Well it took awhile but I have done it! Chapter 2 is up and running :D This chapter is the turning point where we really get into the story. I hope all who actually take time to read it will enjoy it ^_^ Go ahead and dive in!
About a year and a half later
My mom pounds on my door and yells, "Alexander get up! You've missed enough school!" I groan and roll over onto my back. I stayed up half the night looking through book after book, trying to discover something I don't already know about Xala's issue. Sadly I found nothing and now the last thing I want to do is get up and go to school of all places. All of a sudden, I feel a cold nose on my arm.
"Alex! Your mom says it's time to get up!" Xala says excitedly. I'm up now and clamping her mouth shut with both of my hands.
"Shush you moron! She's probably still out there!" I whisper fiercely. Xala glares at me with her amber wolf eyes. Laughing, I release her from my grasp.
"It isn't funny Alex. At least it wouldn't be if you were in my position. Being a dog isn't exactly what I'd call fun. If I have to eat any more of that so called 'Dog Chow' your mom seems to like feeding me so much, I think I might vomit." She rambles on and on about the discomforts of being a dog and I just tune it out. I've heard this speech so many times it isn't even funny anymore. I admit there are some points of being a dog that might be pretty miserable but all and all I don't see what' so bad about it. Then again I'm human, unlike her, so how would I know.
"Tell you what," I say to her, "I'll get you some meat of something on the way home from school today." That seems to have brightened her mood because she wags her tail and nods rapidly. With that, I walk over to my wardrobe, grab some clothes, and head to my bedroom door so I can go to the bathroom and get ready for the day. As expected, my mother is standing there and waiting for me on the other side.
She has an accusing look in her eyes as she says, "Who was that you were talking to in there?" Without answering, I push past her and try to get to the bathroom without any further delay. But she won't budge. "Well?" She asks again.
"Nobody Ma my vice just cracked once when I fell out of bed and a few times when I was talking to myself. I'm tired and it's early in the morning you know? I lie and then push past her. I look back only once and see her peer into my rom suspiciously, as if she's going to find a girl or something in there. Of course all she's going to see is Xala. And of course she's still oblivious to her ability to speak and that she's a human in truth. I roll my eyes and continue to the bathroom as my mother stomps angrily back down the stairs, carrying the laundry basket with her. That's when I hear the treading of paws following along behind me. Turning, I see Xala.
"What?" She asks innocently.
"You know very well what Xala." I say. She gives me another evil glare in an attempt to make me feel like a jerk.
"Alex I am practically a dg and you know I look away." She argues at me.
"Okay Xala here's the thing. For one, you aren't a dog you're a teenage girl. Two, even if you were a dog I probably wouldn't let you in the bathroom with me. And three, looking away or not it still makes me feel incredibly weird." I explain it quickly and then shut the door in her face. She huffs in anger.
"Whatever Alex!" She yells. I just chuckle and proceed to brush out my jet black hair, and then pull on my black shirt, pants, and hooded trench coat. I just know my mother will object to the all black clothing thing, but her objections haven't fazed me in a while now. After that, I go downstairs, Xala hot on my heels, to eat breakfast with Mom and Dad. They aren't the most joyful people to eat with but it's probably the only time I will ever get to spend with them.
As if on cue when I walk into her line of sight my mother shouts, "Oh Alexander how many times to I have to say it?!" Your hair being black should be enough you don't have to wear all black clothing as well!"
"Ma I promise to you the clothes have nothing to do with demons or devil warship or any of that. I just don't like to be flashy. If I really wanted to draw demons I'd just hang around with that group of worshipers at my school who have nothing better to do with their time." I mean it as a joke but my mother doesn't seem to take it that way and neither does my dad.
"Alexander respect your mother!" My dad snaps. I've had just about enough of them this morning. I get up from the table and head for the door. They don't say anything as I leave and Xala follows. Once outside, we walk a little so we know they cannot see us.
Then I turn to Xala and say, "Be god and don't get into any trouble."
"As always. Don't forget the meat." She reminds me. After that we take off in opposite directions. I'm going to school, and she's going to do whatever it is she does while I'm gone each day. I remember the first time I went to school without her. All day that day I worried I would come home and she'd be gone. Now I'm confident she'll never leave.
"Hey Alex!" A voice says. Being pulled from my thoughts, I look up to see Nick standing before me. He's a freshman and ever since the beginning of this year he's been my constant tag along. People say it's unusual for me, being a senior, to let a little freshman hang around, but I don't really mind. He's really the only friend I have. He can get annoying but otherwise I kind of enjoy having him there.
"Hi Nick. What's up?" I ask as we walk onto school grounds. Then I see them. The officers from the military facility are standing all around and talking to students with smiles on their faces. I'd forgotten that was today. The day all the officers come to the school and try to convince all of us "younger people" to join with them and be officers. In Rush City where we live, a lot of kids become officers. Some even before they finish high school. I however am not headed that way. I've never liked the officers or any of the government for that matter. There's really no way to get away from them though. In nearly every town and city there's a facility to "Help control the citizens and keep the peace". They claim they're here to protect us, but I hate them. I hate the way they believe they're better than everyone else. With their flashy sorcery and military uniforms, they so seem tough, but to me they're just dogs who work for the government.
"Alex? Alex!" I hear Nick shouting. Lost in thought, I'd almost forgotten he was there.
"Sorry I was thinking. Anyway what's up?" I ask.
He sighs and says, "I already said the officers are here. Pretty cool right?" I look around and scoff.
"Not really my thing Nick." I say.
"Well me either but you have to admit it's cool." He tried to sway my opinion but I won't budge.
"No I've seen it all before. This is my last year. After I'm done I'm outta here." I say.
He looks slightly hurt as he says, "You'll come see me though right? Where are you going anyway?"
"I don't know Nick. I just want to get away. I guess I could try and visit if I ever pass through. What are you doing when you graduate?" I ask just to humor him.
"Actually I might not have to graduate at all. My big brother is a high ranking officer a few cities over so I have a free ride to the military. They'll probably transfer me there so my brother can keep an eye on me." He explains with a far off look in his eyes.
"I thought you said the military and officers weren't you thing." I accuse, just to get him a bit riled up. He's always trying to agree with me whether he actually does of not so catching him once would be great.
However he has a pretty god comeback. "Well it's not. I just figure everyone in this city joins and my dad wants me to so why not."
"You do know your dad isn't the boss of your future right?" I ask.
"Yeah but anything to make him happy." He says. With that the bell for first period goes off and I bid him farewell, then run off towards my classroom. Once there I open the door and get greeted by the exited chatter of my fellow students. They're all talking about how cool the officers are and how they want to be one of them someday. All I can do is scoff and take my seat as the presentation begins. The officers start off with some minor sorcery to try and impress us, then they go into their big speech about what a honor it is to work with the facility in Rush and other cities around the world.
"It's a big responsibility though." One of the older officers begins. "You have to know high rate sorcery and be quick on your toes. You also have to know when to act and when not to. There may also come times when you have to make tough decisions if you manage to make your way up to a high enough rank. In that case you might be transferred to another city rather than rush…" He continues for a while but eventually I just start to tune it out. I'm lost in thought and just waiting for the bell to ring so I can ditch school and get out of all the talking there will be today. I'm thinking about how to go about that when I hear something hit my desk. It's a stack of papers. They all say something about "joining the officers". Then I realize I'm supposed to take one pass it back. So I do. To my sweet relief, the bell rings not five seconds later. I jump up and head toward the door, throwing my paper away as I pass the trashcan. I am stopped by an older officer right before I reach the door. He's big and muscly, and on his military badge it says "Delta City". That's the next city over from ours. You have to cross a desert to get there but it's a lot nicer than Rush. I've heard they have an underground facility right outside the city rather than a big building smack in the middle like us. I look up at the man that has stopped me. He and some of Delta's other officers must be visiting for the day to "educate us". He has an angry look on his face and I know it's because of me throwing that paper away.
"You think you're better than al this boy?" He asks in a gruff voice.
I scowl and say, "No. I just don't think I'm ready and even if I was…who'd want to work for your lot of dogs?" He grabs me by the shirt and pulls me towards him. I can see my classmates, teacher, and some other officers staring at the commotion I've caused. One officer in particular catches my eye. He looks to be about 16, which is young for an officer, and he has fire red hair, green eyes, and fairly light skin, though not as pale as mine. This kid is as skinny as a twig and has this scared look in his eyes. I wonder why he's even an officer. But I don't have time to wonder long before we all hear a really loud popping noise coming from outside. A few girls cover their ears and scream and all the officers rush to the window. I am dropped on the ground as this happens.
"Now's my chance!" I think to myself and bolt out the door as fast as I can. At first I'm ready to run, but then I see what exactly is going on. Outside there are unfamiliar soldiers swarming our streets. They have on black uniforms rather than the light blue ones our officers wear. I panic, thinking of where Xala might be, and thinking of her story about The Resisters killing everyone in her town. There's no time to waste. I run as fast as I can toward the place where Xala and I first met. I'm not sure why I feel the need to go there, I just do. Sure enough, I find Xala cowering in the place where I'd found her passed out.
"Xala what's' going on?! Who are they?!" I ask her frantically. She looks up with shock in her eyes and I can tell immediately what she's going to say.
"It's them…they attacked my town…I thought they wouldn't find me here but they must have figured it out after all this time!" She sounds frustrated and my biggest fears are confirmed. I am frozen in place. My legs won't move and neither will my lips. I hear a large explosion not far away and Xala jumps. "We have to go!" She yells and attempts to push me with her shoulder. I am pulled back to my senses as I jump up and start running. I'm running home. My mom and dad may not be the best…but I will not abandon them to the terrible fate I know will befall them if I don't get home quick.
"Come on Xala!" I holler to make sure she's following. Not too long after I hear her feet hitting the ground beside me. I don't have to look down to know she's just as frantic about this whole thing as I am. As we run, I hear gunshots and explosions. Luckily we manage to avoid much of the fight going on all around us. The house is coming into view and I begin to run faster and faster.
"Careful we don't know who's there!" Xala warns me. But I refuse to listen and just charge in the door. A grizzly sight meets my eyes and I hear Xala scream, "No!" There are my parents lying on the floor…their throats are slashed and the blood seems endless. I'm in shock and unable to move once again. All of a sudden, I hear a gunshot on my left and pain hits me. It's my left eye. I cannot see out of it and it's throbbing madly. Blood is streaming down my face and the pain is blinding me, not just in my hurt eye, but in the other as well. I scream out in pain, falling to my knees. My hearing is all I have now, and what I hear isn't pretty. Xala barks and there's a scream of a man. The gun goes off once again and Xala lets out a short yip right before the man's scream is cut off abruptly in a gurgle. Something hits the ground next to me with a thud.
"Xala! Are you okay?!" I yell.
"Alex I'm here. It's okay the man is dead. Now we have to go. Come on get up!" Xala says to me and I can feel her nose against my shoulder, trying to urge me to get up. But I still can't move. My whole face is in pain. "Please Alex!" Xala wails. I try, but my legs are like bricks. I have no urge to move them. That's when I feel hands…yes hands…pull me up and begin to lead me. Since Xala isn't attacking whoever it is and I can still hear her running beside me assume it's a friend and just follow their lead. We run and run and slowly the sounds of a battle materialize around us.
"Where are we going?" I ask the mysterious being guiding me.
"It's okay Alex just keep on running." I recognize the voice…it's Nick! But what's he doing trying to help me? He should be hiding…protecting himself not me!
"Nick you have to leave me! I'm going to slow and you have to get out of here!" I say to him. Before I get an answer from him, there's a gunshot and he falls to the ground, taking me with him. Chaos breaks out around me. There's a flurry of gunfire and somebody else hits the ground as well. I can only hope it wasn't Xala. Footsteps are approaching now and getting closer and closer. Then they stop. I hear somebody kneel down next to me and Nick.
A young man's voice then starts hollering, "Are you okay! Talk to me!" I don't know if he's talking to me or Nick, so I force my good eye open. I immediately wish I hadn't. My young friend Nick is lying in a pool of blood and there's a gunshot wound where his heart should be. The young red haired officer from my classroom earlier is kneeling over him, checking his pulse. I can't breathe as I crawl to my friend and start shaking him.
"Nick! Please wake up! Nick!" I cry and tears begin streaming from my right eye. He was only trying to help me…and now he's gone. The officer starts trying to pull me from Nick then, saying something about running away. I hardly hear him through my grief, but then I hear the bark of a dog and feel jaws grab my sleeve and pull. I know Nick is gone and there's nothing I can do now…so I get up and run the opposite direction of his body and the officer. Xala's is right by my side…but something seems off about her rhythm as she runs. Looking down, I spy blood running down her back left leg.
As if she knows what I'm thinking she says, "It's nothing Alex. If you can deal with that eye I can deal with this leg. Now run!" So I do and so does she. We run until we reach the hill overlooking Rush and the desert we'll have to cross to get to Delta.
"Well…there's nothing we can do now but move forward. I said I was going to help you one day Xala…and that day is today. We're going to Delta first to get these wounds taken care of…then we're off to find out what these Resisters want and get you human again." I say as we look back at our home. It's all rubble now and smoke rises from every inch of it. Xala looks at me and nods, then we set out across the treacherous desert. There's no going back now…we have to keep moving and searching if we want to survive.
So how did everyone like that? I love to hear criticism of ALL kinds so review and tell me what you think :)