By: Cutegirlmayra1 (This is my first time writing an original story, So I'll need help. Please send me any information you can possibly find(and please, in lame man's terms, no website links unless it's REALLY good) about Light and its properties and such. Thank you, and enjoy Chapter 1!) *Editor/Beta Reader: Strifenhart
The Mysterious Alien
In the downtown city streets of Koleroy, the black of the night reigned supreme as the whispering wind carried thick dust that tousled newspapers, glass bottles clanked as they rolled down obsidian roads. Barely a noise rose above the heavy lashing of the passionately passing winds—except the footsteps of a cloaked man. Pulling up his long, dark grey coat collar and hurriedly walking by an abandoned building—which had been shut down from all sorts of problems—problems that didn't stop me.
The grimy brick walls were a dark red, and even at night, they appeared stained by that dual killer of all things beautiful and decent: time and neglect. It was a few stories high, and probably the highlight of its era,… or at least, it could have been. But not now. Not ever again.
The part of the building I lived in had a gaping hole in the wall which led to an alleyway, opening out to the side-markets of the main city street. Here, street-born kids would lie about their ages to rub shoulders with newsboys or shoe shiners—heck, any kind of work to avoid starving on Koleroy's cruel pavements, covered in gum and rising weeds from sidewalk cracks. Even nature rebelled against this forsaken town of washed out… well, everything.
On the sides of the market lay a dead and forgotten highway that stretched over the first of three large descending tiers. There stood an elongated, pearly white gate up at the tippy top of the first rolling hill, above all our misery. The city slums below gave striking contrast to the white, glowing buildings that shone like dumb little twinkling stars in the sky. Bustling, smiling people living in blissful cleanliness. Only because they could afford fresh air, while we coughed through the smog that rolled its grey blanket over us like a cover sloping down the tiers, tucking us into this miserable life. I resided in the middle slope, a beat up and worn out ghetto where it wasn't uncommon to see a child working late, no one bats an eye at it, or even runaways living in buildings like mine. Before this block ended, a turn veered you to my humble abode. I call it 'humble' only to show some pity for the site I dared to live in. The place must have been wrecked by some Supers' fight or an earthquake. Maybe both. A crack could be seen stretching its reach to the far ends of the alleyway it faced, before turning off to open up and lead you to my fondly named, Hippie Cave. A broken entrance that a hero might have punched a man through or a villain blasted to get into. Yeah… this was home, sweet home.
I slipped off my backpack, placing it on the opposite side of my ripped-up, green vinyl bean bag. I pulled on the dangling chain of my black banker's lamp that stood on a small legless box stand, shining light down on my homework. It would blink every hour—I timed it—kinda like how your eyes grow weary and droop when the night sets in and your homework still isn't done. It has been three years since I ran away from home at the tender age of fourteen, and you better believe I wasn't going back. I disowned my parents, my life of pleasant but boring middle-class routines, and journeyed far out into the city, hoping to start a life that I could be proud of. Well, that wasn't working out so well… but you've gotta give me props for hanging in there, right? Because you can't just pack up two suitcases and expect to start at a new school without some legal documentation…
I got these fakes from the agency I signed up with, a shady delivery business that seemed very welcoming in its way of getting kids what they want, no matter what it was, for good labor. Just so long as you keep your mouth shut and do as you're told. I won't lie to you though, there were a few surprised—to say the least—faces when I stated that I wanted to attend the nearest school. However, they seemed to con me out of a few paychecks for the paperwork… Luckily, they were of good quality—just enough to slide past the school's radar and let me attend, believing I was living happily with my family in what looked to be an old apartment complex.
But, heh, talk about the mailman stopping by to see a huge, empty, and run down building with no mailbox. At first, he seemed confused, with a perplexed look on his face at the letters in his hands. But I would quickly dash out of the alley, thank him, and run through the old doors. Unlocked? Nah, broken through, but no need for excuses. These citizens never asked anything 'bout nobody. What you heard or saw? That's what it was. After the same routine every delivery day, the mailman just handed me my school newsletters. If there was something for one of the residents that previously lived there, he would just place it on the thin, silver railing at the building's entrance. So you could probably guess that I did the same thing with electricity, but taxes? In this building? There wasn't much activity and no one really knew a runaway was living in a crack that led to one of the apartment rooms down on maybe the first floor. I usually just paid the electricity and that was that. My delivery business did pay well… so long as you didn't get too curious, that is.
To get the money I needed for day to day basics, I had to get a job at some shady, underground joint… the only place that would even consider taking on someone with no skills like me. Never liked that place much though...
It put food on my table, I owed it that much. Why did I run away from home, you may ask?
None of your business.
And if it is? Sue me.
I'll tell my story as I tell it. You want answers? Keep reading along, and I might just keep it interesting.
Rubbing my eyes from my early afternoon nap after school, I settled down and got my butt comfortable on the bean bag. Ah, just right. I got out my books and placed one on my knee, setting the others down beside me.
"Ah, chemistry, pfft." I mumbled out my distaste, "My old nemesis."
Kicking my heel up in a slow circular motion, I landed my foot precisely down onto the power button on the old remote. This would then turn on the snowy and unbearably loud television, even at its lowest setting. It looked to have been bought off an old 1970's catalog, and I had no doubt about it, judging by the previous owner's love of old technology. Regardless, I could at least begin to watch the news.
I moved in after finding, at long last, someplace that wouldn't ask me about my parents or where I came from. So I just threw a drape over the entrance of the basement to the rusted-down complex, bricked with pride at still standing after all these years in solitude. It seemed an old guy used to live here. A picture of him with his wife and dog left on the counter. I never moved it, their smiling and contented faces always made me feel at home, like a motivational cat poster telling me to never give up and stay on track.
The television turned on with the static almost canceling out the voices, but I got used to deciphering its strange audio and visual wavelengths. Beggars can't be choosers, but I was rather lucky with my choice of living. It kept me warm and out of the rain, no one ever tried to steal anything or visited for that matter—which was good because my only door was a piece of fabric. So I was one of the fortunate ones to find an unattended place with electricity, a working refrigerator, and some household appliances left unused.
As I put my reading glasses on, with a half broken temple on the left side, I placed my arm on the bed stand that held the banker's lamp. I let my head lean on my hand for support whilst I studied, the mind-numbing series of letters and numbers on the periodic table had my full attention.
It was still the night, as most would consider, but homework was assigned to this timeslot. Thank goodness for time management. Because of this schedule, I could walk in the morning dawn hours and have some light to wake me up soon. Though, work liked to keep to the dark...
Suddenly, the sound on the television changed from its normal static and zigzagging of lines… the lame and bumbling newsman reported something that caught my curiosity.
"It's unbelievable folks!" he spoke up, looking to be a bit heavy set with sweat all over his forehead. His eyes would focus only a second on the camera, before swinging his head back to look at the action happening quite some distance behind him.
"Rocketman has once again—AH!" again, he flinched and flung his arm up to defend himself, ducking his head at some unknown object I couldn't make out on the screen.
Heh, three years lookin' at this thing and I still couldn't tell what some of the objects were.
Gotta get on that someday…
"Way to man up there, pal." I smugly stated. Chuckling for a second as I spoke out loud, since the only company I often had was me and my own thoughts…
I situated myself forward, sweeping my fingers over my chin as I studied the fuzzy screen. The man reporting was balding, chubby, but had a sympathetic face that made you just not want to judge the guy. In what appeared to be his light blue sports coat with a tie that… I think is black? I don't know, the screen's too fuzzy, could be a light gray though. It keeps changing tones too rapidly to say—stupid television—but I love having you anyway.
Gotta be thankful for what you have, right?
I'm gonna say right…
Doesn't stop the world from complaining though.
He quickly ran up to the front of the screen, causing the broadcast to lose its framing.
"And there goes the, oh so important, cinematography shots that poor cameraman had studied and practiced so hard for in college."
The two ran away as the camera shook and moved all over the screen… heh, someone give that guy a raise. Regardless of his trained expertise, he was giving the people a shot of the dangerous action while risking his and that reporter man's lives. A building collapsed not a moment later as two figures flew out of it, crashing into the next one over.
The news turned to commercials with a nice man showing off building insurances for specific Super attacks. Where were they when this old man's building was wrecked? And why were they called super anyway? They were just extra gifted is all, they shouldn't need to be celebrities and fight crime and what not.
With great power… comes great fun.
Well, it looks like fun, that's all I'm saying.
"Sorry folks, let me explain," the commercial was hastily cut short, putting the broadcast back on track. Now, only a shot of the reporter's terrified face was looking where he had ran and then glancing back towards the camera. Further and further they dashed away from the action, dodging debris while still trying to get decent enough footage of the scene. His boss might not be so pleased… but I was just glad the man had the decency to keep talking to the camera. "Rocketman has once again confronted Dark Destiny as he tried to make a curtain call on Broadway by attempting to murder the chief judge!"
He finally turned around, panting upwards as he slowed his pace and stood in front of the camera again. The camera panned up from behind the reporter, showing the fight still happening above and near the tall buildings. Even at a distance, it still looked pretty newsworthy for scared newscasters. The reporter fumbled with the microphone in his hands, not taking his eyes off the action while attempting to keep the show running. He pulled on his shirt collar, fully facing the camera and gulping at the terror he now had to turn away from. Poor guy… or maybe it's just his face?
How would you feel? Not being able to see the dangers behind you…
I just can't understand why supervillains had to make a big deal about being put in prison and seeking revenge on their judge. You did something bad and got caught. Did you make bad life choices for a good reason? Would the judge be able to tell and allow that? Probably not, but sometimes I feel the real bad guys are the judges themselves…
Then again, who am I to complain about other people's life choices when I made a pretty dumb one myself. A family wasn't so bad… when you had people who cared to feed you, at least.
Again, another large blast came from my television, the whole box raddled on its homemade tripod of outstretched pin legs that held up the television. Seemed a little old-school, but it was something nonetheless.
"Oh! Here we go, folks! It's Jet! Rocketman's faithful sidekick!"
Right on cue, as fast as a bullet, Rocketman's sidekick flew with white clouds trailing behind him like a jet stream, causing a rippling sonic boom which had rocked my television. Jet crashed into another figure, who seemed to have blackened Rocketman's vision with his ability. I say this because Rocketman was tearing at the darkness that was misting around his eyes. The boy appeared to be Dark Destiny's sidekick, almost my age, I assumed. Ow, though. The guy just slammed him down hard, with both arms stretched out in a fist towards his guts. Good luck in the prison hospitals, kiddo.
"What's this?!" the announcer's voice grabbed my attention.
The top part of the building they were fighting around started collapsing. Surprisingly, the middle was holding up.
"Miraculously, the building has not completely fallen!"
"Uh, no duh."
It's like we didn't have eyes to this man—unless—wasn't that his job?
"Has Jet successfully taken down Shade, the evil sidekick of Dark Destiny!? We now await the heroes to come out with their defeated enemies in custody!"
I swear, why do I even watch these things? Obviously, the heroes don't kill the bad guys, but they always win, even when some people die in the process. They always win… at least, that's what the news and media state. Goodness, such propaganda.
Suddenly, more of the building started to collapse as people gasped. I, also intrigued, sat up from my bored hunch on my bean bag and dropped my hand to my knee. My eyes studied the screen… did they make it out?
Weren't they strong enough..? Ugh, They should be! With a rep like 'Super', they had something to live up too…
"We don't know what's going to happen next, folks! Rocketman and Jet haven't successfully made it out yet!" The news anchor was more anxious now than ever.
"You don't say..?" I liked to mock the drama.
"We can't see anything in this rubble. We need to move farther back."
The man started coughing as the dust finally settled around them. They apparently weren't very close to the action, and who could blame them? Their bosses, that's who. They'd call them cowards, the poor things, just because they don't want to be crushed under rubble.
Out of the building, Jet rose up in a greenish blur. Landing down, the black part of his outfit looked dirtied up as he breathed heavily. Over his shoulder was Shade, seemingly unconscious, but where was Rocketman…?
Must be killing other people who actually care about these Supers.
You know, the ones with their action figures and stuff? The collectors might get excited since a hero's death meant the value of their toys—that they never opened—would skyrocket, excuse the pun, and considering Rocketman is so popular already…
"Where's the Rocketman himself? The crowd is silent as we wait in total suspense! Jet is handing Shade's body over to the authorities, now he's diving back into the fray!"
Jet looked pretty young and buff, but Rocketman? He's been around a while, probably not in his 'glory years' anymore, so I'm genuinely beginning to wonder if he'll survive or not.
Surely enough, Jet had an arm around his hero, pulling Rocketman out of the building's debris. He looked wrecked with exhaustion. Dark Destiny's power of controlling dark forces had Rocketman scraped up with scratches and gashes on his arms from the demons DD had summoned. DD was the nickname that his fans gave him, though he'd probably hate it due to its resemblance to an old kids show about a boy genius and his sister… But where was the villain?
"The police are approaching him now. Let's wait for the results…"
The man placed a hand on his earpiece.
"F-folks—I don't know how to relay this but…" He stuttered a moment, causing me to lift my head up from my hand and narrow my interests onto the screen.
He looked almost in a state of shock, staring off at something as though frozen in time. "Dark Destiny has not made it out… alive."
I will sincerely admit, my eyes widened. For a hero to be unable to save even the villain, that was kinda… well, cruel if you ask me. If he did it on purpose that is. I sat back and folded my arms, there goes some kid's profit on his limited edition DD comic book or whatever. Not very shocking that supervillains have fans too. I always laugh when I think of the parents though, they freak out about their kid liking the criminal over the hero. When… death is just a sad thing regardless of if it's your child's favorite character or not. Good or bad. The fact that they profit off of it is the real shameful crime if you ask me.
"This is… an unfortunate turn of events." He shifted his body back towards the camera, his eyes still fixed on the advancing scene before him, but he himself still seemed in the moment.
The audience was waiting on him, hanging by his last words, but I couldn't help and feel more transfixed on him. Because there was something so human in his long, thoughtful pause.
He turned back to give his full attention to his job, needing to carry on with reporting the news, but at least he took a second to feel the events around him. However, my growing respect suddenly diminished by his next, corresponding phrase. "But as they say-Evil never pays."
I looked at my tilted clock, dangling from a shoelace tacked in place on the wall. But the string hung so far down, that I strung it twice around the sturdy pin, which did cause it to dip slightly, but at least the lightweight clock held somewhat above eye level. "Hmm… work." I sighed, looking down at my unfinished homework, taking my glasses off and rubbing my eyes. "Typical Tuesday…" Flipping a corner of the paper up to get a better look at the pages, I fell back on the bean bag and groaned. Throwing the papers to the side I got up, turning off the bank teller lamp with a fake smile. I took the remote and headed to get dressed.
I was seventeen now, I should know how to take better care of myself or at least my time. I walked into my rusty bathroom that made even the termites shriek. Though, there's not enough wood left for them to chew on anymore, anyway. I took my old toothbrush and started getting ready. My light blue eyes looked back at me nonchalantly through the dusty mirror. At least I could see. I took my comb that was missing teeth, but you live with what ya got, right? Placing my fingers in the missing teeth spots, I brushed my dirty blonde hair, trying to get all the tangles out and look presentable. No makeup, I don't got money or time for that. Sometimes, I like to think my few pimples make a constellation, depicting my grand purpose in life, or something along those lines. Getting my old deodorant out, which kept falling off its thing, the dumb little…
I checked the clock, still got time to change.
I walked into my room, cramped but livable. I tied back some of my hair into a ponytail, letting the rest fall down. I found that if I made myself look younger, I got a bigger tip from the families I deliver too. They think my family is forcing me to work and all, like the rest of the poor souls down in this tier, but I don't care. More money for me which meant getting closer to finally placing some ice cream in my ugly fridge that was completely indented into the kitchen's ground on its side. To be frank, half the kitchen had a huge crack through it where the left side had jutted up in the white squared tile and grey grout. I found it fun though, jumping or stepping over it as I went to get water at night. It was just a pain when I forgot about it. I would slip through the a few inches of the crack and rip some of my pajama pants. I had more pajama bottoms than I had pants…
Pulling out my rickety closet drawer, which you had to kinda jostle a bit, I got out some old blue jeans. I took my current pants off and started wiggling into the new pair, placing my remote in them. I had gotten these jeans in a lost and found, thankfully, my size. Okay, maybe a bit big. "I haven't eaten in… just a few days right?" I mean, I had some rice bars and strawberry-flavored gelatin... that had to count as food right?
"At least my shirts are alright…" I reached up and got one down from the top, stepping on a drawer to do so. I put on a purple shirt along with a jean jacket. Getting my flats that rubbed the back of my heels uncomfortably raw, I reluctantly put them on and moved my hippie tarp out from the crack in the building. Stepping out, I always worried about thieves. Thankfully, I had the old man who used to live here's old home videos. As I walked out, I pulled out the remote and clicked the button. At least the VCR was fairly new. At least, in that man's time. The machine sucked the tape into the mouthpiece as I clicked 'repeat'. The tape was of his dog and him playing with his two sons, I suppose when they were all young. The dog's barking kept the neighbors up, but the thieves away.
"Keep that dog down or so help me, I'll kill it!" Old wrinkly Miss Guinevere was up in her bath cap and sticking her head out the window, shaking her fuzzy slipper as her big cleft chin always made me laugh and smile.
"Nice to see you too, Miss." I waved pleasantly.
"Darn kids!" she slammed the windows of her old apartment complex.
I felt sorry for Miss Guinevere… she once had this man with a smooth accent from some foreign nation, who used to cook her meals and sing her sweet songs that would put me to sleep. He was an old fella, but he seemed really, really nice to her. Sweet, old couple, I used to think. However, one day I didn't hear him serenade her. I had peeked up and—yes I did this, I was curious okay?! I had climbed her staircase on the side of the building and peeked through her window. She was sitting in her empty tub with her bathrobe on, which was the only window on my side of the building. But she was just sitting there, crying silently in her old Victorian bathtub, looking dead ahead at the wall. I saw her eyes pan over the pictures of flowers and a nice plain of grass where a cottage was resting peacefully near the side of the frame. I figured she must have wanted to live there with her fling, the foreign man. I wondered how such a sweet old woman never seemed to have been married before, or maybe she was, but her husband had died. In these last three years of squatting in the building next to hers, I was never close enough to her to ask.
"And for pity's sake! Get your butt off the streets!" she had reopened the window to lash out at me one more time. As I walked, she flung the fuzzy slipper at me, hitting me out of nowhere. I wasn't expecting it to hit so hard, turning around and rubbing my head.
"Ow! Hey!" I stopped in my tracks, but didn't have the heart to insult her, even if sometimes she did deserve it.
"Hmph! Serves you right. Scram!" she slammed the window, finishing her point with a big, old lady 'Umph!'
I sighed and continued on, but then raced back and picked up the slipper. The slipper had an old homey smell to it, and its texture was kinda soft. Maybe I could have something for night time now. Fewer cuts on my feet from the kitchen floor. At least for one foot.
I put it in my pocket, folding it up as it was floppy and able to do so.
I finally came up to the shady, underground delivery business, known to only a few as the KA7. I never did know what that stood for, to be honest, I don't think half the employee's down here knew anything besides their routes. Heading down the stairs, old Brutus stopped me in my tracks. "Excuse me, password."
"Come on, big lug. I've known you for two years." I placed my hands on my hips, almost defiantly as I swung on up to him. Charm always worked with Brutus. Someone had told me that a long time ago, and it's helped me ever since. "You're as endearingly filled with black soot as ever." Back in the day, the big old, broad-chested, Brutus worked as a chimney sweep but he never did step in time… But like most folks, solo-jobs aren't sustainable. It's better to attach yourself to a group or organization than try and make an honest business by yourself. Sad but true.
"You know the rules, Lilly. Never can be too careful." He took out a rag and wiped his face, he looked especially nervous and sweaty today.
"Alright, alright. Ooga Booga."
"Step right in to the office." He moved and gestured with an exaggerated bow to the door. "No hard feelings, right?"
"I take offense to every incidence where you ask me that dumb question." I stated, winking as I passed.
Stepping up to the office, a bunch of young kids were on computers all sectioned off in cubicles, typing in orders. The youngest had to have been about six or seven years old. It always made my stomach turn.
"Ya got an appointment, lady?" The dark-skinned kid, off to the side near the reception area, spoke to me. She looked up with her mic and earpiece held securely in place by a headband. I loved her curly black hair, she was so cute, it was a shame she had to be in this line of work to help her family. I could see her being the star in a popular kids magazine, if only circumstances in Koleroy were different.
"Hey Curly Top, I'm here for work." I handed her my ID for this rotten place written in fine cursive, which I couldn't really read.
"Ah… I see." She typed the numbers with wild swings, smiling as though this was the highlight of her day, while rocking in her seat as any kid would. I must have misjudged, she was more like a five year old.
"Here you go!" she chimed, giving me my card back. She then looked back at the screen, placing a hand dramatically on her mouth, her wide eyes tore away to mime a gasp towards me.
"…What?" I asked, seeing her expression as I put the card away.
She eerily crooked her finger at me, motioning me to come down to her level. In a chair that looked about right for a kindergartener, she lifted her butt up and moved the seat in my direction. Sitting down again with her hands together, as though preparing like an adult to deliver some hard news, she turned back with an excitedly scared expression for me.
"It's the boss, he's scheduled a meeting… with you."
Her whisper wasn't 'silent' or 'secretive'. In fact, I heard the whole room turn and look up from what they were doing to identify the poor victim of the day. A child's whisper was never to be trusted…
I gulped and got up slowly, "Well," my voice cracked a little, "best see what he wants then, hmm?"
She wasn't smiling anymore. Instead, she nodded quickly after a moment before turning to her work again.
I nodded back, "'Kay…" and turned as I bit my lip.
Heading to the boss's office was never a good thing… or at least, from what I've heard.
The door looked stolen and shoddily bolted onto this door frame instead, the newspaper font written on the window's sign read, "Knock once for valued customer, twice for an interview, and three times for appointment."
A word that meant very little to people living like us, and at the same time, everything.
I took a deep breath, and knocked on the door three times.
"Hold ya horses! I'm on the phone 'ere!" a man spoke up, a shadowy body leaned towards the blurred window and gestured something to me.
Taking a step back, I took another deep breath and patted the sides of my legs, looking around before the door clicked open automatically. I leaned out of its swing as a man in a nice jacket and sunglasses on his head smiled to me, his hands clasped together.
"Come in, deary. Come in! Got somethin' special for ya!" his smile was contagious, as he reached down to his nice wooden desk in the middle of a dirt floor and pulled out a package.
I walked in and looked at the chair across from him.
He looked up and seemed confused, not understanding why I wasn't sitting. "Well, sit down. Don't act like a stranger. Not in my town, haha!" he kidded, speaking in an old slang. Family meant the world to some people, but I didn't care at this point. I had that old man, his sons, and his dog. But maybe Family is what we were to the boss? I mean, he did accept almost anyone into the business but I had heard that one mistake and you're out, driven from town and such. There was a rumor that a boy had stolen a package, found some kinda valuable gold watch in it, sold it, and was living good for a while. But the boss found out, and no one knew what happened to the kid. The only thing we do know is that a few days later there was an announcement that the watch had been successfully... delivered.
"Have you heard about old DD? Sad case." He was getting my files up on his desk, looking at two dark grey computers on either side of him. I didn't know why he needed two, but all the computer's here were old, so I thought maybe he needed the extra data space.
"Now, then. According to my records, yous a good kid. You deliver the goods, no questions asked. I like it." He motioned a lot and expressed himself like a business man with charisma, which made me calm down a bit. "Just how I like it. Glad to have it, glad to hear it." He sucked in his lips a bit, looking over some papers he had, and jumping to the front of his chair. "Here ya are, kid." He handed me the package, tapping it and licking the side of his lips. "Well, what do you think of that?" he grinned, almost beaming with excitement.
"…W-with what?" I asked
"Hello? Kid, read the title!"
He laughed as I looked down.
"I know, that's a lot of moneh!" he rubbed his fingers together. "And half of it's yours, kid. You know what a thousand dollars is split up?"
"Ice cream..!" I gasped out, but he just looked at me funny.
"W-what? Hahaha! Yous crack me up, kid! Now look…" he rubbed his head, looking nervous. "I'm gonna be honest with ya, kid… wes got some real, gen-you-wine stuff 'ere." He tapped on the package, but I couldn't take my eyes off of it to look him in the eye.
"Heh..." he noticed and looked down, playing imaginary keys with his fingers on the wooden table a moment before hastily looking back up, seeming to really want my attention. "Look, focus here." His slang suddenly stopped, which immediately pulled my eyes back to him.
He took the package away from me, making me reflexively reach out for it, almost letting an objection cross my lips.
"You know the policy. Don't look, just deliver. Don't ask the customer questions, just hand it to them. And they'll know the password. This one, in particular, is codenamed Death Star." He waved a finger at me and then lifted the package up. I looked up with my eyes as he shook it around, but it insulted me slightly how he thought I'd follow after it like a dog over a squeaky toy. I looked squarely back at him with a glare.
"Haha, you ain't stupid. Good. Thought maybe I'd pick the wrong guy." He held the package in front of me.
"Good carrier, means good business. You've got a good record, 'been off my radar for two years… impressive." He knew my track record, meaning he's cared about my packages over the years. Just how many of those delivery items were illegal? And how severe were their consequences… That's the thing about this business deal: you don't ask questions, because you should never know what you're carrying. "Just do as you're told, and no one gets hurt. Mostly, us." He let me take the package and placed both hands to his chest, showing he wasn't really talking about me. "Good girl." He ruffled my hair around with his hand and got up. "Now then," moving to the map of Koleroy on the wall behind him, he placed his hands behind his back and almost bounced up to it with a bit of a swing in his step, giddy as ever. Smiling and facing me, he extended a small, steel pointer and giggled with his mouth closed. His eyebrows leaped a bit on his face, proud of fancy gizmo, and whacked the map so hard I flinched. "Now, from here, you're going all the way to the Big Shots Zone." It still threw me off how his previous rough speech had all been a façade.
I must have looked terrified to him at this point, because that was the top tier where the rich people lived.
"Heh, don't be so scared, kid. My men will keep you safe, just wear your hat." He tossed me a hat with the company's logo on it. A flat cap that reminded me of Brutus's old chimney hat he used to wear, or at least, something out of those days.
"Now then, take this to a nice lady up there, in Crescent Avenue. Very. Very. Important." He beat the location with his pointer, nodding with the motion in satisfaction as though the rhythmic hitting was fun to him.
"Now, off yous go! Go, go, go! Speedy delivery, come on!" he kicked the side of the desk, reverting back to his charade as I quickly raced out, holding onto the package.
What a strange day this is turning out to be. Was it even day yet?
"Good-" Curly Top tried to stop me as I dodged and weaved my way through the office cubicles.
I couldn't hear the end of her statement, Good day? Good bye? Who knows.
I walked up the endless and sleek asphalt that created the main road, lined with bright yellow road markers, connecting all three of the city's tiers. Next to it was a deep, wet grey sidewalk littered with holes and cracks all along it.
All I could think about was delivering this package and making my way home with a half grand in my pocket.
Continuing on, I later noticed a black car suddenly climbing up behind me. He had turned onto the main road and was steadily progressing up the rounded slope towards me...
Trailing me up a few blocks, I noticed something was up. Holding my hands in my pocket with the package under my arm, I started to divert into the alley ways, seeing if I could shake him. The car sped up and followed, that's when I ran.
The car continued its pursuit. I found myself whipping my head back and forth, behind me and to the front again. The car was gaining, but there was no way it was catching me.
"Hey there! This looks suspicious!"
A voice out of nowhere rang over the car's engine as the car screeched to a halt. I plugged my ears, shifting the package and keeping it in my left hand at all cost. As I opened my eyes, there didn't seem to be a crash, so I slowly turned around.
A boy, about my age, in a green and black super suit was holding out his gloved hand to the car as the smoke from the tires reared up in the dust.
"Who…?" My eyes blinked and narrowed questioningly at him. Was he a part of the boss's protection force?
"I'm surprised you don't know me!" he faced me with a swish of his hair after a moment of dramatic pause, which I swear he planned. His masked face looked charming with a glorious set of pearly white teeth and spiked-up hair that poked out a bit, but still short enough that it suited him.
"The incredible Jet!" he bowed to me with some flare before looking back up, a beautiful emerald green swirled unnaturally in his irises, like fuel through an engine. "Pleasure to be rescuing you today! Miss…?"
"Uhh…" I stared, a sidekick? I was being saved… by a freakin' sidekick!? Of all the times.
"Well, Miss Uhh." He joked. Getting up, he then motioned behind with his thumb while his other hand rested heroically on his hip, "Who are these clowns?"
"I, umm... don't know." I admitted as he spun back around after hearing the car door open.
"Op!" he ducked, motioning for me to do the same, shushing me and smiling with a child's glee in his eyes. He crawled a bit like a jungle man over to the car's front.
"Hand over the package. It's okay kid, we won't hurt you," a man walked out, seeming to be friendly, the kind of friendly a policeman would be.
I gave him a suspicious eye, turning my head to the side, and holding the package now in both hands.
"Come on kid, we're just trying to prevent-"
"It's-a me! Jet-sy!" Jet had propelled himself upward, steadying himself as the power was suddenly halted. He then launched down in a 'Y' formation, his feet downward and his arms spread out. Colliding with the tough looking, dark-skinned man in the suit, he shattered the man's glasses.
"Woah!" I started running as Jet did his thing, fighting off the other men who started coming out of the car. They held something that flickered a moment in the light before pointing them straight at me and Jet...
As I panicked, Jet punched the air causing a sonic boom as the men and their car flew back. One man got his leg stuck under the car and cried out in hysterical pain. Jet moved the car with another sonic punch to the side and grabbed the man out of the way as the other men started shooting. "Alright! My kinda day!" he grinned, shooting off at the speed of sound, the men flung backwards in his turbulence. As he paused again in the air, he spun his arms and created a whirlwind, turning the men to their sides on the ground and leaving them immobile. He was positioned like a propeller, windmilling in the air, but I didn't stick around long enough to see the end of the fight.
After reaching the tier's gate that lead to the fat cat's society, I bent to my knees and started coughing. I couldn't breathe. It was cold. This mission wasn't meant to be so thrilling...
Prevent what, I wondered. I felt the package in my hand... A vile? A potion like bottle?
I didn't know what it was, but the shape was discernible. I held it up to my ear and shook it, not like the boss said it was fragile or anything.
Liquid. What was it?
A man at the gate cleared his throat, turning my attention to him. "Ma'am? You need something?" he looked at me with a disgusted face, one coined by the rich when judging the lower station. Peh! I hate the rich. I know I sound biased or prejudice, but they're all really the same. They like to stay in their make believe worlds of grandeur. They like to keep the terrible, heartbreaking truths of life out of their delicate sights. I gave him back the same disgusted stare with no shame, as if he was scum, not me. He leaned back, offended, but I didn't care.
I walked up to him, placing the package on the ledge of his pearly white ticket booth window, but I refused to take my hand off of it. "I have a package to deliver."
The man just looked at me with that same expression, and leaned down to get something. As he did, I stuck my tongue out at him. However, he came up quite abruptly, startling me as I withdrew my tongue quickly back, hoping he didn't see. His upper lip twitched a sneer. He'd seen it.
While he opened his big fancy book, I pushed myself up on the white, marble shelf that stuck out from the ticket booth. As I scanned the backwards letters, I recognized my business's name on it.
"See! That's me, there! Right-"I pointed to my name, but he quickly moved the book away. Looking back at it, he groaned at the smudge I made on its pure white pages.
"Now, look what you did!" he spat out and was about to lick his finger, thinking he'd clean it up. But he hesitated, not daring to touch it as though a rat had peed on the page. He searched around and found a metallic looking ticket that shimmered a little in his booth, taking that and licking it instead. Apparently, it didn't taste very good, because I saw him make another face and smack his lips. He wiped my fingerprint off the page with the ticket and seemed to brush me off, "You may… ugh… go." He pushed a button with his elbow, since he was holding the book on his arm and rubbing the smudge off with his other hand.
The heavenly gates opened. Great… It wasn't so glorious to me, anyway. I walked into the demon's horde of sparkling houses with broad steps ascending up into their home-owners' madness. I wasn't gonna be scared, the bad stuff was behind me. At least, I hoped so. You wouldn't think anything 'dirty' happened here…
A woman wearing purple feathers was walking her dog, she took one look at me and gasped in a cry of surprise. Her reaction caused the dog barked as well. I barked right back, yipping at it as the woman pulled the leash back, looking horrified.
"Hmph… Richies." I cursed them, there whole existence! Not one of them was good.
As I approached the house that was on Crescent Avenue, I took a deep breath. Looking at the address on the package, I wondered what was in here. I never questioned it before. I already assumed it was a drugged vile or any manner of shady things. But that never stopped my conscience from bickering about it with me…
Still, in the Richies estates? This was a bit new.
Maybe that's why I was finally letting the questions sink in for once. What kind of mischief were the Richies pulling off today?
As I knocked on the door, a woman opened it expectantly.
The woman had short, almost bobbed bleached blonde hair. She moved it out of her face, trying to see me clearly. She looked like a young and thin fashion model, the kind that wore puppy-fur with spots. I say this because of the white and black, beige furs all over her. She didn't look like the type of person to live here, definitely not the homeowner. Was she the cocktail girl, pleasant company, or..?
"Oh good, you're here. Listen, do you have the package?" She saw it in my hands. "Ah." She took out a mini purse after moving her furry coats aside revealing a sleek, tight beige dress underneath it all. She was really a twig this lady, with strong cheekbones that suggested maybe she was older than what I had first suspected. She opened the purse and pulled out the money, "In cash right?" How could someone have that much dough in such a small contraption!? She seemed to be waiting for me to take it, bouncing on her heels. Her legs must have been feeling cold in the outside air, considering her large furs only came to about her waistline. She kept surveying the area, sucking on her lower lip a moment before looking me over again. She seemed oddly hasty, eyeing the package. Shifty and fidgety, definitely not Richie behavior. "You okay, kid?" she said, as if she was concerned about me. Yeah, right…
"Um… yeah, here…" I was about to ask for the password when a man came up behind her, sticking his bowl cut out the door to talk to her over her shoulder. It threw me off as I rose an eyebrow. He had a maid slung around his arm, her outfit resembling a period piece of the typical frilly black and white attire, smiling as she seemed just a bit tipsy.
"This isn't good, we need it now! He's getting more and more sober by the minute, and he's starting to refuse the drinks!" The man was sweaty, as he nervously spun his head back behind him like a fugitive on the run. Was the maid his flirty interest or a hostage..? "If this is gonna work,-"
"Calm down, the girl's got it." She quickly snapped at him. I could almost hear her neck screeching like rusty gears when she looked back at me, trying to act natural, but she was clearly worried I would catch on to something in their conversation. She held a tight, thin line of deceit on her face as she began speaking to me again. "Here you are, sweetie." She faked a smile, handing me the money and putting it in my other hand, grabbing the package. "I'll just take that…"
I gripped the package tighter, my eyes widening.
An old man's voice sounded from the side, "Come on! The party's just starting! Yeeeheee!" he hiccuped a couple of times through the sentence, sounding lost in his drunkenness and without care. Naïve. They were gonna take his money and have him sign over his estate. I bet she was his daughter, or masquerading as such. Her accomplice, a secret affair, who would waste their newly stolen fortune on riotous living.
My imagination played out the whole scenario for a moment. I felt angry at how they could trick a defenseless man.
I looked to the girl, then the man.
I looked to the maid.
The one who would hand him the spiked wine, probably not even knowing what it contained.
Or maybe she was in on it too?
"Umm… sweetie? Hand me the package..." she tugged on it, but I just couldn't let it go. Everything in me told me not too! It was too suspicious! At least with the other clients, I didn't know what it was. But this time… I knew… I knew it was wrong!
I kept hearing the happy-go-lucky dancing and singing of the old man in the background and, for once, I didn't care if he was rich or poor! He was a man! And they were going to kill him!
"What are you waiting for..?! Oh, Death Star! The password or whatever! Give it to me!"
She finally ripped it desperately from my tight grip as my eyes were distant, my ears still fixated on where the sounds of the old man were coming from. The image of the old man in my pictures at home rang in my mind like a numbing drum of guilt…
"Eh-mm... thanks…" she smugly said as she handed the package to the maid. The man smiled wickedly, starting to snap his fingers as if holding castanets. He tapped his foot on the ground, humming a sinister tango tune as he 'Oley!'d away.
The woman stroked a flirty hand against the man's arm, as though joining in his fun, but then excitedly smiled back to me.
"Well…bye!" She slammed the door, "Mr. Joshten! Mr. Joshten! One more bottle of wine! What do you say?" her voice sounded so full of life, not a trace of ill intent. As I heard her footsteps retreating farther and farther away, the merriment inside of that house rose to a peak.
I stared at the bottom of the door frame, then the doormat, and finally my flats.
With conflict sparking between two moral greys inside me, I buckled my pride…
...and walked away.
As I shuffled back into the boss's office, letting my shoes scrape the ground with a rough sound at each step, I heard my boss place his feet up on his desk. He began to talk away, as if relieved. "So, it worked out then? Splendid!" he laughed with the man on the phone. "And how was my girl..?" he leaned forward, giving me an eye, but more in a showman's curiosity than hostility. I sat down and just sank into my spot in the chair, my eyes down and my soul vacant. "Really? Well, as long as she wasn't much trouble. Ahaha, yes. Love you too, lovely. Ta-tah!" he hung up, took his feet off the desk, and set his arms up on the table. His fingers happily intertwined together as he gave me his full attention, his head half down, eyes up with a seeming thrill I could only imagine was from a crime well played. "You... did good." He beamed a wide smile. "Where's my money?"
I slowly took out the money, company policy stated it must be carried in the hat…
Taking it off and giving it to him, he licked his lips again, back and forth. He counted the money like you would look at a deck of cards, right out in front of him. "Ho, mamma!" his gangster side wasn't all that terrifying, but the way he looked at money showed his lust for it. Kissing it a ton of times, he then leaning over the table to rub my head excessively. "You did so good, kid!" he happily sat back down at his desk, putting the money away.
"Ah..!" My share! I reached for it, but didn't stop him from putting it away.
"Wha..? Oh, right-o. I'm a man of my word." He took out the money, counting it again and handing me my fair share. I was surprised, he really was keeping his word.
"Now, do me a favor, and don't be getting my money into trouble, eh?" he smiled, flicking the green paper into my hand.
Taking my usual route home, I looked the money over.
I didn't even want to touch it.
But I needed the food, a good brush, some bath towels, Ice cream…
This was life, if I had an alternative... well, I'm not sure what I'd do.
However, if I saw that man's red face smiling in the paper…
With a big headline stating, DEAD MAN, POISONED.
I don't know what I would do.
Just then there was an explosion, half my money fell onto the wet pavement. "NO!" I scrambled for it, counting it, and sighed in relief. The wind didn't claim my ice cream... not today!
Taken aback, I turned and stared at a strange, oval sphere that had made a crater in someone's front lawn. Suddenly, some snow started falling just as fast as the sphere had crashed landed. I stumbled over to it, my feet freezing and my hands and going numb from the cold. If it was a meteor, it would be hot, right? I put my money in my pocket, cupping my hands over my mouth to try and warm them up with my breath, but I was too shaky. I could barely manage to stop trembling in my shock as I looked at the thing.
Walking up to it, I held my hand out to try and feel any residual heat, but there was nothing. Stumbling towards it, inch by inch, I kept my hand out and lightly went to touch it. I winced at the heat that had burned my finger. Where'd that come from!? Placing my hurt finger in my mouth, I watched as coding suddenly flew over the sphere in a brilliant lime green. It turned the dinosaur-looking, steel egg into a technological contraption.
Stepping back, I slipped on some wet pavement and fell. "OW!" Landing on my butt.
Upon my shout, the thing burst open, like a spaceship.
When I looked up, I saw a brown, fluffy thing start coming out of the opened pod.
Scooting back, I saw it start to look around and notice me.
"Oh crud…" I thought, alien invasion…
It had happened before. But that was in the desert, and some hero over there took care of that.
Critter-like sounds started coming from the thing, hovering towards me.
It had long ears that flopped down and hung like dog ears. They hovered by its sides though, like wings but furry. Its eyes were clear white and it had all the characteristics of an animal. But that wasn't the freaky part. Behind it, something started sparkling. I slowly leaned my body to the side before realizing this thing was floating… and behind it was a big bulge of light with all the colors of the rainbow. It moved like a big tail, and as if noticing my amazed stare, the creature giggled.
"What in the world…?"
"Uhh..." Don't get attached. Yes, it's cute, but it could also bite your face off. No ice cream. And all that regret would be for nothing.
It moved up to me, hopping down from it's floating state and moving between my legs to my stomach. It sniffed me and giggled again, rolling over onto its back, goofily tilting its head to look back at me. Upside down and soft, I couldn't help but be instantly charmed by this alien… thing.
"Dang, you're so cute." I spat out, unable to think at the moment. I was overwhelmed, expecting something, well… else.
"…Ute." It tried to mimic me, lifting its head a moment before flopping it back down.
"No, cute." I shook my head.
"Yuh… nevermind." I figured it was just playing with me. It's possible food.
I face slapped myself to wake up, maybe I had passed out on the side of the streets, freezing to death. But the slap only hurt my face as a herd of alarms blazed through the streets. Sirens. I knew what that meant. "Quick! Come here!"
It looked scared of me all of sudden, flying quickly out of reach and looking untrusting.
"No no, friend… Frrriiieennd..." I tried to help it understand, opening my jacket. "Get in here!"
The police were getting closer, I could hear them coming down the lane. It was dead silent, of course someone would call the police after hearing the sound barrier break. The only real noise the night ever got here was the howling wind. They probably thought someone's house just blew up with how intense the crash sounded, but only the lawn was really damaged.
"Come here!" I was franic, what would they do to the sweet little thing?!
"Ere!" it tried to scratch me, showing some killer fangs under that cute appearance. Obviously, I was scaring it, but I had to somehow warn it that danger was coming.
"Oh, come on! Ugu! Ugu!" I mimicked it as a final resort. It was now flying behind its container, peeking its head out in a bit of fear before leaping up and happily coming back over to me.
"Yes, yes! Abu!" I jostled my hands rapidly back and forth, wanting it to get over here already. More sirens and lights started flashing, we had to move now. Maybe it was asking if I was a friend in its language or something? "Now please, hide!"
I had to, I just grabbed the thing and stuffed it in my jacket, Holding it as it struggled, feeling the scratches and bites on my chest made me almost cry as I ran home. Dropping the darn thing off once I got in my hippie den, it growled and hissed at me like a cat. Its long, sparkling rainbow was whipping in circular motions behind it, transparent and oddly swaying like a tail, flicks and all.
"Listen, I'm saving you from science experiments and lab testing! Be thankful you met a desperate person looking for a way to make up for her sins!" I cried out, rushing to the large mirror above my bean bag in the living room and making a winching noise as I pulled my shirt's collar down. Already, blood had leaked out onto my shirt, but not just that… I took my shirt off.
"Ooooohh. What..? why..?" I looked at all the marks, wanting to touch it but knew it would kill if I did.
"Grr!" I looked to the stupid thing, "I hope you realize I don't care what happens to you anymore, freak!" After that, I rushed to the bathroom, taking a quick shower. The cuts stung at first, but after a delicate rinse, I carefully pressed a washcloth over the cuts to stop the bleeding. Hopefully, they would scab up soon.
When I was done, I took my robe and put it on. Twisting the towel with my wet hair up on my head, I looked at my bloodied clothes and sighed. "Great… a bunch of my money's going to the laundromat…" I pfft'ed a wet piece of hair out of my face and then manually moved it.
"Hello? Creepy rabbit… thing?" I peeked my head around the corner into the living room, not seeing anything. "Well, that was also a waste." Walking back, I took my money out and hid it in one of my drawers. "For later…" I whispered, and rubbed the drawer's top, but remembered how I had gotten it. The thought made me frown once again. It may have been my imagination, but the boss had treated the package so highly…
Sighing, I moved on and got my pajamas. There was no way I could make up for what I had done by saving some alien creature. Who, in all honesty, was probably gonna take over the world with its hair balls of cuteness.
Though, that was probably my imagination too. Still, at least the anime people would surrender happily…
I looked up from my thoughts after hearing a crash in the kitchen. Getting up, I heard the same noises again, and looked up dumbfounded, "Oh… no, oh-no,… oh no, oh no, oh no!" I felt every bit of my heart sink when I walked into my kitchen. The fridge had been ransacked as the floating ball of dark caramel hair began stuffing itself with all my food supplies. It was literally digging through all of it, devouring any food or drink in sight, like a meerkat looking for grubs.
"…No…Oh…no…" At each word I gasped for air. All my food… my precious food that I had spent weeks saving money for was going down the tiers to the gutter.
My mouth hung open and my eyes widened at the creature who looked back at me with total innocence. It smiled with a piece of celery in its mouth, "Ah! Abu! Susu!" It spoke out cutely, doing a little dance back and forth before going to the ground and eating anything that had fallen from its grubby clutches. It opened its mouth to a box of cereal, but once nothing came out, it looked confused. Shaking the box again and finding nothing was ever going to come out, it peered down into the crack in the kitchen floor and smiled. It wiggled its butt excitedly, diving into it after tossing the empty box. Coming out, it held a carton of milk and started chugging it down after figuring out there was a lid on it.
"I hope it's spoiled…" I growled out.
Tomorrow was school…
And this… This thing was now attached to my humble hippie abode, eating my food, taking a dump on my floor.
What's next… the second coming?