This story that I'm about to tell you starts on an average day at Campton High School. I was in math class on a sunny Monday afternoon. Teachers were brandishing rulers like swords and the wimps in the middle row were sobbing in terror. Just like any other day. As usual, me and my best friend Jeremy were sitting nervously on the edge of our seats.
Before I get into the main part of the story, I'll introduce myself. My name is Matthew Anderson, Matt for short. I attend Campton High (obviously). I'm a Junior and the principal is Dr. Whiteberg. He's as big as an iceberg, big and looking as if he hasn't exercised in years, which he probably hasn't. He always wears white clothes, which makes it easy to see the sweat stains on his clothes. His clothes are never dry. It's never been dry for the 2 and a half years I've been here.
The school itself is massive. All the freshman practically spend half of their time at school trying to find their classroom. Some even spend weeks trying to find their classrooms only to find it right in the front of the school, like, they run right past it every morning. Yes, I said running. All 1867 of the students have to get to school and in their classrooms by 7:30, and the gates don't open until 7:25. It's insane. I hate this school.
Anyways, Jeremy and I were on the edge of our seats, and as math was our last class of the day, we were itching to go, but nervous, because at any moment, our teacher could whack us with his ruler (which I'm pretty sure is illegal now, but if we told Dr. Whiteberg, he'd give us detention for lying).
I risked whispering to Jeremy, "Only 5 minutes until class is over." He nodded distractedly.
3 minutes passed. I started tapping my foot, then immediately stopped. Last time I tapped my foot, I was sent to the office for some perverse reason. And I mean perverse.
Another minute passed. I closed my eyes and moaned. Fortunately, the teacher didn't notice. He was too busy mauling the middle row with his ruler. Not really, but that would be interesting.
Then finally, the bell rang. Jeremy and I yanked on our backpacks and ran out. I would say at record speed, but I've gone faster, mostly on Fridays.
Imagine the guy who seems the most average, the person who you don't seem to notice that much at all. That's me. Raven black hair, lean, average height guy in T-shirt and jeans or shorts. I hate wearing long-sleeved shirts. They feel constricting. The only things that make me stand out are my eyes. My left eye is a really golden hazel and my right eye is blue. Strange, right? It's seems impossible, since neither of my parents have blue eyes. My mom has green eyes, and my dad had hazel eyes. But since it happened, I guess it's not impossible. My eyes are bright in color, and they look really different, not like other people who eyes are kind of the same shade. I wear an eye patch over my left eye, because I was born with that eye blind.
I hate to say it, but I'm a gamer. I don't look like one, but I am. I'm a console gamer. I spend 4-5 hours a day playing videogames. Mostly hack-and-slash, racing, FPS (First Person Shooter), or RPGs (Role Playing Games). I hate sports, I usually stay inside. But I'm not pale, like you would expect. Living in California seems to do that.
I'm also blessed with the gift of seeming never to gain weight. If I don't eat enough, like, less than a serving, than I lose weight. Fortunately, I love to eat, so that's not a problem.
Anyway, when I got home, no one was there, which wasn't surprising. Mom works outside the house, and I'm an only child. Dad left before I was born. I walked into my game room, which was crammed with consoles, games, controllers, and surge protectors. I turned on the TV, started my Xbox 360, and inserted the Mass Effect disc. I immersed myself in the game, not paying attention to anything but the game.
"Matt, dinner!!" I jerked. I'd lost track of time. I didn't even hear Mom come into the house. I mentally slapped myself. I got up and turned off the TV, and then I went to dinner.
At school the next morning, I was running towards the gate. It was 7:27, according to my watch.
"Matt!" I turned around and saw Jeremy running up to me. He said breathlessly, "I've got two pieces of news. Both are good. Which would you like to hear first?"
"How about the second one?" I asked.
"Okay. I'm not grounded anymore."
"How'd you do it?" I asked, impressed. "Did you promise to clean your garage or something?"
"Actually, I gave up all my allowance until 2025." Jeremy said.
"Ah, buying your way out of slavery. Now," I said, "what's the first piece of news?"
"Oh yeah, someone transferred to our school." Jeremy shuddered. "Rumor is that she wanted to."
I gaped like a drowning fish. "Seriously?"
Jeremy nodded sadly. "Yep." Then he grinned. "I heard that she's hot. Her name's Allison."
"Hmm," I murmured. Then the bell rang. We yelped, and then ran off to our classrooms with a quick farewell.
Hours passed, and then it was lunch.
Lunch is insane. As I've said, the food is horrible. Poor Kenny in History is gone now. And since it's Tuesday, guess what? It's meatloaf day. Oh. Joy. Meatloaf. Excuse me while I retch.
Finally, it was math. I sighed and fidgeted. I looked out the window. I twiddled my thumbs. I stared at the ceilings. Yes, I said ceilings, plural. The idiot who designed the room made part of the ceiling too low. That area is where Jeremy and I sit. It could be counted as one ceiling, but everyone refers to it as ceilings. Sometimes hyper people jump up too fast when the bell rings and whack their head really hard on the ceiling. A couple of people had to be treated for concussions. It's happened before. Jeremy almost did that once, but I saved him by kicking him between the legs. Jeremy thanked me by throwing me out the window, which was luckily on the first floor. That was my first suspension.
Anyway, the bell finally rang. The cute looking red-headed girl sitting next to me rose really quickly, too quickly. I grabbed her hand and pulled her down. She turned to glare at me, and we both gasped in surprise as we saw each other's eyes. Her left eye was blue and her right eye was green. She was wearing a T-shirt and shorts with flip-flops.
"You're Matt, aren't you?" she said in disbelief.
"How did you know?" I asked, shocked.
She grimaced. "Everyone at this school mentions you whenever they see my eyes. It's sucks monkey balls."
I rubbed my cheek absently.
"My name's Allison," she said. "Why are you rubbing your cheek like that?"
"Oh, this." I took my hand to reveal the white scar running down my left cheek. "I got mugged one time when I was running errands for my sister. Allison winced. "That must've hurt."
"No," I said, "the stitches hurt more."
Suddenly, a ruler slammed down on my hand. I yelped and the math teacher squealed, "Get out of my class, now!!"
I rose carefully and told Allison, "Careful of the ceiling. People have gotten concussions on it before."
She stared at me. "Really?"
I looked at her. "Yes, really." Then I told her about when I saved Jeremy from that fate.
She giggled. "What the heck? Are you serious?"
"Yeah, it hurt a lot," I said.
The math teacher screeched, "GET OUT OF MY [insert any word of your choice] CLASSROOM!!"
Allison rose slowly and carefully and told me, "See you tomorrow." We ran out of the classroom.
Today happens to be Wednesday. Wednesdays are very boring because I know it's the middle of the week. It's math again. I'm thinking that my life isn't worthwhile. Of course, when I'm out of math class, I won't feel like that, but as long as the math teacher drones on about stuff the last teacher just taught us, I'm gonna feel depressed. Obviously. Jeremy whispered something about the similarity between the teacher's face and a pumpkin, and fortunately, I stopped from snickering.
Then it happened. The teacher's mindless drone slowed, then stopped. All the whispering from the other students stopped too. I looked around and gasped. There was a paper airplane in the air, but it wasn't moving. The teacher was in the middle of writing the word fractions on the whiteboard, but was halfway through the letter n. I looked at Jeremy. His face was frozen in a snicker. Then a hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun around and grabbed the wrist that was connected (duh) to the hand.
"What's happening?" Allison asked quietly. I liked how she didn't panic.
"I don't know," I replied. "This school isn't that crazy."
We rose (carefully) and looked around. Everyone was frozen in place, and not with ice. Curiously, I put my hand to Jeremy's wrist. It was cold. I felt for a pulse and frowned. He did have a pulse.
"This is weird," I said.
"Nooooo, you think?" Allison said, dripping sarcasm.
"No, I mean even though everyone is frozen," I motioned towards the teacher, "people still have a pulse."
Allison gave me a look. "You know what I think is crazy? I think it's crazy that we aren't freaking out like normal people."
"I know." I said. "Maybe we should check the other classrooms to see if they're stopped too."
We walked out of the class and checked the other classrooms. They were all frozen, like time had stopped.
"I would think that time stopped," I said, "but for two reasons. One that time stopping is completely ridiculous, and two, we're still moving and aware. Why should we, of all people, still move, while even objects don't move?"
"I don't know Matt," Allison murmured. Then she pointed. "What's that?"
"What's what?" I asked.
"That necklace of yours," she said. I looked down. My necklace was round and gold, with a ruby in the middle. "What about it?" I asked.
"Mine's exactly the same." Allison pulled an identical necklace out of her shirt.
"That's funny," I said.
As we were walking, a golden retriever walked around the corner. By golden retriever, I mean the dog. Allison stroked the dog and said to it, "Hello doggy. Why aren't you frozen like everyone else?"
For the same reason you aren't stopped like everyone else.
I looked around. "Who said that?"
Allison said, "Uh, I think the dog said it." She crouched down in front of the dog. "Will you talk again, boy?"
Don't call me boy. I'm a female, said the dog, wagging her tail.
My jaw dropped and hit the floor before I could catch it and shove it back. Allison spoke. "What is keeping us from being frozen like everyone else?"
The dog woofed. Before I answer that, let me introduce myself. My name is Sammy, short for Samantha. A pause, then, You both have necklaces, right?
"Yeah," we both said in unison. Then we both looked at Sammy, who also had the necklace attached to her collar.
Where did you two get your necklaces? Sammy inquired.
"I got mine from my dad," I said. "What about you Allison?"
Allison said, "Mine was from my dad's best friend's older brother."
Sammy cocked an ear, then looked down at her paw. I looked too and realized that Sammy had three watches on her right front paw.
"Why do you have three watches on your paw?" Allison asked.
No time to explain. We need to go. Sammy trotted outside through the front gates. Alex and I followed her.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
Somewhere where I can change back to human form, replied Sammy. She barked and started to run. I ran after her with Alex at my side.
After running for about twenty minutes, Sammy stopped at an abandoned garage. I slowed to a stop, breathing a little heavier than I had when I started. Allison stopped beside me and gasped for breath, bending over in exhaustion. I frowned.
"Why am I in better shape than you, Allison, when all I do all day is videogames?" I asked curiously.
"Maybe 'pant' it's because I 'gasp' do that too." Allison managed to gasp out before she collapsed to the ground. She groaned, "Oh, my poor legs. I'm going to feel 'gasp' horrible in the 'pant' morning."
Sammy nosed open a side door. When I change, she said, I won't have any clothes, since they don't transform with me. I did stash some clothes I here, but don't come in. She trotted in. Soon, there was a flash of light.
I glanced at Allison, who was still gasping for breath on the ground, although she was sitting up now. "Do you need medical attention?" I asked sarcastically.
"No," she said. She whacked my shin. "You don't need to be that way."
"No, of course I don't have to be that way," I said lightly. "Hey, want to hear a joke?"
"Okay, what is it?"
"Two people walked into a bar." I grinned. "The third ducked under."
"That was a really stupid joke, y'know," Allison said. Suddenly a girl walked out of the garage. I looked at her. Nothing special, except maybe her strawberry blonde hair (I think, can't really tell the difference between blonde and strawberry blonde, though Allison swears its strawberry blonde) and ill fitting clothes. Oh, and the dog collar around her neck.
She smiled. "Don't you recognize me? Oh yes, I was a dog the last time you saw me." Of course. It was Sammy. That made sense.
"How'd you become a dog anyway?" I asked.
"I used magic," she said casually, like it was completely normal. I guess it was normal for her.
"What words did you use?" Allison asked excitedly. "Could I become a dog?"
"Silly humans. Humans can't use magic. It's too powerful for their fragile minds," Sammy answered.
"That means you're not human, right?" I said quietly.
She smirked. "You're a smart human. I'm actually an angel."
"Wow, that's cool!" Allison exclaimed.
Sammy looked at her. "Maybe, but it doesn't feel that way to me. I'm ferried between Celestia and Earth every six months. Every two years, I have to move to a different place on Earth because I age slower than normal humans."
Allison interrupted, "How old are you?"
Sammy looked sad. "One thousand four hundred and thirty nine years old."
I asked, "What is Celestia and what do you do on Earth?"
Sammy said, "Celestia is the angel name for heaven. On Earth, since my dad died a long time ago, I stay with a Nephilim, he's a great friend of mine."
"What's a Nephilim?" Allison asked.
"A Nephilim is a fallen angel, or in human terms, an angel who ticks off God," explained Sammy, "who punishes them by either sending them to work in hell to pay off their sins, or by clipping their wings and sending them to Earth, depending on what they did. My friend peed in the holy water because God refused to let him see his half sister when she died."
"What does he do now?" I asked.
"He lives in a nice house in Los Angeles. Most Nephilim either go to Los Angeles or Manhattan after they fall. Los Angeles is self explanatory, seeing as the name of the city in English is 'The Angels'. As for Manhattan, it's hard to notice angels there, since there are so many crazy people."
"I mean, what does he do for a living?" I asked.
Sammy grinned. "He's a blacksmith. He makes metal tools, but he also makes swords as a hobby. We're going to go to his place now. Come on, my car is just a couple minutes jog from here." She started off. Allison and I looked at each other, then followed her.
As we jogged, I noticed the cars in the middle of the road. The people who were driving were frozen doing normal, if slightly illegal things. One woman was applying makeup. A man was talking on his cell phone. I even saw one woman writing as she drove. The wheels were frozen, leaning slightly forward as if in motion.
Sammy turned into a McDonalds parking lot and we followed her as she jogged towards a gray Camry.
"Uh, Sammy?" Allison said uncertainly, "can we you know…" She pointed at the McDonalds. "I'm kinda hungry." When Sammy nodded, she trotted towards the entrance and opened the door. I walked after her, since I was hungry too.
Allison scanned the room. "Aha!" she exclaimed. She walked over to a tray and took a burger and fries. She snatched an empty cup and filled it. Sammy and I took some food also and walked out.
"We can eat in the car," Sammy said. "And make sure you pick up any crumbs." We entered the Camry and soon, we were on our way to Los Angeles.
"Are we there yet?" asked Allison for the tenth time in that many minutes.
"No," Sammy answered curtly.
"We're being followed," I said quietly.
"What?" Allison said. She twisted in her seat. "How do you know that?"
"Because they're the only cars on the road that are moving other than us." I looked at Sammy.
Sammy checked the rearview mirror and spied the blue Accord. "Damn it!" she cursed. Then with no warning, she slammed down the brakes and turned sharply to the right. The car hurtled down the small side street. Deftly, Sammy drove the car in many tight turns and at one point, spun a complete 180 when the following Accord tried to cut us off. Soon, we were headed towards the freeway, with the Accord still on our tail.
We were about to drive through a crowded intersection when the worst thing possible happened. Time resumed. Sammy cursed and tried to navigate the cars, but couldn't. A Hyundai rear-ended us just as we were about to escape from the intersection. The impact sent the Camry spinning into another car, which caved in the driver's side of the car and shattered all of the windows, that's how bad the impact was. After we hit the second car, we slid to a stop. We were pretty badly hurt, and Sammy was in a really bad condition, because she was on the driver's side. My last clear thought was, We should be dead. My vision flickered, and then the darkness closed in.
I woke up, tried to sit up, and moaned with pain. That was a bad move. I sank back down and moaned again. I think a bulldozer just drove over my head and left shoulder. I finally opened my eyes and winced because the lights were so bright. With a dry, raspy voice, I croaked, "Can someone turn down the lights?"
Someone scurried over, and then screamed in a panicked voice, "He's not supposed to be awake! He's supposed to be resting! WHO ADMINISTERED THE DAMN ANESTHETIC!?" Someone else hurried over and stuck my right arm with a needle.
I tried to talk, but the anesthetic too quickly took me down into its dark, gloomy depths.
When I woke up again, Allison was sitting on the edge of my bed. She looked troubled and had a pained look on her face. She had a bandage around her head, her right arm was in a cast and sling, and there was a huge purple bruise on her left cheek.
I smiled at her and rasped, "Hey Allison." I started to check my body for injuries, then stopped and stared at my left arm, or rather, the absence of it. I took deep breaths, then calmly asked Allison, "What happened to my arm?"
She looked down, then explained softly. "Matt, when we got hit by that car, your arm was injured really badly and it had bruises all over. Then the second car shattered the window next to you and a huge piece of glass was lodged in your arm. After all of that, your cut got infected really badly, and the doctors barely had time to amputate it before it got to your torso." She gestured at his remaining arm. "Throughout that entire ordeal, your right arm barely got a scratch in a weird freak coincidence."
I searched the rest of my body. "Any other injuries?"
Allison shook her head slowly and winced in pain. "Not that I know of." She stood up slowly and started walking out. "I'm going to check on Sammy."
I asked worriedly, "How is Sammy?"
"Her condition is really bad. She got the brunt of the damage. Broken ribs, a major concussion, tons of cuts from when her window broke, and one of her ribs punctured her lung. She might have brain damage. She hasn't even woken up since the accident."
I frowned. "How long have I been out?"
"Six days," Allison replied. She turned around. "I heard that you woke up early for some reason when you were supposed to be sedated, but the nurses swore that they gave you the right amount. Do you know why?"
I shook my head, and suddenly sympathized with Allison. "No, I have no idea. Maybe the anesthesia was diluted for some reason."
She shook her head, winced, and started to walk out again, but she hit my IV cart with her bruised hip. She cried out and started to fall. So fast that even I couldn't believe it, I somehow leaped out of bed in my weakened, pain-filled state and managed to get under her...
Just to have her fall through the empty space where my left arm had been. Stupid. I was left handed, so I was still adjusting. Fortunately, I, with no idea of how I was doing it, managed to react fast enough to get my right arm under her.
The first thing that happened when she touched my arm was the pain. A huge amount of pain shot through my arm and I nearly dropped Allison, who, I noticed dully, was screaming. Then the world went black. Again.
When I woke up, I was drenched in sweat, and Allison was draped over my body. I didn't have the strength and leverage to push her off, having only one arm. I resorted to slapping her face. After the eighth slap, I gave up and looked around. And stared. Guess I wasn't in Kansas anymore.
The dull white-green of the hospital walls and floors had been replaced by stone and magma, or lava, or whatever. Molten rock. The magma flowed was a sea all around, and I couldn't believe that we were still alive despite the heat. The stone floor that we were laying on was merely an island. There was a stone bridge that extended so far over the endless sea of magma that I couldn't see the end.
Allison started to stir, so I slapped her one more time. She woke up a little more, then opened her eyes.
"Why does my cheek hurt?" she asked groggily.
"I don't know," I told her innocently. "Can you get off of me?"
Allison slowly stood up, groaning in pain. I stood up, a bit faster than she had despite my single arm. That's when I noticed our next problem.
Our clothes had been ruined in the crash, and neither of us had gotten a chance to get dressed. So both of us were dressed only in the flimsy hospital gowns with the open backs. I didn't even have my eye patch. I pointed this out to Allison and she blushed.
"U-um, I g-guess we'll just have to d-deal with it," she said, clearly embarrassed. I pulled mine off and with a little help from a blushing Allison, retied it around my waist so I was covered from the waist down. Alice didn't have that option, so she just faced toward me at all times. I noted that she was very cute, but we didn't have time for that now, so I pushed it away to the back of my mind.
I started to walk towards the bridge, limping slightly as my right leg began to ache. We kept going for hours, but nothing came up. Finally, out of breath, Allison and I called a break for us to nurse our injuries. My foot was blistering, and my skin was slowly drying out from the heat. We weren't even sweating much, it was evaporating quickly. Allison sighed, wiping her face and watched as the sweat on her fingers evaporated. We were so tired out from the heat, we didn't notice the figure looming out of the shadows until it was too late.
A high-pitched shriek came from behind us and we jumped up and spun around. A fist came hurtling out and grabbed Allison as she screamed and struggled. I ran and jumped at it, screaming, then watched in shocked surprise as it threw a huge sword at me.
It stabbed completely through me, sliding in up to the hilt. I hit the ground hard and slid backwards from the force of the hit. I lay on my side, feebly yanking on the sword, my blood pooling on the ground. Then I heard Allison scream again, and I watched as she was backhanded, flying through the air to land in front of me. I struggled, getting weaker as my vision faded.
Suddenly, my vision cut to black and a dark voice said, "Do you want the power?"
Remembering Allison's screams, and the intense pain coming from my middle, I asked in a strong voice, "What is your price?"
A dark, rumbling laugh came from all directions. "A blood sacrifice should suffice. I will take your eye."
I woke, completely forgetting about the sword in my middle, as my head exploded in pain. I screamed, then realized that power was rushing through me. Something was growing inside, and it wasn't pretty. I managed to get my hand around to clutch my face where my right eye had been, just as my stub of a left arm started… wriggling. I screamed in pain as long tendrils of flesh exploded out of my stub of an arm to form a new arm.
I scrabbled at the sword, and then realized that Allison was gone. I looked up to see nothing. The bastard had taken my eye with sight. I heard a scream, then I got desperate. I screamed and yanked on the sword ferociously. I kept screaming, the only thoughts in my head were, "Must protect, Must protect, Must protect, MUST KILL!"
Before I knew it, I was back at the dark place, somewhere. The dark voice boomed out with an amused tone, "Well well well. Look who came back without a summons."
I took several breaths. Then I said darkly, "I still need more power!"
The voice sighed. "Do you think I will give it out for free?"
I snarled, "No, I'm willing to pay anything."
A giggle sounded close to my ear. I whirled to see a figure garbed in the darkest black robe I had ever seen. It raised its arms, long, white fingers tracing the air.
It giggled. "Master said to take all your memories up 'till this year."
I backed away. "No, no, no, no. Stay away!"
The voice chuckled. "What about what you were saying about paying anything?" The voice turned dangerous. "Were you lying?"
I answered, "No," before thinking, but it was too late. The robed figure giggled and clasped my head. "Nighty night, human."
I woke with a throbbing eye. Power was rushing through me, my muscles, veins, skin. I stared at Allison, without wondering why I could see again. Allison was crumpled on the ground at the edge of my blood puddle. Slowly, blood seeped out to mix with mine. I stared, then anger built up. It grew, grew, grew. Then, I snapped.
With almost no effort, I yanked the sword from my stomach with my right arm. Dimly, I realized that I could see through both eyes, then I realized that I had two eyes. I stood, with blood gushing from my stomach, my left arm throbbing with power, and my eyes pulsing. I looked up at the monster, my eyes automatically flickering over it, noting that even though it was covered in darkness, it was actually quite small and stood like a human. My anger flared and it started me into motion. I started to run, with my anger building. Suddenly, my eye pulsed, and as I ran, my left arm began to grow longer, mostly at the fingertips. My fingertips grew to long claws. I focused my anger and energy and forced it to my legs and arms. I began to run faster, soon exceeding the speed that was humanly possible. My reflexes sharpened, and my eye focused, with only the monster in my sights. The monster started to move slowly towards me, which confused me for a bit, but my anger overcame my mind, and I hurled myself at the monster, with no regard for my life. This is probably the reason why the monster survived my first assault.
I attacked with the sword that had moments ago been sticking out of my back. With hacking strokes, and no technique at all, I was on complete and utter offense. The monster slowly began losing ground under the sheer power and speed of my attacks. I became aware of a burning sensation coming from my right eye, as it stared straight unblinkingly. I focused on the pain, growing even more angry.
I switched my attack style by switching the sword to a backhand grip in my left hand. Now that I was using my dominant arm, the blows raining down on the monster even faster than before. I roared as the monster scored a hit on my right arm. blood started oozing out of the cut and created a mini river down my arm. I yelled as the wound began to burn. I leapt at the monster, who had left itself open. As I was about to strike, I finally caught a glimpse of the monster who had been hurting us all this time.
And realized that the so-called "monster" was actually a girl.
I stopped inches from her throat, breathing hard and trembling with the amount of energy running through my body. My arm shortened back to its original size, and my body trembled harder. I somehow realized that the energy in my body had nowhere to go, and was building up to a dangerous level.
The girl underneath me mumbled something, and my arms and legs snapped together. Finding something to do with the energy, I effortlessly broke the hold that the girl held on me. Without thinking, my arms contorted, and a huge ball of glowing purple energy expanded between my palms. The girl looked on with an increasingly frantic look on her face. Finally, she screamed, "Don't! You'll destroy yourself and everything else within a mile all around.
I focused and squashed the ball flat, letting no energy escape. The energy surged back up my arms, and I collapsed, my vision darkening. A panicked face bending over mine was the last thing I saw.