"What happened to Calypso?!" I yell.
I run up to where Tara is and start waving my arms around to see if Calypso just turned invisible. Tara wakes up when I start walking around with my arms going up and down like a crazy man with axes for hands.
"Chase, why are you so messed up?" she asks.
"Calypso was the only one who's at least a little nice to me in this stupid place!" I shout, sort of ignoring her question/insult.
"What?!" she asks, frantically looking around. "Mom? Mom?!" Tara hugs Jason (Why am I just a bit mad about that?). "Dad, don't leave too! I don't want to keep living with my foster parents!"
"Stop wiggin' out," Jason says, right in front of us (Wiggin' out?). "She's just gone from between 7:00 pm. to 7:00 am. She gets returned to the Dealer."
Tara and I sigh at knowing Calypso does come back.
"What am I, a bowl of salad when the last sandwich is gone?" he asks. (This guy and his weird phrases...)
"Oh," Tara says. "I love you too dad, but seriously, don't disappear."
He sighs and kisses her forehead. "I love you too, sweetie." he says.
Stop that, I think to myself.
"What?" Tara asks. (I said that aloud? Man, I have problems...)
"I just think it's weird," I say, even though I'm not sure if that's the real reason. They give me questioning looks. "I know he's probably fifty-"
"Forty-one." Jason cuts in.
I guess Mr. Jenkins really isn't out to get me. I shake my head to the thought. "Whatever," I say. "But he still looks like he's in his twenties."
"So?" Tara says. "He's my dad."
"Yeah, I know," I explain. "But don't you think the scene looks weird to me? After all, I also know he's married, so that makes it even stranger."
"The moron's got a point for once," Jason says (Hey…). "Sorry, Tara."
"Or maybe Chase is envious," Tara says, with her arms crossed.
"Jealous? I am not." I say calmly. "I couldn't care less for you, since I don't even care at all."
"Oh, why don't you just die in a hole?" Tara counters with an angry expression on her face.
"Hold on!" Jason shouts to stop us from starting an actual fight. "Tara, don't say that! And Chase, stop being…you."
"How is that supposed to help?!" I say. "I am who I am!"
Jason grabs my shirt. "Don't use that tone with me, kid," he says sternly.
"Dad," Tara says. "Let him go. Only I get to pick on him."
After being let go, I stand straight. Then I head off to the direction of the huge open door. I really can't stand these two.
"Where are you going?" Jason asks.
"Somewhere you two aren't," I answer.
"Chase, get back here!" Tara orders.
I just ignore her and find one of six holes on the billiards table. It's called a pocket; according to my dad. We played pool a lot, but he would usually win.
I don't hesitate to jump in (I better not die in there, I don't want Tara to have her way), even though it's pitch black in there. I land in a leather mesh, which is the basket kind of thing that catches the pool balls that fall in. Then I slide down the metal half pipe like when I was a kindergartner at a play ground. Sadly, the end came near, which is also where I fall on my back. Ow...that really hurt.
At the sight of the opening, I climb out. The table is still too high for me to survive a drop from here, so I take my attention to the cue stick that's leaning against the table. I climb down it slowly and after some time, I reach the floor.
"Chase!" I hear from Tara. "My dad said-"
Jason looks down at me. "You can't go by yourself. The Dealer will send someone to kill you," he tells me.
"Well to him, I'm a strong player," I shout back. "I think I can handle what he'll throw at me."
I break into a run when Jason and Tara start coming down. Past the open door, I see some stairs. On the bottom, there's a pile of evenly spaced out tiny cards with black and red symbols on them. My hands reach out to grab them and I end up chucking most of them in my pocket. If Calypso can use the cards, I'm sure I can too.
"Don't touch those cards!" An unfamiliar voice says.
He runs over to me. He's just another person like me, except he seems a bit more angry, much older, shorter, isn't the greatest looking person in the world (No offence to him), and is almost bald.
I don't see how I can't have them. It's finders keepers when you're trapped in a magical world that has a person that wants to kill you, right?
I quickly take one out and look at it. The three of clubs. Calypso did say a few words for it to work, so I try.
"Freeze time!" I command. Nothing happens. "Teleport me somewhere away from here!" Nothing... "Turn him into jello!" Still nothing. "Do something!"
"Give me my cards!" the guy demands. "You don't even know how to read them!"
Soon after, I realize, there's something printed on the back.
The guy tries to grab the card in my hands while I push him back with one hand. My other hand stretches back to keep him from having it.
"Side with me," I read, as I drop it.
The card disappears into a bright light.
When it's over, I open my eyes. I'm still standing in the position I was before the flash, but what did change was the angry guy in front of me. He's stands straight and has a smile. With a confused feeling around me, I lower my arms to my sides.
"Hey dude." the used-to-be mad man says. "You could have those cards. I have another deck in my pocket."
Then he walks away. At the door, I see Jason and Tara. They run to catch up to where I am.
"What did you do to Marty? He's always a greedy guy…" Jason asks, then points to my messy bunch of cards. "Did he give you those?"
Before I can answer, a blank card catches my eyes. I pick it up.
"I think I used a card," I say as my conclusion.
Jason examines it for a second. "Yeah, you used one." he says. "That one wasn't too high of a card, so it really wasn't a waste." Then he laughs. "Actually this is great, Marty won't be such a poor sport any more."
He explains to me the four types of cards:
Spades: Has the power of negativity, problems, challenges, failure, illness, loss, and death (Anything good about this?).
Hearts: Means love (Gross), happiness/pleasure (That's good), sharing, and apparently healing.
Clubs: For good luck, growth, and social interactions.
Diamonds: Which is energy, power, money, and rewards (I think I like this one best).
Tara grabs a card I didn't pick up on the floor. I take a look to see it's the four of hearts. She flips the card over and reads what's written on it.
"Amusing antics," she says and throws it up.
A flash goes by again and next time I look at her, nothing has changed. She stares back at me and laughs (Is there something on my face?). I kind of feel a little taller for some reason…
"What?" I ask, then take a look at her dad.
I start laughing at him. He's wearing a flower costume. With the green stem type of thing, white petals, and a deep shade of yellow make-up on his face to represent pollen.
"The mighty Jason Kaiyan is a daisy?" I ask with a chuckle, as I really empathize my words.
"What?" he says, with a frown. "Tara, what did you do?"
His eyes widen at me. "I didn't know you were actually a girl…" he says.
I realize what he means when I look down and almost scream. I have heels, and a blue dress with a huge bow on the back. Tara gives me a compact mirror from her pocket (I wonder why it didn't break from our earlier fall) and I look through it.
"I'm wearing make-up? And a wig? Why?!" I ask loudly.
I pace back and forth, thinking I'm just hallucinating. The shoes didn't help though since they make me stumble a few times.
"Chase," she says, in between laughs. "Is it weird to say, you're walking in heels better than most girls I know?"
My hands immediately grab the wig. I don't know if it's because I'm mad, but I throw it on the ground and stomp on it. I also throw the heels off. I really should've done this sooner.
Then I notice Tara is still rolling on the floor laughing her head off, while Jason holds up the blank card that used to be Tara's.
"Dispel," he says.
I close my eyes to not blind myself from another bright flash. When I open them, I see I'm back to normal. Jason is normal again too, thankfully. I'm not sure if anyone else knows this, but it's kind of bizarre to see a flower shouting.
"Dad," Tara asks. "Could I have some cards too?"
"After what just happened…no." he says then shivers. "I'm glad Chase isn't a girl, he's the ugliest one I've ever seen."
"Yeah, talk like I have no feelings…" I mutter.
"Please," she begs, as I notice they both are ignoring me. "I won't try to misuse them."
Jason does a bit of thinking, while I mouth 'no!' and shake my head. Tara sees this and punches my shoulder.
Her dad gives in to her puppy dog face and I storm off, deeper into the hallway we're in. The carpeting is red and is much more softer than I thought it would be.
A voice slowly gets louder as I walk. "Challenge me to a game, Adams." The voice of the Dealer says. "Find the exit, if you find me."
Jason and Tara catch up to me again. "What about Calypso?" Jason shouts.
"Of course," he answers. "She'll be released too. So will the rest of the souls. Just come in three days…or the deal's off. How's that?"
"I'll accept that," Jason says.
"I asked the boy," The Dealer says.
Tara nudges me. "Oh," I say. "Uhh…Sure?"
"My dad said there are others that want to leave too," Tara says. "Can we bring them?"
He chuckles. "The more, the merrier." The Dealer says. "Know that people with souls are the only ones able to play. They will have their lives taken by me if they don't pass a certain obstacle of the few you will experience."
"We know," Jason says. "Take us to the rest of the other competitors."
"Very well," The Dealer says.
We hear a snap and the world goes black.