Cur nos Hic
Introduction - Why Are We Here?
Since the days of ages past, and when time had first been only a grain in the hourglass of existence, man has asked themselves a simple question - one that has never been fully answered:
Why are we here?
Many have opinions. Some believe that we were created by a divine being, while others assume that were are here simply because we are, and nothing more. There are even those that insist that we were placed here by an alien race, that they are studying how we evolve and what we'll become.
I have a different view. I have come to the conclusion that we are here because there are multiple factors, ranging form deities of some kind to time and space, with even a factor of extraterrestrial beings in the equation. Though I could go on and on trying to explain this theory, I think it best to tell the story of how and why I know this is true.
So, let me start by mentioning a very important individual; a young man named Simon Grant, who was born in Toronto, Canada, while his mother and father were on vacation there. He was brought back to their homeland, England, in the city of Manchester shortly after.
Not only is this a tale of the why and how of existence, but also of friendship, love, loss, betrayal and that, by having the will to never give in, we can achieve anything. This is the story that will reveal The Truth…
…Are you ready?
Chapter One - Through The Ice
"Hey, Simon?" A voice calls from a distance. "Simon? Oi! Blockhead! Wake up!" As the voice nears, the body begins to stiffen, trying to awaken the mind. "I said…" And then, it hit. A sharp pain over the top of the head. "WAKE UP!"
"AGH!" The young man, Simon, shouts, his eyes finally shooting open. Standing in front of him is another young man, who's unable to hide the smirk on his face. "What was that for, Lucas?!"
Lucas scoffs suddenly. "What was it for? You were in such a deep sleep, a passer-by would think you were dead."
"Yeah, but…" Simon trails off, taking in his surroundings. He's sat on a bench, next to the main road. It was dark out. The streets were covered with a thick layer of snow, and the vehicles that drove past were doing so at a painstakingly slow pace. Simon huffs to himself. "You didn't have to hit me, though."
Shrugging his shoulders, Lucas defends his actions. "I tried to wake you up by shouting, but that didn't seem to work. So, I gave ya a good ol' whack!" Then, Lucas takes a seat next to his friend before reaching into a small paper bag and pulling out a sausage roll. "Here. Just what you wanted."
"Thanks." Simon says, grateful for the warm food. Though he had three layers of clothing, his body still felt the cold nip of winter. Lucas then grabbed his own sausage roll from the bag and began his quick consumption of it.
"Ya know…" Lucas starts, with a mouthful of food. "You really are hopeless. I'm gone for one minute, and you dose off. What'd happen to you if I weren't here, eh? There's funny people about at this time, and the last thing you want is them getting their grubby hands on you."
Simon, however, ignored him. He'd explained to Lucas countless times why he was so fatigued. It was due to the endless piles of work his college had assigned him, and he worked night and day in order to complete it.
"Say, we should be heading back." Lucas comments, out of the blue.
Simon gives him a frown. "Huh? Why?"
Lucas then lifts his wrist. "It's eight fifty-five."
"How would you know? You haven't got a watch!"
Lucas puts his bare wrist down again, then gets up and makes his way to the bin. "Yeah, but it's roughly that time."
Simon chuckles slightly. "For all you know, it's only half past. Or even ten o'clock!"
Throwing the now empty paper bag in the bin, Lucas places his hands in his pockets and lifts his shoulders, burying the bottom of his face in his scarf. "Pfft! If that was the time, then you've missed twenty calls…from my mother!"
Just to be sure, Simon takes his phone out, checking it's not on silent. It seemed that Lucas was right - the time was, exactly, eight fifty-five.
Lucas sees the gob smacked expression on Simon's face, and assumes that he was indeed right. "And the time is…?"
"…Ten to nine." Lying, Simon then proceeds to check his messages. Not a second later, Lucas is peering over his shoulder. "Ever heard of privacy?"
"Not when she's involved." Lucas states, pointing to an already read message. The subject was 'Us'. Giving his friend a sympathetic look, Lucas places his gloved hand on Simon's shoulder. "Is there still a rift between the pair of ya?"
Simon looks up to his friend, but then stares to the ground and nods. "Yeah. I mean, we were never going out, but…"
"Ya might as well have been?" Moving to the end of the bench, indicating that they needed to go, Lucas smiles, understanding his friend's emotions. "C'mon. We'll talk while we walk."
Nodding in agreement, Simon then stands to his feet and starts to stroll alongside his friend.
They walk for a few minutes, talking about everything and nothing. Occasionally, Lucas would curse the cold weather, using words that would surely make a nun blush.
Eventually, they reach the new park, which already had crisp packets, bottles and other litter scattered around it. Deciding to take a detour, the two friends reach the pond.
"I swear! This weather is a frickin' joke! Someone up there has it in for me, I tell ya!" Lucas complains, hating every minute they had and would spend in the subzero temperatures.
Simon laughs, and is about to comment on his friend's frustration when…he sees something. Grinding to a halt, Simon looks across the frozen water, and sees a figure.
Noticing that his friend had ceased all movement, Lucas turns around, puzzled. "Yo, Simon. What're you doing?"
Walking to the edge, squinting his eyes, Simon is able to just make out what the figure was. It was a little girl. And she was just standing there, her back to him, looking forwards.
"H-Hey! The ice is thin! Get off!" The girl doesn't respond.
"Simon!" Lucas shouts, rushing to his friend's side. "What are you yelling for?"
"That girl! There!" Simon points to the child, and Lucas follows. "Do you see her?!"
"Nah…it's too misty." Taking a small step on the ice, Lucas leans forward, but is still unable to see the girl. "There's no one there, Si."
Simon looks to his friend in disbelief. "Are you kidding?! She's right there!" He points again. Lucas stares for a moment, before turning back to his friend and shaking his head. Simon growls in frustration, and suddenly makes his way onto the ice.
"Whoa whoa! Simon! What the hell?!"
"There is a kid there, Lucas!" Simon responds, refusing to turn around and get back to safety.
"Even if there is! This won't help her! You're only putting yourself in danger, too!" Lucas shouts, trying to coax his friend into coming back. After a moment of his vain attempts, Lucas knows that his friend isn't coming back, and so, hurriedly, follows suit.
The snow begins to fall faster, and the wind becomes stronger. If he doesn't hurry, Simon knows he may very well find himself walking, on ice, in a snowstorm. "Hey!" He cries. "Get off the ice!"
Hearing him this time, the young girl turns her head to see him. Simon seizes walking upon seeing her face. Her eyes…they were black. They seemed to be endless, like an abyss. So much fear flooded through Simon's being, that he couldn't move.
"I've found you." Her voice was raspy and quiet, almost a whisper. Her words, her voice…her eyes…were terrifying.
Before Simon could say or do a thing, the ice below him began to crack. Not a second later, it gave way to his weight, and he fell into the freezing water.
Though his mind was screaming for him to swim, he could not. It was as though his entire body had been paralyzed - sinking deeper and deeper. This would be his end; a corpse at the bottom of a pond.
Managing to glance up, the moonlight seemed so blinding, shining down upon him. It was a bittersweet reminder that this would be the last thing he saw in his life. However, fate seemed cruel because, as though by magic, the ice began to form again. Like jagged, reaching arms it began to entwine and connect, ready to seal off what could have been his escape.
Then, a hand dove below the waters surface, grasping his jacket and pulling him back up. Fortune seemed to be smiling down on him, all of a sudden. Once he was able to breath air again, Simon gasped loudly, and realised that his saviour was none other than his pal, Lucas.
"What did I tell you, ya muppet?!" Lucas yelled angrily.
Simon tried to speak, but was struggling to even get air to his lungs at this point. "Th-the g-g-girl…she…she-"
"I don't care!" Lucas interrupted. "We need to get you back, or else you're done for! Don't wanna die of a cold, do ya?!" Simon managed to smile slightly, before his friend placed his arm around his shoulder and began to carry him. "The things I do…"
They seemed to have been walking for a good minute, but all they could make out was more ice. They had yet to even catch a glimpse of land. Marching on, the frozen pond seemed to have transformed into a lake, and that into a sea.
"Is this thing endless, or are we just walking in circles?!" Lucas hisses, now tired, cold and irritated. He could only imagine how his friend was feeling. Then, a miracle seemed to appear. In the distance was a pale, blue light. "Now we're talking!"
A smirk appeared on Lucas' face, and Simon felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Soon, he would be sat in front of a fire, with a blanket around him and a mug of coco in his hand.
However, the light started to vanish just as soon as it had appeared.
"No!" Lucas yelped. "No! No, no, no, no!" He continued to walk for another minute, but, by that time, the light had gone. "NO!"
It was over. They would both freeze to death in a park. It was anything but dramatic, which was something Lucas had always hoped for.
"…It's…it's gone?" Simon asks. The fact that he was speaking shocked Lucas, as he had been fading in and out of consciousness.
"Nah." Lucas smiled warmly. "It's just getting darker out here. We're almost there now…"
Taking only one more step, Lucas suddenly felt Simon fall down. He shifted his gaze, but his friend seemed to have disappeared.
Confused, bewildered and terrified, Lucas could only stare at where his friend had been. "What the…" Then…he fell back.
In that split second, Lucas closed his lids and saw his life flash before his eyes. He felt a wave of emotions wash over him. Or, at least, that's what he thought it was. Opening his eyes again, he saw the ice above him, with the moonlight shining through. There was no crack, no hole…nothing. It was as if he had somehow fallen back, and the ice had not broken; like he had literally just fallen past the ice.
As he found himself unable to hold his breath any longer, Lucas' vision began to blur, and all seemed to slowly fade away. Was this really the end…?
…Or the beginning?
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this introduction to the story! This will be a lengthy, on-going plot! I can promise this will be a story you'll be able to sink your teeth into with deep, whacky and colourful characters!
Sorry if you found this part a bit boring, but I just wanted to introduce you to the pair that this story will follow (Mostly). Keep an eye out for an update, and please, PLEASE REVIEW!
Thanks! - IK