A resounding boom left my ears ringing and I stood up to peer through the little Honda's windows to see one of the cars flipped over. A few figures scrambled around and then I saw him. He appears to be a teenage boy in jeans and a white shirt. As far as I know he doesn't operate by magic exactly, I don't really think magic is real. I actually don't really know much about him at all except that I hate him with all my heart and today is the day that I'm going to kill him.

I saw him turn around and start walking towards one of the cars that Jess and Link were behind. Sitting back down against the tire I glanced at Nic and he gave a slight nod. With a yell we both jumped up drawing our swords and running towards him. He turned with a surprised smile.

"Isobel," I saw his lips form the word. Jess and Link leaped out from behind the car so that the four of us formed a circle around him. With a lunge I attacked. He easily parried all of our blows with his own sword until Link disarmed him. By that time though he'd already disarmed me and Jess. Drawing my knife I saw an opening and jumped in, the knife sinking easily into his soft flesh. A wave of nausea passed over me but I plunged the knife in repeatedly until his shirt was covered with red holes. I stepped back and watched as the red seeped out soaking his entire shirt in blood. I almost puked. I'd never killed anyone before, never actually caused anyone to bleed before really.

To my horror though, as I stepped backwards, these multiple wounds did not seem to be affecting him. He gave a slight smile then leaned down to pull his own knife out of his boot. Unlike my rusty dagger, his knife was polished clean, with a blade that was curved to look like rippled water.

The next scene of events happened very fast, Nic, my dear beloved Nic, took the opportunity to swing his sword at his neck. He ducked and slipped his knife deep into Nic's stomach. I gasped, watching in slow motion as Nic's mouth opened and he collapsed onto the ground.

I remember hearing someone scream then Link, Jess, and I all ran at him full speed, but somehow, he was gone. And the four of us were alone in the dusty little parking lot. I think a few of the people living in the little court were brave enough by then to open a door or window to look outside but I didn't pay much attention to them. I was paying attention to Nic.

Kneeling by his side I took his hand which felt deathly cold. His face was sickly white, twisted in a grimace of pain.

"Nic? Nic? Can you hear me? We'll get help, you'll be okay," I said hoping, hoping, that I would be right.

Nic turned his head to the left, opposite of where I was kneeling and I heard him whisper, "Can you see it?"

I followed his gaze and squinted, a silvery object was forming. A moment later it appeared to be a door sized rectangle of liquidy silver, as it became more clear the world around me became misty. Nic started walking towards it and then glanced back at me.

"Come with me," he said, his eyes showing his fear. I knew he'd go though, no matter what. My heart gave an awful wrench.

"Of course I'll come with you," I said taking a few steps toward that horrible glimmering door.

Nicholas easily stepped through and disappeared. I reached out a hand and pushed it through, it felt like air. Taking a deep breath I stepped in.

Looking around I found my self in a misty forest of sorts. The trees were all devoid of leaves and rather small. A dirt road about a yard wide led up to something where a line of people had gathered. Nic stood at the end of the line. The sky above was solid gray. I walked forward and got in line behind him. After waiting for a few minutes I found myself starting at a wooden pedestal with a notebook lying open. I saw a list of names, next to their names was today's date: 10-21-02. In horror I realized all these people had died today. The number next to Nic's name was 239727. 240 THOUSAND people. I looked around seeing various people wander off. A pair of old people followed by a small girl of 4 or 5. I felt sick. Glancing behind me more people had already lined up. They must have died just minutes ago.

I found myself wandering through this awful cloudy misty place, stepping on dead leaves and tripping over hidden roots. I'm not sure how much time passed; time seemed a strange thing in this place. This place that made me feel depressed and awful and well, dead.

Then I suddenly realized that I had no idea where Nicholas was. Nicholas, the whole reason I'd entered this dismal world. I had been following him, following the color of his yellow shirt. But now as I looked around, I was completely alone. I broke into a run, stumbling through the dead forest, running, running for what felt like forever, until: I broke out of the woods onto a little dirt road. The sun seemed to actually break through the clouds a little bit here and I heard a yell and the sound of hoof beats. A teenage boy on a fat black pony cantered past then slowed and trotted back to get a better look at me. Then I heard another yell and another teenage boy, on a bay pony this time, cantered up, doing a sliding halt as he swung off the pony to see what was going on. It was Nicholas.

"Isobel?" he asked incredulous.

"Nic! Where did you go? I lost sight of you!" I said stepping forward to hug him but he stepped back, looking as if he'd seen a ghost.

"Iz, I thought you'd left. It's been almost, well its been a long time," he said, "Time doesn't really move in a straight line here. This place doesn't have directions."

This place. He seemed to understand it better than I did. I did notice the time thing though. He seemed a part of it. I was the one who was out of place here. I didn't belong here. The mist that had been pushed back by Nic's presence started closing in and I found myself in my dreadful little woods again. I didn't belong here. Finally, I let go, I stopped trying to hold onto this place and let myself be apart from it.

Opening my eyes I found myself lying in a little white bed with white sheets in a sterile white room. A curtain separated me from the other part of the room. A hospital. Next to me someone was sleeping in a chair. Jess.

I reached over and touched her shoulder; she lifted her head almost immediately awake. She must have been sleeping lightly.

"Isobel?" she asked, her voice rough. I nodded. Link walked in at that moment holding a cup of water which he promptly dropped when he saw I was a awake.

"Nic?" I coughed, unused to talking and cleared my throat before repeating, "Nic?"

Jess looked down.

"Nic is dead," Link replied, "He died a few minutes before the ambulance got here."

"Dead," I stated then asked, "How long have I been asleep?"

"Almost two weeks," Jess replied, "You were in a coma."

"Oh," I replied. Well that's life and death.