked cool. Besides, don't you enjoy reading?" "Sometimes I guess," I've never been into reading most books and the ones I have read all involve a knight in shining armor rescuing a damsel in distress or superheroes. "Well you're not illiterate, so we can at least try and make this fun," he jested. "You know I like comic books," I retorted. For some reason I wasn't in the greatest of moods, probably because of failing Mrs. Reed's stupid pop quiz. "That's right! I heard they have a fantastic comic book section! You're going to love this Rachel!" he rejoiced putting his arm around me. I could tell Nate desperately wanted to hang out with me. It was bitterly blatant. I loved hanging out with him, I really did. Being the only child could be really lonely and Nate has always been there to fill the void, but I'd just been so distracted then that I had totally blocked him out. I knew my whole "situation" could had either been very crucial or it could all had be a big hoax, but either way at that moment I wasn't going to let it get in the way of me having a good time with Nate. "Thanks for inviting me Nate," Not exactly what I wanted to say, but it was good enough. "No problem," he replied. We silently walked a bit enjoying each other's presence when we finally arrived at the book store. The first thing I noticed was how big it was when I saw a three story building towering before me. Three story buildings are rare here; two stories are usually the highest you ever see. "Wow this place is a lot bigger than I thought it would be," I exclaimed. "I know!" He said as we walked through the entrance. Shelves loaded with books swarmed the place. Rows and rows of shelves were all lined up like soldiers. "Look they even have a little lounge, classy." Nate pointed out. Glancing at the lounge caused Déjà vu to overcome me. The familiarity was powerful, but not powerful enough for me to remember why exactly this lounge looked so familiar. I was so focused on the lounge that I didn't notice that Nate had left until he came skipping towards me. "The comic book section is upstairs, c'mon let's go!" He shouted yanking me with him. I tried to keep my gaze on the lounge, but fumbling up the stairs like a drunken man made it difficult to do so.
It was amazing. The whole second floor was dedicated to graphic novels. It looked similar to the first floor. Rows and rows of bookshelves filled the room and lined up against the walls. There were three windows in the room and they illuminated the room perfectly. The nice, big sun shined its beautiful rays through the dirty glass windows and it had an overall peaceful feeling. I managed to squeeze the whole lounge scene out of my mind, so I could focus on having a good time and not go insane. "Where do we even begin?" I asked him. It was overwhelming. You could be here for a year straight and not even get through half of them. "This place is bigger than Narnia, I'm not sure it'll matter where we begin," Nate replied after admiring the room for a few minutes. "Well how about there," he suggested, pointing to one side of the room. "Or how about there, or, uh, there," It was truly hard to decide. "I have an idea; eeney meeney miney moe, catch a tiger by the toe—I can't do it," I tried, but the awesomeness of the selection was too great for the simple eeney meeney miney moe decision maker. "Okay I'm going to close my eyes and spin around real fast. Wherever I'm facing when I stop is where we'll begin our epic adventure, deal?" "Deal," I agreed. He started to spin and I laughed loudly. I hadn't laughed that hard in a while and I almost forgot what it sounded like. People began to stare. Some gazed at him awkwardly while others giggled. I knew I was supposed to be quiet, but it was just so darn funny. This is exactly why we're best friends; we can be obnoxious without it being embarrassing. He spun around six times like a spin top before stopping and facing the original section he had suggested earlier. "We could have saved so much time if we had just gone there originally," He kidded. "I know, but it was totally worth it. Seeing you spin around like that in the middle of public made my life," I said while failing to hold a laugh back. "Glad you were amused," He said back sarcastically.
We looked through the sea of comic books. There were so many it was unbelievable. I read one comic book called Box Man. It was about a guy who created extra strong boxing material for some company and uses it to build armor, so he can protect his niece from impending doom. I loved it; it was great. I glanced over at Nate who was sitting across from me and he was reading a Bloodwynd comic. That's his all time favorite. They had beanbags here and there and we were sitting on some in a corner. I made Nate take the pink polka dot one while I sat on a black one. He wasn't too happy about it, but it was still funny. I was reaching for another comic from the pile we made when I saw something strange. A pale white bird, whose feathers were whiter than Snow White's face, stood across the room, looking in my direction. No one else seemed to notice it, of course. Should I tell Nate? How could everyone in the room not see it? Even though it was strange, the bird was still pretty. Its feathers glimmered like a disco ball and its feet and beak were both a pearly white. It was majestic, and disturbing. Despite its beauty, its eyes said otherwise. They were a piercing blood red. I had to make a decision and fast. I didn't want to lose sight of the bird. "I need to go to the bathroom, I'll be back," I said quickly. "Okay," Nate was so into his comic book, I don't think he would have noticed me get up and walk away. I briskly walked towards the bird. It started to fly away. I needed to keep up with the bird, but I didn't want to look like a lunatic. I had to chase the bird, without really chasing it. It flew at a slow pace until we reached the bottom of the stairs. The second we got to the bottom it zoomed faster than an airplane out the door. I ran after it. I had to push through people and I knocked over a stand of a newspaper as I flew past it. It stopped as soon as it got outside. It perched itself on top of a tree branch. What is it doing? I looked around and noticed that there were only a few people wandering around the street. It was a nice afternoon and yet no one was around. Suddenly the bird let out a loud screech making me jump.
Then the bird changed. Before it was a white dove, but then it took on the body of a crow. Its white feathers slowly faded to black, like someone was pouring black paint on it. The black spread around its feathers at a slow pace, carefully seeping through every break. Its beak grew long and sharp and was black as coal. Its terrifying red eyes remained. It flew up and landed on a window sill on the bookstore. That's when it hit me like a car hitting a scared a deer in the middle of the street. The window sill. The building. The familiarity of it all. It made sense now; that was the building I had seen in my dreams! I went back inside and observed the lounge. Yep. It was indeed that one particular room with the brown leather couch and yellow caution tape I had dreamt of. I was overjoyed. Things sort of made more sense and for once I understood why strange events took place. I understood the bird's message. It was sad that the bird got its message out more clearly than the two boys ever did and it couldn't even talk. I felt I had some closure and I was completely happy about it. All I needed to do then was find out more about the building and who had previously lived in it and I could get so many more answers, but I opted to do that when I wasn't there with Nate. I walked back upstairs with a huge smile across my face. I sat down on the pink polka dot beanbag, seem how Nate had claimed the black one for himself in my absence, and picked up another comic book. "I'm not sure if I wanna know why you're all smiley and happy after coming back from the baño." Nate whispered to me. I guess it did look a bit strange. "Oh, I uh, saw a guy with a funny shirt, that's all." That was all I could come up with. Lame. "Ah, okay," was all he replied. I tried reading the comic I had started, but obviously I was too distracted. It was okay, though, because I knew that this mystery was eventually going to unfold.